Join Date: Nov 2009
Re: [Competition] 2nd Epics & Legends Writing Batt
Sign-up number: 337015
Story Title: The Unquiet Dead
Number of Words: 1199
This my submission, hope you guys like it.
A pale, handsome young man surveyed the barren plain before him. Seeing his target, he spurred his horse onwards, stopping a short distance away. A skeletal figure turned to face him, frost billowing around it. ‘You have come,’ the figure said, ‘Are you finally ready to die?’
Dismounting his horse, the man grinned, unsheathing his sword as he did so. ‘The only one to die today is you, lich.’
The lich chuckled, as the ice surrounding him began to thicken. Forming an orb of ice in his hand, he beckoned to the man. ‘Attack me then, if you really wish to die so much.’
Without warning, the man sprinted towards the lich, ducking the orb of ice thrown by the skeletal creature. Swinging his sword, he was surprised to find his weapon trapped in a wall of ice.
The lich chuckled again, before waving his hand. The wall disappeared, leaving the man free to attack. ‘Pathetic!’ the lich yelled. ‘Do you really think you can beat me with that sort of speed and strength?’
The man jumped back, before carving a sign in the ground with his sword. ‘That was just a warm-up!’ he replied, slamming his hand into the sign. Green flames flickered into existence around him, bathing him in light. He then gestured, and the flames began to pour into his mouth. Grinning, he threw his sword to the side, as his eyes began to glow.
The lich realised his danger an instant before the man struck, and quickly threw up a shield of ice. Moving faster than the lich could see, the man appeared behind him, throwing a punch at the shield. The ice shattered, unable to hold back the punch, and the lich was knocked to the ground by the force of the blow.
Getting to his feet, the lich grinned, as the frost around him began to fade. Concentrating his mana, a ball of ice began to slowly form in his hand. ‘You are fast, I’ll give you that,’ he said.
The man picked up his sword, as the flames around him began to burn more fiercely. ‘I told you I would kill you!’ he shouted, charging at the lich.
The lich shook his head, before throwing the orb of ice. ‘Only you will die today,’ he replied.
The man sneered, ducking the orb. ‘Did you really think that would hit me?’ he taunted. ‘I am too fast for you to even see!’
The lich made a small gesture with his hand, before replying, ‘You are much faster, but this attack will never miss.’ As he said this, the orb he had thrown finished its arc, and hit the man in the back. The resulting explosion was enormous, as the very air froze around the man.
Encased in a shell of ice, the man looked on as the lich gestured, and huge spikes began to form in the ice, driving into the man’s skin. As he screamed in pain, he felt the souls within him cry out, struggling to get free. He realised that he would not be able to contain them, that they would break free. He felt them rising up inside him, battling to take control. He fought them, and he lost.
And then, he remembered.
He remembered savage creatures attacking his village, killing his friends, family
He remembered his parents getting ripped apart in front of him, before being eaten by undead creatures.
He remembered the lich standing over him, reading his mana.
He remembered the lich nodding, and saying ‘He is the one we came for.’
He remembered realising that he was the reason that his parents had died.
He remembered being sent to an academy, where he was to learn necromancy.
He remembered being led to a chamber, filled with sorcerers.
He remembered them chanting, reaching into his mind with their spells.
He remembered them stripping him of his memories. But he was strong, and he would not let his village go unavenged.
He remembered hiding his memories, letting them believe that they had succeeded.
He remembered learning how to drain strength from souls.
He remembered swearing an oath to avenge his village.
He remembered summoning souls, binding their power.
He remembered his defences being overcome by a Nether being, attracted by his mana.
He remembered being overpowered, losing himself.
He remembered becoming Nevermore.
He remembered the souls overpowering Nevermore, allowing him to be himself once again.
He had lost himself, lost his path and his resolve. But he would fulfil his oath. He would not let it end like this, overpowered by the very being he had sworn to kill.
He screamed in rage, a cry echoed by the souls within him. And then he remembered who the souls were. His own villagers, his friends and his family. He had summoned them, intending to kill the lich with their power. But as Nevermore, he had treated them like slaves, abusing them until some of them faded, lost into the Nether.
He felt the ice from the lich’s prison dig deeper into him, drawing him ever closer to death. He knew that he would die soon, and would join his villagers in the Nether.
But not yet.
He had one task left to finish.
He felt the souls within him, eager to avenge themselves. He felt them lending him their power, their rage mingling with his, empowering him.
Raising his head, he spoke. ‘My village will be avenged.’
The lich gestured, causing the spikes to move further into the man. He was surprised that he had survived this long, but now he would be finished.
Suddenly, a cracking sound rent the air, as tentacles of darkness pushed the spikes out of the man’s body. The lich was stunned by shock, as the tentacles pushed at the prison, shattering it. Slowly, the man began to stride towards the lich, anger in his eyes.
Overcome by horror, the lich hurled countless orbs at the man, hoping to overcome him. The man merely smiled coldly, as the tentacles around him whipped the orbs into the ground, where they shattered.
Realising that nothing he did could stop the man, the lich cowered, begging for mercy. The man halted in front of the lich, his face filled with rage. ‘Mercy?’ he shouted, ‘Like you did?’ Suddenly the man’s expression changed, to one of pain. The tentacles withdrew into the man, revealing devastating wounds. The lich looked up, hopeful, as the man collapsed to his knees, blood flowing openly.
Anger filled the man. He did not have the strength to fulfil his oath.
He was too weak.
Deep within the man, the souls began to rise to the surface, empowered by his rage. The air around him began to glow, as the souls began to materialise into the physical world.
His village would be avenged!
Raising both arms, the man released the souls, directing them straight at the lich. With cries of rage, the souls poured outwards, obliterating all in their path. The lich was shredded, ripped apart by the souls of those he had killed.
The man smiled, as he felt the Nether overcome him.
He had fulfilled his oath.
Now, he could rest.