July 18, 2012
For the ArchFiend...
Disloyalty is NOT an option!
Screams of blood and rage drown out the groans of the dying… and the last, lingering sighs of those who are dying again.
A wash of grey overlays the sky, clouding the vision of an unknown warrior as he lay on shards of broken steel.
Glaring light obscures his sight, and the cold black Underworld begins to brighten into the cold white of unwelcome oblivion.
Ignoring the pain, he turns his head to the side, sees his commander standing tall.
He shudders. Darkness falls.
Nulgath stares over the head of his messenger minion and nods, accepting the final sacrifice of another soldier, gathering another soul, for his cause. He smiles, running his tongue over his teeth, tasting the last remnants of pain lingering in the air. He turns his attention back to the runner’s long-winded, breathless tale.
"Less talk, more message. Now."
Cringing, the messenger ducks away from the blow Nulgath’s tone promises. He hunches over, hurrying on before the blade can fall.
“The pretender’s Legion advances faster than anticipated, Master! We must fall back, the Lieutenant says.”
Nulgath hisses; the messenger’s knees buckle. With visible effort, he prevents himself from falling. Six toxic-orange eyes bore into his soul. Gasping, terrified, he feels his sense of self being exposed, shredded, and then knotted together stronger than he could have ever imagined.
He shudders, straightens his spine and pulls his shoulders back. He raises his eyes to meet those of his Commander. Nulgath stares down, scrutinizing his feverishly-devoted expression.
“And what do YOU recommend we do? If you were to give the orders?”
Nulgath stretches out his hand, not breaking eye contact. In his fist, an un-blooded blade appears. The newly-elevated soldier grasps it eagerly.
“We rally reinforcements, Master, and run them down! Bones crush quicker, easier than steel.”
“Good, raise the reserves, call the Nation. Let them know the time is NOW! … Lieutenant.”
Nulgath turns to stare across the battlefield at the phalanxes of undead marching steadily towards his warriors.
He can sense the scene playing out behind him, feel the agony as the blade pierces traitorous flesh. Nulgath grins as a new, stronger soldier takes the place of one who did not deserve to serve.
“Those who will not fight, do not live.”
In the icy air, a stream of blood runs down the new Lieutenant’s stained sword-edge, freezing as it falls. Hitting the ground, the drops shatter into razor-edged reminders of cowardice’s cost.