Azran Tariq


I stared out to the hordes of Manifest below with hate, despising them and the very things they stood for, and secretly fearing what this meant.

In ancient Pridean tradition, the Manifest are so called because they are manifestations of the Tribunal, three evil gods who betrayed the rest of the gods. These gods - Arctura, Apollyon and Pythion - were banished to the Underworld for an eternity as punishment for challenging Akoraan, Father of All the Gods.

Rather than suffering in the Underworld with an eternity to think about their betrayal, the Tribunal created a vast kingdom. This kingdom contained imposing black spires and towers, lakes and rivers of fire, and dark valleys housing unspeakable horrors. Then, the Tribunal created all manner of evil minions. The Manifest are the result - armies of evil with no emotions or morals. They are built for destroying our realm, nothing else. Their reappearance was supposed to mean the end of days, according to legend.

And now here I was, about to stand against them like some kind of hero.

When we arrived in the canyon to battle the Manifest, I drew my sword and whispered a quiet chant. As I did, I felt the magic flow into the blade. Now, they would know pain.

I raised my sword as the army rushed over us, a river of evil. As I spotted a smaller beast rushing at me, I lowered my sword parallel to the ground and then brought it up into the creature's stomach, forcing the blade out of its back before pulling the sword out and beheading the manifestation. I moved on to the rest of the battle, and soon my mind returned to memories of my tribal camp, swinging my blade to the heavy beat of drums as a child in my first century.

The moments flashed by as images: my sword flying through the hordes of Manifest, the monsters falling all around me, close calls as I swung around to stop a blade at the last second and then slay the wielder.

Soon, though, I felt myself being drawn out of my battle frenzy by a voice. It was Ziyous, ordering me to fall back. We were going to draw them away from the canyon.

As I moved to join him, I felt a rush of wind as a blade just barely missed my stomach, the owner of the sword attempting a clumsy swing at the torso. I took this as the utmost offense. Taking two lightning-fast steps, I moved inside of the creature's guard and tore the sword from his hand, beheading him in one fluid movement with both my sword and his. Then, I dropped the enemy's distasteful weapon - a roughly-carved grip with a curved, serrated inside blade and a smooth, menacing outer blade. It was a pathetic weapon, though I knew it was all too deadly.

I hurried to join Ziyous and the others in their diversionary move, and soon caught up with them. Ziyous explained that we would draw them out and kill as many as we could while moving back in to cut them off at the pass permitting entrance to the canyon, at which point our objective would be to continue the search they had been carrying out.

The End

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