The daughter looked at Bloodtide with contempt, a knot of guilt forming a small lump in her chest. All she had wanted was a family and her parents had wanted the same. But, she chose the other, much more complicated family instead. She thought back to the battle, the rain pouring, the lightning blinding at times. Bloodtide had pierced so cleanly through her father's chest and she began apologizing softly as she fell with him. Her mother was yelling at her but the girl was barely listening. Her father was looking up at her, rage and regret in his eyes. "They'd kill me if I didn't do it," the daughter mumbled, remembering she said those exact words years ago as tears welled up in her eyes. "I could have saved you!" Her father shouted in pain. Her father did not last much longer after that, the daughter offered his body a prayer as her mother paced nearby, her voice eventually rising to a shriek, "Why would you destroy our family!?" The defiant girl glared up at her and snapped, "You're not my family! They are!" She was pointing past her mother, at a building flooded with red light. The look on her mother's face, of one betrayed, would stay with her a long time. Her mother roared, transforming into a bear and lunged at her.

Had she picked correctly?

Now, both her parents were gone. While she went to find out Horuss' fate, to make sure Bloodtide was secured with the dragoons, her mother had taken her father's body from the members of Travance and fled. Ilana truly wanted to save her mother. She realized what was wrong with her and her mother might have been the key to figuring out how to save the other marked. But, it didn't matter anymore. The girl knew she would see her parents again, probably sooner than she'd like and they wouldn't be the same anymore, they would be with Balfurous. She prayed Galladel would finally have a bit of mercy on her fate. If she could just save their souls....

*     *     *     *     *

In chess certain pieces must be sacrificed to ensure victory. Balfurous did not like losing his pieces. The doors to his chamber burst open with a giant bear flinging his demons aside. The bear let out an angry roar as she gently dropped her dead husband at Balfurous' feet. Balfurous let out a large bellowing laugh that shook darkholme. Her anger stifled as she changed into her natural sylvan form and began sobbing and her tears fell in frozen droplets. She defiantly looked into the demon lord's eyes and pleaded, "Please save him, bring him back my abilities cannot save him." Balfurous picked up Torin's body in one hand examining the frozen corpse with the deep wound directly to the heart. He at first flashes concern and then quickly dismisses the notion smiling seeing the town fall to chaos with these pitiful mortal concepts of morality. He looks to this mortal and speaks a deep resonating tone, "What can you do for me mortal?" Nadira froze and responds, "I will give you all I have, I just want my family back," the last few words sound bitter. "I want revenge for what they did to my daughter corrupting her and making her destroy her father." with a venomous conviction she finishes. He responds matter of factly, "So be it." He touches Torin's chest and demonic energy flows into Torin's body it begins to encase in abyssal ice. He then notions to the woman to come and she follows his command.

*     *     *     *     *

With the reforming of Bloodtide the world pulsed all those who were drawn to evil took notice. Dragoons near and far began coming to claim or destroy the weapon that slew their ancestors. Thieves and collectors began to move in the direction of this priceless artifact.

*     *     *     *     *

A girl, clad in armor, sulking, but firm in her purpose walks into a bloody corpse-ridden battlefield. Death surrounds her with every step she takes. The stench of rot fills the air; the girl letting eldrich words fall off her breath brings life to the dying earth beneath her feet as she walks. She seeks one corpse in particular; one victim of the horrific scene presented some nights before. Near the site where the unholy creation was forged, a body lies decaying on the bloody field; His face, shredded in anger and torso mangled by an onslaught of a hate-filled barrage. The girl carefully steps up to the body slumped on the ground. She sullenly sits down next to him, placing a hand on his head like a sister to her fallen brother. Reaching into her pouch, she pulls out a large heart shaped amethyst, clenching it with determination.

She looks to him with sadness in her eyes, hearing his words drift in her mind.

Silently sitting, she thinks to herself, "I hope you weren't lying..."

*     *     *     *     *

A pulse of benevolent magic washes over every hero of Travance near and far. They feel a force drawing to their town. Something calling for the need of heroes… 


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