The Daemon Revealed

Prellis The Scribe

UP: Atlantic

    Nostur’yl appeared just off the side of a well-worn road. A short distance away stood a large wooden fort housing a band of brigands. The proximity to the renegade humans did not appear to bother the mage in the least as he walked a few steps into the woodlands, his signature white robe flowing around him. Nostur’yl raised his hands, summoning his loyal minion Kraltch before him. If the imp was startled in the least to be pulled across the land to its master, it did not show it.

After the imp came to stand behind his master, the mage once again raised his hands into the air. Drawing forth the power of a star sapphire recently obtained, he summoned forth the shimmering body of a wolf-like creature. Far too slowly for the mage’s desire, the wolf solidified into a corporeal entity. With a howl of glee after being freed from its bonds in the Abyss, the daemon hound took its place alongside the imp.

The mage seemed to rest a moment from the exertion of summoning forth such a creature, before turning back to the roadway. Showing an apparent lack of concern over the dangers lurking in the forests, the trio made their way north. Several lesser-minded creatures turned to regard the group as they passed - whether from fear of the creatures trailing the mage, or from respect, none dared to strike out at Nostur’yl as they would a normal human.

Along their route they encountered small groups of humans battling the monsters that inhabit the woodlands south of Yew. Stopping for a moment to speak with each group the mage would continue. Without quite knowing why the adventurers followed behind, offering their lives to protect the mage. By the time Nostur’yl approached the cemetery of Yew he had the aid of four strong warriors serving him.

Sensing the presence of a magical being within the confines of the cemetery, Nostur’yl sent the humans inside to test their loyalty to him. The group of adventurers did not disappoint him, as they brandished weapon and magic to kill the Lich and it’s minions. Once finished with the task, the party turned off the road to the northeast.

A short while later by human terms, but far too long for the mage, whose time was limited within the realm while he lacked the remaining four gems, the group arrived at their destination. A small outcropping of buildings on the outskirts of Yew, bearing the title of the Lost Order of Akalabeth village, quietly welcomed the party into its seemingly empty streets.

As the mage stood within the center of the village, the hound and a few of the adventurers made their way about, seeking signs of the inhabitants. Before long, several of the inhabitants made an appearance as the traveling group reformed around the mage in a protective posture, the words “Master Nostur’yl” spoken from their lips.

Two of those who had traveled with the mage spoke on his behalf to the inhabitants, asking for the one named Lupov Thagrad, who had been seen in the village in the past. After little success from the humans who now served him, Nostur’yl stepped forward, speaking to no one in particular.

“I am Nostur’yl and I come for two reasons,” he said, the power in his voice commanding attention. “One, we seek the man, Lupov Thagrad. Do you know of him?”

The apparent leader of the group gathered on behalf of the village related a quick tale of Lupov’s last visit to the town, which he further stated to have been a fortnight in the past.

Not allowing the small disruption in his plans to hamper him, Nostur’yl continued, “The second reason I come. Those of your village have done me a service in the past, I wished to thank them properly. It would do well for me if you were to inform those responsible for returning the gem to me that the daemon Nostur'yl offers his appreciation.” As he spoke the word daemon, the mage transformed into his natural being.

Standing before the startled members of the village stood a daemon of the darkest gray, his wings folded back at rest while a sword, far too large for the strongest of humans to wield, rested easily in a single hand. Several gasps came from those of the village as they eyed Nostur’yl nervously, while the adventurers who had traveled alongside him hardly showed a concern for his true form.

“Tell them mine true form,” the daemon spoke, “and offer mine thanks. That is all I require.”

Nostur’yl shifted forms once again, back to his more commonly accepted white robed human guise. Turning back towards those who had accompanied him along the journey, the mage now spoke words of parting, and then was gone with the imp and hound, leaving those left behind to sort out what they had seen and heard.

From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, June 9th 2000