((This part is Fraghall's backstory, the next part will be cooler! I swear! This IS a diversion from Fraghall's original story, it was boring. This is part one of three I think it will be. At least at first. Final author's notes: My second story, go easy. I also reserve the right to can this if necessary. Oh and no one please participate in it just yet, kay? ^_^.))
He did not remember dying.
He remembered the fight, the blood, the gore, moving through the battle as quick as he could, the screams surrounding him, the horror of what was befalling him and his kin.
But he did not remember dying.
He remembered suddenly who he was. Fraghall Steelbeard, yes...A warrior, fierce as the rest of his family, a blacksmith of weapons, as his family's vocation was. He was an amazing smith...one crafting weapons with the powers of wind. He and his family had been stationed in Wetlands, in the Thandol Span, to prevent the infestation of Dark Irons from spreading. They were lucky at their station. It was thin, easy to defend from large numbers with their better trained force.
Til the attack came...
It came suddenly, but that was to be expected. It was at night, a clear night. That's unusual..that makes them easier to spot, he remembered groggily thinking as the scouts awoke them. Rise. Arm. Position. It was going to be one of those nights. Again the dark irons would force their seemingly endless numbers against them til they gave up and retreated to their camp.
But this night was different.
The enemy forces seem half heartedly built. Or maybe he was just tired. No matter, that means sleep would come quicker. Onward they charged, no less fierce than any other fight they had been in, but they'll die just the same he thought. It was routine almost. But something broke that routine. A mortal scream was heard in the back lines. Quickly, Fraghall snapped his eyes up to the source. He watched as a sword pierced from one of his kins chest, as the life in his friend's eyes extinguished. He then saw what had happened... Behind them, in the garrison, dark irons spilled forth like a river that had just destroyed a dam. This was the second half of the force that was missing...
About face, split the line, prepare yourself, make sure they don't take the bridge.
Fraghall started unconsciously fighting, letting his instincts overcome what he believed was the right thing. Every where he struck, a dark iron screamed and fell. The ground had yet again become slick with blood and gore, it was slippery with it, and the fight wore on. Dark irons were felled left and right.
But no warrior is immune to fatigue or slight wounds.
The Dark irons knew this and relentless pressed on. Slowly the defenders became weary, their wounds were catching up to them and they acted sluggish. Fraghall felt a scratch against his arm, a gash against his leg, a knick through his armor, but he fought relentless on. But he knew he couldn't last long. Parry. Dodge. Strike. Counter. How much longer would this last? Would he survive?
Then it hit him. A vicious strike cleaved through his chest. He felt it hit bone, felt it rend his skin, felt blood flow from him. He then stood there, frozen in time. He looked around him. He saw his family and friends...laying there. He saw their guts rended from their bodies, as they lay there..dying in the grass. He suddenly felt weak...and collapsed.
Fraghall gazed up at the sky, and saw the stars...he had remembered being young. Remember wondering how many there were up there. How he had never been able to count them all. How he had asked his friends and family laying nearby, now dead, how many they were, and them responding in his lifetime he could never count them. Now was a better time than never...and he began to count.
((Sickass, now if you can have him comeback to life holding the Scythe of Woe, I'd love you forever))
((There is no bleedin' scythe of woe in this! Okay?!))
He did not remember dying.
Movement. He remembered moving. It was a fuzzy memory at best. He remembered the sky moving, he knew it was moving. He remembered the bumps in the road, his savior, whoever he was, stumbling to carry him whereever he was being brought. Who was it? It couldn't be his family...they...were dead. He remembered it...he saw them being butchered..he saw the dark iron that fell him run off to meet those who survived..it did not matter, unconciousness swept over him, and he welcomed it.
And then he awoke. At least...I think I'm awake, Fraghall thought, or am I just dead somewhere?. He opened his eyes. He saw he was no longer outside. He saw wooden beams stretched overhead. He then realized he was in a bed. His vision was blurry at best, he could barely make out shapes on the ceiling. He tried to sit up, but a restraining hand kept him down. He turned to see the owner of the hand. No luck, he could barely see the owner. He saw a blur of red...flowing red. Were there two lines of red? He could not tell. "Don't move," a decidedly feminine voice said, "Ye lost a lot o'yer blood. It's a miracle yer alive. Ah carried ye here, now just rest til yer better." Fraghall struggled to speak, but no words came, he fell back onto whatever bed he was on, and unconciousness, as before, swept over him.
Intermittenly he woke, but he could not move, he lacked any energy, or will. He was groggy, felt miserable, pain only met him when he woke. His chest...it must have been sliced bad. Waking was something he dreaded, unconciousness he welcomed. He determined, that sometimes that his savior was there, and other times she was not. He did not care though, he just wanted the pain to end...
It had been an eternity to Fraghall, yet a blink of an eye to any other person. No more than a month later, he awoke. The pain in his chest had been gradually subsiding, enough sometimes for him to stay awake and breathe normally, but no more than that. This was a day he could get up, he knew it. He awoke, and was determined for the first time since he was wounded, to do something. It had been a long time, he thought, since he had last been actually alive. He sat up, the woman was there. His vision had substantially cleared since he last saw her. He had been right about the hair, it was decidely red, or at least. In two long braids it was spun, each moving with what seemed to be a life of their own. The dwarf woman got up and stood over him as he sat up.
"Ah see yer at least a little better.." she said.
Fraghall nodded, and finally asked, "Alright...ah've been layin'ere enough an' ah still don't know who ye are! Let's start with that!"
The dwarf smiled, "Ah! Ah'm Aireela. A paladin by trade, with an interest in what the gnomes call engineering." Fraghall took in this information, and noticed a small pack on her hip, it bulged with small explosives.
"Ah'm Fraghall Steelbeard," he grunted, "And ah guess ah owe ye thanks fer savin' me...but how?"
Aireela regarded him with a sorrowful look, "Ah...came upon th'area after the fight took place. Dark irons appear t'not like to give their enemies a quick death...you had been left to bleed in field til ye died. Ah found ye...barely breathing. Using every talent ah had, I sustainted yer life til I brought ye t'safety. Yer in the inn in Wetlands now. Ye...were the only survivor ah found...Did ye know those who were there."
Fraghall choked back a lump in his throat, "Yes...th-they were mah family...mah friends...my brothers, my father, my uncles...they were all ah had...," he whispered.
"Ah...ah'm sorry fer yer loss," Aireela struggled to say.
Fraghall fell back into his bed, Aireela rushed to make sure he was okay. After feeling confident he was fine, just absorbing the information, she left him to himself.
Dead...all dead, all except him. How could this have happened...one of the finest group of warriors had been exterminated by merely a force of dark irons! DARK IRONS! The scum of the dwarven nations. He drifted to sleep, dreaming nothing but nightmares.
He awoke early in the morning, he decided he had to head to the Thandol span. He was still weak, but well enough, he decided, to at least travel north. He slung his sword over his shoulder, donned his armor he had crafted himself, and slipped out into the moist morning air. No one tried to stop him, he was grateful for that. He did not want to be stopped.
He traveled slowly, walking most of the way. The wound was still serious, he knew that pushing himself too hard would probably still kill him. He was too determined to die to the after effect of a wound over a month old.
He arrived at the scene of battle when the sun was high in the sky.
What he saw made him choke.
Rotting carcasses, at best in some cases, lay strewn about. The ground was a dull brown, from the dried blood and gore. The scavengers had begun to feast, the decay process had begun. Fraghall fell to his knees, and wept for the first time in as long as he could remember. He wept for those he loved. He stood...and took a pick out of his pack. It was all he had to do what he intended.
He dug, most of the day he figured. The sun began to set when he was done. A grave for each member, as he had set out to do. Tenderly he buried each member, naming them with his finger in the mound of dirt they left behind. He stood there solemnly, looking over the graveyard. He was exhausted from the work, and the sadness overwhelming him.
A hand touched his shoulder. A dark iron? HERE? In a twist of rage, he, before his assailant could blink, grasped a heavily gauntleted hand around his throat. How DARE they attack him at a graveyard! After they slaughtered them! Had they come to finish the job?! Finish all that remained of his family?! Hands grasped at his gauntlet, trying to pry his fingers off, he would kill them, with his hands if he had to.
Realization of who he held washed over him however.
It was Aireela, her eyes gone wide with surprise and lack of air. He let her go and turned his back to her.
"Why are ye here," Fraghall asked.
"Ah...came to...make sure...ye were...okay," she gasped between deep breaths, "Ah...followed...ye here...making sure...ye didn't collapse...or anythin'..
"How kind of ye, but ah'm okay now," Fraghall replied cooly, "Except for this..." His gaze swept over the graveyard he had dug. "Ah will fix it though...ah will make them pay. With their blood, they will pay. Ah will bring their whole nation down if ah must...alone."
"Really?" Aireela asked sarcastically, "All by yerself then hmmmm?"
Fraghall glared angrily at her, "If ah must! Something like this cannot be ignored! They must all die!"
Aireela regarded him for a moment, "Fine, then ah'm comin' with ye."
Fraghall looked surprised, "Eh...? Why? What're ye up to?"
Aireela grinned, "That's fer me to know, and ye to keep yer nose out of."
Fraghall sighed, letting the matter drop. He looked back at the graveyard. He realized then he had no idea where the dark iron nation was, or where to find them. He only knew he had been stationed to keep them from spreading, containing them. But where had they come from...
He had to find out, and for the time he could use Aireela's help at least. I guess that was reason enough to keep her around.
"Fine! Ye can come..." he said as he started away, "But ye can't slow me down!"
He broke out to run north, he could hear Aireela sigh and start to follow. It was a good day to be alive. A good day to begin his vengeance...