Zayl’s mind was groggy. He was lying on an iron floor, and felt cold bars against his back. He tried to stand up, but when he tried a sharp stab of pain shot up through his arms and legs, and he collapsed onto the ground. The pain wakened his mind and he remembered where he was at, a cage. The cage was made of a silver-white metal, and held over a, from what he knew, bottomless pit, and he knew exactly what confined him. Angels.
Zayl managed to barely push himself to a sitting position, and looked around in his small confinement cell, despising how small the cell was around him. He slowly brought his hand up and clutched his head with pained hands and felt as if several tendrils burrowed through his head, and they were keeping certain thoughts and memories from him. He gritted his teeth in pain and couldn’t remember how exactly he got into the prison. He tried as hard as he could, to break the tendrils blocking his memories. He felt as if one of the tendrils started to dissolve and his head felt clearer. Suddenly, Zayl felt a picture from a memory form in his head, and closed his eyes, seeing several black and white shapes. The shapes were constantly intertwining with each other, some of the black shapes disappearing, and some of the white shapes disappearing, but then, Zayl felt his mind start to fog again, and that vague, blurry memory start to disappear. In vain and desperation, he clung to that memory, and sought to see it in more clarity, and, in order to see that, destroy the entities holding his memories. He fought with all his mind and will to destroy the objects in his head, and felt them all disappearing very quickly. Soon, the intertwining black and white forces changed into several people rushing at each other. With more concentration, he saw that the black shapes all wore voluminous black robes, and there skin was deathly pale. The white shapes slowly changed into people in gleaming white armor, there faces unseen. Behind the backs of the white bodies were white wings. He instantly knew that they were angels. He struggled some more with the thoughts, and suddenly felt like his mind was cleansed, a refreshing torrent of memory after memory came back to him. He managed to destroy all the tendrils. With the memories, came the reason why he was here.
Zayl looked around his allies, the necromancers, who numbered to over a thousand standing around him in battle formations. All the necromancers around him seemed to show no emotion, except for the few who looked almost insane. They were on a dead, ashen land, no possible life surrounding them for miles, with the exception of the necromancers and their enemies. Across from them, in perfect sight for Zayl, were the angels. He saw that the angels were outnumbering them, but not by too much.
“The angels are quick and powerful, but with all there knowledge, they still won’t know hardly any of our tactics and spells.” The voice of the battle necromancer, who was next to Zayl, said.
“They will run into us head-first, confident in there abilities, we will win.” Zayl said, and turned his head, eyeing all the necromancers, before facing forward again, a grin hidden to all others on his face. “But we will have heavy casualties”
The battle commander looked at him and started to talk, but was interrupted by a tremor on the ground, he looked back forward and saw the angels charging at them. “No post-battle speech or chance of surrender? They must really want us dead.” The battle necromancer said as he pulled out a sleek dagger made of ivory. As soon as he did, the sounds of various weapons being unsheathed could be heard around them. Zayl pulled out a dagger similar to the battle necromancer’s but was made of an obsidian colored metal, and a slim emerald-like jewel going through the blade.
There was a second of silence as all the necromancers looked at the charging angels, before the necromancers charged forward too. They seemed to charge for a split second before the angels were only a stones-width away. When that happened, Zayl, the battle commander and all the necromancers who were at the front line stopped and let some necromancers get ahead of them. Those necromancers brought up there hands, palms towards the angels and closed there eyes. Suddenly blackness rose up from the ground, going around the angels. The angels were surrounded in darkness, unseen to anything. The sound of the charging angels seemed to stop, replaced by the sound of several swords being unsheathed, and soon, battling. Zayl listened carefully as the angels blindly fought the abominations hidden in the darkness. The spell wasn’t permanent, and they would have to prepare for when the spell disappears. The necromancers who had casted the spell backed away behind the people who were originally in the front lines. Zayl, the battle commander and several other necromancers rose there hands and prepared for their spell.
Zayl concentrated into his spell, and then held out both his hands, palm outward and the dagger in his hand pointed towards the darkness. He willed several bones to be summoned in front of him, and then, several bones of were summoned in front of him. These bones were of animals, and looked like usual bones of various different animals. Zayl managed a glance at the battle commander and saw that he didn’t have bones summoned in front of him, but instead, several shards of black metal akin to the type of metal that made up Zayl’s dagger. Zayl knew that the battle commander was much better at summoning than him, and was able to summon other things then just bones, as necromancers usually used as there main form of weapons. Zayl then looked back towards the many bones floating in front of him. He twitched his hand, and all the bones seemed to break apart and reform themselves, until they all formed small daggers, looking like the bone dagger that the battle commander wielded. After a couple of seconds, all the bones that Zayl had summoned formed into over a dozen daggers all pointed into the darkness. After he formed them all he allowed himself a couple tensed breaths and he looked back at the battle commander, who had over three dozen razor sharp shards of black metal all pointed in various directions into the behemoth blackness. As soon as Zayl glanced at the battle commander, he immediately shot back towards the darkness and saw that it started to fade away. It only a few seconds for the darkness to wear off and it revealed the after-shock of the first of the necromancer’s spells. There were several angels who lay on the ground motionless. Some of the felled angels had single cuts and other various signs of weapons while others showed claw marks and bite marks, while few of them showed no open signs of death. Zayl also knew that that the angels had slain some of there own kind, in the midst of the darkness. With that though, Zayl slightly grinned and watched the already fatigued angels try to collect themselves, then he pointed his dagger towards the middle of the armada of angels, and all the bone projectiles in front of him shot out with extreme force towards the middle, and he saw through the edge of his vision the rest of the necromancers who had readied their spells unleash the several bone and iron fragments into the angels. The projectiles did there job immediately as a countless number of angels fell, but most of them got back up.
“Now comes the hard part” Zayl muttered as he readied his weapon and charged towards the remaining angels, dagger held in front of him, and he heard the charging footsteps of the other necromancers behind him. The angels seemed to recover from their spells in no time and were already in battle formations before the necromancers got to them. When they were mere feet from the angels, the angels dashed towards the necromancers and were on the necromancers in a blink of an eye. Zayl knew how quick they were and expected the dash as he parried a down-ward slash aimed for his head to the side, and thrusted his dagger into the angel’s chest, its body slumping lifelessly as Zayl withdrew his dagger from its chest and let the angel fall to the ground. He kept his eyes forward and didn’t see any of them, but heard some of their screams as the angel’s speed caught them off-guard. Their screams irritated Zayl. He knew that they were taught how to react to the angels speed, and still they died by the angels first strike, which is usually there most dangerous strike. Zayl parried the blades of three angels consecutively and used the time to see how the rest of the necromancers were doing. He saw that already over a dozen necromancers were on the ground, motionless. But he, among the other battle necromancer’s, weren’t the main form of attack, they were simply meant to hold off the angels from the main forms of attack.
As Zayl, among the other necromancer’s, held off the angels, there were various projectiles flying over them and into the angel ranks. The projectiles were being casted by the main form of necromancers and varied from various bone projectiles, to obsidian colored iron projectiles, to fiery balls of black energy. The energy ripped through the angels, constantly reducing there numbers. However, the angels themselves had there own projectiles. Flying through the air was a countless amount of silver arrows fired from both angels on the ground and angels in the air, seemingly endless as they tore through Necromancer ranks. The sky became a vivid barrier of black fire with white streaks tearing through it.
Zayl fought. His mind blank, his body numb, he simply fought. Everything around him seemed slow. His body didn’t seem like it was in his control. He watched as angel after angel fell to his dagger. His body didn’t tire, or he couldn’t feel the fatigue. He took several steps forward narrowly dodging a downward, and he ended the angel’s life quickly, not even sure of how he did it as he walked past the angel, who now fell to his knees before striking the floor. Strike after strike, blow after blow, Zayl simply walked forward receiving several injuries, but taking more angels. For a second, he couldn’t help but smile; everything was becoming very eas-
Zayl gasped as a sharp pain reverberated in his chest, and he felt warm blood going down his chest. Almost regretting it, he looked down and saw the tip of brilliant gold sword sticking almost an inch out of his chest. His vision suddenly blurred, and the sword went back through the hole. Suddenly, he couldn’t hear the battle, only his last breath. But then, a voice broke through the deathly silence.
THIS ONE SHALL BE A PRISONER… NOW, ORDER THE RETREAT a brilliant voice reverberated in his head, sounding like it came from everywhere. Then he saw the ground flying up to his face, but everything went black, and he didn’t feel the strike.
Zayl growled lowly. They took me in like that, on their retreat He thought as anger boiled in him. Zayl yelled in rage at the darkness surrounding him, but wasn’t even rewarded back with an echo. This is how I’m going to spend the rest of my life, in a cage surrounded by nothing? Zayl thought disdainfully, and yelled once again. This time, it had only sorrow and a twinge of madness.
Zayl woke up. Or was he even sleeping? He could’ve just imagined it all. He had stopped worrying about time, or his sanity a long ago. Both weren’t helpful to him. He sat up and leaned on the cage. His insane eyes were half concealed by eyelids that hung halfway down. Carefully, he observed his hand, before turning it over just slightly, as if pouring sand onto the ground. His life had been forfeit. He had been loyal to his own men, and this is how he was going to be repaid? By spending the rest of his life in a small cage where time had no meaning, his life had no meaning? Angrily, Zayl made a fist in one hand and struck the bottom of the cage several times. The pain refreshed him, a subject for his brain aside from the torrents of hours of nothing. He observed the hand, watching small droplets of blood trickle down his knuckles, and onto the cage floor. He had done this before, many times, and he had watched his own blood for countless hours, maybe even days, before fatigue set in and he had gone to sleep. But, every time he woke up, the blood was gone.
It’s only a matter of time Zayl gleefully thought as he, for the countless time, watched the blood. But then, a great noise startled him like nothing else. He hadn’t heard anything aside from the noises he made, and longed for any outside reference. But now, he was scared of what might happen. Cautiously, he grabbed the bars, and studied the area from where the noise had been born. Suddenly, the noise was heard again, but this time had been followed by a slight sliding noise, like a door had been opened. Then, there were footsteps, a lot of them
“Who’s there?” Zayl croaked, surprised at his own voice, at what it had become. Suddenly, a fiery light blinded him, and he threw himself to the other side of the cage, clutching his eyes and yelling in pain.
Zayl of the Necromancer’s Guild. Your guild has ignored our claims, and because of it, you will be put to death A ethereal voice said, which resounded throughout the whole place, producing echoes, a feat Zayl had tried many times, but wasn’t even able to produce one. Then, the words sank into his mind. He dropped to his hands and knees, feeling several cold daggers stab his heart. He had been this patient, waiting so long for his guild to save him, yet they had abandoned him like that. He started to cry out in vain, but felt a very strange sensation of being moved. He looked up and saw a winged figure in golden robes which had various depictions of birds knitted in it with a sapphire blue yarn. His face seemed like every angel he had seen, a sculpted handsomeness. In one hand he held a long staff which had a single fiery red jewel at the top and in his other hand was a rolled up scroll. Behind the man were two guards, both of them covered from head to toe in glistening gold armor, there helmets showing no true visor. In there arms, they held silver pole arms with behemoth sized blades on the top. Now that Zayl was close to them, the apparent leader of them talked.
“Your death is awaiting you, Zayl” The angel said with disgust. He turned around, and the cage wall facing the angels opened. Zayl didn’t even have a chance to move before the two armored figures grabbed him by both his arms and drug him out of the cage. His head carelessly slid behind him as they drug him out of the room, where he felt like he was nearly blinded, but it didn’t take long for his eyes to adjust and he saw he was being drug down a hallway which had opaque floors and ceiling, the corners lined with gold helix’s spiraling down the entirety of the hall. They were dragging him facing backwards, so he didn’t have the luxury of seeing when the hall ends.
Zayl swallowed nothing as he felt his intimate death coming. But then, he felt anger for how the angels treated him. The anger tore at him, fueled both by his hate for angels, and the insanity built up from his long confinement. He jerked suddenly, trying to free himself from the figure’s grip, but suddenly realized just how weak he was. His years of confinement had made him very weak, and made his efforts to escape the two guards grip a futile task. With all hope lost, he slumped down and watched the floor, already a dead man. But then, a dark glint caught his eye. He looked down the hall, trying to find where he had seen it, but the way the halls were, there was no room for the being to enter or suddenly leave like that. Was it a figment of his imagination? Before he could answer his own question, the hallway abruptly ended, and he found himself in a giant, beautiful courtyard.
There was a huge crowd of angels and humans alike, they all surrounded a old style guillotine, but this one was made of silver, with several dark blue skeletal hands etched into the bottom of it, looking to Zayl like the hands from the afterlife, ready to grab all victims of the guillotine. Zayl was dragged even further, and found himself staring down a red carpet that led to the guillotine, which split the crowd in half. Zayl looked up at the blue, beautiful sky with only a few clouds intruding the vastness of the sky. He smiled lightly, grateful that he could at least see a beautiful day before he died. Just as he was bringing his head down, he saw the same dark figment. He quickly looked through the crowd, being rewarded with hateful glares and silent curses, but no dark figure. Another figure caught his eye next to the guillotine, but still no one.
“Zayl of the Necromancer’s Guild.” The same man who had led the party, now at one side of the carpet, right in front of the crowd. “You have been sentenced with the murder of over 57 angels outside of war. Your plea will be ignored, and your death will be swift. May god… Carry your prayers well.” Abruptly, he started to get dragged towards the guillotine. He looked around. There was no music to be played, the only chorus the screaming and cursing of the several humans in the crowd. He eyed through them, but found no dark figure. His legs were drug up the stairs, and Zayl got closer to the guillotine. He marveled at the very intricate details in the carvings of the several hands on the guillotine.
Another glint. Then another. And another. Zayl looked up to see spectral black orbs which swam around him, leaving behind a trail of black flames. Now it seemed like he wasn’t the only one who say them. Now, the whole crowd stared in awe at the black wisps as they went to and fro, as if not having a definite purpose. Suddenly, all of them flickered a bit, and suddenly the whole place was dark. Gasps and screams were heard all around Zayl, and then he felt as if a countless amount of hands had grabbed him, and then he had a huge sense of vertigo as he became weightless. The feeling only lasted a split second, and he felt his weight return to him, and he felt wet grass on his feet. Grass? Zayl suddenly realized, and then the blackness surrounding him faded, revealing he was surrounded by lush trees and grass. The sky was night, contrary to what it had been only moments ago. He looked around, seeing that there was no sign of civilization around him whatsoever. No road, no city mark, nothing.
“Welcome back, Zayl” A voice much akin to a dying man’s last words was heard behind him. Zayl, startled at the voice, sure that he was all alone just a second ago, turned around. Just a foot away from him, a lone figure who’d countenance was hidden behind a red hood. His body was covered in a robe the same color as his hood, and this robe had no mark or anything, just a plain robe. “Are you still loyal?”
They leave me in the angel’s prison… Zayl angrily thought, and found out that he didn’t even know how long he was in that place, for he had quickly lost al sense of time. He balled a fist, with all intentions to hurt and kill the man in front of him. “How…” Zayl angrily whispered, barely controlling every violent urge. “…Long was I in there?”
There wasn’t even a hesitation. “Just over a year.” The man casually said, looking up at the night sky barely seen through the heavy trees above them.
“What???” Zayl yelled, and instantly struck the man right in the head, although the man only took a step back, and the blow obviously didn’t faze him. “You guys did nothing for over a year!!! You have no idea what it’s like in there!”
“In the angel’s prison? To have no sense of time, to have all your thoughts robbed from you to where you don’t remember your past at all? Oh yes, I’ve been there” The man said calmly said. Zayl felt some gratefulness that he had been able to get back his memories. “You were in there because there was a war still going on. You, of all people, should know that. A battle is a battle, there are prisoners. We had to wait for the war to subside before we could even begin to talk about exchange. They wanted us to surrender one of our own men to release you. Our Guild isn’t like that. So instead, we waited until you were free from that chamber until we would be able to free you.”
Zayl hesitated a bit, unsure of what to say. Everything he said did make sense. Before he could say anything, the man stepped forward. “Are you still loyal?” The man repeated, still in the low sinister voice.
There was a longer hesitation, Zayl had several mixed feelings, but with a distasteful resolution, he nodded. “Of course.”
Even though it was unseen, Zayl could tell the man was grinning. Without another word, the figure turned around and started walking away. “Don’t worry; you will have plenty of times to have your vengeance on the angels.” He said, before disappearing into the darkness.
The angels… Zayl suddenly thought, and anger brewed in him showing up on his face as a dark scowl. He hadn’t actually thought of the angels since the man rescued him until now. They brought me to that hell… Zayl thought, and the dark scowl twisted into a demented smile.
I am free, and they will pay…
- Title: The Necromancer's Imprisonment
- Artist: Dirty Red Magus
- Description: A Necromancer awakes in a cold cage surrounded by darkness. Without memory of how he got there, only knowing that angels held him captive, he barely manages to survive as his sanity slowly deteriorates.
- Date: 01/11/2009
- Tags: necromancers imprisonment