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September 1, 2013
Sins always return onto the heirs of their makers...
Chapter 14: Dosh Rak
The skin sank back as blood burst forth, covering everything close to it. Melasa looked with dread and terror as a creature that she feared with her bones was born anew. The gore kept flowing as human skin was replaced with a surface akin to the sword.
Finally, the horror show stopped and the creature stood up, inhaling deeply, "Back at last!"
There was an inhuman growl that emanated from it. Something that belonged to a mythical beast of the old tales and not to a man. The Dosh Rak was a monster of the old tales though. It was everything just to not scream in terror.
Smelling the fear from the Nifrin, it turned to her. "Ah, a little witch," the voice was deep and guttural, but it then changed, "We'll cut you to pieces and use your blood for the altar!" The voice was much higher pitched than before and almost feminine, but still sickly evil.
That was right. Her father had told her that Dosh Rak inherited the memories of past Dosh Rak, and their personalities too. Apparently the personalities fought with each other for dominance and control. Voices broke out and spoke, cut off by another who tried to speak. It made the Dosh Rak sound cryptic and incoherent.
"It will all burn!"
"You're the only thing that's going to burn, Narash!" She cursed its existence, calling it unforgivable.
"Oh?" It answered sarcastically in a voice that almost sounded normal. Another voice, much deeper than before spoke, "I was going to save you for last, but now I will kill you first!"
Charging for her with the speed of the Sehr witches, Melasa leapt back. She knew that this beast was more powerful than her. If she had any hope of killing it, she would have to act fast and pull out every trick she knew.
Facing the Old MastersMelasa blocked the hit and felt her muscles ache. The Dosh Rak was incredibly strong, it was batting her aside like she was a rag doll. With one sword she blocked and sent the other straight into its chest.
It only went in a couple inches instead of a foot. Clearly it had replaced the skin with an armor of organic design. As flash of steel glowed as she ducked under his counterattack. She watched as strands of her red hair flew, cut by the sword. She sent an up-strike that opened his chest briefly, though it healed just as quickly.
The monster smiled sickly and pointed a finger to her, "Lurosk."
Her eyes widened as a weave of webs shot after her. This was a darkspell, sending webs of steel to entomb the opponent. Melasa furiously cut at the pursuing strands. It was an ancient spell and one that she wasn't nearly strong enough to cast herself.
"You are a child," a high voice shrilled, replaced by a much deeper one, "We are masters and gods!"
"You're no god, just a Dosh Rak," she exhaled heavily, tiring much faster than average.
"Hm, you will see just how wrong you are."
"Muroseh khan!" The Dosh Rak slammed the tip of his sword into the ground as the earth shook with his command. Melasa hesitated for a moment.
Muroseh khan, death in the flesh. He had cursed his sword to kill and disintegrate anything it touched. She saw it happen as the ground touched by the blade's tip cracked and rotted as if aged by time. It was even more lethal to flesh and bone.
With the speed of her dying race, it flew after her with the malice of murder in heart. It was too fast for her.
She was losing and would get cut. Even a minor cut would spell death from the spell enchanted blade. She had only one option, "Venar Lurch!"
The blade came in too fast for her to parry and it caught right at her arm. The beast smiled momentarily until it realized that the arm had not disintegrated. "Hm, that was a very taxing spell."
Melasa smiled at the frustration of the monster as the spell took its toll and caused her to bleed. It was the lesser of two pains. 'Turtle skin' was a spell to toughen one's skin and negate corrosive spells such as Muroseh khan. The cost was that the spell caused to you to bleed from your mouth as if gutted.
"Most impressive, child. But you are not extraordinary. I will kill you and take your sword for my master."
"What?" Those words shocked the half-witch. Master? Dosh Rak were mad monsters that killed everyone. They served none. How could it say it had a master?
"Don't worry, you won't live long enough to wonder!"
Joining the Fray
Tiros looked on in worry as Melasa continued to be pushed back by the beast that had possessed Lesun's body. It was horrendous. He wanted with every finer in his being to help her. But he had promised her. It was her battle, she had claimed. That it rest on her shoulders as the Nifrin blamed themselves for the existence of the Dosh Rak, it was their responsibility to destroy them.
He had another responsibility now. End the rebellion by defeating the rebel horde. He had no skill in earthbending, but he was a master airbender and a firebending prodigy. He would fight with every muscle in his body to stop them and prevent this war from spreading further.
That currently meant facing overwhelming odds as the three thousand Earth Kingdom soldiers fought well over ten thousand. They had cut that number drastically thanks to the ambush, but now the giant had awoken and made its first swing.
The men fought hard and with the conviction of death, but they were still falling. Hundreds had fallen now and more kept coming to kill them as they all chanted, "We are the Immortals!"
Tiros still had a few tricks up his sleeves. He had used the Wrath of Fire before, but he had been lost to his own grief then, he wouldn't make that mistake again.
Still, he was not alone on the wall, there were others he called allies here. If he unleashed his final stroke, they too would die.
There was only one way to ensure their safety, that was to leap head first into the maw of the beast. He ran forward, leaping off the great wall and down into the wide expanse below.
He then released it. A shockwave of heat went out. Sweat broke over all the men as an unbearable heat released. Men looked to the source in horror when a portion of their men lit on fire and screamed in agony.
The Wrath of Fire filled a firebender with unspeakable power. It was draining and would shorten the life of a firebender, but it was a trade that was sometimes necessary. The power was so oppressing that it burnt anything too close to the user. Dozens perished in agony, Tiros chuckled.
"Everything burns in this world, even the earth on which we stand." His voice was solemn, filled with purpose but devoid of emotion. His old friend tried in vain to creep into the back of his mind and remind him of his loneliness. It was pointless now. He had something to fight for now, someone to fight for.
After near a hundred charred to husks, the rebels kept their distance and tried to use ranged attacks to fight. He refused them, charged for them with the gifted strength of Wrath, they were again in his inferno and burned all the more as he sent reaching streams out into the masses.
All were cinders, ready to burn further once touched by his Wrath.
"None will escape me!"
Melasa backed away as she exhaled heavily from exhaustion as she spat out blood. The Dosh Rak laughed at her, confident that she couldn't hurt him. And he was right, she had been unable to truly harm it.
She was no match for it.
"You gave a good fight, child." The high voice of some old beast spoke, it was replaced by a calmer voice that she hadn't heard before, "But we have fought your kind's greatest warriors, you are not even a real challenge. No more than a dragonfly is a challenge against a real dragon."
She breathed heavily as she cursed, "May the deepest hells take you!"
It laughed at her sadistically, "Already been there, now its your turn!"
"Ish Tocha!" A look of surprise briefly took the demon as bladed chains coiled and pierced his body. The dagger-like links cut through him, sending torrents of blood out onto the field. He kept fighting as the four chains tightened, coiling around his body. The ring that held all four chains jetted for him. If it could tighten enough, it would cut his body apart to a point that his regeneration couldn't heal.
Melasa almost fell to her knees. That spell was beyond her level, it took all her strength to use it. It only worked because the Dosh Rak didn't expect her capable of it. Ghost Chains were a powerful wind spell that could take the mightiest foe, but they were vulnerable if used against an experienced foe.
Melasa didn't notice that the Dosh Rak had the Blood Drinker shielding his chest from the ring, or that the ring was pressing itself deeper into the sharp blade. She heard a greater commotion down below. The army was attacking with full fury now. Tiros was strong and powerful, but he was outnumbered and cornered.
Tiros didn't notice the earthbender behind him sneak up with a dagger in hand. Her blue eyes widened in horror. Will all the strength she had left, "Du Lash!"
A spiral of wind left her hand and smashed into the earthbender, crushing him against a slab of stone. With the threat gone, Tiros sent a massive shockwave of air that blasted all the attackers away. He looked up to Melasa but didn't smile.
She soon felt why as incredible pain seared through her chest as burning steel lodged itself deeper. Blood spewed as she saw the blade come out the front of her chest. A fiery voice from behind spoke, "Never turn your back on your enemy!"
Its hand held her and it sent the sword deeper. He was directly behind her now, her body was in panic, but had strength she had lost before, the will to survive, but she knew it was vain to hope to live from this, it was too much. Her only option was to take it with her.
She raised the Storm Flower in reverse grip and sent it barreling down into her own waist, feeling even more pain as blood escaped at a faster rate. She smiled as she heard it scream in pain, the sword may have stabbed her, but it had also impaled the Dosh Rak in the chest.
It immediately pulled back from her and she fell to the ground, too weak to stand.
"NO!" The rage of Tiros shattered stone as he watched in horror as Melasa was taken from behind by the Dosh Rak. With no mercy it gutted her with its vile sword. To his astonishment, she turned her own sword on herself and stabbed down, impaling both of them. The Dosh Rak pulled back as a deep gash in its chest bled profusely. Despite what should have been lethal, his body was already healing.
Tiros seethed as his eyes glowed and he charged forward in rage. Leaping forward and grabbing the Storm Flower with a gust of wind, he made a vicious swing that did its job. Still stunned by the attack, the Dosth Rak did not counter as the Storm Flower cut off its limb below the elbow. It screamed in absolute rage as the Thorn Cutter fell from its grasp in the severed hand.
Without hesitation, the Avatar thrust forward and with fire in mind and blade, he shoved the Storm Flower into the face of the cursed devil before him. The beast twitched in shock as fire took its head. With strained movement, it reached for the sword, intending to take it.
Tiros withdrew and attacked again, he swung across, determined to finish it off now. Blood coated his face as he saw its head fly, confirming the accuracy of his attack as the neck buckled to the sharp edge of the Storm Flower.
Kneeling, the body fell before him, without the head or its blade, it was just another body, one that vainly tried to regenerate what couldn't be replaced. Finally it ended as the head rolled down to a corner burning still from the flames.
The men around fled in terror, their immortal warlord was no more, just a corpse, broken by the Avatar.
The glow that had given him the strength and speed to make the attacks without being stopped faded. Reality returned and consciousness as the Avatar realized he was himself again. His thought immediately went to another.
He ran over to the red hair of the one he loved more than anyone. "Melasa!"
She looked on faintly, "I'm sorry, Tiros, I failed." She coughed as blood seeped from her lips.
"No, we won! Its dead. Stay awake, we'll get you healed!" He spoke irrationally, fear consuming him as his eyes saw reality. Her chest and stomach had two massive stab wounds inflicted upon it as she bled profusely.
"I'm sorry, but I don't have the strength to stop the bleeding this time. I love you, Tiros," she put her blood soaked hand to his cheek as a tear left her fading eyes, "How I have longed to say that without worry, I guess its not going to be that way though.."
"Please," Tiros couldn't hold back his tears, "don't leave me. There has to be a way!"
Her eyes looked vacant and then a spark, "Bl- ood Drin- ker." Her distorted and slurred speak was just barely understandable, "Kash Nalash Rak," she pointed to the sword nearby.
Tiros looked at it and reached out a hand for it with intent, "Kash Nalash Rak!"
The foul weapon flew from the severed limb and into his hand. It quickly began to grow, readying claw-like vines to attach itself to him. Knowing what she meant, he thrust the handle into her palm and tightened her fingers around it for her.Thorns burst out of her hand and fingers, even her knuckles, sending trickles of blood out. The sword greedily drank it and he saw its magic at work. The blood stopped coming so fast, and then altogether. He thought that it had failed, as Melasa's eyes rolled back for a moment.
The cuts then narrowed and stitched itself together like it was a paper cut. Her eyes opened almost violent as she screamed in terrible pain. Writhing in agony, she couldn't take it. Tiros held her down, "Stay with me, Melasa!"
He worried, would it be too much? Would it turn her with such serious wounds? "Don't give in, Melasa. Stay with me!"
It was so dark. Pain beyond belief, agony so great that she wished she died. Was this the power of the Blood Drinker. If so, its name as Untouched was deserved.
She knew that the first user was a human who wanted the power to heal, but was unaware of its price. He soon grew reluctant to use the sword, instead, relying on his own hands and mind. Only relying on the sword when at death's door. It made him ruthless at that moment and mad. Even the great demon, Hakki, feared the human with the Thorn Cutter.
But the price was so terrible. Too terrible to atone for or justify. How could her people have ever made such a weapon? What in their right mind would drive to make something so- so evil?
Ah yes, the Spirits. Memories of all the stories flooded her. Anything to occupy her mind from the madness and pain that her righthand was giving her. Something was screaming, something familiar, but not from herself. It was calling.
He's calling me. He needs me.
"Stay with me, Melasa!" Faint in her mind but clear.
I have to go to him. I have to wake up. I need to get up!
Her body resisted her with every nerve as the pain hurt even more, causing greater torment. Burning her veins and cooling her blood. Boiling her heart and crushing her ribs.
Eyes opened to the bright light of fire.
No! Was I too late?
"Melasa!" a voice cried out, grabbing her. She could barely turn her head to see him, her neck felt stiff and sore, as if she had slept a century.
"Its okay, Melasa. I'm here for you."
She smiled, "Thank you, Tiros. You gave me hope to stay. Hope that I can live happy."
RecoverPondering alone in the great winds. It reminded him of the Temple where he recovered from his own madness. Now Iseran was recovering from the madness of war. The madness of human nature was a difficult disease to combat. It required cruel extermination.
The Earth Kingdom forces loyal to the King had lost over a thousand men in all, Lieutenant Mir and Colonel Shyo among them. Saijin was overworked but did his duty right by his commander and his men.
The rebels were broken by the loss of their master and were hunted down like the dogs they were. Irredeemable. The depths of their atrocities were still being discovered as the Earth Kingdom sent more men to secure lost lands.
At the least, the higher most officers stayed and fought to the death. Even Hanbao. It shocked him at first, he didn't seem like a very loyal soldier.
Hanbao didn't seem to care much, "Loyalty to a man doesn't really matter. But loyalty to your orders is the duty of every man. My duty was to follow the orders of the commander of Iseran, no matter what."
"How could you so blindly follow orders?"
"Because that was how I was trained, I wasn't trained to think, I was trained to follow."
The rebel ran straight into his inferno, to his death pyre. It disturbed Tiros that the man thought that was what a soldier was. Tiros called a soldier a warrior. Someone who did what was necessary to win and save lives. Who respected those above and below him.
Hanbao didn't understand that at all. That was why he pitied him.
"Tiros," he heard the quiet voice of someone important to him. He turned to see that his companion through this experience had recovered as well. It was weeks before she felt right again, but she fought through it.
He could only imagine the pain she went through. He knew it hurt her to even blink, let alone live and breath. Perhaps it was inevitable that Lesun became a Dosh Rak. To so inappreciatively use the Untouched like a tool, it was a sin the sword punished him for, and it ate him for it.
"Is it safe?"
She lifted her hand tentatively as if to summon it but stopped. "Yes."
"Why did the Nifrin create something like that?"
"Why does anyone create such vile weapons in the world? Desperation, survival, fear. The Nifrin were afraid that after the humans fell, they would too. They made their greatest weapons and sought to erase the Spirits with them."
She chuckled, it surprised Tiros to hear it, "Ironic, we would get wiped out and the Spirits would be so revered by the humans. Just how the future turns out is not set in stone and its not so predictable as we thought."
"I wonder how it all came to this? Every time, a war breaks out, it seems to be for new reasons. But the motives deep beneath it all is not unique. The same evil, the same sins push it all. What would it take to end it?"
"I don't know, Tiros."
- Tiros used the Wrath of Fire in an extroverted fashion. In Rise of Lirin, we will see its introverted form, which is much deadlier, and the inspiration for something even worse.
- Melasa used various spells that stretched her to her limit and forced her to be stronger, showing that mind over matter can come even in the worse of times.
- So ends the unfortunate tale of in Dreams of Melasa. To hear his many tales, read Heiress of the Nile and Moon Drops.
- The Dosh Rak's 'master' will be revealed in Book 2: Shadow World.
- The Nifrin, like all, suffer for their sins. Not by suffering it themselves, but rather having their legacies atone for it.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
Storms of the Future Cycle
|The Journey of Tala|
|Book 1 - Sand and Steel|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 2 - Blood and Swamps|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Book 3 - Pyres and Storms|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
|Fates and Vows|
|- - - - - - Ilera - Solace Fade - Scions - Sovereign|
|The Rise of Lirin|
|- In the Morrow - The White Dragon - Faith in Blood - The Great Gates - Lord Avatar - A Red Sun - Faceless - Faction - Tempest - Rally of Crows - Rally of Eagles - Dragons and Serpents - Kings and Men - Storms of a Spirit - Princes - A Battered Land - Seas of Ichor - Arbiter - Return to a Grave - Declination - Disaffection - Epilogue|
|Myths of the Empire|
|Pacification - Assassins - Empire - Red Sun Under The Empire - White Snow - Heirs|
|The Reclamation of Arein|
|Book 1 - Chaos|
|Refugee - Rogue - Ghosts - Dark Roses - Doyen - Divulgence - The Plan - Abscond - Mists of Illusion - Madonna - Syndicate - Playing the Stakes - Purge - Brothers|
|Book 2 - War|
|Alliance - Temple - Tensions - The Fall - Hunters and Prey - Lussuria - Shades of Relevance - Broken Star - Defiler - Strikeforce - Secrets of the Lair - Eminence - Swarm - Wanderer|
|Dreams of Melasa|
|Book 1 - Servant|
| - - - - - - - - - - - - -
|Book 2 - Shadow World|
|Faint but Clear - Ghost in the Steel - Kurotama - Loyalties - Servants of Shadow - Game of Fate - Shadows and Reflections - Tomb of Blood - Broken Blades - Hill of Shadow - Souls and Swords - Home|