Rift: Travels Through Telara Part 4 - The Rift Opens
Join Guardian scribe, Padraic, and his trusty, yet slow-witted lackey Bran, as they travel the length and breadth of Telara documenting the people, places, history, and folklore of the world. Before its all gone.
Yes. Apologies. You find me a bit distracted today, dear reader. Only yesterday Bran and I were moving at a rapid walk through Ardenburgh, removing ourselves from the vicinity of Borrin Gamult and his rather large hammer, and todayÂ
Well, therein lies the story.
When we left Ardenburgh we noticed a commotion on the hill outside Valor Hold. I mean, thereÂs always a commotion up there, what with the rift that has ripped open the sky. But this commotion was different. Bursts of colored light were soaring up into the sky. Roars of anger and pain that could be heard from the plane down below. So, being a good, conscientious scribe I decided to see what was going on. Bran wasÂ reluctant to accompany me. So reluctant that I had to tie him up and place him on the horse we borrowed. (For his own safety, of course.)
We galloped up the hill, and as we crested the rise a great sight unfolded before us.
Cyril Kalmar, Borrin himself, Shyla Starhearth, and a second dwarf warrior, were battling the monstrous, corrupted form of Aedraxis. We must have arrived right at the end of the battle, because a second later there was a great burst of light, and the dragon form that had been manifesting in the air behind Aedraxis vanished out of existence. The prince fell, and the second dwarf warrior took out a huge hammer and smashed his body to pieces.
I realized I was witnessing a moment of history here, dear reader. I was actually present at the moment the Mathosian Civil war ended and good triumphed over evil. I nudged the horse forward, hoping to record the first words of the new age, but at that moment a strange portal opened up and the dwarf warrior who destroyed AedraxisÂ body vanished. My horse spooked. She reared up, throwing both myself and a tied up Bran into the portal as well.
The next thing I know, we are stepping into a beautiful forest glade. A burning city towers above us, a city I do not recognize. What has happened?
I untie Bran. He gives me a silent look of accusation, a look I cannot really counter. Whatever has happened is my fault.
The answer astounds me.
We have been swept forward some twenty years in time. Much has happened since that fateful day when the body of Aedraxis was shattered. It seems that although Regulos was weakened, he did not die, and over the past two decades he has been gaining in strength. But the forces of good have not been idle. The Guardians have also grown in power, becoming a major force for good in the world.
Unfortunately, the Guardians now have a second enemy to face. One who they are at war with.
I am surprised to hear this. After all, the Defiant and the Guardians were not always such enemies. Before the Shade arrived, the Defiant leader, Orphiel Farwin, discovered evidence that Prince Aedraxis was conspiring with the dragon cults. Orphiel sent his most powerful mage, Asha Catari, to warn Prince Zareph of his brotherÂs corruption, but it was too late, and Asha died in the ensuing battle.
Orphiel and his followers fought the creatures streaming through the rifts, the same as all other righteous citizens of Telara, but their numbers were soon decimated, forcing Orphiel to retreat to Port Scion. He and his Ethian survivors helped the Guardians rebuild the defensive wall around the city. But at the same time he began investigating ancient Eth technology, thinking it would help them in the coming wars.
Orphiel became seduced by the magi-tech, investing all his hopes and dreams into the banned technology. He began to preach the benefits of the Eth weapons, how they had to take matters into their own hands now that the Gods of the Vigil had abandoned them. His words struck many a chord, and his followers increased.
However, the Ascended had no time for such nonsense, and moved quickly to subdue such whispers. They wielded the power of the Gods against the Blood Storm, and so their righteous power would save them all. It was blasphemy to put their faith in eldritch constructs.
Orphiel and his followers were forced out of Port Scion. They retreated into the Shadowlands, pursuing ancient maps that he had discovered. They eventually uncovered a secret workshop built hundreds of years ago by a group of Ethian mages. Orphiel brought the machines back to life, and with this new find many of the followers who had abandoned him returned to the fold.
It was not long before Orphiel began using the machines to create their own Ascended warriors.
When the Guardians heard what Orphiel was doing, they were horrified. They tried to stop him, demanding he destroy the sourcestone-powered machines. But Orphiel refused, and thus the schism between Guardian and Defiant was finally solidified. From that moment on, the Guardians and the Defiant became mortal enemies, each faction convinced they were doing the best thing to defend Telara against Regulos and the Blood Storm.
So thatÂs the story so far. IÂm sure there is much, much more to find out, but we are learning just as you are, dear reader. In the meantime, we promise to uphold our mission. To discover and record the lore and legends of our world. Before the Blood Storm devours it all.
Now, I hope you will excuse me. Bran is still sulking and I must go and apologize to him once again before we can explore Silverwood.