The World of El Tor holds many secrets, tucked away among the scattered remnants of the world that once was. Many of the mysteries lurk in dark places, sealed in impenetrable walls and not likely to ever see the light of day. Some wonders of the past have been hidden in plain sight, marvels of the ancient world now intermingling with modern architecture as man reclaimed the remnants of a fallen world. While the true value of these time-lost constructs may never be understood by modern man, one aspect of the past has returned in a way that could threaten the balance of a fragile world.
Gifts and Curses
Long ago, when man walked in the presence of the Creator, sacred scripture asserts that seven gifts were bequeathed upon him. These Gifts, supernatural to the modern man, were given freely and without limitation to all of mankind. Though the scripture never describes each Gift in detail, perhaps because it was not necessary to do so at that time due to everyone having them, we know that there were seven powers, each spectacular in their own way.
And then, as is the case with a spoiled child who has taken everything for granted, the gifts were taken away from mankind. In an event known as the Fall, the powers of the gifts themselves were warped and cursed, twisting the very figures of the men into horrifying beings, monstrosities bent upon the destruction of the world of their creation. The only person who was allowed to have the Gifts after this point was El Tor, the First Man himself.
Their proficiencies in each of the seven gifts were used against all others, making a unique type of demon for each person who succumbed to the curse. The more they were developed in their different gifts, the more they were cursed in opposition to that gift. There exist bestiaries detailing the common monsters known to the darkest age, but only deep within the annals of the white walled city now known as Denegaz, and as treasures for kings. The only other references to specific monsters are shared as legends and fairy tales.
Return of the Gifts
Legends hold that prior to The Fall, the First Son of El Tor vanished without a trace in the lands far to the South. After ages upon ages, after El Tor left the world through the Sacred Chamber, it is said that the First Son returned. Still having power of all of The Gifts, he was able to start a crusade against the wicked creatures that prowl the land. This is said to be the reason why the land was able to be reclaimed by mankind.
The First Son had many wives and many children before his ultimate death battling the Great Beast. Many of the children he left behind possessed several of the Gifts that he did, creating a power struggle throughout the land which transformed the landscape. Those with Gifts asserted their right to kingships of their own, claiming the ancient lands and establishing kingdoms amidst their ruins.
Over time, the bloodlines grew weaker and weaker as their progeny married less and less for bloodline and more and more for political gain. Some kingdoms resorted to inbreeding in an attempt to keep the Gifts in their family line, but time eventually won.
Wa’rath the Conqueror came from one of these lines, possessing and demonstrating several of the Gifts as he began his conquest upon Caelon before his own death at the hands of former Torian subjects within the white walled city he renamed Denegaz. Because he had no known children, the power of his Gifts was lost to time as well.
In this time, in which we begin our stories of kings and bandits and bards and mercenaries, the Gifts are all but gone from the land, and the magic of the world has all but disappeared. What would happen now, if the Gifts were to return in such a time as this? Perhaps we will find out.