New Hero: Mokhnati, RestoredApril 16, 2019
The throne room smelled of blood. His blood.
The crowd jeered, and Mokhnati heard another enraged roar. Teeth tore into his front leg, someone shrieked, and everything collapsed into pain. Then… nothing.
Later—how much later?—there were voices.
“… lost a lot of blood…”
“I don’t care, you…”
That was her voice. Her.
Mokhnati tried to raise his head, and the world went white.
He remembered lights, a different room full of people. He was young, barely more than a cub, and nervous. Two trainers waited with him, trying to keep him calm. Mokhnati paced, snorting and sniffing the air. There was food out there, and they would not let him have it.
“Easy, easy,” one of the trainers murmured.
Sounds and scents drifted in from the large room beyond. The ringing of glass, the rich smell of roast, fatty meat, and the end of a speech:
“…present to the court: my daughter and heir, Svetya Katarina Stormhalt-Kurtz!”
The doors to his room were thrown open, letting in a tide of light and applause, and Mokhnati saw her. She was young too, dressed in glittering stones, and her eyes lit up when she saw him.
With pride, someone said, “He is called Mokhnati. Treat him well, child,” and Svetya smiled.
And the world went white with pain…
After that, Mokhnati was never far from her side. As princess, the palace was her domain, and as far as Mokhnati was concerned, the palace grounds were his. They roamed over lawns, paths, and were shooed out of buildings as they barreled through through together. As they grew up, and Svetya taught Mokhnati to tolerate a saddle and armor, they would race from the crumbling watchtower at the northwest corner to the market gate at the southeast. With Svetya’s arms wrapped around his neck, Mokhnati would run, his thick legs pumping and cold, Kosul air filling his lungs.
Mokhnati remembered another night. One with a red sky, the air stinking of ash and blood. He was running, panting raggedly, as Svetya clung to him, pale and shaking. She clutched a short blade in one hand. Other bears flanked them, their riders slumped forward over their saddle, bleeding and exhausted. Carefully, Mokhnati nudged Svetya’s head with his nose. She began to sob again, hugging him tighter. Mokhnati wanted to turn, to tear their pursuers apart. But he couldn’t. He had to keep her safe.
The world grew darker, after that. Svetya wandered, speaking with others in cities and dusty bordertowns. Could she sense it too? Something in the air, in the ground. Shadows grew longer under his paws, and the stars shone too brightly on clouded nights.
Pain tore the memory to shreds. Pain from his leg. What used to be his leg.
Mokhnati remembered their return, too. They stole back into Kosul, back home, through a forest filled with small creatures that he was not allowed to eat. Svetya had found allies. Men and women in rough leathers, and with loud weapons. They snuck Mokhnati bits of jerky when they made camp. He decided they could stay.
In a darkened, half-burned building, they met someone else. Another ally? She smelled familiar, but moved like a predator, always watching, always tense. She never challenged Mokhnati, but avoided him, watching him and Svetya sadly.
Around them, the smell of the city was different, stinking of fear and savagery. When soldiers in clanking armor came after them, Mokhnati put himself between Svetya and their blades. As acrid fire tore through buildings, Mokhnati pulled Svetya away. As shadows dragged themselves across the cobbles, Mokhnati roared, baring his fangs. They would not hurt her.
Then the mage, dripping with foul darkness. Mokhnati batted soldiers aside as they came for Svetya. But there were too many…
Then the palace, and pain Mokhnati remembered pain.
“I’m not sure this will work,” an old, hesitant voice above him said.
“I asked everyone, and your name kept coming up. You used to work in the royal stables.” That was her voice, worried, but shot through with iron.
“And I am your Orene. That was not a request.” Her tone softened, “Please. He’s my best and oldest friend. He’s saved me from more dangers than I can count. I owe him the same.”
There was a long pause, and then the old man sighed. “Very well.”
“Thank you,” relief flooded through Svetya’s voice. “If you need something, anything, let me know. The royal treasury is at your disposal if you can save him.”
When Mokhnati came to, he felt soft straw beneath him and smelled the old, stained wood of his stable. He was home. His front paw felt numb and oddly heavy. When he tried to move, sharp pain shot up his leg, and Mokhnati whimpered.
Two figures rushed into the stall. The first was a wizened man in a worn cloak. The other was her. Relieved, Mokhnati struggled to rise, shoving himself to his feet. His paw did not move with him, and he stumbled. The rasp of metal on stone cut through the quiet as the old man muttered, “Easy, easy,” and put a hand on Mokhnati’s tensed shoulder.
Svetya pursed her lips, concern etching her face. “Is he okay?
“Should be,” the doctor muttered. “The alloy that tinker feller supplied is taking the weight well. May need to adjust the socket…”
He reached down, and Mokhnati’s eyes followed. His paw and lower leg were gone. Strapped in their place was something long and thin, ending in a fan of sharpened blades. The metal arm shone, polished brass with a green tint. With a grunt, the doctor tugged on a strap, and Mokhnati felt something cinch into place. Carefully, he rolled his shoulder. The metal leg moved, the blades splaying out like claws.
Mokhnati looked up as Svetya smiled. He butted his nose into her, and rumbled low. She scratched behind both ears, and he closed his eyes for a moment in contentment.
“Go on, try it out.”
Mokhnati ran. The new paw was different, clumsy, but he was moving. A court mage startled as Mokhnati burst through a stable door and onto the grounds of Korovyat. Repairs were underway all over the palace grounds. The hole in the Grand Barracks still gaped, the blackened stone covered by ragged canvas. Panting, Mokhnati swerved around workers laying fresh mortar as he made it to a long green lawn, scarred by heavy scorch marks. His new paw slid through the wet grass and Mokhnati stumbled, but he did not stop. He knew this place, even through the changes. It was his.
The air was chill as he panted and huffed, but it carried a hint of spring. Mokhnati ran until he could run no longer, sliding to a halt on the cracked flagstones, his metal claws drawing a line of sparks. His front leg ached, a dull hurt that promised further discomfort, and the scents of smoke still lingered in the air like a shade. But he could move. He could run! He could follow her.
With a deep growl of joy, Mokhnati roared.
Mokhnati, Restored Promo Quest
- The Mokhnati, Restored promo quest begins today and will run until Tuesday, April 23.
- During the quest period, your first PvP win of the day will reward you with a copy of Mokhnati.
- Once the promo period is over, you’ll be able to craft Mokhnati using Shiftstone as normal.
- The Mokhnati, Restored premium Avatar will be available in the store for 300 Gems for a limited time.
Read more Eternal lore here!