Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tales of the Rancid Blade: Part Thirty: Death Bed

There are vaults in places where darkness has never strayed from. These vaults are secured in the dark by wards and hexes and locks and keys. Barred by the curses and traps of those who have lost the will to do anything but curse and trap. To enter here one must pass through a knot of old wood and down the passages of the Eldar. One must walk in the ways of long dead races. The names of those Old Ones are long lost. Those that knew the names wanted nothing else but to loose the names and they cast their minds out so that the names might be gone too. Most, but not all.

Some called him Confessor (those who have confessed). Some called him a Missionary (they whom he has lead). Others called him father (she whom he had sired). She knows his names. His daughter, Sylvie, knows these places too. She knows who made these walls. She had once been an Acolyte of the Sisters of the Cloistered Heart. In her youth She had toiled in the sands on Mordia along side her sisters. Bringing grapes from the dry earth. Making the wine. Then, as she had come of age, she had fled with her lover. A dark vixen of the dark cults. A vixen that had been brought via the schemes of Sylax. That had been long ago. There had been many years and many battles since. Her sisters, she had joined them then, had fought with the armies of the Imperium. The Confessor had lead the Mordian regiments in war, their crimson uniforms like dark gore against the mud of a hundred battlefields. Their long war against the Tyranids. And she had been there, the Rhinos carrying her through the fields toward the foes of Sylax. SYlax's long struggle with the fool Dolgoth~ the last in a long line of hunters. All this time her lover had lived in the dark passageways with her dark father waiting, visiting. All this time he had been planning and plotting. Sometimes he knew what his purpose was for but other times it was as though he were driven toward a purpose he did not know. It was as though some hand were at work within him. Some dark hand.

She now stood at his bedside and sought to rescue him from the peril that all mortals must eventually meet. Sylax lay on his death bed. He had been struck by a human's blade on the field of conflict and laid low. Sylax had schemed that Ozzymadius would fall but had not foreseen his own fate. She fled the field with his body. The dark vixen Yanaloo had taken Ozzymadius' body through another way. Sylvie fled through the knot of wood, past the traps, opening the locks, and she spoke the riddles that untied the hexes. As she carried him through the webway, his life dripping on the cobblestones of those passages, all his plans ground to a halt. His plans had come to a halt at the end of soldier's bayonet. As she carried him he spoke, clinging to life, he spoke of all his plans. He spoke of all his machinations. He told her of the twelve keys and six dreams. He spoke about the great Maw of the Unknowing and the Great Scheme that he had started all those years ago when he had set out across the great deserts of Mordia. The scheme that had driven him across that world. The scheme that had driven him to find the sisters cloistered there. To find her mother. It had driven him and drove him now. The great scheme that had lead him to bring together the Dark Eldar, and the Tau, and his old foe in the forge of battle... She had laid him on his bed. His very heart cloven in two. He spoke to her of things that she must do. He grasped her hand tightly. His broken and torn face gnashing. "Take me back to Mordia!"

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