They had loved their home, fought hard against it’s creatures to secure their safety. But tragedy would befall the ashen kin in their attempts to hide from the eyes of the world from the stout men of stone this time oddly enough. But of course Onyx would endure and move on to greener pastures so to speak, homelier caves perhaps more apt. But they would huddle in their cool cavern’s freshly opened brewery this night to tell the tale of what came after. They sat at various tables and in smoking pits before the weary elder as he thumbed at the bowl his crystalline pipe. A few sat in a pit taking turns with their guitars, lutes, and drums, passing a hooka’s hose back and forth. Dak’ir let out a raspy half cough half laugh as he looked around the room.
“How lucky we are, perhaps favored even…”
The weary shaman shifted in his seat before the the great wall mural of the tavern. The image of a great, weaving pitch black lurker risen in a defiant rear against a carved image of Arganos the Festive as he faced the great monstrosity in elder times. A great blue crystal in one hand and a bow in the other as he faced Magarah’lin’s menace and brought it low. In his and Votar’s names the sons and daughters of Onyx strived to honor them in a similar matter within their previous high hollows of the north. Dak’ir would light his refreshed pipe with the candle at his table, watching it glow as he seemed to soak the moment in before looking back to his audience and began to paint his picture.
“As many of you were already aware, far below our old hollow there was an infestation of lurkers in an abandoned mineshaft. We’d had several incursions to their den previously to hunt the larger ones that would skitter their way up our cliff face that led into our Sanctum. We’d planned on asking the dwed for aid, before the time they had discovered us. After.. Well. We’re all already tired of talking about the dwed, hm?” The old ‘Ker chuckled to himself a moment. “But I knew that day we’d have to cover our tracks properly, make a ruckus that would distract anyone who came to our now abandoned home. While all of you back in our home gathered up your belongings for the caravan we had went for one final hunt to the mineshaft.” As the old shaman said this he’d turned his gaze to Daichia and his clan who’d gathered around the bar. The young patriarch smiled back to Dak’ir and he raised his pipe back in salute. “We knew taking out the brood mother was next to impossible without very heavy ordinance. No this night was meant purely to kick the hornet’s nest so to speak. The Lurkers had covered the entrance with more gravel, digging deeper nests no doubt, but with enough Jusmia firework powder stuffed into the entrance of the shaft we knew we’d make our mark. Admittedly the aim was to slay the brood mother for our own prize and hope that the result would cause a spread of new nests. And while I’m sure the latter has happened, the former far less so. With a little too much powder packed and perhaps some gas from within the mine itself we watched the entrance blow open from nearby cover in a kaleidoscope display of colors… Before the horrors came screeching forth aflame. The mother ploughing her way through the remains of the entrance with her full brood in tow. They blanketed the cavern’s great walls to run and hide for new cover, trying to escape the colored flame stuck to their backs. We turned tail as soon as she broke through, we knew something was wrong. The walls began to split and crack and the swarm began to turn their wrath upon us as great stones fell, threatening to bring the whole under realm upon us. But as we swung and fled these very stones fell and crushed that which opposed us. Avalanches of gravel and massive boulders falling all around us. As if Bregthar himself had heard our calls for protection and had been watching over our small hunting band. How blessed we may not even realize we are… After we gained some breathing room we’d flee straight home to the Sanctum to get upon our own mounts and meet you all within Ghroza’s Respite, our first sanctuary when we left the madness of Vira’ker.”
“Once we regrouped we set out southward to the shores of the wildlands. Daichia and his clansmen had gone there in the previous weeks to assemble our escape. Beautiful longships carved from the towering pines of the northern forests, truly nothing beyond the Jusmia craft, turned over and covered by the boughs of the trees that were used to form them until the time came. We came to the shores and quickly uncovered our transports before turning them over and assembling their sails. Pushing us into the chilling sea we climbed aboard and loaded our disassembling caravan. Soon our sails were dropped and the night’s wind carried them into the open seas. We of course made sure to pass the hollow city of Vira’ker, to pay homage to our first home in this land and to Prince Avurak... After letting the currents take us far enough away they soon set a course eastward towards the warm breeze. Beyond the decaying Hou-zi village our ships split the golden sands of the southern jungles and Luara’s children began to move inland. Her vigil had finally come to it’s end and Aztran’s crown began to pierce the opposite horizon. Myself, Daichia, and Inara led our people to a great hollow we’d found in their previous hunts. We knew it would be a refuge even all that time ago, as history follows for our people.”
”We’d turned our little hollow into the Onyx Vault and soon made it our home. As always shrines and totems came and reverence spread. A lost fortress claimed for Onyx veneration. We’d saved souls from Sutica, Asimu'lei, even feral kin and anyone else our priests could find. All were taken in to learn the Old Ways and the enlightening path of the Spirits and our Ancestors. Our people were rising once again. Within the shadows and within the light as well. North of the Vault the nation of Renalia had strived to bring our kin to light and form a strong nation after the fall of Vira’ker, they had formed alliances with our cousins and were on the way to securing an ashen domain and embracing the eldered lost ways of the Maehr. We struck an easy friendship with these ‘Ker of their new Golden Way. Together in unity we crowned a King, one sworn under the Ancestors and Spirits alike. In unity we gather once again for the first time since our arrival to this world and our breaking at the hands of the humans. Now, in unity, we lash back at those that sought to oppress and diminish us. Within this hollow we begin anew, but shall remember our trials and take pilgrimage to the Vault as well as our other holy sites. Lûp Luara, lûp Kor! Let the Lunar Dawn rise!” The Primarch rose from his seat, his staff his high over his head as he let a yell loose and his fellow ‘Ker jumped from this seats to roar in return. They’d all toast and continue the merriment of the night and the Primarch made his way outside to the balcony, a trail of smoke seeming to follow him. Letting a relieved sigh loose before he took in a deep breath of the hot air coming from the molten lake. “Home… I hope we have made you all proud.” He would say to himself.