Fan fiction:Bane Hero of the North/Chapter 1
From Diablo Wiki
Bane Hero of the North is a fan fiction piece by Bane, originally posted on The Dark Library. The fiction series was recovered on April 14th 2010. You can find more information on Bane:Hero of the North article.
It is foreseen that in the years of trouble ahead When mortal men fear the three A man will come forward; a hero from the north, the harsh barbarian lands His name is written in the stars; Bane his very name a curse
Born direct and with blood of the great Barbarian King himself; Bul-Kathos And from his will he will shape mankind's destiny And help change the world forever...
Chief Librarian Sanett of Lat Wahlin The Chronicler
Chapter 1: Baptism of Fire
Bane lifts his head wearily over the hill and spots the encampment below while making slow movements forward, towards the group like a lioness on the hunt. He counts only one fire that meant that the force that dwelled besides the trail that led between the two villages of Kath-Amor and Nath-San was smaller than what the rider in the village had said to him the day before. He had been told that the mad wizard Kem-Moth had gathered a large group of men and were preparing to march on the city soon. In great haste Bane was sent forth to scout Kem-Moth's movements by his employer Konrad.
His keen eyes make out figures in the dark that normal men would fail to see and his ears could make out individual voices from the men below although he could not make out what they were saying. Instinctively Bane placed his hand on the hilt of his sword but did not draw the blade from the scabbard.
Perhaps these men are merely travellers, maybe merchants and his guards making camp before heading out to trade their goods. If so where was the wagon full of goods? No, something told Bane these were hirelings of Kem-Moth's and were his enemy. Bane knew of only one way to stop an enemy.
Coming up in a crouch Bane swiftly moved towards the camp, taking cover in the thick grass and the dark night in which he knew no man south could see him through. His footfalls were quiet as if he had been trained to sneak about places in the dark. His stealth was merely built into him like most of his people, barbarians they were called, uncivilised. Bane spat on the ground and drew his blade after arriving close to a sleeping man put obviously to watch for intruders. The man was dreaming, a mistake that costs and has cost men's lives. This man will never wake again.
From here Bane can see exactly how many men sit around the fire and pauses for a while studying the men as if they were unknown creatures to him. In a way they are, born and bred in a civilised world, brought up in a way that seems both strange and interesting to the barbarian. It is true what his people had told him when he was a child that the men from the south were not at all like they were. Indeed this race of man seems much smaller than he, full-grown men do not make it to his size in height and muscle and he has only walked this earth a mere 18 summers. Their dress was different, language often strange and alien as well as manner. Their accents are weak northern common and it seems that a few of the eight men around the fire had been drinking as he could hear slurred voices. He did not like what he heard and it seemed to anger him.
Stepping out of the darkness Bane muttered a few words to the men who had all stopped laughing to turn towards the dark figure emerging into the firelight.
"I will make you eat those words dogs. Kath-Amor will not fall as easily as you believe!" Before the men could react Bane had sprung forth like a panther and dispatched two closest to him with a single swirl of his broadsword. His ferocity took them by surprise and another too slow to draw his sword fell before the barbarian. Muscles tense as Bane grabbed a firm hold of one man who had been drinking, the smell of alcohol strong on his breath, and draws his head into his own. The northerner fell back, his skull split open by the youth's wild attack.
Bane reached the fire panting, muscles rippling across his body, blood dripping from his broadsword. Crimson began to blur his eyesight and he could feel the battle-rage growing in his mind, crippling him from any thought save that of battle and death.
"Who are you man?" The voice is shaky and from the shortest of the remaining men but is hardly heard as the battle-rage numbs Bane's senses. Bane grunts a reply and charges into the group slashing left and right, thrusting his sword through chest and head until he lies on the grass shaking and covered from head-to-toe in gore. Bane lifts his head and looks at the death he had just caused, maybe he regrets his actions but whatever goes through his mind is left behind with the dead as he begins to head for his horse.
His muscles ache slightly and as he reaches his horse he takes a deep breath and rubs his shoulder and notices the many wounds that bleed across his arms and chest. He shakes his head softly. Bane had not killed any man before, only the animals that roamed his mountain home. It was his "Baptism of Fire" today his people would call it, when Kamidian Barbarian fights and kills his first man. He should be feeling proud and in a way he believes he is but he was surprised how easily the men had fallen and how the battle-rage and blinded his senses and turned him into a killing machine, a daemon from the hells. They were drunk he admitted, perhaps that was the reason why they were now dead and he was alive, not the other way around. With his mind now clear, no mist blocking his thoughts he remembers some of the cries the men had shouted when he cleaved his way through them.
"DEMON!" Not quite he muttered, the sound of his voice muffled by the wind.
Mounting his horse he spurred it on past the encampment where the dead now lay to know doubt be eaten by the animals that scavenge through the night. Bane did not want to kill them all, hoping to question one of them about the numbers of men under the employ of the wizard. Now that is no longer an option, he will have to find out for himself. Bane momentarily shudders at the thought of going anywhere near the sorcerer, knowing full well the capabilities of magic against the sword. His people had burned this fear into him.
It is cold here, but not as cold as his homeland where snow is the grass and where cold winds blow down the mountains. He thinks this is one reason why he seems stronger than most who walk south from Kamid and the Dales. He has had to learn to survive all his life, in conditions most men would freeze in. He had been strong and had survived.
Before long and lost in thought Bane could see and smell the lights and aroma coming from the town of Nath-San. From here it did not look so bad, he had heard stories from men in the village about the walls being covered with the dead and strange magic flaring up towards the stars out of the village at night. No signs of both.
Bane dismounted and carefully tied his horse to a large oak tree and began to make his way towards the town following the tree line down from the hill to the path before the cities gates. He did not really have a plan as such to enter the city but as he arrived at the great wooden doors a guardsman called down to him.
"Halt there man! Who are you? And what do you want in this city?" Bane could make the outline of the man who had called down to him.
"I am Bane the Kamidian and wish to seek employment here?" A brief silence passes through the conversation and the mood begins to tense. Bane shuffled his feet hoping the guard would not fire upon him. The same calm voice called at him once again.
"You may enter the town if you must, but I will escort you towards the recruitment officer. Open the gates, left him through." Bane tensed as the doors came to life. What was waiting for him to see behind those great doors? Were there men waiting to kill him within the walls? The guard did not sound to trusting, reluctant even to consider letting him within the towns walls. His hand strays to the hilt of his sword in anticipation of a trap; perhaps the wizard could see that he was a fake, a spy and has given an order for his capture. Bane did not like the idea of a man chained especially when that man was himself!
True to his thoughts a group of tired looking men were waiting for him holding their pikes held out towards him like they would against charging horsemen. For a moment Bane's hand slipped to his swords hilt ready to draw if needed.
"This is just a precaution outlander. Relax; we will not strike you down. You may enter." The man who addressed him was the same man on the ramparts moments before. With the torches in the men's hands he could make out that the speaker was darker skinned than the others, probably coming from the lands to the east.
Bane walked slowly forward removing his hand from the hilt thinking it best to, he didn't want any of these nervous looking men to run him through with the barbed spears they carried.
"Forgive us for startling you stranger but we can hardly trust no-one, my name is Kelmor." Bane could hear the feint traces of fear in Kelmor's voice.
"I am Bane. I have heard of this bitter rivalry between your town and Kath-Amor from a man I met on horseback north from here some days ago." Kelmor nodded and continued to ask his questions.
"What is a northern barbarian doing so far from home?"
"I am seeking employment as this civilised world would put it, I have a desire to fight." Kelmor tilted his head back and laughed out loud.
"More eager fools running to slaughter!" bane turned towards the man and gave him an icy glare which seemed to boil Kelmor's blood and send the feeling of fear running through his spine.
"Forgive me Bane. I merely question the world today, not you." Bane did not fully understand what Kelmor was saying but turned his gaze away from the man. Instead he began to take in the town before him. It reminded him of Kath-Amor, the village he had spent the last few days living in but a dark cloud seemed to hang over it. Peoples homes were barred up, no windows open for view. No man save soldiers walked the narrow cobbled streets.
Looking forward, down a narrow alley which Kelmor led him he could clearly see the towering form of a stone keep at the far end of the town, its walls almost as dark as night.
"That is our lords home…" As if he to shared Bane's gaze. "Yes barbarian, we do fear the man within those walls. He has held this town in a grip of tyranny for over two months now, why else do you think the towns people stay at home each and every day?"
"I do not like magic users, they seem to think they have the powers of God's." Bane's comment sent a shiver down his very spine.
"Perhaps they do barbarian, perhaps they do."
It was not long before Bane appeared in front of the recruitment officer, a man Bane had seen only a few days ago, riding from the gates of Kath-Amor itself. The man before him was tall, a few inches taller than Bane himself with muscles to rival that of the barbarians. The man was tanned, and sported a black beard that melted into his thick dark mane. Bane could feel his heart race but he thought back the urge to withdraw his sword. The man before him seemed to recognise him but said nothing of it only gestures for Bane to sit.
The man sat back down at his table and poured over a piece of paper he had stored away in his desk only moments before.
"What is your name savage?" Again Bane fights a solo battle against his rage.
"Bane" His answer is calm but holds contempt. The officer before him smiles and gestures to Kelmor to leave the room.
"You have made a mistake coming here boy. Do you think me a fool to just go ahead and recruit you?" Bane went to stand but could no longer feel his legs. All strength seemed to have escaped his arms on attempt to lift him from the chair. Bane roared out in defiance and sent a curse flying out if his mouth across the room. It was more a bestial voice than anything human.
"What have you done to me dog!" His eyesight has now become blurred and his head begins to feel heavy. Before long Bane is lying slumped in the chair.
"Good work milord." From behind the recruitment officer, and behind a purple curtain draped at the back of the room walks a thin man, with a sickly colour skin and weak voice.
"Lock him up Rikish, I wish to speak with him later."
Sweat runs from the young Kamidian's brow as he awakens from slumber. Rubbing at his tired eyes Bane recalls the events leading to his current situation. He had been attacked by some kind of magic, for Bane had not felt that sensation of helplessness before. It was a stupid idea to attempt this he thinks as he finds himself chained to a wall. Standing slowly upwards Bane makes his way to the wall that holds his chains.
His face grim he only grunts as he takes a firm grip of his chains with each hand and pulls at them, in an attempt to break free. For a brief moment Bane thinks nothing can be done, but the barbarian determination in him gets the better of him. With a renewed effort the young barbarians muscles seem to flare and sweat runs madly down his face as the chains begin to break apart.
Bane roared out his battle cry, tearing himself away from his burden in a shower of broken metal. Instantly his hand goes to his hilt but finds no sword there. Damn them! He thinks and hits the wall with a ham-sized fist. He then notices the broken bits of chain still connected to his wrists.
"If I can't use my sword I will have to use these. No difference for if I am to fall this night it will be under a heap of my foes!" Within moments Bane strives over to the door and begins to hammer at it with his feet and fists. The door is made from strong oak that no normal man could break down with just his body. Bane however, is no normal man. With a cry he launches himself at the door that in turn crumbles as if it were wet paper.
Before the guard can react and draw his sword Bane had raised to his feet covered in small cuts made from the door. With a mighty swing Banes sends his chain flying into his opponents face and hears the satisfying cry and sound that suggests the guard's skull to be broken.
"I will not be chained," he cries as he brings the chain back down into the injured mans skull. His shouts however had not been the best idea for Bane's keen hearing tells him that more guards are on the way down the steps at the end of the corridor. Quickly Bane looks behind him but sees only a wall coated in darkness. A dead-end would be no help to him. Then suddenly the wall ripples like a stone had been thrown into water; maybe there is something more to the wall?
Before Bane can retrieve the fallen mans sword more guards flock into the corridor, charging towards him with their swords and maces. Bane snarls at them and cries out once again swinging his chains like a flail at the front rank catching one mans forehead splitting his skull instantly. Again Bane swings both the chains connected to his arms in a whirlwind like motion taught to him by his father. The effect is deadly and three more men lay in a crumpled heap on the cold stone floor.
The ferocity of the Barbarian in front of them sends the fear of God through each mans heart. One by one they step back, away from the animal they fight.
"Flee!" Shouts one of them and drops his weapons to the ground making his way up the stairs. Before the remaining men could think of the next move they were to perform the blood-mad form of Bane jumped towards them, shortening his chains as he made his jump so they would hit the right targets. Men scream as the blood crazed killer fights like a trapped lion among them, lashing at each man with long chain and fist.
It is not long before the outcome becomes clear and survivors run in panic up the stairs. Bane does not move to follow them; instead, picking up a sword besides his foot he strolls over to the wall he had seen earlier. His suspicions were true. He had heard of illusions before and upon placing his on the wall he merely slides through it, to stand before a great wooden door.
The door is highly decretive, a human skull like pattern winds its way up the wood, while two hands reach out to him, he realises these to be its handles. His eyes glance upwards towards the doors archway and he does not like what he sees. A model of the Lord of Terror grabs the top of the door as if embracing it.
Once again his keen hearing whips his head back round towards the stairs. He knows when he sees the first man enter the corridor that the guard cannot see Bane through the illusionary wall. Perhaps with luck they don't even know about it.
Gripping the bony hand jutting out of the door Bane pulled it open. Small torches lit up a tall staircase in front of him, and the rank smell of ozone drifted into his nostrils. Gripping his sword the thewed and sinewy form of Bane began his accent of the stone staircase.
It was not long before Bane reached the top of the stairs. He now stood before a wide corridor, and noticed a green glow emanating out of the cracks of the single door at the end of the corridor.
The stonework along the corridor was a sight to behold, but none sane had played with the rock, as the sculptures were inhuman. Grotesque demons of legend stood over bodies of men, blood dripping from clawed hands. Bane shook his head spitting at a large one standing besides the door.
"You there, halt!" came a voice from behind him. It was a familiar voice.
"You can not enter that room Bane. It is Kem-Moth's and would mean almost certain death!" Kelmor stopped his run a few yards away from Bane; hand on his own sword belt, gasping for breath in doing so.
"Stand back Kelmor, I do not wish to kill you." Two men had come with Kelmor, who in that moment charged the barbarian without the orders of Kelmor.
Bane parried one attack with his sword and sent his flail like chain swinging out at the other. One man fell, no doubt his skull split. The other however was more skilled and blocked Bane's attack with apparent ease. Kelmor stood unable to decide whose side to join. His mind racing the mercenary charged towards Bane but made to strike at Bane's opponent. The blade cleaved through his shoulder and imbedded itself in the ribcage.
Kelmor stepped back, releasing his own grip on the trapped sword while Bane took a step forward his face calm and devoid of emotion.
"I do not like men who betray their own." Kelmor could feel his heart race and the words that left his mouth and bounced from wall to wall in the corridor held the tint of fear.
"I am tired of fighting Bane. These past few months I have seen the young men of this town killed and no doubt the same thing has happened in the town of Kath-Amor. I am tired. I saw what you had done to the men downstairs; perhaps you are powerful enough to kill this wizard, this man who is the problem to the war. I promise you if you stand with me against the wizard Kem-Moth I will atone for my actions." Bane lowered his sword. Two men against one magic user were better than one man after all.
Bane grabbed the door handle but found it was hard to move. Dropping his sword to the floor he grabbed the handle with both hands and Kelmor watched as the muscles on Bane's body grew and watched as the barbarians veins began to stick out on his muscles. With a great effort Bane had managed to open the door, and the great green light from within the room expanded and enveloped the corridor.
Bane was tired from his efforts, Kelmor could clearly see but still the determined barbarian seemed to carry on. Bane stooped again picking up the sword he had dropped and entered the room with panther-like movements. Kelmor followed the larger man into the room, palms sweating and mind once again racing.
"Who intrudes on I, Kem-Moth?" Bane could see the man whose voice was weak yet held so much power.
"My name is Bane, I am your death!"
Kem-Moth laughed and turned from his work at a long stone slab and sent an arch of lightning jumping from his outstretched hands towards the pair of intruders. Bane's reactions being quicker than most kept him alive were as Kelmor was to slow and consumed by the magic. His scream filled the corridor and sent a chill down Bane's body.
"You are scared of my magic are you not? Diablo has given me power mortal. Much more power than you can even dream of." Bane stood up from his leap and answered the wizard, whose purple cloak blew madly about him.
"I care not for power wizard. A man's strength is in his arm." The wizard Kem-Moth had not prepared for the barbarians sword. Bane had leased it at the end of his speech sending it flying into the man's chest. The wizard screamed and tried to curse Bane with blood spilling out from his mouth. The words could not be made out.
"Go to Diablo then for all I care and send him my regards." Bane turned his back stepping over the charred remains of Kelmor and made his way out back down the corridor.
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