"Sindhelion Marafras!," yelled an old Nidoking, clad in academic robes. Sind - a young Smeargle - stumbled out of his nap.
"Master Franjep, I..."
Franjep was in no mood for excuses. "Look, I don't know how you Platanois manage to nap during a history lesson, but you're not in Platane anymore! If you want your scholarship to be worth something, my boy, you had best get your mind in the right place!"
"Yes, Master Franjep," Sind sighed. He had only been in Reverence for little over two months, and had become enamoured with its crystalline cathedrals and its ringed walls; the noise of the people in the marketplace, the fragrances of goods brought in from as far west as Makara and as far east as the Manderlands. Still, the assault to his senses during the day was nothing compared to what it looked, sounded, and smelt like at night...
"SINDHELION!," barked the now-annoyed Franjep, extending a telescopic pointer and tapping the chalkboard in irritation. "I don't suppose you can take your eyes off the balcony for a few minutes and recall this particular topic?"
Sind looked at the chalkboard. Written in large text was the phrase 'Domist Activity in Fessalia'. He thought for a bit, then began sharing what memories of the topic he could muster.
"The Domist Rebellion in Fessalia was started a hundred years ago by a deluded mage named Dozle. He had apparently received whispers from beyond that the true god had come to reclaim Fessalia and raise an army to conquer Scala."
Franjep smirked with approval. "Yes, and to that end he employed many mercenaries and peasantfolk to his cause. Fessalia had considered the threat more than an internal issue - and so where did they turn to for aid?"
"The Expeditionary Council or Reverence - except it wasn't known by that name at the time, it was the Adventurer's Guild of Reverence until seventy-something years ago."
"Seventy-six, Sind," Franjep replied, after which the student frowned.
"The Cult of the Dome prospered for nearly 10 years and was met with stiff resistance from the Fesal Army as well as teams sent by the Expeditionary Council. Then, suddenly, the Domists retreated into Dozle' hideout, a massive underground complex known as the Meander, due to its winding paths."
"Which brings us to the present part of the lesson - how the Cult ultimately met its downfall."
Franjep wrote a few more details on the board - a date, two names and the intials ECR. "It was suspected that Dozle and his most ardent followers had retreated in order to bring forth the very being of chaos that had whispered its intentions and corrupted Dozle into his sick rebellion. To combat this, a grand party of adventurers was formed by the ECR to storm the Meander and ultimately put a stop to Dozle once and for all. Upon entering, this group encountered some complications."
"Yes, some unexpected - firstly, a splinter cult had occupied the upper layers of the complex, inadvertenly unleashing a minor eldritch power into manifesting itself. Secondly, the grand party discovered that most of the cultists left to defend the levels leading into the inner sanctum were brainwashed peasantfolk or younger mercenaries, and some of the grand party were averse to slaying them in the name of getting to Dozle and his inner circle before he could summon some vile creature. Third, it became very quickly apparent that Dozle' inner circle were mostly mages of his ilk, and had all learned forbidden spells of summoning beforehand. It was only through the quick-thinking and resourcefulness of this grand party that they breached the inner sanctum."
"I would assume that the ECR kept receiving missives and updates from the grand party throughout this time."
"Correct, my student! Teams from the grand party would at once depart for Reverence with updates as they progressed. However, once they crossed into the inner sanctum, all communication ceased."
"This was another thing the grand party had realised - the magical focus Dozle was using preyed specifically on the grand party's aggression and propensity to violence, something he knew he could get lots of if he could get the ECR and Fesallia to suspect that something was amiss. He had accumulated so much focus that the field he was manipulating hindered the grand party's ability to communicate with the outside world. When word of this development reached the ECR, hearts sank in both Reverence and Fesallia, as they had feared the adventurers lost."
"But they were not lost!"
"Yes, we know that now, but as it was happening no-one except the grand party had any idea of what was going on. Journals of the adventurers published later would give us some idea of what was going on."
"Dozle had summoned Dome!"
"Yes! Dome - the creature of chaos that had long spoken to Dozle and promised him the world, had manifested itself as a stories-tall creature, and while most adventurer accounts claim that it was a giant Kabuto, most historians today agree that this was their brain attempting to comprehend the incomprehensible creature as something more familiar."
"How did the grand party cope?"
"They fought fiercely, and narrowly escaped with the victory. The toll on the grand party was hard but they had succeeded in preventing a catastrophe to the eastern continent."
"And they were rewarded, right?"
"We don't know, Sind, but at this point do you even know any of their names?"
"Mister... er, Boop?"
Franjep sighed. "Thanks to a few primary sources we more or less have the account from the grand party's point of view, but very few people remember their names or deeds, or that the event even happened; the Fesal government certainly did their work keeping things away from the public consciousness."
"So do we know what happened to them?"
"Well, from what limited records we had, they just lived out the rest of their lives in obscurity due to pressure from the ECR and the Fesal governent. Although..."
Sind's picked up on his master's pause. "Although?"
"There's a rumour - strange, yet I can't wholly deny it - that their patron deities blessed them with immortality, and that they walk the world still."
Sind frowned once more. Surely the Master was growing tired as the night progressed, but feeding him rumours without substance was a new low.
"Master Franjep, is there any actual evidence that they gained immortality?"
"Ah, Sindhelion," Franjep said, erasing his scribbles on the board with a cloth, "maybe you'll be able to tell me someday. Now, as for our next lesson..."
Sind looked back outside while Franjep busied himself with the chalkboard. He wondered if the members of the grand party really found immortality, but became distracted by a white flag bearing the cobalt emblem of Reverence - two overlapping circles portraying the continents of Gram and Scala, where nestled within was the dot representing the city.