Have as Lief

Have as Lief is a dark fantasy set within a corrupt forest that has long been lost and forgotten in an age of evil, humanity struggles to hold onto the shreds of its sanity. A great blight has swept through the land corrupting all it touches. There is never sunlight to illuminate the fragmented skeletal withered branches within the vast patchwork upon the mountainous, desecrated and barren massif. Hostile cannibalistic village tribes savagely run rampant across the land, rodents gnawing at the feet of those who cower, falling prey to wild beasts that have grown large and cantankerous in these desolate mountains. Many clans have emerged as a result of the chaos; they are the personification of death in their wake. Hunting man a beast alike, they pay tribute to their Dark Lord with the blood of their victims sacrificing them in sadistic ways. These Brethren are loyal to profit, feeding their insatiable, desperate blood lust.
One man has retained some a sliver of humanity. He yearns for more than a life of violence with the clans, which he has belonged to all his life. This lifetime in moral shadows has led him to question the validity of the choices of himself and his comrades. Having completed an individual contract, the mercenary returns back to camp, trudging through sheets of sleet. There is lightening in the backdrop. He seeks refuge in a cave. Voices murmur whispered warnings as he transverses deeper into the cave. Illegible markings are ascribed in rows along the walls.
The cave appears to be a tomb; this excites the Mercenary for prospects of riches. Ignoring the hushed voices heeding him to go no further, he finally approaches a chamber filled with treasures, ancient scrolls, and magical instruments on cases lining the perimeter of the room. In the center, lies an alter upon which the hilt of a blade gleams. The Mercenary covets the blade and moves to retrieve it. From the pale, dull moonbeams seeping from a skylight, he sees it is embedded in an ageless decayed frame.
On second thought, his own sword has served him well and this rapier is old and heavier. The gold will suffice. Once stuffing his pockets, he heavily moves to he exit.
The voices grow louder, instead of the subtle warnings they have become smooth and seductive. The Mercenary glances back at the weapon. It is calling to him, enticing him back to it. Mesmerized by the sultry sirens now reverberating in his ears he stretches out his arm and grasps the handle. With great effort the blade slides free. Everything falls black and silent.
Flashback: Finally the mercenary returned to his tribe, he was exhausted. His fellow clansmen questioned his lengthy absence so he recalled his findings. As he explained the existence of the tomb, its contents and the blade he found, he notices a new antagonism in the eyes of his brothers. Suddenly, they became crazed and psychotic with lust for the blade and simultaneously lunged at the Mercenary, killing for the steel. Defending himself with the weapon at hand, he slayed his brethren, then he fled distressed. His discomfort only worsened, for as blood touched the blade the voices, the ones that belonged in the tomb, began to scream. The Mercenary knows he must return he sword, it was cursed by dark magic. Without rest he traveled until he found the entrance of the cave once again.
However, now it is illuminated in with red iridescent glow. The screaming voices have subdued to the seductive whispers. As he walks through the threshold and down the corridor, he observes that the previously indiscernible scribbles are hieroglyphs depicting the blade holding the spirit of a sorcerer. They illustrate a sacrifice on the altar with the dagger through the heart, and a primordial text, locking the sorcerer in the object for eternity. This is the product of the most perverted dark necromancy.
Gravity knocks him to his knees and the impact of the Mercenary’s actions leaves him stunned, breathless. The Mercenary now must make the choice weather to become a sacrifice to contain the demon sorcerer in the blade by puncturing his own heart, releasing his soul in selflessness, or to carry the blade and slowly be consumed by its demonic corruption. While he walks towards the altar the voices raise around him, preparing him for his sacrifice, as he climbs upon the altar and raises the blade all goes black and silent. The Mercenary emerges from the tomb with a possessed and tortured look in his eyes, he has survived but damned his fellow man.