The Bringer of Doom! Its secrets revealed
|chatdemon writes " Mage Xodast stood atop the towering cliff, surveying the endless landscpe
beneath him, only vaguely aware of the young Magess' presence.
Xodast held in his hands a small cubic box, 6 inches on each edge,
constructed of some peculiar black metal, with arcane geometric runes etched
into all its sides save the lid, in which was set a perfect hemisphere of
"I hold in my hands the key to ultimate power, the weapon our people have
prayed for for nearly 70 summers," Xodast whispered, as if to noone in particular.
Edition/Game lite, Pre and Post wars content.
The Bringer of Doom! Its secrets revealed.
By Rich Trickey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Used with permission, Reposting or redistributing this article without the express consent of the author is strictly forbidden by Canonfire's Privacy and Copyright Policy
"Magus?" Sahri interjected, "I don't understand, that box? What, pray tell,
is it? I feel a cold chill in my blood just standing here looking at it as
ye hold it."
"Foolish lass, ye cannot possibly comprehend, one of your birth was never
meant to hold the fate of the Imperium in her hands, only I, Xodast,
son of Zelquirn of the House Fruztii, was meant for such an honor."
Sahri stood in silence, her anger at the old Mage's words boiling inside
her as childhood wounds long thought healed were torn open once more.
"This is the might of the Gods themselves, this is devestation incarnate,
this is...the Bringer of Doom to those Bakluni savages." Xodast continued
with a slight smirk, sensing the young Magess' anger.
"Ye have created a foci then? A receptacle for the power of Mother Wee Jas?"
Sahri pondered, only semi-concious of the fact her words found their way to
Xodast spun suddenly, backhanding Sahri with a savage slap that sent the
young Magess reeling.
"This is beyond the Mother, serf, this is beyond anything on Oerth or all
the heavens, this is true might"
Sahri's jaw dropped, and instinctively her hands clutched the brass symbol
of Wee Jas hanging around her neck.
"Magus Xodast, ye speak blasphemy, your studies have warped your mind..."
Xodast merely stared icily at the young magess.
"I cannot allow ye to go through with this...this...evil ye commit, 'tis my
sworn duty before the Mother herself to stop ye from completing thine work."
Sahri's voice betrayed the genuine fear that was gripping her, she knew well
that she was no match for the old Mage.
"Ignorant waif, I should kill ye where ye stand for thine insolence, I am
thine superior, ye shall obey."
"I cannot, ye know that, the will of the Mother outweighs the will of a
senile old mage."
Xodast's eyes flashed with fury, but he simply grinned.
"Very well, Sahri, do as ye must, but be warned, ye cannot stop me. The only
reason I allow that pathetic body of yours to continue drawing breath is
that I wish ye to see the glory of my work before I kill ye. I will do this,
I will end this war, once and for all, I will bring calamity upon those
bastards from the north, I will Invoke Devestation upon them, and then I
will sacrifice thine insolent little soul to the gods, to rectify the
mistake that was made when the first braid was woven into thine hair."
Sahri howled in rage and charged the old Mage, but Xodast vanished in a
flash of brilliant light, and was gone, leaving Kimba alone, looking down
upon the vast plains where the Bakluni armies were poised to invade the
Ok, now that that's out of the way, let me explain.
The Bringer of Doom is merely the preferred focus that an elder, primal power of chaos and entropy chooses to instruct mortals who wish to tap its destructive power to create. Each time the focus is used to wreak devastation upon Oerth, that focus is destroyed, along with the bodies of those foolish enough to presume they can control the savage spirit of primal disorder. The souls of those who perish enacting the Bringer's unholy wrath upon their enemies are forever destroyed, feeding the thing with which they bargained.
The first chapter of the Bringer's history takes place in the southern Amedio jungle, around -2000 cy.
Far to the south of the Flanaess, where the waters of the Densac Gulf open into the mighty Pearl Sea lie a collection of rocky, barren islands known sometimes as the Pirate Isles. Once a loose confederation of lush tropical kingdoms ruled by humans drawn from Olman and Touv bloodlines, the scorched, cursed reminders of the folly of the Olman God-kings now reach bitterly and eternally to the heavens from the trackless depths of the sea, as if seeking some divine forgiveness for the sins of their former inhabitants.
Once the Olman folk had tamed the Amedio mainland and the Touv in turn carved out lordship of the Hepmonland wilds, the two peoples began a series of endless and futile wars with each seeking to seize the empire of the other. Centuries passed and millions of Olman and Touv soldiers died for the greed of their leaders, but no victor was decided.
Through the horror of war, a glimmer of peace and hope came to be, however, and in the rocky, jungled islands that separated the southern tips of the two mighty empires, a new realm was born. Peaceful and goodly folk of both cultures came together here, seeking an end to the bitter wars and reaping the fruits of these island paradises. Eventually though, the rulers of the Touv became aware of this upstart nation, and proclaimed dominion over it. Through a long series of debates and mediations, a pact was struck. The Touv granted semi-autonomy to the region, allowing them to continue living as they had in exchange for the construction of several large military ports to serve the vessels of the Touv armies, since neither the Touv or the Olman possessed the naval technology to safely and reliably cross the vast Densac Gulf between their empires. The Olman had long used the northern islands that bear their name to this day as a series of naval stepping stones, creating their own ports to resupply and repair their vessels, and the Touv felt they had evened the odds in the endless war by creating their own southerly 'path' across the Gulf.
The Olman empire, long accustomed to the warfare being concentrated in the north, were ravaged by the sudden fierce raids in the south, and upon learning of the island nation and its role in aiding the Touv, the reining God-King, Mixamxa called upon all the sorcerors of his people, offering the hand of his only daughter, Ixaltkal to the one who could remove this threat to his empire. Many Olman sorcerors answered their leader's call, only to find themselves lain across altars of sacrifice to the war god Ixabna when their painstakingly crafted arcane strategies failed to roust the Touv from their island ports.
Kamya was a poor hedge wizard from a remote and primitive Olman village when he heard news of Mixamxa's call. Enthralled with the heralds' description of the fair princess Ixaltkal and loyal to his last breath to his people, Kamya became obsessed with finding the power to sate his lord's wishes, but he knew that being of meager power and lowly birth, he could not muster the strength himself. Despondant, he bartered his simple magics for the strongest mind-herbs his village's shamans could provide and set out into the whispering darkness of the jungle to seek counsel with the elder spirits and savage gods of his people, hoping to be granted some insight into his dilemma.
Insight came to Kamya, but not from any gods or spirits of his people. His bitter, helpless cries into the depths of the jungle stirred the attention of an elder being, one who had slept beyond the realms of the dreams and prayers of mortals since the creation of the Oerth aeons before. The dark being, long angered over seeing such beauty and order as the Oerth possessed carved out of the entropic nothingness of which it was born, sensed a chance to wreak havoc upon the fruits of the other elder powers and their divine children, and it answered the poor Olman wizard's pleas, more than happy to help him lay utter waste to a large swath of the Oerth's beauty. Kamya's assumption that he was dealing with some mighty ancestor spirit, and his subsequent demands of the dark being angered it, and although still willing to aid the desparate young man, decided that he would enact a horrible price upon the mortal.
The dark being instructed Kamya to prepare the now familiar focus item for its power, a task which, given the Olman people's lack of mastery of metalworking, caused Kamya to toil away for most of his life, nearly 60 years, before completion. With his new power literally in hand, the elderly Kamya travelled to the palace of Mixamxa. The old God-king, skeptical of Kamya's claim that this small trinket could destroy the Touv threat but disturbed by the idea that he would pass his crown to his daughter having made no great legacy for himself, agreed to provide a small armada of ships to take Kamya to the island nation, to invoke the power of the dark being upon their enemies.
Kamya's labors came to devastating fruition on the warm waters of the Densac Gulf, within a stone throw of Shark's Tooth isle, the largest of the island nation's realms. When Mixamxa recieved no word of the fate of the mission, since not one of the warships sent to the islands returned to port, he sent his daughter to find her suitor, promising her that if Kamya had delivered on his promises of victory, he and Ixaltkal would be wed and take the empire's throne upon their return.
Ixalktal's ship made the voyage to Shark's Tooth isle, and learned that Kamya had indeed delivered victory, but at a terrible price. The once lush islands were now no more than burnt piles of rock and rubble clawing their way above the waves, their scorched sandy shores bearing no tales except the site of dozens of wrecked ships of both Olman and Touv origin and the corpses of millions upon millions of fish and other sea creatures killed and washed ashore when the sea itself boiled upon the release of the Bringer's power. Ixaltkal, distraught at the horrors her people had commited, flung herself into the sea, and no sign of either Kamya or the Bringer was ever found.
A few years lapsed and the mournful Mixamxa passed on without an heir. The Olman people slowly fell into infighting and rebellion and were stricken by strange wasting diseases and plagues brought back from Shark's Tooth isle by those sent seeking Kamya. Within 300 years, the mighty Olman empire was no more, and the dark being smiled as he slipped back into eternal slumber.
Back to Sahri and Xodast, ca. -400 cy in the Suel Imperium.
Sahri was right, Xodast had indeed been warped by his dark studies. He had become obsessed with seizing absolute power and ending the war. He was bitter and jealous at the Emporer's choice of Slerotin as his 'Mage of Power' as the people called the Imperial court wizard. In the years directly preceeding the Twin Cataclysms, Xodast embarked for the Southern Crystalmists, seeking to uncover the prison temple of the dark one,
Tharizdun. He hoped to bargain with the god, offering to free him from his
imrisonment in exchange for power no mortal could rival. Well, Tharizdun is
not what he found...
Xodast, and a dozen derro miners brought along as guides and laborers,
wandered into a large, black cavern. the derro screamed in terror and
dropped their implements, fleeing back down the tunnel, but Xodast stood
tranfixed basking in...it. He was overcome by the sensation of standing
within the very essence of pure, undistilled evil. The cavern housed a small
pocket of the very entropic darkness sealed within the mountains when the
elder gods had first forged the Oerth from the nothingness of eternity.
Xodast meditated for days, and eventually found the proper magic for
communicating with it, and learned its dark secret; it wished to be free, to
cause the order which the elder gods had molded onto the Oerth to be undone.
Xodast arrogantly bargained with the thing, and eventually struck a deal.
He spent the next fifty years of his life sealed away in that cavern,
sustained only by the essence of the hideous thing with which he shared the
grotto. A vision came to him, a black box, cubic, with edges exactly 6
inches each, etched with arcane runes which even he could not begin to
comprehend, and set with a flawless hemisphere of cut sapphire. Using the clumsy
tools the derro had left behind, and his own bare hands, Xodast crafted the
object, and prepared to perform the ritual to bind the entity to it, exactly
50 years to the day from when he had first set foot in that vast cavern.
From her palace in the heavens, Wee Jas sensed a sudden, grave imbalance in
the flow of magic on Oerth, and sent an avatar to investigate. When the
avatar reached that cavern under the Crystalmists, Xodast feared for his
very life, and feared that his years of dedication to the dark entity would
be for naught, and attacked the avatar with the mightiest magic he could
muster. Never having been attacked by a follower so brazenly, Wee Jas was
caught off gaurd, and her avatar fell, overwhelmed by the mortal mage's
Xodast uttered a defiant curse to all the gods of his people, and finished
the ritual to bind the entity into the artifact which he had come to call
the "bringer of doom to the Bakluni people". The wave of force unleashed
when the rituals magic was unleashed overcame Xodast, and he fell
unconcious, for how long, only the gods know, but when he awoke, he beheld
a hideous sight. The shattered body of Wee Jas avatar had been infused with
the remnant essence of the dark entity, and had warped and twisted into a
horrifying, amorphous blob, pulsing and throbbing in the center of the
Xodast grabbed the BoD and fled.
Interestingly enough, that very amorphous blob was later discovered
by the forsaken descendants of the Lerara clan, who recognized it as being
somehow part of Wee Jas, and began to worship it, calling it "Se-Murma", our
mother, but that is another story for another time.
The next chapter in his story is well recorded in history, Xodast sacrificed his own life
in activating the BoD's power and calling down the Invoked Devastation on
the Bakluni people. That is the end of his story, as his soul was devoured by
the very item he crafted to protect himself from the BoD's power, the
"darkness that holds everything".
That is not the end of the story for the BoD, however. It being a free
willed, sentient artifact of horrifying power, it caused itself to be hidden away from the prying eyes of the gods, who feverishly searched for it, seeking to destroy the dark power once and for all. After this, the BoD slept, satisfied with the evil and chaos which it had
caused. Thousands upon thousands of Suel and Bakluni lay dead, their homelands reduced to burning wastes, and the survivors scattered across the Oerth in panicked fear, and the dark being was once again pleased with what it had done.
And for the latest chapter in this foul tale, we go to Rauxes, in the Great Kingdom of Aerdy, ca. 580 cy.
The dark one was awakened once again by the devastation wrought by the Greyhawk Wars, and it
caused itself to be found in the Aerdi city of Rauxes, by the Aerdi Duke
Szeffrin. Upon a cryptic announcement by the high priest of Hextor that Ivid
no longer held the Overking's throne, Szeffrin answered the BoD's call,
foolishly thinking he could control it and harness its power. Reports of a
wave of magical destruction, followed by a plague of fiends are consistent
with divinations as to the nature of the Invoked Deastation so long before,
And even as far away as Greyhawk City, Mordenkainen of the Circle of 8 noted
that "such destruction could only have been brought about by an artifact,
and a rift in the planes may have been opened there."
((Mordenkainen's description, a direct qoute from canon sources, is consistent with the
description of the BoD's powers given in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium
Appendix 1, under hordling)).
Rauxes lies in ruin to this day, populated only by the restless dead and fell demonic creatures, and the once proud and mighty Kingdom of Aerdy lies in fractured ruin, and as it slips once more into a fitfull eternal slumber, the dark one is pleased yet again.
Now, sages such as Mordy can only speculate, where will the BoD cause itself
to be found next? If Iuz or Turrosh Mak, or The Father of Obedience were to
come into possession of such power, the results would surely be disastrous
for all the people of Oerth.
||Average Score: 4
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