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 The Sons of Seltec

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Dyerdon Sandren
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PostSubject: The Sons of Seltec   Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:17 am

Prologue


I strive for a world full of peace and free of pain... Will I ever succeed? Who knows? If I accomplish that then what would my goals be in life? I'd have none. It has been said that a person is who they are by the sums of their experiences. I find that to be true, and thus sometimes I wish I was not the man that I am today in some sense. If my experiences did not make me who I am today, then many people may still be alive... However many people who are alive today would not be, while others, who I am proud to call friends... No... Family, I never would have met. Again, a person is the sum of their experiences, both good and bad. Seltec, my father's, death was by far the most tragic to me... It blinded me into a quest for vengence. That path led me to this life now, and that realization that life should be held sacred, the world is full of too much hate, too much rage, too much violence, and not nearly enough love, compassion, and charity. Who am I to be one of the majority? For once, let us minorities rule.

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



Dyerdon Sandren started as he heard the gunshots ringing out in the canyon, his feet began moving, carrying him in the direction of the sound. His boots thudding on the sand covered stones. He stumbled seeing the man lying against one of the cliff walls. A crimson flow pouring from his chest. Dyerdon knew the face well, it was so much like his own...

He rushed to his father's side, dropping into the sand beside him, pulling him close. Seltec was the very first man to achieve the rank of G4 amongst the 'Slingers... now... now he was dying. Dyerdon called out to him.

"My... son... you must break... the cycle..." Seltec had coughed, blood coming from hs mouth...

"Who did this?" cried Dyerdon, he'd kill the one responsible, he swore to himself.

"Break... the... cycle..."

"I promise" he told him, not knowing what he meant, a tear dropping onto his father's face "But, I need to know who did this"

"Vy`Don... Blaskus" he said, his breath coming in shorter gasps.

"Where can I find him?"

"Don't,"

"Please, tell me..."

"InterCity..." he gasped once more... his last breath. Dyerdon let out a sob, and sat there, holding his father. An hour later he stood, covered in blood. He looked to the west, seeing his town, that was where Seltec wanted him to go, he knew, to 'break the cycle' whatever that had meant. His eyes moved to the east, nothing but rolling sand dunes, and beyond the horizon he knew was the Walled City, InterCity... Danger to the east, safety and mourning to the west... he knelt beside his father, kissing his forehead and saying a silent prayer, taking his hat and gun he stood... His feet taking him east.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sons of Seltec   Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:25 am

Chapter One


My road was begotten in loneliness. I strove forth, my heart hardened, filled with blackness. My mouth shut, no one to talk to, so why speak? My nights filled with silence, my mind left open to my turmoil and grief of watching my father die. My grief was fast becoming despair. Despair, depression. Depression, anger. Anger, rage. Rage soon became hatred for this man I did not know, this, Vy`Don Blaskus. All these emotions fueled my need and desire for revenge. My road, however, crossed paths with a fellow Gunslinger, an odd one at that with an even stranger companion. Together we could accomplish anything, meet any challenge, climb any obstacle, and defeat any foe. With the help of Antilles Anquilles, a vampire of all things, I learned the gun was not my most powerful weapon in my arsenal. Rather, it was my mind. He also taught me how to live in humor and mirth, and for that I am grateful (besides, it ticked off the enemy). But the final thing he taught me is one that shall forever ring true in my mind, a simple prayer:

"Lead me to the harder right, o Lord, rather than the easier wrong"

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren


He walked in silence, his path surrounded by foes. During the day the harsh sun beat down upon him mercilessly. During the night the air became deathly cold, threatening to freeze him to death. Then there was the constant threat of hunger and thirst, exhaustion, and the ever present denizens of the Gerdan desert. Night came hard, bringing with it one of the many harsh sandstorms that he had seen a lot of lately, as if his father was trying to persuade him to turn aside his quest. It stung his eyes, but he pressed on, constantly going on... Until a yawn left him with a mouthful of sand. He spat it back out, gagging, then sighed, he was tired. He'd need to make a camp. He began to dig himself a hole, he'd climb inside and cover the whole with his poncho he carried with him, it'd keep the sand out, and his body heat would keep him warm during the night. The sandstorm however was intent on making his night miserable... The more he dug the more sand was blown back in.

"You're fightin' a losin' battle, Young Blood!" came a voice, Dyerdon spun to see a man standing calmly beside a great white wolf, the sand did not seem to bother him.

"Gotta least try!" Dyerdon shouted back, turning back to continue digging.

"Good attitude!" answered the man, "I saw ya out here, and was wonderin' if I could get a bite ta eat" he asked Dyerdon.

"I ain't got no food, sorry!"

"But ya got blood, don'tcha...?" he asked... Dyerdon stopped, looking over his shoulder at the man. The man was gone... so was that wolf... He turned quickly, his father's gun coming up into his hand. As he turned he was hit hard with the impact of some 200 lbs of fur and teeth.

"No!" he cried, fearing that he'd be unable to avenge his father's death, since he'd be joining him, but the wolf merely snapped out, snatching the gun from Dyerdon and bounded away. Dyerdon jumped to his feet, that was his father's gun! He turned to give chase, but a strong hand spun him around to look into the face of the man, his fangs glistening in the moonlight as the sandstorm ended...

"I am sorry, but there are not that many creatures out here... I promise, it will not hurt.." he said, moving his face forward...

"Can't say the same for this," answered Dyerdon as his boot connected hard with the vampire's stomach, forcing him to drop him, he kicked out again, the loud crack of his knee echoing in the still silence of the night. The vampire howled in pain as he dropped, Dyerdon rolled sideways, four massive paws slamming into the sand beside him. He kicked out with both feet, sending the wolf into a sudden sidelong roll, then rocked himself forward, noting the glint of silver drop from its mouth, he caught the revolver before it hit the sand, then stood in one motion, firing after the wolf. The wolf darted away, behind one of the many dunes. The vampire tried to move fast, bringing up his own weapon, Dyerdon spun, pointing at him with the revolver, then squeezed the trigger... nothing happened... The weapon betrayed him! It would not fire. The trigger would not be pulled... Then he recalled the nature of the weapon... the equalizer... it would not fire at other 'Slingers... He rose a brow, looking at the vampire who in turn could not fire his weapon...

"Yer a 'Slinger?" he asked... The vampire nodded... Then something hit Dyerdon, not physically, but emotionally, his heart softened. He moved to the vampire, holstering his gun. His despair at a possible futile chase for revenge hanging ominously over him. "Then make it quick" he said, dropping to one knee before the vampire, knowing his blood would heal the broken limb. The vampire shook his head, then pulled Dyerdon into his embrace, his fangs sinking deep into his neck. Dyerdon knew his time was up. But then the vampire pulled away, standing... offering Dyerdon his hand.

"Name's Antilles Anquilles... and I'm like you, I can't go ahead and kill a fellow 'Slinger... beside... wasn't gonna really kill ya anyway... Death is bad business..." he said. Dyerdon took his hand as he saw the wolf rejoin them. "And this is Antioch, my best friend" he finished pulling Dyerdon up, then moved to pet the mighty beast. He felt weak, loss of blood no doubt, he thought.

"Come with me," Dyerdon found himself asking, "To InterCity,"

"Why'd I wanna do that? Cause you gave me a drink?" he asked sliding on a pair of shades.

"No, because a fellow 'Slinger asked ya?" asked Dyerdon, hopeful... There was something about this man that Dyerdon felt was intertwined with his own fate.

"Okay" said Antilles, grinning widely, Dyerdon knew at that point, that the rest of his life was about to change forever.
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PostSubject: Re: The Sons of Seltec   Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:00 pm

Ramblings


I marvelled in the concept of Antilles's and Antioch's relationship, a vampire and a wolf, what an odd pairing. He had found Antioch alone and near death in Novard, the harsh winter threatening to take the young pup. Antilles's being the man he was had risked life and limb to scale down the steep cliff face, and pull him free, climbing back up. For an animal? I found that ridiculous at first, until I realized that it was not for an animal, rather than a living creature... Life is sacred... ~All~ life. I realized this more when I came across a grall village, and seen the wild horse there, a black beauty, something that would haunt my dreams for many night afterwards... The grall could not tame her, no matter how hard they tried. She was a creature who could not be caged, she wanted to be free. I found myself coming back, and this time I asked for her. They would not give her to me, she was too wild. I did not want to tame her though, and she sensed this... I wanted her to be free. Finally the chieftan agreed to allow me to take her, on one condition... She was owned by his son, and his son would not give him up therefore I would have to issue the Challenge. These gralls seemed more tribal than most. I agreed, that was a my bad... Gralls are very fierce, very agressive warriors. This was hand to hand, I was good with a gun, but to fight a grall is to taste your own blood for the next few weeks following. Antilles seemed to have a good laugh at my expense. I never stood a chance, but the grall also found it funny. He could have killed me if he wished, though I knew Antilles and Antioch would have prevented that, but he nodded, and said that the horse was to be released. Broken and battered I limped from the camp, to hear her hooves beating behind me... she followed me right up to the gates of Inter. I finally grew to realize that she trusted me, that we had the same wild spirit. She still haunts my dreams, and I am glad that her and I are as one, not as rider and horse, but as friends... She is NightMare.

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren






At long last, the city stood before me... no, before us, Antilles, Antioch, NightMare and myself. The great walls, the grey air hanging like a omen of the darkness that lived within. My first taste of the evils in the world, my first taste of betrayal and wickedness, aside from my father's murder. I wore the same grin that Antilles always wore, the grin that became my trademark later in life. We entered the gates, with hope though, a hope to make a difference, that difference in my eyes would be the death of Vy`Don Blaskus, who in my blinded state was the cause of all this evil. With his death then the light would shine through, oh how ignorant I was... Blissful ignorance... May I never regain that, for then I was no better than he... Even the dimmest of lights shall break the darkness... I pray now that peace will rule out.

~from the journal of Dyerdon Sandren






I heard of this group called the police... An interesting concept really, they arrested criminals for wicked deeds done, rather than kill them like a 'Slinger did. So we went to them, figuring they might help me find Vy`Don Blaskus. I was wrong. Their cheif of police was not exactly helpful, Razor said that if I wanted to do something about his supposed crimes I could always join the force... And what the hey, sounded good to me. Though I didn't know the length of Blaskus's reach. Razor knew him, perhaps too well. I took to calling him Dull, a habit that I still retain, I can't call people by their names anymore, thus Antilles became 'Skeeter'. I served on the ICPD for a total of one full year...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren







Ah, the extent of the evil and corruption in the city. I followed a lead that led me to Vy`Don Blaskus... I had not seen him, but I found out he worked for this person known only as Slayer. I investigated further and found out that Slayer was linked to the military in some way. I was becoming pretty good in solving the smaller crimes in the city, but this one was well hidden with bribes and blackmail. I would not be swayed. I finally realized that the link to the military was Slayer's favorite toy, the VHG, the Vampire Hunter's Guild. I feared for Antilles on that one, but that also explained why my father was killed... King Dryien of Gerdan despised my father, for he would not succumb to his will, and he was a friend to most of the old super soldiers. Vampires hid regularly in our home. When I killed the one who murdered Seltec, then I'd hunt down Dryien himself, and paint his palace walls with his blood...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren







Chapter Two


There was a moment in life that I was not sure as to who I was, or why I was here. My father was murdered, and I had great friends by my side now... that was why I was here, and my friends made me who I was. But how long would that last. The day I met Vy`Don Blaskus face to face was the day I realized not that long at all...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



He didn't know what had happened, he was still upset with the dismissal of Razor. Slayer's man had murdered his father, justice had to be done. But then the air around him had exploded with what seemed like a nest of angry hornets, zipping past them. Antilles and Dyerdon dove for cover, coming up, their own weapons in hand. A bullet ripped through one man's eye, he screamed in agony as he dropped. Dyerdon froze for a moment, just a moment, he had never killed a man before... The feeling sickened him, but he quickly made his resolve, Vy`Don and Dryien had to die. Standing he saw another man moving fast, his movements so much like his own. Antilles screamed for him even as Antioch ripped another man's throat out. Antilles thrashed about, his flesh smoking from the bullet that had found his chest. The bullet laced with the Black Jack toxin. He turned to see the other man coming at him... Knew this was Vy`Don himself. He stood quickly, coming up, his revolver an inch from his opponent, whose black revolver was the same, each aiming at the other's head... Each looking into their own face....

"Trevor?" gasped Dyerdon. His brother looked equally surprised.

"Dy... what are you doing here?" asked Trevor... Vy`Don Blaskus.. the man who killed Seltec... His own father!

"I came to kill Vy`Don Blaskus... You.. How could you?"

"Easy... like this" Dyerdon knew the implications of those words, and moved around, his weapon coming up as he bent at the waist and twisted sideways, the bullet from Vy`Don's weapon going off harmlessly into the night. Dyerdon's bullet grazing the side of Vy`Don's face. A foot caught Dyerdon in the chest sending him sprawling onto his back, as he caught the glimpse of his brother holding the side of his head, blood dripping through his fingers... Their job done, he turned and fled with the rest of the VHG soldiers.

When Dyerdon finally regained the wind knocked out of him and stood he rushed to Antilles's side... there beside the charred and disfigured corpse lay Antioch, covered in the blood of many enemies, and riddled with bullet holes... Antilles and Antioch had been one in life, thus now, they were one in death... Dyerdon said a prayer over them.

"Rest in peace friends, and help lead me to the harder right, rather than the easier wrong," he whispered... He was once again alone in a city that did not care... No, not alone... there was still NightMare...
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PostSubject: Re: The Sons of Seltec   Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Chapter Three
The Ragenar War

The city had grown on me, and I have came to learn many valuble lessons... Trevor was lost to us, but he was my brother, despite the depth of his crime I could forgive him. But he still had to come into justice. I had gone to Razor about Vy`Don again, when he had denied me that once more I went straight to the media. They put them all into hiding, and I was removed from the force. I remember leaving the PD when the first wave hit. The sky went dark, the roars of the great zombie dragons reverberating off the city's walls, the groans coming from outside told of the invaders' desire to enter. We had gone to war, much like the battle of Pearl Harbor from the days of Old Earth... We had not expected it, but still it came, and I did all that I could that day...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



The cries of the wounded and dying filled his ears, the sky filled with the flying creatures. His revolver was a blur, his hand working the hammer while the other worked the trigger, the creatures taking many grazing wounds before going on their way. Then he saw two men, standing near the wall one man directing troops, the other seemed to be defending the other... The one barking orders he recognized as General John Stranycz, he would not yield though, despite his usual bigoted opinions and actions, he was defending the city he had claimed to want fall. Dyerdon moved toward him as the wall began to crumble, the other man called out to the General, leaping into him, the two rolled away even as the wall exploded. The hordes gaining their foothold. The General stood quickly beside the other man, a great war hammer in his hands. With a wild swing several of the undead creatures scattered from the blow.

"Jerad! Are you alright? Still alive?" he called to his guard.

"Roger, sir... a little banged up..." came the reply. A blade cleaved a zombie in half before it reached the General. "But I've suffered worse," said the other man. Jerad Novain, grinned widely at the face of adversity, a sword in one hand, a sub machine gun in the other. The General offered a small chuckle as the second weapon turned several zombies into a pile of steaming, decomposing flesh. Despite their mirth, they were greatly outnumbered, and Dyerdon knew the outcome.

"To the Church of Light! They're our only hope!" called the General, Jerad nodded then began heading toward the church, he stopped when he realized the General was not following... Dyerdon watched in surprise... the General had been a dark sinister man, but now, seeing him, he saw the change, the light! He had just tricked Jerad into fleeing so he could set up his plan with out harming him... The grenade dropped between his feet with a clank... The explosion ripped through the air, the wall falling farther, creating a great hole. When the smoke cleared Dyerdon and Jerad stood side by side, holding their breath... Bodies littered the ground where the explosion had gone off, the General's included... Jerad said a small prayer, and Dyerdon joined him. The war was far from over, it had just begun, but then Dyerdon realized the extent of his path. That even the most wicked of people could be changed for the better.




Four Lights unto Darkness


Once again I found myself alone, against a tide of pitch darkness. What was I to do against such odds? Fall back into my despair and depression? No, I would strive forward, a lone figure, a single light amongst the waves of blackness that ran and ruled the city. I had lost so much, my father, Antilles, and Antioch... and as far as I was concerned the man that had been Trevor Sandren, my own brother, was dead. All killed by one man, Vy`Don Blaskus. I swore that I'd not let my heart feel again, but I did not know the depths of which he could find, to still hurt my fragile heart.

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



They moved to the Church, back to back. The chaos running rampant in the city. Jerad swore, falling backwards, thus pushing Dyerdon into a roll, the two came back up kneeling, each aiming in opposite directions. A huge monster of decaying flesh and bone roared loudly as it flew low overhead. They stood after it turned in its flight, with another teeth jarring roar, heading toward the location that everyone seemed to be heading to, the Church of Light. The two men paused looking up at the human-like shadow on the Church's spire... The undead dragon circling it. The dragon swooped down, its great maw gaping wide. The figure brought its arm up, and a burst of light flew forth from the outstretched hand. The dragon stopped in midflight, thrashing violently from the sudden torrent of energy. Then the figure snapped its hand down. The dragon began falling, tumbling toward the now already screaming crowd below. Then it just exploded... Not violently like one would expect from such a great creature, but just as if a strong wind hit a pile of ash. It sprinkled harmlessly down upon the people. Several more of the undead creatures circled overhead, but upon seeing the spectacle, decided that there had to be easier prey in the city... The figure vanished for but a moment, then reappeared before the crowd, calling for order. Dyerdon froze, she was beautiful... A member of the CoL, and judging by her demeanor, the way she directed the crowd into the Church calmly, she was their head... A slow smile crept upon his face, as he recalled the many nights back in Gerdan, with the women in that town...




The first member of the Church of Light I had met was not what I had expected. Not at all. I had thought of the old priests, in the long flowing robes... Not the exotic beauty that was HugsGM. I had gone toward her, forgetting the chaos around us. I wanted to get to know her a just a little... But before I could reach her a woman stepped in front of me calling my name... I stopped, looking at her, and what I saw came to me as a bit more then just a simple surprise, it was outright shock. My mother. The town had been flattened by the armies of Ragenar as they advanced through Gerdan, and I needed to go, Seltec needed me... That threw me. I tried to explain to her that he was not among the living anymore, and she told me she knew, but I should go to the Sandren Tomb, the place that held the final resting place of every Sandren that had been worthy of the title, 'Hero'. I was still confused however, but I agreed to go investigate. I turned to leave, NightMare by my side, she'd carry me to hell if she had to...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren





The tomb was open to him, blackness leaking out into the burning day. The city far behind him, the desert all around, and the great stone tomb yawning ominously before him. Saying a silent prayer he entered. The tomb stank of evil, the forces of Ragenar defiling the crypt. Several Sandrens had lay scattered on the ground near a single tomb, which seemed untouched by time. The fallen Sandrens had been filled with fresh bullet holes in their decaying corpses. With trembling hands he moved to the tomb, reaching out slowly, he grasped the stone cover, pushing the lid forward... A loud click resounded in the crypt as the twin barrel of a small handgun came up aimed at Dyerdon's head... Seltec's eyes widened in surprise, as did Dyerdon.

"You returned?" he asked. Dyerdon staggered back in reply.

"M-mom said you... you needed me..." he stammered as Seltec lowered the weapon and slowly sat up.

"Did she?" he seemed to smirk, then he nodded. "I do..." he sighed at that. "Look at me, Dy!" he cried finally, "I seek rest, this unlife cannot grant me... The Dark Lord Nezalian has come here himself... He dominated me, all of us... but when he left to return to Ragenar I was freed... the others turned on me," he finished motioning to those fallen. Dyerdon was suprised at his father's resilience, and power within his heart.

"You want me to kill this Nezalian?" he asked him, still unnerved with the fact that he was talking to his dead father...

"I want you to find a way to free me... Please... That may be the only way... but fear not.. you shant be alone,"

Dyerdon nodded for a moment... he knew better... he was always alone. He turned to walk out but paused.

"When you died... you told me to break the cycle... I have no idea what that meant..." he said not turning around. He could hear Seltec's sigh.

"I wanted it to end with you..." he whispered, "Its a family curse, Dy... The Sandren's have always been born twins... One somehow always faded into darkness... And killed their parents... The other would hunt the first down, and kill him... only to someday have twins of his own. Then the cycle would begin anew..." Dyerdon turned to look at Seltec.

"I swore to honor your death... And that I shall..." said Dyerdon, Seltec's eyes lowered in a profound sadness. "I could not kill my own brother... Nor shall I now... I will honor you, by doing that which you asked of me..." and with that Dyerdon spun, walking back out into the burning desert sand.




NightMare was becoming fast exhausted on that journey into the desert, as I rode her hard toward Ragenar's borders. The land of the dead. Yet I did not fear, for I had nothing to fear for. Nothing to live for. The Dark Lord Nezalian was my newest goal. I didn't know exactly who, or what he was, but I could make out the extent of his massing armies from the last sand dune, looking to the border and seeing the great battle fought there... The King Dryien, had pushed back the horde and was trying to hold them at the border in vain. I rode in hard and fast, diving off NightMare as my bullets found the undead. The I came up, face to face with a man I had sworn to kill...

~From the of journal Dyerdon Sandren



Dryien looked at Dyerdon oddly, the gunslinger had flown off his horse, rolling across the ground and then had come up, that gun in his hand pointing it at Dryien's head. Soldiers surrounded him, while more fighting continued.

"Who dares speak my name without title or fear?" he growled at the man.

"Dyerdon Sandren, Son of Seltec!" he called back at him. Dryien rocked back on his heels... Seltec's son? A wicked grin soon replaced the shock, his hand came up.

"Well met then... Say hello to your father for me..." he began to say... The ground seemed to explode beneath them, sending them flying in several directions. Dyerdon and Dryien lay side by side... Staring up at the towering form of the great sandworm. They could barely make out the form sitting on its back.

"Enough!" came a female voice. Dyerdon turned his head to notice a beautiful woman walking toward them, her auburn locks barely covering her delicately pointed ears that showed her half-elven heritage, her dark tan was further proof that Gerdan was her home. Beside her was a tall man, a human, a sword in each hand, both covered with black ichor, and a strange pouch that wrapped about his left bicep. "There'll be no fighting amongst the living, not while Raganer is knocking at our door," she finished, then glanced back over her shoulder. The sandworm lowered its head, allowing the other form to hop onto the ground. The creature went back into the ground as Dyerdon stood. The man was some seven feet tall, a half-elf himself, with striking blue eyes, and wearing a heavy black cloak. A spear in his one hand... The man radiated with raw power in this place. Dryien snarled a reply, but the man with the swords stepped forward, his eyes shining with a bright green flame. Dryien, despite his power took a few steps back. He apparently knew these three, and feared them. Dyerdon glared across the short expanse of sands at him.

"This ain't finished..." he said to him. The king growled back his answer.

"Not by a long run, Son of Seltec..." with that statement the three paused, looking at Dyerdon.

"Son of Seltec?" asked the man with the swords.

"I thought you were in the city..." said the woman.

"I had my reasons to come back..." answered Dyerdon, the other man said nothing.

"We had planned to seek you out when we learned that your father's tomb had been defiled, but we had been busy pushing them back." began the swordsman.

"I am Lacey AcOula," said the woman, she pointed to the man who had stood beside her, "This is Neiko Jaxon," and then she pointed to the seven foot tall man who had not spoken a single word, "And that is PerVonus Drek," she finished with a slight bow. The king's eyes narrowed dangerously watching the exchange. Then Neiko spoke.

"We had gone to your town to find Seltec, we thought that a man of his stature could aid us in this time of troubles... We arrived too late, the armies had already marched through..."

"We prepare to push the armies of Ragenar back to their source," continued Lacey. "Right up to the gates of the ones responsible..."

"His name is Nezalian," answered Dyerdon, holstering his weapon, "And I need to kill him..." at his proclaimation the other three looked back to each other, then to him.

"How-?" began Lacey, Dyerdon held up a hand to cut her off.

"Long story, darlin'" he replied, "Long story"




The Fearless Four... What better name to describe four fools who would blindly charge death's gate? Neiko had called us the Gerdanian Four at one time, and I laughed and told him that it made us sound like a buncha push over, wussy boys like the VHG, or worse... Slayer! Who I had heard began to make a group called the Slayer's Six... How original... No, we became the Fearless Four. A human swordsman, a half-elven beauty... a thief... a human Gunslinger, and a half-elven Earthmancer, plodding forth into the coming wave of millions of blood-thirsty dead monstrosities... It was insanity to go forward, when our minds begged us to go back. Even PerVonus's ride, that great sandworm had the sense of mind to get outta there. But no... we had to do this. Myself, for my father... Neiko and Lacey had witnessed their own home decimated... And PerVonus? I learned he could not speak... he had such raw power within him that his vocal chords had never really developed. But over time I became close to this silent man, I took to calling 'Rocks' due to his ability with nature. I learned to read his thoughts so to speak, I could understand what he meant with a simple look, a nod, or a rolling of the eyes that I was becoming accustomed to. The undead horde was an affront to nature. While death brought about rebirth this undeath brought more death, and destruction. PerVonus would not allow this to continue, so he joined them. And then I to followed... Perhaps if it had been allowed by Fate we would have added more to our numbers, but Fate has been unkind to the Four, but that is another story. We continued on... undaunted by the endless horde that continued to block our way... But I remember that day... the day we finally found Nezallian's tower....

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



The tower stood before them, a plight upon a plight. Ragenar's desolate black land housing a darker tower. The grounds about it swarming with the great battle that raged on. A silver beast flew through the air, raining fire and destruction on the horde of undead monstrosities that ambled toward the ground force. A lone woman waded through the mass, sword leading the way as the other living creatures roared out their warcry. Dyerdon froze, he had heard of these people in InterCity... The Guardians. XenoDragon the leader of the group was the silver dragon, flying over the battlefield raining destruction. The woman was Wander, his second in command. The Guardians had taken the fight from the city... but how had they gotten here before them? He wondered... Then the four began moving, the ground trembling from PerVonus's power. A bolt struck one of the creatures in the head, from Lacey's crossbow, causing it to tumble backwards even as Neiko launched himself into the throng of undead. Bodies flying everywhere. Then came the horse... NightMare launching herself right beside Neiko, spinning, two zombies coming face to... well... foot really... with the black mare. Two hooves smashing into the decaying flesh of their faces sending them flying backwards in a crumbled heap of flesh and bone. Dyerdon leveled his weapon even as she spun, black ichor spraying from another monster's forehead... He hadn't the time for this... Nezalian was right in that tower... he knew it. He could sense it. NightMare reared up, then brought her hooves down, crushing the unlife from anything unlucky enough to stand before her. Another round sent a skeleton spiraling into its comrades. The doors slowly began to open, a wave of darkness seemed to swarm from the opening, and wrap around them.

"You are fools, to think you can contend with ~the~ Dark Lord" came a voice, that Dyerdon knew could only belong to this Nezalian. The creatures that had already fallen before them slowly began to rise again, pressing their attack, forcing them to fall back. Their blows no longer caused any harm. Wicked laughter ehcoed throughout the battlefield. Wander's sword cleaved through a former orc, it still stood.
Xeno sent down a column of silver fire upon a small group of them. They still stood... NightMare spun kicking two of the creatures in the face sending them flying backwards shattering bones, and ripping flesh. Yet they came back to their feet. Dyerdon unloaded his weapon at point blank range in the face... It only staggered back. The only person who fell anything was PerVonus Drek... The mute, half-elven shamen closed his eyes the ground trembling violently... A stone pillar erupted from the ground, slamming into the horde, crushing them. Their bones shattered, and while they still lived they were out of the fight. Then Dyerdon saw him... coming from the door stood a shadow. Two glowing red spheres standing out against the darkness. This was him... Nezalian... The man... could he be called that? The man who held his father in an unholy unlife... He cracked the cylinder dropping the shells, then snapped in the new rounds in one fluid motion. He took aim then fired. Everything seemed to happen at once, the spray of crimson blood from his own arm, the vertigo as the impact threw him from his mount. The dust shrouded his eyes as he hit the blasted ground, the excruciating pain causing him to scream out. He could barely make out the crimson mark on his forearm, and the sound of Nezalian's laughter as he faded into darkness...




When I finally awoke I found myself in more pain then I had ever known, my coat had been removed to allow access to my arm, where my own bullet had pierced through the leather and flesh, muscle and then finally stopped at bone. One of Nezalian's spells prevented me from healing, and a black rotting effect began to form around the wound. Lacey tended it the best she could, while Neiko continued a screaming tirade at the steel door. Apparently Nezalian had thrown us into a dungeon deep in his tower. The severe earthquakes told me that PerVonus was trying to break us out, but to no avail. Only something with an inhuman strength could break through there... Little did I know, one such was with us...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



Neiko glanced back at Dyerdon, then muttered a silent curse. He was only getting worse. He slammed a fist against the door again, screaming for any to hear.

"Give 'em back! I swear, in about ten minutes ya won't be happy, cause I won't be happy..." he growled at the door when no answer was forthcoming, then punched the door again. They had taken the bandolier from his arm... The bandolier that held the syringes he needed... If he didn't have it, then the other two, PerVonus, and Dyerdon would know... Too late... he hissed a curse at the door, Dyerdon was too far gone from the pain, and all PerVonus could do was try his best to heal the festering wound. Lacey glanced up to see Neiko as it happened... First his clothing began to tear... then he clenced his eyes shut... the pain... God the pain... His eyes snapped open again as the world seemed to swirl before him, finally exploding into a myriad of reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and blues... The colors fell into the shapes of those around him. He could feel the coarse hair sprouting from his thickening skin, the fangs lengthening in his mouth. The room was bright... But nonetheless... Neiko Jaxon was who he had always been again... a mutant... Albeit hidden in human form to most, save those who knew him. Now he was a massive gorilla-like beast, with huge claws and fangs... the door was like aluiminum foil to his sudden fury... Rage filled his crimson eyes, his muscles bulging as he leaped out into the hallway... The sounds of battle reached Lacey and Pervonus's ears, but was quickly silenced, Neiko soon stood in the doorway.

"The way is clear" he growled. Lacey and Pervonus stood as Neiko approached, despite his massive size, his touch was gentle as he lifted Dyerdon. They'd not leave him behind, even if he were to die. They moved quickly across what passed as a foyer, Neiko practically leading the charge with Dyerdon still atop his broad shoulders as he shattered the bonemold door that stood before him. Dyerdon's eyes opened for a brief moment to see the interior of a great throne room. A battle was being waged beyond it, while the Dark Lord Nezalian himself stood in the center, turning sharply to face them...




I cannot describe the sensation I felt when I gazed upon Nezalian in that moment, there was no fear, only rage, and the incessant drone of his voice within my head. The wound I had bore was festering with his dark power, and he was within me in spirit... He had defiled my father, and now he had dared do such to me... This was now a battle that only I could win...

~From the journal of Dyerdon Sandren



"Son of Seltec... leave this mortal coil..." came the voice, Dyerdon paused, looking around the black and barren void that had suddenly surrounded him.

"You first," he offered, he could see nothing, but himself, which was odd given what seemed to be utter darkness.

"No... me last... If you will not leave I shall help you find your way off"

"You're more'n welcome to try..." was Dyerdon's response, his hand dropping to his right hip... he glanced down seeing he had no weapons... "Aw hell..." he swore as he glanced up in time to see the black creature glide down toward him. A shadow amongst shadows. He dropped into a roll in time to feel it blast through the air above him. Coming up onto his feet on the opposite side, he glanced up to see it was gone. His eyes scanning the surrounding void... he saw nothing. Sliding his trench coat off he watched in muted anticipation, saw the thing again, then snapped an arm up, the creature snagging in the leather coat... with a triumphant smile Dyerdon pulled back... And found himself airborne. The creature was stronger than he, and more agile. A quick sudden snap sent him up into the air, above the monstrosity, which he had noted had the wicked face of Nezalian. He turned about in the air as if to land on the creature.. only it had faded once more. Below him he could see the form of iron spikes rise up intent on skewering the gunslinger. Dyerdon closed his eyes, then hit something solid. His body felt a burst of warmth flood through him... And he found himself sliding to the ground. His eyes opened, a white light had appeared, forming a sort of slide for him... He knew what that was. His faith... He knew... Nezalian appeared before him, a look of surprise and apprehension on his weathered face.
"No..." he whispered as Dyerdon turned to look up at him.

"Oh yeah..." he said back to the necromancer, raising one hand

Nezalian was thrown backwards from the group, in what had seemed like an hour within their minds had been but a few seconds. Nezalian smashed through one blackened brazier, sending embers and red coals flying about the throne room.

"Set... me... down..." came a voice. Neiko started, then relized it was Dyerdon. He did as he was told. The wound had seemed to simply fade... but Dyerdon still ached. He staggered somewhat, then watched as Nezalian stood, a black sword materializing in his hand. The fighting outside had broken inward, and they immediately recognized the great dragon, Xeno as he burst forward, two quick cuts brought the mighty thing down. A garish 'X' carved in the great silver scales. Dyerdon moved fast, something that sounded like a prayer came from his mouth as his right hand, a blur to those watching, appeared before him, a loud report echoing within the room. All froze... the blade winked out of existance as a red pinprick appeared in Nezalian's forehead.

"Rest well father," Dyerdon said as Nezalian fell backward, dead as those he had summoned... The others paused to look at Dyerdon as he dropped, to sit on the floor...
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