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Binding of the Wheel, Revenge of the Dame

Working tirelessly, Glomdoring set about completing a task they knew would cripple the Time Dames and their legions of dominators, to bind and hold the Wheel of the Goloths itself. Using the Ebonglom Wyrdling as their vehicle for this great feat, those of the Merciless Forest fed it hundreds upon hundreds of the strange temporal anomalies, simply referred to as ‘abominations’, manifesting in the wake of the damage to the Wheel. Slowly the Ebonglom Wyrdling’s aura expanded, dull at first until it grew explosive with the temporal energies the abominations were rife with. Finally his aura solidified, enveloping him like a thin, rainbowed armour of energy, one veined with shadows and darker energy.

Their efforts come to a close, the Ebonglom Wyrdling soared north to the Balach Swamp, intending to claim the Wheel of the Goloths. From across the Basin of Life people came to see what was to occur, many in the dark of Glomdoring’s intentions. Refusing to surrender easily, Stepasha, Dame of Destruction rose from the Wheel, dominators pouring after her. She brought her scythe to bear against the coming Wyrdling, and found her dark powers were useless against his newfound aura. Shrieking, she called forth from the Wheel of the Goloths fiends from the Vernal Wars, creatures she had claimed with the knowledge stolen from Magnagora and fed with the essence stolen from the undead of Spectres Isle and Glomdoring – hungering wraiths. Composed of burning ash and cinder and shadow, the wraiths fed upon the lifeforce of those gathered. Though many were slain, some few escaped with Stepasha, Dame of Destruction, just as the Wyrdling struck at the Wheel of the Goloths.

Claiming its prize, the Wyrdling returned to the Glomdoring Forest and settled down, wrapping about the Wheel like an avaricious, protective serpent. So bound, it was discovered Stepasha was cut off from the other Dames, and beyond her wraiths and her own powers, she had no aid to speak of – she was alone in the Basin of Life, in all of the First World, and knew the Wheel of the Goloths must be reclaimed. Immediately Glomdoring set about shutting down access to their forest, earning the scorn of allies, but they remained steadfast in their decision.

Some days passed before Stepasha returned, but returned she did. Sweeping through the Isle of Spectres, the Dame of Detruction harvested the dead, using their energy to feed her wraiths, creating more, and others who became bloated and foul and deadly. Though many came to fight her, they found themselves ineffective in stopping her. Too late, too few fighters – whatever the reason, Stepasha finished her harvest and moved on, her bloated wraiths traveling with her.

Soon, screams of the viscanti soldiers guarding the Waste Storage Facility erupted, the Dame of Destruction butchering them herself and breaking through the machinery holding in the mindless zombies. Fighters from every city arrived to fight their way through the undead, only to find they were not alone – cackling and howling gleefully, Stepasha, Dame of Destruction cut her way through the undead masses, harvesting the energies that animated them and drawing them in through her great scythe. Rising up from the Ackleberry Highway, her collecting done, Stepasha cast her scythe through the sky and sent waves of darkness, summoning forth dread zombies of her own, tormented husks that wailed and shrieked as they tore through any who waded into their midst. Working together, the four cities and two communes cleared the roads of the undead, though knew Stepasha would return.

It was the ruins of the Shallach Fortress that she appeared in next, wraiths and zombies overwhelming the ur’dead knights protecting the gates of the Catacombs. Though Krangar, Guardian of the Gates fought long against her, he ultimately fell beneath her scythe. Defenders from every city and commune attempted to reach them, but they could not find their way past the undead quickly enough. Krangar slain, Stepasha forced her way into the Catacombs of the Dead, and gleefully set into her next harvest of undead. Hiriako of the Serenwilde found an ur’dead knight who had survived the attack to open the gates for him and others. They pushed their way into the Catacombs of the Dead themselves, once the passages used by the Vernal God Urlach to move troops during the Vernal Wars, and later the Empire to maintain control of their domain. There they found a pitched battle between wraith and ur’dead, the wretched aberrations of the Catacombs – and the wraiths were winning. As they fought their way towards the lowest levels of the catacombs they heard dark chanting and unholy screaming, only speeding their frantic battle into the depths.

As they broached the lowest level, they found the source of their fear – Stepasha, Dame of Destruction, and alongside her Krangar, once Guardian of the Gates, raised anew as the Guardian of Destruction. Battle raged for some time between those who came after them and Krangar, though ultimately he followed Stepasha as she abandoned the Catacombs and its Commandant, unable to cull him and the gatekeepers whilst battling off those who would interfere.

Many thought her defilement ceased with Krangar, the ur’Guard of Magnagora particularly. So incensed was Corporal Marcella of the ur’Guard that he deliberately sought out Krangar, though he did find him eventually – deep in the i’Xiia Asylum. Leading a warband of ur’dead knights, Krangar, Guardian of Destruction lead the collection of the undead mugwump prisoners and their wardens. Many came to fight back against the undead and the wraiths that attacked alongside them, though soon they discovered the ploy was a distraction. Elsewhere in Avechna’s Teeth Stepasha lead an attack against the Shallamurine Cathedral, slaughtering the priestesses within and defiling the slumbering Marani Veloske, attempting to claim her and her lifeforce. Howling in rage, Marani awoke and fought against the Dame of Destruction, utilizing her great powers and the sole note of the Song of Creation that she had come to master.

The battle raged, but ultimately Marani was wounded and withdrew, returning to the Cathedral and going into hiding. Her priestesses slain and their bodies taken, Marani was without recourse and for a long moment was left to hang in bitter rage. Krangar, having arrived at the Cathedral, ordered the retreat, his ur’dead knights of Destruction dragging behind them the fallen priestesses, that Stepasha and her wraiths may feed upon them, as well.

Naught has been heard nor seen of the Dame of Destruction since, leading the question to where she will strike next. Shall she return to the Catacombs of the Dead to claim its Commandant, nestled deep within its bowels? Will she attack the Shallamurine Cathedral once more, to claim Marani Veloske, the White Priestess? Whispers ranged the streets of Magnagora, that she may come to claim the Necromentate and more. Others worried she would come for the dreamers of Gaudiguch, or the fae of Serenwilde.

One thing was certain, however – she had promised to return to Glomdoring once her forces were built up and to reclaim the Wheel of the Goloths and raze the forest. That was a promise no one doubts her intentions on. Though many still wonder, to what purpose Glomdoring holds the Wheel of the Goloths.

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