To shepherd in the Treasures of Khaldun we have a series of short pieces of fiction to supplement the events in-game. We present the next installment,
The Oldest One
By EM Malachi
When Mordea had yet again recounted the Line of Blood that granted her primacy over Tempestry, the Master Sorcerer Malchir threatened to brand her with his fire magic. Even stranded far from their world of Pagan, the Sorcerers and Tempests were bitter rivals. Both cult leaders wanted to strike again at Britannia, but neither wished to cede authority.
Lothian ignored them all. The blind necromancer ran her finger along the pages of the rotting tome that was even older than she was. A screaming Britannian mage had surrendered the book and all he knew about Khaldun. The Tempests and Sorcerers had lined up to kill each other when Lothian slowly stood up. The withered crone had not left her chair in years, carried from place to place in a palanquin lifted by skeletons. All the cultists stopped bickering and watched Lothian. Even Mordea turned her head slightly, knowing that even the thickest blood could grow thin when a follower of Lithos was angered.
Lothian spoke, “We are only allies by the cruelty of fate, but we all serve something greater. The Titans may be gone, but the darkness still exists.”
“How can you be so sure?” asked one of the younger sorcerers. One of his fellows desperately tugged at his sleeve to silence him.
Lothian gave him a stern look, and necromantic rot started to spread up his arm. At the elbow, she stopped, letting him keep the rest of the limb. Lothian continued, “We have an opportunity, but we must act now. We can use the secrets of this world against it.”
As many in the crowd nodded in approval, Mordea herself asked, “What must we do?”
Lothian handed the arcane text to a skeleton, who carried it over to the other cultists. “I have knowledge of the King of Seven Deaths and how to wake him. He sleeps until four great powers join him in the shade.”
Malchir was now focused and asked, “Does this mean we should kill four of their leaders?”
Lothian clucked her tongue. “Years ago, four humans were sacrificed, as if that were meaningful at all. No, something greater is needed. We together have the means to summon this undying mage king: the remnants of the Titan we served.”
There were whispers of doubt in the crowd, so Lothian continued, “Yes, yes, we will lose access to much of our respective magics, but most of you would lose that in death anyway. We no longer have the means to wage a direct war against Sosaria, but that doesn’t mean we can’t break the back of this world before the darkness comes. Work with me, and we will wake Khal Ankur.”