Black Desert Online - VELKANS - 'Aftermath'

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Post  Mammona on Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:40 am

The smoke curled into the dawn sky, obscuring the rising sun and turning the horizon a vast shade of red. The fire was still burning and had been for many hours, creating a pillar of ash and smoke that could be seen for miles. Animals and adventurers alike paused in their daily business to turn towards the inferno to the north, watching for a long moment and marvelling at the unusual occurrence. It could be seen as far away as Calpheon City, where a one-eyed guard captain stood watch at the lookout of his tower, shaking his head in disbelief. It was seen by the rich and by the poor. It was seen by countless others who realised what it meant. Some silently rejoiced, while others wondered what would come next. Still, as they beheld the fire that came from where the Ecrilian stronghold once stood, they could not help but think of what had transpired, and who was responsible.

Those responsible stood watching the blaze from the crest of a hill a few miles away. The forest stretched around them as far as the eye could see, but the elevation of the hill afforded the six figures an expansive view of their handiwork. They stood silently, armour and clothing swaying in the morning breeze, Their breath misted in front of them in the brisk air as the night’s chill gradually gave way to the day’s warmth. Nothing was said for a long time, until an omnipresent voice broke the silence.

“Well, that was fun,” Devotchka observed, brushing a strand of raven hair away from her eyes.

“They got what they deserved,” Jaim replied flatly, giant hands resting on his axes.

“Still, it doesn’t make us sleep any easier,” Yommie said with a hint of sadness. “Innocent people died.”

“There are no innocents.” Parma shook her head. “Not in this case, anyway.”

“Agreed.” Vahmorn stepped forward, pointing at the smoke. “Every single one of them knew what was going on. They chose to join Thassi, Fassi and Shgaem.”

Denryo crossed her arms. “And they paid for it in blood. Consider their debts absolved.”

The six Velkans lapsed into silence once again. The smoke kept rising, although it began to look clearer than before. Gradually, the flames ebbed, becoming invisible to the small guild. Soon, the smoke was gone as well, leaving a blackened, charred scar upon the landscape. Still, the Velkans did not speak. It was almost as if they were afraid to, because they knew what was going to be said. What had to be said.

That was why they were standing at the hill. It was a crossroads, with paths leading every which way.

“What now?”

The words were spoken by Vahlmorn, the youngest. The other Velkans turned towards each other, filing into a loose circle in the crossroads, facing one another. Vahlmorn, the slender Musa. Yommie, the silver-haired Wizardess. Jaim, the hulking Berserker. Parma, the stoic Valkyrie. Devotchka, the unpredictable sorceress. And Denryo, the brave Rangeress.

“We cannot continue like this,” Jaim said quietly. “Ecril have friends. We will be hunted.”

“That doesn’t mean we can’t stay together,” Yommie protested. “We’ve accomplished so much! We can’t abandon each other!”

Parma hung her head. “I fear we already have. Egami sacrificed herself for us. One of us died for our goals. We cannot come back from that!” The Valkyrie raised a hand to her face in an uncharacteristic display of emotion.

Jaim laid a giant hand on her shoulder. “I agree. Our fellowship needs to be broken for us to continue on with our lives.”

Yommie continued to shake her head. “Where will we go? What will we do?!”

Vahlmorn stepped close to his mother, enveloping her in a hug. “What we must, mother. This must happen. Ecril is dead, by our hand. We will endanger everyone we come into contact with. We are poison to this world now. To each other. That is something I cannot abide.”

Devotchka nodded, and her voice was uncharacteristically devoid of humour. “You have grown up, Vahl.” She sighed. “Well, I guess I’ll head west. I hear there are some good hot springs there. I could do with a good steam. You?”

“I will head north,” Jaim replied. “Find my tribe and spend some time with my family. No one will find us.”

“Speaking of family, I should find Egami’s,” Parma stated flatly. “They should know what happened.”

“Egami has no family that I know of,” Denryo replied softly. “She may have a brother, but I don’t know for sure.”

“Then I will find him,” Parma said. “Then I will train myself to become even stronger, so nothing like this will ever happen again.”

“I hope you do, Parma,” Vahlmorn said with a small smile. “As for me, I’m heading back to my previous home. It seems like an age since I visited that arc. Mother, do you want to come with me?”

“That sounds good, son,” Yommie said with a smile. “It would be good to see the horses again.”

“I will go where the wind takes me. It sounds like we all have a plan, then,” Denryo said, stepping forward. Her hair blew in the morning breeze. She hung her head. “We formed this guild as a testament to our friendship. We have ran together, fought together and loved life together – “

Devotchka sniggered. Denryo ignored her.

“ – But, most importantly, we have lived together. I have nothing further to say, except for goodbye.”

The Velkans stepped forward and embraced as one. They stood that way for a long time. Friends come together from worlds apart, who had bled and fought for one another. Whose company they had welcomed and occasionally endured for years. Tears began to flow, but no words were exchanged. None were needed.

At last, they separated. Denryo wiped her eyes and smiled. She stared at each of her friends, and spoke the final words.

“From this moment onward, I declare that the Velkan Guild has disbanded. I thank each and every one of you for your loyal service and friendship. Goodbye, my friends. Until next we meet.”

“Until next we meet.” The words were echoed in turn by the now-former Velkans. They stepped back, their guild bonds released, but somehow feeling heavier. As one, they turned and walked away, dispersing along the many paths that led to countless destinations. As the morning sun climbed into the sky, they did not look back. At least, until they were out of eyeshot. Then, each of them stole a glance back, seeing memories that would not fade easily, and knowing that despite the words they had spoken, they would likely never meet again in this world.

The crossroads on the hill were silent for a long time. Then, a small, cloaked figure emerged from the forest. The figure turned in a slow circle, tracing the six paths they had taken. A slender hand emerged and swept back the hood, revealing tanned features and luminous green eyes. A solitary tear rolled down her cheek as the small tamer smiled sadly.

Egami Kalimaru took one last glance at the ruins of Ecril, and then melted into the forest, leaving only soft-spoken words.

“Until next we meet, my friends…”


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