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My name is Aesa Fellsdottir. This is my account, so that you may know me and know the doom that is to come. They whisper behind my back and call me mad. I am no lunatic. Is it madness to be fearful of the end of all things? Is it madness to rage against the dark forces that come to consume us?

I first became aware of him in my dreams. Each night I would experience the most powerful visions of distant places and ancient times. Some I recognised as being in our world, and some were utterly alien. And in every scene, he was there. A great inhuman thing all made up of limbs and mouths and pustulent skin.

What I witnessed was that he was a leader and hero of monsters. This thing - this great beast - had other beasts and demons and wicked things bowing before it. Strangest of all were the men who bowed, all clad in bright and shining armour which could not hide the darkness in their souls. For who but an evil man could bend the knee to such a creature?

As the dreams went on I began to piece together his story. Long ago, in a time so distant I cannot grasp the notion of it, he was spawned in a noxious puddle by an unremembered, muculent sire. He was but one of a clutch of innumerable wriggling horrors. But each of them was a tiny cannibal, and from the moment of their repellent birthing they fell upon one another. They feasted and - in turn - were devoured, until just one engorged shape lay in that cursed pit. That shape then crawled from its vile cradle and went out among others of his kind. In their own, vile tongue they named him Cacus.

Timeless aeons passed, great wonders were wrought and great travesties were committed. There was a war against an evil even more ancient and outlandish than the cannibalistic aberrations themselves. Cacus, who had crawled sated from the roiling birth-pit of his kin, gorged himself once again on the corpses of his former rulers, and more than a few of his allies, growing vaster and stronger.

Cacus's master - Hostilius - was a thing even more massive, that Cacus could not hope to devour. That master laid down rules that forbade the consumption of exquisite kinflesh, so order and stability might flourish in place of anarchy and chaos. In return for acceding to and supporting this law, Cacus and those as powerful as he were granted high station in a devilish hierarchy that spanned their world. Cacus was made a duke among monsters, and ruled - for a time - over the demons he made into slaves.

Then a mighty stranger came to that place, and bargained for the loyalty of twelve dukes and their legions. Each legion comprised demonic soldiers numbering twelve times twelve times twelve. The stranger took this mighty army, and with a power bestowed by a god with many heads, tore a great gateway into the world between worlds, leading them to a land unlike anything that had imagined.


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