NOTE: Did some editing to make some of the sentences flow better in general. Corrected some grammar mistakes as well, etc.
Should read much better now!
Isle of Four Monarchs –
Beneath the serene cyan waters of the Whirl-Snare Gulf, erected in the midst of the Everrain Reefs that stretch for miles across the tempestuous waters, lies the Conclave of the Elder Kings. A lavish palace-fortress built from the magically enriched coral of the Everrain, molded into the form of crystalline battlements and razor shell walls. A ‘Fortress of the Deep, a Palace of the Noble Thought’.
The outer districts of the Conclave consist of the Namarti slave barracks and manors, known as the Leviathan’s Maw. Countless thousands of the subservient class of the Idoneth dwell in isolation, surrounded by labyrinthine walls of the Conclave’s outer defenses. Patrols range far and wide from the Maw, whether to cull ferocious predators of the deep or to ambush foes that stray too close to the shores of the Four Monarch’s Isle.
Within the dimly lit halls of the Leviathan’s Maw, thousands of Namarti Thralls and Reavers practice their sacred rites and martial arts. The few Isharann that oversee their slave populace observe the excruciating process of branding the Namarti as slaves and their indoctrination process. Those Namarti not of strength enough to wield blade or bow toil in the industries that dominate the leviathan’s maw. But those with the courage, cunning, and strength of body and mind embark upon a perilous journey in the defense of their enclave.
Though lowly slaves among the scholars of the Isharann and the martial nobility of the Akhelian Houses, even one Namarti is worth ten warriors of the lesser races. Though expendable, any Akhelian King would preserve even a dozen Namarti if it were possible, but maximize their imminent loss in the harvested blood of the foe if no other choice is available.
The Namarti of Leviathan’s Maw undergo a rigorous training process that may last until approximately half of their inferior lifespans. It is a willing sacrifice that they make, for without the Narmti Thralls or their Reaver Scouts, not even the Akhelian Houses would be able to gather the souls needed to continue their prospering society, and prolong the lives of the Namarti themselves.
Heart of Mathlann
Maintaining vigil over the shadowy depths of the Leviathan’s Maw, the Heart of Mathlann rises ever into the sapphire waters of the Whirl-Snare Gulf. Lavish palaces of silk laden and jewel encrusted choral walls, draped with the fabric of one hundred banners of the Akhelian Houses that dwell in the Heart of Mathlann billow in the shifting waters of the Gulf.
The rarity of foes who have gazed upon the Heart of Mathlann have often underestimated the battle-hardened raiders that dwell within it’s splendorous halls. For the Akhelians of the Ondaric Enclave may not be as spartan as their enigmatic kin, but their merciless and bloodied legacy speaks much of their myriad glories.
A score of sieges have been laid upon the Heart of Mathlann over the course of her history. The Idoneth speak of daemonic horrors and devious, hideous ratmen rampaging through the lower ties of the grand fortresses time and again. They slay, gnash, and carve a path from the lower holds until they spill out into the courtyards and plazas of the higher spheres. It is here where the Akhelians have always mustered, mounted on the backs of their sea beasts, and where they descend upon the foe from seemingly nowhere to hew, hack, and tear apart their enemies without mercy.
As the foe is pressed back into the lower holds by the Akhelian Houses, so do the Namarti swarm up from the Leviathan’s Maw to entrap the foe and deny them any quarter.
The Ondaric Akhelians undergo gruesome blood rites as soon as they come of age to join the vaunted ranks of the Akhelians. On the eve of their first century of age, adolescents of the Ondaric Idoneth reflect upon the lessons of stoic repression and self-control taught in their method of disciplined combat. They reflect, then participate in hidden gladiatorial combats against their most experienced Namarti Thralls and Reavers. Paired into teams of either two or three, the adolescents must survive wave after wave of the finest Namarti Warriors to have ever served the conclave, until either one side or the other is slain to the last.
A daunting task for any warrior, but a would-be Akhelian’s first century is oft more than a match in age and experience than the most fortunate and graceful Namarti.
The adolescents that survive are inducted into the ranks of the Akhelian Houses as trainees. These youths are denied the honor of owning their own ferocious beast of the undersea, but instead man the weapon platforms that often rest in the harnesses fixated upon these enslaved creatures. In these roles, trainees may spend anywhere from one to a handful of centuries until their role is perfected to such precision and grace, that their veteran crew may recommend them to their king for promotion as a fully inducted Akhelian.
But such a role is oft hazardous that many trainees perish upon the battlefield before such glories can be earned.
The Ondaric Akhelians continue their blood rites over the span of their one thousand year lives. As each century passes, another bout of arena combat is initiated for each Akhelian. The Namarti formations escalate in size, strategy, and tactics, as do the Akhelian groups, until entire live-battles are played out till their gruesome end.
Such vicious practices remind the Akhelians that the Idoneth are no strangers to loss, conflict, and agony. Inured are they to the pain of loss, regret, and defeat. There is only the battle, and the number of souls stolen from their raids that they can carry back into their undersea fortresses.
Such is the terror that precedes the Ondaric raids, that many civilizations have offered tithes of their citizens rather than face complete annihilation and soul theft. Many armies, when faced with the surge of the ether sea from the Enlightened Sea, simply turn their backs and march off the battlefield, leaving their loved ones to a fate worse than death.
And when the foe musters the courage enough to stand their ground, then blood waters the earth enough that it comes spilling back into the sea. For the Ondaric Akhelians will fight on till their mounts are broken beneath them, and they are forced to pit their strength face to face with the enemy.
In victory or defeat, Ondaric will prosper, and the Akehlians shall die in its defense.
The Crystalline Pinnacle
As the Heart of Mathlann oversees the toiling Namarti in Leviathan’s Maw, the Crystalline Pinnacle dominates everything within sight of it. A grand fortress at the heart of the fortress-palaces of the Conclave of the Elder Kings, the Crystalline Pinnacle is dominated by monuments dedicated to the Akhelian Kings who have served and perished in the Enclave’s defense. Scrawled scripture of every Akhelian soul to perish in the fires of war adorn every hallowed choral wall. Open obsidian stairways climb up glittering spires bedecked in numberless banners until they reach the Throne Hall at the very peak of the Pinnacle.
The scholars and most able-minded warriors of the Isharann and Akhelian Houses rarely occupy the Crystalline Pinnacle, but merely congregate once every several decades to discuss the next series of raids, or the enclave’s defense in case of war.
Only the High King of the Ondaric and his chosen court dwell in these vaunted, lonely halls of shadow and somber memories of the fallen. It is ever a reminder to those who rule of the Deepkin’s curse and the sacrifices that all Idoneth must be willing to make, even their leaders.
King Theronhall rules all of the Ondaric Enclaves from the Crystalline Pinnacle at its heart. From the Evening Archipelago in the west, and Mathlann’s Vigil in the east.
Known as the Monsoon of Mourning, Theronhall has become infamous for the wide-spread panic and sorrow of his far-reaching raids upon the surface. Entire cities have succumbed to the eternal slumber of the soul raids, civilizations have been washed away into the tide of his forces upon the ether sea. Many a noble king has met their end on the end of his blade in honorable combat.
Though for all of his skill, Theronhall would have certainly been punished for his life of cruelty and merciless slaughter by horrors unimaginable and terrifying, were it not for Fendriach’s lance.
Unlike the vast majority of the Idoneth’s rulers, Theronhall has claimed sons in an unusually utilitarian society.
His adopted sons, Fendriach and Elion’draich, have earned nothing but renown in all that they strive to achieve for themselves.
Cast from his fingers, Fendriach slew the Greater Daemon of Slaanesh with a well-placed bolt of bio voltaic energy that shattered Xsha’s left eye and penetrated her skull on the eve of her triumph over Theronhall at the Battle of the Shredding Rapids.
After such a feat, many of Theronhall’s most trusted Akhelians called for Fendriach to be named heir to his throne. Theronhall, oft said to pity Fendriach’s act of valor, adopted him as his son and nicknamed him the Benighted Prince. For Theronhall to name Fendriach his air, in doing he would inherit a kingdom under siege and under threat of being annihilated by the great enemy. If Theronhall perished on the field, then Fendriach would stand no chance of leading the enclaves.
Ellion’draich would rise soon after Fendriach, House Arkrailian’s most veteran and long-lived warrior, known for his somberness and steadfast nature both off and on the battlefield.
Known beforehand as Banishment's Blade, not for slaying daemons or besting other foes, not even for his talent of surviving for so long. Elion’draich was a terror among the Akhelian ranks for being an immaculate duelist who tolerated no insults, betrayals, or deceit from rivals who sought to dethrone him. Even would-be rivals who had never heard or spoken his name, would glimpse his shadow in the twilight of their own houses, and they would know fate had come for them for some reason or another.
By the time Theronall had adopted him as a son, and indirectly solving the myriad of blood-feuds and murders that haunted Elion’draich’s career and those that still lived due to their keen avoidance, Elion’draich had scores of kills to his names and countless trophies.