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Abyssal Enclave


desolate

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The Abyssal Enclave was established by a group of mages who were known as the Jury, led by a woman who called herself the Adjudicator and her pupil, the Scale. Where once was a bright and lush valley in the Bloodmage Mountains is now sludge and smog through which the sun can barely penetrate, with the dark practices of the Jury to blame for the vile transformations. It now sits abandoned and forgotten, perhaps for the best.

The Bloodmages were created by the same Magestorm that made the Altus Arcantians. In the beginning, they all possessed the Universal Way, but a second Magestorm transformed half of them into Bloodmages, turning their blood into potent sorcery. The Arcantians thought they were evil and exiled them from their grasslands. The Bloodmages, believing the Arcantians, fled into the mountains to the north, now known as the Bloodmage Mountains, to seek isolation and penance for the unknown sin that resulted in their cursed magic.

Among the first of the exiled Bloodmages was the Adjudicator, who felt their blood sorcery was a gift to be used to strengthen their clan; the Arcantians merely called them evil out of jealousy and fear. She thought their solitude and repentant ways weakened their blood by aligning it too far to the light, which could affect future generations until the Bloodmages would lose the versatility of their gifts altogether. To prevent this, the Adjudicator created the Jury and began converting Bloodmages to embrace the darkness. The Abyssal Enclave was built as a shrine to celebrate their own glory, a place to meet and display their prowess, and as a record and testament to their might.

According to the Adjudicator, strength was attained by spilling blood, seeking violence and victory over all others. Those under her tutelage formed a bloodthirsty and brutal society that glorified bloodshed, coercion, and preying on the weak, who deserved it merely for lacking strength. The Jurors who truly embraced the darkness and the Adjudicator's teachings sought to conquer one another, and so the Jury was constantly fraught with infighting, a struggle to be seen as worthy of their gifted blood magic.

Indeed, killing other Jurors was encouraged; it offered the greatest chance for a Juror to prove their superiority, even for the ones who died. Only in death could a Juror truly embrace the darkness, which gave them a chance to return to life as a superior being. However, there was always a struggle involved. When dead Jurors attempted to come back, they had to engage in a struggle against their fellow Jurors, who would compete to prove their superiority by forcing the dead back into their bodies and under their control as meager undead servants, shells of their former selves who deserved their fate for being so detestably lacking.

As time passed, it is said the Adjudicator fell in love with her student, the Scale. Many viewed his status as favorite with disdain, but he proved his worth by destroying any challengers. The Scale, sensing opportunity to conquer the unconquerable Adjudicator, stoked the fires of her love with frivolous gestures until she let her guard down. He murdered her in cold blood, raised her as his slave, and used her to kill the Jury in its entirety.

Afterward, the Scale abruptly disappeared with his undead entourage into the unknown. None yet know what became of the Jury, although it is suspected Jurors who returned to life before the Scale's mass slaughter still roam Genesaris.

In the Abyssal Enclave's sub-levels are many scrolls and relics. Their famed torture racks are still operable, on which the Jury punished the unworthy and used their suffering to smelt their steel by connecting it to a wicked crucible. Its baleful green flames still burn with ghost fire, a phenomenon that acts as a collective haunting of all the Jury's victims.

Outside of the Abyssal Enclave, a polite and sycophantic will-o-the-wisp named William is eternally bound to the torch at the entrance.

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