| The fabric of
creation is a fragile one. With the changes brought about
by Patos and then the new Patos-Cypher entity Carnac itself
began to show gradual signs of change. At first it was
the insignificant changes, the smell of flowers fading,
the seasons being more unpredictable and ground water
occasionally coming up brown, as though rusted. These
things men took little notice of; there was no need for
explanations sometimes "just happen".
All these was not Cypher doing however, for he himself
was too busy lavishing in the attention of his new found
subjects. Years later humankind had divided themselves
up into the six great kingdoms, war monger Hellsgarem
of the Deserts, Buegrant with its ports and ships of steel,
the white city of Arrdeam, Planisad famous for magnificent
harvests, the center of commerce, Brisbia and finally
El Morad on the west coast.
It was around this time when strange creatures began appearing
all over Carnac, at first they were thought to be wolves,
bears and others animals whose intentions could be violent.
But they were not, they were different. And with each
passing year their difference just grew and grew, some
had sighted beings of stone, magic and worse of all those
who used to be friends, now resurrected into animated
corpses bent on bringing all life to the level in which
they understood, death.
Before long those "hellish creatures" had grown in such
numbers that even human cities with their high walls and
staunch defenders could not repel their might. The first
to fall was Planisad thus food resources were scarred.
Soon others, Brisbia and Arrdeam fell. Even the mighty
babarian kingdom, Hellsgarem did not survive, torching
their city instead of letting it fall. The few survivors
flocked aboard the ships of the Buegrants who themselves
were abandoning their city, fleeing for El Morad by sea.
King Manes then ruler of El Morad took in the refugee's
without prejudice. Those able were given places in the
army, further bolstering the defenses of the city which
had not yet been attacked. New battlements were raised,
and before the attack came supplies were brought in, weapons
forged and armor polished. The citizens of El Morad were
determined not to let their city fall and those who had
already fled were resolute in their loyalty to their new
home, for if El Morad fell there was no one else to turn
to. The insignificant El Morad through a turn of events
had now become mankindís last stronghold. Should it
fall, the seeds of humanity would cease to exist.
Having been prepared the defenders repelled what should
have crushed them. After that initial trust random sporadic
attacks continued to come. For seven long years they fought
and for seven long years King Manes prayed to the gods
who seemed to have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to
the sufferings of their children. Though history will
tell little beyond their suffering, our heroes after the
first two years of fighting had grown accustomed to the
random attacks. They were even prospering, to a fashion.
They again dared to venture beyond the safety of their
walls. Tunneling into the mountains behind the city they
had a source for metals, wood they harvested by sending
armed bands into the forests. Food proved a problem at
first, but by relocating much of the populace into the
mountains and underground, enough space was vacated for
crops to be planted.
By the third year seasoned veterans had begun hunting
these monsters. Traveling in small numbers these parties
sought out and killed the weaker creatures and those which
had strayed too far from the others. These warriors brought
back stories of adventure and glory. Soon these parties
organized themselves into what would be known as the Pianna
Knights. They lived apart from El Morad and dedicated
their lives to their work, some of them would even learn
the arts of magic and healing. Arts long lost when men
On the last night of the seventh year, something extraordinary
occurred, red rain began to fall over El Morad. Far away
a green fog inched ever closer. A warning had sounded
and for the first time in years all had run for the gates
and more than one would admit that they were afraid.
King Manes once again prayed to any who would listen.
This time Cypher answered.
"It is you, for so long I have prayed. Why do you
only now answer"? King Manes asked. The gods had never
answered before, and many doubted their existence.
"There was no need", came the reply.
"Everyday my people die, is there no greater a need"?
"There is no need",
Determined to see salvation the king begged, "You have
the power, only will it and all will be right again, we
are but your humble servants".
"Servants are off no consequence, this day I show
myself for the end is near. Though I did not will this
destruction, its flatters me to admit that my power brought
The King grew angry, "You may be a God, Cypher. But nothing
can not be brought low". Standing drew his sword and pointed
it at the direction of the voice, "If you will not help
us, we shall meet our doom, together". But Cypher was
no longer there.
"There must be something we can do", one of the council
members said wiping sweat from his brow, while another
beside him tried hard to suppress a yawn. It was late
afternoon and the lords and leaders have been discussing
the matter since the night before, when Cypher appeared.
A Planisadian lord stood and repeated his intent on escaping
the encroaching green fog. None of the scouts had yet
returned and he believed it sound to escape first then
reevaluate the situation. It would days to move everyone
and time was already growing short.
"No, we stand and fight, kill Cypher and all should
be well again", an overly bold Erenion sweeping his hand
in an arc, nearly knocking over a weary servant who was
refilling his goblet. "We have run enough".
The council was in uproar, it wasn't the first time someone
suggested and while they all knew that was the only solution
they were reluctant to fight a god. "Are you mad"? someone
shouted, "Cypher is a GOD"!
"We will stay, but we will not fight",
The room was stunned into silence. To stay but not fight?
Then what should be done? Just die? Surely some believed
that the king had finally lost his senses. Already many
had to be persuaded to believe that Cypher truly did speak
to his majesty.
"Send for the Pianna Knights".
The Pianna Knights rode through the castle gates amidst
the cheers of the entire populace. Here were the heroes
of legend, those who would save them all. In their newly
fashioned armor and polished swords they looked every
bit the story book heroes of old. Not one who saw them
believed that they would fail.
Near two hundred strong they rode in search for Cypher.
Legend has it that he had a built a monument of glass
centuries ago and that he resided near it, tended by his
early followers who saw to his every need.
Guided by no more than stories told to young children
the Pianna Knights rode into the wilderness away the most
obscure of human settlements, which of course were now
nothing more than ruins. In the forests they killed every
creature they encountered, but those were few and far
between. It was as though each and every one of those
vile beings had been picked up and stored away. One may
even take a walk in the moonlight and return unharmed.
One night a wave of fatigued washed over them and they
each in turn fell asleep.
They dreamt of a place near a valley, there were people
there. And at first their semi-conscious selves were elated,
for they had thought they were the last. But as their
dreams were guided closer they saw the despair in the
faces of the people, how tired they looked without an
ounce of joy in their souls. But they did not understand,
here was a peaceful place and uncomplicated haven of rainbow
colors when light struck the edifice of glass. Realization
dawned upon them, here was the lair of Cypher and those
humans were not his adoring subjects but his slaves. Their
consciousness turned towards the monument, at the foot
of it a fortress stood, it was of dark stone and it absorbed
the lights as though it never existed. They drifted closer,
but as they neared the structure they felt rather than
saw a hand reach out and block their view.
The dream ended, but they did not stir till morning.
While the Pianna Knights were troubled by what they had
seen they were no less determined. However, their knowledge
was not limited to what they had. They were being drawn
to the west as though they knew there was where they had
to be. And in their minds and hearts rang a verse, a prayer
We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.
Towards the west they rode, as quick as the wind, never
had they been inspired so. They rode without stopping
for days, neither they nor their animals felt hunger or
exhaustion, they rode until a sight caught their eyes.
An enormous monument which sparkled like a diamond stood
miles away. Even having seen it up-close in their dream
did not prepare them for the magnificence before them.
The neighing of one of their horses snapped them out of
their reverie and again they continued.
By dawn the next day they reached what appeared to be
an impassable barrier, the monument just beyond. There
was nothing there but the horses refused to go beyond
the invisible line. Even the knights that dismounted found
themselves unable to bring themselves to cross it. It
was as though the desire to enter that "zone" left them
the moment they approached. One would account later that
the feeling was akin to one looking at his favorite dish.
He knew he wanted it, but yet opening his mouth, he lost
By noon none had passed but the terrain was changing.
The forests and grass which enveloped them dissolved as
though nothing more than an illusion. The ground seemed
to dry up leaving nothing but dry earth behind. It dried
so quickly that it began to crack, scarring its smooth
surface. Suddenly, the ground in which held the knights
gave in and all fell into the crevice. Many were injured
in that fall and some lost their lives. But most of them
now found themselves in a dark cavern having landed in
the middle of a host of every monster they had ever faced,
and some which they have never before laid eyes on. Standing
there so tall as to almost reach the stalactites was Cypher
himself. They did not know him, but they knew they faced
whom they sought.
With the barest of a nod, the Pianna Knights were assaulted
from all sides. They formed a circle of shields, holding
back the enemy as best they could while protecting the
injured and the healers within the ring. The knights were
skillful in war craft and they only lost a brother with
the felling of beasts ten times that number. But as the
battle wore on their numbers had dwindled significantly
and there seemed to be no end of their tireless foes.
Down to than fewer fifty men, the beasts stopped their
assault. They backed away as Cypher approached, seeing
him up close for the first time they saw what Cypher truly
was. Besides his gigantic form he looked little better
than an old man. He wasn't the fierce warrior god all
expected him to be.
"Welcome, Knights-Pianna. I see you must be tired",
The Knights did not answer, instead those inclined to
sword play each picked a target and rammed them thru.
Those gifted in the mystic arts opened themselves up the
their powers and fire and lightning scorched all those
who stood in their path. So fierce was the attack that
Cypher could only watch as the few hundred beasts he had
left were killed mercilessly. More men were lost but it
was all over, not a single creature stood standing, and
those that still lived lay bleeding on the blood soaked
cavern floor. They circled Cypher, but to defeat a god
by sheer physical strength and the little magic they could
command was sheer folly. Cypher knew this and he was unafraid.
Already the corpses of the fallen were stirring. Soon
they would rise again, but would remember no face be it
friend or brother.
As the very first of the zombies closed his hardening
fingers on a fallen sword words of fire burned in the
minds of the survivors. Without knowing the reason, they
began chanting the prayer which had come to them before.
We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.
More and more of their fallen brethren were standing and
rearming themselves. Never in their lives had the Pianna
Knights felt such fear while feeling such hope. They continued.
We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.
Louder and louder the words echoed through the cavern,
resounding of the ancient walls and reverberating off
the shivering stalactites. More verses came out of their
We are one again with you,
You can hear us,
Listen to our plea.
Cypher unheeding their pitiful prayer flared his powers,
the ceiling began to collapse on our heroes and more than
one was crushed by the falling granite. Yes they stood
It is the end,
We wish to return,
Welcome us home.
Like lighting there was a flash of light as something
streaked from the heavens. Logos, the God Creator lifting
his mighty bow had let fly a bolt of energy fueled by
the long prayers of salvation from generations past to
present. The bolt pierced the clouds, the cavern ceiling
and struck the startled Cypher above the shoulders. In
a brilliance that would have blind all that had not the
blessing of Logos, Cypher was no more. Only his final
cry for vengeance vibrated softly on the walls.
Another voice more subdued but so clear and so full of