|Torch that Lights Up the Dark|
|As an uninvited guest, I got into this Hideout named Ember's Rest in the night.|
This masterpiece rising straight from Aember and these sophisticated devices using the most advanced Ember Tech are true miracles.
I saw those people who were infected by Aember and thus were feared, despised, and banished by others become Hunters of Torchlight.
Could there be such a burning hope in a collapsing world?
Torchlight... I'm looking forward to seeing the ending you're heading.
|During my adventure in Andalin, I found many ancient stone tablets. When I deciphered the text on them, I found out that the entire Andalin was the battlefield of Ragnarok during Epoch of Might, just like I expected.|
My ancestors fought a deadly war against the dragons here and won. Ten thousand years passed, but I feel like their heroic souls are just standing next to me.
I close my eyes, feeling the blazing wind around me, as if I am brought back to those scenes recorded on the stone tablets.
"Sky-spawns whirled in the burning sky. Great gods fell like shooting stars."
|The dwarves call this place the Ancient Battleground... Although the scars of battle have been erased by the passage of thousands of years. This place is said to once bear witness to the last glory of my ancestors on the earth, quarrels between brothers, betrayal, and collapse. Anyway, only happy goblins live here now.|
When I see how the goblins use the huge weapons of war created by the dwarves to modify their homes and improve their lives, I'm sincerely happy for these former weapons of war. Even if the mountains are cut down by axes, and the ground is hollowed out by drills, the yearning for peace will not be shaken by any forces. In these times of war due to Aember, it is a common belief like this that unites the people.
I drank with the high priest of the goblins, an alcoholic drink made of ancient herbs that they serve to guests. We talked and drank until late at night. Aember sweeps the land with a gale of death and blood. Tonight, we will still sing tuneless praises to the sun of tomorrow, and this is how the people of Leptis live.
|Curse of Betrayal|
|I found something ridiculous while interpreting ancient Dwarven text. According to it, the Goblins and Ratlins were in fact cursed Dwarfs. I never knew my ancestors were good at telling jokes.|
Everybody knows that Goblins were created by the god when he accidentally sneezed during the creation of the world. Historians had discussed this so many times. Why would my ancestors deny this simply truth? They claimed Goblins used to be renowned Dwarven heroes who left our people because of a stupid oath. Their betrayal eventually cursed them into ugly, weak Goblins.
How could one believe Goblins were derived from Dwarfs? What nonsense. This joke ain't funny at all.
|Torchlight Oath||Tonight I light up the torch under the stars. Tonight I make my oath.|
I will forsake my identity, glory, rights, and benefits. I will become a nameless fire and join my brothers.
We are the blade to break darkness. We are the dawn to end the night. I dedicate my life to become a spark.
I am freedom, I am hope, I am the Torchlight that never gives up. Our names shall be remembered in the eternal night.
I pledge my life and honor to this goal, for this night and all the nights to come.
|After sacrificing shovel 21, 22, and 23, I finally reached the top of this legendary bulwark.|
As I stood upon this wall of steel, the shock and pride that sunk deep into my soul far surpassed what I felt when I gazed at it from below.
Our ancestors bore deep into the mountain to merge our dwarven pride and joy, a reinforced steel skeleton, into the mountain, to fight against the savage dragons that was as strong as a God.
As I stand at the edge of the bulwark and gaze upon the distant mist-covered mountains of Andalin, the rumbling of machines, the clanging of weapons, and the roars of dragons echo in my ears.
I've decided to stay a few more days and record these scenes into history with as much detail as possible.
I'm also considering investing some of my budget into the purchase of Ember Tech climbing gear.
|The first time I laid eyes on the anti-dragon weapons that stood atop that huge wall, I was amazed by how huge and heavy they were. And when I tried to draw it, I couldn't help but doubt the recorded height of the dwarves during the Epoch of Might.|
But just a moment later, a giant automaton buried deep beneath the sand and gravel caught my attention.
At that moment, it was like I could see my ancestors controlling their automatons in battle against the dragons. The flames of war filled the sky as clangs of weapons reverberated through the air, and with ever-lasting roars, the dragons descended like meteors.
I continued forward and stopped before a Bulwark Cannon.
These cannons with barrels pointed straight at the sky were forged with the sole task of striking down the dragons circling in the skies. Now, even if they have been slumbering for millennia, the years have done nothing to their ingenious mechanical structure.
If Ragnarok was the end of the Epoch of Might, then the Anti-Dragon Bulwark is the greatest and most brilliant epitome of that era.
But I firmly believe that being infected by Aember does not mean I'm doomed.
Farewell, my dear home.
I'll go to a faraway place to find a way for the infected.''
''The girl we adopted a few days ago finished today's training, staring at me as usual.
Like looking at a teacher, a sister, or even a mother.''
''I might know what she was expecting me to say, but I said nothing.''
''After all, life of the infected is too short. I can't leave too many things that are hard for her to give up.''
''Just like what Mr. Orion did when he left us''
''Today, I met an old friend-a childhood playmate, Lean.
He had immeasurable power but insisted on becoming a Crow.
I lost this right long ago.
But let's fall in love.
Let's prove it to this doomsday that we'll never yield.''
|A piece of ancient text I recently found about Ragnarok mentioned "Aegis", which was the key to my ancestors' victory. The Aegis turned the hero into a mountain; his fists punched valleys in the land, his feet left creeks that later became rivers. It ended all wars and reigns.|
I have no idea what "Aegis" really is, as such a divine artifact is beyond my imagination unless I can witness it with my own eyes.
|Dwarves hid underground... Truly unexpected. This large population possessed a entirely different form of technologynt from ours on the surface. Yes, their facilities looked exactly like the ancient mechanical remains i saw in Andalin, which made me think of the legend of King Kazsan.|
No! No! It's not a legend, it's history that was intentionally hidden. But... Not every dwarf dares to face that history. In the history books we wrote for the future generations, the records on the ancient dwarves always stop at their victory in the war against the dragons.
But we all know what really happened after that. King Magnus was imprisoned for trying to persuade King Kazsan. However, he dug a hole at his prison right to the Heart of the Ridge and took the Spark without alerting anyone. It is said that when King Magnus fled back toward the surface with the Spark, the tunnels behind him darkened as they had lost the Spark, but the darkness ahead was illuminated. Hundreds were attracted by its light and left the underground kingdom with King Magnus. They are the ancestor of the dwarves on the surface.
|Broken Badge Glyphs||A broken iron badge found in a pile of miscellaneous items. The name on it is: Quinn.|
|Dwarf Foreman's Diary||"November 5th, salaries weren't paid, vacations were cut by half, yet I was blamed for the workers' slacking off."|
"November 7th, the workers complained that we're being too strict, but I can't do anything about that. Just this morning, Foreman Quinn from next door was sent to the Heart of Kazsan because his crystals didn't meet the quota. I wonder when he'll be back. I don't want to end up like him."
|Patrol Team's Diary||We were summoned by His Majesty, King Dol'gar today, and we are about to officially become members of the patrol team. I shall faithfully carry out my duties to put the people in order for His Majesty. First I must deal with that slacker, Parr. He was sneakily working on his rock collection during work hours, and he called me annoying for reminding him that he was supposed to be working! Goodness gracious, all I do is for the great cause of His Majesty, King Dol'gar!|
But when I did meet His Majesty, I couldn't stand the sight of that black figure by his side. It looked like a person from above ground, yet that person could actually speak to His Majesty! Even stand by His Majesty's side! My goodness! It would be a dream to be able to speak to His Majesty.
|I sneaked into the group that was going to meet the Dwarf King, just to see that young king reveling in the attention of being surrounded by thousands.|
But he is blind. I mean, he has been blinded by the glory of the ancient dwarves and the flames of desire ignited by the Spark, and thus he cannot see what is occurring right by his side. He speaks of the Dwarven Kingdom's future, yet he exhausts its present.
I think it's time to put an end to my journey. After reading through what my ancestors left to the world, I have fully understood the history of the Epoch of Might. Maybe I will write it all down in the near future.
I have translated my ancestors' words into the common tongue of this land. I may have altered the style a little, but the content has remained mostly unchanged. I hope one day someone will find out those words from my journal. The sacrifice of heroes must be remembered by the world.
|To My Descendants||To my descendants,|
The dragons once enslaved us, but we have overthrown their cruel reign. This great victory will mark our name in the history.
But my dear brother, the greatest king of his time, slowly lost himself in the power brought by the First Flame. He had forgotten the pain our people suffered from the dragons, as well as why we stepped forward against the tyranny. Glory and lust have consumed him. The proud dragonslayer has turned into the dragon.
He claimed that Dwarfs had the sole right to the First Flame as the reward of victory. But we knew too well that the races and creatures on the surface needed its power more than us Dwarfs. If my brother kept the First Flame underground, their civilizations would eventually be devoured by the darkness.
That was why I must do something, even if this means to betray my people. I picked hundreds of warriors who were willing to follow me, and stole the First Flame together. My outrageous brother not only banned us from returning to the kingdom forever, but also laid an evil curse on our descendants, that they would forever be ugly, deformed weaklings.
I didn't notice until my wife gave birth to a freakish child. My followers didn't survive the curse either. That was the price of the betrayal.
I don't know if the children of my children are able to read our text at all. I am in deep grief and feel sorry for their future, but I never regret my decision. Now that the First Flame has returned to where it belongs, this world can finally embrace a new era without dictation and bullying.
My descendants, if you are reading this, I hope you can defend our names and tell the world that we did not betray our people.
For our sacrifice will bring prosperity to the world.
Magnus the Betrayer
|Pact||The strongest connection between Hunters of Torchlight and the Crows.|
After making a Pact with its Hunter, a Crow would share the Aember in the Hunter's body with its own flesh to prevent the Hunter from becoming Aember completely.
The ritual of the pact is full of danger. Only Crows with extremely strong mental strength are capable for this.
|I came to the Church Hideout, the sanctuary of Light that numerous people tried to set foot in.|
Ridiculous donations, strict dogma, and cumbersome rules.
The livestock in the cage is enjoying the peace built up with coins.
The false Light won't last long.
|Antonius' Research Log||Keegan, Vicar Bishop August 31, Sunny|
Today I left the Cathedral and started my first day in the Sanctuary of Dawn.
My old colleagues laughed at me for being "old and insane", but they didn't mean anything to me.
Three days ago, Keegan once again turned down my "Feasibility Analysis of Curing the Disqualified with Ember Components", and accused me of incompetency and "harming the Church using the Disqualified".
If only the Arcbishop wasn't so ill, Keegan wouldn't dare to be so arrogant.
No one spoke for me except Romer, the Knight of Commandments.
Arcbishop Derrick adopted him, and saw him as the future leader of all Knights of Commandments.
Thanks to Romer, I was only sent to the Sanctuary of Dawn instead of being exiled.
When I opened my luggage and put them under the sun, Romer came to the Sanctuary and told me that he completely agreed with me. The light should never be a privilege for the selected few, and the Disqualified also had the same right to redemption.
Honestly, he was one of the only few men of justice in the Church.
I will continue to stay in the Sanctuary and look for a way to save the Disqualified.
September 2, Overcast & Storm
My research wasn't going well. After some debating, I took my savings and went to the Disciple's Alleys.
A young Disqualified girl rode her motorbike off the wall, almost scaring me to death. Somehow, she managed to stop right in front of me without making any noise.
After hearing my request for the cheapest Ember component, she burst out into laughter for no reason. I was pissed off, but she soon stopped laughing and grabbed my money bag, then threw it back.
"Pay me later!"
She soon disappeared in the night.
Shocked, I stood there until the heavy rain completely soaked me.
September 3, Sunny
When I tried to dry my wet blanket from the leaked roof, that Disqualified girl leaped off the roof and walked blatantly to me.
I was frightened and immediately took her to the back of my house.
"Hey, old man! Look! Your Ember components!" She tried to lower her voice but I could still feel the joy in her words.
She tossed me a very full bag. My hands were shaking when I opened it. I saw all sorts of Ember components, both new and old. My heart was racing fast, and I had to act calm and picked the oldest one of them. Unlike those filthy rich guys in the church, I had no money to waste.
I counted my gold coins from my wallet, then the girl gladly whispered and jumped onto the walls, disappearing among the white bricks.
September 6, Sunny
After studying the Ember component for a few days, I had completely understood how it worked.
An "Ember component" was made from engraving fixed patterns on a thin piece of Ember Crystal. It was said that these gadgets could awaken and amplify the Ember power within Disqualified, and eventually turning it into a fancy "move".
I carved a component named "Firebolt" and tried to feel it in my hand, but all I felt was a little warmth.
I improved the pattern and made some new Ember components.
Hope they can find their real owner.
|The empire is over, but I'm not surprised. I saw it coming ever since Arminius played his dirty tricks on the Hermann Family.|
The Church has now established its reign on the broken capital, and claims to represent the light.
But it really is no different from the empire.
|I sneaked into the Cathedral, hoping to witness how the Church had developed the light magic inherited from their ancestors after thousands of years.|
They were deceiving the believers with the most basic healing Spells, but blocking the gate to the Temple of Spark with the most advanced barrier.
I lost all my faith in the Church.
|Dogma of St. Duran||Below are the core dogmas of St. Duran Church and shall be treated by all members with the utmost importance.|
I. Church members shall pray when the sun rises, and rest after sunset.
All members must arrive at the front hall before sunrise and stand in rows according to their ranks.
When the sun shines on the seventh stair at the church entrance, Arcbishop will announce the beginning of the prayer. All members must close their eyes, stand still, and put their hands together.
Two Chaplains shall start chanting the prayer while other members recite gently after them.
Members shall return to their positions in order after the prayer.
All members need to leave the church as soon as possible after sunset and return to their home.
II. All members must lodge a written application and take Aember scans should they need to leave the church.
In principle, church members are not allowed to leave.
In special cases, written applications must be submitted to the council and reviewed by a Vicar Bishop before applicants can receive a pass to go out.
Upon returning to the church, members should voluntarily take Aember checks to avoid bringing it inside St. Duran.
III. Members should actively report any intruders in St. Duran
Strict standards apply to all those who wish to move to St. Duran. Any personnel found without proper permission should be regarded as an intruder.
All members should refrain from direct confrontation and immediately report to the supervisor or crusaders.
IV. Members of the crusaders must set high standards for themselves and strictly follow St. Duran principles.
The crusaders only report to Arcbishop Derrick and are exempt from daily duties such as prayers.
The crusaders' duty is to protect all church members and residents of the Holy Capital, and expunge all intruders.
They must patrol at least twice per day.
|Reunion with Spark|
|Took me a lot of effort to finally get into the hall where the Church stored the Spark.|
But it looked even weaker than last time. Is the Church doing something on it?
Those bloody clowns better not do anything stupid. I really wish the Spark didn't fall into their hands.
|The Future of First Flame|
|Throughout many years of traveling on this land, I have never stopped studying the First Flame and the Spark.|
Traces of the First Flame could be found in every era in the history. It was like a lighthouse guiding humans, but the evil gods from other worlds shattered it into four pieces of Spark, scattering all over the world.
The power of the Spark was greatly reduced, but it could still expel Aember within a region. The Church relied on the Spark to secure their dominance and harvest wealth from the believers. Whenever I think of their arrogant faces, my beard would shake in anger. What a bunch of lowly cowards! Clowns!
Apart from the Church, a new organization called "Torchlight" is also secretly protecting a Spark. Most of their members are Disqualified, but they are still fighting in their own way. Honestly, I admire them a lot. At least they have the guts to fight against the aemberon!
Every time I think of the Church clowns worshipping their Spark, I really wish the Torchlight can one day take it away from them!
|Rules of Capital Civilian||I. Curfew applies from sunset.|
II. The donations must be made on time on a monthly basis.
III. Every resident needs to participate in at least two prayers per week.
IV. No one is allowed to leave St. Duran without notice.
V. Residents must not interfere with the regular routines of Church members and crusaders.
VI. Anyone found assisting outsiders to enter St. Duran will be immediately expunged.
VII. Any private conversation regarding Aember, the Disqualified, or the Empire is strictly prohibited. All decisions made by the Church are final and must not be questioned.
|The Monster's Secret||To Andrik,|
I saw that monster again! I swear it was real, you must trust me!
Last night, I walked around a napping crusader to the alley, and that long, slim thing was right there. It looked very pale but its head was swollen like a watermelon! Its legs looked very weak, but there were lots of arms on its neck and chest!
I was horrified so I hid behind a tree and couldn't move. That monster crawled on its hands across the garden and climbed on Millie's window, peaking inside! I was almost scared to death!
Just when I was about to call crusaders for help, that monster suddenly ran away on its hands. Thank goodness it didn't go inside Millie's house.
Andrik, please, let's go out tonight! I promise you the crusaders won't find us! Let's find out the secret of this monster together!
|The Church provides accommodation to those who seek protection out of "goodwill".|
Hah, I know them too well. The "goodwill" means a one-off "donation" of 100,000 Tremissis, as well as a monthly fee of 2,000 Imperial Gold per capita to cover daily expenses.
In return, the Church shall provide an absolutely safe environment, including patrolling crusaders and impenetrable defense traps. Out of curiosity, I tried touching the trap-a powerful light Spell immediately pierced through by body. My bones would have been fried if I wasn't wearing that "Portable Ember-Drive Mechanical Armor with Superb Defense".
Just when I cursed the fools who lived here and started to retreat, I heard a clicking sound underneath. Turned out it was an alarm.
Five church members in gray robes immediately appeared and stabbed my beautiful belly with their blades!
Fortunately, my armor worked wonders and they couldn't even land a scratch. But high-concentration Ember was way too expensive, so I quickly left.
What a bloody stupid place!
|Letter from the Wall Sentry||To dear Anna,|
I have made up my mind to leave St. Duran with Mark and Merry.
The more I learn about this place, the more I realize it isn't as good as I thought. All I have is day after day of boring life. Only the smile of Mark and Merry could cheer me up a little.
But I know too well they aren't happy.
Well, I guess there won't be any fun in your Life when you already know what's going to happen in every single day.
When the Aember first happened, I was so scared of the aemberon that came out of it. I was worried that I might be infected, that I could lose everything.
I was a liar, a coward, and a complete fool to run away from you when I found out that you were infected by Aember.
Anna, I have received all your letters. Thank you for telling me the Life of Aember survivors. At least I know there is an organization called Torchlight still fighting against Aember and aemberon far away.
Anna, I no longer fear the Aember. I have submitted my application. Whether you forgive me or not, I will leave St. Duran in three days.
I hope Mark and Merry can still see their mother.
|You know what's funny? The Church didn't built this tall, thick wall to hold off the Aember.|
All they wanted was to keep out the civilians who longed for the light and redemption.
The Church offers "affordable" redemption, only if you have the money.
|Light Magic Traps|
|After spending three days on the Church walls, I finally understand how their Light Magic Traps work.|
There are many different traps, but most can be classified into three types: Attack, Block, and Portal. In other words, the "touch-it-and-it-hits-you", the "annoying roadblock", and the "calling-for-help". In all the historical text I have collected, light magic has always been focusing on healing, cleansing, and protection. The Church surely has done an excellent job "developing" it.
But right now I have a bigger problem to solve. Just after I finally contained my acrophobia and was about to leave the walls using my "Compact Ember Floating Device", a trap on the wall was suddenly activated and shot a light magic round at me! The last thing I remember is my strong and powerful body slamming hard on the wall...
|Evil in Shadow|
|I have never been so angry.|
My teacher once said that we were only recorders of history. We discover history, witness it, and record it on a medium in our way so it does not disappear over time. But we must forever remain silent, and cannot forge or interfere with things that are about to become history in any ways.
But I can never become like him, remaining neutral to every single thing or person.
Before coming to the Lost City outside the wall, I already knew they were a bunch of poor people who could not afford the donations. All they could do was to gather inside desolate alleys, hoping for redemption.
But when I finally stepped there, I found out other than the poor civilians, there was also another large, evil gang hanging around - the Wolf Packs. Most of them were decently armed ex-imperial soldiers, but they chose to point their guns toward innocent civilians.
I thought asking for protection rackets was bad enough, but what I saw next completely blew my mind.
One night, I was hiding behind a building when two Wolf Packs members took dozens of civilians across an alley before disappearing inside a hidden door under the wall. I could still recall the looks on the civilians' faces. They were pious, thankful, excited, as if redemption was already close.
I didn't know what Wolf Packs promised them, but it must be a complete lie, because I saw their invoice. 500 Tremissis per civilian.
I wanted to stop them, to save them, but I ended up doing nothing.
I must go back to St. Duran. Something must be hidden inside that empty monastery.
|Wolf Packs Membership Contract||Contract No.: QL-110227-113|
To maintain public order in Lost City and practice the policy of General Dodge toward Alley of Wolves, the following terms are formulated after repeated consideration and careful arrangement:
1. Duties and Responsibilities
The parties agree to let >
One shall become a member of the Wolf Gang upon signing the contract. The Wolf Gang has the right to dismiss members who fail to perform their responsibilities. No member shall voluntarily leave the Wolf Gang for any reason.
3. Working Days and Hours
3.1 Regular rotating day-offs.
3.2 Be on call on duty days.
3.3 3.2 is prior than 3.1 in practice.
The Wolf Gang provide members with protection, weapons, meals, and lodging. There's no basic pay. Members get their dividends at the end of every month as their incomes. Members' dividend proportions are decided by the amount of protection fee they collected that month.
5.1 Rental fees of weapons and gear. During the lease period, members shall maintain their weapons at their own expense. If the weapons are damaged, members shall pay for them at the original prices, and the renewal fees will be increased by 50%.
5.2 Members shall pay the membership fee on time every month. Those who miss the date shall pay an additional 50% of the membership fee as an overdue penalty. Members who are late to pay their membership fees 3 times in total will have all their personal assets confiscated and lose their memberships.
See the 2nd term.
Attention: Signing the contract means you have fully understood the meaning and corresponding consequences of all the terms, and that you have agreed to enter this contract in paper form with the other party and accept to be bound by this contract. The final explanation right is reserved by General Dodge.
Place of contract signing and performance: Alley of Wolves
Party A: Personnel Department of Alley of Wolves
Party B: Lenny
|A Letter to the Captain||To my stupid fatass ex-leader Osen,|
Thanks to you, I'm feeling fantastic.
I was really depressed when you forced me to go undercover in Silver Flames. But when I actually came here, I realized this was nothing but a wonderland!
For the first time in my life, I didn't have to act tough dealing with others. I didn't have to do all things to please people more senior than myself. I had hot food, instead of cold canned ones. For the first time, I helped an old man repair his roof, and he looked so happy and even gave me two fresh carrots.
I was scared of many things back in Wolf Packs. I was afraid of the night, afraid of missions. I was worried that the debtors didn't pay, and you could blame me. But now I'm not afraid of anything.
Well, of course you won't remember who I am. After all, I was only one of the dozens of undercover guys you sent here.
But I still want to tell you that my body and soul no longer have anything to do with your filthy Wolf Packs! To me, you are nothing but a dirty-minded pig swimming in dog poo with your fawning clowns!
F kin-good-bye, Wolf Packs!
An anonymous Silver Flames member who sincerely wishes you can f k yourselves
|Lost Population||The list of lost population this month is slightly shorter than the last one.|
Warren, male, 45. 47 Silver Flame Alley.
Wayne, male, 24. 981 Silver Flame Alleys.
Bella, female, 25. 981 Silver Flame Alleys.
Dickland, male, 28. 189 Silver Flame Alleys.
Orga, female, 61. 19 Silver Flame Alleys.
The Wolf Packs are probably behind this, but so far no decisive evidence has been found.
|Diary Covered in Mud||I sold the last pieces of furniture yesterday but the money is still not enough for the donation Millie and Elsa are gonna pay next month.|
In the past few months, the increasing donation pressed me so hard. The properties my father left have long been sold by me. Now there's even nothing left for me to remember him.
I need money, a lot of money.
With money, my family can reunite in St. Duran. We will be bathed in the Holy Light, away from those disgusting Aembers.
Three days ago, Dodge, the leader of the Wolf Packs, came to me and asked if I'd like to make a big deal.
He offered me a one-time payment of half a million Tremissis for helping him get twenty civilians into the church.
Honestly, I didn't want to deal with Dodge. But he seemed to see through my concerns, and let someone open the trunk in front of me. There were so many shining gold coins that my eyes hurt.
As a husband and father, I suppose I have to get started.
|Letter from Keegan, Vicar Bishop||Please forgive me, my poor brother, although you can't see this anymore.|
For the future of this world, necessary sacrifice is permitted by the Holy Spirit.
As a firm believer, I practice this from the people around me.
The Holy Spirit is lonely and he needs company. I will tell him your efforts and sacrifice when I cross the sea and step on the Holy Land as the Archbishop.
When that day comes, the land across the sea will no longer be covered by thorns, and its doors will forever be opened to you.
|Record of Spark Experiment||"The Spark Experiment is the only stairway to the Holy Land. I've received the Holy Spirit's blessing to open the door to a brand new world..."|
"The church's experiments have all failed. This change is beyond human endurance. Maybe..."
"A striking discovery! One subject survived! I need to observe carefully and wait for her to wake up... What has happened to her?"
"Damn it! The survivor escaped and got missing! The power burst from her was too strong... I knew it! The Spark Experiment works! It is a great work that must be carried on!"
|Volcano Glass that Shines like Stars||The peculiar luster from these black rocks and their pores shown under my magnifying glass make me almost certain that they are volcanic glasses. But these stones seem to have no real purpose here. Plus, if they were only for decoration, why did Ichi, a small tribe with a small population choose to transport them all the way from outside the desert?|
Naturally formed volcanic glass requires lava to interact with ice or water. Is this desert not as ancient as it seems? And it's just the dangers within it that keep others away from its secrets of the past? And is that why the last dragon in the world chose to live there?
|The 873rd Love Letter Will Wrote to Jessomina||Dear Jessomina: |
My fever dream.
, shall I compare thee to a summer's day... Please forgive me for transcribing this beautiful poem. It reminds me of the first time I saw you. I had just come to Star's Fall at the time. The night here seemed endless, yet the stones here were somehow glimmering like stars. Ever since your tail brushed the end of my nose, I've been feeling boiling blood running through my whole body. I'm aching to show all of the thoughts that are welled up in my mind. They are the smile on my face and tones that bespeak my admiration, all pushing me to write this letter to you...
|Construction Tender for the Desert Lamp Project||(Tender) Sincere Friendship Engineering's Tender for the Desert Lamp Project|
Project Name: Lakhouma Desert Lamp Project
1. Letter of Tender:
Now that I've become a legal citizen of Ichi through investment, why not let me do even more for my kingdom? According to the regulations in the project tender document, we have studied the project site, tender document, and other relative files and are willing to obey the contract terms, engineering construction standard, and bill of quantities. We request to contract with the above-mentioned construction and completion and be responsible for any quality defects.
If we win this bidding, we promise to complete and deliver the whole project within five years as the Instruction to Tenderer requires.
2. Construction Organization Design:
The Desert Lamp project can reach as far as the Borderlands, and I believe it's beyond any company's given scope. To protect ecologists' fragile feelings and the conservatives' obsessions toward the mother river, we plan not to plant any lamp posts or cables in the Partatar River area to avoid citizens mistaking our actions for undermining the proof of King Lionheart's great decisions. After thorough research, we'll announce that the construction is unable to be carried out because of the complicated underground drainage and quicksand soil of the Partatar River area.
|An Excerpt from The Silent Partatar River||The nature didn't give birth to Partatar River. One of the kings of Ancient Ichi demanded his people to build the river because he had received a divine revelation here. Numerous laborers died for building it, and cries of discontent rose all round. A thousand years later, the endless foehn turned the ancient city of Lakhouma into a desert, and this river really did become the final oasis for the survivors of Ancient Ichi Lakhouma and the mother river of the Ichi Tribe. It's said that the dead laborers' wails still linger in the vapor of water. Even the Eternal Night can't let them rest in peace.|
|Esme's Carved Wooden Cat||The shoddy brows and eyes look funny. A serious dedication is engraved on the cat's belly-To my dear daughter, Esme. It seems that the maker put a lot of effort into it but had little talent in crafts.|
|The Graveyard of Aircrafts|
|"I came to Lakhouma Desert to find the home of the last dragon on earth. It's said that deep within the desert live the people of Ichi who behave like cats. The ancient race shoulder something called the "Curse of Eternal Night", which stops outsiders from disturbing their lives and imprisons them in this desert. I suspected that there was a strange magnetic field making my compass malfunction from time to time, and now seeing the aircraft wreckage everywhere, I'm pretty sure that my expired pilot license wasn't the cause of the plane crash!"|
|King Lionheart's Edict|
|The leader of the rebels is still on the run. Strictly guard all exits of Star's Fall and destroy the Desert Lamps along the way if you must to. We must not let the rebels flee.|
|An Incomplete Anonymous Letter||Dear Esme,|
Please forgive me for calling you by your nickname, as this may be the last time I will ever do so. If you have a chance to read this letter, I and all my soldiers may have been killed. The Royal Army surrounded Star's Fall, and we resisted until the last moment... Please take care and do not blame yourself. We didn't die in battle, but in the ideal of the Nightstar-it will bring back everything the dawn had spread out. Finally, I have one last request. If you meet my mother, please tell her...
|King Lionheart's Edict|
Kill all enemy units in Star's Fall
|All businesses in the market are suspended. For unauthorized businesses, all assets will be confiscated and they shall be exiled to the desert area. For those who collude with the rebels, they shall be put in a cage in the public and will be punished with the rebels on the day when the insurgency is quelled. We'd rather kill by mistake than let them get away.|
|The Long River in the Desert|
|"The Partatar River surges with sand and gravel, leaving nothing behind. The ancient Ichi Tribe lives upstream of the river, guarding the desert history that has been removed from others' memories. By the way, I'm glad to see some natural desert ecosystem here after all those constructions on the roads ahead. Cables seem to be everywhere there. Where should ancient creatures like dragons live if man-made creations are all over this place?"|
|The 913rd Love Letter Will Wrote to Jessomina||Dear Jessomina:|
The last rose living in the wasteland in my heart, I hope this letter finds you well.
I've been wandering in The Borderlands of the desert sea and trying to find you since we last met at Star's Fall. Please be merciful to this poor man and let me know you're safe... I look forward to seeing you again at Star's Fall. You know where I will be.
Yours sincerely, Will.
|Wind-blocking Volcano Rock|
|...The rocks here were obviously deliberately arRanged to withstand the wild wind in the area at certain times. The pore structure of these rocks, their hard texture, as well as heat and weather Resistance all indicate that they are volcanic rocks formed when hot magma was expelled from the crater and condensed on the surface.|
They remind me of the volcanic glass at Star's Fall. These volcanic rocks couldn't come out of nowhere to simply block the wind, Maybe... I can't help but wonder if these ancient stones were here before the desert formed.
Could it be that the gravel buried a volcano instead of the rocks somehow ended up in the desert? Now that I think about it, the wind here does seem to have some of the volcanic mineral mixed with the gravel.
Hot, mineral-rich craters are indeed more like dragon habitats than deserts...
|Cages in the Oasis|
|Through the stone wind barrier, I finally found the Ichi Tribe. I saw weapons everywhere on the street, which is consistent with their warrior culture as dictated in the legends. After all, it was not easy to make a living in the desert.|
But as I went deeper into the streets, many cages appeared, and I suspected that the Ichi people had inherited an ancient tradition of exposing their captives to the public. Then, I realized that there captives are actually Ichi, who seem to be cursing the king.
It appeared that there was some civil strife here. But I, the Adventurer Elbert, came to find the last dragon, not to take sides and join camps. The difference between a brave adventurer and a brave warrior that adventures is: the former isn't willing to get involved in disputes during the journey.
|King Lionheart's Edict|
Defend Lion Heart
The Child of Prophecy will soon go to the sacred land. You must stop the rebels.
Don't let your personal feelings blind your judgment. Your family name is too proud to be shamed.
The descendants of the Sun shouldn't have weak feelings such as sympathy. It's the same for you and Esme.
|A Clerk's Personal Record||King Lionheart Maynic is the new leader of the Ichi Tribe. This young king once found some ancient records in the desert and was obsessed with retrieving this land's brightness. He believed that the Ancient Ichi had a way to build an artificial sun written in the records. He tried to dig out more things from the desert and prove their ancestors really did put the artificial sun in the sky, giving the Ancient Ichi a period of radiant, sumptuous, seemingly endless daytime.|
...People born in the Eternal Night found it hard to believe the new king's hollow dream, but when the young king sunk himself into the challenge of being the most contributive king of all kings, the era began.
A massive amount of gold was transported to the central continent in exchange for their emperor's promised "Ember Machine". Everything was invested into the construction of Desert Lamp to ensure the land's future. Everyone was thrilled for the light and had heard the saying, "King Lionheart's name will never perish in the desert. His name will be with you for life."
King Lionheart's ambition started to grow, and the brightness that Desert Lamp brought wasn't enough for him. "The trifling light is nothing if you can get the sun." The mysterious woman said to him. She claimed to be the Child of Prophecy in the legend, telling King Lionheart that the calamity would come soon to convince him that she could bring the sun back.
King Lionheart said that mortals never had the strength to reject the sun, and everything mentioned in the prophecy came true long ago. Then he recruited soldiers frequently, sealed the Ichi Tribe off, tore The Golden Treaty, and dismantled the Desert Lamp... to stop the internal conflicts and external dangers mentioned in the prophecy from happening-- but they came true, one by one. As a humble historiographer, I can't help but think-- Would the prophecy still come true if no mouthpieces had sown the tales?
... The king's people who once hailed for him were leaving him. The name Mad King gradually replaced the name King Lionheart. He sometimes froze looking into a mirror, like he could see something in it, something that he had forgotten. He crashed the mirror on the day the princess left.
|Sacred Land Patrol Log||Sacred Land Patrol Log - 2284th|
No accidents happened in today's patrol. The Eternal Night still looks the same.
I'll skip the step of recording the weather and date from today on. My reasons are as followed:
1. Neither "yesterday" nor "today" means anything to the endless Eternal Night.
2. Nobody reads the patrol log except for the captain.
3. I am the captain.
Sacred Land Patrol Log - 3029th
No accidents happened in today's patrol. The Eternal Night still looks the same.
I mean, what accident could possibly happen? Should I look forward to the child of prophecy's descent or a bunch of mobs suddenly rushing in and breaking everything? My family has been the Sacred Land Guardians since my great grandfather, but none of us witnessed the opening of the sacred land. I wonder if my grandchild will see it. Perhaps people like us can peek at it when the Sacred Child passes the trial?
Sacred Land Patrol Log
Two sneaky people hide in the corner like shadows stick on a stone. I swear I heard them say "Sacred Child", but there was nothing when I went there. Am I seeing things?
Sacred Land Patrol Log
No accidents happened in today's patrol. The Eternal Night still looks the same.
I started to think skipping the date was a wise choice since I saw the shadows. I decided to skip the log number as well. I've read a central-continent novel about a writer who has lived in a hotel in the mountain for a long time. He started to doubt himself because of the disordered dates on his diary. Well, I can't let that happen to me, can I? HA, HA, HA.
Sacred Land Patrol Log I
Sacred Land Patrol Log I
A messenger came today. When's the last time I saw a stranger? The messenger said that tomorrow would be a big day. Is it about the Child of Prophecy or King Lionheart? Goodness, is he still the king? Anyway, I must buck myself up. See? I've renumbered the log. It's a good sign, isn't it? Though I can't remember the date no matter how hard I try.
|Legend of the Sacred Land||These descendants of the ancient tribe believe there a Child of Prophecy will be born among them. Only the legend can pass the trial here and explore the mysteries. For the record, I must say that I'm happy to respect all cultural traditions and national taboos, but this place may have the leads about the world's last dragon. In the light of scientific spirit and curiosity, I have to enter the sacred land. Clearly I'm not the Child of Prophecy who can pass the trial, but this isn't the first forbidden area I break into, and it won't be the last. If anyone is curious about how I will get in, well, a dwarf's shovel is no less than any wand.|
|Study of the Ancient City of Lakhouma|
|"I discovered an ancient city covered by gold after entering the sacred land. Only a dragon's breath could melt so much gold.|
I kept going and found out this city was located in an Einherjar's back, and stories of challengers were repeated again and again. However I have a feeling that no one can truly defeat them, or I should say that you can't win by defeating them. You'll only join them and become one with this palce. You can pass through the galleries and the ruins of the square, kill the thing that has already been dead for a thousand years, and put your name on every part of the golden floor-but you'll rule nothing but this ruined surface.
What melted the gold and trapped them here? I think the dragon must have something to do with it.
|A "Family Letter" that Makes Me Sad|
|I found a letter:|
"Dear Sir Balbinus: I don't know how to reply. What answer are you expecting? Shall we sit around the pool and listen to my childhood stories, dreams, and misfortunes? Or do you want me to call you "father" after you have left my mother and me for a decade? I once thought about what I would do when I got enough strength... Then I was defeated again and again. Then I'd think about what I would do after revenge... Now I have a chance to enter the Sun Arena and make a name for myself.
The sun shines on the inner city. The air is dry. It's a new day. I'm still excited about the last victory. I picked up my sword as usual and made up my mind to start a new life. I'll soon be summoned by the Queen, and I won't be just a bastard for the rest of my life."
(But we all know a disaster froze his dreams eternally at that moment of failure)
|An Announcement on the Ruins of the Arena|
|I got interested in two arenas that were similar in function but with very different structures. I stayed here for several days and visited lots of ancient sites, and finally I found relevant content in a notice on a broken wall. The following is my transcription: We have noticed that some fighters should have the audacity to use dirty tricks in the fighting matches of the Road of the Moon. Victory is precious, however, we firmly reject any malignant behavior that violates the Queen's laws and spoils the spectators' experience. Under the direction of the great queen, this new arena, Road of the Stars, is now open, where there are no rules and the strongest survives. In this arena, fighters who dislike rules can play tricks anywhere and anytime as they like.|
|A Letter from the Gladiator||Dear mother,|
Please forgive me for not saying goodbye.
I feel guilty and ashamed for the loss at the Road of the Moon. I failed to make it to the top as uncle Gerald did. I put shame on the Nasso family. But please believe that your son is by no means a weak loser. I will have my revenge at the Road of the Stars. If there will be only one survivor who can step out of the arena and onto a glory road to meet the queen, that would be your son.
Please wait for me. I couldn't find messengers here who help with mail. Is there no order or service on this road at all? But there's no hurry. When I finally meet the queen, I'll ask her to kiss the letter, and send you it with the queen's grace to share this glory with you.
|Letter from a Noble Gladiator||"I have to admit I enjoy this... although it makes me unsettled. I put my knife to my opponent's throat, cut his skin, and rip him in two. Blood wriggles its way down on my palm, making me creepy but abnormally happy..."|
|Architecture Study of the Sun Arena|
|The ancient Ichi lived in such an extravagant way that it was as if they were going to die tomorrow, yet they built things endlessly as if they were going to live forever. Such contradiction is reflected in this magnificent arena. Its walls, ceilings and columns were built with gold, yet blood spilled everywhere I stood.|
Absurdity came to pass. The Queen and her people rose an artificial sun, longing to eternize the moments like they did the days. The sun fell, and the golden arena melted in all directions, and all were turn into amber cast in gold, frozen in this moment forever. The very thing they once desired most led to the ultimate tragedy. Hot liquid gold still pours from the earth now and then, washing over the wailing souls here.
|Below the Abyss|
|Exploring the ruins took much longer than I expected. This ancient palace is so magnificent, and it seems that she has just shown me only a small part of her wonders. I passed several pools on my way, and the water remained warm after so many years. I guess there may be a natural hot spring down there connecting to the pools. I will go deeper to figure it out. Perhaps the home of the world's last dragon lies there.''|
|Study of the Ichi Queen|
|This is a study of songs that eulogize the queen:|
"Paloma was an abandoned child that came along the Partatar River. Perhaps it's because she was bathed in the river before drinking her mother's breast milk, the ancient Ichi people thought her beauty is bestowed by the nature. There are lots of statues of the queen in the imperial city, and it seems like she didn't like gorgeous dresses, and her clothes only had some gold as ornaments. There's an apothegm carved on the pedestal, 'The radiance of daylight covers me.'"
There are also countless poems describing her beauty, making it vivid. The poems were inspired by her three-colored eyes, the shape of her lips, and even the number of her eyelashes. The ancient Ichi people saw various kinds of beauty in Paloma-
The ones who loved sexual attractiveness would see stunning beauty in her;
The ones who admired power would see incomparable, forbidding beauty in her;
The ones who indulged themselves in slaughter would see cruel, cold beauty in her.
The statues of the Queen were made for beauty, but I see no mercy or love in those poems.
|The Secret of the Court of Ancient Ichi|
|The ancient city seems to be awakening. I see innumerable shadows rising to sing praise to the sun. The features of the dragon can be seen in the shadows' remaining forms and habits. I can imagine that the Ichi's artificial sun attracted the dragon and made it fly in the sky to melt it down with dragon breath. The great heat caused a series of chain reactions, including making the volcano under the ancient Ichi city burst. So this gold-built city devoured its people and brought the dragon into the ground.|
Under the abyss, the volcano cave and the dragon's remains became a natural hotbed. Its body parts, driven by their resentment, began to incubate and grow. These broken lives were born in the shadows and turned into sludge after death. They made themselves stronger and themselves by devouring their kind, and then started another life circle. Now thousands of dragon's descendants surge toward the outside of the abyss, trying to return to the world again.
|A Fallen Einherjar's Last Words||I still remember how grand the gold city was. Followers were coming and going to the queen's court, kissing the toes of her statues and praying that she would lay her finger on their worthless lives until the dragon flew next to the eternal sun, and the sky became nothing but dusk. The dragon's breath ignited the dying artificial sun, making it lose its eternal shape. Then the winged birds fell like rain, humans the beasts ran for their lives as the scorching gold made them gold statues with flesh inside.|
The gold covered the dragon as well, but the dragon's death and waiting of a thousand years couldn't subside its malice. The strong power inside its body always wants to break out. It's been a thousand years. The eternal faith of fighting for the Queen let me and other numerous Ichi warriors have an undying soul. We guarded the abyss border and fought with the Shadowborn born from the dragon's rotten flesh.
Now the Queen has returned, and the eternal sun has risen again, but I didn't gain strength from its radiance like what happened before. The sun's radiance is no longer pure gold, and its impurities are rotting our will. The Shadowborn even gains some kind of nourishment from it.
I wrote this in the hope of telling whoever is reading that we had fought with the evil dragon's Shadowborn, then our comrades, and finally the rotten will of ourselves. We couldn't even suicide to clear our minds. How should a soul that has been dead for a thousand years be relieved? This is not a battle. There's no enemy, spoil, blood, or glory, only shadows from the past and overdrawn eternity. How I wish to close my eyes and wake up in a nightmare! That would be an endless ecstasy...
|"I came here from the arena by following the dragon's traces. I was lucky to find some fragmented records and murals and learn more about the ancient Ichi, and the gold statue and dressing mirror in the Queen's Chamber has proven my thoughts. The story I'm about to tell is almost like love, so I'll try to use a romantic way with metaphors to describe it:|
Moths flew into the fire without hesitating. Paloma was ruthless, but some were still captivated by her beauty and yearned for her favor. Gerald, the elder son of the Nasso family, stepped onto the biggest arena in the gold city and fought with the beast with his flesh. Finally, he cut off the beast's head and expressed his love for the queen to the sky. Then the queen met him in her pure-gold chamber. Gerald must have seen the images of the queen and himself kneeling beside her dress in the reflections of numerous mirrors.
Poor Gerald. He might tell the perfect face that he had thought about for countless nights about his yearning, obsession, love, and how he wanted to give her everything.
The queen must have made him believe that his love was answered somehow, or what else would let a warrior like that be a puppet?
My conjecture is based on the gold statue named Gerald Nasso behind the queen's bed curtain. The expression on that face was so vivid that it seemed like the time had stopped at the boiling melted gold poured from above. And behind that statue, I saw countless gold statues of different forms standing in the mirrors' reflections.
At last, the reason I called this story "is almost like love" is because there was a sentence carved beneath Gerald's name: 'Die when your love is at its peak. Only this way can your love be eternal.'
But what is eternity anyway? 'A country falls as abruptly and rapidly as it rises.' The ancient Ichi at its peak hardly left any marks on history.
|Statue of Arminius the Great|
|In Epoch of Machines 85, Arminius the Great finally ended Hermann Dynasty's cruel reign and eliminated dictatorship from this land.|
His grace and power will bring freedom and peace to every corner of the Aoron Empire.
We dedicate this statue to His Majesty with our utmost piety.
Your eyes see through all evil. Your mercy protects your people. Your blade eliminates all guilt.
-Dedicated to Arminius the Great
(Some text was carved on the base of the statue)
Liar! Clown! No fancy words can cover up your usurpation!
|Holy Hymn||O Holy Spirit, you merciful savior!|
You are pure, selfless, loving, and bright!
For you, mountains will rise and rivers will dance!
For you stars sing in joy!
I pledge my loyalty to the eternal light!
I devote my life to the undying faith!
O Holy Spirit, please bless your most pious believer!
|Messy Writing||Ouch... The blows of those Agitoes... They really hurt.|
They all keep telling us to hang in there because the Vicar Bishop will send someone to help us and his Holy Light Magic heals all wounds.
But still... it hurts.
The thought that I may become a dirty, filthy, and despised Disqualified makes it harder and harder for me to control my body.
There was never redemption. There was never hope.
|The Golden Treaty||A stone tablet standing between the desert and the Central Continent. The Golden Treaty signed by the emperor of the central continent and the king of the desert is carved on it:|
In the names of His Majesty of Ichi Tribe in Lakhouma and His Majesty Herrmann of the Herrmann Empire in the Central Continent, the two nations are hereby signing the permanent peace treaty.
1. From now on, the Ichi Tribe and Herrmann Empire are allies forever. Their people will be friendly to each other, and scholars going to the other country will never need to worry about their safety.
3. The Hermann Empire will provide aid of 10,000 Ember Reactors to the Ichi Tribe, and send academic advisors and a thousand artisans to assist in the rebuilding of Lakhouma's Desert Lamps, so as to feed the Ichi people. Ichi Tribe will pay for the above-mentioned devices and fees of staff employment and construction with gold.
6. There's a long, dangerous way between the two countries, so a border area is built in the desert so that trades and material storage can be handled more conveniently. The king of Ichi has renamed this place as the "Star's Fall" market. The free trade zone is established.
The Treaty takes effect on the day it's signed. The Treaty has two hard copies with equal authenticity, one in the royal court of the Herrmann imperial city, and the other in The Borderlands of Lakhouma.
|Words on a Wall||An Ichi who was forced to leave home due to King Lionheart's militarization wrote these words on the walls of his house:|
We survived the calamity a thousand years ago. The Curse of Eternal Night, the rampaging sand soldiers, the wild wind, and even the loss of Sun couldn't stop us Ichi people from surviving. We built homes in this desert generations after generations, but now, everything we have built is about to be destroyed by some internal conflicts.
|Statement of the Sun|
The Sun Queen's Vow on Her Accession Day
|Citizens of Ichi! Patriots! My proud compatriots,|
I can see my face in your eyes.
Just like the sunshine falling onto your forehead,
this is the Sun's blessing.
However the beauty will eventually wither,
just like the Sun will restrain its radiance at night.
We are all going to rest forever someday,
and Ichi is destined to be changed.
But it won't happen today.
Today we feast.
Today's the perfect day for our warriors.
Today's so precious, so how can we keep today forever?
I am Paloma, the Queen of the Sun.
Let's forge the eternal daylight with everlasting gold,
make the sun hang in the sky of Ichi forever,
and build two paths named Star and Moon converging in the Sun Arena.
Ichi warriors will fight there.
Their strong bodies will make the Sun Rite shine.
The champion shall earn the honor to join me in my chamber, and we'll bath in the eternal sunlight.
As bards once sang,
"We want beautiful lives to multiply
so that beauty will never die."
|An Announcement on the Ruins of the Arena||The Queen praises brave, noble, and dignified Ichi warriors. She wants to select an incomparable hero from the countless mortals and make him the Ichi King to share the eternal radiance with her. Whether you're a noble descendant or a humble civilian, everyone can sign up to participate in the battles at the Moon Arena. It's not a dead-or-alive challenge, and the winner gets to step on the path of victory until the great Queen chooses him to enter the Sun Arena and fight to be the champion.|
|Einherjar's Sigh||"The fight, revel and all the pleasures wear our body. But aren't they part of the life?"|
|Speech Given by an Ancient Ichi Noble||"Queen No Wonder is gorgeous, for you are adding beauty to her with blood."|
|Ember's Rest||This is Ember's Rest, the headquarter of Torchlight. It is a miracle blooming amid Aember.|
People infected by Aember, the lonely ones abandoned by this world, gather here to fight against the crumbling world using the power of Ember Tech.
They train hard, collect Sparks, and fight with Aemberons. Holding torches, the heroes never cease to gather these scattered faint sparks.
One day, the long darkness will be lit up.
|Capital: St. Duran|
Sacred City Built on Ruins
|The outbreak of Aember put a quick end to the reign of Aoron Empire.|
When everyone was in panic, the Church rose to power.
They put a crystal burning in white flames on the altar in the capital. It was the Spark, the only hope to stop Aember from spreading, as well as the source of all the Church's power.
The Spark successfully contained Aember, and the capital became the last safe haven.
With the vast amount of followers, the Church established its own reign on the remains of the old Imperial Capital and renamed it St. Duran, the Holy Capital.
The Origin of the Calamity
|The black crystals that can be found all over the world with sharp spikes are called Aember.|
In a sense, Aember is alive. It is strongly erosive with the ability to parasitize and assimilate almost everything, eventually turning it into a new Aember.
Creatures infected by Aember tend to gain inhuman strength in a very time. Aember changes their body and keeps eroding their consciousness, making them empty unthinking shells gradually.
Finally, new Aember grows out of their rotten bodies, starting a new cycle on such filthy hotbeds.
The Source of Infection
|Humans too can be infected by Aember... It is a long and painful process.|
For the rest of their lives, they have to watch as their bodies weaken by the day, and endure endlessly increasing pain as well as the uncontrollable strange energy within their body. And none of the symptoms is curable.
When the Aember finally erupts from within, those infected will become the Aemberized.
The fortunate among them will just die like that, with their bodies becoming nourishment for the Aember, but the unlucky ones will lose their minds and bodies altogether and then be reduced to monsters.
Monsters that are known as the Agitoes.
|Agitoes are humans who have lost their minds to Aemberization.|
They appear to retain their ability to speak, but they are extremely violent and impossible to communicate with.
In the beginning, the Agitoes were just wandering monsters, but lately, these monsters have started gathering and forming their own organization.
According to reliable sources, the leaders of their organization are called Aember's Chosen.
|Teleporter||A teleporter developed by Torchlight, the outcome of the most advanced Ember Tech, safe and quick.|
Legend has it that back in the Age of Might, the land was shrouded by a thick dark fog. The God of Might knocked in countless rivets everywhere on the land with his hammer. One can move among these rivets quickly by touching one of them.
And today, Torchlight has connected these omnipresent rivets using Ember Tech, making it possible to move quickly around the world.
''If you find an unrecorded rivet in combat, please inform your Crow to record it.''
|Spark Device||The pedestal Torchlight uses to keep a Spark, the core device of the whole Hideout.|
The Sparks of the First Flame are still emitting strong power, and the Spark pedestal can collect this spilling power to provide energy for other devices in the Hideout.
''Ignite the First Flame again. It is the only hope of saving this world.''
|Netherrealm Device||A strange device that emits a eerie aura. It can shortly open rifts connecting to other worlds, enabling one to go to those familiar yet totally different lands.|
These rifts are extremely dangerous and unstable. When a member encounters an insurmountable crisis, the device will force the rift to close.
Only the core members of Torchlight can use this device.
|Goblin's Hut||Inside the dirty hut lies a doll with eyes missing, covered under a pink blanket. This is a den of the Goblins.|
They love collecting human trashes to decorate their little home, so one can often find interesting gadgets around here. Perhaps a broken doll means nothing to humans, but to this Goblin, it's a friend and even a family member.
They live with each other amongst all the garbage, waiting for the imminent doom.
|I have traveled many lands and seen many things, but I have never seen a living dragon. In the stories written by my ancestors, their wings could block the sky and their breath could melt an iceberg within the blink of an eye. I never believed in this, until I saw those giant skeletons in Andalin.|
Tens of thousand of years had passed, but even looking at those mighty bones sent chills down my spine. And my ancestors defeated those god-like creatures with their own mortal bodies. How impressive.
|Memory Remnant||An image from the past formed by stubborn obsession.|
The image doesn't last long, but it seems that one can get to know some ancient secrets from it.
|Wolf Packs Order: Machines||Order Number: SUBC51241|
Name: Ember Machines
Type & Quantity: Ember Reactor - 10 pcs; Energy Load Simulator - 5 pcs; Resistance Thermal Healing Window - 12 pcs.
Unit Price: Ember Reactor - 8,000 Tremissis; Energy Load Simulator - 10,000 Tremissis; Resistance Thermal Healing Window - 18,000 Tremissis
Total: 346,000 Tremissis
|Wolf Packs Order: Consumables||Order Number: SUBC25801|
Name: ??? Consumables
Quantity & Type: Male Adult - 20; Female Adult - 15; Male Senior - 9; Female Senior - 8.
Price: 400 Tremissis each
Total: 20,800 Imperial Gold
|Ichi Export Manifest||A list of confiscated cargo. The seal on the list comes from Sherlock, a Committee Member at Star's Fall Chamber of Commerce.|
Golden Cat Candlestick x12
Ancient Ichi Lion-Taming Mural x3 (not sold separately)
Triple-deck Gold Coffin x1
Ruby Scarab Seal x1
Bracelet Inset with Queen's Eye Crystal x2
|A Brief History of St. Duran||The beginning of the Church could be traced all the way back to the Epoch of Knowledge.|
When the great flood destroyed the world, all land creatures were facing imminent extinction. The descendants of the ancient gods built a floating island with Ember to keep them alive.
The descendants saw themselves as the creators, and later created giants and sirens who could better adapt to the flood, as well as another species with no particular strength, the humans.
Humans had inherited the qualities of all races in the world, both good and bad. But they were too weak to survive the flood alone and must rely on the descendants to live on the floating island.
The descendants, on the other hand, were too arrogant to care about anything else other than their research and creations.
Eventually, this utopia in the clouds ended in riots and conflicts.
After the floating island crashed, humans and other creatures returned to the land and continued to live on small land blocks formed by dead giants.
A great scholar and his followers protected some descendant books during the crash as they believed these would be invaluable wisdom.
He started to interpret oracles from the books and study light magic. With the support of his followers, he formed his own organization, the St. Duran Church.
The theory of light magic relied on building connections between the spirit and all the objects, and its power mostly came from the faith and devotion of believers.
The Church inherited the descendants' legacy and continued to dispel beasts and monsters, and heal the wounded with their light magic. As more believers started to follow the Church, its power started to rise. At one time, it was almost as powerful as the king.
Kingdoms rose and fell, but the Church had always played a vital role in the human history until humans realized they could live a decent life without prayers, thanks to the development of Ember Tech.
The Church was in decline, but the gods eventually punished the disbelievers. As the First Flame shattered, the Empire collapsed in the outbreak of Aember, and the Church regained its power.
Arcbishop Derrick found one remaining Spark after a long struggle, and built the Holy Capital, a divine city of absolute peace and order that was immune to Aember.
St. Duran now resembles the perfect floating island in the Epoch of Knowledge, but the Church will not allow history to repeat itself.
It must seek a way to change the world.
Perhaps the merciful light will return to this land once again in the near future.