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May 30 2023 -

From Rot to Riches

Lord of Sanguine Tides
Hearken my call:

Consume this nectar of tears and blood,
And summon forth the crimson flood.

Allow me to traverse the scarlet veil,
Let me pursue your bloodstained trail.

"Deeply unsettling!" Amaro lifted his gaze from the creased letter. Weeks had passed since Eadric's stormy departure, his final words still echoing: "I will leave at once!" A heavy burden hung over Amaro. It was he who had told him about Torkada's request. How could he not? Eadric the Exalted was the embodiment of what Torkada was looking for, a fierce and formidable fighter. Amaro's worried gaze drifted back to the blood-smeared parchment.

The ruby liquid sloshed over my boots, oozing through every pore. I waded into the basin and plunged into a vermillion abyss. And yet, I wasn't drowning, Amaro! I was being reborn. Through a dripping portal, I stepped into the Blood Vestibule. And there was Bloodshade. Again. A creature as unfathomable as what lies ahead of me. A servant? A guide? A schemer? It does not matter.

Here I stand, unyielding, unbroken.

There are others with me. United in silent resolve to purge the festering scourge that torments this once hallowed place. We navigate through the four spheres of rotten blood where the twinned harbingers of decay and the dual devourers of light have built their nests.

Like filthy talons, jaded roots cling to the ground and walls. Just like that, the gruesome beasts we slay claw at our life, unleashing dangerous ripples upon their death.

The cursed soil is seething with putrefaction here. Unbreakable root limbs spit their venom, fuelled by every grotesque anomaly killed nearby.

Gloomy basalt pillars tower over us as dark energy seeps into us, eventually discharging as a devastating chain lightning. How are we supposed to stick together like this?

Deep pits mar the basalt floor and bloodshed has turned them into scarlet lakes. Dark light repeatedly manifests under us and behind us, draining us to the core.

By drawing on our strength and experience, we somehow endure the horrors of these blighted halls, if only barely. Every once in a while we stumble upon the battered bodies of fallen greenhorns. Slaughtered by abominable monsters. Juvenility enrages them; the younger their victims, the more they are spurred on in their cruelty.

What drove those fledglings here? The allure of riches? Whispers echo through the corridors, of weapons augmented with sanguine power, some even infused with ichor, the golden nectar of immortals.

And so we cleave our way through the carnage, absorbing the rot to face the desecrator's offspring. We will bear their taints, we will persist despite Bakragore's shadow, we will defy him time and again, feeding him the essence of his kin, withstanding his wrath to cleanse this realm of his foul presence.

Cowardice finds no refuge in our hearts. Our missteps will not inscribe defeat.

We are warriors amidst the tempest. We are crimson crusaders.

Our triumph is etched into the scrolls of must-be.

Upcoming next: The taints within you, the burden you bear.

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