A Requiem for the World of Eden: Act Five

I

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Tor, Revisited

 

The year is 1342, as declared by the Decusian Imperial Book of Time. Nearly thirty years have passed since the horrific plague known simply as ‘The Torment’ had first materialized in Vitaveus, the main continental holding of the Venerated Republic of Decus. The largest kingdom in the known world of Eden, the Republic of Decus had represented the apex of the known world’s most crowning achievements; from culture, to art, to technology and beyond.With the emergence of the Torment, however, this veritable bastion of enlightenment had been set upon a path of utter destruction.

A debilitating disease of which has claimed hundreds of thousands of souls, no known cure exists for this terror that turns its victims into mindless, soulless instruments of murder and destruction. Beginning with its official discovery in late 1313, the path of destruction of this harbinger of death can be traced from western coasts of Vitaveus all the way to the eastern shores of the continent. In it’s wake, the Torment has left countless thousands dead, while many thousands more subjected to a fate worse than death; the curse of the Afflicted, those who would roam the lands indulging in the rampant murder and cannibalism of their countrymen, without any sense of rational thought or motive apart from primal blood lust.

In the three decades since the Torment’s emanation within the Republic, the once-mighty Church of Decus, the reigning seat of power within the Republic, has scrambled to keep it’s sprawling kingdom from being enveloped in total anarchy. The Republic, at the behest of the Church, wages a three-front war – one in which it has been losing desperately over the past thirty years. The first front of this seemingly hopeless campaign lies within the Midlands, a collection of territories and city-states that divide the Western Territories and the Eastern Baronies from one another within the continent of Vitaveus. Within the Midlands, a desperate offensive has been wrought for the last fifteen years, one whose goal is to stop the advance of the Torment and the cursed Afflicted from spilling forth from the abandoned Western Territories and into the last bastions of safety from the plague that exist in the Eastern Baronies. The size and number of territory deemed Blackland, a term given to the numerous swathes of the Republic lost to the Torment and it’s amalgamations, continually threatens to overtake and infect unaffected portions of the Midlands continuously. Only through the zealous efforts of the Church and the Venerated Legion, the Republic’s military superpower, have the Midlands been spared complete and total annihilation at the hands of the Torment.

The second front of the Church’s war lies against the Resolve, a mysterious cabal of magicians and necromancers who are believed to have been responsible for unleashing the Torment upon Vitaveus, and who have declared all-out war against the Republic and the Decusian Faith at large. Having also been responsible for reviving the long-lost art of magic within the Republic prior to the onset of the Torment, the Resolve has proven to be experts in the arts of the arcane – an art form thought to have been mere folklore only three decades ago. Yet to reveal their intentions or motivations to the world at large, the Resolve continues their campaign of terror within the abandoned Western Territories and the conflicted Midlands, amassing an army of conscripts from pockets of survivors and holdouts desperate to escape the horrors of the Torment. Seemingly immune to the effects of the Torment and it’s mutations of both plant and animal life, the Resolve moves freely through the Blacklands, with tales of their exploits reaching the front lines of the Midlands on occasion carried by the errant survivor escaping the horrors of the Western Territories.

The third and final front of the Church’s war is one against its own people, namely within the embattled Midlands and the increasingly turbulent Eastern Baronies. Employing the likes of each of the Republic’s three other mighty factions: the Venerated Legion, the Foundry, and the Consortium, the Church has attempted to keep order among the portions of the Republic yet to be stricken with the Torment as best as they can. Yet as the Torment slowly creeps closer and closer to the last holdouts of Republic civilization and safety, civil unrest and upheaval become more commonplace in the overcrowded cities and towns that remain standing. With the military might of the Venerated Legion spread thin attempting to hold the line in the Midlands, and the Church’s own Templar forces attempting to track down and destroy the Resolve wherever they may attempt to garner a foothold, civil order has rapidly decayed in the thirty long years since the Torment first appeared in Vitaveus.

All across the Eastern Baronies and Midlands, civilization has slowly eroded over the past thirty years. All but the largest and most wealthy cities and territories have become increasingly inundated with rampant crime and social unrest, with many smaller cities and territories teetering upon the precipice of outright anarchy. With the recent fall of the capital city of Tor and the First Province to the Torment, this spiral into lawlessness has only escalated, and the Republic appears to be on the brink of all-out anarchy.

To compound these dark times, rumors of peculiar creatures and entities have begun to emerge throughout the Republic. Tales of horrific beings of unknown origins rending men from limb to limb have become commonplace in taverns throughout the Baronies and Midlands. Rumors of speak of a return of the Ill, creatures believed once to have been only folklore and legend. Fear grips every citizen of the Republic in these forsaken times, with the threat of otherworldly assailants now being added to that of the Torment, marauders, famine and social disorder.

Yet within all of this madness lies a single, yet fleeting, bastion of hope. Rumors speak of a cure to the Torment, a remedy to the single-biggest threat to the world of Man and the rapidly falling Republic. Said to have been developed by the legendary Archmagi of Tor, many believe that the fallen capital may hold the key to ending the blight of the Torment and perhaps even lend answers to those responsible for unleashing it upon the Republic, the Resolve itself.

With this knowledge in hand, hundreds flock to the quarantined province of Tor, joining countless others who have made the arduous trek to the plagued ruins of the former capital who seek to plunder the freshly abandoned city for their own gains. You are one of these intrepid souls. Be it for the chance of ridding the world of the Torment, to obtain answers about the Resolve and their unholy mission against the Republic, or simply to pillage the fallen capital for all it’s worth, you have made the trek through the collapsing Eastern Baronies to the First Province, ready to strike your claim and begin your Requiem.