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Facing the Gauntlet - Combat Survival Test (SG RP, closed; Myyrth)


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Tripping stumbling Myyrth’ul’shai’zumel charged headlong down the steep hill, loose rocks and dust tumbling down after him threatening to trip him up and bury him under an avalanche of jagged shale and dirt.  He was in a narrow valley the sun a sickly greenish yellow hung sedentary in the polluted sky, solid stone walls rising up on either side of him trapped him, a sickening odor permeated the air.  It was like someone was being cooked alive, it was a greasy smell.  The smell of death.



Myyrth already carried scars from the path behind him, scrapes on his knuckles, a superficial gash on his shoulder from a close call with a blade trap. The obstacle course was designed to weed out the weak and slow.  It was designed to test your every instinct force you to prove yourself or die trying.  The Myrddraal was a powerful tool in armies of the Shadow, but like any tool of worth it must be forged with discipline.  He must be made into a deadly weapon, cunning and terrible a reflection of the Great Lord's will.  The weak must be culled from the heard.  Rounding a corner in the long downhill maze Myyrth keeps moving, the sound of clattering and smashing rock behind him a warning to just how close he had come to dying under an avalanche of rough stone.  The fadeling didn’t know how such a structure as this obstacle course was built on the ragged hills of Shayol Ghul, it hardly mattered.  The power of the Great Lord was beyond understanding, and unquestioned.  A brief moment of distaste touches his face at the thought of it being perhaps power-wrought.  He had heard ancient stories of the land that had been here.  Stories told over Trolloc tribal fires, the clan shaman drunk on strange vapors and poisons speaking prophecy.  How in ancient times the Great Lords power shattered the prideful home of the Wyrdkith. Only after learning his own place had he realized the truth.



There was only one purpose for a Fade, to survive and kill in the name of Shai'tan. The paltry world will be broken, these stone walls will fall and time itself will end, consumed by the eternal darkness of his master, an abyss as deep and dark as the chasm that split the narrow path between the rock ahead of him.


He pauses a moment to scrutinize the distance, the shear rock fell away into an empty void.  It would require a prodigious jump to clear the gap, but he was no human child he was shadowspawn.  Tensing he moves onto the balls of his feet, his body settling into the sprint.  He bursts free pumping his arms to gain as much momentum as possible, eating up the ground with incredible speed he reaches the edge and leaps.  For what seems like an eternity his feet touch nothing but air, a sudden rush of adrenaline shoots through him as his extended foot misses the edge by a hairs breadth and slams into the rock wall too low.  Plummeting into an abyss he throws his upper body forward his other leg bent.  His leg on fire he smashes into the ground part of him hanging out over the nothingness.  Clawing for a handhold his head bleeding where it smashed into the ground he pulls himself up and rolls onto his back.  Breathing heavily he grits his teeth in a brutal smile before standing up and tenderly testing his bruised shin.



“Great Lord!” he exclaims in the barbaric tongue of the trollocs.  Getting to his feet he wipes the blood from his forehead.  He feels for the short sword at his side and takes an account of his dagger and other gear then sets off at a trot.  That jump had almost done him in, he was lucky to be alive.  Dark One’s own luck, as a lightfool human would say.  The previous traps had not been quite as dangerous, though the bloodwrasp pen had been particularly challenging.  Those were monsters he had faced before.  Rounding the corner his smile disappears, the exit to this maze was at the bottom of a slick forty five degree incline.  A vile bubbling spring that ran down the hill gave it a treacherous appearance.  Stepping up to the edge lightly he tests the surface.  It was preternaturally slippery he would need to move fast to stay on his feet.  He couldn’t just tumble out of control down the slope.  Steeling himself he checks the leather straps holding his weapons one more time then hustles slipping and sliding on the slimy mud.



Myyrth bursts out at the bottom of the hill, throwing himself into a dive just as a blade flashes by at head level nearly decapitating him then and there, to thrash like a frenzied and dying animal on the ground till the sun sets over the horizon.  Spinning he sizes up his opponent, a trolloc thrall with the head of some sort of oversized bird of prey.  This was very dangerous.  The young fadeling couldn’t afford to be injured, not at this stage.  He might be tougher than a human but it still took time to heal, it still left you vulnerable.  Yet, glory was found in the death of your foes.  Only the strong could gain power and status in the eyes of the Great Lord of the Dark.  Only those who rose upon a tide of blood could truly have any mastery over their own lives before the end came.  The trolloc stood growling and panting in the pale waning light of the sun, it’s wickedly curved blade would probably stand about as tall as his chest, it gleamed dully.  Myyrth’s own weapon was little more than a notched iron short sword.  From the looks of it at one time it had been called a long blade, but battle wear had taken its toll snapping off the upper quarter of the blade.  He didn’t trust it in the least to stand up to the blows of this twisted beast.



Huuuurrooooooar!” the Trolloc bellowed, its breath steaming and rancid.  Charging with heavy thumping strides they came to blows. Since he was old enough to carry a sharp object he had killed, he knew a skilled combatant when he saw one.  This beast was half starved, a runt.  Still, not trusting his strength to be sufficient he lets the trollocs blade glance off redirecting the force of the strike rather than letting the weapons come to full contact, which would likely lead to his own blade shattering and himself getting bisected from shoulder to groin.  He kept his stance high and centered, angling his entire body and moving his feet quickly to keep his opponent moving and redirect the momentum of the combat.  Trollocs, while surprisingly dexterous for hulking animalistic beasts, were not the lightest on their feet.  Not as sure footed as a young and agile fadeling at least.



The trolloc kept it’s blows high, pounding it’s wickedly curved weapon down it’s small prey in a rain of blows that forced him back.  With a sudden movement that catches Myyrth on his back foot the bird headed monster drops a heavy kick straight into the soft flesh of his stomach.  The low blow caught him completely off guard and his breath blasted clear out of him.  He buckles over at the force of the blow, barely avoiding the swing that follows he rolls aside gasping for air.  Holding his stomach he grimaces in pain, discolored needle sharp teeth bared he manages to deflect the trolloc’s second reckless swing with a one handed guard that minimizes contact.    In desperation he throws himself onto his back as the third blow comes down at his head.  As he falls he kicks out with a heavy booted foot a sharp crunch is heard as the beasts knee shatters. The trolloc stumbles forward his swing going wild, screeching in pain through its jagged beak.  



Not waiting even a second Myyrth stabs his notched blade through the eagle headed monsters Achilles tendon.  Its headlong stumble turns into a full fledged fall.  His opponents heavy weight lands right on top of him, it felt like a tree falling, immediately it starts to thrash trying to grab its blade which had fallen from its grip.  One stray claw like hand slashes his arm and sends his sword flying.   His other arm pinned beneath the beast’s leg, he draws his dagger and in a fury stabs repeatedly into the trolloc’s side.  Warm blood splashed over his arm and face as he punctures the trolloc’s flesh.  Terrified the beast gives up trying to claw at him and starts to crawl away its life away into the tainted ground of the Blight.  Myyrth shoved its legs off him and rose quickly, tense and excited.  His mind alive with the smell of blood he leaps on the defeated monster.  His faced stretched in a cruel smile he strikes, his knife flashes again and again in the twilight, with a shuddering screech the trolloc dies.  



Standing up, blood dripping steadily into the soil he scans the rest of the field.  He was through, it was over.  Wiping his dagger on his defeated opponents dirty rags he slips the dagger into its oiled leather sheath.  Darkness was falling over the blighted landscape like a bloated corpse steaming and putrid.  It ate the last remaining vestiges of the sun’s light leaving only shadows which hung fat and heavy on the ground.  As he bent to retrieve his worn blade from where it had fallen he paused, Myyrth felt a distinct tugging at the corners of his perception, he whirls around blade on guard but freezes when he spots what had alerted him.  A mere extension of the shadows that surrounded him, the Myrddraal spoke in a voice that whispered like the rustling of dead leaves.



“You survive again I see, I remember when you came crawling to us a wretched wriggling worm covered in excrement.  You have made us so.. proud…”  Though Myyrth could not see the Task Master’s face beneath the shadow of his hood, he could feel his overseer’s cruel smile in the mocking sound of his voice.  “Return to the barracks, you are forbidden to clean the blood from your body, let it remind you of your service to the Great Lord and the long path still before you.  The Eyeless finds his destiny in the blood of his enemies given up in sacrifice to the Great Lord.”  The Task Master turns his head to one side, examining the young Myrddraal.    He seems to consider something before turning away, his voice floats out over the dead air “still so many ways to die, till the end of all things.”  



One moment the overseer was there, the next moment he was gone, Myyrth could feel when the Task Master stepped through into the shadows.  Like a folding or tugging somewhere just behind his head, it stirred a deep longing in his shadowspawned heart.  He was still so young, so weak.   The night whispered to him and he knew he was only half of what he was supposed to be.  The power of his gaze was weak, the dark resisted his attempts touch it.  He was incomplete.  Turning towards a far distant structure that sat brooding on the dark slope he set out at a brisk trot.  Occasionally he clenched his fist, feeling the slick blood of his kill sticky on his hands.



“Till the end of all things,” Myyrth’ul’shai’zumel's voice was the sound of dry wind over a graveyard, fleeting in the vast night.  His silent steps echoed hollowly, he walked drenched in the blood of his prey an offering to the Great Lord of the Dark.


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