(This is a deep lore entry designed to add to the narrative of the setting)
The Epilogue of VIM – Late Spring of 1221, The Inverted Tower
VIMs energies had fully replenished from his last battle with the creature, in fact he felt stronger than ever before. Was this newfound strength a sign urging him to finally fulfill the purpose he was created for? VIM had not felt the creatures dark pulling for close to a year; perhaps he had wounded it in their last battle far more than he had realized. He suddenly felt a great wellspring of power boil up within him at this thought and he amplified these feelings in his mind. After all that he had been through, the pain, the sorrow, the anger, it was time for him to have his vengeance, his vindication, his validation! He felt the calling from deep within and it said to him “now is the time”.
The shadowy essence swirled along the cold stone floor as it took shape into his true form. Fiery hoofprints branded into the floor; large and separated by a wide stance. From them grew a large dark form, humanoid but with monstrous proportions. Atop its head grew two large and devilish horns which burned steadily and shed hot embers onto the ground, regrowing its lost bone as quickly as the embers fell. With one monstrous step, and then another, VIM moved down the towers spiral staircase, leaving in his wake a trail of shadows and fire.
Once the bottom was reached, and standing at the final door, he drew forth from nothingness, a half forged blade of black obsidian which he held high into the air. All throughout the far reaches of the world, the blades lost shards heard VIMs call. The shards unearthed themselves and raced through the air at great and blinding speeds, sliding into dimensional folds and instantly appearing before him. Ten obsidian shards in total floated in his presence now and one by one joined the broken blade to complete the whole; The Heart of Midnight; The Sword of Sorrow.
VIM did not phase through the door as he had done countless times in the past. It was now or never, success or oblivion. One of them would die this night and the other would have their way unhindered. Instead he would open the door. VIM felt the influences of his original nature push through the shadows of his mind as Arawyns seal on Amatoths Tomb melted away and dripped powerless onto the ground. With a hoof of molten lava and the strength behind it of the ages, he kicked the door off its hinges, and sent it hurling straight into the void.
* *. *. *. *
VIM stalked purposefully into the web filled room heading to its center. The embers from his horns ignited the strands as he past sending them falling in flame all around him to the ground. Now in position he anticipated the spiders attack and swung his blade with great speed in a hurricane pattern about him, spinning a dance of blade and darkness that any mortal army would fall before with ease. After several moments of this, he felt his blade hit no mark, and so stopped and readied himself into a battle stance listening intent for the dark chittling of the creatures legs. He stood motionless but alert, as he watched the last of the webs burn away on the ground. He surveyed the room, piles of broken moldy furniture, too flattened for the creature to be hiding in; a stone table surrounded by stone stools; mounds of moldy debris scattered everywhere, once again not large enough to hide the creatures massive form. Several more moments past, and each of those moments began to take on the slow feeling of a lifetime. VIM closed his eyes and reached out with his essence. He could not detect the beasts power near nor far; he could not detect it all. There was no physical or non-physical presence. Time slowed to feel like an eternity, while his mind raced through the calculations of possibility, but could only come to a single startling and final conclusion. The creature no longer existed.
VIM suddenly felt weak and dizzy, his massive form stumbling to lean hard against the stone table. The realization of Amatoths non-existence strongly effected VIMs thoughts and his reality. The fires of his horns and hooves died out, and the shadows shed from him seeping through the floor revealing a truly different form; a form of himself that he knew so very briefly at the beginning of his creation. The body was that of a very large man, ten feet in height, long platinum white hair, brilliant blue eyes, his skin pale and covered in only a natural hooded linen robe, belted at the waist, open in the front, sleeves flared and voluminous even for his massive frame. The obsidian of his sword cleared into a clean crystal, but that crystal slowly started to crack, fine pieces of it falling to shatter on the ground.
What happened to the creature at the bottom of the tower and why did it no longer exist? Had it died of its wounds? Had its power expired? Was it spirited away? For all of his existence, since his creation, through the brief lens of the light, and almost an eternity in darkness, this had been his purpose, his drive for being and the emptiness he felt swirled in him like a whirlpool draining a lake of its water.
VIMs mind unendingly staggered between cloudy and clear and he looked down to see his blade disintegrate into a fine crystalline dust. He jerked his head up as if startled by a noise and he just stared off into the distance glaring past the stone walls of the room, through them at a place beyond, a world far away. His entire reality had been taken from him as he realized that for the purpose he was created he was no longer needed; and this need was all he ever truly knew. A horrifying thought surfaced at that moment. Would this be the second time, he would be discarded like trash into the void by his creator? Or instead might he be blessed with a kinder fate? With tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, this was his very last thought, as he disappeared from the world, leaving nothing behind save a plain linen robe.
(This is the actual Story Prompt to base this parts individual stories from))
“Clandestine No More” (Story Prompt for the year 1220 - 1225)
The Dark Clandestine of Travance no longer exists and no one quite knows why but the fact of this reality spreads. Some theorize that VIM destroyed it and then left the world, but those who knew of VIM are skeptical of that explanation. The inverted tower is no-longer a place of darkness or power, but a shell of a building filled with unlocked doors and artifacts of ages past. Despite the mystery being unsolved, the absence of the creature at the bottom of the tower has made Travance itself no longer the worlds most dangerous place; in fact with the looming clouds of darkness parted it seems almost a peaceful land and often quiet. This absence of concentrated threat has seemed to resonate further out into the world as well, casting more light were there was once more shadow, creating more content and peace, where there was once more unrest and war. Danger, political strife and monster attacks still exist, but the scale of these threats are but a fraction of their former self.
Count Sebastion Everest, Warden of Kormyre has not awoken from his catatonic state. Regent Stonewall assumes the title of Warden of Kormyre with enough support to back him. His intent and hope is that the Count awakens soon and resumes his plan to place a successor to the throne. Because there are no large political threats looming, Kormyre feels it can weather this scenario out, at least for a time.
Young adventurers no longer travel to Travance to seek their future and instead wander aimlessly around the world in search of action. This sudden dynamic shift really throws off the Heroes of Travance. Some see it as an opportunity at an early retirement from adventuring so they could focus on other meaningful aspects of their lives. Others have more trouble adjusting and desperately seek out parts of the world that could still use their help at times. Although the reduction of world threat is proven and calculable some think that their skills will be needed again one day and try their best to hone their abilities where they can. It is indeed a good time in the world of Arawyn. Peace is definitive and tangible, but sometimes when a soldier returns home from a long war, they are more lost than they know…