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The Return (story)

Discussion in 'UO Sonoma' started by Priam_of_Sonoma, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Karza moved to light a hanging torch from a nearby wall sconce.

    “No more light you fool.” hissed the hooded man behind him.

    Only days earlier the strange man had come into the nearby village with need of a guide and sporting a heavy gold pouch. Many men were interested in the work, but when told of the destination of the job and the exact task none would accept the commission. The desert tombs were resting places for many different men and monster within the world of Malas. And the specific tomb that this man was interested in accessing was said to have held powerful sorceries and evil forces.

    Karza had sided with his fellow villagers at first, but need had driven the man to accept the work. A hungry family and a crying child were powerful persuaders.

    The men had set out in the early morning reaching the tomb just before midday. The work to move the cap stones and the surrounding enforcing rock seemed impossible at first. The strange man had magic of his own though and cast powerful spells that seemed to shift and sunder the pale sandstone. Karza had found the work moderately difficult with his pickaxe, but in time the passageway into the tomb had been cleared. Grateful to be out of the cruel sun, the men ventured inside.

    [​IMG]

    The dusty passageway lead to a stairwell that sloped steeply down into the pitch of the crypt. Muttering a strange incantation, the hooded man brought a feint light to his staff to lead the two downward.

    The square room at the bottom of the staircase was neither impressive nor fearsome as Karza had imagined it would be. He had moved to light a wall sconce torch when the mage had ordered him to stop.

    “Now, do exactly as I say. Stray from my orders and I will leave you down here with the other corpses and forgotten heroes.”

    The wizard pulled back his hood revealing a head covered in stringy, greasy hair and sickly white skin. His eyes were blood shot and sunken deep within his skull, and his lips were cracked and caked with traces of dried blood.

    Karza’s fear, which he had so completely mastered began to bubble from inside him. He realized now the danger he was truly in, and the power that his employer held. Something was happening here, something more grand than a simple tomb robbery.

    The morbid figure began chanting a spell. The air in the tomb grew thick and cold. Slowly, methodically, the enchanter walked to a sarcophagus in front of him.

    “Now” began the wizard “you are to pry the lid from this vessel when I tell you. Do you understand?”

    Karza nodded, his heartbeat rising from within his chest.

    [​IMG]

    The strangers voice rose, echoing off the walls of chamber within. The pale light from his staff began to grow brighter and change from a natural soft white to a sickly green hue.

    “Now.” stated the mage.

    Karza inserted the flat end of his pickaxe into a perceived gap between the lid and the sarcophagus base. To his surprise the seal of the gigantic stone structure gave and his axe slid slow into place.

    With huge effort Karza began to tug at the axe, trying desperately to move the lid on the stone coffin. The sheer weight of the stone lid seemed impossible to navigate, but to his amazement the grating sound of stone on stone began to rattle to form a ghastly chorus with the enchanters words of magic.

    With a sudden crack and an enormous thud, the lid landed on the tomb floor. Dust billowed from the impact and the sound echoed for what seemed at eternity.

    From within the gray marble coffin a white glow emanated.

    Peering into it’s recesses, the mage stood transfixed.

    “Splendid.” he grinned, revealing nearly translucent gray and bleached bone teeth.

    Karza had tumbled backward when the lid had given way. Gaining his feet, he too allowed himself a peek into the opened sarcophagus.

    The site that met his eyes was like nothing he had ever seen nor heard of.

    There in the dusty container, housing a supposedly long dead being, was the perfectly preserved body of a human man. The mans hair was long and in braids with dried flowers woven into their tresses. The man had a trimmed beard and a dark complexion. He had been lain to rest in garb traditional with knights of the realm. Around his neck was a pendent with a symbol of an arrow and crescent.

    But the predominate item in the sarcophagus was not the preserved body of the man, but the blade resting upon his chest. A longsword glimmered from it’s resting place. The blade fully four feet in length bore strange runes upon it. It’s pommel was set with what appeared to be a pure white gem. The swords hilt was wrapped in a white luminescent binding that seemed to shift and dance as it rested in place.

    Suddenly Karza was startled. It had appeared that the man in the coffin had moved. He blinked and tried to clear his vision. The body was still in place, and had not changed position.
    “What was your name again, man?” asked the wizard, the sudden speech startling the nomad.

    “Karza, good sir, my name is Karza.”

    “Well Karza, you have done as I have asked, and I am afraid that I will bear some sadness in your dismissal.” the pale man intoned.

    “I think you for the job my lord, my family can use the funds to eat another day.” Karza replied, moving for the passageway leading out.

    “Oh no my good man, you seem to be mistaken upon the terms of your dismissal.” the sorcerer stated, grinning.

    Karza’s stomach turned. His confidence in his judgment of men had come woefully short. And only now did he realize the cost of that miscalculation.

    “Are you a sinner Karza?” asked the seer, a slight glow being to ebb from his fingertips.

    Karza stumbled backwards, landing against the edge of the wall leading to the staircase.

    “I, I am a good man my lord. I have a baby.” Karza begged.

    “You don’t cheat upon your wife, drink until the late hours or roll the bones with wicked men in the alleys of Durgin town?” inquired the sorcerer.

    “No my lord. I beg you, I am a faithful man. I go to prayer when called and honor my covenant with my wife.” pleaded Karza.

    “Well then, I will feel even worse killing you!” the sorcerer exclaimed, his voice rising in fury.

    In the months after the event, Karza would still have trouble recalling exactly what happened next. At first he thought the wizard had started to choke, until he saw a dark liquid begin to seep from his leather armor. Then, like a light piercing the hopeless night, the tip of the sword that Karza had seen resting in the sarcophagus pierced the chest of the wicked man before him. The sorcerer lurched forward, a look of surprise and twisted anguish etched on his face, falling to the tomb floor.

    The light in the tomb shifted. The dull, muted green light of the mages staff had gone dark, and now only the light from the glowing blade in the hands of the supposed dead knight server to light the tomb around him.

    Eyes wide and fixed in fear Karza asked “What, who, who are you?”

    The knight staggered forward, his eyes squinting in an effort to focus.

    “I, I am not sure.” replied the risen knight in a raspy voice.

    “I fell upon the fields in Tokuno when the new land had come into alignment with mine.”

    “Are you going to kill me?” asked Karza, weary of his ability to judge his situation.

    “No, you can go.” replied the knight. “I will find my way, I always do.”

    Karza turned to leave, but paused “I must know your name my friend, I must know who spared my life.”

    “They called me the Silver Paladin in my time” started the knight, his voice gaining strength.

    “Priam Agravar.”
     
  2. *applauds*

    Excellent!

    Oh, so well writ!

    Thank you so much for this.
     
  3. Mandolin

    Mandolin Guest

    *applauds*

    Great tale, Priam!
     
  4. Black Majick

    Black Majick Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Joined:
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    Good Story. Keep up the good work.
     
  5. Miri

    Miri Guest

    Now that is what I call an entrance *grins*

    WOOT!! Welcome back Priam

    Strength and Honour
    Miri