I'm a revenant warforged. Many don't believe it when I tell 'em. Even less believe it when I say I'm a blood member of the Cannith house. Kind of contradictory. But it doesn't matter, really – I'm a “professional mercenary contractor”, a spiffy term for killer. It just kind of sucks when you have to kill your father, even if he's just your father in the loosest sense.
I 'spose I should start from the beginning.
Rathos was the name given to me when I was created. I knew I was special right from the start – I open my eyes, and I'm apart from the other freshly created warforged, with a name, even! A guy standing in front of me told me that I was in Cyre, and that there was a war, and I was to fight in it. The only thing was – and this is when I knew I was *really* special – I had to fight alongside this scrawny prince or something named Karn D'Cannith. I had to bodyguard the shrimp, basically. The house leader wanted his kid to fight but not to die, apparently. Something about “honor” and “family name” and whatever.
When I saw the kid, I didn't notice his big nose, biceps the size of grapes, or his commonsense as sharp as a floppy sheet of paper. I noticed something else – this tattoo that glowed bright red. Karn said it was a dragonmark, and said something about a prophecy that I couldn't give two flabbergasts about. I didn't care. I just *felt* it – this dragonmark *called* me, it *pulled* me to it. It was part of me. I knew it then as I know it now. I couldn't tell anyone though, since warforged weren't supposed to have anything to do with dragonmarks and all.
So we marched off to war. Killing, killing, protecting the kid as he utterly failed to do anything of any use, more killing. I personally thought it would never end.
Then one day came. They call it the Mourning, though I called it hell.
Me and Karn were at the edge of Cyre, about to lead a new offensive on those damned Karnnathi skeletons. We were outfitting ourselves in our armor and readying our weapons. I remember the moment vividly – I had just finished wiping my breastplate, and looked up at Karn's onyx katana –
Then the world shook. I knew it wasn't just an earthquake when I looked up and saw a giant cloud, like a mushroom, off in the distance. The cloud curled up as lightning struck across the sky, and fire erupted inside it. As this cloud expanded and started to rush towards us, consuming all in its path, I felt –
Amazing. I had never felt so strongly about anything quite like this. The chaos, the destruction! It beckoned me to its core, its heart. I looked down. My inner workings were glowing. It surprised me. Why was it bright red? Why did it seem to *call* me? I was confused. I looked at Karn –
And then the cloud hit us.
It burned as I screamed. I had never felt such pain before! I writhed, and curled up on the ground as it corroded my metal and wood. I was – scared?
Then I saw him. Karn. He stood in the chaos, *embracing* it. He was laughing, and growing. Literally *growing*. His mass doubled, going from a toothpick to a muscular man in seconds. He said something about power as wings sprouted from his back.
And then he started eroding. His body was vanishing into some sort of essence. He didn't seem concerned, however. What he did do was look at me. And as he started to disappear, he whispered something above the wind that I will never forget:
“Join me, my brother.”
Then Karn's dragonmark exploded into shards. As I withered away, I saw the shards rush towards me, forming a barrier around me. The destructive winds no longer buffeted me. I lay there, curled up in a ball.
And then the shards collapsed on me. Everything went black for a second as I felt myself being crushed, and yet not feeling it at the same time. What the hell?
Then I opened my eyes. Everything around me was like a void, except for one thing a couple feet ahead of me – a balor. He simply stood, staring down at me, his arms crossed.
“Rise,” he said. Instinctively, against my will, I rose.
“You look confused, brother,” the balor said. “You must have forgotten what we promised each other. I feared that would happen when you underwent your reconstruction.”
I stood there, dumbfounded.
“Brother. You truly don't remember, do you?” The balor shook his head. “You made a promise, a promise that we would bring this world together, restore the peace under a central unity. I broke your soul, and harnessed it into a warforged body so that it might be contained until this moment – this moment when the energies of the abyss are unleashed and we might fuse together.” The balor extended a hand.
“Join me. Just take my hand, so that we can be one.”
“But . . . I'm a warforged. I . . . I can't have a brother in blood. I was made.”
“And yet here I stand, son of Cannith, and brother to you, Rathos D'Cannith. Our father doesn't understand us. He believes the power demons and devils offer to be blasphemy, and evil! And yet here I stand. I have turned into a balor. The Abyss has been opened by our Khyber allies. Your soul was shattered, and by my power I reformed it. And now, by my power, we can become invincible! Join me, and we shall rule Khorvaire.”
My mind reeled. I was real. I wasn't just a creation. I was something more. This connection I had felt – it was because he was my brother. I could harness his power, my power, we could rule! I felt it coming back. This wasn't a lie. He was indeed Karn D'Cannith, I was Rathos D'Cannith.
And yet – those demonic energies. I could feel it. They were consuming him. He had it under control, but only for now. It was eating him from the inside, until one day it would crack and possess him. But the power! It was undeniable! Maybe together, we could resist it – rule – be kings – unite the world –
I saw his hand in the void. I raised my hand, started to reach towards his . . .