Fantasy

A history of violence and concern – pt 2

The day that Serindar’s luck ran out was a gorgeous summer day. He’d formed a band of misfit mercenaries; like him they wanted nothing more than to live their lives. They’d become almost like a second family to him, only he would’ve betrayed any of them for a gold coin. Never again would he allow “family” to stand in the way of his goals.

They planned a heist for that afternoon, a traveling merchant was to pass through the area, protected by a “mage”. Most “mages” were weak pathetic street magicians relying on flash powder; never had the group encountered any real power. Merchants couldn’t afford to hire real magic, anyway.

This was different. The group was slaughtered quickly by lightning bolts and fireballs. Serindar, nearly dead, was hauled into the wizard’s tower. There, he learned that the local lord had decided enough was enough: it was time to put an end to Serindar’s group. Hiring a group of mercenaries to pose as merchants, eventually they knew it would grab Serindar’s attention.

“You were to be killed,” muttered the wizard, cutting him from just beneath his ribs down to his hips, and across the bones, laying his stomach open to the world. “But I could always use new subjects for my experiments.” Using arcane magic and potions, Serindar was kept alive while he was, for all intents and purposes, tortured. The Wizard learned about the limits of the human body, determined where you could push, and what would break.

Serindar’s last memories, such as they were, involved being lowered into a pool of warm water. The mage’s final experiment on Serindar was to leech his soul from his body, placing it in a jar. His ultimate goal was unknown to Serindar, but he sat on that shelf for years, as his skin sloughed off his bones, and his eyes began to shrivel and melt. His mind lay dormant, sitting in the jar, a floating, soulless entity.

Until the jar broke, landing in the now-open cavity of his chest. Seething forth from the jar, his soul tried to bind itself to his body, wrapping between the ribs, snaking into the mouth and over his bloated tongue. There was not enough there for his soul to latch on to, however. Thankful for the final rest, maybe, his soul seemed to let go of the body, and began to swirl like mist around the floor of the tower, fading at the edges. Darkness was soon to take over him, and send his soul into eternity.

Were it not for the wizard’s own plans, Serindar may have himself died, fully, that day. However, the Wizard had been in the process of turning himself into a Lich – only to be stopped by a group of guards who had been investigating him for years. During the struggle, Serindar’s soul was freed, but left to float freely among the objects. The tower was condemned, with posted guards outside. Entry was not permitted, even to catalog the various magical artifacts no-doubt held within. It was the Wizard’s own intended phylactery that brought Serindar back to life. Already thirsty for a soul, it found, and devoured his.

The magic took time to bond with his corpse. The decomposition halted, as magic began to sustain his now-feeble flesh. As his soul grew stronger, nursed on the magic of the phylactery, the runs carved into his bones began to feed off the magic as well. His first view into the world came from two bright red pinpricks of light set deep within the nearly empty sockets of his skull. His fingers clawed through the dirt, more bone than anything, and he lurched to his feet.

Serindar was unborn, and with the patience of eternity, he began to study.

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