At the base of the Mountain of Blood, a man stood. Well, not really a man. Even the dullest of people could see that this being was not of this world. But, all he was doing was standing there, as if awaiting something. When it did, he smiled. "And so it begins.....wait." The being frowned. "That's strange......new presences. On the Mountain......Oh, that's clever. Let the games begin then." Without a further word, the being began ascending the mountain, heading toward the top. Where the Beacon stood shining.
Today was the day. Scholars, Warriors, and rulers alike watched the top of the Mountain for the fabled Beacon to appear. Work stopped in most major cities, as everyone watched the Mountain for it's treasure to appear. In a silent agreement, the three nations did not invade each other this day, all awaiting the arrival with bated breath. The texts and legends disagreed on what time the Beacon would appear, but the majority said when the sun reached it's zenith in midday. And the majority couldn't be wrong, could it? So, when the sun slowly worked it's way to the top of the sky, the tension grew until it was palpable. All who watched were certain that they were about to see something few had lived to see. The sun reached that fabled position, and all who stared at the Mountain couldn't be removed from it. Minutes passed and.......nothing happened.
Nadda, zip, zilch. Most of everyone waited until the sun was well and truly past it's position the texts and legends said it would be, and returned to what they were doing. In the terms of the nations and war, the Empire was the first to react. Through a series of signal fires, the Empire launched an invasion against the Kingdom. Reavers and Summoners clashed. Templars and Elementalists exchanged fire. Aura warriors ran into battle, dodging Caster's negation zones, attempting to destroy the Casters. At the same time, another Kingdom army was clashing with a Dominion army. Likewise, a second Dominion army was clashing with a second Empire army. It was an eternal, bloody war.
That's of course when the Beacon appeared. With a boom and a flash, it placed itself on top of the Mountain of Blood, showing it's brilliance for all the world to see. All combat stopped. Everyone stared in shock and awe at the Beacon, marveling at the legend come true before their very eyes. They combatants that shook themselves from their stupor first were the ones who won their individual battles. And the bloody war continued, with the light of the Beacon shining down upon it.
Faeril walked through the streets of Ganir, studiously ignoring the thrice damned Beacon everyone was gawking at. He had seen his fill of the thing, and had it sketched down in his journal. At first it had been an object of interest. Now, all it did was serve as an annoyance, pulling him away from the fight he could be helping with. Faeril had no doubt this was what he was being taken away from the war for. Some fucking orb, that he had no interest in, nor did he believe would change the world.
It was an orb. It came from something in the earth. Simple as that. Sure, it was pretty, and sure it lit up well, but so did diamond. Faeril sighed, his breath echoing in his helm, and continued on his path, his heavy footsteps echoing through the street. He was strong, sure. But that didn't do anything for the weight of his armor. Faeril had long ago learned to stop trying to make his steps quiet and to stop caring.
Just before he reached the Queen's palace, a disturbance rocked the gawking of the civilians. "NO! NO! I'M NOTHING BUT LOYAL TO THE DOMINION! YOU CAN'T TAKE ME!" A man, apparently an Innovator, was being dragged off by some of Goran's police force. The Grinning Skulls, named so for the Grinning Skull of helmets they wore. They were naught but a political tool for the man, and did more harm than they did good to the populace, but Goran remained in his seat of power because of them.
Faeril was sickened by it. Politics... He cursed. The man broke free of his kidnappers, and began to run. One of the Grinning Skull members raised an armored hand. A shot cracked out and hit the man in the back, ending his life quickly. Ganir, studiously ignored this, knowing he couldn't do anything about it. The two Skulls went over and began searching the corpse for loot, giving it a kick here and there, and otherwise desecrating the corpse.
That's it.... Faeril ground his teeth. Even fucking mages and Empire dogs had more respect for the dead than these scum.
The Skulls found themselves under a shadow. Looking up, all they saw was one massive, metal fist slamming into them. The crashed into a nearby wall, hopefully unconscious. Faeril didn't need to deal with Goran right now. He picked up the body, found the nearest light and flammable liquid, doused the body in it, dropped it, and lit it on fire, before leaving.
He arrived at the palace soon after and was ushered into a waiting room to await the rest of his team before the Queen spoke to them.
Team? Aw shit.....
You have arrived at the capital through various means, via it of your own free will or not. The capital is a sprawling medieval metropolis. Signs of finery are everywhere. So are signs of poverty. People living on the street, beggars, thin children without that spark in their eyes healthy children have and many more examples. Soon, you arrive at the palace, where you meet a rather uppity and snobby steward who leads you to the waiting room. "The Emperor will see you when your team is fully here." He announces, and then leaves. There is a woman already in there, looking decidedly unhappy.
Your path follows that of the Empire's closely. Only your city is less of a sprawling medieval metropolis, full of stone finery and metal. Rather, it is in tune with nature. Your buildings go with nature, rather than tear it down. Finery for you is whose home is most intricate, most well in tune with nature, and the least destructive. There is no poverty, as your government takes those who show it off the street. They are never seen again.
You're ushered into a waiting room by a bubbly woman who seems all cheer and happiness, though a sharp eyed person might have noted the fear and stress in her eyes. It isn't safe working in the political universe of the mages. "The Sorcerer will see you when your team is assembled!" She bubbles out, before leaving. There is one other man in there. He appears to get more and more dismayed as the rest of your team piles in.
You follow much the same path as Faeril. Perhaps you even came across the burning corpse and the hopefully-not-dead Grinning Skulls. Finery is around you, but only in example of the best and shiniest technology. Poverty threatens to overtake it. For every fine house, there is twenty beggars, starving children, people living in boxes, and other examples.
--those who serve themselves--
You are either with these people, our making plans for the Beacon right now. But, the clock is ticking. And the way is heavily guarded. Be wary.