The text below is based on Guild Wars lore but is purely fan-fiction. Click here for Chapter 7.
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Chapter 8 – Awakening
Shame. It was the emotion he felt most of the time during his long imprisonment. Shame and guilt.
For how long has he been imprisoned? He did not know, but it has been a long time since he last saw daylight. Or saw anything for that matter. He did not feel his body. He had no connection with the world. His consciousness was stuck where his hibernating body was. What little he could do was to lose himself in his memories; dwell on his failed mission, think about his god, and ponder on where it all went wrong. How did they fail their divine duty and why did he survive when all his brothers and sisters died? Why did he have to suffer the consequences and live in shame, all alone? This is how he spent the unperceivable time of his confinement… lost in thoughts, thinking about possibilities for the present that could never happen now and questioning his miserable state, but not being able to give answers.
But most of all he cyclically relived the events leading up to their failure and his captivity. It all started when the enlightened of his race realized how much of a fool they had been for joining the unworthy and fighting him. Declaring themselves the Oratuss, the prophets of their god, they traveled to his tomb together to atone and receive guidance. However, knowing the terrible, rightful wrath that would have awaited them, they first took precautions: having learned techniques in the ancient war with which they could safely communicate with their god and harness a part of his power – only to understand his wishes and better serve him – they relished in his blessings. He was among the firsts to undergo the rite and knew he had done the right thing.
But not all of them agreed. While the True were distracted with marveling their newfound strength, some of their brethren betrayed the god’s benevolence. They feared him, having seen what he was capable of… they were afraid of his power. Thus the treacherous heathens decided to kill the god’s chosen: by combining their power they were strong enough to unleash a powerful explosion that brought down the walls of the trench, threatening to crush them. They all flocked to their sunken, sleeping god and miraculously they all survived in his shadow. With no way of getting back to their people and extracting revenge on the traitors they went the only way they could: through a deep tunnel. The passage was excruciatingly long. They thought they were going to die there, but silent whispers from their god urged them to go on. And in the end they all arrived at a land they only knew from legends; a land where their cousin race had lived.
They knew that destiny had called them there just as the whispers had kept telling them to find a lost, defeated prophet somewhere on this continent, but soon the suggestions stopped completely. Being completely clueless where to look, and experiencing the sensation of a strange feeling of being free they decided to change the course of their plans. First they were going to help their cousins become the superior race they were supposed to be and enslave the inferior. He personally became a great preacher, and where he spoke dozens joined their holy mission. A mission they soon began.
At first their war went incredibly well, but upon reaching a human city in the mountains that evoked an unexplainable hatred in them everything changed. They besieged it with their naga followers and when they were at an arm’s length of utter victory, a fire that burned with the fury of the heavens incinerated the victorious army. He and two of his brethren watched in horror from afar – they were bringing in reinforcements when it happened – and knew they had to flee. But they were hunted down and soon only he was left… until the day when he was captured. They demanded answers but he told them nothing. They broke into his mind but he resisted. In the end they decided that it was better to hide him from the world, and entomb him in his own mind, shackling his body with magic at the same time.
He often pondered what would have happened had the traitors gone with them. Could they have stopped the sorcerous flames? Would they have prevailed? He didn’t have the answers, just like he didn’t know why he couldn’t die with his brothers and sisters instead of this shameful existence. He was aware that he might have to endure this torment until the day his lord returned, millennia from now, and then face damnation in the form of his rightful fury, but he still remained true and nothing could have convinced him to betray his god.
This was the point where his disturbed mind fell into silence. He knew this feeling all too well. Troubled thoughts dissipated, his mind becalmed, but in a short time his upset brain would start churning out other concepts and memories that were all too familiar to him.
But something was different this time. Thoughts did not come, yet he started feeling anxiety and excitement. In the impenetrable darkness, his consciousness could spot an even darker shadow approaching. The greater blackness was terrifying; its dark silhouettes changing and moving in the gloom of his mind. As it got closer, he could see capillary-thin rays of light passing on its surface.
Then it roared. Although being deaf to the outside world, he could still hear the thrilling sound. He was paralyzed, but did not feel fear. The waving streaks of light grew, and so did the size of the shadow; it already towered above him and still grew as it came closer.
Finally, it stopped somewhere in the indiscernible distance. The deafening roar repeated and a moment later the top of the gigantic shadow came down, so it could better face him. The rays that still glided on the surface of the creature illuminated its muzzle: razor-sharp teeth and fangs in a gargantuan maw that could swallow the world, rows of enormous horns, and two grimly gleaming eyes – their cores set sternly on the ant before them. The gaze was full of outrage.
My lord… He finally recognized the titanic entity. He did not know whether it was reality or just another vision in his mind, but he was glad that something new happened, and that new was his almighty god. I…I… we failed you. The creature replied with a dissatisfied growl and the gap the size of a crevice opened larger in its world-tearing mouth, threatening to bite on him. If you give me a second chance, I won’t fail you again. But if you don’t, please, consume me here and now. At least I could serve you with my death, bringing your return ever closer! He begged his god, knowing that the dragon would end his torment one way or the other, and he was relieved for that.
The shadow dragon moved its muzzle closer to him and pierced him with its gaze. The darkness swirled like a whirlpool in its eyes. It started hypnotizing him: a vision was forming in the giant, black orbs, and it was growing quickly. The whirlpool enveloped him… then swallowed him in whole.
He stood on the rocky shores of a sea the color of jade. The clouds above him were dark, but it wasn’t raining. The winds lashed the sea around him into fury, but his attention was focused on the tall, obsidian obelisk in front of him.
Then suddenly, the obelisk broke in half. Whirling energies emerged from its broken frame and coalesced above the shattered pillar. The energy hung in the air for a moment, then swooped down towards him. Upon impact, his body jolted from the incredible force that seethed across him. He felt himself transforming; growing bigger, his insides turning to water that were ice-cold and steaming hot at the same time. He looked down at his arms and hands and saw great spikes and tentacles growing out of his scaly skin. But most of all, he felt his mind becoming almost one with his god’s. He felt its every thought and wish that he could better fulfill now. His dedication to his draconic divinity increased to unimaginable levels. But the darkness began dimming his sight again, despite him crying not to.
He opened his serpentine eyes. No, not in his dreams. He opened them physically. Although he could see little in the darkness of the cave he was entombed in for so long, but he definitely perceived the space around. He took a deep breath and felt the salty, damp air streaming into his lungs. It caused him to sneeze from the little moisture that stuck in his nostrils, but he didn’t mind as he hadn’t felt the smell of the sea for a long, long time – a smell that meant freedom to him. Hearing the silent boom of the sea from somewhere nearby filled his being with joy.
He could feel and taste and live again thanks to his god. Without his divine intervention, he would still be imprisoned. He owed him more than what he could repay under a single lifetime. And that is exactly why he had to fulfill the mission that was given to him in the vision. He had to travel to where that obsidian monument stood and become an immortal servant of his lord. Now he just needed to find the path that would deliver him to his destiny.
Out of nowhere, he heard two splashing sounds from a pond that must have been connected to the sea through some tunnels. Some things or some ones jumped in or out of the water. Huddling up he fell into complete silence and sharpened his ears.
“It wasss a bad idea coming here, Siriss. We should leave.