Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Darque Ones; Races of Sarterra

The Darque Ones were the first attempt of Liocheles to create life in Sarterra. She would soon abandon her first children however, due to their many flaws and start anew. The Darque Ones were vicious and spiteful, dishonest and cruel, and didn't reflect the beauty of Liocheles as she had intended. She would go on to create the Darque, learning from her prior mistakes and improving her vision tenfold.

The Darque Ones were abandoned, forgotten, and left to forage on their own. They languished for centuries and scratched out a meager existence beneath the surface of Sarterra in what is now known as the Underdarque. Many deadly encoutners other races have had in the Underdarque have been erroneously blamed on the Darque when in fact it was these malicious Darque One predecessors responsible instead.

The Darque Ones evolved over time into two distinct strains simply known as the Darque Creepers and the Darque Stalkers.

The Darque Creeper is humanoid, slightly built, and about the height of a Dwarf. They always dress in sombre, dark-colored clothing, concealing as much of their ashen, pallid skin as possible. They detest the light and dwell deep underground, surfacing only in the dead of night, if at all. Darque Creepers are particularly fond of magical rings and daggers, carrying multiples of each upon their person. Underground villages are inhabited by as many as eighty individuals, about a quarter of which are female. These villages are always ruled by a Darque Stalker.

Darque Stalkers are the rarely-seen leaders of the Darque Creepers. They are nearly a race apart and breed almost exclusively among themselves. They are instantly noticeable amongst a group of Darque Creepers as they are man sized and stand head-and-shoulders above their underlings. There is an average of one Stalker to every twenty five Creepers. Darque Stalkers are rarely encountered on their own, but this does happen from time to time as a Stalker goes about some mysterious personal mission. Like their underlings, Stalkers shroud themselves in dark cloaks and are fond of magical rings and bladed weapons.

The Darque Ones founded an order known as the Tears of Drakfein. Its goals are to sow discord among the races of Sarterra, especially the Darque, through assassination, thievery, fear, and chaos.

Drakfein was an emperor of the Darque who ruled for much of his long lifespan. His royal family was sizeable, and he had many successors to his throne. His kingdom was prosperous, and he was seen as benevolent and just. All of this, and more, were reason enough for the Darque Ones to target him.

Bitter at being discarded by Liocheles, and their hatred for her favored children rising daily, the Darque Ones, Creepers and Stalkers, sought to dismantle Drakfein's utopia, piece by piece, family member by family member. It may have been the single greatest achievement ever planned and followed through on by the Darque Ones to date.

The royal family was systematically picked off, one by one, through a host of demises. These tragedies were committed under Drakfein's nose, and he was powerless to stop them, the tighter he pulled the reins, the more vicious the Darque Ones became. In all, the body count stood at thirty three killed through various means by these malicious assassins, all victims were members of the emperor's family or close court. He was spared however, made to suffer as his world collapsed around him. For each tear Emperor Drakfein wept, it is said the Darque Ones would fashion a dagger and plant it in the back of one of his subjects or loved ones. It was a bitterly endless cycle that only came to a halt when Drakfein himself committed suicide. Since this tragedy, an order of Darque Ones of the same name was created to remember their triumph.

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