Eternity RPG Chronicles: 23) Another New Beginning
This is the twenty-third Eternity RPG story of the famous 2nd campaign of Eternity RPG. This is the fifth-to-last short story of the Eternity RPG 2nd campaign sessions.
These fantasy short stories are based on the tabletop RPG game sessions we played of Eternity RPG back in 2010. They were originally written for the players of our Eternity RPG campaigns (who already had intimate knowledge of the story’s plots and characters), and may not make perfect sense when read as a series. They are, however, still fun fantasy short stories to read though! Please enjoy Eternity RPG Chronicles: 23) Another New Beginning.
If you are interested in Eternity RPG you can find the modern day main game as a PDF download here.
Gaining Epic Classes
The Chronicles of Aeturnum were originally formed to record the deeds and lives of the greatest men and women throughout the ages. Four men, however, of unparalleled virtue and power have dominated these pages for the past few years, largely leaving others of notable importance by the wayside. To sum things up, the four most recently gained newfound roles in the world, their lives taking sharp turns in becoming leaders of the nations that they had previously so faithfully followed. They have, in short, begun the final road towards the end of their adventuring careers.
So much has been said of our heroes’ exploits of late that I feel they need hardly be mentioned again for just the time being. Though their endeavors continue to shape the world and their journeys grow with danger, there is more afoot just now than might otherwise be seen if the scope were to remain so narrow. To better understand the world as it now is, other major events must be described. Even villains shape the world.
Artemis, The Childhood Friend
Artemis Ariel, Queen of the northern armies had fought and slain for the right to her position. Sitting on her chimera-shaped throne of gold, she pondered. She reminisced. It hadn’t been so long ago that she had served those more powerful than her. She had toiled and strove to achieve greatness in the eyes of so many, but none had ever given her attention; not even those who should have been friends.
She thrummed her clawed fingers against the metal as a blackened monster with wings the size of castle walls soared above her. Her forearm tensed as she shifted upright; her blue-tinged claws contorted. “Childhood was wasted on those fools…”
In her childhood she had been bitter and sad, constantly desiring to be acknowledged and admired. Her childhood friends had never accepted her, and their cruelty had only soured over until it burned the blackest of poisons within her. All through her youth Sellen had favored the two boys in his house over her; he had called them “his boys.” He had called her “Artemis.”
Longing For Years Past
“What could I have done to make him love me with the same fervor he did them?” She would wake and sob in the velvet of the blackest nights. Thangoruin had always commanded more power, been more adept at his schooling in the veteran’s daily lessons. She began to think that Sellen admired power, and Artemis so wished to be admired…to be loved. When it became clear from the early onset of adventuring with her friends that she was doomed to be constantly out-shined, she left. If she could not be appreciated for exactly who she was, she would find a way around it. Whatever the cost, and whatever such a change would take, she would do it.
Sellen had sympathized with her, and shown her to the recesses of his small arcane lab beneath his tiny home in Yzarc. He gave her a simple scroll with the face and inscription of a dragon upon it. The letters read “Iron Fortress, Plane of Fire.” Not fully comprehending the scroll, nor fully comprehending what had happened when she arrived, Artemis blinked and found herself the very next moment in the presence of the fabled legendary wyrm Nox Empyrean. Sellen had told her only just before she left that here her powers could grow, but that she didn’t need this. Despite his kind words she knew she wasn’t loved, that his sympathy was a mere farce.
Sworn To Nox Empyrean
After she had sworn allegiance to him, Nox had treated her wel, and had instantly respected her taste in magical fire. He did indeed nurture her arcane growth and taught her the secrets of the elemental planes, including how to travel between them, even with the barrier-creating Kingstones in place. For him, stepping in and out of the elemental planes was somehow not difficult; Artemis never fully understood how.
She worked dutifully for her new master for the short duration of a mere month and grew exponentially in power under his guidance. Despite her growing success however, she was not happy. Only Sellen and her four childhood friends could heal the wound in her heart that plagued her daily, could heal her sorrow.
Finding, Then Losing Happiness
She had secretly celebrated the four’s victory with them when she heard of their triumph over the evil Lich and his minions. Ever since that day she had found happiness.
However, her light heart had shattered when she passed her friends by chance in the mortal plane on a daily excursion. She had wanted to test their powers only as a friendly exhibition-like match. Her “friends” had taken the bought quite seriously however, and had nearly killed her in their hasty defense; clearly they were no friends of hers.
Her heart soured and death seemed the only solution as she returned to her quarters that evening. “Why am I so hated?” It was then that a voice came to her, comforted her fears and pain.
Tempting A Broken Soul
The blue spirit hovered above her. “I love you, Artemis Ariel. I can show you true power…Power to make others admire…maybe even grow to love you. You need not waste your soul on grief.”
Sitting now on her golden throne shaped as the body and heads of a chimera, Artemis was grateful. She did not want to kill those friends that she yet loved, deep down. But she was through with childish things. They would pay for ruining her happiness. When they had paid with the blood of everyone they had ever met on their fame-building journeys, she would forgive them.
Griever the Chimera knelt before her below the open battlements of her still-unfinished fortress, and a woman was coaxed into the failing light above the walls.
“Ah, Erina…It’s been a while.”