Conqueror Jacek Lore
The efreet rarely speak of the Conqueror Jacek. When they do, it is in hushed whispers and behind closed doors, for they say that to invoke his name is to tempt the fates; Jacek is always listening, biding his time until he is freed of his bonds and can unleash his fury on those who imprisoned him.
They are not wrong.
A massive fire giant wreathed in smoke and embers, Jacek ruled the lands long ago in the age of gods and myth. He claimed the sun and all that burned as his own, and he and his enormous phoenix ruthlessly crushed any who opposed his reign. None could match his prowess in battle or his mastery of the fire element.
The efreet, generally a proud and powerful race, often rebelled against Jacek. He demanded worship, tributes, and sacrifices made in his name. After each of their uprisings, however, the lands ran with the blood of the fallen. For eons, Jacek remained indomitable.
It was the young efreeti, Janai, who devised the strategy that at last brought an end to Jacek’s tyranny. Within the elemental plane of fire, the Conqueror was all but unstoppable, so Janai sought to lure him into the material plane and away from the greatest source of his strength. Over the millennia, the fire giant had grown complacent and overconfident, and the ruse worked.
Jacek was promised a tribute of fire and a sacrifice of thousands. Instead, Janai brought him to the rim of Praetoria’s Abyssal Caldera, the crater of a collapsed and dormant volcano said to be bottomless. There, the armies of the efreet attacked. They snared Jacek’s phoenix in a great net of flame, sending the beast plummeting into the caldera. In a rage, Jacek slung great scythes of flame that tore into the ranks of the efreet, slaying legions. Still more pressed the attack, but the fire giant stood strong.
When all seemed lost, the legendary Incaendium Brigade charged the Conqueror. They overwhelmed him with their sheer numbers, and the fire giant, as well as, the entire brigade toppled into the bottomless pit.
The remaining efreet used their magic to blast the rim of the caldera, and great slabs of stone tore loose and toppled into the crater. They then sealed it with arcane wards of binding. If indeed it had a bottom, Jacek would be buried there beneath indeterminable mountains of rock, trapped for an eternity with the corpses of those who had defeated him.
Time passed. Jacek waited.
The darkness was vast and endless. Days passed. Years. Decades. Centuries. The Conqueror Jacek lost track of their passing.
He waited, trapped beneath a mountain of stone and bound by the arcane wards of the efreet. He was aware of the struggles of his giant phoenix as it fought to free itself. In time, its struggles grew less frequent, until at last it grew still, save for the fluttering beat of its heart.
Jacek could not move, yet he was not still. His anger churned endlessly within him.
When Mount Praetorous erupted and spewed forth its lava, Jacek drew upon its surge of mana. He shattered his wards, dug himself free of the rock, and began to climb.
It took him many days to ascend the depths of the Abyssal Caldera. When at last he reached its top and stood upon the crater’s rim, a great storm raged. His phoenix cawed as it circled above him. In the distance, through the rain and the strobes of lightning, the tentacles of the dark god Uul flailed at the sky. Below, a vast army marched across the land.
The Conqueror Jacek extended an arm, and his phoenix swooped down to settle upon it. The bird ruffled its feathers and eyed the world curiously.
Jacek set his jaw and clenched his fists. The ground trembled as he started down the slope of the caldera.
Now, he walks the world with a singular focus: to hunt down and kill every efreet until none remain. To fulfill his barbarous quest, he has aligned himself with the Chaos Legion. He leads their armies, his phoenix raining fire from the skies, as he slaughters any who stand against them.
Vengeance has a name. It is the Conqueror Jacek, and he will not stop until the last efreeti has fallen.
Collect special Limited NFTs related to this story at https://www.splintertalk.io/nfts/
Story: Ashley Roepel
Editor: Sean Ryan
Narrative Lead: Joey Shimerdla
Character Art (cover): Candycal
Illustrations: HPL Game Design Corporation
Graphic Design: Tamer "Defolt" Oukour
Voice Acting: Diana Croft
Ending credits song: AfterSound
Post Production: INFLUX Pictures
Creative Director: Nate Aguila