8th Era, 479 7th of Whispering Frost
Continent Mordurel, Wasteland Region
Six days since Archon the Chosen was brought back from his pained state by the godlike powers of the Void, and it was three days since he left to assemble his conquering host of Norsemen, Giants and other beasts obedient to the Void. Azura was down in the catacombs, in her study near the chamber where she helped bring Archon back to his full strength and maybe even beyond.
She oversaw her rotting servants as they waited for her to pick which of her ancient books she wanted to take off the shelf. There was the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Arcane and the Unholy Book of Blood Magic. With her right violet eye and left red eye she halted on the Book of the Arcane and pointed at it with a pale finger.
"Put it on my desk," she told the corpses.
Two of them started to carefully do as she commanded them.
"And be careful," she added sternly. "Or being mindless minions is the least of your problems."
She snorted at them and crossed her arms below her chest.
Her study was a simple one, with a desk, several bookshelves, an uncomfortable bed and a table for eating and lastly a fireplace. She knew she had ended up down here because the Norse Jarl was afraid of her powers over the dead. He feared her and was perfectly justified due to her incredible power. a smile crept over her pale face. She truly hated this cold wasteland because it was eternally cold but the fear she felt from the Norsemen warmed her necromancer heart a little.
The rattling of bones and clanking of steel echoed closer behind her until it stopped three meters behind her. She slowly turned around to an armored skeleton. The armor was that of a Reikland Reikguard knight. It wielded a shield and a spear.
"What?" She asked.
"Portal, energy," its raspy undead voice said.
She frowned in annoyed confusion. She had to find a spell to make these corpses smarter or control something that made it easier. A demon with mind control powers perhaps?
"What does that mean? Use whatever words your dead mind knows," she told it.
What did it mean by that? It couldn't be saying that the portal in the main catacomb chamber just nearby was active, right?
"Is the pool active?" She inquired, stepping towards it.
The helmet covered head bobbed up and down with a 'hmm'.
The other rotting corpses just placed the large book on the desk.
"You two," Azura looked at them. "Go get the Norse warriors in the castle down here. Tell the Jarl I need them now. And you with me!"
She ran passed the skeleton Reikguard and he fell into a jog behind her. The two rotting corpses was jogging into the tunnel leading to the castle above. Azura used her mental connection to gather all other undead servants to her as she entered the chamber. To her shock the pool was spewing out energy. Part from a handful of skeletons there was a poor little terrified Goblin in the chamber. He was hiding behind a kettle. When he saw her he ran over.
"Mistress, mistress!" He cried and sniffed.
"What is happening?" She demanded.
"Don't know, it just started mistress! Swears!"
She had to think quickly for a solution.
"Get my Book of the Dead, Gnob," she said and kicked the Goblin hard.
Exactly how the pool and its energy worked was unknown to her. An art forgotten to time, only known to the Void and the demonic beasts and Tieflings serving it beyond Enderal's realm
He ran out of the chamber to do what she had told him. Suddenly there was an explosion of energy that filled the chamber with black-green energy for a moment. It threw Azura against the wall and ended her undead minions pained existence. The Goblin had just barely escaped around a corner. Azura groaned painfully and rubbed the back of her head. The energy was gone and a person was stepping over the edge of the pool, placing black armored boots onto the brown-bronze colored stone ground.
Azura's eyes widened.
The feminine figure was covered in full plate ebony black armor. She could sense the magic swirling around it. The armor was clearly enhanced by the arcane. A helmet covered the upper half of the figure's face, everything above the nose, and two horns rose from it and slightly curved backwards. She made a mental note of the fact that nobody actually wore horned helmets because of how impractical they wore. But she might not be a regular mortal, which scared her greatly. She might be at least two meters tall and looked even taller. A whole mane of black hair flowed back down her back from the helmet's more exposed back.
With slow steady steps the figure came towards her. Azura was gripped by a feeling of absolute panic and looked around for her servants. To her horror they had all been destroyed by the energy wave that slammed her against the wall.
The figure's skin was as white as newly fallen snow. Far beyond the pale nature of her own skin. On her back sat a Two handed Broadsword. An enormous beast glowing in a dark red, showing it was made out of Demon steel. Normally Azura would have asked herself if she faced a demon or even a god, but she was far too scared at the moment.
She scrambled to her feet. Her hood had fallen off, revealing her own braided hair.
"G-Gnob!" She cried out.
The worthless little Goblin was the only person she knew was nearby. The figure than reached out for her and Azura fell to her knees and put her hands together in a praying motion. With her eyes closed she started pleading and begging for her life with tears streaming down her face. She desperately tried to hinter her tears, to keep some height even in this situation. Then she felt a gauntlet touch her head and she started crying like a small child. Than the gauntlet started to gently run her head and rough up her hair.
"It is natural to fear me child," a low soothing feminine voice said. Her pale grey lips turning into a smile. "Do you know who I am?"
Azura shook her head, unable for form words out of fear. Her body kept trembling.
"Look at me child," she ordered.
The gauntlet left her hair and carefully gripped her chin to direct her face upward. Azura slowly forced her eyes open, only to star into the helmet of the female. The female's voice had a soothing sensation to it, which helped Azura calm a little.
"I am Bastet," the female figure explained. "Goddess of War and the Arcane." She titled her head. "Do you known that name child?"
Azura's eyes widened instantly. She did known that name, but it wasn't possible. The Old Gods wasn't worshipped by anybody and hadn't been for thousands of years as far as she knew. They had been pushed out when the worship of the Paragon Faith gained momentum. As she was sitting on her knees, crying and trembling, she knew that this was why gods like the Titans and the Void gained such momentum. Unlike the likes of the Paragon gods there was actually power and proof of their existence. Now added to that was the Old Gods.
"Y-your o-one of the Old G-g-gods…" she managed to blurt out. Her eyes was fixated on where Bastet's eyes hid under the helmet. "B-but…
"Yes my child?" Bastet's soothing voice inquired.
"…I…d-did you c-come for Ar-Archon?"
She snickered amused.
"Do you really believe that? Oh, you truly are lost my child." She shook her head to emphasis her point. "Now stop this crying. I would not harm one of my children. If you are my child?"
Azura realized that what she actually asked her was if she would serve and worship her. She nodded emphatically and hugged her by her armored waste. She had worshipped the Titans when she was a child, but turned away for lack of proof of their divine powers and even existence. It brought her to the Void. Now she had met an actual god. Could there be more proof than that?
Bastet stroked the back of her head with her gauntlet. As footsteps approached she turned her head to the entrance to the chamber. Three Norse warriors arrived in armor of steel and fur strapped together. The two corpses Azura sent to get help was behind them. they had all stopped to stare at the tall armored woman with their necromancer clinging to her waste like a child crying for her parents.
"How did you get down here?!" One of the men demanded.
Bastet wasn't moving yet. Just standing and stroking Azura.
"I ascended to your realm through the portal off course."
The men looked at each other. Bastet gently pulled Azura off her and drew the long two handed Broadsword off her back as she walked towards the men.
"This castle is mine from this day forth," she declared.
In a typical Norsemen barbaric fashion they attacked. In one swing she destroyed two men's shields and cut the third apart by the chest, ripping him in two completely. The next second she pummeled the second into a bloody pile and then the two rotting corpses ripped into the last and tore his head off from behind. A show of loyalty from Azura who had mentally commanded them to do so.
Gnob suddenly peeked around the corner.
Bastet turned back to her, still holding her long blade.
"Rise my child."
Azura got up on her feet and stumbled over.
"I-I will serve y-you oh great g-god-goddess," she swore.
She resurrected the one intact corpse left behind by Bastet.
"Gnob," she said. She saw the little worm didn't have the book. He had just ran away to hide. "Forget the b-book and g-get over here. Take a s-sword o-or so-some-th-thing."
The Goblin obeyed without a word.
Azura took her undead and her Goblin and followed Bastet through a bloody swath through Castle Ruhr-Goth. She raised dozens of dead from the ranks of the defenders, the Jarl she disliked was amongst them. But over eighty Norsemen, servants and warriors pledged themselves to their new god. Azura knew Norsemen was primitively stubborn but even many amongst them saw the goddess for what she was. Never before in recorded history had a god walked amongst regular mortals. After seeing Bastet Azura had been awestruck. Archon was a worm in comparison.
She still trembled in her presence. She was standing behind her as Bastet spoke to the wary survivors that kneeled before her. She had assembled them in the castle's Great Hall. At the end of it they all rose and shouted 'Bastet' loudly as the clashing of steel.
"Azura," Bastet said.
Azura flinched and looked up from the cold stone floor.
"Yes, oh great Bastet?"
Though Bastet's appearance was cold and menacing, her voice was as soothing as before. She raised her left gauntlet, calling her to step forward.
"My child. The first to see the truth." Azura stepped forward and flinched when her gauntlet gripped her shoulder. Her voiced boomed across the Great Hall. "I have watched you for some time, and I name you my herald."
Azura was shocked. When she said she had watched her she was worried. It wasn't the first time she changed religion to survive. A part of her mind had already realized that this was it. The moment she pledged herself to a god in the flesh she could never do that again. This was it. She could probably never be able to easily switch cause and allegiances again. If Bastet failed, so did she.
She bowed and took a knee at Bastet's side in a show of loyalty. She tried to comprehend why she was picked for this honor. Was it because of her powers over the dead and in the arcane arts in general or because she had three strong arcane books from an age when the Old Gods was the largest religion in Mordurel.
Bastet sent away her new followers to prepare to leave the castle and journey west. It left her and Azura almost alone.
"You have a question," Bastet said.
How did she know that, Azura asked herself.
"I'm sorry, I-I don't understand what we will do with Archon. H-he i-is-is gathering a host for a crusade south," Azura explained. "What w-will we-you, I mean, do about him?"
Bastet looked at her, a cold smile on her pale lips.
"You do not need to worry my darling child. On our march west I will gather a great host. When the time is right I will destroy Archon and all who worshipped by the Void. Which reminds me, I need you to do something for me."
"A-anything!" She blurred out.
Bastet stepped closer.
"I need you to destroy the pool in the catacombs. Can you do that?"
"Off course, oh great and beautiful goddess," she promised.
She wasn't sure about destroying an ancient source of magic and power but she wouldn't dare to disagree with Bastet on that or any matter.