Submitted by Abbaddon
Troubled by recent developments in the world around him, Master Abbaddon The Despoiler, Leader of |-Blackguard-| was at a loose end. Ever since the loss of his close friend and mentor, Baron Labar, Abbaddon had been trying hard to maintain the honour of the age-old clan. He had tried to encourage new recruits to join, but so far only a trickle had run in. The code of conduct that had upheld the actions of countless AntiPaladins has been in dire need of repair, and long nights of hardship had been put into its maintenance.
Halting his pacing, Abbaddon glanced skywards at his pet, a Fury, one captured and tamed from places that could not be found on a map anymore. Uttering a barely audible command, the Fury stopped her circling and dropped towards the ground, leathery wings pressed tight to her body for extra speed. At the last second her wings opened full, the skin stretched to its maximum, slowing her fall enough she shattered the flagstones as she dug her claws into the ground. “Come”, and with that word, Abbaddon turned sharply and strode to his residence. Inserting the right key into the right slot and turning it the right amount allowed him entrance to his meditation chamber. There was no need to lock the door to his meditation chamber, for any thief seeking to gain entrance would soon find themselves at the mercy of a bloodthirsty half-woman, half-dog monstrosity.
Removing his helmet, Abbaddon allowed the light from one solitary candle to shine upon his face, the flickering light showing the scars and harsh lines that crossed his face. Abbaddon took a couple of deep breaths and held the last one for a few seconds before exhaling, causing the candlelight to splutter.
Settling down in a more comfortable position, the Fury rested her feminine head on her paws and watched her master go through the rituals that would enable him to contact the gods in a dream-like state.
While Abbaddon’s body rested, his spirit soared, racing through the clouds until he came to a manor of enormous proportions, one fit for a giant. The sign of the mailbox read “soniaS”, but had no slots for mail. The path way to the front door leads into a wall, the door being several metres to one side.
Pushing open the door, Abbaddon was immediately confronted by a brick wall, sheer except for one small hole at the base. Crawling through, he was confronted by the man god himself, Sainos, in all his glory. The glory turned out to be a rain-thin man with a stooped back, sitting in an ancient armchair, who cackled madly at his own reflection in a sliver of mirror.
Abbaddon hesitated, unsure of how to act in the presence of his God. He took one hesitant step forward and the cackling stopped instantly, the figure turning and staring directly at him, eyes boring deep into Abbaddon’s soul, reading him like a book. Abbaddon froze like a deer caught in the lamp light. He opened his mouth to apologise but a finger came up and silenced him.
“I already know why you are here, Abbaddon The Despoiler” whispered Sainos, using the self-given title of his zealot.
“You wish to ask of me what you can do to make Tharel aware of my presence, correct?” the mad God spoke, a grin appearing on his face.
“You are correct, as always” Abbaddon said humbly, his head bowed in respect for his God.
Sainos leaned back in his armchair and motioned for Abbaddon to do the same. Abbaddon sat carefully in the chair that he had sworn was not there two seconds ago. After some time, Sainos leaned forward slightly and spoke with great delicacy.
“I feel that people are forgetting what it is like to have me around. They are forgetting the madness that once roamed freely through the land.”
He paused, hands steeped in front of his mouth, face deep in thought.
“You must…” he paused to look at Abbaddon, searching his soul for something.
“You must be wary Abbaddon,” Sainos said, “for there are those who do not truly believe in my work but pretend to follow me anyway. They must be willing to believe or be expunged!”
He finished by waving his hands in the air and causing it to shimmer as powerful magicks were released.
Abbaddon fell back heavily as the armchair he was sitting in disappeared and reappeared five feet above him. It would surely have squashed him but for a quick swipe of his sword. The two halves of the chair fell either side of him as he leapt to his feet and looked for an exit.
Glancing quickly at the mad God, Abbaddon saw that he had lost interest in his visitor and was muttering to himself as he did some major redecorating. Picking a direction at random, Abbaddon charged a wall, Talon of Horus and Daemon Sword Drach’nyen swinging as he moved, and passing right through thin air as the wall disappeared and he found himself running through the garden.
Breathing heavily, Abbaddon forced himself to relax, calming body and mind. He managed to return his spirit to his body just in time to escape seeing Sainos reduce his house to its key elements and start from scratch.
Abbaddon awoke, the candle burning low, as hours had passed since he had begun. The Fury stirred and awoke, sensing a change in her master. She padded over and allowed him to scratch behind her ears.
The she began to growl.
Abbaddon knew that the Fury had better hearing than him, so he allowed her to guide him in the direction that the sound was coming from. He waited patiently as she crouched in front of the door, ready to pounce on the intruder. Abbaddon paused as well, hands stealing to the weapons that had served him so well over the years.
The sound got louder, and it became obvious that it was purposely heading this way. It stopped outside the door long enough to turn the handle and push it opened.
Then the Fury pounced.
And hit a solid force shield a foot in front of the intruder. The Daemon Sword Drach’nyen was half out of its sheath when the intruder simply said “Stop.”
Abbaddon froze, unable to move, for this was no intruder at all, but the leader of Arcanum and Ezt'fiel of Sainos, Duke Athtar.
“My Lord, I had no…” Abbaddon began, trying to apologise.
“Save it,” Athtar said, cutting him off in mid-sentence, “you have been called for and so shall attend.”
“My Lord, what is it that you wish for me?” Abbaddon humbly asked.
“Your God has need of your skills” and with that, Athtar motioned for Abbaddon to follow him.
Abbaddon, seeing that he had no choice in the matter, gathered his weapons and supplies, made sure his Fury was uninjured, and set off after his Ezt'fiel.