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Thread: Zulf the Outcast

  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Default Zulf the Outcast

    Here lies Zulf the Troll Barbarian, outcast from everywhere he wandered.

    He started off his adventures within the Village Dungeon, attempting to do good by saving Yriggs. He started off with a massive 34 strength, and was focused on using his massive strength to crush anything that did evil in his path with his two-handed club. He ventured deep into the 7th level of the dungeon to rescue the mad carpenter from the grip of Chaos, and brought him back a long distance to Jharod within a secret part of the level cleverly disguised as a part of the wall. After Jharod healed Yriggs, Jharod still believed that Zulf was a force of evil, and thought that the only mercy he deserved was to be healed temporarily and then to leave him, instead of giving him the power to heal himself and fight on the side of good. Zulf, realizing that without the power to regenerate he would surely die, took the only option available to him and aligned himself with the deplorables and undersirables of Lawenilothehl. He went back to Jharod, briefly speaking with him to make sure one last time that the forces of good would not accept him, and then killed Jharod. He went back, and was altered by the mad science of a doctor in Lawenilothehl to regenerate quickly, at the cost of some of his sanity. He then set out on the long journey to the Caverns of Chaos, forever marked by the forces of evil, but yet accepting it as the only way to have a place to call home.

    He arrived at the Caverns of Chaos, and descended into the depths. No monster could stand in the way, yet there were reminders of his fleeting mortality. He was aged by five years in a hit by a ghost, going from 12 years of age to 17, reminding him of how short his lifespan was. He saw an example of how the forces of chaos could twist and warp someone, in the statue of an immensely corrupted drakling. There were smaller signs too, of how there was no hope to be found anywhere for him. He heard screams of pain in the distances. But yet he continued on. He knew he must become strong, so that he could finally have an impact, so that he could do something that he cared about. But the creatures of chaos did not want someone strong in themselves, they desired a more twisted servent, that would do whatever the forces of chaos desired. They struck on the 7th level of the Caverns of Chaos. Seven is an auspicous number for chaos, for it was on the 7th level that Yrrigs was corrupted, and for Zulf it was the 7th day of his adventure when chaos finally tried to take him as one of their own.

    Immediately next to the stairs, Zulf stumbled upon a statue of a gorgeous woman, more beautiful than anything that he had ever seen, with an almost godlike radiance on her face. He knew immediately that this was the woman that he must have her, that he would do anything for her, that this was what he must fight to protect. He felt a surge of passion to save her from this trapped state, to free her. Zulf prayed with everything that he had that he would be able to protect her, that he could save her. The problem is, whenever he prayed that he could have the power to save her from her trapped fate, the god of chaos heard, and answered. Immediately the statue began to become more lifelike, the stone slowly turing to flesh, the gray stone turning a more fleshy colour. As Zulf was watching this transformation however, he began to see her form to become corrupted, to begin to change into something more hideous and demented, and as he continued to watch he saw the figure fully transform into a warped copy of himself. Before the statue had been the perfect compliment to him, not a reflection but something that fully harmonized with him, so that when the two of them were together they become greater. Now chaos had warped this into something of hate and spite. His love was lost to him forever. Chaos had taken away his motivation in life, his home, his dream, his reason for existance. There was nothing for him now. With great tears in his eyes he struck down this demented version of himself, and then began to weep.

    If the forces of good rejected him, and the forces of evil corrupted everything that had meaning to him, what reason was there in the world. What balance was there, what was right in the world? He thought for a long time, pausing only briefly to eat a couple times. After many hours, he resolved to be a force for himself. The forces of chaos had set out to destroy him, and while they had taken everything else from him, they would not take his great strength. Just through this thinking his strength grew another point, and he prepared himself to become strong enough to defeat the forces of chaos, and then to also go to the forces of law and tear down their system, to create his balanced system. As he struck out he found a neutral altar, immediately next to a nest of creatures to offer up to the gods. He carefully sacrificed to the neutral god Ne'Ftrr, to prevent the altar from becoming one of chaos. With each coin he sacrificed he was reminded of how his prayers earlier had caused the destruction of his love, and felt his heart shift away from chaos. Whenever he finally converted away from the god of chaos, he tried to sacrifice the nearby bees to the god of balance. He felt a booming voice tell him that the bees were creatures of Ne'Ftrr. This voice reminded him again not to trust the gods anymore. If they went against his wishes, he must become stronger to prevent their effects. Zulf decided to kill anything in his path. He was still armed with his two-handed club, and with his strength he could do anything. He continued to descend deeper into the caverns, finding rare plants that would make him more powerful. He finally reached the center of the lawful forces in Ancardia, Dwarftown.

    This town would not help him of course, as the forces of the law had stopped him from gaining power so he could fight against evil in the past, but he decided to stop by the elder of the town. He had heard of Thrundarr previously, and knew that he held both knowledge and could give him power. He first asked about information about chaos, so that he could be prepared to defeat it. He was warned about the danger of it, about how if he came to close to chaos he would be warped by it. It seemed like he had found someone who understood the danger that chaos posed to everything. He asked about the lower parts of the caverns, and was told that there was great danger and great rewards down there, but first he must prove his worth by defeating a necromancer in a far-off location, far away from the heart of the chaos and danger, in a place where the undead would be able to easily drain his great strength without a way for him to gain it back. He asked if there was any other way, explaining that his great strength is what would allow him to fight chaos, but yet again the forces of the law seemed determined to make him weak. Were they, as chaos was, afraid of the threat he could pose to the current of things? Was the law just like chaos, desiring to control the weak for their own purposes? Zulf stopped trying to argue against the policy of Thrundarr, figuring that if he became strong enough within the caverns he would be able to defeat the undead in that far-off place, even with their great numbers. He asked Thrundarr if there was any way for him to learn the secrets of reading, as he knew that scrolls could provide a way to strengthen his weapons, and various other useful things. Thrundarr said he had a potion that did exactly that, and that all that he would require was to slay a member of his own race, a fellow troll. Zulf agreed, pretending to appear reluctant. He thought that Thrundarr was again trying to limit his power by making him either prove that he was evil or by making him refuse to take power, but he was already thought of as evil by everyone, and members of his own race had killed his parents when he was nine. Zulf descended deeper into the caverns with a tough resolve, realizing that everyone feared that he could become too powerful, and that if he kept up his discipline he could change the world with his strength. His strength rose by a single point yet again.

    Within the caverns he killed everything in his path, using the herbs that he had gathered to continue to make himself better. He had gotten to a level of power that allowed him to concentrate more energy into a single blow at the cost of speed right before entering the dwarvern town, and put that to great use. Again, there was nothing that could stand in the way of his might. As he was descending down the stairs on the 13th level, he saw the smooth stone wall around him begin to change into bricks as he went deeper. He felt a chill in his bones, and began to be on his guard even more. As he turned a corner he saw a giant of frost, and knew that this was a dangerous part of the caverns. Yet he was not afraid. His strength would get him through this. He struck against the giant three times, and the giant swung back at him as well, both trading devastating blows with each swing. Right as the giant was preparing to finish him off Zulf prepared to make a mighty blow, and put all his power into one final swing, striking the giant in the exactly right place to bring him to the ground. He had defeated a single monster in this dangerous level. Zulf considered going back to the upper levels, wandering around to try to find a troll, but he knew that his time was not infinate, and that to defeat chaos he must press on. He did have the time to take a moment to go up a level and regenerate with the power that the doctor had infused in him, and then he went back into the deadly level. He walked carefully with each step, and then from far off in the distance he saw a rock being hurled at him, though he could not see who threw it. He dodged the rock, and walked very carefully, not as a coward but as one who knew the danger of rushing in. As he continued to creep forward a figure of a troll began to emerge. He did not feel anything when he gazed up its face, for he did not care that it was a member of his race, as trolls are outcasts even to each other, and he had to kill one of them to become stronger. He finished off the troll with a single mighty blow, and then hurried out of the deadly level once more, up towards the dwarven town, to claim his reward.

    Zulf talked to Thrundarr briefly, misleading him by saying how difficult it had been to kill that giant creature down in that deadly level, without revealing that it was the giant and not the troll that had given him trouble. Thrundarr gave him the potion that would teach him how to read, and talked about how he had done the right thing to listen to him. Zulf drank the potion and gained in power. He asked if there was any more power that Thrundarr could give him, and again Thrundarr asked him to slay a troll. Thrundarr apparently wanted to ensure that Zulf was a total outcast from his race, so that the law could be the only ones to have access to him. Zulf took the quest, and decided to search out the nooks and crannies of the levels he had already passed through instead of venturing yet again into that deadly level. When exploring one of these levels he found an ancient scythe, the first two-handed weapon that he had found since his trusty club. He equipped the weapon to ascertain its potential for damage, and found that he was not able to remove his hands from it whenever he tried to switch back to his club. Zulf wanted to test out this new weapon, as it appeared quite deadly to him, deciding that if it was deadly enough it would not matter if he could not remove it from his hands. Whenever he struck a nearby goblin however, he felt the grip of chaos that previously had only been swirling in the background jump into his body. This weapon appeared to be a great attractor for this chaos, bringing it into his body much more than the background level had. With every swing of this scythe he felt more and more corrupted by the chaos. He also discovered that his great skill with two-handed weapons was wasted upon this scythe, as knowledge of polearms was necessary to wield it effectively. With his great melee strengh now unusable without invoking chaos, he felt that again everything was conspiring to make him weak. Yet from the depths of his bag he found an assortment of ranged weapons, with bows and slings and even one of the drakish weapons, and decided to work on making himself deadly at a distance as well. With the undead in that far-off land, this could become necessary even. The loss of his great melee prowess still troubled him, and he desired to find a place that had fighters skilled enough to wrench this cursed scythe from his hands. He remembered a great arena, a place of bloodlust and power, and decided that even if he had lost his great melee skill, he was still strong enough with ranged weapons to defeat fighters that were not skilled enough to disarm him.

    As Zulf ascended towards the arena, he realized that he had forgotten the major weakness of ranged weapons: the fallibility of their ammunition. He watched in despair as the arrows and stones were made unusable, until he had only 20 remaining arrows and 20 remaining stones. This still was enough for the arena he decided, and talked with Bart the arena master to get into a fight. He fought bravely against the creatures of the arena, and yet by the end of 15 rounds none had approached him who had any chance of disarming his cursed weapon. As his last stone broke against the summoned hordes of jackals, he again began to despair. As the 19th round finished, he watched too as his final arrow shattered against the hide of a fire lizard. Though it pained him to do so, he had to rely on the scythe of corruption. He fought against Bonk the hill giant bravely, his previous experience with a frost giant preparing him for the damage he recieved. At the end of the battle, he stood victorious over Bonk, and recieved the golden gladius for his efforts. Yet he still had the cursed scythe in his hands, preventing him from doing any great deeds, and with no ammunition he could not even practice his ranged skills. Zulf decided to head down yet again to the dangerous level, deciding if he was going to be corrupted with every blow his weapon struck it might as well be against some of the more dangerous servents of chaos. One of the orcs that he killed on the way down dropped a scroll, and he was reminded of the power of literacy that had been granted to him. He looked in his sack, and found a scroll that would reveal the identities of all the other scrolls in his bag. He used it, and was stunned to find a scroll that could wrest the weapon from his hands, temporarily uncursing it. He had heard of stories from other trolls about the dangers of these scrolls, and tried to find a way to make sure it was safe. He drank one of the potions of water that he had as he was thirsty, and found that it had blessed him. If it could bless him, as chaos corrupted as he was, then surely it could prevent the scroll from doing bad things. He dipped the scroll in the other potion of water, and then read it. His entire body was covered in a silvery light, uncursing all of his items, and finally allowing him to remove the scythe. He did so immediately, and returned the club to his hands in its rightful place. He could finally fight well again.

    Zulf descended into the dangerous level once more, more skilled than the last time, ready to become strong. As he was walking down a narrow hallway, he was struck in the face by a barrage of glowing balls. A great magic user was attacking him. Knowing that his physical defenses did nothing against this great magic, he charged ahead and was faced by the grinning skull of a lich. One of the most deadly beings in Ancardia, liches could paralyze you with chilling cold, and it was whispered that even if you managed to kill one, they just released their souls and were able to come back eventually through the dark powers they wielded. Zulf knew that he had to strike true against this master of death. He prepared a mighty blow, but due to his long time of disuse he swung his weapon poorly, and the lich dodged. The lich took advantage of this miss, and with the slowness of the strike was able to make multiple attacks, hitting Zulf with a magical barrage that both damaged him, and more seriously made him confused. In this state of confusion Zulf was unable to attack the lich, and continual barrages of magic continued to make him closer and closer to death. The confusion wore off, and Zulf took stock of the situation. He looked into his inventory, which had provided so much to him, and found potions of extra healing that were said to make you in peak condition again, and it was said sometimes they could make you gain even new heights of health if used correctly. He downed two potions, but the potency of these were apparently not as great as the legends said they were as he only regained half his health. As he prepared to strike the lich another round of debilitating confusion magic hit him. Again, the lich brought him down to the brink of death, and again the confusion wore off. Zulf had to do something, or the lich would destroy him. He drank his last potion of extra healing, and this one brought him back to his full strength. Zulf, with his trusty club, eyed the lich, and prepared for one mighty strike that could destroy this great sorcerer. This time the strike rang true, but a single hit was not enough to destroy the lich. Enraged, the lich used melee attacks, striking Zulf twice. The strikes of the lich sent shivers down Zulf's spine, paralyzing him, making him watch helplessly as the lich rang blow after blow upon him. He had equipped a ring that was said to prevent this paralyzation, given to him earlier by Thrundarr, but apparently Thrundarr had again conspired to make Zulf weaker by not giving him the resistance he so needed. The lich continued the onslaught, and with a few final blows Zulf was brought down, and died.

    Thus ends the story of Zulf the Troll Barbarian. He was cast out of every place he went, through no fault of his own, but yet kept on going, trusting in his great strength and ability. Yet even this was not enough against the cruelties of the world of Ancardia, for it is said that while the battle between law and chaos is eternal, the players are easily and quickly discarded. And for those like Zulf who attempt to put an end to this battle, there is no fate but death.



    Thank you for reading this story, this is the first time I've written something this long so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2015
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    Poor Zulf.

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