Return of the Long Night
Volume I – Phoenix Rising
|Chapter 3: Visions||End of the First Era of Ire (~112,000 years ago)|
|(HARP – RoleMaster converted characters)|
The Battle for the Shadow World
The ground shifts again, and you briefly glance Luarto Shang staring at you, the device in his hands glowing brightly. His expression is both quizzical, yet also shows concern, perhaps anger. Yet you can not concentrate on it for long, for suddenly you stand elsewhere.
The air seems different, or perhaps your lungs are. The world seen through your eyes is tinted, with a colour of lavender, as if the rays of light shown through an invisible prism. Your body seems oddly shaped, your fingers flexing in half-dozen ways, yet your attention turns to these oddities fleetingly, as the figures in front of you draw all eyes to them.
A strange scene, one seemingly viewed from afar stretches before you. It is a scene of a different world, or one significantly changed from what you know, and though at first you know not who the beings before you, though now you seem to recognise the key players in this cataclysmic drama…
This is the time when worlds changed – worlds ended, and life starts anew. You know what is happening, yet you can not move, cannot call out nor even think, as you stare at the very legends of past era.
Fountains of lava spewed from the tortured earth, washing over verdant lands in a burning tidal wave. Shattered ruins lay where boulders had been hurled like a rain of pebbles to crush glittering cities. Oceans vaporised. The Sun and the Five Moons were lost behind a black cloud of soot.
At last two stood upon the planet which had become one vast battlefield. Kadaena, Empress of the Galaxy and Queen of an alien, human race, faced her opponent: the rebel Utha. They had the look of siblings but for the glaze of hate in Kadaena’s violet eyes, and the haunted mask which Utha’s face had become. He held in his bleeding hands a sword. A strange barbaric weapon for a time when ships flew between the stars and the people of his race could slay with one thought of their telepathic minds, but the Soulsword was all that could protect him from She who wore the Shadowstone.
Pulsing with a thirsty crimson light, that gem lay upon Kadaena’s breast, held by a heavy chain of black iron. Kadaena thrust her hands forward, palms out at waist height, her bearing one of readiness.
Here we stand at the end of all things, my cousin. Are you well pleased that you have brought about the downfall of your people?” Her words were barbed with psionic knives, but Utha was beyond feeling.
“You destroyed us long ago, My Queen. Better that we die now than live on as a mockery of what we should have been.”
“You wanted my throne!” Her hands snapped forwards and from her fingers lashed twisting bolts of white-hot energy, arcing towards her opponent.
But they splashed aside harmlessly: the sword shielded Utha. It diverted those deadly charges, but it took its own toll on his strength. The earth trembled. He took an unsteady step closer to his cousin.
Again Kadaena attacked with lightning; again the Soulsword absorbed the energy. The black blade began to glow with a faint silvery light. Utha raised the sword, his sinewy shoulders protesting, every muscle trembling with fatigue.
The sword flashed in a mighty horizontal arc, severing the beautiful Kadaena’s head.
Groaning in pain, the earth opened at her feet, and the Shadowstone tumbled from Kadaena’s shoulders into a fiery crevasse. The Empress of the Galaxy’s body trembled then disintegrated to dust, floating to the smoking ground.
Utha stood silent for a moment to gather his strength. He touched a finger to his forehead and vanished from that battlefield. The most difficult task was yet to do.
“My Eyes protect us all…”
Next Chapter 3c: Revealing Conversations