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knight online history
 
The World of Carnac
 
n the beginning there was chaos. Timeless energies swirled in a great mass of color and light in the soundlessness of space. Over the millennia the energies gained substance and began to weave itself into the fabric of what would one day spell life.

Out of this fabric a thread, an insignificant piece of power disentangled itself from the mass. While the essence of this thread was one and the same as the energies which at the very moment were evolving, it changed along a separate path. It alone gained consciousness.

Time passes...

The consciousness comes awake. At first it wanders around what now has become a star, so compact has the energies woven itself over the eons. It looks upon the lifeless star and is touched by his first feeling, sadness.

With his hands outstretched he, Logos, took it upon himself to create life. For days he shaped what would become the world Carnac. At first he created the lands, the tallest mountains and the deepest valleys. He then created the clouds and the sky. He thought he was finished and he was content.

He watched the world from the mountains, reveling in the cools winds that swept its peak. He touched the clouds and felt a wetness like he had never felt before; he liked the feeling, the cool wet feeling of water. He tasted it and was amazed by its purity and how refreshing it was. He thought about this, and he looked down to the land beneath him. It was dark and dry, and for the first time he realized that apart from the mountains the world did not look beautiful, and though the world turned it was not alive. It did not speak, it did not grow. It would merely spin for eternity, like the energies it was molded from.

He thought of the moisture in the clouds and remembered the joy he felt in the experience. He wanted the lands to feel as he felt, he willed the clouds to rain and so it did. It rained for 49 days and the water carved the rocks, flooded the valleys and created the ocean. Soon the world was a splendid blue, like a turquoise jewel hanging in the colorlessness of space. But there must be those who can experience the splendors of the rivers, oceans and lakes. The rocks and mountains as Logos had learned were lifeless.

Taking the remaining energies from the clay he used to fashion the mountains, he created life. First he created the fishes to swim in the water he loved so much. Then he planted the trees who would forever favor the presence of its moisture. Later came the animals and the soaring birds that further graced the world with life. Last came men, whom he created in his likeness. They too had the power to mold the world to suit their needs and the first seeds of mankind he placed near the great rivers which had been created. There they would have all they need to prosper.

For a time all was well. Logos, now a God, was content. And all his creations rejoiced and prospered in the land bestowed to them. But all was to be undone. In his haste to create mankind in his own image a piece of clay was left unused. The clay lay forgotten in the darkest valley of the new world. There it lay for centuries, waiting for its turn to be molded into something beautiful. At first it was patient.

"Logos has a special plan for me," it thought to itself. "Maybe he has not yet decided what to mold me into."

But as with everything with consciousness, its patience waned and it grew bitter. Made of the very fabric of the world and instilled with a mind not unlike Logos himself, the forgotten piece of clay willed itself into existence. Bit by bit it transformed and with each transformation it grew ever more hateful of being forgotten.

By the time Logos recalled the forgotten piece, it was far too late. An entity which named itself Patos had been formed. It rivaled Logos in power but contained none of the compassion, love and the desire to create as its counterpart. Instead it longed to twist what Logos had painstakingly created. As revenge, Patos' first act of power was to instill change, change which Logos from the very beginning hated.

From his act came the four seasons, day and night, life and death. But this wasn't enough; Patos wanted Logos to experience the pain and abandonment he felt. Taking a handful of sand, Patos infused within every grain what would be known as the sins of men, filled with sentiments and impulses. Each grain he took and planted into all of mankind; and with that act, men turned away from Logos. They learned greed, lust, and had a desire to dominate and destroy.

Powerless to stop it, Logos wept.

 

 
The Beginning of Chaos
 
t has been some time since Patos changed the world. But while it wasn't his intention, by bringing about the distinction between life and death a new player of this game between the Gods came to being. When there was no death there was no need to create new life for all endured, this was the vision of Logos, an enduring world which would retain its splendor for all eternity. But with the onset of death the fabric of creation shifted, for if those with life were to die, new life had to take their place. While Logos had the power to create he did not posses the power to renew. The duty to recreate life from the energies left behind by the dead fell to a new god, the Goddess of Life, Akara.

Unlike Logos and Patos, who interacted little with the world, Akara was in constant contact with every living being. She watched the old wither and die and she nurtured the young to take their places. She learned to understand the creatures which inhabited the world; she learned to love them as her own even though she was not their true creator and they paid her no homage. Over time, she felt Logos growing ever distant in his grief; she knew that Logos now neglected his creations for he could bear not the pain of them having been changed. While she did not bring fault to either Logos or Patos, she despaired that life no longer prospered as it once did under the guidance of the creator.

"Perhaps," she thought, "I should adopt these children as my own."

As fate would have it, the petition to claim all of creation as her own was turned down. Logos feared that he would loose his creations even further. He promised Akara that he would resume his responsibility; and the goddess was satisfied with this answer and lay the matter to rest. After all, all she wanted was the world to be cared for; it mattered little to her who claimed stewardship. However, even though she herself may not have realized it, deep down she wished she had that honor.

But just as Logos began fulfilling his promise, Patos reemerged. This time he decided to warp the very first of Logos' creations, the very mountains in which Logos first felt the winds and touched the clouds. With ease, Patos called up fire from deep within Carnac's core. The pent up forces erupted through mountain peaks creating fiery craters of molten lava. Horrified at the destruction of his beloved mountains, Logos was slow to stop him as Patos struck mighty blows cracking the sides of every volcano causing their destructive forces to flow unheeded to engulf and ignite all that stood in its path. Forests and their inhabitants were destroyed, rivers boiled to nothingness, and men standing petrified at the horror unfolding before them lost their lives.

Generations later, many of the forests that were destroyed, Akara regrew. Animals once again walked the earth in abundance and rivers again flowed as they once did. Men too recovered their losses and many of the new generation knew nothing of what their fore fathers experienced. To them the silent mountains had always spewed fire every so often, and they had learned to be wary of its captivating beauty. In fact, most had never set foot on a mountain let alone gazed down at the beautiful world from it, as Logos once did. Due to this, Logos again retreated into his own despair and cared not a bit for the world that was no longer his own.

This time Akara was determined to take over Logos' supposed responsibility. And since she knew he would never give it up easily, for the good of life itself, she conspired to rid the world of the weak hearted Logos and the disruptive Patos. Unbeknownst to the other gods, Akara knew of one other. There was the god Cypher, who knew of nothing but destruction and deceit. Some believe that it was Cypher who, by using methods unknown, planted the ideas of bringing about destructive changes to Carnac. For while Patos was responsible for change, it was not in his nature to destroy. Many a historian would debate this issue in years to come.

Being told of the existence of Cypher, Logos grew wary and questioned Akara about this new "god".

"How Cypher came into being is not known to me, but what is certain is that the power of creation he has not. He cannot weave dust into mountains, change the rain into snow nor can he bring life into the world. What he can do is grind the tallest mountain into the finest dust, fire snow into vapor and smite every living thing. He has the power to destroy, nothing more, nothing less. It is his power you need to be rid of Patos".

Upon hearing this, Logos was elated and immediately left to seek out this god, Cypher. Logos had dreams of his world returning to its prior form and did not see the goddess' faint smile.

~

Once found, Cypher was not the image of power which Logos had envisioned. He was the anti thesis of magnificence, he looked frail, worn and possessed none of the aura of the other gods. Regardless, Logos trusted the Goddess of Life and proceeded to ask for the favor.

Unknown to him, Akara had already approached Cypher and had told him of the opportunity to destroy their predecessors. "You should kill Patos first", she had said. "Logos is idealistic and weak, him you can kill at your leisure". Cypher trusted Akara as well, for the purity of life held no evil and life after all was her domain.

In preparation to confronting Patos, Logos reached out and drew the clouds around him. From the clouds he fashioned a blade so beautiful it masked its deadliness. This blade he gave to Cypher, and together they journeyed to the deepest valley of Carnac where Patos resided.

At the mouth of the valley stood a massive fortress; strange a god of change would choose to reside in something so unyielding and unchanging. But as they approached, Patos stepped out from the shadows. In his hand he brandished a spear of finest wood, tinged with green. It radiated life itself and there was a certain calmness to it, the calm of a peaceful forest, there could be only one who could have created such a weapon.

The one who had warned Patos of the arrival of the other two was now patiently waiting for what she thought inevitable, the end of Logos, Patos and with luck Cypher as well.

The battle was swift yet furious, no words were exchanged by the combatants as Cypher charged, his gleaming sword held high. Patos merely stood blocking blow after blow with his spear while counter-attacking when he could. Logos merely stood watching the fight unfold, praying that Patos would meet his end.

Evenly matched, the gods turned to their individual powers to give them an edge. At first Patos swept away the sun and the stars sending the world into darkness. Cypher, who was already unused to the dark valley, now found himself ever more blinded. Patos lunged, his spear grazing the shoulder of his opponent. Angered, the wounded god rained destruction upon the valley setting all but the rocks aflame. Recovering his sight and catching Patos totally off guard as he stared at his burning fortress, Cypher slashed and severed the left hand of Patos.

Like thunder Patos screamed in pain as his lifeblood drained out of him. But while Cypher and Logos looked upon him triumphantly, something happened. Subtle changes occurred within Patos and Cypher, their appearance did not change but their demeanor, their life force if you will, shattered and reformed into the image of each other. Patos through some means of magic now resided in the body of Cypher, whereas the essence of Cypher now lay in the torn body of the one he had wounded only moments earlier.

Though in pain the spirit of Cypher refused to just die. With a last act of will he hurled the spear he clutched at his own body, the body that was stolen from him. Patos who was reflecting upon his own genius did not manage to avoid the spear thrown at him by the Lord of Destruction.

Patos now lay dead, while Cypher lay dying. Cypher grew ever weaker and with Logos having fled when he called fire down to the valley, he was on his own. It was then when he realized his powers were no longer confined to the destruction of things but with some effort he could induce change much like how Patos was renowned for. Focusing his fledgling abilities on his severed arm he first stopped the blood from flowing. He then pulled at the sinew and bones making them expand until they eventually took the shape of the missing limb.

Fully recovered he stood and with new found strength he shouted for all to hear, "I am reborn, fear me for I am now unmatched!"

As a display of strength he shattered the valley and out of the rubble fashioned a monument not of stone but of glass. The monument while not beautiful, with its sharp edges reaching out in all directions was no less magnificent. Men flocked to marvel at its construction and to pay homage to its creator, the god Cypher.

 

 
The Tale of The Pianna Knights
 
he fabric of creation is a fragile one. With the changes brought about by Patos and then the new Patos-Cypher entity, Carnac itself began to show gradual signs of change. At first it was the insignificant changes, the smell of flowers fading, the seasons being more unpredictable and ground water occasionally coming up brown, as though rusted. These things men took little notice of; there was no need for explanations for sometimes things "just happen".

All these things were not Cypher's doing however, for he himself was too busy lavishing in the attention of his new found subjects. Years later, humankind had divided themselves up into the six great kingdoms, war monger Hellsgarem of the Deserts, Buegrant with its ports and ships of steel, the white city of Arrdeam, Planisad famous for magnificent harvests, Brisbia the center of commerce, and finally El Morad at the farthest end of all the kingdoms.

It was around this time when strange creatures began appearing all over Carnac. At first, they were thought to be wolves, bears and others animals whose intentions could be violent. But they were not, they were different. And with each passing year their difference just grew and grew. Some began sighting beings of stone, magic, and worst of all, those who used to be friends, now resurrected into animated corpses bent on bringing all life to the level in which they understood, death.

Before long, these "hellish creatures" had grown in such numbers that even human cities with their high walls and staunch defenders could not repel their might. The first to fall was Planisad, thus food resources were scarred. Soon after, Brisbia and Arrdeam fell. Even the mighty babarian kingdom, Hellsgarem did not survive, torching their own city instead of letting it fall. The few survivors flocked aboard the ships of the Buegrants who themselves were abandoning their city, fleeing for El Morad by sea.

King Manes, then ruler of El Morad, took in the refugees without prejudice. Those able were given places in the army, further bolstering the defenses of the city which had not yet been attacked. New battlements were raised, and before the attack came, supplies were brought in, weapons forged and armor polished. The citizens of El Morad were determined not to let their city fall and those who had already fled were resolute in their loyalty to their new home, for if El Morad fell there was no one else to turn to. Through a turn of events, the insignificant El Morad had now become mankind's last stronghold. Should it fall, the seeds of humanity would cease to exist.

Having been prepared, the defenders repelled what should have crushed them. After that initial trust, random sporadic attacks continued to come. For seven long years they fought and for seven long years King Manes prayed to the gods who seemed to have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the sufferings of their children. Though history will tell little beyond their suffering, our heroes after the first two years of fighting had grown accustomed to the random attacks. They were even prospering, to a fashion. They again dared to venture beyond the safety of their walls. Tunneling into the mountains behind the city they had a source for metals, wood they harvested by sending armed bands into the forests. Food proved a problem at first, but by relocating much of the populace into the mountains and underground, enough space was vacated for crops to be planted.

By the third year, seasoned veterans had begun hunting these monsters. Traveling in small numbers these parties sought out and killed the weaker creatures and those which had strayed too far from the others. These warriors brought back stories of adventure and glory. Soon these parties organized themselves into what would be known as the Pianna Knights. They lived apart from El Morad and dedicated their lives to their work, some of them would even learn the arts of magic and healing. Arts long lost when men gained mortality.

On the last night of the seventh year, something extraordinary occurred. Red rain began to fall over El Morad. Far away, a green fog inched ever closer. A warning had sounded and for the first time in years, all had run for the gates and more than one would admit that they were afraid.

King Manes once again prayed to any who would listen. This time Cypher answered.

"It is you, for so long I have prayed. Why do you only now answer?" King Manes asked. The gods had never answered before, and many doubted their existence.

"There was no need," came the reply.

"Everyday my people die, is there no greater a need?"

"There is no need."

Determined to see salvation, the king begged, "You have the power; at your will, all will be right again, we are but your humble servants."

"Servants are not free from consequence. This day I show myself for the end is near. Though I did not will this destruction, its flatters me to admit that my power brought its beginning."

The King grew angry, "You may be a God, Cypher. But nothing can not be brought low." Standing, the king drew his sword and pointed it in the direction of the voice, "If you will not help us, we shall meet our doom, together." But Cypher was no longer there.

~

"There must be something we can do," one of the council members said wiping sweat from his brow, while another beside him tried hard to suppress a yawn. It was late afternoon and the lords and leaders have been discussing the matter since the night before, when Cypher appeared.

A Planisadian lord stood and repeated his intent on escaping the encroaching green fog. None of the scouts had yet returned and he believed it sound to escape first then reevaluate the situation. It would take days to move everyone and time was already growing short.

"No, we stand and fight, kill Cypher and all should be well again," said an overly bold Erenion, sweeping his hand in an arc nearly knocking over a weary servant who was refilling his goblet. "We have run enough."

The council was in uproar, it wasn't the first time someone suggested this and while they all knew it was the only solution, they were reluctant to fight a god. "Are you mad?" someone shouted, "Cypher is a GOD"!

"We will stay, but we will not fight."

The room was stunned into silence. To stay but not fight? Then what should be done? Just die? Surely some believed that the king had finally lost his senses. Already many had to be persuaded just to believe that Cypher truly did speak to his majesty.

"Send for the Pianna Knights."

~

The Pianna Knights rode through the castle gates amidst the cheers of the entire populace. Here were the heroes of legend, those who would save them all. Brandished In their newly fashioned armor and armed with their polished swords, they looked every bit the story book heroes of old. Not one who saw them believed that they would fail.

Near two hundred strong, they rode in search for Cypher. Legend had it that he had built a monument of glass centuries ago and that he resided near it, tended by his early followers who saw to his every need.

Guided by no more than stories told to young children, the Pianna Knights rode into the wilderness and further away into the most obscure of human settlements, which of course were now nothing more than ruins. In the forests they killed every creature they encountered, but those were few and far between. It was as though each and every one of those vile beings had been picked up and stored away. One may even take a walk in the moonlight and return unharmed.

One night a wave of fatigue washed over them and they each in turn fell asleep.

They dreamt of a place near a valley; there were people there. And at first, their semi-conscious selves were elated, for they thought they had reached their destination at last. But as their dreams were guided closer, they saw the despair in the faces of the people, how tired they looked without an ounce of joy in their souls. But they did not understand, here was a peaceful place, an uncomplicated haven of rainbow colors which shone when light struck the edifice of glass. Realization dawned upon them, here was the lair of Cypher and those humans were not his adoring subjects but his slaves. Their consciousness turned towards the monument, at the foot of it a fortress stood, it was of dark stone and it absorbed the lights as though it never existed. They drifted closer, but as they neared the structure they felt rather than saw a hand reach out and block their view.

The dream ended, but they did not stir till morning.

While the Pianna Knights were troubled by what they had seen, they were no less determined. However, their knowledge was not limited to what they had. They were being drawn to the west as though they knew it was where they had to be. And in their minds and hearts rang a verse, a prayer long forgotten:

We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.

Towards the west they rode, as quick as the wind, never had they been inspired so. They rode without stopping for days, neither they nor their animals felt hunger or exhaustion, they rode until a sight caught their eyes. An enormous monument which sparkled like a diamond stood miles away. Even having seen it up-close in their dream did not prepare them for the magnificence before them. The neighing of one of their horses snapped them out of their reverie and again they continued.

By dawn the next day they reached what appeared to be an impassable barrier, with the monument just beyond. There was nothing there but the horses refused to go beyond the invisible line. Even the knights that dismounted found themselves unable to bring themselves to cross it. It was as though the desire to enter that "zone" left them the moment they approached. One would account later that the feeling was akin to one looking at his favorite dish. He knew he wanted it, but yet opening his mouth, he lost his appetite.

By noon, none had passed but the terrain was changing. The forests and grass which enveloped them dissolved as though nothing more than an illusion. The ground seemed to dry up leaving nothing but dry earth behind. It dried so quickly that it began to crack, scarring its smooth surface. Suddenly, the ground on which the Knights stood gave in and all fell into the crevice. Many were injured in that fall and some even lost their lives. But the remaining Knights now found themselves in a dark cavern, and found they had landed in the middle of a host of every monster they had ever faced, and some which they have never before laid eyes on. Standing there so tall as to almost reach the stalactites was Cypher himself. They did not know him, but they knew they were facing whom they sought.

With the barest of a nod, the Pianna Knights were assaulted from all sides. They formed a circle of shields, holding back the enemy as best they could while protecting the injured and the healers within the ring. The Knights were skillful in war craft and they only lost a brother with the felling of beasts ten times that number. But as the battle wore on, their numbers had dwindled significantly and there seemed to be no end to the attack from their tireless foes.

When the Knights were down to less than fifty men, the beasts stopped their assault. They backed away as Cypher approached. Seeing him up close for the first time, the Knights saw what Cypher truly was. Besides his gigantic form, he looked little better than an old man. He wasn't the fierce warrior god all expected him to be.

"Welcome, Knights-Pianna. I see you must be tired," he mocked.

The Knights did not reply. Instead, those inclined to sword play each picked a target and rammed them thru. Those gifted in the mystic arts opened themselves up to their powers and fire and lightning scorched all those who stood in their path. So fierce was the attack that Cypher could only watch as the few hundred beasts he had left were killed mercilessly. More men were lost but it was all over, not a single creature stood standing, and those that were still alive lay bleeding on the blood-soaked cavern floor. They circled Cypher, but to defeat a god by sheer physical strength and the little magic they could command was sheer folly. Cypher knew this and he was unafraid. Already the corpses of the fallen Knights were stirring. Soon they would rise again, but would remember no face be it friend or brother.

As the very first of the zombies closed his hardening fingers on a fallen sword, words of fire burned in the minds of the survivors. Without knowing the reason, they began chanting the prayer which had come to them before.

We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.

More and more of their fallen brethren were standing and rearming themselves. Never in their lives had the Pianna Knights felt such fear while feeling such hope. They continued.

We are your children,
Though long forgotten,
Do not forsake us.

Louder and louder the words echoed through the cavern, resounding off the ancient walls and reverberating off the shivering stalactites. More verses came out of their mouths.

We are one again with you,
You can hear us,
Listen to our plea.

Cypher, unheeding their pitiful prayer, flared his powers. The ceiling began to collapse on the heroes and more than one was crushed by the falling granite. Yes, they stood unwavering.

It is the end,
We wish to return,
Welcome us home.

Like lighting there was a flash of light as something streaked from the heavens. Logos, the Creator, lifting his mighty bow had let fly a bolt of energy fueled by the long prayers of salvation from generations past to present. The bolt pierced the clouds, the cavern ceiling and struck the startled Cypher above the shoulders. In a brilliance that would have blinded all that had not the blessing of Logos, Cypher was no more. Only his final cry for vengeance vibrated softly on the walls.

"Anyone who has persecuted me will be cursed with my black blood."

Another voice more subdued but so clear and so full of love said.

"Welcome home."

 

 
The Curse of Cypher
 
ith the defeat of Cypher, the green fog lifted and the jubilant Pianna Knights rode home to find the whole of El Morad in celebration awaiting their return. The war that had lasted for seven long years had finally ended in the humans' victory. Tales of their adventures spread quickly among the people of El Morad; and very soon, shrines and temples dedicated to the god Logos were raised in his honor. Humanity began to prosper once again and for a time not one remembered that Cypher vowed revenge.

Now that peace reigned many began to venture out of the city. At first, little farms sprang up just beyond the scarred walls and battlements that once protected them. And later, plantations growing crops of every kind and villages to support the farming community mushroomed along side them. With the blessings of Logos, all prospered.

But peace was not to last long in the land of El Morad.

Time passed by and the knights who had started a new life in the land of El Morad gave birth to children carrying the black blood of Cypher. The evil contained in the black blood caused sickness among the people and soon, a plague hit the kingdom. The people were outraged when they learned the cause of this illness. Some children were thrown into the wilderness and some children had to live in the dark and damp sewers of the city to hide from the eyes of the public. People called these cursed children Tuareks, the children born with the mark of the Orcs.

The priests of El Morad captured these Tuareks and disposed them of their evil symbol, and they were left with no choice but to be content with living as slaves in El Morad.

Soon, a leader rose amongst the Tuareks and led them into the wilderness, where they would not have to live in constant fear and shame. He taught the Tuareks fighting skills and the way of survival in the wilderness. His name was Zignon, the hero and spiritual leader of Tuarek. Zignon proceeded to lead his evil followers north. Along the way, they had to constantly fight off the remaining soldiers of Patos and the El Morad soldiers that were chasing them. Starving and shivering from the cold, they followed Zignon into the wilderness for 3 years then crossed the mountain of Iskanz, which was said to be the end of the world. On the ice filled plain over the mountain was the Luferson Castle. This was the same place where Cypher's destruction had began. It was safe from the El Morad soldiers; and so Zignon established a kingdom around the Luferson Castle. He called his kingdom, the nation of Karus. But since many of the the Tuareks had their evil mark taken away by the priests of El Morad, they were too weak to live in the harsh ice filled landscape. A lot of Tuareks died because they could not adjust to the harsh climate and began resenting Zignon for leading them into this land.

Zignon prayed to Logos to save the Tuareks. But Logos did not answer. However, the god Diaz responded to his prayers.

Zignon eventually sold his soul to Diaz for the sake of his people, and set up a shrine of evil in the center of the city. Diaz ordered Zignon to prepare a sacrifice on the shrine. Diaz demanded a sacrifice of evil, the head of Gorgon, the keeper of an ancient labyrinth. Zignon sent his strongest warrior, Kukleen, to the northern end of the continent to the ancient labyrinth. Kukleen cut the head of Gorgon and returned to the Luferson Castle. As soon as the head of Gorfon was placed on the shrine, strong evil power started flowing from the shrine and the evil mark which was taken from the Tuareks' bodies were given back. The evil powers of the Tuareks were stronger than before. And the evil power coming from the shrine of Karus spread through the continent and threatened El Morad once again. In the 492nd year of the empire, El Morad built the shrine of radiance in the center of the city and organized a group of knights to declare a war on Karus to stop their evil power from spreading. As a countermeasure, Zignon pledged to overthrow El Morad in revenge for past humiliation and oppression. Warfare raged for 200 years, not for territory but for survival.

And thus, the Forever War had begun.

source: knightonlineworld.com


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