A Dawn of Ashes

~ Inspired from various games & books ~


1. A Dawn of Ashes

In a world far away from here, not unlike ours, a war raged between two great factions: The undead and the alliance of the living. The leaders of the undead armies were powerful dark magicians who had come together to, in their eyes, wipe away the pathetic living from existence. The necromancers, once great figures of the light had, due to their meddling with dark magic, slowly become undead themselves and thus their minds had changed. No one knew what had happened. They had suddenly turned against the peaceful nations with their giant armies that, as far as anyone could tell, came out of nowhere. They ravaged and rampaged city after city, until now… The alliance of the living was all the sentient living beings in this world: Men, dwarves, elves and a bunch of other interesting-looking species. They each had a leader to represent their species and as such formed a council, to decide what to do against the menacing horde of undead. To defeat the undead, they had come to an agreement that they must create an army of the light, a natural enemy of the darkness that surrounded the foul beings that were, at every moment, trying to slaughter anything that had a beating heart and turn it into one of their own.

   Among these champions of the light were one, seemingly, unremarkable young individual. Makari was his name.  He had joined the army, in hope of a better future. Like so many other young people he joined because of the tales of their brilliant leader, Aiden, the front figure of hope, he who wielded the legendary sword that could turn hundreds of undead to ash in a matter of seconds, the Ashbringer. However, even his light would eventually falter. As Aiden brought more and more victories to the living, he was, however unlikely, one day struck down… Not by the undead, but by one of his own men. His most trusted captain had in the heat of a fierce battle, impaled the great hero from behind, and shown his true colors, as a member of the necromancers. To make matters worse, the once great hero was resurrected as a mindless pawn in the undead army, still wielding the, now corrupted, Ashbringer to reign death on the living. Hope was dwindling and people started fleeing. Now the remnants of the living, prepared for one last battle, at the Bastion of Light, their last hope. Here they would make their last stand and here the fate of the living would be decided. Outnumbered and outmatched the battle looked to be already decided, but the paladins and priests of the light would not be frightened. And as such they had come up with a plan, to stop the undead, dead in their tracks. The plan was to draw the attention of the army right up to the bastion’s walls and thus make them unaware of their flank, where a strike team were supposed to, with the help of their holy fire grenades and magic, clear a path to the newly appointed general of the army of the dead, Aiden and his fearsome Ashbringer. They would try to overcome and kill him, leaving the undead leaderless confused and easy to kill, as they could not think on their own. Leading this strike force was Makari, for coming up with the plan, and a group of veteran paladins and priests.

   The battle started and casualties were heavy, but for every dead soldier, 10 undead were slain. As expected the horde of dead was drawn all the way to the wall, and now started climbing it, just by stacking their bodies on top of each other. Now came the time, for Makari to lead them to glory and ensure the future of the living. His group had been waiting outside the walls well hidden, and now they rushed silently and with the speed of light towards the giant army.  They could see Aiden on top of his undead horse swinging his sword around empowering the wretched army. “NOW! Throw the grenades!” Makari yelled and so the plan was set in motion. Undead fell lifeless to the ground in a half-circle around the strike team as they paved their path to Aiden.  The priests focused on making a shield around the group, to protect them from harm. As they came up behind the general, ready to focus their spells together for a deathblow of pure light he suddenly turned around and swung his sword through the air, in the direction of the group and their shield broke with a massive crackling noise, followed by a blast that sent them to the ground. Ashbringer had, even in its corrupted form, as much power as before and destroyed every defensive enchantment cast by the priests. “Hahahaha…” the voice of the once great Aiden, was hollow and sounded now as death itself. “Pathetic… Did you really expect that you could overcome me with such a cheap trick…” Aiden looked amused at the failed attempt of killing him. Makari slowly got to his feet. “You were once a great hero, stabbed and killed by a single betrayer. One man killed the mighty Ashbringer and thus, even in your undead form you are still not invincible!” he yelled. The other people of his group got to their feet as well ready to face the end. “Death can not be stopped young fool, I’ll show you the power that has been given to me by my new masters…” An evil smile appeared on Aiden’s face and soon Makari could hear his fellows cough and choke. He turned around and watched in horror as they fell to their knees, rotting and dying. Before falling lifeless to the ground a last faint whisper were heard “Heeelp…”. They had all died, as lively and ready to fight they had been seconds ago, they were now the opposite. Makari fell to his knees in helplessness. How could anyone hope to overcome such terror? Aiden’s hollow voice was heard once again, “You see now young paladin… There is no hope left for you.” A tear went down Makari’s chin as he spoke to their old beacon of light “Hope will remain, as long as this keep stands. As long as there is people protecting this, last stronghold of the living, hope will live on…” “Your will to fight is impressive, even against these odds I must give you that. But nonetheless, every last pathetic living being will be wiped-“ Aiden stopped his glory speech as the undead started screaming in pain. He turned his rotted head around, only to be blinded by the morning light, many times intensified by the holy crystal on top of the bastion. He screamed out in pain, trying to swing after Makari, but Makari was quicker. He jumped up and threw his last holy grenade right into the face of Aiden. He fell off the horse and dropped the sword. Makari grabbed the sword heaved it over Aiden, as he regained his sight. Makari, looking into Aiden’s eyes, said relieved “Have peace… brother.” and so he stabbed him right in the chest. A howl sounded from the entire undead army as they to everyone’s surprise fell where they stood. The power of the corrupted Ashbringer had created this army, and with the death of it’s corrupted wielder, now turned back to the light, to its new owner. Makari. Survival was ensured and with the Ashbringer back to the light, the time came to end the war once and for all, with their new leader, Makari, in the front. Bringing honor to his older brother’s legacy…

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