The Tale of the Harvester of Rage


 
Decades ago, an impenetrable darkness shrouded the once great civilisation of orcs. Countless victims fell to the ravenous hunger and pestilence that the darkness brought with it.
 
In the mountain ranges of the north, a new life was born one day as the darkness shrouded the little orcish civilisation there. The newborn orc was a shame to the village because of its extreme ugliness. Two gleaming crimson eyes peered angrily at their surroundings and a large mouth revealed fangs that had already grown out.
 
Tazla was what this ugly creature was named. Both his father, Ghersath, and his mother, Warinnd, disliked their orc's appearance and even though they tried to like it, they felt it impossible. There really was something odd about him, which was the reason why they gave him this abnormal name, meaning 'Lonely madness'. Despite Tazla's grotesque appearance, Warinnd and Ghersath both really loved their child and doted on him completely. As he grew older, though, and occasionally showed signs of nastiness, they began to punish his behaviour, for they feared that the darkness that covered the land might have instilled a macabre darkness in their son, and they acted in the hope that they would dissuade him from behaving that way again. Ghersath would beat him, and his mother would not feed him at night. At times like these, starvation and sadness filled Tazla. But even though he felt his parents were sometimes mean to him, he loved them and knew that they loved him.
 
Ghersath was a poor weapon smith, and could not fully support his family. Warinnd stayed at home, raising Tazla who ran around half nude, with only rags as a loincloth. He was the one who hunted for meat for the family. When he was seven years old, small but heavily built with broad arms almost like his father's, Ghersath gave him a small blade of which Tazla was very fond. He loved to chop off the heads of innocent little rabbits with it.
 
Ghersath knew that Tazla would eventually be one of the strongest creatures living in the realms of DUMII. But even though he knew this, he taught Tazla the secret art of the berserkers' rage. Ghersath also noted that there was a wildness in Tazla that raged inside him, still young and not yet brought to fruition, and he taught him how to bring out his inner fury and harness this rage into sheer combat powers.
 
These were abilities that Tazla would never forget.
 
His appearance was the ugliest around, according to what the villagers said. The other orcish children would never let him play with them in games such as slashing down the grandfathers of the village, due to his grotesque appearance. One day Tazla sat down on a stump of an old tree, and thought to himself, "What have I ever done to them to deserve this? Can I help it that I am ugly in their eyes?". The more he thought about it, the more he thought it unfair, and began to fume angrily with the hurt of rejection. As he grew older, his hate against all the village dwellers began to grow and grow until he felt that his heart would explode. Adrenaline rushed through his veins in seething fury every time someone shunned him. His only comfort was that his parents loved him, despite his appearance.
 
One evening, when Tazla was eleven, a boy, who was regarded as the leader of the orcish imps, came up to Tazla and violently started punching him. When Tazla lay on the ground, drooling blood, the boy yelled at Tazla and told him, "You disgusting beast! You were created by the darkness that came here before our birth. YOU are created by the pestilence which the darkness brought with it. You are not Ghersath's and Warinnd's child, you are a child of darkness!" As Tazla began to protest, disbelief apparent on his face, the boy jeered. "Don't you know that 'Tazla' means 'Lonely madness'! They didn't want to raise you, but they were forced to do that, by evil powers". With that, the boy laughed at Tazla, spat on him and walked away, leaving Tazla in shock, with nothing left but feelings of utter loneliness and hatred against everyone.
 
The night passed, and with it Tazla changed. Betrayal rocked through him, with the knowledge that his parents were not really his, and that they did not love him. Unable to deal with the turmoil inside him, his mind revolted and he went insane with anger. Early in the morning, Tazla stole an axe from his father's small smithy and ran out into the forest where he hid behind a bush and stared at the spot where the orcish imps usually slaughtered the grandfathers. The sun was just beginning to rise above the horizon as the imps appeared. He took the axe from the ground and wielded it tightly, then stood up and ran straight at them, the axe slashing every single bastard he saw. Warinnd, who was out looking for her son who had not returned home the night before, saw this and ran out to him, calling out to him to stop. Tazla turned around, an evil grin on his face hiding the stab of hurt he felt when he saw her, and painfully he hacked his mother into pieces. But this was not the end of the carnage. He threw a flaming torch into an oiled cottage, and the sleeping people within were burnt alive. The flames spread rapidly through the village. Tazla fled now, running southwards, as fast as he had ever run before, as much to get away from the villagers as to escape from the turmoil inside him.
 
After two days of mindless wandering, he found a cave. Lighting a torch, he entered it. Finding it uninhabited, he made it his new home. In loneliness and loss he lived in the cave, without a living soul who cared about him. Every evening he built a small fire and went out hunting, and grilled the meat over the fire late at night and drank the animals' blood. After five years, when he reached the age of sixteen, he decided to it was time to stop wallowing in mindless behaviour and to gather more experience and to advance his skills. Upon climbing a statue of the god Reset, he felt powers rush through his body. He brought many items and animals to Reset, seeking his favour, until Reset gave him a new task to complete.
 
After a while, though, Tazla began to hear the sounds of AdA's deep breathings, coming to him every night and every day. He felt safety in them. He realised that AdA was the god he wanted to obey. He wanted to become a part of His church, to be able to channel his inner rage into the purposes of the church, filling the world with evilness and to spread fear among mortal souls. He wanted to shroud the world in an impenetrable darkness, to hear the constant shrieks of the suffering. "The dark path is what I have followed all my life," he thought to himself. "I want to follow it deeper."
 
Tazla spoke with one of AdA's priests, who contacted the High Priestess of Evil, Serena. After a few days, a demon ran up to Tazla and showed him a secret passage into the Evil Temple. The demon gave him a key, with which he unlocked a door into a chamber where one of the Evil priests awaited him. The priest pointed west, and Tazla dutifully went there. Serena, Dark Temptress of Delduwath, stood there, and Tazla had to prove himself worthy to the Ancient Evil Creator. Tazla had his inner strength and did not fail. He was made a member of AdA's Evil church.
 
In the days following Tazla's introduction into the Church of AdA, he started to feel a change within him. His previous emotions of hurt, betrayal, anger and hatred that had run rife through him, causing him to emotional outbursts of rage, started to change into something more cold and calculating. Blessed with the power and strength of Evil coursing through his veins, Tazla's emotions began to channel into a cold vicious desire to be the best he could be, and his old negative emotions, slowly coming under his control, acted as a source of new powers. Even though they still ran rampant within him, the Evil within him gave these emotions direction, and channelled them into a power to be used in battle.
 
Years later, Tazla met a wandering scribe who, on realising Tazla's identity, gave him a letter. "This was given to me some time ago by your father when I was travelling through your village," said the scribe. "He asked that if ever I should meet you during my travels, I should give this to you". The letter read: "Tazla, I taught you everything I could. I even forged a weapon, just for you. Yet the carnage in this village YOU created! You took my wife, your own mother! VENGEANCE! We of the village will hunt you down and rid the world of your Evil soul! /Ghersath". Tazla cackled. His own tribe was after him! But they had not found him yet, and maybe knew not where to find him; yet Tazla kept his blade close by, wherever he went, just in case.
 
It did not take long before the people of his old village found him. Tazla ran into the cave where he lived and waited for them. Breathless he stood there, as the villagers came at him. In the front stood the boy, now a man, who had told Tazla that he had been created by darkness and pestilence, and that 'Tazla' means 'Lonely madness'. He stared deep into Tazla's eyes, set on revenge. All that Tazla felt now was a return of the anguish, loneliness and betrayal he had felt when he left the village years before. Tazla let out a mighty war cry in AdA's name, and went into a berserker's rage. He hacked violently at the villagers, the old feelings of rejection flooding through him, feeding his fury as he hacked a villager in the front. He picked up the villager's axe and became a terrifying figure of whirling blades. He did not use his mind now; all he wanted was to hack down all the villagers to pieces.
 
Ghersath watched the savage slaughter of his fellow villagers, then stormed towards the lone orc, his son, who stood behind a huge hill of corpses. "AdA's church will be destroyed!" roared Ghersath.
 
Those words seemed to pierce through Tazla's bloodlust. Slowly he turned towards his father, and with a scream of rage, his whole body charged against Ghersath's. With one swing, Ghersath's left leg was cut off. He fell to the ground and looked up into Tazla's eyes with fear. "Why? Tazla, my only son, I loved you! Why did you turn against your own?" he cried, sadness within his voice. Tazla ignored the words and responded by slicing several deep cuts into his weak father, who with his last powers, raised his sword and struck it into Tazla, leaving a huge wound on his hairy green stomach. But Tazla did not care. "Suffering is for the weak, "he mumbled, standing over the corpse of the father he had once loved.
 
Although he had just slain his father, and the rest of his old village, Tazla was filled with satisfaction. Finally he had no mother, no father and no friends. He had no one to care about, no one that could betray his affections or cause him hurt. He relished in the sense of relief and let it roam through him. Now he had only himself and his god, the Ancient Evil Creator, AdA, who Tazla had voluntarily chosen to serve.
 
But after a while, he thought about his father's words, "Tazla, my only son, I loved you!". With sudden clarity of mind, the full impact of those words hit him. He was indeed, and always had been, Ghersath's and Warrind's child. He realised that he had been living in meaningless rage for twenty-five years, fooled by the cruelty and lies of a boy who had feared him, and that he killed his parents for nothing. Rage flooded through him anew, at himself and those that had shunned him and the boy that had lied to him. With a broken heart, Tazla returned to his cave, to seek comfort and solitude there.
 
Years passed. After having exacted full revenge on his old village, Tazla often lacked the desire, nor felt the need to continue in his powers and skills. He had proved himself invincible, but for the wrong reasons, and once again found himself in a state of inner turmoil. He spent many days roaming the area around his cave, seeking nothing more than that which was needed to exist. After many years, though, something happened. Something inside Tazla's head told him to continue in his quest for power and might that would one day lead to immortality. At first Tazla fought against the idea, but the voice spoke to him in soothing tones, bringing him comfort and returning clarity of mind to him. Tazla firmly suspected that the echoing voice inside his head was AdA's, so for the first time in a couple of decades since the final destruction of the villagers, he began to take note of what was happening inside him. He noted the joyous pulsating of Evil within him that cleansed him of his weaknesses, and turned his fears and hurt into a solid strength of character. The well of rage within him remained, a source to his powers, but once again he had them under control. With mighty rejoicing in the name of AdA, Tazla started to increase his strength anew, and learnt new knowledge of spells. Nothing would stop him, now that AdA himself had told Tazla to reach immortality.
 
The years continued on as he increased his mortal strengths and powers. At the age of seventy-two, he had reached the ultimate in mortal powers, and there remained but one task for him to complete in order to reach the status of immortality. Tazla's highest wish was now close to coming true.
 
When the time was ready, AdA called Tazla to His throne room. Doubtfully he stumbled clumsily to AdA, pondering on what AdA could have in mind for him. "Tazla," AdA started, "You are almost immortal, now I want you to follow Me to your birthplace." Tazla swallowed in trepidation, for he had not been there in over sixty years. Were there any remaining orcs? What would they say? AdA stood up, and they both started to wander through the northern mountains. After about two days of wandering, they finally reached the village. No one seemed to live there anymore. The village was overgrown and only few ruins remained.
 
"I called to you as a child," said AdA. "You were indeed the child of Ghersath and Warinnd, but through the darkness that covered this land, I spoke into your soul, and planted the seed that would one day bring you to Me. Now here we stand, at your beginnings, and it is here that I will test you, and see if you are worthy for the gift that I would give you; Immortality."
 
And thus, here at Tazla's birthplace, AdA conducted a secret trial with Tazla, a battle of the mind and body, and found him to be worthy of being an immortal, and thus granted Tazla with the gift of immortality.