WORLD PLOT: SEPTIS 1022 A.ORDER. – King Justin
King Justin, Monarch of Holt
LOCATION: Nation of Holt
SUMMARY: King Justin makes a long-winded, rambling monologue about why Holt needs to create Eldin and save the world. Then, the result of Rinan, Nicolette, Sclermy, and Sam pulling the rods are revealed.
The moon and stars shined bright in the sky as the gold and silver threads of mana energy spun around the massive, white marble standing stones. The blood red cross of Eldin blazed on each monolith. Two grim-faced priests flanked each of the standing stones, praying to Eldin. Hundreds of young children wearing white choir robes and holding hands formed a wide ring around the outside of the marble monoliths.
Twelve knights knelt within the ring of standing stones. Helmetless, their white lacquered armor shone in the moonlight and reflected the flowing energy. Each kneeling knight held a kite shaped white shield before them. They rested their foreheads on the upper edge of the shields. They too prayed to Eldin beseeching their god for strength, honor, truth, and all the knightly virtues that would guide them in their tasks.
King Justin stood in the center of the ring formed by the twelve knights. Silver and gold threads of energy wrapped around his arms as he lifted them into the air. This was power like no person had felt in two thousand years. This was the kind of energy that flowed in the Age of Life. This was the stuff of legend, and he had gathered it for Holt.
As he began speaking, the knights looked up at him, their faces filled with pure fanaticism.
“Our great nation of Holt is all that stands against the end of days. No other nation has the strength to protect the common people of this realm from the orcs, klactons, and pythians who would enslave the world. We are the only nation prepared to face the Karthydians who seek to destroy the realm.”
“Guildhall, the once noble organization has lost its way. All around the realm, petty Guildsmen oppress the common person by hording knowledge and controlling trade. All they care about is gaining personal power and wealth. Their actions undermine the very peace and security of the world. The Guildhall Inn at Inverness is a perfect example of their political meddling. They nearly spread the Inverness Rebellion through the whole Highlands and caused a war between the Northern Confederation and the Five Kingdoms.”
“The Guildsmen of Evermore have done much to drag this world into chaos. In 997 A.Order, the Guildsmen of Evermore opened the prison that trapped the Herald of Grotar setting him free again to sow his hate. A few years later, they supported the formation of the Orc Empire. A few years after that, their actions directly caused the destruction of the Elder Tree Valley which led to the Elven Civil War. Their research into the past with Kendric Kane created the Void Plague that killed millions throughout the world. Al’tar Shariz, the original Charter Sponsor of Evermore, a former LoreKeeper, now controls the army of religious fanatics who have sworn to destroy this world.”
“My father did not wish to militarize. He was a sick, weak man who trusted in Guildhall. He was blind in his love. His failure to see the evil in the world imperiled our nation. I am not my Father. I am not blind to the dangers we face as a Nation. I understand that only through the grace of Eldin will this Age of Order continue.
“The past is our guide. We know non-humans are flawed by their very nature because they do not have a balance of energy in their creation. The Five did not share of their energy equally and thus, the non-humans are fundamentally flawed. We also know that humans can be corrupted by non-humans as they were just before the Fall of Evermore. The orcs delivered wagons of gold to our ancestors and that was enough for them to abandon the Five.”
“We are not our ancestors, because we have the light of Eldin. We will not be corrupted, bought, or duped because Eldin guides us. Eldin ended the Age of Death and gave us the Age of Order. His vision created an Age of peace and prosperity that could last through eternity.”
“Wherever the light of Eldin shines, the darkness of evil and ignorance is banished, and the Age of Order is preserved. For the past year, we have gathered energy and six months from now on Eldinmas we will bring forth an Avatar of Eldin, and you twelve shall be the first of many Eldin Guards. Let the ceremony begin!”
The choir of young boys and girls began to sing in a quite undertone. Hundreds of voices joined as one, the soft words of their song conveying the pure essence of Eldin. Light. Love. Life. The silver energy shimmered. The golden energy sparkled. Threads of light spun around the marble monoliths, and they began to glow with power.
The Eldin Guards placed their shields before them and drew fighting knives from their sword belts. The choir began singing louder. The priests’ chanted prayers increased their tempo. King Justin’s eyes glowed with a silvery, golden light as he wielded the enrgy of the stones.
“We now begin a Ceremony of Ascension. With the blessing of Eldin, you will become more than human, greater than guildsmen. You will become Eldin Guard. Your blood. Your lives. Your souls are sworn to the service of Eldin, the nation of Holt, and to me.”
One by one, the priests invoked all twenty energies. As they spoke the invocations, they presented a ceremonial object which glowed with the energy involved. After the twenty energies had been contributed, Justin spoke again.
“We have invoked the major forms of mana. We have bound their power to Eldin and to this ceremony.”
The knights raised their blades above their heads, and while holding the handle in their right hands, they placed the keen edge against their left palms. The choir sang. The priests prayed. And King Justin, full of power, flush with energy, continued speaking.
“I am the King of Humanity. The one who will unify all of the Five Kingdoms. The only man in the realm with the knowledge and the resolve to save this world. You will be the instruments of my reign. As the swords of Eldin. As the shields of Eldin. As the armor of Eldin. You will go forth and prepare the world for the coming of our savior.”
Energy spun around the raised dagger blades, as each knight spoke the ancient words. “This blood. This life. This soul for you.” They cut deep into their palms. Silver and gold threads of energy spun around the welling blood that rained down to splatter hair, face, and armor.
The children’s song rose louder as winds came from nowhere, flapping choir robes and tussling hair. The priests chanted louder to ensure their voices could be heard above the growing gale. Justin spread his arms above his head and screamed into the wind, “We are in the Glory of Eldin!”
Slowly, the knights lowered their bleeding hand to their shield, and in two sure strokes, they painted onto the pure white surface the blood cross of Eldin. Their shields glowed. Their armor glowed. Their eyes glowed. Bones became denser. Muscles gained strength.
Gale-like winds buffered the participants. The priests continued their prayers, sweat beading on their foreheads. Their breathing became labored as exhaustion creeped into them. The children in the choir sang on, straining their little voices.
The knights sheathed their daggers. Bloody hands drew forth exquisitely crafted swords. The knights soaked the blade’s length with blood and held them aloft, point to the air so arcs of energy could snap from the monoliths to the upright blades.
The first child collapsed. A little blond-haired girl whose dead, sightless eyes stared up in the sky filled with energy bound to the faith of Eldin. The children around her did not let go of her hands. They continued to sing, continued to keep the ceremonial circle solid. A priest collapsed. Not dead, because an adult body was stronger than a child’s body.
“Do you serve the blood of Eldin?” King Justin asked, as another child died.
“Always,” the knights shouted back.
“Do you serve the life of Eldin?”
A young boy died.
“Always,” the knights screamed.
“And do you serve the soul of Eldin?”
The blood-splattered faces of the knights twisted in their zealotry. “Always!”
“Then, I pronounce you Eldin Guard. Priest and soldier. Armor, shield, and sword of Eldin. This ceremony is concluded.”
The twelve blood-soaked knights stood ready to go forth and spread the world of Eldin through the world.
At that moment, many miles to the south, in the land of the Dale, Mistress Rinan Romonanovpov placed her hand on a white glowing crystal rod that had been driven deep into the earth in order to funnel energy from the Dale into the land of Holt.
She did not hesitate as she pulled the crystal rod from the ground. The abrupt breaking of the flow causing an explosion that shredded her physical form and formed a crater almost fifty feet deep and one hundred feet across. The shock wave traveled along the energy flow racing to the marble monolith that stored the siphoned energy.
Without warning one of the standing stones exploded, sending marble shards out like spinning daggers. The two closest priests were sliced apart. One of the newly made Eldin Guard was decapitated. King Justin dove to the ground, dodging the spinning head and evading the fragments of stone.
Over the next two weeks, others pulled crystal rods. Nicolette Grey. Sclermy the Orc. Sam.
One by one, three more of the great monoliths exploded, and the frantic Holt priests ran around helpless, confused, unable to figure out what was going wrong or why the explosions were happening. The only thing that was clear was that the mana was being destroyed. It was just gone from the realms, consumed in the explosion.
After the fourth monolith exploded, the priests concluded there was not enough energy in the remaining monoliths to create an avatar of Eldin. Justin flew into one of his uncontrolled rages. He cursed the loss and the waste. He vowed retribution against those who thwarted his plans. He battered his fists on anything within reach, but in the end, he settled down exhausted, mastered himself, and said,
“Thankfully, we still have sufficient energy to continue making the Eldin Guard. All is not lost. Have the masons cut more stones. Send priests to Solace. Have them search the crystal wastes. There must be a few rods left there. We could not have found them all.”