Na Esad take 2

In the last days of the dawn war, a great power, neither god nor primordial arose out of the outer darkness. It never gave a name and it started destroying things, worlds, planes, gods, primordials, mortals, and anything else it came across. Nearly half of reality was destroyed in its rampages. The gods and the primordials found common ground in the defense against the great destroyer. They lost every stratagem, every battle, a thousand worlds and a thousand planes fell before its onslaught. The gods and primordials gathered together in one last attempt. A third of the massed immortals fell in that fight and they failed to destroy it. They fought it to a stand still and shattered its essence into a hundred pieces that were scattered across the planes by the might of the massed gods and primordials.  No world was untouched by the essence of the Destroyer. The remaining sheafs of reality had gained something new, entropy. Where once there had been only order and chaos, the great beast infused the entire multiverse with a new thing, the eventual end of everything. The order it brought was the order of the still, of the static, and the chaos was that of destruction, the eventual decline into exhaustion. With the apparent costly defeat of their shared nemesis, the battered and broken factions lapsed into an uneasy peace for a thousand years. They toiled on their own projects, trying to undo some of the damaged caused by their war and the great destroyer. They crafted new worlds and repaired some of those shattered in the war. New planes sprung up in the void left by the destroyer and new gods and primordials started to form to fill the gaps left in their numbers. A few tens of thousands of years later, the peace again crumbled and the Dawn War resumed. It was during the resumption of hostilities that the first shard of doom was found. Both sides claim that a member of the other was the first infected, but what is known is that a piece of the shattered entity infected an immortal being and corrupted it, making it a servant of the Destroyer. Through the ensuing centuries, scores of gods and primordials and thousands of lesser beings were infected by fragments of the destroyer. They became more destructive and violent and often came into conflict. When an infected creature killed another infected creature, the loser’s shard was engulfed by the winner’s, bringing more of the creature’s being together in a smaller and smaller number of hosts. Eventually the change in behavior was noticed and a band of primordials and gods who had not yet rejoined the war went to investigate. Eventually, they lost one of their own to the infection, but it allowed them to determine what was going on, and most importantly, how to stop it.  They spent the rest of the Dawn War traveling the multiverse, slaying the hosts of the Great Destroyer, and entrapping the shards in stasis. By the end of the war, they had captured every shard, every piece of the destroyer, and reassembled it into a semblance of its life. Of the initial 100, the survivors numbered fifty seven, and due to their struggles, they were among the most powerful entities in existance. They defeated the reborn Destroyer, this time not shattering it, but isolating various aspects of its power. Most of these they scattered across the desolate and remote parts of the multiverse, to rest until their own entropy dispersed them, but the most dangerous fraction of its power, those which could not be isolated and allowed to decay, they were trapped in specially built items designed to persist as long as the multiverse itself. The greatest of these was a plane in the form of a sphere of rock a hundred miles in diameter. A fraction of the Destroyer’s consciousness and the greater part of its power was trapped in the isolated plane. It was constructed of primal stone and ripped fromt he multiverse in a manner that isolated all methods of leaving it without hindering entry. The only route they could not forbid was death this meant that no matter what happened, that aspect of the great destroyer would be stuck there since it was immortal, incapable of dying and thus incapable of escape. They called it Na Esad, which in the language of the Dawn of the multiverse meant “Stone Trap.”

The surviving hunters of the Destroyer agreed that their guardianship of the Shards of Doom was far more important than factional differences, and when the gods won the Dawn War, they stood together to face down the massed might of the victorious gods. As a coherent group with thousands of years of teamwork pursuing the most dangerous entities in existance, they were able to cow even the massed might of the gods. While it is an open question wether they would have eventually won, none of the war-weary dieties wanted to be the first to fall before a combined force of Gods and Primordials with a specialization in trapping entities beyond reach forever. The Doom Slayers offered a compromise. They would maintain their vigil in perpetuity in exchange for being left alone. Their power would be withheld from the politics of the multiverse, save for when they were directly threatened. Further a threat to one of their number would be considered a threat to all of them.  They arranged to be removed from almost all annals of history, the better to be left to their task undisturbed. And thus they have, forgotten, unmentioned in every pantheon, in every world, even the calm in the Dawn war has fallen from  memory.

Na Esad itself has changed in the intervening millinia. A fraction of the stone in the center was fragmented and then melted. By the time a dead soul fleeing the trap was found and questioned, a great cavern had formed around a sea of lava. It was then that the fire giants were created and given their eternal task of stabalizing the containment from the inside. They began their great work a hundred thousand years before today and finished the construction of the greatest Symbol of Power created in the history of the multiverse. The Giants are the only people living in the Fire Cave who call it Na Essad these days, and they honor their charge to maintain the ward against universal destruction.

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  1. Na Essad Review | 30 Pounds of Graph Paper

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