Mardok’s fixation with a rare and valuable gemstone, once belonging to a long-lost high elf noble now in the posession of a powerful human king named King Daniel who was the first to rule the kingdom, was rooted in both its potential worth and the secrets it held within its depths. As a youth, Mardok had glimpsed the stone’s magic and power before falling victim to the curse that transformed him. Now, decades later, Mardok sought to reclaim the gemstone as a means to undo the harm of his past and restore his former glory. His obsession with the artifact was fueled by a desire for personal redemption, but also by a darker ambition – to wield the stone’s mystical properties to dominate North Market and avenge the wrongs inflicted upon him.

The curse that befallen Mardok as a youth was woven from dark magic, transforming his appearance and instilling within him an insatiable hunger for blood and carnage. As he struggled to maintain control over his bestial urges, Mardok found solace in the shadows, honing his skills in stealth, deception, and combat. The curse not only affected his physical form but also shaped his emotional landscape, driving him toward a life of corruption and domination. Yet, despite its transformative power, the curse was not without its vulnerabilities. Exposure to specific magical energies or artifacts could potentially heal the wound that scarred Mardok’s heart and soul, but until then he becomes weaker. Syran finds him on his bed hardly able to form complete sentences. Mardok had been in this state for several days, and it was likely to kill him.

Syran made the decision to seek out the rare gemstone at all cost. The thought of losing Mardok to the curse was a reality Syran could not bear. After many years of service and loyalty, the bond between them had grown stronger, and Syran had come to see Mardok as a mentor, protector, and even a friend. Knowing the risk was great, but unwilling to let his only remaining companion die, Syran set off on a journey that would take him beyond the borders of North Market and through Stormfall Towers a place not friendly to thieves. Nonetheless Syran with his cunning stealth and master art of deception and of slight of hand he felt he could make it with no problems. Armed with a few items including his trusty shortbow and his rapier he begins on his mission.

On the way he notices something shiny on the side of the road. After investigating the area he found a stone of good luck. Syran thought about the significance of finding the stone at that exact time as he carried on his journey down the dusty road full of ruts. Upon arriving at Stormfall Towers, Syran was able to sneak pass the guards by walking under a produce carriage that was entering the keep. Once inside he made a quick run to a corner in the darkness to hide.

As the ancient Stormfall Tower came under attack from a relentless horde of undead, Syran hid in the shadows, biding his time and observing the chaos unfolding around him. Syran made his way towards the front entrance to see what all of the fuss was about. On his way he notices a merchants table and was able to steal a healing potion and some gold. Syran thought how easier can it get?

Syran felt a mix of fear, sorrow, and curiosity. He sensed an opportunity for personal growth in the face of adversity and, amidst the carnage, glimpsed fleeting visions of the tower’s storied past. Now outside the gates in the security of the shadows from the guards tower he watches a group of humans fighting what looks like an endless stream of zombies.

He was curious as to the purpose of the attack, and, as the battle raged on, Syran began to notice something familiar about the attackers – their movements, their strategy, their tactics. As he continued to watch, the realization dawned on him. They were zombies. The same kind of zombies he and Mardok had fought off countless times. But this was no mere horde of undead. This was a full-scale invasion, and the tower’s defenses were failing. Soon the castle guards were able to protect the gates and secure the area from all undead.

Syran retreated back inside where he was anxious to find a way to make quick and easy passage to his destination. As he stood there another group of undead begin attacking the keep and this giant cat looking creature leaped the walls with ease and surveyed this prey.

Syran knew this was his opportunity to make a move. With all the chaos unfolding, he was sure no one would notice him slip into the back halls and corridors. Before he left he wanted some fruit for he felt weak and hungry, as he tried to steal a pear from the merchant he was caught. Fearing being put into prison he thought about running, but where to he thought. I am trapped, then the merchant did something unexpected he pushed Syran behind him in order to protect him as he was being pushed the merchant stated “Get behind me child”. Syran was in disbelief and was about to have some choice words about being called a child, then he realized this is the perfect cover.

Syran looked over and saw a heart shaped locket which he was able to steal from the blacksmith. The merchant a moment later turned around and picked Syran up and placed him behind the blacksmith for which was his life partner. The merchant looked at his lover and said this is a orphan child that I found he will be a great addition to our family. Now the couple stand in front of Syran vowing to protect their new found child at all cost. Syran had an uneasy feeling about these two and made a plan of escape. As he moved up the walls with stealth like movements he was stopped dead in his tracks as he saw another beast a large worm looking thing likes of which he has never seen.

The worm looked weak and Syran decided to attack the worm creature in hopes of being the champion of the land which just may bring him closer to the gemstone as well as the ability walk in the open not being bothered. Syran reached for his short bow which he could not find, but he didn’t panic he looked around and saw another bow sitting on the ground, he picked it up and it felt perfect in his hands.

With a lone arrow in his hand he knew he better aim good or he would become wormfood. Syran stood strong and pulled the string back as he looked down the arrow aligning his target up. The worm’s chest was exposed and Syran could see where his heart was. Syran released the arrow and watched as it pierced the worm’s heart causing him to die on the spot. Syran came out of the shadows and everyone cheered for him except the merchant and blacksmith who were now cowering down holding each other while they cried due to the lost of their only son.

This was only the story about one scared soul of many who were present that day.

To potentially be continued…….