Ages End

players recap

Private interludes

Simon:
Its five years before the experiment, You’ve just entered the city of Rysa, arriving at the end of your Pilgrimage fighting Evil in the Baalgor Wastelands as part of Grand High Cleric Bevyn III’s great reclamation effort. You go before the Grand High Cleric and he makes you a full brother in the Church of Saint Gregory. After the ceremony, your Brother-Commander wants to introduce you to the Brother Jeffers Kellery, the current Minister of Ecumenical affairs and Hierophant to the lands of the conquered throne.

Brother Kellery is at the reception area near the wine table, talking to a handsome man with long jet black hair, olive skin, and a stylish moustache dressed in humble and muted finery.

You hear the tail end of their conversation as the young man is called away on other business, “Yes, Brother Slade. As always it was a delight” Brother Kellery says “We will catch up some other time.”

Kellery turns and looks to you and your brother commander with a warm smile and a greeting.

Your brother commander formally introduces the two of you,

He welcomes you to the City that Virgil took, and asks if this is your first time in Rysa?

Br. Kellery has apparently heard of you, and he references some of your victories and thanks you for your effort.

“I know that there are many people beyond Clement’s wall who owe you their lives and possibly a great deal more. I am honored to call such a man as you my brother, Simon. You are an example to the rest of us.”

You have a short pleasant but productive conversation. He lets slip that he believes there will be a crusade against the orc’s in the Greatn Northern WIlderness soon and comments that he thinks more attention should be paid to the securing the reclamation first. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that you both have other duties that you need to attend to.

He then asks you how long you will be in Rysa, and ask that during your time in the city that you check in and have tea with him periodically.

It is well passed midnight by the time you make it to your church barracks, and you tired from your long journey and the immediacy of the length ceremony, and you collapse quickly into sleep. That night you dream of a beautiful woman choking a great black dragon about the neck with a wrought iron chain, both wreathed in flames.

Johann:
Its five years before the experiment, you are sitting with Quahir and Seldom at Mistara’s Teat, a small cramped Elvish Meadhall in the center of the largest elven ghetto in the city. The elvish quarantine had been established for most of your life time, and you have never left its maze of cramped wooden alleys. You three just left an ELF gathering in which the leaders of the organization were proposing smuggling important personnel and resources out of and between the three isolated elven ghettos in the city, but the meeting fell apart when adequate distraction for the city guard could not be agreed upon, some of the more radical members proposing measures that would put many innocent elves at great risk. It’s boring and you spend most of the meeting comparing ELF members tits.

After the meeting, you fill your bellies with cheap elvish wine and mead. Quahir brings a canteen of dwarvish liquor he stole from his father and you take turns chugging and choking it down. You partake in various elven gambling and drinking games involving dice, and serenade the local elf maidens. Quahir acting as wing man tries to convince the barmaid that you are a sole remaining heir to the Elven Empire and drunkenly tracing you linage back to the Sorcerer King Thranal Kaltsano Drall Maldoun. At some point, a barfight breaks out, and Seldom pussies out and goes home.

At the end of the evening, Quahir blows off plans with his fiance, Myr’lyth and you both exit Mystara’s Teat with a beautiful elf lass in each arm. Quahir casually walking and talking holding two conversations at once. You walk behind him with one over your shoulder and the other under your arm, both giggling and playfully trying to break free.

That night after an extended coitus, you pass out. You dream of a great battles and adventures, of glory, gold, and blood. You wake up the next day around midday with two strange women in your bed, a fresh scar, remember nothing of the previous evening.

There is a knock at the door. It Quahir with a alchemical hangover elixir and a bottle of elven wine, and a bag of fayleaf.

Zarazik:

Having realized you’ve poured over every tome, learned every rune and dwarvish incantation available to you at Zikhat, the Dwarven Hold of Arcane Scholarship, you finally decided to forsake your status as a ‘True Dwarf’ ie a dwarf that has never seen the sun, and decide to embark on a long and tedious journey to surface in search of other knowledge. You have for some time been in contact with the Minister of Arcane Affairs, a duke by the name of Bejorn Mavon, who has secured a position for you as a visiting professor to cover your expenses while you continue your studies abroad. The caravan you will be travelling with is a human one, and like everything humans do it is needlessly complicated, and as such you will be stopping at every major human city along the way, making for an even more excruciatingly dull journey than you had anticipated. Down the Mountain Path, through Stormhollow to Ath’lathl, by the Sea road through Augustine to Laitare and then along the coast to Eastgate, Crossroads, and finally to your destination the Arcanus Universitalus in Rysa, the old elven capital of legend.

Currently, you have just arrived in Ath’lathl, and you hear a rumor among some alchemical merchants that the archaeologist and master wizard Amul Eoniel was also travelling with the Caravan, but will not be going further as he has extended business near Ath’lathl.

Later that evening, a messenger arrives on horseback direct from Bejorns Cairn, which you had left three days earlier. He bursts into the courtyard beyond the fortified walls of the City of Athlatl claiming he has urgent news for the branch of local DeAugistine Nobility, and that preparations should be made to send a rider to Augustine as soon as possible. By the time you take your evening meal, rumors are already permeating that the Dwarven Holds have shut their gates and broken all contact with the outside world.

Emma:

That night you had the dream again, but the next day was at the start unlike any other, you play games with your familiar, playing hide and seek with sisters that aren’t their.

He speaks in a bizarre dialect, but you can understand him alright.

He doesn’t seem surprised to see you.
Well hello Emma

You never had anyone call you that before, but it feels right, and if anyone had ever asked you very rightly would have called that your name.

Don’t be afraid, he continues, I am not going to hurt you. I’ve actually been waiting a very long time to meet you.

He introduces himself as Amul Quahires Drokal Eoniel, but that you could call him Amul. He is very interested in your ruins, and ask you for a tour of the immediate area. You oblige happily taking him by the hand and leading him through your favorite room. Afterwards he sits and plays games with you. He asks you questions too. He gives you things to read and converses with you in other languages. At one point he pulls out a notebook with strange equations written all over them and asks if they mean anything to you. They do, but it is difficult to explain, like trying to inform black metal on how it is to breath. You lose interest quickly and jump into another game, and you can’t remember the last time you had this much fun.

He tells you that he is here to study your ruins, and asks your permission to set up camp outside.

The next day you explore the deeper passages together, and he continues asking all sorts of questions about yourself.

Over the next several days he confides in you about his research, and tells you of all the places he’s traveled and all the things he has seen. Soon, he tells you that the time as come for him to leave, but he would like very much if you would accompany him back to his home in the Capital.

You have been as gracious a host as an empress, I would be remiss if I did not offer an extension for you to rely on my hospitality. I have been a guest in your home, it would be an honor if you would , I would like you to be a guest in mine.

and you think you’d rather enjoy a little extended holiday.

PLOT

The blackness envelopes you and You Emerge from the portal, and you realize that feeling of unease and discomfort that had accompanied your earlier jumps through reality has lessened into nothingness and now exist as a quiet comfort in the core of your being.

As you emerge, you feel it. The weight of all that time that had passed since that fateful experiment in a wooded glen a day and a nights journey out of Rysa, and with so little of it being linear, the memories exist blurred and hazy. How long ago was that? Weeks? Years? Millennial. How long did the Ducal Rebellions last? How long had you journeyed across the red wastes at the end of time? When was the prince’s birthday masquerade? What was the color of Sister Sally March’s hair.

You look around and can see it the weight of that time on each other. Johan stands, his right arm up to the shoulder comprised of crystalline black metal, the palm of its hand, continuously dripping dark crimson blood to the floor.

Zarazik’s beard glows red hot like the embers of a fire, rocky outgrowths consume his flesh and armor.

Simon Carter, stands behind him, wreathed in flame that neither burns him nor ceases in its burning.

The only one who hasn’t changed is Emma, who now looks exactly as she did when you first met her.

Before you stand two Elves staring at you with a look of shock and confusion. Johan recognizes them as Dytlius and iolara Zzythrandir, a pair of elvish twins, aapprentice mages at the Arcanus Universitalis, and friends of Quahir. Dytlius occasionally did magical work for the ELF, though his sister never knew.

Give me a wisdom roll to remember- ( The Zzythrandir syblings had been working as interns for Amul Eoniel and were presumably locked in the dwarven holds)

Dytlius says “Johan, Is that you? Mistara’s eyes fucking weep”- Elvish colloquialism for “You look like shit/What happened to you?”

(Five years before the experiment, the day the dwarven holds locked. Also a

Blah blah blah

Exit blocked by black metal, Zarazik, Emma

The dark metal which had started out such a mystery by now has been laid bare to you. It is a condensed and inert form of magic, not unlike the blood of a living being. In many ways, the black metal is not unlike the blood of the universe. What surely would have been an impossible feat the beginning, you believe you now know enough about it’s properties to mold it through your will. (Arcana)

blah blah blah

You are the cross section of the Dwarven Roads, and from the large stone markers carved into the smoothed cavern walls, you appear to be very near the heart of the Dwarven Holds. To the left lies Zikhalt, Hold of Secrets, Hold of Knowledge, and center of the Dwarven Scholars and Practitioners of the Arcane. Zarazik use to live there. To the right lies, Jakarth, Where the Ax Struck, the Hold of Dwarven Warriors.

Like all Dwarf Road junctions, they are equidistant.

Decision

You see a dwarf with his eyes rolled back in his skull. He is mumbling to himself and drooling slighly and feeling his way along the wall. He seems completely oblivious to you.

blah blah blah

You arrive to the city very much in the heat of battle. Dwarves fight frantically with each other in the streets. (combat or magic)

By the look of the battle, it appears to be between two forces.

(Knowledge history, nobility) One is dressed in the traditional garb of the Hold’s guard and bear banners of the local heraldry

The other is dressed in heavy chain mail bearing a familiar standard (Symbole is a ringed chain engraved with old dwarvish runes.

They look equally matched, and even if they weren’t, were you to support one side or the other, the battle would likely be over quickly if not cheaply.

You all blazed through the War at the End of Time like it was a sunday school scroll, and while most of you are completely unfamiliar with the strategical implications of tunnel warfare, I doubt it is necessary for you to handily defeat any opposition with your god like powers. (Roll two out of three dice)

WAR

Each of you describe a battle you took part in during the beginning of the war.

Johann and Zarazik, the Hold of Dwarvish Brewers is currently occupied by the enemy, and it is called, Tarhalt, which roughly translates to the Hold where we drink until we can barely stand and then beat the christ out of each other until we pass out. Tar is a biweekly dwarven holiday.

During its liberation you discover the secret of the strongest dwavish liquors. Fermented mushrooms, and lichen sweetened with lead.

Opposing side keeps retreating deeper and deeper into the mountain to the undercaverns that are the stuff of dwarven myths and nightmares.

Sudden changes in pressure can cause massive cave ins.

Many strange and ancient beasts are here.

Even more unnerving is the escalating disappearances of dwarves on both sides of the conflict. Once populace holds are found completely empty. Whole battalions of dwarves desert without leaving a clue to where they may have gone. Children are snatched from their beds at night.

Many begin circulating rumors, that these disappearances were a curse brought on buy the conflict forcing dwarves on both sides to dig to deeply, and violating the interdiction of the undercaverns.

As the enemy desperately retreats into deeper and narrower corridors, fighting more for continued survival than any chance of victory. You have them cornered, surrounded and cut off, never the less, those tight caverns become a meat grinder for your dwarves, and you have been asked to intervene personally for the final push.

Even for you, It is a long and arduous journey down from your base camp in Hammerhalt, the Hold of Hammers, and home to the Dwarven Blacksmiths guild, and the battle is on going so you don’t have time to rest.

There best warriors defend a narrow gap.
o Crossbowmen
ooo Spearmen
ooo Spearmen and Axemen with Massive Shield
x

You break through and notice a floating black metal disk, coated in fresh and old blood

As with the first emma, starts uncontrollably chanting

Freeing of the Sphere

The last pick ax breaks the the chain,
You feel your flesh torn from your bone. Your eyes melt in your skull. Hair and sinew turn to ashs. You are completely and utterly, torn apart into nothingness by the raw power of the universe.

Silence

LEVEL UP?

End and Beginning of All things

You are sitting cross legged around what looks like some kind of astral campfire, it sheds light across an impenetrable blackness. You have seen many hues of this all too familiar color since your journey began, but this is by far the darkest and deepest of them all. It’s emptiness.

In the dull glow, you see yourselves have changed.

Johan’s body is covered in sharp geometric shapes almost like runes spiraling out of his black metal. In his bleeding hand he wields Steve, and on his head he wears a crown of flames.

Zarazik is now entirely made of stone and fire. His eyes burn with an intensity of coals in a blazing furnace, magma oozes beneath his joints. His beard is a raging wildfire. Everywhere he is engraved with dark and forbidden texts.

Simon Carter, your demon blood is irrefutable now. Though you do not know how, you and everyone can see its chaotic power pulsing through your veins. You wear no armor save your faith in your will. You are wreathed in the flames of your own divinity. In your hand you wield an unadorned mace and chain. You are garbed the humble robes of monk.

Emma has changed the most out of all of you. She is now only the black silhouette of young girl. Small tendrils boil outwards and coellsece back into her being periodically. She stares at you with eight red featureless eyes. Around her neck is a single ornate coin on a fine black metal chain. The black silhouette of a spider crawls constantly around her form.

Before you is standing a figure a tall lanky and unmistakably weary figure. He props himself up on a long black pole, and looks down at you with three unformed eyes from empty sockets, and he speaks to you despite lacking a mouth. As he talks you can see parts of him condensing into a frail skeletal frame, and into nothingness. He speaks without tense. No future, past or present.

“So you have arrived at last.”

Welcome to the beginning and end of all things, thereafters. Welcome to the now and forever apart. It is good that you have come.

The Dragons have always been free spirits, a quality for which all things owe their freedom to, for they were the first to question the rule of the old ones, but they do not understand duty. They do not understand responsibility. We are the Black Wardens, the unfinished, the unmade. We understand responsibility. And so the task of guarding the fount was given to us.

Time passes and chains that are taught slacken. The alliances of old fell and we returned to the old ways of war and greed, and there were so few of us left who had survived the great betrayal, and we reached into the art of the dark masters, just this once, and crafted for us children of our own. The Dragon’s children of wood and water and our children of fire and stone to serve as our defenders and our servants, unable to see the spoke of the great wheel revolving inevitably towards us.

To end the chaos, we once more broke down in our mandate, and used the power of the font to shape the planes and segregate the first children from one another.

It was during this time the stone children discovered the secret of the fount, as we relied heavily upon their aid, and many then drank deeply from it. We tried to rebuke them for their foolishness, but they rebelled against us and fought against us and with one another.

For you see what we have always known, the fount was poison. To use it is to steal from existence and use it up.

To keep the fount from falling into their reckless hands and to buy time to the inevitable, we and the few stone children who remained loyal to us, called upon the fount one last time, and drove a wedge between it and the rest of reality.

We had hoped our ruins would remain empty, that our knowledge would remain dead, and that our connection all existence had been severed entirely.

I am the last. This undercurrent of time without time has been perpetuated by what power remained in us from our creation. You will find the fount over there. It is guarded by the last of the loyal stone children, though guarding the fount for these eternities has driven them quite mad. They will not recognize you as friends or foe. They exist to destroy anything that approaches.

There is nothing to be done. You must stare into oblivion, and see if all there was and all there will be can be salvaged. At the very least, it can be said that we were here that we might bear witness, and that it did not pass by unnoticed, and our toil was not in vain.

Before you go warrior." Looking towards Johan “I have held on to this since before I ever came to where time no longer passes, but I believe this belongs to you.”

He extends the support he had been leaning towards you. Before you can grab it, it is pulled from his hands and pierces you. You can feel the power of it coursing through your veins and into your bloodied palm joining to steve and yourself.

Go now Ste’Vah, it was your power that has given us this. It should be your power to end it.

(Ste’Vah means the sundered of existence in Ancient Dwarven)

Steve now has 10ft reach

Fighting the Dwarf Gods – Wielding Black Metal Weapons

Dwarf of Combat

2 Dwarfs of Fire

2 Dwarves of Iron

2 “Dwarves of Stone”

1 “Dwarf of Knowledge”

After the battle

HIdeous laughter, Johan and Zarazik see a pink eye on the back of both Emma’s and Simon’s head slither up into focus. The corner of their mouths stretch to form a hideous smile that looks at you and laughs.

“At last, I after eternity. It is I who remain standing at the fount of the universe. How fortunate it was that you insects came to free me and bring me here. After I dispose of you”

You can make will checks to resist damage but if you fail, it will be a cumulative -2 to your next check

Three or four rounds of combat

AH HA THE POWER IS MINE. I SHALL BE EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING SHALL BE ME.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see the black warden crumple and collapse into nothingness.

NO. NO. NOT NOW.

The black sphere turns a brilliant white and destabilizes, and you feel your soul torn to shreds.

You are each standing on a strand white cracking energy arranged like a spiderweb surrounded by an infinite span of white in all directions. At the center of the web stands, the First, dressed as you had sometimes seen him before, all in white.

Oh, good, you made it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure things were going to shake out vis a vis me and my decision. So at the very least, I’m going to consider this a win for my self respect.

So, I imagine you have a lot of of question. (Really? Nothing? Not who am I or why am I here? Nothing? I’m responsible for Emma and Simon, obviously, and Johan and Zarazik just kind of lucked into it.)

Well, we are right now, I imagine at the center of an insipient new reality which is spawning as the fount of the universe once again reclaims existence. Though honestly, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a bit out of my depth at this point. I’m assuming thats what you being here means, at least.

This is where I went right after we killed the black dragon, but before i get pulled out of here by Thranal Kaltsano Drall Maldoun, but since time isn’t really a thing here, I’m just kind of, always here. Which when I put it like that makes me feel like I should be much more insane than I actually am. Oh well doesn’t matter.

So the long and the short of it is, I may have been kind of, nudging you, throughout history, I’m not exactly sure how it works, but trust me it is complicated, so I could get you here.

Oh, because I can’t decide what we want to do from here. We here right now and for well for however long this lasts which is an indeterminable fraction of whatever passes for time in the dawning of a new reality, so I’ll just get to the point, we have some control over that universe and by some control I mean we really have a very straightforward decision to make. Really its a binary choice.

This next reality can be either a reality with magic, in which, this whole magical creation and destruction cycle, which I’m assuming has been going on for a while now, will continue, and events not dissimilar to the events we’ve all gone through will likely develop ad infinitum.

Or, we can remove the magic from the universe, and who can say what will happen with that, but chances are it would be a hell of a lot more stable.

DECISION

There’s one last thing before we say so long and thanks for the memories. There is just enough magic here for a little something. Accept it, as a gift from me to you. It won’t of course be real, but then again, what was?

If you have anything last thing you’d wish to say to each other. Now is the time.

EPILOGUES

Emma

I know you won’t tell the others, but you were always my favorite.
The strand that Emma is standing on snaps and disappears:

You wake up. There was a storm last night, but looking out the window of the imperial palace, you see that the son is shining across the garden. You remember some glimpse of your dream the night before and for some reason, your mind is jumps to the prince and you are filled with impending dread and terror. You race out of the room and down the hall to the prince’s chambers

But he is there. Safe and sound, and you try and think back to your terrible dream, but you can hold on to less and less of it, and as you stand there awkwardly the whole thing seemed rather silly now. You’ve startled him awake, he yawns, looks at you ‘matter-of-fact’ly and smiles.

“Good Morning, Emma.” He says. Opening his large blue eyes, and running a hand to through his short golden locks.

From that day forward you are inseperable. Yours and the princes is an ideal childhood. He spends his days learning all matters of court, state, and warfare, becoming well-versed in philosophy, history, and art. You split your time between herding the Emmas, casually attending the most advanced arcane courses and lectures, spending time spring-boarding ideas off of Zarazik and generally ease dropping on anyone and everyone who might be visiting the palace.

The prince grows into a strong young man of keen mind, and a gentle heart. He is a just and honorable ruler, beloved by his people, and you rule by his side, equally beloved.

Grand High Cleric Taub I, an old man, dies painlessly in his sleep within the year, and Br. Simon Carter is unanimously supported as his successor. Taub II really streamlines the deification of the daughters of St. Gregory and the feminization of the religion in general, and you and your sisters become an integral part of the Empire’s faith.

Another Emma is found in the Great Northern WIlderness and is brought to the city, and quickly integrates with you and the others. Remarkably, you all begin to age as normal, although the other Emma’s halt their aging when they reach the feel appropriate. The more conscientious Emma becomes a learned mage and a shrewd politician and a person of some importance in the city, marrying a powerful duke, and has both assisted and clashed with you many times regarding affairs of state. Other Emma chose to remain as she was, a young girl, and spends her days playing in the streets with the children of the city. New Emma becomes a feared warrior and spellsword and becomes someone whose capabilities you can trust within the Emperor’s personal guard. Wilder Emma ran away with Freddy at the age of 16 to go adventuring in the North.

You find yourself growing older with the prince. When you decide on an age, you use your considerable power to bind he and yourself together, so that he will never die as long as you do not. You bear him many children.

Despite the massive gains you and Zarazik pioneer in the realm of arcane knowledge, the both of you are unable to ever get the circles working again, and as matters of state begin to pile up, you have less and less time to devote to it and care less and less about it. You become content in knowing that somethings are unknowable.

Zarazik later retreats to fortress he built on Yot’s crater. He then goes mad and rauses all the dead in a 400 mile radius which proceed to lay siege to the kingdom. The undead are quickly put down by the Imperial Army under the leadership of the Emperor and yourself, and before you can descend upon Zarazik’s stronghold, he like Yot disappears mysterious.

Grand High Cleric Taub II grows old and dies and is heralded as one of the greatest religious leaders in the History of the Imperium.

Johann drinks, and sings, and romps and fights on the palace’s dime for the next several decades before one day drunkenly riding off into the wilderness on a stolen donkey.

You never encounter the individual you came to know as the First again. Nor do you ever dream your dream again.

When you are old and grey, you decide to turn over rule to your children. You whisper the incantation and you and the prince are young again, and young forever. You flee the city together into the great wilds of the north where you adventure, seeking mysteries, excitement, and wonders. Occasionally you run across Johann, Wild Emma, and Freddy, who has been similarly immortalized. You also encounter the children of Freddy and Emma, whose descendants over centuries develop into large and fearsome nomadic horde.

You and the Prince live rich, rewarding lives of excitement and enjoyment are until eternity together.

Zarazik

Master Wizard Zarazik, you did a remarkable job. You are a scholar of the arcane that I am forced to begrudgingly respect. If I am ever in need of a High Priest again, I’ll be sure to look you up. Enjoy.

Zarazik disappears.

You wake up. You are the minister of Magical Affairs, and the only good thing about it is that no one bothers you.

She is powerful, likely more powerful than she realizes, but you’ve always known that. Politically, she smooths some wrinkles out for you, and though you’d never tell her, she’s likely help you make some fairly outstanding breakthroughs, though you would never tell her that. She also develops a certain cruel cunning you can admire.

You start casting the kind of magic you came to Rysa to learn, and surpass even your most wild expectations, and you keep going deeper. Slowly you begin to transform into a being of stone and fire.

The one problem that continues to allude you. The Disks. . You can’t get them to work no matter how deeply you delve into their mysteries, you can never again replicate Amul’s experiments or otherwise activate them

Something isn’t making sense. It’s like the laws of reality are conspiring against you, and you may have gone a little mad in your pursuit of their secrets. You retreat to a fortress you have built at Yot’s crater. During the course of your intensive experiments, you raise all the dead within a 400 mile radius as a side effect. You can’t be bothered, and you figure someone else will deal with it.

Eventually you figure out how Mad Yot escaped all those years ago and you duplicate his journey. Unshackled to the physical plane, you spend centuries travelling around the lower planes, conquering demons and devils, binding them to your will with the help of your lead general Hellmaster Fabrizo and the liches of the Travelling Santiago. You gain more secrets and more power from these infernal realms and soon realize whatever secrets lay in the inert black metal disks are now far beneath you. With all the armies of hell, you strike out across the cosmos conquering and enslaving other worlds and claiming their most powerful and precious secrets for your own.

Johan

Well, Johan, it’s been real. I’ve cooked up something special for you. I think your going to like it.

You wake up, and today is just another day in the life of Johan, King of the Dragons.
Beside you is your beautiful wife, Mystara, the Blue Lover, the elven fertility goddess. Beneath you is your dragons horde and throne, which is not measured in gold or jewels or ancient tomes but hundreds of the most beautiful elven virgins sacrificed to you that you might father with them mighty warriors.

After an enormous breakfast and a bottle of millennia old elven wine, You transform into your true form, spreading your gold and black wings and flying out of the jagged black entrance to survey your domain.

Outside your mountain palace, your people, your children, the elves live in the canopy of the black forest, a grove of ancient, gnarled and enormous trees. Beyond the forest is a plane of fire, ash, and death, and endless waves of demons press in from all sides.

Yours is a war on all fronts without end in perpetuity.

Everyday you fight as if you could never die, and every night you party like there will not be a tomorrow. Yours is a life of absolute freedom. Of lavish feasts and exciting battles. Of adventure, of glory, and of song. The only laws that do exist are dictated solely by the anarchy of your will.

Your lead general is Count Frederick, Lord of the Vampires. and you are advised by a council of top minds consisting of a devil that goes by the moniker, the mysterious priest, an Elven Sorcerer named Quintilis Maximil Drantago Veraxis III, and a mad wizard named Fistrelli the Strange and Magnificent. You wield the legendarySte’Vah, the destroyer of realities. During your nightly festivals, your ballads of that days deeds ring out so loudly that your enemies can hear it ringing clearly in their lairs.

You are Johan. Exclamation point. Lord of the Dragons. King of the Elves, and truly your japery knows no bounds.

Simon

Last but Certainly not least, Br. Simon Carter. I thought very long and hard about what you justly had earned, and so I give you that which I would gladly give myself had I the chance. It is yours, and know now there there is nothing I would not do to trade places with you.

Your strand snaps.

You wake up. You are battered, bruised, and broken, but you are not dead, and you know that it is through the grace of the Silver Lady alone that you survived your battle with the dragon.

You crawl your way out of the ruins into the light of the sun, and you stare up into its light and drift away for a moment, thinking you might die there, basking in its warmth. You awaken sometime later with the strength to stand. Your horse is dead and you begin the long journey back to Castle Ath to deliver the news to your people.

Your wife and daughter, Amelia and Emma Carter, are standing at the gate and they embrace you with tears of joy in their eyes, and over the next couple of days you are nursed back to health, the only residual hindrance of your battle with the dragon is a slight stiffening of the knee before a hard rain.

The foul magic that had arisen with the dragon to plagued your people seemed to fade with its death, and you no longer become concerned with plots of demons and undead. Instead you focus on the harvest and keeping the trading routes free from bandits and governing your people. Tales of Elves and dwarves recede into myth and legend.

You are a wise and beloved leader. Though you by no means see eye to eye with everyone, even your most devoted adversaries hold respect for you. You also serve as a spiritual adviser to your people, leading them into a golden age of awareness and empathy. With much hard work and dedication, your small kingdom flourishes into a utopia.

One day, in your middle age when you finally had time to reflect, you realized that the anger and frustration that had plagued your youth had all but disappeared after that day with the dragon.

You raise you daughter, Emma Carter, to be a capable and kind leader. You have two more children, a son ,and another daughter, and you watch them grow into happy and proud adults. Your marriage to your wife is a long and happy one. You watch your kingdom grow too, as disparate human clans flock to the prosperity of your banners, and it is said that you are king of the known world.

When you are old, you turn the kingdom’s reign over to your daughter, and live a quite simple life of meditation and reflection. You maintain your fitness well and best men a third your age whenever you drop by training in the barracks. You are a great healer too. Though much of the magic that had filled the early part of your life seems almost like a dream now, but you are learned in setting bones and treating cuts and illnesses, and every now and then you can muster the strength to cure critical wounds or cauterize a hemorrhaging gash with touch of fire, much to the amazement of any onlookers.

You live a long full life. You do accomplish everything you could have ever wanted to. You’ve set in motion a society that will be capable of greater things still. One day, on a sunny afternoon just like that day with the dragon, King Simon Carter, Lord of All Men and Savior of all people and Slayer of the Great Dragon, passes away quietly in his sleep, surrounded by a loving family and a grateful nation. He dies knowing he will be joined in everlasting peace with his goddess the Silver Lady and all who had gone before and all who will come after.

In the void of the dawning of a new universe, the first is left alone, the last of his magic spent, he disappears into oblivion.

Ages End

Ages' End tman2met