Bound by Blood

Chapter 1 - The Oncoming Storm Clouds

Chapter 1 – The Oncoming Storm – The Story so far
Our adventurers have gathered together, drawn in by fate, or some other sinister force. This force has brought them to this specific place, at this specific time, to witness the events that would shape the future for years to come.
Barak L’oun: Trade city, Cultural epicenter, Memorial to an age past.
The sprawling masses of Barak L’oun skitter about knowing nothing of the true nature of the world around them. They do not know of the corruption and hatred that once plagued their lands as they mend to their mundane lives, living as ants in a giant’s world. Since the age of Dragons has passed, the land has known prosperity and peace, but at what cost do these freedoms come at?
Just nearly one hundred years ago, the world was writhing in chaos. Dragons raged wars against each other, with the earthen clans in the beasts’ crossfire. No one knows exactly why these wars began, or why the dragons of old came out of hiding and took to the battlefield, but they razed the land in fire, scarring the earth in two.
The elder dragons, leaders and council to all dragonkind, neutral and stoic, met atop Mount Dagun, to discuss the ongoing wars, and the looming shadow on the horizon. After weeks of quarrel they began to understand, that something beyond their comprehension was shaping the tide of their future. Beyond the curtain, some dark force was inciting pure chaos across the land. Enraged, the once stoic elders, fearing the corruption of the dragonkind had already taken ahold of their progeny, made a rash decision. A decision that went against everything they believed in, yet the only feasible solution to their problem.
They approached mankind.
Mankind was weak, frail-boned and foolish. But, they had the courage and fortitude to survive such a corruption. They had the strength to work with the dragons to fend off such an attack against all living-kind. Many brave warriors became allies with the dragons, and many more became allies with the darkness.
In a battle of attrition against an unknown enemy, the council-master, Berethal, was the first to approach men, seeking help from mankind’s greatest heroes. Several families became strong allies and friends under Berethals cause.
The Ducavi’s- Devout clerics of Ioun, Goddess of Knowledge and Prophecy, fought hard at Berethal’s back to push away the evil corruption. Master Cleric Lamond Ducavi was a figurehead in the apparent defeat of the dark corruption at the battle of Barak L’oun.
The Stouthammer’s – Dwarven manufacturers of weapons and armor. Dwarven-kind were some of the most resilient to the call of the corruption, and thus, made great warriors for Berethal. At first, Berethal only sought to use the dwarves for this purpose, but eventually became enthralled in dwarven culture, especially in the Stouthammers. His greatest friend and ally, Oakland Stouthammer, stood by him throughout numerous adventures, before his untimely demise in the battle of Barak L’oun.
Rene’ Remford – A once dragon slayer, turned ally. A master hunter with no comparison. In the battle of Barak L’oun was turned against his allies and was used as a great weapon for the corruption’s cause. Was defeated by his son, the half goliath, Marquis Remford.
The Incredible Villentes – The troupe leaders of a travelling circus of magicians. One summers’ eve, they were surrounded by a group of demons on the longroads between Barak L’oun and The Fey Wilds, and were left for dead. Berethal had been scouting overhead and saw the troupe being attacked. He took pity upon them, knowing he did not have the forces to save them from that large of an attack. However, surprising even the old dragon, he looked back down as he saw the ground explode in a sea of magical energy. This was no simple group of entertainers. Pure bred mages, hiding under the cover of circus acts were fending off the demons with incredible potency. Berethal took it as a sign to not underestimate the power of human perseverance. He assisted the magicians that day, saving many that would have been lost, and took them into his service against the darkness.
Algus Dragonblood–This name was bestowed the general of the earth dragon’s army, a human barbarian who was rumored to have been able to slay a fully grown dragon with one slice of his axe. Born from a family of dragonslayers, Braveheart Algus was an integral part in the slaying of corrupted dragons. Berethal was highly wary of Algus for many reasons, but used this man to accomplish the greater good.
Felix Silvertounge – a half-elf spy under the cause of berethal. He moved inside the enemies ranks for many months. Berethal feared that Felix would be turned, however, Felix seemed to have an unending stamina and resistance against the corruption. Maybe because he never let his enemies see his eyes before he killed them. Maybe because he let no one see his face before their end. Felix was the one to find out what was behind all of the corruption. Putting a face to the evil, and an integral part of apparently defeating the darkness.
The Battle of Barak L’oun – After what seemed like years of strife and aggression, Berethal finally found his true enemy. The elder, along with his progeny, Mugën, discovered that one of the grand-marshal devils, a being from the dark elemental plane of existence. Had escaped his eternal prison, and burrowed through to this plane. Unfortunately his power was so weak from his escape that he could not take physical form. So, he used his abilities to conquer the minds of weaker beasts, turning them to his evil. A devil as far as can be known, is unkillable, as is its nature. It is a being of unsubstantial energy, of pure chaos and nothingness. However, their spy Felix, found out from within the cults of this devil, that it can be bound. Bound long enough to find out how to kill it. Felix had learned the devil’s true name.
Berethal’s son, Mugën, along with Felix, brought this information to the elder. However, Berethal thought the plan far too risky, in which Mugën and Felix would use themselves as bait to draw the devil out. Mugën was the son of the last elder dragon, and Felix had tricked the trickster devil, they would easily be able to provoke the being out of hiding, playing on the devil’s pride as its downfall.
Berethal forbade the two of them from encountering the devil, however, on that fateful day; they had already decided their future. Without his father’s consent, Mugën flew off to Barak L’oun and called out the devil, Felix unmasked himself (the first time he had even done so) and called the devil’s true name out. Instantly, Felix was overcome by a sense of dread and told Mugën to run. However, Felix was snuffed out before he could even finish, a dark energy ripped through his chest and tore him asunder. Mugën stood there shocked as the devil appeared before him. Indeed, Felix had bound the devil to this plane, however he had also given him true form, which worked both towards and against the defeat of him. He was substantial, so he could be possibly killed, but he also now had physical form, and could directly strike out. Him and Mugën fought for hours before Berethal realized his son was gone. Flying across the lands, he fought through the scourge of devil-bound cultists and monstrous beings that was thrown at him. This devil did not want his battle against Mugën to be interrupted. Many lives were lost that day, friends and families to Berethal but none compared to the suffering he would go through soon. As he finally made his approach near the battleground in which the devil and Mugën fought for hours, he saw his son staggering, the devil drawing a blade of pure black energy and piercing the dragon’s heart. Berethal raged but could not reach his son’s side, being kept at bay by beasts and men alike. The dragon was dying, and Berethal had a great pain in his heart. But his son did not fall, he roared with an intensity that Berethal had never seen before, and flame wreathed in darkness flew from his mouth, encapsulating the demon. For minutes it seemed, the dragonsfire would nay end. Berethal cried in anguish as he knew what this meant. Mugën was using the last of his lifeforce to defeat this devil, wreathing his enemy in lifeforce dragonfire. Soon the claws and tail of Mugën turned to stone, reaching up his body. Berethal dashed through the demonic forces, caught surprised by the dragon’s attack upon the devil and rushed to Mugën. Before the stone form encased his heart, berethal stuck his claws deep into his son’s chest and ripped it out. Using all of his might, he encased the heart in earthfire, a healing property of the earth dragons that allowed him to save the heart of Mugën, possibly allowing him to survive. After Mugën’s flame subsided, all that was left in the madness was ash, the devil defeated apparently with Mugën’s last attack.
99 years 360 days pass.
After the war, the dragons were either too weak to procreate or dead. Berethal was the last surviving elder, but had used the last of his life-giving to save Mugën’s heart. The dragons were an extinct race. But, not all tragedy, for the last century (give or take a week), the land regrew into its former glory. No more demons, cults, devils or dragons to rage the lands. For the last century Berethal has worked to rebuild the world destroyed by his kind. He rebuilt the city of Barak L’oun, and made it a memorial for all those who died before him. His son, sits encased in stone, far below the streets of the city. Berethal has worked hard to save his son, breaking his heart into separate pieces and bestowing them to the leaders of the city. They draw power from their hosts, and charge the life energy within. One day, he will reclaim these stones and bring back his son, lost to the nether.

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