“Nobody knows where the taint came from. Nobody knows who or what created it. Nobody knows why it exists. Nobody even knows what it truly is. Amazingly, a little over 2000 years ago (during an era of time known as the “Olden Days”) our ancestors worshiped the taint. Seeing it as a means to greater power. Indeed, the “Dust” as it is known IS a means to a greater power. The power of magic.

Those who learn to manipulate the Dust can give rise to horrifically powerful magics. They can create fire from thin air, they can transmute one object into another, they can slow their own aging, they can even raise the dead to serve them. These are just grains of sand in an immense desert of possibilities. Magic is raw power. A “Dust Mage” can do anything, given practice and patience. This power comes at a tremendous cost though. The Dust will destroy your mind. Maybe tomorrow, maybe many decades from now. But it will.

You see, the Dust is like an invisible poison. It is almost everywhere, sailing around in the atmosphere. It seeps in and out of everything, corrupting and distorting. It behaves erratically. Impossibly. As a Dust Mage can do anything, so too can the Dust itself. Dust breeds madness it all life it touches. Minds shatter and bodies mutate. It even breaths disturbing life into abominable creatures. Beasts of Dust come seemingly from the aether.

Dust monsters, as we call them, can look like almost anything you can imagine and some things you cannot. I saw a Dust abomination once that appeared almost indistinguishable from a child, save for green glowing eyes and a second enormous gluttonous maw on its abdomen. I saw a Dust monster that resembled a regal knight of old, but sprouting from its back was what can only be described as a set of gallows with a maiden hanging low from them. These beasts of Dust appear to represent concepts that the Dust has corrupted. It corrupts the very concepts the world relies upon. They are happiness turned to gleeful murder, they are the family of twisted amalgamations of flesh, they are faith turned to obsession, they are love turned to bondage. Dust simply creates living nightmares.

With all this said, why would anyone choose to walk the lonely path of Dust? The raw power of course! A Dust Mage can outdo any normal man. Magic is the great conqueror, I’m afraid. My word, i seem to have gone on something of a tangent. Forgive me!

Our ancestors founded the “Religion of Dust”, the worship of Dust and all of its manifestations. Madness, true, but magic is also the great persuader. How were they to know it was the Dust causing men to go insane? How were they to know that it was the Dust causing their fields to wither? How were they to know it was the Dust creating the horrific beasts that ravaged their travelers? Perhaps they were too blinded by the sermons and commandments of the so-called Dust clergy. The Dust Mages were the ones who held the power, they were the ones who fooled the frightened populace. They fashioned themselves into priests and clerics. The Confederacy of Dust was founded.

Those were dark times indeed, when those zealous or made enough to undertake the rites of Dust to join the religion proper were turned into mindless, heartless servants of the priests of Dust. Anyone who didn’t show their faith were exiled, killed or worse. The so-called “Army” of the Confederacy was a horde of zealots and maniacs, nothing like the disciplined military of today. Our ancestors were xenophobic to the extreme, slaying outsiders who did not show fervor on sight. The economy too was a shambles, it was a truly corrupt system controlled by the bigots of the church. Education was heavily dictated and controlled by the priests, creating new generations of believers.

You may wonder how our great Bulrin Empire came to be from such a state of zealous idiocy. When the Religion of Dust was founded, it was small scale as you would expect. It was simply a sect of Dust magi who sought true power. Despite all of their wisdom, even they could not see the corruption in their souls and on the their bodies, the corruption of the Dust. Greatest among them was the Primarch, Garin Moldavic. A mage of extreme power, he claimed to have journeyed from a land far to the west, across the sea. A land were Dust was common and easily wielded. He led the mages to silently and effortlessly murder the previous chiefs and leaders, regardless of their devotion to the Dust. Then the Primarch declared himself and the other magi the true leaders of the land.

Oddly, the people willingly fell to their whims, perhaps out of fear or maybe out of genuine curiosity. Over time the small kingdom of the old chiefs became a great empire. The Confederacy of Dust was growing. At this point, it was close to the size of our modern day Bulrin Empire. The Primarch and his clergy ruled the people with an iron fist. Utter faith was absolutely required of everyone in the empire. But in every dictatorship, there will be mavericks…

There was a group of soldiers who had endured enough. Their families butchered and friends either dead or insane, this group rebelled against the magi. They declared war upon their own masters. Records of this rebellion are few and far between I’m afraid. All i know is that the soldiers were cunning in the extreme. One by one, the magi were cut down, until only the Primarch remained.

The people were joining the soldiers in droves, they were to be slaves no more. The Primarch fled to his grand temple in the capital. He surrounded himself with the few truly zealous guards and various fanatics. The rebellious soldiers, led by the man known as Conrad Bulrin and aided by the peasantry, fought their way through the fanatical tide. Up the mammoth stairs of the grand temple they fought, cutting down legions of Dust worshipers. As his soldiers held the worshipers off, Conrad Bulrin and give of his closest officers charged the temple itself. Tragically, two of the officers were killed in the charge. Conrad led the remaining officers into the prayer chamber where the Primarch awaited.

As soon as the group had entered the chamber and set their eyes upon the cornered Primarch, the entire chamber became a swirling vortex of Dust and created a barrier between Conrad and the Primarch himself. Helplessly, he watched as the mage vanished into thin air. The storm subsided, along with the fury of the battle outside between the soldiers and the fanatics. The fanatics lost the will the fight upon learning of their lords disappearance. Conrad and his men claimed victory. Conrad reclaimed the country back from the Confederacy of Dust in the name of the people. He ended up becoming their new ruler, ironically.

He took to the role enthusiastically, by all accounts. He began to reform the country, into what is today the Bulrin Empire. The went through a large scale transformation as the Religion of Dust (and to some extent, its followers) was abolished and removed. The Confederacy of Dust became Bulrin, the land named after its liberating hero. It was not until Conrad’s son, Ulrich, took over from his father that Bulrin became the Bulrin Empire as under his leadership surrounding regions were brought under its yolk. The Empire was split into four provinces, each partly named after the officers who fought at Conrads side. It was a time of great change, but also great joy.

And so, the Religion of Dust was crushed. But alas, its taint was never completely expelled, the wastelands created by the magics the Dust magi had used remained. Also, even to this day it is a mystery what became of Garin Moldavic and there are always whispers of secret covens of Dust worshipers all around the continent. Dust itself remains, as it always has. Perhaps the Religion of Dust isn’t as dead as we think…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

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Comments
  1. Osharlequin says:

    Reblogged this on WorldofHarley and commented:

    Daetrolos: The Religion Of Dust

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