A few months ago…..
The bright sunlight painted the landscape in vribrant colours. Sharp shadows contrasted with the bright yellow of the buttercup flowers and the bright blue of the clear sky. Today was a pleasant day to travel and be outside, a slight breeze keeping the heat of the late spring at bay.
The lands of the Brothermark could almost be idylic, if not for the smokes of the Abyss rising on the horizon. All was at peace for the moment, yet demons from the Abyss could lie in wait behind every hill. The contrast was tantilizing.
Unfortunately, the force of vengeful spirits that followed Jarvis’ guidance was painfully dimished. In the past few weeks the force was attacked several times by a force of Brotherhood Exemplars. They did not want to understand that Jarvis was there to fight the Abyss- not them. Aside from the losses caused by the skirmishes, very few of the Basilean spirits were willing to follow his guidance after death. Apparently, the spirits’ hatred of undead prevented them from following him to fulrfil their oaths to fight the Abyss. Ironic. Still, the result for Jarvis was that his force depleted without much replenishment and only a small company followed him.
“Master” Veritia called out. “be wary”.
Veritia, once a Rhordian baroness, had accepted the curse of Vampirism over death on the battlefield five years earlier. Though physical far more imposing then ever before, the “gift” of vampirism had severely damaged her sanity. During the day, especially when weakened out in the sunlight, she was as elquent and well-behaved as ever and prone to bouts of melancholy. Out in the dark, however, she turned into a raging whirlwind of blades that even Jarvis could barely control. Her phsyicial prowess and leadership over the contignent of soul reaver vampires in the army was matched only by the fierce hatred of the denizens of the Abyss that had killed her years ago. She accepted Jarvis as master due to his usefullness in keeping her undead form intact and his knowledge over the creatures of the Abyss. Once he will no longer be able to furfil her desire to slaughter the servants of the Abyss, she will leave and take her band of vampires with her. As for now, she leads the vanguard of Jarvis’ small force.
Veritia was right to be cautious. Even for an immortal, the battles against the forces of the Abyss were dangerous. At worst, she could be carried off screaming into the depths of damnation, joining the chorus of tortured souls in that damned place. Yet, her goals were clear. That fatefull day, five years ago, demons carried off her husband and the love of her life into that place. There’s nothing she would no do for re-unification and that means daring the Abyss herself.
But this day in the lands of the Brothermark, the small army found only the remains of a battle. Like the battle five years ago, the demons ambushed a force of humans and killed those whom they could not capture. The defeated warband this time were Varangur. A ring of smelly corpses marked the place where they made their last stand. As the number of demonic corpses testified, they sold their lives dearly. It didn’t matter, they were as dead as their foes.
Jarvis checked out the pile of corpses for signs of life. There were none, the battle was more than few days ago. His necromantic vision scanned for longering spirits and found none….. wait…. there was one! A strong spirit, sustaining on sheer willpower! Jarvis channeled some magical power into the spirit to communicate.
“Who are you?” were his words.
The spirit replied from far away, the voice thin even through the empowered connection. “….. pain…. sorrow…… agony…..”
Jarvis invested some more power to dull the pain – temporary “My name is Jarvis, do you hear me? “.
The spirit replied. “…. a mortal?….. I hear…… fury…. must ki…..”
Jarvis pondered: “It would be kinder to force this damaged spirit to move on to the afterlife. On the other hand, it must have had enormous willpower to keep existing for so long. He could give her one more chance of reaching her goals. He had to know!”
Jarvis embraced the spirit in the soothing powers: “What is it that makes you cling on to existence?” The spirit barely seemed to understand “Korgaan’s will, must fight the Abyss….fury…..”
Jarvis now made his offer: “If you want to fight on, I can give you that chance… but be aware that your body has been destroyed. I can only give you the body of a monster”
The spirit seemed to understand “No matter….. must fight! …. If you can make me fight….. I’ll name you master”
Jarvis answered “Good…. we have a purpose and we do have a deal. What do I call you? “.
The spirit anwered “…. I was Hilda… and will be again…..”
Veritia looked at Jarvis.
“How on earth will you raise her? There’s probably not enough of her left to make a revenant, if even you can find out which of these stinking corpses is hers”.
Jarvis grinned, the power of the Nexus at his fingertips. “I’ll just use everything available, then her body is bound to be part of it. It’s just a matter of art and a lot of magic. And Magical power is in ample supply…..”
That’s how Hilda joined Jarvis