Part 10: The Return of Gizash
Part 10: The Return of Gizash
As terrible a foe as the orcs were, it feels as though little glory should go to the heroes of the war. The common orc is almost nothing as an opponent- from my own experiences, I could kill a troll whilst comparatively a babe. If a troll was little threat to a fledgling warrior, an orc would be as nothing. Only the overwhelming numbers of the orc horde and the strength of select leaders allows any glory to come to the Defenders of Cove.
But where were those evils worth fighting? What had become of the Dark Lord, Gizash? Slowing his progress, foiling his plans for domination, aye, that was business worthy of a hero. It seemed he had vanished from our fair realm. Great for the Queen's reign, but lousy for those hoping to prove themselves ready for knighthood.
The recently renamed Defenders of Moonglow, Xavier, Magus, and Novus Just, were the first to learn the truth of the matter. In Moonglow's town hall, they were approached by a dark shade. Death had ravaged the form, but they were able to make out the shape of Gizash. Unlike most unholy, undead spirits, Gizash made no move to attack. Instead, he seemed to plead for a return to life.
The Defenders have been among my closest friends. That said, I still wonder at the wisdom of their next action. They readied their weapons and... resurrected Gizash. Of what he told them after that, I know not how much is truth and how much was fabricated to promote dissent among the populace.
To begin with, he claimed to have renounced his evil ways. His black sword, which had been taken from him after his last defeat, was the source of the evil. Hard as it may be to believe, Gizash had once been Queen Lissar's champion. Long ago he fought against a dark lord named Drak Chanon. Upon slaying this foe, he took Drak's black sword. Under the sword's influence, Gizash turned against Lissar and became the new dark lord.
And what became of the sword? Sir Mego Stone had claimed it as his own, and used it constantly. Would Mego be influenced as Gizash had been? The former dark lord said as much, asking if Mego had already declared himself as the dark lord.
Before he departed for his keep, Gizash gifted each of the Defenders with a Chaos Shield, claiming the design was his symbol of old. In the weeks that followed, Gizash appeared to other prominent citizens and gifted them with similar shields. Many stored them away, unsure if they could trust a man who until recently had threatened the realm. Others refused to hold any artifacts linked to Gizash and passed the shields to others.
The Defenders prominently displayed their shields for a time. Many voices, your humble chronicler included, were raised in protest against this apparent display of allegiance to our former foe. Likewise, words of distrust were muttered about Mego Stone. Many pressed the Defenders to place the shields into the safety of the vaults until such time as it could be determined that there was no taint on the shields.
The Defenders did not appreciate being dictated to, especially not by those looking in from the outside- fiery Xavier went so far as to suggest Moonglow's succession from the realm. By some miracle, bloodshed was avoided. The Defenders stood down and placed the shields into the vault. Mego Stone refused to do likewise with his sword. He found it insulting that suspicion could even be directed at him. His refusal and attitude were proof enough for some that the sword was influencing the knight.
The damage had already been done. Four of the realms greatest warriors were suspected of alligning themselves with the forces of evil. For some, it was only the lack of hard evidence that prevented the four from being placed on trial for treason. True, the realm was still whole, but lines were being drawn.