Tuesday, 12. December 2017   

Story

Beneath the Ashes

“Recently I have come across an old file of my father’s that describes an artifact of great power. This artifact not only has the ability to create thralls, but etched into it is a word that, if spoken, gives you the power to control those horrible things. To find this artifact, I must return to my father’s secret study lying under the remains of my family’s estate.” — Lara Croft

Lara is in the secret study, in the cellar below the manor, where her father, Lord Croft, stored everything that was recovered from Bhogavati, Thailand, including one of Thor’s gauntlets. She is studying an old file left to her by her father, when Zip interrupts her over the headset.
'Hey Lara, why don't you call it a night? Whatever you're looking for will still be there tomorrow.'
'I somehow doubt it,' she replies. 'My father not only claims that this artefact creates thralls, but that he used a word carved into it to control the damn things. It's hardly something you'd misplace, yet it's nowhere to be found.'
'Maybe he left it in Thailand,’ Zip muses. ‘What’s the magic word?’
Lara studies the image of the artefact closely, but to no avail. 'I can’t make it out.’
Frustrated she throws the file onto the desk and turns to glance around the chamber again. 'Wherever did you put it?'
A growling noise catches her attention and another of those damned thralls that must have broken from the cages scattered around the room emerges from an opening in the floor. This one seems to have been a Templar knight, judging by his armour and shield. Lara draws her left sidearm and starts firing at the thrall until it falls back into the opening.
'What the hell was that?' Zip, who has undoubtedly heard the gun shots, asks.
'A rather big clue,' is Lara's witty reply before she approaches the opening and climbs down.
A slope transports her into a new area below the manor.

There is a lot of structural damage here and the cellar is infested by bats, spiders of various sizes, and more thralls. After some initial climbing, Lara reaches a room through a crawlspace which is partially flooded.
'Video feed's distorted. Is it wet down there?' Zip asks via the headset.
'The bombing must have cracked the foundations. There's a lot of water coming in.'

After some exploration of the catacombs - before Lara returns to an area she has explored earlier before letting in more water and opening up new paths - she is contacted by Zip.
'Lara, your doppelgänger just walked past the trailer. It looked right at me but kept on walking. And it's heading your way.'
'That's not good. I'd need an army to stop that thing.'

After a tricky puzzle and some dangerous climbing and a showdown against a couple of thralls, where she needs to pull four levers, Lara can finally reach the resting place of the mysterious artefact. She walks into the chamber to find it sitting on a pedestal, surrounded by flowing Eitr.
'Are you getting this, Zip?'
'I've heard of turning water into wine, but slime is a new one.'
Lara approaches the artefact and lets her hand wander over it, while reading the inscription 'Okh eshivar!'
A snarling noise behind her announces the presence of another thrall. She turns around and tries out the spell by shouting 'Okh eshivar!' The thrall stops advancing but behind him the doppelgänger appears. 'Kill!' Lara commands the thrall, but the doppelgänger is coming at it at full speed and smashes it to bits. In a desperate attempt Lara calls out 'Okh eshivar!' again to gain control of the doppelgänger.
'You have to do whatever I ask now, correct?'
The doppelgänger replies with a short nod of its head.
They speak but the dialogue is drowned out by the music.
'Make sure Natla suffers,' are Lara's final words to it.
'You're letting her go?' Zip enquires once the doppelgänger has left the chamber. 'She killed Alister!'
'And now she is the instrument of his vengeance.'

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by tombraidergirl
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