“Twists of fate…”
Maruk has been different from others since childhood. Those who knew him always had a feeling that he knew something that only a few others could guess or feel intuitively, they say there is, but he remembered and used that, everything was easy for him, because of which people often talked about him — “ This guy has a bright head.”
His talents were both blessing and a curse for him. It seemed that he attracted himself to all troubles of the world, but at the same time, ingenuity and insight almost always saved him and helped him get out of the most dangerous situations he faced in the slums and streets of Kamos. This was one of the reasons why the libraries for which the city was famous gradually became its second home and why he led a secretive life.
Occult rituals, the history of secret orders, psychophysics, hypnosis, myths of previous civilizations, and other knowledge attracted him, he could not stop his obsession with it because he felt himself a part of some ancient mystery, something inexplicable, but whenever he was near to solving, it eluded him, dissolving in the air, at the very last moment, leaving barely noticeable traces disappearing in the bustle of reality.
… how ironic sometimes twists of fate.
Once after another street fight in which he barely survived, not wanting to rely on chance anymore, Maruk decided to start practicing swordsmanship with his father’s friend, who was in the service of the imperial guard, who found Maruk wounded that day in one of the alleys of the city.
After several years of training, Maruk was no longer inferior to his teacher and decided that he must join the imperial guard.
No wonder he graduated from the military academy of the empire with honors and joined the Central Security Directorate. The investigation of the case, which later became known as “Three Mad Dogs”, which jeopardized the reputation of the entire CSD, was entrusted to Maruk. After realizing that, in this case, the highest ranks of his administration were involved in some way unknown to him and someone was putting sticks in his wheels and under an unceasing stream of abuse and threats from the captain, he left his position without completing an investigation. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop him from continuing to search for the third suspect, a mad ripper, who had not been caught at that time. And he found … But not quite what he expected to find …
Location: Suhanda Kha Desert
- Why wouldn’t you just give it up? What keeps you going? Hounds have been inactive for a decade by now. What are you after, Kamossian?
- They are Inactive, that’s right. But I know that there is more to it than we know. This wasn’t just a number of coincidences. They must have had something. An artifact or a leader from another world. Besides, Buer never showed a sign of himself since. I must find him.
Two figures wrapped in desert clothes reached a wall of an ancient ziggurat, most of which was covered with sand. The gates were open…
When Maruk entered the building, his way was lit by a dim pulsing light of a crystal vein of a stone that the walls were covered with. The corridor led to a ritual room, and in the middle of it was an altar. Three circles were made around the altar with powder. Salt, wood, and metal. Numerous geometrical figures, ancient runes, and sigils were drawn on the floor inside those circles, apparently with blood. And right next to the altar, there was a pile of dusty clothes lying around what looked like its owner had vaporized. An ancient-looking clay bottle, covered with numerous writings, was resting on an altar — the artifact Maruk was after.
When Maruk touched the artifact, he felt the earth had begun shattering below him. The carvings on the bottle led with red light, and it started heating. Dark smoke started coming out of the ancient relic hugging Maruk, soaking into his mouth, eyes, and ears. A sound of thunder shook the space. And then the darkness covered him. Maruk, as he knew himself lost consciousness. Forever
The “Case of three mad Hounds”. Three maniacs were operating separately in different locations, seemingly not even knowing each other. Nevertheless, the notes found on dead bodies were such as if one and the same person had left them.
This phenomenon could have happened due to the Cataclysm, which did not happen in a single momentum but was spread in time like any other alchemical process. A while before the event became obvious for most inhabitants of the Central World, wise ones could feel the changes in the structure of all Nine Worlds, firstly in the connections between them.
An ancient and wise demon Khan Buer from Heiss, was the one who felt that new roads were open between worlds and decided to test the new way to exploit those changes. He chose three wicked beings of the central world to complete a complex ancient blood ritual that must have been taking place in the Central world. The result would have given Buer much greater power than he already had. Two out of three fallen ones obeyed to do everything Buer guided them to, but the third one became a problem. He was a necro mage of Altaria who pretty much lost his mind due to numerous failed experiments, but somehow he managed to understand that this time his mind was played with. He even identified the cause of his hallucinations even though he lost memory of the crimes each time he committed them.
He left a note on the last victim saying that his new name is Hound Buer. He also completed a protecting ritual that weekend Buer for some time and headed to the Place of Power of the Ancient Ones to try to subjugate a demon. Third Hound did not succeed, something went wrong, and he vaporized in a bare moment while completing the final stages of the ritual. However, he managed to imprison Buer inside that artifact.
Night. Purple sky. Ruins of the Chapel of the Ancient ones.
Buer looks around. What? He has a Body… Maruk feels the dry air of a desert, but something inside him is different. The remains of both minds still feel themselves but are slowly disappearing as The New One is already born. Memories clip through… Committed crimes, the urge to complete the ritual, road the Chapel, preparations… There is no Maruk anymore… The battle of Marrakheiss, the battle with Suri, the last experiment… Evelynn… Buer is dissolving…
I am Maruk Khan, — the new one thought.
The Cataclysm played a deadly joke with both beings merging together. The new one remembered all hundreds of incarnations of Maruk, as well as thousands of years of battles and intrigues of Khan Buer. He had a body, now able to dematerialize and regain its form. He was a master of swordsmanship and dark magic. He was someone the Nine Worlds had never seen before, and he was willing to test himself in this new reality.
Maruk was a special agent in Dvoss Legion for over 15 years when the case of “Three haunted hounds” was alleged to him.
All our heroes will be available as NFTs with all the perks attributed to it.
More epic characters Of Crossworlds will be added later on so stay tuned!