The Marauder

by Ramus in Dark Ages

Deep in the swamp of Mehadi Lives a Wise old Mukul.  For many years i sat with this Old Mukul listening to his stories of the old land.  He told of many stories of hero's, plagues, and many mystical creatures he had seen during his life.  One story in paticular inspired me and raised my curiosity.  I was sitting along the shores of the Shashi river when he spoke to me.

"Young aisling you have spent many many moons with me listening to the tales of an old foolish mukul why have you done so?"

I was shocked that he asked me this for he seemed to always enjoyed the time that I sat and listened to the tails of his and others adventures so i answered. "Wise Mukul, It is an honor for me to be allowed to here the stories and tails from such an ancient race as yours.  And from such a wise one as you."

With a slight smile he looked down upon me. "Young one you are a very kind aisling.  You have reserved our request by not harming our sacred animal the frog.  You have shown respect to us many times. But the time has come that you have heard many many of our tales."  "I will share one more tale with you then child you must go and learn more from the many other races of temuair.  For I have taught you and shared with you all that an old Mukul like myself could."

At this time i was saddend to hear this for I had looked forward to visiting the Wise Mukul who taught me many things.  I dare to say that he too was beginning to enjoy are talks.  But with sorrow i replyed, "I understand, and will listen to your final tale with great intrest."

He looked upon me again and seemed a bit hesitant to tell me the tale, but then spoke, "Young aisling, this tale I am about to tell you is a true tale.  This tale is of the old land the Wasteland that we Mukul lived before the shores of Sarnath where ours."

I nodded with agreement but was still confused.

"This is the tale of a furred  theif of the Frozen North who attacked the Mukul and Lived off our crops and magic.  And then disgraced us by killing our great work beast and adorning the skull of this great beast."

His eyes began to glass with tears and he drooped his head as he told me the rest of his tale...

This furred thief of the North plagued us.  He lived off our crops and magic.  He laughed at us while doing so...gloating that we where helpless against him...but it was true...we could do nothing to stop this evil from destroying all that we worked for and murdering the mighty beast that labored for us.  I remember one such day that he attacked...I was a young mukul then only in my 12th cycle...This day will forever be in my mind for it is the day that the cursed being destroyed my village and killed our last workbeast...

He began to tell of that day...he could no longer hold back the tears...ages of carrying the burden of this tale seemed to be coming forth as he told me this tale.  I to began to have tears well up on my eyes as i listened to the sad and sorrow tale...

I was returning to our village that day after spending time studying the sacred text and learning more of our animals and tales of the Ancients.  As we approached the hill above the village With the elders leading we heard them gasp and saw them stop cold in front of that moment you could feel the tension that had just appeared.  The elders turned to us and spoke to us "stay here upon the hill.  Do not come to the village no matter what!" and with that they ran down towards the village.  We being young and curious ignored the elders and headed ran towards the village.  As we reached the top of the hill before our village we saw what had scared the elders...upon oppisite stood a creature wearing a skull and dressed in garments that i had only heard of in a tale the elders had told us...The creature was the Marauder the feared creature who even the elders feared.  For no matter how strong the magic of the elders was the Marauder was uneffected.  The Marauder upon the hill began running down the hill.  He moved faster than i had ever seen any creature run...then mysteriously he vanished from sight.  The village had not yet calmed down though instead they all came close to each other forming a sort of circle around the center of the village.  Then the mysterious creature appeared in front of a group of Latika the warriors of the Mukul.  The Latika rushed foward to attack the creature.  Before they could take a step they all screamed and fell to the ground in front of the Marauder.

The Marauder laughed at them yelling "Fools why do you fight me you shall never kill me nor rid your cursed selves of me." He continued laughing.  At that time the elders had arrived at the village.  They stopped at the center of the village looking at the Evil that had caused disruption of there village.  Many of the Mukul women and children crowded behind the Elders for protection.

One of the Elders then spoke "Leave our village take what you want but spare us please..."

And again the Marauder spoke "Poor helpless creatures...I am but one and you are many but yet you fear me." With that he began his laughter again. The remaining Latika rushed the Marauder while he was laughing. But this time the elders began weilding there magic at the Marauder.

"Oh so you too wish to join your fellow Mukul in death?" laughed the Marauder.  At that time the Latika where upon the Marauder.  The Marauder ran back a few paces drawing his weapon.  The Latika continued to persue the Marauder.  With a slight laugh the first wave of Latika fell at the feet of the Marauder, but that did not stop the remaining.  They attacked the Marauder with all thier might but failed. With a single blow the Marauder killed the strongest Latika, and then continued to murder the rest of the Latika in cold blood while evading the magic being wielded by the Elders.  As a Final attempt at destroying the Creature the elders began to chant to bring forth the most powerful magic that they could.

The Marauder had killed the last Latika and looked up at the Elders Laughing while he spoke "Look at me covered in the blood of your finest warriors but yet i remained unscared but you still have not learned your lesson."  The Marauder dropped his blade to his feet and looked at the Elders bracing himself for the attack, or so it seemed...

The Elders Screamed in unison as the spell was cast.  A huge blue ball of energy hit the Marauder envoloping him and shielding him from sight.  The Elders severly weakened from casting the spell.  The remaining Mukul began to rejoice the Marauder had finally been defeated!  As the ball of energy slowly disappeared they looked to see the remains of the Marauder but what they saw was anything but the remains.  Even from upon my place at the hill i could see the grin through the skull of the work beast.  There stood the Marauder, unscared, unphased looking at the Elders.  The Marauder began to laugh hysterically.  The Elders had a look of defeat upon there faces as they looked back towards the Marauder.  By this time the young mukul's with me had ran towards their families below...but i had stayed upon the hill for unknown reasons.  Perhaps Natesh had wanted me to be spared to share this tale but,  Below i saw my father and mother embrace as the Marauder began chanting.  You could hear the yells of dispair from the Elders to spare the rest of the Village but the Marauder continued to chant and laugh.  And with a defening blast and blinding light both Mukul, The Marauder, and the Village vanished from sight... When my eyes where able to see again...all i could see was my village, my family all lay before my eyes burning.  The whole village smelt of death.  Then i heard the laughter again.  Upon the hill from where the Marauder had came he stood there arms folded across his chest laughing.

"See you foolish Mukul you are HELPLESS pathetically HELPLESS!!!"  and with that he vanished as quickly as he had come.

I ran towards the village in search of my parents.  And i found father and mother embracing each other even in death.  I ran from hut to hut to see if there was anyone left, but there was no one...i then heard a cry from a hut that i hadn't checked.  I ran to the hut to see where the cries had come from.  There lay one of the Elders who had not been instantly killed from the Marauder's magical attack.  He lay there burns over his entire body but he spoke to me... "Varuna, *cough* you are the only one left...all of the others have been killed *cough*.  Go! leave this place.  Never allow yourself to be hurt by the marauder.  Never *cough* allow *cough* become him *cough*." and with that the elder died.  I ran.  I could no longer be in the village.  I ran and ran and ran...hoping to never allow the Marauder to destroy my life again...

"That is the tale of the Marauder young aisling" said the Mukul.  "It was the only creature able to destroy an entire village of Mukul."

"Forgive me wise one, but what happened to the Marauder is he still alive?"  I asked hoping that I would not open an old wound.

"I do not know young aisling, but...." The Mukul stopped suddenly.  There is a way for one to dream of the Marauder, but beware once you dream of this creature you will forever become one with it and will recieve the garments of the creature."

"Why would one want to become one with the marauder?" I asked confused.

"The foolish young Mukul who dream, want the Marauder to infuse power into him, but did not know what it meant."

"What does it mean?" I asked confused.

"That the marauder becomes a part of him. Forever..." Said the Mukul solemly.

"How does one dream of the Marauder?"

"You must eat a freshly consumed Nila Blossum the sole plant to servive the journey from the wasteland." said the Mukul.

I nodded and stood to leave. I wanted to dream of this creature to see what kind of powers it had to offer for i was young and foolish and wanted power at the time.  But before i left the Mukul spoke agian for he knew where i was going.

"Young aisling take this Nila blossum for I know you wish to dream of the Marauder...but beware...Dreams do come well as nightmares."

With that I left my friend...the one who shared his tales with me...the one who entrusted me with the the choice to become one with the Marauder...the Marauder, the nightmare of the Mukul...