The Birth of Free Will

Birth of free will

After a while of watching the world, the gods got tired of meddling in the lives of the mortals they created. They were just so… insignificant. They turned their attention to other projects, Reordin to metalworking, Magus developing the magical ley lines of the universe (and therefore through Melekar), and all the other gods worked on tasks that they were interested in. For nearly 1,000 years the gods were absent from the lives of the mortals on Melekar. These years are referred to as the Long Silence. For a brief time, no one noticed, things progressed as they usually did, and people assumed the gods were simply watching, content to let their ant farm work on its own. Then people began to wonder, their prayers were going unanswered… Perhaps we have angered the gods they thought, we must atone for our sins. But still, there was no answer, the people pleaded for a reply and still there was nothing.

Then one day, a particularly arrogant, yet noble, warrior known as Krilgore dared to stand up to the church of Sarakis, and when Sarakis did nothing, people finally began to realize that gods were no longer present. At first people were scared and thought the end of days was coming. There were riots; many clergy-men were killed, as well as simple citizens. This particular event was known as The Upheaval. It lasted for many weeks as word spread throughout Melakar. People, being the sheep that they are, needed to turn to someone for guidance, so they turned to Krilgore to lead them. They say power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and this held true for Krilgore as well. Convinced that the gods feared him (and he had a good case, he HAD, in his eyes, and those of the common folk, faced down Sarakis herself, unscathed) he thought it time to go on a holy crusade to destroy all of the gods and finally free mankind from their shackles.

He amassed a huge army of conscripts; peasants, farmers, masons, any able-bodied man or boy. Being from Amrush, he started there, moving from city to city, forcing all the clergy-men to denounce their gods and swear fealty to him, or die. In Amrush, nearly all the clergy-men died. Word spread from there however, and as Krilgore took his army from continent to continent, many clergy-men either hid, or gave in, swearing allegiance to Krilgore. As his followers grew in number, so did their adoration of him, bordering on worship. He seemed invincible.

One particular pair of followers happened to be the most gifted metal smiths of the time, granted the metal-smithing secrets of Reordin himself, far beyond the abilities of any smith who had lived, and unbeknownst to them, to ever live. Their names were Melchior and Marchion, from the isle of Barithani. The two of them thought they could best serve their master by creating the ultimate armor and weapon for him. Krilgore, being one of the tallest humans you’ll ever see, standing 6’11” and weighing in at around 320 lbs. of pure muscle and sinew was already a powerful sight to behold. But he was still human. Melchior and Marchion thought to make him something more. Deciding to use platinum for the armor, and obsidian for the sword, they obviously couldn’t fund such a project themselves. So they worked furiously on diagrams, and plans for the arsenal to show to Krilgore while he was visiting the island. After two days, and many designs later they were finally ready to show the designs to Krilgore. They approached the encampment where he resided with his honor guard, and were about to be turned away without and audience, when Krilgore stepped out of his tent and saw them. They were so animated and excited that Krilgore was intrigued and decided to see what they had to say. After looking over the plans he was actually quite impressed and gave them the go ahead to begin work, giving them a full two chests of platinum coins to melt down, as well as two of his honor guard, and 4 workers to escort them to Mount Toranga to retrieve the obsidian necessary for the sword.

After finding a suitable stone, about 6 feet in length and 3 feet in diameter, they carried it away from the mountain to their workshop where they began work. Crafting a fully encasing, yet easy to move in suit of armor proved difficult, but with their secret refining techniques, and meticulous care, there were able to craft a suit of armor as fine as mithral, yet as strong as dragon scales. The armor fully encased the body as full plate does, and the helm seemed one solid piece, with no place to see out of, yet when worn granted the wearer to truly see everything (as per True Seeing). After completing the armor, they began to carve the sword from the block of obsidian. One mistake would mean they had to get another piece of obsidian. They finally finished carving the sword, coating it with an alchemical substance making it nearly indestructible. Carved in the shape of a great fang, this sword was truly a sight to behold.

Krilgore

Despite the fact that it was made of stone, the sword was perfectly balanced so someone with a strong hand could wield it with ease. In matching fashion, the armor was also decorated. Upon the breastplate was Krilgore’s crest outshining the symbols of the pantheon, and the arms and feet are carved with flames, as if the wearer’s limbs are being engulfed. When completed, Melchior and Marchion enlisted the help of the arch-wizard Gardelon to further enchant the completed works. For the sword, upon the wielder’s command the flames on the armor will burn black and engulf the sword and limbs, granting the wielder fire damage on the weapon, and increased speed and mobility (haste). They named the sword Death’s Fang, and the armor simply Invincible, and after completing their work, they gave to Krilgore the armor and the sword, and he was so impressed that he gave them 100 lifetimes worth of wealth. Melchior and Marchion retired after this, never to work again, and their art was lost to time (unless someone was to uncover their manuscripts, of course).

After receiving the sword and armor, Krilgore’s arrogance only grew. Now, he was beginning to believe the hushed rumors that he was in fact the beginning of a new race of Gods, and that he deserved all the accolades he received. Little did he know that he was sort of right. With all of the people who had been worshiping the gods now worshipping him, they were indeed granting him power over them. At first he didn’t realize it, but as his followers grew in number, so did his powers. He could no longer even come near mortals without them becoming aware of his presence. He could give them mere suggestions that they would take to with enormous zeal. At first, there were many who were jealous of this new found power, and he found them difficult to affect with his abilities. They would invariably try to challenge his power, to refute his claim to godhood. He never once lost. Never even came close. Challenger after challenger came to fight him, and challenger after challenger lost to him. They attacks came so frequently and in so many forms that he began to wear his armor even when not fighting. Eventually he even slept in it. He was perpetually tired, although since no one ever saw his face, no one would’ve known it. He eventually became so paranoid that the armor was the only thing that could protect him that he never took it off. People started to forget about the man inside the armor, and began to simply worship the armor.

After years and years, there were no longer any challengers left, and people the world over believed Krilgore to be a god, and because of that, he was. There was only one thing Krilgore (who knew he was still mortal, no matter what others believed) feared more than death; the return of the gods. He alone knew that when he challenged Sarakis, she simply didn’t care enough to respond. Sure, he was a powerful warrior and all of that, but he was no match for a god, and he knew it. So, to prevent their angry retribution for supplanting himself into their place, he sought out a way to stop them from ever returning. Death’s Fang in hand, Krilgore left this world, in search of a way to cut himself free of the gods influence. He didn’t realize it would be literally.

After his disappearance people claimed many different things… that the gods were back, and they were angry at them all, and had punished Krilgore for his insolence; they thought perhaps Krilgore, as well as the gods, had abandoned them… Regardless, he was gone, and there was no one ready to take his place. People had to learn to live for themselves. And they did so in peace for a long, long time. Krilgore roamed for hundreds of years, forgoing even death itself in his search for a way. Enlisting the help of Gardelon, the very same wizard who had helped to create his arms, he began searching the outer planes, indeed the gods’ own home-planes for a way. Upon one particular trip to the astral plane, he came across a structure. Normally, the only structures in the astral plane belong to the gith, but this one seemed different. There weren’t any beings anywhere near it. Creatures native to the plane seemed to go out of their way to give this place a VERY wide berth. Intrigued, Krilgore went in for a closer look. As he approached, he noticed that there were 15 very strong silver beams of light extending out from the place. After moving in closer and coming around to the apparently flat structure, he realized what it was. It was a working model of Melekar, complete with up to date structures, land changes, and everything. It almost seemed that you could see the individual people going about their daily lives, but they were too small to see with the naked eye. The silver streams of light went from the center of Melekar out to the god’s constellations, one for each god. He thought perhaps, that this was how he could sever their ties to the material world.

He moved in, and swung at the strand connected to Sarakis. There was a numbing, jarring sensation, and then he was through the strand. He proceeded to move through all of the gods, growing more and more weary and drained with each one. When he was nearly done, the last one, Magus, god of magic, was all that remained; a figure appeared between him and the strand. Magus himself, who found out too late what had been happening, had arrived. When he realized what Krilgore had done, and that it could not be undone, he released the largest blast of spell-fire ever known, blasting Krilgore into five pieces. Into the helm went his mind, into the breastplate went his wisdom, into the greaves his vitality, into the gauntlets his grace, and into the sword went his strength. Magus alone didn’t have the power to destroy Krilgore, since all of the people now worshiped him as a god, this was the most he could do.

He confined the 5 pieces into five of the continents on Melekar, where they would hopefully never be found and brought back together. In doing this, Magus destroyed his tether to the Material world as well, partly because he had no choice, and partly because he didn’t want to be the only god with a tie to the mortal plane. He didn’t want all of the other gods to try and manipulate him to their will. Despite Krilgore’s actions, the only real way to sever their ties to the material plane is to make everyone forget about their existence. While there weren’t many followers who remained, there were enough, and with Krilgore’s quest complete, the other gods finally realized what it was they had lost… and began working at it again. However, their access to the material plane had been severed and they could no longer manifest themselves upon the Prime. They could now only use their influence to try and get mortals to do their work for them; no longer could they intervene directly. Thus Krilgore’s final gift to mortals was absolute free-will.

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The Birth of Free Will

The Melekar Chronicles gaaran