The Story of Io

"We became like Gods, the infantry of our age."

The Org’ezseth Plateau was not a place meant to be tread by man. Uninhabitable it was, suddenly breaking away from the grassy and forgiving land that was the plains of And’oor into desert wasteland. It grew no food and gave no life, so that even the herding rams of the lower inclines were cowards to the evil of the place. Yes, place of evil as it was called by even the wildest of the men of the village of Cresting, it had been deemed the final resting place of all the town’s evils. The evil of this particular occasion was the vile man called Seth.

Seth was lead on by strong men of Cresting – made brave only by their number, which was six in total – while put in chains and made naked to his pants. He fell frequently in the crackling soil, and often cursed the place. He begged for water, and begged for food but it never came since the party established their place on top of the plateau. He had been sentenced to die prolonged here, so that the full extent of his evils would all seep into the ground and be forgotten by this happening.

“Walk now, man in chains.” is commanded by one of Seth’s captors, ignorant of his pained breaths. “That or walk as a dog on his chain!” He says, with a pull on said chains and laughter from his fellows.

“Were my palms not bound, I would make a toad of you yet.” Seth grumbles, and continues, a wicked smile forming across his face. “Or perhaps, I can turn you still.” The men paused for a moment, and the fear is clear in their faces, until one of the younger men grips unto Seth’s chains yet again, taunting, “I would like to see you try, oh great magician!” There is laughter again, and the men join in pulling his chains, as well as to eat and drink to their delight while Seth groans in pain.

Had I ever the ability to do it I certainly would, thought Seth, as the chains that bound him seared in the sun and tore into his wrists and ankles so that he had no choice but to keep moving. But alas, they label me wrong - would I do them much worse still if given the opportunity!

So, what were this man’s crimes that he should deserve such a treatment, you might wonder? It is the result of, unfortunately, a great misunderstanding. Seth was a man of the village who, although harmless and in the spring of his youth, had always kept to himself. A mysterious character he was, with none to call his friend or neighbor. Naturally, speculation and rumors abounded about his true character. Speculations and rumors became indictments of sorcery and of murder – he became, in the public’s eyes, the killer of his own parents!  Thus, he should find himself in the throes of death upon the Org’ezseth.

It should be no surprise that Seth eventually collapses under his strain, regardless of the insistence of his torturers, who discard their empty sheepskin pouches upon him in cruel celebration of the fact. 

Not even the vultures would live in such a place. Seth thinks, as he looks up to the blue skies overhead, when the men grow tired of their folly. After nearly three days of this trial, he could feel the mana flowing out of his body and into the earth more and more with every second – yes, there was some truth to the reasoning of the old men of the village. Seth’s essence would be absorbed by the soil of this hellish place, and swallowed up by eternity. He closes his eyes, with no intention of opening them again. The village of Cresting would slowly begin to seek out some new poor, wretched individual to blame for all of their problems. His time was finally up. He would be free.

…then, there came a great rumbling in the earth.

Seth’s eyes are alight. Could this be the onset of the abyss? He thought at first, until he realizes from their faces that the men were experiencing it as well! They were horridly fearful, as anyone could see. “What is this?” asks the younger man of the party, the quaking only growing more violent. “What forces do you employ against us, foul wizard?” one of the men asks, and he delivers a heavy kick unto Seth’s side. He yelps in agony, “Do not target me, man!” and in the direst tones he could muster implores, “The quake is of this place’s doing – the work of the many vile demons that inhabit here!” He attempts to crawl away from the site for good measure. Fear was made dominant again in the faces of the five men, just as the crafty magician had hoped!

“Go now if you want to live, only death awaits me at the hands of this monster!” Wake says, waving the men away. Had they not been so afraid from the quaking, they would have easily seen through their prisoner’s trickery! But lo, the men run! Seth was left to defend himself out on the Org’ezseth.

“Now show yourself, odd force of nature!” He cries in joy, gripping at the ground with fervor. “Show yourself to the man who is destined to die!”

The End

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