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Vennterrian Magic and the Kingsglaive Curse To even begin to tackle the monolith that is Vennterrian Magic (one of the main sources of conflict in 'The Seal of Heroes'), I want to start with a couple disclaimers then clarify a few terms. 1) Remind yourself to not metagame (cause your character to act in ways that exploit the information they should not have). This information is for players, not for characters. 2) The Seal of Heroes universe is over six years old, and as a result, very complex so certain things might be confusing as I don't realize what I have and haven't given context too. A few terms: -Gem: One of the six gems that fell from the sky, containing god-like power -Relic: One of the five tools that were crafted out of the gems to better siphon their power safely, at the cost of strength -Jewel: A stone, soul, or otherwise crafted 'fake gem' use the mirror the power of the Five Relics to varying degrees of success -Tool(s) of Power: A fake relic, used to exploit the power of a jewel with varying levels of strength and stability Before the events of a Seal of Heroes: Vennterria was a single continent akin to that of Pangea. It was ruled by a single ancient empire, and without even the slightest dream of magic. This was changed when six gems fell from the sky, each one containing god-like power. The first man to come into contact with one was with named Alvion. He died the second he touched it, and the corpse that remained was twisted into an arcane crystalline abomination. This new titanic daemon had the potential to bring desolation to all of Vennterria, and it almost did. Though before that could happen Alvion was sealed away with his own power and the ritual shattered Vennterria. What remained was a mountain of dark crystals named the Mantisphere, it spewed lethal radiation and sucked the life force of anything that came near. Rumor has it, Alvion is still alive, as well as the five brave heroes that sealed him, frozen in time together in brutal combat. Before the ways of the old capital was lost, the remaining five gems were crafted into flawless relics that would allow their power to be siphoned safely. The descendants of old Vennterria separated in order to better colonize the continents and islands that remained, and the five relics were separated with them. Even after centuries of war, they remained in the hands of the five major civilizations: Kalador, Zebulus, Brytannia, Malaka, and Rivergate. During the events of SoH, the Mantisphere became more active, melting down and spewing magic back into the world. Whether it was Kalador discovering jewels in the heart of their great mountain capital or the souls tethered to vessels in Zebulian experiments, the arms race had begun. They were nothing like the original six, but these jewels promised great power, and it seemed like the end of an age. Imagine the horror that they felt when they discovered how inept their own relics were. During the next few years, there were hundreds of tools of power that were crafted, but the craftsmen of New Vennterria were nothing like the old, and they could never quite siphon the power safely. Whether they were instantly reduced to ash or were slowly corrupted into Alvionspawn, the costs always outweighed the gain. While they continued to push technology past what was considered ethical, the Fitz family of Zebulus continued to open and maintain factories built on the back of child labor. In their time there, a boy named Icarus and his younger brother Dale became craftsmen of prodigy, the Fitz family picked up on this and worked them harder and harder, leading to Dale's death. Ike then decided to use his skills to create weapons of war against the Fitz Family and helped to win the Zebulian civil wars. Irashi, the new Wingman of Zebulus, decided to then gift Ike with a shard of the Zebuluan Tablet (one of five original relics), as it was useless to Irashi without a siphon. Ike could never perfect it, but he was able to get close. He crafted them into his leather gauntlets, and it instilled him with his famous fiery power. After the wars were won, Ike and the crew of his now ruined airship, the Lady Valkyrie, decided to swear loyalty to Agusta Rustero who saw his craftsmanship and had him build an entire arsenal of tools of power. With each new success, the diversity of Vennterrian jewels began to be discovered. Each seemed to work in their own unique way and Ike would have to make drastic changes on each tool, and as a result, the power they instilled was always special. The men and women who had the bodies and minds strong enough to wield these imperfect relics were named the Queen's Glaive or Queensglaive. With her glaive, Agusta easily united the petty kingdoms of Brytannia and claimed the Capital City of Aelton, and the crown that came with it (one of the legendary relics, known as the 'Crown of Aelton'). The Kingsglaive Curse With Brytannia united, Icarus decided to leave Vennterria and start a kingdom of his own, under Agusta's banner. When Icarus discovered the existence of Solis, an ancient and hostile empire, he knew he would have to fight again, and without Brytannian support, he would have to break the vow he took within himself and forge his own Kingsglaive. To his relief, a few of his companions had magicks of their own, but they were few and soon Icarus would be forging tools of power for his own kingdom. Just as the Queensglaive, the Kingsglaive's tools weren't perfect. Each time the power of Vennterrian magic was tapped into, the wielder experienced the intoxicating bloodlust and unrelenting savagery that was typical of Ike's tools. It would slowly corrupt the person, driving them away from what they once were. Some even turned into Alvionspawn themselves. But the sacrifice of his glaive bought salvation for Kingstone, and the budding kingdom survived Solisian wrath. Unique Glaive Members King Icarus Forde originally incorporated the gem shard he received from Irashi into a custom made leather gauntlet. These gauntlets had coils of metal cables incorporated into the bottom side of each forearm, using cold welding technology to 'stick' onto surfaces and either swing around his airship himself or pull targets to him. Steampower coiled and uncoiled these cables back within the gauntlet and the impact of them being shot at close range could send targets reeling backward. He had two retractable blades in each fist and finally, each of his gauntlets could fire three mini crossbow bolts from within the fists. However, when Ike implemented the tablet, each of these weapons, as well as his own bodily functions, were greatly enhanced. While under the curse, bright rings of orange and gold form around both irises in his eyes, which increased his reaction time and spatial awareness exponentially. His cables grew white hot and seemed to have minds of their own, acting to his will. The blades had much greater cutting and stabbing power and the bolts would explode on impact. As he aged, however, he wasn't agile enough to use his cables anymore and decided to once again reinvent his fighting style. He crafted 13 swords, forging all but a speck of his tablet into the thirteenth, Brisingr. He gave away his left gauntlet, now useless to him, and taught himself to shoot a longbow. The keysword required to fly the Lady Valkyrie gave him plenty of longsword experience and soon he was a master swordsman. Ike could wield Brisingr without exploiting the curse, but when times became dire, he would trigger the pommel and his fiery strength would return. The remaining speck of the tablet within his right gauntlet connected the two tools of power, and he could recall his sword back to him at will, and even teleport his entire body to the sword, however doing so would allow the curse to completely envelop him. His swings could send flaming crescents of explosive power, as his thrusts would create crushing spears of flame. As a result of the curse, Brisingr would glow red hot, and become lighter, and pierce armor more easily. His heightened spacial awareness and the power sent through gauntlet into longbow made him a deadly accurate archer at superhuman ranges and his arrows could even explode on impact. After years of exploiting this power, Ike's condition plummeted. The visible signs of his curse grew exponentially, and while under its effects, on top of the rings around his eyes, his plate armor would glow red hot, burning runes crawl across his skin, and embers encircle all around him. The carefree, optimistic facade he built around himself faded, and melancholy and rage-filled it's void. He felt himself grinding his teeth and clenching his fists in unprovoked rage, and the bloodlust never left him, even as he slept. His love for Kingstone was stronger, however, and for his people and his home he always kept the curse hidden while off the battlefield. Ike is in a daily struggle to keep himself from becoming Alvionspawn, and to relieve this he shares his burden with his warhorse, Boris 'the Bold' who as a result, transforms into a griffon. Alfrety also has been known to bear his curse as well, unbeknownst to Ike himself. Agista Rustero is heir to the throne of Brytannia and the Crown of Aelton. While she doesn't wield one of Ike's weapons, she bears a curse of her own. Because of her Rusteronian blood, she was abducted as a child and chained to a demonic spirit. She mastered the ways of sorcery from the women of Tarif, and after foiling an attempt by the spirit to commandeer her body, the spirit vowed obedience to her. With its power and her skills, she became the greatest sorceress since Cartian, and inherited his scythe. With amulet, talisman, and scythe in hand, Agista is a terror on the battlefield. She can blink short distances and become intangible at will. Cleaving lines of infantry with her scythe one second, and tanking magic missiles and cannon shots with it the next. She is part of Ike's inner glaive. Nicku Crestshade was saved by Icarus as a child and has since trained by his side. Her dryad-like shade powers, which she mastered at infancy, granted her control over beasts, which she can command and communicate with at will. For those who resisted her will, she carried a crude stone war hammer, and when the threat of Solis was revealed, Ike forged her one of castle-forged steel. The gauntlet she received from Icarus was modded with a sapphire found in the old mines of Kalador. It strengthened her control of beasts, filled her with superhuman strength and made her hammer light as a feather in her arms, ungodly heavy in the hands of someone who didn't suffer from the curse. While under the effects of the curse, her eyes grow a bright cyan blue, and her horns pull farther out of her skull. Älfrety of Lletya is a young elf, who ventured out of Tirannwn into Human-controlled Gielenor to study magic, in hopes of one day freeing his people from violent oppression and attempted extinction. Taking roads less traveled, he walked and hid all the way to Draynor, where he stayed for two nights before entering the Draynor Wizards' Tower. There he studied, hooded and slouched, fooling everyone with the illusion of humanity. All but one; Wizard Toloram knew Älfrety's origins the moment he entered the Tower. Toloram knew that if Älfrety was discovered, he would be executed, or worse; pitying the elf, he took him into his personal study as a roommate, to lessen his chance of revealing his disguise. Älfrety studied with Wizard Toloram until the human wizards' grey hairs turned white, and he became ill his last time; when the other Wizards of the tower realized they'd been fooled. Älfrety was set to be executed in three days' time. Toloram could not stop the execution in his age or condition, but he knew how they would do it. Älfrety would be sent through the "Continuum Gap", a massive hole beneath the Tower which spews forth magical energy and blinding lights. On the morning of his execution, Toloram gave Älfrety his two greatest possessions: His spellbook, and a crystalline eye. The eye shone green like an emerald, with a pupil that darted erratically from one position to the next. The eye was dubbed by Toloram "The Mage Eye", a legendary magical artifact capable of revealing arcane secrets of massive gravity; It was the third eye of the God Guthix. No longer balanced by its connection to the now dead god, it is simply a fount of unlimited power, assuming you'd be willing to put your life on the line. With these only two possessions hidden inside the rags he was given to wear, Älfrety walked out of the cell, down the stairs, and after a brief hearing, was thrown down the endless, the infinity; into the unknown. "Halt!" called out a voice which rivaled the thunder, "A corpse blocks the road!" But the voice was wrong. The body was only half corpse. His spirit had been bound to the nearest vessel, King Icarus himself, only barely surviving at a great cost. Binding to Icarus also meant Älfrety permanently branding himself with Ike's inescapable condition: The Kingsglaive Curse. From that day on, Älfrety fought alongside Icarus and his strange, fiery magic but also struggled with the wrath and fury that the curse had thrust upon both of them. It incurred Älfrety's normally dormant and bitter hatred of the Human race, and while under the curse's influence, his eyes shone a verdant green only comparable to the Mage Eye itself; eyes blinded by rage, eyes that can see only his people being slaughtered at the Underground Pass, eyes that can only see his people driven into the forests of Tirannwn by bloodbath after bloodbath. How ironic it is that Älfrety fights under a human king, conjuring arcane lightning and dragonfire that would be all but uncontrollable if not for a powerful, foreign presence. I would like to personally thank anyone who took the time out of their day to read this and know that I respect you more for doing it. I hope you can begin to see the depth of Kingstone and, by extension, Vennterria. I will be glad to answer any questions or discrepancies.