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by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:54 PM
The truth behind what happened when Temujin Singh was sent to parlay with the Order of the Black Lotus has long been lost to time. All that remains is the legend, and the legend goes as follows:

As Temujin made his way to the Order’s Temple, a monk from the Order walked by the master. Some believe that the Order was not happy to share its secrets with the Kabal and that this monk was one of those dissenters. Others think it was an assassin sent to kill Temujin’s superior officers that waited in the camp outside the walls of the Order’s guild hall. Either way the monk was soon dead, slew by Temujin’s daggers and cut to ribbons before the monk even hit the ground.

Then and there Temujin demanded an apology from the Order for this act of treachery. The Order refused, and so began what would become the final stand of the Black Lotus. Before the Kabal could react, Temujin had single handedly slew the entire temple. While he did return with the ancient tomes the Kabal needed to complete their missions, it was decided that Temujin’s actions had finally gone too far.

And so it came to pass that Temujin Singh finally lost favor with the Kabal, his ways to brutal, his talents uncontrollable. But instead of being forced to leave the Kabal, Temujin was given the chance to retire. He moved to the snowy peaks of Cantha, to spend the rest of his days in silent meditation and training prospective students…students the Kabal hopes would be more inline with their ways than their master.

Sadly that never came to past, for while countless men and women challenged the mountain to Temujin’s temple, few ever completed the journey and of the scant few who made it to the top, all were turned away broken and beaten by Temujin’s tests. Defeated by the failure of all who approached him, Temujin returned to his temple to meditate.

A century passed, and Temujin persevered. No one knows exactly how he survived. Stories tell of a secret elixir vitae he discovered in his journeys that prolonged his life. Others said his mastery of meditation and the martial arts keep his mind and body strong far beyond the life of a normal man. Others say Temujin was no mortal, but a supernatural being, a dread ghost locked away in the top of his temple. And few others surmised that Temujin subsisted on his own hatred of a world that never met his expectations, existing on out of spite for his former masters.

No matter the cause, as he waited the world changed. The Ancient Dragons once again rose from the depth of the earth and unleashed their terror on the lands. The country of Cantha was unified under the rule of a new emperor and the lands were purged of non human races. Lion’s arch flooded and Orr rose from the oceans. And still…Temujin waited.

And on the 235th year of his exile, a sound disturbed Temujin from his meditation…the sound of small feet on his cobblestone path. The doors to the temple opened and there before Temujin stood an Asura….

It was a strange creature, short of stature, ashen in complexion, black eyes, long ears that rivaled any rabbit he had ever seen. He looked down on the creature unimpressed by his visitor. With a wave of his hand he asked the little creature to leave. But the Asura refused! He had heard stories of the old man on his mountain and the deadly arts that dwelled in the cobwebs of his mind. He had traveled across the oceans, fighting both corsair and undead legion to escape Tyria. He circumvented the Canthan navy to break their isolation and make it too long. From there he followed the legends and climbed the great mountain. He had done it all! And he would not be denied his chance to learn from the master.

Temujin stopped and found himself impressed with this little creature. Unlike his other suitors, this creature stood tall, not broken by the mountain. He did not flinch in his presence and stood up to him when he tried to deny him. There was only one thing left to do.

In a flash Temujin pulled his ancient daggers from the arms of his robes and charged at the small creature. In a flash the creature was gone, a capable assassin in his own right. For hours the contest continued flashes of purple smoke and the pungent smell of the shadow arts filling the air as the two met each other move for move. As time passed age caught up with Temujin as he began to slow, the small Asura saw his chance and charged in….only to find that Singh was not tired at all but testing his opponent. With a deft move the master unarmed his opponent and tossed him to the ground. In over two centuries he remained victorious.

But unlike the countless students who came before him, Temujin did not send him away. What that Asura showed Temujin that day, no one knows. Some say that the years of solitude may have simply made him lonely enough to finally accept a student or that Temujin was so consumed with his own talents that only an Asura could ever hope to match him. Either way he was impressed with the creature’s determination. And so the Asura became the student of the most dangerous assassin to walk the earth.

For five years the Asura trained under his master, tortured in ways no asura or man should be tortured, pushed past the limits of any moral creature. By the time Temujin was through with the creature, it was perfect. He moved as if one with the shadows and delivered a killing blow that could fell a creature ten times his size. His fists could turn stone to ash and his eyes saw the dance of battled countless moves ahead of any opponent.

Temujin sent his perfect weapon into the world, and he came back victorious, defeating all who opposed him, toppling empires and changing the face of Cantha in ways no one could ever truly understand unless they were too in league with the shadows.

But when the Asura returned, he found his master on his death bed…his years of cheating death finally over. There Temujin gave the small creature his daggers, the last of his lessons to his student.

And there Temujin died, and the Asura took on a new name…Singh.
by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:45 PM
“Volcanic glass… does such wonders for the feet…” Jerek said as he kicked a large shard of obsidian from the bottom of his foot. “Better be glad I prefer not wearing shoes.”

He looked across the desolate fire islands. For generations these lands have remained burned and cracked, covered in the lava that constantly spewed from the earth below. The Char once claimed this land was the home of their gods, the Titans, great beings of fire that once almost brought about the doom of the entire world. They were both there that day, fighting to cast the Titans back to the depths whence they came. No home could be better.

“Getting soft on me, or just old?” She said to her old friend, a spot of light in a dark blighted place, her feet equally bare. The years have always been kind to Hermana, her hair still done up in the braids of Jerek first met her with. He never understood her fascination with that style, but it worked. It wouldn’t be hard to mistake her for one of the Kabal’s newer recruits if one was foolish enough not to recognize Hermana Eve, the preeminent healer of her generation and highest ranking of the Kabal’s many agents.

“Bah, been old for a long time now. Give me a few more years on the soft part.” Jerek said as he stroked the streak of silver that had begun to show in his dark hair. He blew the shuck of hair out of his eyes as he watched Hermana survey the island. It had been a long time since she had shown this much concern. It has been a long time since either had to show concern at all. The wars that once ravaged Tyria had long since faded from time. The countless foes thrown back by the Kabal and their actions were now merely stories told to children.

For years Hermana had been nothing more than a simple monk, healing the weak and weary both in mind and soul. Jerek would visit her from time to time, seeing if the years of peace had eaten away at her as much as he. But rarely did she ever show much concern, offering only a snide remark anytime Jerek brought up the ‘good ole days.’ He always returned them in kind. Antagonism was always their trade.

But that had changed once Hermana decided to leave the monastery. For years she had trained the next generation of healers in her arts, many of her techniques secret even to the members of the Kabal. One day, she simply stopped and packed her bags. Something had shaken her from her work, a job well done. Now her focus shifted to her family. Some dark feeling that if she didn’t leave the monastery now, she may never see her sisters again.

They were a strange occurrence in the Kabal, the sisters Eve. Never had three members of the same family been chosen so closely together and shown such great promise and ability. Eve of Earth, as she was called, was the eldest of the tree, a brash and powerful elementalist whose powers shook the very land she was named for. Hermana was the middle child, a legendary healer whose metal was tested during the Char invasion that took the life of her brother and led her into the armies of the Kabal. Youngest of the trio was Alma, who followed in Hermana’s in foot steps and become a renowned ritualist studying the rifts and its connection to the world beyond.
But as with all families so talented, animosity would arise between the sister and their fights would lead them to separate, sometimes for years, before they searched each other out again. In the end it was always Hermana’s duty to bring the sisters together, and now her duty called.

The pair ventured deeper into the fire islands, the inhospitable environment scaring off most of the younger members of their squad, but for Hermana and Jerek this was ground crossed more times than they could remember. The great pillars of basalt and black glass reach far into the sky as they delved deeper into the island, the great river of lava still burning as brightly as they had since time immaterial. The only thing leading them a sisters intuition.

There in the heart of the island they found it, darker than even the black glass that surrounded them, the bottomless void of some long forgotten portal to another world. Jerek reached his hand out, the energy from the dark abyss causing a cold sensation to the very pit of his stomach. Hermana finished his sentence before he could utter it.

“This is a Torment Portal.”

Jerek lowered his hand as he continued to study the tear in space. “Think we can seal it?”

“I wouldn’t know where to begin; the rifts were always Alma’s specialty.”

“We need to hurry! If anything’s escaped through this thing…”

Like the words of some incantation brought to life, the screams of Jerek and Hermana’s men echoed through the obsidian crevice. Running as fast as they could, they were met only with horror. Before them to bodies of their men, slain, tattered and burned before them, stretched across the island. They had both seen this kind of carnage before, the memories of the titans coursed through their minds as they followed the trail of bodies farther into the uncharted desolation.

The trail of bodies soon faded as the talons of the Titan’s claws now took over, leaving burning gashes in the ground and walls of the volcanic valleys. They continued in, ready for whatever may come; their path leading to the precipice of the one of the island’s great volcanoes. And there the trail ended.

The pair scanned the edge of the volcano, the great pool of lava stretching off to the edge of the island, pouring into the ocean and giving life to the new stretch of land before it. Hermana gritted her teeth as she looking for a sign of anything, her men, the monster…her sister.

Before they could react the great sea of lava burst forth, the flaming maw of the titan gashing as it drew closer to Hermana and Jerek. With lightning reflexes, Jerek threw up a shield spell, driving back the monster. Instinctively Hermana focused her mana, sending a bolt of holy light at their foe, cleaving a burning chunk of the monster flesh from its shoulder.

With a great heave the Titan brought its full body against Jerek’s shield, breaking the magical barrier and sending both Jerek and Hermana down the side of the volcano. Grasping for a jut of rock, with one hand Hermana stopped their plummet to the jagged stones below them, her other hand grasping the neck of Jerek’s armor. Whatever strength the gods gave Hermana’s small frame that day no one knows, but with one arm she was able to swing Jerek to the side of the cliff to help him secure a grasp to the cliff’s edge.

Above them the Titan loomed, tossing whatever loose boulder it could find to strike at its foes, but the jut of rock his Hermana and Jerek form its flaming eyes. Satisfied with its victory, the titan turned to its true business.

Raising its hands high, speaking in a voice unheard of on this earth in millennia, the creature uttered is forgotten chant before the sea of lava. The pool of flame began to stir, the magma becoming a whirlpool as the spell continued on. Above the pool darkness grew from nothing and the dark realm of torment began to poor from a new rift torn the very fabric of reality itself. Jerek and Hermana climbed the cliff as fast as they could, their effort useless to close the coming chaos.

Suddenly, the Titan stopped, its focus broken by a shadow across the pool. Floating on a hardened block of lava stood the one person who could stop the titan, and the one person who they had searched so long for, Eve of Earth. “I don’t take kindly to the way you’ve treated my sister monster!”

With a wave of her hand, the lava was alive to her whim as a wave of magma drew Earth’s platform towards the Titan. With a blood curdling yell, the Monster was upon her, leaping into the burning fray.

Jerek pulled Hermana up from the edge of the cliff as they both watched in awe the battle before them, the very fire islands themselves raising up to do battle with itself, struggled in the power of it’s two masters, the demon raised form the real of torment and the most powerful pyromancer in over a generation.

Waves of glass and fire crashed into walls of obsidian as they battled back and forth, shattering against their equal skills. On and on they fought, the lands around them crumbling into fire as the Torment portal above them struggled and flickered into and out of existence.

With a mighty pillar of stone Eve of Earth crushed the titan into the volcanic floor, its body shattering into sea of ash. But Titans are not easily killed, from the body of the ashes rose the hand and fist of the titan, demonic minions risen from the corpse of their master. Before Eve could recover, the hands of the titan were on her, burning her flesh with pyroclastic hands. Dragging her back to the middle of the lava pool.

Eve and Jerek jumped into action following their stricken friend into the lava, jumping from stone to stone as they crossed the fire pool, using their protective prayers to stave off the heat. There they stood as the titan’s minions held Eve of Earth high above the torment portal, their voices completing the chant their previous from could not finish.

Channeling their powers, Jerek and Hermana released all their holy might upon the waiting fiends, shattering their body and casting their ashes to the wind, never to regain form again.

But as the light from their attacked settled, the deed had already been completed, the portal was gone and so was Eve of Earth. Eve stood before the rift as it began to close before her, tears in her eyes as the darkness once again faded before her and Jerek.

Jerek rested her hand on Hermana’s shoulder as she looked up in disbelief at the new found sky.

“Hermana, I’m so sorry…”

But Hermana was in her own world, trying to figure out the puzzle that lay before her.

“It can’t end like this! It won’t… Alma! She can open it!”

“The Kabal will never let you do it! It’s too dangerous.”

‘They won’t know about it…who’s left to tell them?”

Deep in Arbor Bay lies the refuge of Ventari; an elderly Centaur that watches a strange seed as it slowly grows into maturity. The land there is a sanctuary for those weary of the world, tired of the constant battles that have taken the life of friends and family, a warm light in a dark time.

Amid the sanctuary’s many refugees is Alma, the third sister of Eve. For years she had lived in the jungle, free of the worries of the Kabal’s machinations, tired of the shadow games and deceptions she felt were unneeded to save the world. Long ago did she seal away her ritualist effects, though her eyes still see far beyond that of any mortal. Now she enjoys her time as a farmer, turning swamp to farmland and tending to Ventari’s beacon of hope.

That day Alma tended the crops as she did from day to day, pulling the weeds the filled the rice beds and assisting the elderly with their heavy loads, but on that day something was different.

Rising from the muck, Alma stool silent, the voices of the spirit world speaking to her in ways they haven’t done in years. Something was coming for her. Her daughter Sangre noticed as well, clutching the side of her shawl, watching as the strangers behind them drew closer. Sangre’s eyes were an unnatural amber and her long hair was a yellow/green plant-like color, some say it was a result of being born and raised in the sanctuary, a mark from the strange seed that grew in their midst…a sign of things to come…

Coolly Alma stood in the rays of sunlight that cut through the jungle canopy. With a smile to herself she acknowledged the footsteps growing louder as they made their way through the rice flats.

“Hello Hermana…. Is that Jerek with you?”

The footsteps stopped as Alma turned to meet them, knee deep in the mucky waters of the rice bed. She still had the childlike smile of the youngest sister, impressed that she was still strong with the realms beyond after all these year.

“Hermana!” Sangre yelped as she ran to her aunt, leaping into her arms. Hermana lifted the child in her arms and swung her around as they both laughed in the mud.

Alma smiled as her sister and child played, but the smile soon left when Alma looked into Hermana’s eyes.

Into the night they talked as Jerek waited outside Alma’s hut, keeping watch instinctively even though no threat would be found here. He leaned against the heavy thatch siding, only the faintest of the conversation breaking through, Sangre asleep beside him.

“What you’re asking for is dangerous, I wouldn’t have attempted it even when I was younger and still in practice!”

“If there’s even a chance she’s still alive we have to do something.”

“It’s against everything we’ve been taught Hermana!”

“What does it matter to you? You left the Kabal a long time ago.”

On and on they debated, as Jerek slowly drifted to sleep under the clear night sky, the light form the seedling soothing him to rest.

The next day began with the stab of a sharp stick in his kidney. Jerek was up in a shot, the two sisters standing over him, Sangre holding the branch of a near by tree, Alma looking over her shoulder quizzically.

“You’ve been poking him for the last ten minutes. He start drinking again?”

“When did he stop?” Hermana answered as she took the stick from Sangre, preparing for another poke.

With a snap, Jerek jerked the stick from Hermana’s hand and tossed it into the near by swamp.

“What? You two get tired of fighting with each other?”

“It is more fun fighting with you.” Hermana retorted.

Jerek staggered to his feet, still half asleep, “As it should be, now what’s the plan?”

Alma left Sangre with the other refugees, what would happen next was not for a child to see. From the refuge Alma lead Jerek and Hermana into the jungle, beyond the lands tamed by the Arsua and farther still.

Deep into the Maguma jungle they traveled until they reached a long forgotten temple. Legend tells that the drunken Saul D'Alessio once stumbled into this land, and there he found The Mursaat. While officially retired of her duties as a Ritualist, Alma still came to this temple from time to time studying the carvings and record she could recover, learning the secrets of the Mursaats’ ability to travel between worlds.

As they approached the temple, an arrow shot from the woods, sticking in the arch of the door way. In a flash the trio turned, ready for battle but only finding friends.

“Do have any clue how hard it was to track you guys through this forsaken place?” Andrew Greenwalt said a bow in his hand as he struggled to remove a clinging vine from the collar of his long coat, his brown hair dashed with silver and pulled back by his tattered old bandana.

‘Ha! Ando, you’ve going gray on us!” Jerek chuckled as he pointed to Andrew’s hair.

“Big words coming from you, skunk stripe!”

“Well for me it looks dignified.”

“Keep telling your self that, you’re going to need all the help you can get once the Kabal gets their hands on you.” From behind Andrew the ghostly presence of the man known as Cruel of Angles followed, a great dervish tall and dark, his face obscured by the hood of his robes, his scythe strapped across his back.

“They’re looking every where for you. You have a lot of explaining to do… all of you.” Cruel said as his cold stare moved from Jerek to Hermana.

“This is personal, Cruel.” Hermana retorted. “If they’re searching for us, then you know what happened on the fire islands.”

“And that’s why Andrew pointed the rest of the Kabal into Magus Stones.” Cruel replied, “Between the Krait, Spiders and the Asura blabbing about how great they are they’ll be more than distracted.”

“And our tracks are more than covered now.” Rising Sol said as she appeared from the woods carrying a large branch, wiping away any footprints that her compatriots may have created. She tossed the branch back to the woods, wiping the dirt from her vest made in the far reaches of cantha.

“I guess that makes six of us now.” Hermana said with an approving grin.

“Thank you. All of you.” Alma said, a bit of concern rising in her voice, “Did you get to see Sangre before you followed us?”

“We decided to skirt the village, less questions that way.” Ando said with a smile, “They’ll be more than enough time for get-togethers after we’re done here. So what is this place?”

Alma led the newly formed band into the temple and once again hid her eyes from the world. It was time to see if her studies were of any worth. In the center of the temple she began the ritual, summoning the pinnacle of her spiritual powers. There she focused the power in the very heart of the temple and once again the black gate arose from the ether. Using sight beyond sight, Alma scanned the desolate realms of torment, searching for any sign of her sister. Finally her eyes came to a great tower rising from the wastes, the aura of a thousand souls emanating from the black monolith.

Hermana drew closer to Alma, whispering in her ear to try and not break her concentration.

“What do you see?”

“A black tower, the screams of trapped souls. The remains of the Margonites are trying to break the seal again.”

The name of Abbadon’s former minions caught Jerek’s attention, as he moved closer to the portal.

“Margonites! How many more can there be left?”

“Not many, the race has been dying out since the fall of Mallyx. These are the last of them. They aren’t planning an invasion this time. The monolith, it’s a focus of some sort, a bomb! They’re going to unleash it though a gate, destroy as much as they can before they die.”

“Can’t just go silently into the night, can they?” Cruel said as he raised his hood to get a better look at the portal before them.

“Is there any sign of Earth, Alma?” Hermana said, joining Jerek at the event horizon.

“Still nothing, we’ll have to enter the gate before I can locate her.”

Jerek turned to Hermana, his hand outstretched.

“Then what are we waiting for? Madam?”

Jerek turns his other hand to Alma.

“And you?”

Alma takes Jerek’s hand as Hermana looks at Jerek.

“You sure you’re up for this? You don’t have to come.” Alma asked Jerek.

“You think I’m just going to leave after all this? Besides I get to walk hand in hand with two lovely women, what more can a man ask?”

Jerek turned back to Andrew and Cruel, “You guys can hold hands too, ya know? Makes the landing easier...and it’d be sweet.”

Andrew raises his hand to Cruel, who returns the offer with a look of total disdain.

“Suit yourself.” Andrew replied, shrugging off Cruel’s look.

Sol slung her bow over her back and stepped between the pair, offering her hands to both. “I hope this makes it easier on the both of you...”

“I don’t know. I know where your hands have been for the last few days; jungle’s a nasty place.” Andrew retorted.

With a single step they entered the portal and in a flash they were in another world, thrown to the black earth the dominated the realms of torment, hard and cracked…. And eerily empty. Long ago these lands were the home to the minions of Abbadon, a host of demons so vast that it threatened the entire mortal realm. Margonites, Demons, and the corrupted souls of countless victims all were under the rule of the God of Secrets, but now the Realms of Torment lie empty, a prison built for a creature that no longer exists. What few minions remained have slowly faded away, their final assault under the leader ship of Mallyx the Unyielding a failure.

The fellowship walked across the barren lands, once a hostile territory that they battled through for days unending, now nothing more than a walk in the park. In the distance the tower grew closer, an aurora of spirits leading them ever closer.

“Gods it’s huge!” Cruel remarked in an unusually shocked tone. “A monolith that huge could re-sear Ascalon and turn half the crystal desert to glass!”

“It’ll be Orr all over again.” Andrew said as he surveyed the horizon, looking for any sign of something familiar to wilderness. “By the time they’re through everything’s going to look like this. Makes me wish we brought the rest of the boys along. ”

“Too late for that, “Hermana said as he carried on further into the wasteland. “Well do what we do best, improvise.”

At once they came to a great valley the cliff over looking a pit where the base of the pillar rested. Below them the menacing purple light of the Margonites emanated, though merely a few thousand now, they were still a formidable foe for but five heroes. Aiding the host of Margonites were the remaining titans, even fewer than their masters. The dark song that they heard on the Fire Islands echoed through the crater, the dirge for an entire world.

Suddenly it hit Alma; she fell to the dead earth hands to her temples as he tried to fight off the effects of whatever was upon her. Hermana rushed to her side as Alma raised her hand to the obelisk.

“There! She’s in the tower!”

Raising up, Alma’s pain disappeared as he once became accustomed to the clamor of souls before her, screaming in pain, looking for help, salvation, peace. Hermana stood by her side as Alma surveyed the army before them.

“There’s too many of them.”

“Sister, you forget who you’re dealing with. This is a land of spirits… “

Alma raised her hand and from the dead earth, a host of spirits still uncorrupted by the effects of torment rose to meet her.

“And spirits are my specialty.”

“Are you strong enough for this? How many can you maintain?” Hermana looked with concern at Alma, still struggling to control herself.

“Enough to get our sister free! I’ll lead the charge… you free Eve of Earth.”

Before they could react, the host doubled and before long an army of spirits was at Alma’s side. With a wave of her hands the spirits were put into motion, striking the Margonites by surprise and in that moment a world erupts into chaos.

Hermana shouted orders to the rest of the fellowship, “Sol! Stay with Alma! The rest, we’re going in!”

Into the chaos the four rushed through warring spirits and demons, their focus on the monolith and whatever may get in their way. A group of Margonites try to block their way but Hermana was ready, casting them aside with the wave of her staff. Focusing his strength Jerek aimed his staff at the mob before them, shattering the horde with a bolt of holy light. Cruel slung his Scythe wide tearing a swath though a band of Margonites trying to close in from behind, while Andrew leaped off Cruel’s shoulder, sending a barrage of arrows down into the coming hordes.

They moved with complete unison, like a well honed a machine made from decades of working together. No one faltered; no one was out of step. All moved as one and all fell before them. When scythe reeled from its attack, arrow was there for fill the gap. When the force of the world came down on them, the holy light of protection was there and when the shadows grew fierce, holy wrath rained upon it.

In moments they are on the scaffold of the monolith, the path torn behind them closing as quickly as it was created. On the Scaffold the Margonites fell to Cruel’s scythe like wheat to the shaft, Jerek and Hermana following close behind as Ando help up the rear raining arrow on any who dared to follow them.

Casting the last of the Margonites from the Monolith, Cruel fell back to help Andrew hold the stairway. Jerek and Hermana approached the obelisk’s black walks, coursing with other world power, carved with runes from the past immaterial. As she touched the runes, the power of countless lost souls coursed through her and the voice of her sister echoed in the clamor.

“Earth! She’s…she’s in the Obelisk! Her soul is trapped inside!”

Across the battle field, Alma continues her rituals, spawning as many spirits as she could muster to her cause as the war traveled closer to her. But no matter how many, the growing wave of Margonites moved charged on. In the midst of the spirit hordes stood Sol, shooting flaming arrows in the Margonites, the fires of the slain spreading across the entire host, arrows splintering into flaming shrapnel as Alma bestowed what power should could upon her friend’s weapon.

Suddenly the wall of spirits shattered, the very earth shaking from the force of the blow. Through the smoke and chaos Sol saw it, charging through the fray, larger than any titan she has seen since the days of the Lich. There came the last of the titans, a hulking Armageddon Lord, tossing aside Alma’s defenses as she continued to summon more minions absolved to her world like a woman possessed.

Sol took the only place she could fine to make her stand, between hell and her friend. Arrow after arrow she sent into the body of the beast. Five. Ten. Twenty. The shafts bursting into flames as they hit the molten flesh of the creature, but nothing would abate its maddened charge. With her last arrow Sol sent the shaft true, striking the titan in the eye, lodging the arrow deep into the monsters brain case.

In an instant the creature’s wails ceased as it began to stumble, struggling forward on what little life and strength it had left, lunging for final vengeance at the one who had killed it.

Sol turned back to Alma, the growing shadow of the giant growing closer, behind it the Margonite horde following behind. Sol grabbed Alma up in her arms, feet slipping in the ashy soil, doing what ever she could to escape. But it is too late. Alma turns to look; the weight of the Titan falls against them… The Margonites move in for the final blow.

And in a flash the spirit army was gone.

A pain rushed through Hermana, like a knife in the pit of her stomach. She collapsed to her knees as Jerek caught her.

“It’s Alma…she’s…”

Before she can get herself under control Hermana collapses to her knees, tears in her eyes.

Jerek stood from Hermana’s side and looked down from their vantage point; the armies of the Margonites had returned their focus to the tower. He turned to his friend his mind made up.

“Save your sister…”

“What are you going to do?”

“Something really stupid.”

In a flash Jerek jumped from the scaffold, landing in a crash of holy light among the Margonites, the explosion hurtling the demon bodies though the air, shaking the very earth and taking them by surprise.

“Ando! Cruel! Get your backs into it! We gotta make time!”

Fighting like a mad man Jerek held off the coming horde, what little power he had left, casting down holy fire on his charging, foes. Ando and Cruel joined the fray, cutting a path to Jerek, throwing down minion after minion, their numbers too many to count. They stood in the middle of the fight, the Margonites circling them like a pack of wolves ready for the kill.

“I think we have their attention…” Cruel said as he raised his scythe high into the air, ready to cleave as many bodies in twain as he could before they end came.
“Good, I love being the popular one.” Andrew said with a twisted smile, three arrows cocked in his bow ready to send one final volley into the mob.

As her friends fought below, Hermana arose from the floor, wiping the tears form her eyes. She watched as the Margonites slowly began to over power Jerek as they did Alma. Time was running out. Soon she watched as Cruel and Andrew disappeared in the sea of purple demons. Soon, all would be lost.

Turning to the Obelisk, Hermana carved a rune into the side of the black Monolith; it was a technique she learned from a tome that came into Jerek’s keeping. It had no true point of origin, it was neither holy or elemental or even created from the myriad of races who’s faiths were but a mystery to man. All she knew was that it meant the end.

Hermana struck the mark with the head of her Staff.

Jerek reeled as the Margonites charged in for the kill.

And the world was awash in light.

Jerek lay on the floor, if there was a floor at all. He felt like he was floating, but not. Something wasn’t right… or maybe everything was right and that was the problem. Awaking from his confusion he looks up and found Hermana, Alma and Eve of Earth standing over him. Jerek picked himself and surveyed the land around him, all awash in radiance.

“What happened? What is this place?”

Hermana stepped forward from her sisters and it started to sink in.

“We didn’t make it did we?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that…”

“What did you do?”

“Let’s just say that my sister’s souls are now safe.”

“But what about us?”

“I made a deal, you’ll return to the mortal realm.”

“And you?”

“I have to stay here, to take care of my family…thank you…goodbye.”

Before he could react, Jerek found himself in a field outside of Lion’s Arch as if awoken from a dream. Night had fallen and all was silent. A voice from behind him cut through the night air.

“Jerek! Jerek!”

Jerek snapped around to see Andrew and Sol standing behind him; both pale as if they’ve seen a ghost.

Rising Sol started before Andrew could make a sound. “Where have you been? We’ve been searching for you for weeks! Half the Kabal is looking for you! They think your dead!”


“Yes, again… “Andrew squeezed into Sol’s diatribe.

Jerek stopped for a second, “How’d you find me?”

“Just got into town” Andrew replied, “Merchant said there was someone wondering around outside of town, came out here to make sure it wasn’t anything dangerous.”

Jerek tried to shake away the dreamlike state, but it still hung in his mind. Andrew put his hand on Jerek’s shoulder.

“You alright, mate?”

“Don’t know yet. Do you remember anything about what happened?”

Andrew lowered his hand…the weight of his final memories sitting heavy on his brow.

Sol replied. “I remember Alma falling, the explosion… I remember…washing up on Ventari’s island with Andrew and Cruel. We told Sangre about what happened. She’s still pretty broken up about it. Cruel stayed behind while we went looking for you. Where’s Hermana? Have you seen…?”

Jerek looked back up at the sky, the stars twinkling in the night, the full moon hanging over them.

“She’s where she needs to be…”

“So where to now?” Andrew replied.

“Back to the Sanctuary. Sangre still needs looking after..."

Approximately 225 Years Later

Year 1300 AE:

Taken from her mother's womb and brought to a wealthy stranger's home, Reine entered this world alone. She was born with strange amber eyes, unlike any seen on a human.


Year 1327 AE:

I'm Eve Reine. I grew up among the upper class elite and I value my principles. When I was young, I was blessed by Grenth, the God of death; the year I was blessed I discovered was the same year my birth parents died. My biggest regret is never having met them.

Although my journey has included joining the Vigil and helping them destroy Zhaitan, my motivation and passion lie in discovering who I am and where I come from.

by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:44 PM
The path north was long, longer than he remembered it to be; colder than he imagined. His movements were slowed, if only slightly. He leaned on his staff more than he had in lo these many years I have known him. But though the land froze even my thick fur boots, this monk still walked barefoot and even with me at his side, he still walked alone.

The monk remembered the last time he crossed into these strange lands, how buried in the depths of the earth here were flames that burned more fierce than any he had ever experienced. He remembered the friends he made with the natives, the great Norn who towered over all who they encountered. There were good times there, spent in combat and revelry, times that soothed a troubled mind. But even then, the journey never truly ended. Even after throwing down demons, Gods and the great beasts that dwelled in the belly of the earth itself, he never truly found the peace he was looking for.

He never spoke of what plagued him so, at least not to me, some loss far beyond my reasoning. I was just a lad when I met him and whatever happened was lost to the past only for him to know. I’ve been his scribe for years now. The Kabal wanted a record of his deeds, though he would never record any. I’ve done my best for these many years, picking up odd stories from local peasants, friends, and the occasional drunken rant when he drowned away his sorrows.

We reached Drakkar Lake on a Wednesday, the great sheet of ice spread before us. Rumors were the beast was spotted here. Long stories have been told of the great beast that dwells at the bottom of the lake, long entombed in the depths of time. But this was not that creature. Even still the monk watched the lake, studying the creature obscured in its icy basin.

I could tell something was different this time. The way he moved, his hair bright silver in the cold northern sun. We camped at the edge of the lake that night, keeping a watchful eye for whatever horror had come to this land. He pointed to the homesteads that dotted the land, burning remains of our prey’s attacks, embers crackling in the night. He told me of the Norn who lived there and the adventures he had. It was the first time I ever heard him speak of anything so directly. He talked of lands beyond the Far Shiverpeaks, the homes of the Charr and Asura, home of creatures I could barely imagine. He talked of his past and the deeds he did throughout Tyria, Cantha and the lands of Elona. It was as if he knew I wouldn’t have the time or parchment to write it all down. The glib smile as he finally revealed his story told me the same. He stopped late into the night. I tried to ask him that final terrible question, but he stopped me. Even now there are some things he wished not the share.

Day came and still nothing. The cold winds bit at my face, but the monk continued to stay calm as he scrawled in the snow with the tip of his staff, ancient symbols I could barely fathom. Patience was never this strong point in youth, but as time passed he learned the importance of waiting. Things come to those who wait...

And it was upon us! The earth shook and tore asunder! Deep from the depths came the monstrosity! It was a great wurm, bigger than any legend had told, flame bursting from the depths of its belly. Surely this was the spawn of Cyndr the Mountain Heart that once lived deep in the heart of the Shiverpeaks. But what force could have drawn such a demon to the surface? It mattered not as the battle was underway. I moved a safe distance away for I was a scribe and of no use in battle.

They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, the burning breath that rose from the belly of the wurm not even fazing him. That sardonic smile returned to his face as he stared down the monster. In a flash the battle began, as the great wurm slammed its mass into the frozen earth. He moved with an unearthly grace, sailing past the great bulk of the wurm, the great heat of its body melting the frozen earth and snow.

He raised his staff, carried with him since his days in Tyria, an ancient weapon that has served him well in his many journeys. Striking the butt of the staff to the ground, he was bathed in holy light. The wurm shrieked as it reeled in the blinding radiance. Striking forth again, the full brunt of the wurm came down on the holy aura, and was tossed aside by the monk’s shield of judgment.

Once again the wurm drew deep into the earth, bursting forth onto the surface, breaking the monk’s concentration and throwing him onto the frozen lake. Heaving up again the creature bellowed flame upon him, but the fire was quelled with a wave of his staff. Again the monk focused his strength, sending a spear of light into the belly of the beast, but the beast was not phased, his carapace as strong as his ancestors.

The fight dragged on into the center of the lake, the wurm’s flaming body melting long gashes through the frozen waters. And for the first time, I saw him falter. The blow from the wurm threw him through the air like a leaf in the wind. The monk crashed far down the length of the lake, his body broken by a catastrophic blow no mortal could endure. The wurm was upon him in a flash, ready to deliver the killing blow.

The monk pulled himself up from the floor and to his knees, kneeling on the remains of his broken staff. I watched as he never looked up at the monster that hung over him, the molten rock that ran from it’s maw like bloody fangs. I watched as he once again scrawled on the ground, the same symbol he practiced as he waited. And then I realized why he smiled, he had planned this all along. He knew what he was against, and he knew he wasn’t coming back.

With a crack of his staff, the symbol came to life, sending streams of light across the body of ice. With a great earthquake, the ice cracked open and from below the beast of Drakkar Lake burst forth, alive after ages entombed in the ice. What happened next was lost in light and terror and the earth torn forth. All I know was that after the deed was done, the wurm was gone, the beast once again lay at the bottom of the lake and that he was gone.

I searched for hours for a sign, any sign of the monk: his body, a broken staff, the last remains of his tattered robes. All that was left was I, the lake and the notes I had taken the night before. I placed a marker at the shore of the lake, how long it will last only time will tell. There lies Jerek Lo, his journey over.
by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:28 PM

In the vast tomes of knowledge collected by the Kabal, one name stands darkest, most sinister among all others: Abbadon. The Fallen God Knowledge, Abbadon was cast down by the elder Gods and imprisoned in the depths of Torment. There he has waited; meticulously and patiently plotting his escape and looking towards the moment he could unleash his terrible vengeance on the lands of Tyria.

For generations Abbadon was forgotten, lost to the world as were his followers the Margonites, lost in the ages before the Crystal Sea became a wasteland. Only the remaining Forgotten, whose legions have existed from the beginning of time, retain any contact with Abbadon; this lost God of the Ancient Secrets. Now Abbadon stirs, his dreadful presence once again stretches across the land; Tyria’s time of peace is at an end.

The tragedy, desolation and war that have spread across the lands of Cantha and Tyria have now reached the shores of Elona, Land of the Golden Sun. There deep in the ruins of Istan, the secrets of Abbadon have once again come to the attention of mortals. Ever vigilant the Kabal have followed the trials of the Sunspear Kormir as her people explore deeper into the past. There they would watch and wait for a sign that Abbadon has once again entered the world of the living.

The sign came in betrayal. The nation of Koruna rebelled against its fellow provinces, vying to control all of Elona. Though the Sunpsears of Elona fought a noble battle, their forces were crushed under the foot of the War Marshal Varesh; her armies aided by Abbadon’s demonic minions. Defeated, the Sunspears were dashed across the lands of Elona; the first of many refugees from the coming darkness. In retaliation, the Kabal’s full forces moved into the lands of Elona, spreading far and wide to unite the remnants of the Sunspears and rally those who will fight against Abbadon.

Far to the north, the desolation holds the darkest of secrets. Varesh’s forces march on towards the blighted sulfur fields. There lies the Mouth of Torment and beyond: worlds long banished from the realms of man. What horrors await the Kabal? What is their destiny? What hope does man have against this unfathomable darkness…?

With each of Varesh’s victories the Land of the Golden Sun grows dimmer. Nightfall has come to Elona. If Elona falls, so too will the rest of the world. Our forces are willing, but how can we ever stand against the unending armies of a God? The Kabal has prepared for this moment since the Gods first gave their blessing. Now is the time to prove ourselves worthy of our selection. Now is the time to come together, unite and rally our forces. Now is the time we must fight. May righteousness and justice prevail!
by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:28 PM
Some say that the dawn of mankind began in Cantha. Being just south from Tyria, Cantha had a superb climate and early mankind flourished there. There is a continuous friendly argument among the Kabal exactly where they were originally from. Those from Tyria, Ascalon, because of the “purity” of the country side, and the perfect spiritual life style; felt they were first, they came from the blessed place. Those from Cantha “knew” they were first because of recorded history. Cantha was where it all started. Fortunately this debate never interrupted the issue at hand. The Kabal knew how to stay focused when duty called.

Two Hundred years had passed since the betrayal of Shiro Tagachi, whose final death howl froze the great Jade Sea and turned the magical forests of Echovald to stone. From those dark times, the Emperor of Cantha returned the land to relative peace, though his influence was lost on the feuding clans of the Luxons and Kurzicks. To this day they still fight and throw their territories into perpetual battle, the news of their victories and defeats capturing the interest of all people throughout the lands of Tyria. As the generations carried on, the name of Shiro Tagachi was forgotten as Cantha returned to its former greatness.

But after years of renewed prosperity, once again the Empire was growing weaker. A plague has put its spell upon the nation. Our great city Kaineng has been reduced to a people in hiding, afraid to come outside for fear of this menacing plague. Not just a simple sickness; it reaches far into the soul. It changes its victim into a horrible creature that no longer has any resemblance to who they were. This is more of an enchantment than a disease. A spell has fallen over the Empire.

Word spreads in the streets and alleyways that the spirit of Shiro Tagachi hangs over the pestilence, vengeance for his defeat centuries ago. Most believe this to be only a story for Shiro was long since dead, never to return. However, the faithful knew something was terribly out of balance and a power greater then the Emperor’s was unleashed in the city.

The Kabal believed that their focus on prayer, and righteous living would encourage the gods to remove this pestilence from the land. The Kabal was doing what it thought best. They were after all well practiced in the healing arts, so they went about the empire distributing their healing medicines and helping all they could. However, many were unsettled with this approach. Reports told of the mighty deeds the Kabal of Tyria had performed. The Kabal of Tyria have fought their way to victory and many in Cantha were thinking now is the time for them to fight.

It was not long before word was sent to the Kabal in Tyria that their help was needed in Cantha. The Kabal of Cantha was too long away from actual fighting to know how to begin; they needed training assistance and guidance. Their plea was answered; the Kabal from Tyria came to Cantha in large numbers. Training began in small groups and the battle was engaged. Master Togo spoke of even greater dangers that were ahead for the Kabal. They were given the task of uniting the Kurzicks and the Luxons once again in battle to defeat the resurrected Shiro Tagachi. Only their combined forces could dare defeat him and return the Empire to its former peace and glory.

May the gods continue to bless and give victory to the members of the Kabal who have always remained loyal to the command given them: Be righteous in all your actions and keep the Secret wisdom and Knowledge which you have been taught; which has guided you throughout the generations.
by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:27 PM
Descended from the Ancients, The Kabal were the chosen few among humanity to keep the traditions, to teach the ancient secrets, and to share what the Gods originally wanted all creation to be: a place where peace and harmony with nature would sing out and war and battle would be no more. Ascalon was their shining example of what that world could be. The Kabal were great teachers, developing major centers of learning and spiritual insight. There students from all over the world came to learn of their wisdom.

It was during the rein of King Doric that the Kabal grew and their teachings spread throughout the land. Those were halcyon days, where the problems of the world seemed so far away from the serenity of home. The Gods had to have chosen Ascalon, for if there was any land that could personify the Kabal’s teachings, would it not be Ascalon?

However, good is always measured against evil, and the Gods knew that for truth and righteousness to prevail and be fully understood it needed to be contrasted against the dark power of greed and evil. Without evil can goodness be defined?

Over time, men formed into Guilds, using their new found knowledge to battle and subjugate their fellow man. The Kabal wanted no part of this battle; they felt that though it appeared to be part of the divine plan of the Gods, this fighting, these Guild Wars served no purpose, but to destroy. It was during this time that the Kabal retreated from public view. They formed monasteries and practiced solitude and a life of prayer and righteousness. Many of the Kabal were killed for their pacifist stance. The members of the Kabal could never join these Guilds, or the Guild Wars. Theirs was a higher calling, the Gods had entrusted them with the keeping of the ancient knowledge, the wisdom which now seemed more necessary then ever before. The Kabal became isolationists. They watched from the shadows, enjoying its own respite from what was truly its greater task.

What then would make this Kabal, lovers of peace, become fierce defenders of Freedom? They had come to accept that it was part of human nature to compete, to do battle against each other and felt it may well be the natural order of things, so they did little to interfere with this process. However, things began to change when the Charr entered the scene. They raided the lands of Tyria by the thousands. The Great Searing was upon everyone. In the aftermath of the searing, the entire world was changed. Fertile farmland was reduced to ash. Some stories say the burnt lands could be smelt from far off Elona as the lives of thousands were burned in the Charr’s dark crucible. The land cracked and the rivers turned to seas of tar.

Human freedom was at stake, the very essence of their soul was being sucked away and man became empty needy beings that no longer had a conscience. They became addicted to the drug of power the false Gods had promised to give them. In truth, people became bonded mind-numb vassals; Golem for the Gods. The glory days of Ascalon were no more and human life was close to extinction.

The Kabal prayed, fasted, and meditated for long while about these troubling times. What should they do, what purpose did having their knowledge serve? Finally the answer came when the war came to them. The Charr had no reverence for the Kabal’s teaching; they did not care about the Gods direction. The Charr came to kill and conquer. The Ancients Way, the Secrets, the Wisdom, would soon all be lost. The only recourse was to fight.

They, now being small in number knew from deep within themselves that the time had come to expand their influence, to share with all those deemed worthy by their own actions to obtain the knowledge of the hidden secrets. Slowly the Kabal began to grow in number. The Gods guided people to the Kabal. The Leaders of the Kabal had no worry as to who was chosen, the God’s had already done that. The Kabal had to begin to put into practice the ancient arts, and had to teach these to the initiates. The Kabal had to do what it never thought it would. It was now time to fight, it was time to win back the freedoms that were being taken away, it was time to stand up for what it was to be human. To be righteous, they realized; would require righteous action by men and women who knew the difference between good and evil.

As the chosen ones arrived they were taught the ways of the Kabal, given the charge to preserve, and protect. In the meantime, the Kingdom of Orr was dealing the greatest blow against the Charr, but it came at terrible cost. With their final volley against the Charr, the lands of Orr were dashed and driven below the sea. But with the sacrifice of a kingdom came the salvation of a continent. With the back of the Charr broken, the remaining forces of Tyria pushed back their foe into the north, securing their homelands if only for a moment.

But things were far from finished. The Ascalonians, though strong of heart, were hit hardest by The Searing. Their forces continued to dwindle as they struggled to survive in a blighted wasteland. The Kabal continued to support the nation, but even its resources had begun to be spread thin. Rumors were of a Prince Rurik who was leading a band of refugees into the lands of Kryta to begin a new colony, but even he feared he would find little hope there.

The Lands of Kryta may have survived the brunt of the Charr’s attack, driving them back into the Shiverpeaks, but their victory came at a great price. The Krytans, desperate for help in their time of need, have allied with false prophets that speak of false gods. The cult of these Unseen Ones, the White Mantle, has overthrown the kingdom and established a new hierarchy. Rumors of dark deeds and human sacrifice hang in the shadows of Kryta’s peace. The Kabal has chosen to continue Rurik’s quest, with hopes that it will reveal the truth of behind these Unseen Ones.

May the Gods be true to their promises, and may freedom and peace reign once again.
by Jerek Lo on Jul 29, 2010 at 06:26 PM
When man was young and the Gods still roamed the earth, a few were chosen to be their heralds. A select group of men and women were given the secrets of their masters’ creation and were bestowed with knowledge, and wisdom to teach their brothers and sisters the mysteries and secrets hidden in the soul of man. The Gods shared the mystery of the seed and how to tend to the earth to bring forth fruit. For a while all was good as man grew the new earth and brought forth a paradise worthy of the Gods. But as man evolved they became tired of their contentment and charge. Pride ruled, pleasing the Gods was no longer important and their gifts were squandered. Man became lost in a sea of war and greed as the heralds abused their strength. In their lust for power and control they dominated and enslaved their fellow man instead of enlightening them. Paradise was torn asunder by the arrogance and voracity of man and so they drew the wrath of the Gods’ upon themselves.

Realizing this apostate rebellious man would destroy himself, the Gods stripped the heralds of their sacred knowledge and wisdom. However, they decided not to destroy them altogether but instead they scattered them throughout this now tormented earth. It is here man would wander without the Gods’ favor and blessing, lost in the darkness and chaos of their own creation, their own choosing.

But the Gods were not without mercy. Buried in small group of men and women are the bloodlines of the Great Heralds, lost to the generations until the time was right for them to unite once more and return the world to the Paradise of the past. These awakened souls drawn together by a force they don’t fully yet understand, wait in shadows, slowly moving their world towards its final destination, willing to sacrifice their own life to fight for an inner knowing, a Kabal of men and women who shall sow the seed of righteousness for a new generation, a new creation. A new EARTH will come forth where once again mankind will walk with the Gods in joy, harmony and peace.

The birth of this new Earth has not been a simple process, through great pain and sacrifice the truly dedicated, loyal and committed have begun to forge a new path. This is their story.
by Eve on Jul 12, 2010 at 06:20 PM
1::::Cabal: a number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in church or state by intrigue. Cabals are secret organizations composed of a few designing persons; a political cabal is often called a junta. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons. The term also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. ::::

2::::Kabal: Pointless banter or ranting:::::