The Five Shrines, the Four Seals, and the Three Crowns
The plots of the evil ones are deep and twisted. They spread from age to age, creeping and growing. Whenever one scheme is finished another has then begun by the ending of the first, and so progresses the nature of their pans.
When the seven pillars were created, another five shrines were also created. Minions of the Evil One were given the ideas, planted in their dreams, to build these shrines. These five shrines turned into altars, which in time were forgotten.
Their power however did not diminish.
As time went on, as was the plan of the Evil One, people eventually found the shrines and were intrigued by them. They were revered. The shrines became sources of power for certain priests and leaders. They became centers of healing and regeneration for those who were sick.
Soon, as these things can go, there came a time when the different leaders of men and elves that were at each of the shrines decided that there should be only one leader that presided over all the shrines. There then came a religious war. Each of the shrines had vast followers, and these followers hated the followers of the other shrines. This went on for some time, until one of the priests of the shrines where people came to be healed, tried to put a seal on the shrine. The power in the shrine wouldn’t let him finish the seal, so he did something else. Each shrine had picked, in various and strange ways, an Attendant. These Attendants to the Shrines were generally more quiet and reserved, compared to those who were considered the leaders at each of the Shrines. The priest at the one shrine went to the attendant and asked him about being sealed. The attendant was horrified at the thought, as any living being would be, which is why the seal didn’t work on the shrine itself. The priest saw the devastation that was being done in the names of the shrines and he decided to hold the attendant down, tie him to the shrine and place the seal over him, therefore sealing the power the Shrine had over the people. This both worked and didn’t work. It, like many good intentions, had unexpected results.
When the other leaders of the other Shrines heard that it was possible to do this, one of them knew in his heart that he could use this to his advantage. There was a council of elders from each of the Shrines and there it was decided that every Shrine had to be sealed. Each of the attendants that were still unsealed were then found and taken back to their Shrines and there sealed. Each but one. When the time to come back and show that the power had indeed been sealed, all passed the test, but one. One leader, the one who had laughed in his heart from the beginning, stood proud and strong over the rest. He began to enslave each of the peoples from each of the other Shrines. The seals couldn’t be easily released, but something else was possible.
One of the attendants, who knew the desires of the Evil One, offered to make crowns of power. These crowns could be used to stop the one leader who had defied the rest. Each of them agreed to this and the work on the crowns were begun.
While this work was finding its path to completion, the rogue leader found out one of the Shrines and then went about killing all the people he could. The work on the crown was stopped, the attendant, who the leader couldn’t kill, was tied to the Shrine so he could no longer do any work. He was then left there, and all those who were not killed were taken away. Soldiers were placed so that no one could help the attendant and much of that Shrine was forgotten.
The other three attendants were able to finish their crowns and place them on the heads of the leaders from each of the remaining Shrines. Thus the power of the Three crowns were begun. The leaders who wore the crowns slowly turned into shadows of their former selves. They did not die when they should have, they didn’t even age. The darkness in them did, however, grow deep and sharp. Those who wore the three crowns lost all of their humanity. The attendants for each disappeared over time. Only two attendants are left, the one who is still tied to his Shrine, and the one who was the attendant for the Shrine of the rogue leader.
This attendant hides near his Shrine even today. He has learned to hide well. He waits for the time when he can no longer hide, but that would be a different time, with a different kind of evil.
Though the attendants left, their seals did not. The power of the Shrines themselves were diminished. There wasn’t anyone that could call on their power anymore, the power was sealed up. The crowns were the only power left that men and elves could use. It has been said that if the seals were to be broken then the power of the Shrines could be used once again, but it is also said that to unleash that power would bring back a time for humanity that would be likened to black skies and burning fields. The crowns, while evil, were lesser evils than the Shrines themselves. They still kept order, peace of a sort, and anytime this was threatened those who wore the crowns could stifle the threat easily.
The seals are now over the Shrines themselves. As the attendants disappeared, they transferred the seals to the Shrines. They were compelled by the power in the seals themselves, and could not resist. They were creatures of the Shrines, tools of the Evil One, but the power of the seals was from the Great God, and could not be refused. No matter what the Crowned Ones did, they could not unlock the power of the Shrines. They became so selfish that they no longer wanted to find the last remaining Shrine. It fell form their memory. They became obsessed with finding a way to unlock the power of their own Shrines. Their rule became more and more cruel as they were unable to unlock the Shrines.
Now, Three of the Shrines are protected, one is forgotten, and one is lost. There are two attendants that are still on this planet, but they are far less powerful now. The three crowns rule without interest in the lives that they rule over. Dark soldiers came from caves and mountains to help rule the lands of men and elves. This rule spread to every free nation and over all the world. There is none who now are free of their rule. The seals await a time when they will be freed, the Shrines destroyed, and the crowns broken. The seals await heroes.