13 May 2008Oracle: God-kings of War
- The very first time a certain young solider, impressed against his will and wanting nothing more than to return to his home, has killed.
- The human servant of a mighty and unspeakable demiurge.
- A demon of rage and avarice, secret power behing a great tyrant's rule.
- The site of a pitched battle, ground churned and stinking, and the widows mourning there.
Ashur, the young solider, later to become Ashur Bey (played by Roy)
- Best Interests: For me to win reknown by killing Hadir Eil; for me to win Leili's forgiveness
- Particular Strength: A Father's Blessing (for Myself/Self-Protection, Potent)
Leili, the widow of the man killed by Ashur, a noblewoman in the retinue of the tyrant (played by Christina)
- Best Interests: For my husband's death to be avenged; for Omar to guard over my husband forever
Omar, the immortal gravedigger, bound to this place of death for eternity (played by Ted)
- Best Interests: For death in this place to end; for me to be consumed by the demiurge; for Leili to rule over the kingdom
- Particular Strength: Family Locket (with Love/Action, Consequential (for Myself/Self-Preservation))
Nur-Ayya, the great tyrant, whose life has been extended beyond mortal span by the demon
- Best Interests: For me to marry Leili
Isar, a demon of rage and avarice
- Best Interest: For Ashur to depose the tyrant
Hadir Eil, a fierce warrior and general, the servant of a mighty and unspeakable demiurge
How it went down
- Best Interest: For me to kill the gravedigger
- Particular Strength: The sword Kismet (with Violence/Action, Consquential (for Myself/Self-Protection))
At dawn on the first day of of a terrible battle, a frightened Ashur pulls his sword from the guts of the first man he has killed. Omar creeps him out, buries the body, and takes the head.
Meanwhile, Nur-Ayya and Leili (a noblewoman in his retinue) discuss the battle from the safety of the tents. Nur-Ayya is an ancient man, kept alive and moving only by Isar's dark magic. His desire for Leili is obvious.
That night, Omar takes the head to Leili, but she refuses to look at it or acknowledge her husband's death. She pleads that it was not his time.
Ashur is dragged before Isar, who tells him that Nur-Ayya can only be slain by a man who has been blessed by his father and killed his first man within the last three days. Isar promises him great wealth if he does it and great suffering on his family if he doesn't.
Omar encounters Hadir Eil on the battlefield. Hadir says that all this has happened before and will happen again, unless things are unmade by chaos. He wishes to kill Omar, but cannot unless Omar takes up a blade. Omar does not, and Hadir Eil rides away.
Leili summons a soldier to help find her husband's body. The solider happens to be Ashur, and he realizes who he has killed. As they seek out the grave site, they see Hadir Eil riding across the field, but they avoid him and find the grave site. As Ashur digs it up, the corpse sits upright and points accusingly at him. He confesses to Leili that he killed her husband but says that he turned traitor first. It was only after he stabbed one of Ashur's fellows that Ashur killed him. Ashur flees into the night.
Omar arrives and tries to keep Leili from unbraiding her hair for mourning. He reminds her that all of her husbands have died here.
Ashur tries to poison Nur-Ayya. He is caught and dragged before the tyrant, where he begs for his life. Nur-Ayya is not surprised, as he killed the previous tyrant at Isar's request. He spares Ashur but banishes him from his presence until the three days have passed.
Intrigued by Hadir Eil's words, Omar seeks out Isar. The demon draws back in fear at both Omar's presence and the mention of Hadir Eil's god. He tries to cast Omar from the tent, but he fails, and Omar forces him to reveal how to contact the demiurge.
The next day, having learned of Leili's husband's death, Nur-Ayya comes to her tent to press his suit. He reveals Isar's hand in the death, thus alleviating some of Leili's fears. She agreed to marry him after her day of mourning is over.
Omar is visited a second time by Hadir Eil, who offers him the sword Kismet with which to fight. Omar again refuses.
During the battle, Ashur finds himself fighting against Hadir Eil. He is struck full in the chest with a blow that gashes his armor and leaves a severe welt but nothing more.
Leili sends a servant to offer Ashur a great ruby ring if he will do a favor for her, to test if Ashur is possessed by the avaricious spirit of Isar. Ashur refuses the ring, telling the messenger that he already owes Leili a blood debt.
Omar uses his sorcery to subtly turn the tide against Nur-Ayya's forces, but Isar's magic and the thought of contacting the demiurge are too much for him, and he withdraws to make preparations.
That night, Hadir Eil and Nur-Ayya parley, as is required by custom. They do not come to terms, but during the truce, Nur-Ayya and Leili are married, much to Isar's surprise and displeasure.
As Hadir Eil returns to his camp, a shirtless Ashur stops his retinue and begs a boon. He asks to borrow Kismet to slay Isar. Hadir Eil agrees, on the condition that after it is done, Ashur slay anyone he sees that day. Ashur consents and takes the sword.
Ashur finds Omar digging a huge grave asks Omar to guide him, blindfolded, back to Hadir Eil after he has killed Isar. Omar agrees. Ashur then sends word to Leili to tell the demon that he can be found at the foot of the great wizened tree on the edge of the battlefield, thus discharging his blood debt to her. When the messenger finds her, she is in the demon's tent.
On the last day, the armies clash for a final time. A furious Isar finds Ashur at the tree, where Ashur cleaves him in twain with the rune-covered sword. Omar appears from nowhere and pushes Ashur into an open grave, commanding him to "be as one dead." Omar then harness the dying demon's power to fuel his ritual to summon the demiurge. While he does this, Leili arrives and starts to dig up Ashur to make sure his head is still attached. Omar stops him from seeing her, gives her the sword, and asks her to help kill Hadir Eil as part of the ritual. She assents. Near the end of the battle, Hadir Eil rides up and finds Omar holding his sword. He embraces Omar as his brother; Omar takes advantage of this to bind them magically together. As they move to fight, Omar tosses the sword to Leili; Hadir Eil tries to call it to him, but he fails and Leili strikes down him down. As he lies in the dirt, she stabs him and Omar rips out his heart. The ritual complete, the battlefield is flooded with the presence of the demiurge. Omar is consumed by it, each of the millions of buried bodies springs up into a dark twisted tree, and the very name of the place is erased from the mind of humanity. Never again will a battle be fought here.
In the aftermath, Ashur finds the sword Kismet and is hailed as a conquering hero. Hadir Eil's forces are dispersed. Nur-Ayya, without the power of the demon to sustain him, dies, and Leili becomes ruler of his kingdom.We Owe