Once in an age a man gets to prove himself. To stand upon the precipice of all that he was and look forward unto a bright new Dawn. In doing so he sheds his past life, washes away all his mistakes and is reborn into something greater, someone with a purpose.
This the tale of how I came to be something more than a mere man;
I am the purging flame,
The Inquisitor of Pelor,
Far below the surface of Seining Point, a lone man, stood huddled behind an abandoned building. A building that once housed a family: full of life and full of Joy, now filled with the stench of death. Over by the ruined temple a crowd gathered, all waiting to be loaded onto a solitary boat, their anguished moans broken only by the stern commands of a solitary figure; a thin gangly creature of the lower plains. The man sighed and pulled his tattered grey cloak around himself so that he might not be seen whilst he prepared. This town, its people, were all lost. He unfurled a dusty scroll and whispered a short prayer of protection, bringing two fingers to his lips then touching them to a gold medallion around his neck. He looked through his bag and pulled out a small vial, one that had been sitting there since brighter days, and drank the contents. Feeling the effects taking hold, he knew there would be more than a couple of extra wrinkles after this. Still, it would all help in the battle to come.
With stern resolve, the cleric whisked his cloak around himself and stepped out into the open courtyard with uncanny speed. The time had come. He surveyed the scene before him and a pang of regret tugged at his heart as he pieced together the truth of what transpired here. The crowd was not moaning in pain. Those were the sounds of lifeless bodies forced into servitude. Those were the sounds of undeath, and the fate of the citizens of Seining point.
‘This will continue no longer!’ he proclaimed, his voice echoing around the cavern.
The hoard turned at once to look at him as he threw his cloak to the ground, revealing a shining suit of armour adorned with golden symbols of the sun. He was Mynas Straggle, Inquisitor of Pelor and he would not permit the dead to walk this land. Fire burned in his eyes as he ripped the holy symbol from round his neck and held it proudly for all to see.
‘Begone from this world vile creatures of darkness!’
A flash of searing white light erupted from his symbol, burning putrid flesh and scorching fanged teeth as it swept through hoards of zombies, ghouls and even vampires. His minions turned to ash, all that remained was the cowering fiend.
‘Yoooou have strength cleric, but the master will enjoy sucking the marrow from your very bones as you beg him for mercyyyyy. Cypher has risen, and….’
The Quasit’s head burst open under a stout blow from Mynas’ hammer. Even amidst such horror he still cherished his old friend’s advice. He could almost see Drenches chuckling as he swore about blasted monologues under his breath.
Mynas felt a deathly chill brace his spine. He turned to look at the old Dwarven Temple, once a glorious tribute to the All-father, now seething with the evil Mynas sensed within. Mynas strode forward, knowing his whole life had been preparation for these next few moments, the temple doors bursting open as he laid his solid boot upon them. His senses hightened by the potion of speed, Mynas took in the scene in the space of a heartbeat. There in the centre of the room was the cause of all of this.
Cypher. A chosen of Nerull brought back from the Thaumatauge Dominion, caught somewhere between life and undeath, and standing 8 feet tall and wreathed in necromantic energies more powerful than Mynas could ever have imagined. But that was not all.
Behind the creature, shackled to the unholy altar; he spotted an old Dwarf dressed in the trappings of a Priest, his body rapidly decaying only to be reborn again in a vile necromantic cycle. This was the first priority. Using his heightened speed, Mynas launched himself to the other side of the room, pulling out a potion that he barely remembered when he acquired, and poured it down the old Dwarf’s throat. This time, as the dwarf was reborn, his body simply dissolved into gas, rising far above the altar and safe from the necromantic energies. Mynas heard an enraged roar from behind him. Well at least he had pissed him off a bit. Now to deal with Cypher.
‘Foolish cleric, you believe that will stop me? I was merely toying with the foolish Dwarf! I am Cypher, the chosen of Nerull and…’
Mynas leapt over and brought his hammer crashing into the holy symbol around Cypher’s neck. Again with the monologues. They never learn. Twice his hammer smashed into his foe, his quickened body reacting before the half-lich could even begin to retaliate. The necromancer merely laughed and pointed straight at Mynas’ heart. The inquisitor felt a slight tug inside of his chest, but steeled his will against the foul magic. Reaching for a scroll of his own, the cleric called into being a swirling barrier of blades, right beneath the disciple of Nerull, only to have the creature jump to safety.
The two escalated into a battle of wills, pitching foul necromancy against Mynas’ own Holy powers, but neither could break through the other’s defenses. Mynas’ magical abilities were spent, he had but one spell left. The one he uttered before the hoard that prevented this undead creature from physically touching him. And Mynas still had his hammer. The battle raged on, and still Mynas remained, shrugging off the onslaught of spells, pushing on against looming insanity, slowly beating this abomination into submission.
Just as the lich seemed to be weakening, it strode over to the alter and grabbed someone. Mynas had not seen the other Dwarf amidst the chaos! Cypher slammed the poor priest onto the table and plunged a black dagger into his heart as he shouted praises to the god of the dead. The priests blood burst from his body, and formed a swirling barrier against the living around the chosen of Nerull.
‘So, we are at an impasse Cleric. I cannot harm you, yet you cannot harm me. You have proven yourself a strong one indeed. Even my most powerful spells could not break your will. Perhaps it would intrigue you to know that your own God once catered for the Dead? Oh yes, the cycle of life and death falls and rises with the sun does it not? Ahhhh, I see it in your eyes that you begin to doubt your faith. I could offer you much, whilst you still served your god of the sun.’
Mynas’ thoughts turned inwards. No, he had trained for such trickery, with the title of inquisitor comes the light to pierce through such lies.
‘I will not permit these falsities any longer. Your words drip with the filth of the damned. I may not have served Pelor long, but know that there is none more loyal to him than me. My lord guided the spirits of the dead through to the next cycle, before Nerull disrupted the natural order and claimed the dead as his own. I will end you, even if my life must be forfeit to do so.’
Mynas already knew that he could end this. If he forced the two protection spells into contact the positive and negative energies would violently cancel each other out. But as to what would happen to himself and Cypher, Mynas could only guess. He knew there was a chance he may perish in the resulting maelstrom of energies, but his sacrifice would be rewarded in the afterlife. With a final prayer to Pelor, Mynas flung himself against the swirling mass of blood surrounding Cypher.
As the two barriers collided, a burst of uncontrolled magical energy erupted, flinging the two in opposite directions at breakneck speed. Mynas hit the wall hard, but he was alive. He knew it had to be ended now. Still under the effects of the potion, Mynas darted back across the room in an instant, pinning Cypher to the floor.
‘You stand Judged before Pelor, for your crimes in Seining point and throughout all time. You will answer for them!’ Mynas bellowed to the heavens as he wrapped his Holy symbol around his fist and smashed it into Cypher’s skeletal face. Mynas landed blow after blow, his symbol glowing white hot as it branded deep into the necromancers taught skin, all the while skeletal fingers trying to rake through his steadfast armour. With a final blow, Mynas’ fist crashed through Cyphers skull. Ancient bone splintered and black blood boiled as his holy symbol burned away at the very fabric of Cyphers being.
All was still.
Mynas rolled over and collapsed, exhausted, but alive, whilst the remains of the once powerful Necromancer lord smouldered beside him. Mynas brought himself up, and said a final prayer, a prayer to sanctify the area so that no dead would ever rise again here. The battle was won, but the war was far from over. Seven chosen disciples of Nerull once existed, and at least one more of them remained at large in the world. The cult of Dragolin.