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The Old Lords

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The Old Lords

"Beyond this fragile coil, what awaits us?

There are those who once peered into the nascent dark within,

And sought to find the answers Men were denied."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MU5m8fJrvQ

 

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[ Credits to B3ast_Mod ]

 

Fear the Old Dark; that is the ancient adage which four souls had devised, come the time when the first land was consumed by a lightless Abyss. It is a saying that resonates with the deep, primal nature nestled within the bosoms of all mortals, and anchors those among them dregged with a particular hatred against the Gods. That adage, scrawled as a harbinging heading to vengeful scriptures, is the work of the four, very old Lords.

 

First, they were curseless Men, hailing as knights in the age when Horen reigned over those before the Humans. In their desperate search for a means to defeat the Betrayer that threatened to consume their homeland in the 30 Year War, they happened upon a device concocted by a timeless Dragaar, and teased out the means to use the shadow of Iblees against its master. From Iblees, they stole Necromancy; and with Necromancy, they blackened their relic, and brought upon themselves a most terrible first end.

 

But alike their inheritors ages onward, these primordial Humans rose as the First Wraiths. Unbound from their feeble forms and immune to the curse that would soon assail their kind, their hatred of the Daemon of Ruin soon spread to become an unfaltering malice to all whom would be known as Gods, Immortals, or Aengudaemons. With the dark within them unshackled, they knew what they had to do; they would cast out the Gods.

 

The Wraithsouls

 

Upon their reformation as Wraiths, the Old Lords were bequeathed a grand mortal power that turned their Superior Souls into dark "Wraithsouls". Wraithsouls are the most powerful of the dark descendant souls, and grant the bearer the capability to ascend to tremendous points of power. With the Wraithsouls, the four Old Lords carved their own paths, and achieved legendary things to prove to the Gods that Men were capable of much more than what their enfleshened forms displayed. Scorned by this fact, the Aengudaemons soon marked them as eternal enemies.

 

The Four

 

Each Lord came to embody an aspect that resonated with their eternal duties to outcast the Gods, and each Lord came to follow a story which led to the division of their singular, vengeful beliefs. In godless text, their names are not uttered for the sake of reverence, but in an older age each bore a name unlike that which they had in life. The time of their flesh is long passed, and with it, their true, mortal names.

 

Dhurzumkal

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[Credits to Henry Parsinia ]

 

Lord Dhurzumkal rose as the Lord of Embers. He is the only one among his kind to have retained the original mission of the First Wraiths -- to cast out the Gods from the mortal plane. The scriptures which Dhurzumkal heralds state that the Gods need not deserve destruction, but rather their influence must be banished from both the body and the mind so that the realm may repair itself and once more fall under the reign of Men.

 

It is from Dhurzumkal that the name "Xion" was first spoken, as a name given to the Abyss that lingers where Aegis once stood. Like two of his brethren, but unlike one other, he fled the mainland and abstained from entering the portal into the Verge so that he could behold the perilous battle that took place upon the land that Iblees desecrated with his fire. He once said to a single devout follower, that the struggle between the Daemon of Ruin and the Caretaker of Souls was so devastating and bright that it was blinding, and thus forced Dhurzumkal to retreat into the gloaming darkness of a remote cavern, located within the now-ruined land of Athera.

 

Before the time came when the land was again populated by the Descendants, and then brought low to destruction by the Old God Feldamfir, the Daemonic flames that scorched Aegis during its collapse followed the Old Lord into the depths, and it is there that they assailed him, and sought to burn his being away. But the strength of Dhurzumkal's Wraithsoul denied the flame the ruin it sought to inflict, and thus he was fated to burn for an eternity. To his devout pupil, he explained that the flame which gnaws at him is a cursed essence that only devours Men. It is the resplendent Lifeforce within Dhurzumkal that this blighted fire so vicious sought, and so with so much to spare, the Old Lord could not be so easily burnt away.

 

So like ages before, Dhurzumkal usurped the deific nature of the flames upon him, and fused his quintessence with it to become an everlasting, sentient pyre. There, trapped within the depths of crumbling earth, remnants of ancient Dwarves that still inhabited Athera even after the destruction of Aegis found him and trapped him behind a great runic door. It is from these Dwed that the name Dhurzumkal - "Demon of Fire" - was conceived. That is the only name he can remember being given to him, even if in spite.

 

In yore, Dhurzumkal was a pupil of the Old God, Widukind. Widukind, who bore the power of foresight, was capable of peering through time; in his dreams he could witness the threads of time fabricate the likely image of the future, and at the same time he could pick through the petrified visions of distant past. With the power of flame, Dhurzumkal achieved the same means as his old master, but used it instead to dream upon the nature of the cosm beyond.

 

Malkaathe

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[ Credits to OEVRLORD ]

 

Though he retained the original design of their mission in the beginning, Malkaathe, the Lord of the Abyss, was the first to suggest that the Old Lords spite the Gods. As the unofficial "leader" of his kind, Malkaathe incited the influence of his brethren among the clans of descendants that scattered across the world after the 30 Year War and caused an old, though long-forgotten hatred against deific presence to take root in their various, now dead cultures. Among these forgotten tribes are the Vaiker, whom upon being gifted the Old Truths of the Old Lords broke away from their brethren, the Esheveurd, and soon after waged a great and terrible war against them over the right to hold relics empowered by the Sun.

 

When the battle between Aeriel and Iblees came, Malkaathe did not flee, but rather sought to meet the two upon the battlefield. Yet his Wraithsoul did not enable him to match the power of Godhood, even if made corporeal upon mortal ground, and thus when Aegis collapsed into the Abyss, Malkaathe fell with it -- all the way to the very bottom.

 

It is there that Malkaathe awoke to behold the desolate, lightless remains of the land where the Descendants converged together and lived in relative harmony. Such deep, mortal emotion took hold of the Old Lord's soul that he screamed in agony for ten days and ten nights; emitting a searing, painful cry that matched the shifting of mountains and the death knells of a thousand innocent souls. When he could not bring himself to scream anylonger, a hatred deeper than that of the other Lords took root within him, and made his Wraithsoul blacker than any other spirit which may inhabit the makings of a being - mortal or no. He knew what he had to do; Malkaathe would destroy the Gods.

But before that time came, he had to tend to the ill grave that now dwelt in place of old Aegis. From the ruins of the towers of Aemon and Daemon he fashioned together a throne, placed before the deepest point of the Abyss, where the broken-open entrance to the long-burning Nether gaped.

 

There, upon his throne, Malkaathe proclaimed himself Lord of the Abyss. Though he did not fashion himself a monarch, or corralled the Abyss-tainted undead that soon rose from the ashes of the once-was to form a force, he attained such an influence over the lightless realm that he became one with the Abyss, and thus achieved a form of dominance over it that matched that of the Aengudaemons in their incorporeal planes, far away from the mortal world.

 

Through the ages he came to witness many vile things stir within the depths which he protected, and many souls descend into the depths either by their own will or another's. Mordring, the Lord of the Morning, who had been the one to fashion the relic from which the Old Lords gained the means to steal Necromancy, is said to have plummeted into the Abyss upon awakening to its visage, but failed to die upon colliding with the bottom. The Dark Lord lured the broken Dragaar from the Aengul-like nature which he once harbored, and taught him all that he knew, so that the Dragaar could preserve himself through Lichdom and then act as the guardian of the Sunless Sanctum; the ash-laden ruins of Aegis' timeless Cloud Temple.

 

The most devout of Malkaathe's followers, who still bear their mortal sentience even after undeath, utter tales of what the Lord of the Abyss toils upon in the depths of the deepest chasms. They resonate with their Lord's stirring, peculiarly mortal emotions, and piece together his motives through these understandings; a nostalgic effort to carve a new world into the face of stone, and the desperate, fearful attempts to keep the first soul to die from awakening, and consuming the world beyond the Abyss.

 

Brandh

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[ Credits to SymphonyP ]

 

The Lord of Oaks is known in scripture as the most peaceful of his kind. Indeed; from the point of reawakening up until this very day, he was the only one among the Old Lords to be spared a tragedy-riddled fate, and thus roams the lands in the shadow of the Descendants, seeking to act as their guardian and leave behind messages upon lands left desolate by the land-faring mortals. It is from the Old Lord Brandh that the Weirhents came to rise in ancient times, and from the Weirhents, a pacifist's form of godless vengence.

 

From Brandh, the Druid-like Weirhents, who were taught the means of Lifeforce Manipulation in order to nurture the living world through self-sacrifice, preached to the peoples that would have them and acted as wisemen and powerful seers. They taught that the concurrent design of the Descendants is flawed, and that in the beginning, all was well within them, for the original race of "Men" which all mortal races descended from reveled in the natural darkness that inhabited their souls. Without the curses of Iblees, Men were unified and singular, and held reign over the corporeal plane through four monarchs known as the Four Brothers.

 

It is the eternal duty of Brandh, and the Weirhents hailed from him, to discern the means to break the curses and restore mortal unity. That is how the Lord of Oaks sought to spite the Gods - to show them that their blessings and illusions of granduer were not needed, and that by relinquishing the light of Immortals, Men could again regain their natural darkness and achieve dominance upon their native world as its sole rulers. Through this, the Weirhents and all followers of the Way of Oaks were demanded to display rigorous self-restraint; that even in the face of the enemy, they would show that peace can be retained and without a single drop of blood spilled can grievous errors be amended.

 

Though this pacifism is not so dearly found within the Lord of Oaks himself. In his time tailing the Descendants and watching for cosmic threats, Brandh became a slayer of Dragons, a hunter of abominations from the Abyss, and even a foe to mortals who would ignore his wisdom and instead face him with the blade. Every last one of them were felled by the strength of his greatbow, and their remains respectfully cast into the depths of the earth, where the Old Lord believes their sins may fade through nurturing the wounded world's soil.

 

The Nameless Lord

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[ Credits to Sarah--AS ]

 

Little is known of the Nameless Lord beyond the designs of his doctrines, much befitting to the title which he was given after his trek to the Cold North. Long before the Abyss came to be, the Nameless Lord departed from his brethren, much to their displeasure, and sought to establish a bastion of mortal godlessness in a cold land abstinent of deific light. In this land, north of where Aegis once stood, the Nameless Lord forged a kingdom. The land which this kingdom stood upon was named Geidleth.

 

Through the domination of the squabbling tribes there, the Nameless Lord became a monarch, and with mercy rarely seen from his kind those that he called his foes became his subjects, for they were inspired by the Old Lord's willpower and desire for mortal unity. The kingdom upon Geidleth grew and grew, encompassing almost an entirety of the northern land, and was fated to flourish as long as the Nameless Lord ruled; and without the means to die, he would rule forever.

 

He was the first to converge upon the very real reality of truly defying the Gods with his achievements. Soon his power became so great that the Aenguls took notice of this and were tainted by a fear of what would come, should the kingdom upon Geidleth spread beyond the frigid north. So it is said that the Aengul of Lordship came down to battle the Old Lord, but was matched; and so through self-sacrifice, defeated the Nameless Lord at the cost of his own godhood. Wraithsoul and Godsoul became one, and were bound to the throne which the Old Lord ruled from for ages.

 

In his time of need, the unnamed Aengul of Lordship called upon the Aengul of Fate, known as Eshtael, for the means to prevent the kingdom upon Geidleth's growth come his failure to defeat the Old Lord. Eshtael harkened his bidding and cast a curse upon the kingdom; wiping away its memory from the minds of its denizens and scorching the text from every scripture written by the land's proud scribes. It is said upon inscriptions of stone that survived the kingdom's fall that these scribes, cursed with this forgetfulness, screamed the memory of their merciful lord in an attempt to retain memory of it, and through their cries retained enough of a recollection to enscribe portions of the kingdom's design upon pageless stoneface.

 

So it is said upon these carved texts that the battle between God and Man took place upon the very moment when Aegis was consumed by the Abyss, far to the south, and the battle waged between them was so furious that brought ruin to the kingdom upon Geidleth, and incited a frigid corruption upon it that resonated deeply with the stagnation found within the Abyssal realm. The Lifeforce woven into the earth was made still and unflowing, and drifted into the skies, where it would blot out the sun until the end of days.

 

The kingdom upon Geidleth, brought to ruin, became a bastion of undead. Ages onward, both mindless and sentient undead would corral there through what is known as the Harkening, where each would fight and suffer and scorn one-another in desperate attempt to claim the throne which the Nameless Lord once ruled from. Those that seek Geidleth are said to be driven by the remnants of the fallen Old Lord's dream; to fashion a kingdom of Men, so that they may conquer the world, and then forever wage war against the Gods.

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