And so it came to pass that the Land of Anduris was saved in its twilight hour by the Stormwall Alliance, suffering heavy losses but maintaining their strength in spirit. In accordance with their wishes, the God Squad departed this world and left not a trace behind. Their tale became legend, then myth, then like so many things in the analog of history – they were ultimately forgotten.
However the downside of being forgotten is that the lessons learned also seem to fade over time as well. And humans – being such a short lived species – tend to forget even quicker. So in a mere 200 years after the Battle of the Black City, as the former Wastelands have become the lush and green Forbidden Valley, is it any surprise that it was a human that ignored all the warnings and ventured down into the darkness? Well, they do say a Son of Stormwall has Adventure in his blood.
What would he find in the shadows of the forests? Would there be forgotten terrors? He had heard the stories of massive spiders with dark elves fused at the torso, or of dwarves that had fire for beards. Even that the King Who Crawls would depart from his tunnels and roam the forest seeking wayward wanderers to ensnare and lock away in his subterranean prison.
But he found none of that. He found forest. Nothing else. So this human – a man in stature, but a boy in heart – wandered deeper into the forbidden lands. For days and days he ventured onward until the trees became like metal and the leaves as sharp as swords. It was there that he found something different – something new. Ruins, forged of black stone and engraved with ancient words that he would never hope to understand. Surely some magnificent treasure would lie here somewhere?
Help me! Free me!
The words echoed through his mind. So clear and loud that they gave him a headache. “Where are you?” the boy cried.
Beneath the throne. Forgotten by time. Free me. Free me and we shall change the world.
Beneath a throne? This could be no person. No person speaks through the mind. Not in Anduris at least. The boy had heard legends of powerful magical artifacts that could speak. His grandfather told him once of a crazy drunken dwarf paladin that swore there was a devil trapped inside a glove once. Maybe this was one such artifact!
So the human boy rushed about the ruins seeking a throne. And low and behold and a small raised platform covered in vines and moss, was one. A black throne untouched by the encroaching vegetation. The boy launched at the throne. Pushing with all his might. But it would not budge. He gathered his strength once more and pushed again. This time a slight shift. One final time, the boy backed up into the wood and charged the throne at full strength and slammed into with everything he had. And it toppled.
There beneath the throne was a small linen wrapped object. The boy – the human – unwrapped slowly. Beneath it was a tome bound in a worn leather covered, embossed and gilted with an illustration of a sun on the front. He began to flip through the book, strange writing. Similar to that on the stone. But slowly it began to shift and change. The words became common. The rituals began to make sense. And the human – so adventurous, so bold, so foolish – his eyes turned completely black.
Now we begin again.
The End… ?