Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Annals of Denbacan

Translated from the ancient language of the Early Men

Centuries ago, the wealthy Phoenician wizard-merchant Sakarbaal travelled to the Island of Redstone after hearing the rumor of a Font of Youth. The aging wizard was willing to travel any distance, compromise any principle, sacrifice everything, to prolong his natural life. The exception was necromancy, as becoming a lich, he would explain, was to give up most of the earthly pleasures Sakarbaal loved.

Speaking of which, Sakarbaal brought his young apprentice, Urumkiiki. The boy knew he would not see his family again and might spend the rest of his short life in the wilderness with his old master. Regardless, he thought himself lucky if he could partake in immortality at the side of his master. They sailed the long distance in the wizard’s opulent ship, selling the gold plated pleasure vessel, a family heirloom, in Northman controlled Tara to fund their expedition. 

The two enlisted Early Men explorers in town to take them to cyclop ruins in the north. There was ambush and betrayal as the unscrupulous guides misled the explorers. However, they had not counted on the cleverness and ruthlessness of Sakarbaal, and when the wizard arrived at the Early Men village where the scouts originated, fire claimed the lives of half the inhabitants, with one slain every hour until a true guide was brought to him. 

That is when I, Denbacan, stepped forward. As I write this, I wonder if history will view me as a brave explorer or betrayer of my people's heritage. In any case, with my help, we headed for forbidden lands. Since gaining our freedom from the cyclops centuries ago, it has been forbidden to enter those lands, for fear that unknown horrors may be awoken. The admission that I knew the lands well would forever cloud my peoples view of me, and perhaps this is why Sakarbaal allowed me to live. We are maybe not so different from each other.

We took to the mountains and over the next several months, half of the explorers died along the way, either through illness or attacks from monsters, especially the vile green dragon, Chrysox. Sakarbaal eventually parlayed for safe passage with Chrysox, offering him a magical sword of some sort. With the dragon allowing passage, we soon discovered an ancient Cyclopean city, and in its center, a powerful artifact. It was not the secret of youth, as Sakarbaal had desired, but a device rumored to be far more powerful, The Machine of Creation.

Sakarbaal was angry and despondent, but thankfully did not take out his frustration on me or the men. Eventually he came up with an idea. If he could not be immortal through some font or elixir, perhaps there was another way. 

The Font of Creation, according to Sakarbaal's research, could create a demiplane, if given enough energy. A demiplane was nothing to Sakarbaal, but an infinite number of demiplanes, populated by worshipers, would be something else entirely. Sakarbaal could populate these realms with followers and achieve immortality through godhood!  But such a plan would require enormous, near infinite power. 

On the way out of the mountains, Sakarbaal convinced his men of the merits of the plan, joking that each would be a high priest in the faith of Sakar, the reference to his family god Baal dropped completely at this point. And where would he find these people to worship him?

I snuck out of the camp that evening, leaving the crazy old man with his enormous machine, small army of porters, and his high priests. How and where they would go to harness such great power will remain a mystery to me.

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