The Fall of Tilaress

Legend tells us that Darkness won on the day Wen Tilaress fell to Shadow. In the time of the
Great Despair, Tilaress and the Order he led stood against the Darkness, beacons of Hope in a time of hopelessness. Again and again, the Champions of Light shone against the Endless Black, standing between tyranny and the people it sought to oppress. Time and again, Tilaress stood against Shadow and pushed it back, wielding the shining rod that would come to symbolize all he and his Champions stood for. With every victory, Hope grew, Despair faded, and the Light shown brighter. The Rod of Tilaress blazed upon banners throughout the land, a standard raised against the Darkness.

But the Darkness was relentless, and the Light only gave Shadow strength. One by one, the
Champions fell until only Tilaress remained. The standards that had been raised in Hope burned in renewed flames of Despair. Yet Tilaress fought on, undaunted and unbroken. It seemed that Hope would prove as undying as Despair, as a new crop of Champions stood beneath the standard of the Blazing Rod. Champions that fell to the Darkness as quickly as they rose, until it seemed that even Tilaress must give into Despair. And Shadow, ever cunning, turned some to its cause, even as it trapped others to draw out Tilaress into one last confrontation. There were those who warned him against riding out that day. Those who counseled patience, and others who spoke of fleeing to faraway lands. Tilaress, ever loyal, ever steadfast, would hear none of it.

On a day of Darkness, when the sun had been eclipsed by Shadow, Tilaress rode out to
meet his foe. His Rod shone in his fist, raised in defiance for all those whose Hope went with
him. On a mountain wreathed in storm tossed clouds, Tilaress battled Shadow for the lives and souls of all. Fought…and fell. Vanquished, Tilaress lay lifeless before Shadow. The Rod that bore his name, so long the beacon of Light and Hope, lay extinguished beside his body as Shadow swelled triumphant and Darkness fell completely over the land.

Legend tells us that Darkness won on the day Wen Tilaress fell to Shadow. But legend also tells that even the blackest Darkness must flee before the light of a single candle. And sparks are notoriously difficult to extinguish absolutely…

The Rod of Tilaress

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