The Age's End Prophecy
Gods and Powers
Created by the Nameless as the Sentinel of Balance. He is also known as the Godslayer because he has the power of the twin swords of destiny at his command and has banished even gods to the Void. As the only seraph of the Nameless, Roehn Theer is responsible for ensuring no being ever becomes powerful enough to disrupt the universe he protects.
Aeteok and Enoxus
Created by the Nameless and given to Roehn Theer, these mighty twin swords helped him to focus his power, and to carry out his sentences when necessary. They were lost to Roehn Theer after he was cast into the Void, and eventually fell to Norrath. When discovered by the mortals, they became to be known as the Twin Swords of Destiny, Soulfire and the Qeynos Claymore.
The one and only prismatic dragon, Kerafyrm was the forbidden offspring of two opposite colored dragons. Once known as the Sleeper, he was awakened during the Age of Turmoil, and has since begun his plans to conquer Norrath and the heavens. Tremendously powerful beyond the scope of his kin, Kerafyrm's plans threaten the existence of all.
Once the Goddess of Health, Anashti Sul attempted to destroy death itself, and in doing so introduced undeath to Norrath. The actions of Anashti Sul were so fearful, that the other gods of Norrath saw fit to banish her to the Void, in an attempt to destroy her forever. Since her escape from the Void, Anashti Sul is plotting to reclaim what she believes is rightfully hers.
The first of the great Bayle line, the original mortal possessor of the Qeynos Claymore, and the founder of Qeynos before the Shattering.
Antonia Bayle is the Queen of Qeynos, the only surviving heir to the Bayle lineage. For years, she was viewed by the public as little more than a figurehead, with the Qeynos Council seemingly ruling the city and its affairs. However, Queen Antonia has shown recently that she is not content to let others take over her charge, and will guide Qeynos and its citizens with wisdom, compassion, and courage
The Overlord, Ruler of Freeport and the only mortal possessor of Soulfire. That is, until he was recently kidnapped and dispossessed. He has successfully returned and is once again taking charge of Freeport, making it into a power once again.
Tayil had always been Lucan D'Lere's right hand, and his most trusted advisor. She would speak for him in his absence, and would carry out his wishes without fail. However, when approached by the agents of Theer and given an opportunity to overtake Freeport for her own gains, she betrayed Lucan and attempted to carry out a plan of conquest of her own.
The Knights of Truth
The order of knighthood in Qeynos closest to the throne and responsible for the care of the royal family and city.
A mysterious erudite entrusted by the Duality to carry the inert Swords of Destiny, Erus Dal'viv embodies all of the virtues of the now-extinct Deepwater Knights. He works directly with the Duality on his efforts to learn more about the Age's End prophecy, carrying out tasks assigned to him, and helping to lead the Deepwater Circle
Made up of two of the greatest erudite minds ever known, Dartain and Al'Kabor, there are few, if any, who can match the intelligence of the Duality. Using his vast knowledge, the Duality is attempting to piece together seemingly unrelated and sometimes fragmented pieces of information to try to decipher, and counter, the cataclysmic prophecy known as Age's End. The Duality is one of the few who understand the extent of the peril that Norrath faces, and is looking to rally scholars, rulers, and adventurers to join together to ensure the survival of all.
Our story's narrator. An othmir shaman of Osh's tribe, she is the Lore Warden for her people, studied under Nipik, alongside Osh, and has been involved with the study of the Age's End Prophecy for many years.
The Twin Swords of Destiny
"It's so dangerous here now," a small, muffled voice complained.
The dame glanced at her wards huddled in a pile on the bed furs. They pretended to be sleeping, but she knew they were not. Sleep was a fragile thing in a world that had become so frightfully violent and the pups often watched her closely, determining their own safety by how she acted herself.
"Life has always been dangerous for us, small ones. Even more so now that the gods and all the world seem to focus on our land." She looked down at them and smiled reassuringly. "But we are swift and cunning and hard to hurt, are we not?" The litany of the othmir mollified them a bit and she even got a few nods. Finally, her brightest small one spoke up.
"Are they all looking here because of the prophecy?"
"Many of them do not know that they are here for that reason," she replied, "but yes, they are all here due to events that were foretold in that prophecy."
"Will you tell us the legend again, Dame Livik?"
They were all unsettled after the Yha-lei attack this morning. The outland adventurers that had helped protect their camp recently had mostly moved on and the fishmen were attacking more often. Add to that the knowledge that just over the hill, the Kromzek were being mobilized by a god to march their legions across Velious, and it was no wonder that everyone was on edge.
"I suppose none of us is getting any sleep anyway." She sighed. "Make a hole and I'll start the tale once everyone settles in and stops wiggling."
The pups scattered away from one another to let the shaman settle into the furs, and then dove through, over and under them as she settled back. Snuggling around one another, they eventually came together in a loosely woven, warm ring with faces poking inward toward the Dame, one of the most important shaman of their people and, right now, the complete center of their universe.
She waited a moment until their breathing quieted. She took a moment to hear that there were no unusual sounds outside. Taking a breath, she began.
"Like most tales, this one started at the beginning. At first there was the Nameless and the universe it created. But reality is huge and the Nameless would not watch over it. So what did it do?"
They all shouted at once. "The Sentinel! The Balance! The Godslayer!"
She nodded. "That's right. The Nameless created Roehn Theer, and also created Aeteok and Enoxus who were shaped into the form of swords for Roehn Theer to wield. He was to use them to act against anything that would disrupt the creations of the Nameless. He is a seraph. The only one ever, and he keeps the balance of the planes."
She swept her gaze across the pups, their unblinking eyes dancing slightly in the reflected light of the night fire flames. "Who can tell me what Aeteok and Enoxus became?"
They all knew this one. It was ritual that she ask it at this point of the story. "The Twin Swords," they shouted. "The Swords of Destiny," others squeaked.
"Good. That's right. And remember them well, because everything else hinges upon them." She paused. "For a long time, Roehn Theer had little to do. But one day, the gods discovered our planes and came here to live. Once they arrived, Roehn Theer was kept busy dealing with their mischief, scheming and plays of power."
"The gods grew to loathe Roehn Theer because he would curb their excesses. He was not only strong and powerful, but with the twin swords, he had the power to banish the gods to the Void, which was a permanent destruction. They despised Theer, but were false to him and deceived him with pretended friendship until they were able to separate him from his swords. They then turned immediately upon him and used the power of the swords to banish Roehn Theer himself to the Void!"
A small voice asked insistently, "Why don't you ever tell the story of how the gods get the swords away from him?"
"Because what's important is what happens next, small one. Listen well." She glanced across the others to be sure they were still watching.
"The gods became drunk with their new power and turned against another of their own, Anashti Sul, because she had so greatly angered them by bringing undeath to Norrath. Anashti Sul could not stop them from banishing her, but before she was drawn to the Void she used her own magic to knock the Twin Swords away from the gods and down to Norrath."
"The swords changed shape as they fell into the mortal realm and the gods could not find them because their form and magical auras were so transformed. The swords were lost for ages, but eventually were found by two very different mortals."It was questioning time again. "Who was it that found the Claymore?"
"Bayle! The First King! The Founder!"
Once the shouting subsided, the dame continued. "That's right. Antonious Bayle discovered Enoxus, now in the shape of a great Claymore. He used its power to found the city of Qeynos and forge a new kingdom of his own." She glanced around. "Who found Soulfire?"
"The Overlord! D'Lere!"
"You do listen!" She smiled. "That's right. Lucan D'Lere. He found Aeteok still gripped within the dead hands of the Avatar of War. How the Avatar was destroyed, there is no tale, but Lucan dubbed the sword ‘Soulfire' and used its powers to found Freeport, establish himself as Overlord, and live a very long life for a human."
"More about Theer," the smallest one demanded. They all seemed to like to hear about him for some reason.
"Yes, yes. Don't rush me." Still, she smiled inside. She enjoyed when they asked for the tales. "Roehn Theer had been banished to the Void, but he was not destroyed. Even without the twin swords, Theer was powerful enough that after decades of effort, he could make himself known to agents in the mortal world. Through those agents, he set events into place so they would bring the swords to him in the Void, so he could use their power to escape and resume his role as the Sentinel of Balance."
"First, he struck a deal with Tayil N'Velex in Freeport. He fed her ego and encouraged her to betray Lucan D'Lere, her longtime friend, so that she could usurp control of the city for purposes dear to her. In return, she pacted to turn Soulfire over to Roehn Theer."
"In Qeynos, the queen did not often wield the Claymore personally and the Knights of Truth kept it under guard in their citadel. Roehn Theer's agents arranged for an attempted kidnapping of Antonia Bayle while she was traveling. When the Knights of Truth leapt into action against foes that immediately never really existed, Theer's agents stole the Claymore away."
"As the swords made their way to Roehn Theer, he sensed impending success and began to plan for the retribution he would bring thereafter. But his victory was to be brief."
The pups started squealing again, this time with just a tinge of fear in their voices. "The dragon! The Awakened!"
"Yes, small ones. Kerafyrm. That ancient scourge."
The dame paused a moment while she thought about the prismatic dragon that was so intertwined in the prophecy. The only dragon ever to be born from opposing elemental dragons, Kerafyrm's rune rested atop that of the rune for the twin swords in the prophecy disks and there was no avoiding that the fates of both of them were intertwined.
All scholars agreed that Kerafyrm must have had some vision of future events, because the dragon had put a long-term plan into effect well before the swords were stolen back by Theer's agents. The first part of the dragon's plan was simple. He taught the mortals a new trick.
"Who can tell me what the dragon taught the mortals to do?"
"Absorb magic! Enervation!" they shouted.
She nodded to herself. The dragon had used agents of its own to ensure that mortals stumbled upon the art of siphoning magic from artifacts of power and into their own mortal selves.
"That's right. And the mortals embraced the new magic, becoming even better at it than the dragon could have hoped."
She stopped a moment and idly licked a paw to rub at a pup's dirty face while she gathered her thoughts. "Stop fussing, small one."
After she had the pup's fur smoothed again, she continued. "But that wasn't all. Kerafyrm spread the story that the world was going to be destroyed if the Underfoot door was not permanently sealed."
The dame felt a few wriggles of restlessness in the pile. She could fix that with questions. "What is the Underfoot?"
That perked them up again. "The world beneath! The plane of earth!"
"Yes, it's the plane that touches all of Norrath below our world. And who is the protector of the planes?"
That got them bouncing. "Theer! The Balance! Twin Swords!"
"That's right. Now that Roehn Theer was in possession of the swords again, he regained the powers of the balance. When he heard of mortals moving to seal the Underfoot door, he knew of the great risk this would run for the stability of the planes and he had to step in to stop them from succeeding. Thus, the mortals were neatly maneuvered into facing off against one of the great powers of the universe, just as the dragon had planned."
She let that hang for a moment, took a breath and then continued. "Then was a great moment of victory for the mortals, but the long-range consequences of that victory are still to be determined. Faced with the hugely powerful weapons that Roehn Theer wielded, they naturally chose to use the magic they had so recently mastered."
Lowering her voice and trying to be sure they understood the lesson that Othmir must always be clever and to never let themselves be duped like this, she went on. "They used enervation magics on the twin swords of destiny. Roehn Theer was unprepared for this, but Kerafyrm was not."
With murmurs of "the dragon" and small squeaks of fear, the pups snuggled further back into the furs.
"The dragon had been lurking nearby in the form of a glowing Erudite mage. When the mortals began drawing the energies from the swords, he used his greater magics to divert the swords' essences into himself. Once completed, he paused only to gloat at the duped mortals and seraph before vanishing to parts unknown."
No one knows Kerafyrm's plans for that power, but the prophecy describes an end of everything when the prismatic dragon and the swords have crossed, and many now fear we are poised on the brink of the destruction of all.
Scholars all agree that it's not possible for Kerafyrm to contain that amount of power within himself for long. Even the prismatic dragon is too fragile of a vessel for the power of the Nameless. How that energy is released will determine the fate of the universe.
She realized she was letting her mind wander, but it seemed only a second or two had passed, so she picked up the tale again. "That would have been enough for any tale, but as always, the gods cannot see trouble without wanting to add to it. Tell me the name of the citadel that appeared in the Wastes recently."
Fewer voices chimed in this time. This part of the story was still new and not so time-worn as the rest. "The War God's tower. Drunder!"
"That's right. The Citadel of Drunder is a bridge between our continent of Velious and the Plane of War itself. Rallos Zek has descended to our plane to muster his Kromzek giants into vast armies so he can conquer Velious and Norrath beyond in search of Kerafyrm."
"And that's why things are dangerous right now, small ones. The forces of the cosmos are staring down upon our frozen home of Velious now and we are small indeed, by comparison. But we will do as we always have done. We will be fast. We will be clever. And we live for another day."
"Now settle in and sleep. I need to go watch the stars for a few moments."
She disentangled herself from the pups and watched as they burrowed into the warm spot she had left behind. Smiling gently, she turned to move out the flap of the tent and out under the night stars.
Her smile faded quickly as she returned her thoughts to the War God. Her brows furrowed as she realized how likely it was that the forces involved in all of this were beyond mortal abilities. The seraph, gods, dragons, and prophecy….to what hope could mortals cling?
But she knew that word was getting out. The Bayles and D'Leres of the world would know soon what was happening and they would…they must…send help somehow.
The War God was the immediate problem and where the most help was needed at the moment. The god had pretended his armies would slay Kerafyrm and return the power of the swords back to Roehn Theer, but the scholars knew better. Rallos Zek has never released power of any kind. Everyone knows that once he attains the power of the swords, he will have the power to rule everything and the planes will know naught but eternal War.
Somehow, some way, the plans of Rallos Zek must be foiled before they can start. "There must be a way," she thought. She sat and stared at the stars and thought of her wards, hoping that they would not be the last and trying to discover a way to stop a god. "There must be a way."
The Outline Version
- Roehn Theer, Aeteok and Enoxus are created by the Nameless. Aeteok and Enoxus are formed as the Twin Swords of Destiny.
- Roehn Theer is the Balance and ensures it is maintained so that reality continues without disruption.
- The Gods hate Theer because he keeps them from excesses. They steal the swords and banish Theer to the Void.
- They then turn on Anashti Sul and she is banished also, but uses magic to knock the swords down to the mortal realm, where they change shape to become the Claymore and Soulfire.
- Antonius Bayle uses the Claymore to found Qeynos, become king and establish a lineage.
- Lucan D’Lere uses Soulfire to found Freeport and live indefinitely.
- Roehn Theer uses agents to hatch plots in Norrath from his exile in the Void.
- Lucan D’Lere is betrayed, kidnapped and his sword sent to Theer.
- Antonia Bayle’s Knights are fooled and leave the Claymore unprotected. It is spirited away also.
- While this was occurring, Kerafyrm taught mortals enervation.
- The dragon also spread the story that the Underfoot door must be sealed or the world would be destroyed.
- Mortals responded by trying to seal the door which would have put the universe at peril. Roehn Theer stepped in predictably to defend the door. Mortals used new skill with enervation to drain the swords and defeat Theer. Kerafyrm swooped in to steal the energy as it was released and then disappeared with the power within him.
- The whole universe gets nervous now. Kerafyrm can’t control that power indefinitely and has the potential to destroy everything.
- Rallos Zek decides action is the best course. He uses his Citadel of Drunder to bridge the gap between the Plane of War and Velious, he then begins marshalling his Kromzek giants into a massive army to attack Kerafyrm.
- Everyone is aware that Zek is likely to try and steal that power to set himself up as ruler of the planes and establish a rule of eternal War. He must be stopped!