The Dream Fire

Aleron Chevalier
Five Years Later

In the five years since Waywyn, much happened to Aleron. On his way back to Dorholt, he was confronted by his brother Audric and several other shadeswords. He murdered the shadeswords but refused to kill Audric, who seized upon this and stabbed Aleron through the chest with his shadowblade.

He walked away from his brother, who let him go, assured that Aleron would soon succumb to his wounds. He wandered back to Waywyn, to receive treatment from Saranya. She was able to dispel most of the magic, though a remnant of the blade remained in his chest, tainting his body with shadow magic. He spent several months recovering in the palace, becoming closer to Saranya. The two eventually married, with Aleron renouncing his claim to the throne of Shadecliff and instead taking the title of Archduke of Whitemoor, a large area within the Crystalmere.

Giving up a life of adventuring for a life of politics, Aleron was always a bit restless, but stayed in touch with his former companions, save for Murdock, whose fate he often wondered about. After receiving word that The North was being razed by an ambitious wizard, he made arrangements to leave for Icedell at once and set off to find Murdock.

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Year 5

Murdock the broken lies make in a cold damp cell. After his last conquest five years ago, he returned to his home at the watchtower to join the other great scholars. He returned to find the tower crumbled, the books burned and his friends slain. Out of fear, Murdock fled to the mountains where he found some survivors. An evil and powerful demon had come to this plane to inflict pain and suffering. Murdock knew of a spell that could banish the demon but at the cost of their lives. They planned to lure the demon with a virgin. The went to the outskirts of a freshly burning town and prepared a holding spell. Askar, the grand illusionist created the most convincing virgin that lured the demon perfectly. The demon walked straight into the middle of the Murdock’s inescapable grasp and the scholars began the ritual. But the ritual want taking and the clenching grasp began to loosen. Amidst the changing, a faint call could be heard, a counter spell being channeled into the demon. The hold broke and the demon dismembered and maimed all but Murdock. Murdock went black.
His eyes begin to open. Footsteps echo, he must be in a grand hall. Two men are dragging him and cast him at the base of steps. He looks up to see Drick, a once high ranking scholar with aspirations exceeding his rank. He had once attempted a coup which failed and had him exiled. He murmurs something to Murdock and then command the guards to drag Murdock away. Once Murdock finally come to, he finds himself locked in a stone box, no windows or doors, just the slow dripping off water. It is here where Murdock has spent the last 4 years of his life. For the first few weeks he hoped someone may come to end this sorcerers plight and rescue him. Hope faded. Murdock is now practically a skeleton, kept alive by the magic of the prison that contained him, maddened by the solitude.

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Glimwraith

It has long been said that the blood of an arch demon is the most exquisite torture. They say that , if administered properly, the victim would soil themselves in fear, and beg for mercy or death. Glimwraith has always disagreed. Take this Orc War Chief as an example; a quart of achdemon blood had been poured into him, yet every time he was questioned he said nothing. After having blood spat at them twelve times in as many days; the sergeant finally called Glimwraith to the chamber.
“What seems to be the problem,” Glimwraith inquires as he enters the dimly lit room “you know Mr. Drick does not like it me called away to handle such..distractions.”
“This Orclord,” the sergeant responded, pointing to the body chained to the wall “he won’t tell us anything. We tried the demon blood, he isn’t breaking.”
Glimwraith takes a measured step toward the monster. Even the candle light he can see the blood dripping down the orc’s chest. Such a powerful creature, Glimwraith thought, how strange it must be for it to feel so helpless. The Gnome puts his hand on the Orc’s chest. The beast recoils.
“You send a Gnome to break me?” The Orc snarls “do you know how many Gnomes the blood clan have torn apart? You send a sheep to devour a wolf.”
As the orc laughs, Glimwraith motions to the sergeant.
“Leave us,” Glimwraith said, motioning to the door “ I’ll get you what you need.”
Glimwraith has always believed the blood of an arch demon to be highly overrated. The initial pain, while intense, only lasts for a moment or two. Glimwraith felt such pain when he lost his left eye. Glimwraith had only been a simple bard at the time, and even then the pain inspired more rage than submission. Something else would need to be done.
The saliva of a black dragon is an incredibly rare commodity. It was so rare that very little is known about it. However, it remains, at least in Glimwraith’s opinion, the most powerful toxin known. A syringe of pure black dragon saliva directly into the eye instantly causes a feeling akin to having every single muscle fiber in one’s body torn in two. At the same time, the victim experiences a state of walking dread, every fear failure and weakness becomes manifest and magnified. The normal dose is about a syringe. Glimwraith gave the orc chief three.
“ I heard an interesting rumor about your people,” Glimwraith said, as he drags the blunt edge of a knife across the weeping orc’s throat “ I hear, if you are brave and strong, that you take a place among your gods on an eternal battlefield when you die . What a joy that would be for someone like you.”
“Please..” the orc gasps between sobs “no more.”
“Yes..” Glimwraith responses “you have given me all I need. The last question I ask is this: Do you believe your Orc gods will still take a coward like you? You have just given up your clan’s location to a Gnome with a needle. When Mr. Drick receives this information he will murder your men, enslave your women, and use your children as sacrifices. I’m going to cut your throat now. You will bleed out slowly, and when you finally do die the last thing you will even see is your mighty gods picking up your soul and tossing it into the void. I just want you to know that.”
Glimwraith flips the knife over and drags it slowly across.

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Kade

Kade Slowly pulled his axe across the dead Orcs face. gripping the head of the axe he was very careful. Battle was a rush, a fever, and removing a ear took time, and precision. The ritual had always helped his with his comedown. a orc woman screamed in the distance and kade immanently found his temper tested. the slaves were always noisy and this group was particularly rowdy. The screams were not helping with his withdraw. kade stood and looked for another one of his kills to claim a prize from. The valley, once populated with tents and a few savage cabins, was now populated by fires and body-parts. kade preferred it this way, especially with orcs. savage and disgusting creatures, this false civility did not suite them. years ago kade lead an army of these beasts, his mothers tribe. the group would constantly move and pillage. the few days this particular groups warcheif held his tong would have been plenty of time to move, should have been plenty of time for this lot. The orc woman screamed again and his blood was still boiling from the slaughter. kade was next to the slave cage screaming at that loud mouthed whore before he could process " What! what is it? why the fuck are you screaming?" kade saw the woman’s eyes fixed on the fire they were using to burn the bodies. a fresh one had just been put on, a younger male. kade grabbed the body off the fire and in front of the cage “Your son? i assume? you know what don’t fucking talk.” kade snapped at the guards and the cage was opened and the woman was thrown down next to the fire. " did your son ever beat you? lay a hand on you for being such a noisy fucking cunt?" kade grabbed the wrist of the slightly burnt boy and put his foot in the corpses armpit and pulled hard, ripping a section of the arm off at the shoulder. kade knew the scream was coming, but he swung the arm as fast as he could the meat of it connecting with the orc woman’s jaw, intercepting the scream. " you know " kade spoke threw grunts and heavy breath as he sent swing after swing into the orc woman’s face. " if your fucking son.." blood splattered her face and muscle started to spew from the end “.. had beat you for being a noise whore, i wouldn’t have to do it now for him.” kade Hit her over and over. Watching the orc woman’s eyes as her consciousnesses fled, and as the bone of her sons arm began to cave in her skull. kade broke him self out of the rhythmic beating and stood up straight. silence at long last. kade whipped his face and found blood had somehow gotten on him. " you, boy." kade pointed to one of the new recruits " i want a rag, and that whore in my tent in ten" kade motioned to one of the bearably attractive women in the slave cage and dropped the arm. what a waste of fucking time. kade had once battled army’s he was a peerless warrior, now he slaughters cattle and disciplines whores.

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