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Wages of Sin
WagesOfSin
Description: New alliances ignite in a religious war in the mountains of Tempus Mor.
Player civilization:
Victory: Destroy 3 civilizations of opposing alignment to win.
Defeat: You are defeated.
Special rules: Defeat at least 3 players of opposing alignment.
Requires:
Unlocks:
Side quests:
  • None
Side quest reward:
  • None

Path of Os-GabellaEdit

Abnoba oversaw the chanting of the ritualists. Not a word was misspoke. They had had the importance of this ritual made extremely clear. He turned to his queen, seated in her throne gazing impassively at the magic circle in the dim candle light.

"I cannot say that this will grant you what you seek, milady."

"No, likely it will not. Hyborem's powers are great indeed, but even he lacks the power to rescind a blessing given by twenty-one in concert. It seems I am destined to see the end of this world."

"If anything would bring the apocalypse upon our world, it would be this ritual. Agares's followers will be bound to this world..." She trailed off as a sudden shaking almost knocked her to her feet. "Milady! Are we besieged?"

"Abonoba... foolish child, what did you expect the rearrangement of the universe to feel like? Although doubtless the Bannor camp at our borders would take this as provocation and besiege us, and it would be to our advantage to let them face the Infernals and rip this land sunder... our spies tell us that they shall soon have to return home and face a worse surprise in the halls of Torrolerial. So we must find some other targets for our new patron Hyborem."

The Ashen Veil preistess smiled. "The north."

Os-Gabella beckoned. From the shadows came a Succubus. "If Hyborem has done his part from Hell, his forces should be emerging near Tempus Mor. The civil war of the Elven states should distract them enough for Hyborem to gain ground." The Succubus nodded and left the hall.

"And we?"

Os-Gabella smiled. "As we have ever done. Bring discord and strife until this world is unfit for the great experiment is was built for."

Rosier the FallenEdit

Ritualists painted symbols onto the armor the knight was to wear. It was midnight, and the blood they used came from warriors freshly sacrificed. Abnoba outlined the plans for the Sheaim forces, but he had other thoughts on his mind. "Decius is here, Abnoba. Leading Calabim forces."

"Yes, this is true."

"Why did you not tell me sooner? You know I want his blood. That and the blood of any fool of the Bannor."

"We did not shelter you so you could defy our plans. But your hunger for revenge need not be frustrated if you look deeper. Decius has started down the same path you trod, the path that shall lead to him championing our ideals. He has seen the imperfection of the virtuous. He will find the emprtiness of self and finally embrace the futility of existence. His life is forbidden you, but the path of destruction in Tempus Mor is wide. Now ride, Knight of the Veil."

Rosier donned his helm and mounted. Taking up sword and shield he followed the path out.

DefeatsEdit

A Svartalfar spy was waiting in Os-Gabella's chambers when she retired for the night. "This game of Faeryl's many intimidate some, but it merely annoys me to have to kill so many of her spies," Os-Gabella said.

"I come with a message, dear firend of the Svaralfar. An opportunity. A tale of conversation overheard in the palace of a another friend. The wife of Varn Gosam, a woman of greatly divergent temperament, request the Calabim withdrawal from our alliance. Decius declines the offer, overly politely. There is more here than diplomacy. A risk that Decius may be swayed, but far as he has come, he has scant recourse to go back. If she were to have a moment of weakness though, it would stab at the heart of the Overcouncil."

Os-Gabella smiled. "Perhaps if we alienate Decius... make him lonely, to long for a companion, he would seek out this woman in the future. Make sure he knows his fortune depends on his alleiance to us, however."

BetrayalEdit

Talia walked unescorted from the Calabim borders through the savannah. It was early morning, and she headed towards the rising sun, towards home. Decius had just released her from a captivity that she had forgotten wasn't voluntary. He had dascinated her, and she had betrayed her husband Varn Gosam to her baser instincts. But she learned much on the man whose armies opposed hers, and she comforted herself with the thought that this information might aid her people in stopping the Calabim.

"Do you know how the Sea of Sorrow was named?" The voice came from the shadows of a rock formation as she passed by.

"Who's there? I have been granted passage as a prisoner exchange by Decius of the Calabim."

An old crone in dusty purple robes emerged from the shadows. "There once was a great king who ruled over this land. Lord of all he would survey. His palace stood on a cliff overlooking the sea on the western edge."She paused.

Talia gave her no further promting. "I have no time for your story. I am too long delayed from my home already." She turned away and hurried on, but found the woman ahead of her.

"It is his sorrow from which this sea draws its name. A great king who had everything he asked for given. And he climbed the tower stairs to throw himself to his death in the crashing sea beneath."

"What concern is this of mine? Kings come and go; all creatures suffer. I must return to my people, who struggle with a threat to every living thing under the sun!" The dust around her feet rose swirling around her, cutting off the old woman, and again Talia turned towards home.

This time she saw the woman step from thin air in front of her. "What caused a sorrow so great to make him disdain his own life? Do you not know the story?" The Crone looked into Talia's eyes, who this time held her gaze. "That which he most treasured was shown to be false. A promise shown a lie. A wife shown untrue."

"Spirit be gone! Do not... do not judge me."

"The king's greatest desire was for his trusted queen to stand loyally by his side and help him to rule justly. He was too kind to send her away, too wise to trust her again, too idealistic to live with his dream out of reach. His death was the only solution within his grasp."

"It would be better had he never learned of this," Talia said softly.

"He will learn of it," the Crone said.

"He is too true to do that. The king could not be happy... not while the queen who betrayed him still lived."

The old woman turned away, releasing Talia from her gaze. Talia shook her head, then turned away, running towards home.

The crone's ancient façade faded away. She removed a small mirror from her robes, and sprinkled a powder over it, revealing a dreary castle in a hellish landscape. "The seeds are planted, Lethe. Follow this one. Take her guilt and pain as supplication, and lead her to your embrace."

Then after one final look to the fleeing Talia, Os-Gabella spoke a arcane command and returned to her palace.

Os-Gabella stalked alon, apprising the hellish landscape that greeted their progress here. This was once a forest, perhaps even an elven town, though little remained to suggest it. She stopped down and picked up a skull, then let it drop from her fingers. The Infernals' handiwork. There was a certain beauty to the empriness that made her wistful. Her plan was a long-term one, and while she was well suited for patience, she longed for rest. "So far to go..." she muttered, dropping the skull.

"You've gone far enough." Os-Gabella whirled to see the speaker, a cloked human man with a blade already poised to strike. She did not try to stop him. The strange hunter feinted and spun, impaling her heart in the blink of an eye.

"Alas. I hadn't expected you would succeed." She grasped his head and began chanting. A moment later his body fell to the charred fields, his head residing in a separate plane altogether.

When Os-Gabella returned to Galveholm, the captain of her spies was waiting for her. "Interesting news, milady. Ethne the White of the Elohim has been slain."

"Death is ubiquitous, or so I'm told."

"Her archmages were unable to resurrect her. Apparently her assassin has a blade which could send her soul straight to the next world."

Os-Gabella inhaled sharply. "Contact Decius. Offer him whatever he names if he retrieves this sword. Meanshile, the chaos spreads. Already Infernal forces are coming to aid our Arch-mage ally Tebryn. They will surely defeat the Empyrean stronghold of Bourne the Gleaming, as it has been riddled from withing by corruption. And all across Erebus, our war will spill. Come, end of all things. Bring me release."


StrategyEdit

If the player has chosen the Malakim, Chalid Astrakein is the best and easiest way to win.

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