|Unit Class:|| Recon Unit|
|Starts With:|| +50% against Melee Units|
Can See Invisible Animals
Better Results from Tribal Villages
|Info:|| 5 |
The once-elves startled at the alarm. Even the obsidian-clad Perditioners broke their stoic watch to look toward the vortex. The ever-night was gone, light tore through the curtain that contained the veil and blinded the warriors who had never seen sunlight before.
Rathus moved through the once-elves massed at the city's edge. He moved among them unnoticed, an easy feat for a shade who often found it more challenging to be recognized or remembered by those he knew. After decades spent like this, you become something other than mortal, the world is as much a ghost to you as you are a ghost to the world. And you pay close attention to anything that stands out from that haze.
Which is why Rathus was here instead of under that light. His friends, if he hadn't slipped from their memory by now, fled the city to escape Haerlond's edict. Their fate was their own now; Rathus meant to use the distraction to check out what the elves called the Malachite Palace, a dark ziggurat with a portal at its summit.
The Perditioners were more observant than most and could see even into the ethereal world, which allowed them to keep watch on anything coming through the portal. They might have seen him coming; fortunately, whatever magic was being used in the battle provided all the cover Rathus needed and he slipped up and through the portal. He felt as if he awoke, senses and memories that had long been lost to him by his state were now restored. He was reborn.
A blue skinned angel stood before him, the angel was male but he appeared to be both young and old at once, as if he was a blue man in every stage of a full life, all in one unchanging form. He carried a set of chains in one hand and a key in the other, and there was a sword lying at his feet.
"Any whose soul is unclaimed may enter my lord's domain, but there you will remain until creation is ended. Is that your desire?" Rathus was confused by the memories; it was becoming harder to focus on the present as the memories become more and more vivid, harder to tell if he was in this moment or another. But he managed an answer.
"No, I came to see. To pledge service to Arawn in creation if he would have use of me."
"Arawn cares not for creation, his dominion is here; let the other lords bicker over the transient."
Rathus focused on the Angel, he had been well trained for this task, even to the point of being able to ignore pain and he used those skills now. For better or worse, he perceived the angel in all of his memories and held this conversation with him in each of them. Each of the angel's thoughts was highlighted in different parts of his life, the bickering in the declaration of war by different religious factions, creation in the abundance of life, good and evil, and the transience in the eventual passing of everything he once considered permanent.
"There are those that wield death as if they were Arawn himself."
The angel smiled. "The underworld is full of their victims. Holy or unholy, the path of these men is always the same, masses killed to further their goals or the goals of those leading them; lives cut short while theirs are extended beyond the appointed time. If you seek retribution, to thin humanity of those that monopolize it, my lord will not help, but I will."
The angel stepped back from the sword at his feet and motioned for Rathus to pick it up. The blade was lighter than steel and had green runes carved in its blade; the runes were unfamiliar to Rathus. It felt real to hands long separated from the sensation of touch.
"No," the angel answered, "Balance. This is the Nether Blade; it will strike strongest against those whom the angels have favored most. Those who no longer fear death will fear you."
With that Rathus turned and left the portal. The Perditioners were set to receive him, pikes at the ready. Rathus assumed they would still be distracted by the escape; he would later discover that nearly a year had passed from the time he stepped into and out of the portal.
Once outside the portal the world reverted back to the grey haze Rathus's shade nature made it. Only the portal behind him and the Nether Blade seemed truly real to his senses. The blade's green runes glowed as he raised the sword and the Perditioners shrunk back before him.