The crash of the gnome’s armor as he hit the wall was nearly as loud as the screech from the half man half bat beast that had just sent him on his collision course. The casual smile and happy demeanor he normally maintained even in battle was replaced by the deep painful frown he now wore as an expression. They where going to die, and he was about to lead the way.

As he painfully drew himself up from the floor the beast had moved and was now savaging their poor human cleric, a good man by human standards but soon to be a bloody mess if the gnome did not right himself and intercede. He set his shoulders and began the wild thoughts of a berserker tradition that had set true warriors apart through the eons. He then crossed the room at break neck sped to intercept the creature and shouted at the top of his tiny lungs “Not by the hair of my chiny chin chin!” He crashed into the beast who was stunned by the shock of his berserker charge and with the noise of his taunt the beast turned to renew his attack on the tiny figure. But his recklessness was his undoing. The wounds he received prior to this point now began to bleed at such a pace that even the divine invocations of the priest could not replace the precious fluids as fast as they now left his tiny frame. With a finally swat to the gnomes head he crumpled to the floor and began the now familiar journey to deaths representative at the grave yard. His last thought was to save the party … but even as the room shimmered out of view he could see the cleric in a pool of his own blood and the mage, paladin, and warlock chaotically fighting to save their soon to be forfeit lives.

After the painful transition from life into death the gnome had always been able to experience some peace of mind and reflect on his current state. Some of his most capricious thoughts and ideas made themselves manifest as he moved to speak to the angle of death, but this time something was different. As he fully entered his ethereal “death” state and moved to see the soft winged figure at the grave yard he noticed a new personage standing in the angles place. She was certainly as beautiful as the angle was to the gnomes thinking but in an otherworldly way. Her frame and bearing spoke of great nobility and certainty, but her tall slender proportions where not that of any elf he had ever seen. Her flowing hair played about her long pale face and try as he might he could not see what would be normal for an elf the protruding yet elegant ears that marked them as beings of Azaroth. Truly perplexed he gazed on her elfin like features and wondered what creature this might be. It was then that she seemed to look in his direction though he noticed her gaze was focused several feet above his head. Her lips parted in a genuine smile and she seemed about to beckon him over, when her expression gave a sudden exaggerated change to sheer terror. From the gnome’s right a small black maniacal pulsing cloud of condensed evil hove into his periphery, and quickly took the shape of a sword tip. The gnome was transfixed as the sword tip moved past the right side of his head and began to see the length of the blade as it made its way towards the now terrified women. Inch by inch the blade inexcusably traveled past the gnome and the feeling of pure evil that radiated form it was as tangible as the blade itself. As the sword s relentlessly made its way towards its intended victim the gnome began to see along its length red letters glowing with malice and power. The sword emanated evil and seemed to posses a life of its own and as it neared the bosom of the its intended prey it began to display just the slightest quiver … excitement … joy … lust … craving … all of these “emotions” seemed to emanate from the blade itself and all of these emotions seemed to pale at the true dread and terror of its intended victim. She had struck a pose as if to protect herself yet the pleading and terror in her eyes let the attacker know that she knew what was in store for her on the end of that blade, and at that moment any death would be preferable to what she was about to experience. Even then the blade began to pierced her flesh and the true terror of what was happening to her became apparent as the blade not only took her life by pricking her heart but also seemed to suck the very living essence … her soul … was consumed by the hungry blade and a pulse of the hell cloud emanated from the dark being as it sated itself on her very living essence.

A lifetime? Or just a few seconds? Sadly for the gnome there was no way to tell how long he had to watch as this grisly scean played out for him and him alone to see. With the maid now crumpled out of sight the sword stood in mid air pommel down and blade thrust to the heavens it’s red letters glowing and the fresh blood of its victim seemingly absorbed into the metal itself it seem to focus now on the small being from Azaroth. In the gnomes mind he heard a voice as clear and malevolent as any duke of hell might utter.

“Seek not that which slays all.”
“Look not for he that is “Kin slayer” … “Widow maker” … “World eater” … “Doom” “
“Find not the pulsing cavern in the dark places betweens the planes”

“And your world will live … a bit longer.”

And then the tingling sensation and the sudden rush of life took hold of the gnome. He was drawn from the depths of death by the prayer of his friend the cleric as the world reformed as he had always known it.

“Welcome back Redd” exclaimed the mage fore indeed he was back.

“O my … I had the strangest … Dream” said the gnome to his companions.

“Strange … “
Updated Feb 2006
Copy write Scott Lindquist