New Sealed League: Cold HuntOctober 27, 2021
The rough chill and harsh wind of a snowstorm slammed into Svetya. The crunch of her boots was masked by the howling of the wind. She rubbed her eyes and squinted through the blanket of white that threatened to blind her completely. She kept her gaze on the cave. She scowled toward the mouth of the monster’s den.
The pain of little sleep swirled around her mind, the ache of the long journey from Kosul weighed on her body and she leaned instinctively against Mokhnati. She nearly fell to her side and cursed. Of course he wasn’t here. He sat safely back in the village under careful guard. Quinn had said the cave opening was too small for creatures like him. A frustrating bit of natural defense her foe had taken into account.
.Severin's face flashed in her mind and she shoved away the memories that had already stolen her sleep the nights before. The one who had aided the usurper. The one responsible for the upending of her life, the destruction of her family, the murder of-
She gritted her teeth and shook her head and let the hurtful past fall away like the snow that piled on her shoulders. She strode forward and beckoned her warriors onward. The crunch of snow shifted to rocky frozen ground. Svetya felt thankful for the tracker and that hefty sum of gold. The dark mage Severin would be none the wiser of their approach. Quinn’s notes on the weather and timing of the enemy patrols had served the group well.
In a single, slow movement she pulled her father’s, no, her knife from its sheath. The handle and weight of it so familiar now as her thoughts drifted to the focus on mastering the weapon she’d taken since putting on the crown.
Svetya took a headcount as the group pushed deeper into the cave and noted the flicker of Lada's torch. Quinn had said there were six, plus the wretched mage and his captive. She moved through the tactics of her six most trusted warriors and shook her head. Deep in the foe’s territory was not the time to doubt their preparation.
The small pathway into the cave opened into a larger, empty area save for a campfire that had long been doused. A collection of rocks sat arranged in what seemed haphazard patterns. A hasty attempt at some kind of ward?
Svetya noticed the torch’s light move before she heard Lada’s voice behind her.
“I ask again, out of concern, my Orene,” Lada spoke in a hushed tone. Svetya watched the curve of the rock that led deeper into the cavern. She sought signs of the enemy as she listened to her most trusted advisor.
“Are you certain of your choice in how to tend to him? Sparing him death like you spared Yushkov?” Lada asked.
For a moment Svetya let her resolve falter and her attention shifted as she looked to Lada. She met the woman’s stern gaze with a welling, powerful anger previously thought quelled by the snow.
“I…we have discussed this. Capture. Imprison. Let him rot,” she spat, yet her voice wavered at her final syllables.
“And if he escapes through some trickery as before?” Lada responded.
“I know well the pain, the suffering, the torturous agony that monster has brought to the people of Kosul. To me,” Svetya spoke and forced her voice to stay quiet. Her grip on her blade was tight, her knuckles white.
“If I kill him, am I no better than those I despise? Am I no better than the usurper?” she growled and saw the concern in Lada’s eyes. Svetya sighed and closed her eyes. Her breath came ragged, pained, tired.
If her knife was at his throat, could she end him? Or show mercy even to the one that embodied her grief and agony, the cause of so much loss?
She beckoned her soldiers further as the questions hung in the air like the chill that stabbed her lungs.
The slink of a sword against Svetya’s knife came as she deflected another blow and stepped into the attack. She slipped her leg behind the would-be assassin and hurtled him to the ground. A yell of surprise followed by a grunt came to her as she leapt upon him.
She held the blade to his throat and kept the mercenary pinned. His eyes were a torrent of rage and fear. The two emotions were at war as she held his life before her.
“Surrender. We seek only Severin,” she growled through gritted teeth. Her aching form held him well enough but her body felt aflame as she struggled against him.
She could see in his dull green eyes a look of his contemplation, the weighing of options, a flicking glance to an outcropping of rock that led deeper. Nothing came from the darkness there. A second later Svetya felt his resistance falter and relax.
“You, false Orene, have done nothing but delay the will of the people,” the mercenary grunted to her. She relinquished her grip on him but not on her knife. She noted the rest of her guard dealing in similar fashion to his allies. These men were trained but their devotion was toward money and nothing else. Svetya fought for her people. Her ideals. Family. Justice. Vengeance.
Svetya watched Lada pull restraints from her pack and moved to each of the assailants. Despite the sharp tips of their blades, each had been willing enough to comply, though not without additional hurled insults.
Svetya waved a hand dismissively and glared at the darkness beyond. Lada moved at her side as the rest of her guard kept careful watch on their prisoners.
“You are weak! Mercy is something for fools!” one of them shouted after her. Svetya heard a gauntleted hand smash into the side of the prisoner’s face. She kept onward in silence with a furrowed, angry brow.
The dancing flame of Lada’s torch followed her as she pressed on through an opening in the rock. The pathway grew smaller as they continued on, just wide enough for the two of them to move in single file. Much like the previous entry, it opened into a large expanse that looked to be the back of the cave.
It was chiseled and sculpted more into a room than where her guards and their prisoners still resided. Someone had taken time with tools to build this out. In the middle of the room sat a small, square table of stained wood, a short stool of equally cheap make, and the flowing, ratty robes of him.
Severin pored over scrolls with the flicker of a candle. His ancient gaze remained focused on the texts even as Svetya made herself known.
“Stand,” Svetya commanded with her knife trained on him.
“Ah, the Orene, she comes just as…” the wicked mage cackled as he spoke, “just as the stars foretold… though the when… was not so clear… However, I must be going.”
Severin turned to face her as he casually scooped up the scrolls on the table. He tucked them into his robes.
“No,” Svetya spoke with a voice more calm than she expected of herself. The tone held finality with a hardness that echoed all of the rage that filled her.
“Surely you wouldn’t want another to die from your inaction?” Severin said with a twisted smile and another dark laugh.
“He was useful, and he can be useful to me once more. I suspect the air in there won’t last much longer. It’s locked rather tight, dear Orene,” the star-reader said.
As if on cue, a pained, labored scream echoed through the cavern deeper past Severin.
“Will you continue the hunt? Or will the merciful one save another useless life?” Severin said and launched himself toward a chunk of rock at his side.
Svetya felt a rush next to her as Lada leapt with her sword at the ready to thrust at Severin. Svetya made her way toward the scream with a glare at her adversary.
Lada’s blade forced a loud clang into the air as it skittered off of rock with a quick side step from Severin. The star-reader smirked as he slipped a wicked looking dagger from his cloak. He hurled himself forward at Lada who moved with precision yet she barely deflected his weapon. He was far more agile and skilled than his unkempt appearance let on.
A solid click sounded as Severin pulled on what looked to be a hidden switch. He shoved himself into the wall, a door built into the rock. The smack of his shoes on the rocky ground echoed toward Svetya.
The rock door slid shut at a swift pace and cut off Lada’s pursuit. Svetya listened again for that pained scream. It came, more hoarse, quieter. From the opposite direction of her quarry.
She screamed in anger, frustration. Complete rage engulfed her as she ran deeper into the cave. Lada yelled something but the infuriated Orene heard nothing and kept her eyes steady. She searched for any indication of life, listened for those screams, that captive soul that Severin had sacrificed with no concern.
A deep black box thumped and thudded, it shook and rocked, held to the ground by heavy chains. A latch held it shut tight and Svetya moved quickly to grasp the bindings. She gripped the latch hard and pulled roughly. It came free and the chains clanked to the ground. Svetya wrenched the container open.
With a gaze still filled with fury and outrage at Severin’s escape she saw a broken and malnourished man with long, brown hair and a look that was as crazed as she felt.
He screamed at her approach, with what little breath he had left, with his body held tight by a straitjacket. Spit flew from his mouth as he flailed in confusion, fury, and pain. Then he slunk back against the box like a cornered animal.
Svetya’s mind raced with her own combination of rage, concern, and uncertainty. An ally? An enemy? A trap? He was bound. Not a threat?
She held her knife out, her exhausted muscles flexed.
“Stay back! Stay back!” the man shrieked.
“I’ll use my magic on you! I’ll destroy you! Stay back or I’ll kill you!” he yelled with anger, desperation.
Svetya kept the knife held high. A bluff? Or would she doom herself and Lada to death if she didn’t attack him now?
She eyed the potential mage as she wrestled with her anger. She had to decide.
Quell the threat? Or grant this unknown man mercy, perhaps paying for it with her life? She gripped the knife more tightly and stepped forward.
Read more Eternal lore here!
A new Sealed League begins on November 1st, 2021 for Chapter 60: Cold Hunt!
Open eight packs and build a 45 card deck. Each week, you’ll open additional packs to modify your deck! If you join after week one, catching up is no problem. You’ll get the packs you missed, and your limit on games that count towards the Leaderboard will increase.
Everyone who participates in the Sealed League will unlock the new premium Cold Hunt card back!
Each week of the Sealed League, you’ll get new packs to add to your pool!
- Week 1: 4x Revelations, 4x Empire of Glass
- Week 2: 2x Empty Throne
- Week 3: 2x Cold Hunt
- Week 4: 2x Cold Hunt
Minimum rewards for playing include:
- 4 x Cold Hunt packs
- 1 x premium Uncommon card
- 1 x new premium card back upon entering the League
All packs awarded from the Sealed League will be packs of Cold Hunt. The cost to participate in Sealed League is 12,500 Gold or 1,100 Gems.
Players can also enter into the Premium League for 5,000 Gems, which guarantees that every card from your League packs will be premium!
All players who enter will end up with at least 18 packs from the League (14 from play, and 4 from rewards), with the chance to earn up to 34 packs!
The Sealed League for Chapter 60: Cold Hunt begins on November 1st, 2021 and will run through November 30th.
Stay up to date on everything coming to Eternal (and get a free pack with every email) by signing up for the Dire Wolf newsletter!