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Into the Ashes - AoC Prologue

LethanelLethanel Member
edited February 2022 in Community Creations
It's a short story placed in AoC universe(refreshed/reposted). The text was translated to english and then corrected by me. So please keep in mind that there might be some typos I missed.
Have a nice reading.



Stories usually start at the very beginning. This one, however, started so long ago that some of its chapters are still shrouded in mystery.
So where to start? From a certain place, the right time and a special event. From a short moment and few steps that will decide your fate as well as the fate of the whole world.
You stand in front of a gate - a stone ring levitating just above the ground. The whole thing was radiant with blue light, saturated with magical energy whose source was majestically placed in the center of the inner circle. A crystal from the pure essence of the universe. The sight filled you with excitement, admiration as well as fear because you know it will soon be your turn.

You look around and see many others heading for the gate just like you. Humans in large numbers, elves with pointed ears and flawless pale skin. Short, but of powerful build dwarves, and brown-skinned giants - orcs. One by one, every now and then they touched the crystal to then disappear before your eyes. the divine gate, once the escape route of the ancestors, now open once again so that the exiled people can finally reclaim their lost home.

You tear your gaze away from the crowd as the person in front of you dissolved into thin air and a flash of light. You look at the irregular lump and raise your hand uncertainly. Your body was flooded with a tingling sensation and warmth as soon as your hand touched the smooth surface. Then something strange happened.
Suddenly the world around you disappeared, as if you had just closed your eyes. The only thing you can see is your own body, surrounded by impenetrable blackness. The sound of footsteps began to echo widely, intensifying with each passing moment.
You look around nervously looking for the source of the sound. Unsuccessfully at first, but at some point a shape emerged from the dark sheet. The reason this figure was so hard to see was because of his outfit - long coat covering most of the body, with color not much different from the rest of the place. Only two things unvailed him. The first is face with sharp features and pair of intense blue eyes staring at you with barely noticeable fascination. The other is the right hand, crossed with the left hand above the waist.
The stranger moved closer and looked at you investigatively for a moment.

- Welcome traveller - he said in a low, cordial tone.

Many questions arise in your mind. Who is this person? Where are you and why are you here? But he forestalled you.

- We are in the anteroom - the space between dimensions. You are entering a world unfamiliar to you. Full of opportunity and danger. For that reason, let me be your guide for this brief moment.

He raised his open hand, over which a ball of pale light appeared, with lines drawned on its surface.

- Vera - the work of the gods, home of your ancestors and your destination.

You look at the sphere, the borders of seas and lands, the red of the mountains and the green of the plains. You quickly realize that if this is indeed the lost world, it is much more diverse than Sanctum.

- The gods created this place and then the four races that populated it. It was a golden period in the history of mortals. Vera,
thanks to its deposit of essence, provided its inhabitants with abundance and unlimited opportunities for development. That was until the fall.

Red dots appeared in several places on the sphere slowly spreading across the globe.

- Rocks saturated with magic fell to the ground from the sky. They served as bridges between Vera and the void heralding the arrival of long forgotten gods and entities called ancients. They were powerful distorted beings with minds tainted by twisted essence. All they wanted was to destroy in a wild fury. However, what sealed the failure of humanity was what they brought with them.

The stranger raised his other hand, over which another light flared, this time the color of blood red. You open your eyes wider when the rays fell on his hand. Bigger than the right one, dark as pitch and ending in five claws.

- Corruption, a transformed form of essence. The ancients spread it in the form of a mist, poisoning the mind and soul of any unfortunate person in its range. Overwhelmed by rage, people began to turn against each other, causing wars and shedding blood. The plague was advancing and the mortals were pinned down. For their strength was diminishing, whether by corruption or by the sword of tainted brethren. They knew this battle was already lost. So how did Mankind survive? - He curved his lips in a smirk before continuing. - In such a hopeless situation, only divine intervention could help. As hope faded and the last inhabitants of Vera were still alive, essence-fueled stone circles emerged from the ground, the divine gates. It was an act of mercy by one of the seven deities, the goddess of creation, to save the survivors from inevitable death. Not all, but most managed to escape. To those lucky ones, after passing through the gates, a new world appeared, the last bastion, Sanctum.

Some of this story you have already heard, for your people have never forgotten and never lost hope. In the hearts of the refugees has always burned a promise passed on to the next generation - the promise of return.

- It's been several hundred years since those events - he said nostalgically, then looked you straight in the eye. - And here you are. As well as me to tell you something.

The lines of seas and continents depicting Vera disappeared, leaving behind only a sphere glowing with a blue radiance. A man in black now stood before you, holding one light in each hand. Blue in the right and red in the monstrous left one.

- Essence and corruption. Here's what awaits you on the other side. This is the choice you will face - he announced in a serious tone. - But not at this point. Now I just want you to experience the difference.

With a single motion of his hand, he extinguished the blue orb, leaving the red one pointed in your direction. A cloud emerged from it, which, quite like a living being, began to wrap itself around you. You grab your head, feeling a terrible pain in it. You begin to hear whispers, but too indistinct for you to understand. However, without knowing why, they brought out the raging anger in you.

- When corruption reaches your soul, it will not be long until your body is an empty shell. So beware, and know that I will be watching you.
The image of the man blurred in your eyes. A moment later, your eyelids became too heavy and drooped, robbing you of the rest of your vision. Your consciousness is fading.

***

Suddenly you open your eyes as if you have just woken up from a dream. Or rather, a nightmare? You rub your tired eyelids, trying to gather your thoughts and remember the moment you walked through the gate. But why do you have to remind yourself of something that happened a moment ago? Could this be some sort of side effect of travelling? You come to your senses a moment later, thinking of the man in black. But the memory is so fuzzy that you are not sure if it really happened.
- Ah, a new arrival. Wellcome, Wellcome! - Someone's voice reached you.
You look around and notice a soldier in leather armor greeting you in a friendly manner. You are standing inside a building that may have been part of a castle or temple in the past. The room was missing the ceiling and one its walls, probably destroyed during the old war. Beyond one of the windows, you can also see stretches of greenery growing into the rest of structures built by former residents. You have a lot of work ahead of you.
- So. . . this is Vera.

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