A Thin Blurred Line
I wish to tell you... if I may... a tale of the ancient... I would share a story of our past... from a time and place long gone... a time when men still remembered magic... and dragons weren't nearly so popular.
This tale starts as many do in what appears to be an idealic setting... with a man... who has no idea what history has in store.
You see back in those days... in that place... there weren't just warriors and wizards... the art of magic had actually been specialized much in the way that science has been here today. There were wizards that focused on everything you can imagine... from creating great wealth, to travel, to protection from harm... but the one group in particular this story focuses on.... were known as Pyromancers.
Now likely you've never heard of pyromancers. In all honesty you know quite well that all of this magic is a bunch of school boy nonesense. But in spite of what you know... once there were wizards... and if you look back even further... you would find the legends of the fire wizards.
The Pyromancers were the most feared group in all the world. They focused completely on offensive magic... spells that were used to attack others. They cared not to protect themselves... they believed in inflicting as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. They were the artillary of their day... A pyromancer could be a nuclear bomb... or a sniper. What he could not be... was a shield.
Among the pyromancers... one of the first actually... was a young man named only Kier.
Kier was a conflict. He wasn't your typical wizard. Oh he was bright enough but his athletic physique made him stand out. He seemed more like the type for carrying bastard swords than staffs. That fooled no one though.. for he was fierce about his devotion to his craft. Perhaps he was devoted to nothing more.
More often than not Kier would be in the wilderness with his friends seeking some adventure or another. I could spend days recounting the old tales of Piper and Glorn... unfortunately... this is a much darker tale.
Its a tale that begins at what looks like the end... and ends at a begining... and I suppose this is as good a time as any to finally get started.
It was a fine autumn day... not a lot different from this one when the ancient God Grimbrand appeared to Kier and his friends. Grimbrand had been watching them.. and had decided to grant them authority over their own kingdom... it would be theirs to do with as they saw fit... and so it was.
Kier threw himself into the affair... he let it consume him... he obsessed over it... so much that after a while he stopped thinking of himself as a pyromancer at all... he only saw himself as a king. He shut himself off from the world beyond his kingdom... and years passed.
So much happened... but he simply didn't notice.
The gods warred in the heavens... and he didn't notice.
Men warred on the earth... and he didn't notice.
Kier's focus was a lazer on his kingdom... and his kingdom flurreshed... but guild brothers were dying.
Kier never cared enough to know what the god's fought about... they always fought about something...he had no idea that they were actually fighting over the pyromancers. He had no idea that one by one the fire wizards were being stipped of their gifts.
He just didn't know... until it was to late.
One day Kier looked up and it was all different. His kingdom wasn't his anymore. Grimbrand had be vanquished... and the victor... Lancer... now ruled with an iron fist. Not knowing what else to do... Kier simply left.
He went home... to the old guild house... the secret place. But there he found nothing. Nothing but ruins. He wondered how long it had been. How long had he been gone?
He wondered the lands... and he learned that the pyromancers were gone... and almost forgotten... only the old remembered them... they were to powerful... it wasn't fair... the gods had to put them down. Good riddence to all of them. Almost.
Kier found himself standing on the corner of an empty street... and it was there that he realized... they missed one.
Kier wasn't just the last pyromancer... he was a master. He was among the most powerful pyromancers the world had ever known... and revenge was on his mind.
No no... revege is not to be served cold at all.
Kier spent the next few months wondering the realms... posing as a collector. He used his enormous wealth to procure some artifacts relevant to his past... like... the formal cloak of his guild for example.
All the while he watched and listened.
The fools of this new world were comfortable. They knew the rules... they knew the balance of power. They knew their place in it. More than one flirted with his own death by assuming Kier was also bound by those rules. He took it all in... he used it to fuel his rage... the last fire wizard simmered... and calculated his eruption. but he played humble... he never let his power show itself.
It wasn't time.
Or maybe it was?
One day Kier learned of a great celebration... a wedding of all things. Apparently to great heros were to be married... and the gods themselves were hosting. The whole realm was invited. Everyone.
Would Lancer be there?
On the appointed day everyone made their way to the great cathedral... build by the gods themselves for this very occasion. Hundreds had gathered. The guards at the door had no time to worry about a strange man in a silly robe. Kier made his way into the audiance and waited. Up front he could see the heros focusing on each other... oblivious to their own doom.. only so many feet away. He saw the smug and smiling faces of the gods... loathesome.
It was time.
Kier calmly... coldly.... slowly stepped into the open....
Most people simply didnt know what was happening when the strange man in the strange black cloak raised his arms to the sky and spoke those ancient words.
It was only in the last perceivable instant that Lancer turned and looked at him.
Their eyes met for an instant.... just before the world exploded in a torrent of white hot death that hadn't been seen in an age.
Kier stood in the smoldering ruins... alone. hundereds of corpses lay strewn... smoking... seared. Even the worldly husks of the gods themselves were destroyed. Heros... the most valient and powerful men and women of the entire realm... killed instantly... shattered... like nothing more than dried leaves under a heavy boot. It was impossible. It wasn't fair. It couldn't happen.
But it did happen.
Kier threw his head back and cackled with glee... and then he disappeared... never to be seen nor heard from again.
And that dear friends... is a true story.