Friday, April 20, 2012

Tales from the Pampered Traveler 2

Malakan had never felt such complete pain in all his seventeen years. He had been beaten so severely that it seemed every part of him was in throbbing, screaming pain. It was even painful to draw breath. Just when Malakan thought the final merciful blow would send him to the clearing at the end of the path, he was instead knocked face down; his left eye beginning to swell shut from slamming down on the walnut-shell covered tavern floor. A firm boot fell heavily on the back of his neck. It was hard to draw breath. Pleading cries of mercy came from Tinuel as well as the haunting sounds of her attackers were blessedly fading as blood began to fill the young Malakan’s ears.

He turned his head and opened his remaining eye in time to witness the horror of his beloved father being murdered. Through stains of blood Malakan could see tumult and fighting just outside his rage of vision but all paled in comparison to the gloom generated by his father’s murderer.

The coup de grĂ¢ce came as black lightning from a deadly ebony staff-staff. The man spun it about, pivoted around, driving the spear-tip down Malakan’s father—the Bishou Dominicus’ spine. Malakan felt him being hauled to his feet and then piled next to Martel, who had fared no better: a broken jaw and two critical wounds, each from the Staff-spear. The chaos and fog of combat swam in and out of focus for what seemed to be a long time before darkness finally found Malakan Urmbrusk.

Cyric reveled in causing pain because people broke so easily in his hands. This made him smile. At a young age Cyric was always smaller than other kids his age; he was a runt with little in the way of physical strength. What made matters worse for Cyric was that his father was a high ranking general for the Zhentarim—which resulted in frequent moves for his family. From Mulmaster to Hillsfar, Cyric could never establish meaningfull relationships with friendships—only attract the ire and wrath of bullies and brutes around the Moonsea because of his frail size.

Fueled by revenge against a world where there was no room for the weak and where dominance came from strength and power, Cyric created a small ministry to Bane called Church of the Destroying Hand. He trained with his fellow ministry everyday; sometimes even provoking fights in the name of the Destroyer to further his prowess. This later evolved into a short-lived murder for hire fellowship, before the godsfall.
Maskul Mirrormane

One of Cyric’s original members of the ministry was Maskul Mirrormane, an orphan, raised by the church of Bane. It was Mirrormane that first answered the call of Iyachtu Xvim and introduced Cyric to the godson, opening his eyes to a world of divine aspects. Mirrormane was a warlock and devout cleric of the Black Lord, but when Iyachtu Xvim rose from the ashes of the Black Alter claiming to be the son of Bane Mirrormane was overwhelmed—he exalted the godson.

Together, Mirrormane and Cyric traveled with their messiah gathering apostles along the path to Waterdeep.

Outside the Pampered Traveler scores of people gathered to watch the carnage. Cyric stood next to Xvim passive and stoic holding the young Malakan in his massive arms; on Cyric’s other side was Ferestain holding the babbling Martel. Blocking any escape was the godson’s four other aspects, each an extension of Xvim and a source of his power. Mirrormane paced the length of the room to his lord, bowed, and asked for permission from the all mighty Iyachtu Xvim. Being granted his request Mirrormane turned his dark eyes on the boy.

Vigorous shaking woke Malakan from unconsciousness and when he opened his good eye Malakan was looking into the eyes of domination.

“On your knees!” Mirrormane commanded. “Men who are not born from the divine have no claim to its power and must prostrate before it,” giving voice to their situation. “Behold the godson—Iyachut Xvim” His father’s murderer said. Malakan saw that this evangelist was also speaking to Martel who had likewise been brutally roused to hear this man’s sermon.

“This man,” the cleric motioned to Malakan’s father. “Once held the Black Lord in high regard, served him vehemently in the Network, and dedicated his life work to the church… but in light of the godsfall, he would rather blaspheme, forsake the power a Bishou possesses, and most important forget his obligations! I want to know why?! Which of you is his bastard-child?” Mirrormane looked upon them with vile disgust.

Malakan and Martel exchanged looks—then Mirrormane cast a spell, commanding them both.


Unable to resist the divine compulsion Malakan responded, indicating himself as Dominicus’ son.

Mirrormane spat in disgust and struck Malakan with the blunt side of his staff-spear. “He was to elevate you to divine purpose?” The man growled. “I think not.”

Slowly Makakan rose to his feet meeting Mirrormane’s gaze. “I was born to fulfill this task; was raised and educated too; so when the time comes it will be I who restores Bane.” Malakan took a cautious step forward, “I am the result of an arrangement between Chimak Urmbrusk of Waterdeep and Dominicus of Zhentil Keep, each family—strong paragons of faith for Bane. I am not some bastard child.”

This caused a small crease to appear on the godson’s cheek, but impudence would not be tolerated. Iyachtu Xvim looked at Cyric and nodded ever so slightly.

Mirrormane took a knowing step back as Cyric began to demonstrate why he is Xvim’s aspect of strength.

1 comment:

robm1171 said...