Wednesday 5 July 2017

Trollbane - Part 7

The legendary peak from Revens Fang

The wind tugged at his hair and stung his face. Snow from the twin peaks whipped down the mountainsides and obscured his vision. Thunder rumbled overhead and lightning flashed temporarily flooding the area with bright white light, casting deep shadows across the withered landscape that lay to the front of The Horns of Atla. 

Reven stood at the base of the mountains, in a narrow corridor known as Scabbard Pass. Only wide enough to for two men to walk abreast, its sides were made of jagged, razor-sharp rock that stretched up beyond the sight of mortal man. Reven was scrabbling to don armour that was scattered at his feet. He strapped various parts on as he found them; grieves, gauntlets, pauldrons were all fastened in place. He was covered shoulder to foot, in archaic pitch-black armour. He strapped on a sword belt that he found lying at his feet. He was surprised to find the armour moved with him, flexed as he did despite its bulk. 

With the armour on Reven was almost as wide as the passage he stood in. He moved forward, the wind no longer hindering him even though it still stung his face. He squinted his eyes against the storm that raged about him and as he came to the end of the passage could make out a splinter of darkest night. Moving toward it he could see it was a sword, but its blade was made from metal the like of which Reven had never seen. Where it impaled the ground, a black helmet sat. Reven recoiled for he recognised the fearsome visage that was etched onto its front. The armour he wore, the helmet at his feet; they belonged to the demon that haunted his dreams. Without conscious thought, he reached down and plucked the helmet from the snow. He placed it onto his head and the world around him was drenched in a haze of red. He felt power course through him, strength raging through his muscles, the raw essence of war intoxicated him. He plucked the sword from the ground and stepped to the spot where it had rested. 

The silence was deafening. The wind ceased, there was no snowfall. The thunder was mute and the lightning lightless. The storm ended so quickly it bewildered the senses. The power contained in Reven’s armoured shell peaked and forced a long, undulating scream from his lips. As he gave voice to the energy coursing through his veins, etchings on the armour burned bright red filling the pass and the plain in front of him with a bloody-hued glow. 

As Reven’s scream died it was met by returning shouts and screams far off in the distance. Drums and horns sounded across the barren plain. Fires roared to life in the distance and the ground started to rumble with the weight of advancing feet. Reven watched as the ashen sands of the wasteland before him shrank, the emptiness filled with an immense advancing force. Made up from what looked to be every race that walked the lands of Atla, they shouted battle cries and challenges as they ran toward the lone armoured figure. Reven planted his feet and made ready for their advance, backing into the pass so that none could get around him. He held his sword aloft and the storm sprang back into life, the etchings on his unholy black armour blazed bright red once again and words that were all too familiar fell uninvited from his lips. “I am the vessel, I am wrath, the bloody-handed reaper.” The storm raged harder. “I carry their word, give life to their rage and I shall bring this world to its knees”. The advancing hordes were almost on him. “I am their vessel, I am ruin, I am death, look upon me and despair”, Reven raised his sword for his first strike.

He woke with a start, sweat beaded his brow. Shaking his head to try and free it from the horror of his nightmare, Reven regained a measure of sense. “I am their vessel” he intoned before unconsciousness claimed him once more.