Ascension of Catseyes How Catseyes Become the Immortal of Death
Catseyes walks up to the empty thrones and stands before them, contemplating the abrupt and unexplained departure of her Master and Mistress fifty years ago. While she looks on, the two thrones merge into one shimmering throne, a small chest of bone appearing on its seat. Stepping forth, she slowly opens the chest to discover a glowing skull mace and a scroll fashioned from elven skin. On the smooth ivory skin is a tale, written in blood. The tale is signed by Death’s Mistress, Kilana. Catseyes begins to read.
It began with Death’s prophetess, Seila. She came to our land reluctantly, an unwilling seer of truth. Her golden eyes saw all. Before the crowds in Devardec she spoke. ‘Realities will shift and meld, and be no more. The heavens will tremble. But will the land of the dead rise or fall? Enemies from within and enemies from without... there is no doubt; a time of change is nigh. A sundering will occur, of time and place, of flesh and blood, of old and new.’
As the immortals of death, Corin and I knew well of this sundering, of the terror and destruction we would inflict upon the Overworld. All would be crushed but our own reapers. The foolish, the complacent, the weak… all would fall quickly under the relentless onslaught of our armies. I confess, this knowledge was delicious, heady. Our glorious armies of demons and reapers were empowered by thousands of souls and as such, were unstoppable. Few understood the true horror of what awaited them. Standing before them in the Underworld, gazing upon these vast, hungry hordes that surrounded us as far as the eye could see, I felt tremendous pride. The time to destroy the Overworld was at hand, and unbeknownst to most, we were entering our final preparations. Soon, the entire land would be ours. Mortals, immortals, Deori… all would fall, and our temple would enjoy total domination. We would purge the land of its unworthy.
How would we slay Deori, you ask? At long last, we had finally gathered enough souls to create a stream of intense spiritual energy that could destroy any immortal, and had created a magical portal through which this stream could travel. We were to engage in deception of the most nefarious sort. Deori had been invited to the Underworld under the pretext that we wished to cede our claim to his world, his loathsome land of the ignorant, the dull, the cowardly. Of course, nothing was further from the truth. He would stand between Corin and I, enjoying the view of the smoldering red rock and rivers of lava that snaked across the Underworld’s terrain. At our signal, Lakash would whisper the words to open the channel and unleash the stream of souls upon Deori. We had amassed enough souls – thousands of the most powerful dragons, gatekeepers, elementals – so many souls that even the Creator himself would disintegrate under such an onslaught, dying at our feet as our soldiers looked on. The overworlders would have reeled from the loss of their Creator, and would have scattered before our forces. What a marvelous victory to preface our final march on the overworld, no?
But the yearning for power is corrupting and can craze the mind of any creature, no matter how disciplined. Though Lakash was a shrewd demon overseer, the nearness of our victory had made him feverish with impatience. While I stood before our armies, about to inform them of our plans, Lakash approached the portal. He was entranced at the thought of slaying Deori, and began to whisper the chant to open the channel, mesmerized by the power of the souls. Corin watched from the shadows nearby, instantly realizing the danger I was in. As Lakash spoke the final words and the channel opened to release the soulstream, my ever nimble thief leapt into the path of intense energy, sparing me from certain death … protecting me until the end. I heard the thunderous crack of the souls being unleashed, and turned to see my husband of over a century, my love, my best friend, my partner in immortality, step into the stream of energy. His eyes locked onto mine. In a flash, he was gone.
All that remained was his cloak and his black skull mace.
I stared at the thin cloak for several seconds, and finally shifted my gaze to the horrified Lakash. The words of Seila echoed in my mind: “Enemies from within and enemies from without.”
I stepped forth, trembling with shock and rage, and raised my skull mace up. “Lakash, you wretched, impulsive fool… I curse you to suffer the agony of a thousand slow deaths.” As my words rang out, writhing blue tendrils of electricity sparked to life around my skull mace and arced across the rocky terrain to entrap the demon overseer. Lakash screamed, begging for mercy as his form was hungrily consumed by the blue flames. He staggered and crumpled to the ground, slowly dissolving into charred, amorphous lumps. Wisps of smoke rose from his remains. His pitiful keening echoed throughout the Underworld as his tortured soul lived on, condemned to endure extraordinary suffering.
I turned back to our vast army, which had grown utterly still at the sight of Master Corin’s death. Thousands stared up at me, uncomprehending the enormity of what had happened. I felt empty, hollow, cold. All of our preparations were for naught, all of our carefully collected souls wasted. My husband was gone… he who would have made our victory most sweet would never again catch my glance across a room, nor whisper my name, nor stroke my cheek, nor offer me a chalice filled with the blood of our enemies. I had endured many terrible losses in my lifetime, hardened myself to adversity, become stoic in battle and in leadership. But this -- this blow I could not withstand. Silently, I turned my back on our army and slowly entered our Temple, climbing the stairs to enter the throne room. There, I set my skull mace on my throne for the last time, and began to whisper.
"For the next fifty years, I hereby decree that this temple shall be without leadership in honor of Master Corin. Once that time has passed, the two thrones shall merge into one, and she who has served death well as its heroine shall take up the skull mace and become immortal. So shall be the dawn of a new era of death.
Reapers, you have made me immensely proud. You are strong and unyielding, intelligent and calculating, discerning and superior. You will rise to great heights, and for this I praise you. But I hereby forbid all further contemplation of annihilating the Overworld. The price of our bloodthirsty quest for death and destruction was too great. Serve death well, and further its ends. But seek the elimination of Deori and his mortals no longer. We owe Master Corin this much.
I hereby renounce my immortality, and will hereafter wander the Underworld alone. Do not seek me out. Farewell, my chosen."