Shade stood in front of Zap, though it was dark since the only light was that of Zap’s. They were in a void, simply being.
“So are you siding with Devra? At first I took you as a neutral obstacle, only to find you are against me now.”
Shade pushed Zap with a blow to the chest.
“Shade’s accusations follow anger in the shadows. Perhaps I should explain to him what you are doing? Zap is sealing Devra in a planar seam as she is retaliating. It is enough to have brought them into this planar pocket, never mind with the use of force.”
Zap grinned at Shade while having a foot to his face.
“I have no quarrel with you. Why do we fight even after leaving the marsh?”
Shade glared a Zap, holding back a blow in hopes for diplomacy.
“Shade’s argument holds truth, would you not agree, Zap? Give him to Devra, even if her cowardice will outlive her rolls of the dice. With a gentle throw, set Shade into the flow. Hold no grudge to the blood which sticks like sludge, Shade is ambitious for the blood of another.”
Shade felt himself returning the Material Plane.
Gratz sat across from Devra. The conjurer had stepped into his office along a seam, and he had first suspected her to be an assassin. But she had sat down, which was a sign of peace for Gratz.
“I have information on Shade. You may still know him as Bane. I have been trying to slay Shade for many years of my aged life, and now I hope to have your aid in the matter.”
Devra stared at Gratz plainly.
“We could easily inquire Demur Rumed if he would like your aid. He is an exiled paladin who knows how to slay a lich. I have told him some information, but only what I knew. May I ask what you wish for in return?”
Gratz was slightly set off, having not planned for this meeting.
“If an ally is my support, so be it. All I wish for is the death of Shade.”
Devra stood across from Gratz, waiting for anything else he had to offer.
“I will gladly commission you as an exclusive mercenary for 0U. I will ask Nelson to escort you to Demur, I’m afraid there is little I can do due to all the mercenaries of this commission being occupied. Demur, however, has gladly accepted the commission with enthusiasm. If you require any enchantments, Market Mancers offers a wide variety. Along with the market of mancy, we also have a branch of weaponry. Feel free to buy some of these items, we’ll even let you have them for free in return for your aid. I do have Fier, a pyromancer, investigating the possibility of rapid teaching. If you need more money, please notify me.”
Gratz looked through his papers he was working with and found the drawer which held his checks. He filled in the blanks, leaving Devra with 500U. After handing Devra the money, Gratz dropped a marble down Nelson’s pipe.
Zyx stopped as she reached the first large area of marsh, she hadn’t known that Bane had such navigational skills as to have taken a straight course to the marsh. She had chosen to follow the direction he had left, and found that as she progressed the earth began to get more soft and puddles were scattered about. Her tongue needed mending, and so she hoped that there would be a place to heal nearby. She had found some herbs growing, and had eaten some while applying their oils to her wound. When she stopped to rest by a murky lake, she heard a voice.
“Why look there, Zap, there is an another one who comes. But it would seem she has not come to beg of you.”
Zyx looked towards the direction of the voice, and found nothing. When she glanced in the other direction, Zap was standing upon the water, grinning. Zyx felt her tongue had been mended. Zap’s face was beaten, and he held his side’s wound.
“So Bane came here, asking for your help?”
Zap cackled, falling into the water.
“Zap, was Shade not the second to come? I believe Devra came first, asking that you kill the dark lich. Shade never asked for your aid, as you had to stop his murder within the sacred marsh. It would seem this mortal believes that Shade is still of Bane’s name.”
Zyx looked up, noticing the new name.
“So he has changed his name again? May I ask you who Devra is?”
Zap sank into the soil, pulling Zyx below the surface with him. They landed within an alcove, the mud sealing into a hard core. The ground was hard, though Zyx assumed it had been mud prior to Zap’s modifications. Zap leaned back against the hard mud.
“Devra is a conjurer who was wronged by the original Shade. She seeks vengeance upon him. However, Shade is more powerful than her. She only lives because of her desire. The odds have grown against her however, due to Shade gaining the blessing of the fay. She has decided to gain the aid of your faction. You may choose now which path you wish to follow, lending aid to your blood brother who you have been commissioned to slay, or lending aid to the slaying of your blood brother.”
“How do you know of this?”
“My sources are within the fibres of the universe. However, my question’s answer still remains unknown to you.”
Zyx continued frowning.
“I care not for Shade, I will aid in his slaying.”
Zap cackled softly.
“Then it is decided, you are to aid Shade in surviving this time while wishing to slay him.”
Zyx began to display her fury as she came to feel herself flung through the dirt, and wisped simply as an entity towards the field where Shade travelled in inner conflict.
Nelzlyn stood at the top of Darlz Spire, fatigued by her training. Fier stood behind her, unable to do the task he had assigned. Within a short period, she had learned how to learn. Staring into the dark clouds, she could feel every vibe which flowed through her, lending her power. Her amulet had charred her skin, radiating the heat it could not consume. Nelzlyn took her amulet, offering it to the vibes which swarmed about. The amulet grew in brightness, burning at her hands’ flesh. Focussing all her powers into the amulet, a bolt of lightning struck down upon the amulet. The amulet shattered, embedding itself into its wielder. Fier stepped back as Nelzlyn was engulfed in flames, which vanished within the very moment they came.
Shade stepped back as a figure fell in front of him. He looked down upon the figure and quickly recognized it as the mercenary who had made a blood pact with him. He knelt down, helping his blood sister stand.
“What has brought you here?”
The mercenary was confused, but quickly reoriented herself.
“Zap sent me here.”
The mercenary began to focus on Shade, and held back a moment of panic.
“I had hoped to be done with that mancer, he proved to be of no use. It’s a shame really, he has such power. What is your name?”
Shade rested himself upon his scythe, deciding to unravel this new event.
“My name is Zyx.”
Shade could sense that Zyx was quite uncomfortable.
“What is the reason Zap has sent you here?”
Zyx looked into Shade’s hollow eyes.
“Zap sent me here to aid you in surviving.”
Shade’s bony jaw slanted slightly.
“What fate has that foul wretch left me with?”
Zyx looked away slightly, set off by the anger of Shade.
“I do not know why Zap has sent me here, I suspect I have less choice than you.”
Shade decided that he had looked into the event enough, and continued walking on.
“If Zap chooses that you are to aid me, I suspect that must be so. However, I bind you only to that of your oath.”
Devra sat across from Demur. She had taken time to rest from her planar walks and reach out to find Shade.
“You plan to crush the bones of Shade with that mace? What enchantments have you placed upon it?”
Demur looked up from his mace, he was packaging it for the hunt.
“It does not have any, the enchantments which will matter are that which I will lay upon the lich. This is simply a mace of fine craft, an art which has been forgotten as more have come to think that enchantments are what creates a good weapon.”
Devra frowned, trying to understand how the mace was of fine craft.
“You might have to know Shade’s name when the time comes. The name lich won’t be accepted, I also suggest you understand that simple iron won’t defeat his soul.”
Demur sighed as he opened the door, prepared to leave the spire and travel with nature once again.
“Hence I am to hex the foul wretch.”
Devra walked by Demur, taking note of his confidence.
Gratz sat across from Fier, preparing a message to be sent to ANecro and XMancers.
“Demur and Devra have left to find Shade, which is the new name of Bane. I hear Nelzlyn has successfully absorbed the potential to master pyromancy. She has quite a will, and it would seem that her innate abilities are not set against her. Your comments?”
Fier smirked, looking at Gratz.
“Yes, it was quite the sight. I have yearned all my life to be capable of such things. She has entered rapid teaching with the council, there is nothing more I can teach her. Perhaps I may be of service with Demur and Devra?”
Fier sat back against his chair, done with the exhausting task of teaching Nelzlyn.
“Demur and Devra left this morning, you may easily reach them at Lorz, if you leave now.”
Shade walked a few metres ahead of Zyx, walking towards a group of stones in the distance. He questioned how much Zap was controlling the situation. Zap could choose what happened, but why? He had no desire, and so his choices would likely be unmade. But if Zap truly had no desire, then why was he doing what he was doing? Such questions could not be answered, and Shade questioned if perhaps Zap himself knew not what he desired. He looked back at Zyx, she had decided to follow him. Perhaps she was waiting for the next encounter he had with Market Mancers. She would likely not keep her oath of blood once Shade could not lay vengeance upon her.
Shade looked ahead again, and found that the stones he had thought were in sight seemed ordered. Shade continued on, suspecting some hermit had taken them as shelter. He felt for another, though found nothing. Soon enough, he had come close enough to see the other, though still could not sense them. As the two reached the cube of stones, a bald monk sat within. He was looked at them, though his body remained still.
Shade looked at the monk, trying to pry into its mind. He was frustrated at the monk’s transparency.
The monk looked away, staring again into the field.
“Why is it you have come here?”
Shade looked at the monk, who was no longer looking at him.
“We are travelling.”
The monk gave the slightest nod, horizontally.
“I asked not the lich.”
Shade looked towards Zyx, who looked towards the monk, who looked towards the horizon.
“I have been left with Shade, by a chaosmancer.”
The monk gave the slightest nod, vertically.
“Chaos has sent you, and I must therefore oblige.”
Fier sat across from Devra and Demur. The place they had chosen to rest at was simple, they had rented a pile of hay for their wooden cubicle. Each sat at a corner of the room.
“Where do you plan to find Shade?”
Devra looked up at Fier.
“Zap left him in a field to north, we’re heading there to meet him.”
Demur glanced at Fier.
“Devra is doing this commission for free, what’s your price?”
Fier looked over at Demur.
“I was one of the first to be enlisted, and I’m registered with Market Mancers in exchange for free tuition. I wasn’t a natural, so I had to pay. When I was young, my home of poverty was burnt. I could have stopped it if I had known pyromancy, as it was only a small fire. What brought you to join the Vigil Eye, and be exiled?”
Demur leaned his head back, and sighed.
“I joined as a vigilant, angered by the lack of law from where I came. They accepted me, and I was eventually exiled when I showed mercy for a foe, though I had already become a vigilante amongst the vigilantes. They couldn’t stand to have weakness in their elitism. Exiled from them, I still hold my pact of confidentiality.”
Demur looked over to Devra.
“Conjuring is an odd profession, I figure now may be the right time to ask about such a peculiarity.”
Devra looked to the opposing corner, which was the one free corner.
“I was taught by Shade. My father was his pupil. He sacrificed my father to become a dark lich. After killing my mother, he adopted me for my power.”
Demur leaned his head off the wall, and looked at Devra again.
“So that’s why you joined this commission for free. It all makes sense now.”
Demur and Fier followed Devra. Devra followed the vibes. Demur’s mancy masked detection from Shade. All three were confused by the apparent area of Shade, a desolate plain. All three felt that the final conflict was near.
Shade stood beside the monk, in silence. The monk finally looked towards Shade. Shade felt an emptiness, and realized that Shade was no longer in contact with him.
“You have an order to your life, and for that I respect. But why is it you strive for power, Klarth?”
Shade looked back, his mind clamping as it tried to find the hole the monk had exploited.
“How is it you know my name of birth?”
The monk looked towards the sun, his eyes unblinking.
“Time is order. I ask you still, why is it you strive for power, Klarth?”
Shade looked into the plains.
“Why is it you must ask? Could you not simply retrieve the answer yourself?”
The monk looked into the plains with Shade.
“I want you to tell me. I want you to know.”
Shade looked at the monk.
“I never had control. As a child I found I had a natural ability in necromancy and I witnessed its power. I wanted that power, and the more I found the power the more I found control.”
The monk looked towards Shade again, his pale eyes locking with Shade’s dark eyes.
“Why is it you strive for power, Bane?”
Shade looked down, wondering. By time he had earned the name of Bane, he had control of his life.
“I wanted more control. I wanted others to know I had power, and know I would punish any.”
The monk looked away from Shade, back towards the plains.
“You already could do so by time you had become Bane, why is you strive for power, Bane?”
Bane looked at the monk, and wondered.
“I don’t know.”
The monk’s posture didn’t change.
Shade looked at the plains again, wondering. Silence settled.
“I wanted to challenge the universe, I wanted to challenge life and death. I wanted to defeat the very essence of existence.”
The monk looked towards the sun.
“Why is you strive for power, Shade?”
Shade looked down again.
“I no longer strive for power. All I wish for is already found. I have defeated life and death, and know that to defeat the essence of existence would require defeating myself.”
The monk nodded.
“As a lich, you have been exiled from society. When Devra comes, she will not face you. She will face Shade. Go now Bane.”
Bane looked down, feeling enlightened.
“What shall I strive for?”
The monk looked at Bane.
“Essence. What of it you find, is of your responsibility.”
Bane nodded, and began to travel further into the plains. The monk turned back, heading towards the cube.
Shade lashed out in anger, feeling the solid mind of the monk’s barrier.
‘Why is you cage me?’
‘You are due for the final conflict. Resolution cannot be met without you.’
Devra stopped, noting the cube in the distance. Demur and Fier also noticed it.
“Shade is there.”
The three moved forwards, and as they approached the cube their minds left their vessels.
The monk released Shade with Zyx, and vanished. Devra sensed Shade, and sent a wave of power against him. Zyx received the wave. Zyx focused her energy and struck out at Demur. Demur diverted the force and it struck Fier. Fier hesitated to strike Zyx and was slain by Shade. Devra attempted to flux the plane into removing the bondage between Shade and Zyx, only to find it ordered into a solid form. Demur lashed at Shade and brought death upon Zyx. Shade struck at Devra, who channelled the force into the plane’s fabric so to destroy its confinement. Demur attempted to banish Shade, but found himself countered out of the plane.
‘I always wanted to slay you.’
The plane collapsed under the massive force of Shade and Devra’s final strike, resolving their conflict.
Anae Day=Instead of a 12 or 24 hour clock, days are in percentage. So 12h0 would be 50 and 24h0 would be 100
Alkar A town which was near Bane’s Manor
Alzma/O An omnimancer who was associated with Market Mancers. He earned his name simply for living past the age of 40 while maintaining his studies. O became a monk of order, and cut his ties with Market Mancers once he met Shade
Azlay A town which Bane used to distract Market Mancers
ANecro A faction against necromancy
Burning Flames A reference book about pyromancy, written by Darlz
Darlz Founder of Darlz Spire, Darlz is respected by many well being member of many jokes through his foolish death of over dosing on vibes
Darlz Spire Made by Darlz the pyromancer, it is located in a powerful source of pyrovibes in a crevice within two mountains which is covered in thunder clouds constantly. The foolish Darlz would be remembered after for his great monument, and a lesson to the consequences of living in a vibe. This spire also holds the headquarters of Market Mancers
Demur Rumed An exiled paladin, Demur Rumed is one who had lost his honour. His greed for wealth and sense of moral clashed with the other paladins to the point of exile. Demur Rumed soon registered with Market Mancers, a unique profession for a mercenary allowed him to have highly priced commissions. His slight teachings in mancy were of banishing necromancers, healing minor wounds and creating mentalic barriers
Devra A conjurer who lived only do have Shade dead. Her hate for the dark lich came from when Shade taught her father. During the teachings, Shade used her father to attain the being of a dark lich, killing his pupil in the process. When Shade came as a dark lich, he took Devra as a slave after slaying her mother. Under his teachings, she learned conjuring until she discovered her parent’s murder in his records. When she confronted him, he punished her with torture and left her to lay in pain. Risking her life to save it, she transferred herself into a pocket dimension. She soon learned of Shade’s other deeds under the teachings of ANecro and set off for vengeance
Dram/Fier An elder pyromancer, he would earn his name when accepted into the council
Gratz One of the owners of Market Mancers, Gratz successfully sustained the stock market
Grog A giant frog which grows ten times larger then its counter part. Grogs are known to die of cancer
Klarth Fang/Bane/Shade A natural dark necromancer who gained his name simply for his power, his potential was not ignored by Shade. He would later become a dark lich by merging with Shade’s soul, and change his name accordingly
Lorz A town near Darlz Spire
Lyle A member of XMancers, Lyle was taught in mentalics and curses
Manor of Bane The manor in which Bane resided until leaving to become a dark lich, it was created to hold off raids
Market Mancers A faction which sold services and supplies. Based in Darlz Spire, many pyromancers worked with Market Mancers
Nelson Secretary of Market Mancers
Nelzlyn A pupil of Bane, Nelzlyn valued nothing more then knowledge
Oliver Vernin A merchant who supplied XMancers
Regenerative Decay A ritual used to transfer one’s body to that of a lich. Frowned upon by the greater half of society, it was buried beneath the shadows
Reis Zol Having discovered the Zol Marsh and attempting to found a village in the area to exploit the grogs, Reis had to cancel due to disease
Slorm A member of ANecro, Slorm would die while battling Shade with mentalics
Tomb of Shade The tomb in which Shade lay in death until Bane merged with him, it held Shade’s infamous equipment
Vibes A source of power for mancers, vibes are another genre of potential energy. Their classifications are merely in the way they are encrypted to the minds of people, so that using them for another genre of mancy would require their conversion
Vigil Eye The faction which taught the ways of a paladin. The Vigil Eye kept many documents within secrecy, including the exorcism of liches
Xavier Manager of XMancers, Xavier was a master of mentalics and curses. She believed in the theory that vibes were a source of life
XMancers A faction against mancy, they made a temporary exception in strictness while working with ANecro and Market Mancers
Zap A chaosmancer who had dealt with Market Mancers in the past. Spontaneous and known to cause mischief, Zap quickly isolated himself within the Zol Marsh. Zap gained his name when he was able to wipe someone from existence with a bolt of lightning
Zol Marsh Found by Reis Zol, it homes the grogs
Zyx Head of contracts, Zyx’s largest and well known commission was the assassination of Bane