Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Rift Lore compendium




Hey guys, I've been compiling information from all over the space and dumped it into this post that I'm arranging into something comprehensible.


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Part 1: Telara and the Ward

Millennia ago… the gods create Telara



In the beginning, the gods of the Vigil modelled Telara from sourcestone into a world of exceptional wealth, placed at the junction of the Planes, allowing the equilibrium of elemental forces to sprout life and magic upon the world. Sourcestone is presented as something akin to pure magic: Only sourcestone shapes the shapeless, materializes the immaterial and expresses elemental energy as tangible places and things. Sourcestone is power incarnate and, for better or for worse, Telara is a veritable goldmine of the stuff. This worked out fine for the races of Telara, many of which used the native sourcestone to establish magic or magical technology and live pleasant lives.


The Vigil are a group of five gods who created the world of Telara out of sourcestone, at the junction of the Planes so as to create a prosperous world. They participated in the Blood Storm Wars by fighting alongside Telara's inhabitants to defeat the Blood Storm. Afterward, they helped create the Ward to defend Telara from the planes by keeping the Blood Storm at bay.


Since that time, despite the weakening of the Ward and the threat of Regulos' return, the Vigil has been silent. The Guardians are confident that the Vigil will return again to help drive back those forces which seek to destroy Telara. The Defiants, not so much. They’ve turned their backs on religion and only trust the tangible.


Tavril, one of the gods known as the Land, creates Elves.

Tavril is the land; she is the earth mother to the wilds, the power and majesty of nature. It is through her that we are able to survive; the bounty of her forests, her fields, her plants and the animals that feed upon them sustain us all. From her the beasts of the world pour forth to sustain us, to enrich our lives and even to challenge us. Those that learn to live in harmony with Tavril receive her blessings; those that attempt to despoil her bounty soon find her wrath, which is great and terrible.


Before the Vigil, she was the patron of the High Elves with whom she shared a special bond. She was their protector, and they were hers. It was this relationship with the gods that all the Guardians now enjoy. The other gods of the Vigil work to protect Tavril, who is the most vulnerable to the elemental invasions. But they draw from her strength; with every rift that is sealed, every elemental foothold destroyed, we witness the power of Tavril reasserting her will, and healing the land.

Bahralt, the god of crafting, on the other hand, creates Dwarves.

Bahralt is the city. He wishes us to labor and learn, to become skilled at a crafting and then teach our knowledge to our neighbors. The more trades you learn, the more pleased he is by your efforts.


Bahralt was the patron of the dwarven race before the gods joined together as the Vigil, but even in the ages gone he was worshiped by Mathosians, Eth, even those elves who left their cabals to live in the city paid homage to him. Now as part of the Vigil, he asks us all to work hard and improve ourselves. Learn a skill, make something with your hands, and then share it with the rest of the Guardians.

Thedeor is known as the Sword.

The god of the swords values courage and an adventurous spirit. If you bring him victory honorably gained he will bring you glory in this world and the next. If you flee from a challenge, or fight dishonorably, then you will anger him, and woe to the mortal that earns great Thedeor's anger.


Before the Vigil, Thedeor was the patron of the Mathosian people, who taught them courage and the arts of war. Now he oversees all those that march to combat the threats to our world, the dragons, their elemental invaders, and the heathen Defiants. We devotees who are not in the field on a crusade give honor to the Sword of the Vigil by testing our prowess against each other by sparring. We must keep in excellent fighting shape, for only our skill in war, can ensure a peace for Holy Sanctum.

Mariel-Taun is known as the Heart and, indeed, Valentine’s Day is known as the Festival of Mariel-Taun on Telara.

Mariel-Taun is the heart of the Vigil. She blesses those who love selflessly. She is the goddess of community, the hearth and compassion. The more you show empathy the stronger we all become. She wishes you to show compassion when you can, protect your community when you are able to, and improve Telara for others.


Mariel-Taun was the matron of lovers, healers, and the arts. As part of the Vigil she reminds us that while we live in violent times, we do not fight only to beget more violence. She wishes us all to take joy in our fellow mortals, revel in community, and take some time to find the beauty and joy that is Telara. We Guardians strive to bring about a better world, free from the corruption of the dragons. The heart of the Vigil wants you to find your love for this world, and to share it joyfully.

Thontic is the god of Mystery.

To know the god of mystery is to discover, to travel, to explore. Sanctum is a beacon of safety, beauty and wonder. There are so many wonderful things in Telara to be discovered. Thontic gives blessings to those that travel the world. Thontic doesn't care if it is to uncover the evil plots of the dragons, to fight the elemental invaders, to find rare and valuable treasure, or just to find that one mountain with the best view. The world of Telara is a world of wonder and beauty, of dangers and adventure. Explore!


Thontic was the patron of merchants, sailors and explorers. Now as part of the Vigil, Thontic shows us that there is always something more to the world than what we have previously believed. Thontic is said to have created the porticulums, which allows Guardians to travel further in the world than any have been able to previously.


On a ship at sea, a sailor plots his course, a merchant dreams of distant shores, and a scholar charts the stars. Each in their way prays to Thontic, God of the Sea, of trade, and of mystery. When the gods formed Telara from sourcestone at the dawn of days, it was Thontic who shaped the clouds, filled deep places with water, and sparked the thirst for knowledge in mortal minds.


The faceless Abyssal say that Thontic merely imitates Akylios’s genius, but this is a filthy lie. Akylios represents the profane darkness of the crushing deeps, where sanity flees even the design of nature and hideous secrets wait, hidden from the light. Thontic is the deity who guides travelers to safe harbor, who hides teeming life and fantastic revelations beneath the briny tide. While the Abyssal are misers of knowledge, hoarding secrets until their minds burst, Thontic’s priests are patrons of wisdom, answering life’s great questions and revealing their discoveries for the benefit of all.


Of all gods of the Vigil, Thontic is the most inscrutable. They say he moves across the land wearing the night as a cloak, his voice just barely softer than the lapping of the waves and the clinking of coins. His ways are not always kind—at his whim one merchant opens new cities for trade, while another is swallowed by the tide. Yet exploration is hollow without risk, and Clerics say those who die at sea have a place at Thontic's side.


The Guardians pray to Thontic when they embark on long journeys, solve crimes, or study the ways of magic and nature. And in Sanctum, most commerce takes place in Thontic Square, where every exchange pleases the god of the seas.


Thontic provides the Vigil with his wisdom, his craft, and a necessary ruthlessness that righteous Thedeor or gentle Mariel-Taun simply could not imagine. Like the trader who must outbid his competitors or the storm that rises without warning, Thontic knows that some events are unavoidable and had best be wisely managed. It is thanks to him that Rogues prowl the night to strike at hidden evils and Cabalists bring their forbidden rites to bear upon the Guardians’ enemies.


Without Thontic, the Guardians would truly be the guileless crusaders of Defiant propaganda. Guided by his canny insight, they are a subtler and more adaptable force than their enemies imagine. Like their god, their methods are a tightly-woven secret for the clever to unravel.


This all said, the Elves and Dwarves are placed on the continent that we know as Mathosia. Later, the Vigil creates a new race, the Humans, who will develop their culture across the continents of Brevane and Dusken. The Empyreans, a group of Humans, develop a high degree of magitech, which is a mixture of magic and technology, and build artifacts destined to amplify and link the power of the gods and mortals: the Divine Engines. The Infinity Gate, which would allow mortals to join gods in their dimension, would become the instrument of a cataclysm the likes of which had never been experienced before.

-1500 to -1000 years: the Blood Storm

The Blood Storm roamed the cosmos, cracking worlds for their sourcestone like marrow from living bones. Their trail of annihilation led them to Telara and, in the forms of vast dragons, the Blood Storm fell upon our world in a frenzy of greed.


Alien dragons, known as the Blood Storm for the violence they inflicted upon the world, invaded Telara through the Infinity Gate. One thing to keep in mind: they were brethren, but they quarrelled amongst themselves quite a bit, and definitely against Regulos their leader. One might say they each wanted his mantle of leader, mm? During this infighting, with Crucia and Maelforge teaming up to try to defeat Regulos, is when the mortals came in to imprison them.


Some sources call the dragons gods, and yet others do not mention this. I’m currently of the opinion that perhaps the Vigil and the Blood Storm are two factions of gods: one good, one evil. In any case, here are the dragons of the Blood Storm and their descriptions:


Regulos - (The Destructor) - black/undead

  • Leader of the Blood Storm, Dragon of Death.
  • Prides himself on being the most powerful of the dragons. Regulos is based on lies and deceit which in turn is used to protect one's pride.
  • Cult: The endless court
  • Champions: Alsbeth, Alekor, Mahr
  • Ravages Dusken, creating the Shapers, zombie servants that control the quasi-totality of the territory

Laethys - (Queen of Avarice) - yellow

  • Dragon of Earth (strength)
  • Greedy: wants control and power, and shiny things including gold. Kind of like your average Rift player ;)
  • Cult: The golden maw
  • Dungeons they are present in: Infernal Dawn

Maelforge - (The Flame Sire) - red

  • Dragon of Fire, power of aggression
  • Wants eternal chaos for the sake of chaos. Revels in his wrath.
  • Cult: The wanton
  • Champion: Emberlord Ereetu
  • He is not the only dragon with his particular appearance, as Woragrath and Scarn are lesser drakes who have the same appearance despite being smaller. The notion that a lesser dragon could grow to become a potential decoy to fake his death has the potential of driving mortals mad.
  • When slain, his soul returns to the Plane of Fire as a being of pure lava known as Maelfernus, who has the ability to possess other dragons. The fact that Maelforge is a being of pure lava that can possess dragons is a dreadful secret that causes maddening paranoia.

Greenscale - (The Primeval) - green

  • Dragon of Life
  • Hungers for everything. In the lore the following is mentioned "At last, she heard the thunder of wings that stretched the sky, and a great green shape came down and feasted on the sicklehorns" which would suggest that he would feed on anything.
  • Cult: House of Aelfwar
  • Champion: Hylas (high elf)

Crucia - (The Broodmother)- white

  • Dragon of Air, power of mind control & tyranny
  • Crucia wants everything, she wants an empire, to have all the power. Due to her envy she controls people into serving her because in the end if you can't earn it then you just take it.
  • Cult: The Storm Legion
  • Champion: Caelia, etc.
  • Settles on Brevane, and positions herself as a goddess of the Ashoran empire. When part of the population rebels against her tyranny and hides behind a magical barrier, she abandons Brevane and turns toward Mathosia. The Eternal City prospers sheltered behind their ramparts, while the Ashorans are wrecked.
  • In Mathosia, she ravages the lands of the High Elves, which provokes the secession of part of the survivors. Faced with this destruction, the Kelari elves turn from Tavril to search a more direct protection with the spirits and the minor gods. Exiled, they take to the sea and settle on Ember Isle.
  • Crucia is imprisoned deep below the mountains of Iron Pine Peaks, a deed performed by Phynnious Rothmann, the first pyromancer, and Ekkehard, first of the Shamans and blessed by Thedeor.

Akylios - (The Profane) - blue

  • Dragon of Water, power of madness
  • Has a need for knowledge (secrets and magic) at all costs. It’s told later that he is actually an Akvan who joined the dragons in their quest for destruction (see Nightmare Tide for more on the Akvans), and therefore his is not a dragon form. He was just a counterfeit that took the place of the Dragon of Ice, who was otherwise indisposed during the blood storm war.
  • Cult: The Abyssal
  • Champion: Tidelords (the faceless man once belonged to the cult)
  • Akylios waits deep beneath one of Telara’s great secret shames, a place of terror and darkness and forbidden magic. He sleeps and he dreams, remembering endless eons marauding through the cosmos with his Blood Storm brethren, learning every tragic secret, every evil spell, sipping the nightmares of dying worlds.
  • Telarans can comprehend the other dragons’ urges to consume, to conquer, to hoard, but Akylios is beyond understanding. The living interest him because the tortured howls of races sound almost like music. He does not seek victory over men any more than the ocean strives against the land. One day he will simply wash all mortals away just to hear them scream their silly symphony. He was mad even before he learned all fears and secrets. There are no words for what Akylios is now.


Originally the Blood Storm would destroy planets in an effort to send everything to oblivion according to Regulos's whims. However, due to Telara’s amazing amount of sourcestone, the other dragons began to want the world for themselves alone and fighting broke out among them all. This gave the Vigil and the mortal races of Telara time to banish the Blood Storm to the elemental planes and erect a Ward to keep them there. Soon afterwards, the Vigil went silent, without anyone knowing why. Were the gods dead? Were they listening? Were they watching? I believe it is still not quite known.


The Shalastiri, elemental lords from the Plane of Air, had escaped Crucia’s domination and battled on the side of the Telarans, and now were prevented from returning to their Plane due to the Ward, and so they settled among the Eth civilization they had helped, and procreated with them. Thus were the Bahmi born.


Human survivors from Brevane and Dusken arrived on Mathosia from the sea, dividing into two groups of different philosophies: the Mathosians stayed north and studied with the High Elves, and the Eth headed south of the continent, choosing a nomadic lifestyle and devoting themselves to survival through magic and magitech, which they had taken up again. The Eth discovered sourcestone’s properties again and constructed war machines. They also developed new forms of magic, like chloromancy, which was perfected by the Eth archmage Kazuzu.


By the way: the Ward

The Vigil’s Ward is put in place, which puts an end to the war, won from the union of all citizens of Telara. Five dragons are locked on Telara, and their leader Regulos is beat back, his physical body destroyed but his spirit still alive and kicking, but banished.


  • Laethys disappeared, her molten body prisoner of Ember Isle’s volcano Mount Carcera, under the technological Eth city of Eboni, whose citizens she makes subservient to her. Those lost citizens became the Golden Maw.
  • Greenscale was locked in a prison of death sourcestone (death, to negate his life powers), under the Caer Mathos citadel. I believe it is all unbeknownst to most of the Mathosians living nearby.
  • Maelforge was also imprisoned with Laethys under Mount Carcera, but in a different area. That volcano is huge!
  • Akylios was isolated in the depths of a watery cave under the dwarven fortress of Hammerknell, in Moonshade Highlands.
  • Crucia was sealed in the ice of Iron Pine Peaks, in front of the Chancel of Labors.


The magical Ward was anchored on the power of those prisons, taking its strength from the dragons themselves. This spell protects Telara from outer planar influences, but also has the result of cutting power to the empyrean machines, provoking the ruin of the once powerful civilization of the two Human continents who are thereby left without defenses. Only a handful of zones have their own source of energy and manage to survive. The rest? They are left trying to make by, poor and rather powerless.


Crucia and Regulos, unbeknownst to Telarans, take the opportunity to continue the development of their respective cultist armies, without even direct intervention, thanks to their servants who have remained secretly active.


As we mentioned before, the Vigil has remained silent since the inception of the Ward, so it has prevented contact between the Vigil and mortals. Yet, the Mathosians remain faithful to the Vigil, and create an empire based on faith and chivalry.


The Kelari, dark Elves who have lost faith in their religion of yore, develop their own culture on Ember Isle, now venerating the numerous friendly spirits that dwell there.


The Eth refuse to turn their backs on magitech and are rejected by Mathosians. Regardless, their empire rises and their city-states prosper, led by great sorcerer-kings. They develop all fields of magic and magitech. They manage thus to create machines capable of resuscitating the dead or to change the climate. Studying the Planes, the Eth scientists open passageways to send expeditions into the Planes, and invoke their inhabitants to serve them. This ends badly, however, as we see in the Nightmare Tide expansion.
Part 2 : The Human empires

-500 years: Fall of the Eth Empire

Whereas the greatest scientists in the Eth city of Redoubt are working on a powerful ritual called the Convocation, which would have allowed Eth to elevate themselves to godhood, agents of Maelforge infiltrated the city and corrupted the device that held the spirits. Instead of empowering the sorcerers, the force of a million souls was unleashed upon the land, destroying the cradle of the Eth empire.


It's not clear whether the Convocation was a spell cast in some internal conflict, or an experiment gone awry. What is clear is that all the Ethians near the blast vanished. The ground split asunder, the rivers went dry, and Eth was laid to waste. Now it is up to archeologists and historians like myself to discover the cause of this great calamity.


The few survivors flee and take refuge with their Bahmi allies, and transmit to their descendents a far more glorious version of the fall of their empire, erasing from public memory the tragic truth of what had come to pass. Their once mighty machines, now powerless, are destined to remain buried in the sand forever, as the stories passed down took care not to mention said machines, in an effort to keep history from repeating itself, and to prevent the cultists from using magitech to destroy the Ward.


Meanwhile, the Mathosian empire took the opportunity to extend its influence, taking over most of the world by claiming they wanted to protect it from the dragons. The last Eth sorcerers become counsellors to the Mathosian Court. The Cataris, who were the highest of all the Eth tribes in Redoubt, are amongst them.


Asha Catari, the Defiants’ leader in the future, is born.


-20 years: The Mathosian Civil War

All right, this part of the story is a little complicated and it’s always confused me a bit, but I’ll try my best to elucidate the entire knot.


King Jostir is at this point of the story the King of the Mathosians. Yet, he dies mysteriously a little time after his wife. Interestingly, I’ve always thought he was poisoned by one of his sons, especially considering what follows.


Jostir left two sons, then: Zareph and Aedraxis. Aedraxis, being the older son, takes the throne. Zareph, however, discovered that his brother had become corrupted by the dragon cults, and challenged his brother’s rule, which started a bloody civil war that destroyed most of the Mathosian empire. Knowing that Aedraxis would fight him he slowly emptied the city of any man able to travel.


Fourth Moon of the Year of the Tyrant Day 15



There is troubling news from the court of my brother, the king. He has always ruled Mathosia with an iron fist, and in accordance with Mathos tradition I have not intervened in his affairs. He claims it is for the good of the people, and that he only wishes to make the kingdom stronger.


Now I am told he has unbanned the use of profane technology within the kingdom, and that he refuses to give worship to Thedeor, or any other god. This is certainly a break from tradition, but perhaps I am worrying over nothing.


Fourth Moon of the Year of the Tyrant day 28



I have received several reports from the west today that Aedraxis's tyrannical rule is getting worse by the day. They say he hungers for power as if it were an addiction, and that he has ordered all books on death rituals in the kingdom be brought to him personally. His advisors fear what he may be planning. If he continues to pursue such dangerous magic, I may need to step in after all.


Fifth Moon of the Year of the Tyrant day 5



My brother has gone mad. I received a letter from the mayor of Ardenburgh, a small settlement on the eastern border, saying that Aedraxis has been preparing some sort of technomatic empowered ritual for the past several days outside of that town. I fear for his people, my people.


As I write this, I am on my way to meet him in battle to determine the fate of the west, and perhaps all of Telara. The Runeguard of the Dwarves has informed me that they are sending soldiers as well, and an Elvish contingent from the Silverwood was seen marching through Moonshade Highlands on its way west a few days past. I only hope we are not too late.


Fifth Moon of the Year of the Tyrant Day 9



I have seen more tragedy this day than any man should have to witness in two lifetimes. We were able to mount an impressive force of Dwarves, Elves, and Mathosians against Aedraxis and his forces. As I stood with the archers, directing the attack, I was certain we would be victorious, for Thedeor was surely on our side.


Then, I saw the Eth and Bahmi mercenaries from the south that had brought their technomancy to aid Aedraxis. The army charged over the crest of the hill where my brother was performing his dark ritual. What I saw next I will never forget. The very sky opened up before him, and a great wave of death magic came pouring through. I could see the hollow eyes of Regulos, the Dragon of Extinction, staring through the void. The infantry was decimated almost instantly. Some were simply reduced to dust, but others became possessed by the powerful death magic, their bodies turned pale or reduced to only bones; undead soldiers for Aedraxis’s army. Carwin, Cyril, Borrin, and so many others who I called friend were swallowed up in that cloud of death. Of the leadership, I alone survived. Perhaps my brother was right, perhaps the gods have forsaken us.


Fifth Moon of the Year of the Tyrant Day 10



The cathedral at Ardenburgh was cold last night when I came here for shelter, but this morning it was filled with a warm light that I cannot describe here. Then I saw them; the dead returned. They are not undead abominations like those I saw on the battlefield. These are the righteous fallen, reborn in this world by some indescribable miracle.


Though I am in the midst of something grand, I am also plagued by a sobering reality. With the Ward broken, what will become of Port Scion? I must return there, and soon. These rifts will only grow more numerous in the coming days. I must not let what happened to Ardenburgh happen to my city.

What was Aedraxis’s plan? We know he’d been corrupted by the cultists, but what would he benefit from this alliance? Well, it seems that he planned to use Orphiel Farwind’s knowledge of machines and magitech in order to open the Planes, show his superiority by defeating them, and beat his brother once and for all. It’s tragic really that these two brothers, who don’t seem to have ever fought before their father’s death, suddenly were at complete odds. Perhaps there was a bit of jealousy involved.


Zareph, along with his followers, fled the Shade that his own brother had helped bring onto Telara, and founded Port Scion, a haven for both Guardians and Defiants if I’m not mistaken. Though he was a Defiant leader, and the Guardians vehemently rejected technology, Zareph merely saw it as a tool. It is the intent behind it that makes it good or evil. And so he gave Orphiel a chance to atone for past crimes. When it was Asha Catari, his dearest friend, who was the first person brought back by Defiant machines, its potential for good seemed apparent. Cyril might say it was a lapse in judgment on Zareph's part, but Defiants see him as a model of Mathosian rationalism.


With the help of the Bahmi, they strengthened and raised the walls to great heights to prevent any invasion. Really, it would have been an amazing zone for players to play through (apart from the warfront version, which shows you the aftermath of its fall), and could have been a great sanctuary city for both Guardian and Defiant players, like Tempest Bay is today. Anyway. As from the rifts poured forth more and more invaders, however, the gates of the city were sealed forever more. I believe that originally in the alpha or beta version of vanilla Planes of Telara, players could enter Port Scion; there’s even art that suggests that it would have been a sanctuary city for both factions. But, I guess the writers changed their minds somewhere along the way.


The fall of Hammerknell



Hammerknell falls to death magic, and Akylios stirs beneath the fortress. Regulos’s power frees the demons and the spirits that runes kept captive, and they turn back on those they had served. General Stanig seals the city to prevent the corruption from spreading, but it has already reached the surrounding gardens where the fae too fall under the yoke of Regulos.


Fifth day of the Seventh Moon in 1489th year of the Ward



I have given the order to destroy the wheel. I wrote it in the stone of the entry so that none among the Rune Guard might question my edict. The doors of Hammerknell were designed only to be opened with it's assistance. They were cut from the mountain itself, the halls tunneled out around them and never designed to be moved by the power of any living being. Without it, we will be trapped inside but the horrors we brought into this world will be trapped with us. For our sins, many of our people have died. More will be lost, and it is my place to stay with them.


I have sent Dolin to lead the people out. As he lives, so will the line of Molinar. May he lead the dwarves to more wise and prosperous times than I was able.


Sixth day of the Seventh Moon in 1489th year of the ward.



It is our first day in the dark. Dolin, the foolish boy, stayed inside with me. He still believes we can win; that somehow we will destroy all of the demons in Hammerknell and return her to glory. Always a brave lad but never the brightest, my Dolin. We have made our stand in the throne room. Pursued to its doors by the hound Murdantix, we managed to trap him with some of our surviving runebindings. They also hold the door closed, keeping access to us from that direction closed. If I had my will, I would never rely on another runebinding. They are a slight to Bahralt, thought I only realized that too late. But we have no choice. We have no other weapons to fight these things.


Ninth day of the Seventh Moon in 1489th year of the Ward



One by one, our numbers drop. Teams of fighters are sent to clear out pockets of monsters, but it's rare that they return at their full number. Sometimes they don't return at all. Everyone who stayed was prepared for such sacrifices, however. We will do no good for Telara staying in this room. Our only purpose left is to thin our their numbers in the event that someday, people find a way to open those doors and try to retake the city. If they do, I hope they bring an army. Nothing less can stand against everything within these walls.


Twelfth day of the Seventh Moon in 1489th year of the Ward



We are down to the last of our soldiers. Dolin remains beside me, and only now will I acknowledge how much I have taken comfort in his presence. Part of me is ashamed that I have come to peace with it, because it will mean the death of my son and the end of my family line. Another part of me, the part that shrinks at the echoes of dark wailing in the halls around us, is glad he is here, and that we sometimes find comfort in speaking of better times. He reminded me of a picnic we had when he was young on the terraces of the Runic Garden. Of the food we ate, and the mead we drank, and how the son shone that day. We were happy the. It is easy to forget those times.


Fourteenth day of the Seventh Moon in 1489th year of the Ward.



This will likely be my last record. My head has been clouded for days. I blamed hunger, and thirst and fear, all of the obvious things. I only now recognize that something has been creeping up inside of me. I only see it because the same darkness is taking Dolin. He is no longer the same young man who slayed behind with me. Rude, loud, brtish, he stomps around yelling at what's left of our guard and tearing his nails against the walls. I would admonish him for it, if not for the fact that every ounce of self-control I have learned my in my life is all that keeps me from acting the same way. Every whisper, every breath, they grate at me, making me feel like yelling and gnashing my teeth. I don't know what darkness it is that takes us, but it is coming, relentlessly. If anyone ever reads this record, please remember us as we were, and recognize that we did not go willingly - we were taken. For Hammerknell, for the dwarven people, for Bahralt, I am Rune King Molinar. These are the last of my words. May Telara be in a safer place the day they are discovered.

Shyla, Borrin, and Cyril die at some point and are brought back to life as Ascended by the Vigil, in order to prevent handing Telara over to Regulos, as Aedraxis becomes Regulos’s host body on Telara. Cyril and others destroy Regulos’s body, and therefore Aedraxis, which ousts Regulos from Telara.


The city fell when Prince Zareph was betrayed by the Guardian Alsbeth Rothmann, who players now know as Alsbeth the Discordant. Her story is a rather complicated one. The short of it is this: the Rothmanns had always secretly been Endless cultists. When she was younger, her father killed her mother and then himself, for reasons that as far as I know are unknown, although I suspect perhaps her mother had discovered her father’s treachery and tried to intervene. Nevertheless, Alsbeth was now an orphan, and was sent to the Mathosian court where the queen took her under her wing and where she studied at Quicksilver College and somewhat befriended Asha Catari, who was also a student there. I say somewhat because they weren’t quite friends, more like rival frenemies who always attempted to one-up one another. Because, yes, they were both quite gifted mages, but chafed under stringent curriculum. At some point, they were pursuing the art of the warlock, and Alsbeth blamed Asha, who was promptly expelled from the school, which forbade study of the dark art. (By the way, Asha was then disowned by her father, and she unrepentantly traveled to the ancient Eth lands to join the Dragonslayer Covenant, who then warned Zareph Mathos of his brother’s link to the Endless Court, and she then fought and died when the Shade was released, but she does crop up later so stay tuned).


"I learned at a very young age that the world is full of people who are terrified by knowledge and the power it bestows to the individual. Freedom is to be seized by those with the courage to think for themselves." - Asha Catari


Anyway, Alsbeth then became Quicksilver’s star pupil, always striving for the top, always… trying to erase her family’s stain, in a way, I guess.


But long story short, it seems she had always remained a Rothmann deep down inside. Perhaps her father had passed down some cultist ideas or ideals before murdering her mother and committing suicide (as an aside, it would have been interesting to see her zombified father somewhere along the Endless Saga before Alsbeth’s demise, maybe a flashback of how she came to actually be evil deep down inside). I read somewhere that she had died before being revived by Regulos into the Alsbeth we encounter in-game, somewhere along the way between the Shade being released onto Stillmoor and Port Scion’s destruction, but most sources don’t really talk about it or pinpoint exactly when she died. Or if she indeed did die, which I’m honestly not quite sure that she did. Confusion!


The Mathosian King Aedraxis used the machines Orphiel Farwind (yes, him. He forever lamented about helping bring an apocalypse when we players interact with him later on… he’s a twisty one, Orphiel) built for him to break the Ward, freeing Regulos’s power on Telara during an event which will be known throughout history as The Shade. Freeing Regulos triggers the first rifts, from which creatures from the Planes pour out, invading every corner of Telara. This event gives the incarcerated dragons a chance to soon be freed by their cultists and to control Telara. The northern Mathosian lands are annihilated.


Alsbeth, now Alsbeth the Discordant, turned on Prince Zareph in Port Scion. In fact, she had played both brothers, pretending to aid both of them while, in fact, she had always had Regulos’s interests at heart. She helped Aedraxis destroy the magical Defiant-created barrier over the city that prevented invasions from passing through and she opened a death rift right in the city to allow in the forces of Regulos. The Guardians and Defiants fled the port city and both factions now blamed the other for its fall. But, in the end, it was Alsbeth’s fault, let’s remember that.


When then the Shade was unleashed, Asha was among those destroyed in its dark wave of power, as we said. Beyond the Veil, Regulos drew her spirit from the Soulstream and infused her with great power, a temptation to convince Asha to become his general on Telara (heyyyy, that’s a fuck you to Alsbeth). She refused. Enraged by Asha’s denial, Regulos attempted to destroy her, igniting the very energy with which he had embroidered her soul. But before Regulos could finish, Asha’s agonized spirit was pulled away as the dread god howled in frustration. Indeed, she was brought back to life by Orphiel, who… seems to have changed sides? (Some say he didn’t actually build the machines for Aedraxis to rupture the Ward, but rather he had been a student of Orphiel and had learned very well). Anyway, he Ascended Asha.


The Shade reached the Kelari on Ember Isle, corrupting the spirits and the Kelari themselves. Akylios, from within Hammerknell, triggers storms that engulf the isle and the ships that attempt to flee the massacre. The survivors wash ashore the coast of Freemarch, and are welcomed by the Defiants.


When the forces of death became too much to handle in Port Scion, Zareph vanished with his followers, including Orphiel whom he grants asylum to (I can imagine him: I’m sorryyyyyyy it’s all my fault!) and Asha, and together they established Meridian as a Defiant fortress, and started working on time machines in the hopes of going back into the past to prevent the recent events. Interestingly, Meridian was, I believe, at the time, an Abyssal school of knowledge. The Faceless Man helped the Defiants drive out the Abyssal, after coming to terms with how positively uncomfortable he had begun to feel about his cult.


This is where it gets a little murky for me: I believe that Zareph and some followers went back for the last time to Port Scion, sacrificing themselves, rebuilding and fortifying the city behind a sourcestone shield, fighting endlessly against the rifts and sealing the evil within the walls of the city.


On their own side, Cyril and Borrin established Sanctum, their temple city dedicated to the Vigil, upon an island that has emerged from the flood, and Shyla joined the Guardians officially while her ex-lover Hylas joined the Aelfwar (Greenscale’s cultists). Their task is to push back the Shade and protect the Vigil’s Ward.


By the way: Asha Catari’s Ascension



Asha awoke, gasping for breath, within a machine in the Shadowlands. Orphiel Farwind, her mentor and friend, stood beside her, looking at her with an expression of triumph. He explained that he had used the technology of the ancient Eth to return her to life, and that she was merely the first of the warriors he planned to return. He asked her to be his champion and second in command, continuing the work they had done within the Dragonslayer Covenant. She agreed, but in agreeing she admitted much of her motivation sparked from a desire for vengeance on Regulos. Orphiel realized she was not the same young woman who he had sent to Zareph so many decades ago. Physically, she had changed; covered in glyphs of power that flared up on her skin. She was also calmer, quieter, and intensely focused. The headstrong, reckless girl was gone, and in her place was a being that was no longer quite human.


Orphiel’s other followers could feel the change as well, but were not as easily accepting. Asha’s planar powers, and eventual role in the fall of Port Scion made her a pariah to all but her closest comrades, but the unease of her fellow Telarans failed to concern her. Asha was intent on her cause, and, together with Orphiel, she would help form a new organization dedicated to saving Telara: the Defiants.
Part 3: Guardians and Defiants

Shortly thereafter: Civil unrest



The Telarans begin to divide themselves, the Guardians accusing Asha and Orphiel to have caused the fall of Port Scion, while they respond that it was one of theirs (Alsbeth was a Guardian) that broke the Ward.


Without Zareph the Wise there to compel them to peace, Orphiel and Cyril break into different paths with their followers. The official separation of the population of Telara into distinct factions of Guardians and Defiants takes place.


8 years later



Meridian is ravaged by Guardians. The Defiant survivors lock themselves up into a fortified Life Factory in Freemarch to continue their research on Ascension by machines. In essence, though, the Guardian’s victory is total. Everyday is a battle for survival for the Defiants.


14 years later



Orphiel disappears without a trace.


REPORT: The Master stands at his tower window for hours at a time. Mutterings included the following: "I must perfect Ascension. Could I even assign it to a living mortal? Test it on myself, of course..."


20 years later



Sylver Valis ("No great discovery is made without a few mishaps.") discovers the way to reproduce Ascension. It’s the end of the world, pretty much, though, as Alsbeth has found another way to bring back Regulos. The Defiant Ascended are sent back in time, using Orphiel’s Failsafe machine, to avoid the disaster that they are the last living witnesses to. We the Defiant player bring back to the main game time the secrets of magitech Ascension.


Moral of the story

The Defiants can save Telara, but without the Guardians, there isn't much of a Telara to save. The Guardians can protect Telara, but without the Defiants, they aren’t enough to save it. The factions need each other.
Part 4 : Rift, Planes of Telara

Day 0 (Game launch): The Ascendeds’ arrival



The Vigil brings back Ascended en masse on Telara, entrusting them with the double mission of fighting Regulos and to eliminate the Defiants. The Dwarves and High Elves had turned to the Vigil, and their fallen heros come back as Ascended, beings capable of possessing several souls.


Some Ascended from the future arrive through Orphiel’s temporal machine, bringing with them the secret to creating Ascended through technology, and also a vision of the end of the world. Calling themselves Defiants, these warriors from the future were machine-born, and they begin uniting the Eth, the Bahmi and the Kelari in order to use technology to change the world’s destiny.


The original souls

Souls are heroes from Telara's past who either banished or imprisoned the dragons, and who have come back from the dead either by the power of the gods or machines. They leave us with their legacy of teachings.

Mage

Chloromancer

Kamuzu Sagta rode with the rest of the refugees as they fled Eboni, the charmed city, where the great golden dragon Laethys and her ogre minions had enslaved the population. Kamuzu was a Mage of considerable power and standing. He had been told by the Golden Maw that mortals who knew their place would be allowed to keep their positions of power if they but worshiped the dragon.


Knew his place! Kamuzu had plotted equations of planar convergence when he was a mere child. He bowed to no mortal, dragon, or god. The same could not be said of his countrymen. Kamuzu looked at the shaman who rode next to him, draped in reeking furs, his wild beard dipped in some kind of horrid animal emulsion. The uncouth holy man wiped off the grease from the shank of yarnosaur he chewed on his bare chest.


Kamuzu had thought him a vagrant until townsmen came and prostrated at his feet, begging him for assistance. “To think that we escaped the domination of one otherworldly being only to willingly chain ourselves to another,” thought Kamuzu. “Though I suppose if my daughter lay dying from an ogre’s spear, I might consider supplication as well.”


This realization haunted Kamuzu. His eldritch equations had unlocked every mystery in Telara other than how to improve the mortal condition. Settling on the southern shore of the Lake of Solace, he turned his full attention to the problem of arcane healing. He gathered any sample he could from the Plane of Life, and his lab began to resemble a faetouched alien jungle.


Kamuzu’s peers thought his quest mad, and in their learned circles they even held a game to choose the right name for a Mage with his outlandish ideas, finally deciding upon “Chloromancer.” Nonetheless, Kumuzu could dream in the eldritch script of magic, and eventually he unlocked the pathways to power over Life.


But there was a catch.


The energies of Life could not be created, only transferred. When a cleric healed wounds they were not channeling raw life energy, but the essence of the god or spirit to whom they prayed. If Kamuzu were to heal a man on the brink of death, he would find his own life in peril — a sacrifice he was not willing to make. Disappointed, Kamuzu turned his attention to an uprising to take back his beloved city of Eboni.


Kamuzu arrived at Eboni after the battle began, but watched events carefully as he approached. Witnessing the ebb and flow of combat, how one side grew strong as the other weakened, the Mage found inspiration.


Arriving on the battlefield, Kamuzu siphoned life force from the ogres, easily dispatching them. Overflowing with more energy than he could control for long, he carefully radiated it out at the warriors guarding his position. The wounded healed, while the freshly dead revived and rejoined the fray. Kamuzu was struck by the elegance of it all. All he needed to give Life was more Life, and in his enemies he had endless unwilling volunteers. The rebels, bolstered by healing that destroyed their foes, charged forward and drove the Golden Maw from Eboni.


Kamuzu Sagta was venerated, not as a priest, but as one of the first great Eth Mages. He taught his art and philosophy of mortal empowerment to the students who flocked to the charmed city. And when the great golden dragon was brought low, it was his equations and thaumaturgy that bound her in place.


Dominator

Nyx was beloved of the Kelari. A beautiful young girl, she was betrothed to Heliod, who was fated to become high priest. In a land where ruthlessness was a virtue, Nyx was known for her sweet demeanor. Her melodious voice called the squirrels from the trees and the birds from the skies down to perch upon her shoulders.


Returning from a day in a shady glade, Nyx entered her bedchambers to find an Abyssal sorcerer waiting, knife in hand.


“Your destiny dies with you…” he began, but the faceless cultist’s threat died in his throat as Nyx's magic overwhelmed him. In a brief instant, his form twisted grotesquely, leaving behind a squirrel that ran in erratic circles where once a man had stood. Humming a dulcet tune, Nyx called the beast to her and dropped him into a cage, which she immediately submerged in a cistern. She sang over the animal’s terrified shrieks, then finally flicked the carcass out the window.


The Water cultists had arrived. Again. "Oh, bother", thought Nyx, "How many times must I deal with these people?"


“Heliod?” she called out pleasantly, hand on the bejeweled ritual dagger at her hip. “I think we shall have visitors soon!” She opened the door to the salon where he would doubtless reside, deep in meditation.


Instead she saw more Abyssal cultists, wearing masks made from the skins of their victims. The large one with the swords was hacking her Heliod into parts needed for their demonic rituals, while the others were busy painting profane symbols in the mess.


“Well, I see you’ve already made yourselves at home.” Her practiced smile never wavered. “You must be tired.” Following a wave of her hand, the cultists found themselves struggling to stay awake. The pleasantness about her evaporated and the air around her darkened. “And now you’ve forced me to train another husband,” Nyx said before her form wavered and tore into shadows that crept about the walls.


The cultists of Akylios are accustomed to madness, but in the house of Nyx they found themselves engulfed in a nightmare beyond their control: running through the room, they clawed at their faces to remove imagined insects, lost all memory of who they were, and began to turn upon each other in paranoia. With their own spilt gore, they destroyed whatever arcane pattern they had attempted to draw with Heliod's remains.


Nyx turned and regarded the leader, who had just found the strength to stand. “Witch!” he hissed, “The power of Akylios will not waver before the likes of you!” A bolt of profane energy streaked towards Nyx, but flared against a conjured barrier that caused it to rebounded upon its caster. Nyx was uncertain what he had cast, but the cultist's screams suggested that it must have been painful.


“Yes, yes, you cultists and your prattle. Consider me officially bored.” In an almost disinterested way, Nyx invoked a spell that tore the magic from her foe, streams of energy wrenched through his mouth and his nose until the husk of his body collapsed upon the floor.


Nyx straightened her appearance in the salon's mirror and furrowed her brow. “Well, then. Nothing for it but to show this Akyli-person that I will not be trifled with.”


Elementalist

As elemental gods, the Blood Storm wreaked havoc on the natural order of Telara with planar magic. The races of Telara had little experience with the mighty power of the elemental planes like fire, water, and even death. The Blood Storm pulled these planes closer to Telara causing great destruction and chaos to the forces aligned against them.


It was in this age that pioneering mages of the High Elves began to study and exploit weaknesses in the elemental forces, harnessing and redirecting them against the invading forces. This dangerous art had dire consequences, since a loss of concentration by an Elementalist could end in immediate and painful death. Despite these risks, the Elementalists were effective at turning the tide of the war: Their art kept them far away from the battlefield, and their minions inflicted heavy losses on the planar hosts invading Telara.


Today this arcane art still flourishes across Telara and it remains as important as ever. Those mages who demonstrate an impressive force of will and an affinity for the natural order often make accomplished Elementalists. Those mages who do not share these talents and begin summoning the elements typically don't survive very long.[1]


"I mold and bind the most primal forces of existence into beings that serve my will. They will destroy my enemies, or form protective defenses around my allies. I am the undisputed master of the elements."


Archon

The Archon’s Bahmi servant looked the Paladin Amardis up and down. Amardis shifted uncomfortably, unused to the desert heat.


“Many warlords seek the aid of the Archon Tahkaat. Her power brings victory to any army. What priceless treasure do you offer for her support?”


“None,” replied the Paladin. “My forces and I have taken a sacred vow. We will take no pay, nor spoils of war. We march against Laethys, Queen of Avarice, and we’ll give her greed no purchase.”


The Archon was clad in robes and veiled from sight in her tent. She appeared to be meditating in a circle of incense and spices. The figure made the barest nod, and her servant looked back, smiling.


“The Archon Tahkaat thinks you wiser than you appear. She will fight with your army, and through her strength the dragon will fall.”


In their third week afield, the army faced attack. Stone constructs rose from the desert sands and set upon them. Rushing to the front lines, Amardis saw the Archon’s litter explode. The Mathosian Paladin ran toward the blast, finding at first only fire and shards.


Tahkaat’s servant sat nursing her as the Paladin arrived at their side. The Archon’s veils were askew. Amardis laid eyes on Tahkaat for the first time and saw an emaciated and frail Eth woman, bleeding on the sand.


“Is this her great power?” yelled Amardis at the Bahmi servant.


The Bahmi looked at Amardis, leader of a noble crusade, as if she were no more than an ungrateful child. “Take a look at your army, Northerner.”


Amardis was stunned. Wreathed in stone and flame, their skin like rock, every one of her soldiers, from the hardened tribesmen to the boys who last season had been shepherds, matched the golems’ terrible strength. Every apprentice wielded spells like a magus, each infantryman fought like a champion. They dismantled the golems of Laethys as a child smashes his toys.


“She needs healing,” said Amardis, ashamed at her lack of faith.


“No!” The Bahmi gently picked up Tahkaat. “Something is coming.”


Suddenly, a series of thunderous blows shook the battlefield. “Titan!” the soldiers cried. A gargantuan figure towered over top of them. Even in their empowered state, the army was no match for this force of nature.


Before Amardis could sound the retreat, magma gushed from a sudden crack in the hill, washing over the foe, and Amardis felt her hands surge with the titan’s own might. She looked at the Archon, whose eyes burned like the molten blood of the earth. No longer frail and wizened, Tahkaat was regal, beautiful, and awesome to behold.


“Attack!” she bellowed.“Trust in the Gods, and the Archon Tahkaat!” Her army rallied, empowered anew. Amardis had never felt so strong, so unstoppable in her life.


As Amardis drew her blade from the Titan’s desiccated heart, she felt Archon Tahkaat’s hand on her shoulder. Amardis loved the gods, but at no moment in her life had she felt closer to a divine being.


Necromancer

Corthana Wyvernjack helped her brother off the crypt floor, making concerned clucking noises as she brushed off his dented armor. William’s eyes narrowed at her.


“It was your plan to draw the high priest’s attention,” Corthana reminded him. “If you want to protect me, you have to accept the consequences.” Her brother seemed about to say something, but she shushed him, and fished for her needle to stitch his wounds closed.


William’s situation dated back to when he and Corthana had joined the crusade against the Endless, working on their own because Corthana’s magic made others suspicious.


They had great success until Corthana was taken prisoner by the Endless. Perhaps they sensed darkness in her, or simply recognized her cleverness, so they showed her their ritual of reanimation. It was needlessly complex, laden with invocations to Regulos that seemed integral to the magic, yet served no purpose besides turning the caster to evil. Corthana made a show of joining in, but dispensed with all mention of the Destroyer when practicing the art on her own.


Then one day, William, her headstrong Paladin of a brother, burst into the camp of the Endless to free her. Corthana did not hesitate. While he had the enemy’s attention, she cast a grave rot on the ground where the cultists stood, giving those who sought to corrupt her a taste of their own necromancy.


The subtle, pernicious Death-magics alone weren’t enough to overcome her enemies. But the zombies she raised from the ground fed upon the necrotic energies to empower their attacks.


She didn’t forget her brother. It was his foolhardy charge that had given her the distraction she needed to unleash death upon those who sought to cheat it. She knew that Mathosian courage often was the result of a good priest at your backside, and without healing, William would perish by a thousand cuts.


So she gave of herself, her blood, her very life, and sent it to her brother. When the burden became too much for her to bear, she drained essence from those cultists who bore her mark.


Fleeing for their lives, they met the high priest of Regulos, whose evil had earned him everlasting unlife. With a sneer, he aged William unto death with a bolt of dark magic. At first, Corthana felt only a chill calm. She gathered her power and took on the guise of a lich. In her avatar form, she summoned the ghosts of noble warriors who struck the high priest down and avenged her brother. She fell to the ground, human once more, and wept by William’s side.


Her brother never did learn to accept necromancy, but what Paladin could? And every time she stitched him back together, he gave her that cold look with his hollow eyes. It is said he guards her to this day, eternally vigilant lest any minions of Regulos attempt to corrupt her peaceful sleep.


“Come forth noble warriors. Your battles have not ended. Protect the weak, punish the wicked, then sleep once more.”


Pyromancer

“Stay here. Those tricks the Elves taught you won’t frighten the Storm Legion,” Phynnious Rothmann’s brother said, laughing. Imbecile, Phynnious thought, watching his fellow tribesmen ride to battle. My tricks frightened even my teachers!


Sickly son of a Mathosian chieftan, Phynnious Rothmann was sent to study magic with the Elves — less to bring the arcane arts to his people than to stay out from under stomping, booted feet. But the Elves sent him home early: not because his research into fire magic nearly burned their sacred grove to the ground, but because the urgency of human youth made them uncomfortable.


Rothmann trudged over to the edge of the cliff to watch as slowly, the valor of the united tribesmen overcame the mindless discipline of Crucia’s Storm Legion. Suddenly, an electric blast erupted in the middle of the battlefield. Whether thanks to lightning or terror, the hair on the back of Phynnious’s neck stood up and he whispered, “Stormtouched.”


Crucia herself, dragon of storms, had possessed the Legion’s commander. Phynnious knew she could bring to bear superhuman tactics and storm magic that would eradicate every northman in that valley. He knew this even as he rode to the battlefield, quick as a midsummer fire through dry scrub. Leaping off his horse, Phynneous turned into a streak of flame flashed toward the front line just as the Mathosians quavered on the edge of disaster.


Standing on the front line, Rothmann conjured exploding fissures of magma, completing in mere seconds an incantation that took his Elf tutors minutes. White-hot flame lanced from his fingers, sending charred chunks of Legionaries flying in all directions. The Storm Legion’s rally became a rout.


An arrow slammed into Rothmann’s shoulder, jarring him into a state of sharp focus. The possessed Storm Legion leader advanced, aiming his second arrow at the mage’s heart. Phynnious screamed at his assailant, exhaling waves of flame that burned the bow away. The general drew his sword and charged through the flames. Two steps from Phynnious he stopped, a statue of solid ash.


Phynnious’s laughter blew the ash away on the northern breeze, joined by with the roar of his clansmen as they ran down the fleeing Storm Legion, even as a voice hissed from the sky: “I will kill you, little mage.”


Years later, as Phynnious fixed the keystone to Crucia’s prison, he taunted, “Remember what you promised me?” and laughed again, breathy and crackling like a bonfire.


“’Fire is a hazard,’ says the coward. ‘Fire is a tool,’ says the fool. I say fire is a weapon, a friend, a state of mind, and that the bold man and the craven burn just as fast.”


Stormcaller

It is said the Stormcaller Amunet could stop a man’s heart with the shock of her touch. Yet before she joined Thorvin Sternhammer’s crusade to imprison Greenscale, Amunet was called the Weather Witch of the Emerald March. Without the Justicar’s intercession, she would have burned at the stake as a heretic and dragon-pawn.


In the rich farmlands of the March, Thorvin’s band encountered a land beset by harsh storms and persistent frosts that had left fields washed out and barren. The March folk lay blame on the Eth woman Amunet, who stuck out with her swarthy skin and pale white hair threaded with silver. The crusaders found her bound to a stake in the village square of Smith’s Haven, surrounded by villagers bearing torches. Thorvin stepped forth as the hand of divine judgment, and bid them allow him to confront the condemned.


“Do you have the power they accuse you of?” he asked her.


“I do,” Amunet responded emotionlessly.


“Did you cause the frost?”


“I did,” said the witch.


“Why?”


A smirk curled on her lips. “At last, someone bothers to ask.”


As his men kept the villagers at bay, Thorvin untied Amunet. She led the party onto the March, where frost withered the delicate leaves of the seedlings. The Elven ranger Durnes wrinkled her nose, as the plants were rank with planar taint. The witch explained that she had discovered Greenscale’s minions seeding the land with pods from the Plane of Life, and called in the storms to keep them from blooming.


Together, they laid a trap for the Lifetouched wretches. The heavy rains quelled and the frosts receded when Amunet released the spells she had cast on the land. Thorvin’s party hid themselves within the field. That very night, human cultists stole through the farmland, sewing the earth with corrupted seeds.


Amunet surprised Thorvin’s crusaders with her command of weather magic. She stood back from the fray, shielding herself with gales that threw back the cultists like rag dolls. She encircled the cultists in frost, inflicting the deep chills of hypothermia. Lightning danced down from the sky, bursting single targets like ripe grapes or arcing between wretches in a terrifying game of leap frog. Though each crusader felled many cultists, Amunet racked up victims by the score.


When it was over, they found a member of almost every local family among the slain villains. Disgusted, Amunet decided it was time to leave the March, and Thorvin offered her a place in his band, the legendary hunting party destined to bring down gluttonous Greenscale.


“Should you feel a chill in your bones, or an electric current in the air, you may want to run very far, very fast. You can no more hide from my lightning than block hoarfrost with a shield.”


Warlock

Death has always been the most corrupting of arcane influences. At best, Mages who seek to master its power inevitably plunge into madness, while the worst wretches slowly succumb to the temptations of the Endless Court, becoming thralls of Regulos.


Neddra was one such Mage: a prodigy who saw death as the only depth left unconquered in the arcane world. For her studies, Neddra was cast out of Quicksilver College, branded a heretic and follower of Regulos. Undeterred, she journeyed north, deep into those ancient lands of Mathosia where the corruption of the Shade still held sway.


What Neddra discovered on her journey remains a mystery, but none will deny the power she obtained. For years, she waged war against the Endless Cult, rooting out and destroying their hidden cells within the colleges of magic. Many young Mages followed in Neddra's footsteps. These disciples, known as Warlocks, believe that only those who master death can banish the darkness from Telara. [1]


"Do not be afraid...Death comes for all. By learning to embrace the inevitable, you will unlock secrets hidden from those too cowardly to seek the truth."


Archmage (now-defunct pvp soul)

The arcane Archmages have perfected spells that devastate the Ascended. An Archmage learns rituals of empowerment, control, and protection. Their spells create blasts of energy, or curse Ascended enemies with the inability to heal, or even banish enemies from Telara itself. An Archmage can also be a subtle broker of information, using spells to detect the unseen and alter the flow of magic. When it comes to controlling the battlefield with swathes of magic, Archmages have no rival.


Cleric

Cabalist

The cottage was ripe with decay: flayed animal carcasses dangled from the ceiling, piles of bones littered the floor, and heaps of entrails steamed atop a stained wooden table. An old Kelari stood at the window. He turned to face the strangers sprawled bleeding on the packed dirt floor, and in a high, mocking voice said, “Wonderful job, heroes. We are surrounded.”


Though the recluse Asias had a reputation for madness, he did not exaggerate. Goblins pushed their way through the fanning ferns around the clearing, their shaman dancing before the hermit’s cottage, summoning fire elementals to further glut their numbers. From among the strangers, a powerful Bahmi with a wickedly serrated sword tried to stand. Her wounds were too great, and she collapsed again. Gritting her teeth, she said, “Sarcasm later. We must fight.”


Asias surveyed the battered group and made a low, disgusted noise. “Sarcasm always. Now, stay here. I will handle this.”


The old Kelari stepped from the cottage, and the goblins laughed raucously in response, taunting him for his age. Asias half smiled and traced a sigil in the air, invoking the names of ancient spirits. Shadows pooled at his feet, and he locked eyes with the shaman. The goblin went curiously stiff as the Elf approached. In a low, cruel voice, Asias whispered, “Maelforge is gone. Your followers are gone. You are alone, and helpless. Why, you might as well just give up now.”


The goblin’s eyes suddenly went blank with terror and loneliness. He dropped to his knees and let out a high, broken wail. He tried to cast a spell at the Kelari, but doing so only caused nearby goblins to drop to their knees in pain as well. Before any others could react, Asias sent a wave of black malevolence toward them, snuffing the brightness of the jungle clearing and dropping most of the goblins like flies. At the same time, he flashed all of the fire elementals with frozen water, reducing them to columns of steam.


The Elf gestured, and currents of dark water ensnared the remaining goblins. Though they screamed, clawing at the earth, the waters dragged them toward the hermit. He traced a sigil in the air and placed it on the middle goblin. Releasing his waters, he drew back into the shadows of his cottage.


The marked goblin looked down at the dark symbol on his chest and then at his companions. After a few seconds, nothing had happened, and the goblin grinned cautiously. “Stupid man no —” He was cut off, as dark matter ripped from beneath his skin, making mulch of his body and bringing down the remainder of his companions.


When this extermination was complete, the Kelari surveyed the field of bodies before him and cackled softly in delight. Glancing back at his cottage, he noticed the Bahmi propped in the doorway, leaning on her sword. She regarded Asias with cautious admiration. “What side do you fight on?”


Asias narrowed his eyes. “My own.” He paused, and then added, “I do not wish to see Telara burn.”


The Bahmi nodded and disappeared back into the cottage. Asias knelt in the field of bodies and harvested his spoils.


Druid

"The cosmos is full of people, spirits, and beasts. The dragons have corrupted so many, but not everyone you meet is an enemy. With an open heart, and enough patience, you can still find friends, even in the planes. And then you'll have help beating evil monsters to death."


Inquisitor

Ever since the arrival of the Blood Storm on Telara, the resulting rifts have created a dissonance between the land, the universe, and the gods.


Rifts provide opportunities for malicious spirits and demons from other planes to invade the world. Many intruders enter Telara in physical form, while other planar agents use soul-possession to venture forth. The abundant life and energy of Telara is irresistible to powerful beings trapped in the harsh environments of the planes. For the most part, the world of Telara had been defenseless in the face of such onslaught, until the arrival of the Inquisitors.


Combining the powers of life and death with an unshakable obsession for natural order, Inquisitors have become powerful weapons against planar corruption. Inquisitors perform a wide range of tasks, from simple exorcisms and banishments to the extraordinary purging of greater planar powers from the world. But while the role of Inquisitors in protecting Telarans from the rifts is immensely beneficial, even essential, they are widely feared for their tendency towards extremism.


Inquisitors have predictably been in the center of many violent and painful historical events across Telara. From the Mathosian purge of Eth Schematics to the cleansing of the Hammerknell survivors, the Inquisitors have always done what was necessary to protect the lands from corruption, even if their hands get a little dirty in the process. For an Inquisitor serving the greater good, the end always justifies the means.[1]


"Don't run. There is no need to be afraid, for I am the trusted hand of the gods! Only the false need fear the judgment of my touch. For the faithful, my hand inspires greatness. Why so nervous, friend?"


Justicar

Nidris the giant wolf crept unseen through the Faering Wood, following the scent of the invaders in the domain of Greenscale the Primordial. He tracked this war party of humans and Dwarves to an overgrown temple. Among stones pulled apart by vines, they bowed their heads in prayer, led by a Dwarven cleric who wore chainmail under his robes of office. He knelt at the remains of the altar, leaning on what looked to be a staff.


“Bidding farewell to your gods? They’ll soon be devoured by our lord Greenscale.” The impish voice belonged to Corrigan, a changeling who rode upon Nidris and fancied himself lord of this forest.


“Shed your worldly concerns,” said Corrigan, “and frolic with us in this paradise.”


A coven of winged faeries that doted on Corrigan buzzed out towards the group and began tugging at beards, pulling at tunics, and rifling through pockets for sport.


“I will frolic when I am done with my prayers,” said Thorvin Sternhammer, Justicar of Thedeor.


“A lackey of the gods!” taunted the changeling. “Do absolve us of our sins before Nidris devours you and I use your holy staff to pick the sinew from his teeth.” The faeries tittered mischievously. Nidris growled, shaking the forest.


“You wee winged demons misunderstand my faith. I am not here to absolve you. The god of battle showed me how that fat toad you call master could be beaten.” The faeries giggled and continued to painfully braid his beard. “But the strength of my faith lies not in sermons, and this is no preacher’s staff.” The Dwarf brandished his maul of cold iron. “Absolve you? I’m here to smash you!”


The maul landed with a mighty thud, flattening a flittering faerie. Nidris howled in challenge, and Thorvin glared into its eyes. He swung his bludgeon at the tiny sprites, knocking some to splatter against the great wolf’s pelt.


Thorvin’s soldiers charged, their courage bolstered by his conviction. Teeth and metal clashed, and though Nidris bit and clawed the invaders, the soldiers’ wounds healed with every blow their cleric struck. The tide of battle turned, and soon the mighty beast found himself bloodied and nearing death. “Flee! Flee!” screamed the terrified changeling, his mocking tone drained away. “This is no mere mortal, but an avatar of war!” Nidris yelped like a pup and turned tail, but Thorvin crippled the beast’s leg with a swing of his maul.


His heart pierced by the spears of the soldiers, Nidris collapsed with a final anguished cry, Corrigan tumbling from his back. Scrambling uselessly, the Changeling tore himself on brambles as the stout cleric strode toward him.


“I repent! I repent!” the changeling sniveled.


“I know you do, lad,” said Thorvin as he hefted the bloodstained maul. “And I’ve got your absolution right here.”


They say Corrigan’s death rattle haunts the Faering Wood to this day. He had met Thorvin Sternhammer, whose crusade hounded mighty Greenscale across all of what is now known as Mathosia.


“Many preach their vision of the gods. They speak of love, and health, and happiness. I am here to tell you the truth of the world. Anything good must be fought for. You must stand toe-to-toe with your demons and crush them. Only then will the gods bless you.”


Purifier

In the time of the Blood Storm, a witch-doctor named Talos Roda fled into the volcanic jungles of Aegea when his village was overrun by the Dragonian servants of Maelforge. For days, he lay in a fever, his wounds festering as his life slipped away. At the end of the fourth night, Roda found himself surrounded by flickering motes of flame and the whispering spirits of his ancestors. These sprits promised him vengeance if he formed a pact with them and became their conduit to the physical world.


Agreeing to their terms, Talos found one of the motes dancing in his hand. He touched it to his leg and it closed the wound, burning away the infection. It was agony, but when the flames died, Talos’ leg was fully healed.


His spiritual powers now bolstered by the primal forces of fire, Talos returned to his village and descended upon its oppressors. Before a sword could rise against him, he unleashed a firestorm that engulfed the entire village. The flames tormented both sides, but whereas the Dragonians were burned to ash, the Elves found their wounds miraculously healed and their souls bolstered by ancestor spirits. From that day forth, Talos and his people went on the offensive, striving to break Maelforge’s control over their lands.


Such a blazing a display of spiritual might has never been seen again, but many Clerics have followed in Roda’s footsteps, striking pacts with sprits of flame. Known as Purifiers, these holy men draw forth cleansing fires to heal their allies, and use the fury of their ancestors to strike down all who threaten their way of life. [1]


"Steel yourself! Though the agony be great, my cleansing flames will burn away the darkness within, and reforge your very soul."


Sentinel

Unable to reconcile the contradictions between the gods, the Elf initiate Niyol Cliffswind made a pilgrimage to Hammerknell. In the capitol of the Elves’ ancient enemies, the Dwarves, he tried to learn how Bahralt’s bustling cities could coexist with Tavril’s pristine wilderness.


His days there were a misery: jostled and berated, unable to gain audience with a priest of Bahralt. Then one night, a lynch mob pulled Niyol from his bed. “Filthy spy!“ they cried, for an Elvish surprise attack had breached the city walls. Dragged toward the gibbet, Niyol heard the clamor as fighting raged through Hammerknell.


The Elf vanguard burst into the grand hall just as the hangman fitted a noose to Niyol’s neck. A moment later, the dwarf fell with an arrow in his throat, knocking Niyol off his bench. The rope drew tight.


Battle choked the Dwarven hall, yet no combatant who fought near Niyol succumbed to their wounds. Even as he swung from the noose, the initiate mouthed a healing prayer, offering his last breath to save kinfolk and persecutors alike.


White light poured from the eyes of every statue to a god in Hammerknell, the words of his prayer booming from stone lips. Anyone who saw the light was healed; everyone who heard the words succumbed to a quiet serenity.


As the Elves lay down their arms, the Dwarves cut Niyol down and declared him a saint. Both sides pledged alliance ever after, and the mendicant went on his way.


The Elf commander had heard of Niyol’s pilgrimage, and asked if he had learned how the gods could overcome their conflicts.


“Each god values the life of each and every mortal. In this, there is unity,” Niyol said with the sure, clear voice of enlightenment.


Niyol spent many years spreading his revelation, performing miracles, finding in every culture a link to the divine. When the gods formed the Vigil, Niyol’s sentinels spread hope through unity to all the people of Telara.


“It is easy to have faith in one god. I have seen the truth of the universe, devoted myself to the Vigil as a whole. I bring succor to the one and the whole alike.”


Shaman

Ekkehard was a bear of a man, even after age turned his beard white and fine as snowdrifts. He was the last of the Valnir clan to fall when the Storm Legion swept through Iron Pine Peak. His maul toppled many of Crucia’s finest, but at last they captured the mountainous man. As the other imprisoned northmen looked on, the Storm Legion commander blinded Ekkehard with a hot poker. He was chained with the rest of the captives and marched toward Crucia’s chamber for assimilation.

Despite his blindness, Ekkehard spent the long death-march preaching faith in Thedeor, god of storms and justice. One night, the commander dragged Ekkehard out of line for rousing the tribesmen to a particularly passionate fervor. Stripped of all but a few loose furs and beaten savagely, the once-unstoppable northerner found himself left for dead in the snow.


Somehow, Ekkehard found the strength to limp along the roadway, following the ruts left by the Legion’s wagons. As his body began to fail, limbs turning solid with the cold, he cried out, “Thedeor! Avenge my people! Grant me your strength, and I will crush the mindless hordes of Crucia!”


The cold in his limbs deepened, as if arctic water ran in every vein, yet Ekkehard felt completely at ease. All pain vanished, and he felt the winds flowing around him, guiding him through the dark to where the slave train made camp.

Silent as a stalking lion, Ekkehard felt his way to the wagon carrying the weapons confiscated from the Valnir. No sooner did he clutch his trusty maul than living lightning poured from his fingertips, charging the weapon with Thedeor’s wrath.


Blind but no longer helpless, Ekkehard let his ears guide his assault. Creeping toward the prisoners, Ekkehard heard the guards mocking the bedraggled northmen, and directed his fury toward their laughter. He charged, roaring, and smashed the first guard’s skull to flinders, lightning arcing from the blow to fry the second to a husk.


Ekkehard was prepared for the third guard’s rush, summoning a flurry of ice and snow to obscure the combat and blind his foe. Ekkehard struck her with such thunderous force that she flew out of the flurry and into a cliff face with a sickening crunch. The snow settled back to the ground, and Ekkehard stood before the astonished prisoners. He hoisted the maul high and cried out, “Praise Thedeor!”

The Storm Legion quickly fell to the freed Valnir. Their commander begged for mercy, so Ekkehard put his eyes out with spikes of lightning from his maul, and left him to wander the ice. “Let’s see if Crucia aids you as Thedeor aided me!” Ekkehard declared. Ever after, the Shamans of the northern tribes have driven back the Blood Storm with bitter cold and the fury of the sky.


“I am the vengeance of the north. Mine is the fury of the storm, the bite of the icy peaks, and I will rain retribution on those who threaten our way of life.”


Warden

The Elves left their homeland and came to the Kelari Isles, finding it a place of wild spirits. Many of these little gods allied with the newcomers, but one in particular would strike no bargains: Ixalou, lord of the river. Many predicted that young Diona would become High Priestess of the Kelari, so one day a rival challenged her to prove her worth by winning over the river lord. Diona boasted that the task would be simple.


She offered a sacrifice at the idol of Ixalou, and paced the riverbank until he rose from the water. “You come seeking my favor, Elf,” said Ixalou, in a voice like water rushing over stone, “but I will give you none. Kelari are passionate, haughty, and unpredictable. This is not the river’s way. Water is soothing, humble, and above all things constant.”


“I will not fail.” Though Diona’s voice rang with dangerous pride, Ixalou granted her use of his magic for a trial.


Diona traveled the river’s length. On the second day, she met a group of fishermen under attack by boglings. Reflexively, she called a towering wave that washed the scum away, but many more remained.


Diona drained the fluid from their bodies and lanced them with spears of water, but she could not stop them all. When Diona finally looked back at the fishermen, she saw that they lay at death’s door. Diona sent snakes of restorative energy toward them, but in the time it took to complete the mighty spell, the boglings’ next attacks snuffed out their lives.


At the end of the fifth day, Ixalou appeared before her. “You failed. Do you understand why?”


Diona bowed her head and said, “Water is constant, it needs time to flow. If I had healed the fishermen first, the magic would have bolstered them against further wounds. In my pride, I thought I could slay the demons first. I was wrong.”


The river swelled its banks as its lord gurgled with laughter. “I have never heard a Kelari admit that they were wrong in all of my days. For that alone, a second chance is granted.”


Grateful, Diona followed the water until she heard a clash of swords. Running to the sound, she found a group of travelers about to fall to a band of satyrs.


Diona called up spheres of healing water and threw them into the fray. One or two splashed immediately against the injured fighters, while the others lingered, releasing their soothing energies when the victims had taken further wounds. The satyrs could do no lasting damage against Diona’s waves of healing.


With a curse, their leader delivered a spinning axe slash that deeply wounded the travelers. Diona called to the river lord for guidance, and a torrent of soothing rain fell from the sky. Every raindrop washed a wound away. The pilgrims fought with renewed vigor, and hacked the satyrs down.


A bandy-armed Dwarf stepped forward and examined Diona. “That was impressive healing. I am the Justicar Thorvin. We’re hunting down Greenscale, so if you enjoy killing Satyrs, we could use someone like you.”


For a brief moment, Diona mourned not returning to flaunt her new power in front of her rival. As she agreed to accompany Thorvin’s party, Diona noted a hazy figure on the water’s edge, who nodded in approval, and then vanished.


“As the fisherman trusts the ocean’s ebb and the farmer the river’s flow, so you may trust the soothing waters I command to keep you prosperous and whole.”

Templar (now-defunct pvp soul)

The architects of the warlike Souls honed the faith and focus of a Cleric into a deadly combatant. Templars are skilled at both offense and defense, and adept at swinging the tide of battle. The Templar is hardened for battle while retaining their faith, whether that faith calls for the Templar to heal their comrades, smite their enemies, or merge both doctrines. Templars are unstoppable in the cause of their patron, and no injury, no poison, no mere spells can stop them.


Rogue

Assassin

The dwarf Veseslav grew up in the shadows of Hammerknell knowing one truth: the queen had killed his mother, and one day she would die for it. Veseslav’s father was King of Hammerknell, his mother one of the queen’s comely handmaidens. The jealous queen had the young woman murdered, but not before the child could be spirited away.


Veseslav was taken in by his mother’s brother, Bogdan, who made his living cutting short the lives of others. As Bogdan’s apprentice, Veseslav’s daggers became faster, his movements less detectable, his poisons deadlier than his uncle’s. The young dwarf developed a particularly nasty poison all his own, and named it Ursula, after the queen.


All was joy at the grand feast to celebrate King Monimnier’s sixtieth birthday. Very suddenly, the queen’s face went pale, and she toppled over into her soup, convulsing, foaming at the mouth. Finally, she lay still, poison the clear cause.


But as the king’s elite guard hurried him to the royal chambers, one dwarf dropped like a stone. A figure materialized from the shadows, pulling his blade from the victim’s back. The warriors rushed in, but the assassin dodged their attacks, dealing cuts that bled profusely, and festered and boiled from terrible venom. Moving with the ruthless precision of a hawk after prey, he finished them with strikes to their vitals. Soon, the guards all were dispatched, leaving only the killer and the king.


“I see myself in your face,” said Monimnier. “That isn’t possible.” “And yet here I am,” Vaseslav growled. By the time the party was found, the king lay dead among his guards. Veseslav was never seen again by mortal eyes, his only legacy a series of flawless assassinations involving a poison that all Telara now calls Queen Ursula.


“I breathe shadow, caress with fingers of razor-sharp steel, and weep tears of poison. Mine is the name of your sudden, messy death.”


Bard

“Let me tell you a story.


“The heroes stood on the edge of a valley bathed in fire. Though the heat flushed their skin, and steam burned their eyes, they were unconcerned with the challenge that lay before them.


“They gazed ahead at the whelps of Maelforge— all those unwashed and heedless hordes— and they laughed. Do you hear me? They laughed!


“They were not afraid of spindly kobolds, nor cowed by the boorish centaur. Even as the wanton red dragon himself circled above like a hawk after prey, they did not balk. These were the smartest, the fastest, the strongest of their people, and victory was all but assured the moment they took to the field.


“They put the minions of Maelforge to the sword. They extinguished his flames and entangled his wings with their spells. As he crashed to the ground, they overwhelmed him, their might too much for the fell, red god. A great cry of victory rose over the land, and the names of those who fought were sung on the lips of the children. Everyone celebrated because no one needed to fear the flames of Maelforge ever again!


“This, my friends, is our story. This, my friends, is our destiny. Let us go forward and make it reality!"


The rippling chords of the accompanying lyre died down, as did the Dwarf woman’s surprisingly big voice. The soldiers and common folk of Telara who stood with her moved slowly, as if emerging from a dream. Clearing her throat, she changed her tune to a stirring martial anthem.


Karine turned to face the horde swarming in the valley below. Their frenzied screams echoed between the mountains and gouts of flame and steam shot from the blackened earth, scorching the air. Not one soldier in all the army behind Karine looked on with fear, for their hearts brimmed with the power of her song. They felt smarter, faster, and stronger than they ever had before, guaranteed their place in the songs and stories of Telara.


Screaming, a dragonian champion dashed up the rise, heading straight for the tiny Dwarf Bard. As he drew in close, she laughed and brought her song to crescendo. A spiral of sonic energy struck the reptile with an audible crack. He crumpled and did not rise again.


“Now,” Karine said, eyes gleaming as she turned back to her companions and brandished a sword, “let’s acquaint them with the sharp pointy end of our destiny.”

Bladedancer

Bladedancers are more than gifted combatants in the art of war; they are followers of the illustrious High Elves heroine Estrael, the Edge Dancer who perished in the Blood Storm War. Estrael became a legendary figure in Telara after defending a High Elven village for ten days from a major assault.


Incorporating amazingly fluid and nimble movements in her combat, Estrael's unique fighting style frustrated and dazzled the encroaching tribes, holding them fast at the village. For ten days the Edge Dancer battled the horde, aided only by her disciple Loalai Tresair, until reinforcements arrived and drove the assault back.


Although Estrael died from her many wounds soon after the assault, she became a hero of the Blood Storm War, with the races of Telara rallying in her memory to fight against the horde together. Her disciple, Loalai, continued teaching Estrael's innovative fighting style as part of an all-female Elven order. But as the years passed and the threat of rifts grew throughout Telara, Loalai opened the order to men and women of many races to help defend the world.


Today, Loalai and the Bladedancer Order are headquartered in Cliffside Vale. Many smaller schools also exist, recruiting novice Bladedancers from all corners of Telara.


"I am a well-oiled killing machine. With the fury of my blades, I can exploit your every weakness. With each swing of my weapons, your death quickly approaches. My mind and my blade are one."

Marksman

The Storm Legion captain strode before the assembled villagers, who stood unmoving in a line. “In joining the Storm Queen’s army,” he called out, “you have joined with Crucia herself. You will follow no will but the Dragon’s until the day you die. Now, it is time to cut ties.”


He gestured, and his soldiers distributed shovels among the villagers. With empty eyes, they approached the corpses littering the village streets, bodies of friends and family who had not submitted soon enough.


Just over a rise, the sole survivor of the slaughter of Whitefall huddled behind a rock. Though her fingers shook with the cold, she guided the bullets into the barrel of her gun.


One of the digging villagers fell, too weak to work, though he struggled to rise with the mindless determination of an ant with a broken back.


“You,” said the captain to another villager. “Crucia spares no love for weaklings. Bury him with the others.”


The helpless executioner stepped forward, raising his shovel. Before the stroke fell, someone blasted the shovel from his hand.


“Marksman!” the captain barked in warning.


The soldiers rushed up the rise. A slender young woman in naught but a nightgown stepped from behind a rock, rifle against her shoulder, eyes frosted over with hate. An arc of lightning propelled her first bullet to spear through the foremost soldier and lodge in the second. The second round followed right at its tail, hitting a third soldier with such thundering force that he sailed back fifteen yards.


One legionary surged forward, but before he could swing his sword, she leveled the muzzle at his chest, blasting him across the snow. By now the bulk of the group had caught up, but she leapt backwards further than human legs should have carried her, landing twenty yards away and resuming fire. Her target crumbled, and the force of her shot bowled his companions over.


An edge entered the captain’s voice as he urged his forces on. The Legion mages strove to get within range of the shooter, but her gun’s incredible reach kept them at bay. One sorcerer finally reached striking distance, stunning the girl with a concussive bolt. For but a moment, she wobbled on her feet, then shook it off like a mild headache, and ran with unnatural speed through the snow. She picked off the mage with a blast over her shoulder, then turned her rifle on the captain.


Scrambling back in terror, the captain called the mindless villagers to screen him, but the girl found him amidst the crowd.


“This is for Whitefall,” said the girl, and though her voice and face were calm, none would have mistaken her cold fury for the void of Crucia’s puppets.


Tales say you can still hear the shot that killed the captain ring out on cold nights in Whitefall. The rest of the battalion fled from the unerring sniper. Nothing could be done for the villagers, so the Marksman Gisa Malik buried her people in the frigid earth, and stole away into Iron Pine to become a legend of the Age of Dragons.


“I dare you to evade my shots. No matter how far you run or where you hide, you are as good as dead. I do not tire, I do not hesitate. And I never miss.”

Nightblade

Only those who deal in the shadows know the name of Clan Zardonis. For ages, the clan’s ruthless regime of physical training produced the finest murderers and cutthroats. Their teachings shunned the arcane arts as weak and unreliable, but one young upstart would prove them wrong.


Acacia was the finest disciple of her generation, and mastered the art of the veiled blade at a young age. Yearning for more power, she studied the arcane in secret, experimenting in the shadows and growing more lethal with every passing season. For almost a decade the young woman ruthlessly enforced her clan’s will by night, poring over eldritch tomes in the dim light of dawn.


In the winter of her twenty-second year, Clan Zardonis took a contract to ruin a family of wealthy Mathosian traders. Such a large endeavor required the clan to dispatch many of its finest killers, Acacia included, on a midnight raid on the traders’ compound. The clan did not realize its folly until the assault was well under way, for they faced not fat merchants, but the mages of the Abyssal cult, and within moments found themselves tightly bound in chains of planar energy.


Of course, the Abyssal did not expect a foe with knowledge so similar to their own, and were completely unprepared when Acacia slipped from the shadows, cold flame dancing on her daggers. A whirlwind of fire and steel, she moved through the cultists, her blades piercing magical wards and flesh alike. With the spell of binding broken, the assassins of Clan Zardonis were free to exact their revenge, and by dawn not a single cultist remained among the living.


Saved from the brink of annihilation, the assassins embraced Acacia’s power and made it their own. Over the decades to come, Clan Zardonis flourished, spreading their teachings to a new generation of Rogues, who became known as masters of shadow and flame. [2]


"Simple footpads settle for a dagger of iron or steel. Those who understand the true calling of the night wreath their blades in fire and leave only ashes and death in their wake!"

Ranger

The Elves have always shared a mystical bond with the beasts of Telara, but this ancient compact was sundered with the arrival of Greenscale and his faerie minions. It was Durnes, an Elven huntress, who discovered that the capricious faeries could speak to the brutes, and lure them to serve their twisted court. For a fortnight she stalked the Fae Lords and studied their every move, determined to learn the secret language of the wild.


Knowledge in hand, the huntress methodically restored order to her home, turning the beasts of the wood against the slaves of Greenscale. Unprepared for an assault from within the heart of their stronghold, the Faerie court was quickly overrun by the packs of wolves bred to protect their borders. Many fled the carnage, only to fall with Durnes’s well-placed arrows through their hearts. The few surviving fairies abandoned the forest, choosing the wrath of the great dragon over being hunted by the first of the Rangers. [1]


"Where many see wild beasts as enemies to be destroyed, I see valuable allies who have simply lost their way."

Riftstalker

It had been years since the accident, but Anan Mkhai recalled vividly the agony of having his very essence torn to shreds by his father’s experiment.


“Just one more adjustment,” the old man murmured, tinkering with the sourcestone lode he’d balanced within a crude assortment of metal rings held together with rawhide bands. As the lode clicked into place, the device erupted, shooting a bolt of wild planar power straight into Anan.


The agony returned whenever Anan detached himself from physical space. Of course, when a snarling Bomani thrusts a spear at one’s midsection, pain is a small price for vanishing into thin air before the blow lands. Anan forced himself through the shadowy realm between realities to reappear behind the Bomani, jabbing his daggers into the dog-man’s kidneys. The Bomani crumpled, and Anan wiped his blades on the leather of his leggings.


A soft crying caught his attention. Turning, Anan noticed a small girl huddled by the beset caravan. Bending the threads of space and time, Anan stood beside her in moments. The bodies of her parents lay nearby.


“Let’s get you out of here,” Anan said to the girl softly. As he leaned down to scoop her up, his ears pricked to the clink of chain against stone. Closing in fast, a spectre charged, howling and whipping the air with ghostly chains.


Anan put a finger to his lips as tears welled in the little girl’s eyes. “Shh… I will be back for you.” He studied the spot, and in his mind, a beaming mote appeared in the girl’s location, visible across the immaterial lines of reality.


Anan closed with the spectre, and knew for once the frustration of facing a foe who could wink in and out of existence. Countless times they vanished and reappeared, like warring shadow-puppets in a lightning storm. At last, Anan poised his blade where he knew the shade would materialize, and it appeared once more, impaled on his blade, and dissipated with a bloodcurdling screech.


A second scream drowned out the spectre’s, and Anan whirled to see a Bomani poised to skewer the terrified girl. He honed his mind in on the mote he had laid near the child, and in a flash, he was back beside her, burying his dagger in the heart of the beast. The girl in his arms, Anan walked from the ruins of the caravan toward the small cluster of survivors.


Transporting his mind to another time, Anan saw his father cradling his own body tenderly, muttering apologies and weeping after smashing the device—his life’s work—to spare his son from complete disintegration. For all the agony, his father’s experiment allowed Anan to spare others from pain, a gift he shared with the next generation of Riftstalkers.


“I walk in the space between here and there, and slip through the seams in reality to deliver a most timely death upon my enemies.”

Saboteur

The golden desert hold of Laethys had but a single weakness: the western gate. The gate faced a canyon, spelling certain doom for any army foolish enough to march from the west. Not even the smallest team could pass through the canyon unnoticed, so destroying the gate had to be a one-man job. Or in this case, one woman, thought the Bahmi Saboteur Kushi Tolui as she finished affixing charges to the gate’s support pillars. Wiping sweat and dust from her brow, she crept toward the central brace.


“You!” She whirled at the cry. A trio of sentries stood behind her, desert sun flashing on their spear-points. “It would be wise to surrender.”


“Wise, maybe, but no fun at all.” Kushi grinned and threw a small canister toward them, which ruptured into a cloud of choking gas. Littering her path with caltrops, she made a break for the brace.


Reaching the center of the gate, Kushi set about constructing a bomb, hands moving faster than the eye could see. The sentries were not far behind. One of them triggered a mine she had set, the explosion knocking him clear off the gate, but the other two were undeterred. She sighed. “You just don’t know when to quit, do you?”


As the first of them closed to melee, Kushi surprised him by reaching out and sticking a small object to his chest. He peered at her in confusion before clubbing her with the butt of his spear. The second sentry joined in, and they wore her down with brutal blows. Bloody and battered, Kushi finally collapsed. One of them snorted at her and asked, “Is that all?”


A smile spread across her cracked lips as she winked at them. It was then they noticed the dozens of small metal objects sticking to their persons. They looked at her and then at the bomb sitting beside her. “You wouldn’t,” the foremost guard stammered. “You’ll be caught in the explosion!”


Kushi looked out to the canyon behind them. The Telaran forces marched through the chasm. The paladin Amardis rode at their head, armor gleaming in the hot sun. Meanwhile, Laethys’s minions swarmed the canyon walls, and in the distance, hordes of ogres approached from behind. If the gate didn’t drop, they would be overcome.


She stood, spitting out blood, and said, “I am ready to meet my ancestors. Are you?” Kushi detonated the charges and leapt from the wall.


The gate fell before the Telaran army with a many-colored explosion. Beginning with a massive concussive force at the heart of the gate, the fire spread quickly, triggering a chain reaction that dropped all its supports. It crumbled into a messy pile of wood and flame, opening the lair of Laethys herself.


As the dust settled, Kushi’s body became visible near the wreckage. Amardis ran to her side. Coughing, opening an eye, the Bahmi wheezed, “It’s done?”


“It’s done,” said Amardis with a smile. “Laethys is ours.”


Infiltrator (now-defunct pvp soul)

The Infiltrator was conceived as a shadow puppet, completely undetectable as she weaves her way to the heart of the enemy force. Poison dripping from her arrows, she snuffs the Mage’s flames and coils the Cleric’s heart in chains cruel as iron so that their prayers are without conviction. The Warrior’s armor she reduces to a useless costume, so nothing stands in the way of her penetrating strikes. When the cavalry arrives, she has either already vanished or propelled herself far from their reach, leaving behind shadow allies to keep them off her trail.


Warrior

Beastmaster

The old forest once had trees that stretched nearly to the sky. Its canopy had housed many Elven villagers, peaceful forest-dwellers living as caretakers of the land. Now, the wood was unrecognizable: wild with oversized flora that choked the ancient trees and filled the air with noxious perfumes that poisoned Elf and beast alike.


There came a sound like the ripping of flesh as a sword hacked through a vine. Dhel had been following the vine as it snaked through a granitewood, into a cottage, and finally buried its feeding head in the chest of a dead Elven youth. Fury overtook him, and he hacked at the vine, screaming through gritted teeth. This attracted attention outside the hut, as the distant chittering of boglings rose to a blood-hungry din, punctuated by the bleating of a shambler.


The vine withdrew from the corpse and lashed at Dhel violently, knocking him through the wall of the hut. He landed within of a warband of boglings, who shoved spears in his face and squabbled about what order to cook his bits in.


“Naveer!” Dhel barked, knocking at the spears with his sword as no one answered. Sighing, he added, “Oh greatest of cats, I have need of you!”


A hunting cat sprang down from the trees overhead and straight into the group of boglings, batting them about with razor claws. Dhel leapt into battle beside Naveer, emboldened by her presence. Elf and cat fought side by side, and soon nothing was left of the boglings but scattered entrails.


Dhel had all but forgotten about the shambler until one of its enormous arms cut through the air. Only by drawing on Naveer’s reflexes did he lunge away in time. He did not, however, successfully dodge the creature’s enormous tongue, which struck him with a slap that nearly scrambled his brains. As he blinked away darkness, the shambler struck Naveer with a headbutt and sent her flying to strike a tree with a heavy thud. Dhel reached out to his companion, lending the cat his endurance as she had lent him speed.


Renewed, the cat sprang back up beside her master, gnashing her teeth. Naveer layered her roar over the Elf’s battle cry, and they charged the shambler.


It tried to bowl them over, but Dhel parried its leg away as the cat slashed its tongue to sticky shreds. Dhel sunk his sword into the creature’s throat, Naveer mauled it viciously, and at last the shambler gave a great bellowing cry and collapsed into the muck. The hunting cat leapt atop its back in victory and began bathing herself.


“Bathing on a corpse. I’ll never understand cats,” said Dhel, though in truth they understood one another very well. He gestured toward the cottage. “One last thing to clean up, Naveer.”


They left nothing of the vine but pulp tatters, and before they set off, Dhel knelt down and closed the dead young Elf’s eyes. “Oh, Bral. I wish I’d gotten here sooner,” he whispered. “I promise, little brother, I will end this pollution.”


Swearing an oath before Tavril, Dhel rose and looked to Naveer, stretched languidly in the sun like a spoiled tabby. “Come, my friend. It’s time we hunt Greenscale himself.” She yowled in appreciation, and the pair took to the green dragon’s trail.


“Face me, and you face more than a warrior and his companion. Ours is a bond forged of spirit and sinew. It will not break, but you might.”

Champion

The Bahmi Warrior Vachir Altan was the first to bear the title of Champion. He originally came to renown for his battle with Crucia’s whelp Arconis, known as the Bane of Kerenton. Though the local human population viewed Vachir with suspicion when he rode into town, the Warrior ignored their furtive glances and within hours, entered the dragon spawn’s lair in the ruins of Castle Kerenton.


He bull-rushed the wyrm with reckless abandon, and the two fought an epic battle across the once-great stronghold. In the end, Arconis lay dead in the courtyard, Altan’s great blade impaled in his throat. “Start a fire. We feast tonight,” was all Vachir said to the townsfolk. That evening he enjoyed the hospitality of the people of Kerenton, but by morning he was gone, and many more tales of his exploits are told throughout Telara.


While Vachir’s disciples are numerous among the Bahmi of the Canyons, the duchy of Kerenton has also produced its share of blue-skinned Champions, who brashly rode forth from native borders. No matter whence they hail, all Champions seek to overcome the impossible through mastery of the blade.


"You call that pig-sticker a sword? Maybe you'll draw a little blood with that, but cleave through the scales of dragon spawn? I think not! For that, my friend, you'll need a mighty blade, and the will of a Champion to wield it!"

Paladin

When the chieftain of Clan Mathos united the scattered northmen to fight the Blood Storm Wars, he entrusted the safety of the land and people to his daughter, Amardis. But Telara's landscape and weather patterns shifted dramatically during the wars, as planar energy confused the worldís ecology. Crops withered, game grew scarce, and famine gripped Clan Mathos, until southern merchants brought an enticing proposition.


If the traders were allowed to mine sourcestone from caverns on clan land, the northmen would have all the food they required. Weak to the well-fed merchants' temptations, the people cried out for Amardis to accept the offer.


But the young leader felt ill-at-ease about the bargain, so she entered the caves to commune with Thedeor. She finished praying and opened her eyes, and before her lay her father's shield, newly affixed with a pulsing piece of sourcestone.


A voice spoke to Amardis: "Take it, daughter, and reveal the truth."


The next morning, as people gathered around the strangers' carts, Amardis came forward, girded for battle. Without warning, she sent the caravan master sprawling with a backhand blow from the holy shield. Gold coins stamped with the glowing mark of Laethys tumbled from his robe, and the clansmen realized they had nearly turned over their holy caverns to agents of the Golden Maw.


Amardis led the charge as Clan Mathos took up arms to drive out the cultists, intercepting blows meant for others and drawing the enemy away from weaker clan members. People would later report that a glowing aura surrounded her, crackling as she downed the dragon's agents with devastating blows from her sword and shield.


All seemed lost when one of the caravan's Cyclops guards dealt Amardis a devastating blow to the chest with his serrated blade. In a haze of pain, she struggled back to her feet, pressing her hand to the wound. Golden light seeped from her hand and closed the gash, and this miracle caught the Cyclops off guard. Amardis cleft his hideous head from his shoulders, breaking the Golden Maw offensive in a single stroke.


The Mathosians drove the remaining cultists into the mountains. Though they claimed the food and other goods from the caravans, Amardis insisted they melt down the gold to forge an altar to Thedeor. This monument would one day stand in the heart of Caer Mathos, the home of many Mathosian paladins for centuries to come.


"Though all the world falls under evil's sway and demands you bow before wickedness, stand fast, an immovable beacon, and demand that the world bow instead to virtue."

Paragon

One day, along their journey to confront the first incarnation of Regulos, a party of heroes realized they were being followed. So the Riftstalker Anan hung back to ambush their pursuer.


Anan found an old Bahmi man sitting before a fire. “Sit. Have a bite,” said the elderly fellow, peering straight at Anan under the shadow of an exceptionally large hat. He turned a spit on which was skewered an alarmed-looking rodent. “You should know, however, that the forces of Regulos will be arriving in just a few moments.” No sooner did he say so than a cadre of skeletons spilled over the hill. Anan whipped out his daggers, ready to confront the first wave before they could harm the old fellow.


In a flash, the Bahmi was on his feet, a long, slender blade in each fist. “Strike like iron!” he bellowed, and did.


He made bone mulch of the oncoming horde with a dizzying onslaught of attacks. As a second wave crested the hill, he swung his swords in an arc. A wave of energy flew from his blades, shattering bones and spilling marrow on the grass. Before more could come, he danced back to turn his spit. Anan could not help but admire the old swordsman’s disciplined, fluid movements. One blade struck while the other repelled, flowing between well-practiced forms. When a foe managed to knock one sword from his grip, the Bahmi used the spit from the fire to defend himself.


Just as the skeletons had been laid to rest, an enormous flesh golem appeared on the hilltop, casting a monstrous shadow in the bloody light of dusk. It lumbered straight for the swordsman, who crossed his hands over his chest and shouted, “Way of the Mountain!”


The aberration’s charge hit the old man with an anticlimactic thud, as if rushing against a solid pillar of earth. It stumbled back, yet the Bahmi remained completely unmoved. Before it could recover, Anan joined the swordsman in a dual attack, and the battle ended quickly. Before the dust could settle, the man sat back at his fire.


“Great warrior,” said the Riftstalker. “I am Anan. My fellows and I journey to rid the world of Regulos. Would you join us?”


The old man took a bite of rodent, and with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “I am the Won Odego, and I will join your cause gladly. But first, I will eat.” And so the father of the Way of the Paragon joined the crusade to end Regulos.[1]


“Hone your mind, hone your blades, let nothing stand in your path to victory: this is the way of the Paragon.”

Reaver (originally a tanking soul, now dps since Nightmare Tide)

In the final battle of the Mathosian civil war, the power of the Plane of Death was unleashed on Telara, causing a disaster that became known as the Shade. Many of those on the battlefield were suddenly overcome by madness, savagely and inexplicably turning on their own. A few warriors learned to control the madness, and returned to a land decimated and blighted by death. These men became known as the Reavers, who are both scarred and transformed by the horror they experienced that day.


Universally despised and feared, the Reavers rampaged across Telara, destroying communities, toppling kingdoms, and leaving a wide swath of destruction and death in their wake. Drawing on the very energies of the Plane of Death, and embracing the resulting madness, these warriors became masters of a terrifying and brutal fighting style.


Although the original Reavers have long since passed from the world of Telara, their combat skill and training lives on. Only the bravest and strongest of souls are allowed to attempt the Reaver training, as the Plane of Death's power is not easily mastered, nor resisted for long. Insanity is a constant risk, and it is also not uncommon to see a cruel smile or bloodlust in the eyes of a Reaver vanquishing an enemy. On the battlefield, Reavers are the most brutal of warriors, unleashing such fury as to terrify their allies almost as much as their enemies.

Riftblade

Nazim Kalfani was born to a wealthy family of Eth traders, but as the third son he had few prospects. The clan did lack for mages, so his father sent him off to the far north to study at Quicksilver College with the elves. Nazim enjoyed learning about elemental theory, but the endless hours preparing alchemy and perfecting incantations drove him to distraction. He took his tuition money and left for Iron Pine Peak, to train in the ways of the sword with famed Mathosian warriors.


Swordsmanship suited Nazim better, for he was strong and quick, but ultimately he quarreled with master after master. They were purists who believed in the discipline of form. Nazim liked to mix things up, changing weapons and styles, even casting a few cantrips to throw opponents off-balance. Such unorthodox tactics were frowned upon by the stoic Mathosian knights.


Nazim wandered Telara, sometimes as a blade for hire, sometimes as a hedge magician, seeking his place and purpose. He finally ended up in the Droughtlands as a mercenary. Practicing his swordsmanship one day under an ancient Eth lantern, Nazim noticed how it generated light by using a steel rod to hold open a portal to the planes. Experimenting with his sword, Nazim tried to develop a martial stance that punctured reality at the same angle. At last, with a concussive thunderclap, Nazim found himself teleported a short distance away.


With practice, Nazim found he could control the magical forces he brought forth from the planes. He learned how to hurl elemental spears, and to wreathe himself and his weapon in primal fury. His new martial style caught his opponents off-guard. Were they fighting a warrior or a mage? Should they keep their distance or close in? Nazim could summon energies for every situation. He became known as Nazim the Riftblade, and carved himself a small Caliphate in Shimmersand.


“The elemental forces are so very close to our world. You don’t need to be a mage to grasp that force. Hone your martial skills to their pinnacle, grasp the forces of the beyond with your will, and channel them through your weapon. Few can stand against the assault of magic and swordplay.”

Void Knight

As the hovel door burst open, the three wizened crones within let out shrill screams of pain. A stout Dwarven Warrior stood in the door, silhouetted by the sunlight that streamed in to burn their withered flesh.


“Lay down your sacrificial tools, hags!” said Rasmolov the Void Knight. “Your sick devotion to the fell dragon of magic won’t save you now.”


“Fool!” cried the eldest sister. “You dare to interrupt the ritual of Estrode?”


“Little vermin!” hissed the middle sister, and with a wave of her hand, Rasmolov shrunk until he was small and furry, with a bushy tail.


“We will make a stew of you!” The youngest sister licked her lips and stooped over to grab the squirrel that now crouched on the floor. Before she could grab him, the rodent tugged on its fluffy chin, which became a beard, and with a burst of energy an angry Dwarf stood before them again. “A spellbreaker charm!” cried the youngest hag before his axe sunk deep into her chest twice or thrice.


“Sisters, we must flee—” her warning died as the air rushed out of the room and all three witches fell silent.


Rasmolov swung his axe wildly. Desperate for escape, the three sisters clawed at the mud walls. The older two managed to force their way out. They looked back in horror to see Rasmalov grasp their youngest sister for a moment before she burst into flame, her energies igniting in her veins. The Void Knight turned his attention to them.


“The coven is broken!” wailed the eldest.


“He must pay for this!” shrieked the newly youngest.


They unleashed upon him every spell they knew, but the Dwarf shrugged them off as if they were an apprentice’s cantrips. Rasmolov advanced upon the eldest, a new pact charm? held before him, pillaging the witch’s soul. She felt her power waning, and in moments she slumped down, empty as an upended wineskin. The Dwarf’s axe, however, glowed with might.


“My power…” she croaked.


“Right here!” Rasmolov struck a mighty blow. For every spell he’d thwarted, every bit of energy stolen from the sisters, he had sealed an arcane pact, converting the magic into wicked force, which he unleashed upon his deserving victim.


Rasmolov had studied techniques for fighting spell-casters since his daughter had perished upon an altar to Akylios. While this slaughter would never bring her back, he could finally deal justice to those who fueled their dark arts with the blood and tears of innocents.


“Now, damnable witch,” he told the final sister, “do you give up? Or must I do this the hard way?”


She did what any powerless sorceress would do when facing a raging Warrior. She ran. Rasmolov was ready with another charm. He yanked her back to him, dragging her bodily through the planes.


His axe cleft deep, disrupting her spells, leeching her very power with each blow before discharging it upon her. With her dying breath she rattled a mighty curse upon him, which rolled off his shoulders with a fizzling, sizzling sound.


Rasmolov wiped his axe off on her robe. “Bloody witches,” he muttered, stalking out of the hut.

Warlord

Numbered among the greatest generals in Telara’s history is Börte, daughter of the Shalastir leader Bahmi—for whom all Telara’s Shalastir are named. Her greatest triumph among many was breaking the Storm Legion’s hold over Iron Pine Peaks. Though outnumbered four-to-one, she marched a mixed force of Telarans to overtake Crucia’s stronghold.


When the Telarans saw the enormous horde arrayed against them, the war-machines poised to spew death, and the elite Archons with their empty, compassionless faces, despair seeped into their souls. Crucia took the first few skirmishes through sheer numbers, and made an example of every captured Telaran’s slow death.


Hope was already fragile before infiltrators from the Storm Legion began whispering of relief through surrender. Their honeyed lies quickly took root in hearts weakened by terror and fatigue. Hearing groans of resignation, Börte rode before her army on the dawn of battle.


“Children of Telara! I see the fear in your eyes, cold as these icy peaks. Let your fury melt it away! Stand unbent before the forces of the Storm Queen, and laugh at them for assuming you would break!”


“Our despair is Crucia’s strength, so she wants to break us, to see us submit. But in standing against her now, we have already won! We are girded against her victory by our unbroken spirits. We stand next to each other, emboldened by hope: Hope that our children will fear no planar whelp, and will only know of the Blood Storm as proof their ancestors were strong!"


She paused to pass her gaze over the assembled throng, watching backs straighten and eyes harden. “In a not-so-distant place, my father led the Shalastir to drive Crucia back! Today, I bid you do the same! Hold fast to this world! Rip Telara from Crucia’s claws and break her fingers so she cannot grasp at us again! Ride, my brothers! Fight, my sisters! CRUSH THEM!”


The Telarans roared their triumph, driven forth with the fury of lions. Börte’s words shielded them and bolstered their attacks, healed their wounds, and kept Crucia from controlling their minds. She led from the thick of the battle, manipulating allies and enemies alike with auras of inspiration and intimidation. As her main force tied down the brunt of the Legion, strike units took out their fortifications before crushing their flank.


That day, the Telarans seized victory, imprisoned Crucia, and entombed her forces in ice. Börte’s tactics would be studied for generations to come, but only Warlords of her tradition understood that it was inspiration, not mere strategy, that shattered the storm that day.


“I know the battlefield like my own soul. Stand beside me, trust in my guidance, and I will never let you fall.”

Vindicator (now-defunct pvp soul)

Each faction’s leaders desired a Soul to stand on the front line while all others might fall back or flee. This is the Vindicator, a warrior of mighty strength and indomitable will. An unrestrained master of arms, he leads the charge and wards off blows aimed at himself and his allies. Trying to stop him is like trying to stop a boulder rolling down a mountain; you will only end up crushed beneath his charge. When the battlefield is soaked in blood and the dying plead for mercy over the cries of carrion birds, it is the Vindicator who stands on wounded legs and bellows, “Is that the best you can do?!”


The Aelfwar menace…

Why exactly did Prince Hylas, a High Elf, team up with the bad guys? High Elves have always been about protecting the forests of Telara, so what gives?


It all started when he met Shyla Starhearth, a priestess of Tavril. Shyla was well respected among the elves. She devoted her life to guiding her people, to keeping them on the path of true faith to protect the forests of the world. She and Hylas fell in love, but when the Mathosian civil war broke out, they could not agree on the best course of action for the elves. Shyla wanted to side with Prince Zareph, but Hylas wanted to stay out of the war completely, saying it had nothing to do with them.


Shyla disagreed. She led her followers to fight by the side of Zeraph, leaving Prince Hylas behind. Shyla died during the Shade battle and was resurrected as an Ascended, where she stopped Regulos breaking through into Telara. When she returned to the elves, wanting them to join up with the Guardians, Hylas would not even speak to her. He refused to join the fight against the Blood Storm and took his entire royal clan, House Aelfwar, and closed himself up in their ancestral castle, locked away from the world of Telara.


Prince Hylas gave his allegiance to the dragon Greenscale and allowed life magic to invade Silverwood to counter Maelforge’s fire invasions. He rallied to his cause Fae Lord Twyl and the House of Aelfwar, turning his back definitely from Shyla and the Guardians.


The Ascended began a chase on Hylas through to the doors of Greenscale’s prison where Hylas had planned to free his master. However, the Ascended killed Hylas and Greenscale, weakening for a time the Plane of Life.


Tragic love story...


Alsbeth and the Endless Court...

Alsbeth resurrects Jakub The Iron Tyrant, once a ruthless dictator for the people of Freemarch, now commanding legions of Death. Then she slips into Iron Tomb and her power rises as she revives and enslaves Eliam, who I believe was the last king of Freemarch. She rallies to her cause Plutonus the Titan. Now, if anyone has information on the Titans that’d be great, because I can’t for the life of me remember the Stonefield questline. If I remember correctly, they were kind of similar to the Titans of WoW in that they were meant to protect Telara, or at least that region, but differently from WoW, they went batshit crazy at some point and turned on whoever lived in Stonefield and there was bloody battle or something. Go to Stonefield to see their carcasses. It’s pretty grisly. As you quest through Stonefield researchers there try to resurrect one of them, Centius, but it turns on us and goes batshit crazy so we have to put it down. Apart from that, I don’t think we know much more about Titans.


Pity there’s not enough lore information out there :(


Alsbeth sets up camp in the River of Souls and is aided by Plutonus in order to attempt to offer to her master an army of damned souls to replenish his army. She is stopped by the Ascended.


Most of the Endless were once bandits or other residents of Freemarch that abandoned their faith in the living after the fall of Port Scion. As the rifts swept across Freemarch it emboldened many of them who had been farmers or craftspersons to paint their faces and throw in with Alsbeth. With everything looking so bleak for Telara and the Defiants of Meridian, eternal life through necromancy seemed to be a viable solution to how to continue on in the world.


Then Orphiel's device activated and an army of chosen ones spilled out from a slivered future.


By the way: the Soulstream

The Soulstream is an astral river where the souls of dead mortals flow. It edges both the Planes of Life and Death, but is also connected to the cosmos, transcending dimensions.


Reconquering Hammerknell…

When the Blood Storm arrived on Telara, and Akylios's spawn hauled themselves up from the seas, those mortals who were not dragged under the waves ran for their lives. Only one young scholar would not flee, for under the hideous gibbering and piteous screams she heard someone singing a song of infinite knowing.


Stealing a boat, she rowed far out to sea, where miles-long monsters churned the waters with their writhing. She tied a rock to her legs and dove overboard. The weight dragged her into the crushing deeps, closer and closer to the song. In agony she shut her eyes, and when they opened again she looked upon the singer. Akylios gave her but a portion of the dread secrets he kept, and under their weight her mind snapped, her face was worn smooth, and her name vanished from memory.


She became the first leader of the Abyssal. Like her, some inquisitive souls refuse to control their thirst for knowledge, seeking answers to questions best left unasked. Others simply seek arcane power, even if they must drag it from the darkness. Only when they face Akylios himself do they learn that such knowledge and power drove him beyond madness eons ago, and he is only too happy to lead them in the same direction.


All the Dragon Cults are horrific, but the Abyssal are the most... disturbing. Quests for gold, destruction, or even power over the dead make sense in a villainous sort of way, but the students of Akylios defy reason. They chuckle quietly outside your window at night, moving into the shadows when you come to look. They paint hideous symbols in blood upon the walls of locked rooms, or upon the faces of sleeping children.


The Abyssal are not tightly organized like the Endless Court or Golden Maw, but operate in independent cells. Individual Tidelords remain in contact, concentrating cult efforts to free Akylios and share his senseless gifts with the world. Cliques and factions rise and fall within the cult, feuding rarely. When conflict does arrive, it overturns the entire structure of the cult. Such upheavals are carefully planned by the Tidelords, for tumult pleases the lunatic dragon.


A secretive cabal, the Abyssal are impossible to understand. Yet every Telaran knows the Abyssal on sight by their ornate, faceless masks. A former Abyssal himself, the Faceless Man of Meridian still wears his mask, and while the Guardians decry such an abomination working with the Ascended, even the Defiant wonder what their spymaster is thinking beneath that polished silver.


The truth is, the Faceless are indeed faceless, giving up their identities in a ritual to Akylios. Each must confront the black void where the infinity of all knowledge blends into incomprehension. They cast their true names into the darkness, cut their features away, and replace their rational minds with equal parts insanity and genius. It is tempting to underestimate the Abyssal as barking loons, but remember: Akylios keeps his promise of great knowledge and clarity of thought-knowledge best forgotten, and the clarity of madness.


Jornaru, one of Akylios’s most loyal and powerful servants,  goes off in search of his master Akylios’s prison in order to free him and to give the Plane of Water its revenge against Telara for incarcerating him. It is Calyx the Ancient who uncovers his whereabouts.


Hammerknell Fortress, ancient jewel of the Dwarves and the eternal prison of Akylios, has been sealed for centuries by King Molinar and his son Price Dollin in order to contain within its walls the death corruption led by Estrode (see Molinar’s diary entries in Part 2). The Dwarves’ desire for vengeance grows and expeditions are prepared.


Abnormal activity is detected at the entrance to the citadel, and hostile spirits begin to escape.


Guardians and Defiants decide to unite their forces to break the magical barrier which still locks the entrance. Joined by the Dwarf Scotty, royal descendent, the Ascended infiltrate the Fortress, defeating Estrode and freeing Rune King Molinar from her influence. The King then designates Scotty as the new sovereign of Hammerknell. (All Hail King Scotty!)


(I don’t quite understand how defeating Estrode after killing Molinar and Dollin frees the latter two from her influence, but okay).


The Ascended push their expedition into Hammerknell to the prison of the water dragon, preventing Jornaru from freeing him, and killing servant and master at once.


Ember Isle…

A strange gold traffic affiliated with the Plane of Earth takes place in Shimmersands and the name Laethys begins to gain in power, whispered amongst the kiosks and shops. The Ascended discover that Ember Isle shelters an alliance between Laethys and Maelforge, and that Laethys has been using a disguise of gold pieces to travel by means of the contraband group of the Golden Maw.


The Ascended ally themselves with the Farclan Dwarves (Guardians), washed ashore generations ago, and the with the ancient civilization of the Kelari (Defiants), to put an end to the dragons of Earth and Fire. The Kelari rebuild their ancient kingdom and renew their bonds with the spirits that they painstakingly free.


The Ascended live for a time in Mathosia, driven by their success against four of the great dragon gods, and gain power and recognition from these feats.


Now for a bit of a deeper history...


The spirits & how the Kelari came to be

Nearly 1600 years ago, a young elven priestess of Tavril named Isidora discovered that pacts could be formed with the elemental spirits of nature. This was thoroughly discouraged by the priesthood but she persevered. Other elves followed her until a point of crisis arose.


This new faction of the Elves, led by Isidora, abandoned the worship of Tavril and left the Telaran mainland in search of the spirit voices they could hear calling them and a safe place to worship them. They embraced Shamanism, finding the island that would come to be known as Ember Isle, where the spirits resided. These were the Kelari and their leaving came to be known on the mainland as The First Schism.


In their new home, they built the great temple-cities of Atia and Nykantor, and at the heart of each temple lived the Temple Spirit, a Greater Spirit made more powerful by the worship given him. In return he could do many things to make the city more prosperous and to help defend it in time of need.


Five mighty heroes came together and managed to bind Maelforge deep within the volcano of Mount Carcera: Talos Roda, the Purifier; Karine, the Bard; Ula, the Reaver; Asias, the Cabalist, and Nazim, the Riftblade.


Five other mighty heroes bound Laethys within Mount Carcera: Kamuzu, the Chloromancer; Amardis, the Paladin; Kushi, the Saboteur; Nysyr, the Inquisitor; and Tahkaat, the Archon.


The Kelari tell a tale that, in the beginning, there was but a single Sourcewell. This massive vent to the furnace of the Nexus, the molten sourcestone core of Telara, attracts or creates (no one is quite sure which) the concentration of spirits found here. It is believed that the five heroes used some special magic of the Sourcewell as part of the ritual that bound Maelforge. This sealed the original Sourcewell but opened many smaller fissures all over the island, known today collectively as the Sourcewells.


When the fissures known as the Sourcewells first appeared it was quickly realized that these founts of energy were like a bountiful feed trough for the planar invaders on the island. Many Kelari found themselves called to volunteer to take up the mantle of the five heroes and guard the Sourcewells. They built the defenses and, to this day, remain at their posts, giving their very lives (and sometimes beyond) to deny this food to the enemy.


By the way: Sylver Valis

Occasionally, a child is born to the Kelari that cannot hear the spirits, nor can he make pacts with them. This is a cause of great sorrow among the Kelari and such a child is called "Nalthema". One recent Nalthema is Sylver Valis. Unable to converse with the spirits, he turned his mind to science, eventually becoming the greatest student of Orphiel Farwind, founder of The Defiant. He’s a bit foolish in his endeavors, but his exuberance can be (mostly) excused by his brightness. Yes, I do play a Defiant :)


"Fortunately, we have a Failsafe. This Failsafe will send you, our engineered soldier, and others like you, back in time to the moment it was built."


Defiants wake up in what is essentially an Ascended factory. Your character (from their perspective) is the last to go through, so engineered Ascended are implied to have already been going through it.


Also, Sylver is creating a temporal paradox. Depending on which theory you subscribe to, the Defiants he sends back will be incapable of preventing the events that lead to the world's destruction, there will be another unrelated event that will cause the destruction of the world, or these time travelers are simply creating a parallel universe where the destruction does not happen. However it works out, the Sylver Valis who sends you back will ultimately die anyways, and the world he knows will end.


… this is why slivers exist. (and slivers are explained a little later in this chapter)


If you’ve read up to here then you’ll have found that his morals aren't questionable at all... they are skewed, is what they are. He has such a deep love of machinery and artifacts that he places them above life and everything else. He also has a deep-seated interest in either ruling the world / planes or at least being a controlling member on the council in charge of it...


Yes, he helped Aedraxis in his attempts, and he built him warmachines and all... but it looks like he felt fooled by what the young King ended up doing. Orphiel wanted to use the King to his own ends, but the King opened up the ward and let the planes and Regulos back in... something Orphiel had not planned on and did not want done (at least not at the present anyhow). He may have meant to one day do this and maybe with the intent of bending Regulos to his own will…


But he never had evil intent. Foolish and perhaps greedy for personal gain and power, after being rejected for being a Nalthema...

The Dwarves

Centuries ago (in the year 1142 A.W.) a song called adventurous dwarves from their delves and made them build ships and set sail for a destination none of them had ever seen but knew in their hearts awaited them. Some were called to join The Keepers, as they were sorely in need of new blood then. Some, however, were artisans, not fighters, and these salvaged the materials in their ships and built Farhall.


Bahralt had taught their ancestors the secret of the Forge of Creation and, using a much smaller version, the smiths of the Farclan are able to create the Malgems which defend their hall.


The last Queen, Alyona Karini, was lost in the first days of the wars with the rifts. Her daughter, Solya Karini, ascended to the throne there and then, on the field of battle, rallied her clan and won the day. It is said that Solya is the greatest Queen The Farclan has ever known.


The War of the Fractured Plain

While within The Keepers the Kelari and Dwarves worked together as brothers and sisters, outside the Keepers things were not going so well. Competition for the limited resources of the island, as well as theological differences, led to friction between them and finally to war. While the war was brief it was rather bloody and has left ill feelings between the Kelari and Farclan to this day.


The Kelari Civil War

20 years ago


In the village of Kheramos was a young priest named Karris. He seemed unusually sensitive to the Spirits of the island and rose quickly to the position of senior priest of his village. His spirit guide told him that the stiff formality of the Temple, and the hidebound traditions espoused by Anthousa Mona, were wrong. That much greater power was available from the wild spirits of Fire, which the temple priesthood shunned as too wild and uncontrolled.


Worse, he came to believe that what others thought of as corruption was simply a more powerful kind of spirit, and that by taking these "corrupted" spirits within you, your own power would be magnified many times. He convinced many of his followers to do this, and so the Pyrkari were born.


One day, in the Main Temple at Atia, in the middle of a rather large ritual, Karris publicly challenged the authority of Anthousa Mona and was banished from the temple and the priesthood. This was the beginning of the Kelari Civil War.


The Wanton

The "spirit" that Karris had been listening to was, in truth, Maelforge. Perhaps Karris did not know who he was talking to, in the beginning, but by the time that he initiated the Civil War he was without a doubt fully under the Dragon of Flame's malevolent influence. The Wanton, when they revealed themselves and attacked the Kelari, created a two-pronged attack on the already-beleaguered leadership and left Anthousa Mona with no choice but to abandon the island and return to the mainland.


Shortly after the day the rifts came, the Kelari abandoned Ember Isle and made their way to Freemarch. In the chaos of that day, Anthousa's son, Jace, was left behind. He was eventually captured by the Wanton and corrupted, later serving as Karris' right hand. She has been mourning his loss ever since, and blames herself ever more for not going back to save him.


Caduceus Rise

The Black Spit Pirates, members of The Golden Maw, have been carrying plunder into a hidden vale reached through a cave in eastern Ember Isle. With this gold, the Maw have been infusing the body of their leader, Caduceus, with the power of Greed, in an attempt to create a new body suitable for Laethys, the Dragon of Greed.


Like all Blood Storm gods, Laethys's true nature is capable of driving mortals to madness: She is literally made of pure gold and is capable of surviving being melted. Her true form isn't the winged dragon with two feet most mortals see but a one armed wingless, tailless and legless dragon merged with with the dragon horde that serves as her lair. Only in this form can she be slain.


The Gold Dragon’s flesh flows like molten metal, and diamonds are her eyes. The riches of worlds will fall through her clutches, and she will never have enough while anyone else has anything at all. Laethys will feast atop a pile of famished wretches. All will adore her alone, and she will never give them quite enough.


Laethys would never let Regulos destroy the world, for how can she possess that which does not exist? She hates Crucia for spreading passionless devotion where there should be ravening lust. But she will work with nearly anyone who offers enough treasure, if only to steal the source of their wealth and watch her former ally grovel in the dirt.


Spoiled and fickle, Laethys discards her followers as quickly as she warms to them. Who knows how many back-alley beggars were once fat merchants who forgot the proper sacrifice to Laethys: pretty youths, their eyes cut out and replaced with rubies.


Infernal Dawn

As the Age of Dragons (the Blood Storm, that is) wound to a close, Telara’s heroes overcame the flames of Maelforge. They bound the red dragon of ruin deep under Mount Carcera, at the heart of Ember Isle. Held fast by the calming power of Earth, he slipped into a long, sullen sleep.


Then the rifts opened, and the Wanton surged forth across Telara, while the Kelari escaped en masse to Mathosia. The great volcano bubbled over as Maelforge thrilled to the reborn cycle of destruction. He sent his thoughts of passion and violence out into the earth, and Laethys responded. Her Golden Maw minions softened the stone around his prison, and smuggled her dormant form to Ember Isle. With the aid of corrupted spirits like Caduceus, Laethys joined Maelforge under Carcera, poised to reduce Telara to glittering ash…


However the Ascended brave the volcano’s core, face the dragons’ fiercest lieutenants, and bring down not one, but two mighty gods of the Blood Storm. Laethys, her body an unstable but breathtaking sculpture of glittering wealth, and Maelforge, the mightiest, most fearsome dragon after Regulos.


By the way: Shi-Ming

"Where would we be if we could not trade the lumber of Granitewood for the limestone of Ember Isle? Or the ores of the Scarlet Gorge for the spices of the Shi-Ming"


While the trade routes to the Shi-Ming seem to have been lost to the ages, I have heard tell from some of the soldiers that have returned from the battle of Port Scion that many of the relics you all have been recovering have in fact been trade goods from that lost land. It appears that the Shi-Ming were amazing sword makers, crafting blades of the finest quality.


And while the Ascended seem fated to never step foot upon their land, a society of assassins has traveled to Mathosia and Tempest Bay, infiltrating within the ranks of the Ascended. Are they seeking to recover their swords of legend? Or is there some darker purpose behind all this.


Or is this just all some tale weaved by a merchant prince to inflate the price of some crates of costumes found floating in the waters of the Tempest Deeps?


By the way: Slivers

As far as we know, slivers are successful attempts at getting rid of the Ascended who are interfering with Aia's version of reality, not the other way around. The Ascended from our reality are tasked with going into the alternate reality and turning it around so that the alternate reality can never be.
Part 5 : Storm Legion

New souls (tempest, etc.)

The Queen of Storms

When the dragons first arrived on Telara, Crucia united entire armies under a great hive mind that spread like the wind in one coordinated assault. Were it not for the brave deeds of Telara’s heroes, every mortal being would be thrall to the white dragon.


But the Ward cracked, and with it, Crucia’s prison. Still trapped, the Broodmother plots within her icy tomb, manipulating anyone anywhere she can, but happy to strike like a thunderbolt force when necessary. Her Storm Legion has allied with and betrayed all the other dragon cults at one time or another, for such is her way: through manipulation, coercion, or direct mind-control, she will bend every will in tune with her own, till all creation sings in perfect, matching monotone.


Once, Crucia possessed a vast empire, unflinching armies, and the most sophisticated spy network in Telara’s history. Now, the Storm Queen can merely invade and overthrow the minds of mortals who lack the monumental will to resist her.


A lifelong friend suddenly changes expression and becomes a deadly assassin. Children turn against their parents, and kings are killed by their consorts, who the night before swore love eternal. Crucia cannot fully control everyone in her cult, but once touched, the thrall remains something of a blank slate, easy pickings for further control. Crucia has worn their minds smooth, as the wind scours the mountainside.


During their visit to Iron Pine Peaks the Ascended made a shocking discovery: Crucia wasn't imprisoned within the frozen lake of Iron Pine Peaks like everyone thought but had holed up within the roof of her own temple waiting for both the arrival of the Ascended and for her slaves the Architects of the Plane of Earth to get the Infinity Gate they had once created up & running.  Upon the arrival of Ascended she broke through the roof of her temple and offered a place within the Storm Legion to the Ascended before flying away.


Guardian and Defiant Ascended leave for the continents of Brevane and Dusken to join the efforts. Their common battles against dragons and Planar beings have alleviated their differences, and there was a giant breakthrough when defectors started crossing over to opposite camps (this was introduced in-game as the possibility to join the opposite faction and for guilds to welcome members of the opposite faction, too). Although their commanders haven’t reconciled with their differences and bitterness, there is a truce, and the Faction system becomes more about beliefs or ideals and less about the events of the Shade and Civil unrest.


Queen Miela asks for the help of both Factions, and both are present in Tempest Bay, the sanctuary bastion of Brevane citizens. Queen Miela leads the Lycini, survivors of a destroyed Brevane following the Blood Storm. Thanks to the Solar Orb, a powerful magitech artifact that was used by the Vigil and its followers, they have taken back Dusken’s Pelladane from zombie abominations.


The Lycini are now facing Crucia’s legions, led by the ex-Lycini traitor Artifex Zaviel, and jealously guard the Sun Orb in Tuldio, which allows them to maintain the dragon away from the land she left her mark on long ago (see Part 1 re: Crucia (The Broodmother)).


In the Lycini colony of Cape Jule, the Legion attempts to gain access to Brevanic science, in particular on an artificial intelligence known as Auram, which has a good command of mental possession, planar control and mutant biology on its lands.


The Ascended followed Crucia to the Frozen Tempest where the Ascended faced Crucia's highest ranking minions. During the battle Crucia constantly kept offering a place within her Storm Legion to the Ascended. Eventually the Ascended reached Crucia and slew her.


All Blood Storm have a secret true nature that would drive mortals mad and Crucia was no different: little did the Ascended know that as they struck Crucia down did she transfer her soul into a new body. This ability was a secret that would drive lesser minds to madness at the implications. With her new body Crucia would arrange the permanent death of her brother Regulos.


By the way: God Engines

Sun Orb

Amplifies the will of the Brevanic people, used in the Kingdom of Pelladane to expel Crucia and the Storm Legion, and also to teleport us to Tempest Bay at the end of the questline there. Pretty much useless as they said since there are few Brevanic people remaining.


I hesitated before applying the final graft to the Orb. Fiction loves to vilify mortals such as myself. Creating machinery that would touch the celestial realms, based on plans not fully understood whose origins were kept as a secret even from those of us that must build it? While our mages, priests and scientists had all blessed this endeavor, was this not the hubris that bards loved to sing cautionary tales of?

But as I thought back to the events of the construction, the miracles that became an almost daily occurrence, the joy and serenity that I saw blossom in those that contact with the Orb, how could I delay? Was is jealousy? I witnessed many strange and magical events happen in the lives of the workers that pieced it together, and the clergy that focused its power upon the celestial realms. Yet I myself was unaffected? Was I really so selfish to demand metaphysical payment before I would enrich Telara? I inserted the final piece, a composite of gold, Rhenium and the Ephemeral Element, inscribed with runes of the celestial language itself.

And the Orb started to spin.

"Build a temple of contemplation upon this site!"

That voice! It was my Mother calling me home. No it was my Grandfather. My professor of eldritch theory whom I loved. Did we create an intelligent construct? A metallic god kin of our own design? What did it demand?

"Stray thoughts get in the way." Said a little girl. It was me, the me when I was at peace, happy, the day I found the stray kitten and played with it in the sun.

'Think of a temple where one can find their peace, and we will build it together." I saw five of the Six, though their features were Obscured by the brightness of the sun. I imagined a roof open to the sky, a balcony upon the sound, and a nearby shop to get my tea.

When the light dimmed I witnessed the final brick cement itself into place. Its first miracle was to build a home, a shared space fit for both mortal and divine. The assembled dignitaries of the Tempest and Sun courts exploded in cheers. I wept with joy.


The Tempest Engine

This Engine was created by Artifex Zaviel to destroy Tempest Bay and the Shapers.


Artifex Zaviel: Behold my masterwork! Compared to the Tempest Engine, all other god engines are more trinkets. Bow to my genius!


Queen Miela: At least I'll have the satisfaction of watching this traitor Zaviel die. Her Tempest Engine is an abomination. The Artifex probably had her hand in the design of the weapon that hit Tempest Bay. Avenge your brothers and sisters, Ascended!


Infinity Gate

Created by the Brevanic people, with the intentions of traveling to and exploring and eventually colonizing the planes. They open it up and all hell breaks loose. The blood storm comes out and that entire continent kind of falls apart.


I believe the Nightmare Engine that we encounter in Nightmare Tide is also one of these God Engines, but I might be wrong. I didn’t personally play through the entire NMT expansion...

An Endless Eclipse

From the darkest depths of the universe death is inescapable - like a cold shadow, its tendrils seek out and suffocate life leaving only desolation in its wake.


Messengers race from Morban with grave news: Regulos readies an apocalyptic return to Telara. Agents of the Endless Court, the first inhabitants that he corrupted and transformed into demented lugubrious Shapers who transform the survivors into zombie slaves or use their corpses to shape the landscape of the zone into massive bone sculptures, have collected his shattered essence, selected a host body created by the Shapers, and prepared a portal to the Plane of Death, all while corrupting all in their wake. They have allied themselves with Kain to take over the lands of Dusken and to rebuild a live avatar of Regulos.


The Devourer of Worlds is coming, and unlike Crucia, who offered salvation for submission before her demise, he wants only to annihilate the Ascended, extinguish the light of their world, and all that lies beyond.


Crucia has been defeated, but all is not as it seems, and the Infinity Gate gains more power everyday. These are dark and dangerous days, and it will only get darker before the dawn.


The fate of all rests with the Ascended once again. It will take all the troops of the Caretakers, led by the Overseer from Necropolis, to push them back while the Ascended, led by the unexpected alliance of Asha Catari and a Messenger of the Vigil, penetrate through to the edge of Morban to prevent the Destroyer’s reincarnation. And yet…


Death was not destroyed.
Do you think that Regulos was the god of death?
He was a dragon that wielded death.
He was a powerful necromancer demon.
Death awaits you, (your name).
I am coming for you.
It is your fate.


By the way: Frederic Kain

General of the Endless. Former staunch Marshal of the Guardian’s 12th. As a Defiant myself, I don’t know too much about him, but I think he was swayed by Crucia at some point in Iron Pine Peak and then veered paths when she left him in the Shapers’ Citadel with the Nexus Key. It seems he was then transformed by Regulos’s Shapers into a monstrous giant. The following passage is a bit of lore from when Kain was still a staunch Guardian, and will give insight into his personality.


"VENGEANCE! VENGEANCE FOR KEENBLADE MILL!" shouted Kaspar Massi as his raiding party fell upon the Guardian caravan.


The sixty handpicked fighters charged with weapons held high, Kelari and Bahmi copying the ululating cry of their nomadic Eth cohorts. Massi himself came from nomad stock and howled long and loud as his scimitar ended a caravan guard's attempt to call a rally.


Beside him, a Bahmi swung his warhammer from the back of a tartagon, pulping heads as his beast's twin mouths gnashed at flesh. Behind them, a row of archers turned the caravan's carts and beasts into writhing cacti.


The Defiant herded the survivors into a tight circle, and Massi had just drawn breath to call for surrender when he heard the winding horn.


The sound was deep and grim, as if the ancient granitewoods themselves roared their displeasure at the Defiant, and followed by the tromping of steel-clad feet. Thirty men crested the hill, gleaming in green plates, their banner reading "XII." But Massi had eyes only for the man beside the standard-bearer.


This commander glared down at the Defiant mustering to meet him as if wishing he could wash them all away by spitting. Eerily silent, he led the charge, his men keeping pace beside him. As he ran, he held aloft a black battleaxe. Frederic Kain did not swing the weapon like a berserker, but brandished it before him, his grim eyes saying "this is all I have for you."


The moment before impact, the Guardians gave a single enraged scream. They swung their weapons in unison, sweeping away the first rank of Defiant. Massi was pleased to see his forces hold, bolstered by pride and superior numbers. Their archers were even good enough to whittle down the Guardians' rearmost ranks. Shouldering through the press, Massi came to blows with Frederic Kain.


Massi howled as he fought, and his forces followed suit. But Kain did not care. The gray eyes were still as granite in the square-jawed face, and his only sign of exertion was a thick vein that stood out against his graying blond crew cut. He beat down Massi's guard twice, seemingly uninterested as to which Defiant he was killing, but Kaspar's agility (deceptive for a man with one leg) saved his life-and dealt the big Mathosian a cut across the brow.


It was then Massi noticed that the archers had not joined the melee. Kain took a step back to clear the blood from his eye, and Massi used that moment to disengage and look over their position.


The 12th had overrun his archers, and the last of them screamed as a knight's maul fell toward his face like a meteor. Massi looked back at Kain and found the Guardian commander smiling amid the fray, the wide, toothy grin a lion gives an injured hyena. Already, Massi knew the ambushing Guardsmen were advancing to close the textbook pincer.


"Full retreat!" he cried. "Ascended only, hold them!" Only when he was safely over the hill with his remaining mortal soldiers did Massi hear the booming war-cry of the victorious 12th.


"DEATH!" roared Kain. "DEATH ANSWERS DEFIANCE!"


"Do you have it?" said Frederic Kain to the fatherly caravan master.


He sat across from the Paladin in one of the caravan's covered wagons, tears in his eyes. "Again, Commander, I must thank you and your Guardsmen. Without you, we would all be-"


"We enjoy our work. Now. Do you have it?"


The older man nodded nervously and opened the chest that stood on the table between them. Something awful screeched from the darkness of the box. Kain pulled back from the noise, his face a mask of utter despair that slowly hardened to determination. He reached in and seized whatever was in the box, crushing it in his fist until the shrieking died.


"Please, Commander," said the merchant. "Why did you want it? Such an evil thing, whatever it was. By the Vigil, you appear paler than you did a moment ago."


"This is my burden alone," said Kain, iron in his voice and spine. "If I will not bear it, someone weaker will."


Kain rose and walked to the head of the caravan, where his men broke away with the prisoners and the catapult.


"Sir," said Captain Ledisko. "The catapult is within bombardment range of Perspice. But we can't sack the settlement with just one."


Kain looked down at his captain. "I don't plan to sack anything, Captain. Not with this ammunition."


Ledisko looked perplexed. "Ammunition? Sir, you didn't have us bring any hurling stones-" and then he followed his Commander's gaze to the Defiant prisoners, chained in a row, their faces grim and distant. "I see."


"Death rewards defiance," said Kain, unslinging his axe as his men grabbed the first prisoner under the arms.


By the way: the Overseer

I am The Overseer, a biological entity created by the Brevane Empire to safeguard Necropolis. I have fulfilled this obligation for over a thousand years. With your help, perhaps I can protect Necropolis for a thousand more.


The Overseer appears to be a biological construct created to protect the Necropolis. He has the ability to absorb the power and knowledge of anyone buried there. The reason he protects the Caretakers is two fold I think. One is that he provides for them. He needs the nutrients they collect to survive. Secondly, his purpose is to protect the Necropolis and those who dwell within. Literally, the city of the dead has become the only safe haven for the living within the destroyed lands of Dusken. The Caretakers, thus cut off from the rest of the world by their protective wards, thought everywhere else had been wiped out by the dragons during the Blood Storm.


The Overseer does seem to care about his followers. He considers the pain he receives when attacked by Crucia to be a valuable experience because it reminds him of the pain his caretakers live with on a daily basis. Crucia doesn’t seem to want to control him, or at least this is as per her saying. She wants the Overseer dead to keep him out of Regulos's hands (this is how much she fears / hates her own brother). Regulos is the one who wants the Overseer corrupted to his side, to in turn corrupt the Overseer’s followers.


No one really knows why the Overseer was placed in Necropolis to guard the city in the first place. The city has advanced tech that is supposedly enough to keep an interfering dragon at bay… perhaps excessive defenses considering it is the place where the dead are buried, nurturing in turn the Overseer with the deceaseds’ memories and knowledge. Atagonix was buried there to make the Overseer stronger.


Atagonix was buried here hundreds of years ago, and at that time, I absorbed his knowledge and power. Within the confines of my mind, I can lend you that power, and with it, you can defeat Crucia.


The Race for the Infinity Gate…

After the fall of Maelforge, his Bloodfire servants have been without a master. Crucia has now enslaved them, and uses them in her fight against Regulos on Dusken. The two dragons, opposed by a fierce hatred for one another, attempt to lay hands on the last lost piece of the Infinity Gate which would allow them to unleash their army on Telara once more. The Nexus Key, which Regulos’s servants possessed and had hidden in Morban, is stolen by Crucia due to her manipulating unsuspecting Ascended.


She uses the Architects, creatures from the Plane of Earth and ancient servants of her defeated sister, Laethys, that were liberated from their servitude by her death. Crucia submits them to her control, and orders them to rebuild the Infinity Gate.


After the Nightmares of Arak began their invasion of Telara the Storm Queen had begun to see the potential of Nightmares and began to set up the Infinity Gate to open to certain coordinates within the Plane of Water only for the Ascended to interfere and at the advice of the armies of Aia (who feared her gaining access to the full power of Nightmares and destroying the Planes just as much as she feared an even worse threat that was coming) change the coordinates to Draumheim where Arak and his forces held their staging grounds. Capturing Crucia the Shade of Akylios delivered the Storm Queen to Arak who had certain plans for her.


Crucia’s subsequent fall leaves the Infinity Gate in the hands of the Architects, now free of any enslavement and bent on revenge and annihilation after their servitude. They are at an unprecedented height of power when the Ascended manage to capture the Key until it is ultimately lost to creatures of Nightmare whom Crucia has allied herself with.


Salvarola and the Awakened…

Over on Brevane, the Eternal City of Ashora is sacked a year before the Ascended arrive on the continent. A fallen and exiled noble, Salvarola, has discovered in Ashora an artifact which allows him to communicate with Crucia, whom he has become a loyal servant to. Unable to break the magical barrier of the city, he moves it to the Dendrome and has overloaded the Empyrean Core, the planar energy power plant. Salvarola and the mutated citizens of Brevane are now roaming the ruins of the city under Crucia's control.


By the time the Ascended arrive onto the continent, Life energy has spread like wildfire, provoking extreme vegetal growth in the Dendrome, and Salvarola’s alchemists transform its inhabitants into cannibalistic mutants. He and his Awakened reign on the ruins of the Eternal City, engaging in fierce battle with the survivors of the ancient Royal House (Arkella?), including Princess Isabella and Prince Casimar. If I remember correctly Prince Kaliban was lured and corrupted by Salvarola with promises of amazing power to rival his brother (oh, jealousy, you fickle fiend), but was instead turned into a grotesque mutation.


The Ascended successfully thwart Salvarola’s plans and vanquish him before he reaches his goal: Ascension by all means.


By the way: Arkella Estate & dreamception



Volan and the Biofoundry…

The fall of the Barrier which protected the Eternal City had another impact. In the norther part, in Ashora, the City had to face the Karthans’ attacks. The Karthans were indigenous creatures that became mad from the Architects’ planar menace.


The Brevanic engineers became influenced by Crucia and led biotechnological research, leading to the creation of a mutant giant from a captured Karthan named Volan. Transformed into a war machine, Volan wiped out his own brethren before being put into a hibernation state by his creators. But the Biofoundry has persevered in its research, and the engineers have themselves become degenerate mutants.


The Dendrome and the Architects’ menace…

The crater in the Dendrome is where Greenscale crashed after being shot down while passing through Brevane. The lush jungle and creatures spilled forth from his blood, nourishing the area even eons later. When the Ascended discover the area, it is still teeming with much Life energy, save for the northmost area that is teeming with Architects, creatures from the Plane of Earth.


Nevertheless, Dendrome’s luxurious jungle shelters native fairies and was once inhabited by Brevane citizens who left ruins and traces of their culture, which predate the coming of the Vigil: they venerated six gods. The mysterious goddess without a name possessed a temple in the Dendrome, later abandoned and used as the Awakened base of operations.


The Architects call the goddess Destiny and fear it. (I believe we later know this goddess as the Goddess of Fate, or Aia).


After the fall of Salvarola at the hands of the Ascended, one of his adepts called Inyra took over the sect and continued the Awakened research on immortality via alchemy. They test their mutagenic concoctions on the poor unsuspecting inhabitants of the region, who became monsters.


They then used pheromones to control the Architects, pushing them away from their assumed domain northward where they devoured the lush jungle, reducing it to a sterile desert, and dug gigantic colonies deep into the earth.


Intelligent, the Architects, freed from Crucia’s domination by the Awakened’s pheromones, set about taking advantage of Inyra’s ambition to manipulate her and made her their new Queen. The great Awakened priestess attempted to Ascend herself but found herself instead reincarnated into the new Architect Queen Inyr’Kta. She fled with her new people toward the Planar Bastion on the Plane of Earth (Planebreaker Bastion), where the Architects started building a colossal war machine, called Abominus, capable of conquering the Planes. She is defeated by the Ascended, putting an end to the Architect menace, at least for now…


By the way: what happens to dragons when they die?

Now, let’s go back. After Greenscale left his crash site and continued terrorizing Telara with his brethren, he was bound in Stillmoor in Greenscale’s Blight by ______Bindings of Blood NPCs_______ for a thousand years, he subsequently died at the hands of the Ascended after attempting to free himself one last time. Or is it?


When Greenscale died, his Planar powers dispersed throughout Telara and attempted to re-congeal into solitary motes holding a large amount of Planar power. As the motes reformed, other creatures could collect their energy and wield huge amounts of power, comparable to the dragon in life.


As such, the Ascended hunted down the motes and prevented them from reforming, effectively letting the energy disperse harmlessly. Therefore, Telara will never be overrun by Life energy.


The Cosmic Rhinoceros

Motes. Buggy rhinos during the zone event, holy crap they were freaking blind and stupid, aggro’ing everything! Don’t know much more.

Ogres, fairies and dragons...

  • A strange community has also moved into the Dendrome: Atrophinius the satyr has exiled the free fairies and built a utopic city called Hailol, where all fairies live in peace and where even mortals are tolerated.
  • The Achyati, close cousins of the ogres of Ashora, maintain a pacifist, contemplative ancient civilisation venerating the Cosmic Rhinoceros, but are forced to ask the Ascended for help due to the Architects ravaging their lands once the magical barrier is down, and due to the Awakened who use them as guinea pigs. The ogres alert the Ascended about the danger of seeing the dragon avatars reborn, and the dragons that hatched are eliminated.
  • The Equinox Court, a group of evil fairies, decides to revive the Dragon of Life. As Atrophinius leads the assault on the Architect hive, the Ascended recover the egg that’s ready to hatch, and the satyr decides to keeps the young boy alive to raise him in Hailol in the name of his principle of cohabitation between Telarans and the creatures of the Planes. The decision is endorsed by the leaders of the mortals and of the Ascended.

Torva and the Planar Hunters...



The Empyrean Alliance and the Planar Hunters become allies to decimate the Planarchs, who represent a menace for Telara. War begins to shift, changing from defending Telara to direct offense. The Planar Hunters use technology to open tears and bringing through powerful planar leaders to kill them.


The Hunters discover the tragic destiny of their founder Torva, and the Ascended must save her soul from Crucia’s slavery.

Crucia’s last offensive...

The Ascended, at Queen Miela’s side, assault Crucia’s fortress to destroy the artifact that Zaviel built for her from her knowledge of the Solar Orb.


Simultaneously, Crucia uses the artifact to attack Tempest Bay and destroy all the Ascended there.


She then places a bomb meant to raze the city. The Ascended finally succeed against Crucia’s allies including Zaviel, and then the dragon herself, while the survivors of the Tempest Bay fight on and re-establish communication, allowing Miela to return to the capital and re-join General Batua. Miela activates a machine meant to neutralise the bomb, but which actually sends her to Crucia who transfers her essence into Miela’s body at the moment when her draconic avatar is destroyed. The Ascended and the queen’s Lycini entourage discover the trickery: Queen Miela was under Crucia’s influence for a good while.


Cut off from her powers and her army, Crucia exiles herself to the Necropolis, plotting under the guise of an old hooded woman.


Lady Glasya, from the Plane of Fire, and her Bloodfire Army begin attacking Telara. Crucia proposes to aid the Ascended against this new menace, but the truce is short-lived and her stratagem is quickly uncovered.


A strange rumor from the oceans, as well as sinister presences in expert dungeons, begin to take over Telara. Crucia, totally annihilated, leaves through the Infinity Gate towards what looks like the Plane of Water.




Basically, in the beginning there was Telara and everyone there was cool. Then some space alien dragons came and started ****ing with our stuff. So the gods of Telara elected Donald Trump to be their president and he built a wall to keep the illegal alien dragons out.


Fast forward a few thousand years later, the gods revive a bunch of dead heroes (the players, who are immortal and respawn on death basically) to stop a machine built by an extra-dimensional alien name Orphiel Farwind that makes rifts in the magic wall (the ward) built by Trump for the evil tyrant guy who's name I forget. The ascended break the machine, kick his butt and are sent into the future in the resulting explosion where they found out that they failed to save the day and all the other dimensions (the planes) are invading Telara for resources again. So the player characters go from zone to zone and stop the invasions/fight the bad guy who serves the death dragon (Alsbeth) and basically kick ***. Oh, and the defiant player character is from a future where Alsbeth won and they come back in time by destroying the future.


So the two factions meet up in Stillmoor, join forces, kill some snotty elf prince, slay one of the main antagonist dragons who was imprisoned (Greenscale), then venture into the afterlife, where they stop Alsbeth from reviving your long dead friend Zeraph Mathos to serve her. You then kill her and her lackies and basically win the base vanilla game. After this you go to Hammerknell and kill another main antagonist that's a giant squid dragon cause he was gonna do bad stuff and you reclaim the dwarven homeland. Scotty is also basically made the king or something. Hail king Scotty.


After all this the ascended sail their way across the ocean to Ember Isle, kill two more dragons, Laethys/Maelforge and basically chill for the next year cause all the major baddies are dead for the moment, cept for Regulos and Crucia but I'm about to get to them.


STORM LEGION



Alright, so while the ascended were chilling, the Storm Queen/Dragon/Dominatrix Crucia was hanging out in her prison in Iron Pine. She busts out with the help of her storm troopers (the storm legion) and flies off to the other continents on Telara (Brevane and Dusken) to rebuild her Empire. Oh and during this time, Queen Miela shows up from these continents on a ship, forms the Ephemeral Alliance with the Guardian and Defiants and everyone becomes best buds.


The Ascended them proceed to lead a war against the Storm Legion across two fronts (the player picking which story they'd rather do) and basically kick a lot of ass. Regulos is there in part, but I've never done the questing for Dusken, so I have no idea what's going on over there. In Brevane, you discover the ruins of the Kingdom of Brevane which is ruled by the tyrant Savarola. If you’re a Guardian you join the Prince and lead his troops against Salvarola, if you're a Defiant, you rescue the Princess and lead her ragtag rebellion. There's also an Indiana Jones reference in this part of the game where you run away from the mutant prince Kaliban.


So both sides meet up, storm the castle and win the day freeing the continent. Crucia gets all salty and tries to invade the capital, Tempest Bay and uses an ascended killing nuke, that fails to kill the player because they're trapped in a stasis field due to a shopping mishap. At this time a team of ascended are also storming her base.


The lone surviving ascended in Tempest Bay (you) proceeds to literally go ham and outright slaughter everything in your path through the city. You kill several armored storm legion units, open the city's porticulum to let other ascended reinforcements into the city and you them proceed to destroy a storm legion war mech. You then reach the terminal where the storm legion are preparing to detonate a second bomb, this one to level Tempest Bay. The group of ascended storming Crucia's base kill her and Crucia survives by transferring her consciousness to Queen Miela and thus becoming the hottest character in RIFT.


So she runs off, the player takes over a mech using a hacking tool developed in a dungeon story and you proceed to destroy the Storm Legion's airship fleet by jumping from ship to ship shooting everything in sight. You destroy the bomb which causes the Storm Legion to retreat and then you are promptly teleported out of the falling armada before you're killed.


The rest of the expansion revolves around Crucia using the device called the Infinity Gate either to return to the plane of air or get reinforcements or something. Oh and a fifth god named Aia starts messing with the past or something, so you go back and time and fight Greenscale, Akylios, Laethys and Maelforge in the place of the original heroes who defeated them the first time while Trump was working on that wall.


The result of our efforts on the Storm Legion and Regulos’s forces is this: Brevane is mostly reclaimed and set for thriving, and Dusken is somewhat reclaimed and on the path to healing.

Grim Awakening

Ultane can unlock some version of Ascension with demonic power
Salvarola


Bindings of Blood

Mysteries abound in the Runic Athenaeum, where a dark foe attempts to change the fabric of history itself.


Killing the Blood Storm all those years ago opened the door for something else, possibly worse, to come and try to claim Telara. To try to prevent this, Aia has sent agents back in time to rewrite history so that the Blood Storm would never be bound in the first place, in order to prevent them from being dead in the present. In other words, Telara must be sacrificed for the good of the Planes.


The Ascended follow suit, however, and go back in time as well to prevent history from being changed.


By the way: what happens to a dragon after they die

The dragons were considered gods until they took dragon forms. This is why Regulos seems so much more powerful than the rest —— he didn't assume a form on Telara aside from possessing Aedraxis and using his Shade. Endless Eclipse was more of a crossover with the Ascended entering the Plane of Death, but it still made his mortal coil able to be destroyed. Therefore, he stews in the Plane of Death for now, possibly gaining in power and thirst for vengeance.


Maelforge's planar power returned to the Plane of Fire for reasons we still don't really understand, but probably because Scarn, the other candidate for the title of Dragon of Fire, is dead.


Greenscale's power is most likely still stewing in Greenscale's Blight, not counting the Dendrome life motes, if it hasn't already returned to the Plane of Life or to Tasuil. The shadestone in Greenscale’s Blight counteracts any Life energy that could spread out of it. So, for now, Greenscale is pretty dead: the Ascended made sure that his motes in the Dendrome were absorbed by Tasuil, and whatever motes that could escape from Greenscale’s Blight can’t because there is enough shadestone there to counteract any Life energy spreading outside of it.


Laethys went to the Soulstream, where her brother Regulos was eagerly waiting for her before his own demise. This makes her truly dead for now, as Regulos is stuck on his Plane.


Crucia still possesses her power because, when she died in Frozen Tempest, she quickly assumed another body as to not let her motes decay. Adding the Oculons that she now possesses, it's not likely the Ascended are going to be able to kill her anytime soon.


While, for all intents and purposes, the dragons are all dead, there are enough possibilities that they could come back in some shape or form. Indeed, Crucia has come back more than once! After being killed in Frozen Tempest, she took control of Queen Miela’s body, then came back as a


While for all circumstances Regulos, Greenscale, Maelforge, Laethys and Akylios, the original (for us anyways) dragon "gods" are all dead, there is enough holes that they COULD come back in some form.
Crucia proves that dragons have souls and their mind/spirit is not permanently tied to their dragon bodies, though most of their power is.
The lore is vague enough that we don't know 100% what happened to the souls of Regulos, Greenscale, Maelforge (the short story claims to eat his soul but it was just his physical heart) and Laethys. Their spirits could still be out there.
If they are like ascended, they could still be alive.
Akylios won't because he was Akvan-like creatures formed into one big being. Possibly Izkinra or whatever the name is (though I assume that dragon is dead too because in Dendrome we saw new dragons for ALL planes, I never fought that raid boss)


What we DO know is that once a dragon dies, the power and body move around in motes and create a new dragon.
The true power of a dragon "god" is tied to this cycle, but the mind/spirit is not.


Crucia has some powers still yes, but she's VERY killable without her original form.
We never fought a true fully powered Regulos because his dragon body died before the game started.


So Regulos, the one we know, is dead. His spirit may live on and CC and the devs may use him as another weakened boss, but dragon "god" he is no more.
This is where I think there is some confusion. You have to view both the spirit and the body as two separate things.
One, the body, being tied to some grander scheme cycle that we know little about that is the source of the dragon "gods" power.
Two, the spirit, being a completely separate where it may exist even after the body has been destroyed, but substantially weaker and not much different than any other soul in the Rift world.


Then of course there's multiple-dimensions and realities... Plenty of holes! lol


What should be considered is that there SHOULD be new dragon "gods" floating around for the plane of death, water, air, earth and fire.
Should be anyways, if we are to base our assumptions on the cycle we were shown in Dendrome.....Though I should note the quest to kills those spawns do state "Spawn of Akylios" though it's been stated Akylios isn't a true dragon so that part is probably an oversight and it really should be Izkinra or whatever.


Just shows the story isn't laid out THAT far all the time.


By the way: Aia, Goddess of Fate

Once a member of the Vigil, Aia had a fallout after the Vigil disagreed with her plans for the mortal realm. During the Bindings of Blood she is the one who sends the Ra'Aran, Drekanoth and Tyshe to alter the past and allow the Blood Storm to destroy Telara in hopes of preventing an even greater evil from occurring. After being foiled she then frees the Akvan in Mount Sharax’s prison to again try to prevent this greater evil.


By the way: the Drekanoth of Fate

A servant of the Vigil, he is charged with assisting the Sharax in guarding Martrodraum's Prison, but joins up with Aia and decides to convince the Sharax to revoke their original task and betray the Vigil.


By the way: Tyshe



By the way: Ra’Aran


Nightmare Tide
"Fools!” cackled Alsbeth, as a new wave of corpses clawed their way out of the scorched earth. “Did you think my master would let you escape so easily?"


Her shambling horde was disconcerting, thought Kira. It was too large, its zombies, skeletons, and wights bolstered by otherworldly shapers and their hideous creations. Still, she grinned as she vanished beyond the fissure running through Alsbeth’s ranks, a volcanic gash that looked distinctly like the disapproving sneer of Rahn Chuluun – even as it threatened to split Telara in half.


This discordance was lost on Alsbeth. She continued to wail and chant. "Your petty machines will help you no more than the gods you– "


Kira’s quick yet savage strike put an end to the woman's screeching. She made sure to twist the knife just a bit. If she was going to relive this apocalypse, she might as well enjoy it.


Alsbeth crumpled, but the body that sprawled across the ground wasn’t hers. It was that of Kira’s companion, Uriel. The Bahmi clutched at her messy wound and tried to hold onto her insides. "Why, Kira? Why cut our time short?"


"NO!" Kira sat up in her tent in a panic. She was drenched in sweat even though it was freezing on the Steppes. She looked down at the dagger in her hand. She could have hurt herself. She could have hurt—


"URIEL!"


Kira leaped out of the tent into a relentless rain. A saccharine sweetness hung in the air, a purplish mist that Kira had tasted it in her dream. It parted as a Mathosian guard stumbled into view.


"Why aren't you at your post?” Kira asked. “What happened to the watch?"


"I didn't mean to go in the woods, Mommy!” the guard said. “The little green man promised me candy." He stared at her vacantly, his voice soft like a scared child's. He was sleep walking, Kira realized. Everyone in the camp seemed to be sleep walking, she discovered, each lost in a nightmare of their own making.


Kira heard a familiar rumble in the sky, the machinic sound of unimaginable power coursing through the ancient stone of the floating Infinity Gate. If someone had been working its controls in their sleep – if Uriel had been at them late like she so often was – who knows what new horrors had been released.


Kira sprinted across the rain-slick stone toward the Empyreal controls, and two figures came into view: Uriel and a hooded figure who stooped beside her, whispering into her ear as she operated the massive artifact. With a scream, Kira leapt at the man, taking him down with a single slice of her dagger.


"Wake up, Uriel! Don't press anything!" She embraced her companion and pulled her away from the central dais filled with its hodgepodge of magic and technology. Uriel groaned unhappily, reaching unsuccessfully for the controls, then woke with a start.


"Kira! What ... am I doing out here?” The Bahmi mage shook off the tendrils of sleep. “I dreamed I was a girl again, playing a game with my father. It was an old Eth game that looked like the Gate’s—"


"Controls,” Kira finished. “That one there is responsible." She pointed her dagger toward the hooded figure, who was already spitting up blood.


"The Dream Coven teaches us that life is but a sleeping illusion,” he said, laughing through the pain as he spoke. “Now is my chance to wake." Kira knew it was never a good sign when they died with a smirk on their faces.


"We've got bigger problems,” Uriel warned. “The Infinity Gate is moving. In my dream, I must have … set it adrift."


"Can you stop it?" Kira was genuinely frightened. She hadn’t studied the artifact like Uriel had, but she knew well enough that it was capable of destroying Telara.


"No. The dream, the rules … are gone.” The mage blinked as the gate shifted and surged overhead. “And it’s moving out of range."


Kira watched, disheartened, as the ancient God Engine lumbered across the sky, toward the sea. "Do what you can to prevent the apocalypse. I'll handle the hard job." Kira unbridled a fast crocnard and draped the fallen cultist across its saddle.


"I'll tell the Faceless Man that the dreamers have struck again."


Nightmares from Telaran minds have begun invading Telara via the Plane of Water, while a new antagonist by the name of Lord Arak steals the Infinity Gate and attempts to flood Shimmersand with it. The Ascended, upon the Sirens’ urging, go to the Plane of Water and discover the ravages that have led to the Sirens’ exile and to the Nightmares invading Telara.


You travel to the Plane of Water cause some guy named Lord Arak steals the Infinity Gate and tries to flood Shimmersand with it, while nightmares from Telaran minds threaten Telara. Ascended now go to the Plane of Water, starting out in Goboro Reef where the Bloodfire Army have attacked and Draum, the Moon, is stirring. Bloodfire have received some cool devices called Oculons from some unknown source and Lady Glasya, daughter of the King of the Throne of Fire, decides to take her army and rule the Plane of Water. Atragarians ask Ascended for help, a Skelf known as Finric befriends the Player (With a dark prophecy ahead of him.) Ascended fight back against them and drive Glasya and Admiral Nezevar back to Gyel Fortress. They then go in and kill them (Didn't see that coming did you!?). Oh and there were some Akvan, but they didn't do anything special, they just died, there's also the Ghar, Telarans whose Scions found a path into the Plane of Water centuries ago, but had no wish to leave, which ended up annoying the Pelagic Order, the dreams that protected the Plane of Water.


Ascended now go to Draumheim, City of Dreams (In physical forms called Onir) and it turns out the city has been overrun by Nightmares, led by Lord Arak and Demogos, the Avatar(s) of Nightmares. Kondraum, the manifestation of Draum and his Daughter, Princess Mala, request the help of the Ascended to fight back against Arak. Arak then decides to create several powerful nightmares using his Nightmare Engine, they are the six Extinctions, copies of the Blood Storm Gods (Oh boy, I bet you're all excited that Regulos is going to get beaten for the fourth time...). After four of those are beaten, it turns out the Extinction of Sanity A.K.A. Akylios Nightmare, has decided to be a nice guy and leave everyone alone. Then the Ascended kill Regulos three more times after interrupting a nightmare marriage between Zareph and Alsbeth (IS HE REALLY DEAD NOW? IS HE!?).


Finric then tells of his aspirations to become Rhen and takes the Player to Tarken Glacier, a Glacier on the edge of the cosmos (Making sense?). Here there are beings known as Sharax, Ice Giants who once served "The Gods" (Azdah and Co.? The Vigil?). Whoever that might be, they don't like them, so they decide to plan for the annihilation of every universe in the cosmos by summoning Matrodraum, Devourer of Worlds and the Ultimate Nightmare (Totally not harsh!), along with the assistance of the Akvan, who serve Matrodraum. Ascended end up assisting the Skelf Pilgrims in defeating Shaghi (Who are pretty much weaker versions of Skelfs) and the Sharax/Akvan Alliance and their leaders Bulf, Threngar and the now rogue Cosmologist Mann from Ghar Station Tau. After that, it turns out an alternate reality has appeared, where Finric has followed the dark prophecy and become the Rhen of Fate, who threatens the cosmos (Somehow.). Ascended kill him and his underlings, the end.


They then proceed to Mount Sharax, where it turns out the Sharax are still trying to summon Martrodraum, and sort of succeeding (Uh oh.). They then fight again and defeat Bulf, now Herald of the End, then the Warmasters of the Sharax who end up summoning Izkinra, the Dragon God of Ice that got tossed into the Cosmos by Akylios at the beginning of the story, they then defeat the Yrlwalach and finally face Threngar, leader of the Sharax. After his defeat, he summons Martrodraum, then dies, leaving the Ascended to fight Martrodraum and kill him, which leaves us waiting for the next RIFT Expansion. THE END. (Not kidding this time.).

Tier 3 happens, you go raid Orphiel's spaceship to kill gods and get phat loot.


PTW Opens: You explore a zone that's been lost in time and meet some new faces.


New souls: Dream Souls

Liberator

Blah blah blah

Arbiter

Blah blah blah

Oracle

Oracles channel the immense power or the divine into emblems and insignias that refresh the ferocity of allies and corrode the defenses of enemies. Through study and meditation, they have developed an intimate understanding of death: ways to help allies inflict it, while letting enemies drown.


Toothbreak's cheeks blanched light-green as he focused through the eyepiece of his spyglass. The last of his army was scattering like insects under the unstoppable assault of the Tower, one of the Tenebrean constructs that had laid waste to Telara. Its spidery limbs scissored through Toothbreak's soldiers while launching lightning in wild arcs toward the ramparts of his planar keep. Only the silver dragon Tasuil, now gravely injured, had held the construct back this long.


"Bloodrot!" he cursed as a turret exploded nearby, sending his telescope tumbling toward the singed crags below. "Bile, puke, puke, bloody hand!" The general stamped toward his men on the inner wall.


"Go! Get out there! What are you waiting for? There will be no next battle!" He kept shouting as he passed his remaining forces, a motley assortment of creatures from the united planes. All were injured in some way: bedraggled dwarves, maimed ogres, burnt satyrs, spooked Bahmi, grounded harpies, and a skelf on the verge of drying.


Toothbreak paused and inspected the aquatic warrior. He was a grand specimen whose clawed arms, bladed tail, and impaling spines were enormous even by skelf standards. Enormous but dehydrated, thought Toothbreak. He took aim for the warrior's face and spat with all his might.


"Thank you, general." The huge creature perked up and smiled around a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, saluting his diminutive commander for the gift of moisture.


Toothbreak nodded to the warrior and marched on, barking encouragements all the way to the keep's inner temple. There he found the Divine Council, huddled together around Tasuil, trying to explain how this catastrophe was really the plan of their long-dead gods. Were it not for their healing, Toothbreak would have used the clerics for trebuchet ammunition long ago.


At least, all save one.


Syntyche the Oracle was the last Kelari on Telara. She spoke only in truths, and her word was a tangible, dangerous thing. Toothbreak had seen her kill with an utterance, and her chants were known to lead entire armies back from the brink of destruction. At the moment, she was communing with the dragon.


"The Tower has broken through." Toothbreak spoke plainly but with urgency. "You need to fight one more battle before you abandon us."


Syntyche finished whispering with Tasuil, then stood up and approached the goblin. "I agree. We need the construct's energy to send me back." She stopped and put her hand gently on the Toothbreak's shoulder. "And I'm not abandoning you. I'm correcting a mistake. We've done this before... ".


"And millions of my people died." Toothbreak frowned. "If this foolhardy plan succeeds, and you meet me again, will we be enemies?"


"That is up to the goblin you once were," said Syntyche.


The general grinned. "I've always wondered what your curses feel like."


The Oracle returned his smile, then turned and waved for Toothbreak to follow. Together, they found his reserve guard battling the construct inside the keep's wall. With a word, Syntyche placed a seal of protection on the Tower, but it was not the enemy that benefited from her magic. As the army of the alliance fell upon the machine, they were shielded with her faith and infused with power.


She spoke again, and the Tower's defenses began to corrode. Before long, the general's smallest boglings were striking with the power of dragons. The Tower shuddered from the onslaught, and the Oracle chanted on, weaving through syllables last heard on the icy edge of the cosmos when the gods first appeared. The army of the alliance surged forward, and the Tower toppled.


The general's technicians hurried to collect a strange energy that poured out of the dying Tenebrean and shuttle it to Orphiel's Failsafe device. The Oracle and goblin made their way to the machine, and the surviving soldiers parted in reverence as they passed. If Syntyche was successful, the friendship and unity they had forged in battle against the outsiders would be gone. The old hatred and conflicts would rage once more ... but at least the planes would survive.


Syntyche paused before the Failsafe while its coils spurred to life. "How many times have you been used?" she asked. "How many mistakes have been corrected?" The device pulsed, signaling a full charge. She pulled Toothbreak into a tight embrace, then stepped into the glowing light – and everything changed.


Physician

Physicians hail from an era beyond the gods where Clerics’ prayers lay fallow and Rogues heal armies of Ascended across the planes. Trained as alchemical archers, they use ranged abilities to heal and shield friends in need.


Murmond gazed over the prow of the bone ark, searching the starry expanse ahead. He wondered how far they were from Telara and how much time they’d lost. Adrift on the Soulstream, there was no dawn, no dusk, no spring, no fall. Just the remains of the last ships of the last survivors of the last world, riding the winds of cosmic chance into an endless dark.


Their voyage had started well enough, buoyed by determination, propelled by the current of souls rushing toward the Plane of Death. Then the waves came. At first, Murmond wrote them off as spikes in the stream, fallout from major battles or planar wars. But they kept coming, swelling in number and intensity until torrents of roiling souls heaved entire ships one into the next.


While the fleet eventually recovered, the Soulstream was lost. It had ripped in two, launching a towering crest of spirits toward the horizon. Worse, it had left Murmond’s expedition marooned on a whirling gyre of aimless dead.


The ex-cleric scratched idly at the railing while his mind wandered over the past and his heart longed for the company of his deity. “They’re not dead,” he whispered fervently. “They’re just too far away. The Akvan have stretched the cosmos into strange dimensions.”


Murmond was shaken out of reflection by a tentacle arcing out of the darkness and spiraling overhead. More tentacles followed, knifing into vessels across the flotilla. Thousands of amphibious creatures crawled along the appendages at speeds impossible in this dimension. “Shahgi!” the cry came at once from many parts of the wreckage.


Murmond drew his mace and shield, said a quick prayer he knew the gods couldn’t hear, and leaped onto a tentacle that had burst through the hull of his vessel. He slammed into its front line of shahgi, knocking them off their perch. His mace swung violently, caving in slick, slime-covered skulls. But there were too many raiders. They surrounded the elf and flayed open his armor. His wounds blistered and soured, infected by the displaced timeline surrounding minions of the ancient Akvan.


Then the high-pitched note of an arrow in flight sang out, and a needle plunged into his back. Murmond cried out in agony – until he felt the familiar tingling sensation of a healing potion knitting his wounds together. He turned and saw its source, a lithe archer leaping from perch to perch among the wreckage of the arks, letting loose arrow after arrow of alchemical hope.


It was Kiera, the ark’s Physician, cutting down shahgi and healing Elves as fast as she could draw and let fly. He smiled. She’d always been a capable herbalist and stunning shot. After the tentacles began to hunt the fleet, Kiera had combined the skills, pouring timely salves into allied fighters with barrages of needle-tipped arrows.


The rest of the Elven survivors rallied behind Murmond, whose back resembled a pincushion of alchemical treatments: a massive therapy for acid the shahgi had spit in his face, an active treatment for the bone scimitar lodged in his kidney, a casual treatment for claw swipes, and a maintenance pot for good measure. His assembled force repelled the shahgi and slashed the Akvan’s tentacle loose of the ship.


As it flailed into the darkness, Murmond heard a frantic cry from above.  A group of shahgi had reached Kiera’s position. He watched as the Physician produced a shot of adrenaline, stabbed herself in the leg, and dipped into a spin. A volley of arrows followed, each catching an amphibian in the throat. Not long after, the rest of the Akvan minions lay dead.


Murmond slumped onto his back while his body continued to mend. When Kiera appeared overhead, he looked at her with a mixture of gratitude and despair.


“We will find the lost goddess,” Kiera said, reading the elf’s expression. “And then undo this cosmic ending that fate has spun.” Kiera’s inventive nature is what had gotten them this far, but it was her pragmatism that really saw them through. “How can we not? There isn’t much of a cosmos left to search.”

Before the tide

The Ascended discover the underwater area of Breaker Point off the west coast of Ember Isle and learn about a menace called the Akvan. Sirens sing various songs talking about Old Gods, Nightmares and about the invasion of Fire destroying their Plane. I believe those sirens came from the Plane of Water to escape, but I’ve found no reference to how, when or why they came onto Telara. And are they why the Eth explorers (the Ghar) we hear about in the expansion proper decided to go explore the Plane of Water (amongst other Planes), or did they go off on exploration missions (see: Orphiel disappearing from the face of Telara) before the Sirens came? That part’s a bit blurry to me.


The Ascended discover the lost dwarven Runic Athenaeum and its records, hidden deep below the Highlands. The records tell of fate changing: the past is changing due to a foreign entity (the Drekanoth of Fate) disrupting the flow of true events as we know them, and the Ascended go into the Bindings of Blood slivers to aid the original binders in their grim task of binding the Blood Storm all those eons ago, and to beat away the Drekanoth of Fate, who works for the Goddess Aia. The Ascended are also introduced to the Dream Souls that come from different alternate universes or the past/future and which will aid us in our future endeavours.


While all this is happening, the Air Saga follows Crucia after you defeat her dragon form in Frozen Tempest. She and the Ascended form a temporary alliance to stop a new threat: The Bloodfire Army, led by Lady Glasya, who were kicked out of the Plane of Fire by the Lord of Fire and are trying to set up a base on Telara. Ultimately (obviously!), Crucia betrays the Ascended, attempting to use the power of the Plane of Water to create a new army. She attempts going to the Plane of Water but the Ascended disrupt her plans at the last minute so she lands in an unknown location in the Plane of Water instead of where she intended to go.


Nightmare Tide

Upon the Ascended's own arrival within Draumheim they were called upon to fight six Nightmare versions of the Blood Storm known as the Six Extinctions and upon slaying 3 of them they approached the Extinction of Tyranny after removing the bindings to her prison only to find themselves facing not a Nightmare version of Crucia but Crucia herself imprisoned by Arak until the Ascended came along and broke the bindings holding her in place. Fleeing, the Ascended informed Kondraum of these facts, which disturbed him.


Upon entering the Plane of Water, the Ascended discover that Draum, a Risar god, long ago gave mortals the ability to dream into the cosmos, thus giving life to Dreams and Nightmares alike.


By the way: Azdah

Before words of creation, before Azdah's dragon brood, the Akvan ruled through terror. The Blood Storm (minus Akylios, who is an Akvan) were dragons that hatched from Azdah, who is a Risar, a godlike creature floating through the cosmos. She is an ouroburos that surrounds the entire cosmos.


Otherwise, we don’t know much about her (it?), although there are speculations about whether the Blood Storm take directions from this greater being. In turn, this brings on the question of who exactly the Vigil are if they can create worlds and Ascended, but are not alone in creating super beings who, as it happens, destroy worlds. Is Azdah part of a greater group, antagonists to the Vigil?


By the way: the Risar

Hellirinn

Cave of reality

Oryggclysmla

Vault of the Sky

Uppbygging

Structure

Ikbarru

Star portal

Kaldurklaki

Cold

Elfifpachstodin

Pillar of Creation

Varmanitura

Heat

Tortskjaldjon

Gravity

Solraminous

Light

Rhinenahyrcaros

The Risar of Time. Most of us consider that this entity and the Cosmic Rhinoceros from the Qajiri mythology are one and the same. I’m personally of the same opinion.

Myrkur

Darkness

Draum

Long ago, he gave mortals the ability to dream into the cosmos, thus giving life to Dreams and Nightmares alike, who inhabit reality in some shape or form.


Draum, the moon, the Risar of Dreams, has stirred in his eternal slumber. He dreamed this coral reef into being, but now he seems to be awakening, and the life-giving water is returning to him. My people cannot survive long without water. I left the refuge of the Well to save my sisters and our other charges - Cliklak and Robi, two baby deep ones just out of the nest. I was thwarted by the Akvan thrall Grenk. Help us, Ascended.


By the way: other cosmoses hinted at

Quintessence eddy

The cosmos Verta

It burns a bright, undifferentiated blue and flares with every new apocalyptic threat.

Ikbarru's Brood Constellation

Stars burn orange tonight

Elilpachstodin Pillars

The traveler Cosmos

The Bifrons Cosmos

Ancient records indicate this was once a verdant green. Now it reflects only ash grays.


The Big Book of Eth Conspiracy

This book talks a little about how the Eth went on to explore the Planes. Let’s explore each line from this parable.


Ancient Sorcerer-Kings Engineer
Meaning Orphiel Farwind.
6 simultaneous elemental incursions
Meaning the Eth (Ghar) leaving to explore the Planes.
6 elements = 6 sided cube
Water, Air, Death, Life, Earth, Fire
Telara = the 7th side
Telara is at the junction of the Planes.
6 cube sides + 7 planar frequencies
Not quite sure what this means… Planar ley lines?
13 cities of the Eth
Perhaps these cities are the pinpoints of these ley lines?
Simultaneous dimension incursion Ouroboros
An ouroboros is a serpent eating its tail, the symbol of infinity. We’ve also learned that one of the Risar, the Ouroboros, is called Azdah. This line implies that Azdah is able to penetrate each Plane simultaneously. This is perhaps how she came to be the Broodmother, mother of the elemental Dragons of the Blood Storm.
Destroyer dragon is Sorcerer-king of the Eth
Regulos is called the Destroyer… this might imply that he took on the guise of an Eth and became a Sorcerer-King?
Catari ruled Catari with blade of Catari
Death unto death unto undeath
Knowing opposites of elements leads to inverted cube
7th side is internal with inverted elements
Convocation destroyed not Eth but Telara
Death form of Telara invaded by elements
Destroyer is inside simultaneous six sided cube
Rotating elemental rifts predicted by Sorcerer Arkeen
Ancient eth city of cyclopes
One eye = one world = 7 sides = 7 eyed creature
14 simultanious dimensional sight = dimensions undreamed of
Sorcerer king Mkhai creation of elemental portals
7 planar frequences!
7th frequency to 7th frequency
14 simultaneous sided cube
YOU WILL KNOW ETERNAL PAIN OF THE OUROBOROS
No purity of cube side
No purity of life


Akylios technically can be resurrected any number of times over - as well as the other Blood Storm - while the Nightmare Engine still exists. The reason Arak chose Akylios is because Akylios knew how to use nightmares, unlike the others. This doesn't mean Arak has excluded the other Blood Storm (as proven by the Extinction questline) - he is perfectly capable of and willing to resurrect and twist the other dragons to his will if it accomplishes his goals.


Once we journey into the Plane of Water, we learn about a variety of factions and plots. The Bloodfire Army is draining the water from Goboro Reef and Draum, the dreaming god for that layer of the Plane of Water, is awakening.


You find out Lady Glasya is using something called Oculons - a powerful source of energy, and has a base in Gyel Fortress, which used to be the Gyel Tree before the burning fleet crash-landed into the tree. You defeat Lady Glasya.


Also you learn you are a Progenitor. The Plane of Water is filled with manifestations of progenitors' dreams. Those in Telara and other 'real' places basically dream up everything in the Plane of Water, including stuff like food.


Heading to Draumheim, Kondraum is the dreaming god and king of that layer. Lots of funky stuff happening here. We learn Lord Arak is the super-bad guy and he has an army of Tribulation soldiers - nightmares of the progenitors. It seems our nightmares have spawned a whole bunch of old enemies, including 3 Regulos. We defeat them.


We meet Finric in Goboro Reef and kind of follow along until he turns into a she and becomes the Rhenke, leader of the Skelfs. There's also another skelf called Bulf who joins the Akvan instead. You kill him a few times.


You've got the Goddess Aia and her messengers; and you learn she is trying to prevent the destruction of this Cosmos by Ascended beings known as the Tenebreans, who come from another Cosmos. In order to do that, she tries to kill the Ascended. You learn she was the one manipulating the past, trying to get the Dragons to kill you all.


Either Lord Arak or Goddess Aia (can't remember), awaken the Sharax Giants who long protected Tarken Glacier, where the Akvan slumber (or something like that). The Sharax Giants go on a rampage and summon Matrodraum, an Akvan. You kill them all.


Lord Arak constantly tries to kill you.


At some point we journey to Tyrant's Throne and find Crucia's factory. She's trying to rebuild an army. So we defeat her mecha form and destroy the factory.


Lord Arak appears again throughout the Nightmare Saga questchain, and at the end of that you learn he is actually dreamt up by a bunch of out-of-this-Cosmos Gods, enslaved by the Tenebreans from another Cosmos.


You learn that the Tenebreans must consume other Cosmos to keep their own alive, so they send up beings to travel to various Cosmos and destroy them. You find out that Orphiel Farwind was tasked with destroying the Cosmos that Telara is in, but he instead screwed with the plans. It seems that when he disappeared, he left for an expedition to the Plane of Water with Eth travelers.


Dignitaries of all thirteen colonies of the Eth arrived to commemorate our leaving. Though the first two colonies are lost to us, my hope is that the oceans provide a more hospitable environment. The newly appointed Commissar of the colony is none other than the adviser to the High Sorcerer Priest, Orphiel. I am a bit concerned by this development. The adviser has done so much over the years to push forward the science and the true art, and yet... From a practical standpoint he is utter rubbish. His machines never work properly, they are always malfunctioning, or breaking down, or exploding. Often time they will do all at once. The challenges facing the Ghar colony on the Plane of Water will be numerous, and the resources we can take are limited. I would trade mighty Orphiel's seat for a less brilliant but more competent engineer.


But the High Sorcerer has made her proclamation, so I will have to endure Orphiel's presence. I wonder what it is about this expedition that convinced him to leave his ivory tower in Redoubt to face such danger. I suspect he knows more about the workings of this plane, and others then he should. Cryptic remarks, knowing smiles, inappropriate giggling during discussions about the Abyssal dangers- I have begun to question this madman of Eth. So little is known about him, and yet we entrust him with so much power, and rely upon his wisdom unquestionably. Are we fools? Is this the undoing of Eth?


I will send messages of our progress when I can. They say the Ghar Consciousness will be able to pierce the elemental veil with its network as long as the sourcestone amplifiers function. May your investigations in piercing the accursed Ward be as fruitful as our efforts to colonize the elements. Write when you can. And wish us luck, Sun willing we'll settle on some beach that puts Ember Isle to shame. It can't all be madness and tentacles can it?


Your Cousin,
Atars Catari

The enslaved gods are sleeping in an alien vessel; and their dreams spawned Lord Arak. Lord Arak tries to protect them from the Ascended who journey into The Mind of Madness to defeat them.


Tyrant’s Throne

Crucia holed up on the Tyrant's Throne within the Plane of Water and begun attempts to control the Akvan Yrlwalach. When the Ascended came knocking on her doors she was furious and began immediate construction of a new greater dragon body made fully of strong metal unlike her original body which had weak flesh.


After successfully brainwashing the Akvan Johan the Dragon of Air was assailed by the Ascended who slew Johan(though not before destroying it's shock collar setting it loose upon the Storm Legion as it began praising their ruler Crucia in it's madness) and destroyed Crucia's deep sea machine PUMPKIN before reaching Crucia and her new Greater Mech Dragon body and rendering it inoperatable forcing her to flee in her human body once more to scheme for the destruction of the Planes.


By the way: Lady Glasya

Maelforge is dead, and Lady Glasya, commander of the Bloodfire Army, has been exiled from the Plane of Fire. Now she sets sail for Telara with a power so great – and so familiar – that Crucia herself prepares for war.


After Maelforge is killed on Telara the soul and the planar energy of Maelforge returned to the plane of fire. Here Lady Glasya claims the soul of maelforge, which holds all his planar energy, as her own. She goes from just being strong to being near Bloodstorm Dragon like in strength. This is important because his soul did not go the soulstream nor did his planar energy stay in Telara. This is why I simply believe Regulos was lying, but it is a conflict of canon that the maelforge's planar energy did not stay on Telara.


Lady Glasya looked down at the goblin. He was small even for a Gedlo, with a knit cap that helped her tell him apart and a cup of sacrificial blood. She lingered before accepting the offering, enjoying the tremble of his outstretched arms.


This one had proven useful for the menial work required by her father. Together, they directed the collection of the Condemned: mortal souls that had fallen to the scorched fields of the Plane of Fire. Glasya bound the souls’ remade bodies and split them open; the more each one suffered, the more power her Blood Magic could siphon and store.


Of course the fruit of this labor was not hers to keep. It was shared according to feudal obligations among the leaders of the Infernal Court. It's all so civilized, Glasya thought, as she poured the offering on an enchanted altar. The blood sizzled on the hot stone, and she drunk in its intoxicating vapors.


"My lady?" the goblin squeaked. Glasya startled out of reflection, then looked over the point of his diminutive finger at a fireball tearing out of the clouds. It shook the atmosphere as it changed shape, and her mouth fell open as the winged form of Maelforge emerged from its wake of flame.


“The dragon is slain and his soul returned,” Glasya cried. She reached for her amulet of office, an artifact that channeled power from her sacrifices to her father’s keep. With a single motion, she ripped it from her chest and buried it in the goblin’s neck. “That will be the last tithe I pay,” she said as her victim collapsed across the altar.


Glasya spread her dark wings and took flight toward the colossal beast. She arced over a swarm of lesser devils, landed on the dragon’s chest, and turned to face her competition: Elder demons, Wanton warriors, and condemned souls all rushed to claim the dragon’s soul.


She felt more alive than she had in years as she tore them apart. "The heart is mine,” she shouted while hurling arcane bolts. “And with it I shall end this loathsome bondage!"


* * *


Unlike much of the burned and bloody plane it overlooked, the throne room of the Platinum Keep was typically pristine. It called back to an earlier time, when the Lord of Fire had lived a much nobler existence. Today, its smooth marble was smeared with the gore of Lady Glasya.


She had claimed the soul of Maelforge and gorged on his reformed heart. She had raised an army and led a rebellion against her father’s court. She had been winning – until she was betrayed and captured by her closest vassals.


Now she struggled under chains that bore her true name. It took all of her immense strength to look up at her gathered captors. "End it," Glasya hissed. "Take my heart. Perform the ritual of Blood."


"Poor, defeated daughter of flame," her father replied, kneeling before her. Glasya felt the heat of his breath as he whispered into her ear. "I'm so proud of you. None of your siblings would dare defy me." Then he straightened and returned to his throne, the affected kindness dropped from his voice.


"Lady Glasya Alaviax, Duchess of the Painfield, Protector of the Western Fall, and Admiral of the Molten Fleet, you are hereby stripped of all lands, titles, and honors.”


The Lord of Fire gestured to the attending demons. “Cast her into the wilds. If she is found within my realm again, rip her heart out and bleed its power into the dirt. I’ve had enough of the reign of dragons.”


By the way: the fall of Gyel

Lailia the Sage flopped through the shallow water at the base of the Tree of Gyel. Though she could breathe the air perfectly well, the mermaid found life on the surface painful and exhausting. She grimaced as the terrain grew rocky, and hauled herself onto a ledge where she could watch her line of deep ones stretching into the distance. One after the next, they crawled up and around the life-giving tree, each carrying a container of water on its back.


Lailia sang a tune of refreshment, to ease both her aching tail and the clawed limbs of her charges from Dobori Village. They were a sweet, shy people who had been badly used by the Abyssal dragon Akylios. After the dragon’s death, the poor creatures had needed help to recover. Queen Dronoea had personally asked Lailia to swim to the reef and tend to their healing.


Not long after, the Spout appeared and began funneling the reef’s ocean skyward. As the water drained away, many spread rumors of impending doom. But Lailia was a healer. She believed miracles could happen if you were willing to put in the work. So she led the deep ones on a daily pilgrimage to the coral mount, where they spread up and across the tree to nourish and soothe its branches with containers of water.


Lailia suddenly felt an intense heat. Beside her stood a little creature wreathed in flame. “Who are you?” asked Lailia, as the imp flipped through a book. “Are you in pain?”


He coughed, wiped something from his chin, and pointed up at the sky.


“And there appeared a great wonder in the midst of the ocean,” the imp read. “A woman clothed with the fires of the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of wrath.”


Lailia followed his gaze and caught sight of a winged woman flying above the tree. From this vantage point, she appeared to hover just above Draum in the distance. The creature burned brightly, a phenomenon the mermaid had only seen once before in her long life.


“And the creatures of the sea fled before the moon. And the waters of the oceans were taken, and the land was burned, and the seas themselves became as fire.”


Lailia screamed in horror as the flying woman turned errant walls of water into columns of flame and set them plummeting toward the reef below. Soon, they had set what was left of the ocean ablaze, along with the coral tree she’d worked so hard to protect.


The imp leaped upon the rock and held his tome up high. “And upon her crown was written, from chaos and pain a new paradise is born!”


Lailia watched the mystic coral tree, the heart of Goboro Reef, burn. The deep ones that had been ascending it scrambled to get out of the way of the flames, but their containers of water went slick with oil and ignited in turn.


“And I saw a new fiery prison of the tormented,” the imp continued. “For the first world has passed away and been devoured; and there was no more sea, only the endless fields of molten sin.”


The prows of rusted of ships appeared amid the torrents of flame. Some sailed and others plunged the hundreds of feet to the reef. As they fell, winged erinyes took hold of their sailors – goblins, kobolds, Razudan, and others – and bore them to safety. Entire vessels smashed into the Tree of Gyel, exploding through layers of coral in bursts of molten metal.


“From the great tree of the ocean shall the chaos spread its fiery tendrils!” the imp wailed, slamming its tome on the rock.


A Fortune-class dreadnought overtook and scattered the bulk of the invading fleet, plummeting like a bird of prey into the center of the reef. Gyel shuddered under the impact. Its branches wilted and turned to ash, its skeleton blackened and fused into marble, and the soul of the coral tree that had sustained the reef for epochs burst into a living fire.


Lailia shook herself. She could not afford tears, not when these devils could turn them into burning oil. She hurried to save some of the younger deep ones, those too small to attempt the climb up the tree. “Help me,” she implored. “Take me back to the village. We will heal the survivors of this apocalypse for as long as we can, until the curse of Draum, or this infernal chaos consumes us. But we will never abandon hope.”


The imp laughed as the deep ones carried Lailia away through the smoke. “The child of sin called out to the other devils, ‘I have struck down the law of my father! I have struck down the laws of the dragons! Take up my banner and the cosmos will burn!’”


By the way: the Akvan

Arethea, one of the Sirens the Ascended encounter in the water near Ember Isle, sings this song about the Akvan, whom the Ascended later properly encounter in the Plane of Water:


Ancient foes of the moon's dreams, the Akvan slumber eternally.
First in the cosmos, nightmare of the moon, nightmare of the dark, Akvan never awake.
Upon the bone of Myrkur, in the chill of Tarken, the Akvan await the unraveling.
Before words of creation, before Azdah's dragon brood, the Akvan ruled through terror.
Mighty Akvan, sleep one more epoch. Wake not in my lifetime, or that of my descendants.


The Akvan are the Nightmares of the Risar, led by Martrodraum, who was born of Draum’s Nightmare of Akylios. They were previously imprisoned by the Vigil and Aia the Goddess of Fate in Sharax after attempting to destroy the world (gasp!). Following Regulos's demise, however, both the armies of Aia and the Nightmares of Arak began releasing them from their prisons: Telara's Akvan by the Nightmares and the Plane of Water's Akvan by the armies of Fate with their Sharax agents releasing the ones in Mount Sharax.


I believe the Tuath'de from the Plane of Life started leeching power from them.


“Akvan Extinquist Divine Inspiration
Corrupt the Jailers
Divine Imprisonment
End of Dreaming
Darkness Eternal
Destruction Rebirth Ultrafinitism
Remake Risar
Compress the Cosmos
Devour the Light
End of Risar
Manipulate Lesser Beings
Grant Soul for Power
Draw away Divine Power
Change the Planes
Take Risar Power
End of Demons
Akvan Awaken
Divine Spark Scattered
Bound by divine edict
Trapped Out of Time
Akvan Extinquish Divine Inspiration
Infinitesimal Creation
Akvan Alone
Focus Planar Power
Mortal Realm Destructive
End of Mortals
Eternally waiting
Worship Akvan”


Martrodraum

Born of Risar Draum’s nightmare of Akylios, leader of the Akvan. This is the entity the Ascended continuously encounters trying to poke through in water rifts.

Tirogoyo

Salblet hated the dry air. The skelf could survive indefinitely out of the sea, but his eyes could not make out fine details and they itched. Still, Grenk had insisted on Salbet’s company, and one did not refuse Grenk unless you had a school of the Atragarian Guard at your back.


Now Salblet could hear her clicks and growls behind him. He could feel her movements in the current, and her scent filled his nares. She smelled like the frenzy–like blood and meat. The smell was intoxicating.


Of course the Atragarian royalty used their control over the current to carry such smells away. It led to greater cooperation in their holdings – in the Well, no morayans had been eaten in years – but Grenk was an outcast from their domain. She had found a new leviathan to make a pact with, and now she ruled her pod with fear and magic. The joy of the hunt. The moment of bloodlust and rage.


“What am I looking at? A storm? A typhoon?” Salblet asked, trying to calm himself. He hoped he hadn’t displayed fear. This was a test. If he passed, Grenk would recruit him into her school and help him make a pact with her master. They would swim together, piloting a leviathan toward prey and feast. It was the old ways of the skelf. It was why they were feared and respected, desired as troops and advisors throughout the seas. If he failed, she would turn him into chum.


“That is no storm,” said Grenk slyly, her oily voice rumbling through the water. “That is the spout. Look where it goes. Look up at the new nightmare.”


Salblet followed the spout of water with his eyes. It twisted forever upward, piercing the cloudless sky, carrying the current toward a moon that sparkled like a vast shell above the ocean. “Draum!”


“Yes! The dreaming moon takes back his blessing, the tidal power of the sea. Soon it will all be gone.”


Salblet dove back into the water in fear. “What do we do? How do we save the reef?”


Grenk’s mouth opened in an expression common to the skelf, the joyous beam of discovering prey that is wounded. She knew she had won. Salblet would not resist her taboo proposal. “Save it, my dear jack?” she asked. “I intend to sacrifice it.”


Quickly, as shock gave way to terror in the young skelf’s face, she pushed a corrupted moonstone into the flesh of his forehead. Salblet writhed in pain, and his third eyelid clamped down as if he was in the frenzy. But instead of the red darkness that accompanies the skelf’s lust for blood, he saw a vision of his beloved reef.


Salblet shuddered as the nightmare took shape: He stood dumbfounded before the coral tree of Gyel as it rose, burning, out of a sea turned black with tar. He saw that its skelf attendants were desiccated, blackened, and charred. Their Atragarian rulers lay bleeding upon a rusted metal altar, and the fiery wrath of the furies whipped around the base of a demonic tower that loomed overhead.


Then the scenes began to shift.


Salblet found himself in a shimmering passage where a monstrous beast, covered in hair and otherworldly armor, emerged from the ruins of an alien gate. As it approached, all went black.


Salblet thought he was alone until an eye opened in the darkness, a glowing green orb suspended from the end of a fleshy stalk. The eye looked over Salblet, blinked, and opened again, this time with a mouth, nose, and eyes of its own. Its lips scissored up and down over razor teeth, blood misting from old wounds as it chanted in the voice of the deep: “AKVAN TIROYOGO.”


Salblet screamed. His perspective had changed again, this time to a dimension far removed from his own. A wriggling mass of tentacles surrounded an infinitesimal mote holding all of the seas in all of the planes of existence. They’d been compressed into one point, and only those that swam among the ancient leviathans survived.


Salblet eyes opened and the vision fled. Grenk was staring at him with the look of a thresher about to strike. “The Akvan are awakening. Will you join my pod, young jack? Will you make a pact and become the thrall of Shikolec?”


Salblet thought of the eternal darkness, of swimming in directions he could not perceive beneath the immortal Akvan, of life as a true thrall, of returning to the ancient ways of the skelf. It terrified him, but less than the sight of Gyel on fire did and less than the hulking monster from the gate. Salblet felt his choice would decide the fate of Goboro, the skelf, and the plane that he called home.


“I choose the darkness,” he slurred. “I choose the old ways. I choose the Akvan!”


Izbithu

A legendary beast that once roamed Tarken Glacier, was frozen away by the Sharax (Something like that.) and is later in the process of unfreezing by the actions of Cosmologist Mann. Mann is then slain and Izbithu's heart is destroyed, preventing the beast's awakening.

Johan

Yrlwalach

This Akvan is the very being whose mouth is poking through every single Water Rift from the Plane of Water, as it tries to infiltrate and invade Telara through the rifts. It was once imprisoned on Mount Sharax by the Sharax under the orders of Aia and the Vigil until the Goddess of Fate Aia sent her servant the Drekanoth of Fate to the Sharax and gave the order to release it and all other Akvan to use as they saw fit. This allowed Yrlwalach to begin invading Telara and other Elemental Planes with its armies. Upon arriving at Mount Sharax the Ascended fought a battle against the Sharax eventually slaying their leader though not before temporarily killing this God. This Akvan God of Water did not stay dead and revived on the isle of Tyrant's Throne where Crucia Goddess of Air made attempts to enslave this Akvan as she also planned to do with the other Akvan known as Johan.

Izkinra

A mysterious Akvan who had taken control of a Greater Ice Dragon created by the Sharax. His true form is unknown and the only form he has taken is the Greater Ice Dragon created by the Sharax. What terrible horror is this God truly behind the draconic visage?


The REAL sixth dragon in place of Akylios, the Dragon of Ice and was banished to the cosmos by Akylios who stole his place as the Blood Storm God of the Water Plane. He is slain at Mount Sharax.

Quogon

An Akvan God of Electricity from the Sea of Ladon. His body is identical to Akylios yet much more powerful with its command over electricity and seeks to claim Akylios's territory Goboro Reef within the Plane of Water upon the God of Water's absence.


Akvan Matriarch

Akvan Horror

Tiroyogo

Xezberaii

Foe of light, enemy of warmth, extinguishers of suns.


By the way: the Sharax

It was the same messenger from Fate that told the Sharax to guard that Akvan and that told them they were released from that task. That means that, originally Fate agreed with the rest of the Vigil about Creation being for mortals. Otherwise it wouldn't have been her messenger. So somewhere AFTER Telara and mortals were created, there was a falling out between Aia and the other gods of the Vigil, and she decided to release the Akvan.


I also find it interesting that even the Sharax say the gods have abandoned Creation. Maybe they are still around, but they abandoned us to our own fate, just like they did the Sharax.

Aegmir, the invisible NPC in Tarken Glacier

Denizens of the wastes, hear my words and despair. I am Aegmir, skald to Threngar. I am the keeper of histories. He who tells the tales of Sharax glory until the end of days.


I was shattered by Caeceius Esdra, founder of the Pelagic Order. As my body crumbled and compressed into the floes of Tarken, I spoke of the forbidden power that could be his. My death curse corrupted my killer, and brought him to an ignoble end.


Threngar teaches us that as we were slaves to the gods, so shall the demonic planes be slaves to us. We will use them as we see fit until their husks are spent.


The gods created the Sharax and we were perfection. We were the first and greatest of all Creation. Yet we were denied the warmth and glory of the mortal worlds, the power of the planes. Such insults cannot go unanswered.


Formed from the cosmic mountain itself, the Sharax were created and cursed by the gods in a single breath.


For untold ages we guarded the icy prisons of the Akvan, the horrors of the dark cosmos. It was through our suffering that the moral worlds flourished!


The Sharax are ageless! We were created before the time of mortals, when the gods still wielded their true power. The creation of the mortal realms has diminished them.


Tarken Glacier is made of Sharax. In the first war, the gods needed great warriors to fight their battles. They created us. After we died by the millions they imprisoned the Akvan within our frozen grave.


The first victims of the Sharax were the Shanghi. In an attempt to give their slaves strength, the giants have shared the sin of their origin.


Ogg, mighty hunter of the legendary beasts of Tarken. He who has tracked and slain the god's weapons. He who has gained their divine power. Their spirits beat within his heart until the end of days.


Ogg set a trap for Skarntinn the great white cat of Tarken. He slaughtered a herd of snorox and left it upon a the calving shelf of the glacier. When the cat approached the meat Ogg broke the shelf and fought Skarntinn to the death with his bare hands.


Ogg tracked Grim Aralez, the wolf mother, who tended the wounds of the angelic Messengers, and slew her pups. He wore their pelts to hide his scent and surprised Aralez in her lair. The two fought for a century until Ogg ripped out her tongue and stole her healing power.


Heithrox the golden snorox had sustained the armies of the gods with the mead that flowed from its udders. Ogg stole the beast from Octus while the Stargazer slept, and the Sharax feasted upon an eternal supply of meat.


Ogg the pure, who killed his own child Dalendel, spawn of Azdah the Ouroboros. The dragon had submitted to Ghadual the warrior, and became his mount. Ogg demanded his child renounce the gods and join him, and then slew her on the spot when she refused.


At the edge of creation, Frystfall the weaver sat in her web and listened for any sign of Akvan escape. Ogg sundered the glacier and tore the legs from her body, then tossed the spider into the pit to weave no more.


Only Ikbarru the wild Barr of Lodyrr has escaped the great warrior's hunt. Ogg hunts the great barr daily. On the last day, Ikbarru will devour the sun and Ogg will see its shadow, and slay the beast.


Ogg, great general of the Sharax, conquerer of Tarken, enslaver of shanghi, punisher of mortals, smite the unclean that befoul the icy wastes of the glacier, and subjugate the demonic races for our pleasure.


The Akvan whispered secrets of the dark times from icy prisons. Of a glorious cosmos free from the scourge of demon and mortal minds. A reality where it is the gods who are enslaved.


The Sharax will let the Akvan break the cosmos and remove the worshipers from their gods. Then the Sharax will complete our revenge, and kill the gods themselves.


The Sharax will let the Akvan do what they will with Creation. Any act that profanes the gods and brings doom to creation is one that glorifies the Sharax.


The mortal worlds abandon the gods as they see the end approaching. This will not save them from the wrath of the Sharax.


Since the dawn of Creation the Sharax have watched over and protected it with our immortal lives. No more! We are free from the curse of the gods, and we will have our revenge.


Fate intervened, and released us from our eternal labors. For what? We were cast aside! There was nothing left! Mortals and demons had taken all of creation!


The Sharax feel their power of the gods no longer. They have abandoned Creation as they long ago abandoned us. We will make all of Creation feel the chill of the endless dark.


We will break this Creation of the gods. We will make it suffer. We will see the icy grip of the end envelop it all.


How many ages have passed, out beyond the edge? Even Threngar cannot say. From our birthplace, our exile, perched atop Mount Sharax, we have watched as creation denied to us unfolded.


The Sharax have watched as each demonic race has been formed, risen to prominence and then fallen into decline. We know doom that that awaits all of Creation.


Creation will suffer! We will release all manner of destroyers into its heart. Dragons, Akvan, demons and cosmic invaders shall each have their turn. The Sharax were once Creation's protectors. Now all shall feel our wrath!

By the way: Samekh

An Ascended, found in the chronicle Beyond the Shadow


By the way: the Ghar



Rhen of Fate


Manugo conspiracy

the Decanters that produce Ghar Station Tau residents maintain genetic diversity by utilizing the current Manugo number as a random seed?


Revelations of Ananke

Found in Goboro Reef, also related to the Prophecy of Ahnket expansion.


And the creatures of the sea fled before the Moon. And the waters of the oceans were taken, and the land was burned, and the seas themselves became as fire. - Revelations of Ananke 1:4


And I saw the new fiery prison of the tormented: for the first world has passed away and been devoured; and there was no more sea, only the endless fields of molten sin. - Revelations of Ananke 1:17


And I saw a star fall from the heaven into the boundless sea, and to her was given the key to all of creation. - Revelations of Ananke 1:25


And there appeared a great wonder in the midst of the ocean; a woman clothes with the fires of the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of flame's wrath - Revelations of Ananke 2:12


The kingdoms of the seas will fall before the winged child of flame. The siren's call will be silenced, and the minions of oceans will feel the brand. Revelations of Ananke 3:6


And the child of flame and chaos looked to the stars as they fell into the ocean. "Give me a sword to inflame the seas and all will be consumed in my wrath!" - Revelations of Ananke 3:11


And there appeared another wonder in the fiery pit; I beheld a great red dragon, the crown of flame's wrath upon his head. - Revelations of Ananke 3:16


From the great tree of the ocean shall the flame and chaos spread its fiery tendrils. - Revelations of Ananke 4:11


And she brought forth a female child, who was to rule all planes with a fiery eye: and her child was caught up uunto the adversary, and to his throne. - Revelations of Ananke 5:23


Wrath and chaos will be brought to the nightmare kin. Fire and brimstone will scourge the beasts below. The oceans will burn and darkness will melt away. - Revelations of Ananke 6:27


Therefore rejoice, ye devils. Woe to the inhabiters of Telara and of the sea! For Maelforge is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. - Revelations of Ananke 7:3


Woe to the gilled kingdom, dry and parched. - Revelations of Ananke 8:5


And to the child were given two wings of fire, that she might fly across the planes, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, until the first nightmares stir. - Revelations of Ananke 8:17


Woe to the dream crusaders, your apocalypse has come. - Revelations of Ananke 9:15


And she doeth great wonders, so that she maketh fire come down from heaven on the endless seas. And all that swim in the deep were branded by her mark. - Revelations of Ananke 10:6


Woe to the horrors from before time, the child of evil shall outshine the beast. - Revelations of Ananke 10:17


And there came one of the Ascended that stood apart from creation. It held a fiery eye in its hand, and said "I will show unto thee the judgement of the burning angel that sitteth upon many waters." - Revelations of Ananke 11:3


Woe to the Ascended of Telara, for defeat in this war turns the cosmic eye upon them. - Revelations of Ananke 11:25


And I saw a Messenger come down from the celestial realm, having the key of the prison of earth in her hand. - Revelations of Ananke 14:3


The child of sin called out to the other devils, "I have struck down the law of my father! I have struck down the laws of the dragons! Take up my banner and the cosmos will burn!" - Revelations of Ananke 20:4


And the Ascended was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations. - Revelations of Ananke 12:17


The child of sin shall place a fiery crown upon her brow, and there will be chaos from the seas to the stars. - Revelations of Ananke 12:23


And upon her crown was written, FROM CHAOS AND PAIN A NEW PARADISE IS BORN. - Revelations of Ananke 13:7


And the devil that deceived them was cast into the ocean of fire and brimstone, and shall torment day and night for ever and ever. - Revelations of Ananke 17:20


Comet of Ahnket

Not an alternate universe. Yes, the raid takes place in the tower part of the Prophecy of Ahnket’s middle zone. The Celestial Lands are the comet. Somehow we get a portal to the Comet in another timeline that is about to destroy the Telara of said timeline. We clear out the Fire/Life invaders in alternate timeline. Maybe Tower recognizes that we aren't from its timeline so it kicks everyone back to our timeline. Now Ascended know about the Comet, which will eventually be reaching our Telara, but we still have no clue what the Tower is, so we have Orphiel come up with a way to get there. Then expac and Starfall Prophecy content.


By the way: Aia

The way I have interpreted the story so far (and I'm running my cleric through it again to pick up on things I might have missed) is that Aia broke away from the Vigil because of differences in how they saw the future of the cosmos that Telara exists in. I always got the impression that she was allied with the Vigil during the creation of Telara, and the races, but then broke away at some point. My guess is that this break occurred when she realized that the Tenebreans were on the way, and that the individual who was to start the invasion and destruction of this cosmos (Orphiel) was already present.


The Tenebreans enslaved their own gods. Aia, being the Goddess of Fate, would no doubt see the eventual enslavement of herself and the other gods of the Vigil as a potential future. Because of this, she'd want to do everything to prevent it, while the other gods were concerned with their own ideals. The break from the Vigil likely happened when Aia decided she'd rather defend herself than defend her creations. Defending herself would entail defending the entire cosmos, populating it with a force she felt better able to withstand the onslaught of the Tenebreans. Who better than the Akvan, the most twisted and destructive force in the history of our cosmos? (This, of course, assumes that the Blood Storm was a failed attempt at the same thing. Not sure that's ever been completely confirmed or verified, though.)


I got the feeling, during the saga, that Aia was basically forced to use us, the Teleran Ascended, to further her goals, because we had defeated everything else she had already been involved in, directly or indirectly. Aia never really hated us, she just didn't think we could withstand the Tenebreans. Part of that was revealing who Orphiel was and where he was from. She realized that she had no other choice at this point (if she wanted to survive, anyways) than to make use of the force she had given up on a long time ago: mortals-turned-Ascended beings.


I'm very curious to see where this story goes. It was a wonderfully-composed story arc, and one that I felt gave enough answers to satisfy the lore-nerds like me, but left enough unanswered for there to be conversations like this. It also opens up a lot of potential for possible future interaction with the gods of the Vigil. Aia has reached the point of almost working openly to oppose the Tenebreans. Are the other gods ever going to be so brave? Or did they lose something in the creation of the Ward around Telara? All direct communication with them stopped at the same time the Ward was erected. It's often led me to wonder if they somehow became part of the Ward themselves, rather than just being cut off by it.


the goddess of fate (Aia?) figures out that mortals are not bound by fate and as such are a threat to the cosmos. (or just her pride?) We find out that the Blood storm (Regulos et al) destroyed worlds on the word of the goddess of fate in order to prevent the destruction of the whole cosmos. The other 5 gods created the vigil to protect the mortals they created.


She has always existed, and was at one point probably affiliated with the other Gods of the Vigil.


They went their separate ways for what is assumed to be the reason that Aia felt that all mortal life had to die, in order to save the universe/world from.. a worse fate - can't find it specified anywhere.


I see people saying that she is the one who brought the Bloodstorm to Telara, as an instrument to destroy the mortals - though I can not find confirmation of this and it seems to be speculation. Lore suggests it was the masses of Sourcestone that drew them there, and the Infinity Gate gave them a shortcut.


It was either Aia or the Vigil who stopped any further use of the Infinity Gate, lore suggests it was Aia. Why would she do this, if she wanted Telarans to die? Obviously the Infinity Gate was at this point much more of a danger than a benefit to the world.


She is responsible for releasing the Akvan in the plane of water. But why exactly, I can't quite figure out. Was it to have another go at destroying Telara, or was it to use them as a tool to fend off the Tenebreans?


She helps the Ascended in destroying Lord Arak in the saga, so obviously she is not entirely and vehemetly opposed to their existance. Has she changed her views? Does she now accept the existance of Telara as an ally in the fight against the Tenebreans?

Here is what I think;
Aia is now more concerned with the Tenebreans and the threat they pose, as they wish to consume our cosmos and quite probably Aia's too. She helped the Ascended because obviously they are a lesser "evil" to her than the Tenebreans.


I am asking because I do a lot of RP with my char, and storylines spin here and there;
Would it be unreasonable for an Ascended to convert into Aia worship, given that it is -she- who is instrumental in saving us from the Tenebreans and Lord Arak, where as the Vigil barely lifted a finger?


By the way: Cosmologist Mann

Cosmologist Mann from one of the Ghar Stations goes insane and tries to revive one of the Akvan (Izbithu). You kill him in Glacial Maw.

Plane Touched Wilds

a floating/phased out region that roamed the planes until… something.
Uzukhel, etc.


Supposing that Byriel's Division was only created to act as a marker for where a sort of “no-man's-land” was, why have we avoided it lore-wise? The Ascended have not saved Telara from the planes, even as we venture into the Plane of Water and interfere in the cosmos. Planetouched Wilds fell to the rifts, so why have we not checked on it, even AFTER saving Brevane and Dusken? Is the Infinity Gate that much of a threat that we cannot check on an enemy whose strength is yet unknown within the continent of Mathosia? Why haven't we sailed to the coasts of PTW from Ember Isle if we cannot get in through Byriel's Division / Sorrowsworn Wall (if the name is canon), if there is any way from sea? (And who was Byriel, exactly? It was the first shard I remember playing on, but I never found out who or what Byriel was.)

If the Rhaza'de Canyons were located in the Planetouched Wilds, wouldn't there be Bahmi who escaped that remember the event, or had they not settled there when they appeared during the Blood Storm War? Because the Bahmi are related to the Plane of Air via the Shalastiri, Crucia might know something about the PTW (and might be referenced by the skelf interrogators, though that was probably thrown in as a joke... unless the skelf somehow exist in PTW xD).

Assuming that the Heart Grove existed in Planetouched Wilds, which it might not at all: do the Elves know anything about it? Were the elves forced out when the PTW fell to the rifts, and the Orcri (once again, under Crucia) invaded? I guess the bigger question is whether or not the Heart Grove and the Orcri are still canon.

Shalastiri

The elemental ancestors of the Bahmi, who originally arrived on Telara through a rift from the Plane of Air at the time of the first Blood Storm Wars.
they apparently are the progenitors of the Bahmi (interbreeding with humans - Mathosians and Eth I guess?) as a race (who obviously have taken their name from the prince - Bahmi - who was their leader at the time they came to Telara).


Ether

The Ether is, from what I've inferred, the space outside of the Planes - sort of like space, but a place where nothing truly exists. Think of the Planes and Telara as 6 spheres (the planes) intersecting in a sphere at the center (Telara, which we know was formed at the intersection of the planes). Now, think of what is outside the planes. That's the Ether.


River of Souls on the edges of the Plane of Death and the Plane of Life, not in the Ether (void). eah I know. The "edge" which means it's not "in" either plane.
Also being on the "edge" implies the planes are physical things that are near each other and Telara is at the nexus of all planes. However the plane of water isn't in space, it has it's own realities and dimensions, which implies it's not physically beside something, but in it's own layer of existence.
When you go to the Edge of Infinity dimension, you can't physically see any of the planes, though you do see a couple moons and what appears to be the River of Souls.


I mean I'll cede that Ether can stay a mystery because it's "new", but there's enough scientists and scholars in-game with the knowledge that we really shouldn't be still wondering, as players, how the planes/slivers/realities work as a fundamental force of Rift nature.
There's no way people like Sylver or Orphiel would not have written at least one academic journal/essay/report/study in their lifetime, especially Orphiel who has been a teacher and advisor for, way longer than he should have. :P


I mean in terms of the Vigil too, we should probably know more. Not what exactly they are like, Someone would have recorded when the Vigil directly help create the wards, especially when there's written documentation of the heroes who took down the dragons during the first invasion before the ward went up.


Teth

Teth is all the mortal bodies that shared an ascended soul's journey through reincarnation from the beginning of a universe to its end.
Rifts, introduced in 3.4, seem to often (if not always) feature Teth as final stage targets, and these guys and gals really like to give speeches and to provide us with insight into history of Wilds, nature of Teth themselves, or new concepts like Turning Point.
Teth(s) are basically incarnations (or reincarnations) of a Tenebrean. In the story quests in PTW, you see and face several monsters or humans with supernatural powers which are the Teth (they're rare monsters also). They can also be creatures that you'd least expect.
"An Ascended soul from the mysterious Tenebreans, all of Teth's reincarnated form share the same evil soul as well as the name."


Teth Caelum: I am Teth Caelum. I chose this land because of the bahmi's connection to their ancestral spirits.
Teth Caelum: They flashed with greatness, lighting up the world like thunder.
Teth Caelum: Who better to give me the radiance I need than the abandoned children of godlike spirits.
Teth Caelum: But the Shalistiri reached out across the planar divide and embraced their children once more.


Prophecy of Ahnket
The Starfall Prophecies have come to pass. The harbinger of doom is here. The Comet of Ahnket hurtles through the skies towards Telara, tearing pieces from the Plane of Fire and Plane of Life as it passes through and assimilating them into its ever-growing mass. Marshes, forests, deserts, and volcanic wastes have all merged together beneath the shadow of the colossal Tower of Ahnket, creating a new world of unnatural beauty... and unfathomable danger. Now the Guardians and Defiants must unite against the sinister intelligence that guides the Comet of Ahnket and stop it from swallowing our world.


A comet has appeared over Telara, ripping through the elemental planes, tearing off whole sections in the process. The imprisoned Defiant Orphiel knows the truth of its arrival: the comet is an Ascended Tenebrean construct sent here to devour us all.


Ahnket brings with it an endless collection of apocalyptic destruction, collected from the many worlds it has torn asunder.


Ahnket appears to be a Tenebrean construct/vessel similar in purpose to the one the Mind of Madness raid takes place in.


Orphiel admitted to aiding in the construction of, and spending a great deal
of time in the MoM construct.


It leads me to believe that Ahnket is not just a Tenebrean construct, but might have been a Tenebrean herself. And that Orphiel, self proclaimed Tenebrean (and who is heavily alluded to as being the "Magician") may have had a hand in her construction/transformation...

He may have even been keeping tabs on it/her this whole time, what with him eternally looking through his telescope in Meridian.


Ankhet is a conscious being and one of the Tenebrean.


In Ananke temple and Calweddi you learn there are 23 of them. We know Tenebrean are ascended from a dead cosmos. So it seems only 23 survive the destruction and the war against their gods, because tenebrean are not like us, they stole their gods' power and enslaved them. This is what we see in MOM, and the last quest with Carli suggests this is what we would see if we could go into Ankhet's tower.
The pain she feels is the divine power carli turns back against her. So maybe she remembers the divine war they fought in their cosmos. Or this is the pain of their ascension. Defiant ascension is very painful, and tenebrean are far more powerful than us.


All known tenebrean share a thing: they don't have a physical body in our reality, and must use ways to manifest indirectly. The three we saw in NT were projections in a plane where what you think and want becomes real, Teth used many avatar forms, and Ankhet is like a ghost in the shell of her tower with her simulacrum spiders as tools.
Ankhet is a spirit without moral limitations, but she shows emotional reactions. She is not an IA, she is a being who once had a body, and still can feel frustration and desire. See what she did with Fibon. Sometimes she is very petty or capricious, sometimes she talks like a pure scientist. This makes her very "human". Paradox, and very good job from the lore designer


This leads to asking why and how Orphiel has got a mortal body of flesh. We know by the guardian noob zone that he could be killed. We know he does not age.
I have a theory about Orphiel. We know he changed sides and decided to protect Telara. I think he made a deal with the Vigil, and they gave him a body.


Ankhet says all tenebrean are different, maybe because every one was inbued by a different power.
Ankhet feeds upon failure and lost hope, so she uses the comet (her ship, akin to the MOM ship) as a laboratory to let living beings grow and make plans, and this is the reason why she is not so upset in the begining to see us coming and defeating the Tuath'de and the devils. This gives her good food.


I had the same reaction when I saw these lines about Orphiel. But we know Orphiel is one of them, and when he first came to Telara it was to open a way for his brethen.
Maybe Orphiel was the one who found how to build their god-engine ships. This would make sense, because many hints ingame suggest Orphiel was the source of the tech used for the telaran god-engines we know, like Solar Orb or Infinity gate.


From what we see in questlines, Ankhet truly took a piece of Life plane, because the Thuat'de and Ula are able to subdue Ankhet through their old blood pact with the land.
Ankhet becomes one with the land she stole, because she transmute matter from the two sides with the colossal machinery around and in the tower, and produce new structures.
The purpose of these constructs seems to be consolidation of the comet-ship itself, and also study of the lifeforms on it via simulacra and observation.


So I think your two options are right. The comet is made of a true planar land, but Ankhet transforms it, we see bits of tenebrean matter everywhere.


Tuath'de (High Elves & Kelari): Created by Tavril in the Plane of Life. Why are the Elves the only ones to have been created on another Plane (besides Bahmi)?


In the Una mini-chron Anthousa says they left the plane of life because of the Tuath'de.


How / why did the Elves (maybe Dwarves) get to Telara?


There's some rift lore with Thedeor (god of War) where he threw his spear into the plane of fire.
"Even in this harsh land, there is one place where Ascended may safely turn for rest and succor: Thedeor’s Spear. During the Castigation of the Choir, Thedeor, God of War and Sword of the Vigil, cast his spear into the Plane of Fire itself, creating a celestial respite for those visiting this area. It remains the only place in the entire region where green grass can grow, under the gentle, soothing light that pours from the wound the great spear made in the fabric of existence. Souls of the redeemed gather here, and will help worthy Ascended navigate the politics of the Viceroys of Flame. It would be wise to heed their wisdom."


Tenebreans
the only Tenebrean that sided with the dragons is Gelidra. and then Orphiel is well...Orphiel
Samekh from the "Shadow from the Beyond" chronicle was a Tenebrean
its how Glasya became as strong as she was, it also fueled the plane of fire's excursion on the plane of water


Aia


Xarth

Huge by the way: Orphiel

Few figures in Telara's history are as controversial as Orphiel Farwind. Though a full account of his life and times is all but impossible to convey due to spotty records and Orphiel's own silence, the following documents may shed some light.


Excerpt of a letter from Theo Catari, Royal Advisor in Matters Magical, to Jostir Mathos, King of Mathosia



As regards this Orphiel Farwind, I admit I have heard of him. Of Ethian stock, I think, self-taught, and a prodigy. We have had occasion to correspond, and his thoughts on sourcestone theory and planar dynamics are revolutionary. Note my deliberate word choice. If you are looking for a tutor for your princes, to ground them in sound magical theory and ancient lore, you can do better than Orphiel Farwind by choosing randomly from any graduating class at Quicksilver College. As my daughter Asha currently resides in your palace, I hope for her sake that you do not expose these impressionable young minds to Farwind's radical notions.


From the diary of Asha Catari, age 12



Master Orphiel today told us about the ancient Eth-like me!- who tamed half the world and created a golden age of magic and learning. Oh how grand to have miniature cities made of crystal where mice are enchanted to walk upright and put on plays, or to ride to war on a mechanical horse powered by lightning. He says that the technology is like a pearl hidden under the sea-bed. You can find it if you dig hard enough, and then everything will glitter. You just have to use it more carefully than the old Eth did, so nothing goes out of control. I was so rapt I forgot to take notes, but Aedraxis offered to let me copy his. Zareph just sat and scowled the whole time.


Overheard discussion between King Aedraxis and Orphiel Farwind, visiting the palace at royal request



"So you say the ancient Eth built war machines?" asked Aedraxis, sipping his velvet-purple wine.


"At first, yes. Sourcestone-fueled wonders that were especially effective against the dragons. This pales in comparison to the engines of prosperity they developed based on these early inventions."


"War so often is the father of progress," said the king.


"A shame for progress, then, that Mathosia has known such a long peace," Orphiel said with an ironic smile.


Aedraxis sighed, his broad shoulders sloping. "It will not last, my teacher. I fear certain citizens who've grown too rich in ambition. Like the noble Eth of old, I would have machines to bring a merciful end to my enemies."


Orphiel leaned forward intently. "I could build you such devices, Highness, given the promise that once war is over, we explore the technology's peacetime applications."


Aedraxis nodded sagely, and said, "Only under those conditions would I agree."


Raj Tahleed, Dean of Planar Studies in Meridian, giving a lecture on the renaissance of Eth technology



Of course one cannot blame Orphiel for Aedraxis's crimes. Yes, he used Orphiel's machines to break the Ward, but there is no way Orphiel could have known. Yes, perhaps Aedraxis did turn progressively more obviously sinister as the war ground on, but Farwind had been his teacher when the king was just a lad. It is hard to see wickedness in those you love. Besides, the great mind was never present for Aedraxis's deadlier tantrums, isolating himself with his work. And it was Orphiel, after all, who rallied the Eth and the Bahmi to march to Port Scion and support Prince Zareph against the rifts. He was the first Defiant, and let no man forget!


Kip Bayne, graverobber, current member of the Unseen, in his cups.



I brought the man a fragment of bone from a fresh grave like he asked, and watched as he lay it on his fancy slab. Took a whole lot of sourcestone (must've cost a king's fortune) and built a figure of a woman. He pulled the lever and there was a flash, brighter than anything I ever thought I'd see. For a while, nothing happened. The man kept tugging nervously at his dozen collars. Then, a voice came, a pretty woman's voice: "Orphiel?"


She formed around the sourcestone frame: bone, then meat, then skin, and then these bright tattoos blazed to life on her dusky flesh. I knew that girl. Asha Catari, she was. She sat up and stared at Orphiel, who just laughed and laughed and laughed.


Activity transcript from Rusty, primary automaton assistant to Orphiel Farwind



REPORT: Currently operating at 98% exertion at the master's bidding.


REPORT: Attempts to complete alternative Ascension Process 0% successful.


REPORT: Have inquired of the master why such steps are necessary, as Sylver Valis and other Defiant have perfected the process already. Master claimed that alternative means would make Ascended far more common and allow Defiant to overwhelm Guardians and riftspawn. Not having to rely strictly on temporal travel, according to the master, is also highly desirable.


REPORT: Instance of visitors to the master's study has lessened by 65% since the first Ascension. Most visitors now seek council of Asha Catari and other Ascended.


REPORT: The Master stands at his tower window for hours at a time. Mutterings included the following: "I must perfect Ascension. Could I even assign it to a living mortal? Test it on myself, of course..."


Note: Will make sense of the following later. Just copy-pasting from other people’s insights.


As far as I know, Captain Cursor did say Orphiel was somewhere in the PTW storyline (I think in a livestream at some point), but I don't know that anyone has officially found him.


I think the only way Orphiel appears in that one is when you sic all the Defiant NPCs against each other... if memory serves, he's the one slugging it out with Sylver in the College of Planar Studies.


the recently revealed Tenebrean trickster If you pay attention to the storyline, though, you see references to "The Magician." Orphiel has been referred to in similar ways in previous storylines in the game. There's also the fact that his most famous invention, outside of the failsafe device, is his big telescope that allows him to look into the planes. Telescopes feature quite a bit in the storyline in parts of the PoW, and in such a way that it seems like they have a magical link (ie, no one knows where the parts for the telescopes are coming from; they just show up). The fact that these occurrences all also happen when dealing with other tenebreans or their minions has led many people to the conclusion Orphiel also might be one, who defected. No confirmation yet, though.


A mage named Orphiel was the right hand mage of the Eth Empire's last Sorcerer King. This other Orphiel was described as a genius whose inventions tended to malfunction. It is highly probable that this Orphiel influenced the Plane of Water settling efforts. It is also possible that both Orphiels are the same person.


In the non-canon comic. Asha was gone for 20-40 years after she died (I forget how long) and when she came back she noted that it seemed Orphiel hasn't aged a day. He kind of ignores that statement.


Though the comic is non-cannon it does point out that there has been more to Orphiel than meets the eye, and while yes, not 100% confirmed, all signs point to him being a Tenebrean and the one helping the Pelagic Order to get their telescope parts.
Also yes, it seems he was around during the Eth empire, though I don't know if their destruction was his doing. The story implies it was minions of Maelforge.


CC did state he had a cameo in 3.0 but no one has found or scene it. My only guess is that instance where you fight laethys in that mini Meridian quest in Draumheim, but it's not repeatable so I don't know.


CC did also state after that he'll come into play again at some point. When? Who knows.


I'm not sure if Orphiel is sided with any "god". He has shown massive disdain against god-like figures, specifically the Vigil.
He has fought against the dragon "gods" and berates the Guardians all the time for their beliefs.


He talks several times about mortals making their own decisions, which knowing Aia know, might have been a slight against her.


He's tried to protect Telara many times, only putting them at risk because he was tricked into it.


It's almost as if he WAS sided with one or many of gods, but felt their direction or control was BS (or he got screwed over) and went off to screw them over and find ways to replicate their power so they don't need them.


It wouldn't surprise me at all if Tenebreans are Ascended, but Aia's. Though the re-used models for them is confusing.
Maybe Aia isn't making ascended, but instead pulling them from alternate universes, since she has some form of power over that.
I dunno. lol I just don't think Orphiel has a hidden agenda, but is a reformed enemy.


I guess it is a bit Duran Starcraft-y though.


All I know is that he clearly has more knowledge about gods then he lets on, specifically the Vigil.


the tower at Redoubt was Orphiel's. Tenebrean Orphiel or copy Orphiel?


was Orphiel directed by the goddess of fate to break the ward the vigil created from the inside? is that how Orphiel gained the knowledge needed to create a working time machine? after all his aspirations in the Guardian intro were remarkably similar in wording to that of Cosmologist Mann 2 major expansions later one before and one after success.
where Orphiel says "the ethect would have allowed my to siphon the Vigil's power! you will regret this!" then "...one day I will replicate ascension and destroy you all!" whereas Mann having already succeeded says "having discoverd the secret to your ascension I used it on myself... The Power you wield! it's intoxicating I could challenge the gods themselves!" both seem on a quest for power. both seek the power of the gods (ascension). both end up being part of a plot to destroy ALL mortals.(unknowingly perhaps on Orphiel's part) Were both directed by the goddess of fate? Did Orphiel build the fail-safe device as a precaution because he didn't trust her? is that why he disappeared without a trace? did the arival of the ascended through his own Failsafe affect him in a way to prevent him from persuing another timelines destruction? so many more questions and that only for 1 character.
this discussion needs to keep going.

We meet a simulacra Orphiel during the Vostigar Peaks storyline. We kill it? Then Orphiel sacrifices himself to save Asha during the fight between Crucia and Ahnket.


By the way: Tasuil

Tasuil, the celestial dragon you rescue in The Dendrome, is the Beast from the Heavens referenced later on in Prophecy of Ahnket. He gets possessed by Maelfurnus and becomes Maelderoth, the New Star. Ananke 'spews forth the corruption' during the fight causing Tasuil to lose control and attempt to kill you. You cleanse him of the corruption and he regains control. He now has the power of Maelforge and must fight corruption every day to stay in control. Maelforge never really controlled Tasuil, just more of demonic crazy. Theory: He will become a prismatic-esq dragon and we'll guide him through absorbing the Blood Storm's powers.

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