Some may call it luck but that’s a word I would never utter with what I saw. I bore witness to the aftermath of an assault by a man named Carzon Sazdar just over a month ago, I never guessed that in my roaming wanderlust I would see one take place before my very eyes.
My wanderings that day brought me to Gindinmere a small village southwest of Elmerton just a few short miles from Bloomingport. That night I just finished dinner and was enjoying a rather large and tasty dwarven ale in the Salty Maidens tavern when disaster struck.
It happened all at once- the silence of the night torn asunder by a roof rocking blast that threw a few people off their feet. The tavern emptied as did the other houses and random businesses that remained open at that hour. People poured into the center of town to see a large and heavily armed group led by a large man who stood out in front of them. Before anyone could even speak or try and make an action, the man up front spoke in a booming tone. “I am Carzon Sazdar, the slayer of worlds and the man who is not only ready, but excited to send you all to the Gatekeeper’s Realm of True Death.” He paused then to watch the effect of his words on the town. His brow furrowed slightly as he continued, “The Gatekeeper, however wishes for me to convey his intent to you so that you will know the extent of his mercy. Listen to this well!” Sneering, and drawing a well-worn scroll from a pouch at his side, he bellowed in an even louder tone,
“’Magestans. I am the Gatekeeper. I am Death Incarnate and will take my place amongst the other Incarnations. You cannot destroy me. You cannot withstand me. However, be it known that I bear you no personal hatred nor animosity. I have no desire to inflict unnecessary pain or suffering upon any individual. I am willing to offer you this chance, Magestans. There need not be premature death and destruction, but know that I will grant the spirits of this desperate and pleading world eternal and pure rest, and with that will come the Dread of War. For those with the wisdom to bow before Destiny, I will provide places of safety in which you and your families will be permitted to live safely and comfortably and to live out the natural course of your lives or until such time as I am given a seat amongst the greater Incarnations. Those who enter this stronghold will be under my protection and will know the strength of my might. No harm will come to you.
However, I will warn you that those who do not enter this stronghold will be subjected to the Sword and Wrath of my Pledged. Carzon knows no mercy and has my leave to show no quarter to stragglers and heroes.’”
Carzon leered at the town and said, “You have until this time tomorrow to make your choice, Gindinmere. Make no mistake, I will return at that time, and will show you the strength of MY might and the extent of MY mercy.”
After all this was said, Carzon muttered a few words, made a complicated gesture with his hands, and a massive swirling portal opened in the center of town, complete with an elaborate gateway conjured out of thin air. After nailing the scroll to the gateway, Carzon and his men marched out of town. A few townsfolk rushed into the portal with zero hesitation after gathering their families and the valuables they could carry. Other argued the merits of accepting the Gatekeeper as the overseer of Death. Some disagreements turned into fistfights.
When it was all said and done over half the town went into the portal. Those who stayed behind prepped for a fight. I myself found a pig iron shed that the blacksmith uses and barricaded myself inside. True to his word, Carzon and his men marched back into Gindinmere at roughly the same time and unleashed a horror that the Abyss would be jealous of. Men, women and even children fell to their blades. Any building used as shelter was burned to the ground. There was no stopping Carzon and his men. I was literally the only one left alive as the portal in town began to pulse and then closed.
One of his men found the shed I was hiding in and tore the door open with alarming strength. He raised an axe to my head and was about to strike until Carzon himself grabbed his arm. “Ahh a roving scribe,” he said in a tone of voice full of poison. “No! She gets to live, no point in letting the story of a lifetime go untold. Run off little one and tell all what you have witnessed here.”
After letting me live to escape, he let out a whistle and his men formed up and marched out of town. He followed behind them with strong strides and left the town in ruin. When they left I quickly dashed away.
I can speak no more of the horror I witnessed…