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The Purifiers

September 05, 2015

demoIn the Millennium of Purification, a group of Elves and Dwarves join forces to purge the world of the dark magicks they themselves once helped unleash. Is there a chance to make up for their sins of the past and restore order to the world? Find out in the serial fan fic: The Purifiers.

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September 05, 2015

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The Purifiers

Chapter 3: To Reason Why (Scene 3)


An hour later ...


Kendroll says, "It was good of Lord Wilhelm to let us use his hunting lodge for this mission."


Q'Uetel responds, "Merely a momentary reprieve to mollify the condemned."


"What do you mean?" asks Kendroll.


Q'Uetel answers, "He cast us out of Eyescend and into the fringes of civilization, nary a hope to return. This temporary luxurious accommodation a wave of the hand to distract the weak minded from that fact."


E'Sarinn says, "Not cast out. He has entrusted us with a great responsibility."


"Yes," Q'Uetel says. "To subdue the influences of dark magic out here, I know. Yet I also am acutely aware that there are influences of dark magic closer to Eyescend as well."


E'Sarinn says, "True. Though he may have sent us out here for the Summoner, he asked us to remain and continue seeking out threats. Near Eyescend the lingering dark magic remains in check and others can see to it, but out here there is no one watching. The world is still in turmoil from the war, and not all wounds inflicted by the war have healed. Those two factors left unchecked will only lead to greater suffering. Lord Wilhelm is entrusting us to decide our own missions. That is an honor, not an insult."


"Perhaps you are right," Q'Uetel says before pausing. He folds his hands in front of him as he adds, "Or perhaps you are too trusting of him."


Rock looks at Q'Uetel and says, "You're a strange one, aren't you? You joined a mission to eradicate magic, yet object to the cause every chance you get."


Q'Uetel says, "No. I joined a mission to stop the misuse of magic, and to prevent the needless destruction of a valuable and irreplaceable resource."


Rock asks, "Resource? What are you talking about?"


Kendroll answers, "Magic."


Q'Uetel looks at the young Dwarf and nods. He then turns his attentions to Rock and says, "Magic is a tool, neither inherently good nor evil, though either force may wield it. Evil must be stopped. However, trying to stop the use of magic by evil causes irrational fear in simple people. They think the magic needs to be destroyed, even though it can be a great benefit when wielded properly."


Kendroll asks, "What about Necromancy? Isn't that evil?"


Q'Uetel answers, "Necromancy is a practice of depravity, but how closely have you ever studied the basic concepts? There is a great deal of overlap with traditional sorcery. They even use some of the same spells, and any Wizard who desires can learn a Necromancer spell. This is because, at its core, a Necromancer is simply a variation of a Wizard. The main difference is the focus, with Necromancy specializing in defiling the natural cycle of all life."


Haven strokes the soft coat of Pax. "All magic defiles the nature."


Q'Uetel responds, "Such simple thinking. Take for example an artifact that can create rain. In the wrong hands it can cause flooding. However, if used properly, the artifact could bring rain to a land besieged by drought."


"Noble," Haven says, "But that still goes against nature. There is a balance to life, and when you create rain in one area it deprives rain from another. That drought you just stopped causes another somewhere else, or causes the area to become dependent upon the magical artifact so that if anything should happen to the item, the area will never recover. Magic upsets the natural order."


Q'Uetel responds, "Ley Lines are natural, yet lines of pure magic."


Haven says, "Ley Lines are energy, not magic. Practitioners use that energy to create magic, but while the two are connected they are not the same. If magic is truly so natural, why do you think animals fear it so much? Their natural instinct is to run away. Why? Because it is as unnatural as those Deevils we just fought."


Kendroll looks at Haven and asks, "Is that why you joined?"


"No," Haven answers. The head of Pax rests comfortably on his lap as he continues to pet the fur of his companion. "My companions made that decision. They wanted to stop magic, so I joined them. They followed me on many adventures; I could do no less for them."


Kendroll turns to Fenix and asks, "So you're the one who convinced him to come along?"


Fenix looks at the young dwarf and says, "What?! Me?  I'm a Faerie, a Creature of Magic. Why would I care about stopping magic? I'm not Haven's companion," said as she points to Haven. "She's mine."


Haven sighs. "I told you before, I'm male. You use 'he' as your pronoun."


Fenix responds, "Bah, all you fleshy bags of meat look the same to me." Then readdressing Kendroll she continues, "Anyways, I'm here because of Pax. She ... he ..." She shoots a glare at Haven for a second, then looks back to Kendroll. "Pax!" Another quick glare at Haven. "Saved my life once. I wouldn't ever leave ... Pax," with yet another glare at Haven. "That's one thing Haven and I can agree on."


Kendroll asks, "So your wolf made your decision then?"


Haven says, "We have been together for a very long time. It's the least I can do."


Q'Uetel says, "You are such a hypocrite. You speak against magic because it is unnatural, yet you use unnatural means to communicate with animals."


Haven glares at the Elf. For a brief instant Q'Uetel almost jumps out of his seat and backs away as he sees the eyes of a monstrous beast ready to rip him to shreds. The moment passes, and he realizes that it's just the flicker off flames from the fireplace reflecting in the dwarf's eyes. He lets the tension slip from his muscles.


"Blah ... blah ... blah ..." exclaims Rock as he throws some more wood into the fireplace. The once dwindling fire flares, dancing in celebration of its new meal. Emerging out of the flames is a fire salamander that crawls over to Haven, who holds out an open hand as it climbs up. Rock continues, "All I hear is a bunch of yapping."


Haven finally shifts his gaze away from Q'Uetel and towards the fire salamander he now holds cupped in his hands. Softly he says, "Never confuse friendship with what you do."


Kendroll shifts his attention to Rock and asks, "So why did you join the team?"


Rock answers, "Simple: Magic breeds weakness."


Q'Uetel looks at Rock. His jaw's tight as he asks through clenched teeth, "What?"


Rock returns the glare of Q'Uetel with a smug look on his face. "You heard me. Magic makes people weak."


Q'Uetel raises his voice in protest. "Magic is one of the greatest tools we have. There is no limit to what it can accomplish. Magic can raise us to new heights. Why do you not tell everyone why you really dislike magic? Because while you can take a punch, you are weak against magic. You fear it!"


Rock says, "I'm vulnerable to magic, not weak. There's a difference. Remember that. Still, I won't deny it: Magic can hurt me. So what? That doesn't change anything. Magic can do all those things you said and more. But that's the problem. Magic can do it, not you. People rely on magic so much that it's used for everything. They forget how to do things themselves. I bet somewhere out there a Wizard's coming up with a way to have magic wipe his ass."


E'Sarinn comments, "Actually, if memory serves correctly, that is the intent behind the Cleanse spell."


Rock laughs, "Ha, that just goes to prove it. People become too reliant on magic to do everything for them. 'The strong prevail.' That's the philosophy I live my life by. When magic accomplishes more than the one who wields it, the wielder has become nothing more than its puppet whether he realizes it or not."


Q'Uetel responds, "Magic us is not a battle of wills to determine which one is the master, but instead the energies of the universe working together with mortal vessels. Magic cannot control our actions."


Rock asks, "Can't it? You're the one who said you're here to preserve magic. That means you're here serving magic. You're already its pawn and don't even know it."


E'Sarinn holds his glass of ale in his fingers as stares into it listening to them talk, the fire from across the room shimmering through the liquid contents while his own face reflects back in the glass.


Higher up, leaning against a wall near the ledged walkway overlooking the lodge's main room below, H'Dargoyn listens to the debate below. There are no candles or lanterns lit in the area, and he simply remains on the cusp of the dark.


K'Ulnar approaches and asks, "There is no harm in going down and joining the others, now is there?"


H'Dargoyn opens his eyes. "Nor is there any benefit to it."


Leaning against the wall next to his Elven brethren, K'Ulnar continues, "That is what you think, is it?"


"Joining them will only breed familiarity or contempt," H'Dargoyn answers. "Neither serves our purpose. We are in a battle against some of the darkest forces in the world. If we are to succeed we must react calmly, our actions filtered by reason and logic. Distance serves that cause best."


K'Ulnar asks, "Why did you join the Purifiers?"


"Maybe I am only a mercenary for hire, just like Shooter."


"Perhaps," responds K'Ulnar. "But if that were true then would you not be in your room alone and uninterested like he is now? Instead you stand here listening to them talk of what drives them, do you not?"


H'Dargoyn answers, "Gathering information as a potential resource."


With a smile K'Ulnar replies, "You are quick minded, are you not? A great asset, yet why is it all I hear are excuses in your words?"


"Have you considered," H'Dargoyn says as he looks at the shorter Elf beside him for the first time, "that I am more like that spider on the ceiling?"


K'Ulnar looks up. Though they stand in a hallway without light, his Elven eyes see through the darkness and perfectly make out the spider feasting on a fly caught in its web. "All I hear are more empty words that you do not seem to believe, why is that? Is it because you are trying to distance yourself, or because you are even lying to yourself?" He turns his attention back to H'Dargoyn, only to see the Elf already walking off further down the dark hall.


The attention of K'Ulnar is brought down below as he hears Q'Uetel shout, "I have had enough of this foolishness. I am going to get some fresh air." The door slams behind him as he storms out. K'Ulnar slides his back against the wall as he takes a seat on the floor, his legs pulled up in front of him. He wraps his arms around his legs as he sits alone in the darkness.


Outside Q'Uetel sees Mancer standing guard. A mist fills the air, causing the Elf's hair to frizz. As he passes the metal Dwarf he comments, "Be careful not to rust," his choice of words polite, but his choice of tone derogative. The steel giant does not respond, but stays motionless and unwavering in his duties.


Inside the lodge, E'Sarinn places his glass down on the table, which sounds exceptionally loud in the silence, his pointed ears even able to pick up the sound of the ale swishing around in the glass.


Kendroll looks down at the wood table. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cause such conflict"


E'Sarinn says, "The conflict was already there, you did not cause it."


Kendroll looks up at E'Sarinn and asks, "So why did you join the Purifiers."


"My story is not very complicated," answers E'Sarinn. "I am a soldier. I go wherever I am ordered and fight whatever I am told."


Kendroll sighs.


E'Sarinn asks, "You seem disappointed. What answer is it you seek?


Kendroll answers, "Your answer is just so different from mine. I don't know what I seek. Maybe ... maybe I'm just trying to understand why I was forced to stop my studies."


E'Sarinn asks, "Your Wizard apprenticeship?"


Kendroll turns his head and looks at the burning fire. "Yes. I spent my entire life training, honing my craft, studying to," he turns to look E'Sarinn dead in the eyes as he continues, "kill Elves." Despite the declaration E'Sarinn shows no signs of reaction. Meeting the cold and fearless eyes of the Elf, Kendroll quickly looks away. He adds, "Understand, I have no personal animosity towards Elves. That's just what I was training to do. My only real motivation had been learning magic, the reason why irrelevant." He then falls silent.


Treating the comments like a part of everyday life E'Sarinn says, "Please continue."


Kendroll looks back at E'Sarinn, but this time avoiding eye contact and always looking just below or off to the side of the Elf's gaze. He says, "My master said I had real promise, maybe his best student ever. Then the war ended, and Dwarves swore off magic. I was so close to learning to cast my first spells," his hand reaches out to grasp only air. "No explanation, just cut off!" That extended hand opens and slices through the air. "If the war ended just a week or two later, I'd know how to cast magic right now. My spell arsenal would've been limited, but I'd have learned everything I needed to continue on my own if I wanted."


"Would you have?" asks E'Sarinn. "Even though it meant betraying your people?"


"I -- don't know," is the answer Kendroll gives. "I don't really understand why Dwarves gave up magic in the first place. I'm no traitor, but ... maybe I just want to be able to make my own decisions."


E'Sarinn responds, "Being able to make your own choices is not always the best thing. Some times it is those decisions, the ones you make in spite of all other advice, that you regret the most."


"Maybe," Kendroll says as he stares at the table. "But then," he looks up at E'Sarinn again as he asks, "What about Bastiel? He's a Dwarf! Yet he still uses magic! Why is he different? Why can he still practice magic and I can't?!"


"Bastiel the Empty has made his decision," E'Sarinn answers. "But as I said, it is often those decisions you regret the most. Once made though, you cannot take them back."


Kendroll says, "I don't understand."


E'Sarinn leans his head back, unsure how to say next. How do you explain something to someone who has never had that experience and cannot comprehend it? He then looks back at the young dwarf with a smile. "'You may not understand yet, but you took my words in. You are thinking about them. That is all I ever ask.'"