Here's the story portion of my GC2 entry parts 1&2 entries. Enjoy
What Once was Lost
Amaranthine had paused his journey north to the College of Magic upon hearing the circling rumors of the hunt for a great treasure that had once been lost. He'd been traveling at night as he still had not reached his full strength. But perhaps this lost artifact could indeed be his crutch until he had remembered his true finesse as a master wizard. Amaranthine soon found himself at The Last Illusion, the run down inn which primary catered to the outlaw novice mages and treasure seekers who had come to the Magic Isle. He shunned his minions away to catch any that might leave before Amaranthine had the chance to listen to their thoughts or hear their whispers. He lifted his cloak to advert his appearance from the patrons and created a anti-magic aura about himself to hide his powers from those who could sense them. He out stretched his hand to the door. The light danced on his hand, his flesh hung like gibbets on a turkey. He was growing weak again and would have to consume another strong soul soon. He still lacked the magical prowess to consume the souls slower and more efficiently. He let out a sigh and pushed on the door, creeping it open. He stepped into the inn. The trudging of his boots across the floor were the loudest sound among a room of whispers. The Inn was abuzz with secrets and stories of lost treasures.
Amaranthine lifted the brim of his hat slightly to quickly look around. He met the gaze of a well dressed thief at the head of table amongst passed out and sleeping drunkards who had lost their years searching the Isle for riches. He walked past the table and round the wall behind them. As he rounded the corner he looked up and saw where the wall ended before the ceiling to allow for the roof supporting timbers. He could sense the brigand knew something and he could sense the brigand was equally suspicious of him. Amaranthine gave a sly smile as a plan came to fruition. He popped off his left ear, pulled his brim down further on the left side, placed the ear on top of the wall, and then continued to trudge away. He could sense that the brigand felt more at ease as he took a seat at the opposite side of the room; nearly 30 feet away. He then proceeded to remove an ornate pipe from his person, the bowl bore a horrible face, which appeared to be a demon with fierce eyes, sharp fangs and long snake-like tongue. He placed tinder in the pipe and lite it up. The demonic pipe now flared and granted Amaranthine the ability to tap into his severed ear across the room. He looked over and saw the brigand lean to his comrade; who was dressed in ornate leather garb and a bright red sash.
“Hey Smethick,” he rasped, “what do you think of that guy over there? He seems to be watching us.”
“Nonsense Nyles,” chuckled the other. The Smethick extended his hand to Amaranthine. “That old codgers just concerned with his pipe and a warm place to stay on these cold nights. We're free to talk.”
“So, the sword.... you said you'd found something out about it. The reason why no one can find it and why it will only work for those whom have it bestowed upon them.”
“It's not the sword, it's something else.”
“I take it that means you know what it really is?”
“Well not quite, but I have an idea. I found a journal, come up to my room and I'll show it to you.”
Nyles took a gold piece out of his pocket and placed it on the table. Then the two proceeded across the old dusty floor and up the creaking wooden stairs. Amaranthine extinguished his pipe, and placed it back into his worn pocket. He walked behind the wall and grabbed his ear, held it to his head and burned it back on. He then beckoned to his minions.
The door slammed open, the wind howled. Everyone in the Inn turned. Three skeletons stood in the doorway and then lurched toward the patrons. Many of the patrons screeched and ran out. This woke up those who had long passed out on the tables, who then joined the throng surging out of the front door. Within minutes the Inn lay quite. Amaranthine gave a quick look around the bar, which was now completely empty aside from the old barkeep whom the skeletons were devouring.
“Enough” Amaranthine scowled, “we have work to do.” He then proceeded up the stairs. He knew the two patrons he'd spied on would have heard the commotion. The skeletons dropped the severed limbs of the barkeep they'd been eating; each hit the floor with a hollow thud followed by a splat as blood shot out.
They quickly stumbled up the stairs behind Amaranthine to arrive at a hallway of open doors. Only the door at the end of the hall remained closed; soft light glowed around the door frame. Amaranthine placed his palm to the wooden door, his eyes burned wide. All sound was sucked away but was quickly followed by a load thwack as the door splintered into a thousand pieces. The brigands who had been laying in wait now lay rolling on the floor in bruised and in agony after being pelted and impaled by the splinters.
Amaranthine saw an old leather bound journal on the floor and picked it up. He started to thumb through it and walked away. As he did he waved his hand and said,
“Grab them and anything you find in the room and meet me in the wine cellar. I've just remembered this Inn use to be Spell breaker owned.”
The brigands were dragged down two flights of stairs into the cellar and saw the old man standing by a wall, the journal in his hand. He reached out and placed his hand on a raised stone at the side of the wall and twisted it. The wall then flung open to to reveal another room. The Skeletons followed dragging the maimed rogues behind them.
The thieves looked around. Half the room was barred off and several ill-fated looking contraptions filled the rest. The floor was littered with blood stains, old dried bones and god knew what else. “Put the burly one in the jail, we'll try the rogue first.”
Nyles, the well dressed man, was thrown into the jail and the door shut was tightly behind him by a skeleton using a Amarnthine's standard. Smethick was grabbed by the other two skeletons and thrown on a wooden rack in the center of the room. His limbs were quickly spread and chained down. The moonlight poored down from a barred window at the top of the room and showered down on Smethick, revealing the fear flooding his face.
Nyles starred in shock and awe as the skeletons surrounded the rack as their master approached. The floor squeaked as Amaranthine's staff dragged across the ground.
“You know this use to be an old Spell breaker torture chamber, where they're force my kin to abdicate from magic. Ironic that just upstairs lays a novice mage hot spot," Amaranthine followed with a sigh and a chuckle. "Anyway, let's start from where you left off at the bar... something about the Sword of Karlamac not being a sword?” “And let's give that rack a few turns to give his mind a jump start.”
Before Smethick had a chance to utter a word the rack let out three resounding clunks and Smethick screamed.
“Ahhh,I didn't say I wouldn't tell you, it's all in the journal! That the hand of the king can vanquish those who stand in his way!”
“The hand of the king?” Amaranthine echoed and rested his arm on the rack wheel resulting in an additional clank, which followed by a crack and a scream.
“Gaaaaaaaaagh!” Smethick breathed heavily his right shoulder now swung limply . “I don't know,” he sighed, “We were trying to figure it out. But it has to do with manipulating the wind with the royal hand. We know the legend spoke of a sword that could knock down even the strongest of warriors and destroy the mightiest navy's but the sword was a distraction and a farce to hide the real secret.”
“An object imbued with the power of wind.... a glove perhaps.” Amaranthine pondered.
“That....that..that would make sense. Like why the swords power never worked for those who were not bestowed it, yet appeared to control the wind,” Smethick uttered weakly to himself.
Nyles still gazed, petrified, as the moonlight saturated the terrible scene unfolding in the center of the room. Amaranthine, had recalled something mysterious revolving around Duke Wirklich Nervig of Lenfald burial several decades ago. Oddly, the Duke was buried in his ceremonial beige gloves; the very same gloves worn by the Roawian royalty in times of war and official pageantry.
“Tell me rogue, where was the dearly departed Duke buried?”
Smethick spat blood, and uttered, “The great cliffs of Isil Oro. Can we go now?” He coughed more blood and sobbed quietly.
Amaranthine lifted his staff, knocked it on the floor and the two of the skeletons at his side rushed toward the rack. Just as Smethick looked about the skeletons pounced on and the rack and ripped into his stomach to devour his entrails. Smethick let out a blood curdling scream and fell silent. Amaranthine turned around and started to walk toward the door.
“W-wh-what about me?” stammered Nyles as the third skeleton emptily gazed back at his uneasy and bruised face.
“If I were you I'd be more concerned with ensuring that skeleton doesn't figure out how to dislodged my standard from wedging your cell shut.” Amaranthine chuckled and walked out of the room and swung the secret stone door shut. Nyles sat in the dark with only the dim light of the moon, on an overcast night, to comfort him though the sound of his comrade being ripped apart by the undead; the shadow hulking before him.
Amaranthine had trekked several weeks and deviated from his beaten path to the College of Magic. But part of him feared what he would find there and part of him sought to find the the gloves of Duke Nervig, which could potentially be imbued with the power of wind; a weapon which would aid Amaranthine greatly while he regained his former strength. His skeletons quickly took out the men guarding the Nervig family mausoleum which overlooked the sea at Isil Oro. Amaranthine signaled two skeletons to break open the stone door and he descended into the crypt deeper and deeper until he came upon the Duke's stone sarcophagus. He signaled skeletons to slide the sarcophagus open and peered down at the Duke's decaying body. The corpse lay bare but Amaranthine's abilities came in handy for this type of problem. He placed his palm on the skull. Life jerked through the Duke's body and the eye sockets glowed green. A single thought flashed through Amaranthine's head and he knew instantly where the Duke had placed his gloves.
Down the hall lay a small stone chest, the housing of the Duke's still born child; the closest he ever came to producing an heir. He lifted the chest open and saw a golden blanket over covering the child's body. Next to the blanket lay a single beige glove with monogram RK embroidered lavishly upon it. He noticed an absence of feeling as he picked up the glove and shut the stone chest. He slide the glove over his hand and flexed his fingers softy within. He felt cold air whirl through his long beard and caress his brow. Facing the crypt hall, he made a sweeping motion and dust shot up from the floor. He looked to his hand and smiled at the majestic glove.
He then left the old crypt. Wiser and more powerful, he prepared to resume the trek to the college of magic when something drew his attention on the horizon; a chance to truly test the glove. He spotted a small Lenfel vessel that appeared to be manned by two sailors. Again his muscles forged a smile, so wide in fact that his lips cracked and his skin split; for his flesh was not use to the light nor the strain. He extended his hand towards the ship and made a gentle twirling motion.
The ship began to bob and slowly turn around the stern facing towards the cliffs. He then made a circular motion beckoning the ship toward him. First gently, then rougher and quicker. The ship began to creep towards the shore, first slowly then faster as the ocean became choppy. His motion continued to increase in speed. The ship's crew grew alarmed and opened up their sail. The sail buckled inward, pushing the ship backward faster and faster. The rocky cliffs began to close in on the ship. The Lenfel sailors now panicked and raced round the small vessel. Amaranthine's eyes grew wide, focused and stoic as the ship closed in. Then he thrust his hand towards himself and a mighty wave surged the ship backward, smashing it into the rocks. The two sailors screamed and vanished into the ocean along with the ship.
As the tide ebbed back it revealed one sailor clutching onto the mast of the ship which had become lodged between two rocks. The sailor looked up and extended his hand towards the heavens for help. Amaranthine granted his request for salvation and made a violent swipe in the air. A brisk and torrent waved soared toward the cliff and washed over the sailor and smashed hard into the cliff slide. As the wave left the mast was bare and the subsequent wave tips glowed pink with blood in the setting sun. Amaranthine cackled and looked at his palm again. The Duke was a fool, he should never have left such a mighty secret bequeathed. Never would he part with such a great and powerful weapon nor would he have to, for now his destiny to wander the world immortal was solidified.