The Final Ark

The New Devils

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Desperate evils generally make men safe.

Seneca the Younger


He had been patiently waiting.

Finally, the moment had come and Voris seized it. Feeling the burning arcane in the Fog, his lungs filled themselves with its pure and intense power. Rising from his meditation, his body was invaded with a flow of such intensity that he almost believed to have surpassed the Dark Marquis himself.

‘The Jagged  Mountain’

Once, Voris had been his lieutenant and the first amongst his servants. This lasted two decades, until their campaign ended in Hestavian, under cannoneers. Trapped in the dark, he had lived there for twenty years, and during that time his master’s blessings still kept his body eternal. Indeed, it was ironic that the life imprisonment sentence he was bestowed with ended up being his twisted eternal punishment.

After a decade, his meditation had turned him into a nihilistic sloth. Trapped in torpor, he believed to be rightfully condemned with the horrors he committed as a Darkfriend. Therefore, he entered neither light nor dark, but void. And this was where he found a way to connect his minds with the flows of the Fog as a way to ease his daily slumber.

Yesterday, he had felt a powerful presence in the Fog vanish in an instant, before rising back to its full capacity, if not more. Like if a dragon had risen. Voris had tapped into that energy, and channeled it. Now, he held the power of a fallen angel.

Rising from his sitting stance, he rose and observed his dragonglass cell. A small window carried the brightness, and revealed parts of the facility he was imprisoned into. Guards climbed the rocky path leading to the jagged mountain of his prison. Carrying flame torches, they were led by the Lady Jailress of the Fiery Order, Isabella von Fulgam.

Arriving at the entrance of his cell, a massive obsidian gate, she began her usual speech.

“It is Dawntime,’ she cheerfully said. “Leave your meditation and come grab your ration. If you don’t cooperate I will not renew my application to feed you. Do you know how much taxes are needed to keep you alive?

– I will comply’, Voris said, his voice filled with a confidence he distanced himself from.

“You know the drill Voris,’ another Fiery Knight said. “Hands in the dragonglass shackles.”

Hesitating, Voris wondered if dragonglass could hold him with his newfound power? Therefore, he gained some time by saying:

“Did you know that a scholar of an old age named Lucius nar’Amonaga believed tales all across the world followed the same pattern. He believed that tales, stories and even religion answered the need of sentient beings to understand the unknown around them.”

– Well your scholar shall read The Ballad of Kel, it’s the same ever since that minstrel book. It’s because of that fairy tale that I’ve joined the Orders”.

He walked towards the shackles, dramatically enough so they let him continue his speech. After two decades spent together, some even discussed with him and exchanged their views. Some of these knights liked him. But he didn’t believe in human interaction. He was only willing to bend it to his advantage, acting as a foolish remorseful dark wizard falling into existential dementia.

“Well, Lucius nar’Amonaga also believed that belief and reality were one, as stories followed the same hero. He believed that all beings were reflections of One Truth. But great sorcerer Lucius nar’Amonaga refused that thought, who would in his position of power? He started to use sayings such as magic is dead.

– We say always the same thing, it has been awhile already. His myth of the hero and his death of magic theories have been around since the inception of the Empire. Now hurry Voris!”

He faced the dragonglass gate, looking right in her golden Fulgam eyes. Your house is as rotten as ever… King Conrad has betrayed us. He casted his hatred away when he saw the bread, the pipe  and beer that passed through the window.

– Actually, one can say otherwise, milady, Voris commented. His myth of the hero and his death of magic writings were written in 455. Do you know what it means?”

Through the window, Voris seized her wrist.

Silence.

“That he wrote this texts before the founding of the Empire. Lucius nar’Amonaga was a illyrian sorcerer, dragonlord and scholar. He was remembered in history for training Ismair valenKel in the arts of arcane.

– Well, what difference does it make anyway. That the Old Illyrians had a metaphysical level of advancement we didn’t suspect? We knew that already. You’ve proven nothing.

– I have proven an important point. That our expectations as founders of this world is wrong, for the core of our myths and beliefs is a mere ripoff of the Illyrian’s philosophy. We have been trapped in stagnation, and people like you are in charge, men and women who cringe to their knowledge and certainties and limit themselves to the infinite possibilities of the universe.”

And he walked through the gate, ignoring its material components and his forearms turning painfully blue. Pain is illusion… Instantly, he drew a sword from the guard’s own scabbard. Slashing the wind, he chopped his head off, before kicking backwards, pushing Isabella and the other guard into the dragonglass. Both tried to stand up, and escape but realized in horror that they couldn’t pass through the gate as he had done.

“Well, may I recommend you smoke this pipe to get use to the feeling of timelessness. Ration this bread milady, and pray your gods for your companion’s virtuous abstinence”.

Walking down the jagged cliffs, Voris heard their complaints, a forgotten lullaby of a life he had missed. Returned into this rotten world, Voris had answered the Call in the Fog, ready to free his comrades and prepared for what came.

After shaving his head, Voris would finish what the Dark Marquis had started: destroying the Imperial Order.


Read the next chapter here

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