The Lost Gods of Cureal
Legend of Truth
There is a tale that has been passed down for generations of the first Holy Wars. The world was ripped apart as the Twelve used their pawns and followers to wage bloody and horrifying battles. Hundreds of thousands of people died. No one was winning, no one was losing. It was an impossibly even war. Then emerged the first holy relic. Gerak, a human born in the north, was no warrior, no hero. He had avoided joining the war, and even refused to support any of the Twelve, until one night Jun came to him. Appearing to him as a dire wolf with a coat made of the night sky, Gerak was deathly afraid. Jun said nothing, but turned and began to walk away. After a few feet, Jun stopped and looked back at Gerak as if expecting him to follow. Gerak had no idea what he was looking at, he only knew that this being would not hurt him. So he followed. They walked for weeks, but Gerak never grew tired, never grew hungry, but he could feel an excitement brewing inside of him. Eventually, the arrived outside of a cave on an unknown mountain. When he looked out across the land it seemed as if the world was curling away from him like a scroll. Jun gestured for him to enter the cave. Inside he found a forge with flames white as snow. As he watched, dire wolf walked towards the forge, turned to him, and said “I am Jun, I am truth, and you will be my champion.” Jun then proceeded to rip his own front right leg off and laid it on the anvil. The flames of the forge began swirling wildly. They hurled themselves around the cave, even consuming Gerak, but he was not burned. The flame gathered around the anvil and became so bright that even when looking away Gerak was sure he would be blinded. When the flames subsided and Gerak returned his eyes to the anvil Jun was gone and all that remained was the most beautiful weapon he had every laid eyes on. It was a double scythe blade staff. When he picked it up, gold armor sprang from the weapon and covered his body, also sprouting golden wings from his back. He felt powerful, he felt unstoppable, but at the same time the reality of where this power came from made him feel week, unworthy, and insignificant. Gerak knew what he had to do. He knew the task before him. He was to stop the Holy Wars, stop the bloodshed, and he knew he could not be defeated as long as he held this blade, named Truth Seeker. But the Twelve would not give up without a fight.
Legend tells of the first time the Truth Wielder appeared on the field of battle. The armies of Fanrin, priest-queen of Alok, and of Kanton, Dark Prophet of Kek, had gathered on the plains just beyond Llano, the City of Bells, to fight for their Gods and prove their superiority. The battle had been going on for three days, hundreds of casualties on both sides, with no sign of either side letting up any time soon. It was gruesome. The paladins of both side had been using their powers like madmen, destroying whole squads with just the backlash of their one on one battles. The Gods had given them too much powers. The sorcerers and wizards too. The skies were split down the middle, dark, broiling clouds over Kanton’s armies, and bright, piercing light above the armies of Fanrin. Those who witnessed the battle described a pause, like the calm before the storm, with no clear reason why. The fighting just stopped and everyone looked around, waiting to see what was to come. Then, like a dream, Gerak the Truth Wielder descended from the skies. He hovered just above the ground, never actually touching the earth. He said nothing, he did nothing, he just stood there and dared them to move. Dared them to defy his will. Everyone just dropped their weapons, turned, and left the battle.
After the Truth Wielder’s first appearance, the leaders of the world all went to consult with their various gods, seek some way to combat this new threat. The Twelve responded, each in their own unique way. Well, for the most part. Legend tells that the followers of Chomin didn’t pray to their god. They couldn’t find time to fit it in their schedule between their laziness, eating, and sleeping. Fortunately for them, Shepry took notice of this and forced Chomin to bless his followers with gifts of their own. There’s very few descriptions of the relics that were given, however it is well known that each of the Twelve brought three individual relics into the world, every one of them incredibly powerful. It was even said that Hayyim blessed Canta, his Holy Queen of Life, with a ring that gave her eternal youth, a shield that protected her from all physical harm, and a crown that repelled all forms of dark magic. Of course, each and every relic was just as powerful as any other. Chomin, who didn’t care enough to actually forge anything, gave his followers a stick that made their enemies lose the will to fight. Veda gave her followers a book that identified anything with as much description as you required by simple holding open the book and looking at whatever you wished to have information on. She also gave them a mirror that you could look in and see the future. Regardless of the patron and the relic, these followers were now the most powerful mortals in the world, and they all desired to defeat one man.
The first to challenge Gerak was Fesil, the Jester King, servant of Nuzhat. Fesil had already played around with the relics given to him and found that no one could defeat him so far, all other fights and battles were boring. So, seeking excitement and a greater challenge, Fesil sought out Gerak. He wasn’t hard to find, all he had to do is set a town on fire. Of course, he also made sure most everyone was out of the city before burning it to the ground. There may or may not have been some prisoners left to burn alive in the town’s dungeon. He only had to wait a quarter hour for the Truth Wielder to show up. He descended from the clouds just as before, looking as fearsome and splendid as the stories Fesil had heard. Fesil had to exert quite a bit of effort to shake himself out of his awe-struck stupor. Gerak looked at the Jester King, and Fesil felt as if he was looking at his soul. “I know why you have done this, Fesil, Jester King. I know you seek amusement from me, but if I may, why is it that you seek this amusement?” Fesil hesitated. His plan was to strike down his opponent immediately, force him to the ground, then play with his opponent before finishing him off. But Fesil didn’t have an answer to his question, the thought had never crossed his mind. It wasn’t something he had ever had to worry about before. Or maybe it was, and he had pushed it to the back of his mind, afraid of the answer. “What are you trying to distract yourself from, Fesil? What is it that you truly desire?” the Truth Wielder went on. “We both know why, don’t we?” Don’t say it, Fesil pleaded in his mind. Don’t say it I beg you. “How long has it been since your parents abandoned you on the streets, leaving you to survive on your own? Almost 30 years ago, isn’t it? I’m sorry you had to go through so much pain and suffering, those are hard wounds to heal, I know.” “Impossible to heal!” Fesil shouted at the warrior, holding back tears. How did he know? Who told him? “No one told me Fesil, no one betrayed you, I promise. Do you know why your parents abandoned you? I know you’ve wondered about it, you even tried to find them at one point to ask them yourself. It wasn’t that they didn’t love you Fesil.” “Don’t say that! You don’t know anything!” “It wasn’t your fault, Fesil. Your father was an outlaw, a thief, the kind that never got caught. It was how your family made their living. You were his pride and joy, Fesil.” “Stop it I said!” “But one night he stole something very dear to a very powerful man, and that man tracked your family down. You mother and father knew that they would kill you too if they found you. When they came, your parents ran, leaving you in an alley and leading them away from you. They loved you Fesil. They loved you enough to sacrifice their lives for yours.” Fesil was broken. He was on his knees, sobbing like a child. “It’s okay Fesil, I forgive you.” Gerak flew down next to the Jester King and embraced him. In that embrace Fesil felt an ocean of warmth, kindness, and forgiveness. “I’m so sorry,” Fesil said. “It’s okay, Fesil, I forgive you. Go home now, think on what I’ve said, if you ever need me again I will be there as soon as possible. Don’t go burning down towns just to get my attention though. You’re important enough to me that I’ll sense it when you need me. I have to go now, there are other things I must attend to. Please, if you can, have your people rebuild this town, help them grow, help them prosper, and I promise you will get a much greater fulfillment then seeking after amusement like you have in past. Goodbye now, Fesil. Live true to yourself.” With that, the Truth Wielder departed, and the Great Crossroads of Wawold, capital of the Great Kingdom, was born.