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Journal of Dath - Soldier of Waiqar - Death 237

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Just a fan made adventure.  Enjoy or not.  Spelling and grammar issues included free of charge.

 

Journal of Dath, soldier and servant of our lord and king Waiqar, by his leadership may the truth be revealed.

By my estimations, today was my 237th death.  Stiken, our assigned necromancer, was standing above me with a grim look on his face.  I knew that we badly needed more scouts if we want to be more successful in our attempts at slowing the Latari’s advances, but Ankaur is more intent on raising and training knights than in strategic observations.  I spoke with Stiken before we left camp earlier this morning on what we might be facing but as always the information was limited at best.  This isn’t our first time venturing into the forests of the Latari, but we figured their current involvement with the Uthuk may have left them open for an attack.  We hadn’t planned on the ambush.

Stiken had been given an artifact, some runic scepter that would inhibit growth in the forest, and may just turn the tides of this war.  The Latari had been using their magic to cause rapid growth and expansion of their forest, blocking our movement, disguising their forces, and allowing their Scions to grow at a threatening pace.  The might of Waiqar was being shut down due to blind attacks, and our forces being confined in areas that did not allow our much more powerful death knights to navigate.  The roots, growing much deeper in this area, also halted the swift carrion lancers underground movement, limiting them to a crawl on the surface.  They would not be catching anyone off guard as they are much slower above ground.  This artifact was of utmost importance as it would cause the ground to become unfertile, and organic matter to decay.  The Scepter of Manai is what they had called it.  Our lord Waiqar himself had cursed the scepter so that once placed no Latari would be able to remove it, if we had had the chance to place it.

We advanced into the forest late at night.   The Latari’s forest creatures, such as the Leonx, typically are much more active in the early morning.  We were hoping we could avoid them altogether.  The forest was thicker than anticipated, had Maegan passed by recently?  No, she wouldn’t have known about our efforts.  Besides, our information was that she had been meeting recently with and training some of the Daqan’s knights near Riverwatch.  Regardless, these forests were not what we were expecting to encounter.  The paths commonly walked by local hunters were all but covered and the stars were not easily visible from below the canopy.  Several times we sent Marcus up a tree for a better vantage point.  It was faster for him to fall, die, and rise again than to wait for his slow descent from the tops of the tree.  It was fun to watch his bones scatter through the area as his body was ripped apart by the branches on his fall, but hard to keep quiet.  We did break his jaw several times to keep him from screaming as he fell.  New recruits still aren’t used to resurrection and the sacrifice of pain.

It was well into the morning and the sun would have been coming up soon, when the first wave of arrows hit our troops.  We were still a mile or so from our destination and we would need to go further into the forest for the scepter to be effective.  If we placed it now the elven city would not be affected, and they would be sure to defend their borders.  The arrows were coming from everywhere, had they heard us?  My unit forced its way through the trees towards the city, if we lost soldiers but were able to secure the scepter our efforts would be victorious.  Ardus would often comment about paying the cost of lives lost was worth the price of victory.

We sprinted forward until we saw what we were all hoping to avoid, the familiar glow of the scions.  At first it was just the glow of a single scion, and then a few more joined.  Last I counted it was several dozen scions blocking our advance.  I turned to Stiken who was beginning the incantations, today many will fall but we must continue forward.  The roots of the scions shot up all around us, stopping our movement, we would need to cut through them to advance, all the while arrows were falling upon our units like wave after wave of locusts.  Stiken wasn’t going to be able to bring back the ones that were falling as fast as they were dying off.  We needed to get through these roots now, bodies would be left behind, we all knew the sacrifice we were making for our lord.

Brost was the first to cut through the roots, with a little more effort we were able to clear a path to get free from the scions, unfortunately nearly half of our army had died off from the arrows and the ever pressing glow from the scions was even closer.  Still no Leonx, at least that was a good sign for us.  Brost shouted out “for Waiqar” and charged towards the scions.

The scions were much larger than I had seen before.  The magic of the forest must have been empowering these creatures.  There were some disheveled ruins that we saw upon our approach, we might be able to take shelter there to avoid the attacks of the arrows and give us a better defensive position.  We ducked behind some rocks standing no more than shoulder height, these would stop most of the arrows.  “Seven, eight, nine… where are the other Scions?  I could have sworn I counted 30 or more scions in that direction, where are they?” exclaimed Stiken.  “They’ve gone back to sleep” said Brost “probably expecting the archers to scare us off, either that or…”

As we were surveying the battlefield for a plan of attack, a giant entwinement of roots sprang from the center of the ruins, crashing down on six or so of our infantry.  Looks like those scions we couldn’t account for had communed to crush out our forces.  Sure enough, twenty or so glowing faces now appeared in a tight grouping not far off.  We wouldn’t be able to stay in these ruins, these roots were known for swallowing men down into the earth, tearing a horse apart, or crushing the life out of our lancers.  I had never seen such a close grouping before, but we had known the risks we would be facing before we entered the forest.

Brost pointed his sword towards the smaller grouping of scions and led the charge.  Our small deployment wouldn’t have a chance to stand against them, I wasn’t sure what the point was, but it wasn’t my place to question.  Our archers took aim and fired off a round of arrows and one of the lights went out.  One scion down, eight remain.  Something was glowing, bright purple, right behind me.  I turned to see Stiken wielding the scepter of Manai, which was now glowing with runic power.  He aimed the scepter towards the scions as a blast of light came off the stone placed at the end.  Four more lights went out, four remaining scions.  We now have a chance to break through their line.

Brost, of course, was first to meet the scions.  His axes made short time of the first scion, but not before it swept up a dozen recruits and scattered their bones like salt upon a feasting plate.  Two of the scions had seen our approach and had slithered off into the forest to hide.  Spotting a sleeping scion in this forest would be near impossible, and they knew their advantage.

I began working on the last remaining scion, chopping at its roots and branches, blocking the blows it would descend upon my shield. Six archers exploded into strewn piles of bones beside me.

The last thing I remember is seeing the return of the Latari arrows hit the ground all around me.   Stiken and Brost will have to fill me in on what has taken place since my most recent death.  Another sacrifice for our lord.  Another worthy offering.  Another life I can live in service for the truth.

All hail Waiqar, savior of life.

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Good fun. I do wonder if all other 236 deaths were so dramatic. Skeletons must be quite fragile (with no muscle and sinew to hold them together) so surely some of the deaths would be quite benign (falling over a tree root, having his head knocked off at the charity skeletons vs humans football match etc)

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