Sunday, October 13, 2013

[Lore] XXI: The Blood Storm

     When the gods created Telara, the world was plentiful, full of rich bounties, vastly differing climates, and many different life forms. This was due to Telara being in the unique position of being the center of the Planes-powerful dimensions ruled by a single element made manifest in the physical realm. These 6 elements converged at a point in the center called the Nexus and Telara was at its heart. When the Planes touched Telara, they left behind incredible deposits of a raw material called Sourcestone. Sourcestone had the potential for vast and powerful wonders. It could be refined and shaped to do just about anything, including resurrection and creating a special matrix that can house multiple souls (Defiant Ascended). Unfortunately for the young and innocent world of Telara, this powerful material gave off an equally powerful and specific kind of resonance that caught the attention of some particularly evil beings. The Blood Storm.
     The Blood Storm were elemental entities who gained dominion over their respective Planes and amassed deadly armies of Planar foes. Eventually they grew so lustful for control and power that their reach extended even beyond the planes they conquered. They were drawn to other worlds in the vast cosmos, cracking them for their sourcestone like marrow from bone. When they discovered Telara, the Blood Storm eagerly descended upon the unsuspecting world, rampaging, destroying, enslaving and reshaping it to their own desires and will. They unleashed disasters and monstrosities of unimaginable horror. Their mere shadows drove men mad. Though the peoples fought back, they had been unprepared for such a threat and individually, the many races were overwhelmed and conquered by the seemingly unstoppable dragons. Civilization, historical records, and society was lost to the chaos and fear that became known simply as the Age of Dragons, where survival was the most important, and indeed the only, subject on Telaran minds. Wayward mortals became drawn to the dragons' promise of power, willing to help unmake the world for a mere taste of the vast potential the Blood Storm offered as well as a place under their great leathery wings.

     Telara seemed lost. The dragons ruled over the planet with iron fists, remaking it into the image of their own lust and greed. In the end though, it was the dragons themselves that proved to be their downfall. They splintered, driven by their own base desires to see Telara in each individual's image. Each of the dragons saw in Telara an image of their own dreams and desires. Destruction, complete control, wild chaos, a great empire of riches and greed, knowledge and profane nightmares, and Regulos's claims were the darkest. He desired total annihilation of anything living. The complete opposite of life, renewel, growth. The opposite of anything else the other Blood Storm members desired. If Regulos had his way, there would be no Telara for the other dragons to rule over. Seeing this, Crucia, knowing that Regulos's true form was beyond her to defeat, set up the other dragons to be pitted against him, hoping they would all destroy each other and leave everything for her. And thus, the Blood Storm fell to infighting, each determined to keep Telara for their own dark reasons.
     While the dragons waged a terrible war above Telara, the peoples of the world finally saw their chance. They rallied all the races together and fought back, taking the Blood Storm by surprise with their determination and ferocity. Distracted as they were with each other, the Blood Storm retaliated too late, unable to comprehend that these mere mortals posed any threat to them and unable to present the unified planar front of before. During the early years of the Blood Storm Wars, the Eth began experimenting with sourcestone, creating incredibly effective war constructs and machines of incredible power to help battle the dragons and their new cult followers, while the High Elves employed their ancient arcane wisdom and combat skill and the Dwarves built many war weapons and designed increasingly effective battle strategies and fortresses. All the races contributed to the defeat of the dragons, refusing to relinquish their world to the hungry planar beings.

     The Age of Dragons lasted for hundreds of years, yet when it mattered most, the dragons were too embittered, ambitious and selfish to join forces against the Telarans, a threat they didn't take seriously until it was too late. One after another, the great leviathans were overcome and imprisoned in powerful, unbreakable chambers beneath the earth in various secure locations around Telara, sealed with a king's ransom worth of pure planar sourcestone opposite their own element. Specific guards were set, the dragon orders, to safeguard the prisons (The Icewatch, The Dragonslayer's Covenant, etc.), and the cultists were hunted down through the centuries to ensure they would not rise up and attempt to free their dragon masters.
     Despite the horror, devastation and death that the Blood Storm wrought on Telara during the Age of Dragons, they accomplished one thing that had never happened before or since. They united the many differing clans and factions and races of the world together under a single banner. After the defeat of the dragons, the gods also joined themselves into a single entity, calling themselves the Vigil. They aided the mortals in the protection of Telara by constructing the Ward, an impenetrable barrier around Telara to keep the Planes from touching the world and sealing off the dragons from their powers. This also ensured that the spirit of Regulos, which had been severed from his physical form, would be unable to return to Telara. After this, the gods fell silent and were unable to be reached directly, instead handing down edicts through their messengers. Peace of sorts settled over Telara for centuries, with the cults rising up and than falling again, causing strife and chaos but ultimately being thwarted throughout history, until the cataclysmic event known as the Shade War, brought about by King Aedraxis Mathos, who broke the Ward, fused his body with the Avatar of Regulos, and unleashed the planes again upon Telara, thus waking the other dragons and allowing them access to their planar power. The Guardians were created by the Vigil worshipping races of Telara as a unified front against the evils of the cults and the planes, and as a reward, the Messengers of the Vigil returned their fallen heroes to them as Ascended-immortal warriors-thus fulfilling an ancient prophecy. The Eth, who had refused to give up the potential power of sourcestone fueled technology, joined forces with the Kelari refugees and their close friends the Bahmi, creating the Defiant faction and succeeding in perfecting their own form of machineborn Ascended that rivaled the Vigil's gift to the Guardians. The two factions never see eye to eye, but separately, they work to keep Telara safe from the newly awoken Blood Storm.

     Eventually, revelations and successful battles against the cultists lead to the chilling fact that Crucia, the Blood Storm dragon of Air, had merely played both her fellow Blood Storm and the heroes of Telara, pretending to be trapped in her prison, when she could easily control her minions and followers through mind control and air magic, which is the most elusive and hard to control element. She waited until the Ascended heroes had effectively neutralized the other dragons before making a play for domination, manipulating events across Telara to her own advantage so that she could steal a powerful engine called the Infinity Gate and take over once and for all. Also revealed is the discovery that Akylios is not actually the true dragon of the Plane of Water at all, but a maddened usurper who banished the true dragon ruler, Izkinra, and seized control. He is found to actually be what is called a lesser Akvan-a herd of multi-eyed shark creatures. The dragons are more complex then can be conceived by the mortal mind, which is why they could not be truly defeated until the Ascended were created with the powers to properly comprehend their forms. Anyone who tried to understand the true nature of the Blood Storm before the arrival of the Ascended would go mad from the effort.

Status of the Blood Storm:
  • Greenscale-The epitome of survival of the fittest. The first of the Blood Storm to be permanatly vanquished by the Ascended. After his true death, a new avatar of Life comes into being, taking on the name of Tasuil.
  • Akylios-Not a true dragon. He is actually an unsettling herd of multi-eyed sharks who, acting as one being, conquered the Plane of Water, banished the real dragon, and became a member of the Blood Storm by default. The second dragon to be killed by the Ascended.
  • Maelforge-Chaos incarnate. Is revealed to be a pwn of Lady Glasya, the Queen of Flame on the Plane of Fire, who has enslaved Woragrath, the true Dragon of Fire. Maelforge is the 3rd dragon to fall to the Ascended.
  • Laethys-What she wants, is what she sees. Laethys wants everything. Her form on Telara is molten gold in the form of a dragon. Her true physical body is still on the Plane of Earth. Is the 4th dragon slain, alongside Maelforge. (Or is she truly, completely dead?)
  • Regulos-The only dragon who could rival Crucia in terms of power. His true nature is actually two beings. One is the dragon offspring of Azdah and the other is a spirit/avatar that has the ability to reincarnate on Telara. These two beings finally merged to become the true God of Death and is permanently killed in the Endless Eclipse, leading to a new and terrifying revelation for the Ascended.

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