The omnipresent sun basked the great nation of Kaldaross in a blinding light. Eagles soared majestically through the clouds and revelled in the fresh, energised air. As the city bustled below, the Ebongraspian Embassy was shrouded in a self-induced darkness, permanently in the shadow of clouds drenched with the souls of the innocent. It was a building many dared not set foot near, and for good reason. Ebongraspian ambassador Dractlek was an imposing, dominant man who not many dared displease. He towered over all in the noble city around, and with him the aura of dread within the embassy.
Kaldarossian officials would only enter the building under great duress, and leave with relief so great the perilous journey had almost been worth it. Yet on this fateful day, Dractlek approached his son, the epitome of all things not Ebongraspian. Spierose, the product of Dractlek and his faithful yet abused Kaldarossian wife, was a masterpiece in all aspects human. Standing almost as tall as his father, his tremendous mane of golden hair bridged the distance his legs and torso could not. Muscular and intelligent, he was promising to look a good Kaldarossian citizen, yet that was a dream Dractlek was intent on quenching. He saw the good in the boy, and was ashamed of it. Those in the embassy laughed at him for his weakness and his pathetic offspring.
Even the Kaldarossian envoys were feeling more and more comfortable when Spierose observed the negotiations.
Dractlek summoned the boy to his chambers, not yet 20 years old, but with the aura of a figure of authority.
“Your days here are numbered Spierose. This wretched city is a miserable influence on your development as a good Ebongraspian. It is for this reason that I have elected to dispatch you on the next vessel back home. Pray our glorious capital may restore all that is Ebongraspian in you. Should you elect to disregard these notions, consider yourself a dying limb on the branch of our prestigious family. Our gatherings will be barred to you, visits to your mother will no longer be tolerated, and you shall be robbed of all influence and importance you hold in this here city you hold so dear. Heed my call, or be vanquished.”
Crushed, Spierose departed for the docks with not much more than his generous library of Kaldarossian Literature. He looked back only once before setting foot on the vessel.
His journey to Ebongrasp was a difficult burden to bear, with ever meter traversed his liberty shrivelled inside of him. A young, joyous man, Spierose attempted to take his new life in great strides. Yet the colorful hills and lush trees of the empire were basked in a looming knowledge of oppression. It would be many years before Spierose could put his revolutionary plans into play. He hated the regime, the oppression, the unfounded murder in the streets. It was during this time that he was promoted to Royal Tutor on account of his high status, and assigned to the two Royals Alexander of Aldrain and Pierre Laith of Ayrith, two of the most prominent city states swearing fealty to the emperor. He found them to be two clever boys, and even beyond their ripening at the age of 18, they remained in contact at the Royal library, a place of passion for both parties. While on the grounds of formal education, Spierose hoped he could instill in his pupils a sense of freedom and justice, the will to transform Ebongraspian potential from its repressive ways.
Ebongraspian society was a difficult concept to grasp. People seemed to relish in their apparent misery, and little ever concerned them in regard to their wellbeing. Spierose knew it was something in the water, potions in the coffee and scents in the alliums, yet he could never put his finger on it. He dumped the stuff in a thin trench by the side of his cottage, going thirsty in the good faith that he could maintain his autonomy. Ebongraspian society was however highly divided in its upper echelons. The grand capital city of Ebongrad and its northern semi autonomous territory capitol isle were the military power of the Ebongraspian empire, which spanned a multitude of different principalities and city states. Further along the coast there existed the great city states of Ayrith and Aldrain, remnants from the Grand Confederation of Man. Spierose learned of the unfortunate placement of the capital, amidst the tombs of old, among the tomes of terror. Ebongrad high society dabbled dangerously in the texts an wisdoms of forlorn empires, while the prosperous and wealthy coastal-based city states grew distant to their estranged allies.
Miserable creatures resided in the hills he learned, of which the dragons were the easiest to tame. Great reptiles of prey from western isles had once ravaged the land, yet bowed to the sovereign authority of the Ebongraspian deity Motus, who in his slumber was potent enough to grant the new millitant state in his territory hegemony of his otherworldly abilities, in exchange for a blood tax. The despicable villain had had many different names and a further multitude of followers, but none doubted his true existence. People rejoiced at the thought that he may return one day to the land of the living, unharmed and regenerated.
But until that fruitful time came, it was part and parcel of imperial policy to ingrain into the minds of young Ebongraspians the way of the state. Even with the respectable military force of Kaldaross, Spierose had never seen a nation so utterly obsessed with war. He was aware, however, that the citizens were naught more than people with flesh to bind them, no matter how far their will would boast to carry them. Regulated rations kept them fiercely loyal, and laced coffee filled their sensory impulses with pure chemical enjoyment. The godforsaken stuff was produced in a single facility, with little information on how the country could provide for so many with so few.
Spierose learned through channels less than legal that while the two major city states may be under Ebongraspian authority, their people were by no means to indoctrinated fanatics of the capital. While the emperors maintained policy that ensured a capital soldier for every half city state soldier, the cities were equipped and well trained, hardened by continuous raider aggression. Nobles from these city states were under oath to send their offspring to the royal academy at Raven’s Perch for proper conditioning, yet these puppet nobles rarely held real authority in the city states and required frequent replacement. Interim councils of honourable and trustworthy mean were common. While unsure of the core populace’s reaction to revolution, he was confident that promising a looser confederation to the city states would sway them easily, provided friendly outside intervention. It was at this period in time that he would become acquainted with Boris, legendary orc commander, who resided as the only non-human on capitol isle as reward for his outstanding and devoted service. He had served on the front lines of the Ebongraspian subjugation of the jungle peoples two decades prior, and had been the only orc in history to escape a life in the great Ebongradian ghetto. The orcs were blind servants, but had incredible physical potential. It was Alexander who took Spierose to see the veteran by his two-story house in a picturesque part of town. To his surprise, they agreed on many things, and once Alexander had departed to attend school. Boris tentatively pulled closed the curtains. He told Spierose of the horrors of his campaigns and revealed to the awestruck intellectual that he was vehemently opposed to the government. Maintaining his fury in silence, he said, had been a greater challenge than any other he had faced, and the bulky general wept in the arms of Spierose, reinvigorated with hope.
It would be two days after the graduation of the royal duo that the two prodigies would be meandering around the docks of Ebongrad with their long time friend Daniel, whose Royal heritage had been discredited on grounds of his parents’ traitorous actions in the past. This would not deter the two nobles, and the three were the very best of comrades. It would be on this dock that the Ebongraspian republic would shimmer in the minds of the two men. One of their Royal Academy comrades had elected to celebrate his graduation with an execution, and saw in Daniel the perfect victim. A disgraced outcast with questionable loyalty to the empire would be an excellent target for his tomfoolery. Informing the secret service of his mutinous suspicions in Daniel, they were dispatched to the docks. From a nearby mast, Daniel was put to death with a sleek crossbow bolt. The two were utterly devastated, yet Spierose could only relish in their misery, as he saw unfold before him what he had hoped for for over half a decade - the disillusionment of these bright fellows.
The hatred in their hearts burnt bright.