Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Unexpected Adventure - Werewolves

One of the great things about D&D is that when you're not forcing things onto rails, adventures and stories can take so many wonderful twists and turns. Well, the session I had this afternoon illustrated that beautifully.

We had just cleared a catacomb, vanquishing a necro-alchemist that had taken residence there, using the dead for his experiments. After finding our way to the entrance below to the keep, we headed to there to plan our next moves with the Lord Warren of the city. As we passed through the grounds, wa saw a small cadre of soldiers known as the Midnight Duelists; though their duty is constant, they're an elite force that hunts vampires, lycanthropes, and the like. On nights where the moon is full or creatures are expected to be on the prowl, the city imposes a strict curfew; for the protection of the citizens, and to let the duelists work unhindered. Tonight the howlpack, a large group of werewolves, has been seen in the woods beyond the north-east wall.

So within the Keep, how someone might have infiltrated the catacombs and where they could procure alchemy equipment so very rare is the topic of discussion so that it can be determined how to proceed. When our dragonborn excuses himself, yet asks if he can borrow a small scroll. Though puzzled, the Warren complies. Striding down the hall, the dragonborn finds a study, the walls lined with books and scrolls containing census records and the history of the city; presumably belonging to the Lord Warren. He manages to fake the Warrens handwriting, giving himself permission to shadow the midnight duelists. He also finds and uses the wax seals which give authority and legitimacy to the Warrens letters.

Finding them assembling, with a letter 'from the Warden' in hand, he is invited to shadow them, and is given the padded leather armor and runed silver swords that are the equipment of the duelists. In the woods, the howlpack is heard in the distance. Heading to a prearranged location, two groups meet in a copse of trees, yet have alerted the howlpack to their presence in their haste. The copse is made of tall oaks with thick, fanning branches, and ropes hanging down. Scrambling, they make it into the canopy, and await the werewolves. The great beasts stalk into the clearing, fanning out, snuffling about the trail of brush the duelists ran through in their rush for the trees. They soon find their way near the base of each tree where the duelists are. Giving a signal, he jumps down, his dragon breath engulfing the closely clustered wolves and setting the battleground alight. Plunging with his new silver blade, it lands between the shoulder blades of the wolf nearest him and presses it farther as it ruptures the creatures sternum. The others, pressing the advantage, plunge upon the beasts that panic in the flames ending many of them, though one duelist does nearly meet her death at the claws of one of these beasts. Yet soon, amongst the charred underbrush of the clearing, the six duelists stand victorious over the slain werewolves. As the dawn shows itself over the distant mountains, a pyre is lit to set these lost creatures to rest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fastigium - Heart of the Empire

I apologize for the delay in this post. I've been just a bit harried between losing a job (one of two, fortunately), and tests on the horizon for a few classes. Yet with things getting crunched, I'm committed to no less than three posts per week barring tragedy. Thank you for reading, and without further delay, Fastigium.

The War of Corruption seemed to be a losing battle. Caelum's sons were being cut down by the thousands, and every day another city burned. On those rare occasions when the scattered Crusaders did meet the Armies of the Nine Hells en masse it was near always a delay tactic, giving the refugees precious time in their desperate trek north. In a time fraught with peril it was punctuated by moments of heroism. People willfully staying behind to give the last horses to women and children. Men and women of every age and social strata taking up arms to stand in the way of a tide they could not possibly hold back. And of course, the countless thousands of Crusaders who gave their last breath for their home. It was not until the Battle of the Bleached Hills and the Rise of the Angel of Hope that the tide was finally turned aside.

Des Nekketh was a city of refugees for the years spent recovering from the war. Tens of thousands had managed their way north, yet once across the river, what home was there for them? The tenements within the cities walls grew overnight, and camps all around the city covered the fields for miles. Yet over the course of a few years, they dispersed. Some found permanent residence in and around Des Nekketh, others trekked along the river to the Theocracy of Astu Fides. Still more accustomed quickly to a gypsy like lifestyle and found a home in the Emerald Vale to the east. Yet the large body found themselves once again heading north. There was work and land to be had, and it left farther behind the painful memories of a lost home.

They were welcome outside the walls of the fortress of Fastigium, the northernmost citadel of the now fallen Kingdom of Caelum. The flat expanses that made up the southern panorama from the fortresses walls soon became tilled, and the forests that covered the foothills to the north were soon home to lumberers. The citadel, long unused for military purpose, came to tower above a wooden city grown outside its walls. As a season faded to a year, to a decade, to near a century, aqueducts coming from the mountains irrigated the farmlands and quenched the thirst of a metropolis, of which the citadel is now the seat of government and military. The line of Odric, the progenitor being the man who led a great body of refugees north from Eden itself, now presides as Wardens of the city, and Fastigium has become something of a capitol. Its armies are the only other than Dythans which holds influence beyond its own borders, and stand alone in terms of those that are welcome.

As a city it is one of stark contrasts. Though sprawling in every direction, even the manors of the city that most closely hug it are dwarfed by the enormity of the Citadel. And though it is no longer such, it maintains some remnants of its past as a refugees city. Brothels are a common sight in every neighborhood, rich or poor, and it is even such that some women are slaves in all but name. 'Indentured Servants' of a nobleman or wealthy merchant who out of 'kindness' took young girls in under their own roofs. It's a site all too common to cities that thrive upon commerce.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lorem Ipsum - Crown Jewel of the Dwarves

Separating Caelum from the Arkhosian Desert are the great edifices of granite that form Morradin's Shield. For hundreds of miles across the northern border of the Surviving Kingdoms they reach toward the heavens, visible on the horizon from even Des Nekketh in the south. They have a bold sort of beauty to them, from snow-covered peaks that frame the rising moon, to the high waterfalls of the Vale of the Fey. Yet within, they are far less enchanting. Winds howl through sheer walled canyons, and glacial sheets cover the roots of the mountains. And the magic of the fey that emanates from the Spiral Tower holds influence beyond the Vale home to Anmera; throughout much of the mountains powerful ice elemental stalk the stone. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Rimewind, where Haarken's Heart reaches high into Morradin's Shield. Treants suffused with elemental magic wield the ice and snow about them as potent weapons, and consider themselves protectors; even the Haarken's Heart Druids must tread lightly in this part of the forest. 

Yet a small cadre of the dwarves of Caelum call this remote reach of the mountains their home, basing themselves in the ancient fortress Ossum. Where the druids and treants consider themselves protectors of the forest, the dwarves think of themselves as guardians of the mountains. Yet the Davarrin sect is distinctive, for though their works of steel are still of quality uniquely dwarven, they bear far more resemblance to the Druids of the forest than their brothers deep in the mountains.Their home in Ossum is hewn into the granite of the mountains, and they do not crave the wealth so many of their kin fall prey to. Instead they value their home in its natural, primal state, and their warriors guard this part of the mountains wielding axes and frost magic.

However, most of Caelum's dwarves now live in the sprawling city of Lorem Ipsum. For centuries the dwarves that sealed themselves within the mountains to battle the Underdark were presumed to have fallen. Yet decades ago, a long dormant volcano went out with one last hurrah; an explosion powerful enough to turn solid granite to gravel. Left behind was a Caldera two miles wide in diameter, water at the bottom heated by the remaining magma far below. For the years since they had sealed themselves off, it had been a slowly losing battle against the Underdark for the Dwarves. With the hells advancing above, their ongoing battle turned for the worst as the attacks came relentlessly. Slowly, stronghold after stronghold failed, until finally but two were left, surrounded on all sides. Though a dwarfs pride is without peer, their stubbornness to cling to ancestral homes had been eroded by more than a century of battling the darkness. Commander Velkas stayed behind with his legion to stave off the Underdark as his people fled to the caldera to begin anew.

The city itself exists because of a microclimate; the Caldera is surrounded by walls of stone hundreds of feet high, sheltering it from the winds and the worst of the snow. The magma far below creates ambient heat, allowing the city to exist in the heart of the unforgiving cold of the mountains. Despite its fantastic geography, the craftsmanship of the dwarves makes the sight awe inspiring. A massive pillar of glass framed in copper rises from the center of the city near to the top of the Caldera, where it meets aqueducts that span overhead to the edge and the snow and ice of the heart of the mountains. Copper pipes follow these aqueducts delivering steam to melt the snow, bringing water into the heart of the city to continue not only quenching thirsts, but fueling the steam which powers mighty dwarven machinery. The streets and buildings below are granite inlayed with precious metal left behind by the volcano, and everywhere copper pipes snake through the city, delivering steam for heat and to power the machines.

At the center of the city, surrounding the great aqueduct, is the wealthiest district of the city. At its epicenter is the Hall of Lords, through which the great aqueduct flows, and spreading from this towering monolith of stone and glass are the homes of the wealthy, the streets also dotted with great bath houses heated naturally by the magma hundreds of feet below. Beyond these great structures are the many artisans and merchants who craft not only machines of brass and copper, but weapons and armor of unparallelled craftsmanship, and jewelery whose beauty is without peer. Then the buildings along the streets give way to the homes of the commoners, and the opulence begins to fade. Though bath houses are common throughout the city given the natural heat and the pipes that reach even to the edge of the Caldera, they do not even begin to rival the magnificence of those nearer the heart of the city. Farther still, forming a ring all the way round the Caldera, are the slums as such a city has, yet perhaps more appropriately it is the industrial district. Steam drills bore at the walls, procuring granite and copper in vast quantities. Here, massive refineries cast the copper pipes, of which there are untold miles in Lorem Ipsum, and miners find a second home in the many taverns of the district.

Here, one may also enter the undercity. Where the city reaches its limit against facades of granite, some delved down. Where above there is beauty in the bold architecture of metal and stone, here are the monoliths of machinery that sustain it. Causeways of granite encircle and branch from the great pumps and steam vents which make the city possible, and overhead, miles of copper pipe stretch in every direction. Dwarves suspended from chains work endlessly to repair and replace pipes as they grow old, working in sweltering heat suspended a hundred feet or more from the stone causeways; and the true daredevils hang over the places where the causeways fail, and magma awaits them some five hundred feet below.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anmera - Home of the Spiral Tower

Within Morradin's Shield, the granite mountain range that divides the Surviving Kingdoms from the Arkhosian Desert, is the Vale of the Fey. On the border of the sprawling forest Haarken's Heart, glimpses of the primal beauty and power of the Fey Wild seep into the world. Over the edge of the granite edifices flow clear mountain water, which twist and twine, slowly coming together and forming the tranquil Lake Nirn, source of the Mighty Des. From the shores rise causeways, beneath which pass the sailing ships of the Merchants of the Des, connecting to the city of Anmera. Towering Ivory cliff faces are mirrored in Lake Nirn, and the city that rises above the lake emits an enchanting glow from the Pearl colored stone. At the heart of its hexagonal construction rises the Spiral Tower, the beacon of Fey Magic.

The oldest annals of the city's history tell the most ancient history of Caelum itself. There are no known builders of the Spiral Tower; it is the beacon of Fey Magic, the focal point of the arcane power of the Fey Wild. In Caelum's youngest days, it was far more primal. The granite crags of Morradins shield, the oceans of sand of the Arkhosian Desert, and Haarken's Heart, which covered much of Caelum in an uninterrupted canopy of emerald green. It was the Empire of Bael Turath that brought about the end of this chapter in Caelums History; even today the dragonborn of Dythan's Legion bear the Turathi slave symbol under which they were imprisoned. Wielding power garnered from pacts with the harbingers of their race, their advance seemed unstoppable as much of Haarken's Heart perished in Black Flames. It was a long war of attrition between the elves of Anmera and the advancing Turathi Empire, and each passing year the elves lost more ground, fearing Bael Turath would come to wield and corrupt the Fey Magic of the Spiral Tower. The Kingdom of Caelum was brought about at this time as Bael Turath was slowly driven back. The elves that had so long carried on the way, the Dwarves from the Mountain Citadels, pockets of dragon born in northern reaches of the desert, and finally the Southern Human Kingdoms, wielding power bestowed by the Divines. The final victory came at what is now Incendium, at the only great uniting of the Armies of Caelum.

Once an empire that covered most of Caelum, it is now relegated to the single city state of Anmera. The closer one gets to the center of the city, the more Fey Magic seems to bleed into the world as the stones themselves seem to take on a vibrancy of their own. From the tower outward spread the districts of the city. Nearest the tower is home to the nobles and magistrates of the city, the second housing minor nobles and authorities, and finally the third ring is home to the merchants, traders, and artisans. It is at the base of the plateau, down narrow walkways but into the cliff face that one finds the poorer districts, composed of those without family in the city. The buildings are still of stone but are roughly hewn structures cut from the cliff face, showing none of the intricacy and extravagance of the city atop the plateau. Fisheries, wharves, and lumbermen are the common fair here, making their living facilitating the rough work of the trade that flows over the lake and down the length of the river.

Yet above all of this stands the Spiral Tower, the ageless edifice of stone imbued with the magic of the Fey Wild. It is not only the pinnacle of arcane studies in Caelum to which students travel leagues to study at, but it serves as the governing body of Anmera, the Vale, and, ostensibly, Haarken's Heart. The top tier is the Aegis Council, and in Anmera, Grand Magistrate and Archmage are synonomous. The ten Noble families of the city all live within the two inner sanctums of the city nearest the tower, and have an ancient family history as Mages of the Spiral Tower. Some specialize as scholars, other are akin to the Druids of Haarkens Heart, but one which holds particular sway form the corp Emerald Guardians, and combine powerful Fey Magic with unparalleled skill with a balde; blades with which they channel their arcane power.

It is not the marble and lumber that passes over Lake Nirn which forms the wealth of the city, rather it is the millenia of irreplaceable arcane knowledge that is housed within the oldest city in Caelum.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Astu Fides - The Holy City

The Aurean Vale is formed by two branches of the Blessed Des River and is sealed from Where Angels Fear to Tread by sheer cliffs of brilliant white stone that rise as a mighty bulwark, hundreds of feet high. Where the only break exists in the cliffs stands the Holy City of Astu Fides, the Wall an extension of the natural cliffs of the Vale. The Spire of the Old Cathedral is visible for miles, a triumphant beacon over the heath.

The interior of the city is far more magnificent than most others. Where most any other city is home to people of various social strata, here the city is composed almost exclusively of the clergy, merchants, and artisans. The few poorer citizens are often street sweepers or gardeners in the payroll of the church to maintain the beauty and cleanliness of the city, and either rent small rooms above the shops or bed at the almshouse outside the city walls. Not only is this a product of the stature of the city, but that its primary commodity is silver. While ordinary jewelry does compose a part of it, the particular skill of the silversmiths is crafting it in ways that are protective against unhallowed creatures. Weaponsmiths trained by the Cathars create weapons imbued with the power of blessed silver or living wood enchanted to maintain its properties against the undead, and are envied as slayer weapons across the Surviving Kingdoms, especially in the Kessig Wilds in the Eastern corner of the vale, where monster hunting is a way of life. The Etchers are another part of this trade, where with silver pens they etch prayers and blessings into everything from weapons and shields to children's toys; in a blade it grants greater damage against the undead, and in ordinary objects it provides wards of protection. Someone skilled in the art can write so finely as to fit dozens of prayers and blessings onto a small locket.

The Cathedral Boulevard is the main thoroughfare of the city, and stretches from the gates to the steps of the Old Cathedral. When one first enters they are greeted by the Heralds bell, a tower standing alone in a plaza with a silver bell atop used to summon the citizens to weekly service; during the Feast of Goldnight when for two days the sun does not dip below the horizon, this bell and those in the Cathedral toll out an endless melody. Surrounding this plaza is also the largest Graf in the city, graveyards that serve much like public parks. It is considered tranquil to be amongst lost loved ones still peacefully interred in a world where so many suffer the curse of undeath. The Cathedral cloister that stands at the top of the Boulevard, however, is the most domineering aspect of the city. At the foot of the steps in a plaza mirroring that of the Herald's Bell is the Gallows Tree, a massive oak that forms a green canopy over the plaza, and from its branches hang nooses imbued with the same magic used to maintain the properties living wood has against the dead. Growing over the Cavern of Souls, it is believed that the tree has the power to absolve the souls of the hanged.

As one ascends the steps in the Cathedral Cloister, one must pass through the gate of the Childrens Wall. The oldest wall in the city, it bears the names of hundreds of thousands of children stretching back countless generations. In the year of a child's birth, parents make pilgrimage to the city to have the baby's name inscribed here, believing it will grant them some protection in life. In the shadow of the Cathedral stand the Aureum Grounds and Theonas' Seminary, where the military forces of Astu Fides are honed. The Aureum Grounds train the Crusaders of Astu Fides, a fighting force that traces its lineage to the very beginnings of Caelum. Here men and women train tirelessly to become holy crusaders, and clad in steel and silver, as Harbinger Marorin reminds them "They are symbols of what Caelum once was, and hope for what it will be again."

Over the gate of the seminary, the inscription "From Mortal Hope, Immortal Power Springs" spans the archway. Crusaders and even Hamlet captains who display a particular connection with the divine hone their skills here, honing their bodies into weapons against the darkness. The wield the finest crafts of silver, as weaponsmiths are also trained here to imbue a blade with holy silver, making it the perfect weapon of a slayer. When their training is finally complete and they are ordained in the order by the Geist of St. Theonas himself, they can invoke blessings and boons in battle; some can even entreat angels to fight by their side.

The Cathedral, however, is the most dominating feature of the city, its great spire visible for miles. In this highest sepulcher is the seat of the current Lunarch, Jenara, the holy leader of the city. Below her are the Bishops and Archbishops of the Chapel of Nobles, who not only serve as holy figures, but are also the aristocracy of the city, and below them are the Lesser Clergy and Ordained Fellows of Midvast Hall, where the commoners worship during important holy days. Finally there are the common cloisters, the covered corridors along each wing of Midvast Hall, where commoners worship during common services. It is not only beautiful, but it serves as the governmental body of the city and the vale as a whole; the word of the Lunarch is law in Astu Fides.

And finally, accessed only from the Cathedral Garden, is the Cavern of Souls. The interior is gorgeous crystalline structures and rock etched with veins of silver. As you enter a calming presence overwhelms you, and you see the spirits that give this place its name. Small lights flit from crystal to crystal and the thousands of them that culminate at the apex of the roof cast an enchanting glow over the entire cavern, causing the veins of silver to emit a white glow. In the center of this room, hundreds of feet high, is an edifice of silver about which many of the spirits circle yet never seem to touch; The Vault. Here He is imprisoned. He who corrupts, He who defiles. The Harbinger of the Abyss, Griselbrand. This silver monolith beneath the Old Cathedral serves as his prison, and with him are trapped hundreds of unpurged evils. The spectral guardian of this holiest of places is the Geist of Saint Theonas, the first mortal to ever entreat the angels to fight beside him.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Des Nekketh - Trade Hub

Caelum is a world that I continue to expand. To share everything I have in just one pass would be a matter of pages upon pages of writing, and with regular updates, I would end up with a novel in a matter of a week. There are cities, dungeons, regions, customs, cultures, and characters I want to share; I'm pretty excited. So I need to first paint in broad strokes, then narrow my focus as the picture starts to come together.

I want to start with the Surviving Kingdoms; Des Nekketh, Fastigium, Astu Fides, Anmera, Lorem Ipsum, Mansipium, and Incendium. These are the city-states that are bastions of order in a world that has mostly fallen to ruin. I'll spend a few posts on each, giving first an overview of each then taking a sharper focus in subsequent posts, and through the series I hope to not only give you a picture of each city, but to give you an idea of the world. From there, it will be somewhat less defined. Perhaps the Fallen city of Astu Lumen, or artwork portraying different characters and locales.

Yet first, Des Nekketh, the trade hub and catch all of the Surviving Kingdoms.

An ancient city, it sits on the River Des at the head of a prosperous vale and serves as the only distinct crossing to Where Angels Fear to Tread in the Surviving Kingdoms; even the mighty theocracy of Astu Fides bars the way with steep, natural cliff faces and a stone bulwark spanning the only break in the cliffs. Yet this is not for an unconquerable military force. This part of the river has known some peace; a farming community has even taken root beyond the walls of the city in Where Angels Fear to Tread. Though it is not the safest living, holy wards and silver weapons repel what attacks do come out from the heath.

The heavy stonework that looks toward the Bleached Hills in the distance pays homage to the military history of the city, as do the winding catacombs that honeycomb the Plateau of the Argentum Keep, seat of the Lord Warren of the city. The Knights of the Warden, heavily clad cavalry bearing heavy spears of silver etched with holy runes, are the last true military force of the city, and are a picture painted in steel of the greatness Caelum once knew. Yet years of relative peace and wealth have caused the city at large to turn from this regal past toward the trade wealth to be had on the River Des.

From Mancipium in the West come flatboats of grain, and horses are raised in the verdant fields of the countryside. From Astu Fides come blades and symbols of wrought silver, and farther still from the elves in Anmera and the Dwarves of Lorem Ipsum come works of craftsmanship beyond compare. Seralund Halfmoon presides over this greatest enterprise of his family's clan, and they control most of the trade that moves along the Des.

The Eastern half of the city is home to much of this trade wealth, with great estates and manor houses of the Kamroth, Azaer, and Halfmoon families dominating the cobbled streets lined with shops, markets, and Inns. Yet over these, in a wooded, quiet sanctuary from the rest of the city looms the Septarch's Tower. It serves as a Temple of Ioun, and the mysterious, seven sided structure of stone as verdant as Harkens Heart Forest stands in stark contrast to the native stone of the rest of Des Nekketh. Though the archmage wields significant arcane power, he and his followers are removed scholars, preferring quiet study.

Mirroring the position of the Septarch Tower is the Argentum Keep, seat of the Lord Warren, standing atop the Plateau home to the ancient catacombs of the city. What it overlooks is in stark contrast to the Eastern city; though many temples of the city hug the Western Gate and the streets near the Plateau, the large swath is the tenements that radiate from the wharfs. Small wooden structures often housing several families each, closely hug the streets, and rogues, thieves, and every unsavory sort plague the narrow alleys. Near the quays, Barstromunn holds an iron grip over the workers, taking a part of their wages as his own and charging exorbitant, undocumented fees on those bringing their goods to market. Not to mention, many of the petty criminals and cut throats of the dock district of the city are in his employ.

The city is not only a dichotomy between rich and poor, but as the attacks from the south increase in ferocity and the power of the Angel of Hope seems to wane, this trading city will become a major front in another War of Corruption.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome to My World - Caelum

Latin for "Heaven", it's a world of my own creation. Certainly I've borrowed from published campaigns and even Magic: The Gathering, but it's an expansive world that lives and breathes. It's been my creative outlet; creating cities, characters, and dungeons that are real. Being a Dungeon Master is something I can't imagine I'll ever lose a taste for, and even if I should ever find myself without a group I'll continue to write lore and characters, to expand it to ever more harrowing locations and adventures. Anything I share is a part of Caelum, so it's a good place to start, no?

Though the name is synonymous with the domain of the gods, in whispered tones those of the Surviving Kingdoms in the North whisper of what is in the South; Where Angels Fear to Tread. From the walls of Des Nekketh one can see the Bleached Hills where the turning point in the War of Corruption was fought. From long forgotten grafs arisen dead return to claw at the walls of Astu Fides. Though the Power of the Angel of Hope still abides, once again the Hells mass. What's more, Dythan of the Scions of Arkhosia becomes ever more ambitious and bold in his efforts to restore the Dragonborn to glory.

Where Angels Fear to Tread, the wretched heath that threatens to swallow what remains of Caelum, is home to every manor of abomination. The Undead are conjured in hordes, Demons and Fallen Angels have free reign. The former cities of Caelum are now the Thrones of Lich, Vampire, and Demon Lords. And Eden, once the Gem of the Empire is now the Maw of Hell and the throne from which Orcus, God of Death reigns.

All of this stems from the Betrayal of Ihsan. Ihsan the Weak. Ihsan the Fallen. Ihsan the Traitor. He brought darkness into a world in which none had existed before. Bound to the God of Death as an eternal servant, Orcus' imagining of the Pact Ihsan made for immortality. With his pact, the City of the Gods became the gateway through which hell poured out. The Corruption spread quickly, as untold thousands of the Sons of Caelum died trying to stem the tide and give the refugees time to flee north, away from the hellscape that was rapidly consuming their beloved home.'

A world ordained by the gods was falling. In the North, the impassable bulwarks of the Arkhosian Desert and Morradin's Shield would be the setting for the final stand of Mortal creatures. Though Pelor intervened, and his Archangel of Hope led those remained against the darkness. Though the carnage of the battlefield stretched for miles, the tide was turned. The people of the Surviving Kingdoms in the North are protected by the Des, a river blessed by her hand, and faith in her still wields true power.

Yet with each passing day, it seems, the power of Hope dims. She is seen less and less often, and the divine power which is wielded against the darkness seems to lose its potency as attacks become increasingly aggressive. Though it has been more than a century since the corruption, only now do the Hells seem to once again reassert themselves. And while Hope was enough to rebuke it, now comes the question of whether it can do so once again in the shadow of the full might wielded by the God of Death.