Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Conversation

Reven sat across the table from Master Fedoris Brusser. They both cradled steins of ale, a potent brew by the name of Giant Slayer. Brewed by dwarves it was regarded as one of the finest ales in the whole world and spoke volumes about the establishment they drank in. The Emerald Paladin was somewhere that the elite met, the rich and powerful of Blackcliff frequented this place; princes, lords, merchants and high ranking military officials.

It had been three months since Reven had arrived in Blackcliff with Agrippa and his mercenaries in tow. Soon after that arrival he had sought out Master Brusser who he carried a message for. His acquaintance, Master Missner had instructed him to seek out Brusser upon his arrival to help Reven make sense of the frenzy that would take hold of him when he immersed himself in battle. Their meeting had not been what Reven had expected…

~

Master Brusser had greeted him in the offices of the Temple of the Everguard. Reven sat patiently whilst the Senior Minister read the note that he could not, sealed as it was by magical enchantment. Brusser was an older man, thin with short grey hair dressed in the red and white robes of his office. Reven watched him as he read the note, there was a vitality to the man and even though they had only shared a greeting the warrior couldn't help but warm to the Brusser’s calming presence.

Brusser put down the note, his small thin lipped mouth curling into a smile. “Why are you here Reven?” he asked plainly. Reven straightened in his chair before answering, “Master Brusser, I was led to believe that you may be able to render me some aid with that which ails me. I have a demon within me, awful power coils around my very soul and overwhelms me when I am in battle. It scares me, fills me with the urge to rend and kill. I…I fell ashamed. Am I tainted?....I was led to believe you may be able to end this madness that afflicts me”. Brusser’s smile widened, “The note says something about ending this yes. When exactly does this ’frenzy’ begin? When you draw your sword? Draw blood? Or is it when your blood flows?”. Reven thought for a moment before responding, “It is when all appears lost, when I'm outnumbered, close to death. The rage fills me with unnatural strength and speed. I act without thinking, slay without pity. I am their vessel, an engine of destruction”. “So you could say this affliction is your saviour? It has saved you from death yet you fear it.” Brusser stopped to muse on his words. “Some are bestowed with power Reven. The gods bless the worthy with unassailable gifts. If what you say is true you may be the first in hundreds of years to be bestowed with such power. 'Tis a gift, you should embrace it, control it.” Reven sat back as the hammer of realisation hit, “The gods! Why do you believe the gods responsible for this? I am not a pious man.”  Brusser looked confused, “You said ‘I am their vessel’, I assumed you had an understanding of the Everguard to use such a phrase, the Everguard were all vessels of power and now through worship we are their vessels”. “You are a truly enlightened man Master Brusser to see a curse as a blessing. I would learn more of these gods whilst I am here in Blackcliff.”, “You should” answered Brusser, “for enlightenment may lead you to choose your friends more wisely. Missner wanted an end to the curse as did you. But he had an entirely more bloody conclusion in mind” Brusser pushed the note across the desk and Reven picked it up and read the words which were now as clear as day.

Fedoris,

I imagine right now you are sitting at your desk looking across at the one who has handed you this note. He is no friend, he is a demon in skin, a nightmare made flesh. As one scholar to another I urge you to bring your powers to bare against this apparition of evil. He is cursed, red ruin courses through his veins. Destroy him, by all that is holy destroy him and rejoice in Their name.
If you do not it is your death you sit across from, we will all pay. I know you’ll do the right thing

Your Friend,

Ceedric Missner

Reven jumped up readying himself for combat as soon as he had finished the letter. He sword was in his hand and he dropped into a defensive posture. Brusser didn't flinch, “If I was to do what this fool wanted, do you think I would of sat and spoke with you. Ha! Enlightenment is sorely needed”

~

In the months after that initial meeting Reven had spent much of his free time in the company of Master Brusser. He learnt of the Everguard and of magic whilst he was not hiring his services out to the highest bidder. His little band of mercenaries were already making a name for themselves in Blackcliff for their ruthless efficiency and Reven had used each contract to test his skills and further his knowledge of his ‘blessing’. He and Brusser had become friends as the Minister had tutored Reven in various aspects of the arcane. He had picked up some basic alchemy skills and been tutored in the arcane so that he could cast spells of healing and fire. With every week that passed Reven grew in confidence and power.

It was sitting at this table, talking with his friend that Reven truly realised what he wanted; power, glory and all that came with it. He also knew that he would wade through as much blood as needed to achieve his goals. He had been given a gift. He was death incarnate, the bloody handed reaper and in time all would bow before him or despair.

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