Midnight RPG - Chapter 28.666

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This vision takes place in the seconds following Durgaz's "speach" to Eranon and Zal'Kazzir telling them of his vision of the "Witch King & Queen of the Erethor"... Then again it could happen at anytime really. Durgaz's mind seems fragile these days... heheh.


It is beneath the Elder Tree of great Caradul. The blossoms drop from the trees like the white bile flinging off the lip of a newly beaten foe. The white silks of pellets mix with pinks and yellows and blues - it is the most beautiful time of the year... It is spring. A new day. In a land that the horrors seemingly cannot touch.

She is undreamingly beautiful - the she of these visions first seeming as the Elder Tree with Queen Aradil looking down from her branches - yet there is another she that roams your dreams... She slinks in silks between and around the trees as a snake dancing around your heart... And with a whisp of her hair, a sparkle twitters in her eye... And a drape of blonde locks drops across her face. Mi'Shun. She is less the Captain of the young Arrows in dream...

She speaks... yet it is not with her voice completely... Aradil... the vile legate love of Zal'Kazzir... the crackle of the one that spawned you amoung the kurisach udureen... she speaks...
...her voice, peacefully calls to you as you drift deeper into her... their slumbering embrace... sleep...... dream...

“Eranon, my champion” she calls softly, her voice full of warmth and safety.
"You and your companions walk with my grace, but there is another who shivers in the cold, waiting for the light"
"You must seek out and reunite the woman beloved of your dark-skinned companion, who also walks my paths, though he does not know it."

The message seems sparse and directed... It does not waver, does not answer your question, yet it whispers again...

...she calls softly, her voice full of warmth and safety.
"You and your companions walk with my grace, but there is another who shivers in the cold, waiting for the light"
"You must seek out and reunite the woman beloved of your dark-skinned companion, who also walks my paths, though he does not know it."

The message is unbroken, your heart must determine the ways of your mind's eye...

While the sweetly acidic voices of love and sorrow whisper an ancient elven tune so somber and sad men have yet to learn the words of such melancoly... A MAN... Elf-Kind. Stands stark, beside you... watching this... Listening to the rapture of the speaking lady. His presense turns your stomach at the same time humbling you. You know this wilder-man... he is a seer... Galeck, Craigth Galeck. And he listens quietly in repose... as the whisper continues.

"He will save her, and she him, and together they walk with me, while apart their roads are uncertain"
"Show compassion and love, walk in my paths, and go with my blessings"
"Peace be with you Eranon, my child, and may your steps never falter."
You feel a warm lingering feeling of safety as the Great Lady departs, leaving you peaceful and once again beneath the Elder Tree as the plooms snowfall.

...again unbroken...

"He will save her, and she him, and together they walk with me, while apart their roads are uncertain"
"Show compassion and love, walk in my paths, and go with my blessings"

On the wind a phantom vulture call screams (echoing your recent encounter with the Vrok demon)... the sky turns ink black as you notice the rot infecting the tree, not from below but from within. Lord Galeck seems only to be waiting and thank the lady he's only watching the game -- someone other controlling it...

Yet with a last glance the elf - Lord Galeck... insane, even in this place of your mind stretches to extend his hand, formerly crossed in front of his shoulder hunched stance between the trees. Following his finger to an area beneath the Elder Tree, you see what he fears... what you have forsaw in times past of the future to be... Avatar eyes lay at the ground.
On the wind the Cult of the Witch laments a tune of forgiveness and at the same time hate for those corrupted. The tree of life does what it cannot do, it begins to rot. Every whispering tree in Erethor screaming. As giant, rotting roots of the Elder Tree tears the Temple of Truth in two.

"...shivering in the cold, waiting for the light..."

...unbroken once more, the only answer given...

"He will save her, and she him, and together they walk with me, while apart their roads are uncertain"

Yet... this... this is true of the many couples it would seem... as you find your seer mind repeating back the words that you spoke to Eranon and Zal'Kazzir - the words of the coming tide...

"...the newly crowned Witch King speaks before a might assemblage of orcs, ogre, and shadow-beasts spawned in the breeding pits. The Witch Queen then declares humanity's time on Eredane finished and explains her plan to hunt them to extinction..."
"He will save her, and she him, and together they walk with me, while apart their roads are uncertain"

What will you do...

“Eranon, my champion”

As the elven facade disolves in a pool of seepage drifting from the joint leaks spewing from "Orc Steel", you see it evaporate into the nostrels of your friends as they melt into goo themselves. The vision of such things to come staggers you. ... So much darkness, so much pain. Is it to be that the world will end this way?

You stand at the crack of doom... the scar... the point of the Sunder. Nothing but darkness and evil... as something unknowable haunts and screaches the skys...

Will you forever remain a creation of the Shadow. In the end, destroyed by Shadow, destroyed by your own inability to fight the tide... A tide forseen unto your chosen eyes only. The others before you fell to the grief. And you, "Durgaz - Son of Shadow" now stand in grief... But while there be breath in rage in your bones you must seek out the call and know...

who do you serve...?

For someday your scales will tip, the tide will turn and you can look back from the evil that you wrought - knowing the good will salvage your soul and save the savaged world.

You fight because it is what Shadow bore you to do, but

who do you serve...?

What now is the ember that was once the reason for being, for what is the reason one million of your kin pour out of the scar in the north... Will you be driven by rage, hatred and lust for vengeance.

who do you serve...?

Is salvation and resistance an illusion of vengeance and false hope seeded by that which bore you? Should the murderous hate be disguised as justice more still? What will you have?

who do you serve...?

Is the blood on your hand and tongue spilled for the pleasure of all or the piece of one within you? Will you slay the Enemy's generals and scatter his soldiers for grief and pain or will you do this because it must be done?

As the mighty vardatch at your back feels no joy in killing, so to will you be a tool for that which bore you or will you reap what has been sewn?

who do you serve...?

You, Durgaz - Son of Shadow have become the impenetrable shield, the killing blade, the cleansing torch, and in legend you willnot be slain... but

who do you serve...?

These few, your companions. They are flawed and imperfect, and some of them are weak.

"...another shivers in the cold, waiting for the light"

But they have the potential to succeed in places where you cannot, so it is your charge to protect them.

"...reunite the beloveds."

When you become a danger, in the end when you retake your mantle Son of Shadow, you will take your own life before endangering slavation, before failing hope...

"He will save her, and she him, and together they walk with me, while apart their roads are uncertain"

The war is more important than the soldiers, do not forgo the Enemy's failings and faulterings, do not resist using the Enemy's tools as Shadow has used you, for it is myth which drives them unlike no other and to know their fear you must sleep in darkness yet come out unsullied. Become that which you fear. Become that which they fear. Become as legend unlike no other and fight as ten thousand soldiers.

who do you serve...?

and along the deck planks of the Spear of Grief your eyes drift back into your head... The last heave of the soft-spoken Dorn, the boy... his chest sinks as the last of his life-blood spills and is drank by the hoof of "Umash's Metal"

"I must do what I can to protect those others who cannot protect themselves, the helpless and the weak who suffer and die every day for the Shadow's pleasure. They must be saved so that, when we are dead and forgotten, others can rise from their ranks to take up where we left off."

The day has come...

who do you serve...?

Answer and learn.

Answer and reap reward.

Answer and be "Son of Shadow", but still yet "the Redeemer" is yours to be found.

who do you serve...?

You must remember that you are a creature of Shadow; and until today you were living proof that one can turn back from the darkness. Yet with weakened resovle, you are a fool with false hope clouded in grief and Shadow. As the blood of the Dornish shipwright carpenters drips from your claws...

Will you share the light that woke me from my nightmare? Will you bring this to your brothers? Free them from the Shadow's yoke and turn the Enemy's own armies against him.

who do you serve Durgaz? - asks the shadowed vissage of your Sarcosan friend... your elven friend... the dead at your side... all the dead to come...

This time.

This place.

It is a waypost in the stream.

Hold tightly to them, do not stumble.

For is so... you will be swept away serving nothing but a dead dream once had...

Gaakh! and let it be so.


The "Avatar Eyes" are literal... eyes! However "Avatar Eyes" refers to some others... Not the Night Kings or Aradil herself. Eye's that have been "plucked out" from the corrupted that may cause this...


NOTE: No part of the following conversation takes place anywhere but inside Durgaz's mind ... however, the visual setting would be somewhere below decks of the ship, and the conversation involves many different Durgazes, alternately speaking about themselves and to one another, which is why the actual sentences switch back and forth between first- and second-person.

Who do I serve?

You are nobody's servant. You may have been created to serve a master, to kill and die for one, but you will do so no longer I am nobody's champion. I trusted in beings I thought were wise and good and all-knowing, but they are as frail and fallible as anyone. I am not bound to do any creature's bidding. I am nobody's soldier. I may be a weapon, a creature built to fight and kill like no other, but I do not fight and kill because I am commanded to do so.

You are here to shield and protect ... not a creature, not a person, but a possibility. If there is ever to be a day when the all Eredane does not drip with the Shadow's taint, when those few with the will to fight back are no longer pressed into tiny corners of the world, when all men and elves and orcs alike need no longer be divided into masters and slaves, hunters and hunted, powerful and powerless ... then someone must forge the path that will lead them there. It may not happen until long after you are dead, but it is your purpose, while you are alive, to do what you can to make sure that it can, some day.

This is why we work to drive back the forces that would destroy Three Oaks. This is why you steal away tools that the Shadow might use to crush that little resistance which remains. The hope of any future at all is now nothing more than a seed, and if it is ever to become a great tree, it will need those who can nurture it and keep it alive in the face of untold dangers, and it will need those who can hack and burn and destroy the mighty standing oaks that keep it from reaching the sunlight. That is your purpose. And I do it not because I serve a master who tells me to do so, but because I believe in that possibility.

And this is why I cannot abide the Sarcosan. I am sure he believes, as I do, that a world without the Shadow's influence would be a better place. But in spite of his pretty words, his methods lead only to the same world with different masters. He steals away the wills of others without a second thought, makes pacts with the darkest of beings with foolhardy and arrogant certainty that they could never possibly threaten him, and has proven time and again that his true allegiance lies with himself. The new world he would create might be a brighter place, but it would still be a place of masters and slaves, the wealthy and the paupers, and the most sickening of evils would be tolerated and sheltered if they presented some usefulness to those in power.

This vision seeks, perhaps, to appeal to me with the image of one of the Shadow's faithful, "shivering in the cold, waiting for the light", but I feel no sympathy for her. She is a wretched creature to be pitied, a being that, however twisted and devoted to the Shadow she might have been, had her will snatched away from her and her mind forcibly hacked and carved into whatever it is now. She deserves a quick death for the evils she committed freely, for her willingness to embrace the Shadow when, like all humans, she was born with a choice. She deserves no respect, no gratitude for whatever she has become since her decision to leave the Shadow was made FOR her. We may both have come out of the Shadow, but we are not the same.

You may be wrong. I have not seen those futures, only felt them, and they may be false, or I may be misinterpreting them. Perhaps there is a good to be served by bringing the Sarcosan and his thrall back together, so that they might walk with you. Or perhaps not. I have seen you fall to the Shadow, driven sick and mad. I have seen you send disease-ridden monsters to wipe out your own people. When you say that the Sarcosan walks with you, perhaps you mean one of these futures. Perhaps he will serve at the feet of you and the Sorcerer as you toast and laugh over the rotten corpse of a slaughtered world. I cannot say. No man, or elf, or orc, can look too far into the future without being driven mad, and try as I might, I cannot see far enough to divine the answer to this question without toppling over that precipice. I am too close already.

So I am torn: shall I trust the judgment of one who has long been the world's only hope of salvation from the Shadow, in the hope that she is not yet the instrument of its destruction she seems destined to become? Or should I ignore the suggestions and warnings of all others and do as my instincts tell me ... though, in doing so, you might fall to the same arrogance and selfish pride that you see in those you despise?

Neither. I serve no master, nor do I serve myself. I serve an idea, a dream of a world that may never come. I will do what I can, in the here and now, to make small parts of that dream a reality, and leave in my tracks the individual paving-stones that better men than I might someday use to construct a road to that future. I must remember this above all things, and never allow fear, or anger, or despair to color it beyond recognition. I might see anything and everything, if I could but reach up and brush away all that obstructs my vision. So this is what I must do.

This is what YOU must do.


The splinter of his mind is clear now. There is light with darkness as the visage of Durgaz bicker across from one another. But one thing is clear, his mind is not whole. For now it cannot bear the weight. But what must it do? Grow stronger? Find others to help carry the load? Whatever the choice Durgaz broke that which should never be crossed... he questioned.... he questions his ideal. He questions the parts of him that were born in Shadow, he questions the parts that pulled from from the yoke of Shadow, he questions the dream of legend that grew in his mind to block the harsh cold of Shadow.

And the questions are what broke these fragile bones... as he looks down to see the fallen corspes of the Dorn men. Blood stains his hands as it seeps through the planks. This place, this thing which Durgaz does now - will it save the world? Is the path more crooked than it was from the beginning now? Questions and theories continue to swirl and swell... But to question is to doubt and to doubt puts faith in jeopardy. Jeopardy that now dries as the blood on the floorboards.

Neither master nor self he serves, yet for self pity these men are now dead. They will not have another winter with their families, they will not have the luxury of asking similar questions, they are dead. And now the can only remind of you the hate you wrought in anger and disregard for their lives. Those men walked in as free men but fell as slaves beneath Durgaz's rath.

Whom does he serve?