If a tale is what you ask, then listen to my words.
For the story foretells of the origin of our people, The Keepers of The
The deer stops to eat, raising her head to check for predators then lowering back down again. whistle* through the trees a sharp whistle alerts the wild life. As she rose to inspect the noise, the light in her eyes left as she felt the pierce of cold orcish steel, falling to her end and frightening the inhabitants of the wild. The cloaked Orc jumps down from the tree above, a hunter hooded in fur, leather and orcish plate, proceeded to collect his prize. all four legs tied and thrown over his back, he wears his trophy like a badge of honor.
Through the beaten path along the shore of Northpoint was the route to a lone hut on the edge of the cliff side. Arriving at the doorstep he turns and gazes out over the ocean, noticing something strange on the horizon. A women robed in rags standing on the edge of the sea, looking back at the Hunter and his lone hut by the trees. The wolves begin to howl as the dusk turns to night, the hunter turning inland with a sigh, he looked back out to the setting sun, and the woman had vanished without a trace.
'My eyes mistreat me again,' he reveals as he steps inside through the entrance of the hut. Darkness shrouded over the hut with Masser and Secunda glowing high above. Embers flicker in the spit of the fire, as the hut heats up for another night alone. CRACK* The deer lay cold as it was slammed on the butcher board, with a twist and a snap the neck was crushed and the head removed. Placed to the side he proceeded with the skin, tearing into every inch of mammal hide he could see. With only flesh to remain, the meat hook was yanked to the height of his brow and the venison was hung to drain blood into bucket below. However as he continued with the head of his prey he heard a noise, Knock* knock* at the doorway of his home.
Suspecting the worst he clenched his dagger behind his quiver, turning to the doorway he Roared ' Who comes to visit this one! Tell me!'. Silence fills the empty hut as no reply is heard throughout, with fear, anger, and slight hesitation he rushes outside to his porch. 'Tell me who you...', but to his shock and surprise their was no one outside. Looking around from left to right he said to himself 'Why does my mind play these games...' Returning indoors he noticed that something in his house was very different, his eyes began to turn red with fire and ferocity, the blood began to boil in his veins!
' WHO DARE WALK INTO MY HOUSE' Preaching to all who could hear. The middle of the hut became host to an extravagant dinning table with a silver platter, being served on this platter was a pile of deer heads all identical to his. He screamed to the top of lungs, 'You think you can fool me!' knock* knock* The knocks begin again, now they are even louder then before. However these knocks weren't coming from any door, they were directly below his feet? Directly below 14 feet of solid stone slab, was the sound of someone knocking? Heart sinking, throat chocking up, lungs filled to burst, he Stumbled outside to face the exterior of the house, drawing dagger in hand. 'Only cowards hide behind shadows!' he Shouted at the empty hut.
"Then why do you hide behind yours hunter?" The voice of a old woman whispers from behind. In quick succession he strikes backward with extreme precision, But the dagger only cuts the air behind him. No one was to be seen anywhere near him, what kind of trickery was this female toying with he pondered. 'where is my prize wench!' he echoed off the cliff as if to tell the world. The embers died over the spit as the fire went out inside, he turned to his shrouded house with disbelief. Taking a torch off the wall outside, he stood in front of the doorway with awe. Leaning in at first glance his trophy was returned as one, and not many.
Every single chair, table and cupboard however was gone, all of his furniture was missing! The hunter began to lose his patience, 'I will not play your games, you hear me!' Fire returned to the fireplace and engulfed the room with light. The walls and ceiling covered with the dripping of animal blood. To most it would seem to be disturbing, but all the hunter could feel was nostalgia. A ring of blood circled the trophy, ritualistic in nature with the symbols of the daedra. Dropping to his knees, he gazed into the eyes of the deer head and smiled. Blink* The lifeless eyes blink before him, 'Conjuration magic' he explained to himself. As the hunter reaches out to pick up the dead head, the ground before him collapses on its self.
Crumbling away it made way to a gaping pit, falling to his demise he shouted 'NOT LIKE THIS!'. Clenching his hands at whatever was close, he bounced off the surrounding rocks, mutilating himself in the process. Death was a certainty, the impact from the fall alone would surely end him. Torch fires flickering away beneath, gleaming against the crimson shallow surface. Delving deep into the depths of red, he tasted the flavor of mortals. Blood he thought, it was the blood of men he tasted on his lips, but of how many. Emerging from the pool of blood he felt rejuvenated, as if all those injuries he gained in the fall had never happened.
Starring toward the Shrouded passage, the hunter saw what would be his discovered fate. For whatever lies beyond the darkness, would surely consume him. Pulling the torch from one of the surrounding walls he ventured forth to confront the one responsible for causing his misfortune. Wandering aimlessly with his hand on his hilt, he questioned what would have power over blood and dead alike. However it seemed the longer he wandered the desolate tunnel, the more confined he became.
Cave walls slowly narrowing closer and closer, as if the tunnel was shrinking before him. The space felt tight all around, without enough room to continue any further. Wedged between solid rock the hunter noticed that only the most minor of gaps remained along his path.'You deny me exit witch! THEN I MAKE MY OWN!' Shouting at the gap in the wall he exploded into a frenzied rage. Blood began to pulse in the back of his head, as his hand thrust through the gap. Breaking the barrier that blocked his escape, he lunged himself forward as the passage closed behind. Returning the way he came was no longer an option, the only choice now was to venture forth.
That concern had now left him however, as something truly horrific was drawing his eye. The newly discovered opening gave way to a small settlement, with fortified walls and village huts. Buildings looking untouched by the outside world, as if they were built yesterday, with standing tall a longhouse watching over. Something was so familiar about it, its as if he had been here before. 'What is this place?' he questioned to himself, could this be why he was lured down here, for this? The answers felt so close now, as if they were whispering to him, drawing him closer.
The road leading toward the stronghold was ominous with a glowing presence, paving the way for the hunter. So he pressed forward, following the beaten path to what was a large gate, surrounded by bodies. The remains of the dead were rotting and decayed, predicting some time must have passed since they met their end. Further investigation proving that the mark of battle scared the lifeless husks of what remained, 'Where are you witch?' he asked himself aloud. Inside was even worse however, for through the gate was enough blood spilled to start a war.
Ashes and cinder spread what was left of every single life who lived there, leaving nothing but the homes that tried protecting them. The air was cold and still, like something out of a nightmare, yet this was more then a mere hallucination. This Stronghold, this village... it felt more real then anything he had experienced before. Stained amongst all the blood an ash, housed what was a pillar with a spiraling staircase. Standing proudly over the remnants of the village, with a pulsing and throbbing aura red as the blood it settled over. The hunter could feel the pulse through his veins, the blood pumping in the back of his skull was boiling with anger once more. This place was doing something to him, his mind...
the Fury it created was something he couldn't control! 'AHHHRR!' Finally taking over, the rage filled his body with the heat of fire, burning him alive on the inside. The gate slammed behind him as the pulse became heavier, releasing waves of frustration down his spine. Ash arose from the ground up forming the shapes of mortal men, screeching and screaming their eyes began to burn and flicker. Ash spawn! undead monstrosities, rushed toward the hunter flailing their arms in disparity. Yet enough was enough... His eyes, the blood, it was to much as the hunger consumed him. 'ENOUGH!'
Letting out a cry of pain he threw his arms to the winds, clenching his fists at anything that moved! Pulverizing the first thing he saw with the brunt of his shoulder and breaking down two more with the palms of his hands. Lifting another from off his rear and lunging it into the crowd, he drew daggers in hand, starving for the battle ahead! For as more enemies charged into the fray, the more were doomed to fall to dust before him.
Carving his own malicious path through countless entities, but, as more fell, more would rise to challenge his might. Festering through his very core, was the hate growing as his blood pumped harder and faster. The machinations of this place were taking their hold over his mind and spirit, that is until he heard that voice again...
"Come Orc, claim your prize ." Attention turned toward the pillar as standing atop was the woman robed in rags, holding up the skull of his beloved prey! The hunter had seen enough, the fury engulfed his eyes, until they were completely bloodshot. Seeing no alternative, he sought to crush the remaining creatures, using any means at his disposable. Either with the heel of his boot to the thick of his head he pulverized the remaining horde, leaving nothing but the remaining hum of the pillar above.
Taking a deep breath he inhaled all the ash filled air and roared! 'Nothing can defend you now wench!' Storming up the spiraling staircase, his thoughts returned to questions. What is this place?, what were those things? and why was he lured here? Those thoughts soon remembered how she made him look a fool, and how she robed him of his trophy, his honor... 'NO' he thought to himself, she would answer for all of this, she would pay for crossing him!
After climbing his way up to the top, he noticed something particularly unusual about the robed woman. Her eyes, her skin, those teeth, she was just like him, an Orc... Suspicious enough he drew his weapon with caution,'Who are you?' asked the Hunter. Staring into her eyes he felt nothing but the abyss staring back, blinking and winking. "who am i?" she stated, "no...who are YOU is the real question." The hunter did not understand, he obviously knew who he was, 'Enough games female , answer my questions or ill put you down!' She continued to stare, watching him with those dread eyes, "but cant you see?" she asked. Continuing to be trivial only tempered with his rage, in a panic he screamed, 'see WHAT!'
Gazing her attention away her eyes began to trail, facing off the edge as if the answers lay below. Looking back at the hunter she smiled and spoke in a piercing voice, "the answers, they lie in Ash and cinder". Before he can react the robed woman leant forward, falling off the edge and straight to her demise. 'Wait!' Yet she was already gone, doomed to die as her corpse cascaded against the ground below. Shock, struck the hunters face, he could not comprehend what he had just seen. Almost unsure he surveyed near the edge of the platform, confirming what he witnessed was true.
Clear as anything the body of the robed woman lay crippled and lifeless beneath him, only raising more questions... Leaving nothing to chance the hunter made his way back down, to inspect the deformed witch. Looking around, he realized something, the skull of his trophy, his prize...was gone. Another one of her blasted ploys he assumed, but finally, the last ruse would be from him. Glaring deep into his dagger with clarity, he clutched what was the hair behind her head and hacked! Dividing the top half of her skull and ripping apart what remained of her identify.
Holding up the bloody skull, his rage gradually subsided through his very core, bringing him back the nostalgia he craved. Beaming his eyes at the new prize he cheers! 'You think to escape my glory, I WILL have my prize witch.' After laughing away at his gruesome gift the hunter proceeded scanning an searching the robed woman for clues, however only leading to even more interest, for all she concealed on her person was a golden urn...
The craftsmanship was jeweled and intricate, almost to good to be owned by one dressed in rags. The hunter took what he could and continued to adventure, to find out what he could of this place, and why he was here. Standing over the settled dust , he collected a handful of the remaining ash and poured it inside the urn. Now serving him as a memento of the now previous battle, he proceeded fastening the end to his belt along with the head of the fallen female. The surrounding area was quiet, his mind felt calm, and he could finally clear his thoughts. What to do next was a little more difficult however, the buildings where all just open awnings with nothing under them but abandoned tools and dead crops...
All but one single structure, one tall longhouse forever watching over what remained of the ash fill streets of the dead people who called it their home. With the path flowing up there was no other choice, he would wander the forbidden zone, a place where his head said no, but heart said yes! So continuing forth he ascended his way into the entrance of the long forgotten complex, awaiting further conflict. Still nothing came against him, nothing challenged his might, the hunter was finally left alone to enter the hut without precedence of attackers.
Taking an inquisitive view inside after all wouldn't help his situation, through the front door was the workings of torture at hand. Closing the door behind threw the attention of what would be a bizarre looking man, wearing robes and a metal face. No helmet, not some kind of head piece, but metal mask with horns and eyes, adorned and covered his scowl. The voice versed from within the metal faced man, " ah finally, you are late you know." 'Late?' Questioned the hunter, this conjurer might be working with that witch for all he knew. " For the masters plans obviously, here use this, and i will be on my way." The metal faced man handed him what was some kind of Dwarven device, with needles and nodes all over.
Attached to one side was a vial filled with red to the rim,'What is this mechanism?' as he had never seem its like before. "Don't you remember?" Asking in a confused tone,"Just use the blood transmutation on the subject up stairs, then you will have what you've always wanted." This metal man spoke as the wench outside, he would have to decipher the puzzling code. Somehow the feeling was neutral with this one, the hunter felt he could trust his words, more then the female at least... 'Maybe you should stop playing games metal face, what does it do!' The man just stood, unable to read the expression behind his mask, "I already told you, cant you see?"
Three words that cried DayJaVoo inside his very existence, 'like i said to your ally, see What!!!' The conjurer laughed behind his mask, thinking he was making hilarious banter. "this will give you what you seek, the blood of true kings." Before anymore questions came from the hunters tongue the metal faced man vanished, from the portal opening and closing behind him. Extraordinarily unable to cope with the last words that came from within his mouth, 'have what you've, always wanted?' What could it mean?, his brain only provoked by the idea, although having no clue what HE wanted. Nonetheless, the hunter would soon find out, on the second floor, of the docile structure...
First he needed some justification for all this, some kind of clue to make sense of. Checking through the other rooms were of no comfort, all closed in and tight, with nothing to offer but dust and scum. Searching around the main hall felt like the same situation, burnt tomes and shabby old chairs and tables scattered like debris. Abandoned was this once thriving stronghold, left to wither like the people who would have called it there home. Reflecting on their grievance would spark more emotion he considered, so after wiping his palm across his face he advanced.
Scaling the rickety ladder into the roof above, was uneasy enough, creaking under the hunters weight as if about to give in. Even more frustrating was the bolt, large and bent inside the trapdoors handle, preventing all access... 'Of all that could be in my way!' he shouted, shacking the surrounding area including him. Breaking his stable footing and forcing over the mangled ladder, he clamped a dagger threw the exposed latch and held for his life. Wishing he hadn't just destroyed his only means to safely return to the bottom floor, the hunter progressively yanked.
Pulling all his weight up and down, trying to achieve a successful result, only proving futile. The blood began to cook through his veins once more, creating the fury he just so happen to have needed. With the fire burning through his eyes once more he exploded, 'I WILL NOT BE STOPPED!'. Etching away the bolt and braking through, the door swung open, Slamming the hunter against the ground below. Provoking his mind was this insidious task at hand, only pushing his composure to limits, limits he could not restrain. ' Where are you metal face!' he yelled, 'Enough of your games!!!'
Nothing followed the hunters words, only still motion from the empty hut. Burning inside his heart pumped like never before, the anger was just unmistakably grim. This place would withhold to him, then his only alternative was to oppose it, with violence! Charging up a stride he leaped, throwing all his efficacy into one stretched out arm and grasping the end of the dagger stuck in the door. Hauling himself inside, he smashed the the trapdoor in place, retaining its position. This was a small victory, deserving of a rest for the things he has coped with thus far.
Lying with his back to the floor had a sudden sense of fear though, damp with a unsettling odor. For among the darkest creases of the decrepit attic he called sanctuary, was a green skinned male, strapped onto a torture rack. Blood covered the floor, rendering a familiar sight for the hunter indeed. Reminding him of the metal mans words, use the blood transmutation on the subject up stairs? 'So this is him, the subject' the hunter gawked, finding himself unimpressed with the stature of the Orc male. A black sack covered the tortured Orcs face, hiding his character from any onlookers.
Cold was his skin, presumably being dead for some time, however something seemed ludicrous. The way his body lent, something felt so intimate, like this has all happened before... Unfortunately the're seemed no substitute for the long dead subject, so the hunter reluctantly agreed. Using the Dwarven device, he plunged into the dead Orcs chest, inflicting and spreading the vial of red solvent inside his remains. Abruptly changing the deceased males skin from green, to a dark, bloody, faded, crimson coating...
The layers across his body changed and grew expeditiously, evolving the slave into a newly formed being. The hunter felt the pulse once more! throbbing away his internal structure, as if they were both connected. 'What kind of magic is this!' he screamed, holding his head as the migraine threw his concentration. Somehow the subject was effecting him, this could not be possible however! Finding himself desperate he grappled the sack and jerked! Ripping the material off his scowl, and further dooming his sanity... The face he saw, of the red menace, was...him...
Looking back into his eyes was a darker version of himself, with eyes of flame, and hair of frost. 'No...Who are you? WHO ARE YOU...' Whispering to himself could not deny what his eyes could reluctantly recognize. The symmetry between the two was comprised and unfiltered, was this the answers he needed? " The red skin was just gleaming at him, burning into his contentiousness with thoughts of regret and uncertainty. Why did i do this? Who is this? flooding the very brain of his with more inquiry left a mark in his cognitive thinking. Stunning him and falling to one knee, he peered at the subjects face and challenged him. 'Pleas! Tell me who you are!' Raising his head at the hunter brought more chaos to the fold.
The look on the red skins face was burning through his very soul, and then he spoke. "You ask who i am, yet you know not your self." The games of tricks and tales were heard from the crimson orcs lips. 'Answer my questions, or you will share the same fate as your friend!' The skull was pulled up and over to show it was a fresh kill, still stained with the blood of the fallen orc woman. Rejoicing at his prize he noticed that the red orc didn't agree, watering was his eyes gazing down. "If only i could" he announced, "maybe then I could forget..." The hunter demanded a response, 'Forget what red one?' he asked. Adjusting his weight in his shackles, the crimson subject became emotional, envying the hunter before him. "The things I did, the sacrifice i made...my own people, my dear Sharook..."
Those words were enough to paint him a picture, finally he was making progress. So the hunter delved deeper, 'You’re responsible for those monstrosities outside?' "Monstrosities!" His face fumed with the fury of suns ablaze, "they were my PEOPLE, and I Forsake them! Do you not see!" Scarce was this sight, the bloody red orc had obviously been some cause of the events in this place. 'Speak what truth you have to offer whelp, and I will make your demise swift, I swear onto you.' Feeling some sympathy was almost irreverent in the end, as the dreaded words then proceeded the red skins orcish tongue. "CANT YOU SEE!"
Those words of horror and restlessness seeped out of the orcs mouth, sending the hunter into a panicked state. 'See what...', asking in a hesitant voice, knowing the reply to only be subjected. "You will have your prize, when the faceless man falls...", instantaneously the crimson orc cried out at the top of his lungs! Filling the room with light, his entire form combusted into an infernal display, leaving nothing but a scorched mark of his previous existence. The place that felt so morbid before, changed its ways, almost as though he left, but he did not leave... For the first time he had finally felt at home, the indulgence of knowing this adventure would finally bring him some peace...
As all things that peace was short lived, as curiosity turned to questions once more. Candles and windows freed some unknown source of light like glass, bouncing inside as to unveil its secrets within. The space emerged from deserted persecution, into glowing bliss, as though it always was. This could not be the end, he MUST know more to the Crimsons comments. 'Bloods thicker then wine' he quirked as trying to lighten his own influence of his location. Smoothing himself over slowly became a little eerie, once the renditions had worn off and subsided. Setting a new stage was no longer reaching out for the lone hunter, for he would go where no ones been.
The outside appeared occupied now, with the stink of inhabitants nearby. Considering the new friend had taken his leave of him, the time pressed to adventure, back down to the bottom floor. The door was jammed however, after lodging it into place it cant seem to budge. Possibly something in the vicinity could assist, but to the hunters wonder and disappointment there was naught. Solutions seem obvious at times, the way to reach the ground under was literally busting through the wood panel. The simplicity was to good, his theory felt so clear as certainty recovered in his psyche.
Confidently inspired by his thinking, he challenged his surroundings, as though he became mad with tranquility. ' HAHAHAHA, I have best your challenges, killed your witch, and burned your slave to ash!', he encouraged as all his might was barged into the stamping of his feet. One after another he trampled away like herds of beasts, breaking down the barrier between solid ground. Just as a second art, the blood was rattled and charged, provoked for his fatal tread. Soon the life he had inside was drained, crumbling away the rest of his depleted energy. Spiraling out into his end, the frustration turned into an emotional bend. Doom had taken his sanity, and left him forever, to sulk in the attic.
Lost was his hope as far as he was concerned, but then he found something... Shinning, starring away at him, how did he not see. 'Cant you see?' he asked himself aloud, was this what they spoke of? Situated in the middle of the scorched mark , held the device he used earlier. Full to the brink with a sanguine mix, and just as sharp as when received. The hunter saw opportunity, something that he truly desired, so he did the unthinkable. Plunging the piece of machinery into place, he injected the toxins into his own blood stream, awaiting positive results. Soon enough his skin gained a red glow, and his hair as pale as snow. This was an evolution he demanded, he required, the rage of a true ORC, a prize...
Time in this place had changed him, there was longer clarity, no, what remained was utter chaos. Lifting a leg up to the edge of his stomach, he thrust it straight back down, shooting splinters like wreckage into distant corners of the room. Blasting into flames, the hunter stuck threw the top floor and ruptured a void underneath him. Creating a quake as he landed, cascaded ripples and waves at the seems inside. Forcing remaining clutter skyward, only left what didn't to burn from his decent. Getting to his feet the hunter strolled his way to the exit, knowing full well his business was concluded inside. When that first step was taken outside however, it would truly leave an impression. Everything changed, just as he changed, all of it was almost surreal, unreal... The sky was blue, lighting the daytime air of a lively Orc population, all glaring at him...
Brandishing their weapons stopped him in his tracks, confronting the red menace. That would not be sufficient though, he had turned from the light for good, which showed in his actions. The new hunter would find death in all places, especially in the lives of the strangers before him. Without concern or questions he lifted his hands and breathed!, blowing fire from his eyes and out the tips of his fingers. Without indecision, the unnatural fury of the flames burned and singed the other orcs of the stranger tribe, culling them unknowingly. Each one rushing in, trying to prevent the advance of embers embracing the falling clansman. All to no avail while friends and family disintegrated into dust, perishing all his combatants to the ashes.
The aftermath was nothing but the scene he confronted when he first arrived, blood an ash filled streets, with no physical deceased. The only trouble was he payed no mind, remorse was unknowable now. The darkness of the place had truly consumed what unity he had, when he sought the mysteries of the mechanism. One mystery remained, the same stone pillar, spiraling down and beaming. Though who would be standing atop, but a strangely tanned man...and his dog? Laughing away the man mentioned some familiar phrases," hahaha claim your prize ORC, orrr will you hide behind shadows once more..."
Blood was all that pumped through his crackling thoughts now, whoever this was would not last long. At least that's what he assumed, scampering his way above the grim stone platform. Horns and long luscious hair adorned the males mantle, smirking with sarcastic finger pointing remarks. 'Speak now, and your end will be swift.', the red hunter threatened, but the man only seemed humored. Petting his canine protector pushed the hunters limits, but the man didn't seem to acknowledge his irritation. Only laughing more at his grievance, "you know, I doubted Barbas with this wager, but you were a right kipper i'll tell ya." Now he was being mocked!, speculating this outlandish minstrel was truly foolish.
"ahhh but where are my manners, I have a little bargain for you." Explaining in detail brought conjecture, leaving the hunter investigating further. 'Name your offer, before I devour you flesh in flames!', aggressively persuading the tanned man. Nothing seemed to detour that smile, grinning adversely, " well well well, Malacath sure did know where to pick em, your like a bird in a cage." The tanned man continued deeper, " Or a bear in a cage more like it, you know Red really suits you, brings out your ehhh... eyes?"
The conversation just dragged on, the crimson orc would have no more. 'Enough whelp, YOUR OFFER!' Demanding some kind of reply, or his rage would be set upon them. 'Why didn't you just ask ya bugger, isn't that why your up here?" Answers flooded his mind as to why, 'Why im here?!,' more trivia from the lying face of these entities, proving either he or they were truly demented. "Yes, in this vast shell?" Some questions did not need answers so he did not react, "Because you still want to know more?"
All the challenges he faced, he still had no idea? His soul ensnared in blood-lust, siphoning his adrenaline. Yet the consciousness was building into a new reality, filled with countless dead under his march. "Cant you see? hahahaha" Horror reaped its way down his insides, burning him even more. 'See What...' regretfully asking expecting a negative result "This place, you have been trying to escape, was yourself all along."
Surfacing behind the tanned man with horns, was the metal face, gleaming with anticipation, "doesn't this all feel familiar mortal, like its all happened before." The man with the metal face brought back visions, ones he did not recognize. Memories began to flood his conscious mind, portraying a portrait of himself, leading a mighty clan of orcs... Watching over his people, he proudly stood tall with the woman in rages, the woman was... his beloved...
Time was taking his youth, and it was time to pass the torch of chieftain, with his life... "You memory returns little hunter, remember now, the tower of stone..." All of it was coming back, was this what he was searching for all along? himself... "Cant you see, you built the stone pillar as a bargain to me. You wanted to remain leader, whatever the cost..." The scene was playing again and again inside his mind, it couldn't be... "You see you asked for *The blood of true kings to protect your people*, I only gave you what you requested. However that was also dragons blood, something MY beloved servant was experimenting with at the time..."
The hunter relived all his misconceptions, the horned man was not a man at all, it was Clavicus Vile, a daedric prince... "You were not the only dealer in this game of cards however, my servant wanted to make a slave of his own, one who could withstand his little device..." The dwarven device he used... the doppelganger he used it on...he used on himself... "Your finally getting it, once he arrived my slave offered you my boon, and you willingly took it!... and became what you are now!" All of this, he could feel it, it was all in his head..."Yet that wasn't enough, the success had side affects, and your blood-lust became a constant. So when your people revolted against you, your rage sent fire from your hands, turning them to ash before you!
Sharook, your beloved bride could not stand what you became, so she climbed her way to the top of the pillar... and fell to her demise..." Truth was all but flowing back, it was all true... he remembered it all... "You couldn't bare to even look at her, causing her suicide and all, so you carved out her skull." The skull on his belt, he mutilated her... "Ah yet there was another bargain I promised to you, a very long time ago. If you wish to see your people live again, then hunt down my old flame, and take his place." Hunt him down? The hunter remembered drawing his bow, whistling through the trees, the deer...
"That prey you keep killing in your dreams, that prize you continuously butcher was no deer at all, but my old flame, and you extinguished it..." All the visions he saw, the rage he felt... it was all apart of his own thoughts... he was the one responsible... "You took him to a lone hut nearby, beheaded and skinned his corpse, and then spread his blood along the walls in my name." That hut wasn't his home, the blood on the walls, the hunter killed his people, his beloved Sharook...
"Now you have seen your people alive again, and my little transaction here is done. Ah but one more thing before i return you, another wager if you will. You must accsept you serve me now, but i will give your freedom back, i am feeling rather generous. All you have to do little hunter is get a particular sword for me, goes by the name of umbra..." Just as Clavicus phrased the last request, the hunter appeared back inside the hut. The room covered in stained crimson, and so was his skin. Although one thing was changed in the hut from before, the head of the prize he hunted for so long, was no deer, but the masque and head, of the metal man...
The hunters fate was clear, to free the bonds of his new masters leash he must find the Umbra blade, and return it to the princes side.
After wondering the land for years, he finally came across the blade, in the hands of friendly stranger, my hands...
And that's when I finally met The hunter...