Chapter 0

Sixteen years ago…

Three vaguely humanoid shapes floated silhouetted against the night sky above the abyssal maw. All around them loomed the great city of Vigil; it’s stone and brick edifices a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of it’s inhabitants. In many of the windows surrounding the great chasm, lights were beginning to to flicker as the people awoke to witness the terrible events unfolding below.

The great tear in the earth around which the city of Vigil was built, which it’s people refer to as the breach, measures roughly fifteen hundred feet across, and is roughly circular in shape. No one has ever seen the bottom. In the cobble stoned streets approaching the chasm was a ring of over a thousand sleepwalkers, who marched slowly but deliberately inward to their doom. Around them were panicked masses of people who were trying in vain to stop them. No amount of pleading, shoving, or even attempts to maim the sleepwalkers was having any effect. It was as if their physical bodies existed in another dimension, and their friends and neighbors could do nothing but watch as they plodded forth.

Perfectly synchronized, the sleepwalkers formed a ring around the great precipice. What happened next changes based on the telling, but the following is known to be true. The infernal ritual was interrupted by the entire membership of The Wardens of Cerberus. In retaliation, the Cult of Locus loosed a torrent of infernal energies that devastated the surrounding area, and decimated the warden’s numbers. The wardens were not in time to save the sleepwalkers. Not one of the 987 sleepwalkers returned to their beds ever again. It is also believed that the wardens were actually successful in killing one of the cultists.

Of the various accountings of that night, those events remain consistent. There are some who claim that Sera were fighting on behalf of the wardens, and even a few who insist that they aided the cultists. Some reported having seen a twisted version of the tower rising up from the breach. Some of those who are said to have seen it that night claim that its architecture closely resembled that of some of the more stately ascended compounds. There are even a small number who will tell you that Dr Nicely personally attended the event, and returned to his asylum with a handful of fresh patients.

Many or all of these accountings are most likely the embellishments of a confused or attention seeking minority. Whats certain is that the infernal ritual, whatever it’s purpose, was ruined by the wardens of cerberus. They paid a heavy price, and their influence has been reduced to almost nothing throughout our city. The organizations that have risen to take their place are nothing more than petty street gangs and thugs. The Guard continues to protect the very rich and corrupt, but without the wardens to balance them they are nothing more than hired mercenaries.



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