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 Chaos Wraiths

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udgard
Guardians of the Root
Guardians of the Root


Posts : 60
Join date : 2008-08-21

PostSubject: Chaos Wraiths   Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:00 pm

This is no story, this is a memory I have lived, long before the Realm as we know. In another age, where in this exact spot there was nothing less than the Chaos Woods. Nothing less, but a whole lot more. Let me tell you of ``the Chaos Wraiths``

The time when the Chaos Woods were not young anymore but far from being chopped down by Wind and his Berserkers. Was a dark time, in which the setting of the Sun led to whispers and sadness and fear. Wishing to find out more of what in fact was FACT and what was fiction, I had decided to form a team of five members and explore the Woods... during the night. We had assembled within a fortnight of the event. Three of us were scholars, one was a ranger of the woods` border and the fifth of us was an actual Wizard. I say this with all due respect and consideration for them all and with respect and fear for the Wizard as he was old and wise and powerful. Magick was scarce and volatile, talent in the Practice was more rare than a blue Moon. During the fortnight we had gathered all rumors, all myths and legends and sayings and wives` tales and bedtime stories about the Chaos Woods and they all ended the same way. A friend of a friend of a distant cousin of someone`s would always be foolishly lured inside the Woods and never be heard from again. Death and Terror oozed out between the branches of the dead trees, between the leaves, between the grass. When we set out from our Inn in the Plains we felt ready for everything but as our feet took our bodies nearer and nearer to the Woods. We began to all have the same picture in front of us.

The tall woods reigned above us like the head of an ancient wooden titan. With just enough space between its gnarled tree for us to walk inside its mouth. We were at the edge of the Woods, the tall and purplish grass bent towards our feet... Even it seemed to want to pull us even nearer...``Well lads, the time for backing off is over. Let`s show these old trees we`re not afraid of them!`` I spoke with a grin on my face and my heart in my throat... Every word sounded chocked... Suddenly, the wind blew through the trees, the barren branches clanged and clinged to eachother right in front of my eyes like claws willing to tear away my eyes and face and the sound of something hard hitting the ground was heard behind me. As I turned I could see two of my scholar friend along with the scouts running towards the plains at a pace that could have set dry grass ablaze. They had left all their supplies behind... three huge backpacks of books and food we all needed...
``Well?`` I asked the Wizard ``Are you going to run away as well?``
``Certainly not!`` he declared. and it had seemed I sighed with relief too soon as before I even got the chance to thank him for his loyalty and dedication, a weird looking space craft teleported him away.
``This is not funny!`` I told myself as the deep and cynicall voice couldn`t stop chuckling inside my head... I closed my eyes. Yes, I too was afraid. Probably the only reason why I was still there was the fact that I was too afraid to run. Or...

As I opened my eyes I discovered with dread that roots entangled me to the ground, roots that were slowly creeping up my legs. I fell back and started to kick and pull and kick some more but the roots were hard and stubborn. The more I struggled, the more the roots squeezed my feet. I reached out for the wood axe I knew was in the Scout`s backpack, which he abandoned... It was near my hand... but it was gone. With despair and panic gripping harder and harder around my spine i took my pocket knife, a small and dulled blade. I reached down and quickly severed the laces of my left boot. I did the same to the one to my right. I then stabbed the thickest root I saw all the way through and turned and grasped the grass above my head. And I pulled. The blades of grass felt sharper than a burning dagger in palms and it took every strands of power I had to pull myself out of my own boots. And then out of the earth as I was by now anckle deep in it, I was alive...I was having a mild heart attack, I felt like I should change my pants as soon as I could... but I was alive...``But for how long?`` I felt, I heard, I sensed a whisper from the Woods.I chose to ignore it. Instead I looked at my hands.They were covered in deep cuts, that bled out horrbily. I could barely move my fingers and even the rest of my body started t felt the atrophia that came with shock and fear. Strangely I easily found inside of me the willpower and the strength to get up on my bare feet and move on inside the Woods. It was quiet. It was as silent as death, no sound coming from within the woods. My heart pounded like a led wight on a rubber trambouline... My ears muffled and the blood I no longer felt the pain in my hands or what was at my feet Within the darkness of those damned Chaos Woods, I seemed to not have any of my five sense working...And even so, I advanced.

Bleeding, barefoot, alone, afraid out my own skin, I advanced into the Woods. Merely out of the burning desire to not give it the satisfaction of watching me run away. It felt like years before my senses adapted, or perhaps the forest decided it felt playful and I was a good toy. In front of my eyes, several feet away I was able to spot a tall figure by a tree... I couldn`t believe my eyes... Thus I slowly advanced, calling out to it. But everytime I spoke, the wind blew around me and carried my voie always in another directionIt was only when I was six feet away from the figure that my mind realized that what for you is now obvious.The man was not tall, he was hanged by the branches of the tree. His corpse smelled of putrid slow decay. His limbs and head and torso all swollen in the process, his skin blue, his tongue bulging out of his mouth. A pair of lifeless and swollen yellowish eyes staring into nothingness. There was no rope. Two branches met around his neck keeping his body elevated half a foot over the ground. I don`t know what I was thinking
I mean, I DO KNOW what I was thinking, that the tree was dead, that to leave him was unhuman, that I was a lucky person in general, that those two branches looked very very thin and his body heavy... I also was thinking that I was an idiot. I was right. I approached the corpse and studied closely the branches above his head. Without a torch, the moon to shine and just a pair of dim stars on the night sky, I somehow expected to see everything in high detail. Within less than a heart beat I did. There was no sound, no motion. I was suddenly lifted into the air, I didn`t even realize that the ground was not beneath my feet. I didn`t even realize I couldn`t breathe anymore. Tho blue, soft and oozy arms had their hands around my neck as a pair of yellow eyes stared into mine. A sadistic and grotesque smile on the animated corpse`s face. His few upper yellow teeth being all that was visibile inside his mouth except that huge and bloated yellow and blue tongue. The smell was of rotting flesh and hatred and despair. The trees around me seemed to move towards me in anticipation as my eyesight slowly faded. As the sounds once more muffled. As my life was slowly being smuthered by a dead man. And then it happened. He drew me in closer and the last thing I saw were his wide opened rotting eyes. And he drew me closer. And throught the blurry rotting burning haze that was my fading life there was the one thing I felt as sharp as a sword in my heart. A wet and disgusting shiver tremored across my cheek as the bastard`s goddamn tongue licked across my face. We had planned it all within a fortnight. The supplies, the inn, the entire crew, the lore. We had two whole weeks to gather what we needed. And also I had two whole weeks to let my curiosity overtake me. Since the cause, justifies the means I will confess to you that at a time long before this story I was a thief. Of course, everybody who knew that was dead and I had quit the trade... But the trade didn`t let me go that easily. While my team of chicken hearted adventurers was down in the tavern having a second serving of ale. I carefully snooped around something that can get any man more drunk than alchohol... Power, Knowledge, Magic. The deadman`s hands squeezed harder than ever, while his dead and gross tongue licked me. Perhaps to die at the hand of evil in a quest of knowledge is a noble way to go,to be abused by a bloated corpse is not.Clear as crystal the words came out of my mouth; ``Tyrnal. Haar.`` Ten long whips of arcane and pure magickal fire sprung out of my fingetips and pierced the corpse. I opened my eyes and saw the same dead eyes starting at me, nothing changed in them. He was being manilpulated. But I was too pissed off at that particular time to gently ease his suffering... the whips retracted into my hands, became my hands, and then became my claws, turning my skin into a steel ask and my now elongated nails into burning fire, raging. I sliced his head off and I dropped to the floor, the heap of flesh dropped on me. The trees around me, the sky above me, the grass beneath me all reach out to smother me and my fire for good. But as my temper grew, so did the rage of my claws. With no remorse, I let that rage guide my hands and my spirit. With the corpse shield on guarding my left side I started to slice at everything that came near me. In the fire`s light I could see the trees as grotesque and horryffying beings, their hatred for me visible without a doubt. The claws seemed to always struck at the heart of the trees, burning them entirely to ash and dust...And thus, I went on having my revenge.

``ENOUGH!`` The earth had yelled and the trees and skies echoed. Harsh winds blew around me almost putting out the fire of my claws. And the winds gathered in front of me. And the shape of tall and slim figure was formed.
``I said enough! No more!` The voice was female. She had long dark brown hair and deep dark eyes. She the wind and leaves around her body formed a long dress from an age not yet existing and clothed her.
``I am Merra!`` she spoke with an announcing tone ``Witch of the Forest, the leader of the Chaos Wraiths!`` her eyes it was obvious wanted to burn a deep hole through me. She hated me, I could even smell it.
``I am Adrian, a scholar from the Planes.`` I threw away the body and my left talons blazed, happy to be rid of the tainted corpse.``I bring you no harm`` I said before I realized it.
``Do you take me for a fool, Human? You sit in the ashes of my ancestors, you`ve defiled the remains of your own kin and murdered tens of my own and YOU BRING. ME. NO. HARM!!!`` she wailed. I fell silent. The cynical voice inside my head couldn`t stop laughing... ``What do you want from us?`` she asked.
``The Chaos Woods is a place filled with mystery and death. I came to find the source of it.`` ``And put a stop to it!`` she spat out ``I along with my sisters are the source of it. We are the daughters and guardians of the forest. Now that you know this, what will you do? Chop us down?``she spoke and came towards me...She was frightening, her face, her body, too thin and too distorted for a human one... It was obvious that to stay in this form was an insult for her.
``No!`` I said calmly and let the claws die down. Magick was fun to wield indeed. `` I know you have no reason to trust me but I came here looking for an answer. Now that I know you are the cause I only wish to I only wish to come to an agreement with you.``
``What agreement?`` she asked. ``Please, leave us alone.`` Her face turned red with anger.
``Oh? Is that all? Leave you alone? You barge in into MY home, you do not heed any of the warnings I had layed out for you, you slay MY kin, with foul dark magicks no less and then you ask ME to leave YOU alone?``
She shrieked and then started cursing me in ways I prefer to not reinact. It was only then where I saw the fault. My fault! the fault of those before me! I kneeled in front of her.
``Merra, your words are true and wise, and I am sorry for all the pain we have caused to you.`` I spoke in honesty ``We are Humans, nothing more and we are only learning how to adjust to this Realm. Your ancerstors were once born anew here, were they not? I now realize it all and vow to you I will return and spread the words that you have told me. We will learn to respect and honor the Chaos Woods and its Wraiths. And even though I know that cannot bring those that have fallen back to you know that over these years you also have taken many of our own.``
``Go!`` she spoke and the winds faded her away.``Go! Go and tell them! But know this, Adrian son of Kallysto, brother of Fenix, know that we have seen the future, know that one day, man shall cross this vow and cut us down, know your sons will kill us all.``
The memory of my family had touched me beyond ways many can understand. Merra knew of my coming, of who I was... she let so many of her elders die, so their children could live.

As I returned from the Woods I told our elders what I had seen, what I had done. Of course I hid the part where I used magick as it was still a taboo and instead went along with the scout`s axe version of the story. It took man over 400 years to break the vow and it took a great necessity to do it...As DeathMarrow appeared and corrupted the Realm, Wind needed to find a new home and a new sanctuary for his people. It is my personal belief that the Chaos Wraiths understood that and that is why they sacrificed themselves. I have gathered you here because here is the place where my personal carnage and first use of magick happened. Where I had met Merra and sometimes... when I am the only one standing here, I can hear her whisperring to me from the trees, reminding me of my sins, and forgiving me.
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