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Ward History

Chapter 14- The king returns


Terror washed over the Dark Elves as the monstrous demon appeared. The fallen prince held his ground but inside he wanted to flee. The Demon King stepped forth and commanded who had opened the portal. The prince stepped forward and commanded “I have summoned you demon”.  The Demon King let out a horrific deep laugh and then grabbed the nearest Dark Elf and ripped his body in half, laughing the whole time. Just in time the prince threw up a protective shield around himself as the Demon King spewed out a cloud of black and green smoke. The prince retreated as many of his retinue lay on the floor choking as their skin boiled and cracked apart. The prince fled as fast as he could but the black iron doors to the Citadel of Agony closed, trapping him inside.


The Citadel was sealed again, but now from the inside. Secure, the Demon King was not going to make the same mistakes as last time. He would move slowly and methodically. He began by building up the fortifications around the citadel. He would use the citadel as his base of operations as he launched his assault against Ward.


Months passed and the world was none the wiser that the demons had returned, for deep under the ground the demons dug. They created enormous underground passageways that connected all across Ward. Hundreds of thousands of demons clawed and scraped at earth and stone. Huge underground tunnels, labyrinth, and cities were constructed as the Demon King prepared for war and enact his final solution.


The Hell Gate was open, and demons of every kind poured through the Hell gate. But one notable Demon was not present, for the power of the Dark Elves was not enough to allow the Cosmic Demon to pass through. Though it was within his power to do so, the Demon King hated the Cosmic Demon and was unwilling to expand the Hell Gate. Long ago the Cosmic Demon was the final authority within Utrall. But he cared not for the trivialities of spreading corruption and inflicting pain upon the physical universe. He only cared about getting revenge on The Creator for rejecting him and locking him away. This allowed the Demon King to rise to power and rule over the demons. But the Demon King was never strong enough to control the Cosmic Demon which led to a rift within Utrall on who the lesser demons would follow, the self-declared Demon King, or the original and strongest demon, the Cosmic Demon. But the Demon King had a plan to change that.


During the First Demonic Invasion the Demon King had discovered that the souls of sentient beings from the physical universe contained large amounts of untapped raw power. At first, he thought this power could only be used to power spells and rituals. But through the refinement of the raw soul energy, he found it could also be consumed and increase his own natural power. So he devised a plan that would funnel the souls of the dead to Utrall once their physical bodies had lost the ability to contain the raw power upon their deaths. For centuries the Demon King had been bolstering his strength by consuming the souls of the many living creatures from the physical universe. Soon he would become the strongest Demon and solidify his rule over Utrall and bring the Cosmic Demon under heel. But something went wrong with his plan. The souls flowing from the Physical universe were lessening and he could not understand why and without the ability to return to the Physical universe there was little he could do to reverse the issue. His brilliant plan was falling apart, but then an opportunity presented itself, the small rift to the physical universe that still remained was ripped wide open and he was able to step through.


It was a late autumn day when it began. A cool wind had blown across Zorn, a city on the coast near the outskirts of the Holy Order. It was not unaccustomed to the slight tremor from time to time. The tremors began as any other they have had in recent history. Small and a minor inconvenience, it began to shake the city. But then a second, and a third. But it wasn’t until the fourth one hit that everyone truly knew something was wrong. Tremor after tremor the ground began to heave and then in the Center square, where a large statue of a once great hero stood proud, a massive sink hole nearly 50ft across and dark as the eye could see swallowed the once great hero. From the crack could be heard ominous shrieks and yelps. Then in a flurry of chaos, hundreds of winged horrors shot out of the crevasse. They began tearing apart do anyone in the immediate vicinity. Then came the invasion. A sea of never-ending monstrous demons came pouring out from the crevasse. Within hours the once seaport city of Zorn had become a corrupt wasteland filled with nothing but demons and the dead.


All over Ward this scene played out again and again. The coordinated attack by the demons left no time for The Edict of Dawn or The Blood Pact to respond in any notable measure. But something had occurred that the Demon King did not expect. He had purposefully had his demon’s tunnel underneath notable cities as to take them by surprise. But there was one city that as his demons erupted from the ground they were met by an abandoned city. It was massive, but it was completely abandoned. Nothing but old dead and decaying corpses littered the ground everywhere. The demons poured out of the sink holes and were met by nothing but silence and the ominous sounds of creaking. Caught unaware, the dead bodies began to move. The bones of decades old dead bodies began to reform and take shape. Skeletons of men, orcs, elves, and dragons began to assault the demon army. The undead were no match for the power the demons wielded. But hundreds and thousands of the undead kept coming. The demons were losing. Being driven back into the underground labyrinth the Demon King decided to personally step in. The Demon King crushed dozens of the undead with every blow. But they would reform and come back to life soon after he struck them down. Frustration was growing in the Demon King. With his rage he unleashed a massive burst of corruption all around him. Fully expecting the undead to come back, but they didn’t.


Among the piles of bones, he noticed one creature that looked different from the others. It was a skeleton like the others, but it stunk of a form of magic he was not familiar with. The magic smelled of both life and death, but also not either. He surmised that this creature was resurrecting the other lesser undead creatures. It then all fell together in his mind; the lessening of souls flowing into Utall, the living dead, and why his grand plan had been failing. Furious the Demon King reached out to all his demonic generals, these creatures were to be considered high priority target and kill them on sight for they dare to steal from the Mighty Demon King. The Demon King dashed through the shambling bone men and rotting corpses, tearing apart the Necromancers that were hiding amount the other undead. Hundreds of undead collapsed with each Necromancer that the Demon King killed. Within minutes the losing battle turned into a complete victory.


The demons sneak attack decimated entire civilizations. The preparations had taken years, but the results paid off for the Demon King. Nearly every major city was in ruins and overrun by demons. But one city still stood. It was uniquely positioned, so as hard as the Demons might try, the incredibly dense bedrock that the capital of the Holy Order High Rock stood upon could not be penetrated from beneath. This forced the demons to appear miles away from the city walls where the ground was soft enough to burrow through.


There wasn’t much time, but there was some. The tower guard to the city rang the high watch tower bells, warning of an incoming attack. The Men of the Holy Order were fast. They had been defending themselves from Orc attacks for as long as anyone could remember. The city sprang to life in an instant. Archers were on the walls, Sorcerers were high in the towers, and the catapults were stocked with dozens of stones for ammunition.


The Demon King stood at the forefront of his army. The Men of the Holy Order had seen demons in their time, but nothing that compared to anything that stood outside of their walls now. The army that stood before them seemed like a pack of ravenous hounds. They had no organization; larger demons crushed the smaller ones that got in their way without a second thought. Some small groups even seemed to be fighting within the larger host. But it mattered not, for the demon army that poured out of the massive sink holes seemed to be never ending. The entirety of the vast open field that once contained farms and a small village that lay just outside of the capital was now covered from the horizon with an ocean of baying demons.


The Demon King and his army approached the city with near reckless abandon. But at the last moment before his army got within catapult range he made a soul-rending roar, and the demon army stopped dead in their tracks. Something was amiss about this city. He had felt something like this earlier in some of the other cities that called themselves the Holy Order, but here it was much more potent. It was something old, very old. He could not place the source of the feeling, but it was a cold spot that he could feel. It was as if an icy shard had pierced into the very core of his corrupted being. Putting the feeling aside, the Demon King ordered the attack, and the ground rumbled with the stampeding charge of the demonic host.


The Demon King had begun the assault of High Rock. The Holy Order’s crown jewel was an imposing fortress. It has sheer rock cliffs on three of the sides, and on the front was a sloping ramp that passed through two cliffs overlooking the ascending ramparts. There was a reason the Orcish hordes smashed against the city’s defenses again and again and never made it to the gates, and the demonic army was no different. Wave after wave the demons came and were cut down with arcane, Light, Dark, and all the magics known to this world. For High Rock was home to some of the most powerful sorcerers this world has ever seen.


For several days the city managed to thwart the demons. However, the armies of Hell seemed never ending. Exhaustion and resources began to become the enemy now.  Arrows were getting low, swords were getting dull, and the catapults had not had ammunition for two days. The sorcerers who at one point were casting magics that would kill dozens of demons with each spell were now nearly passing out from exhaustion. Eventually the demons got closer and closer to the city gates and walls. Demons with mighty claws had started scaling the rock faces, and sky demons continually harassed the men on the city walls and towers. There was no way out and it seemed as if the world would be snuffled out under the mangled claw and hoof of the demons.


High in the Cathedral of Dawn, the Height Priest sat watching the battle continue. He had been directing the battle from his high vantage point to better assess the field of battle. He did everything he could but there was little he could do to stop what seemed inevitable. Then after all other hope had seemed lost, he did what had no High Priest had truly done since the early day of the Holy Order, he prayed to the Old God to save their people. For minutes he begged and prayed to the Old God. The High Priest for all of his rhetoric and showmanship never truly believed in the Old God. Then deep within his mind he heard a voice. “Believe in me and worship me and I will save your people”. The High Priest was taken back. He did not truly believe what he was hearing. Again, the voice in his head repeated “Believe in me and worship me and I will save your people”. The High Priest agreed. He will spread the name of the Old God across all the lands of Ward if he would but save him.


It was at this time a beam of light erupted from the tip of the tallest tower of the Citadel of Dawn. It pierced the stinking green clouds that had formed over the city since the beginning of the siege. The cloud separated away, and beam of light came down for the sky and struck the heart of the demonic army. From that bright light came the Old God. With one flap of his mighty wing hundreds of shards of light came out struck down as many demons. Over and over the mighty beast flapped his wings sending out more and more shards. Thousands of demons exploded into nothing as the shard of light struck them. At this same moment the men of High Rock found themselves bolstered with swords that were as bright as pure sunlight. The Men were reinvigorated and charged out of their castle gates and thrust into the demonic host with the power of their god flowing through them.


The Demon King charged the Old God killing dozens of his own demons as they were trampled, but he cared little for these lesser demons. A cataclysmic battle erupted between the two goldy beings. But as strong as the Demon King had become gorging himself on the souls of the dead, the Old God too had been feeding, but on the souls of the living through their worship. The battle began with both beings being nearly equal in power. But the Old God seemed to continue to gain the upper hand. The Demon King was losing his strength as he consumed the reserve of soul energy he had been building up for millennia. This angered him greatly, for this invasion was supposed to bolster his strength, not sap it. Again, and again the Demon King was forced to consume his energy reserves to keep pace with the Old God. But instead of the Old God too getting weaker he seemed to be gaining strength. Then he noticed, the Old God had been saping the soul energy from the Demon King everytime he tapped into his reserve of soul energy. The Demon King was stuck. On the one hand he couldn’t use his soul energy or risk the Old God getting stronger. But on the other hand, he was already losing this right and needed to tap into his reserves to help turn the tides of the battle. There was only one thing left he could do, and it nearly drove him into a frenzy of rage. Using the remaining soul energy, he connected with the Hell Gate and forced it open large enough to bring the Cosmic Demon back to Ward.


The moment the Cosmic Demon stepped through the Hell Gate he could feel the waves of power being emitted between the two godly beings. He shifted himself through the shadows that existed in both locations and appeared near instantly to the battlefield. With a near animalistic cry the Cosmic Demon attacked, but it was not the Old God the Cosmic Demon struck, but the Demon King. The Cosmic Demon pulverized the Demon King into the ground causing the ground to splinter and crack. Thousands of Demons fell into these near bottomless pits and were killed. Near death the Demon King lay on the ground bleeding and broken. It turned its attention to the Old God. But the rage of the Cosmic Demon did not stop there. It lunged itself at the Old God. The Old God attempted to use his old trick of sapping the energy from the Cosmic Demon. But as he tried to tap into the Cosmic Demons power it found nothing, as if it were nothing more than a simple blade of grass. It had no power. It was as if the Cosmic Demon did not contain any power but was a fundamental force of the universe. It its confusion the Cosmic Demon had struck. The Old God was crushed under the mighty assault from the Cosmic Demon. The Cosmic Demon then grabbed the Old Gods head with both hand and began to squeeze. The force of the Cosmic Demon was crushing the Old Gods skull. It tried everything to get away. But the power of the Cosmic Demon kept it from escaping. The end was drawing near and the Old God new it. There was only one this left the Old God knew to do. It left out a shriek. But this was no ordinary shriek, it was a call, a call into The Cosmos.


It had felt something. Something it had not felt in longer than it could recount. But the feeling was unmistakable, for it was his sworn duty and he made a promise. The Eternal Titan had sensed the Cosmic Demons’ entrance into the physical Universe. The Cosmic Demon had not being on this plane for very long but in that time The Eternal Titan covered godly amounts of the unviverse searching for it. But the Universe was still too large for even a being such as he to search everything. Then he heard it, a call that rang out across the universe to where the Cosmic Demon was. In and instant the Eternal Titan closed the distance and found the great beast. It had desimated the world it was currently on and was killing very peculiar creature the Eternal Titan had not encountered before.


Seeing his eternal jailor, the Cosmic Demon dropped the Old God. For a moment the Eternal Titan and Cosmic Demon stared at each other. Dead locked on each other, the two seemed to be fighting a battle within their minds even though their physical bodies had not moved an inch. Suddenly, their bodies flickered, and it seemed as if they had been moving all along but it was not perceptible to the naked eye of anyone else who watched. After several minutes of this the two broke their concentration and the Eternal Titan fell to a knee panting. The Cosmic Demon took a few steps towards the Eternal Titan but then it too began to grow sluggish and hundreds of small slashes appeared all over the Cosmic Demons body. The Cosmic Demon howled in pain and the deep gashes continued to grow. But still the Cosmic Demon kept going. It moved at the Eternal Titan and another battle imperceptible to the naked eye erupted. Mountains were flattened, seas dried up, and fissures to the Core of the planet opened up. The whole of Ward was coming apart with the conflict between the two celestial beings. Volcanoes erupted all around the planet, oceans drained into the planet wide cracks, and the atmosphere of the planet was blown away. The battle had killed or destroyed everything on Ward except for the Cosmic Demon, Eternal Titan, Old God, and Demon King. The fighting rippled out into the other nearby planets and star systems as well causing catastrophic damage. Then as the sun was about to go supernova everything stopped. Explosions were stopped in the middle of detonating and nothing moved. The darkness of the universe began to move and shimmer, The Creator had appeared.


It was as if everything was frozen in place when The Creator showed himself. He was so large that he could hold the entire planet in his hand. He let out a loud thundering shout “All Shall Cease”. In that moment everyone was blown away from each other, and The Creator was now on the planet. He was no longer a titanic God looking down on the battle, but a normal sized man with glowing yellow eyes. The Cosmic Demon lunged for The Creator with a horrible scream. The Creator turned toward the Cosmic Demon. With a single wave of his hand and the terrible monster was gone. The Creator then snapped his fingers and every single demon in the battle was sucked back across the land, and shoved into the Hell Gate. The Citadel of Agony was then sealed back up as if it were never opened. The Creator commanded the Eternal Titan to return to the cosmos, as his mortal enemy is gone for now. The Creator then forced his hands together, as if pushing to repelling magnetic forces together, and all that had happened prior to the Demonic invasion had been reversed. Men, Orcs, Elves, Dark Elves, Goblins, and even undead were all again alive and retained the full knowledge with what had happened. The soldiers on the battlefield began to weep in both fear and amazement at what they were witnessing. They had met the true God of the universe.


The Old God, now filled with rage, could feel his followers slipping from his grasp. He approached The Creator and told him that Ward belonged to him and he needed to leave his world. The Creator looked the Old God up and down and simply said “No”. This was new to the Old God; he had never met anything that would defy him. He then let out the strongest energy blast that he had ever mustered. The Creator took the blast directly to his chest, and it was enough to push him back several feet. “How interesting” The Creator said out loud. He then waved his hand at the Old God which caused him to be hurled into a nearby mountain causing it to break and boulders to crumble. The Old God collected himself and lunged after The Creator again connecting several powerful strikes on him. The Creator then grabbed the Old God tore open a pocket dimension not unike Utrall and tossed the Old God into the empty space known as Ebornac. The time of The Old God was over.


The Creator then returned to Ward and spoke in the mind of all creatures. He stated that they are free to worship and do whatever they like, but he will not interfere again with Ward, and will not come to their aid again for that is the benefit and folly of free will. He then flew up high into the heavens and disappeared.

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