Tarnishing of the Ring

The tarnishing of the Ring is a story recorded in the holy scriptures of the Confederacy of Doflein Realms. It relates to the fading of power from the Ring of Dominion, an artifact of reputed great power which has subsequently vanished. The tarnishing of the Ring, and its subsequent disappearance, serves as a foundational story in the doflein religion, beliefs, and attitudes toward other species.  

Background

The Ring of Dominion was a symbol of authority gifted to the first emperor of the Doflein Confederacy, Kengurn, reputedly by an avatar of the Prime. The ring was described as a relatively unadorned band of bismuth, which was known to shimmer with colors, sized to fit on the mouth arm of a doflein. The ring kept the wearer youthful, healthy, and mentally, which allowed Kengurn to reign over the nascent empire for generations beyond his natural lifespan.  

The Tarnishing

Emperor Kengurn ruled the unified Doflein Confederacy in peace and prosperity for two hundred years. The Ring of Dominion kept him hale and hearty, his mind remaining as clear as it had been during his early years. His subjects were happy, produced great works of art, and accumulated tremendous riches. Not all people of the Confederacy were so content, however. Several nobles and priests grew jealous of the adulation given to Kengurn and plotted against him.   The charismatic, influential priest Shuubaǐ was chief among them. He began spreading rumors that neither Kengurn, nor the Ring of Dominion, were as they appeared. He claimed that the real Kengurn had died centuries before, the current emperor was merely an impostor put forward by the Court of the Prime, and the Ring of Dominion was merely a simple ring with no powers at all. The supposed blessing by the Prime was merely a trick to placate the common people.   On the back of these claims, Shuubaǐ raised a revolt against Kengurn. He managed to conquer half of the empire before Kengurn managed to rally his army and force a stalemate. The stalemate carried on, with both sides clashing but managing to make no permanent gains. As the impasse ground on, Kengurn began to despair about his ability to succeed.   One night Kengurn made an argent plea to the Prime, asking for deliverance from Shuubaǐ's rebellion. Over the following weeks, Shuubaǐ's forces made a fierce push, making significant gains. At the height of despair, Kengurn denounced the Prime, declaring his loss of faith. Suddenly, the Ring of Dominion lost its luster, the rainbow colors fading to a dingy silver. At the same time, Kengurn aged all his years, becoming frail and weak. Only his mind remained clear. Kengurn realized that this was a sign from the Prime, his loss of faith returned in kind. Reminded of the Prime's power, Kengurn vowed to defeat Shuubaǐ and regain the Prime's blessing.   Kengurn rallied his forces once again, inspiring them with a moving speech and vowing to fight on the front lines. With their morale bolstered, Kengurn's army began to recapture the lost territory. The fighting lasted for five years, with Shuubaǐ's forces finally falling at the Battle of Jog’ǔxst. Shuubaǐ was vilified as the Deceiver and then sacrificed on the Altar of the Prime. That same night, Kengurn passed away.  

Aftermath

The Ring of Dominion never regained its power and remained tarnished. Emperors continued to wear it for a thousand years as a symbol of authority. Eventually the ring was lost, though stories disagree how. The most popular and official story is that the ring simply vanished one night, retrieved by the Prime to be returned to the doflein in a time of great need. Others believe the ring was stolen by a thief. Some claim it was sold by an emperor in order to cover debts the empire had accrued.   Over the centuries, numerous forgeries and fakes have turned up, used by pretenders to the imperial throne, con artists to make money, and false prophets to attract followers. So far, none have stood up to any scrutiny. Official scripture states that the ring will reappear in time of the Confederacy's greatest need, held by a hero charged by the Prime to lead the doflein to victory.
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Cover image: by Denis Khusainov

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