Location: Rhokii Pass
Time: AO 295-299
So you wanna know what happened. How did Baldur die? Did Hacktor really kill his own father? I sense your need to know (1), therefore let me satisfy your needs…
In brief here are the details to bring you up to speed. Baldur died when the twin watchtowers of The Siq collapsed in a presumed terrorist plot by the Derkka – an event that occurred approximately 298 years After Oz. Recall that, three years earlier, Hecla had warned Hacktor (2) about a conspiracy involving a Derkka secret society called The Priory of the Myz – claiming the group had access to a weapon of mass destruction known only as The Power of Zar and that they planned to use it to do the unthinkable – aka bring down the mighty watchtowers that had protected the Drokka’s western gates of Rhokii Pass for centuries. Horrified at the prospect, Hacktor had taken the news to his father, but Baldur being Baldur, the king had ignored it (3). Hacktor being Hacktor, the prince got mad, put some troops on double-secret duty to protect The Siq and specifically instructed his men to go out of their way to toss out any Derk traders who acted suspiciously (4).
Naturally, nothing happened. Strike that – in reality two things resulted from Hacktor’s action and Baldur’s inaction. First off, the price of Blackwood skyrocketed (5). This made the people mad at Monty and Thork – who were horrified at the implications that nefarious actions on their part were behind the spike in prices (6). When Baldur found out about Hacktor’s secret directives he pretty much flipped out on his son during a council meeting, embarrassing him in public (7). At Baldur’s direction, Hacktor lost command of his units, and Ortwin not only pulled Hacktor’s men off Siq guard duty, but the old general complied with Baldur’s orders and relaxed the watch considerably. At the same time Baldur had his scribe Grak send numerous personal missives (8) to The Derkka Parliament to explain away the recent ‘administrative oversights’ that may have caused the Derk traders certain inconveniences (9). This in turn opened the flood gates for Derkka of all types of besiege The Siq with trade offers – as you can imagine, not all of them with good intent.
Enter The Priory of the Myz (10). Word of The Priory’s existence had first leaked to Baldur early in his kingly career and at first the young leader paid keen attention to the warnings, but over time (and after countless flubs on the part of The Priory), the Drokka king and his generals grew tired of hearing about it and instead relegated The Priory to a cliched existence (11). A few more decades past, Priory leadership changed, Baldur and his council had long forgotten about any threat from this front, and at last things were ready to move along as planned.
Enter Mirkir, Hecla, and Heraclez. This little trio of nationalists I’d been grooming for some time as my support staff for Hacktor. Over the years I’d made sure Baldur had pissed off each of them (12). So rabid were they against Baldur that they would do anything to get rid of him. Couple this with Mirkir’s zealous belief in forcing armageddon to bring back Rhokii, Haraclez’s willingness to help him, and Hecla hatred for Gawain and the Derkka and you have some powerful nationalistic leadership. Of course none of them would have mattered had they also not had another key trait – each of them held a power over Hacktor (13).
So what happened? It’s simple – I gave the lesser ranks of The Priory access to a powerful combustable, but kept the leadership of the group in the dark (14). The plan was for the brotherhood’s lackeys to travel to The Siq as run of the mill Derk traders selling Blackwood supplies and once inside the towers to distribute and simultaneously ignite their weapon. Of course it would have been just another failure on The Priory’s part if not for two things – first off, unlike all their prior weapons, the combustable I gave them this time was more powerful than any weapon seen on the face of the earth prior to your present day. Secondly, their mission couldn’t have gone off without ‘inside’ help – that’s where Mirkir, Haraclez, and Hecla came into play. I allowed Mirkir’s spies to get wind of The Priory’s intentions. The Spirit of The Well then stroked Mirkir’s ego (15) and The High Priest partnered with Haraclez and Hecla to not only keep their knowledge about The Priory’s plot to themselves, but also to use their individual influences to ‘allow’ the tragedy (aka the destruction of The Siq) to occur – each of them believing that ‘sacrifices’ were required in order to obtain the greater good (16).
I’m sure you can guess how it went from here – this time was different – this time The Priory’s plan did succeed. Because of Baldur’s lax policies, Derk terrorists repeatedly got inside The Siq – and once inside, they often conveniently got ‘lost,’ and then made there way to the also conveniently unprotected foundations of each of the towers. Haraclez used his influence to ensure their activities went unwatched. And finally, shortly after AO 299 began, everything was in place — that’s when The Priory’s first tier leadership consulted with Baal to get his blessing (17) to move forward — and finally it was time for action.
Knowing what was about to go down, Hecla made sure that Baldur would be at The Siq at the of disaster – tempting her father with a promise to let him ravish her from the top of the northern tower (18). For her part, Hecla made a show of leaving Rhokii Pass with plans to travel to The Siq, making Baldur believe she was going there in advance of him to make preparations – only to secretly turn back to the main kingdom and covertly slip back into her apartments – quietly remaining there until the disaster had passed. Meanwhile, Mirkir made sure that Hacktor was also far away from the scene, requiring him to visit Iztak in order to receive a message awaited him at The Well of Wyzdom – thus removing any suspicion from the prince. And the rest is easy to guess – the explosives blew, the towers fell like matchsticks, and everyone within a mile of the site was killed – to include the Baldur, Ortwin (19), the entire king’s guard, and countless trade merchants from all over TerrVerde. Naturally the Priory members who caused the accident to occur also perished (20).
The Drokka public went into shock. You’d have thought that a people who’d lived on war for hundreds of years would have immediately wanted blood, but you’d be wrong. Decades of Baldur’s peace propaganda had made the Drokka soft. The public panicked. Throughout the early part of the year AO299, supply lines for key resources immediately dried up, markets and warehouses were raided by looters, and prices for nearly every product soared. Unable to control the situation and besieged from all sides, Thork Drivingstone couldn’t handle the situation and took the easy way out – throwing himself off the Volzung Bridge (21) — naturally suicide by the head of the merchant’s guild didn’t help matters, causing further instability among the populace. Unable to get food and other basic supplies, the once fat and happy people didn’t know what to do. Thinking they were under full attack from the Derkka, rather than man-up and race to arms, most of the Drokka ran into hiding deeper into their mountain caves to escape. People got trampled, children were abandoned, and entire families disappeared. The kingdom of Rhokii Pass took the worst of it all, but as news travelled to the rest of the realm, instability followed there too. The Day of Doom was approaching – but nobody was ready.
Strike that – almost nobody was ready. In fact a few were – for a few had prepared in advance. Given their inside information, they were poised to strike (22). Mirkir, Haraclez, and Hecla executed their plans and seized power. Mirkir sending word throughout the eight kingdoms that a holy war was upon them and using his position to briefly usurp power to control events. Together with his co-conspirators, Mirkir installed Hacktor as the rightful heir. The process took a bit of time — Hacktor’s coronation took place more than six months months after Baldur’s death. But eventually, everything was in place.
That brings us up to the present time – but it’s what happened next that really matters…
- But remember – curiosity killed the cat. Oh, don’t worry, it won’t kill you now… but perhaps one day it will get you. And then I’ll be waiting for you.
- Revisit Chapter 11 – The Twins.
- Perhaps because when Baldur consulted The Spirit of The Well for guidance The Spirit (read: Me) had told him to do just that.
- Which is to say that Hacktor wanted his men to abuse any and all Derk — making sure they felt unwelcome and sending them packing with a one-way ticket back to Gor.
- Derk traders were having a hard time doing business because Hacktor’s men kept profiling them as terrorists and barring their entry.
- Even though nefarious actions by this pair usually were the reason why the price of Blackwood artificially rose or fell — they just didn’t like it on this occasion because they hadn’t prepared a false front for themselves to hide behind.
- Exactly as I wanted him to do.
- And a few chests gold coins.
- You wonder why Baldur didn’t just apologize? Remember, Baldur was a king – do world leaders like that ever apologize for their actions?
- Now I don’t know about you, but I love secret societies – humans have such a knack for creating some amazingly clever ‘private fellowships.’ Yes there are the modern cliche ones you all know about – to include the Knights Templar, The Rosicrucians, The Illuminati, and The Masons. But for the money I’ll go witth The Brotherhood of EArth (it the most secret, the most powerful, and also the oldest of all, tracing its roots all the way back to my time with Eve). As for The Priory of Myz — it as was a little group I helped ‘inspire’ shortly after Baldur rose to power and professed his plans for peace – The Priory was a faction of the Derkka who were much like many of your zealots of today – call them hardcore nationalists, extreme peace keepers, terrorists, whatever you like, the results are the same: they are men and women who will do anything to make the world in the ‘ideal’ image they think it should be. While there’s a lot of backstory to The Priory, the skinny is that it was merely another trite brotherhood filled with membership levels that equated with secret knowledge and honorific titles that grew stranger and stranger the higher one rose through the ranks. Rookies were told that The Priory worshipped Gwar and that the goal of the club was to take down the Drokka; this is also what the outside world (read: The Drokka) knew about The Priory’s goals. Mid-levels were told that my alter ego Baal was the driver of the group and they participated in ghastly rituals filled with violence, drugs, and beastial sex in the hopes they could entice Baal to destroy the earth and remake it as a gift for them to rule over. Only the higher-ups knew that I was the real driver of The Priory – those lucky fews were led to believe that it was possible to attain true knowledge by helping me achieve my goals of Universal Domination (what they didn’t know was that I had no intention of rewarding them for their help). The beauty of it all was that the goals for all the ranks were largely the same (just puffed up with different verbiage) — as a result, The Drokka were enemy A #1 and the prized token every member of The Priory wanted to take down was always The Siq – those twin towers of prestige that professed the glory of the Drokka and ever-separated their hated rivals from the Derk clans. Practically every Priory meeting included plans for destroying The Siq.
- Which, like all secret societies, was the very thing the group needed to finally give it a chance for real success.
- Mirkir because the secular Baldur never followed his advice, Haraclez because Baldur passed him over in the Drokka legions and effectively drove him into Mirkir’s arms (who was all to happy to have him as a general of the faith), and Hecla, well you know what Baldur did to her.
- Mirkir was not just the high priest for the Drokka people, but The Wyze One was also Hacktor’s personal guide into the suppossed depths of the Drokka Religion (secret layers I personally added to Mirkir’s repertoire) – as a royal Balkery, Hacktor was assumed to be gifted beyond even Mirkir himself (although The Wyze One’s pride refused to truly accept this). Oh Mirkir did lead help Hacktor communicate with The Spirit of The Well of Wyzdom as the faith required him too, but Mirkir also made Hacktor his catamite (ostensively because Mirkir told Hacktor the faith also required this too) but in reality because the priest merely wanted to force his dominance over the boy (and since this fit my own plans I allowed the told man to despoil Hacktor to his heart’s content) – as you can imagine, being the sex slave of a priest during his early teenage years wasn’t that much fun for Hacktor and it permanently damaged the boy’s psyche (exactly as I’d hoped it would). For his part, Haraclez taught the would be king about the art of war during his formative years – bestowing him with confidence and power (which helped to offset the damage Mirkir did) – this helped Haraclez win Hacktor’s respect and loyalty – but Heraclez also played a part in despoiling Hacktor too (introducing him to wasteful vices like wine, women, and wagering). As for Hecla, well you already know about her relationship with her twin brother – after Hacktor returned to court again, it didn’t take long for Hecla to incite Hacktor’s lust — and to satisfy it (giving her more power over the next king than anyone else).
- This was necessary because by this time bureaucracy, administrative red tape, and a desire to keep the status quo in order to simply retain power had long-since overtaken The Priory’s higher ups and thus made them averse to doing anything that might actually be construed as real action – much like your bureaucracies of today.
- ‘Dost thou truly want to be be The Wyze One to oversee The Ragnarok? Then sacrifices must be made.’
- I’ve always found it funny that human leaders have no problem sacrificing others to get what they want but they never seem to make any sacrifices themselves.
- Read: MY blessing.
- Little did Baldur know that this time the surprise would be on him!
- Who travelled everywhere with Baldur.
- All of them expecting to receive eternal rewards from Gwar in the afterlife – and all of them disappointed when the only reward they received was losing their soul to me.
- That glorious underground engineering marvel that connected Rhokii Palace with the main kingdom.
- Isn’t that always how it works? The select few generate pre-made disasters, and when the public panics, those in the know take advantage of the situation to make themselves rich – such was the case here.