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Shadows of Honor (Part 4)
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- Soth approached the structure that she guessed was the Chapel of Forgotten Shadow. It was distinctly of human make, most likely constructed by the Forsaken at some point. She moved closer to it, shadows swirling around her in every direction. She ignored them; they were just shadows after all – weren’t they?
- She set foot inside of the chapel. There was no one there except for a lone male Forsaken in dark robes. She walked towards him, clearing her throat. “High Preist Maldenis-.”
- The Forsaken sharply rose and spun around. She gasped, surprised to see that he was just as tall as her – for a Forsaken, this was something new to her. “Are you the new recruit?” he asked – his voice deep and gruff. Soth nodded. Maldenis grinned. “Wonderful! Simply wonderful! Rokhan sent you, yes? Pay no mind to what he says; he isn’t one of us, so how could he possibly know? Now, allow me to reveal to you your future!”
- He turned away and picked an unlit candle off of the floor. He held it out to the troll and Soth took it.
- “All dark rangers must go through the ritual you are about to endure,” he said. “But let me explain what it is your doing. Every creature, even us Forsaken, has two halves: one that embodies your hate, rage, and wishes to slaughter all in your path, and another that tries to keep you from indulging in such things.”
- Maldenis shook his head. “It is only the first of those two we need, the other holds us back. Take this candle and light it on the altar. That will draw your ‘better half’ from your body. Show it what path now dominates your destiny!” He grinned. “Feel free to start whenever.”
- Soth walk towards the large altar at the back of the Chapel. Hundreds of lit candles glowing with dark fire were on it, each one identical yet completely individual. She took a gulp, part of her told her to stop, another part urged her onward.
- Before she could pause to think, he slammed the candle down on the altar, and it burst with fire of its own.
- Immediately she screamed in pain, and a light essence was torn out of her. It was nothing more than a shade at the moment, but it quickly took form, creating a exact duplicate of herself.
- “Joo don’t need to do this!” the other Soth begged. “Joo know it’s not right!”
- The original Soth didn’t listen. The lighter half had been torn from her, and the darker part of her soul was quickly filling the void. She reached out, grabbing her better half by the throat and lifting it into the air.
- “No,” she said, her voice dark, “I don’t.” She grinned. “But I want to!”
- She began to squeeze the ghost’s neck. There was no physical matter there, of course, but the shade reacted all the same, grabbing at Soth’s hands and trying to pull them off of her. It was to no avail, though, and Soth’s grip tightened further and further, until the Shade lost consciousness. Even then, though, she didn’t stop. She continued to tighten the grip, determined to kill this part of her.
- But before she could complete the act, it faded away into a single, tiny point of light, and reentered her body.
- She flexed her fingers. She felt… unstoppable! For the first time she felt truly alive! Her true self had been unleashed upon the world!
- She walked back to Maldenis, the High Priest was grinning madly. “Perfect... PERFECT!” He broke into a peal of maniacal laughter. “You are truly one of us now, Soth. There is no turning back. But be pleased with your decision, it was the right one.”
- “Tank you, High Priest,” she grabbed her throat. Her voice, it was different, darker, and in the very back of it she could hear a fait, barely auditable whisper. “Wha-.”
- “A change,” Maldenis said, picking up a shard of glass, “that signifies your new life. It is not the only one.” He held it up to Soth’s face, and she gasped.
- Her eyes now glowed blood red, and in then she saw no mercy, no compassion. She touched her face, and grinned. This was who she was.
- "You've done well, Soth,” Maldenis said, “but even the weakest of dark rangers are able to break their lighter sides like so.” He nodded. “Yes, it will take more than this to prove yourself capable as a Ranger. Return to Nathanos now, there's nothing more for you to do here.”
- Soth bowed. She understood
. She when walked from the chapel and back towards the Shadowed Spire. The shadows around her had disappeared, replaced by the dark rangers they actually were. She acted as if it had always been such, though. It was all of no matter. She had the power she wanted.
- All that remained was to gain
Part 4 of the short series. This marks the turning point for Soth's character to the cold blooded killer she will stay as.
The next page brings with it a quick run-through of training, and then in part 6 we'll be seeing the Old God's minions firsthand.
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