|The Heart of the Under Realm|
Lore[edit | edit source]
"Far in the north, in the most remote outposts along the Aeran Highlands, there is a tale told of a place called the Cave of Shadows, on the side of Blackhorn Peak. Like most tales told in common rooms on cold winter nights, it is a tale of tall claims and ancient magic and at its heart lies a dragon, waiting to be awoken by someone foolish enough to come looking for it. But here the tale diverges from most travelers' tales told by the roaring fire, for the Cave of Shadows is no lair, where a greedy dragon protects its hoard from Tyr's greedy eye. No, friend, the Cave of Shadows is nothing of the sort.
The Cave of Shadows is nothing less than the doorway to another world.
If one digs deep enough, anywhere in the Lands Above it's said, one will find evidence of this world in the form of vaults, vast pockets 'neath the world held open by gargantuan crystals, larger than cities. Countless riches wait those that would dig this deep and indeed, the stonekin have made their wealth doing just that along the Spine of the World. But, if one digs deeper still they will find the Under Realm. It is no vault, but a hollow, a void at the center of our world. A vast land larger in area even than the meager surface we call home!
You might think the Under Realm a place of darkness where black, blind creatures turn eyeless faces to any sound, but you would be mistaken, dear reader. Oh, how mistaken you would be! The Under Realm is a place of light, indescribable to our simple senses, where color itself takes form and gains properties not seen in the Lands Above. The Earthstar, a perfect sphere of crystalline light, floats at the center of the Under Realm and bathes all in its prismatic glow. Beneath this multi-hued glimmer, strange and wondrous creatures flourish, creatures of light. Where we grow simple brittle bones, the beings of the Under Realm are formed of crystalline light. From the simplest rodent to the lords of the Under Realm themselves, all are beings of light. Darkness exists in but one place in the Under Realm; the Corvine Rift, source of the realm's ills.
A split in the seams of the world, the Rift extends from its humble beginnings in the Cave of Shadows to snake and wind its way down to the very center, to the Earthstar itself. It is a conduit between our world and the prismatic world of the Under Realm and it broods at the heart of Astaroth's power upon the Lands Above, Blackhorn Peak.
Through this passage, Astaroth sent his minions and with them came the Smoke. A manifestation of Astaroth's will, the Smoke feasted upon the prismatic light of the Earthstar, growing thicker and spreading to cover more and more of the Under Realm in the cast of night. The once secluded Under Realm, its denizens unprepared for night or war, found themselves facing both as the Smoke covered the movements of Astaroth's minions ravaging the land. Powerful crystal warriors and mystics faced the danger, but against the powers of a titan, they were impotent. In desperation they turned to the source of life in the Under Realm, and called out to the Earthstar for help.
Countless had died. The crystal spires of Untersfal, once the greatest city of the Under Realm, has fallen to the smoke and the monsters that lay hidden within. The rocky land was littered with the crystal shards of the fallen and through it all the Earthstar had pulsed and glowed, impassive. Too long had the god at its heart slept; too long had it forgotten its true form and the pact it had made, in the time before, but as the cry for help became the sole refrain of the billions fleeing before the smoke, something within the Earthstar stirred.
The Earthstar's glow flickered and twisted as something within uncoiled, clawing its way from within that trapped star to roar in defiance at the gathering dark. It was a beast-god, a primal force that spread its wings, long folded as the thing slept its way through the time of titans, and roared at the pitiful ""power"" that dared to threaten its realm. It turned its sinuous neck to regard the Under Realm, seeing at once the thing hidden in the heart of the smoke, the harbinger of night, the Wolf. The powerful god roared once more and flapped crystal wings to take to the sky, revealing its draconic form to the minions of Astaroth for the first time.
The beast god was massive, if it could be said to have a size, the shifting colors and scattering light from the many crystal spines along its back hiding its form. Light pooled along the leading edge of its wings like water against the hull of a great ship as it circled the smoke in its hunt for prey. Twin horns of prismatic crystal swept back from its skull, curving back around the creature's ear slits to point forward. From the points of these fearsome spines, twin beams of prismatic light would spear into the darkness below, immediately answered by the screams of the minions of the Dark Lord hidden within the Smoke.
With fearsome efficiency, the dragon-god eviscerated Astaroth's forces, leaving only the night bringer, the Wolf, to deal with. A howl pierced the smoke and it began to retract, cloaking around the thing at its center until what faced the Under Realm's defender was a single creature, a black wolf impossibly large against the curved surface of the Under Realm. It seemed to straddle the horizon, a monster on par with the beast-god, after all.
""Gemtalon!"" the wolf snarled, turning its head to regard the dragon with a single, purple eye. It pawed at the ground, the massive talons of the creature scattering the once proud spires of Untersfal like so many bits of gravel in the dirt.
""The time of spirits is long over, wyrm. My lord calls you to his service."" The wolf seemed to smile then, its dark lips curling to reveal wicked black fangs, dripping with smoky ichor.
The dragon-god, Gemtalon, the Heart of the Under Realm, bellowed in defiance and turned its twin beams of light onto the wolf. With a yelp the wolf jumped to the side as the dragon's light burned twin scars into the floor below.
Gemtalon snarled in frustration and landed heavily next to the wolf, ready to finish this, but the wolf sprang up with a snarl of its own, ready to snap at the god-beast's throat. Just then the light of the Earthstar pulsed and the wolf's fangs snapped shut, not on the god-beast's exposed flesh, but against harsh unyielding crystal instead, shattering the wolf's teeth with a sickening snap that resounded through the entire Under Realm.
Dripping black smoky blood from its savaged maw, the servant of Astaroth snarled once more. Gemtalon raised a claw, prepared to dispatch the wolf once and for all, but the wolf bounded away, making its escape. As it slipped through the Corvine rift, the monster called back once more.
""Your world will fall to Darkness, Gemtalon. You cannot defeat us alone! Your world will fall!"" All around the dragon god, the Under Realm lay shattered. Glittering in the Earthstar's light, the damage was easy to see. Billions dead, the great cities fallen. With a roar of anguish the dragon knew that the wolf was right. It would take centuries just to rebuild and at the other end of that rift, more trouble waited. The dragon-god would need allies to protect its realm. To protect the light of the Earthstar.
Its fearsome maw set firm in a look of resignation, the dragon took wing once more, diving into the Corvine Rift after the wolf, intent on entering the world above. The wolf had said Gemtalon could not defeat Astaroth alone, and it was right. But, despite its bestial nature, Gemtalon was no fool. It knew that Astaroth was not the only titan to fight the Battles Above..."
Tips[edit | edit source]
You are Stalking Death - when used correctly, Prismatic Armor's ability to reflect damage on your enemies gives you all the protection you need to wade into a fight, take out the most high value target, and get back out.
Being Death and Being Dead aren't that far from each other - It's easy to forget that Prismatic Armor isn't infallible. Its short duration could leave you bereft of defenses when you need them most. Don't forget to rely on Earthstar's Light's ability to shoot *through* your enemies to your advantage, allowing you to focus your fire on your enemies even as you close the distance. Likewise, withdrawing can be easier when all of your pursuers are burning in Earthstar's Light
Pairs best with... Something offensive! Weapons that can deal a lot of damage all at once are perfect for the natural surgical strike tactics that Gemtalon favors. Push in under Prismatic Armor, deal a ton of damage to take your target in one pass, and then pull back to recharge and pick a new target!
Arcfury • Autodrake • Bilebite • Bladeforge • Blood Thief • Bogwraith • Briartove • Deepfiend • Direbone • Dragokin • Dreadnaught • Frostbane • Gemtalon • Goldenclaw • Gravelurker • Heartstone • Hellfire • Icemaul • Imperial • Lunaveil • Magmascale • Mistfallow • Netherdrake • Nightmare • Novastar • Noxwing • Quetzalcoatl • Rimrock • Ryujin • Seastark • Solreign • Spineback • Spinereaver • Stonepeak • Tanglewing • The dark One • Twinscale • Venomtail • Wardhammer • Wyrm-Mk1