A Gullet Full of Trouble

At Vergence we found immense tentacles stretching up through cracks to assault the city. I bisected one and the remainder twitched away below us reflexively. Its passage left a convenient hole to follow, so I leapt in and exhorted the others to follow. They eventually caught up with me at the bottom of the continent where I stood upon a bulbous mass that was sending its tentacles up through cracks in the bottom of the continent. The mass itself was too large and insensible for my attacks on its exterior to do significant damage. However, we spied a large extrusion that ended in a gargantuan maw and decided that the least bad option before us was to drop down it to seek out the vital motive essence of the thing.

En route we had a brief conflict with giant ugly worm like things. They were not all that difficult to overcome, but the process was singularly disgusting, for they spewed slime everywhere and swallowed a few of us whole several times, despite my brutally cutting my way out. Once we had dispatched them, nothing worked to impede our transit. Though our way took us past the partially digested remains of a bewildering variety of creatures.

Following divine inspiration, I led the way to a large interior space where we confronted a gargantuan glowing green monstrosity of tentacles and slime. Being within its presence was dangerously unbalancing to the minds of mortal men. Our slide into madness was halted by harmonic of order emitted around us through the Dwarven Speaking Stones. Captain Keffin Balnor had sensed it and countered its unnatural influence so that we could retain our faculties for the final battle.

The final Avatar of Tharizdun, the Sycophant, was an aberrant and twisted thing whose unnatural existence in our realm was unhealthy for reality itself. It continually blasted incomprehensible thoughts at us which left us reeling. Its physical position was unstable from one moment to the next. Its many tentacles lashed out at us and scattered us about the chamber. Nevertheless, as many times as it cast me away, I returned to slash away at its unnatural flesh to rend it into incapacity. In the end, Kong Meng set us up to strike it all at once, and so it was destroyed. Its death resulted in everything falling away, including the semi-organic structure in which we had fought. The Ring of Retreat was activated, and then its power reinforced, to carry us to Vergence.

We found ourselves under a new sun, and with an unusual salty tang in the air. The shift to New Zhia had occurred as we fought. Other combatants trickled in through the portal having struggled against the forces of the abyss or the far realms. I prayed for inspiration and came away with the impression that our struggle was finally over.

Emperor Marcus returned, along with the other heroes: Keffin, Raiden, Guan Yu, Rote Stang, and some kind of tall snake person whose forces had appeared near the end of the struggle. He gave a speech before our assembled alliance to propose the peaceful colonization of our new world. Though our struggle was over, and Tharizdun cast out of our reality, a few rifts remained which would need ongoing attention. The one in Hestavar should be monitored by the forces of heaven. However, the one in Lumeria, which lurked in the Abyss now, had no guardian. Keffin volunteered to seek it out and stand guard over it, for the madness beyond it could not touch him. The rest of us are left to rebuild our lives in our new land.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Slashing the Storm

The cyclone blasted us continually with bolts of lightning and peals of thunder. It was accompanied by two smaller storm elementals which did likewise. At Guan Yu’s behest, I focused on one of the smaller storms first and it was soon dispersed. Then Raiden use some kind of dueling circle power to isolate the other one with himself and Guan Yu.

Oli and I shifted to confront the Avatar, as Lirra shifted backward and pelted it. It took a while to wear it down, but eventually we cut away enough of it to reveal an inner mote of malformed rock which harbored its essence. Once the other elemental was destroyed, Guan Yu lept over and smashed it to bits. Some residue fell down into the maelstrom and it being to roil.

The surging maelstrom gradually transformed from its elemental chaos to become an everchanging sea of greenish flesh and forms. A tower of it formed and then split, one half heading to the battle of the giant shapes on the horizon, the other to Vergence.

Oli linked up with Keffin to work on transporting the City, while the rest of us stayed to clear up the remaining hordes of demons on the Crag. Eventually we beheld an immense beam of light descending from on high. Over the speaking stones we got a report that Oli, Keffin, and the engineering team had successfully transported Vergence to Starfall Lake.

Once we had the demon horde largely under control, or significantly distracted by the new incursion of aberrations from below, we had a little respite and returned to Vergence. Once there, we found that the new sea of aberrations below us was too full of weird things to distinguish the last Avatar. Fortunately, old Captain Hibernius had been studying this problem for several days and had developed a scheme to find it. He determined that it was rising through the hole in the bottom of Starfall Lake. So we set out to intercept it.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Cogs from Heaven

Captain Keffin, Lirra, and Raiden came out of the elevator that we were waiting on to go up. They had encountered some large demons on their way down and had come to bring Kong Meng up into the Raiden’s Pagoda. Several of them had gotten onto the elevator when the whole crag shook and the shaft began to tip alarmingly. Gareth cut the counterweight line and they shot up. Leaving myself, Oli, Guan Yu, Lirra, and Raiden to make our own way.

The Crag proved full of both Craggen and demona. We cut our way through the demons as we worked our way over to the docks to arrange a pickup. En route, we stumbled across an area which had taken enough damage to be open to the roiling storm below. Within it two Marilith, and The Chain Breaking Balor, were awaiting us. I informed the Balor that it would not escape me this time.

The battle was a brutal one. Lirra was nearly cut down by a Marilith, who Kong Meng promptly swatted off the platform. The next one caused a modest amount of grief before I cut to ribbons in a flurry of slashing attacks. Our focus on the Balor was slightly interrupted by the return of the first Marilith, but Lirra finished it off. Kong Meng’s axe cut the Balor down and the energies released thereby savaged us all.

Climbing up over the edge of the Crag involved some more demon slaughter as Oli healed us up while diverting some of Guan Yu’s abundant life energy to power the process. At the top we looked down to see a roiling storm rising towards us. Before it arrived, a Golden Mote of Light flitted down from the sky and greeted me. It was an Angel of Hestavar which had been sent with a message.

Apparently whoever gave it the orders was less than fully informed, for it had been sent to give me an upgrade for Erathis’ Clockwork Demand and to call me to Hestavar to help repel an invasion of demons, for they were besieged. The others did not react warmly to the idea, for we faced our own siege of demons. I explained that it had been made abundantly clear to me that my posting was the Abyss. It agreed with that, for the Angels of Hestavar do not fight in the Abyss, that is why it is my job. I informed it that I had had a divine vision of the Storm Avatar who was rising from below and it was clearly my next foe. As we talked, the warriors of Kord, and Dragons of Bahamut arrived most fortuitously to help push back the demons who had begun to overwhelm the Oathsworn and our allies. The Angel was still confused as to how to resolve its orders.

In the process of our discussion, it revealed that Hestavar could probably handle their siege for a while without me, but they wanted me because of my particular skills, my weapon, and my experience. Given that information, I encouraged it to deliver the upgrade, which had apparently been designed specifically for me, and I would go to Hestavar to help after the Avatars had been destroyed. It happily agreed.

Oli guided me through the process which increased the power of the blade, and further allowed its potency to be shared with allies when they too assaulted my chosen foe. The Angel fled and a gargantuan living Storm whirled up from the depths to assault us. The others appear to be underwhelmed by the contributions from Hestavar to our struggle. As Raiden pointed out, though the others send armies now, I have been working here for years against these enemies. I may only be one man with a sword, but it is a singularly well designed sword for this task, and I am a singularly determined man.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Demon Haunted Crag

Our days of demon baiting came to an end when the Last Chain broke. Since then we tracked demon packs and kept Command up to date on their movements. Then Kong Meng kicked off his latest crazy plan to summon avatars of Tharizun into the Crag. We moved into position overhead and waited.
Based on the swarms of demons which were soon overrunning the Crag, his summoning was quite successful. We had a lively few minutes pot shotting demons until the call came in from Kong Meng over the stone.

His thrice damned Kodanian inscrutableness wanted to get up top into the Pagoda to direct the fight. If he’d bothered to mention that this morning during the planning session I would have attuned him to the Shadow Box and we’d have been all set. So much for doing things the easy way. Raiden and Lirra agreed to accompany me on a way clearing mission down into the Crag. We cleared a few demons and jumped down to the deepest balcony we could see. Then I opened the Shadow Box and called Guan Yu to join the fray.

A pack of demons assaulted us, including a a flock of Vrocks, a Hezrou and a Guerristro. The others made fairly short work of the former demons while I shut down the Guerristro until the others were ready to finish it off. Though it was intimidatingly huge and fierce, its puny angry mind was no match for my intellect.

After descending in the elevator for a minute, we drew the attention of yet another flock of Vrocks along with a few other flying demons. Our fight with them drew the attention of not one, but two Glabrezu. That battle was quite a bit more challenging. Towards the end the last Glabrezu batted Raiden down the elevator shaft and we feared him lost. Guan Yu fell after him, leaving me to face the crazed Glabrezu and Vrock flock with Lirra as a highly distant backup. So I set the demons against each other and let their natural tendencies do the work for me. The Vrocks tore apart the Glabrezu and hurtled down the shaft tearing it to bits. Raiden was saved by some divine force, probably Kord, and they rejoined us as I repaired the elevator to complete our descent.

We found Kong Meng and the others and prepared to return to the Pagoda.

- Captain Keffin Balnor

The Sorcerer

Kong Meng’s research led him to believe that a general summoning ritual could call The Sorcerer if powder from the urn was used to draw the summoning circle. On further reflection, we decided that we should do such a thing only within a secure and well warded place. We also considered that the other Avatars might be attracted to the same place, so it should be fortified and far from civilization. The Crag fit all of those criteria.

After preparing the necessary ingredients we proceeded to the Crag and stated our case to the Warlords. In addition to the honor of being the site of the destruction of one of the Mad God’s avatars, we also invited them to select one of their heroes, suitably durable, to stand with us against the Sorcerer. They selected Secherheight, a large Craggen master of the flail. Then we were led to a tomb holy to Bane which was suitably reinforced. While we prepared the area, the evacuation of the Crageen Hareem (women and children) was accelerated to get them out of the Crag.

It took a few hours to ward the entire area and prepare the circle. Kong Meng prepared it all, then withdrew outside the heavily reinforced door to be the one who would let us out when the deed was done. We prepared ourselves, then Oli completed the final elements of the ritual.

A bizarre multidimensional hole opened up where the circle had been drawn and we were all filled with dreadful anticipation of tis arrival, for our invitation had been accepted. It emerged in a swirling vortex of all elements and coalesced into the form of a huge old man wreathed in flames. As it strained against the bonds of the circle, it regarded Gareth and taunted him for his role as a Thrymspaker. Gareth made it clear that he had been tricked and had a change of heart since then. It then gathered its power and burst forth.

The Sorcerer was somehow able to manifest himself three times over, with two exact copies of himself spread throughout the room. Each radiated heat with a burning intensity and was accompanied by a small flying elemental mote shot through with fire and lightning. As we fought them, we found that its real location among the three was indeterminate. At times we would strike it and find we had destroyed an image, other blows struck true and damaged the Sorcerer. Every few seconds it would restore the lost images and the process of elimination began again anew. Finally, after we had destroyed the two images, Oli appeared behind him and struck him down with a many colored explosion. Kong Meng led the beat down upon him, I followed through with many strikes to reduce him to the edge of existence. Then Secherheight leapt forward and dealt the final blow. As he shimmered into an exploding vortex he mocked us, saying that his brother the Storm was coming to destroy us all.

When Kong Meng let us out, we heard the sounds of combat and saw the corpses of demons who were striving to overrun the Crag. We headed upwards to get more information about the nature of the struggle.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Terminal Velocity Thrymspaker

As we rocketed along underneath the continent, the storms of the Maelstrom rose up with unusual fury. Though we hurtled along as fast as our rockets could take us, we did not spy the draconic Thrymspaker until we came within sight of the Chain. It arrived at about the same time that we did. Rather than engage us, it dove down along the Chain, forcing us to do likewise. When we caught up with it again, we had all reached a speed Oli called “terminal velocity”.

Oli sought to ensnare it using a grappling bolt, but the winds took it wide of the mark. Gareth’s attempt to take the fight to it was frustrated by his flying board getting away from him. Two chunks of the maelstrom animated and tried to electrocute us. I hurled mine into the vortex and rode it down to the fleeing dragon and yanked it back towards the Stormcrow. The fight was now truly joined.

It was a difficult battle, but the dragon and its elementals were not able to best us, for the enemy was holding back its true strength. At the last, when we had battered it to near the end of its life, Kong Meng channeled irresistable flames upon all of them. The dragon exploded with incendiary bone shards and projected a Balor down the chain to the end of my sight. The Balor then hurled its shard into the depths. A massive shockwave roiled upwards to knock us around. Soon after, the Last Chain repeated the tug, break, and rise we had witnessed after Gareth shattered the mount point of the second to last Chain.

Buffeted by the storm, we followed the remnant of the Chain upward to escape the abyssal Maelstrom. We contacted Oathsworn Command to apprise them of the situation, though they had already been aware of the basic facts due to the rise of the continent at the breaking of the Chain. As we hurled along we were somewhat surprised to see the Maelstrom retreat downward, as thought something was gathering itself. Its retreat eventually revealed the outline of the blasted surface of what had been our world before the Arcana Wars rendered it uninhabitable. It was now only populated by the twisted abominations of the Maelstrom.

Gareth was struck down by his curse. Horrible agonies were inflicted upon him for failing to accomplish his task of defending the Last Chain. Oli could provide no relief for him, so she struck him unconscious.

On the horizon we saw stars falling downwards, to be met by a rising storm. As we began to make out the outline of massive forms girding themselves for battle, the presence of the Raven Queen filled the cabin and warned us that the Gods themselves were coming to fight the mad God, Tharizdun, though we would each still a part to play. For they would hold Tharizdun’s attention while we attended to a critical matter.

I was overcome by a vision from Erathis. My vision was of a great and terrible swirling storm with a single unblinking Eye of Chaos at its center. I could feel its terrible universe destroying malice and that it would be my purpose to somehow destroy it.

After I awoke, I learned that both Terhali and Gareth has experienced divine visions. Though theirs were different from my own. Terhali had seen a wizened old man with a curved staff, similar to a sheperd’s crook, but at the end of it was a single eye. Gareth had seen a terrible huge and fleshy creature with many tentacles.

As we discussed these visions, Kong Meng recalled a legend he had studied of three things: The Sorcerer, The Seer, and the Sycophant. Each representing stages of Tharizdun’s life. As he was, as he is, and as he will be. We deduced that the old man was akin to his original form as a god, the storm as he is now, and the aberrant abomination as he will be. There was also an implication that these Avatars should be destroyed in an order. The process would cut him off from one of the two universes. If we severed the link from the past first, then he would be trapped in the other world. If we severed the link to the future first, he would be trapped in our world. Given what mischief has been up when already trapped in our world, we determined it would be best to trap him in the other world. We also had the feeling that our destruction of these Avatars would weaken Tharizdun so that the Gods could prevail against him to cast him away.

After about a day’s voyage we returned to Vergence. The hardening preparations that had been made had allowed it to withstand the Breaking of the Last Chain with minimal damage. Though it was quite crowded as they gathered all who could fit within its protective dome. We reunited with Raiden and learned that the Adamantine Canopic Jar had stopped buzzing and calling demons. We opened it, after a small incendiary blast we found it only contained some ashy crystalline residue. Further study of it led to believe that its connection to Tharizdun might make it usable within a summoning circle to call the Sorcerer’s form before us. Perhaps the remnants of the Krag would be a suitable place for such a ritual.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

To New Zhia, or Bust!

Our deliberations over what to do with our captive Thrymspaker spark touched upon various possibilities, including shipping it to Hestavar, or Celestia, or using it to lure their forces into traps of various kinds, or keeping it in the Crag The immense storm gathering on the horizon made us fearful of keeping it in Vergence for long. We might prevail against the giants, but waves of demons would eventually overcome the city.

Given so many possiblities, I elected to follow the instructions I had been given and prayed for inspiration. I got an unambiguous sense that Hestavar would not accept our new charge. No explanation was provided, and the others chose uncharitable explanations. I believe their motive was that such unquestionable evidence of actions from the Mad God might provide too much awareness and break the divine warding which depends on their maintaining ignorance.

Gareth feared that the spark might do something to Oli that would escape detection if she studied it alone. At Gareth’s request, Captain Keffin was called back from the front to assist in examining the object. Keffin reported that the front had cooled off since the capture of their leader. There was no longer much for him to do at the front. Their forces had pulled back and were no longer easily subject to his scout group attrition techniques. Their investigation of the jar didn’t turn up anything particularly actionable other than confirmation of its long range demon calling ability. Word was sent to Raiden noting that an opportunity to fight a very large number of demons was in the offing.

Oli was awakened by Sprocket who relayed an entreaty from another gnome who had a special invention to demonstrate. Oathsworn command had failed to appreciate its potential and weren’t investing significant effort in exploiting it. Oli allowed him to demonstrate its tremendous luminescent power and instantly realized its full potential. Far beyond the weaponized potential imagined by its inventor, it could be used to project magic circles many miles in diameter.

That same night, Terhali experienced a vision. A bright sunlit beach, by an endless oceanic body of water, with tall tress bearing odd large brown husked fruits. She climbed up and up and perceived that she looked down upon a circular archipelago as she looked closer she realized that the sand bars and islands formed a magic circle a thousand miles across. As she concentrated on remembering it, she felt a searing pain on her back.

Terhali sought out Keffin in his lab and had him take the image from her mind. He examined her back and found that the portal code had been incised into it. Her wound healed under his care, but left a clearly readable scar. He also pulled a single raven feather from her hair. The Raven Queen had given them the coordinates for the target of their destination, New Zhia!

Raiden’s Flying Temple/Cloud/Fortress arrived over Vergence and he shot down in a lightning strike. He agreed to take possession of the Jar and was happy to use it to lead the demons on a merry chase with occasional fight break. Guan Yu, Terhali, and Keffin would go with him to provide extra security. They lured the demons and the storm that held them away to the barrent lands of the north.

Oli, Hibernius and the venerable Eladrin spent considerable time considering the logistics of transporting our lands to our new home. Their final plan was a slightly complex multi phase operation. First they would shift the city of Vergence into a place prepared for it in the dry lake bed of Starfall lake. That would conveniently locate it centrally in the fertile agricultural areas of the southern baronies. Then they would sent the dwarven home mountain through, its high default load stone would naturally lift it to clear the way below. The final step, initiated moments after the mountain, would move the best of the southern lands through. The end result would move the capitals of our peoples through, provide us with arable lands, and the defenses of a flying mountain fortress.

Scouts were sent to study the area, eventually reporting back that the area was mostly ocean and desert. The only available resources there seemed to the bounty of the sea. Something none of our peoples were particularly adept at. This inspired us to consider that we would need to bring anything we were likely to need along with us. Our civilians, and the somewhat quarrelsome goblins, were encouraged to gather everything they could get, especially live plants, animals, and lumber, from outside the transport zone.

Plans were swinging into motion when were alerted by unscheduled arrivals at our circle. Emperor Marcus had us called in to help determine how to deal with the repercussions. What we found was a horribly wounded and maimed Rote Stang. With Oli’s intervention we were able to stabilize him and get a report from his assistant Krieg.

Krieg related a worrying tale that one of their elder dragons, thought lost at Vigil, had returned. It had returned corrupted by the Maelstrom. Based on their description of its ferocity, and the way that it consumed the souls of the dragons that it slew, it had clearly arisen to be another Thrymspaker. It assaulted the Crag and destroyed the dragons that came against it, including Rote Stang’s mount Flail. He harried it as it plunged down after its real target, the eldest. The ancient red broodmare who had spawned Flail and the others. The source of the fires which powered the Crag and maintained its height. Rote Stang had fought it to the last, even wrenching the broken Sailcutter ballista bolt from its wing to stab at it after his lance shattered. But his assault was not enough. It drank the soul of the eldest and flew out of the Crag, down below Zhia.

Javelin recognized the bolt and related the story of how his unit, escaping from a crashed Craggen vessel, had been pursued by an elder dragon, one which had quite overmatched them. They were barely able to take refuge in the wreckage of the scout destroyer. Within it, they returned a grand ballista to operational status and timed a Sailcutter round shot to drop it into the Maelstrom. Their success had provided an opportunity for the Mad God.

We left Krieg to watch over his master and considered our options. Though we spent a few minutes cursing the Craggen’s arrogant failure to call upon for aid during the battle, that was water under the bridge. Lacking any more adamantine canopic jars, we probably couldn’t trap this one. But we could hope to destroy its vessel. The Thrymspaker would need to follow the chain down to its base to do its work. If the spark alone could accomplish such, it wouldn’t need the dragon. Though it would recover and find some other host, it would hopefully be diminished and require more time. A few more days or weeks would be enough.

Lacking any other options, we set out on the Stormcrow with booster rockets blazing, to race a dragon (strong enough to kill the Crag) to the chain. If we can manage to drop it on the mote that the giants moved into place, we might have a chance to carve it into bits. Or perhaps we can harpoon and snap it up in the ship trapping jaws of the Stormcrow. Though the ship would be substantially worse for the wear, its better than letting the Thrymspaker get away. I’ll send up a quick prayer before the end, if Hestavar isn’t ready for the Dusk War to start, they may need to send some reinforcements. There is only so much that a homicidal maniac with a chain sword and some friends can do against the hordes of the Abyss.

-Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Punishing the Thrymspaker

Our progress across the motelet was interrupted by a posting of undead giants guarding bridge over an ice causeway which led to the least guarded approach. We came at them from both sides, but the timing was slightly off and Gareth was slightly overbold. The latter took a significant beating as they were reinforced by a huge dracolich. The dracolich’s dreadful aura gave us a moment of pause, but it wasn’t so hard for us to burn down the giants and converge our collective wrath upon the Dracolich. It was summarily dispatched, but its essence fled to the citadel.

Our stealthy journey to the citadel was uninterrupted. A patrol seemed to spy us as we entered an immense staircase, but they chose not to move to engage us. At the top we found an immense icy throne room. The Thrymspaker sat upon the throne, illuminated by the many colored spark from his maelstrom hammer. He bade us to come closer and taunted us with our doom. he knew his purpose well, to break the chain and free the Mad god. Though he expected to lead a great slaughter by its side, not to become the food of alien creatures from beyond our dimension. Oli explained the ultimate fate that those behind the Mad god had for him. Perhaps he believed us at the end, though he resignedly prepared to do battle with us regardless. He no longer had any choice in his actions.

The fight was a long and brutal one. He controlled icy winds to fling us hither and yon. His hammer retaliated against our every attack with a will of its own. Every time I brought radiant fire down to slash through his enormous heretical body, he swatted me across the ice. In the end, we orchestrated ourselves so that Rampart pushed him into us and Kong Meng exhorted us all to strike while Gareth drew his soul into the adamantine canopic jar.

The jar hummed and vibrated alarmingly. Gareth could sense that though it was trapped, it was calling to its kind for aid. Kong Meng walled off the entry and we spent a few minutes frantically scooping up the treasure behind the throne to fund the exodus. When Kong Meng’s icy wall was finally beaten down by a horde of giants, he used the Ring of Retreat to bring us all back to Vergence.

A storm rose on the horizon as we reported our success to command. Now all we need to do is find safe storage for the accursed jar.

-Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Chipping the Ice From the Walkway

After Oli reinforced our wardings against the Maelstrom, Rampart and I jumped down from the bottom of the continent to study the area. Rampart repaired himself as I scouted the area waiting for everyone else to float down. Their motelet was a fairly unremarkable chunk of roughhewn ice and rock all things considered.

Terhali and I scouted ahead until I spotted a few peculiar Frost things studying us from high above us on a ridge. As they were well out of my immediate reach, I prepared a quick prayer to Erathis to guide me to them regardless of the distance. That turned out quite well, for I was able to join them on their peaks, and pursue them as they tried to evade justice. They preferred to fight from a distance, so I arranged to be by their side at all times. This discomforted them greatly for the few seconds left of their warped existence. The others handily swept up the other creatures that swarmed up from below and we moved on.

The way was quite rough, so it took us a bit of surveying to find a good approach path. En route, we spotted a patrol of giants heading our way. We prepared a hidden ambush for them, but it didn’t go off quite as we hoped because the patrol vanguard was the high jumping Firbolg. They bounded from peak to peak and one tumbled to our ambush before the bulk of their party was in striking distance.

Firbolg presented no significant challenge, but the corrupted undead that followed them, and the raging bear shaman Firbolg at the back were more formidable. Their combined ferocity caused me a non-trivial amount of pain before Oli and Kong Meng healed my injuries. We beat them down and permitted none to escape to bring back word of our approach.

- Deacon Novius Carnifex Vergilius

Wither the Red Scales?



The Red Scales need to be founded again, or so says the Queen, and you and I are to do it. 

The old Red Scales stood for the Balance. We eliminated those who grew too powerful, but were eliminated in turn by treachery. Perhaps it was because we too had grown too powerful? Those days are over, however, and He of the Golden Eyes and Red Scales is, too, no more. 

The World has fallen into the Abyss and is, by definition, out of Balance. Souls can no longer proceed to their just destinations, be judged for their actions as they have earned. Instead they are devoured by the hungry, gaping maw. Shall the new Red Scales, then, stand for the Cycle? With no Cycle, there can be no Balance. 




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