Duelyst Lore Contest!


#1

Welcome, Duelysts, to the Duelyst Lore Contest.

During this contest, you will get the opportunity to show off your writing skills and potentially even make your mark in Duelyst history by having a flavor text made by you put in the game!

All you have to do to participate is follow the guidelines below while creating the lore and flavor text for your favorite neutral unit.


Contest rules and information

  • 250-300 words for card lore
  • 1-2 sentences of flavor text
  • Submission must be a neutral unit that does not already have lore
  • Only submissions are allowed on this thread and only one per user(you may edit as required however)
  • From 23/09/2016 till 03/10/2016 14:00 EST we are taking submissions in this thread for Duelyst card lore.
  • The top ten entries will go to a community voting round from 03/10/2016 till 07/10/2016 14:00 EST
  • The winning flavor text will be put into the game pending approval

Tips

  • Use strong active verbs
  • Be concrete, specific, and tangible
  • What’s the unique hook?
  • Start entry with a description that creates clear imagery to the reader
  • Leverage the senses (sight, smell, sound, touch)

Prompts to help you get started

  • What’s a unique aspects or behaviors of the creature?
  • What’s a memorable trait for the creature?
  • What is the creature’s origin?
  • Size and build?
  • What does it like to eat or hunt?
  • Where do they live (habitat)?
  • How do they communicate? Language? Do they have a social hierarchy?
  • Do they have arch-enemies?
  • Does this creature have subtypes and geographical variations?
  • What do the creatures like to do or enjoy?
  • Are they highly-intelligent?
  • Personality traits?

Formatting of your post should be as such:
Name of unit
Flavor text
Card lore


Prizing
1st- Penny Arcade Lyonar Pinny + Penny Arcade Songhai Pinny + Duelyst Keychain + Sarlac Skin Cardx2 + Loremaster forum title + Flavor text quote put in the game!(pending approval)

2nd- Pinny Arcade Lyonar Pinny + Penny Arcade Songhai Pinny + Duelyst Keychain + Sarlac Skin Cardx2

3rd- Pinny Arcade Lyonar Pinny + Penny Arcade Songhai Pinny + Duelyst Keychain + Sarlac Skin Cardx2

3 random entries- 2 orbs each.


If you would like to discuss yours or others entries please go here: Offical Lore Contest Discussion Area

We at CPG are very excited to read all your entries, and for the prospect of one of your flavor texts to appear in the game!

Best of luck to all participants, and may the lore be with you.


Offical Lore Contest Discussion Area
Duelyst Lore Contest May 2017
#2

It has always been there. Living dying and living again.

Far before any other creature existed. Perhaps even before Mythron itself came into existence it woke up. Its only purpose to die and wake up again. It has experienced many cataclysms. It even survived the age of disjunction. Such earning him the title eternal. Not that it cared much about such titles. For Sarlac the age of disjunction was not special at all. It lived it died and it woke up again. As it had done before and as it would do in the future.
No one knew where it came from, not even itself knew what came before him. Not that it cared. Sarlac only had one goal. To die, and not wake up, to stop this horror. To stop this repetitive cycle of live and death.
To do this Sarlac searched for aid. He went to the seventh sanctum in the hope that they might be able to destroy him. Many skilled magicians tried to find a way to destroy this miserable creature. But none succeeded. After a while only the school of power was still trying to destroy this creature. Not to help, but for personal glory. A weapon that could destroy Sarlac would be a weapon that could destroy anything. When Sarlac found out about this it left.
After this failure Sarlac went to others but none was able to help. None was able to destroy that what is eternal. Even now it still exists. It hides from the world in the hope that one day it will no longer be eternal.


#3

Blood Taura

Through blood. Through pain. Through sacrifice. To obtain the greatest power, one must give up everything.

The job was simple. The pay was good. There should have been no problems. “Build us a golem.” The simplest of jobs for anyone with the mastery. And what greater master of metallurgy was there in the land? It should have been nothing.

The apprentice sneered at the bloodied body of the one he used to call his master. He spat on the ground as he turned to leave. “Enjoy your work in the next life, old fool. I’ll reap the riches in this one.” The metallurgist merely groaned as the door slammed shut, the sound of the lock clicking echoing through the chamber.

It was not rage that drove him though. It was not despair that bade him rise. As the metallurigst stumbled to his feet, the last embers of his life flickering, there was but one thing that pushed him. Pride. Pride that his work would still be remembered. Pride that his legacy would not be tarnished. In one shaking hand, he grasped his tools. In the other, he took the last drops of lifeblood from his body. And he finished his work.

The apprentice unlocked the door, and strode into the room. He had to deliver the product, after all, as well as remove the corpse. But… where was the corpse? And where was the golem? All that was left was a strange blood-red statue, of a man with… a bull’s head? Strange. As he turned to examine the room, the apprentice did not hear the statue creaking.

And when the other villagers barged into the room a few days later, only two things were found: the apprentice’s corpse, and the blood-red statue watching over it.


#5

Inquisitor Kron

None can escape my justice. Through flame, steel and legions of those bonded to my will, I will have my revenge

Rays of sunlight, thin as freshly forged steel, penetrated the cracks of the walls, accentuated by a milleniums worth of decay, pooling at the feet of a hunched figure. Cowering in a corner in an intimidating stone room, one of thousands in these accursed mountains, the figure shuffled slightly and painfully thin, mottled toes breached the protection of the tattered shawl.

A brief sniffle ruptured the eerie silence of the room, and then the world came crashing down around him. What was silent was silent no more as a stampede of footsteps thundered their way down the hallways outside his what could be called no more than a cage. Screeching metal added to the cacophony as a rusted iron door was wrenched open and slammed against the wall, its horrifying sound reverberating around the cold room. “PLEASE…PLEASE NO!” the figure yelled, tears forming in his eyes, as he was launched into the air, through the door, and out into the dimly lit passageway.

The figure, starved over what felt like an eternity of suffering, felt bones crunch and crack as he connected with the unyielding stone wall opposite. Defeated, he slid down, moaning as lifeblood pumped from his mangled body. Looking up, a man, cloaked in bloody maroon, stood over him, holding a hammer as if it was no more than a toy, green flame wreathing around his disfigured body, and coming to rest in the palm of his hand.

The figure felt his destroyed body lifted up into the air, and slammed down onto a iron bench lying passively nearby, its purpose yet unfulfilled. As the iron bench rolled away bearing the figure, the figure’s ears heard something purely terrifying. “Now, your will is mine”. With a last breath before he conceded into unconsciousness, words like a mantra pierced the once again silent prison. “None can escape my justice. Through flame, steel and legions of those bonded to my will, I will have my revenge”.


#6

Wings of paradise

Do you really wish to know why they are called “the wings of paradise?”

A thump, a yell, a wet sound that severed the air, silence. The young apprentice hugs his knees, holed up between damp mossy roots. Rain clatters down noisily through the canopy, hidden beyond thick mist, down on a blood-drenched body maimed beyond recognition in front of him. It’s glazed eyes stare rainwards.

The cold rain had numbed his body and sapped him of his will and strength. “No, no, no, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening…” he whispers to himself over and over to silence the sound of tendons tearing apart, brittle bones shattering as lean flesh wetly parts from it.

A screech sounds throughout the sea of grey wooden pillars, followed by the flapping of wings. “Oh, no, oh, no, oh no.” He turns around and starts digging into the wet soil with his cold, numb, useless fingers. He claws at the earth, eyes wide open, yelling in frustration and crying in lamentation as the earth refuses to offer sanctum.

A thump, the rustling of feathers, the shifting of plants. He turns around, and stares silently in fear, his vocal chords failing to reproduce the terror coursing through him. The large quadrupedal beast in front of him mockingly preens it’s sanguine feathers, staring back with cold yellow eyes.

For what seems like an eternity, both beast and man sat there, until golden rays pierced through the shrouded canopy. The beast gracefully launches into the air and flies off. The apprentice collapses forward, unable to help but smile at the warm, lustrous rays of light, and the last thing he would see before curved talons bore through his spine was the disfigured smile of the sunbathed corpse in front of him.


#7

Pandora

Come my puppies…come and feed on the sins of our foes.

No one knew where the hounds came from, but everyone knew their names.

Rage; as bright as the morning sun, as destructive as the cruelest warriors. Rage; always corrupting and always seething, sowing the seeds for the beasts to come. Brothers turned on brothers, their inner hates and jealousies amplified ten-fold until they themselves burned with anger.

Wrath always followed Rage, seeming to rise up out of the very flames Rage had kindled. Wrath destroyed what Rage had corrupted, the anger at those touched by Rage’s tongue ripped apart by Wrath’s traitorous tongue.

Fear; the unknown, shrouded in secrecy, Fear came to us in a dream, always appearing to us as a long lost love, drawing us in close before ripping us to shreds. Fear leapt from dream to dream, never leaving that plane of existence, never found. The hound of Fear never let it’s true form be seen until the hunted felt they had reached peace.

Serenity; always following in the footsteps of Fear, Serenity filled our minds with lies of peace and joy, drawing us close then flooding us with the horrors of the hound’s mind. The bodies of those afflicted decayed, their shattered minds screaming out from the hollow shells, trying to warn the rest of us of the lies…the deceit. But the cloud of Serenity lied to us all, leaving us unaware as to the presence of the burdens it wrought.

Envy’s tricks made fools of us all, showing us what wasn’t really there; sowing distrust and jealousy in our anxious minds. We would see crowns of diamond and gold atop the richest of rich and be drawn to the exuberance as if we were mere moths. We killed, we slaughtered, we were never satisfied. Envy had filled us with an undying greed, an undying wish for freedom from the hounds.


#8

Pandora

Curiosity was my original sin, but it was soon joined by others.

You think me mad, and to your credit, I look the part. My hair is an eruption of ebon, a wild dark halo about my head; my dress is tattered and frayed by centuries of aimless wandering. I see the reluctance in your eyes, but I remain silent, unable to reassure you — my words were stolen long ago.

Curiosity was my original sin. A jeweled box was the tool of my destruction. The jewels were lovely, so lovely; emeralds as bright as a daytime meadow, sapphires as deep as the coldest sea, rubies as pure as an infant’s blood. But their facets held no interest for me. Their mystery was dispelled by the light sparkling through them, illuminating every angle and casting out all doubt.

I needed to know: What secrets did the box conceal? What great truths awaited within for me, and me alone to discover? What marvels and splendor were hidden away by one little golden clasp?

Curiosity was my original sin, but it was soon joined by others. My selfish carelessness unleashed terrible evils into this world: Wrath, the cold hatred that seeks vengeance for countless trivialities. Fear, the terror that drains your resolve and roots you in place, robbing you of your will to act. Envy, the gaze that pierces and loathes from a distance. Rage, the blind fury that lashes out and destroys everything it touches. And the worst of them — Serenity, the awful, quiet peace that remains when you look into the box and lose yourself inside of it.

You think me mad, not comprehending how far beyond madness I have gone, not aware of the wolves that forever howl in my mind. Come closer, my child, and see them for yourself.


#9

Impose your will upon the metal, and it will impose its will upon your enemy

Painful is the art of creating weapons fit for channeling magic. Superior craftmanship and artistic inventiveness is required to create weapons that are both diverse and consistent. The blades must be perfectly balanced, lest their swings sway aside. The weight must be evenly distributed so that it can easily juggle your strength between its pieces.

Painful is the art of channeling magic through your creation. Let the blades borrow your senses, abandon your conscious shell and be the steel. Feel the wind wheezing past you as you cut through it, memorize the melody of the whistling metal to build up consistency. Observe your target from all angles at once, approach from all angles at once, attack from all angles at once

Painful is the art of improving and maintaining your design. The smallest scratch or dent in the blade can alter the weapon’s balance; regular upkeep is paramount. When it comes to making decision on altering your blades, there is no right or wrong, there is no better or worse; any tweak you make will undo days, weeks or months of training for results that can only be predicted through consistent practice. Your muscle memory becomes your mortal enemy as you try to relearn your weight, reach and velocity

Painful is the art of ending a life, of willingly decimating a living being standing far in from of you, of remaining undeterred as living steel weaves and dances through flesh, blood and sinew. Painful is the process through which you will reach mastery, not for you, but for me. You have but one attempt, student, show me what you have learned, but be warned that if you fail, that if I still draw breath after the last stroke, I will show you true pain


#10

Sojourner

In each shard - story. In each story - wisdom.

A hunched figure clutches its staff as the path weaves into the darkness, leading him to the hopeful safety of a border town. Wild jungle dances with shadows and movement as it is stirred by the brewing storm. A thin trail of blood follows the traveler marking his struggle. The wood thumps on the cobblestones eroded by the unstoppable onslaught of plantlife. Something is watching from the undergrowth, lurking, waiting.

Finally, the figure stops, exhausted beyond belief, unable to take another step. And the lurker knows the time has come. His steps are light and flowing, like rippling silk in the wind. He has given the traitor hope, now it was time to shatter it. His blade flashes white with each strike of lightning. There is nowhere to hurry – the man before him will not resist. The judgment is swift and precise – the sentence carried out.

The eyes of the wanderer are turning glassy. With his last dying breath he sees a face. A mild expression, a wild strand of white hair. Recognition flashes in his eyes and a light smile adorns his lips. He was not alone on his journey. He will be remembered. He will live on in her stories. As he slips into the blackness, he feels the soft touch of her fingers on his forehead.

She leaves her companion behind as she did innumerable times. Another story, another shard, another step on the endless journey. Something ends, something begins…


#11

Sunsteel Defender

“Light never yields to darkness. Darkness will always bend and break, even to the smallest of lights."

As the sun disappears below the scorched horizon, a vagrant watched from a distance as malicious bandits prepared to depart from their campsite beyond the creeping sand dunes. Poverty and starvation plague the land, as the strong preyed on the weak and downtrodden. The bandits depart at dusk, and return before the sun can witness their atrocities. They return with gilded riches that provides temporary pleasure in a desert of constant suffering.

Whenever the sun reluctantly sinks below the horizon, darkness replaces the light. The vagrant watched with pity as the bandits drag captives back to their camp within the shield of darkness. The horrors that befall upon the captives have haunted and prompted fear among the living when the land is abandoned by the sun. Screams and screeches echo into the darkness of night, stopping abruptly just before the sun breaks over opposite horizon.

One morning, the sun did not rise.

While the vagrant was wallowing in a sense of dread and abandonment, a stranger appeared in the distance. The edges of his armor were infused with light, and the power of radiant suns rested in the grasps of his gauntlets emitting a comforting glow. The vagrant was awestruck as the warrior trekked across the sands in the direction of the bandits’ camp.

The vagrant watched the warrior navigate through the sands, illuminated the ground as he stepped. The darkness relentlessly tried to extinguish the radiant glow. However like the transition between night and day, darkness must bend and break to the light. The vagrant observed the warrior’s glow intensify upon entering the camp. The light continued to intensified until the entire sky was illuminated and darkness seised to exist.

As the light faded, the sun had finally rose above the horizon, directly above the scorched sands were the campsite used to be.


#12

Flameblood warlock:

The flameblood mantra is simple;

“Blood is the currency of power, and I spend it willingly.”
“Flame is the true face of power, I both covet and hate its touch”

All of that which a man posseses is a resource to be used in the search of even greater power.
Those with talent can leverage time in return for power, increasing their potency through mastery.
Those with wealth can leverage coin to buy comfort and influence.
Those with vision can leverage the loyalty of their peers to shape the future.

Those with nothing have only their life with which to buy power.

They come to us, desperate runaways one and all, broken with ambition beyond their means. Fated losers of the world. The rejects. They ask only ever for one thing;

Power.

We teach them. We teach them that power is not ours to give them, but theirs to buy with the blood of their veins, the seconds and minutes of their life.
We instruct them in the nature of how such transactions may be facilitated.

Many do not make it. The lure of unrestrained power is great, and without care one burns away all of one’s vital essence. To embrace the art is to walk the razors edge, to indulge only ever in as much of the power as is needed to accomplish your task, To kill your enemy. We give them purpose.

We teach them that time is not their ally, defeat of an enemy must be swift lest one runs out of life with which to bargain for, that the destruction of the enemy must be absolute for retreat is not an option; life once sold cannot be taken back. A single, strained excersion can costs years of life and life, life is a valuable commodity.


#13

Soboro


When he stepped into the arena, the audience fell silent.

And then, they all laughed.

On the opposite side, a massive, fearsome Khymera bellowed as well.

The new contestant, however, resembled a pig. Literally.

It had a name once, but now everyone just called him Soboro, named after a delicacy enjoyed in rural Aestaria, where the pig would be grilled and served with soup. And of course, everyone expected the newcomer to become just that: pork on the grill.

However, the diminutive warrior was so much more than meets the eye. He had mastered the Mists through rigorous study over a dozen cycles, and invented machinery that allowed him to manipulate them. At first, to move objects. Then, to maim. Finally, to kill.

The Khymera was at least 10 times the size of Soboro. No matter. He clasped his hands together, then as they separated, a stream of green mist formed.

The crowd jeered. “What’s he gonna do now, pull a rabbit out of a hat?”

The Khymera charged towards him. The ring was massive, yet the Khymera was swiftly approaching. The rumble of hooves resembled the rolling thunder.

Thump.

The Khymera took a step closer. With a deft movement of the hand, he sent all his energy to his right hand.

Thump.

The Khymera took another step. Soboro imagined that his right hand was holding a blade of jade, and the mists complied.

Thump.

Soboro swung his blade upwards.

Snicker-snack, the blade went. The energies that were contained was unleashed in a second in a brilliant wave. It tore through the Khymera’s ugly visage in one surgical blow.

Thump.

The Khymera fell. The audience went silent.


"You are not defined by what you are born with. You are determined by what you forge yourself to become."


#14

Flameblood Warlock

A strong desire to play with fire.

My studies in magic were dull to say the least. Sure, I was proficient at the spells I learned and could conjure anything my teachers showed me, but it felt so lifeless. I was just going through the motions of spell casting, simply regurgitating the same things I was taught. I was bored out of my mind. But then one day, I found it. The spark I needed.

My answers were in “The Book of Forbidden Spells.” Every spell on these pages is either too insane or too difficult to be used by even the most powerful of warlocks. Everything between the covers of this book is taboo. But as a prodigy student, I was certainly more than capable of casting these spells. My heart and mind were going wild just thinking about the possibilities. Flipping through the pages, I found two that stood out to me. I’m not sure if it was my curiosity, overconfidence, or the heat of the moment, but something got the better of me. I used both of those spells right there, and obtained extraordinary results.

I now have pyrokinetic powers that consume my body, but are far beyond my control. Everyone on the battlefield burns, whether I want them to or not.


#15

Zurael , the Lifegiver

A screech let out blaring; able to pierce the sky yet faint enough to sound poetic. Ashes and soot followed by a florescent light almost white amongst the flames

Wings unbridled open at summers dawn, as the winds charged forward relentlessly in scurries like mice fell the flames of light feather-like dripping with lava. Arose from the warmth of magma below a figure emerged. Searing, blood curdling one could only imagine the pain felt by the creature. Skin tearing from bone, fragments renewing as others burn bright as day in the ripples of blood-soaked agony. Peering over the ledge of a volcano into the pools of liquid magma was one single being bound for eternity to forever see as life repeats itself. A voice bellowed bouncing off the seared earth caverns below where the creature lie dormant It was faint, weak yet somehow bursting with life.

"Don’t fear which you cannot understand.

I’ve lived a million lives. I’ve seen war unravel as I lay here helplessly while my people get slaughtered time and time again. Bound by my own destructive pursuit for power I must endure watching as my own life reflects that of my people. My being cannot be destroyed or withered. My curse to watch in agony as my life portray that of my people; burn into nothingness. Time only repeats itself for I am locked within a perpetual horror of an existence.

However, I do not hate, I do not regret. I now know what need be done, and I offer my wisdom from the millennium I have suffered to warriors worthy.

Look for the flame which cannot be put out. Your destiny awaits."

Facing away from the blackened-soot covered mountain the warrior now filled with determination set forth on the journey given to him by the lava covered being.


#16

Healing Mystic

“I may not know who you are, but I do know this; I’m not going to let you die.”

Pots and vials clattered as the world shook with anger. A small hooded creature calmly poured liquids into a small bowl before her. A blood curdling scream pierced the air as the figure continued mixing with rehearsed motions seemingly paying no mind to anything other than her craft. She stepped back and prepared to add the final ingredient to the glowing green brew.

The figure’s ears perked up as a body launched into the chamber. Its skin was burnt to a crisp, its entrails leaking. The creature bowed her head for a few precious moments lamenting the loss of life before returning to the task before her. She opened her hands and began to channel her life energy into the mixture. She paused again as she felt an unknown force. Turning around she saw a small orb rising from the body. The spirit gave a wordless affirmation to the Mystic, they both knew what needed to be done.

For generations the Mystics were trained to selflessly use their own life to fuel their potions. About half of her life span had already been wasted away, and she was prepared to give it all. However the aid from the spirit eased the burden on her own body as the elixir began to take on a more ethereal form. It spiraled in the air before softly floating down to her light blue palms.

Carrying the magic she walked out to the battlefield. The factions who were slaughtering each other didn’t matter, nor did the explosions that singed her cloak. She cared about one thing and one thing only; saving lives.


#17

Whistling Blade

“They do not eat the wanderers they slay, they leave the bodies to nourish the forest, and to serve as a warning for future trespassers.”

Named for the forest they inhabit, and as tall and sturdy as the trees they protect, the Whistling Blades were more than just a scary story to frighten the children of Xaan. The tales were indeed very true, and served as a warning to be heeded by all but the most foolhardy.

Never enter the Whistling Blades.

The rocks and boulders in and around the forest glow with crimson streaks of mystic energy that match the eyes and blade-like limbs of these enormous entities. The Whistling Blades; the creatures, and the forest that is their namesake, benefit equally from this residual magic, and one cannot exist without the other.

The eerie howling of these territorial creatures is indistinguishable from the sound of the wind billowing through the creaking boughs of the treetops. This, combined with the stiff, razor-sharp leaves of the mystical trees chiming and rattling in the breeze, creates a foreboding cacophony that strikes fear into any trespassers long before they reach the edge of the wood.

And that was where the Whistling Blades always left the bodies; at the edge of the wood. Their decomposing corpses nourishing the saplings along the forest’s edge, while the Whistling Blades’ crimson eyes glow from the shadows of the trees. The forest keeps it secrets, and the warning is renewed.

Never enter the Whistling Blades.


#18

Serpenti:

Prey and predator are relative terms.

The meat is tender. The meat is sweet. Each jawful of meat brought strength flooding back into its limbs. It bit into the skull and gorged on matter inside. The neck stretched and contracted, forcing the flesh down faster and faster. It knew that time was short and it won’t be long before they notice one of their brood is missing. The fresh blood was already drawing Gloomchasers out of their holes.

A furious hiss was enough to send them slithering back into their dens. Their scarlet eyes glowed with animosity as they watch it return to feeding.

Most of the meat is gone now and it began to work on the bones. The crunches echoed faintly off the walls of the pit. Biting a rib in half, it lapped at the marrow inside. It was about to start on another when its nostrils flared. A new scent from above! It crawled to the pit’s side and pressed its body against the wall. The Gloomchasers seeing an opportunity, quickly swarmed the carcass and fought with one another for small morsels left on the bones.

A dull light appeared over the lip of the pit to illuminate the swarming mass of Gloomchasers. A chorus of wails went up as the Gloomchasers dispersed, fleeing from the light. The wails soon turned to screams of rage as the light revealed the pile of bones, picked clean. The three Inxykrees half slid,half fell down the side of the pit. Near the edge where the first prey had fell from. Grief blinded them to the depth of the pit and the Inxykree soon found themselves struggling weakly to stand on shattered limbs.

Their pain would be short lived however.

Silence soon returned, except for the soft sounds of chewing.


#19

Sarlac the Eternal

The eternal man would no longer settle for futility—he had already spent enough lifetimes doing nothing of worth.

A middle-aged Aestari man sat in a pool of his own blood, with a shining sword protruding from his chest. He reflected on his life, but found nothing worth thinking about. He made a single dying wish to whatever god would hear him: let me make a difference next time.

The man woke up in a desert in an ornate, otherworldly body. He sat in a pool of sand, now with a shining gleam protruding from his eyes. His dying wish had been heard. His new, armored vessel was actually weaker physically than his previous, mortal body, but he could feel that its mystical energy was incredible. He set off.

The man’s new form was not capable of heroic action. Time after time, he fell in storms of arrows and cyclones of steel, only to awaken across the world with nothing to show for his efforts. He thought for a time that his wish had been misunderstood. How could he make a difference in such a weak body?

In one lifetime, the man befriended a child name Kaon from a village on the edge of the Sanctuary Plains. The young girl asked his name, and when he could not recall it, she named him Sarlac. One day, Sarlac was able to save the young girl from a rampaging bluetip scorpion–far from its nest in the Azure Mountains–by offering himself as sacrifice. Two lives later, Sarlac began hearing tales of the accomplishments of an exceptional Aestari Magus named Kaon… the very same Kaon he had saved all those years ago.

Sarlac found renewed purpose. His body was weak—terribly, terribly weak—but his will was strong, and he set off to weave the fate of Mythron through small deeds spread out over countless years and lives.


#20

Arrow Whistler
Every arrow has its mark.

Tighten, release, loose.

The shaft whistles from her fingers into a blossom of red. Just ahead, soldiers roar their approval, slamming their shields into the ground. The clamor of war, the crash of metal against metal.

She puts it to the back of her mind. No time for distractions, or the soldiers cheering her on could be the same ones tasting steel. One more arrow, one less sword for them to fend off.

Simple reasons. She fought for the soldiers, guarding her life with her own. For the ones who’d fallen doing the same. For the child she’d left behind. Truth, ideals and justice could fend for themselves - she was concerned with the living and the dead.

The weight of the teak makes itself known in her arms. The strain of catgut against her fingers, biting deep enough to draw blood. She feels it running down her arm, sticky and red. She tightens her grip on the bow, not willing to let it fall. Not while her quiver’s still filled, not while the other side’s still standing.

Closer now, the soldiers engage, swords rising and falling in bloodied arcs. She draws her arm back and steadies her aim.

Tighten, release, loose. Another arrow finds its mark.


#21

Sun Elemental

In destruction, perseverance melds as the strongest metals.

The beaten path was a lonely one, that I knew by heart. But in these sunless tundras, even the raucous caravan eventually yields. Such a dire shift in circumstance left the untamed mind reeling, and broken. The sodden earth reclaimed her debt. The elements dance their ballet.

Eyes resting upon the outstretched wilderness, the perspective changes dramatically. The obligations of man are so easily reduced to a singular moment, and whether it be in spite or boredom, Nature has forced this lesson with unequaled potency. The leather is rent, and the flesh will follow. The craggy mountainside offers nothing but cold moss and underbrush. The hunter shall take its prey. It has been ordained.

In the face of such danger, the mind becomes lucid, and the cycle is laid bare. Much worse can befall the troubled traveler, as steeled claws do not rend neither the mind nor spirit in twain. Fear falls to resignation. The world must go on.

As these eyes slowly submit, the skies blossom forth, and cloudy rain gives way to radiant beams. It is very true that strength can only be found within. The light, however, infiltrated and magnified. Purpose was made clear. Renewed vigor made the body stand once more. Blood may run in streams, but fortitude will mend and protect more potently than herbs or metals.

In one monstrous heft, the cycle shattered as glass. The hilt was weightless. The expedition may have been ruined, but this mind will not break.

Cold zephyrs may have brought along their dirges, but skyward, the Sun splintered and tore. Feet must complete what the wheel could not. The road was long, but the heart was tempered and the blessing was made immortal. The elements dance their scintillating ballet.