Land of the Dead Sun

Preludes - The Darkening

The story regarding the death of our sun is among the oldest in the world.


Doug
Doug
- 4 min read

The story regarding the death of our sun is among the oldest in the world. In the Age of Dreams, magic was untamed and unfettered. That was before The Darkening, before our Gods were banished or killed alongside our once beautiful sun.

As has happened on countless worlds before, darkness seeped into our world. Five Demon Lords found their way into the hearts and souls of corrupt mortals from their Abyssal realms. These five Lords of Darkness, alongside their endless hordes of followers, waged war upon the civilized races of Humans, Elves, and Dwarves.

The light stood upon the precipice of victory, before the actions of a single Elven Mage, stricken with grief, pain, and loss; snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Elven Mage Esteban is spoken of as the most powerful of the Elven spell casters during an age where magic was at its most powerful. The Elves of the time were regarded as the most powerful casters, outside of the Demon Lords themselves. Late on the eve before The Darkening he learned his only son, Mihaly, had been slain in single combat against the Lord of the Demonic Lords, Sargon the Fallen One.

Esteban's grief was an awesome force of nature. Blaming not only the Demonic Hordes invading his world but also the mortal races for allowing Mihaly to engage in single combat against such a dread foe. Yet he blamed the Gods even more; They had not protected his son in the moment of his greatest need. Esteban had believed in their cause, had trusted the Gods in their wisdom to guide the mortal races against the Demonic invasion. Some have questioned how that seemingly unbreakable faith could have been shattered. So, Esteban may have believed the Gods intended for his son to die for their world. They found only one artifact at the epicenter of the destruction that heralded The Darkening. A single scrap of parchment with the following words inscribed upon it.

Five Lords of Darkness each with a stone,

Each chilling men to the bone.

Five shadow gates, each need a key;

With each key a life is the fee.

Five Soul stones the only way to die;

They shall live forever, it is no lie.

Five Guardians till the end of time;

Each shall arise with the chime.

Five Heros for their world shall die;

With their death, hope they buy.

When Esteban received the prophecy is not known, nor from where.  However, what is known is that when dawn lit the lands the next morning, Esteban was waiting atop his tower. The dreadful curse or ritual he invoked is unknown, for none survived the blast to tell. What has passed down from that age tells of a great yawning portal opening in the sky, cracks emanating from it in all directions. Few witnessed this and retained their sanity, and even they could never say what lay beyond. A horrid green and black light erupted from the portal and issued forth towards the sun. The explosion which followed ripped apart the land for hundreds of miles in all directions. It left the heart of the Elven homeland devastated, and turned to a barren waste. Rolling hills near the border shaped into fearsome mountains as the earth was pushed up by the power of the blast. The blast dug a crater miles deep at its epicenter. Everyone on the continent saw the sickly green and black energy reaching up into the sky and enveloping the sun; Then the sun went black with the sickly green energy bubbling up from deep within, wrapping around it and encasing it with that eldritch power.

They named the event The Darkening, and the event damned Demon and Mortal alike. Elven lands were shattered, and as a result their forces broke like waves against the rocks. Upon seeing the ill omens in the sky, the Dwarves pulled back into their mountain Kingdoms, shutting their great gates and leaving Men and Elves to their fates. Only the forces of Humanity still stood against the Demonic Hordes which were sweeping the land.

Meanwhile, the dead unable to move on to the realms beyond any longer, rose across the land. Souls henceforth Damned to wander until the pathways to the realms of the Gods opened up once more. The Darkening cut of the Gods from the realms of man, or so the tale is told. Clerical spells failed and armies routed who could no longer feed or heal their forces without the divine magics to aid them.

This moment may well have meant victory for the Demon Lords. Instead, they were force to retreat to their citadels or darkness. The Demon Lords had lost as much, if not more than the mortal races; Cut off from their abyssal realms, their powers of magic were gone... their endless hordes of demons cut off. For a time it forced them to rely upon their brute strength to maintain command of their very rebellious armies. Eventually they would learn to harness the strange new dark energies washed across the land;

The final and perhaps most frightening effect is what that act allowed in. Unknown is the power the Elven Mage Esteban called upon. Experts believe he called upon unspeakable and unknowable eldritch horrors from beyond the veil of reality. Entities who with the intention spread their own particular brand of madness and chaos throughout the world. These unnameable beings lurk beyond the veil, always waiting and tempting mortals to open doorways for them. Its seems one of these greater beings may have contacted Esteban.

In conclusion, the tale of the fall of our world goes, an act born out of the purest love; that of a father for his son, which nonetheless damned the world, slew the Gods, and condemned the souls of an entire realm. Mayhap in aeons untold a hero shall arise to bring balance back to the world, yet all that exists for now is darkness.

~excerpt from "A History of the Land of the Dead Sun - Tales of the Apocalypse," by author unknown.