The End

-by Aryxymaraki

This is unlikely to make any sense without first reading Aryxymaraki's Story:

Aryxymaraki stared down at the reagents he had assembled before him. Sand gusted past him, carried by the wind over the dead plains and near-deserts of Desolace, to the mountains overlooking Mulgore.

He sat atop a mountain, looking at his gathered piles of leather, vials of blood, and essences of the Foundation, Magistarium, and Vital elements. He also looked fondly upon his battered suit of dull gray chain mail; no ordinary mail this, it was the near-legendary invulnerable mail.

And he planned to sacrifice it all for his quest. Nothing else mattered.

Aryxymaraki began summoning his power to him. He called upon not only the spirits of the elements, but the place spirits and the spirits of his ancestors as well. The ground trembled as the spirits of earth answered his call. The wind howled as the spirits of air came at his will.

And then he saw him.

Thirteen feet tall, with a bolt of lightning in one hand and a sheet of flame in the other. He had come back for what was denied him - Barathum, the dreadlord who inhabited Aryx's horn for so long, had come back from his banishment to claim what was denied him those long years ago.

Aryxymaraki the Spiritwalker knew that he had one last test before him. With a flick of his hand, thunder split the air.

Barathum answered with a roar of challenge, and leaped toward Aryx; the fight was on.

The storms came at Aryx's call. Lightning pulsed at his fingertips, as he was surrounded by physical manifestations of his spiritual allies; most call these totems. With one outstretched hand he hurled the fury of the thunders directly into Barathum's chest, knocking him back.

Releasing a roar of fury Barathum regained his footing and continued his charge. His sword of lightning crashed against Aryx's shield; but lightning is a shaman's element, and the sword harmlessly exploded into fragments that flew all about.

Aryx's defensive victory was short-lived, as by the time Barathum redrew his arm the sword had reformed, and he brought it down for another crashing blow that Aryx deflected in the nick of time. Blow after blow he rained down upon the old shaman, who even enhanced as he was began to tire rapidly.

They stood in the midst of a raging thunderstorm. The elements were not paying attention to their proper positions, as it was raining fire to put out the water on the ground. They were distracted, seeing their champion in such dire straits.

A bolt of wind struck the ground near them, and Barathum charged.

His shield of flame thrust forward, the dreadlord put his weight into one mighty shield bash. Aryx could not block it, and reeled back heavily.

And in that instant he lost feeling in his legs. Moments later, he would have realized that they had been severed by his opponent.

Would have. Had his head not been taken off on the backswing.

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