“Power is never awarded. It is not handed down from those you call superior. True power is surrendered, given up freely by those who follow… Those you make cower.”
Maelkevar, Lord of the Kryne.
The following is an excerpt from the Book of Orden, taken from the Tome of Bahalla-Sa, volume 18, verses 25–42.
The Kryne, the conquerors of countless worlds. Devourers of civilization. For millennia, these demons terrorized the galaxy, causing worlds to fall into the Darkness.
Then, thirteen thousand years ago, they descended upon Alataea.
All life on our world was obliterated. We, the sh’a, were the only species to survive, concealed by sorcery and hidden beneath the mountains.
For two thousand years the Kryne ruled Alataea. Upon their dark throne sat Maelkevar, the most cruel and powerful Kryne of all. But little did Maelkevar know that his era of rule would soon be over.
The Collective, a group of powerful sorcerers from the Realm of Light, had been hunting the Kryne for centuries, and had at last traced them to Alataea. Knowing that the battle for Alataea would be fought in the Mortal Realm, the Collective travelled the galaxy, recruiting the most powerful beings to their cause.
Among their chosen was the Great God Zodian, Lymerva the Ice-Mother, Aryamen the Mighty, and the Wizard-God, Tzor. Backed by a force of some of the most powerful beings in creation, the Collective launched their crusade to liberate Alataea, and destroy the Kryne once and for all.
So began the War of a Thousand Winters.
For a millennium, the battle raged between the Kryne and the Gods of the Collective. At last, in their desperation, the Collective turned to an ancient magic, dangerous and all but forgotten: the Saelydion.
The Gods lured the Kryne deep beneath the world. Then, igniting the awesome power of the Saelydion, the Collective spun their ancient sorcery. A myriad of energy interlaced the planet, trapping the Kryne within, and banishing their spirits to the Lower Realms.
After the war, the Collective – now known by mortals as the Collective Spirit – recreated the world. They filled the oceans, planted the great forests, and repopulated the land with new peoples. The Collective handed guardianship of the planet to the Gods who had battled at their side, and named this reborn world Oberyon.
The Collective Spirit then chose twelve dozen beings from among the mortal races to guard the Saelydion. These chosen they named the Alakyte, an order of mystical warriors entrusted with the fate of the Mortal Realm.
And so it has been for ten thousand years.
All the while the Kryne have been trapped in their prison. Now, for most mortals, the name Kryne has been forgotten. Those who follow the energies of the Mortal Realm know only of the darkness that dwells within the world, a shadow that seeps from the Lower Realms, causing disease, terror, and war.
Only the Kah Brotherhood, the sworn enemy of the Alakyte, share the truth. For seven thousand years, these unholy clerics have sought to release their Kryne masters, worshiping Maelkevar as their one true god. Of the Kryne themselves, no one can say for certain what fate has befallen them. Some believe they have perished. Others recite prophecies that the Kryne will one day return.
Yet, there was one man who professed to have such knowledge. Fourteen hundred years ago, a great sorcerer named Udas Kade claimed he had journeyed to the Lower Realms and ventured inside the Saelydion. Udas was already an old man when he disappeared from the Mortal Realm, yet he returned more than one hundred and fifty years later to recount his tale. Below is an excerpt from his journal.
Within Saeldyion, lies a desolate and forsaken world, a nightmare that will haunt me the rest of my days. The once savage Kryne have evolved into a mighty empire. Their cities scrape the bloodstained sky, although their structures are more akin to the hives of insects.
Perhaps the most chilling of all was Udas’ warning. He claimed that while the Saelydion has protected the Mortal Realm, it has also protected the Kryne, allowing them to grow more powerful, thriving unchallenged within their magical prison. Udas continues,
The power of the Lower Realms is growing. The Kryne have fed off this energy, becoming stronger inside the Saelydion. The Kryne now live for just one purpose: to escape the Saelydion and wreak vengeance on those who imprisoned them. Their number has grown beyond count.
The following additional notations are taken from the Tome of Psar-Lan, volume 9, verses 14–17.
Our worst fears have been realized. The Saelydion is failing. All over Oberyon, Alakyte are reporting that waystones have fallen dormant. Energy from the other Realms, which had once slowed to a trickle, is now flowing freely once more. The Alakyte Elders have little clue as to what is causing the Saelydion’s failure. They have even less idea of how to repair it.
It seems inevitable that the Kryne will escape the Saelydion.
Two centuries have passed with no sign of the Gods. It is believed they have abandoned our world. Our pleas to the Collective Spirit have likewise remained unanswered. Oberyon has been left defenseless.
As I record this latest entry in the Book of Orden, I fear that I may be the final scribe to write in its pages.