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Memories of a New Home

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  • The battlefield had gone completely still. With the death of their master many of the undead warriors had simply fallen to the ground or collapsed into a pile of dust. Those that remained that weren’t compelled by dark sorcery, the ghouls, the werewolves, the dark sorcerers, were fleeing for their lives, most had already fled once the fighting broke out. A part of Aantar wondered what casualties his own troops had suffered had been and mourned the loss of a large part of their combined forces with the undead. But this had been a necessary battle to fight. Another part of him could not stop staring at the withered corpse before him. Aantar had been cut away from a physical body for so long that he had lost his understanding of what emotions would force their way into his mind. He wanted to crush the corpse into dust and throw it into an endless pit where it would never remind him again of what had happened here today, but he also shuddered at the thought of forgetting it, either.

    Aantar sat there all day, and then through the night. His gaze never left Lisbeth’s body. His men tried to speak to him, but any who did were instantly killed with a negligent flick of Aantar’s arm. After a few casualties from this, his men stopped trying to reach him and instead went about making camp further out where the lowlands gave way to an endless plain. Still Aantar sat on his knees, his unblinking stare memorizing the scene before him, his skeletal face revealing no hints of emotion, none could guess at what thoughts were passing through his mind.

    Finally, when the morning sun crested the horizon and showered down golden light upon him, Aantar rose up and carried the dessicated corpse to the height of a nearby hill. With his remaining hand he clawed the earth for hours, through the morning and into the afternoon. Finally he laid Lisbeth’s body in the hole he had carved. Then he covered her with soil and walked into the mountains where he collected large slabs of granite rock from the base of those peaks, bringing them back to lay on top of her grave. Once it was covered with great blocks of stone he summoned dark energies into his fingertips and carved her name upon the rocks. He did not add any embellishments or accolades, no drawings or signs of affection or condemnation. He simply wrote her name, “LISBETH” into the stone.

    Once finished with that, he returned to the spot where she had died and retrieved her elegant blade that she had dropped upon her death. Once again summoning those dark energies he fused the blade to his arm in order to replace his severed hand. He took a few test swipes at the air to test his new appendage, at which point he seemed satisfied and began walking down towards his men on the plains. By now the sun had once again fallen behind the mountains behind him and night was closing in.

    His men cautiously approached him when they saw him coming. Aantar was quiet for some time while he waited for the entire camp to gather together. When he spoke his voice carried through the ranks in a deathly whisper.

    “We march for the Abyss, and we do not stop until we reach the edges of that damned chasm. Leave everything but your weapons. You will not eat except for what you kill in battle along the way. You will not sleep but for the moments of darkness when the blood craze takes you. You will march until your legs break beneath you and the Abyss looms large in the distance. We do not stop for anything. If any break ranks then kill them, if any fall behind leave them to their fate. Take your weapons now, and then we march. Any who are too wounded to do so now, kill them and leave their corpses for the wolves. We march now!”

    As one the camp surged westward. In their ears echoed the sound of Aantar’s commands. Any who could not stand were promptly trampled under their comrades’ feet, but none resisted the call of the Abyss and Aantar’s command. Like a living creature the horde of warriors walked out onto the plains, their campfires were left smoldering and their tents still erect. Behind them were left a trail of bodies from their own ranks as any too weak or wounded to carry on were butchered and left for the carrion birds who circled even in the dark. Aantar pushed himself to the head of their ranks and stared bleakly into the horizon. He was tired of waiting. He would attain his power at the Abyss, and he would summon his gods into this world to watch it burn as it had done with the last. This world had to burn, it was the only way he could begin to forget.

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    • How's that for promptness drmadwolf ?

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      • That was a great ending for the relation of Aantar and Lisbeth.
        Is it wrong the I like Aantar more than Gregor ? They are bout great characters but I realy realy like Aantar.
        Are you goin to post that other project ? I'm enjoying this story, I'm sure I will also enjoy any other story you write.

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        • You will definitely be able to read it, yes, but it may be a little bit before it's ready.

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          • Also, I'm glad that you like Aantar so much, and no it's not bad that you like him more than Gregor. Gregor is my human that's just trying to survive. Aantar is my eternal creature that's trying to deal with an incomprehensible history and is an impossible situation as it is. I like both characters, but I like how Aantar is developing at present more so, as well.

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            • I have not forgotten this story and I will be finishing the story, but it may be on hiatus for a little bit while I finish up some other projects that have taken over my free time. Good news is that I'll be going in for a minor shoulder surgery that's going to force me to take a month off from work. During which time I'll be able to write/type and so that's probably what is going to take up a large portion of my time, so hopefully I can crank out the finale for this during that time (which will be in July).

              Just wanted to make sure that it's known that I will finish this story, just slower than I originally planned.

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              • Hope your surgery goes well.

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