Beneath the Ashes Story
The Story of Beneath the Ashes will focus on Lara's search for an artifact her father hid that creates and controls Thralls.
The story begins with Lara Croft back in her father's secret study in her burned down manor. She found a document that reveals an artifact that has a word engraved that controls the thralls set about. If spoken, the speaker will control the thralls and they will do whatever the speaker asks. Lara reads over the document again as Zip begins speaking.
"Hey Lara, why don't you call it a night? Whatever you're looking for will still be there tomorrow."
"I somehow doubt it," Lara sighed. "My father not only claimed this artifact creates thralls, but he used a word carved into it to control the damned things. It's hardly something he'd misplace...yet it's nowhere to be found."
"Maybe he left it in Thailand," Zip theorized. "What's the magic word?"
Lara focused on the photograph of the artifact, trying to read the words engraved. "I can't make it out." She tossed the document on the desk with a sigh and paced the room. "Wherever did you put it?" She stopped however when she heard a noise and looked to her left to see a thrall emerging from the depths below the floor. Her eyes widened as she pulled out a handgun and shot it several times before it fell back from whence it came.
"What the hell was that?!" Zip asked.
"A rather big clue," Lara replied, walking over to where the thrall emerged. She peered over and saw ground below her, a big of a drop. Climbing down, she slid down a slope and landed on the floor. She looked around and saw that she was in a tomb of ancients beneath the ashes of her manor.
After going through the underground puzzles and traps, Lara reaches the home of the artifact. It's the shape of a rectangular stone, glowing with the same luminous blue of Jormungandr's poison, Eitr.
"Are you getting this, Zip?" she asked.
"I've heard of turning water into wine, but slime is a new one," he remarked.
Approaching the pedestal of which the artifact sat, she traced her fingers across the engravings, saying the word to herself. "Och Eshivar."
Suddenly, a thrall appears behind her ready to attack. Lara spins around and speaks the word, the undead creature stopping in its tracks. Lara's eyes dart behind it to see her doppelganger grinning maliciously. She finally caught up to her after Zip warned her of her not being dead during her adventure. The doppelganger sprints toward Lara with deadly intent. "Kill!" Lara orders the thrall. It turns around and attempts to attack the deadly facsimile of his master, but she runs right through him, scattering his bones about the room.
Lara pulls out her guns and yells the word, the doppelganger instantly stopping in her tracks. Lara holstered her guns and circled her clone, the doppelganger's eyes following Lara. "You have to do whatever I ask now, correct?" The doppelganger nods once. The camera pans down the hallway of the artifact's home as we barely hear Lara's voice speak to the doppelganger. The camera turns back to the two of them as Lara picks up the artifact. "Make sure Natla suffers," she orders. The doppelganger smiles mischievously before turning and running out of the room.
"You're letting her go? She killed Alister!" Zip said, wondering why Lara didn't kill her.
Holding the artifact, Lara examined it one last time. "And now she's the instrument of his vengeance."
The game ends there, leaving us with a million thoughts racing through our heads. It is unknown what Lara told the doppelganger before ordering her to make sure Natla suffers, but we do know the Atlantean is still alive, and somehow Lara knows. It's believed that we'll find out in Lara's Shadow, released early March this year, and it's believed that half the game will involve trying to kill Lara and the other half going after Natla under Lara's orders.
Time will tell.