Dethrone - Tome of Chaos Story

“Take cover!”

A large wave towered above the Caeruleum Aegis and splashed across the deck. Within the cascade of water, Horace spotted a great winged shadow above the ship. “It’s coming back around!” Horace grasped onto the side rigging to keep his balance as he steadied himself against the rocking of the vessel. The body of the attacking beast was large but too difficult to see through the storm.

Horace threw back his head, tossing his long and tangled black hair from his eyes. His green robes were wet and heavy, dragging across the deck as he stared up at the violent storm. He caught glimpses of the beast through flashes of lightning. It lumbered awkwardly through the sky but managed to remain out of sight. Another flash revealed more shapes in the storm. Smaller humanoid figures fell from the large beast onto the ship.

Horace looked towards the barrelman in the crow’s nest. They were yelling over the railing towards the captain. One of the small figures suddenly appeared behind the barrelman and slit their throat with a dagger. Their body slumped forward off the tower into the water.

A dozen more figures landed on the deck. The majority had a dwarven physique. Others were taller, though all humanoid in stature. They spread throughout the ship and battled the crew. Horace reached for the deck of cards at his side. Where once he was an entertainer who put on shows in battle arenas, he now used his magic to fight real threats. He’d been tasked with protecting this ship and its cargo. He couldn’t let it fall into the hands of the Chaos Legion.

He flipped through his cards searching for ones small enough to fit on the ship with him. Sorry, Rexxie, he thought. You're way too big. A clever choice, but we’d all sink and the treasure with us.

A dwarf rushed towards him, and he narrowly dodged to the side. Grabbing three cards in quick succession, Horace called upon Goblin Thief, Failed Summoner, and Magi of the Forest. The cards swirled around him as he ducked under another attack. Magic pulsed from each card as the creatures appeared near Horace.

“You three, defend the deck!” They rushed towards the aggressor as Horace ventured deeper beneath the ship.

Reaching a set of doors in the cargo hold, Horace entered and was met by four members of the Silvershield Knights. “We are under attack! The artifact must be secured! Stand with me, and we shall pull through this.”

The group stood around a pedestal where a large square box rested. The symbol of the Silvershield Knights was burned into the top. Horace placed his hand atop the box before shuffling through his remaining cards.

Speaking more to himself than anyone else, “I used to be the best Battle Mage around. People came for miles to see me fight in the ring. Now look at me.” He ran a shaky hand through his black beard.

The ship rocked violently and threw the box from its resting place. It hit the ground and slid to the far wall, its lock holding in place.

Horace saw the cards around him twitch. He knew it was a sign they were taking damage. He wished he could give them more orders, but he had a duty to perform. Suam Khepri herself said this was important. It cannot be allowed to be taken by the enemy.

Two of his cards fell on their backs and slid back into the deck. Only Magi of the Forest remained. Rest well warriors. You’ve done well this day. Horace’s thoughts raced as he pulled out two more cards: Minotaur Warrior and Stonesplitter Orc.

Just then the door to the cargo room splintered. A large ax pierced through the wood. The face of a grizzled dwarf stared through. The group of Silvershield Knights readied their weapons. Horace tightened the grip around the cards in his hand.

“On my word, soldiers!” Horace said.

Another strike from the ax splintered the door again. One more and they’d be through. The dwarf raised her ax high and prepared to bring it down one final time.

A flash of purple magic flashed behind the dwarf. The energy hit the dwarf in the head. They dropped to the floor, dead. The other attackers beyond the door turned to the magic user behind them. Horace glanced up at his remaining card; Magi of the Forest stood strong. He looked out of the broken door to see the Magi firing spell after spell at the aggressors in the room.

“Soldiers, attack!” shouted Horace.

The group of knights and the Battle Mage burst through the door towards the boarding party. Horace tossed out the two cards he held and entered the fray.

The knights, Horace, and the group that boarded their vessel fought in the small hold beneath the ship. Horace commanded his summoned creatures to fight with all they had. Their larger forms made them frightening targets, but the speed and ferocity of the dwarven warriors outmatched his talent as a Battle Mage. He saw his Stonesplitter Orc fall to several dagger slashes. As he watched, he felt a sharp sting at his leg. Glancing down, a dwarf pulled a sword from his thigh. In response, Horace’s Minotaur Warrior charged to his side and impaled the dwarf through the heart with its spear.

Horace fell to one knee from the pain. He clutched his wound as the minotaur stood protectively above him. The ship suddenly shifted and the room spun. Everyone inside the cargo hold hit the right wall. Horace struggled to maintain concentration of his summoned cards and watched as the minotaur faded away, its card returning to the deck.

Righting himself, a dwarf warrior appeared in front of him. Horace quickly reached for a card to summon just as the warrior sunk a dagger into his torso, pain flaring from the wound. The Battle Mage let out his breath at the attack. The dwarf readied another strike when the magic from the card Horace held shone a bright green. A thunderous roar filled the room as a monstrous creature appeared from the card.

“Rexxie…” sighed Horace.

The Caeruleum Aegis lay on its side in the ocean. The thunderstorm raged above as the battle between Chaos Legion warriors and the mighty Rexxie raged below. The great shadow of the beast above passed over the vessel again. One dwarf swam from a hole in the cargo hold and made their way far from the sinking wreck. In one arm, they clutched a single box. The symbol of the Silvershield Knights burned into the top.

The dwarf whistled sharply.

The creature descended from the clouds. Brown, weathered scales lined its body. A saddle hung around its neck. Long sharp claws scooped up the dwarf from the sea. Collapsing in the saddle, the dwarf unclasped the box and reached for the item inside. Looping a silver shield around their arm, they flew away from the wreckage.

The box fell into the ocean and sank alongside the Caeruleum Aegis.


The hot winds of Draykh-Nahka whipped Kelya’s white hair and flowing blue robes around her. She strode with purpose across the sands until she reached a half-buried hatch in the dunes. One of her warriors opened it at her command, and she leapt down into a long narrow corridor deep beneath the great walled city of Centrum.

The sound of battle outside was muffled as the hatch clanged shut behind her and the small group she hand-selected for this job. Rubble fell from the ceiling as she and four dwarven warriors marched towards their goal. The Chaos Legion forces granted to her by Silus were merely a distraction for her and her Wave Breakers, an elite task force of dwarven fighters. She didn’t much care for the army at her command. They were a means to an end. An end she had plotted the majority of her life.

Another rumble shook the corridor around the group. Still Kelya’s strong dwarven legs propelled her. Nothing would keep her from the goal she fought and searched for. Years of research for the fabled Silver Shield and Silver Sword returned no results.

The Silvershield Order wasn’t particularly shy about their efforts, yet, she found no mention of the whereabouts of their armaments in any tome she read. That was until a tortured knight she’d captured confessed the location of both. The shield was kept on a moving vessel in the Colossus Ocean, while the sword resided in the vaults of Centrum.

She’d sent a small task force to recover the shield weeks before. If things went her way, and they tended to, it would be in her possession by this evening. The sword was within her grasp too. Both were now so very close. She had the Chaos Legion to thank for it.

Kelya was a dungeon delver at a young age and made her fortune selling and trading artifacts. When the Chaos Legion arrived, though, they’d paid her a hefty sum of gold to aid them with required jobs from time to time.They also provided her with another opportunity. One where she could locate the two silver artifacts and retire from adventuring for good.

Moving through the stone corridor, Kelya and the Wave Breakers silently advanced towards their target. The knight they’d tortured revealed the location of the vault and the layout of the tunnel system beneath Centrum.

An hour passed as the group traversed the tunnels. The battle above raged on with no one the wiser it was a diversion. Rounding a corner, the tunnel opened into a larger area. Kelya and her troop remained around the corner and surveyed the area. Several Silvershield Knights and Dragonsguard patrolled the room. Humans and dragon folk wielding spears and pikes stood on either side of a steel cage door.

Kelya smiled and whispered to her crew, “Vaults are all the same. Guarded by a small force and locked behind a giant door. No one is original anymore. Not even the great Centrum.” Her crew laughed. “Break them like waves upon rocks. Show them the power of water.”

The crew nodded in response.

Kelya turned the corner and tossed her hand to her side. A splash of water cascaded down her forearm to her open palm. The hilt of a sword made of pure crystallized water appeared. “Gentlemen and gentleladies. Above you, your city is being razed, and here you stand protecting its treasures. How sad it must be to not be up there protecting your home.”

All at once, the guards in the room readied their weapons and pointed them at the dwarven warrior. “By the authority of Suam Khepri, you shall stand down! Drop your weapon and come with us peacefully!”

The Wave Breakers crouched around the corner waiting for Kelya’s command. “Tell you what,” spoke Kelya, “if you can pay me more than what I’m being paid for this job, I’ll do exactly as you command. Until payment comes, though, I’ll just take it from behind those doors.” Kelya pointed her watery sword towards the vault and shifted her stance, bowing to the guards.

“Wave Breakers, crush them!”

The four dwarves leapt into action. Two rolled out from behind cover and entered the room, axes drawn. The others jumped onto Kelya’s back as she propelled them forward with the magic of her blade. A wave of water carried them into the room, slamming on top of several guards. The dwarves went to work. Kelya marched forward.

Raising her sword to the sky, she uttered words of arcane power. Water from the wave coalesced around the feet of her warriors and formed over them, creating a buffer of armor. Ice formed on the bottom of their boots, granting them all quicker movement in the rectangular room.

Kelya dodged multiple strikes from advancing guards. Their pikes had reach, but she was much quicker. Parrying their attacks, she twirled around them like a dancer, cutting them down with her sword.

Reaching the vault door, two knights stepped in front of Kelya. This is what they leave behind to protect their greatest treasure? The knights pulled shields from their backs and rushed the dwarf with their weapons. Kelya stepped back with lightning reflexes, dodging their spears. She circled around, but they blocked each slash from her sword.

Finally, someone who knows what they’re doing.

As if reading her thoughts, one knight moved to the side and thrust her spear towards Kelya. She parried, but it slashed across her side. Letting out a grunt, the dwarf tackled the knight to the ground and tore the shield from her arm, bashing it against the knights head.

The second knight kicked Kelya off the unmoving guard and rushed her with his shield. Pushing her against the wall, he dropped his spear and pulled a dagger from his belt. Trapped behind the shield, Kelya struggled to break free. The knight brought the dagger down at her head, but Kelya caught him at his wrists.

Using her strength, she twisted one wrist around until he screamed out in pain. Knowing a bit more would break it, she applied more pressure until he released the dagger and dropped to one knee. She glanced around the room to see her warriors finishing up with the rest of the guards.

“You’re a fool to think we are the only ones protecting what you seek,” spat the knight. “Those who enter not sanctified by the Silvershield or granted the Dragonsguard blessing perish by the golden claw.”

“Whatever riddles you speak or lies you tell, I will not be swayed from my goal. I’ve fought my whole life to take what sits in that vault,” retorted Kelya.

“So be it. I serve Suam Khepri with honor. You only serve your desires. Will holding this treasure mend your brokenness?”

Kelya raised her fist to strike the knight but paused. Staring past the man, she pondered his question. Looking towards her warriors, they focused on breaking down the vault doors.

Suddenly, the room shifted. Debris fell from the roof. Kelya thought it was the battle above, but a second sound ended that thought. From deep within the shadows of the vault came a deep growl.

The knight Kelya grappled began to laugh. She snapped his wrist, knocked him unconscious, and dropped his limp form to the ground. The group stared into the darkness of the expansive vault. All they could make out were column-lined walls and a room packed with chests, boxes, and treasure.

A voice spoke from the darkness. “The unsanctified shall be bathed in my inferno!”

The black void of the vault turned orange and red as a torrent of fire burned through it. Boxes and crates ignited in flames. Gold and gemstones reflected the light.

Kelya and the Wave Breakers dove to either side of the vault doors as the flames tore through.

The voice echoed once more. “I am the protector of this city. I serve the great Suam Khepri. I know of your assault on the surface, and you shall never breach Centrum’s walls. As long as I draw my fiery breath, Chaos shall fall!” A second stream of fire exploded from the darkness.

Using the light to peer into the vault. Kelya glimpsed the golden scales of the great dragon inside. Nearby she could make out a stunningly crafted three foot long box. The carving of a silver shield and sword carved into its top. “Wave Breakers! We’ve trained for this.”

“Yes, commander. But our dragon, the one we captured and trained, doesn’t breathe fire.”

“True. But we tamed it to our cause. Plus our water shall put out this one’s flames. Crash upon its scales like a hurricane upon the shore!”

As soon as the fire died down, the group ran into the vault. The Wave Breakers hurled magic and fired crossbows at the form of the dragon, while Kelya used this distraction to grab the box.

The space was large enough for the dragon to move around easily. It attacked the warriors, collapsing multiple columns with its claws. It twirled its neck around, sending an eruption of fire from its mouth. Flames rained down from the sky like hail. Dodging the fire, debris, and treasure, Kelya reached the box.

Opening it revealed an equally detailed blade of pure silver. Silver tassels hung from its hilt and it hummed with arcane magic. “The Silver Sword,” she whispered. Taking the prized blade in her hand, she saw the reflection of the dragon’s eyes in the blade.

“I must congratulate you on reaching this far, dwarf. Pity, your life is at an end. You shall become another treasure within the vaults of Centrum. Perhaps another fool will come along to collect your bones. A martyr to the cause. Shame. You could have been so important.”

The gold dragon’s tail raised to the ceiling and thrashed onto the ground. Rubble detached from the roof, columns collapsed, treasure jingled. Kelya rushed towards the exit, narrowly dodging a swipe from the dragon’s claw. Another attack slashed her across the back, sending her into the wall near the doors.

The room quaked as the dragon stomped towards her. Its tail thrashed the ground, walls, and ceiling. Chunks of the vault cracked and shattered around the room. Kelya rose to her feet and grasped the sword in her hand. Magical energy pulsed from the weapon. The dragon rushed towards her, wings flourished, mouth open, flames burning within.

Debris fell around her, burying her in darkness and dust.


“Keyla. We don’t take from others. We have everything we need.” The dwarf looked up at her father, his full beard swaying in the slight breeze.

“But papa...” Her large brown eyes were full of determination.

“I said what I said, my dear raindrop. Return the gold to your friend tonight.”

“I didn’t steal it. I earned it! The other kids were bullying him in school, and he offered me gold to beat them up. I was just going to use it to buy us food!”

“Your heart was in the right place, that I have no doubt. But it is in how you went about making the gold that is wrong,” said her father. “We help others because it is the right thing to do; not the profitable thing.”

Harsh, cold wind pulled Kelya from her memory. Her eyes focused on blurred shapes far beneath her. Two armies and a great city. She lay in the claws of the gold dragon as it flew above Centrum. The Silver Sword was stabbed into the heel of the dragon. She could feel its magic radiating towards her.

“I’m impressed by your skills, tiny one.” the creature spoke. “Even more so, considering the great army that lies beneath us, and the dragon from the desert of Praetoria. Yes, I know of the beast you brought. Next time, if you plan to attack the city of Centrum, find a dragon of equal worth, not one that slides on its belly like a snake. Now, before you make a retort, this is where you get off.”

She reached for the Silver Sword, and nearly grabbed it when the dragon released her. She plummeted. Keyla’s eyes froze. Her stomach turned. She felt weightless as she fell through the clouds towards the ground below.

A storm began to churn around her. Smiling, she put fingers to her mouth and let out a sharp whistle. Arcing into a dive, Kelya disappeared into the dark thunderstorm.

A giant browned scaled dragon breached the clouds. Standing on a saddle around the dragon’s neck rode Kelya, a silver shield strapped to one arm. “I see your mission at sea was a success,” she said to the beast.

The desert dragon collided with the gold dragon. Claws tore through scales and ripped for its throat. The gold dragon fought back but the desert dragon’s size was nearly twice its own.

“That’s not possible! Your kind doesn’t fly!” spoke the gold dragon.

Sinking teeth into gold scales, the desert dragon spun around, tossing the gold dragon back towards the city. The two fought like animals, tearing, biting, and clawing at one another. Gold wings were torn and tattered. Both began to fall. Each time the gold dragon attempted to spray fire, the desert dragon bit down on its snout, forcing it closed.

Kelya tied a rope around her waist and attached the other end to the saddle. Spying the Silver Sword, she leapt from the desert dragon to the gold dragon. Grasping the hilt with both hands, she kicked off gold scales. Pulling the sword free, a burst of magical light exploded between the dragons.

Both plummeted towards the ground. The desert dragon protected Kelya inside its large claw.

The dragons crashed into a large central building in Centrum. Uncurling its claws, the desert dragon deposited Kelya on the ground. Through the dust, she took in an impressive chamber. She stood in a large crater, and an opulent throne sat at the far end. Magic from the sword and shield radiated through her. The gold dragon did not stir.

A figure on the throne moved. They had blue-green skin, and their body twirled down to a snake’s tail. In their hands, they carried a spear ending in five spikes. They wore noble clothes and a crown. Two naga soldiers flanked Kelya as she walked to the throne. Even though she was badly wounded, she deflected their attacks without thought and threw both guards to the ground. Her shield and sword gave her strength. Kelya pointed her sword at the naga on the throne.

“Your great gold dragon lies still in your throne room. My army has pushed through your walls. Command your soldiers to stand down. You have lost, Suam Khepri. Centrum, along with the rest of the Splinterlands, belongs to the Chaos Legion.”

The great naga ruler stared in bewilderment at Kelya. The dwarf watched, ready to strike with her new weapons if needed. Suam Khepri’s eyes lingered on the silver armaments. The leader of Centrum tossed down her spear at Kelya’s feet, hissing as she did so.

The desert dragon rose to its feet and chomped its massive teeth into the neck of the gold. With a blood soaked mouth, it tossed its head to the sky and roared.

Collect special Limited NFTs related to this story at


Story: Ashley and Scott Roepel
Editor: Sean Ryan
Narrative Lead: Joey Shimerdla
Character Art (cover): Candycal
Illustrations: HPL Game Design Corporation
Graphic Design: Tamer "Defolt" Oukour
Voice Acting: David Dahdah
Ending credits song: AfterSound
Music: Blaudiss
Post Production: INFLUX Pictures
Creative Director: Nate Aguila


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