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This story starts, as stories often do, with a girl who just happened to be a goddess. She liked people and elves and going for long walks in the world. On one of these walks she met a boy and they fell in love. But boys, human boys don’t live forever.

Now the girl was the the goddess of the moon and romance … and as you can imagine things weren’t going to, and didn’t end well. See, the moon waxes and wanes and while their love was all bright and shiney as new romances are, there came a time when it disappeared and she too left. Boys however, aren’t gods and sometimes they can’t just walk away… and so he pined for her. And as he was a smart boy he plotted ways to catch her attention once more. As a man, he studied ancient tomes and parchments, and as he aged he grew more powerful. He learned to wield magic and learned things that men are better off not knowing. He employed adventurers to search for and acquire implements; orbs and wands and staffs to increase his power. He grew immensely powerful but he also grew terrified. Terrified that he would die before he saw her again; before he could… recapture her love.

Instead of walking the path to his rightful rest, guided by the light of his beloved moon…

He cheated death.
 

And finally the old man, now a loathesome thing made a dark deal with a terrible power, an ugly, crawling, twisted unholy thing in a black hole, that he might catch his first and only love and hold her and so he did. For, though he had her attention as he had long desired, she would not love him anymore and could only despise what he had become. To keep her, and bind her it was necessary the broken god had taught him, to hurt her.

So he tortured her.

And she cried.

And cried.

And the valley where he lived fell under the sway of a dried up husk, a shell devoid of anything resembling the boy who loved the girl that he met in the woods so long ago. In this same valley long ago, long before the boy’s time two races had warred. Beings born of dragon and others, men who made deals with demons. The tiefling as they are known and of whom a few remain, were powerful in the ways of magic, particularly in the manner of infusing and crafting artifacts of immense destruction. They made a stone that could kill anything that threatened their city, anything that invaded their home even one of the ancient red wyrm, that are as gods, even a god itself. They used their talent not to usher in an age of beauty and light but to make a device that could kill a god. And so they lived in terror and suspicion and instead of flourishing the Empire of the Tiefling fell apart not attacked from without as they had feared but decaying from within, undone by the fell pacts with which they had bargained their souls.

The lich learned of the stone in a tome and wanted it as the tortured cries of his one and only love had grown hateful to him over the long years and the agonies inflicted upon her were done out of habit rather than cruelty. No-one would ever have their heart broken again, for surely were she to, surely were the goddess of romance to die then no-one would be hurt by love again.

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