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The Rift Empty
PostSubject: The Rift   The Rift EmptyTue Dec 06, 2016 6:04 pm

They Who Destroy
Inferus, Magelord, Divine Ruler of the lands that bore his name, was dying. In the heart of the Imperial Palace, the obsidian table was surrounded by anxious voices. The inner circle feared the void Inferus’ passing would leave. The people loved their leader, some to the edge of worship. As for the nobility, each of them commanded the ancient power. Inferus had no heir, though he had wives and mistresses aplenty, and he had named no successor. So began their conspiracy, not of cloak and dagger, but of magic, the only leverage against a fellow magus. But magic, like Man, does not take kindly to being chained, and every drop of power carried with it an unseen price.

Pride stands chief among those impulses which drive souls down dark paths, consuming them. Within the Spheres, such abstractions are not mere imaginings, but exist in a realm of nightmares, a font of all conceivable evil, a dark canvas beneath painted light. And in Inferia this abyss would gain purchase in the world of the sane, all because of the Great Lie that was Inferus’ immortal reign. Within the chaos inside the palace, itself rivalling a township, Inferus cheated death a second time. He had become the God his people prayed to, the One they had been waiting for. Inferus’ inner council had formed an uneasy alliance beneath the puppet ruler, and through him, they wielded absolute power. In truth, Inferus was long dead, and that which stood before the Inferian people was nothing more than a simulacrum, a manufactured deity. Though his body was animate, a human mind no longer resided there. Those nearest to him could almost sense the thing that gazed balefully through his eyes. Its wrongness pervaded the air like a foul stench, the aura of an intelligence older than the world itself, brimming with ancient, insidious designs. The Archfiend of Pride, a curse upon his name, moved his piece on the board. This was the game he had labored on since the Reign of Dragons.

Inferus, Inferia’s first and most beloved god-emperor, henceforth reigned for a blessed century. He had conquered death, just as he had conquered his foes, his lands, and the hearts of his people. Under his firm but loving hand, Inferia could begin to heal from the wounds inflicted by its enemies. Durender remained, a monument to the greed of Valen, a nation of thieves and liars. But Inferia did not need those paltry holdings to grow. Its true strength came from within - the Power that burned so brilliantly among its people. It was thought given form, a means to any end, a panacea that needed only to be tapped. Magic grew within the burgeoning nation, bringing with it many wonders the world had never before seen. And as Valen burned in the fires of its sin, Inferia prospered. Until the day it froze.

A line was crossed that day. A councilor could stomach no more blood, and that unspeakable thing which crawled from the womb of its dying mother… He called in every favor, used every connection established over an unnaturally long life, gathering together those whose conjoined wills might banish that unholy being from this plane. Far beneath the palace they ventured, to find a labyrinth of suffering, where eyeless horrors that were once men groped in the dark and ate rats, where shuffled forms so abhorrent that they could never have evolved in this world, where terror and torment reigned unchallenged. There, at the heart of this evil, lay their only chance of closing the wound that had been dealt the material world. There they were betrayed.

The heathens who so avariciously strove to take the Emperor’s power for themselves instead authored their own doom. Long had they worshiped and lain with a host of alien creatures, known now as daemons, vile beings who tricked them with false promises. In their hubris, they allowed these creatures entry into our world. In time, even Inferus could not stem their tide. The palace was destroyed from within, remade into a haunting vista of flesh and bone. Within hours, Embron became indistinguishable from the charnel houses, staffed by grinning butchers.

The corruption had flourished beneath the palace, creeping upward and outward like a mold. The ritual to forestall its progress was interrupted as palace guards flooded the chamber, the Emperor himself in their midst. Many of the conspirators were killed in the ensuing chaos, these were the fortunate ones. Those captured, their families, friends, and what remained of the inner circle were executed, regardless of guilt, their deaths a subject of nightmares for decades to come. Their blood, mixed with that of countless victims before them, was enough to give birth to the Rift. Inferia’s doom was sealed.

Die standing.
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