by S. C. Matthews
There is a legend on the planet Nenrua that has survived the millenia. A legend that has inspired soldiers through all six Eras. It is a legend not of valor or endless courage but of sorrow and eternal hate. It is the legend of the Thousand Slayer.
With the shattering of our once-great Nenrua Empire marking the tragic close of the First Imperial Era, all five continents were in turmoil and disarray. Everything we had known and believed in had fallen away with our nation, and new, bold leaders were emerging, trying to reshape the chaos that was Nenrua.
The shore lands of the continents were rarely touched by these strange, new influences for years after the great fall of our Empire; the small city of Misaira would have been expected to be one of those untouched. It was not so fortunate.
A former officer of the now-defunct Second Imperial Guard walked slowly and wearily towards this Misaira with heavy heart at her losses. Her name was Krystinna, and she had seen and survived much. So much that she considered her survival worse than dying in the conflict. Her lavender skin was covered in the grim, dirt, sweat, and blood of the battlefield, her enemies, and her own body. Her long, dark-violet hair was scraggley and out of sorts, with blades of long Aeoru grass from the mid-landes jutting haphazardly from her formerly-elegant locks. Her uniform only added to her battle-torn appearance, the dark blue and proud reds faded and dirty with ragged and worn edges. With the way Krystinna was bunched over from fatigue and weight of sorrow, it appeared even her clothing was too heavy for her. Her once-vibrant, purple eyes were now dull and downcast, unseeing of the outside world as horrendous memories replayed time and again before them. Even her twin antennae hung low about her face in fatigue rather
than back and above her head as normal. This proud warrior was nothing but a mockery in appearance of the soldier she used to be.
The only things on her personage that still shown proud were the longsword strapped on her left hip and the short sword across her lower back. Because they had kept her safe from harm during her battles, Krystinna felt it appropriate to respect the spirits that resided within them by keeping the weapons and their scabbards clean and well kept.
Krystinna was a survivor of a daunting war and was present when our first empire fell. She was dedicated and faithful to the old ideals, and had been devastated by the terrible loss. Rather than continue to fight for a deceased cause in absolute vain, she depared from what few comrades she still had and [journeyed] for a port city to either return to her home on the Western Continent, or simply reside in Misaira until the inland cities rebuilt themselves. She survived by support from camps that had fled the conflict in search of a safe haven and were all too happy to assist one who had fought so valiantly to protect them, no matter the end result. This had helped
rekindle her dwindling spirits enough to keep her going.
Misaira, or rather what was left of it, dashed those spirits. It lay in forsaken [?] ruin.
When she first saw the sight from atop an eastern ridge, the warrior felt her hopes of rebuilding her life flee from her heart, leaving a sickening abyss in her chest. It was the roads of the razed city that filled that emptiness.
In the streets and alleyways between the shattered [change] and burning buildings laid corpses of not only men, but women and children, slaughtered ruthlessly. Religious Spirit priests and priestesses, still clinging to their Spiritual Crests, lay dead with open wounds; a class in session during the raid rested behind their teacher that Krystinna could only guess was attempting to protect them. And not a single corpse had a weapon.
A Nenruan’s tears, unlike a Humans, are opaque and glow with a soft pearly light.
Because of this, tears leave white streaks on their violet skin, stains for all to see for weeks, even months until they finally fade. And despite the shame and disgrace they represent, Krystinna let them fall unchecked, for this was the worst sight she had ever had to behold. For the entire city of Misaira, and all of the Nenrua Empire, Krystinna openly wept.
Voices pricked her hearing between her sobs. The possibility of survivors filled her limbs with newfound energy. Hurrying to her feet as her antennae again sprung to life, she rushed towards the voices in hopes of finding some good in this necropolis.
The voices did not belong to men and women of the city, much to her dismay. Instead, the owners wore the same forest green and deep-sea blue tunics and armor of the resistance that had massacred those of the Empire, shattered its organization, splintered its territory, and slain its Empress. [revise?] And their weapons bore the crimson blood of Misaira’s fallen.
In the emptiness that was Krystinna’s heart, the images of the war she had just fought, the dead of the city, and the laughing men and women before her all merged together into an undescribable hate, a longing to slay every member of this rebellion present at the city and make them pay for the needless lives lost and the suffering she had endured. And within this hate and horrid desire, the Great Spirits that govern the nature of Nenrua found a justice that could be exacted. Because of this, Krystinna gained a terrible, powerful favor with the Great Spirits and became quicker, stronger, more perceptive than a regular Nenruan. She became the Nenruan equivilant of your Human Angel of Death. She became a Holy Warrior of the Spirits; a Daemon.
It was said that the battle cry this new Holy Warrior unleashed was nearly impossible to imagine. But one account of a survivor wrote that it “sounded as if a thousand warriors were screaming with this one woman, a hidden force come to exact vengence on our entire army.”
Krystinna had only thoughts of destroying anyone wearing the armor of the resistence, and she had the haunting memories of the war fueling her holy rage. Her vision was more crisp, her hearing much clearer; she could hear the voices of the Great Spirits pushing her on. Even her swords seemed to beckon her, give her encouragement and support. With that encouragement, she drew both weapons and raced towards the first victim of what would be a horrible holy massacre.
Each movement was like lightning, each strike a mortal blow. The first victims lacked a chance to even place their hands on their hilts before they were dead, while those who saw what was happen never got a chance to strike back. A flash of long steel and three men would fall, while a metal stab downed two more. The deadly dance that Krystinna moved through was one of perfect elegance and grace, smooth as the faces of the blades she wielded, but with violent speed and unending hate. Each step was meant to kill, and she never missed her mark.
She moved through the entire army there like a horrible torrent of divinely-inspired
hatred. The farther in she drifted, the faster she became, and the more she slew. And as the enemies she led to their destinies became more heavily armored, her weapons spoke to her again and told her to drop them. Without missing a single, lightning-quick step, she released both weapons and grabbed a much larger, Zweihander-type sword. Her speed never decreased, even wielding the giant weapon, and she cut through the heavy armor with a terrible ease.
The Daemon fought for less than a quarter of an hour, but in that short, dreadful time, one thousand Nenruans died at her hand. The Holy Warrior slowly returned from her divine high, her body mercifully uninjured by her moving past its limits. A mercy she wished she hadn’t received.
Slowing her breathing, Krystinna moved back to the ruins that was Misaira, her tears
flowing more softly than before, her cheeks forever stained by the tears of the Daemon.
The Thousand Slayer disappeared shortly thereafter to seek out a life of retribution, but her legend never died. Warriors through the Eras prayed to the Great Spirits for the strength and rage of the Thousand Slayer, and even wore war paint meant to simulate her tears. It has even been said that the Great Spirits granted her a wish before she died: to help protect the Nenrua Empire, even in death. And to this day, her spirit leads every battle, screaming her Daemon scream of a thousand vengeful warriors.