Rise of the Aeternum
the old gods die
Origin When 6034 AC rolled around, the Seven Kingdoms were in an already weakened state. The old allegiances were fading under the pressure of greed. Belief in the Old Faith, too, was dying. Wherever life was easiest, such as in the lowland kingdoms, the signs of corruption and indolence were the most prevalent. While this sad situation left them ripe for the conquest to come, it did not trigger the attack. While no one would learn of it until over a hundred years later, the secret of the Immortal Emperor, the so-called Newborn God...was dark magic, plain and simple. It began when a young cobbler named Arden Duskglass happened upon a Skygate. He was't a particularly bad man...he only hit his wife when she gave him lip. The children were fine if they stayed out of his way. He was always friendly to his neighbors. But when he approached the Skygate, attempting to take shelter from the heavy storm, a most wonderful (some would say terrible) thing happened. The Skygate began to glow. Shortly after that, in the midst of his confusion, he realized he was surrounded by Mistwalkers. They floated in the dark, black sheets like hanged men that sighed in the wind. Knowing his chances, Arden quickly spat out his prayers and prepared himself for the worst. But the Mistwalkers didn't move. Arden turned to the still-glowing Skygate...on the other side he saw a vision of the future. He saw himself, standing tall with a Crown on his head, a flaming sword in his hand. "I claim the heavens," the figure cried, "I am the last son of the gods." Overcome with shock and giddy with power, Arden realized he could control the Mistwalkers. It all became crystal clear to him after that. Campaign At first, every battle had to happen at night. Mistwalkers would pour over the local villages and towns, slaying indiscriminately at a chilling, steady pace. Once the survivors were gathered together, shaking and crying, Arden would approach them and offer them their lives in exchange for their allegiance. Other towns sent their menfolk to join him rather than suffer an attack by the Mistwalkers, who preyed on hope as much as they did on the living. In this way he built an army of both living and dead. This enabled him to strike with his soldiers during the day and then send the Mistwalkers at night. This was especially necessary, since he found his influence over the Mistwalkers fading with every step he took away from the Skygate, and knew he would have to rely almost totally on his flesh and blood army before he reached the Capital. It was only when he reached the larger cities with their Mages, forewarned and forearmed, that things became a little more difficult. Fire scorched the fields day and night as the Mages tossed magic at the Mistwalkers, forming impenetrable barriers of light that wouldn't allow even a shadow to slip through. Quickly, before reinforcements from other cities could join the valiant effort and halt him permanently, Arden sought the assistance of alchemists, scattered specialists who were more interested in his undead army than his political goals. In return for his promised patronage, they created special bundles of infectious material that he could catapult behind enemy lines. He aimed for the supply stations, and the living quarters inside the castle. Soon enough, the food supply was infested and the opposing armies were ravaged by sickness and disease. It didn't take long to break their resistance. Arden personally had the Mages torn limb from limb before sending the pieces to the various remaining kingdoms as presents. Eventually, his control over the Mistwalkers faded. But by that time he had an army greater than any three kingdoms combined. He made his vicious way towards the Capital, having killed ever King he found, leaving the land in upheaval and confusion. Until the day came when he personally drove his sword through the High King's mouth and out the back of his neck. Leaving the sword with disdain, he tipped the body off and took its place on the throne.
"You see me on an earthly throne now." the Young God spoke. "Bear with me, for soon I will have a seat in the heavens." - The Ascent of our Divine Emperor, written by Martin Pembroke, 6059 ACLong-Term Effects After the conquest was finished and his power consolidated, the Aeternum has done anything but rest on his laurels. Authority in the Seven Kingdoms has been almost completely consolidated. His word is the be-all, end-all of the land, and the Barons are his instruments. His researchers can do anything they can conceive of, and no door can be closed to his Justiciars. Save for the brave souls in the Spines and the Drylands, it is only the people themselves who feel the death of freedom. They have become ants in a large mass of human cattle...less visible to their Emperor God then they were to their inept and infantile kings. Due to the extinction of the Old Faith, they are invisible to their god as well. They have no faith, and nothing to tell them to fight against the tyrannical rule of the Aeternum. While he always said he would eventually ascend into heaven, the Emperor seems to be turning his attention to the oustide world first, preparing an armada like the world has never seen. War is on the horizon, and the thought of it is an oppressive force on the minds of the people. All they can really do in the meantime is try to live. But is it really living?