image Ages ago, a very wise man once wrote about the loyalty of the Dericost undead. In great detail, he composed great passages describing how their fealty was such that it survived not only the death of the Dericost kingdom, but of the Dericost people themselves. However, one thing that paragon of the written word failed to account for was the ambition exhibited by many of the undead ranks. In truth, the lust for power and glory is often enough to turn the heart of even the most steadfast servant of Geraine. Such was the case with the three known collectively as the Archons.

We first became aware of the ones who would be called Archons in the years prior to the Golden Age, during the Fourth Sending, the first time in which Bael’Zharon escaped imprisonment. Dericost had long since fallen into dust and decay, and only a few of its undead nobility endured. They feared that a war with the Shadow would decimate what remained of their ranks and believed that such casualties would result in the loss of most of the history and culture of their people. One among them devised a means to collect and store the knowledge and memories of Dericost–mnemosynes–and distributed them among the various castes and factions of undead. Tasked with collecting and chronicling the artifacts were Renselm, Hahnain, and Saelar–three minor scholars who were appointed guardians of the legacy of a twice-dead kingdom.

They loyally carried out these duties for many years, faithfully safeguarding the mnemosynes as well as other tomes and pieces of lore that passed into their safekeeping. However, everything changed when the three were dispatched by Geraine to retrieve the Book of Eibhil, an ancient Falatacot tome of great power that was essential to their prince’s plans of conquering Dereth. Through great effort, they obtained the book, which Geraine used to destroy the Great Ones and plunge Dereth into chaos. For their labors, Geraine bestowed Renselm, Hahnain, and Saelar the title “Archons of the Way” and appointed them the position of permanent guardians of Dericost’s vast libraries.

Though the Archons openly feigned gratitude, Saelar was incensed at this development. They had handed Geraine the means to conquer Dereth, and they were rewarded with little more than a meaningless title and the vocation they had already held for centuries. Such an insult could no go unanswered, and it was then that the Archons made their plans to rebel against their prince. Soon after our emergence after centuries spent dwelling in the Shelters, that plan was put into motion, and before long, the lands of Dereth were filled with the sounds of battle as undead loyal to the Archons battled undead loyal to Geraine, with humans, Lugians, and Tumeroks taking up arms for both sides. During the rebellion, the Archons were able to reacquire the Book of Eibhil, and flushed with arrogance at their newfound power, they even struck at Geraine directly, attempting to attack his sanctum deep beneath the long-lost island of Arramora.

The attack only succeeded in raising Geraine’s ire, and he quickly joined the battle in person. As the undead known as His Eternal Splendor reached the battlefield, the Archons, seemingly under the influence of the Book of Eibhil itself, were preparing to cast one final, terrible spell, one that, if successful, could very well have torn the entire world apart. But even this plan failed to reach fruition, as the combined power of Geraine’s attack and the very spell they were attempting consumed the Archons. In the wake of his enemies’ defeat, Geraine leapt into a rift of energy created by the release of magic in the area and disappeared as well. Both the Prince of Dericost and the Book of Eibhil that spawned so much misery for Derethians and Dericost alike were gone, but the Archons remained, in a manner of speaking. Their twisted, tormented shades still haunt several vaults across Dereth. In the end, their ambitions overcame not only their loyalty to prince and country, but their wherewithal as well.

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