Land In Revolt Introduction
The wind blows slowly across the barren landscape. Dust and rock are carried helplessly through the air. These harsh environs welcome little in the way of life save the occasional sun-scorched brush. A lone figure staggers aimlessly leaving what seems like miles of footprints behind. Their movements are labored; every step takes great effort. As the view draws closer, our weary traveler is revealed to be a dwarf. His long gray beard is caked in sweat and filth. His skin is peeled and sunburned. His lips are cracked and dry like the ground upon which he trudges. The vacant look in his eyes mirrors his raiment; he wears nothing more than a ragged loincloth with tattered linens loosely wrapped around his feet. He is a truly pitiful sight. His ongoing agony is easily observed as he robotically shuffles along. The dwarf’s empty gaze fixates on the ground before him due to a lack of sufficient strength to raise his head. Sand, pebble, pebble, more sand, pebble; the scenery never changes… until now. Cast upon the grains before him is the edge of shadow. His eyes widen slightly as he stops shambling to slowly shift his view upwards. It’s difficult to focus at first – the sun shines so brightly this time of day. Eventually the fellow’s shape unblurs revealing the lanky rogue standing before him. With a crooked smirk, the stranger speaks to the haggard dwarf.
“Havin’ a nice walk are we? Lovely view you’ve got ‘ere. Well, you are a ‘ard person to get a ‘old of aren’t ya? Can’t say I’m too impressed neither. Ah, well. Time to take a trip my little friend. Let’s say we just do this the easy way alright?” As he utters this last part, he deliberately unsnaps the clasp around the hilt of a finely crafted dagger. “I’ve got some blokes who are just dyin’ to meet ya… your ‘ighness…”
The view pulls back high above the two figures. Passing through miles of clouds it begins to return to the world below. It passes through the walls of a truly impressive structure – the renowned Temple of Light in Wyldshire. A high priest is conducting services to a gathering of clerics. Raising his arms high he addresses his flock who kneel before the ornate pulpit from whence he addresses them.
“Brothers! Humble servants to the Light, I stand before you today with great anticipation in my heart. The Light shines so brightly upon our order that it burns my very insides. Every day our Exalted Protector speaks his word to me so that I may share it with all Majerians. And I tell you, Brothers, his message is clear. We are called upon to be the greatest Beacons this world has seen; to shine brighter than the sun itself. Majeria lacks guidance, Bothers, and we are tasked to lead. Only we can purify the land the way the Light asks…no, DEMANDS us to do so. And we will, oh how we will. We shall bring true cleansing to the people, Brothers. In fact, we have already begun to do so by sending one of our brightest out to serve. So pray with me now. Pray that he accomplishes all that is asked of him so we may entrench the Tenets of the Light.”
He points to a picture upon the altar and as he does so the group begins to furiously chant. The image shows a man, a cleric like themselves. He kneels, looking to the skies above with great penitence in his eyes. A placard adorns the bottom of the frame. Inscribed upon it is one word: Santos.
The view pulls back from the congregation traveling rapidly along the ground through villages, forests and large bodies of water. It settles upon two figures standing before an opening leading into unknown depths below the surface. Staring down the opening the Halfling turns to the large man on his left.
“How much longer ‘til they’ve got the rubble cleared?” The man answers, “Not really sure, Chief. There’s no way of telling how far it goes into the first landing.” As they discuss the passageway, sounds of metal against rock are heard made by the work team inside. “Well I want it done as soon as possible, Gor. The longer we take the more parasites I have to keep away from it. I’m getting exhausted killing so many fools on a weekly basis. Speaking of fools, what have you turned up on my favorite poet?” “Nothing yet,” replies Gor, “but I’ve got Mearis on it. In a struck of good luck, however, he did get a lead on the do-gooder.” “Fantastic,” the Halfling says wryly. “You tell that faceless wonder he better put a spring in his step and finish the job. I want that Bard’s tongue for a paperweight and my cloak back from that meddler… with his head attached to it.”
Gor nods and both men turn their attention back towards the opening.
The view moves over the backs of the two and plunges into the subterranean portal. It moves past a train of exhausted diggers further and further into the darkness eventually emerging inside a cobble-stoned laboratory of some sort. Strange machines adorn the walls littered with brightly colored knobs and switches. Tubes run into numerous openings filled with a continuously-pumping black, viscous liquid. From one of the largest machines a collection of these tubes trail their way into the back of an arched figure seated in the center of the room. The figure pants heavily and raises a gnarled, decaying hand to his eyes. He methodically flexes his fingers and observes their motion in great detail.
“This will do… for now,” he utters in a raspy voice. “And end to a means, though. It compares nothing to the glory of my rebirth. That time approaches quickly. I must prepare for my reunion with my son.”
The view shifts and reveals the speaker’s face. Its visage is horror incarnate; necrotic flesh stretched impossibly across a gnarled skeletal face. Exposed sinews writhe as the monster laboriously breathes. It rolls its bloodshot eyes to the sky and whispers, “My sssssonnnnnnnnn…”
The view follows the aberration’s gaze upward and out of the tower. It pierces the cloud-line once more. Night has fallen on Majeria and the stars burn in the sky. It hurries across the world, over countless towns and cities. It finally decides upon one of them and heads earthward. In the middle of an expansive city lies an inn – The Barge Wright Inn. This usually quiet building is anything but at the moment for within its walls, unbridled chaos erupts…