Era: The Chosen – Ivan Rostov

Hi everyone!

Probably the most heinous villain in the war against the Anonassi was Ivan Rostov. Well… sort of.

Ivan Rostov was a promising young man, the heir to one of the Chosen Clans, until his first visit into the Lost Lands, and the encounter with the first Ethereal. From then, the Anonassi which possessed him used his body to wreak horrible massacres on Humans, both Chosen and native to the Lost Lands.

Come back tomorrow for more about the Ethereals, but for now, here’s a story about Ivan and the Ethereal!


What had begun as a pretty easy foray into the Lost Land to provide some aid to the Glass Spirit tribe had turned into a full-on assault by the Anonassi. The attack had come without warning and decimated the front line of the settlement’s defences before anyone knew what was going on. A pair of Brutes had hammered the main gate into splinters as they roared in anger, their massive spiked hands knocking chunks from wood and stone alike with a single hefty swing. Hellhounds had poured through the breach and swarmed the interior of the compound biting, clawing and savaging men, women and children indiscriminately. It would have been a massacre if it were not for Anna Rostov, Kinto Nakamura, Luis Garcia and Genevieve D’Aoust who stood in defence of the settlement. The Chosen had brought with them a small cadre of soldiers as well, to act as guards as they delivered their supplies.

Anna threw a knife into the throat of one of the dog-like Hellounds and smiled grimly as her shots passed through the midsection of another. She was silent in battle apart from the gunshots: words were a waste when she was focused on the art of dealing death to the enemy.

Kinto Nakamura was likewise silent as she moved from beast to beast cutting them down as she went. Her katana flashed in the grey light, slashing with deadly effect.

Luis Garcia a heavy sword that he liked to use, but at the moment he kept his gun trained on the Brutes and supported his D’Aoust comrade as she trained her own heavier assault rifle on the monsters.

“Keep firing!” Genevieve yelled. “That’s the only way we’re going to take them down, aim for those damn eyes.”

Luis did so and his gun spat flame towards the Brute on the left. In response, the monster roared and batted at its eyes. Meanwhile, the tribe’s nearby warriors, who had been unloading the supplies, did the best they could against great odds. A few of them fell, crushed to death by the hammer-like fists of the Brutes and that did nothing to deter them. The warriors hacked and cut with their relatively primitive weapons at the right hand Brute as his companion was assaulted by the gunfire from Luis and Genevieve.

“That’s it, men, for Aether and the Chosen!” Luis roared, intending encouragement.

It seemed to work: the warriors renewed their attacks and, by sheer weight of numbers, managed to hamstring the beast. Now the Brute was brought low, they lashed at it, stabbed it, cut it and struck it with blow after blow until it lay unmoving upon the floor. A great cheer went up and the defenders of the Glass Shadow tribe brought more men to the fight as the warriors who had felled the beast joined the Chosen in attacking the remaining Brute. By now,it had a dozen or so bullet holes blown through its tough hide,but was still standing.

Anna and Kinto had done their work on the Hellhounds and, now that they troubled the settlement no more, they circled around the back of the Brute to join the fight. Anna climbed a pile of rubble to gain height and begin carefully placing shots around the head and shoulda of the Brute to distract it while Pinto made her move. The older Nakamura slipped under the Brute as it slammed a fist down to crush her. Her blade sliced into its belly from below and, as it roared in agony, a bullet from the D’Aoust’s heavy assauly rifle pierced down hard enough to slide into the monster’s skull and pierce the vital organ there. As it crashed to the ground, Kinto Nakamura offered a simple bow as she hopped off the twitching corpse and slashed backward with the blade.

The body twitched no longer.

Another cheer went up from the interior of the settlement. It was short-lived, for on the horizon something moved into view. It was tall, suspended on four spindly legs that ended with a vicious claw. The central chitinous mass, protected by a spiked carapace, rose between those legs. Three dark, hollow eye sockets peered out across the landscape. A pair of mandible-like appendages lashed back and forth at the bottom of the body, making a terrifying sound as a sticky web-like substance lay suspended between them.

This monster shook the ground as it walked and it chatged with speed right toward the settlement, emitting a strange purring sound as it did so. On a hill nearby, as Ivan Rostov watched the monster move toward the settlement, a green light behind his eyes danced, mist-like.

“Incy wincy spider.” He said with a chuckle. “Climbed up the Chosen’s spout. Incy wincy spider, killed all inside without a doubt.”

The Kapavuk reached the outer wall and ignored it, stepping over to pick up a defender with a single flick of a dexterous leg and tossed the tasty morsel into its gaping maw. Ivan saw the Nakamura caught in the web between the mandibles and cut clean in two.

“Bravo!” Ivan clapped as though it was some fine overture from an excellent composer. “Bravo! Encore!”

The creature seemed happy to oblige as it fell on the camp with a fury. Ivan knew from the reputation of the monster that it would not leave anyone alive. It was all coming together nicely and soon he’d go back to Aether, declare he had been evading the Anonassi and give them some information on the destroyed settlement — some juicy tidbits upon the monster that had done such work. They’d send him to lead another group of Chosen to eliminate it and those fortunate individuals would find out first hand what happened to his previous team.

He could keep this up for a long time, perhaps until there were hardly any Chosen left: why use a hammer when a knife would do?

He was sure there was a joke there.

What Ivan Rostov didn’t know is that whole exchange had been watched by a pair of Chosen who had been tracking him and his creatures for a long time.

A reckoning was soon to come for the Ethereal that possessed Rostov.