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|The Emcompassing Chain|
“The unexpected blow fells the mightiest foe.
--Mister Grimjoss, Pirate
Skills[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
Stick together! - Slingsharp's Minion Snap ability strengthens your allied minions. Stay near your own minions to make the most of the ability!
It's a trap! - Lull your enemies into a sense of security, let them get close, and then unleash Slingsharp's Whip Thrash ability for maximum damage.
Lore[edit | edit source]
Eryth had never known a life of freedom. His earliest memory was of being sold to Captain Jeriko of the ship Windbinder, and the ship had been his home most of his young life. If he thought about it, he had probably been at sea since the age of six. His memories of the fishing village that he had grown up in were hazy, and punctuated by neglect, abuse, and a life of begging and muddy streets between times that his father sobered up enough to collect him.
Life on the Windbinder had actually been more ordered, and Eryth had learned the cadence of days on the sea easily. By ten, the shanties sung by the deckhands were the rhythms of Eryth's days, and the swaying of the ship rocked his hammock at night. Jeriko was a fair master, and he never thrashed or beat the boy. While he was without doubt a pirate, he was good to his crew and his cabin-boy.
Sadly, this would come to an end on Eryth's sixteenth summer. As a great storm befell the Windbinder, the ship was overcome by none-other than the dreaded Mister Grimjoss. The evil pirate rode high on the surf aboard his Blood Lamprey, cannons ablaze. The Windbinder was captured, and renamed the Black Portent. Eryth saw his master cast into the waves. Worse, he was enslaved again, though this time under a master much crueler than before.
So evil were the man's ministrations, that there were times that Eryth was afraid that Mister Grimjoss was not even human. Grimjoss sent ships to the bottom unlooted, just to hear the screams of the crew, he would set fire to the ships that he did deign to board, and refuse the scrabbling survivors berth on his ship. The man was a demon, and Eryth was his poor and powerless slave. Still, the boy watched, and he learned even from this wicked master. He learned the power that was inherent in fear, and over the years, he learned to delight in being the instrument of that terror. Over the span of only a handful of years, Eryth became Grimjoss's first mate, slowly earning the trust of the wicked creature. Eryth learned cruelty, and began to emulate the domineering nature of his new master. With Eryth at his side, Grimjoss took ship after ship, and his fleet of the damned grew large. Soon they dominated the World's southern seas, but on his twenty-first birthday, Grimjoss granted Eryth a new quest.
The seas were choppy, and the skies clear when the ship caught sight of the shining white sails of the Dawn's Warning, a large missionary vessel that put up no fight when the Black Portent set her cannons upon her. Grimjoss tossed the head monk into the foaming sea alive, and handed the helm over to Eryth. Grimjoss sent the young man and his crew far to the south, beyond the Boiling Sea, and bade him spread the pirate's empire into the unknown waters beyond. Eryth took up a length of chain, and, cracking it like a whip, ordered his new crew to sail, and a new dark legend was borne upon the sea, Eryth's black-sailed Dawn's Bane.
The Dawn's Bane skirted the boiling seas and drove south, sinking or looting all that they fell across. Eryth's lust for power and fear was sated time and again. His whip crashed to the deck like the beat of a dying heart, driving his crew on through day and night. By the time that they had reached the far side of the Boiling Sea, Eryth's crew had captured three other ships, and they took to the docks in the squalid little port of Gnugton to sell the spoils.
Late in the night, as Eryth stumbled back to the docks where his longboat was moored, he came upon a shadow-cloaked figure leaning against a post. As Eryth raised his lantern in passing, he caught a glimpse of the old man's features and froze. It was Jeriko, the man he had called master so long before, it could not be mistaken. Eryth stopped short, jaw falling open. "How did you survive?" he asked. The old man merely smiled in the flickering torchlight, and beckoned for Eryth to follow him in to the winding alleys of the village. The shuffling old man paused once more to beckon from the doorway of a ramshackle hut, lantern light shining out behind him. Eryth followed him in, and found a dirt floored hovel within. A young boy, maybe six or seven years of age, tended the stone hearth. Old Jeriko sat and fixed Eryth with an age-clouded eye.
"You've become like him, since I've gone, haven't ye?" said the old man, and Eryth was humbled.
"I've known no other life." Eryth replied.
"That's why the scoundrel sent you away, of course." Said the old man by the hearth. "Boh, pour us both some mulled wine, if you please." At his command, the boy gathered up a couple of clay cups and ladled a portion for each of them from a small crock over the fire. Eryth drank. The wine was warming and sweet. Though he had drunk a million cups of sea-grog, this made his head spin. The old man sitting across the hearth from him continued.
"That damned Grimjoss sent you off to this forsaken place to get you out of his hair. He fears you,and even now he ravages your home coast. You are far superior in skill to him, and I think you know it." The old man drank deeply from his cup and blinked rheumy eyes, then stared into Eryth's very soul and spoke again. "You would defeat him, if you challenged that old fool. Would you avenge me, my boy?" Eryth finished his wine and drew forth his chain-whip, casting it into the hearth, where it slowly grew ruddy with heat. Eryth's old master watched the chain begin to glow in the fire and chuckled.
"Go back to the north and destroy Old 'Joss" said the old man in an even tone. Then, lifting his eyes to Eryth's he went on. "Take Boh with you, he is loyal to me." To Eryth, the boy could have been him. He nodded. The man laughed and asked the child to pour them more wine, and the evening blurred into a warm fog of stories, songs and laughter. When Eryth awoke, he was again aboard the Dawn's Bane, and the boy Boh was sleeping away the morning in the mate's hammock across the room.
Eryth drew himself from his bunk and checked his gear. He found his chain whip at his belt, but the fire had scarred and changed it. The links near the front had been spread into wide and cruel blades, and all along the links tiny blades had sprung outward, forged by unbidden hands in the night. Eryth grasped at the heft, beneath the carven skull and burst onto the decks, whip alive. "We fly to the north! Our master has betrayed us!" he cried, and like his fury, the wind whipped into a frenzy, pushing the vessel north. The passage was brutal. Many of the crew succumbed to overwork, to exhaustion, or to the wicked lash of Eryth's whip. All the while, Boh stood by Eryth's side, serving him even as he had served his masters before. On the seventh day, they sighted their prey, the Black Portent where Grimjoss rode.
Eryth knew that he could take his old master by surprise, and so he rode the night tide into the harbor where the Portent lay. He spun his wicked whip wildly about himself and his crew as they clambered across boarding planks and swung from lines to crowd the decks of their quarry. Those who stood with Eryth seemed unstoppable, whenever a weapon threatened, it was crashed away by Eryth's chain.
Scores fell before Eryth, and the boy Boh walked just beside him. With each wild swing of the blade-whip it seemed a sphere of bladed death spun around them. Soon, they stood before Mister Grimjoss himself. A fire burned in the pirate's eyes as he fell backwards beneath blow after blow from Eryth's cruel bladed chain. Still, the most evil pirate Eryth had ever known laughed. "Ah! It has come 'round to me at last has it?" he cackled. "And you, my boy, the pawn!"
At this Eryth again cast forth the terrible chain-whip and Grimjoss's throat tore away. The wicked pirate pointed behind Eryth as his last strength bled away, but Eryth would never see what it was he warned against because at that moment Boh, the cabin boy, thrust a long-knife into his belly, deftly turning the blade to spill Eryth's guts onto the corpse of his former master.
As the boy took up Slingsharp and turned to the door and his new crew, the hulking shape of Astaroth shimmered into being behind him, and lashed to the beast in a writhing coil of hellish fire burned three pitiful spirits.
Bladebiter • Chillblade • Chronosphere • Cruel Barb • Death's Reach • Eir's Glory • Elder's Branch • Fracture Barrel • Gorefist • Hallowed Lantern • Hammer of Sul • Hyperion's Light • Phoenix Familiar • Rainmaker • Rising Soul • Rodar's Scepter • Skyburst • Slingsharp • Sparrowthorn • Sphere of Wudeng • Stormcaller • The Aegis • The Harvester • The Scintallion • Titan's Call • Truth's Charge • Ulfberht • Unity Mark • Vengeance • Veritas Scriptura • Voidstar • Waybinder