Wehnimer's Landing Storylines/The Depths of Drangell (saved posts)

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Category: Cities, Towns and Outposts
Topic: Wehnimer's Landing
Message #: 7388
Date: 07/02/2015 05:53 PM CDT
Subject: The Depths of Drangell

He paced before the crystal coffin.

He could feel the chill emanating from it. He could sense the undercurrent of rage boiling from within it. How safe was this, he wondered. He knew of the cage’s purpose, and he knew of the power depleted to forge it. Why then, knowing what he did, was it still all so troubling?

Perhaps because he had learned over time that there lies nothing in the world that is not flawed, and that all it takes is for a sliver of weakness for evil to take advantage. But he supposed there was some measure of comfort in the situation, even if the cage holding the monster was a stepping stone to a final resolution.

“Drangell.” His mind whispered.

No voice returned his call. Instead his vision blurred with a tumultuous sea of blood, the crimson waves broken up by floating segments of gnarled bones. He almost reeled from the sensation, for it was a powerful one, and it struck all of his senses at once. He could hear the lapping of the scarlet sea, he could smell the tangy metallic aroma in the air. He cringed each time bones struck, their surfaces scraping together in an appalling sound.

He stepped back for a moment to regain his composure. His sister rose from her seat in the back of the room and rushed over to him, the handkerchief that was seemingly sewn to her palm, now brought up to his nose.

“You’re bleeding.” Her voice reminded him, as she had a thousand times over their years growing up.

“I’m fine.” He lied.

In truth, he was dying. They both knew that. Some argued each time he exerted such energy and power he slowly chipped away at his life. He would argue back, that embracing his ability and striving to do good had the opposite effect. Seeking justice, preserved him. Or so he would like to think.

He nodded, and his sister stepped back, but not far. He reached out again with his mind, and the ocean of fury continued to churn, eventually throwing him into a state of vertigo, his eyes rolling back in his head as he pressed on. The sea continued to twist like a maelstrom of blood, endlessly spiraling with no purpose or escape. Then at the heart of the red water, a sliver of shadow formed, slowly stretching out like a black shroud. He felt himself sinking and being pulled into its depths.

He severed the connection and fell back from the coffin, landing hard on the ground, barely catching his fall with his elbow and saving his face from hitting the stone. His sister was immediately at his side, her hand upon his arm. She needn’t say anything, he already knew from the well of emotions assaulting him. He gradually rose to his feet, a twinge of pain in his arm and elbow.

“This is not the first time he has been subjected to this type of examining.” He said, less to his sister, and mostly as an observation to himself. “So we will try another angle.”

Knowing the properties of the magical confinement, and what imprints may form, he nodded and stepped forward. He looked up at the coffin and stared for a moment at the face behind it. Drangell’s face was large, even for a normal giantman, and his lips were frozen into a snarl. Perhaps it was his last act of defiance before he was sealed away. But now his grimace looked more ironic, than menacing.

He placed his hand on the icy surface of the coffin.

“Now it is time, for you to do the singing Drangell.”

His mind watched as the images formed.

Like a slow freezing lake, they gradually appeared along the icy surface. He still felt the tug of darkness at his thoughts, and he could still hear the faint sloshing of the waves, of what he presumed was still the sea of bloody rage in Drangell’s mind. But he had moved beyond it now, skimming the edges, avoiding the water at all costs. But he still sensed its presence at his back, and he dared not turn around.

The ice along the coffin shifted and changed, shrinking at times, expanding at others. Each time, a new image would appear, a new memory crafted for him to witness. Some he could not discern, and wondered if they were even memories at all, and not manifestations of emotions, as they appeared more like a nightmare, than reality. But he would not discard the process, and he would not rush it. His mind slowly pressed on, steadily, but easily. His mind was as light as the wind, he would not try to shape the journey, but only observe it.

But despite his measured tactic, each passing moment pulled him further into the fleeting memories. Soon, he stood among them.

Cold winds beat along the arctic range, and he shuddered for a moment beneath their chilling weight. The air was heavy, and the sky was a swirling sea of grey and white as thick clouds blanketed the peaks of the mountain. A shroud of icy fog rolled beneath his feet, making even the thought of movement precarious.

Far beyond the frozen summit he saw the ruins of an old fortress, one side of it completely buried beneath fallen rock and boulders from a nearby mountain. He immediately recognized the location from the history of his own homeland. He narrowed his eyes at the realization before the stench of burning flesh wafted across his nostrils.

He turned, watching as a pale orange glow bled to life just beyond. The thick, smelly black smoke of a funeral pyre accompanied the growing haze in the sky. The forms of giantmen appeared, each one solemnly gathered around the expanding bonfire, some lowering their heads in respect.

He heard the lapping of waves again. He paused to turn for a moment, catching a glimpse of scarlet water out of the corner of his eyes. He immediately leaned forward, pushing away from the dangerous pull of the crimson sea, trying to escape the cesspool of Drangell’s depravity.

The world around him crackled with energy and the very air began to freeze slowly, icicles forming all around him and bathing the world in a silent white stain. He pressed his mind forward, and the crystals shattered, each glistening shard falling like glass as the world shifted around him once more.

Walls of ivory rose up around him, their surfaces smooth, polished and bare. Windows were absent in the room and a warm heat clung to the air. He slowly turned and turned, trying to take in every detail, yet so few existed. He then heard movement, and a segment of stone melted away as two soldiers marched into view, their armor and helms as black as night. The only identifying mark on them was the etching of a small white thorn on the side of their dark breastplate. Behind them barreled a giantman, Drangell, he recognized him immediately, but he was much younger. He wore a series of lacerations on the side of his face, each one still crusted with dried blood. His steel gauntlets were dented in some spots, and stained with blood in others.

Drangell reached into a burlap sack at his side and grabbing a tuft of matted hair, tossed a severed head into the air, where it fell feet away on the pristine ivory floor. The gruesome head landed with a sickening splatter, sending specks of blood spraying the ground. He heard a mocking applaud, and a muffled voice from behind him, but when he turned the world shattered once more.

He heard the raging waters of the vengeful sea, and its draw was more powerful now, as if a thousand fingers brushed against his back, each one trying to grab ahold of him. He tried to press further with his mind, but then was assailed by a surge of pain. He felt his body twist and his face hit stone, no glass, as it cracked beneath the force. The icy formations turned to powder around him, vivid images reflecting off of each splinter as he fell back, dropping into the crimson liquid.

He felt himself suffocating, and the odd sensation of shrinking. Ground, sky, skin, everything was covered with strokes of blood red. Thunder bellowed in the distance, but he realized shortly after that it was maniacal laughter instead. He could feel himself getting angry, his veins burned with the poison of wrath filling him. Memories floated around him, circling and circling like iridescent driftwood as the scarlet tempest continued to churn.

He saw fires. He saw towns burning as bodies fell to their flames. He saw battlefields, riddled with soldiers, some human and some elven. He saw a hill comprised of the tattered bodies of dwarves. He saw banners flapping in the wind, blue, then a white one, then blue again. He could not make out their images, they flashed in and out of view so quickly.

He saw an ivory throne. He saw armored figures the color of night moving through a forest. He saw an old woman, her robes threadbare and black, and her face gnarled and grotesque. He saw bones, piles and piles of bones, rising and falling, again and again.

He saw a red orc, a snarl on his face and blood on his swords. He saw fire again. Flames, burning all around, licking at stone walls carved with glyphs. He saw an army of trolls descending upon palisade walls. He saw blood, and bodies, and a bonfire. No, not a fire, a woman. He saw a woman in a white gown, her face and hair aglow with fire, he saw her melt.

He heard his name.

He heard a voice.

“Brieson?” She called to him.

The woman on fire? No, a voice, behind him. He tried to turn, tried to swim, tried to splash about to shift his focus and his sight.

“Brieson?” Her voice was louder, more clear.

“Brieson?” Her voice echoed out like a clap of thunder, the laughter from before drowned out by its strength.

He pushed with his mind, and he sensed her presence. His hand touched hers, and he lifted from the scarlet waves.

“Brieson?” Her voice was shaken now, almost to tears.

He looked up at her, regarding the strange mixture of worry and rage in her eyes. The crystal coffin rose up behind her, Drangell still locked inside.

His sister slowly helped him to his feet, and feeling incredibly weak, he leaned upon her for support. He looked down to see blood speckled along the ground, still expanding as drops fell from his nose and ears.

“You’re done.” Soffeia commanded, more than asked.

Brieson nodded, “Yes, agreed. I’m done. There’s nothing more I can learn. See to it that Drangell is guarded securely, and sent to Talador. Get that monster as far away from Wehnimer’s Landing as possible.”

With the aid of his sister, Brieson hobbled out of the chamber, the crystal coffin still standing unharmed and unchanged, with Drangell’s body still sealed within. His face, as thick and twisted as before, now held a grin in place of his snarl.