"From the ashes of what once was, what will be rises. Set the fire yourself if you must...but make the Soul watch. Drown the Soul in suffering, in loss, make its last moments a torment beyond bearing. When it has finally escaped, trap it in ashes and force it to watch once more. This will drive it to become something new. All of my experiments and all my dealings have taught me that this is the secret of the Undead Rage...to make what is already dead angry, you must remind it of what it was like to be alive." ~ Works of Hepheron Kinslay, Archivist, circa 7142 AC
Born-From-Ashes is one of the latest deadly projects to emerge from the First Hall of Alchemy
. They are a result of the pooled resources and intellect of the Archivists
, the Alchemists
, and the Mages
Like the Sentinels Project
, the Born-From-Ashes are yet another useful way to solidify the Aeternum's
power over his Empire
. As far as the outside world is concerned, this new elite fighting force first appeared in the battle to retake the Ghostly Palace
. The local baron
had made a foolish grasp for power. With an army of barely loyal, poorly trained men, he had quickly been driven back and then ended up besieged in the very castle he received from his liege lord. For all intents and purposes, the battle was over. There was no need for a show of force.
But as the Aeternum dictated, a large force of muscular, terrifying looking warriors arrived by cover of night. Few of the villagers dared approach them. Those who did couldn't recognize a single face..they were distorted by dark tattoos, and they swore that their eyes glowed like cats in the dark. The Born-From-Ashes approached the gate and, as one, began to work themselves into a frenzy. Eight of them suddenly lifted oil-filled barrels that they set alight and lifted over their heads. Screaming in a nightmarish tone that would haunt the spectators for years, they ran across the bridge and flung the flaming barrels against the castle gates.
Before the gates had even fully burned the strange warriors had charged right through them, using their mostly bare bodies to batter right through wood both charred and untouched. When they entered there was a bloodbath. At first the people heard weapons clashing, cursing, and the guttural roars of the strange warriors. A little while later and there was only screaming and crying from the besieged forces. And then silence. Hours passed as the chill of early morning crept across the land.
The Born-From-Ashes filed out of the castle in two lines, trudging back towards the forest they had emerged from. Inside the Ghostly Palace lay a nightmarish still-life of blood and broken bodies, twisted apart with such force that people swore up and down that the strange warriors must have been shape shifters, and laid beastly claws and teeth on the hapless defenders before shredding them while still alive.
There is still much confusion as to who the Born-From-Ashes are, or where they come from. But among the more educated it is commonly known that the Archivists blended Alchemy with the dark magic that created the Mistwalkers during the Cataclysm
. Only this time they left the Soul more or less intact, merely robbing them of the things that made them good, that made them human.
Upkeep and Recruitment
No one knows where the Archivists fill the ranks for the Born-From-Ashes. There is no advertisement for volunteers, and no one can recognize the fearsome warriors under the tattoos that cover most of their bodies. Sometimes their faces are disfigured with purposeful cuts and burns, as if their identity is a secret that cannot be revealed.
When not being used to spread terror and destruction, they are housed in the Stables Major
near the Capital
, an easy walking distance from the First Hall of Alchemy. They are supplied with the most brutal of weapons, meant to compliment their fearsome strength and demeanor. There is no record of a family or friend connected to a member of the Born-From-Ashes. They are, for all intents and purposes, enigmas.
Education and Abilities
They have immense physical power and a nullifying affect on most kinds of magic cast in their vicinity. Their skill with weapons is more of an unofficial addendum to their roster of skills...they can use axes and maces and spiked clubs, but why bother when they can pick up their enemies and break them like twigs? Their primary weapon is fear, not grace.
As for their own personal care, they seem to have a crude medicinal knowledge of certain herbs and plants that they can use to numb pain and elevate their adrenaline. They have been observed to reset a bone if need be, either for themselves or others. Everything they do serves to further their true purpose as indestructible weapons of slaughter.