The Orese hellscape is primordial.
Bursts of black clouds collide, crimson streaks illuminate the riotous sky. Lightning flares and morphs into forks of blood red, writhing in pain. Something about the silent chaos reminds him of his fallen son.
Vilnus overlooks the dark realm from the tower of his stronghold, the hellish black structure shaped like a massive, sprawled claw. Rivulets of molten lava spill from the splay of jagged limbs, streaming into the gaping abyss.
A shadow soldier approaches him from his rear with his face fixed down. Aware of his presence, Vilnus’s back remains turned to him, his intangible, floor-length cape billows behind him, a mantle of black mist sieved with crackling sparks of fire.
He unsheathes his sword, kneeling behind him. He holds the blade before him.
“Your Eminence,” he says with a boisterous voice. “I bear good news.”
Vilnus rotates his head stiffly, barely looking at him from over his shoulder.
The soldier risks a glimpse of him. “The Dophan has perished, and his death has forced Urus to convene with the High Tribunal.”
A smile splits his face, sharpening into a lethal leer. “They will initiate the King Trials.”
“Yes, Your Reverence,” he confirms with mutual anticipation.
“And the Vulkra?”
“All is arranged,” he reassures with confidant certitude. “They will wreak destruction upon Urium.”
A deep-throated growl rumbles from Vilnus. “The High King is the cause of Urium’s destruction; destruction that will tear the realm asunder. Their arrogance has spelt their annihilation, their primitive prejudices have divided them, and so how easy they will fall.”
Fervour sets his eyes alight, flames of blood roaring. The darkened expanse overflows with Ulris forces. Battalions of black-armoured troops arranged in faultless precision, unending rows fill the spread below, lengthening as far as the eye can see, full of shadow armies.
“No, we will wait. Urium will soon plunge itself into blood and terror. Let the new Ruler rise, so that all of Urium can fall.”