The tides of time were never welcomed in the lands of Nebelfallen. Its ebb never did paint much of a sight, and the Nebelfallen dwellers devotedly scoured its mark right after, until it was gone from the memory of their world. It resisted changes, and it did not cease to resist. What the time has done to Edenia, the world of blue and black sewn together with the yellowish lanterns of wonder, was already written in a number of the forbidden testaments of blood, for each a different world altogether written as the final history of our world fallen as the desolation of old ways.
“And so it should be!” – any wise fellow would instruct with an exclamation – “It was as it was for it could not have been otherwise. It is the law.”
Yet one could not but wonder why was it that these enlightened fellows were the ones who most terribly suffered the excision of the old world, why was it that they developed terrifying darkness within their hearts before they succumbed to change and in that change bathed in the vileness until they perished. Edeni, the Mother of the soil we grew from wrapped the attuned strings around her neck and jumped off the cliff of existence – a goddess to hang herself… perhaps that was what torn apart the sages, and in that place they let the subdued torrents of malice pour into them endlessly, until death. The new gods sprouted from the veins of natural might beneath, they rose vehemently, and like children in the sand they battered the world and reshaped it to their liking, each constraining a sane, grounded, free society to their liking by driving away some, killing the others. It was the grand tide of time that loved these lands so much it crushed it to bits. One such bit was at the very end of old – “Golden” – ages of Edenia known as the Barrengales Mesa, resting deep in the Nebelfallen land, a shady peak in the landscape which no beholder could miss.
One by one, a hatred heartful, sages perished. And so did the The Beast, vilest among them, a strange amalgamate of the errors of nature and mistakes of fellowman, sealed into existence by the gods, but let to die and rot as the unwanted menace among the Edenian dwellers. It was Beast that uttered the name of these lands and has by it shown the true nature of its making, and it was Beast that soaked the new order in blood and has attempted to strangle the newly born gods by its very hands, again and again, until it was in it all alone by itself. Children of the Deep Within, as they humbly called themselves, united and chase it away, banish it before it dragged them into chaos where it resided, from where it sprang from – and because of what it knew their ways well, the stench of their roots. The Beast of Edenia, which some titled “Shadow Cougar” and spread its name across the Edenian world, vanished. None but few knew that it was but a question of time before it might emerge from the chaotic substance of the world, and these few roamed the lands of Nebelfallen, because they were its dwellers, and the dwellers of Nebelfallen did not care much about the tides of time. They devotedly scoured it until it bled.
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Barrengales Mesa was an isolated flat-topped hill in a valley once rich with life, the centre of a grasslands ring bordered by towering complex of erect Nebefallen woodlands. Mesa’s steep sides were blunt only in comparison to the razor sharp winds that engulfed its surroundings, and there were but two ways – one way in, and one way out, as the same way. Its plateau was hollow, sinking deep into a hidden valley of a single settlement. Barrengales was known for the inn and the tavern ran a long time ago by Vene Exellas, a host to many of the freeriders of the old world. The “Prophet’s Bulwark” was its name. It was the last southern stand against the Children of the Deep Within, a place where fellowman could eat and rest, and could think and plan. The remaining folk enjoyed it because there was something sad and twisted, but cocky in the name given to this land. The Barrengales Mesa was a name it got not by what it was but by what it will become. And it did so. As the old world was destroyed under the influence of Children of the Deep Within, and the heart of Nebelfallen dispersed into its chaotic domain, the land crumbled from the green haven into a sea of deadly dust.
For a long time, the dust danced around its theatre of nothingness, it swirled up to the clouded skies and twirled back towards a thick crust of dirt, wood and wrecked stone where once The Prophet’s Bulwark stood. Walls of crystalline powder bend under the windy bursts, and all there was, was a hanged queen walking in her blighted crinoline, a ghost of the past enjoying the grudge it does not know about. In that spot, beneath her, under the gliding manta rays of fragmented remembrance, an ethereal black blotch flew into existence. Wavering, it began to spread, a six, seven feet broad, until it constricted, rose up towards the sky and assembled as a ten-foot-tall totem of hairy flesh and fused thick black matter. Then – a roar. It ripped through the hollow Mesa, it silenced the wind and all the wandering spirits shook in place, they trembled, and the dust trembled with them. As the dust continued to flow, carried on the gale miraculously drawn towards the roaring flesh, spinning and overlapping around a strange creature emerging from the dead soil, for the first time in its history it has learned of itself through a pair of almond, feline eyes, green as emerald, vicious as vulture. As the black matter withdrew from its flesh and has rendered it bare on the wind, the shape of a humanoid felidae, quavering and stumbling, came into presence and fell on the ground. Its hands ejected curved claws as thick as the ground it ripped into, and the strange beast left out another cry, a roar blessed with thrill of freedom! As its resonant bass withdrew into its throat, it looked into the ground. Trembling still, it passed over with its claws, as if trying to touch it even though it was feeling the sheer strength of its immovable power pulsing through him. A smirk, and a smug smile dragged itself out on the open.
The beast closed its eyes.
It opened its eyes.
“I am Saabathel, the Beast of Edenia. But... have I returned?”