Alex's turn to have a story. Technically a oneshot, but I wrote for all three Ancients so there are multiple chapters. Chapters are named after the Ancient that rules the enchanted gladius. It's a bit of a copy and paste, but I like the differences.

Chatty's my favorite Ancient, followed by Xel, even though I love Uly's voice.


Gladius of the Damned (Chattur'gha)

Nameless ghosts and ghouls screamed and snorted at her as Alex carefully unwrapped the package hastily set on the foyer floor. Lips quivering and voice trembling in terror as she felt faceless demons breathe hotly down her neck, she opened the box to find two things. The essence of the boundless Ancient, Ulyaoth, and an ancient blade gleaming as if it were forged not a day ago. Crafted with the most perfect of Roman hands, Alex picked up the gladius, gripping the worn leather hilt. The sword's blade shone a blood red, washing her face in a powerful crimson that etched every material line, fault, blemish, and perfection in her face. Angry war cries uttered from an unknown creature burned in her brain, replacing the natterings and sobs of the ghosts in her head. The image of rough, chitinous armor that segmented itself about her in a firm grip of raw strength and matter swelled in her chest as she experimentally swung the ancient sword. Power like that she had never known before tugged at her veins, injecting itself into her blood and taking hold of her muscles, pulling her swing into a merciless chop that would behead the mightiest of creatures. The sword was a ravenous maw in her hand, hungry for the flesh of its nemesis and eager to be harnessed by her, the last of the Roivas line.

She pricked her thumb with the tip of the blade, feeling the rush of Chattur'gha's might plunge into her flesh. The blade was sharper than any knife she had ever known, though she knew that unlike the gladius she wielded before that this sword was the most ancient of swords seen in the modern world. Kept alive and well with Chattur'gha's blood woven into the cold metal to keep it seething hot, the gladius had endured the ferocity of time from the moment it left its master's hand to the second Alex held it now as its new emperor. It had belonged to a valiant man once, a warrior of Rome, a soldier, a centurion.

Alex choked as she felt the old leather match the shape of her palm. This was no mere gladius, enchanted or not.

This was Pious's gladius.

This was the dark gladius of millenniums past, now brought to a throne of eternal light to strike down the one who had forgotten how to be human. In a twisted scheme of irony and fate, Pious Augustus would be struck down by the one thing that remembered him as he was when he still lived for the spirit of humanity.

And Alex, wrapped in the power that Chattur'gha's blood had brought her, would smite his insanity, break his mind before his master, and conjure up fire to fight his fire. As Pious Augustus would feel the burn of his own blade against his rotting skin bring him down, so too will Xel'lotath suffer the wrath of her immortal brother.

For she is the last of the Roivas line, chosen by the enchanted gladius, fated to be the Warrior of Light, the harbinger of justice and peace to those lying dead in the cursed centurion's wake. The gateway to destiny has opened, paving the path to the Gathering of Light.