The Dance of Heaven, falling to Hell
There was a time, I remember, when the Goddess, her husband, and her children all shown brightly in the heavens. When the sun warmed the earth, and birds sang perched on giant wooden beasts full of leaves and life. Water rushed through rivers and the ocean brought food in bounty. Like a devilish dream it haunts my nightmares when I sleep and arrests my thoughts when I wake. I am old, yes, but I can still remember.
When I was younger, so much younger, before wizened bones sucked breath from lungs and before my white crown left my shining head, I was there. Chalot came. She came and gathered the winds, the woods, the birds, the beasts and all the earth itself to wall us from the beasts of Obscurity. The sky was not dark then, and Chalot walked among us. Her husband’s horn led us to charge. On wings I soared with blade in hand. The blaze of the sun at our backs, granting us power. Out from the bounds the creature’s came. And we fought on.
Airships pounded their ranks and the Lyrist sang the wards that kept us safe. We fought, by all that burns we fought, our weapons fused to our hands with fingers so weak from they would not open. And we fought on. Obscurity, and all that he carried with him, forced us to fight on. We never meant for war. We rooted ourselves in the hills, the great crater where the vessels that brought the Immortals rested. There we hoped for peace. But jealousy brought Obscurity from his domain, jealousy and greed. And so we fought.
I can still remember the wind in my hair, when I wore such a crown. The voice of my wife shinning over the clash of steel and claw. It pierced their ranks and broke their bones. He voice reached to the shinning Goddess herself and laid waste to our enemies. It was glorious and terrible. And then the Betrayer struck her dead.
From within it ate our ranks. There was one, then another, then whole companies that rallied in his Call. Even I fell to his voice. We fought, and we fought and we saw no end. The games of Gods raping our land, forcing our women and children to toil in blood and lose. No more indeed. We turned our backs on the sun. We would not fight The Immortal’s wars, and we would forget Obscurity and live in peace. Peace was all we ever wanted. But peace no God would give us.
Salem was his name. He and the boy rose fist to challenge the beasts that gave us war. We possessed the power to crush Obscurity and yet she would not lay them waste. Had she been so caught up in her war that she forgot her people? Salem showed us she had. And we left her.
It was Salem that darkened the sky and shut us off from the Goddess forever. The festering, he called it. Dark clouds of insects that blocked the sun and devoured the minds of those that sought to bring it back. Obscurity we did forget, at least the rest of the world. But I remembered. I remembered what it was like to soar in the clouds and laugh with my children. I remember the sun, and all that it brought to us. If He would let me die I would but here, in the great vault of our Lord Salem, we give him life that he may rule, and forever protect us from those great powers that would haunt us, usurp us, and slave us. It is hear that we can finally understand our sins, and finally, before our lights dwindle out and sparkle into the infinities, come to peace.
A thousand years after the War of Three Gods, the whole of the planet is united under the rule of Salem the Betrayer, Salem the Peacemaker. Wars are few and their numbers dwindle, people are safe, and children may grow in peace, and everyone is learning to share that peace with those that would rebel.
Peace has a way of bringing people to their best and their worst. Were we all to agree, perhaps there would be an end to bloodshed. There are some, even after a thousand years that take up the causes of Obscurity or Chalot. There are some that will forever be proud and fight the greatness that happiness. There will always be those that can not live without sadness. And they must all be stopped.
In this world there are no men, no elves, and no hope. The world is covered by the Festering, acidic oceans burn bring burning rains that lay waste to the lands. And people, happy with their peace, live quiet lives, save those at the frontiers of the empire.
The first man to ever unite the world, Salem the Peacemaker, rules all, and yet even after a thousand years of hunting and searching, there are still those that oppose him. Somewhere in the Rainwastes far at the western edge of the empire are the Dieusang Havocs, the rebel Kervatus, and the tribal Zaraks who refuse acknowledge the laws. Still here, there is war, and even when all else rallies in unity.
Each of the Twelve races will be available to the players, none of which are elves, dwarves, and few are barely human:
Each character and player will ultimately have to answer the question for themselves and what is the greatest of evils, and which lesser they will follow.
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