We the Templars are blessed, for we are the Children of the Archangel.
Our ancestors came to these lands a millennium ago, under the behest of the One True God, the ever-divine Archangel Decus, He Who Saved Man. For it is the Archangel who sacrificed his own immortality to give to the World of Man the tools to shape our destiny. It was our forefathers divine duty to bring the world and blessing of Decus across the face of Eden as repayment to Decus’ sacrifice. We do not forget that it was none other than the Archangel who sacrificed himself for the good of all Mankind to bring to the world the Truth, and it is in debt to Decus’ gift that we, the descendants of the First City, Temple, continue to worship him as the One True God.
Our world was once a place of darkness and despair. Our ancient ancestors had lived in utter ignorance while horrid monstrosities, the Ill, ravished our twisted lands. Our homeland, known to us as the Birthplace, suffered for untold centuries at the hands of the Ill and their minions. The great creator of All That Is and Was, known to us as the Mason, had turned a callous gaze upon his creations, leaving the World of Men to fend for themselves in a world of chaos and pain.
Yet not all hope was lost, for their had been other creations of the Mason, the Archangels, whom took to watching over the World of Men in their father’s stead. And among these divine creatures one did dwell that we revere as our God and Savior, Archangel Decus, He Who Saved Man. For Decus’ compassion far surpassed that of all his brethren combined, so much so that he sacrificed his own immortality and power of creation to walk amongst the World of Men in the flesh. With the Archangel’s coming came the dawn of a new age of Man, for He had given to us the knowledge of a thousand generations.
With this new-found knowledge did the Templar emerge to forge a new age for all mankind. Sworn servants of both Man and of Decus, the Templar purged the Birthplace of all that was Ill and unjust, bringing enlightenment and the graces of Decus to all. In but a few decades, the lands of the Birthplace were transformed from blight and danger to a place of sanctuary, all in part to the sacrifice of the One True God.
When the time had come for the One True God to finally succumb to his own mortality, he had left his Children but one request; to bring forth the Truth and all of it’s blessings to the rest of the World of Men. And so did our forefathers, the First Templar, did take sail across the vast seas and oceans of our world, leaving the Birthplace forever to bring the blessings of the Archangel to the far corners of the world.
Vitaveus is the first foreign land that our forefathers brought the word of the One True God to, or so the Old tales do tell. Once a land of primitive tribes and savages, our Faith has brought to this great nation civilization, safety and prosperity; gathering all of its peoples under one flag, one nation, and One True God. Over the past millennium, faith has shaped this great land into a place that the Archangel himself would approve of. Our great and divine Church had ruled benevolently over all aspects of modern life, ensuring that our forefathers divine crusade continued on throughout time immemorial.
Until recently, our great kingdom had been on the verge of a renaissance. The ever powerful Church reigned supreme over the lands of the Venerated Republic, ushering an era of enlightenment for all men. New mechanisms harnessing the fledgling technologies of steam and blackpowder were slowly being developed all over the kingdom for the benefit of all mankind. Poverty and famine had been nearly eliminated in all but the most remote territories of the kingdom, and the Republic’s mighty military force, the Legion, assured that no corner of the land was left unprotected from would-be highwaymen and criminals.
We had believed a golden era was upon us. Sadly, we were wrong.
The Torment, the debilitating scourge that has claimed millions, struck the land like a thief in the night, quickly and silently. The mysterious plague ran rampant through territories both large and small and across all corners of the kingdom. Thousands were infected with the mysterious blight within weeks, the forsaken sickness claiming not only the lives of all it touched, but their minds as well. The afflicted, as we came to call them, were stricken with madness and insatiable rage before succumbing to death or euthanasia. In those dark days, many of us looked to the Church for salvation, clinging to the hope that our infallible benefactor would find a means to save us from the horrors of the Torment. As the world as we knew it spiraled into chaos, many of us believed that our dire situation could not get any worse.
Then, the dead began to walk.
In droves, the victims of the Torment rose from their eternal slumber, with all of the rage and unholy madness they possessed before death. Like some great leviathan, hordes of the dead rose from mass graves all across the Republic, descending upon the already weakened kingdom with unbridled prejudice. Those claimed or even wounded by the abominations shared the same fate of their assailants, losing both their sanity and humanity in mere hours.
Within months, the kingdom had succumbed to anarchy. Entire territories fell to chaos, many due to the afflicted and Tormented hordes and their murderous zeal, while others collapses due to civil disorder. The Legion did it’s best to maintain order where it could, but the Republic had quickly become a land divided. Where the plague had not struck, peasants turned marauders had. What sparse territories that could be defended from the dangers of this new, dark world became havens of safe refuge, whilst the majority of the kingdom turned into killing fields.
This day marks nearly thirty years since the dead began to walk, and our once great Republic is but a mere shadow of its former glory. More than half of the kingdom has been lost to the Torment, and creatures of legend and folklore, known to us only in stories as the Ill, have begun emerging across all corners of this tainted land. Yet even more disturbing are the tales of the great betrayers, a cult of men and women who proclaim to follow the ways of the Old and herald the word of Truth. Known simply as the Resolve, it is these forsaken souls whom have claimed responsibility for the blight that is the Torment, all in the name of tearing down the New and restoring the world to the ways of the Old. Having disappeared nearly thirty years ago after unleashing the Torment upon our mighty kingdom, whispers speak of their ilk stirring in the far western reaches of the lost lands of the Republic – no doubt preparing to deliver the killing blow to our dying people.
Yet hope, albeit fleeting, can be found even in the darkest times. Rumors have spread throughout the land of salvation waiting to be claimed within the confines of a fallen territory of the Republic; the First Province. The former capital of the Republic and eldest territory of the entire kingdom, the Province had fallen to the taint of the Torment nearly two years prior, and lays abandoned since. As unlikely as the rumors may be, laymen across the Republic speak of relics of the Old that lay hidden in the confines of Tor, the fallen capital. How or why these tales have surfaced is anyone’s guess, but the truth behind them cannot be denied; if there truly is anywhere in the Republic that such ancient, concealed knowledge may lie, it would be within the ruins of Tor.
There are but a scant few adventurous souls within this decrepit world that would even dare the trek to First Province, for the journey alone is no easy feat. Even still, brave men and women from across the land can be seen making their way towards the fallen land. Some make the treacherous trek for glory, some for treasure, and others for reasons all their own. And some, however minuscule, follow their faith, hoping beyond measure that the key to this world’s salvation lies in wait for them.
Whatever their fates may be, one thing can be certain; this world of ours is upon the precipice of outright destruction, and to sit idly by is to tip it closer to the abyss.
Praise be to the One True God, praise be to Decus, and praise be to the brave and the bold.
– Seraph Templar Eileso Saimros (deceased)