Alright, I have finished the DLC. I've changed this chapter up a bit from what it was. Didn't take too much work, just needed to alter a few things from the Slayer's POV. I intentionally left a few details vague for now as to avoid spoilers for when you guys play the DLC. Later on in this story though, I will be spoiling it, but that won't be for a while. Leave me a review as always. If you don't review, I'll have to take away your based card, You wouldn't want that would you?
The Slayer's right fist found itself planted firmly in the diaphragm of a gigantic baron of hell. The beast had lost the use of its left leg due to a well-placed shotgun round to the knee cap. The flesh and bone had been torn apart by the powerful burst, and as the baron got on its other knee for support, the Slayer had taken the opportunity to deliver a killing blow to the demon's chest. A hollow cavity had formed where his punch had landed, and the demon fell forward.
Seeing this, the Slayer reared his head back, and bashed his helmeted skull against the demons head. Bone crunched under metal as the barons fall shifted from the impact, landing the creature squarely on its back. The Slayer took a deep breath through his nostrils and exhaled as he surveyed his surroundings.
Bodies lay in broken masses of twisted bones and sundered flesh. Blood painted the once green grass and was already beginning to dry. The earth was scorched bare in many places, blackened earth easily discernable amongst the bloodied grass. The corpses of man and demon alike lay everywhere from where the Slayer could see.
He had somehow found himself next to the forest. His gory rampage having blinded him to his whereabouts until he just now came to his senses. He could see no vile spawn in his line of sight, and this frustrated him. Several humans wandered the battlefield, several limping, or crying with anguish. Several forms picked through the bodies, screaming for the names of missing brothers in arms. At least that was what it seemed to the Slayer, he could not understand the words which spewed forth from these human's mouths.
The Slayer tapped the side of his helmet, and his visor lit up with a pleasant blue color, contrasting against the ashy red sky overhead. Several lines of code and data the Slayer did not attempt to understand flashed across the visor until the words VEGA appeared. The visor then returned to its normal hue, the color of the world returning to its horrific palette. The voice of The Father came through his helmets com.
"Vega Father systems online. What can I help you with?."
The Slayer pointed to the wailing men. Vega... or the Father he supposed, remained silent for a moment.
"Interesting... I have not heard this dialect before. I will begin examining tone, body language, and context clues to begin translating. I will begin this process now."
Vega's voice had remained that of the fathers, that of a deep, knowing voice. It unsettled him to hear the wise tone in place of Vega's, but it did not upset the Slayer too much. He was not sure how Vega knew that a demonic incursion would crop up here on this backwater world three dimensions away, but it was a good thing he did. Perhaps Davoth would appear, and the Slayer could crush the Dark Lord once and for all, trapping the demons within Hell for all eternity and stopping its cancerous growth. Ever since the bastard escaped his hands a few months back, it had been driving the Slayer to near madness that he had not been able to find Davoth. Taking the Father with him, the Slayer had been combing the realms of Hell and others in his search. There had been nothing, Davoth was not in Hell. This new Hell incursion might grant the Slayer some clues as to Davoth's whereabouts... or maybe The Dark Lord would just simply be here on the planet.
A man spotted him and went wide-eyed. The soldier was a man of middling height, the shine of his breastplate dimmed by the ashen sky.
"F-Falalo!" The man shouted pointing a finger at the Slayer "Falalo!"
Soon the other survivors took notice of the Slayer's presence, and they too began chanting 'Falalo' taking slow steps towards him. He turned as suddenly a blue light shone from behind him, and the Slayer was greeted with the open black maw of the circular portal. The blue light emanated from spinning blue light which circled the whole of the portal, looking almost like flame as it whirred wildly. The Slayer slowly turned to the rift as the survivors drew closer, and stepped through, leaving the mortal men behind in awe of what they had just seen.
Tirus had escaped the fire, realizing that the flames surrounding him would only grow in size if he kept waiting, he had dashed through as fast as he was able. Whatever facial hair he had was seared off in his passing, and his left boot had caught on fire. Unable to put out the flame, Tirus had merely removed the flaming boot with the heel of his other shoe, pinning it to the ashen earth and quickly withdrawing his foot from the burning leather. After that, he simply ran, his left foot pierced by twigs and shattered glass. His bleeding foot still pained him, but Tirus kept running, his lungs burning and legs becoming leaden. He carried the magic axe at his side, the red glow lighting up the underside of his face. He had lost track of time and only thought to cease his sprint when the ash beneath his feet gave way to green grass.
He collapsed almost immediately as his stride lost momentum, landing face-first on the grass and dropping the glowing red axe to the earth. He took deep gulps of air, his lungs burning and throat tickling horribly. This intake of air was often interrupted by violent coughing fits. He lay there for what felt like forever before he finally regained his wind, sitting up from the grass and wiping the thick sweat off of his brow.
He looked around him, seeing that somehow, he indeed did escape from the hellish nightmare at Alnus. Tirus had somehow ended up in an open field. This break in the forest left him open and visible for anyone to see. Tirus did not enjoy the thought of losing his assorted giblets, so slowly, he rose from the ground, again taking notice of his aching left foot. He looked down at the bloody ruin of his sole and winced. Somewhere along the way, he had apparently stepped onto shattered glass. A large chunk of glass the size of his big toe jutted from the pad of his foot. It had been driven in deep from the pounding of his feet as he escaped the horrid monsters at Alnus. Other small things pierced the flesh of his foot, smaller shards of glass, some kind of tiny thorn headed rocks that resembled the head of a goat, and sharp twigs pocked his poor foot.
Now that he was aware of his agony, Tirus fell back onto his ass and groaned loudly. He'd lose this foot for sure, there was no way it wasn't infected now. If he was really unlucky he'd probably lose his leg. His uncle Valard had lodged a splinter under a fingernail and lost his entire arm from it eventually. Then again, his uncle Valard was a bit of a moron and had ignored it until it became infected. Tirus knew that if he had any hope of saving his limb, he'd have to pluck out every single object lodged in his foot.
He groaned again and resigned himself to fate. He didn't like being out in the open like this, but he didn't want to walk until he removed the various debris from his foot. He set to work on the grueling and surprisingly very painful task, removing several stones, twigs, and glass using his long fingernails as impromptu tweezers. He saved the biggest piece of glass for last, and with a grunt of pain, he removed the blood-stained shard.
His foot was a ruined mess, but at least he removed most of the objects lodged within it. He looked to the sky, seeing that the sun was close to setting, bathing the forest in an orange glow. How long was his run? He ran far enough to escape the smoke cloud, but he couldn't be that far ahead of it. Give it time and the smoke would reach him. He stood up, leaning his weight on his right foot as to spare what grief he could for his left. Tirus turned his sock inside out and shook the cloth, removing any shards that may have remained.
He pulled it on and only then noticed that the axe's red glowing blades were gone. The black shaft of the weapon lay upon the green grass, sticking out and radiating menace. Tirus took a deep breath as he gripped the weapon. He suddenly felt sick as he grasped the lower end of the pole. He didn't feel this was upon first picking it up, but now he felt as if he were being drained. Tirus chalked it up to just the ordeal he had just been put through.
He gazed upon the odd glyphs upon its surface and noticed that one glyph jutted out from the rest. Curious, Tirus ran his finger along the glyph. It sank slightly at his touch, and Tirus pressed it all the way down. The red blades returned suddenly, causing Tirus to gasp. He dropped it to the ground, scrambling away on all fours. That had scared the shite out of him! The blades remained, glowing ominously as the grass beneath both of the bright blades shriveled and died, turning black beneath them.
This damnable thing had to be cursed! It'd be best to leave it here and move on… Tirus then rose to his feet once more, and began moving north, the direction of his home village and to his beloved Delilah. He made it three agonized steps before looking back to the axe. He stared silently for a moment before picking it up from the earth. An outline of blackened grass mirrored the whole shape of the weapon, and that sickening feeling returned…
However, there was something more to the sickness… A sort of feeling that Tirus hadn't truly felt before. Holding this weapon before him like this, made him feel powerful… He could easily make it home… if he simply brought it along with him. He could handle anything thrown at him, and the more he approved of the idea, the more the sickness faded. In its place was a stronger compulsion to bring HIS axe with him. The pain of his foot seemed numbed as he continued his way north, holding the axe to bear.
Emperor Molt Sol Augustus stared out over his capital city. Several hundred people were visible moving between the blue tiled roofs of various buildings, carrying out their everyday lives in ignorance. The stone cobbled streets were well worn by several generations worth of imperial citizens Soon, however, they would be made aware of how horribly the battle of Alnus had gone. He had received word from a surviving wyvern rider a day ago on what had happened.
The Gate had apparently opened up to a realm of horrifying and powerful monsters. The messenger had declared them 'demons' and their threat could not be understated. Another important piece of news he had received was of the 'green knight of Alnus'. A man who had torn these creatures apart with his bare hands. The wyvern rider had said that the knight had somehow destroyed the Gate with a massive green glowing staff. Molt had frowned at that. How could such a thing be possible? He had asked that of the messenger, to which he had given a shrug. The building itself was apparently intact, yet dormant. The crystals that Molt had thought of as mere decoration had shattered at the green knights magic, sending the shards far and wide across the realms of the Empire.
He had consulted the highest-ranking mages and historians on if such an occurrence had happened once before, but their answers bore no fruit. One had claimed that functionality may be returned to the gate if only they were able to return the shards to their proper place. This would take years worth of time however… and much gold would have to be spent on the service of clairvoyance mages, as their abilities would be key to finding the shards.
Molt shook his blonde head, stroking a finger through his short mustache. Perhaps he could expedite the process by offering rewards for the shards? That could prove problematic, for the common folk were sure to bring false shards in hope for gold, or even worse, demand higher pay for their surely meager efforts. Such individuals would be sold into slavery Molt decided. That is if he decided to go down that route. That line of thought was for another time however, another pressing issue demanded his attention.
Some of these demons had escaped the battle of Alnus, and the Empire's casualties were so severe that none of the survivors had chased the last of them down to finish the job. It could only be assumed that they were wreaking havoc upon his lands. This was completely unacceptable. He didn't care much for the common folk on a personal level, but he knew of their importance to a well functioning empire.
They were the most important part of any successful Empire, and only a fool would say otherwise. Without commoners there could be no mass production of food, and most of the military was made up of them. They were the heart of his Empire, and he would not allow these demons to pierce it. He was aware that only a small amount of these creatures had escaped, but if they were truly as powerful as the messenger claimed, then they needed to be put down swiftly, lest they raze the people's industry to the ground. People were a resource, and Molt would not lose his resources
He would not allow the Empire to fall in such a fashion. Molt would mobilize his finest cavalry and monster squadrons to finish what remained of these creatures and have their heads mounted in his throne room. His mind decided he turned from the window, ready to give his commands to his most trusted generals.
As he made way, he decided that there was one thing he needed to be done. He would have his daughter, Pina find this green knight, and bring him to Molt. The knight had not shown aggression to any humans during the battle, so at the least he was not aligned against his forces. Parley would be made and questions would be asked. If the knight refused, then he would be brought before his imperial majesty in chains.
Tuka sat up soon after the light of the sun graced her closed eyelids. Rubbing the tired from her eyes, she sat up from her bed, allowing her blanket to fall to her lap. As always she had slept naked, having any kind of clothing on during sleep was simply uncomfortable. She could not stand it. She scratched her cheek and pulled her long pointed ears through her long blonde hair. It was knotted and messier than usual, her sleep had been restless. Tuka had been tossing and turning throughout the night, tortured by nightmares she found that she could scarcely remember. All she could recall for certain was the form of a shambling corpse, reaching out to her, the face of the undead horribly familiar to her.
It was not the first time she had such a nightmare, the last few nights had granted her nothing but horrid visions. By the grace of the gods, however, she found that she could not remember most of the details. Tuka was merely left with the feeling that her dreams had been horribly disturbing. Shaking her head, she swung her bare legs off of the bed, stretching them before eventually standing up. The gnarled wooden floor of her room would likely be uncomfortable to anyone who wasn't an elf, but the naturally grown floor was comforting to her and her kin.
The morning sun cast a pleasant glow, heightening her mood. Smiling, Tuka began dressing. Wearing simple green robes, she exited the treehouse, seeing her kin going about their daily lives. Elven children ran about, playing and generally causing a ruckus. The women were dressed for the weather, wearing sleeves to the shoulder and short trousers that came up just above the knee. The men were dressed similarly, but in this heat, some disdained the use of a shirt. They went about fletching arrows, gutting game, and washing clothing, along with every other daily chore that had to be taken care of.
Looking down at her robes, she decided that today was likely not the best of days to wear this attire. She returned into her home, and spotted her father, having just slung a bow over his shoulder. Freshly fletched arrows lay upon the rough grown table, and he smiled at her.
"You're up late again..." He said, his blonde hair catching the light and seeming to shine "These nightmares of yours are beginning to concern me." He told her sternly "If they don't cease I'll have to consult the elders on what should be done. The herbalist will likely have something for you that'll induce a dreamless sleep."
Tuka shuddered "Father she'll ask for me to be a test subject in return… I'm not sure which would be worse, the nightmares or her..." She paused "Ministrations."
"I didn't say anything about a minister." Her father deadpanned "This is not a religious issue."
Tuka crossed her arms and huffed "You're not that funny father."
He gave a chuckle at her words, wiping away fake tears.
"My jokes are hilarious. You are young, you do not understand the finer arts of comedy." He told her simply "You see, it is funny because-"
"Father..." Tuka groaned in protest. "If you explain the joke it won't be funny. Besides, I do get it."
He raised a questioning brow.
"Do you?" He asked in a low tone.
Silence stretched between them before she finally replied with "Yes."
Hodor Marceau was a tall elf, his blonde hair and blue eyes an almost exact mirror of her own. Despite being a mere hunter, Hodor carried himself with the pride of an elder, standing straight-backed at all times. She shared many facial features with her father, though while her face was gentle and rounded, his was more rough and square. A mischievous glint shone in his eyes, and Hodor curled his fingers and approached Tuka. She backed a step away from her father, laughing.
"Do not." She commanded, still giggling as she attempted to round her way back to her own room.
Hodor rubbed his chin in mock thought before saying "No."
That was when he attacked, pinching her sides and making her squeal.
"You will be Tukaled!" Her father shouted, making his voice guttural.
"I'm not-" She laughed. "Thirty years old anymore you cannot just treat me like a child!"
He withdrew his hands and grinned.
"But you are my child, therefore, to me, you will always be a child."
She rolled her eyes in mock frustration before returning to her chambers, her father laughing at her back. She loved the old man, but he was a total goof. She undressed once more after shutting the door behind her, dressing in the same style as the people outside. Hodor knocked once and shouted: "There's something in the trees! Grab your bow!"
Tuka was shocked by the serious tone, but followed her father's command, slinging the bow over her shoulder and grabbing her quiver. She pulled open the door and saw that her father was out on their balcony, his bow already drawn and aiming at something in the branches. She rushed to his side… and that's when she saw it.
It was some kind of orange-colored runty humanoid creature with glowing eyes and sharp talons. Pointed yellow teeth gnashed at the sight of them, and from its position in the branches, it skittered up further in the tree. Tuka had lived in this forest for well over a hundred years, and never in her life had she laid eyes upon such a wretched fiend.
Its claws carved deep furrows into the wood as it climbed higher and higher, desecrating the ancient tree with scars. Her father drew first, firing an arrow through its eye before it could climb too high. The shot was perfect, the arrow surely driving into the creature's brain. As it fell, Tuka noticed that the arrow became charred and blackened. Fire had spread out across the shaft of the arrow somehow, and soon the shaft disintegrated into nothing.
It hit the ground with a loud thud, landing right in front of two children. The two younglings then began wailing and running away from the carcass as the rest of the village finally took notice of the body. How had this thing snuck by the watch, they were spread out a mile around the village weren't they? What even was it? Her and her father descended the ladder to the ground level of the forest, and soon after most of the village had gathered around the body.
Her father approached it slowly, gently nudging it with his foot. It gave no response. Upon closer inspection, Tuka noticed that the orange skin she saw was not skin at all. It was more of a thick orange exoskeleton, the things true flesh was a dark midnight blue, and it reflected the sunlight.
"By the gods… what vile creation is this!?" One of the elders shouted "It is an insult to this world! Burn the body and be rid of it now!" He demanded.
Several voices rose up in agreement, and Hodor rose a hand to stem the influx of voices.
"How did this thing get past our watch?" Her father asked, voicing Tuka's own question "They have the best eyes of the village..."
The elves then all began looking to each other, seeing if anyone had an answer for Hodor. None came for a long while.
"Perhaps the creature burrowed its way here?" Said that same elder "Such things have occurred before with those damned mole people."
Tuka shook her head.
"No, after the mole people invaded we induced the trees around the village to grow longer and thicker roots." Tuka said.
The elder nodded "Ah, I remember now. Those stupid creatures didn't have the capacity to figure out the usage of tools, so it keeps them out. This thing doesn't look that smart either though..."
Tuka agreed but remembered that her father's arrow had burned to cinders at contact with the creature's flesh. Perhaps it had burned through the root wall? This thing could be subterranean with its short stocky build. Talons like those weren't for digging however… they were too fine and sharp. The mole peoples were rough and wide.
"I told you idiots that we should've killed them all!" Another elder shouted in a gruff voice "I bet this one is a mutant, all changed to invade a second time with an army of toothy freaks!"
Hodor scanned the trees around him as he replied with "Genocide isn't always the answer Gonoval. That's your go-to every time we have a problem."
Gonoval shrugged, his long grey hair contrasting with his still somewhat youthful face. Only a few wrinkles were visible, and if he were human, he'd pass for early middle-aged at most.
"Works for the humans." Gonoval deadpanned. "And look what happened when we didn't genocide them!" He shouted while shaking his hands furiously. "It's a pattern I'm tellin' ya."
Tuka followed her father's gaze the entire time, seeing if she'd be able to spot something that he could not. Ignoring Gonoval's ravings, the rest of the village did the same. She suddenly heard the scream of a woman behind her and turned to see what caused her horror.
A towering red beast glowered at them from between the trees, its eyes glowing a furious green as it seemed to stare with hunger and hatred. Massive and shaggy goat legs ended in cloven hooves as it approached, its humanoid upper body bare and hairless. With every movement, Tuka could see the corded muscles working in tandem to move the horrific giant closer to them. Its huge black horned head was hideously terrifying as its gaze seemed to bore into their souls. Tuka's gaze was drawn to something the creature carried in its left claw. A huge chunk of some bloody red flesh…
It was then she saw the full image of what it carried. It was an image she'd never forget for her entire life. One of the watchers on the perimeter had been carved in half, the mangled upper torso unrecognizable save for the two pointed ears which had somehow been left intact. Tuka also noticed, to her horror, that several ropes of intestines were hanging from the demon's mouth. It played with the organs, moving them about with its pointed tongue.
Tuka remained frozen in fear, her blue eyes wide as the creature began stomping towards them at full speed, dropping the carcass as a green ball of energy formed in its open hand.