The beaten path lay untouched for centuries. Footprints had hardened from years of rain and subsequent overbearing sunlight. The soil was cracked and baron, but that didn't dishearten the skeletal insects that occupied the ground underneath. In fact, they thrived on the lack of minerals festering only on dust, grime and the bones of men and monster alike that had fallen during the last great battle on the Crestfallen Wastelands. The creatures, the festers; they were "The Great Possessors" of the underground, and these peculiar little "bugs" as humankind would call them, played a vital role in the beginning and the end of the war, just as they would go on to play a vital role in the rekindling of its fire.
Ironic, in a way, as "fire" played a key role in their birth. The Possessors were the offspring of the great Demon Centipede, one of the guardians of Lost Izalith. Unlike their domineering patriarch however, they had not yet earned their flame, nor were they ever likely to, either. While the Demon Centipede of Izalith was indeed a valiant demon, it was a guardian of what it believed in. The same could not be said for its children.
Tainted by evil, entertained by violence and with a thirst for blood and a taste for the crunching of fresh bones, the possessors, one by one, entered the bodies and took the minds of everyone that set foot on their wastelands. Instead of finding "home" in the once great kingdoms, they found only death.
The possessors never found their flame, and once the land was extinguished and renowned for evil all over the world, no one dared to set foot in it again. The possessors got hungry and desperate and they turned to their father for help, but he only rejected them for their insolence and treachery. As a unit combined, the thousands of hungry Possessors claimed their father, only to lead to his demise as they thrashed and lost their host at the blade of the warrior and wanderer from the Undead Asylum.
Scurrying away, not even looking back at their mortally wounded father to watch him die, the hungry Possessors fled back to their homeland to resume their impatient wait for their next host.
Little did they know, their luck was about to change, as was, once again, the world that had presumably returned to peace. As they waited, chattering their bony teeth, communicating with one another, they felt the trembling of the earth above, they felt the galloping of hooves followed by the methodical sound of trodden feet. Step by step, their target got closer and as the first Possessor ravenously lunged out of the ground, the individual fell to the ground, startled in panic. The Possessor was not aware of its prey, but the world certainly was.
With a silver, spiked crown atop his head, healthy pink, pigmentation to his skin and a vast, muscular frame, the man stood to his feet and grew his great sword. He was a warrior by nature and instinct, but to the world, he had become known as a leader. Standing before the Possessor was the Great King Arzhune VII, the seventh leader of the people, feller of Demons, gatherer of evil souls. The souls of only few great demons of old he did not have in his possession. The Possessors, the Centipede Spawn were some of those few.
He could have fled, and all the toils of the world could have been avoided. But the Great King was greedy and his inner warrior called out to him. He was a hoarder and the souls of countless great demons occupied his castle as a trophy case. Imagining the reverence of the people as he galloped back into his kingdom with the soul of a Possessor, he lunged forward with his mighty sword and with a huge thrust, he attacked, but the Possessor had learned all about the attacks of greedy men, and it forcefully erupted out of the ground and into the air like lava. The Great King looked on in the sky as the Possessor soared before gravity took its toll; at an alarming speed, the Possessor was falling like a comet. Preparing his mighty blade, the Great King was again startled as thousands upon thousands of Possessors quickly emerged from the ground, creating a barbed cage.
His judgment lapsed for a second. He attempted to hop over the tiny cage, but when he did, the Possessor would simply increase its size making escape impossible. Seeing a Possessor falling from the sky above, he once again readied his sword, but just as he powerfully planted his feet in the wasteland as he readied his strike, he felt his feet lock. Then, they began to sting. Underneath, several Possessors had held the Great King and were biting away at his toes and his ankles through his mighty armour. Then, the Possessor, once soaring through the air, simply hit the ground and calmly approached the Great King. He attempted to swing his sword once more, but he was blinded by pain. Dropping his blade to the ground, the tiny Possessor began to crawl up his leg before resting on his chest.
The Great King looked down at the Possessor open mouthed, and the Possessor saw this as its chance. It crawled into the mouth of the Great King who then began to choke, cough and spit. But he had no chance. The Possessor had, for the first time in centuries, selected its host, and it was hungry for war. As the Great King fell down to the ground, pulseless and dead, the cage of Possessors began to fall one by one and each of them crawled, entering the mouth of the Great King until not one Possessor was left on the outside world.
All fell silent. The lifeless body of the Great King lay in the middle of the silent, empty wastelands. Not even the wind whistled in mourning.
However, as the Great King's eyes turned a deep shade of carnelian, he took a gasp of air inside his lungs.
The Great King lived again, but what was more important in this tale, is what lived inside of him, for it was those Possessors of old, the offspring of the Great Demon Centipede that were never worthy of their flame of protection, that caused the avoidable fall of the world of man...