The Sphere of Ingar has been destroyed and pure magic now flows freely throughout the land of Uton. Magic casters arise as do the dark creatures that need magic to exist in this land. As the land changes and its inhabitants adapt, a growing wind of rebellion leads to potential disaster for all the races. The dwarf queen, Yave, declares war on the algors, blaming the desert dwellers for the tragedy which took the life of her eldest son. She leads a revolution against what remains of her own family. Dwarf separatists eager to assert their own superiority follow blindly as she begins her quest for revenge.
Ryson Acumen, the pure bred delver who saved the land from Ingar's sphere, attempts to intervene. In response, human towns are attacked by the dwarf army of Dunop. Raids against the elves lead to escalated tensions ...
King Bol Folarok rigidly kept his back to his son. He stared vacantly at the stone wall before him.
"I am leaving Dunop," he said. The tone rang hollow, his emotions encased in a vacuum. He spoke as if it were some well-rehearsed line he had already repeated a thousand times. The announcement, though cold, remained firm, and it indicated more than just a temporary absence. The finality of the statement slowly took substance, and it lingered in the dimly lit chamber.
The words fell upon Prince Jon Folarok's senses like a lead weight. He looked upon Bol's back, impatiently waiting for further explanation. He was offered nothing. He stared breathlessly into the dark space between him and his father.
This was no time for the king to leave. What could be more pressing than the current and growing unrest? Bol was needed here, needed now. He couldn't leave. Jon wanted answers, but the back of his father wouldn't reply. Face me! But Bol would not turn. The dwarf prince squinted as if hoping to see clearly through a dense fog.
"Where are you going?" Jon stammered. "Does it truly matter?"
The temperature seemed to drop several degrees. "When are you coming back?"
"I'm not coming back," King Bol replied with same sterile tone as before. If he had sympathy for his son's confusion, he would not show it. His words remained as brittle as frozen twigs. "Not ever."
"What?" Jon felt his innards tighten, a familiar attack of anxiety. He was never a dwarf that dealt well with conflict or adversity. During the past few days, much of that was heaped upon him. Now, he faced a climax of catastrophe, and the accompanying nervous tension boiled over in his midsection. "What do you mean not ever?"
"I'm leaving Dunop and I will not be returning," Bol repeated, still not turning to face his only surviving son.
Jon dropped his head and stared at the floor. He could not look at his father's back for another moment as it only served to tighten the knot in his belly. The pain in his stomach was making it hard to think. His mind nearly went blank. He fought to seize upon something to say, words which might end this absurdity and set everything right. He could find nothing. He blurted out his confusion.
"I don't understand!"
"It is simple." Bol extended a hand to the wall in front of him. He patted the polished stone as if hoping to pull conviction from the intrinsic strength of the rock. "I can no longer stay in this place. It reminds me too much of ...." He held his tongue just before his voice cracked. He paused for long moments until his hollow tone returned. "I have made grave mistakes, mistakes I can not simply forget or erase. I can do nothing but leave."
Jon knew instantly what his father could not say, knew that the king was referring to the decision that had sent him and his older brother, Tun, to Sanctum Mountain. They were sent to assist the elves, to destroy Ingar's sphere which held all the magic in the land, but Tun was killed at the hands of a sand giant. That was the moment Jon first felt a hole open in his soul. An empty hollow pain was his from that day on. It now felt as if that hole was expanding.
To Jon, this was madness. He shook his head as if to scatter cobwebs from his face. "You just can't leave. You're the king here."
"Am I?" A note of sarcasm edged Bol's tone. This time, the king did not swallow his emotion. He let his bitterness spill out with his words. "Will the dwarves here even listen to me anymore? I doubt it. The separatists gain power every day. They grow in numbers even faster. They hate the monarchy and they want me out. They say I'm responsible for freeing the magic and putting them all at the mercy of the spell casters that are sure to follow. They say I have made dark alliances with the elves, and even the humans. They call me the king who murdered his own son."
"No ..." Jon cried out, but the anguish in his stomach tightened his lips.
Though Bol would still not face his son, he held up his arm to silence any further outburst. "That is what they say, and far too many believe. I can no longer be king, and I can no longer live with the memories of this place."
The past which Bol spoke of now exerted its force upon Jon. The memories came crashing down upon the prince. An image of Sanctum's outline pierced his mind. It once held the sphere, but now it served as a tomb for his dead brother. It seemed, however, Sanctum's toll had not yet been fully collected, and it now threatened to take Bol from Jon as well.
In truth, this should not have surprised the prince. He should have almost expected it. He had witnessed his father's spirit sag since the day he had returned from Sanctum with bittersweet news. Yes, Ingar's sphere had been destroyed, but Tun had died in the effort. Jon could still remember how the very life began to drain from Bol's face when he reported the loss.
The entire town of Dunop wept for the death of its heir prince, but none endured as much torment as the royal family. Bol was inconsolable in his grief. From the moment Jon returned to the throne room alone, without his brother, Bol's collapse spiraled out of control. He walked alone through empty corridors of the palace, muttering to himself. He sought no one, and what remained of his family left him to grieve.
Jon wrapped himself in his own guilt. He struggled to return to his duties, to return to the work he loved in the tunnels. Yet each cave and each dark corridor reminded him of the bowels of Sanctum, the grave of his older brother.
Bol's wife, Queen Yave, proved even less supportive. She seemed consumed with an inextinguishable anger. She found it more fitting to blame her husband than console him. She was against assisting the elves at Sanctum from the start. To lose the son that was always willing to defend her, support her even against Bol himself, it moved her beyond grief. She burned with fury.
As Yave would make no attempt to comfort her husband, Bol slipped further into his downward spiral. With this came the end of his desire to lead. He allowed rumors to abound and did little to reaffirm his rule. The cry of the separatists was not a whisper.
They had called out their near treasonous desires with frequency and fervor. Bol did nothing to quell them, as if he himself believed their venomous lies. And now it seemed, at the very least, he would give them what they wanted. He announced as much as he declared his intentions to Jon.