From the ashes

THWHOOM!!, Sam reveled as the magic elixir he had consumed only moments before allowed him to immolate the wyvern above. Perhaps it was his diabolic heritage but the feel of his breath igniting as it hit the air was indescribably pleasing. Forcing himself away from such primal emotions, Sam’ael survey the battlefield. Nearby, Ty furiously struggled to extricate himself from the black vines encircling his ankles, hissing all the while. Antilli was no longer within his field of vision but he could easily make out the rich tapestry of curses the Wizard tended to weave as he systematically blasted their foes from the air. And KazKaz was doing what he always did; bleeding. Where Ty spent the vast majority of his time lining up shots and striking from the shadows, the minotaur stubbornly sought out and faced danger head on. Moment’s before, Sam’ael had instructed the Guardians to take cover, deploy their ranged weapons and concentrate fire. Predictably, Kaz now stood in the center of the courtyard laughing as he traded blows with ALL of their opponents. Never the matter, Sam knew that it was only a matter of time until SCREEECHHHH!!! there it was, the manticore had stupidly tried to fight the barbarian on his level. This was actually one of their most effective strategies. Although he could never say it, Sam relied on their enemies to underestimate their seemingly slow bullish ally. Kaz had an uncanny way of turning all the minor (and often major) injuries into one or two devasting strikes that more often than not turned the tide. 

Despite their impending victory, Sam was tired. Looking about, he could see the destruction this town had undergone…which sadly, was almost a mirror image of everywhere else he and his friends had “rescued.” The wall was barely holding, dead villagers lay strewn about, where they actually helping anyone? Through the din of combat, Sam spotted the town’s mayor run by. Yet another instance of faulty, insufficient leadership. Sam and his comrades had fought back hordes to say this?! What was worse, was that despite their best efforts, destruction seemed inevitable. The more he fought to “save” townspeople and monster eggs, the more those close to him died. Feeling himself grow cold, Sam’ael made a grim assessment. Their current course of action was unattainable. It was simply impossible for him to effectively fight against their foes and spare any collateral damage. They had tired and those aroudn them had suffered. No, he had been foolish to fight against nature; both his own and that of the conflict he was in. If he was going to fight this fight, then he should do so to the best of his ability. No longer should he defer to inept rulers or concern himself with minor concerns of propriety. In all actuality, the best way for him to serve everyone was to lead this world to a decisive victory. Perhaps Asmodeus had been right all those years ago, but maybe not right for the right reasons. He was more determined than ever to determine his own destiny. But to do so, he may have to trample over a few others. He recalled Antili mentioning the empire of Bael Turath and some ruins not too far away. Perhaps his key to his future lies in embracing his past. For too long he had viewed his heritage as a reminder of past indiscretion and pride. But if he looked objectivtly at it, his newly awakened blood had proven nothing but a boon. Quivering as he pierced a nearby wyvern, he decided that the first chance his company got, they would track down his people’s former homelands. Try as he had, it may be that he would have to seize power of these lands, it seemed inevitable that he and the Guardians would be unable to save ALL of surrounding people or there lands. Instead, he needed to focus on the greater good. He could see it now, from the rubble of these lands, a new empire arises; one strong enough to protect everyone and to ensure that the tragedy that had befallen Ethran never happened again. With a newfound determination, Sam’ael breathed deeply…and spat liquid death upon his nearest enemy. Watching his flames consume a nearby building, Sam’ael could not help but wonder if these were in fact the “good intentions” that all tyrants began with…

From the ashes

The Chosen Five Kestimire