Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. ( a short story of Ra'rhuk's past. )

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Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.  ( a short story of Ra'rhuk's past. ) Empty Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. ( a short story of Ra'rhuk's past. )

Post by minstrelofmyths on Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:50 am

Ra’rhuk stood on the edge of a ridge covered in snow and crystallizing ice peering down at water filled crater in Drak’Mabwa. His own people had done this, shock, and dread filled him as he looked upon the wake of destruction with a gaze set too old in such a young countenance. Part of the collapsed aqueduct system still hung aloft due to a single pillar that held the large stone mason structure partially intact. Pawns they all were, even then he had realized, their duties were but a mere distraction in the midst of chaos. What were all their lives worth? He had question in the wake of such madness.

News had arrived to him through his soft spoken mother as he had returned home on a brief leave. Dinner had been hushed he and his brother grew unsettled with the lack of talk of his father’s conquests and winnings in sports at the amphitheater. Their return home was usually one of celebration, talk, debates, tales of battles won, rewards, yet strangely as they had returned there was that silence. His brother could stand it no longer.

" Father, what tales of intrigue does Gun’drak offer?  " Zor’din had asked boldly, as he ate from the meager stew from a wooden carved bowl. He would not voice that meat was too lean, the gravy too liquid, the bread too stale. They were guests in the hut, it was just the thought his parents had fallen this far from graces that concerned him. His rations in the regiment were hardier then what had been placed before them. One look at his brother, and he knew they were sharing the same thoughts.

Their father had always been one nosing his way to high status politics, he knew all the gossip from either his second mate, or having found out by his own means. He was typically involved in their affairs concerning his gain. Zor’atus having come from old blood into his riches he struggled to keep the riches of the family line as their plots of land in Drak’sorta had been decimated. Being elderly in the ways and time of which trolls age, only use of one eye, and weakened in frame Zor’atus only had what means left to offer those in power were his children’s blood to the plight of order and status. ” We will not talk about politics this evening. I would enjoy one night with my sons in my home without such talk. “

Zor’din and Ra’rhuk knew something dire was up, their father loved to boast and stroke his ego. Ra’rhuk grunted. ” It was merely a question to speak on, as this silence is deafening. ” Of course he had his brother’s back when it came to their father. He may not be as he once was, but his spirit was ill tempered still. Two united could thwart such aggressions that rose in the male. What paused Ra’rhuk from speaking further as his father countered was his mother’s hand upon his to still him.

" I said I will have no such talk, now eat! " The elder snarled at the youths.

And so, the meal went on in silence. Ra’rhuk could tell by all their demeanors it was better left alone. Gazes and spoons moved, yet no tales of conquest, no speak of females, no words… it was slowly eating under his skin. He could cut the tension with his blade, not caring for it, after the meal was finished he took a step outside in his frustration of not understanding this strange home coming. It was then in the falling of twilight his mother came to find him.

" My son, forgive him…. " She spoke gently touching to a youth strung on aggression, and warfare, he knew nothing more then a life of that. She always seemed so calm in what was turbulent.

" How can you ask me that? " His slope of a brow furrowed, as he had turned and faced her struggling with his tone and demeanor. " After all we have been through, after all we have done… We have been gone for months, only to return to this? " Ra’rhuk lifted his hand to stroke the curve of his knuckles to the scar upon her face to comfort himself, to calm his rising tone, to ease back what was rising on the inside. " You cannot live like this, none of you should live like this… Zor’din and I, we fight for you to have better then this. " He was angry and biting back his anger.

" Believe me, he is trying to provide better for all of us… He just cannot see a way. There is so much that you are not aware of. So much that has been kept from you and your brothers. He is aware of how much you have given up. He is aware of how you view him and this news makes it worse. " She breathed quietly before she had continued in a voice that trembled like a shiver of cold. " The prophets and priests at the altars, have made their choices and what has been done can never be repaired… it was to better our people. "

His mother’s words brought a stirring of emotions within like that of a raging storm in which the winds did not know what direction blow. ” What… are… you… saying… mother? ” His own voice taking on a desperation to maintain a even nature.

" They have taken the loa, and their power within them. That was the decision, it was swift and by the time your father made it to the altar it was too late." She managed too heave out in a breath of a pained expression.

" No… " Ra’rhuk had never denied the truth to his mother’s words, but on this he debated the validity.

" Yes… " She said solemnly, grasping to her son’s elbow to have him remain there with her. " Before you do anything rash… hear me ow- "

He pulled his elbow from her grip and pointed at her. ” No! ” He snarled at her as he was backing away. ” He had influence! He had a voice! He could have prevented this! Raji’din would have! He would have stopped at nothing to prevent this… this… atrocity against our gods! ” How could the elder allow this, how could his father, his uncle allow this to happen?! His first thought was to go to his uncle, whistling for his raptor he was moving to mount up bare back when his mother pleaded to be heard.

" Ra’rhuk you will not find him! " She flung herself upon his leg as her son was on firmly on the raptor’s back. " Please… He’s dead, they’re all dead… " She wailed, holding to his leg, trembling.

" Let me go, woman! " He barked out with venom, rage, disbelief, it was the only time he had disrespected his mother in such a manner. He peeled her off and was shoving her away with his hands as he ushered his raptor through the snow covered landscape. But a glance was given back as she was kneeling on the ground, his brother’s voice a fading echo of his name. He rushed his beast onward, to his uncle’s home near the capital, thoughts wild, calling his mother a liar and cursing her at worst in his mind as he traveled. His uncle had been a far richer male then his own father. Unlike his father this was a earned status, not something passed down, a status granted due to the favor blessed upon him from the loa he served.

Ra’rhuk did not find the grandeur he was accustom to seeing, a hollowed out burnt husk of stone that had been forcefully collapsed. It was gone, his mother had not filled his mind with falsehoods. Shock, despair had filled him, he found not a body in the rubble, nothing but the stale smell of cinder and ash, and the charred remains of once had been a sanctuary for him. Not because of the structure that once stood, but of what it contained. Words could not describe what had been taken from him… eternity seemed to draw out as he roared in anguish. But it wasn’t enough, he had to see what other horrors his mother had spoken were true or not. He had to see it all for himself to have that validation, to have that proof. He once more was on his raptor, the snow, the cold was no obstacle against that heat his body was putting out, he did not feel the sting to his face as the wind whipped around him.

A crater of tears… a crater of despair…. the wind howled around him on that edge looking downward. The altar had been empty, no matter the tribute of his blood, or of offerings it had been silent in his prayers… his loa vanquished, gone forever from this plane of existence. His eyes closed threatening never to reopen, the snow stained red in long streaks where his arms had lain loosely at his sides. Sometime later the touch to his back made him jump with a start, so focused inward he had not heard his brother approach.

" Brother? " Zor’din had found Ra’rhuk just hunched over in the snow, he had tracked him down, following his foot steps having seen all that Ra’rhuk had seen he sounded as if in shock.

Ra’rhuk in his own turmoil had in one moment been bent the next turned gripping to Zor’din’s shoulders in a stand, with no knowledge of it transpiring. His voice trapped for a long while in his throat before he spoke in that grip to his chest and heart. ” Zor’din, what are we doing?! What are we even doing?! Is it not enough?! Is it not enough that we die by the enemy that is at our very door step?! Why is that we murder ourselves?! All I had left was a hope that our deaths would earn our place amongst the ancestors and they had to strip that away from us too?! All those innocent lives lost! Everything is lost to us!” He pulled his brother to his side his one hand still remaining gripped his shoulder as he pointed to the crater below. ” We’ve sacrificed everything, for what?! ” He wailed and roared all at once all of his inner suffering. ” What is there left that is not broken? “

Zor’din turned Ra’rhuk to face him, twice with a closed fist he tapped to Ra’rhuk’s chest. ” Us… Brother, this is the worst of this war. Our people, have fought worse then this, we have come to these lands and have built an empire that rivals all from nothing. It may fall, but we will continue, we will persevere, we will rebuild. Now is not the time for that. We fight onward in their memory, we will do our ancestors proud, we will hear their war cries at our side, and we will avenge our loa’s that have fallen with every breath we take from here on out. We fight for those that cannot, so those tomorrows, that opportunity to rebuild is an option. That is what we have left, that is what we fight for. “

Ra’rhuk, stared a long time giving his brother a nod. ” I fear that when I die, I will not be called upon. I will be lost because of what happened here. I fear all our spirits will never find rest, nor gain the peace we deserve. “

Zor’din tried to reassure the best he could even he was shaken to the core of his very being, but his words came like a beacon in the dark. ” If you do become lost, I will find you and lead you to the way of peace. “

Zor’din had no way of knowing how prophetic those words were…. Zor’din’s spirit wanders besides Ra’rhuk, as Ra’rhuk continued in his unlife as a death knight. Ra’rhuk’s worst fear came true. Even if the great bear spirit of Rhunok still walked the planes of existence his follower Ra’rhuk is an offense, neither living, nor completely dead, unnatural. Ra’rhuk’s main reason for continuance is one of looking for redemption, with the detached emotion of vague hope to find one.

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