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Outcast Part 1
Rian ran through the thick undergrowth, ignoring the cuts on his legs and the warm blood trickling down his face. Angry shouts notified him that he was still being pursued. Slowing and turning he raised a hand at the men behind him and a violent ball of intense flames launched towards them. The armoured men dove to the left and right to avoid the flames and Rian quickly stepped through a gateway into the Void.
Sealing the gateway behind him, he stopped to catch his breath. Though most magic was not illegal, people would kill a magician out of pure disgust. But especially magicians like Rian. Unlike most, Rian was not born with the innate ability of magic and had formed a binding pact with a demon from one of the underworld. His magic did not drain on him as severely as normal mages because it didn’t just draw its energy from him, but also the demon itself.
But unlike other mages he could not hide the existence of his gift as such a pact physically marks any who undertake it. Rian’s face was covered in intricate glowing patterns, as was anybody’s face who had bonded with a demon. There were many types of magic. Their was those who were born with the ability, these were mostly tolerated and were even granted there own guild in Gerania, though they were kept under close guard by the king’s men. As far as Rian was concerned it was a prison.
Then there was demonic mages like himself. Upon death these demons are sworn to an eternity of service to the demon with which they have bonded. There was witches who were always women and lived in solitude in the forests, there magic was weak and consisted of rituals and herbal remedies. They were frowned upon by society but as long as they stayed hidden they were usually left alone. And last was blood magic where a human drank the blood of a demon. By doing so they are gifted with the power of a demon but their body also becomes a battlefield for control as the demon tries to take over until finally the demon wins out and the king sends the mage’s guild to deal with the demon. It always happened that way but the temptation of power overcame that for many who took that path.
Rian touched the slash across his face and the blood ceased to flow as the skin repaired itself in an instant. He took one step into the darkness and found himself sitting in a throne adorned with a crimson rug inside a stone room. Torches lined the walls and eerie shadows lingered at the base of each torch. Rian snapped his fingers and one of the shadows flowed into a dark robed figure with a pale white face. Its eyes searched piercingly with a cold, dead look.
“How may I serve master,” it rasped in a gravely voice.
“The fool king hunts for demon mages every day and they are getting much to close to the Arachnian border. If they come much closer they may start to wonder why Drakor Keep is no longer abandoned.”
“Of course master, what shall we do?”
“Fetch the Alpha Shade for me.”
“As you wish master.” As the creature finished speaking it sank into the ground and became once more a shadow. Clinging to the walls it flew away along the outer corridors and out of sight.
Sighing Rian waved his hand and the huge doors to the Great Hall slammed shut. Flames leaped out of the floor and formed a window and showed him a part of the underworld. Craggy rocks jutted out of walls of harsh flame and strange spiked hound with gaping maws and a steel spiked tail that they occasionally flicked at lightning speed, sending rocks tumbling below into a endless sea of lava.
A huge red humanoid with curved horns and leathery wings suddenly filled the window.
“What do you summon me for now little one, I have little patience for mortals,” the demon snarled.
“I need an Underlord to serve me, my lord.” Rian replied calmly.
“What do you offer in exchange for such a boon?”
Rian stood and motioned to one of the shadows lingering near the small door to behind his throne. The shadow became a huge, faceless humanoid with that same deathly gaze. In one fluid movement it moved to the door and flung it open to reveal a stone slab with a woman bound to it by shining ropes that pulsed every few seconds. With one flick of his hand the ropes disappeared and the woman snarled at him, blood trickling from the corner of her mouth.
Weakly she crawled towards him and she raised one accusing finger at him. In a flash a string of energy whipped Rian across the face, burning a line down his face. The woman smashed into the wall with a groan and the energy disappeared to nothing. Sinister, black flames licked the edges of Rian’s hands forming deadly gloves. Reaching out with that burning touch he stroked her neck and she screamed in agony, shrinking away from his touch. The large faceless one handed him a obsidian chain, which Rian clicked around the woman’s neck. Now if she tried to use any magic it would drain her as the spell would’ve but instead of the desired effect it just strengthened his own magic reserves. That chain had been a gift from the demon to.
“I give you this mage, my lord,” Rian said.
“And so you shall have your Underlord mortal,” the demon replied. Rian unclasped the chain from the woman and shoved her into the window of flame. It consumed her greedily and as she disappeared into the window an Underlord stepped out.
Rian bowed and sealed the portal and examined the armoured creature in front of him. The creature towered over him and had pale blue skin. The weapon it carried had a spear on one end and a vicious curved blade on the other.
“I am Retyul’ Garthon of the Kindoori Clan. I am here to serve you as long as is required master.”
“Excellent,” Rian said, a wicked smile forming on his face.
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