Emperor Avaritia says: Peace and Love
Emperor Avaritia says: Peace and Love

The Story So Far...

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In the vast expanse of Brockenthier Swamp, an empty altar lay sprawled across the flats. The ethereal glow of Thordia's three moons occasionally pierced through the thick veil of clouds, casting an eerie light upon the altar's sleek stone and marble structure. Unfazed by the biting night air and howling winds, a few molejacks cautiously observed from nearby shrubs, their eyes fixed upon the altar with a tense curiosity.

Amidst the whispers of the wind, the unmistakable sound of boots crunching on gravel permeated the air, gradually growing louder. Two hooded figures emerged, their silhouettes gradually materializing within five throws of the altar. Straining under the weight, they carried a hefty wooden chest upon their shoulders.

One of them spoke in an unintelligible manner, gesturing towards the chest. "What's the plan with this, Jondra?" he muttered. The other figure responded with a higher-pitched voice, tinged with impatience. "Don't worry about that, Jondra. I'll take care of it when we arrive. Speaking of which, there it is, just ahead," he remarked, pointing towards the altar. "We only need twenty minutes, Jondra, and then you and I will be five-hundred Torias richer. Imagine the possibilities!"

A chuckle escaped Jondra, whose intellect seemed limited. "Money, mumma like money! Give money to mumma!"

Sighing, the other figure replied, "You can do whatever you want with the money, Jondra. We just need to complete this task. Thilius won't be pleased if we fail, and we won't receive our reward." He gestured towards the ground next to the altar, saying, "Let's place it down there and get started."

Exhausted, the two figures heaved the weighty chest onto the ground, pausing to rest their weary shoulders. The presence of the molejacks lurking in the nearby shrubs failed to faze them. "I wish we had some water," the more astute figure murmured, acknowledging his thirst. Jondra grunted, expressing his agreement. However, before they could quench their thirst, their duty beckoned, and they dedicated themselves to the task at hand.

With weariness slowing their movements, they unlocked the chest and lifted its lid. A myriad of unfamiliar objects greeted their eyes, items they had only heard of but never seen. Wands, scepters, cloaks, potions, and various magical artifacts were haphazardly packed inside. Methodically, they extracted each article, placing them on the ground, all the while searching for the one that Thilius had instructed them to find.

After a few minutes of frenzied rummaging, they finally unearthed it, concealed beneath the other items in the back corner of the chest. Jondra reached it first, his eyes filled with awe.

It was a small, brown package adorned with a picture of a dragon and a warning label inscribed in Thorian: "High quality dragon food, product of Thoria. Please handle dragons with care. We assume no responsibility for fatalities resulting from mishandling of dragons."

Attached to the package was a piece of paper, secured with a string. Whispering to Jondra, the astute figure explained, "When the clouds clear momentarily and the brightest moonlight bathes the altar, I am to read the contents of this paper. Once I'm finished, we must flee from this place as fast as we can. Thilius warned us that failure to do so would result in a gruesome demise."

Confusion and fear clouded Jondra's expression, as he struggled to grasp his companion's words. He muttered unintelligibly and trembled uncontrollably. Gazing up at the altar, his trembling intensified, sending shivers cascading down his spine, culminating in the involuntary release of his bladder.

Needless to say, neither figure was pleased when liquid trickled down Jondra's robe. "Ewww!" exclaimed the astute one, slapping Jondra. "Get ahold of yourself! We have a job to do!"

"Yeah," Jondra mumbled.

At that precise moment, the clouds parted, and a radiant beam of moonlight descended upon the altar. The molejacks remained still, seemingly content with the unfolding events.

"It's time," declared the astute figure, untying the piece of paper and advancing towards the altar. As he began to recite the words inscribed on the paper, a powerful gust of wind swept in from the north, an icy blast so chilling that even the shrubs quivered in response.

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February 14, Wythian Year 1366,

In the desolate expanse of Brockenthier Swamp, an empty altar lay under the watchful gaze of one of Thordia's three moons. Occasional slivers of moonlight pierced through the thick clouds, casting an eerie glow upon the altar's sleek stone and marble surface. Amidst the stagnant air and shrill winds, a few molejacks scurried about the slime-covered shrubs, their attention fixated on the altar, seemingly oblivious to the frigid night.

Whispers of the wind carried the faint sound of footsteps crunching on gravel. Two hooded figures emerged into view, their burden evident as they laboriously carried a heavy wooden chest on their shoulders.

"What do we do with this?" one of them spoke in unintelligible tones, gesturing towards the chest. The other, with a shriller voice, replied, "Worry not, Jondra. I shall take care of it when we arrive. Speaking of which, our destination lies just ahead," he said, pointing towards the altar. "In a mere twenty minutes, Jondra, we shall claim our reward of five hundred Torias. Imagine what we can do with such wealth!"

"Hehehehe," chuckled the less astute companion. "Mumma likes money! Give money to mumma!"

Sighing, the shriller man retorted, "You can do as you please, Jondra. But we must proceed with our task. Thilius would be greatly displeased if we fail, and we shall not receive our reward." He motioned towards the ground beside the altar. "Let's set it down here and begin."

The two figures carefully placed the heavy chest upon the ground, taking a moment to ease their weary shoulders. Unbeknownst to them, their presence failed to unsettle the three molejacks hiding in the nearby shrubs. "I wish we had some water," the astute one remarked, acknowledging his thirst. Jondra grunted in recognition of his own parched state. However, their thirst would have to wait as their task demanded immediate attention.

Fatigue weighing upon them, they unlocked the chest and lifted its lid. Within, a plethora of unknown artifacts awaited them. Wands, scepters, cloaks, potions, and various magical paraphernalia were haphazardly packed inside. With a sense of urgency, they pulled out each item, searching for the specific one Thilius had instructed them to find.

After a few minutes of frantic rummaging, they discovered it tucked away at the back corner of the chest, concealed beneath other items. Jondra, filled with awe, retrieved the small brown package adorned with a picture of a dragon and a warning label inscribed in Thorian: "High-quality dragon food, product of Thoria. Please handle dragons with care. We are not responsible for deaths resulting from mishandling."

Attached to the package was a piece of paper, secured by a string. The astute man whispered to Jondra, "When the clouds clear momentarily, and the moonlight reaches its strongest upon the altar, I am to read the contents of this paper. Once I am done, we must flee this place with all our might. Thilius warned us of a horrendous fate should we fail to do so!"

A bewildered expression crossed Jondra's face, unable to comprehend his companion's words. He muttered unintelligibly, trembling uncontrollably. Glancing up at the altar, his trembling intensified, sending chills down his spine and causing his bladder to involuntarily release.

Needless to say, neither figure relished the sight of liquid trickling down Jondra's robe. "Ewww," the astute man rebuked, slapping Jondra. "Get yourself under control! We have a job to complete!"

"Yeahssa," Jondra muttered meekly.

At that precise moment, the clouds parted, and a beam of potent moonlight descended upon the altar. Unfazed by the unfolding events, the molejacks observed in anticipation.

"It is time," declared the astute man, untying the piece of paper and approaching the altar. As he began reading the words inscribed on it, a gust of chilling wind blew in from the north, sending shivers through the surroundings.

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As the words escaped the astute man's lips, the air grew still once again. The wind ceased its howling, the earth stilled beneath their feet, and the clouds settled ominously overhead. A tense silence enveloped the scene, broken only by the faint sound of the man's voice reciting the incantation.

And then, a piercing screech cut through the air—a sound both otherworldly and bone-chilling. It echoed across the desolate swamp, reverberating through the hearts of all who heard it. Jondra's eyes widened in terror, his confusion mounting with each passing second.

In an instant, the three councilmen sprung into action, their sinister intentions coming to the fore. "Summon the virgins, quick!" one of them barked urgently. "There is no time to waste!"

Without hesitation, a command was uttered, and five innocent maidens materialized near the altar. They appeared fragile and pure, as though plucked from their pastoral lives tending to morning cows. But now, their innocence was about to be sacrificed on the altar of dark forces.

The councilmen swiftly shackled the bewildered Jondra and his astute companion, ensuring they could not escape. With an air of grim determination, they then proceeded to bind the five maidens, their actions betraying a cold callousness.

Once the maidens were restrained upon the altar, the councilmen positioned themselves nearby, their black robes marked with the emblem of the Council for the Prison Plane. Jondra's growing sense of dread intensified as he realized the dire nature of the situation. The Council was known to be one of the most feared groups in all the realms, capable of unspeakable atrocities.

"Do we kill both men?" questioned one council member. The leader, his authority unmistakable, responded with a chilling certainty, "No, we shall only kill the astute one and the five maidens. The 'tard over there will serve as the vessel for our master."

"Understood, boss. Just give us the signal," another council member affirmed.

"We shall wait a few more minutes, until we hear the screech of Domeneeca," the leader declared. "Once the screech pierces the air, we will slit their throats and let their blood spill. In that moment, Domeneeca shall rise, and our master shall enter the 'tard. But we must remain vigilant. Should the white knight intervene, it will not bode well for us. Domeneeca and our master will be weakened in the initial hours of their resurrection. Only then will they possess the strength to face any opposition."

"But didn't we kill him?" one council member pondered. "There is no way he survived that cavern. Thiona, the goddess herself, must have taken notice of his meddling and put an end to him."

"The last report indicated he still lives," the leader replied, his voice laced with unease. "Somehow, he managed to escape. He possesses an inexplicable resilience for a mere mortal."

Another council member chimed in, his disbelief evident. "Wow, if he's still out there..."

Their conversation was abruptly cut short by the anticipated screech, ringing out sooner than expected. It hung in the air, resonating with malevolence, filling Jondra's heart with terror.

Summoning a knife with a swift motion, the leader swiftly severed the throats of the five innocent maidens and the astute man. Jondra watched in horror as warm, sickly blood spilled across the pristine marble surface of the altar, staining it crimson.

And then, the night transformed.

The wind stirred once more, its gentle whispering escalating into a fierce gale. The earth quaked beneath their feet, trembling with an otherworldly energy. Yet, the councilmen remained unmoved, their stoic resolve unshaken.

As the quake subsided, a wispy tendril of smoke rose from the pooled blood on the altar, gradually coalescing into the ethereal shape of a dragon. Each strand of smoke seemed like delicate strands of ethereal jewelry, weaving together to form an awe-inspiring spectacle. Jondra's gaze fixated on the mesmerizing display of the "funie pictah" unfolding before him.

The smoky dragon continued to materialize, its form growing larger and more intricate by the moment. The councilmen observed with a mix of trepidation and triumph, witnessing the birth of a fearsome creature.

"Domeneeca, the ancient beast, shall rise from the bloodshed upon this altar on the day of the Gorgebirth," the ghostly figure intoned. "One hundred and thirty feet in length, with eighteen colossal wings and a hundred and twenty razor-sharp teeth. Its breath contains a deadly combination of fire and cyanide, obliterating all who venture near. Its claws carry a virulent infectious disease, spreading death wherever it touches. This day marks the beginning of Domeneeca's reign, as she and our master shall dominate these planes forevermore."

As the smoky form expanded to its full one-hundred-and-thirty-foot stature, the dragon materialized completely. Its hide, scales, wings, and claws took shape, casting an enormous shadow that obscured the moon itself.

"MOVE, MY PRETTY!" a voice thundered, echoing through the air. A white, ghostly figure materialized, adorned with a crown of skulls and thorns. Domeneeca obediently obeyed the command, ascending into the sky, making way for the figure's emergence. Suspended in midair, the ghostly figure loomed over the altar, fixing its gaze upon the three trembling councilmen.

"Why did you kill six?" it boomed, its voice a chilling symphony of wrath and betrayal.

With that unanswered question hanging in the air, the fate of Jondra, the surviving 'tard, and the world itself teetered on the precipice of darkness. The story remained unfinished, inviting the player to embark on a journey fraught with peril and uncertainty.

What will become of Jondra? Can the white knight defy all odds and intervene in time? Will the forces of darkness be thwarted, or will the ancient beast and its master triumph, plunging the realms into eternal darkness?

Only time will reveal the answers, as the story awaits its resolution.

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