1. #1
    Sinnie's Avatar Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    23

    The Origin of Deus Ex

    Just a quick bit of background. Deus Ex was an alliance that was created in the third international tech beta in 2009, which it won, then winning the UK public beta and UK season 1: Dragon Legacy. We also played in Season 2: Dragon Legacy (not sure if we won this) and some people played in season 3. Now, in season 4, 4 years later there are a very few Deus Ex players left and the alliance has gone.

    I created this story originally during the UK public beta as a dramatic re-telling of why Deus Ex was created (to oppose The Dominion alliance who had dominated all the previous beta's) and of how we managed to defeat them in the third beta. Almost all the characters in the story are the names, or derivations of names, of actual players in both alliances. Indeed, Shylock, who gives his name to Lord Shylock has recently come back to the game as a member of Warriors of Doom. I haven't actually written any more of this story in a while but I have just re-read it and updated/corrected it. I hope you enjoy and I will try and get it finished.

    The Origins of Deus Ex

    Chapter 1: A World Under One God

    The sun rapidly retreated behind the furthest trees, its last rays of light crept over the forest and cast long shadows across the plains surrounding Marebrook castle. The ancient stone fortress rose out of the ground as a symbol of mans defiance to the supremacy of nature; it dwarfed everything for several miles. Around the citadel the town of Marebrook was bustling with life; the last of the day’s traders were desperately haggling for a final deal while tired workers finished their days and headed home, or to the taverns. The church bells struck for the sixth hour and as one the entire town stopped moving, turned to face the church while bowing their heads and muttering a short prayer. “Praise to the almighty Gods!”

    One man had not moved at all as the bells finished their song; he had looked sideways, amused, as his companion had jerked awkwardly as he copied the people on the streets out of habit. The room they were in faced the dying sun and was cast in an eerie glow by the coloured windows. It was a modest sized, sumptuously decorated room with a large round table in the centre atop a lush fur rug; a worn oaken chair sat with its back to the window and gave a commanding view of the entire room which was where the King was sat now. Portraits of long dead rulers lined the stone walls and were interspaced with unlit torches; long, flowing drapes in the royal colours were hung from the high beamed ceiling.

    Apart from the spasmodic prayer there had been no movement in the room for sometime; the King was locked in contentious thought while his aide stood stock still by the roaring fire. Three sharp knocks on the heavy oaken doors at the far side of the room jerked Lord Shylock awake, causing him to glance wildly between the door and his King; the King did not move.

    The moment of silence stretched into eternity, Lord Shylock felt his heart beating and his blood coursing; he dared himself to speak. “Sire, shall I bring them in?” He enquired delicately as he rightly feared the response. The king did not move. Shall I bring them in? Bring them in? Them. Here? A question he had been struggling with for a week now. He shifted slightly in his elegant chair while letting out a short sigh. Many actions are fraught with danger certainly – but none more so than this. Do I risk eternal ****ation? Not to mention a particularly painful death! The four men who stood outside this room represented the single biggest threat to his life, but, they also represented the single biggest truth. Can I let this opportunity slip through my fingers?

    “Sire, what should I do?” Shylock probed again, for he was also fully aware of the dangers ahead. The King was still unmoved, as though the gods had willed him to be still. The Gods. That’s what it all comes down to. A man is doomed if he commits heresy, for that is what it would be. I would not need to wait for them to strike me down, no, the inquisitors would see to it first. To denounce the Gods and worship another is a crime of unspeakable evil, the Inquisitors have ensured that countless men and women have died for it; and my position as King would provide no amnesty.

    “Bring them in.” His own words made him instantly tense. Shylock who was already tense and had refrained from breathing for several minutes let out a long sigh; however, he turned smartly and strode towards the reinforced door at the far end of the hall. He opened the door and stepped outside, hurried whispers filtered through the silence of the hall, no doubt from four men who were also deliberating the wisdom of their actions. Shylock gave some quick whispered instructions to the four shadows who were, in fact, religious scholars and they followed him across the threshold into the twilight. The King could now see that they looked entirely unlike any scholars he had met before; they were powerfully built and dressed in well worn clothes and light armour, their helmets and weapons left with the guards. The man at the back was an exception, a foot smaller than his companions and clothed a long flowing robe.

    “Hail King Vickers, Lord of Marebrook! We seek an audience to discuss matters of the gravest concern” This was spoken by the leader, a man whose face showed the danger of his line of work, disfigured by numerous scars including a large one across his chin and heavily beaten by the weather.

    “Welcome. Your audience is granted and indeed these matters are grave and of the darkest nature, utmost secrecy is needed. First, please introduce yourselves”. The King rose from his chair as he said this and motioned for the men to sit at the smaller table next to the fire, it was laid with light refreshments designed to put all the men at their ease.

    “I am Arturchix, leader of our group ‘Deus Ex’, this here is Souram our translator” The deeply scarred man said as he motioned towards the tallest of the group. “Zenithale is our tracker.” The thinnest of the men bowed his head. “And lastly, Solmyr, our mage.” The shorter man bristled slightly at the mention of his name. The four men took their seats as they were introduced, with Arturchix sitting last. The sun had now fallen below the trees and the only light was to be had from the fire which crackled menacingly.

    “We are, as you know, religious scholars who examine artefacts of the ancient past to determine our true origins. Many call us heretics, but if we are correct, then we are the true believers. This is who we are Sir, but why have you called us here?” The leader spoke genially as he sat back in his chair; he seemed very at ease, unlike Souram who was visibly tense.

    “My purpose will come later friends, first, I would know a little more about you. What does the name Deus Ex mean?” This came out as nothing more than a whisper, as though the king felt the very words would incur the wrath of the gods.

    At this Solmyr leaned forward, having apparently gotten over the use of his name. “Some of the ancient texts we have discovered spoke of but one god who created us all, they talk of times before anything we currently know of and how this god created a paradise. The people walking the planet at this time came directly from the god itself, thus they were ‘from god’ and in the ancient tongue this translates as “Deus Ex”. Our group endeavours to prove these texts and restore faith in the one true god.”

    The king leaned forward now, very intrigued by this news. So there are more texts, more proof. Perhaps all that I have dreamed of is true. He considered his next words carefully. “It is indeed fortunate that we are able to meet my friends. My own scholars found ancient texts and translated much of them until they were unwilling to continue for fear of angering the Gods. The most important information they revealed was that the God created one world first, to be the greatest of them all, and most importantly, they found two locations that should direct anyone from our world to that world.” As the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place, each member of the group brimmed with excitement.

    “We heard rumours of such a world, but could not find anything specific. Is this the task you have brought us here to complete?” Arturchix was visibly excited by this news, he was finally on the path to the one god.

    Can I trust these men? Are they perhaps Agent provocateurs sent to determine my true faith. He glanced at Shylock who remained stood by the fire, but his face was unreadable. I have probably said enough to have me hung anyway, perhaps it would just be best to lay the cards on the table. Also, the less time they are within these walls, the less danger they are to me.

    “Indeed, I would request that your group seeks out these two locations, discover the way to this world and then together, venture there... Oh, we also have the name of the world, but our scholars could not translate it.” The king dug a small scrap of paper out from his shirt and placed it in the now outstretched hand of Zenithale.

    Arturchix turned to his comrades and they conferred for a minute, he then turned to the king smiling. “We gladly accept your proposal, we set off immediately. Where are these two locations?” They also were keen to not remain long.

    “3 days ride to the north, in the Azerbeck mountains you will find a temple, and a one day ride east of these you will find a crypt in the Boshan forest.” The king handed over a map. “Fare well my friends. When you have news, send a bird”

    Zenithale had not spoken a word up to this point, but as the men stood to leave, he looked up. “Ashan. The world is called Ashan, named after Asha, our Goddess.”

    One test passed. The king smiled.

    Chapter 2: The Wrath of the Gods

    The dust kicked up by the men’s horses was now far off into the distance and yet the king still could not bring himself to relax. If those men had been discovered within the castle then his life would have been forfeit and he had no illusion as to what his people would have done. The Gods had many loyal agents among the people of this world, and plenty of those made a fine living by identifying those who are deemed heretic. As a King, he would make someone rich indeed. This thought elicited a grunt of dark amusement from the King and roused Lord Shylock from his own musings; he had been pacing up and down past the fire for the whole ten minutes, running over the possibility of someone seeing those four men leaving this castle.

    “Sir, if they had been seen leaving the castle, there would already be a mob outside, I believe we are safe. For now.” Shylock wasn’t sure who he was meant to be convincing at this point, but he felt he needed to break the ominous silence in the room. “Yes, let us hope, and let us hope our new friends can reach their goal quickly and unobserved.”.

    The men of Deus Ex had left the castle using deserted hallways and by climbing back down the shadow covered side of the outer walls, a brief swim in the moat led them to the back of the stables, these stables were for visitors to the town and were less majestic than the royal stables, but with less security. They moved swiftly into the depths of the stable and quietly saddled up their horses. They were great, powerful beasts that had been bred specially for speed and stamina. They rode quickly from the stables, knowing that speed was now their best chance of avoiding detection. Arturchix was unhappy at having to come into the town at all, but knew that the King was their best hope locating the world of Ashan. They sped down the main streets of the town, kicking dirt up behind them, with the dust masking their escape in the deepening night. The market district still had people moving around as salesman tried to peddle the last of their wares to late night shoppers, here the company covered their heads with worn travel cloaks and bent low, urging their horses on. At the crossroads they turned west towards the nearest gate, to chase after the retreating sun.


    *

    The Dancing Tap, a small tavern built into the western wall of the town was a popular stopover for travellers; men and women would gather at long tables and exchange heroic and sad tales of adventures and pass on news from other parts of the world. Right now most of the patrons were grouped around a particular table, the one mostly used to tell the story of a fallen comrade. A bulky man with a large busy brown beard was talking in gruff tones about his friend who had died high on the Cayton Alps the month before as they were in pursuit of 2 heretical bandits. In the midst of the fight, he had slipped and fallen 300 feet to his death, the man had avenged their deaths and returned to the town to collect his bounty. This man was Don, an inquisitor, a hunter of those deemed heretical. He was nearing the end of his story when 4 cloaked horsemen thundered past the window and he recognised the distinctive features of Arturchix, one of the most wanted men in the world.

    He moved faster than even the men of Deus Ex had done when he saddled up his horse, forgetting the tears that had been welling in his eyes only moments before; he was on the hunt now. He thundered out of the small stables near the west gate and began to chase the four small shapes on the horizon. His horse was not of the same quality as those of his quarry, but he had conviction, a firm belief in his Gods that had yet to lead him to failure. He would make up for lack of speed by riding long into the night. He sped past silent villages and rivers, drove past hilltops and forests, never noticing much more than a few landmarks and never pausing except to check his bearings; the trail was as clear as day for him.

    The four men had started to relax as they were now 50 miles from the town and there were no obvious signs of anyone tailing them. The inquisitors were their greatest fear, highly fanatical zealots who made it their life’s work to hunt down those who are deemed a threat to their Gods. Solmyr conjured a fire, an expert in summoning things from nothing he was invaluable during long expeditions. Zenithale sat by a tree, pouring over the maps given to them by the king, he also had his own books and was plotting their route to the Azerbeck mountains; he estimated another two days hard ride. Souram’s large figure was sat against the nearest tree; he would be taking the first watch. Arturchix was already asleep, laid out beside a bush, his large sword resting close by his hand. Solmyr muttered some incantations and the grass rippled slightly, he lay down and was asleep instantly.

    On the highest hill far to the south, a huge figure sat motionless on a horse, he was watching a small fire in the distance when it suddenly vanished. Don was exhausted after riding drunk and he still had a way to go if he was to catch up. His nights activities lasted a further 2 hours, after which he slipped from his horse and fell into a deep sleep right where he landed. A sleep of the just.

    The next day came swiftly for both camps, a hot blazing sun began its lazy arc high into the sky. The men of Deus Ex packed up quickly so that they could get as much travelling in before the sun became too hot; for they would rest at midday. Don arose slightly after, eager to begin the chase, he still felt fatigued from the previous day, a hangover pounded at his head, but he was determined to press on.

    The day passed uneventfully with the strong horses of the leading group widening the gap and the sheer dedication of the chasing inquisitor closing it again when they rested. The men of Deus Ex were accustomed to their prodigious skill and superior steeds and in being able to identify and defeat any tailing party; however Don was unlike any inquisitor they had been pursued by before. By night the two camps were barely 100 metres apart and Don had moved further forward to the edge of their camp. He had stalked man and beast for many years and moved without a sound, they were now in the great forests, which provided cover for his advance. He perched in between the biggest bushes surrounding the Deus Ex camp when again, it vanished before his eyes. Don was a patient man and knew that if put his faith in the Gods, they would grant him their blessing. He sat there unmoving for almost 4 hours before his patience was rewarded.

    Solmyr awoke suddenly, a strange sensation tickled the back of his neck and made him very uneasy; his senses awoke and he became more aware of his surroundings. Tress shifted into focus and the rustle of the leaves became distinct from the various calls of the animals, the hard, uneven ground poked at his body and he felt desperately uncomfortable. Then he realised, he needed the toilet.

    He grumbled to himself and pushed himself to his feet and cast his eyes around for somewhere in the protective bubble to relieve himself. A longer grumble issued from his mouth – he’d made it too small. He’d have to go outside, reassuring himself that they had not detected a single thing following them and that 30 seconds outside the bubble would be fine. He stepped across the invisible line and a cold sensation shot through his body and he entered the outside world.

    Don controlled his breathing as he saw the small man appear from thin air, careful now to not give his position away. He watched the man disappear round the side of the bush he was sat beside and heard him relieve himself. Don waited to see if anyone else would emerge from the camp, when no one did he readied himself and pounced on the small man as he made his way back.

    *A most grizzly and horrific scene now takes place. The author excludes it from the story for the well-being of the readers. We pick up the story some time later with these words:*

    “The king… The king… He sent us…”
    A falcon left the ground and shot into the sky, leaving the forest below, it turned South.

    *

    The three remaining men awoke some hours later and upon discovering the disappearance of their comrade they scoured the immediate area for clues and found the obvious signs of a struggle but only faint signs of where their assailants had gone after. Anger coursed through them as they could not understand how their defences could have been penetrated so easily. Naturally, They set about planning the rescue mission.


    *

    Meanwhile, The Dancing Tap had a new client; tall and slim with long blonde hair. A seductive swing to the hips and a voice that would charm a thousand men. Lady Ketboy of Soc was in town, and she meant business.

    Chapter 3: The Best Laid Plans

    The figure swept down the streets, hidden beneath a long robe with a hood, its face cast into shadow. Knee high boots showing many years of hard use disappeared up inside the robe and the cuffs of a fine white shirt were visible under the baggy sleeves of the robe; the ends of long blonde hair peeked out from within the hood. The figure moved deftly, avoiding the multitude of people, and angled its way towards the castle.

    Inside the castle Lord Shylock had taken up the task that the scholars had refused to continue, he was translating the ancient writings concerning the world of Ashan and its god. He had been working long into the night and rising early the next day, eager to discover more about this new world but also so that they may depart this castle which was becoming less and less of a safe haven every day. He stretched in the high backed chair, working to remove the stiffness from his limbs, glancing out the window he saw the sun had barely reached the pinnacle of its orbit and he had already been at this desk many hours. Far below a lone figure was shaking a robe off themselves, revealing a most beautiful woman who then promptly walked up to the castle gate. Waking himself from his reverie he turned and headed for the door to the kings chamber.

    “The text I have translated talks about the history of the world, it appears that the people of this world have largely forsaken their true god, in the wake of something called ‘The Dominion’.” Shylock was standing before the king, outlining his most recent discoveries that talked about how the world of Ashan had been plunged into darkness, where people of the true faith were also persecuted.

    The king sighed deeply, wondering whether the promised world he was looking for would turn out to be a wasteland; perhaps he would be better off here with his kingdom afterall. He leaned forward. “What was ‘The Dominion’?”
    “The texts tell of a group of fearsome warriors who were driven by a ferocious fanaticism, chasing their enemies even unto the endings of the world. They came forth, preaching harsh magics and worship to hell deities. The people of the world resisted, but the foul creatures summoned by these warriors were relentless, never ending, and their victory was swift.” Shylock paused, noticing the thoughtful look on the king’s face, but when he remained silent, he continued. “Some people escaped, creating portals, it is how these documents came into existence. Such portals still exist and are apparently what we have sent Arturchix and his men to locate.”
    Shylock paused, about to explain further when the king spoke.
    “This does not sound like the kind of world we imagined, the kind of world for us… perhaps we have miscalculated.” He said this with a heavy heart, knowing that if he turned his back on it, he could be missing out on the greatest opportunity in his life, but could he take such a risk? Before Lord Shylock could respond, a heavy knock at the door interrupted them. The king bade them enter and a heavily armoured guard strode into the room, bowing low he announced the arrival of an important visitor.
    “Send them in.” replied the king.

    Lady Ketboy has been careful not to draw attention to herself as she moved through the town, her mission was of the most vital importance and she must not be delayed, or worse, discovered. Taking a temporary refuge in the same empty stables recently used by the men of Deus Ex she faced the giant castle gates from the shadows. She double checked the small bag she was carrying, satisfied she had everything, she stepped out. Shedding the robe as she walked, turning herself into a beautiful young lady, she marched up to the castle gate and thundered on the wood with her fist. A small view port opened level with her head.
    “You know, there is a door.” The guard said idly.
    “Dramatic effect.” Smiled Ketboy.
    “Uh huh.” Replied the guard, forgetting himself. Lady Ketboy of Soc merely stared expectantly.
    “Oh right. State your name and business.” The guard asked smartly, adopting his best guard-like manner.
    “I am Lady Ketboy of Soc, I am here to see King Maxim Vickers, and my business concerns a mutual acquaintance. I request an immediate audience.” This speech was delivered in her best seductive voice, the guard was of course charmed by the beauty of both the lady and her words.
    “Very well, you will have to submit to a search before entering the castle proper and will be escorted to, and during your audience. Do you submit?”
    “I do.” The sound of clanking armour could be heard beyond the great oaken gates, hurried voices and shouted commands. A small door to the left of the gate opened and a young looking man stuck his head out.
    “This way my Lady.”

    Behind the gate and high castle walls was a large courtyard, in the centre of the complex stood the huge keep with many towers and barbicans; guards were stationed on almost every inch. The walls through which Lady Ketboy had just walked circled the keep and disappeared from view; towers were interspersed and heavily manned. The courtyard was further surrounded by walls, forming a form a kill zone that any invader must conquer. The guard escorted her into a small room in the surrounding wall. Here she was searched, the guards found nothing of interest on her person and merely a bundle of papers within her bag among other essentials for a female traveller. Satisfied, the guards led her back into the entrance courtyard and through the gates at the end into the castle grounds.

    The grounds of the castle surrounded the entirety of the keep and provided a couple of hundred metres of open ground between it and the defending walls. During peace time, such as now, there were merchants and performers; mobbed by the peasantry who went about their daily lives. Children ran screaming, some ogling the daredevil entertainers or dressed up and having mock fights. The place was a beehive of activity carefully monitored by the guards on the walls and within the keep, reading to spring into action at the first sign of danger.

    In war time, the castle would look much different. The people would be gone; some of the men conscripted into the castle guard and the rest would flee the town to the refuge a few miles up the river. The buildings randomly dotted around the castle grounds would become barracks, stables and weapon stores. The castle was designed to withstand a siege for many months, while reinforcements from other towns came to relieve the garrison. Lady Ketboy was guided through the bustle, merchants and leering men who would have accosted her fell silent at the sight of the armed guards. The entrance to the keep lay on the reverse side, opposite the gate in the wall to make it harder for an invading army to penetrate the defenses. Lady Ketboy was more interested in the keep; she was gazing up at the formidable walls, an interested expression on her face. As the group rounded the last corner and walked along the gravel path to the doorway, Lady Ketboy surveyed the buttress above her keenly.

    The keeps interior was mostly made of the same stone as the exterior; large heavy slabs that created a claustrophobic atmosphere, but with the addition of many torches, paintings and hangings the many hallways looked quite homely. Each passage was lined with heavy oak doors that led into the many service and reception rooms, the guards led her towards the centre of the keep where she passed great halls, including one which was full of comings and goings as the lunch time feast was being prepared. Many servants were moving between the kitchens and storage rooms bringing every luxury a king might wish for. At the very centre of the castle was a grand stairway which crisscrossed up to the uppermost floors, a thick red rug ran up the stairways and it was this they followed to the 7th and final floor. Guards wielding golden handled swords dominated this floor and stood a little more uneasily as the mysterious stranger was escorted past them. The stopped outside two massive curved doors, the lead guard knocked loudly and upon being summoned, entered through the door. A mere five seconds later the Lady was beckoned through as well.


    *

    The fire was still crackling as it had been for a few hours now, the men surrounding it were now silent; having discussed the options available to them they were now waiting on their leader to make a decision. The mid-morning sun was hot and the three of them were sweating profusely, the fire kept alive as an aid to their thinking processes. Finally the leader spoke.
    “I have decided…” Arturchix spoke slowly. “I have decided that I will hunt our assailants alone, they can not have gone far. Souram and Zen, you shall continue the search for the world of Ashan, we are not far from our first location; the temple is just over the next set of hills. You will then head East to the Boshan forest and after obtaining the knowledge we seek you shall head South to the village of Kront and we shall meet at the usual spot.” The decision was not easy for he had no idea how many people had been involved in the capture, but he knew the mission was of far more importance. “If I am not at Kront within a day of your arrival you are to return to the king and continue the mission.” The other men accepted this silently, trusting in their leader. The camp took a further 20 minutes to clear up before the two groups went their separate ways.

    Chapter 4:

    The room was rather small, drab curtains were pulled across the windows and shut out the remainder of the days light casting the room into a murky darkness. A full length mirror stood against one wall with an ornate pattern of skeletons and zombies carved along the sides, each corner was adorned with a small skull. The mirror was dusty and in the darkness it did not reflect much except for an ancient wardrobe in a corner which was currently shut and a comfortable bed in between. A staff leant idly next to the door; it was made of a plain dark wood with the same style skull bound tightly to the top. The reflection was in fact dominated by a tall figure, robed completely in black, with a hood pulled right over his eyes casting the rest of his face into darkness. The man threw his arm out behind him and the staff shot into the waiting fingers which closed cruelly around it, he continued to stare into the mirror. This man was Dacarian, and he had an appointment. As he turned to leave, he cast one more look into the mirror, his long black hair sweeping off his shoulders.
    “Yes, I look rather good in black.”

    *

    The clearing sat in the middle of dense forest, illuminated by a small fire; the light of which could not escape the impossibly thick canopy above. A horse was tethered to a tree and was fully engaged with the grass around the stump; its baggage was strewn all over the forest floor. A man sat with his back to the horse, he was also concentrating on his meal which cooked happily over the fire.
    Share this post

  2. #2
    “What was ‘The Dominion’?”
    “The texts tell of a group of fearsome warriors who were driven by a ferocious fanaticism, chasing their enemies even unto the endings of the world. They came forth, preaching harsh magics and worship to hell deities. The people of the world resisted, but the foul creatures summoned by these warriors were relentless, never ending, and their victory was swift.”


    As one of the old Leaders of the Dominion, I am proud
    It was very nice to read this again. thx mate.


    Also know that Tsu Chi aswell one of the old.
    Is starting to make his own game 'Dominion: Genesis".
    https://www.facebook.com/DominionsGenesis?fref=ts


    Cheers


    Diorifique former leader of the Dominion,


    Winning Alliance:
    - TechBeta 1
    - TechBeta 2
    - The Dragon Legacy S1 -Scan
    - Hounds of the Apocalypse S1
    Share this post

  3. #3
    Ah this brings back some memories.
    How much has changed in the game the last few years? Still pay to win I guess?
    Thanks for some nice memories you guys =)

    Hellsworn
    Share this post