And The Dead Keep It

U-Selekma.pngU’Selekma awakens from afternoon meditation in the Temple. Barudalan, his senior Ramen bodyguard approaches, “Holiness, what is the matter? Your brow Holiness.” The Ramen pulls a linen cloth from a pouch and swipes the sweat off the Pontiff of Light’s brow.

“Death.”

Thinking he had misunderstood the Ramen asked once again, “Holiness?”

“Death is coming.”

Barudalan was concerned as this was about as ominous as visions came, “What do you remember Holiness?”

”Death is unhappy the Gods of the Church of Light and Dark have not settled their differences and sees war on the horizon. He, Utu, has decided to walk among the mortals and is claiming the island fortress city of Troker as its dominion on this world!”

“What will that mean?” and for once Barudalan was worried having served Isis for just over 103 years.

The Pontiff explained his thoughts and then the vision as he scrawled it upon parchment to an attentive Barudalan. The bishops were about to get no sleep for a long time.

A very long time.


Two souls sat with their backs against the palace of Troker watching the city descend into chaos. Fires, riots, murder, rape, theft, vandalism, anarchy.

“It now all seems so pointless,” the Ogre said to the Minotaur.

“What we do in life, our souls echo to eternity. Nothing is pointless, Kai.”

“Do you think “your adversary” will be able to stop you,” queried the late King Kai bound in his new blackened soul-forged plate armor?

“Had your blow not landed, Kai I would have survived the dagger,” the ghostly form of Zeelik smirked.

“Hrrmph, true but I wonder, if you would have survived “the coward’s” poison upon it,”

“We will never know but tonight begins the purge of this realm.”

“You look ready Zeelik, your soul-hammer should perform well tonight.” King Kai commented with a glance at the obsidian hammer with engraved runes that smoke spilled forth from. Zeelik looked down upon one of the weapons from the Age of Chaos. The other weapon, and axe forged from a demon-lord’s body had been presented to Ca’zan. In the audience chamber of the Palace of Troker, Utu – Lord of the Dead, said that only a wraith, ghost, wandering spirit could wield the weapons.

The Lord of the Dead offered each of them a chance to help remind the Gods of Light and Dark their war would upset the balance of death in the world. The offer was a hundred years of service as a soul collector for Utu. In return for their service each Minotaur would be given a weapon that later became the stock and trade of the demonic Soulhunters! Ca’zan agreed at that moment and Zeelik waited knowing there is always a catch. All you had to do was forsake your god and claim Utu as your lord and master for that century of service. Now the chance to aid their “former” allies came in the form of a game. The Ogre tyrant of Troker, King Kai, was made Utu’s chosen avatar upon Palladium and imbued with a godling’s power! He was given the sword of death which looked like a femur bone. When King Kai gripped it a ghostly blade drew forth and black smoke followed each swing he made. Utu’s avatar would be the judge and final challenge in the contest.

Troker

Ever since the third siege against the Horns of Isis Temple, Utu, had stopped the flow of souls to either side. No resurrection was possible and the gods would not be able to reclaim the souls energy or reincarnate it into a new child being born.

Each night Ca’zan Darkcleaver and Zeelik Soulhammer would venture forth to kill every living creature found within the sea wall of Troker. At night they could interact with the living and be attacked by certain items designed to affect ghosts. Each soul they claimed would be swallowed by their weapons and only King Kai could empty them. The weapons must be emptied daily or risk loosing the souls to oblivion, however, each soul lost to oblivion would empower the warrior for the following night.

Ca’zan Darkcleaver and Zeelik Soulhammer will be unable to attack each other until every soul within the borders of Troker is claimed. Each soul would add to the tally of their soul army.

The religious district is the only safe zone of Troker during the night time. No one may be attacked with the walls surrounding it.

Any death in the religious district will not be allowed to pass from the land of the living until night comes on that day. They may then choose light, dark, servitude, or oblivion at that time. Servitude is for ten years at which point they will be relinquished to their god’s realm. Oblivion is just that and Utu may discard of the soul as he wishes to.

When all the souls are gone and divided among either side only then will Ca’zan Darkcleaver and Zeelik Soulhammer be able to slay the other in single combat, empowered souls from the previous night are allowed and encouraged. The winner gets the souls of the other side!

Should another living soul arrive on the island after a single duel death match. The fallen champion is revived and the battle for souls begins again.

This soul ban and contest shall be lifted when and only when a holy warrior of Isis and Anubis come here and face my avatar. The winner will decide whom gets the souls, the light or the dark. Neither CrIsis nor ReSet may participate. The winner of that fight will not only gain the souls as an army of ghosts for their side but EVERY GHOST since the Elf/Dwarf War will be given over to the victor.

All the gods would be informed that Troker would be claimed by the Lord of the Dead, and the dead keep it.

Ca’zan’s ghostly face had lost much of its luminous glow when Zeelik agreed and swore to forsake Isis for one century on two amendments to the terms. When asked, he requested that first, bodies be removed by Utu and returned for burials to any families, friends, organizations they held faith with. Secondly, all the souls trapped here since the ban went into effect be given the choice as though they had died in the religious district. Utu pondered for a second and agreed to the terms. Zeelik’s ghostly horns turn black as death when he picked up the hammer and his new surname of Soulhammer. Ca’zan had already agreed while he had the axe forged of a fallen demon lord’s body he realized the bargaining power he lost to the younger Paladin of Death.

Zeelik turn to Ca’zan, “Your only hope for redemption of your soul is to loose to me.”

Ca’zan’s spit turned into ectoplasmic vapor, “Anubis will feast upon your soul!”

Zeelik shook his head and walked out mumbling something about ‘only if his champion is smarter than your last quip’ and sat against the palace wall.

The Pontiff knew that if CrIsis did not solve this soon more gods or their minions would begin taking a direct hand in the affairs of mortals. Even in their benevolent actions the loss of life from fanatics, misguided faith, and mis-interpreted desires carried out by fallible beings would mean death to thousands.


 

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