Numenera 2: Sins of the Fathers

Gurner chewed on a piece of jerky, reflecting upon the events of the day. The newcomers and the young had made great strides towards the survival of Ellomyr, building all manner of defenses. While they worked the rest of them; he, the children, and the other elders, had waited. Gurner did what he could to keep them amused and out of trouble, telling all manner of tales. But today had him shaken, today someone requested the one story he could never tell; The origin of Ellomyr. Zriq had managed to cover for him with some bull about the trios great journey to find a new home, but Zriq knew that was a lie. He was the only other person alive who knew the truth of Ellomyr…

Kole Revell. Jacques Zriq. Gurner Cole. The trio were heroes in the eyes of Ellomyr’s people. They had founded the village from nothing and defended it when it had been attacked, although Kole had given his life to do so. At least, that’s the story they told everyone. In reality they were no better than common crooks, having stolen this land and many of the materials for the first village buildings from the nearby abhuman tribes. Back then they thought the Margr and their cousins were no more than beasts, so they killed them and took whatever they wanted. Using these ill-gotten gains they began to build what would become Ellomyr. Later, after many of the civilians had moved into the growing village, the Margr were the only tribe left standing in the area. Eventually they could no longer stand for what the people of Ellomyr were doing, and grouped together to attack the small village and take back what was theirs. The battle was long and bloody, with losses on both sides (including Kole Revell), but in the end Gurner and Zriq managed to drive off the “invading beasts”. They chased after them, driving them deep into The Valley of Sins where the mists and monsters caused the abhumans immeasurable pain. As they heard the screams of the man-beasts, Zriq resolved to end their problems once and for all. His plan was simple, he and Gurner would find the “nest” and cut off the head of this snake. They arrived to find not a vicious chieftain but elders, the sick, and children. Gurner had second thoughts but Zriq did not. Before Gurner could voice his concerns Zriq began cutting down all in his path. Afterwards, he explained that these beasts were dangerous if left unchecked, and Gurner hoped that was true. In the end, the village of Ellomyr spent the next 2000 sunrises in peace, so they had thought that was the end of it…

Zriq eyed his sword, deep in thought about that day and how the growing horde might possibly be his fault. After a moment he shook his head and laughed. No, they were just beasts after all, and beasts had no concept of revenge or justice. He continued to get ready for bed, turning out lights and closing windows. As he reached the last of the windows he noticed his hands were shaking, and he pretended it was from the cold. With a satisfying clunk, the window locked, and Zriq eyed the horizon. It was then he noticed there was a cloaked figure standing on one of the hills overlooking his home. He peered at them quizzically, there was a familiar feel about them but he couldn’t place it. Whoever it was, why were they there at such an hour. Then the mysterious figure removed their cloak, as if to answer Zriq’s question. What he saw caused the miserable hunk of meat Zriq called a heart to stop. As he clutched his chest and began to fall, the being outside entered the house with remarkable speed. The creature that stood before him was a patchwork being, pieces of various humans and abhumans melded together by unknown means… But only one piece mattered to Zrig; the head. As he faded from consciousness, Zriq heard the last words he would ever hear.

“Be glad your heart gave out, old friend. For your sins you deserved a far worse death.”

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