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Library :: Anubas' Past

By Anubas


 Deep in the caves beneath the Mountains of Withral, lived a fierce young tribal leader known as Grothral. This fiery, ebony-skinned giant was the most ruthless and determined leader those of the TigerClaw clan had ever encountered. The TigerClaws, known best for their countless acts of theft, murder and general mayhem, had been locked in what seemed to be an endless war over dominion of the slopes and tunnels of Mount Withral with the frost giants of the IceCloud Clan. Masters of the deep caverns beneath the Mountain, Lords of the fiery pits of lava, the TigerClaw clan was the stronger and far more destructive of the two, yet, the IceClouds, led by a highly intelligent leader, Jeranthal, never gave ground to the savages that was not retaken. The war continued without pause until one fateful evening, five full years into the bloody feud, Grothral made the decision to raid an Elven outpost. His scouts had reported, an elven princess had been sent to the Outpost to attempt to negotiate the end of hostilities between the two clans. Grothral, known for his strength and passion, but not his wit, thought holding the elven princess hostage would swing the balance of power heavily in his favor and give him the edge he needed to destroy the IceClouds once and for all. So, acting in characteristic fashion, he recklessly attacked the encampment with a small contingent of warriors. Hardly the battle he expected, more than half his warriors were cut down in mere seconds, the others running blindly into the forest as they fled the magical arrows of the elven archers. Grothral, refusing to accept defeat, lead the warriors he could gather on a suicidal charge, losing nearly all of the remaining soldiers, but escaping with both his life and his prized hostage, the elven princes

Having little contact with elves and completely unawares of the inherent spirit of valor instilled in the people, his plan proved his undoing. Within a month, the mighty elven army camped on the foothills of Mount Withril. Seeing a chance to do what his enemy could not, Jeranthal arrived in the Elven encampment himself, as a liason for the IceClouds and soon formed an alliance. The TigerClaws were decimated, clubs of ice and enchanted elven arrows spilling their hot blood from the slopes to the deepest caverns of the mountain. In an escape, more lucky than daring, Grothral fled into weathered wastelands of the desert, only his closest personal guard and captive in his company. His clan destroyed, Grothral�s mind turned to dark revenge, focused primarily on his hostage, as it was her people who orchestrated the demise of his own. He forced himself on the princess, Eow'thiel, seeking to humiliate and defile her spirit, and succeeded in impregnating her with his seed. Upon learning this, Grothral believed he had brought the rebirth of the giants of fire through his child, sure to be empowered with the magics of these strange and powerful creatures. He ordered her watched day and night, fearing she would take her own life to end that of the monster growing inside. As time passed, more members of the TigerClaw clan wandered into the desert encampment, drawn from all over the wastelands by Grothral's riders. As the clan reached acceptable strength, Grothral found his bride ready to give birth. On a cold desert night, a half-fire giant was born and christened Anubas. He was large by elven, even human standards, but quite small in comparison to the pure-blood giants of the TigerClaws. Eow'thiel's elven blood flowed through his veins, making his skin much softer than normal, his eyes a piercing cobalt blue, and his hair jet black. Anubas grew over the years, still regarded small and inferior by his own kin, but becoming powerful in his own right. His father, although a poor strategist, was a very able warrior and trained Anubas in every weapon known to the TigerClaw warrior. Meanwhile, his mother, Eow'thiel, was secretly training him in the elven ways, teaching him to hone his agility and marksmanship far beyond that of any fire giant warrior before him. His speed and accuracy on the battlefield soon found him surpassing all of the other warriors in his clan, even though he was smaller and a half-breed. His father, proud of the great warrior he had spawned, placed Anubas in one of the highest positions of honor, Commander General of the Armies of TigerClaw, his right-hand, and the hammer with which he intended to grind his enemies to dust.

Three summers passed as the clan's warriors trained under their new general, and, at long last, they were ready to march on the halls of the IceClouds, returning to the land they deemed their blood-right. Grothral, knowing full-well his son to be the greatest swordsman ever seen by the TigerClaws, perhaps giantkind as a whole, was anxious to see him in battle. Also, knowing his warriors trained better than ever before, and believing the elves magic to be on his side now, he was confident his return to Mount Withral would be a triumphant one. The TigerClaws first strike on Mount Withral was swift and deadly, meeting almost no resistance. Grothral watched from a distance, Anubas at his side, as his warriors routed entire regiments of IceCloud soldiers, the element of surprise playing heavily into their favor. However, as the initial skirmishes ended and the surprise was lost, the TigerClaws began to meet heavier resistance. Then, abruptly, the tide of the battle begin to turn. Jeranthal appeared at the head of his main force and Grothral soon learned he was not the only clan to benefit from contact with the elves as he watched his first wave cut to ribbons by the frost giant archers. Fearing he was seeing his victory crumbling before him, he decided to play his full hand, sending Anubas and his regiment to the front. The ensuing battle lasted for two full days and nights, neither Anubas's men nor Jeranthal's able to take the advantage, but both generals fighting as if they were ten men. Finally, as the sun came up on the third day, Anubas's troops broke the line, and brought Anubas face to face with his nemesis. Jeranthal had been trained well by his elven allies and fought better than any giant could have against his agile opponent, but Anubas had blood on his side and soon wounded Jeranthal, causing him to flee into the mountain itself. Their general gone, the IceCloud troops lost their battle rage and Anubas's men quickly took the slopes. Leading a handful of men, Anubas entered the maze-like caverns of Mount Withral, his father's orders to bring the traitorous scum, Jaranthal, out alive, still ringing in his ears. Hours later, only a bloody Anubas emerged, his sword broken, nevertheless leading the defeated chieftain of the IceClouds, a rope tied round his neck. He brought Jaranthal before his father, presenting the greatest trophy of war Grothral could have desired. Grothral immediately decided his enemy would endure the punishment he himself had gone through and had his warriors run the defeated general into banishment in the Wastelands. Later that night, as the TigerClaws feasted on the spoils of war, celebrating their victory, and Anubas, his father, and the other captains sat in war council planning their assault on the elves, Jeranthal crept back into the TigerClaw encampment accompanied by the remains of his army, stragglers he�d managed to find and rally for one final strike. A cry rose up from the encampment, bringing both Anubas and his father bursting from the Council tent where they found the body of Eow'thiel, overwhelmed by the number of frost giants, an ice dagger buried in her chest. Jeranthal and his men were nowhere to be found, save a set of tracks leading back into the deadly wastelands. Grothral wailed at his loss, scarely able to believe his queen had been murdered outside his own tent. He begin screaming orders, placing blame on any and all of his warriors, trying to rally a search party when he noticed his son. Knowing full well Anubas's feelings for his mother, Grothral dreaded the look in his son's eyes. The deep blue eyes seemed emotionless, cold and deadly. His face showed no sign of tears or pain, just a harsh line of a mouth, pressed in steely determination. Anubas walked to his mother's body, knelt and laid his hand on her head in one last tender gesture, took up her two-handed elven forged sword and strode out of the encampment on the trail of her killers, leaving his father and all the warriors of the TigerClaw standing, slack-jawed and wordless. Anubas quietly vowed never to rest, never to love, never to stop even in death, no matter where his feet may take him until Jaranthal was brought to justice. Thus ended his life as a TigerClaw and thus began his life's Quest that would one day see him brought to the land of Turien

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