Legend of the Keepers  

 

The time since the Great War had long past and with it too, the memories of those lost were forgotten. Only the ones ordained to watch over the remnants of what had been left behind held the knowledge that time had so thoroughly swept away. These Keepers were tasked with maintaining one of the greatest of all magics. It was the magic that had ended the war of wars and created the order that they now served.

In the beginning their need was not anticipated. It had been the unraveling of the universe that predicated the creation of the order. The unexpected event of tapping magics so unknown and so wild left nothing untouched. It had become necessary to tamper with these wild forces. Yet, none knew the consequence until the disappearances began.

The Counsel of Tagg had convened and decided the war could not be won; at least not with the current state of the multiverse. Too many doors were open, too many passages leading to pasts, futures, and the infinite dimensions existed. The only way to stop the advance of the invading dark forces was to keep them from traversing between worlds. The vile minions that sought to conquer all the known lands were far too many in number. The strength of their armies was like none that had come before. It was the wake of devastation they left that had brought the counsel to do the unthinkable. They had decided to call upon the magic of the Cirillian Mages.

The Cirillian Mages were crazed and strangely deformed beings that had tampered with magics others knew were best left untouched. In doing so, the magic had consumed a part of them. It coursed through their bodies and left them as shells of their former selves; crazed with a madness so perverse they could never be trusted.

Though the price paid by each was beyond imagine, the counsel had decided that it was in the best interest of all mankind to keep the mages imprisoned. In this way, the counsel was assured that these miscreants were unable to continue the perilous research they had so foolishly begun. In fact, it was the only way to insure that a mistake like that which had unleashed upon the world of man this most recent of foes was never made again.

The mages had been brought from the prisons of Scion Noble. Not all of the counsel thought this a wise decision, but none had a better plan. The crazed, once human, creatures were bound in chains and forced to kneel on the floor. Behind each stood two wizards tasked with insuring that none of the creatures used the wild magics coursing within them.

To the casual onlooker, it would have appeared all was lost. How could such wretched creatures save the world of mankind? In fact, it was obvious that these poor souls could not even save themselves from the powers that had consumed them. However as one of the dark mages fell to the floor and began to drone in some chillingly eerie ancient tongue, their true nature was revealed.

The magic seemed to creep forth from the mage and spread across the floor as though it were a living creature struggling to achieve a foothold in the land of mankind. In an instant, its attempt was thwarted by the two watchful attendants towering over the creature. With a deafening, thunderous clap, the magic snapped back into its host causing him to writhe and scream out in a fit of agonizing pain. Left behind where the magic had touched was a testament to the fate that nearly befell them all. An eerie void covered parts of the floor and walls of the counsel chamber. It was a cold blackness so dark that light itself seemed unable to escape. The void seemed to crave the light and swallowed it ravenously.

Creedor Mal-Krim, High Lord of the counsel snapped to his feet and scolded the wizards with a tone so unsettling that all in the room cowered. “Incompetent fools!” he shouted. “Do you not understand the grave nature of this undertaking! The counsel has entrusted you with perhaps the greatest task of your miserable lives and you nearly let the very thing you are to control loose upon us.” He turned to the other counsel members and warned, “Now you see the danger in this. It is not so easily controlled! Dare we test fate only to bring upon us the madness of these mages?”

Shelva Abdurin, Priestess of Katal and second seat of the counsel redirected him. “We all know the risk, but even you know of no other path for us to take.” Her tone softened. “You are right in being concerned. If we are to do this, we must be quick. As we speak the hordes advance throughout the known worlds and it is obvious that it is not safe to have these mages about without the protections in place at the prison.”

Creedor stood his ground stating, “I fear you are wrong. We know little of this magic or the consequences of what we are about to do. Even these fools trusted that they could control it and see what has become of them.”

Murmurs echoed throughout the counsel chamber. It was apparent that the sight of what had nearly crept into existence before them and the warnings Creedor once again voiced made many uneasy with the decision.

Shelva sensing the growing concern stood and confronted Creedor. “If a better plan have you then speak it now! I grow weary of you constant disdain in this matter.”

Creedor stood silent for a moment. He shook his head and spoke. “ The counsel has decided. We shall carry forth the ritual.” Then in a less emphatic tone stated “Take them to the chamber below. The others await.”

It has been an eternity since the foolish Counsel of Tagg tampered with the wild magics. They had hoped to control the passages to the outerlands and protect themselves from the Ishkatar. What they succeeded in accomplishing was tearing asunder the multiverse. The passages were sealed but the result was an inifinte number of isolated realms, each divided from one another, each oblivious to the others existence. Some were lands of magic. Others know of magic as only in legends. All were forever changed.

During the maelstrom that tore apart the multiverse, the Cirillian Mages managed to escape. Some say they planned the event all along. They still harbor great contempt for their former masters and seek to thwart the Keepers given any opportunity.

As for the land of Tagg, it slipped from existence having succumbed to the wild magics loosed during the ritual. The only remnant left as a testament to its folly is the chamber where the magic had been loosed. A singular room floating in an island of blackness, it now lies as a nexus between the realms long forgotten. Imprisoned inside are the wizards once tasked with controlling the mages; the pretentious idea forever abandoned. Now they serve as the Keepers of the Lost Lands, trying eternally to maintain the balance that only time has achieved. It is said that from time to time the Keepers venture forth from the nexus to restore the balance in a realm, but legend tells that the same magic that has made them immortal ultimately pulls them back to the prison they long ago created.

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