In the Shadow of Kings

The Queen of Yaramuke


“Come, she expects you!” Those are the words from the hag. I don’t know why we follow her. It seems we have no choice. “We go to the mind; the mind gives the order, the body follows.” These parts of the city are in very bad shape. Buildings are mere ruins; rubble is all over the place. The mind can tell us what we are looking for. That is all very mysterious and I don’t believe a word from that hag. Yet still, we just blindly follow her. She points at a door. It is half broken; hangs loose in the hinges. “It is in there!” What’s in there? I am all suspicious and look for traps while I have a peek through the door. Legion enters the room right behind me. It has loads of rubble and piles of these books everywhere. There are even shelves that hold many books.

There it is! The obsidian dagger lies openly on the floor. I walk towards the place where the dagger lies. The walls are odd. That room must be huge. I cannot see the walls. They’re pitch-black. When I arrive at the dagger and want to pick it up, the hag is suddenly in front of me. She smiles when she picks the dagger; my hand only grabs air. I look up towards the hag and see a huge bodiless shadow hangs behind her. “Home!” The hag does not move her lips. It’s the shadow talking. “This is where it wanted to go for a hundred years. I followed the heart that you brought here; and that is most excellent.” The shadow doesn’t fit the hag, I don’t understand. What’s going on here? The shadow continues: “I have been searching for it since the Tyrant king took it from me. It needs a carrier. Kalak ripped her heart out and wanted to use it. But he could not. The dagger caused my Death.” By now everyone is in here with us. I can see in their faces that they don’t like what they see.

The hag-shadow is talking about weird things that I cannot understand. Suddenly it speaks about powers and strength. She offers us powers. The word ‘power’ let me listen up again: “Together we will fight back my brothers and sisters! The other sorcerer kings have done nothing in the past 100 generations. They are destroying my world. I know more about this world than anyone.” She – it is very egoistic. That’s what I could tell from these lines. I, me, my – it’s all about her. I look around and feel uncomfortable, but somehow I cannot leave the place just now. She wants something of us. Again, it is about her. The entire conversation is weird. It feels so wrong. Grax and Xeeliah tell us that they have felt something like this before.

The shadow asks us what we would do to achieve power. “Would you sacrifice a friend?” Grax says that all of us would. But I disagree – I would not sacrifice a real friend, a false one maybe. Legion wants to be free from his enemies. Sarghon is weirdly silent. The shadow does not ask Aryenne about her opinion, though. That is the moment when I realized what the shadow-hag was suggesting: She – it wants us to sacrifice Aryenne and give us powers in exchange. The shadow is suggesting we should join it. We could fly, create darkness, and make plants wither or grow. Before I could do anything about it, Grax is with Aryenne. He wants to take the heart of her, but Aryenne is stronger and keeps it for herself. I ask Grax if he really wants to kill Aryenne. But Grax just ignores me and speaks to the hag-shadow: “To complete this task, you need not puppets, but companions. I can do the dirty job for you.” I’ve a very bad feeling about this.

Grax wants to the dagger from the hag. The hag does not want to give it to Grax. Xeeliah tries to steal it from the hag, but does not seem to get close enough to her. There is a power in her. Suddenly the hag becomes impatient and says: “There are still servants who do work for me, even in their deaths!” Grax grabs Aryenne and holds a dagger to her neck. This time I was prepared. I run to Grax and hold my dagger onto his neck. I cannot grab him though, but I see that Legion does that for me. He holds his sword directly at Grax’ belly while he grabs his jacket. That is when I suddenly hear Grax whisper to Aryenne: “I am trying to save your ass, dammit!” I am very confused by this and the hag must see it. She uses this moment to attack all of us. At first I am half at a mind to kill Grax first because he threatened Aryenne so much. But I think that we can deal with him later.

I focus my attention to the hag-shadow instead. We all slash and try to hit the hag, but nothing seems to have any effect on her. She must be way more powerful than she seems. Xeeliah almost gets pulled into these shadow walls, until she teleports and takes the shadow with her. The shadow continues to attack her even in the middle of the room and she seems close to death. Meanwhile Legion runs burning through some of these shelves and creates a massive destruction in his path. This is how I know Legion – this is why I like to fight along his side! The hag pulls Aryenne to her (“Come here!”) and we do not know whom to save first. Aryenne is being pulled to the hag, Xeeliah is dying. In the end, Grax saves Xeeliah and Legion and I continue to attack the hag to free Aryenne. Finally the hag seems to get exhausted, but she is not yet dead!



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