The Story So
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Greetings, people of Telara. If you are reading this then it means you
are still alive. Congratulations. This is a Good Thing. (Although,
aware this last point is debatable, considering the mess our world
currently finds itself in.) Allow me to introduce myself. My name is
Padraic, and I am a Guardian scribe. Not overly impressive, I grant
you, but the world needs scribes as much as it needs warriors. At
least, that’s what I always told my father when he tried to
force me to
attend sword practice every day. As you well know, Telara is in a spot
of apocalyptic bother at the moment, what with Regulos, a dragon lord
from the Plane of Death, trying to break down the Ward that protects us
from the six elemental planes. I know. A little bit upsetting, yes? All
our living warriors have been called to arms, and even those who have
died are being called back by the gods of the Vigil to fight against
this evil. (Just so you know, I am not one of these Ascended beings;
I’m just a citizen of Telara who has so far managed to
survive the war.)

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Now, I know what we’re
all thinking. Things
look bleak. And yes, they do. I’ll be the first to admit it.
There’s a
high possibility that we’re all going to die an agonizing
death if
Regulos is
not stopped. And that is why, I, Padraic, plan on traveling the length
breadth of Telara, documenting the people, places, and history of our
writing it down for future generations just in case…
well… you know.
Just in
case we all get sucked through a rift into some planar hellhole. I will
the battles, the stories of bravery, the folklore of the past. I will
those fighting our war, the heroes, the mages, but also the little
Those not usually recognized in the war effort. Just…
and everyone really.
I have a recurring nightmare that Regulos will triumph and that the
history of
our world will be wiped out in an instant. I cannot let that happen.
although I am a Guardian I will endeavor to document all
stories. Even those of the Defiant. I hold no bias. Everything
must be recorded.

 Speaking of little
people, allow me to
introduce my faithful companion, Bran. I know, I know. He’s
not much to
at. Thin and pale. He looks as though a slight breeze might snap him in
Very odd haircut, but that could be the fashion amongst the youngsters
today, I
don’t know. (Perhaps we will find out on our journey.) Bran
will be my
carrying my supplies for me, making sure I have enough parchment and
ink, that
kind of thing.

 At the moment he is
staring vacantly into
space. I prod him with my quill. “Say hello, Bran.”

“Hello Bran.”

should point out that Bran is not… how to put it politely,
 endowed in
the brain department. But that’s fine. If I require
conversation on
our journeys, I will just talk to myself. I’ve done it before.

Today, Bran and I are
visiting Tedeor Fields,
the place where the final battle was fought against Aedraxis and he
went ahead
and opened up a Rift that allowed the power of Regulos to take over his
We lost. Obviously. There’s not much you can do when the
avatar of the
God of
Death makes its presence felt. Only days ago, the field was littered
thousands of bodies, but things are different now. The field of battle
become a makeshift camp. Tents have been pitched, cauldrons hang above
fires, giving off the aromas of meat and broth. (That reminds me, I
eaten yet. Must remember to tell Bran to get us some food before we set
Newly Ascended heroes come and go on important errands, all of them
contributing to the larger war effort. In the distance, I can hear the
and shouts of the Ascended as they fight off the minions of Regulos.

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alt="Rift Travel Guide"

A Living Legend

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I thought we would start our long journey by talking about a man
without whom we would all be dead. And I mean that in the very
permanent, non-Ascended way. If it wasn’t for this man,
Regulos would
have triumphed by now and every single one of us would be appetizers at
the dinner table of the Blood Storm. I’m talking about the
very first
of the Ascended, Cyril Kalmar.

Cyril Kalmar’s life is already shrouded in legend and
folklore. He
seems to have been born as a fully-grown hero, a larger than life
savior who the Mathosians embraced as a cul-tural icon. His exploits
inspired bards to compose overly-long sonnets. The stories of his
battles encouraged young men to take up a sword and join the army. He
was a throw-back to the storybook heroes of ancient times, the perfect
ideal of knightly virtue.

Except Cyril Kalmar is the real thing.

His exploits were already well known when Prince Zareph went to war
against his brother, the usurper Aedraxis. Though Zareph knew Aedraxis
was a dragon cultist, the Matho-sian people thought this was just a
fight between siblings, something that would not involve them.
Consequently, Zareph could not gain support for his fight against
Aedraxis and he found himself besieged at what is now Shadefallen Keep
in Gloamwood.

Everything looked bleak for Zareph. Aedraxis, surrounded by his dragon
knight bodyguards and watching from a (rather cowardly) safe distance,
ordered the final charge. He watched with mounting excitement as his
men scaled the walls of the Keep. Soon, the crown would be his.

But then there was the sudden clash of steel from behind him. The
screams of his men cut through the late summer afternoon. He turned and
saw several of his dragon knights flying through the air to land,
broken and bloodied, at his feet. Aedraxis looked on in horror and saw
Cyril Kalmar himself framed against the lowering sun, his armor
glinting red like a righteous omen of death. Kalmar raised his
two-handed broadsword, calmly saluting the traitor-king. Then he
launched himself straight into the center of Aedraxis’
cutting his way toward the pretender.

The stories say fifty knights stood against him. Others say line upon
line of dragon knights blocked his way, hundreds upon hundreds.
Whatever the truth, Cyril Kalmar was vastly outnumbered, but he hacked
his way through the bodyguards until none were left. Then he and
Aedraxis fought one of the most terrible battles of all time. It was as
if the very forces of good and evil faced each other upon the field of
battle, and the prize was to be the souls of an entire world.

The songs say they fought for days in a colossal clash of power.
Aedraxis couldn’t unleash his vile magic without forfeiting
all claim
to popular support, so he attempted to fight Cyril sword against sword.
But Aedraxis was no match for Kalmar’s skills and he
realized he had no choice. Driven to desperation, he uttered a
necromantic spell that melted the flesh from his mortal soldiers and
brought them back to life. Then he set them on Kalmar and fled like a

“Do you see?” shouted Cyril triumphantly to all
those who were
watching. “This is what we are fighting!”

Cyril stood atop a hillock, his armor now stained red with blood, as
the undead creatures tightened their circle around him. But then Prince
Zareph appeared, fighting his way through the hordes until he and Cyril
stood back to back, the lone remnants of light on a battlefield given
over to darkness.

None then doubted that Zareph was the true king, not with a folk hero
like Cyril Kalmar fighting at his side. All Mathosia rejoiced, for with
Cyril as his general, the prince would surely topple the newly revealed

Unfortunately, this did not happen quickly. Civil war broke out, and
when Aedraxis finally opened the rift at Tedeor Fields, Cyril Kalmar
died with the rest of Zareph’s army.

But his story was not to end there, for the Vigil’s
Messengers returned
his spirit from the void and commanded him to lead an army of reborn
heroes to help slay Aedraxis in his guise as Regulos’ avatar.

Cyril Kalmar accepted this wyrd.

I see Cyril Kalmar across the camp and approach him tentatively. The
stories do not do him justice. A towering giant of a man, he wears
thick plate mail that he carries as if it were cloth.  He
looks at me with eyes as dark as a summer storm and I finally muster up
the courage to ask if all the stories about him are true.

“Yes,” he says. “They are.”

He says nothing more, but turns to a newly Ascended warrior to appoint
him with a quest.

I feel hope. The fight goes on.

The Story So
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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016