Veruso Topic /2 ⍟
Veruso's Battering RamsWith unending determination and resolve he destroyed first the gates,
then the constructs guarding the tomb on the other side.
Veruso's Ambition"Follow me if you desire better for yourself, and for your
families. Follow me if you hunger for more than this!"
Veruso FlavourText /16 ⍟
{Book 6: Imperialus Conceptus}

Tarcus Veruso descended from the mountains and led his eighty thousand tribesmen and women through the doomlands to Azala Vaal. There he planted his banner upon Atziri's grave and with these words founded our great and eternal empire.

"The Vaal closed their eyes to flesh and stone, to blood and bronze. We are not Vaal. We are Azmeri. For now and forever, our eyes are open."

Veruso built his capital upon the bones of Azala Vaal and baptized it Sarn. From there, Veruso formed the first Legions and proceeded to conquer the lands beneath the Mantle, clearing it of the mindless constructs and fierce abominations left in the wake of The Fall.

True to his word, Veruso ensured that his people lived "with eyes open". The ancient Vaalish centres of learning and power were sealed and quarantined. Thaumaturgy was outlawed and those who stained themselves with Vaalish folly were burned for their sin. The Tears of the Maji, too dangerous to be destroyed, were gathered up, taken to Highgate, and buried within the bowels of the mountains. The caverns there were sealed and forgotten.

A supreme effort to erase the past. A primitive reaction born of primitive times, in the opinion of this humble historian.

{ -Trinian - Intellectus Prime}
{Book 7: The Light of Phrecia}

Five years after Veruso's death, Emperor Caspiro, too, was dead. Although accounts of the exact details differ, one clear fact is agreed upon. Caspiro was dismembered by something referred to simply as a dark being.

It was General Alano Phrecia who avenged the Emperor's death and who triumphed in driving away the pervasive darkness enveloping what would become the imperial heartlands. Though it seems fanciful to contemplate a portion of our Empire cast in perpetual night, Azmerian writers of the time are unified in their depiction. Perhaps it was caused by peculiar weather patterns or some thaumaturgical residue of The Fall. On this matter, this humble historian is left in the uncomfortable state of pure conjecture.

On the first Sacrato of Lurici, 35 I.C., Alano himself wrote that "our legions drove the dark being deep into the recesses of its lair and sealed it away for eternity". Having returned the gaze of Solaris to those lands stretching from the foot of the Mantle to the Axiom Ranges, Alano Phrecia returned to Sarn. In the absence of a clear hereditary succession, Alano was crowned emperor and the Imperial heartlands were named in his honour.

With the former realm of the Vaal thus tamed and settled by our Azmerian ancestors, the Eternal Empire saw a long period of peace and prosperity under an unbroken line of Phrecia emperors.

"To care for this Empire with eyes open." - A traditional vow made by the High Templar upon the coronation of an Eternal Emperor.

{ -Trinian, Intellectus Prime}
"The Azmeri were the first culture known in history to use trials of strength, wisdom and spirit to select its chieftains.

The first Lord's Trial was a rough-hewn maze festooned with wild animals and brutal traps, crafted to test aspiring Azmerian leaders' body, mind and soul.

In conquering the adversities of the maze, a champion proved they were capable of bearing the crushing burden of chieftainship.

The first trials were simple contraptions reflecting simple times. As the Azmerian civilisation grew in number and complexity, so did the trials, from treacherous mazes to bewildering labyrinths.

Alas, there are no surviving descriptions of the labyrinth that tested and proved the worth of Veruso, Prima Imperialus. I imagine it was quite something to behold."

- Emperor Izaro Phrecius
"The custom of the Lord's Trial was upheld throughout the founding years of the Empire. Veruso's successor, Caspiro, was a low-born legionnaire, the lone survivor of a labyrinth that claimed the lives of every high-born contender, including Veruso's only son.

Caspiro proved to be every bit the emperor that Veruso was.

Alas, the Lord's Labyrinth was corrupted by those with the vanity to consider their blood more precious than their Empire. Selfish blood breeds selfish times, and the Empire paid for it with its own blood. With the Night of a Thousand Ribbons. With that most regal of cannibals, Emperor Romira.

Not any more. I, Izaro Phrecius, shall return us to Justice. I shall build the greatest Lord's Labyrinth in Azmerian history, and my successor shall be chosen by the Goddess herself.

Only when the Lord's Labyrinth is drenched in selfish blood can a true leader ascend the throne."

- Emperor Izaro Phrecius
Chitus was shaping up to be the greatest leader since Veruso. My nephew's gemling thaumatocracy would have made the Empire truly eternal, would have raised mankind up from the fragile muck of flesh and blood. And the wealth... oh the riches that could have flowed through the Empire's capitalist capillaries.

Then that idiot of a High Templar had to come along and ruin it all. Him and his 'God of Purity' and his army of fanatics and barbarians. A veritable horde of ignorance.

If Chitus had lived, the Empire would have lived, and oh what a wondrous and eternal life it would have had!
The same day that Veruso planted his banner in the soil of Sarn, the Perandus family built the first market stall. That one stall spawned so many others that the people came to call our venture {Perandus Markets}.

We were never vain enough to make the name official. Until Chitus took the throne, we were a most unassuming consortium.

Yes, we did occasionally employ the Silent Brotherhood to remove the more stubborn obstacles to our commercial endeavours, but for the most part we tended to solve our issues with coin and contract rather than bow and blade.

In hindsight, we should have taken the reins of power much earlier. If we had done so then perhaps I could now be speaking of Perandus in the plural rather than the singular.
Exile... you've helped me before. You can help me again, can't you? My hope waits for me to the east, tucked away in a shrine in the Quay.

The Ankh of Eternity. Veruso, Prima Imperialus, placed it there himself at the dawn of the Empire. If the legends are correct, the Ankh has powers over life and death... when paired with the correct Azmerian ritual.

I've learned the ritual. All I need is the Ankh of Eternity and I know I can bring Tolman back... properly this time.

Will you retrieve the artefact for us? I've tried but the creatures around the shrine... simply too dangerous.

Yes, yes, Tolman, I'm getting to that.

I've already prepared a site for the ritual, out in the Quay. Please, meet us there with the Ankh so that I may yet breathe life into my dearest love.
As I understand it, the Ankh of Eternity was somehow able to return the dead to the full bloom of life. There was nothing necromantic about it, rather it was a source of true resurrection.

How it came to exist, I honestly don't know. A couple of inscriptions I read treated the ankh as some sort of gift to Veruso from the Vaal. But surely the Vaal were long gone by Veruso's time... weren't they?

No matter. Despite the vagaries of the Ankh's origins, Veruso used the Ankh to return his young wife from the death bed to the wedding bed. The accounts are unanimous on that point.

As it was for Veruso's love, so shall it be for mine.
By all accounts, Tarcus Veruso was a ruthless despot, a man to rival even the likes of Dominus. Yet his heart of stone contained one precious seam, his love for his wife, Chiara.

So when the poor young woman died giving birth to Veruso's son, the grieving emperor threw aside his great convictions and placed his last hope in thaumaturgy, in the Ankh of Eternity.

Perhaps it was shame that drove Tarcus to lock the ankh away, to steal such hopes from his descendents. It was he who had asked his people to turn their backs on the ancient arts, so what right had he to enjoy that which he forbade? Love gave him that right.
How could I have been so stupid? Veruso didn't hide the ankh out of shame. He hid it out of fear, out of... oh my, what did the ankh really do to his wife? Everything I saw, that I read... lies to cover the truth of what Chiara had really become.

Alright, I'll destroy the ankh. We've come a long way since Veruso's day so I'm thinking I can manage where he so sorely failed. At least that's something I know I can do right.

I'll meet you back at the encampment soon. For now I need to... look, I'll just see you there. I promise.
A word of caution. That ankh, it might have had some miraculous powers but I bet there's a nasty reason why Veruso hid the bloody thing away. I've tried to warn Clarissa, but her ears seem as dead as that boyfriend of hers.
Veruso's words quell our hearts, but not our stomachs. In the dead of night, a woman goes missing, and our hunger is abated. We reach the ruins of Azala Vaal alive, but dark deeds hide in our bellies.
Veruso's words quell our hearts, but not our stomachs. In the dead of night, a woman goes missing, and our hunger is abated. We reach the ruins of Azala Vaal alive, but dark deeds hide in our bellies.
The Eternals found ways to squeeze the land dry of all life with their inventions. You need only look to the land that surrounds Mount Veruso to see the consequences of their ingenuity. Even so, you may find relics among the ruins of their empire that are suitable for use in the Grove. I will not begrudge you for using them.

But do not expect antiques to last forever.
Ah, Veruso's Battering Rams. I'm rather fond of dear old Tarcus – may he rest in peace. He founded our hometown of Sarn, where the Perandus family first established their mercantile presence.
Veruso's Battering Rams
With unending determination and resolve he destroyed first the gates,
then the constructs guarding the tomb on the other side.

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