DEMISE: Ascension and Rise of the Ku'tan
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" 'And when the darkness fell from the land, all was well' wrote the scholars. However, since anything that once existed can never cease to exist, this evil must still be out there to be found!" - Torak, Historian of Demise

With the fall of the Prince of Devils at the hands of an elite group of adventurers, the Depths of Dejenol became the land's proving grounds for both physical and magical studies. The guilds thrived as adventurers came from all corners of the land to the city, which was booming with production and population. Warriors, thieves, sorcerers -- all came to learn the ways of the guilds and explore the depths, this time with much more confidence of victory, since they were now known.

It was during this time that the guilds actually posted landmarks in the depths, built rooms for specific purposes and actually expanded the mines. As the expansion took place, it was discovered that the mines were once again rich in Mythinite, the most valued metal in the lands. It was then that the dwarves and other mining races returned to the depths to have it teeming with life once more.

Once the mining started and the adventurers filled the upper levels, almost all of the creatures that the depths were known for could no longer be found as they were becoming extinct. Adventurers had to venture deeper and deeper into the depths just to get a chance at combat with some worthy opponents. Unfortunately, it was around this time that adventurers stopped looking for creatures of the dark to fight with and started turning on other adventurers and the miners.

At first, it began with simple ambushes, but then the depths began to teem with an evil life that was far different from the original evil -- it came from the very force that drove the evil out in the first place! By now, rogue thieves, barbarians, magic users and warriors actually made the dark mines their new home. These few became outcasts, dirty and greedy humanoids from all races -- hungry for wealth, magic, and blood.

The guilds soon saw what was happening and began to hold private meetings to discuss the situation and how to deal with it. Since the mines were not only the source for the land's Mythinite, but also the source of the most advanced teachings of the guilds, the decision was not an easy one to make. If the guilds attempted to close the mines, the dwarves would not abide, and the guilds would lose their business. And if the mines were left open, without an army of troops, the city would be at risk, and the people would start to move away once again, thus turning the currently thriving city into a small town once again.

It was during this decision that the event which would tear the city and its depths apart occurred. In the city center, a shimmering portal suddenly appeared one afternoon. For the first few minutes, nothing happened as the townspeople gathered around, looking at it with awe. Suddenly, dark creatures began to emerge - demons, devils, and warriors. Within seconds, these creatures pouring out of the portal started attacking the townspeople, killing everything in sight.

The dark beasts, which were twice as tall as a man, covered in scales, bearing six inch long claws and fangs, ran into the awestruck crowd. Within seconds, men, women, and children were being ripped to shreds and actually eaten by these dark creatures. Blood flew as steady as a hose in all directions as these dark creatures killed everybody in sight. I will never forget the glowing red eyes as one of the creatures turned around and saw me...
Jedan, Surviving Apprentice to the Master Warrior

The alarms were sounded, the guards and adventurers gathered, and the battle began. Fierce and bloody, the creatures continued to pour forth from the portal like some never-ending flood of darkness. Even the most experienced magic users could do nothing to prevent the slaughter of the townfolk.

I saw a group of magic users raise their arms, and white hot electricity shot forth and completely vaporized a large group of the demons. The power these Magi's had gave me hope that we would survive. It's too bad the group did not see the dozen dark warlords behind them. Even with their power, they were dead in seconds...
A survivor

Within hours, tens of thousands were dead, and the dark creatures roamed the streets in search of fresh blood. The guild masters were powerful enough to escape the main attack, but had to leave the city and flee into the surrounding wooded hills. From there, they witnessed the destruction of the city as it went up in flames.

There was nothing that could be done.

As the guild masters gathered together and began to retreat into the woods, a large group of demons -- there must have been fifty of them -- broke from the others to pursue the masters. Kornuk, the Master Sorcerer, brought forth magic of such fury that he turned the air so hot that not only the demons exploded from the heat, but the surrounding trees and bushes ignited into smoldering remains... The demons didn't pursue the masters after that...
Tulak, local Merchant

As rapidly as it had started, it was over. The dark servants disappeared back into the portal and it disappeared in a bright flash of light. By nightfall, one of the most prosperous cities in the lands had fallen to an unknown foe.

Messengers were sent to the emperor of the lands and a large army was sent to secure the city and handle any further attacks. The army arrived within a week of the attack and the smoldering remains of the city were secured.

But no attacks came. As quickly as the dark forces had come, they had gone -- and there was no tracking them.

I remember sitting on the hill with my friends as we watched the army of thousands come from the north. I couldn't help but to swell with anger towards the men in armor as I realized that they were much too late...

When the remains of the city were secure once again, the first thing the army did was seal the entrance to the mines. Even though there were dozens of adventurers who were said to be in the depths, they were given up as casualties of war. For the next few days, some swore that they could hear the muffled cries and screams from some sort of humanoid creatures on the other side of the magically sealed doors which blocked the entrance, but this was never confirmed...

After the initial attack, as the guild masters and the few surviving warlords and magi lords returned to the smoldering remains of the guilds, they were astonished to find the secret and magically sealed vaults which contained essential guild information broken into and empty.

Never had anyone known of an enemy with the power to do such a thing -- steal all of the knowledge, teachings, and most secret abilities of a guild -- and get away with it. Many of the guild masters burst into fury and swore to kill whoever was behind this, while others accepted what had happened and started rebuilding the guild knowledge from scratch.

I had never seen a master of magic and combat cry before... I guess they never had reason to. Until Now...
The Quest Master

Some dark and unknown force now had the knowledge of the twelve most powerful guilds ever to come into existence.

The Emperor of the lands saw this matter was serious enough to call the remaining guild masters to his palace to discuss the situation. Never before had such knowledge of deadly combat techniques, and most importantly, the most advanced forms of magic ever to exist, fallen into the hands of some dark force... Something had to be done about this, and very soon.

While the Guild Masters were meeting with the Emperor, a message was received that another major city was under attack by a horde of demons and devils. The message said that they appeared out of nowhere. The emperor was furious beyond belief. He then told the Guild Masters that they had access to anything they needed to defeat this threat. Unlimited money, manpower, and support. This had to stop.

I want the force behind these atrocities sought out and destroyed at once! Do you hear me? Nobody does this to my land and gets away with it!
Emperor Jazeroth Nagul XII

The Guild Masters then returned to the remains of the city, which was slowly being built back up, but this time, it was into a military town. Guard towers, armories, and training facilities, were found everywhere. During this time, the guild masters decided that the answer to the threat must be found below. This meant that the depths must be opened for exploration once more.

But this time, there was an army to protect the entrance and the city itself, so the decision to remove the magical lock was made and the doors would be opened once again when it was. With this decision, the Guild Masters began to rebuild the knowledge of magic and combat with only the personal experience they had access to within themselves. This meant that many of the more advanced magics that were used for combat and protection when the depths were explored before were not going to be available to those who dared enter this time.

It has been over a year now since the initial attack of the demons. Since then three other cities have been attacked. Luckily, none of them were destroyed because the Emperor placed troops in every city. However, the damage was always extensive and the casualties large.

It is now time to re-open the depths and journey back into the darkness to find the source of this evil -- and eliminate it. The guilds have now re-opened to offer their services to those who are brave enough to enter the depths once again. This time, nothing is known about the enemy, and the knowledge from the past is all but gone...

I wish all of you the best of luck. Remember that nobody knows what you are going to come up against. The depths could be empty, and they could be teeming with the darkest creatures you've ever seen. Prepare yourself for anything -- and return with any items or news you think may help with this quest, for the whole land is depending on you!
Crashland, Master of the Guilds

And thus you prepare to enter... the world of DEMISE!