Table of Contents
In the mosaic of myths and legends, the opulent port city of Bal occupies a curious thread, one interwoven with both immense prosperity and impending doom. Renowned as an axis of trade and commerce, this dazzling metropolis finds its fortune on the brink of disaster. A bone-chilling report circulates like wildfire: an unparalleled armada, said to be helmed by legendary pirates and mercenaries who have sold their souls to Hades, is amassing forces to unleash a devastating siege. A palpable dread envelops the City Council.
Yet, an undying hope flickers in the hearts of Bal’s inhabitants—a whisper of ancient power, a guardian spoken of in awe and disbelief: The Kraken. This mythical leviathan, more fable than fact in the eyes of the modern world, was once the city’s ethereal protector. Scribes from a bygone era are said to have inked incantations that bound the creature to Bal’s fate. According to lore, it slumbers in the sacred, enigmatic island of Dukora, a haven of serenity believed to be the dominion of the ancient sea god, Oceanus.
Many dismiss these archaic texts as mere mythological ramblings, the figments of imaginative minds from antiquated civilizations. However, a select few—scholars of arcane wisdom and guardians of old traditions—hold fast to the belief that the Kraken lies dormant but alive, its spirit intertwined with Oceanus himself, awaiting the moment to rise again and fulfill its ancient covenant.
To confirm this, one must dare the perilous voyage to Dukora, a place that lies shrouded in mystery and swirling, tempestuous seas. The chosen pilgrim must then venture into the arcane Corridors of Oceanus, a labyrinthine underworld of water and shadows, riddled with trials that have confounded even demigods. Here, one might encounter Triton sentinels, converse with mermaids who have beheld the realms of Poseidon, or even face the trials of Scylla and Charybdis, only to find the ultimate truth of the Kraken’s existence—or its eternal absence.
The fate of Bal hangs in the balance, tethered between the mortal world and the mythical. Will you be the one to brave the Corridors of Oceanus and awaken the dormant guardian, or will the city’s luminous skyline dim forever under the shadow of a relentless armada? The choices made, or avoided, will ripple through time, affecting the realms of gods and men alike. Prepare yourself; destiny awaits those audacious enough to seek it.
One of the many senators interrupts with a shout, “Unleashing what? A children’s story? The same story we all heard when we misbehaved, ‘If you keep it up,’ ” as he wags his finger, “ ‘The Kraken will come get you!’ ”Unknown Senator
Half the senators and guests burst into a laughter. The gavel strikes hard and loud!
Gwenth, an elderly human woman adorned in royal, flowing garments embroidered with intricate patterns, slowly enters the chamber, her arms balancing a delicate tray filled with vials of crimson liquid.
Leon, the Council Speaker, frail in stature, with a gaunt face framed by wisps of gray hair, intones, “To awaken the Kraken, we possess a vial of virgin blood, drawn from ancient lineage. This relic should be placed on the Altar of Okeanos, which resides in the Corridors of Oceanus deep within the Temple’s sanctum, situated on the mystical island of Dukora, twenty-two nautical miles from our harbor. This ritualistic offering will serve as both our plea and blessing to the god Oceanus, beseeching him to unleash the Kraken in defense of Bal.”
Interrupting, Gwenth adds gravely, “This, of course, after you have traversed the treacherous passages of the Necromancy Mausoleum.”
An elderly elf, his silver hair shimmering like moonlight, rises from the council table. His name is Nanan. “Leon, may I elaborate on the details, so they may weigh their decision to undertake this perilous quest?”
Leon’s eyes meet Nanan’s and, after a moment of apprehension, he nods in agreement.
Unfurling a time-worn parchment, Nanan commences, “By the official decree of the rulership of Bal, each party courageous enough to accept this daunting task will be granted a seaworthy vessel, accompanied by a skeleton crew. You will set sail for the enigmatic shores of Dukora, from where you must disembark in smaller boats to penetrate the island’s subterranean labyrinths. There, in the heart of the Temple, lies the Altar of Okeanos. Anoint this altar with the royal vial of ancient blood as an offering to the god Oceanus, beseeching him to set forth the Kraken as Bal’s ultimate defender.”