Ashes of the Phoenix (ES Backstory)

Started by Jager, September 22, 2009, 06:27:26 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Ashes of the Phoenix

(OCC: My thanks goes out to the wonderful Link of Urak. I could not have done this backstory without his help, as all the main concepts, and events are due to him. I merely provided supporting details, polish, and obsufucations.)

Bits and excerpts from the journals of Lord Phoenix, Imperial Regent of the Empire of Sosaria.
Covering the years of 351 through 352, of the Post-Paxium of our Lord and Savior: Lord British

Wednesday, 73rd of Catumnal, 351
It's the first month of my journey away from the Empire. I've left care of it in the capable hands of friends who've stayed behind. A bit of travel will do me good, as I have been buried under the duties of leadership for far too long now. Had I known the trials and work involved when Jager asked me to be Regent.... Well... I must admit that I most likely would have accepted it anyways. This exploration will be good for me though. I have a good feeling about it.

Today, the scout found a dungeon a few miles to the north. It's heavily guarded but promises to hold great riches! Looks like we'll be doing a little treasure hunting tomorrow! Tonight we'll set up camp and make plans before making our way there in the morning. With a bit of planning and team work, we'll dispatch the vile creatures of the dungeon and claim the treasure before nightfall!

Thursday, 1st of Catumnal Secundus 351
Where to begin... We attacked this morning, and easily entered the dungeon. Upon entering we were met not with swords and arrows but an eerie growl and low rumble almost like laughter. An unexplainable wave of fear and dread overcame us and a feeling of darkness gripped at our very souls. It was the most unsettling experience I've ever had, yet I shoved it aside and encouraged the others, and we pressed slowly forward. The dungeon was much harder than expected. The enemies we faced were unlike any we had seen before. Instead of flesh and bone they were made of metal and wood and belched thick clouds of white steam and black smoke. Their centers were lit with the fires of hell, which provided our only illumination. Deeper and deeper we advanced, losing not a single man and slaughtering many of the enemy in the close quarters. We should have felt elated at our progress, but the darkness and feelings of evil pervaded everyone. Finally having defeated the last of the wicked monsters, we entered the treasure room. To our dismay however, we found it all together empty save for a peculiarly runed and exquisite War Hammer. I took the Hammer, and we quickly retreated from the dungeon. We've set up camp now a few miles back south were we had stayed last night. I've tried again and again to sleep... but the same dark feeling that was in the dungeon is still with me. It has much lessened now, but still I feel a growing darkness in the back of my mind and encircling my soul. It's strange, but I can almost feel it physically coming closer to me, yet being still very distant. The dungeon must have been more unsettling than I realized. In the heat of the fighting I ignored it to some extent, but it seems to have caught up with me. It will probably be some time before the impact of that experience dulls.

I've found it necessary to write in my journal this morning. The dark feeling from last night has worn away a bit, and though I still feel it there, I feel none the worse and actually feel stronger than I have in weeks! We'll be making our way eastward now into the thick woodlands...

*some days later*
Sunday, 3rd of Catumnal Secundus 351
It seems we've stumbled into the middle of a war. The people of the Woodland Empire we discovered are at war with a deadly and wicked Clan of Necromancers who call themselves The Dark Crusade. This Clan has now destroyed the Woodland Empire and set up a new dark Empire. There is yet a few struggling villages and cities of the Woodland people who have not yet surrendered and are now begging for our aid in their desperate condition. I've never been one not to help the oppressed especially when it is the good who suffer at the hands of the evil, so I have agreed to lend the aid of the Empire of Sosaria to their struggle.

The great grassy field spread out before them. The wind moved swiftly through the tall blades of grass... and among the readily drawn blades of the people: the combined forces of the Sosarians and the Woodlanders.  Arranged in the battle proven Reverse-Echelon formation, developed by the Great Manamotto, I directed my troops to begin sweeping through the enemy lands. Cleaning them out of their captured villages and reclaiming the homes of our new friends. The wind seemed to carry and spread the feelings of each person to me: some fear, much anxiety, some dread, others hope, and some anger. All this quickly morphed into the euphoric sense of victory as we drove the vile necromancers before us. I knew better though. I knew that this quick victory would not last.

Wednesday, 6th of Catumnal Secundust 351
For now they stayed in the woods on the edge of the field. The enemy had recovered from the initial shock of our advance and had gathered an army of their own to oppose us. Our advance had been stopped here, on the edge of this wood, not by a counter attack. Rather I knew better than to over-extend my troops. Time would be needed to consolidate our gains behind us, Time would be needed to set up the smithies and the kitchens that would supply this army. Man runs on its stomach, and an army is composed of men. Turning, I peered through the Optica-Lensitium that the battle mages had created for me here at my command bunker. Not even bothering to hide their war preparations, I could see the enemy among the dark boles of the trees; preparing for their offensive. Behind me I could hear the sharp ringing of hammer upon hot Valorite and the grinding of blades upon stone. The crafters were hard at work repairing the battle damage and preparing the weapons and armor of my men. Off to my left, my trusted General Knossos stood in conversation with one of the scouts. I could hear muttered conversation, but ignored it for now; knowing that I would soon learn of anything important. The sun was sinking slowly in the sky and I knew that at best we had until morning to prepare ourselves for the battle to come. As if on cue, I began to hear the wailing voices of the clergy in the distance. They were making the ritual evening call to prayer, where they would bless the men and place wards on them to keep their spirits safe were they to fall in battle. I myself must find time to visit them this evening. If only I could find the time. There was much yet to prepare.

Thursday, 7th of Catumnal Secundus 351
The glorious forces of the Empire were arrayed out on either side of me as I sat before them on the back of my trusty swampie; Flame. Row upon row of Paladins and Pikemen stood at attention before me, with Templars, Battle Mages, and Druids behind them. Archers, under the command of Lord Knossos brought up the rear and to either side sat the Knights upon their snow white steeds. Behind me I could feel more than hear the heavy stamping of the approaching army as the cold grey mist began to seep through my armor. Preferring the darkness, the Necromancers had begun their assault in the early morning hours. I had been shaken sleepily out of my bed-roll by a panicking scout who could do nothing other than splutter incoherent phrases about hordes of monsters advancing out of the forest towards us.

As I stood here before the men I gave no great rousing speeches, everyone knew why we were here. All my men were composed and ready, it was only the reserve ranks of the Woodland'ers that looked as if a strong breeze was blowing through them.  I looked over at Knossos and received a slight nod indicating that he was ready. In turn, I individually caught the eyes of Nasdurche, leader of the battle mages; Jazmyn, Arch Druid; Kithra, Paladin Queen; and Dunneldeen, Knight Captain. After each silent affirmation, I drew a deep breath and turned in the saddle to look behind me. Though I could see nothing through the early morning mist and the cloying darkness I could sense the enemy drawing ever closer. With a great shout, I commanded:
"My brothers! Let us shine the Glorious Light upon these foul creatures!" At this utterance, I could feel the skin on the back of my neck rise up as the Battle Mages drew energy from Mother Gaia herself, pooling it and condensing it, until they let fly huge balls of light that soared into the sky; burning away the darkness and driving back the insidious mist in an instant. Suddenly revealed to us out of the darkness was a mass of trolls and demons and undead. With the twang of released bow-strings, hundreds of arrows flew through over our heads and found their marks in the vile flesh of the enemy. As the archers reloaded and prepared for another salvo, I raised my war Hammer and let forth my battle cry. "Advance in the name of the Light!" Behind me, the Battle Mages worked their spells, imbuing our weapons with a bright white-blue glow and activating the magic gems sewn and welded into our armor and shields. The druids began their chanting, summoning their pets from the stables and calling forth Gaia's fury. I rushed forward, with my army at my back, straight into the midst of the enemy.

Battle has never been a pretty sight to behold. For all the glory that historians try to give it, one who has been through its rigors knows better. Battle is where men unleash themselves and become little more than beasts. It is only their training that allows them to return to themselves after it is all said and done. It is only belief in a higher purpose that one can remain sane in the knowledge that they have taken a life by their actions. Though the enemy also fights with this belief, it is only the victor who can try and justify this to themselves. It is one of the many little things that a warrior does to try and make sense of it all.

The sun was high in the sky by the time everything was over. My armor was hot on my shoulders and my arms felt like wet noodles after the exertions of the morning. I rested my Hammer upon the ground at my side and looked around me. Bodies lay strewn everywhere, of both friend and foe. It had been paid at a ghastly cost, but the evil had finally been repulsed back into the woods. They found little safety in there though, as the Druids chanted their spells and awoke the trees to the foul stench that ran between their trunks. The tops of the trees could be seen swaying in the distance and the grisly sounds drifted up the slopes. Already I could see Medicae going through the fallen, seeing who could be saved and who would be left to the Priests and the Armorers. On my right, Kithra slogged through the bodies towards me.
"How do you fare my Queen?" I asked of her.
"Tired M'Lord, but victorious. That was a difficult battle."
I nodded in agreement. "I fear though that it will only get worse. For I did not once see evidence of a Necromancer among the enemy."
Kithra's eyes became cold hard orbs of flint at this news. "Ah, I had forgotten that Sire." She nodded. "Once they come into play things will be much worse indeed."

Friday 61st, of Hibernum 351
It's been some time since I last wrote; in fact it has been three long hard months of fighting. We have at least been victorious in our engagements and have advanced quickly through the Evil Empire of the Dark Crusade. We have liberated many towns and cities along the way, giving the Woodlanders back their homes and lives. It has been three months since that first heady battle on the edge of the Great Forest. Three months of pain and suffering. My troops are weary in both body and soul as they have had to see their friends fall around them, only to get back up as they were resurrected by the evil Necromancers which we face in ever greater numbers as we creep closer to the enemy capital. Just yesterday we faced an entire Battle Legion of them. Necromancy has always bothered me, but to see it used in battle is much more than bothering. The vile wizards use their dark magics to raise our fallen comrades as skeletons, zombies, and liches to fight against us. Words cannot begin to convey the battle other than it was the worst nightmare that I have ever encountered.  Side-by-side I had fought with the Paladin Queen Kithra. She had been watching my back as I watched hers, but of the two liches and three skeletal knights that I was driving back, one of them managed to slip past my guard. Behind me I heard a pained gasp for air. Not even needing to turn around, I knew in my soul that Kithra had been struck a mortal would. Bellowing for a medicae I redoubled my attack and managed to fell both a lich and a skeleton in one mighty blow of my Hammer. Torn at the loss of my friend and General, tears streamed down my face through the dirt and gore of battle; unfortunately the worst was yet to come. I am still not sure how I knew, but I sensed something approaching me from behind and my Hammer swung back behind me of its own volition. Parrying the deadly thrust of Kithra's War Fork. Shock coursed through my body as I realized that Kithra had been reincarnated as a Lich Lord. I searched in her eyes for any hint that the soul of once had inhabited the body of my friend, but my search was in vain. Standing there before me, with blood still slowly seeping out from underneath her armor, was a cruel joke; the familiar sight of Kithra, The Paladin Queen, with a twisted evil leer on her face. She swung at me again, meaning to disembowel me on the tines of her fork. I lost myself in despair, giving myself fully to the rage begat by loss, submitting to the power of the Hammer that I had found. Swirling the Hammer above my head, then bringing it down upon all enemies around me as I pirouetted on the balls of my feet. My mind lost, my soul torn, I went bezerek.

Saturday 62nd, of Hibernum 351
With a start I awoke in my cot in the room off to the side of the command tent. 'Ow... that hurt.' I thought to myself.  Barely managing to open my eyes, I looked around. I noticed my armor stacked neatly in the corner with the Hammer laying against the pile. I could barely move and felt sluggish and drowsy. Croaking slightly as I tried to call for someone I could feel the dryness of my throat. Almost immediately a Medicae and Brianne, the ArchDruid, were at my side.
"Try not to speak M'Lord." The Medicae said. "Your healing is progressing well, but you are still weak."
"" I managed to squeak.
"Here drink this." Said Brianne, removing a vial of Spring Water from the leather pouch at her side.
Slowly the Medicae tipped the contents of the vial into my parched mouth. The sacred Spring Water, consecrated by Gaia herself flowed down my ravaged throat and rejuvenated me. Sensing that I could now speak with less effort I opened my mouth, but I was cut off by a warning look from Brianne.
"Give the water time to work Sire. I can image your question and I shall try to answer it. You did not receive a wound in battle, at least, not a physical one of any severity. Instead you took a grievous mental wound."
At her words I remembered what had happened, remembered the loss of Kithra. Tears welled up in my eyes again.
"Do not fret my Lord. I have received word from the Priests that they had managed to capture her soul and send her on before she was raised. She did not suffer any. But you must rest and recover. We have won that battle and are gathering our forces together and preparing them for the next stage.
Relief at this news overcame me. I was so glad that Kithra had not had to suffer at my hands. The Medicae murmured another spell over me and I could feel my eyelids becoming heavier. Before the merciful oblivion of sleep took me, I motioned for the Hammer to be put in my hands. Somehow I felt stronger whenever I touched it. Complying, I could feel the comforting weight of the handle being laid into my right hand as I fell into a healing slumber.

Sunday 63rd, Hibernum 351
I have recovered at a miraculous rate. Within a day I was up and about, giving orders and preparing my men for the advance upon the capital city, whose spires we could see over the tree-tops in the distance. My soul will always carry the scar that was inflicted by the loss of Kithra, but I knew that it would act as armor upon my heart. Within a week we had moved out and continued our advance upon the enemy. More and more friends were felled alongside me in combat. Always it seemed that a Necromancer was within range to reanimate the corpse and force us to fight against our friends. For every body that was slain, both friend and foe, another arose from the ground to fight again. It was fighting three armies for every one. Only when the corpse was battered and broken into several pieces was there too little Life-Force for them to reanimate. To see familiar faces with an unfamiliar and completely cold darkness in their once bright and living eyes, is the most heart wrenching thing a person can endure. I would rather see them dead than raised again in such a way. I will spare no mercy in my destruction of these necromancers, we will be victorious!

Thursday 4th, Verisum 352
We have won every battle thus far and with every victory I feel stronger and even more encouraged to fight. I feel a power within me... it's a power that has been slowly growing within. I felt it first when holding the War Hammer I found in the first dungeon we raided in these new lands. It's amazing, as if it gives me strength in battle when I should be worn. Ever since I held it while in bed recovering, my strength has grown rapidly and my vigor in battle seems inexhaustible. I've continued to use the Hammer, and it is an amazing weapon even more so than I ever realized. Despite the foes I've slain and the armor it has destroyed, it still holds its shape and even seems to be more solid and fitting to my hand than the first day! I can feel power flowing within it and through me. It must have some special enchantment. Having now remembered once again that dungeon from those many months ago, I also once again notice another feeling I've had since that time. I still feel the distant presence of incredible power. It is so very strange...

Wednesday 22nd, Verisum 352
Early one morning Jager received orders to pull up camp and begin moving forward. "What?!" Jager outburst upon hearing the orders of the sergeant, "Again so soon? We can not keep this up!" He had been up most of the previous night tending the wounded and repairing broken armor and weapons just as he had for the previous three weeks of nights. He had no real healing skill, but his rough crafting Magery allowed him to assist some of the over worked Medicae of the army. He could probably fight in the battle himself as a mage in the back ranks casting simple spells and healing, but Phoenix purposefully kept him at camp away from the battles. His skills as a crafter were in greater demand. There was no other in all of Sosaria who could keep up the supply of weapons and armor as he did. However, while his diversity of skills made him very useful, it also gave him a great deal of hard work.


He rushed from his small shop and across the camp to Phoenix's tent. "Phoenix," Jager addressed him as he came into the command tent. Phoenix sat at the back of the tent with Knossos standing to one side both examining a map and some other documents.
"Yes Jager?" Phoenix looked up and replied.
Jager began, "The people are exhausted and some are badly wounded, we need to rest and restore our ranks before moving on. I also need more time to repair the armor and weapons. These battles have taken a terrible toll on us, and not even I can keep up with all the repair work and medic work to be done. We need at least two or three days to build back enough to fight."
"Jager," Phoenix sighed slightly with impatience, "leave the healing to the medics and stay busy on the armor and weapons. Repair them up at least half way and then go to the next, and I need twenty-five thousand more arrows made before the day after tomorrow."
"I've already completed the arrows," Jager told him, "and I've already been doing that with the armor, but I can't take much more of this pace and neither can the men. Even if I could keep the gear in repair, the medics can hardly keep the men in repair."
"Jager," Phoenix said again now beginning to sound more annoyed, "We will be moving out and that is final. I will finish this war and soon."
"Sire," Knossos interrupted, "We have actually already used most of the last quivers of arrows that were made. We do need more before our next encounter."
Phoenix clenched his teeth with rising annoyance, "Jager, you have today. Finish the arrows and what you can of the armor and we will move out tomorrow. Knossos," he then turned to his side, "take a party and scout here," he pointed to an area of the map ahead of them, "Now both of you go, now!"
Later that night, Phoenix visited Jager's small shop. Jager was hard at work as usual. Piles upon piles of armor and weapons lay stacked against the walls leaving barely enough room for Jager to swing his hammer above the anvil.
Wednesday 22nd, Verisum 352
"Good evening Jager," Phoenix said as he entered the shop and gazed around at the clutter. "Good evening my friend," Jager greeted him warmly, "About this morning... I'm sorry, I'm doing everything I can to keep up."
"Yes, yes..." Phoenix brushed aside the comment, "I need you to look at something for me. What do you make of this? I think it has some enchantment, but what can you tell?" he asked handing Jager the War Hammer that he had found in the dungeon all those months before.
Jager frowned slightly and shook his head taking the hammer. He examined it for a few minutes and ran a few basic metal tests on it before sharing his analysis. "Well," he began, "It is indeed well crafted. Its base is runic in nature... but it is most certainly more than the sum of its metal. It most certainly does have some enchantment on it, but unlike any I've seen before. I don't fully understand it and so cannot fully explain it, but it has great power within it, and I sense a terrible darkness as well. I would beware using it my Lord."
"Well, you've told me not much more than I couldn't tell myself," Phoenix frowned and grasped the handle, "I already felt the darkness, but I think I must have suppressed it because it seems much less dark to me now."
"I suppose that's good, but just the same I'd advise against using it further," Jager cautioned. "Nonsense Jager, you worry too much," Phoenix replied ignoring his friend's warning and turning to leave, "Well, I will see you in the morning, you'd best get some sleep. We will move out early."
"Sleep?" Jager grumbled to himself, "I've got fifteen thousand more arrows to make..."

Monday 10th, Sero-Verisum 352
It has now come to the close of the fifth month of fighting. Despite our heavy casualties, we've taken over the Woodland people's main castle and driven out the Necromancers. The war was hard won though. Fully a third of my regiments have fallen to enemy blades, only to be resurrected and slain by their former friends. I have lost many friends and companions. The tragic loss of Kithra was just the first, since then Jazmyn and Brianne have both fallen. With each tragic loss, the emotional scars have formed a patchwork armor around my heart and soul. Each loss hurting less than the one before it, until I barely feel anything at all. Somehow, in a way I know not, I know that the Hammer has helped me get through it all. I draw a lot of comfort and power from it when I hold it, and here recently it has began to emit a faint pink Aura whenever I grasp its smooth wooden handle. I have had the Mages examine it many a time, but they can tell me nothing except that it is a weapon of exceptional magical quality that seems to feed off of my energy even as it returns the favor. With the ouster of the last remnants of the Dark Crusade's Leaders, the people of the woodlands have appointed me as their leader, naturally. Thusly, I've taken this land as a new extension of the Empire of Sosaria. As my first act as leader, I will further our fight against the Necromancers. The tables have turned, and now they are the ones running! We will hunt them down in every village and city. I will have none who would stand against my new empire!

Thursday 30th, Sero-Verisum 352
"Nasdurche," Phoenix addressed him.
"Yes my lord?" he replied.
"Take your troops and destroy the south east city of Woodard. My sources tell me the enemy has a stronghold there."
"What are your orders concerning the terms of their surrender?" he asked.
Phoenix's gaze narrowed and he took a deep breath, "I accept no surrender. I want them dead." Nasdurche's gaze also narrowed and he nodded a bow, "Yes, my lord," he replied with a cold indifference, "as you command." He then turned to leave.
"Wait," Phoenix called back after him, "If they surrender, take them captive. They may have useful information. See what you can get from them. Use whatever methods of persuasion you need and report the information back to me. Also, bring me any who are of High Rank for further questioning and kill the rest when you are done."
Nasdurche nodded again with the same look of cool impassiveness as before and replied in like manner but added the slightest but most unsettling hint of displeasure, "at once my liege."

Friday 72nd, Sero-Verisum 352
After some weeks of hunting them down, the remaining Necromancers holding the outer cities have surrendered or fled. I've "hired" a few of their own to help hunt down the remaining renegades. The necromancers have few scruples and no qualms about hunting each other to save their own necks. While I have no intention of sparing them, they are useful for now. I've also captured a few who would not be hired, so I have thusly encouraged the ones I "hired" with displays of violence begat upon their brethren. However, one thing I initially overlooked is that most necromancers seem to have little fear of death. I have since found that the old methods of torture still work well enough. I've also found a new way to make them useful. If they will not serve me in life, then they will serve me in death! Those necromancers I was able to "hire"; I've used their skills to resurrect the ones I kill. It is a cruel perhaps, but I think it justice to now turn their own spells against them. They will never again fight against this Empire.

Sunday 4th, Aestas Estas 352
I've grown tired of using the Necromancers and had them all killed. It was time they die for their crimes anyways, and I have no more need of them. However, I found their skills so useful that I've watched and studied some of their spells, and I believe I understand enough now on my own. I've also continued my fight against the renegades and have pressed them completely from the woods and into the eastern mountains, but they can only hide so long. One troubling matter is that my people are ready for peace... they are weak stomached peasants. They don't understand that there will be no peace until I have finished my conquest! I will rule not only the woods but the mountains and the plains as well. I will drive out the evil that lurks and bring the order and peace of the Empire to these people, only then may there may be peace.

Tuesday 6th, Aestas Estas 352
"Lord Phoenix," Jager addressed him as he came into the hallway.
Phoenix groaned and narrowed his eyes, "What is it Jager?" he answered with a slightly annoyed tone.
"This isn't our way," Jager began, "hiring Necromancers as mercenaries, torturing captives, and even using the Dark Arts against them... what has come over you?"
Phoenix gritted his teeth and clinched his fist, "What do you mean OUR way? This is MY Empire. I have rebuilt it from the ashes that Icemere left; I won the wars to make it what it is! I freed these people, and I know what is needed and will do what I see is necessary."
"You think using Necromancy to raise the dead is necessary? You're using the very thing you've fought against!" Jager shouted.
Phoenix relaxed a bit and chuckled, "It's called a cruel irony, and it serves them right."
"Since when have we been in the business of making irony and 'serving people right'," Jager further argued, "I thought we served Justice and Compassion and Honor..."
"Silence! That is enough; I will hear no more of this!" Phoenix's outcry of rage echoed in the vast chambers of the Throne room, "I am the ruler, and my Law IS Justice! Don't you ever again dare suggest that I have no Honor. If you dispute me any further, I may try you on charges of treason... Now leave me!"

Thursday 27th, Aestas Estas 352
Today I write of an upsetting thing. There was a rebellion in the main city. Certain of my own comrades were among those revolting! The ungrateful, disloyal, filth! I saved these people and they had the nerve to rebel against me! The rebellion was short lived however, and I had them all taken prisoner. I do not yet wish to have war with my own people, so I will simply kill the leaders, beat the rest, and release them for now. I will not bend to them. My rule must be absolute. I must display my power to keep them in line. Still, I will spare them mercy this time, but should they do it again I shall have no mercy to spare.

Sunday 30th, Aestas Estas 352
This didn't seem to warn them sufficiently though. Once again, rebellions in several of the major cities have broken out like wild fires. The peasants have even joined forces with some of the Necromancers from the hills! What kind of fools are these people? I've taken more of the rebellion leaders prisoner and had planned to have them all killed. This offers me a chance to try out my new spells though. If they will not give me their loyalty in life, then I will have it in their death! I will accept nothing less than total loyalty. I will do anything possible to maintain the order and the peace. Hopefully these few sacrifices will serve as examples to the rest.

Tuesday 32nd, Aestas Estas 352
"Phoenix!" Jager burst into the room, "This is madness! What have you done to them?"
"They brought it on themselves, Jager," I began coldly, "They joined with the necromancers and rebelled against me! They seem to have forgotten that I rescued them from this fate. Maybe now they will remember! I used my power to free them, and I can use it to bind them too. They will serve me alive or dead, it is their choice."
"Phoenix," Jager began, "We won that long ago, if you stop this pointless war and rule in peace and put away these dark arts, then the people wouldn't rebel. You're bringing to pass the very things we fought to free them from! Can't you see that?!"
"So, you would rebel with them against me? You chose their side?" I questioned in anger. "My Lord, I have always been on your side, as am I now," Jager began. Explaining, "I do not wish for these rebellions any more than you do, but this is not the way to stop them. Please listen to me."
"And since when do you know how to rule an empire?" I quipped.
"If you remember, friend, the Empire was left in my name. I was not strong enough though to face the horrors that you have. I only wished to be left to my crafting."
"I remember," I said between clenched teeth, "I also remember that you were too weak, as you said. It is obvious that I know what is best for these people. They appointed me as ruler, just as you had asked of me back in Sylvan. I will rule as I see fit, and unless you wish to join these," he said pointing to the mindless skeletal remains of the rebel leaders with his Hammer, "Then I will not hear you question and insult me again." I said, motioning the guards to escort Jager from my presence. It is only because of the long history we shared that I tolerated his repeated insults. Jager was once my best friend, and could be again. If only he would shed his narrow outlook on life.

Friday 12th, Aestas Sero 352
It has been some time since I have written, but I've found occasion now record my thoughts. The rebellions have ceased for the time. They had claimed a city and made it their stronghold. It was a foolish move on their part: it made their extermination much easier having them gathered into once place. I've destroyed that city and everyone in it. I burnt it to the ground and salted the Earth as an example to any others wishing to follow in their rebellion. My Empire can not stand divided and therefore I have brought it once again into unity. After the display of my power, none will now dare to challenge me. Something else though has come back to the fore front of my mind. As I once again wield my Hammer in battle, the feeling of that powerful presence becomes stronger. I feel it still slowly drawing closer, and its power is immense! The feeling never leaves me, and I've often felt it during the day, but it seems strongest in the night just before I would sleep.


Monday 54th, Obdormio 352
It has been nearly two months since the last rebellion was crushed. I decided to make a Royal Journey through my lands so that the populace can gaze upon their powerful and benevolent ruler. I scarcely had made it past the boundaries of the city though before I received news of an attack on my lands. Within the first week this force had utterly destroyed my northern cities. Their strength and power are amazing and they field weird creatures upon the battlefield; giant monsters of Metal and Wood, belching forth gouts of steam and dark black smoke.  I've learned that they call themselves the Zod and that they have set forth into my lands in search of something. If I am to rule these lands then I can not let them be destroyed. I must put an end to their onslaught, but I must also lean the secret of their powers! Such great power must be mine as I am the only one who should rightfully have it. I need it: it is necessary to establish the greatness of my empire. I prepared my armies and marched north to meet them in glorious battle.

The first clash is upon us. I have brought my armies north and even now we stand upon a grassy plain. The Empire of Sosaria on one side, and the great mechanical behemoths on the other. Behind my forces the rising sun casts its Holy Light into the eyes of the enemy. I stand there, before the front lines; calm, composed, ready. As we wait for the approaching army to get within range of Knossos's arrows I tighten my grip upon the handle of my Hammer. Over time the faint Aura that it emits has grown stronger, such that even in broad daylight it can be seen from a distance; glowing a deep crimson red. As I opened myself to the Hammer and felt its power infuse me and mine it, I realized that it felt much stronger than ever before; almost as if it sensed the enemies in front of us. Like a wild thing it wiggled and squirmed, trying to bring itself to the enemies for slaughter. Grunting, I managed to keep it in my hands and forced it into submission. This caused it to glow ever brighter, nearly blindingly in fact.


The battle... the battle i should not speak of. not now at least. perhaps in the future. For now I am still trying to sort out what happened. Regardless,it has been a week since my victory over the Zod and nearly a year since I defeated the Dark Crusade, claiming leadership over the Woodlands. In all, my rise to power has been swift and my travels abroad much more fruitful than I could have ever imagined; as now the expanse of my Sosarian Empire is far greater than any Empire in history. But... I grow restless. I need return to the heart of My Empire, it has been without my influence for too long now, and I feel I need to let them know that I am still their ruler. I suspect I shall find a glorious welcome, but if they have forgotten me... if they will not submit to me and rightfully return my throne, then woe unto them all. I have learned that tolerance is weakness and only leads to disorder in an empire in the end. I will have no tolerance for those who do not submit to my rule. I will accept nothing short of total loyalty, in their life or by their death they will submit to me.

(OCC: Phew. that was a long story. Hope y'all enjoy!)