It was the Year of Black Glass, in the depths of the waning of the Fifth Cycle. The Spur was at war, a witness to the Tyrant’s crusade of exile beneath his Edict.
It was no ordinary declaration, penned over by learned scribes and scholars of law – this was a declaration to the Universe itself, a demand of Order, that the arcane and profane were to be eliminated by sword and steel. The Tyrant fell upon the Cavican covens with fury unbridled, shattering them beneath the boots and cuirasses of a thousand thousand legions, and scattered them to the stars as so much dust and memory.
So, too, were the macabre clockwork colossi of the Ovelle driven before them, chittering, clattering beasts of gear and magical might.
So it brings us, a passenger upon the Tide of time, to the Last Night of the Tyrant, and the theft of his most precious possession.
It is said his Doom was foreseen, on the eve of the Feast of Saint Lucania.
A traveling diviner, of Sanaschan stock, read the currents before a crowd of amused courtiers. She saw only crimson, a blade cloaked in the finest silver and red – and, for her trespass, she was cut down. An example, it is said, of those who profaned before the throne.
The Tyrant, a braggart, proclaimed his future immutable – as resolute and steadfast as the stones of his keep, and as sharp and unyielding as the blades of his men.
How right he was.
Fall turned to winter, and with the changing of the season came the chill – and a newcomer, seeking an audience. A man, it seemed, in a masque of marble and robes of gold.
To treat with the Tyrant was an uncommon occurrence – many who knelt before the throne were unceremoniously awarded a divorce of the chin and shoulder, but the newcomer arrived to no fanfare, and showed no fear. This intrigued the Tyrant deeply.
“And who, bearing words of honey, comes before me?” The Tyrant crowed, complacent upon his throne of glass. “A supplicant? A petitioner? A wytch, seeking pardon and forgiveness?”
“Nay,” echoed the newcomer, bowing slightly. “A mere messenger, my Lord.”
“Very well. I shall hear your message, stranger. Do not waste my time further.”
The newcomer stood straighter, and before the eyes of the court his cloaks fell away – and, revealed thus, was the clockwork machina of the Red Thief.
His guards were ribbons before his cry of alarm reached them – for the Ovelle are strange, and arcane.
The gap was crossed in blinks, the hilt of a silver blade pressing to the Tyrant’s chest as the chittering laugh of the Thief played across his ears like raindrops.
Scarlet rivers followed bronze contours, dripping to the marble in great showers.
“My message is this,” it is said the machine whispered in its strange chorus-speech.
“May the next Cycle cast your claims to oblivion.”
History itself recalls the moment his imperial ambitions were shattered – and, with a surgeon’s precision and a revolutionary’s resolve, the thread of fate the Tyrant had so carefully woven into the fabric of the Spur was severed. Scarlet stained the stones of the Throne of Glass, and the Red Thief stole his greatest prize.
His flight from the throne world of Tarnaca was bloody. Vultures waited on every eave, already sizing up choice cuts of an empire in its death throes.
It is said the witches of Cavica doomed the Spur to darkness, that day – a pact in blood to end an age of war and conflict.
How right they were.