Seaholm would never be the same. The quaint, quiet, little town where I met and subsequently joined CrIsis had always held a special place in my heart. It was the home of Oric Bellode. It has long harbored the clandestine activities of an alchemist. It is nestled on the gentlest slopes at the base of the Algor mountains and positioned perfectly for the most beautiful view along thousands of miles of coastline. The lodges here along the shore swell as the winter weather worsens and the mountain-dwellers migrate to a more temperate clime. Most importantly, it is the vacation home of Tyvernos Oriflamme and the site of his new entrepreneurial enterprise: Ye Olde Arcane Sundries Shoppe of Mystical Components and Wonderment Emporium, funded by the investment of Oric Bellode.
Now it was the site of a massacre and an abduction. The Forces of Darkness had proven that they could strike anywhere. No place, no person, no purchase was beyond their grasp. This was the game we were playing. The stakes had increased.
The ante was more than just our measly lives. Hah! We had long-since abandoned our cavalier and casual disregard for our own mortality. Members of CrIsis knew that our lives were always on the line for the gods. We hadn’t spared a second thought for the stakes of our own sakes. Hah! But now those stakes had risen to include our others’ sakes. Friends, family, parents, spouses, and even one-year-old children.
Sadie Mordox, the prodigious progeny of Gavin and Morgan Mordox, is relying on me to reunite her with her father. Why? So they can die together. Gavin, long-time member of CrIsis, and brother-in-blood to my Tyvernos Oriflamme through the bonds of our holy quest…Gavin Mordox, prevailed upon me to escort his most precious possessions. He entrusted Tyvernos Oriflamme and Oric Bellode, his father-in-law, with the care and safe-keeping and safe-travel of his wife and child. Sigh. Did he know what he asked? We have run afoul of an Enemy who knows no bounds and abides by no rules. The safest place for Gavin’s child was far away from her father. This cockamamie scheme to pilgrimage the Pyramids and ‘spread the word of Ra’ was poorly planned…if planned at all. The best thing Gavin could do was bury himself beneath a thousand pounds of lies and rumors and the gravel of anonymity. Disappear. Let the kid disappear too. Shoulda been easy for the Changeling to do.
He had already put other matters before his duty to CrIsis. He had left on good terms and was moving onward to another chapter in his life. As a former member of CrIsis I’m incredulous he hasn’t gone to ground. This isn’t like a normal job. When you leave the bakery sure you can go open up your own bakery. When you are discharged from the army you can go raise cattle and become a farmer. When you leave CrIsis during a war with Dark Gods and unfathomable evil you don’t get the options of butcher, baker, or candle-stick maker. We don’t get to lead normal lives. When the soldiers come back from war there are adjustments to make but this is no ordinary war and we are no ordinary soldiers. We are humanity’s last line of defense against the RETURN OF THE OLD ONES. This is The Minion War. The horrors of battle and the visage of death and the threats of the unknown will linger in our lives long after the war is over; if we are lucky we will die in the service of our kin, countrymen, and gods.
Gavin, my friend, my former brother-in-arms, you don’t get to have a normal life. You are a soldier who has returned from battle and carry with you the scars of a pestilential darkness and the marks of evil. Abdicating the throne was wise — though I won’t speak to taking it in the first place — but it’s unfathomable to me that you’d put your wife and child in the path of the juggernaut by keeping them at your side. The Pantheon of Darkness is bold. The Pantheon of Taut is brazen. CrIsis members are losing their loved-ones left and right. Gavin Mordox is a name that will never fade into obscurity. With eyes and ears to avoid everywhere the Mind Mage in you must assume that Metamorphosis will protect you, your wife, and your child. For me, for those I love, that’s too great a chance to take.
I will do what you ask of me. With Otto’s broken body, on a litter, in tow. With thoughts of yesterday forgotten. I like the way this new skin feels. You must have known I’d join the others. Collect the parts where I win. From Sweet Creek I’ll strike out with the winds at my back and my broken dog by my side and rejoin the last bastion of humanity. Cava, Overkill, Xerx’ses, Azariel, Tyvernos and Otto, the Scions of the Gods, the Hope of Palladium.
Be ready, my brother, we arrive in two weeks and there’ll be scant moments to exchange pleasantries before the Bismarck and I take to the skies. CrIsis needs us. Palladium needs us. I have been away for too long but, like the spring, I return and am born again anew with Bennu’s blessing.
Written by Tyvernos on…Thoth 6, in the 69th year of the Wolfen Empire.
Pictures from, in order:
Knight Errant Jr.
Best Vet Store
Re-forged anew he seeks his prey with carefree fervor hidden like dagger teeth behind a friendly smile. Forward we go into the breech brother, till then safe journey.
Nice to see it was just one night buried in the bottle- Welcome Back Tyvernos!
There is one best place to bury a dog.
If you bury him in this spot,
He will come to you when you call -
Come to you over the grim, dim frontier of death,
And down the well-remembered path and to your side again.
And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel,
They shall not growl at him, nor resent his coming,
For he belongs there.
People may scoff at you,
Who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall,
Who hear no whimper, people who may never really have had a dog.
Smile at them for you shall know something that is hidden from them,
And which is well worth the knowing.
“The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master.”
“The Best Place to Bury a Dog”
By Ben Hur Lampman from the Portland Oregonian Sept. 11th 1925