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Chapter 1 - Variphor Is Near

For a short while everything seemed to spin, Valiant had lost track of where he was… A scream in the background echoed:

– "Valiant, what happened?".

His thoughts stopped immediately, the same owner of the previous scream approached and said:

– "Did you have one of your lapses again?".

Confused, he only knew how to respond:

– "I believe so…"

Before he could say more, Hera dragged him to the team, something dangerous seemed to be happening soon.

He was looking around: various shelves, railings and portals everywhere and a strange figure of a giant book in the center of the room... again his thoughts were torn away by a scream, this time from the strange book:

– "The leader of the invasion finally joins the battle! Beware, the Scourge of Oblivion enters the fray!".

A huge figure appeared next to the team, quickly Valiant drew his sword and joined the fight.

After several minutes of intense battle and exhaustion looming, the mighty creature finally gave signs that it would fall. The supply stores were about to run out when a hellish noise tormented the place, just at this moment the Scourge of Oblivion dismantled in front of everyone.

They barely had time to rest from the exhausting battle when another shout broke through their thoughts:

– "NO, we have been fooled! The attack was a ruse!".

The entire team turned their attention to the center, the strange book again shouted:

– "While we were fighting, the inner wards has been breached! Amidst the distraction the knowledge about the godbreaker has been stolen! Come to me, we have to talk!".

Obviously something very wrong was happening, one by one, the eight members of the team approached the strange book. When the last of the members arrived, he continued:

– "Some traitor has revealed the location of Godbreaker's instructions, surely Zathroth will call you to meet him in the future, but something is much more urgent! Variphor's followers now have all the material and knowledge needed to bring him into our world…."

– "Despite Scourge of Oblivion being really strong, the battle against Variphor is immensely worse and practically impossible, our only possibility is to stop his followers as soon as possible!"

Hera, the quickest in thought of the entire team, quickly asked:

– "Variphor? What is this, and how do you think we could help?"

Cerebrir, the strange book, replied immediately:

– "I have warned Lesly, she will look for you the moment you leave this library, our time is short, I need you to trust her, all necessary information will be passed on to all of you in due course."

The warriors then made their way to the teleport out of the place but before they could enter a voice echoed again from the center of the room:

– "Good luck warriors, don't be afraid on your way back, I've ordered the library creatures not to attack you!".

They then proceeded towards the exit of the library, a strange image of the creatures clearing the path peacefully made this journey even more disturbing. When they left the library, they were finally on the Isle of Kings, Costello was restless and in the center of the room was a warrior watching them, she took a few steps and said:

– "So it was you who defeated the dreaded Scourge of Oblivion... Cerebrir told me that Variphor's followers stole Godbreaker's information during the fight, this is very bad..."

Everyone was still in shock, in the absence of any response from the team, Lesly continued:

– "Sorry for not introducing myself earlier, I'm Lesly, what's your name?"

Hera, again took the lead and introduced everyone:

– "It's my pleasure, Lesly, my name is Hera, and these are my companions: Valiant, Aerodus, Petros, Olga, Riberus, Iris and Ragna. We want to know more information, who is Variphor and why is this so bad?"

Lesly smiled slightly and replied:

– "Calm down Hera, soon you will know and you will certainly be afraid, I will take you now to the headquarters of the Inquisition in Thais, the information will be passed there, follow me".

Lesly then followed a hurried walk out of the monastery, but instead of going to the boat, as adventurers would expect, she went to the winery. She lifted a patch of fake grass that revealed a strange floor with different markings, finally turned to the others and said:

– "You didn't think we'd go by boat, did you? haha ha! Please each one take one of these pearls and step on this spot, I will come last and meet you there".

One by one, the adventurers were teleported to the Inquisition headquarters in Thais, when they arrived they came across Henricus who hurriedly spoke while people were still arriving through the portal:

– "Blessings only tomorrow, we are closing for today…. Lesly? What happened, and who are they?"

– "Henricus, these are the adventurers who were able to defeat the Scourge of Oblivion, but unfortunately it all seemed to be a distraction as Variphor's followers managed to steal Godbreaker's secrets..." replied Lesly hastily.

– "What!… It's not possible", Henricus sat up in shock and continued: "We have a huge problem, the end... the end is approaching"

Lesly knelt down and looked at Henricus, saying:

– "That's exactly why I brought them, we need a strong and united team to fight Variphor's followers, but I need you to explain to them what they're fighting, only then can they help"

Henricus looked at each of the team members and after a few seconds of silence spoke:

– "Right, I'll give you all the information you need, everyone sit down.".

With everyone seated and watching Henricus, he began his long and paused explanation:

– "Variphor is a kind of god, but unlike our gods he does not belong to our reality, or our world... He is the ruler of a parallel dimension, we don't know exactly what is there, but apparently darkness and destruction predominate.".

– "In our world there are and have been some cults of this entity, especially in Yalahar, they are discreet and are usually hidden, our best inquisitors were not able to find and arrest any of them…"

– "We heard of some reports: as in Darashia of Mazarius, who was responsible for getting the pieces of the Godbreaker... In Yalahar we heard of Azerus and several of his cronies, who fled to some unknown location... In Roshamuul one of the demon princes disturbs the place constantly, to the point where Morax can hear his screams saying that Variphor will rule..."

– "The final piece was knowing how to assemble and operate the Godbreaker, the secret was in Zathroth's library, it was… this new information that they managed to steal changed the scenario in their favor…."

– "There must be a place where they will mount this mighty weapon, and it will take some time, but we have to find them before they do the Variphor's Ascension Ritual. If they succeed he will kill our gods and destroy our world."

– "I see that you are the strongest among us, managed to defeat a powerful creature of Variphor, surely you may not be extremely strong, but our best chance is you".

Henricus then went to one of the lockers, and started looking for something. The entire team began to exchange glances and visibly showed their concern, it was at this moment that Riberus asked:

– "If you haven't managed to arrest one of Variphor's followers so far, how do you think we'll be able to obtain information as difficult as the location of their headquarters?"

Henricus finally found the object he was looking for, turned to the adventurers and replied:

– "Obviously, we need more help, the Inquisition alone will not be enough… With this object…"

And before Henricus could finish his sentence, Lesly interrupted him:

– "Are you sure about this Henricus? We never called Him, do you really think it will work?"

Henricus promptly said:

– "Whatever the reason, we would suffer some punishment or lose the possibility of contact with Him, but this reason justifies any measure, we don't have another chance!"

Henricus then handed a staff into the hand of Riberus, who had previously interrogated him and said:

– "Go to the temple of Thais, all join him..." Henricus took Riberus' arm and continued: "While everyone is close to you, touch this staff on the southwest pillar of the temple of Thais, this pillar was enchanted to allow this ritual, if all goes well all of you will be taken to meet Fardos".

– "He knows everything about our world, He and Uman created it. If Variphor's followers are doing something, surely he will have a lot of information that we don't… Lesly, please go with them"

Lesly paused for a while as she remained thoughtful and finally said:

– "All right, let's go!"

The adventurers, along with Lesly, reached the pillar mentioned by Henricus and touched it with their staff. Everyone saw the environment change drastically to a kind of huge library, with a huge central tree and a huge face watching them, it was him… Fardos.

To be continued…

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