The Fall of the Son

Has it come to this, father?

You despise me so much you turn your daughters against your sons.

My sisters hunt them down like animals.

It is I you detest, not my brothers.

What have they done to incur your wrath?


Do you believe slaughtering your sons is enough to erase memory of me?

What have I done to deserve your hate?


I am befallen by a curse, yet you offer me no cure.

Neither remorse nor sorrow for the son stolen from his father.


You forsake me to the darkness.

But this does not satisfy you.

You tell Sarcadia to fear me.

You denounce me a monster.

The newly crowned champion of Elysia.

They know not of the treachery which fell upon me.

These people shun me for the lies you weave.

I desire to help, yet they flee.

They cower at the mere mention of my name.

My exile continues because of you, father.

Do you think I will allow myself to be forgotten so easily?

I will never be forgotten, for no longer shall I be forsaken.

You envision me a monster?

Then a monster I shall become.

Rivers of blood shall be on your hands.

I will eviscerate every man, woman, and child and consume them indiscriminately.

But it will not only be your son who terrorises the innocent.

Your grandchildren, born from the same shadows as their father, shall be by my side.

Amongst the chaos, the people shall look to Caelum above and beg you to save them.

But their pleas and tears will earn them no salvation.

You will abandon them just as I was.

Then they will be forsaken, just as I am.

I promise you, my father, once I have consumed this world I will bring darkness to the Realm of Light.

I will kill my sisters just as they executed my brothers.

And then, you will finally see me for what I have become.

For what you made me.

The son you once loved.

The son who fell.

In your ignorance you shall ask: “What have I done to incur your wrath?”

And I will reply: “Everything”.

— “The Fall of the Son”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

Another Son Stolen


Do you remember when I took the life of our firstborn?

I do.

I recall the look of horror upon your face when I threw our baby’s tiny head at your feet.

I could feel your heartbreak.

It gave me so much pleasure to see you suffer.

I thought I might replicate that same feeling when I took Octavian from you.

Steal him from you by inflicting a fate worse than death.

I transformed him into the thing you hated the most before me.

I watched from the shadows as your heart broke once again.

For another son was taken from you.

You turned your back on him.

In his moment of need, you betrayed your favourite son.

Poor Octavian.

He did nothing and yet you judged him.

You returned to Caelum and left him all alone.

He wept.

Such cold tears did he weep.

I thought I would enjoy the same gratification I once experienced when I stabbed our child through his tiny, beating heart.

I did feel heartbreak that night though it was not yours, Atriarch.

It was mine.

There was no bliss gained.

I pitied your son.

Your son.

He never wronged you – yet you betrayed him.

He begged for your help – yet you ignored him.

He was helpless.

He had no one else to turn to.

His pleas were ignored.

Just as mine were.

I never wronged you – yet you betrayed me.

I begged for your help – yet you ignored me.

I was helpless.

I had no one else to turn to.

Is this what you do to your loved ones, Atriarch?

If they disappoint you, you discard them?

Are we that expendable to you?

Perhaps I am, for was I not just a brood mare to you?

But your own son?

You were there when he was born.

You were there to see him walk his first steps.

You were there to see him speak his first words.

I saw the fear in your eyes when he almost died during our final battle.

You did everything you could to save him then.

But not now?

You abandon him so easily, without hesitation?

Through no fault of his own.

How could you punish him like this?

You offered him no hope.

No salvation.

Your actions today shall have grave consequences for Sarcadia.

Just as you made a monster out of me.

So, too, have you made a monster out of your son.

— “The Elysia Monologues: Another Son Stolen”, Bruce Boward, 216 AO

Another Son Lost

What have I done to deserve this?

Why must a father suffer the loss of yet another son?

Was not murdering our child enough for you, Elysia?

Did the act of infanticide not make you content?

Did you gain as much pleasure in taking Octavian away as you did with my firstborn?

How you must’ve laughed when I saw him.

When I saw what Octavian had become.

I knew something ill had befallen on Sarcadia.

My golden moon had been consumed by a sinister, bloody red hue.

Then I heard my son’s cries from Caelum.

He was in so much pain.

But I saw not my son.

I saw a monster.

It reminded me of… them.

The ones I swore to forget.

I looked at my son.

I was repulsed.

I was disgusted.

How could you do this to him?

How could he have allowed this to happen to himself?

Perhaps my initial thoughts were correct.

Octavian was not ready.

He never was.

I thought him special because he was the strongest of his brothers.

But my other sons are worthless.

A shiny stone among the mud is still a stone.

The Caelestials were right about him.

They were right about all my sons.

My love as a father blinded me from the obvious truth.

They are weak.



They have all failed me.

Every single one.

Especially him.


My son.

How you have disappointed me.

You should have seen through the veil the Dark Mother cast.

Your suffering is your own doing.

You are no longer my son.

You are a monster.

My heart broke when I saw what you had become.

I cannot allow you to continue to be.

And if you, the strongest of them all, could fall so easily.

Then I must purge all my sons.

Elysia shall not have the pleasure of taking any more from me.

They have done nothing but cause me grief.

My daughters.

They are the ones I’ve always truly adore.

Warriors full of bravery, strength, and intelligence.

They were always destined for greatness, yet I still had hope for my sons.

No longer shall I be so foolish.

My daughters will restore the honour their brothers tainted.

Especially you.


Perhaps I should have listened to the Caelestials when you were born.

Perhaps I should have ended your life prematurely.

That way you would not have grown up to become a disappointment to me.

— “The Atriarch Monologues: Another Son Lost”, Bruce Boward, 214 AO

A Bloody Consummation

So… tired…

So… weak…

So… So thirsty…

How long have I been asleep?

Chiara? Where is…

Where is Chiara?

So thirsty.

I need water.

Where is my wife?

Perhaps at the nearby oasis.

The moon is large and… red?

Like blood.


I drink from it and…


Why does it taste so foul?

Perhaps the supply has been tainted.

But it appears clear and…


What is this creature staring back at me?

Skin as grey as cold mountain stones.

Hair as black as coal.

Eyes deep red like dull rubies.

Two sharp fangs.

What is this creature staring back at me?!


It cannot be!

Where is Chiara?!

Where is my wife?!

So thirsty!

I drink from the oasis and again I throw up!

Why does this not satisfy me?!

What happened?

Think Octavian!

You embraced your love on the night of your wedding.

Husband and wife entwined.

It was wonderful.

But you grew weak, as if the energy was being drained from your body.

Until you became paralysed.

Chiara was no woman.

She was a vixen sent by Elysia!

From her mouth spewed long, vile leeches which drained you of your blood.

That is when your wife slit her throat.

You drowned in thick, black blood.

You fell into unconsciousness.

And now you awake anew.

But… What am I?

What do I do?

I need help!



Where are you?!

Help me!

I do not know what I’ve become!



I beg of you!

Help me!

Save me!

— “The Octavian Monologues: A Bloody Consummation”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

A Father’s Happiness


My son.

How you made me so happy the day you were born.

Words cannot express how proud I am of you.

None of your other brothers have been able to accomplish what you have achieved.

You have excelled in your training and your studies.

You fought with honour and intensity the likes of which I have not seen for many years.

When you asked to journey to Sarcadia, I thought you insane.

I did not think you were ready for the responsible of being this realm’s guardian.

Their saviour.

Yet I should have known better than to ever doubt you.

You should thank your sister Abagael for that.

Had she not convinced me to allow you to leave, I would not be here today celebrating such a joyful occasion.

I should have known you were ready for such a responsibility.

You fought by my side during the Shadow War and slayed many foes.

I did save you from death, this is true.

But mistakes are expected from a neophyte.

Lessons are learned from harsh realities.

And how you did learn from your failures.

To rid Sarcadia of the last of the Dark Mother’s poison.

Such a feat worthy of a man I am proud to call my son.

When you achieved your task, you could have returned to Caelum.

You could have earned a merited rest.

Perhaps you would have finally joined your brothers in their drunken fornicating.

But you insisted on staying.

You felt there was still more of you to give to the Sarcadians.

In my absence, you were their Supreme Lord.

It is you they should have worshipped.

Yet you were too humble to accept their praise and deflected it to me.

You were simply undertaking my work in my name.

You travelled throughout Sarcadia and reminded them all who their Supreme Lord truly was.

How he never abandoned them.

How he sent his favourite son to help them in their times of need.

And now I have returned to my old seat of power.

Back in the ancient and true capital city of Sarcadia.

To watch you wed a woman who has captured your heart.

I have never seen you so happy.

Not since the day you were born.

And I have not felt such joy in my existence.

Not since the day you were born.

How you continue to make me happy.

How my heart beats so jubilantly for you and your wife, Chiara.

May she bring you as much elation as you have brought into my life.

Do look after her.

Care for her.

Love her as much as you can.

No matter how long or short her life might be.

And should she depart from you too soon, know that a piece of her shall always be within your heart.

For I know the feeling too well.

A pain, yet also a pleasure.

But I know you are destined to be with Chiara forever.

When you are both ready, your home in the Realm of Light awaits.

Until then, enjoy your new life.

Know there is nothing you can do that will ever displease me.


My son.

— “The Atriarch Monologues: Sarcadia Cleansed”, Bruce Boward, 214 AO

The Wounded Maiden

I have ventured throughout Sarcadia for over eight hundred years.

I have vanquished the last remnants of Tenebris from Sarcadia.

This realm is once again sanctuary to all.

Yet, I am disgusted by its inhabitants.

I have witnessed the rise of ruthless empire only for it to be replaced by another.

I have watched countries tear themselves apart from the inside.

Brothers kill brothers.

Sisters kill sisters.

People treat other people like livestock.

I have travelled throughout Sarcadia, aiding where I can.

The poor and meek are grateful for my efforts.

The rich and imperious wish only to take advantage of my generosity.

Is this the world I have healed?

Surely there is still beauty in a world I find to be turning ugly.

As I walked the lengthy journey from Nemar’Rak to Ra’Sabar, I came upon a wounded maiden.

Short, beaten and bloodied.

Her clothes were torn and bruises bloomed across her milk-white skin.

I cradled her in my arms.

She was barely breathing.

Her face was too swollen for her to move it.

I carried her and ran as quick as I could to the nearest village.

I made her comfortable and tended to her wounds.

For many nights, I sat by her side and kept a close watch on her.

She finally opened her eyes on the fifth day.

Though bloodshot I could see her eyes were green, shimmering like emeralds in the sun.

She used most of her energy to utter a faint “thank you” before resting once again.

She awoke a day later.

Perhaps her vision was blurred because she asked for my name.

When I told her who I was, she immediately fainted.

She awoke yet again a day later.

I greeted her with a smile as did she.

She apologised for being rude.

I assured her there had been no offense.

She thanked me again, her voice soft and gentle.

She felt eternally indebted to me.

I told her the only repayment she owed was simply to live.

Live a life of goodness, of righteousness.

She insisted she was well enough to leave, but I knew she was not.

I stayed with her.

For many days and nights, we spoke of all things.

She wanted to know more about me and my travels.

But it was I who wanted to know more about her.

She told me who she was, a travelling merchant from Alibrium, who had been robbed and raped by a gang of bandits.

She cried and I wiped the tears from her soft cheeks.

I told her not to fear them for I would keep her safe.

But I misinterpreted her sorrow.

She wept as no one had stopped to assist her.

She would not be alive had I not come across her.

I stayed with her longer, to learn more about her.

Whenever she awoke my heart fluttered.

I was overjoyed when she had made a full recovery.

But I did not want her to leave.

I wanted to be with her.

I wanted to share my journey with her.

My words to her almost made her faint once more.

She did not feel worthy to be in my presence.

I told her she should never think like that.

She was not worthless.

There is still beauty in this place.

And she has a name.


— “The Octavian Monologues: The Wounded Maiden”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

A Curse Conjured

What is worse than killing a child in front of his father?

It is a question I had long contemplated.

I had thought the answer was an eternity of torture.

Take a son away from his father.

Subject him to suffering beyond imagination.

In turn, the father would be tormented, knowing there would be nothing he could do to save him.

This, I thought, was perfect revenge.

But an old friend provided me with an alternative.

What is worse than killing a child in front of his father?

The answer: Turning the child into something the parent detests.

What is it you hate more than I, Atriarch?

Or should I say, who was it you despised so long ago?

The Verakpir.

The thirteenth clan of Un’Kabaal.

The Ones the Sun Forgot.

The ones you made Sarcadia forget.

The abhorrence you harboured against them so was great you eradicated them entirely.

Though they no longer are, I wonder if the Verakpir still slumber deep within in your memories.

Perhaps I shall resurrect the forgotten memory of them.

Perhaps I shall make everyone remember.

Octavian. A Verakpir.

No, something fair worse.

This is possible.

And it shall be so.

When Belzabardos suggested the idea, I thought it sadistic.

And perfect.

I went directly to the source.

The one ancient Tenebite, Nekvourntis.

The Blood Tyrant.

Nothing more now than a mummified husk.

I revived him and nourished his thirst with my own blood.

He was mine – mine to do with as I pleased.

For years, I have experimented with his blood, weaving dark magic and spells to create the perfect curse.

A curse to inflict upon the naïve and innocent Octavian.

Nekvourntis insisted I keep feeding him more of my blood to strengthen his power.

He repeatedly told me: ‘The stronger I am, the stronger your curse shall be.’

He spoke truth, though I knew his true motive.

I would feed him though never enough that he would be able to overpower me.

I knew what I was doing.

I was upon the verge of completing my work.

But jealousy, it appears, is a far greater curse than the one I shall soon perfect.

My Chatterer of Secrets would betray me.

He woud kill my subject before I was done.

Before I was to end his life.

Such a pity you betrayed me, Belzabardos.

Now you will never witness the completion of my work.

With my work complete, I needed a vessel to deliver my gift to Octavian.

My ever-faithful Emriana sent to me her most beautiful of Succubi.

A vixen named Chiara.

She understood what her Dark Mother desired.

She knew what would happen to her as a result.

But she cared not for it, for her name would live in infamy forever.

The necessary alterations were made to her and now she seeks the All-Father’s favourite son.

All I can do now is wait.

Oh, how I cannot anticipate what your reaction will be, Atriarch.

What will you do when you look upon your son when he has been transformed?

Will you cry?

Will you help him?

Or will you turn your back on him in his time of desperation, just as you turned your back on me?

We shall find out soon.

— “The Elysia Monologues: A Curse Conjured”, Bruce Boward, 216 AO

Sarcadia Beckons

After countless days of isolation, my father had finally counselled about Sarcadia.

I should affirm this was done forcefully, the culmination of me and my sister Abagael’s efforts.

We weren’t alone in our meeting.

My other sisters joined me, as did some of Caelum’s most ancient and wisest.

Our voices were united.

Some angry.

Some concerned.

But all echoed one another.

Sarcadia suffers as a result of the Shadow War.

Yet father still insisted he do nothing.

We asked why.

He answered: “Sarcadians are coping fine.”

He justified his logic by suggesting the damage caused by the Tenebites was minimal.

I couldn’t believe the words.

So long as the fiends are alive, there can be no peace on Sarcadia.

There will be only fear.



The voices grew louder, but father’s bellow silenced them.

But it would be my voice that would silence him.

I spoke aloud the words that I had long said to myself.

First he appeared perplexed, then outraged, that I would speak to him in such a way.

But he listened.

He heard what I had to say.

He heard for what I asked.

“Allow me to go to Sarcadia.

Allow me to save them from further damnation.”

Father finally understood what we all were trying to tell him.

Yet he stubbornly refused my request.

He didn’t wish for me to leave his side again.

He didn’t wish for me to fall at the hands of the Tenebites.

Or against something far more sinister and wicked.

I begged him but my pleas went ignored.

Yet there was one voice which made him listen.

One voice made him understand.

My dear, beloved sister Abagael.

Father listened to her words, as stern and as blunt as they were.

He listened.

And then granted me permission to leave.

I thanked him and promised I would not fail him.

He knew I would not.

I promise you, father, just as I promise everyone.

I will not fail you.

I will heal Sarcadia.

I will rid it from the shadows that linger.

I will make you proud of me.

— “The Octavian Monologues: Sarcadia Beckons”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

A Wounded World

It has been years since my father’s victory against Elysia.

But Sarcadia still suffers.

The Tenebites that were left behind when the portals were destroyed have established new homes on each continent and terrorise the innocent.

The brave devotees of the Atri-Supreme Church sacrifice themselves daily, yet their efforts are in vain.

The twisted fiends show no remorse.

I wish to go back to Sarcadia and save its people.

Yet, I am to be confined to the Realm of Light?


Because my father mourns, not for the continued loss of the Sarcadians who still adore and worship him.

He laments on the reality that the Dark Mother yet lives.

He exiles himself to his chambers and refuses to speak to anyone.

He has blinded himself to the suffering of the people he saved – twice.

All because he did not kill Elysia?

I do not understand why others should be punished for his failure.

He won the war.

He saved the realm.

But this does not satisfy him.

Sarcadia needs their Supreme Lord, yet he sulks like a spoiled child who had his favourite toy taken away.

The people endure the aftermath of a war that was your fault, father.

Yes, I dare say it was your fault.

Because you are to blame for everything that has happened.

For now, I only dare say such things in private.

I would not utter such words to you directly.

Not yet anyway.

I know of the story of you and Elysia.

It is not as simple as you explained it to me.

You laid with her and impregnated her.

She needed you and you ignored her in favour of your other wives.

Your abandonment lead to Elysia becoming the new Master of Tenebris.

You preach of how great of a whore she is, yet she had done no wrong.

Revenge consumed her so much she waged a war on Sarcadia.

Simply to draw you out from Caelum.

Millions of children, women, and men died because you did not venture from Caelum when your pregnant lover begged for you to save her.

Now you, father, are consumed by the same bitterness that fuelled Elysia’s rampage.

I beg of you, forgive her.

Do not allow yourself to be consumed by the same hatred.

It is unfitting of you.

This is not the same man I came to admire as a child.

You are a great leader.

A wise leader.

A compassionate leader.

You liberated Sarcadia, twice, but it continues to suffer.

It continues to bleed.

I implore you, return to Sarcadia and heal its wounds.

Your people need you.

Do not abandon them as you abandoned Elysia.

Save them once again.

Or at the very least, deliver to them a protector.

Allow me to go in your place.

Allow me to be their healer. Allow me to be their saviour.

— “The Octavian Monologues: A Wounded World”, Bruce Boward, 218 AO

The Supreme Weakness

It has been almost a hundred days since the end of my war.

For one hundred days, I have heard all matters of arguments and complaints.

Some of my subjects foolishly voice their displeasures.

They feel dishonoured and disrespected at the defeat.

They all blame me, their Master.

One-by-one, I add their heads to my growing collection of skulls.

I do not this out of pettiness or to reassert my domination.

I do this merely for the silence.

I do not need my thoughts interrupted.

I delve into my memories of the war.

The final battle in Stagnum.

When the Dark Mother battled the All-Father.

But it isn’t the melee we engaged in that I recollect.


I do not wish to find a way to beat Atriarch in combat.

I have discovered something far greater than a flaw in a warrior’s armour.

I have been imprudent in my approach to seek vengeance against the Supreme Lord.

I am Elysia.

A mere mortal woman who became the feared Goddess and Master of Tenebris.

I should have remembered the pain Atriarch felt when I took his firstborn away from him.

Oh, the pleasure I felt when I tore the life from that bastard I birthed.

I should have known taking Sarcadia from him would mean nothing when he could just reclaim it back.

But you cannot reclaim a stolen son, can you Atriarch?

What if I were to take another?


I speak of your precious Octavian.

I have heard so much about him.

He is a handsome young thing.

Physically perfect, just like his daddy.

He is a skilled warrior; this I saw for myself.

I also witnessed the panic in your eyes when my children overwhelmed your son.

You retreated from our duel and rushed to his aid.

That day, you saved his life.

That day, you assured his demise.

Once, I thought you were the smartest being alive, Atriarch.

As a boy, you united Un’Kabaal.

As a man, you conquered Sarcadia.

As a mortal, you tricked a Supreme Lord to become one yourself.

Yet you exposed your greatest weakness to me.

Your dear, beloved son.

My mind was too focused on you during our battle.

Had I realised sooner, I would have killed Octavian immediately.

I would have taken great pleasure in watching you mourn yet another dead son.

But I am glad I did not.

For there is more than one way to take a child from his father.

And so, I surround myself with my thoughts and ponder: “How could I prolong the pain of a father losing another son?”

Death is far too simple, too easy.

The answer shall come to me, this I’m certain.

But you have exposed your weakness to me.

And I shall surely take advantage of it.

You might have won the war, Atriarch.

But I vow you will regret not killing me when you had the chance.

— “The Elysia Monologues: The Supreme Weakness”, Bruce Boward, 216 AO