Priming the pump for re-igniting an RPG after a slight hiatus. The mortals have been stirring up trouble again. There goes the neighborhood…
Drevlek Laksol’lkan could feel a shift. The Voradakra, the Endless Army, was being thwarted in places where they should have had free reign. Raising its hand, it plucked out its left eye and replaced it with one attuned to farseeing. It found its sight was diminished in a way it was not except for around the Last Holding.
It sent a command and waited the necessary amount of time. Time did not matter.
When the summoned portion of the One appeared, it carried a double handful of sand. Drevlek placed half the sand in a crucible and it began to burn. The smoke from the fire revealed a delicious truth. Mortalkind were finally venturing from where they had cowered in their holes. This sand had contained their blood.
With an effort of will, it brought one of its stored assets into being. The creature was undead, but it was not one of the Voradakara. It served Drevlek, but it was not part of the One. The creature had the misguided idea that it needed to think for itself. It was a faithful servant however, and it needed mortal vitae to survive which is why it had agreed to be suspended for a time.
“My Master.” It hissed, bowing low, although its red eyes glimmered with hatred when it straightened. “You have summoned me?”
“The Harvest may begin once more.” It said, gesturing with a hand. The portion came forward and offered the remainder of the sand it had brought. “Go forth and reap as you will.”
The asset leaned forward, tongue elongating to taste the sand. “This is old Master, but it is fresh enough to be a possibility.” Its eyes became vacant as it placed a clawed hand over the sand. A single drop of liquid the color of old rusted iron lifted from it, trembling in the air. “I can find them. I will need certain protections and provisions.”
“You shall have them.” Drevlek answered.
“I will also need assistance. Three of my Kind.”
“One shall suffice. I know your ways.”
“Very well. Two.”
The asset smiled, revealing the elongated canine teeth. “Excellent.” It said.
The Council of Seven Lords sat at the table, feasting and drinking. Sher’Grath watched the others, swirling the blood in her cup. These fools were content to pretend their latest setbacks were a fluke. They believed this was just another trick from the admittedly resourceful mortals in Malm Hird. She knew different; she had lost soldiers near the Geared City Megan Dugr.
“What say you Deceiver of Ages?” The demon on her right asked, slurping down his beverage of choice which seemed to consist mainly of brains with maggots writhing through it. “Will our next offensive be fruitful now that we know when the dead will assault them?”
“Coordinating our attacks is meaningless.” She said, “The strength the mortals gain from wherever they gain it from and they will repel any attack we can throw at them. As they always have.”
“No, if we can press the advantage their defenses will be overwhelmed.” He insisted, licking his needle pointed teeth. “The Oracle said if we were able to cooperate with the dead we’d win.”
“The Oracle.” Sher’Gath spit to one side, hitting a servant bearing a tray and knocking it sprawling ten paces away. “You trust that … thing? You’re a fool Go’Reshk, it used to be mortal. It hates us.”
“Ah but it has to answer truthfully.” Go’Reshk said with a toothy grin. “Which makes the readings all that much more satisfying. Watching it squirm and try to weasel out of giving us answers.”
“And the worthless answers it gives have benefitted us when exactly?” She said acidly, “The fucking Oracle said if we COOPERATE not if we COORDINATE you stupid shit.”
While Go’Reshk was spluttering in anger she rose, scales hissing on the marble flooring. “Fellow Lords, I feel I must make a point.” All idle chatter stopped, and even Go’Reshk stopped making choking sounds of indignation.
“I feel it is time for one of us to take direct action. In light of current events, I feel stealth and subtlety are needed in this endeavor.” She looked around the room, noting the calculating looks in their eyes. “To that end I nominate Ssariss, my second in command to venture forth and assess the danger this new group of mortals presents.”
“What possible danger could they present?” Someone growled, “They have been hiding all this time. Their impotent gods have clearly lost the ability to sustain them and now they come looking for a new place to call their own.”
“Where, may I ask, did they come from?” She asked, gesturing with all six of her arms. “They are not from the accursed Malm Hrid, and as far as we know the other cities starved ages ago. So the question remains, what is their origin?
“I know you all trust your precious Oracle, but they are not to be trusted for anything more than to provide one disappointing meal of mortal flesh.” She glared at them in challenge, “I don’t believe our generals on the ground understand the situation either.
“I lost an entire squad of skilled salvage crew in the Iron Ruins and there was no trace of who had killed them. Less than a week later we see the entire City of Gears become a death trap that leads five thousand of our warriors to their deaths in battle and another three thousand when it becomes an inferno.
“You expect me to believe that the reports of a small group of elite mortal warriors is not related? You think this should be trusted to the demented mutterings of your Oracle?” She gave them a challenging look, coiling about her seat and waiting for a reply.
The Council stared at her in shock for a moment before erupting into a clamor of angry voices. Each one seemed to be trying to override the others simply by volume. This went on for a time, the very stones of the chamber beginning to shake, until another voice spoke.
It was not a loud voice but it cut through the chatter easily. “Let my daughter go, or send her proxy.”
All fell silent and turned to the dais where, for the first time in centuries, a figure sat on the throne made of real, actual authentic mortal bones. Graz’zt leaned his chin on his six fingered fist, “I find your lack of progress here to be unfortunate. It is time for a change. Go’Reshk has made her bid. She is now responsible for it.”
“Dread Father.” She said, slithering forward and prostrating herself, “You have my undying devotion and thanks for this chance to prove myself.”
“Spare me the theatrics Go.” He said, reaching a hand down to stroke her hair. “You always were so talented and capable. Make me proud.”
She rose only after she felt his hand leave the back of her neck. “Ssariss. Bring your sisters to my chambers. It is our time. We will not fail our Lord.”