FROM: General Debinani Rahl
RE: Chapter Seventeen – The Fall of Pietr the Fisherman
Pietr was a simple man. He enjoyed his life, poling his
flatboat through the rivers and swamps near Papua in search
of food. He loved his family, his wife and three
rambunctious daughters. It was simple, and that’s the way
Pietr liked it. He always knew that there was a bigger,
greater world out there beyond the swamp, but he didn’t
much care. He really didn’t want anything to do with it.
The world however, was not quite finished with Pietr.
One day, not long ago, Pietr poled his flatboat up to the
stilts to his home and tied it off and noticed something
sparkling in the mud. A piece of gold or jewelry lost in
the swamp would be a welcome addition to today’s catch,
thought Pietr. He thought about buying his wife and
daughters new dresses for holiday with the fortuitous find.
Pietr sloshed through the mud and unearthed the source of
the sparkle. They were rings, two of them, nearly identical
except for color. Even encrusted with mud they were
beautiful. Pietr could not resist placing the ring with the
diamond on his finger.
Poor, simple Pietr. At the moment he placed the ring on his
finger, simple Pietr was no more. Pietr was dead. His wife
and three little girls would get no new dresses for
The one once called Whisper stood in the mud and flexed his
new muscles, testing their ability. They would need some
work, he thought to himself. He examined his surroundings
and noticed the house on stilts, the glow of a cook fire
dancing playfully through the open windows. Whisper smiled
wickedly at his good fortune. He picked up the other ring,
the one with the obsidian stone and the intricate roses
carved in its body, and carefully, lovingly cleaned it off
and placed it in his pocket. Whisper was still loyal to his
goddess, and he would continue to be in her light for all
Whisper, Ringwielder of Air, Warlord of the Army of The
Stormbound Night, smiled at some private joke, and began to
climb the ladder to see his new family.
Somewhere far, far across the sea, on an island shrouded in
mists that blind men’s eyes and turn their sails, a city
waits. At the center of the city stands a monolith, a tower
made of the blackest stone reaching into the clouds like a
single talon of a bird of prey. At the top of this tower,
cloaked in twilight, is a room, a room with a single
adornment. The Throne of Despair is a simple thing. It
looks as if it is made from rough-hewn granite and steel.
Sitting atop this throne is a woman, both beautiful and
terrible to behold, her arms and legs bound by chains of
the strongest steel, and she is sleeping.
One night, not long ago, the echoes of an inhuman chuckle
permeate the room. They linger for a few moments, allowing
their message to be received, and then silence reigns once
more. The woman’s head has lolled to the side during her
long slumber, her full lips slightly parted and her long,
black hair draping over the side of the chair.
A deep rumble once again breaks the silence as a small
quake shakes the tiny island, the tower, the throne, and
its occupant. As the sound fades and the panicked cries and
fanatical cheers fade into the normal bustle of the city,
the woman stirs. A small, nearly imperceivable shudder
passes through her naked, chained form…
…And her eyes open.