Artunicka walked amongst the Black Forest. He knew the war was coming, the old texts said only one realm would survive. " what do you see?" He asked the old seer days ago. " even our sight is blind to the end the void covers all." He remembered this as he walked through the Forest. What would he do? His people practiced evil and dark arts they worked as a society. There was not murder or stealing amongst them, but these other realms were an abomination to his people. They were all enemies who did not see things as the lands of death did. The forest was dead the trees wilted over, they were never alive as the trees if the Earth lands were, but appeared as those do dead. The lands were covered with a light ash that fell as rain might in the Water lands. The black earth took in the ash and the trees fed off it. If tightly packed and ground the ash was their main liquid. There were whole ash falls on crumbled mountains. He breathed in the scent of sulfer, and continued walking.
casting his eyes the sky here was always black with a moon the shined black. If a person from any other land were to venture here they would have a hard time just seeing, but his people were born for it. The marshes were the final resting place when someone died. He heard other lands buried in the earth or sea, burned in fires. If this were true he did not know. Here the marshes were great puts of depth unknown. Their green murky waters swallowed everything. In the distance he saw what looked like human servents tossing something in. The humans here were gray skinned and bald none lived after 25 and they were all slaves. They did not mind however they did as told and were not mistreated. His people resembled at least the humans as walking corpses just without the rot and wounds or smell.
what was unique about them was they didn't have blood but a shiny dark substance in their bodies kept them alive. They didn't age after 25 . He marveled as he exited the Forest, into the small town where all manner or dark creature resided. His castle lay just beyond. But he had to make a stop at the library, most books were so old they talked of a peaceful world before the event. He had been researching the old books for hints of a lost library in his lands that might give him a key in the coming war. There were only 4 books left. The library was the second largest structure next to the Dark Stone that was his castle. It had structures of the blackest arts below ground, some which he found before they became popular knowledge. He made his way there as the ash fell.(please see shattered lands in advanced interest check ooc)
The last cycle had ended for Pharus and a new Oracle had been chosen. This young girl (A player is needed) seemed to be more special than all previous generations. She was more intelligent, better capable to bear the pains of the trial and passed through it without any pain at all when the Enchantment of Binding Ties etched itself into her skin. She passed through the aegis test with remarkable insight. But shortly after the annointing of her office, Pharus was informed that a contingent of guards who explored the North West barrier took witness to a tree that seemed to move. A soul survivor returned after the others vanished beyond the barrier and never returned. Pharus sent another group of souldiers but they did not return either.
Pharus stepped outside, after speaking to his oracle about their plans. It was her decision that they investigated this mysterious problem by going to the last known place the soldiers had been seen. Pharus called for one of his angelic guard to bring a battalion of soldiers and prepare for the journey. It took some time but they were now ready and so he and the oracle mounted a large white steed and took off with lightning pace. The other soldiers kept up easily, for these horses were bred for quick travel. Still it would take a long time for them to make the journey. They would have to cross the plains, towards a forbidden land. Nobody knew what would occur.
The library was a black and twisted place. Many books needed approval to read, some were too powerful and their texts could drive a person insane. Others held arts so dark, if you were not skilled enough you might end up sacrificing what existence you held dear. The shelves were lined with tomes, covered in dust. His boots clicked off the grey marble floor as he went to the lower levels. A few wizards were down there and all acknowledged him with a nod. A turn of a key let him into a chamber only a few had access to. These books asked a price for their knowledge. He priced his finger and placed it in one of the four books he had yet to read. The dark substance vanished and the time opened with a groan. There were few words but this image stood out he was unsure about what to make of this was it a creature, or a statue? The texts said nothing it was a giant skeleton with mutiple fingers playing a flute.
He repeated the ritual on the other books. That was the only image in all four books, the text were the same but something was off there were slight differences in the pictures. He spread out all four next to each other. The Dark King, as some called him studied the works. He could see clearly now the differences. Moon, a in the distance, a statue and an eclipse. What to make of this was unknown but he suspected that at least the tree might still be standing.The event that came before shall come again laying blackness and void to all but one. The one who proves worthy shall dominate and erase from reality the unworthy. That text was under all four pictures.
"So it's true." He said to himself. " the event shall return, my people must survive " he placed the books back on the shelf and exited the chamber. When he reached the main level he headed to guards. " no one is to enter the Chamber of madness with out my authority." The two guards, who looked like black lizards in red armor, nodded their heads and tapped their chest in salute, before hurrying off to carry out his orders. He watched them go and them returned to the world outside.
The wind began to sweep up as the caravan made its way across the plains. Though the human civilization had advanced and expanded their cities most of the lands were unpopulated. Looking to each side there was nothing but wild life and vegitation. A few sparse trees cropped up here and there, the meadows and barley fields swayed in the wind. As they continued however there was increasing signs of the forerunning people that would occationally crop up. A ruined building of stones, overcome by plant life or a burial mound. It gave the Oracle a sense of the past.
"Stop here." Pharus looked at her woefully.
"No, I would like to look into something...a feeling I get in this place."
"Very well, it'll give the horses a chance to rest up. Should we set up camp?"
"I think it will be good to do so." He nodded in agreement. He gave the signal and the people began to work industriously to set up tents they had brought with them. The Oracle however dismounted her horse and began to walka bout inspeecting the grounds. She dug her hands into the cool soil and felt the earth. It whispered to her in secrecy and she dusted her hands off.
"There is something here we should gather. I'd like some men to dig." Pharus walked away from her and spoke to some men.
"GRAB THE SHOVELS LADS AND START DIGGING." Suddenly the place burst into a flury of men scrambling about and grabbing any kind of spade or tool and began to hack away at the earth. It came up in clumps and sprays of soil.
CLANK! The dull sound of steel clashing with rock, expansive rock. The men began to define the outer surface of a ruined and buried building. The more the men dug, the more the Oracle got that feeling she had grasped illusively only a few hours before.
Finally they had unsurfaces a benevolantly marvelous sight. It was a door with creatures hanging about it defensively--baring their teeth. The Oracle looked at them awkwardly and began to back up.
"Step away...all of you." But it was too late. Before anyone could understand her apprehension there was a bevy of screams and a mist of blood splattered up from the hole. Pharus stretched out his wings and flew into the air to get a safe distance look. Down in that pit there was a group of those defending statues. The men were gone--except bits and peices of them--blood was dripping from the mouths of the statues. He descended with a group of angels and spear in hand began to fight with the creatures who violently came to life. One snapped at him and he tucked his wings in thrusting his spear in it's direction but the creature's body was rock solid. The spear snapped like tinder. He backed out just in time to see one of the angels cut in half by one of the hungry beasts. He emerged from the hole.
"Are you certain we need discover whats inside.?" The Oracle nodded in contemplation.
"Imensely worth it."
"What about the cost of life?"
She shook her head. "Its worth it. Believe me!" He went up to one of his best soldiers and discussed this with the man and then came back with him.
"How do we get in?" he said.
"While you have been talking I have been watcing them and thinking about the problem. It seems that they only attack those who are unworthy. Is there a one among you who is pure? Uncorrupt?"
There was a general silence. and she shook her head in dismay. "Very well. I will try to go in."
Pharus grabbed her shoulder. "Are you daft? They will eat you in one bite."
"I have to try soemthing."
"I dont like it."
"I never asked you to." She smiled at him sweetly.
"Fine. But take some men to protect you."
"It would be better if I went alone. We've already lost a good number of them to those--what ever they are. I'm going alone and that is that." Pharus frowned and watched her turn from him. He had to trust her in some things. Perhaps she actually knew what she was doing.
As she approached the hole she descended slowly. The soil was slippery from a mist that seemed to form on them. Then before her there was the gate. The rocky lizards moved into their familiar place and pharus approached the hole to watch in terror, ready to intercept the beasts. Soil crackled as it rolled from their limbs downward. The Oracle was stiff muscled as she walked nervously ever closer. She had her fignertips now on the door handle. She glanced at the beasts but they didnt move. She gave a tug, but the door didn't budge. She tried harder with the same result. Then she knelt by them with one hand and her head agaisnt the doorway. She sighed heavily but slowly and suddenly the door just opened on its own, giving out a groan. She felt her hand slip to nothingness and looked back towards Pharus. Success was hers it seemed. She stood up and someone tossed her a torch. she bent over picking it up and began to slowly walk into the corridor before her.
Inside the quarters were tight. Barely a pair of men could stand abreast. She braced herself agaisnt a wall and continued to follow the way down into the chamber, until she emerged in a casketroom. In the center was a tomb of a man and one of a woman. The man's sarcophus was shaped like its occupant. It was roughly hewn but painted and the right hand was holding a crux of some kind. The woman's however was ordinary. Except a small latern-like box covred by a cloth. She walked to the latern cloth and touched it. The cloth was old and worn but had once been very soft. She picked it up and removed the cloth.
All at once the room was filled with the mopst intense light she could ever imagine, which was something to say coming from a land filled with perpetual day light. She clothed it again and turned to the man's coffin and prier the crux from it. Then hung the latern cloth on the crux and began to walk out.