Dark Stone

The Land of Uma

"Draw closer, sit beside me and listen to the tale I have to tell about your land, the Land of Uma.

Today, you are called upon to play a vital role in the future of our universe. Your hearts burn with a fire which darkness cannot quench. For you are the Pure of Heart, whose destiny is to fight Evil. But before you engage in battle, you must learn about Uma's history and thus come to understand why the threat of darkness still hangs over the people of this planet, even today.

The Land of Uma was created in the mists of time by Life. It is indeed Life that fashioned this land, sculpting its every contour, providing the blood coursing through the veins of its animals and the life-giving source for its vegetation.

But the balance of the universe was under threat and Death had to be created to re-establish some degree of harmony. After all, this is why Life cannot exist without Death. Consequently, the plants began to wither and bloodshed broke out amongst animals, thus perpetuating the eternal cycle of life and death."

The Primeval Battle

"Thus elapsed thousands of years, which passively witnessed this unending, titanic struggle between Life and Death as it transformed the peaceful Land of Uma into a battlefield. This period became known as the Primeval Battle. It came to an end with Life emerging victorious, but the Land of Uma had now become one huge mass grave. Tou of the ashes of this destruction rose Mankind, representing the ultimate challenge to Death. It went forth populating the world, imbuing the land and sea once again with Life. These men, your forbears, created villages, tilled the fields to produce corn and planted trees and bushes yielding fruit and flowers. This marked the golden age, an age of peace and harmony, but at the same time Man continued waging a relentless war against Death. As a token of her gratitude for Man's toil, Life decided to assume human form as the goddess Kaliba, the goddess of nature, and gave our ancestors magic powers."

The Dawn of Kaliba

"Our ancestors called this period the Dawn of Kaliba. The magic powers helped our ancestors to triumph over adversity and allowed them to create magical creatures, the Dragons of the Dawn, which became Kaliba's invaluable allies. They would protect the villages and castles, light the furnaces of our craftsmen's forges and, with their sacred fire, would help the population through the harsh winters by warming up the air.

The Dragons of the Dawn were not the only creatures to inhabit the Land of Uma. There were others, just as gentle, which are now extinct. Among these were the water-sprites, whose songs sounded like a babbling brook; fairies, whose beating wings created rainbows, centaurs, pixies, imps, and many more... But the Dawn of Kaliba was followed by the Wars of Darkness, which swept all these creatures aside like straws on the wind."

The Wars of Darkness

"The Wars of Darkness marked the decline of Mankind. The Grim Reaper had licked his wounds and once again wielded his scythe, started to shed blood. He began to gnaw at the hearts of men, fueling their greed and spreading jealousy and lies amongst them...

When I think back to this time, I can still vividly remember the deep distress which gripped the hearts of men: the outbreak of bloodshed among them and the tears of the goddess, shed in great sorrow as she contemplated the havoc wreaked by Death, as men killed each other in the pursuit of a scrap of land, power and money... This period of the Wars of Darkness also saw the demise of the magical creatures, especially the Dragons of the Dawn. Others were doomed to become creatures of Evil, as imps were transformed into goblins and fairies into gorgons. But Evil's triumph over Life was not quite complete. Our goddess, Kaliba, overcame the distress that burdened her heart and offered one final message of hope to mankind. In doing so, she called upon the assistance of the druids who lived in the great forests of Uma. These druids were the devoted servants of Natures and would willingly sacrifice themselves to ensure that Life would triumph. In order to make it a more equitable contest and help the druids to drive Death beyond the confines of Uma, the goddess Kaliba gave them the gift of the Time Orb, fashioned from the Tears which dropped from her cheeks. The druids were now ready to bring the Wars of Darkness to an end, and men wept as they recognized the madness that had possessed them."

The Age of Harmony

"The Wars of Darkness ended about a thousand years ago. Following this, the druids who had survived this battle against Death decided to break up the Time Orb to prevent it from being used for evil purposes. And so, the Orb was broken into seven crystals, the seven tears of Kaliba. Each of these crystals was entrusted to an anonymous guardian, whose mission it was to watch over the crystal and to pass it on to a new guardian, worthy of their trust, before their death. But all the guardians knew that the day would come for them to be parted from their crystals. And this day arrived when the Pure of Heart came to them.

During the course of this last thousand years, a period known as the Age of Harmony, the druids gradually began to die out as men learned to co-exist in peace. Everyone then believed that Death would give up the fight and that its creatures would disappear from the land of Uma forever. In order to ensure that this would happen, Kaliba created an order of monks whose task was to guide Mankind along the long path of Life. And indeed, during these thousand years the monks were utterly devoted to their task. But, how foolish to think that the Forces of Darkness could be completely vanquished! How blind men were, not to see that Death was biding its time for the least sign of weakness, for a wicked heart that could invade...

When I was a mere monk I was called Drakil Tanan. By then, I was already fascinated by the magic of darkness, a fascination which soon developed into an obsession. When night fell I would slip into the library and pore over the forbidden texts, eager to learn the dark secrets of necromancy. I spent years in the vaults, where I raised specters and skeletons to become my slaves and help me fulfill my mission. But one day, the monks of Kaliba uncovered my secret. And just imagine, those fools dared to pass judgement on me, Drakil Tanan, the great necromancer. I therefore left the monastery without any regrets, leaving behind my old name and assuming the new name of Draak.

Draak... a name which rises up like a funeral dirge, sounding a knell, the death knell for Kaliba. This name was my comfort during the years after I left the monastery. In the bowels of this land, my torrent of supplication was answered and I became the disciple of Necromancy. My powers were enhanced and, at the same time, my soul became ever more consumed by my obsession, plumbing depths known only by Death itself. Ah yes, the Grim Reaper soon realized what an invaluable ally he had in me. And just as the goddess Kaliba had given the druids the Time Orb, I was made privy to the ultimate secrets of Necromancy.

I was now able to return to the goddess Kaliba's heavenly kingdom. But, I have to admit that this was a grave error. It was still far too soon to challenge Kaliba, even though I had already used my newly acquired powers to devastate the gold and silver towers of her kingdom and set ablaze the wings of the angels protecting her.

The battle between us lasted a day and a night with Kaliba emerging the victor, damn her! However, prior to my defeat, I had dealt her a cruel blow. In the heat of the struggle, I grabbed one of her hands and took it down to the bowels of this land. Using my powers of Necromancy. I corrupted this hand, turning it into an instrument of my revenge: the Astral Hand.

Armed with this artifact, I made my way to the Dragons of the Dawn cemetery, where I intended to raise up from the ashes the most powerful dragon of all, the Dragon Lord, but not in his previous incarnation where he was subservient and loyal to men. I wiped his mind and stole his magic so that I could be transformed into a dragon...

Now I am able to devastate this world, capture its people and allow Death to feed on their souls. Kaliba's monks, these same ones who dared drive me away, tried to make me see reason. They wanted us to meet face to face. How their feeble attempts were in vain. I cast them into the flames of Hell for their pains, and with their ashes still smoldering I put a curse on the Order of Kaliba. I was then able to turn some monk into demonic skeletons, utterly devoted to my cause...

You will feel my vengeance, you wretched people. My wings will cast a long shadow over this land, plunging it deep into darkness. I will use your bones to build my throne and your souls to feed my subjects. And as for you, the Pure of Heart, you may well think that you can re-create the Time Orb to prevent me from destroying the land of Uma. But do not delude yourselves. I will not let you find the seven crystals that make up the Time Orb and defeat me. I will track you down wherever you are, you wretched creatures. And you will die because no one can defy with impunity Draak, the necromancer and Dragon Lord..."

(This story is from the Darkstone manual, and is the property of Delphine Software.)
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