Scarcity is an island South-West of Origin City. It contains 3 suburbs: Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Scarcity is the first island to have collective lore built by community members. The first stories focused on the war between Gnome Factions for the resources of the island. Lore created by The Philosopher, inspired on Bitpixi's writings. You can also read here the lore made by community members.
The Gnomes and Scarcity Factions
A long time ago, when Scarcity was called Abundance, there were no factions, and all gnomes lived a life of happiness and abundance. Abundance grew in technology and wealth, and the gnomes developed wonderful machines with god-like capabilities.
But Necro, a gnome interested in the old dark arts, was not satisfied with talking to the dead. Her wife and son were killed in a lab accident, and he wanted to resurrect them. This was not an easy task, and for doing so Necro gathered a large group of gnomes to go to Flora to meet the great immortal druid, Klava. He was alive since immemorial ages, and he is known for being immortal and for having an open passage to the underworld.
While the decades passed and the new dark gnomes learnt about life and death with Klava, some gnomes from Abundance decided to start mining their fellow lands. These gnomes liked the work on the mines, and Drog convinced them all in a town meeting that they should mine the empty land from the gnomes that followed Necro and the other leaders that went out the island. Although many people disagreed, there was a large group of gnomes following Drog, and the other ones, as they were not affected, decided not to act against Drog and the new Earth Faction.
The mayor of Abundance, Tilt, only cared about the expansion of the Empire, and he was not on the island when Drog called the town meeting. Tilt and the army were looking for Atlantis and its people deep inside the ocean. The old legends tell that Atlantis people had a marvelous treasure, full of magic items; and gnomes love to transform magic into technology. The Water Faction was formed by Tilt’s followers that were looking for magic in the depths of the ocean. But they were not a faction until they returned and saw Abundance turned into Scarcity.
The Air Faction was formed a long time ago by Crisa, and maybe it was the 2nd specialized profession from the gnomes’ island. They were air vehicle builders. Thanks to the Air Gnomes, society developed a lot and it was possible to build the amount of wealth they had. Thanks to their powerful machines, the gnomes could explore the metaverse and they could mine every Voxels island before they are minted. The air vehicle builders were responsible for the 1st expansion of the Abundance Empire and they were the first rulers of the new empty conquered islands. So, when Drog’s voting took place, they were not there to speak their mind, and they did not see what was going on until the many factions were together again, one more time, in the new Scarcity.
All the weapons and mining instruments of Abundance island were made by wonderful blacksmiths, specialized in metal work. As the island got empty, because Necro, Tilt, Crisa and their followers left the island, the blacksmiths decided to get together with the Earth faction to mine the Abundance lands, which were empty for more than 100 years. They were having children at this time, that needed the land, metal and crystals to develop their activities. They were asking for a new land law, when Drog, from the Earth faction, decided to vote for the new land reform law. The blacksmiths, led by Anna, built their new Fire faction and joined the miners, from the new Earth faction.
The Cyber Faction was formed by Tempus, after the great war. When Necro, Tilt and the air gnomes returned to Abundance, they saw that the Earth faction and Fire faction had mined their land and controlled it. Fire and Earth gnomes became rich, and the Air, Water and Dark gnomes became poor. After 10 years of suffering, Tilt and Crisa decided to attack the fire and earth gnomes, and Necro blamed them all and decided to use his new dark machine to invoke the dead. The war took 1000 years, and Abundance turned into Scarcity after that. The only chance to get Scarcity back to the old days, as Tempus believes, is going back in time and doing something to forbid the gnomish split in the old days. He built a faction composed of the remaining gnomes from the old factions that wanted to stop fighting against the undead and prevent the war in the first place. Can Abundance/Scarcity be saved?
Check out here: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=SE@1257W,1204S,-1.5U
The Leaders from the Factions
About the leaders of the many factions that spread through Scarcity, and who created the war, when we know a bit more about their story, we can understand some of the mysteries around Scarcity Island.
Tilt was never a warrior, but a diplomat. His travels through the metaverse always brought good trades for Abundance. The decision to look for Atlantis was not without reason. For years, the gnomes have been trying to boost their super machines with large amounts of energy that could be kept in small crystals. The Atlantis have or at least know where the Cube of Days is located. Titl wants power to Abundance, and he'll find it in the depths of the ocean. When back home, Scarcity is what he will find.
The legends say that Anna was born from fire and metal. Her mother was making the first sword of Abundance, the Magical Sword of Light, when she gave birth to Anna. This sword was inherited by Anna, and it has secret runes, which her mother taught her to read, about blacksmith's creations. Anna built a generation of blacksmith gnomes, and she provided all the instruments for mining development and army creation, the foundation of Abundance growth and expansionism.
Drog, beyond being a miner, was a political philosopher and a statesman. The gnomish growth was faster than the foreseen. After Crisa left the island, and Drog convinced most of the gnomes of the unfairness of disconnecting property rights from the social function of property, his left wing thoughts spread through Abundance, and they took the land of the absent gnomes. Drog was acclaimed and everybody had a home, metal, and crystals now. However, this would not last...
Crisa doesn't like to be called a leader. She thinks democratically, and all of her proposals are debated among the faction. She invented the 1st gnomish air vehicle. It was a collective decision that made the air faction to get the air vehicles to conquer the non minted islands. They thought they could get resources to Abundance before the high population growth, which was foreseen for the next 200 years. But to leave Abundance was not a good idea, as Crisa would notice...
Tempus decided to not go to war. He thought the only way to end the war and defeat the undead was to gather together all the gnomes left from the old factions, and try to come back in time, and forbid the gnomish split. He really developed a time machine, with a piece of the Cube of Days. Abundance will be back again!
Necro's story is one of the saddest of all Scarcity Tales. And maybe it is one of the most relevant to explain why there are undead people ghosting around. And that is the reason I let this story for last. He lost his wife and son in an alchemical accident, doing research. He could not forgive himself for letting them die, and he gathered all the gnomes interested in resurrecting their loved ones to a quest within Flora, in order to find one of the last immortal druids in human form, Klava. The druids know all about life and death, and they for sure could resurrect his loved ones. But he didn't know the size of the sacrifice he would have to make, in order to create such magic: to burn all his possessions; for a gnome, that is not an easy task. And he couldn't fulfill it completely. He kept his magic ring, and the resurrection didn't happen as he expected. He could only get his wife back, but she was never the same again. They studied the arts of death, to try to bring back their son, but unsuccessfully. When they returned to Abundance, then Scarcity, with their followers, all of their lands had been mined by their fellows from the fire and earth factions. They were furious, and decided to call upon the dead to fight their old friends. Thus the Dark Faction was created, and that was how the war began. This mess in the underworld woke up Anubis, who is flying through the Glitch Galleries, gathering the undead to take the gnomes' island.
The Underworld, Anubis, and Necro's Family
Necro's experiments on the undead forces awakened Anubis, a god that was sleeping for thousands of years. Anubis was the first god made by Self. Self thought it was beautiful to live and die, and it decided that its world would have these properties. It built an entire Underworld in the VOID and created a god to rule over it. Anubis was sleeping because he ruled the Underworld by dreaming. With the gnomish war and Necro's experiments, the Underworld started to become crowded and disorganized. Ghosts, vampires, zombies, they were all in the same area, fighting against each other. Anubis awoke full of rage for watching the decay of the Underworld, and he decided to get revenge against the gnomes. That was how Anubis came into the war. So the gnomes were fighting against each other and against the undead brought to life by Anubis.
There is a reason why the Underworld is so near Scarcity, and why it is so easy to cross the barriers there. Scarcity was built on top of a dark earth, conducive to glitch worms. Such beings were the first inhabitants of the VOID feeding from VOID matter. They dug so deep into the VOID structure that they landed in the black earth of Scarcity. They were also the first inhabitants there and the glitch galleries are glitchy because of their presence. They lived for many years feeding on the dark earth, thus they facilitated the work of the gnomes in the mines and opened many passages to the VOID. Many gnomes use parts of the worms for their machines, but Necro was the first one to use the worms to open a portal to the world of the dead and enter the Underworld, Anubis' collection of parcels inside the VOID. Anubis and Necro joined forces.
Everybody knows Necro's story, but not everybody knows how it ends. In his search for happiness with his family, many terrible things were made by him. While alive, Necro and his wife could never live truly happy. They could only be happy after Necro accepted they could only really live as a family in the Underworld. However, in order to live there, Necro had to die and help the undead against the living, which was not good for Scarcity.
Necro's wife, Cynthia, after resurrected as an undead, still had feelings for her husband and son, but the zombie feelings are pretty strong, and it was hard to live a happy life, until Necro accepted to join her in the Underworld with their son. Now they are fighting against their old brothers from Scarcity, in the name of Anubis, but at least they are a family again and they have a nice parcel in Anubis' kingdom.
Adam, Necro's son, has just lived for a day before dying with his mother. Necro knew Adam was waiting for his family in the Underworld. Nowadays, Adam is the right arm of Anubis, part of the army of the dead. As a servant of Anubis' Justice, Adam rules all over the souls. Necro's wife, Cynthia, asked him for his husband's soul and for their possibility of finally being happy. Adam wanted a family, and Anubis blessed the return of this family union, but, of course, under his rule. That was how Necro could become an undead and enter the Underworld. Are they finally going to find happiness?
Visit the Underworld and see for yourself: http://cryptovoxels.com/s/caverns
The Scrolls of Azzrak I (Skaz One's Voxels Lore)
My name is Azzrak. It has been so long since I have seen my home that I have lost count of the years. It maybe hundreds, thousands of years, but I wouldn’t know. Why I have decided to stay alive and alone for so long is a long and complicated story. But I feel if I do not tell it, that I shall die before it is told. I have yet to make it back to Scarcity and I’m told I would barely recognize it anymore. I believe what I’ve heard, every word of it. It’s too wild and fantastical to be made up. They say the new name, Scarcity, is much more suitable than the old name, Abundance. Again, I know it is hard to believe. But I have some unbelievable tales of my own, so who am I to question the stories told by others.
Everyone is a stranger to me, it’s likely everyone I ever cared about is dead. It was a small list of gnomes, but I hope they lived full and happy lives. When I found the fountain my plan was to somehow bring it’s power to my loved ones. I quickly discovered that the water from the fountain melted any container I attempted to keep it within. I found the water would evaporate once brought outside of the cave I found the fountain inside of. And I had heard that once I found the fountain, if I left I would not be able to find it again. It is a mystery I have not felt is worth risking, the afterlife is a mystery I have felt is not worth finding out about, but I’ve become so desperately lonely. And all of my plans were foiled long long ago. My mentor who sent me on my quest is now long since dead, it is time to go home. But first I must record my story as I barely believe it myself and I may die before I can prove it to be true.
The fountain doesn’t make one death proof, just immortal. If someone were to murder me I would die like any average gnome. But natural causes will never remove me from this Earth and though suicide has always been an option, I’m not keen on it. Bringing immortality to gnomes is my task and is still my task and will forever be my task until it is fulfilled. I will fulfill my promise to Necro. I wonder if Necro is still alive or if immortality had somehow been discovered elsewhere. Maybe it was created instead of discovered. I was not the only gnome tasked to explore and there were others tasked to create. Maybe some sort of sorcery or alchemy had paid off by now, but if so, then why all of the strange tales from the occasional stranger. As long as I don’t reveal the entrance to the cave, it seems to me that the strangers are blind to it. It doesn’t seem to matter what sort of creature comes to visit, they never see the door. Not even when I failed on my efforts to keep it concealed, it was as if the door had a mind of its own. After all of this time, I still don’t fully understand the door, the cave or the fountain. In fact, I’d very accidentally found out the location of the fountain.
The former guardian of the fountain had inadvertently given away the secret of finding the door to the cave. Maybe it was on purpose, the former guardian of the fountain had seemed eager to leave it behind. The fountain was not a gift, it was a curse and I hadn’t even bothered to ask why the former guardian left me. I didn’t even ask for his name or for his purpose because I was so wrapped up in my own problems. If only I had truly known what eternity was back then, my problems likely wouldn’t have seemed so important. All I had been concentrated on at the time was my own glory and future fame. That desire for validation was my downfall.
None of that matters now, I’ve gained some perspective and I’m going home. I’m empty handed, but I have a mind full of many years of knowledge and experience. I can hear the fountain calling to me to stay and guard the location of it’s secret, but I’m done serving the fountain. I will now do what is best for myself. All manner of creature have searched for the fountain over the years and it will be found once again, someone else can heed the call, I’m going home.
In the time it took me to think these thoughts I have traveled quite far away from the fountain. I no longer hear it calling to me and am now quite certain I wouldn’t be able to locate it again. Never again will gnomes need wonder nor search for The Fountain of Youth. Good riddance.
What will they think when I arrive in Abundance? So much time has passed. I can’t stop thinking of the rumors of war and factions of gnomes. I can’t help but believe in them because the schism had begun before I left, I just didn’t want to admit it to myself back then. We had such wonderful machines and technology in abundance. It was a flying machine that brought me to the mountains, further than any gnome had ever traveled. That’s a record I never wanted to hold, but I guess I never really had a choice. It wasn’t just Necro… She was my mother.
I hadn’t thought of any of this beforehand, the most important of all being the only other immortal being I know of. Klava could easily be waiting for me. I have no idea how Klava will react to another immortal having come into existence. I could also be harboring knowledge that Klava hasn’t yet divulged to the other gnomes. Maybe I will simply be banished to the underworld and that will be that.
I guess there is no point in thinking of it as that won’t be an issue until I get back home. If I ever get back home… Nonetheless I will likely have to explain myself to Klava as it is likely the Druid will be the only one left who knows who I am. On the bright side, the air is becoming thicker. I must be climbing lower and the altitude level must be changing as I hike further down the mountainsides. I never had to climb these mountains, I flew, so I guess I’m only doing the easy part. But it has become dark and it’s getting hard to see. There are plenty of small caves for shelter and I can gather firewood for a small fire. It’s warmer now that I’m not so high up on the mountain.
I do not need to eat or drink, though these are still enjoyable acts to me. I simply won’t ever die of starvation, thirst or the symptoms thereof. But I can freeze to death, or at least that has been something I felt it was not necessary to test out. And even an immortal such as myself becomes tired after hiking all day even if I can’t technically die of exhaustion. Sleep still feels good and dreaming is one of my favorite pastimes.
I awoke with a start as well as with a feeling of disappointment. I had been having the most wonderful dream of the old days. The days before I left on my quest. Those days are always the best in my dreams, the reality was not all the amazing. I was never exactly well liked by the other gnomes. I wasn’t a social pariah, but I don’t possess the ability to exchange meaningless pleasantries and small talk. This made me socially awkward amongst the others and even among those of other species.
As I’ve grown older and wiser, I learned to mask my social awkwardness. But many still found my theories and my blunt honesty off putting. It seems to me that gnomes would rather listen to themselves talk than actually be heard by another gnome. Gnomes can be easily aggravated and I like to solve problems. The concept of venting has always been lost upon me, I understand that the expression of one’s feelings is important. But if there is a solution to feeling bad then why not try to feel good? When I point those types of things out to other gnomes it makes them not want to be around me. In fact, I know my father sent me away to find the Fountain in order to rid himself of a minor annoyance. But I also know that he sees me as competent enough to complete such a task. Anyway, I didn’t mind leaving.
I guess I must sound somewhat nostalgic to someone who doesn’t know me, but I’m not that sentimental. Sometimes I miss certain aspects of being young and sometimes I don’t think about it much at all. I find it much more interesting to dwell upon my theories. I have seen many things in my years and some of them are quite inexplicable. For instance, nobody I know of has flown as far or high as I have. And I swear I could see the end of the world in the distance sometimes. I know that there are many stories of the edge of our world and the creators of our world, but none can be sure. Death is a mystery and thus life is a mystery as well. A gnome is not born with an inherent sense of purpose, but I believe that all sentient life desires a reason for existing. I think it is a way to reassure oneself that one exists at all…
I know I exist, because I feel real and I have real experiences. But what makes my dreams any less real than my reality? My dreams of home are much more enjoyable than my reality, so then why couldn’t I simply rearrange the two in my mind? In my opinion, I have done this. I have changed my perception and so I am always disappointed to wake up from a good dream. In a sense, I die everyday even though I’m an immortal. It is these thoughts, coupled with the strange things I’ve seen in the sky and on my travels, that make me somewhat strange. I don’t need the same reassurances as the average gnome and so I forget to provide others with the assurance they need to emotionally survive in this world.
Whatever this world may be and whoever created it, I don’t think something so complex comes into existence by coincidence. Some gnomes are superstitious or religious, but I am something else. I’ve seen many beings with many purposes and they all fulfill their part in the larger circle of life. None of them sure of what they were doing or where they were going. The only gnome he had known to be certain about anything was Necro and Klava always seemed to have a vague notion of a higher state of being. At this point I have more in common with the Druid than I have in common with my own flesh and blood. Maybe I have had too much time alone to think about life and maybe I have lost my mind. But there is no way to be sure of anything until I make it home. I need to return to my roots, I need a reference point for my new found perspective on existence.
I’m enjoying the change of scenery. This is quite unexpected. I should be out of the mountains within a few days time. I like to avoid the beaten trail so as to avoid other travelers, but it is quite impossible to avoid every living thing in the world.
Fortunately for me, dealing with other gnomes is still a long ways off. I’m speaking in time and in distance, I’m still far from home and there is an entire ocean to cross. The coastal dwellers will likely be the first organized colonies I will encounter. I like to avoid the big cities, but smaller villages and colonies are ok. I could always see myself growing old and dying in a small village somewhere out of the way. I have experienced this peaceful death in my dreams even though in reality, I will have to be killed to die. I’m guaranteed a painful death, but I don’t want to live eternally. Eternity is a hard concept to grasp and thus it is a hard concept to explain to non immortals. I’m not going to make an attempt, but I see time in a different way than the average gnome would see it. Because I experience time from a completely different disposition than the average gnome. Immortality, as I’ve said, is a gift and a curse. Klava said this and Necro did not agree, but I agree. But my father is blinded by love, ambition and bitterness. I am not my father, though his ambition seems to have rubbed off on me.
As I have said, I was treated with indifference for most of my life. I took up my quest partially out of duty to my parents, but also to further my own agenda. I am afraid of failure and it has taken me a very long time to face that fear. All I desire is to be remembered throughout history for the rest of time. But now…
Time has become irrelevant to me, all I have is time. I faced that fact long ago, but to come back home with and without the gift of immortality is true failure. I am immortal and yet I will likely never see the fountain again nor will I be able to share my immortality with Necro. I am going to be a walking failure, a constant reminder of how close I came to saving mother. But that’s also assuming there is anyone left at home. If the rumors are true, everyone I hope to remember me is likely dead.
I’m going to put it out of my mind until I make it to the coast. There is no point in dwelling upon all of the years of rumors, when truth is a few days away.
Allegedly the coastal cities and villages have long been overrun by outsiders, but it is hard to believe the stories. I think I may have met one of these outsiders in the mountains and I saw more of them from a distance. It was a male, just like me, the outsider. But he was not a gnome and had readily admitted to being from another dimension. I think he was a bit touched in the mind, but Klava sometimes seemed crazy too. This being was not of a species I’ve ever seen, but it definitely doesn’t mean it was from another dimension. A world within another world was hard even for an immortal to believe. A parallel universe maybe, there is some scientific evidence for such a thing, but a world within a world that could possibly even be within another world? That had to be the ramblings of the totally insane.
Gnomes have access to technology, magic and all kinds of tools, but to create a world within our own had never occurred to me. It was a thought nobody has ever expressed to me amongst my people either. It was absurd at the time and it is still an absurdity as I think of it today.
There was something more absurd too, I noticed that it seemed to think it was in possession of a vessel rather than living in it’s own body. It is hard for me to explain, but when I looked into it’s eyes there was a vacancy. And as I further studied it’s eyes, I saw what I thought was a second set of eyes watching me from a far off distance. I think I may have spent too many years alone with only my thoughts and the fountain and the echos of the cave. I do not feel as if I have lost my mind, but then again, I’ve never seen a crazy person who knew they were crazy. All of the gnomes in the mental health wards would tell you themselves that they are perfectly sane. Only to introduce you to their imaginary friend in the next sentence. I’ve always been eccentric, another few quirks couldn’t possibly hurt me could they?
I’m in the foothills now and will soon enter the forest. I’ve made camp under an outcropping of rocks on a hill that oversees the coast. I have yet to see any living things other than various plants and animals. Nothing dangerous and that is the way I would like to keep it, but as it is getting darker I’m seeing a lot more lights along the coast. It seems there has been a population boom in the coastal villages and I can no longer count on finding a quiet harbor. However the upside to being down out of the mountains and closer to the coast was the food. My menu has been mainly whatever I could forage in the mountains. Mainly berries and shrubs and small rodents. I have become very adept at trapping mountain mice.
I found that I could entice the mountain mice with some berries and a small encantation I learned from Klava. I am not well practiced in magic, but I know this spell particularly well now that I’ve used it so many times. It is akin to hypnotic sorcery, but much more mild and easy to control. Enough to guide a creature with such a small brain and therefore small will to the berries without noticing the deadfall trap. I hope that the encantations kept them hypnotized as the rock crushed them, but there is no way to know for sure. I’ve made mouse jerky, mouse stew, mouse kebabs and grilled mouse. I’ve cooked the mountain mice every which way a gnome knows how and I’m tired of the limited diet.
Today, however, I found a creek and the creek had a few different types of fish and shelled creatures like snails. Tonight I’m cooking snails and fish! I found some allspice growing now that I’m in a warmer climate and I still have some hazelnut butter I made in the mountains. I can smell the spices mixing with the sweet smell of the hazelnut butter and the bittersweet odor of grilled meat. It’s a lot better than the gamey smell of cooked mountain mice and berry paste. I have some small guppies that dried in the sun throughout the afternoon which I will season and bury under the coals of my cooking fire. That will make a good snack for my travels. Tonight however, I’m dining on rainbow trout, nice big ones too.
A fishing rod is much safer and easier to control than a magic spell. Fishing rods are simple to make and they last as long as you want or as long as one doesn’t catch a fish so big that it snaps the wood of the rod. That only happens in deeper waters though. I have plenty of cordage woven over years of boredom. There was no shortage of raw materials like sage bark to weave into cordage and thus all I had to do was break off a solid branch of a tree for my fishing pole. I’m sheltered, warm and full of good food now.
I will have a deep sleep tonight and thus I will have the best kinds of dreams. The dreams that are most similar to waking life are my favorite. I can control what happens in that world and seldomly make mistakes. I’m truly alive when in a deep slumber. Irony is not lost on the immortal…
Source: https://skazone.medium.com/cryptovoxels-lore-1st-installment-e736227fa06c Voxel: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/703
The Scrolls of Azzrak II (Skaz One's Voxels Lore)
Azzrak was not worried about what lay ahead, not nearly as much as he should have been. You see, when a being becomes immortal, their perspective on the world changes. Their perspective on time, relationships, family and the universe becomes changed permanently. As their body and being has been changed permanently. Azzrak is wise enough to know that he has both a gift and a curse in immortality. However, his new found perspective has made him arrogant and disconnected. Not to mention, he has been living in a cave for millennia and that isn't good for the mind.
Anyhow, I’ve gotten ahead of myself and now I must digress. I have not made proper introductions, nor have I told you anything to warrant your continued attention to my ramblings. You see, I’m been told I’m very eccentric and sometimes I do things in an improper order. I simply get ahead of myself you see… and Azzrak is much like myself and this very much excites me. I wish I could give you a name to call me by, though I have been given many names, you may simply refer to me as The Eccentric.
I have come to realize over the years that I represent all that is strange and glitchy in this world. Whether anyone realizes it or not, I watch them, I do not guide their lives as I am content to watch. However I do permit myself the pleasure of a private journal. Private until now that is. Now that Azzrak has left the Fountain of Youth behind to head back to his home, I must come out of the shadows. This particular gnome is both old in years and young in maturity, though he does have the wisdom of ages it is sometimes hard to unlock said wisdom. The mind can be prison you know.
As I said, I am The Eccentric and it has been many years since anyone has spoken to me or paid me any mind. I like my privacy and my solitude, but now there is too much happening for me to ignore it any longer. Much has changed in the world I’ve grown to love… and more changes are coming so soon. Though so few will understand my urgency, I must make haste with my explanation.
I am your guide, your narrator. I am The Eccentric. Consider me your humble guide to this brave new world. And you might consider me one who has a special interest in Azzrak. As much as Azzrak may know of this world, what knowledge he lacks could cause him trouble and cause irreparable damage to our fragile Metaverse. I am here to prevent terrible consequences as I am also immortal. If this world fails, my essence, along with the essence of all other energy will be left behind, so to speak. You see, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Even on the quantum level, the patterns just get deeper and deeper, but they never disappear. These patterns are the building blocks of our Metaverse and they will always exist in one form or another. If destroyed and then subsequently left stagnant, only those of us who are immortal would still have awareness. Thus the immortals would experience all the pain and anguish of an existence snuffed out. The rest of the beings in the Metaverse would lose their awareness forever or until there was a reset. Only Self has been able to survive that kind of madness without completely scrambling one’s system…
But Self is a God among immortals. I’m merely The Eccentric. I can watch, I can guide and I can live to tell the tale. But sadly, I am no God, I cannot save the world nor can I put the world in peril. However, Azzrak has the power to make real changes in this world. Azzrak, long lost son of Necro and the current steward to the Fountain of Youth, though he seems to have abandoned his post. Though this is neither here nor there, Azzrak is not the first servant of the Fountain and I doubt he shall be the last. Immortality is something that all creatures yearn for, though I’ve never understood why. To a gnome such as Necro, it is merely a means to an end. But to one such as I, The Eccentric, it is but a quill put to parchment in hopes of one day finding an audience. For Azzrak though, immortality has become a power and with a great power such as his, comes a great responsibility.
Anubis has awakened, new Anons show up everyday, there is conspiracy afoot and religion, as always, is the opiate of the masses. There is even extra terrestrial life causing Self only knows what kind of nonsense. The natural order has been thrown into chaos and Azzrak is but a pawn in the game of life. A pawn with the destiny of a King…
The Eccentric, I am The Eccentric. I cannot walk, but that is no longer troublesome for me. I care only for Azzrak, I have become obsessed in my old age. Immortals age, it is simply not a visible form of aging. The mind ages, the mind can be a prison. I AM TRAPPED IN MY PRISON! I… need a stiff drink if I am to continue with my duty. Enough exposition. For now, I must slumber, even an immortal being becomes fatigued.
Time for this old cripple to eat a hotdog and have himself a constitutional.
I know I am dreaming, but a lucid dream is the best kind of dream. It seems so real, I wish it were, but I am aware that I will eventually wake up. I am still in the foothills, my body slumbers, but my unconscious is still on a journey. Klava refers to this as Astral Projection. And he said that all beings have the power to such a thing, but most haven’t spent the time to try. Everything in this world is connected, I know this to be a fact. All of the gnomes, other creatures, even newcomers would be connected. We all come from the same place after all. Or at least, that’s how Klava explained it. I’ve heard the origin story so many times that I have committed it to memory. It often sneaks it’s way into my subconscious, but this often provides for a better narrative for my dreams. So I do not mind, actually I welcome the intrusion.
I’m running through the woods, I’ve gone miles from my camp site in mere seconds, because this is a dream of course. I am on the outskirts of a coastal city, a large coastal city, not the kind of town or village I would normally prefer. No matter, I am in control here. I fly to the top of the tallest building nearest me in order to get my bearings. But what I saw was utterly breathtaking, but at the same time confusing and terrifying. So many familiar and yet somehow unfamiliar places and things. Before I could go any further than the rooftop I awoke with a sudden start and realized I was sitting bolt upright. I am soaked in sweat and the early morning breeze chills me to the bones. I need to make a fire and eat something before my I get sick and lose an entire day of travel. My dream has given me a sudden sense of urgency and I must reach the coast as soon as possible.
I’ve made a fire and managed to eat something. I’m still ill at ease, but I can’t think about that right now. I need to concentrate on the task at hand. Breaking camp and getting on the road proved to be quick and I made hasty work of it. I’m well on my way into the coastal region now. I need to get back home a lot faster than I had originally anticipated. Something feels incredibly wrong and not only that, but NOTHING looks familiar to me. There should be at least one familiar landmark, even after all this time. People, places and things change, but the land tends to stay the same or at least similar enough to recognize. It’s as if my world is being terraformed as I speak. And not only can I smell the coast, I can hear it. I need to figure out what I’m dealing with and fast.
There’s someone in the distance. I need a guide, hopefully this character isn’t going to cause me any harm. It’s not like it can kill me, but it could conceivably make my life much more difficult than need be…
I wasn’t expecting to meet a gnome and I did not. It would have been nice though. However, I’ve never met a talking mushroom before. And he’s really a lively creature. His jokes are hilarious and even better, he knows where to take me. I still don’t recognize anything, but the distance from here to Scarcity is apparently the same as it always was. I wish I had my flying machine, but I will have to settle for chartering a boat. The Mushroom, has told me of a lighthouse where we can find a sea worthy ship. Maybe even a speedboat, it depends whats around. Apparently there are a lot more resources and many have even been left laying around for the use of whomever happens upon them. The Mushroom says a speedboat would be fastest and fast is what I need!
The Mushroom has spent most of the trip talking about The Wild Wizard. Someone I’ve never met, but he sure sounds creative. Apparently, many more creatives have come to the world since I went into hiding in the cave. Not that I knew much outside of Scarcity and the little I could see from my flying machine on my trip across the world. Oh, and the histories that Klava had passed on to me and my fellow gnomes and other creatures. But, if I’m not mistaken, it would seem The Wild Wizard may have began as an Anon. This would mean that the Anons have successfully been imbued with vidda. Which would explain a lot, in fact, it would be the puzzle piece that completes the puzzle for me. If it’s true. The implications are endless.
I can’t believe how much I have missed and how much I may have missed had I not decided to travel back to Scarcity. I’m too scared to ask The Mushroom many questions, so I kept mostly to the basics. It would seem that The Mushroom itself was a creation of an Anon. An Anon with a life and personality of it’s own. That in and of itself had insane implications. No wonder I’ve been seeing so much new innovation. It also makes the rumors I heard in the cave make sense. Everything I’ve been hearing about has suddenly come clearly into focus. The world has changed much much more than I could have ever imagined. Well, except for in my wildest dreams, because in the distance I saw the well populated coastline!
As the coast comes closer, I recognize landmarks, not from my life or my memory. But I recognize landmarks from the dream I just had. Maybe dreams are more real than real life. The buildings, the colors, the creatures and most of all the possibilities! This new world is truly a fascinating place and for the first time in a long time, I’m happy to have been alive long enough to see it. I’m glad I didn’t die of starvation in some cave in the mountains or of old age in a convalescent home back in Scarcity. I’m immortal, and for once, that’s starting to feel like it maybe more of a blessing than a curse after all. I should’ve left the mountains a long time ago. If it weren’t for Necro, I would have, ugh I don’t want to think of Necro. Nor my twisted loyalty to his twisted purposes. I especially do not want to think of my mother.
Concentrating on the task at hand. That’s what I must continue to do. We have come upon the lighthouse. I see more mushrooms, I assume they are related to my Mushroom. My guide. There are plenty of abandoned vessels to choose from and I take my pick and say good bye to The Mushroom. I’m headed out to sea and to a bigger adventure than I ever could have imagined. I know this now and I’m more certain of it than ever before. It feels liberating. I no longer feel like a prisoner of my own mind. I’m looking forward instead of looking backward and it feels great!
It is I, The Eccentric. Young Azzrak seems to have found some of the answers for which he was so eager. I shouldn’t call him “young” Azzrak, as he is older than most, but then again, so am I. Funny that Azzrak was safely lead to his answers by a magical mushroom. Many times I’ve needed the assistance of a mushroom of a different kind to find my own answers. HA!
I digress. Azzrak doesn’t know yet what has become of his parents. He understands what it means for the world that the Anon’s have come alive. I, unlike Azzrak, was able to witness all of this. Before I was born into this world, I existed as pure conscious energy. I was given life the same way all of the creatures of our world were given life. However, the Anons are different from the voxel creatures. I am of this world, created within this world and will always exist in my current form. The Anons are a hybrid of sorts, a human inhabiting an avatar and thus inside two worlds at once. But the Anons are good for our world in my opinion and it would seem Self and The Church of VIDDA agree. Klava, poor Klava would have agreed as well… Poor Azzrak knows nothing of what has happened to Klava in his absence. Kley is a stranger to Azzrak, I can only hope that it rains when Azzrak first visits Flora again. Unfortunately, I do not control the weather of this world.
The Anons have the ability to control the weather, I have witnessed this power with my own eyes. They have the ability to create and destroy, but most seem content to create. I like them. Someday I shall walk amongst them… Wheel amongst them, I should say. I cannot walk as I was born without the ability to use my legs. A cruel twist of fate. However, I am the great Eccentric, and there is no adversity which I cannot overcome. I am the one who harnessed the infinite energy of our world to power my chair! I am the one who moves without the strength of his legs! I and I alone!!!! I know the frequency!
But this isn’t about me, I must try to remember, this is about the world. This is about voxel beings and Anons everywhere. This is about the Gnomes of Scarcity and about our future. This is about The Dark Faction. You see, we are all connected and so our world has a delicate balance. There is so much I would like to tell Azzrak, but I do not have the power to communicate with him, at least not yet. However, there is a chance I may never have the chance to communicate with the gnome. I know a lot, but I am bound to this chair. I have traveled far in this chair, much further than I ever could have thought I would, but I’ve become tired and isolated over the years. The thought of going out amongst the Anons intrigues me and I do desire to be amongst them, but my own agoraphobia gets the better of me. Imagine, The Eccentric, afraid to socialize and go outside of his home. It is absurd, surreal and yet it is fact.
You see, Azzrak’s father Necro, he is the leader of The Dark Faction. He was not so before Azzrak left. Cynthia has become resurrected and Klava in the form that Azzrak knew is dead. Anubis has taken Azzrak’s family into his service in The Underworld amongst the army of the dead. Klava died protecting his brother’s way of life, but he was not destroyed. Klava is now Kley the beast. The plans of The Dark Faction are known to me and Azzrak cannot be allowed to become part of their agenda. Azzrak left in the days when all of the gnomes still got along, it was Crisa who supplied him with his flying machine. Now the four factions have formed and there is a war for resources. I have never understood the gnomes affection for material possessions, but the fact remains. If Necro had been able to part with his ring we would all have a lot less trouble in our future, but alas, he kept it and Cynthia helped to pay the price. Now all of gnome kind is paying a price for Necro’s hubris and longing. If only he had never come to possess The Philosopher’s Stone and Cynthia had never died in the first place. Suppose there was peace still, but this is the type of idealistic nonsense I try to stray away from. I deal in reality. And in reality, all of that happened and is happening and Azzrak is ignorantly traveling into an active war zone.
There has been a schism in The Church of Vidda and a division amongst the gnomes of Scarcity. Our world has many divisions in it now, whereas once upon a time we were more united. There have been so many disagreements in our history it is now hard for my aging mind to keep track, though it is my duty to do so. Azzrak doesn’t know me or know that I maybe slowly losing my mind nor does he know what a threat this poses to my well being and the future of our world. Past, present and future have a way of becoming intertwined, though to an immortal, all three happen at once. The Cult of The Eye signs have been plastered throughout Origin. The Cult of The Eye, The Makers District and The Church of VIDDA. What does it all mean for Azzrak… It’s impossible to know for certain, just to speculate on infinite possible outcomes, but I’m stuck in this chair with nothing else to amuse myself. For now.
This boat is a lot faster than I remember boats being in my previous travels, but so much has changed, I’m not going to argue about getting home faster. I’ve long left the islands of Hawaii in the distance behind me and am passing through the waters south of Origin. I will be home in no time…
The four factions of gnomes have been at war a long long time now, about 1000 years. There are also four leaders for each faction. The Dark Faction is lead by Azzrak’s father, Necro. They are allied with the Underworld and The Army of the Dead. The Cyber Faction, lead by Tempus is another more tech savvy faction of gnomes. There are 6 factions in all and they all have different idealogies and are all at war. Azzrak was one of the first gnomes to learn of life and death from Klava and thus he was sent on his task by Necro, never to see the wars, but many other gnomes learned of life and death. Not just from Klava, but first hand.
The original mayor of Scarcity, which was once known as Abundance, is named Tilt and he is the leader of the Water Faction. The Water faction is also allied with The Atlanteans. Drog is the leader of the Earth Faction and Anna is the leader of the Fire Faction. The two factions at least considered partially responsible for this long and terrible war. The last of the factions is the Air Faction, but they are surely not the least. Crisa is their leader, she has a lot of useful war technology at her disposal, including a formative air force.
Each faction has their own specialties, for instance, the Cyber Faction employs gnomes that are learning how to hack into the technology of other factions. I’ve already mentioned the Air Faction’s prowess for developing machines of war, but Necro and the Dark Faction have a similar prowess. Though the Dark Faction uses dark magic, machinery of the underworld and alchemy to create their war machines and Crisa uses resource and ingenuity. Both factions have the ability to inflict mass casualties on the battlefield.
Necro keeps building a larger army, it doesn’t seem he plans for this war to stop anytime soon. The resources of Abundance have been mined into Scarcity and what wasn’t mined or stolen has been obliterated. It is said the Atlanteans have a cache of hidden treasures they’re keeping safe for the Water Faction, but this maybe a rumor. However artifacts and treasures have been found in the flooded tunnels beneath Scarcity. If anyone knows these tunnels the best, it would be the Water Faction these days.
It would seem that none of the Factions has enough gnomes, machines or resources to strike a decisive blow on the battlefield, not at this point in time. But there are rumors of a possible alliance between Tilt and Drog, which would give them more manpower to send up against Necro’s legions. Tempus is underground and off the grid, but his network runs deep. He is known to have spies inside of the other factions, as well as having hidden recording devices in their facilities. What Tempus lacks in manpower, he makes up for in intelligence and data. In war, it is important to know one’s enemy. Tempus also has the best cryptographers at his disposal, which allows him and his faction to communicate without the other gnomes knowing what they’re saying. It takes an expert cryptographer to solve a Cyber Faction cipher.
Necro and Cynthia are doing everything they can to come up with an unbreakable code of their own. A code that could win the war and simultaneously put an end to the war. Crisa, though she has advanced computing machinery, doesn’t have talented cryptographers or programmers like the Cyber Faction has. It is rumored however that one of her machines can break ciphers better than any living cryptographer in Scarcity, but this is just a rumor for now. The Air, Cyber and Dark Factions are clever. The Fire and Earth Factions are counting on material and brute force to win the war.
The Fire and Earth Factions have mined the most material and though they’ve suffered many casualties, they still have formidable armies. Their weapons are made of the strongest metals known to the gnomes. It would be in their best interest to form an alliance, but the pride of their leaders falls in the way. If only Tilt and Drog could solve their political differences, but diplomatic negotiations between the two factions have been going on for centuries now.
It is important to know that many have died for their faction. Many have been resurrected for their faction. Many have been resurrected and died again for their faction…
The Scrolls of Azzrak III (Skaz One's Voxels Lore)
Traveling has been rough and I have been having a reoccurring nightmare. As lucid dreams are my favorite type of dream, reoccurring nightmares are my least favorite nightmares. These two realms of my subconscious are the antithesis of one another. Normally I do not have such violent nightmares and rarely have I had one that repeats itself. The last time such a thing happened was just before I found the Fountain. In fact, reoccurring nightmares generally foreshadow a great event in my life. I do not know why this is so, it happened even before I was made immortal. Klava says that some creatures are just more in tune with the world than others. That is what I’m telling myself now.
I’m tired and I need to rest, the energy I had at the start of the voyage has turned to lethargy. The mania has subsided into apathy. The nightmares have had a negative effect on my sleep and thus my body is not operating at full capacity. Though I cannot die, I can get sick and in fact have gotten so sick at times during this voyage that I wish I could die. The waters are tumultuous and the captain says there has been much activity of late and it is stirring up the waters. I have a fever, but I could swear he said something of potions being improperly mixed by witches. It would not be the strangest thing I have ever heard or seen, but fever or not, it caught me off guard.
The news of witches is exciting. But I am too sick and tired to think of it too much. I’m fixated on my nightmares. My father is in my nightmare as well as a gnome named Tempus and a few others I do not recognize. My father does not look well, his eyes are black and his skin is leprous. Tempus looks old beyond old and when he speaks to me he speaks only in riddles. I’ve taken to writing the details of the nightmare in a notebook in order to remember them and try to make sense of it.
Of the gnomes in the nightmare I do not recognize, one stands out from the rest. His features are visible and he wears what looks like new technology all over his body. I do not recognize the tech that he is wearing or the eye piece attached to his hat. As my father and Tempus argue in my nightmare, the walls and other scenery begin to melt away and eventually only the four of us are left. There is a terrible fire in the background and I can feel it burning me, but there is nothing I can do to stop it. It’s as if I cannot move my legs and eventually I wake up sweating and screaming. I wanted to attribute the nightmares to my fever, but my fever seems to be a symptom of my lack of sleep.
The last thing I always see before I awake is Tempus’ helmet rolling bloody across the floor and the last thing I hear is my father’s rasping, wheezing laughter. I’ve written down a few of Tempus’ riddles, but none of them make sense to me thus far. Though, deep down, I have a feeling that his riddles have answers and those answers will help me on my journey. The first riddle I remembered fully went like this:
“A friend and an enemy, there maybe more than one, he’ll come back from the east when the day is done.”
“Help unsolicited is the only help I shall ever want, but I shall need so much more from you.”
“As the rain falls and the dead rise, in the darkest of night will shine their brightest eyes.”
In the nightmare, my father kills Tempus after he utters his final riddle. Why wouldn’t my own father want me to have the answers to my questions? Is Necro even my father anymore, or has he become something similar to the creature I see in my sleep?
The Cyber Faction is home to many talented and innovative gnomes. But we are fewer in number than the other factions, and the Anti-Faction Sect is even smaller. The Cyber Faction doesn’t believe the gnomes should’ve ever split into factions, but any scholar of history can tell you it was inevitable. The agendas of the most powerful gnomes of our times weren’t aligned and so the next logical steps were taken. Gnomes went their own ways and with them went their followers. And over the years numbers multiply as they do and children are raised according to the customs of the faction they’re born into. As I was born unto the Cyber Faction, but I ain’t no ordinary gnome.
I am the founder and chairman of the Anti-Faction Sect of the Cyber Faction. I’m recording this in my S.A.M.M. (Semi-Automated Multitasking Machine). My own invention, the S.A.M.M. is revolutionary tech that nobody outside of the Cyber Faction knows exists. In fact, I am the one who reverse engineered dark technology of the underworld in order to create the S.A.M.M. and I risked my life to get that tech. I had to dodge aliens and duck zombies on the same trip, believe it or not. But my sect needed that tech and the S.A.M.M. has helped us turn the tide in the war. The Cyber Faction is no longer seen as being as weak as it once was, we have our own weapons… Our minds.
My name is Tempura, son of Tempus, Prince of the Cyber Faction and leader of the Anti Faction Sect! I found the alien hive and braved the lands of the underworld and stole their nanotechnology. I used it to create a machine that can think thousands of times faster than any gnome. I’ve personally recruited the best of the gnome cryptographers in the Cyber Faction and none of them match up to the S.A.M.M. But a gnome cryptographer working with a S.A.M.M. can be deadly and doesn’t even need to be deployed on the actual battlefield to be effective. Knowing the communications and movements of the enemy’s troops is just as effective as any long range weaponry.
My ciphers are the hardest to decrypt and the enemy lost their best code breakers to me long ago. I have engineered technology that would blow their minds! The Anti Faction Sect can unite the gnomes of Scarcity. I know it! Whether by will or by force, we will show them the way to peace. I will see the end to the factions and the end to this war. I literally dream about it every night, a glorious dream too.
Though, in my dream, there is a gnome I do not recognize. However, since it is a dream, I intuitively know he is my ally and shares in my victory. I should like to see it as a sign, maybe I’ll meet this strange gnome and the I’ll know it’s a sign.
The nightmares are every night and my condition has not improved. Necro’s evil eyes are always in the back of my mind and Tempus’ riddles are always in the front. The first riddle was easy, as it’s about me. I’m the son who is returning home, even if the riddle made it sound as if it were the “sun setting in the west after rising in the east.” It was the only answer that made sense, but as to the others I will figure them out eventually. It’s become a bit of a mad obsession to be completely honest. But what else am I to do, I’ve been on this boat for days and though we are nearing our destination, I’ve grown bored. My health has continues to deteriorate and I hope that getting back on dry land will help.
The captain said we are to make a stop in a place that I’ve never heard of. It certainly was not known to us gnomes before I left home. A place named Venice, there’s a harbor there where we can resupply before taking the short voyage to Scarcity. I’ve not heard it once referred to as Abundance since I’ve come into contact with civilization and this worries me. The implications of the name change are not good. Abundance brings peace and Scarcity brings war. I’m beginning to believe the rumors, the gnome wars, the factions and other stories I’ve heard over the years. My nightmares have confirmed my greatest fears.
Necro is likely still alive, but something is terribly wrong. I do not yet know what caused the war amongst the gnomes. But as I said, the change to my homeland implies a war for resources. But if the gnomes have split into factions, there are likely more reasons than that. In fact, the lack of resources could be a symptom of the war rather than the cause of it. Someone or something is screaming at me from my subconscious and that voice is screaming to save my people from themselves. I must be healthy when I return, because I have a foreboding feeling there will be a lot of heavy lifting to do in order to fix these problems.
I’m no longer focused in the moment. My mind darts back and forth from the riddles to the nightmares to thoughts of my father and war. Nobody who knows anything of war would ever wish such a thing on their own people. And yet many who go to war, do so believing their cause to be righteous and just. It is always much too late before all of those involved realize that the winner will write history and the loser will be declared in the wrong. This will happen regardless of the original intent of the loser. If one is to start a war, in my opinion, they better damn well win it or else they’ve caused death and destruction for no reason at all. Peace at all costs often times means a storm before the calm and not the other way around.
I, Azzrak the immortal gnome, shall guide my people to peace. Even if it means I have to kill my own father to achieve this end. Even if it means many might die along the way. It is clear to me that many have died in my absence and no longer will they be the only ones to sacrifice. I’ve found a greater purpose now than I’ve ever felt before in all my years. I may have been immortal for all of this time, but for the first time in eons, I feel alive!
Tempura was going over the latest cipher created by his crack team of gnome cryptographers. It was a good one, it would be extremely difficult for the enemy to break the code, which would give Tempura the precious time he needs. This cipher had been created by one of his best gnomes, Dorfa. Dorfa had been the one to crack the enemy codes that allowed the Cyber Faction to gain a foothold in the war. Now he had hopefully created what Tempura needed to win the war and put an end to all future wars as well. Dorfa is a proud member of the Anti Faction Sect and would like to see the war end as much as anyone. But now he had manufactured the means to make it happen.
As Tempura gazed upon this beautiful piece of code work, he heard the squeak of wheels. It could be only one person, The Eccentric had finally come out of hiding. The Eccentric was the perfect example of someone toeing the line between genius and insanity. And Tempura found him to be delightful to talk to, but this was to be the first time they meet face to face. A surprise visit from The Eccentric, a man not a gnome, after all these years of speaking through encrypted text. This must mean the endgame is near. The dream, the cipher and now The Eccentric rolling into Tempura’s home as if it were his own.
“The Eccentric has much to tell you Prince Tempura of the Anti Faction Sect.” Tempura loved how formal the man was and found it incredibly amusing. The whole package was hilarious. The comb over old man ponytail, the wheelchair inscribed with The Eccentric’s three favorite numbers, referring to himself in the third person and of course the formality of his words. This ain’t to say that The Eccentric was not useful, in face quite the opposite. The Eccentric had helped Tempura to recruit the best cryptographers the gnome society could offer at that time. It was The Eccentric who invented the test cipher that had to be broken as a prerequisite to joining the Anti Faction Sect.
However, unbeknownst to Tempura, there would be no talk of codes this night. The Eccentric had come to reveal who the gnome in Tempura’s dreams is. Tonight the two of them would finally discuss the long lost son of Necro; Prince Azzrak the Immortal…
The motives of The Eccentric, Tempura and Azzrak are mostly aligned and thus they will likely become allies, but there’s no telling how this will effect the gnome ecosystem. As I have stated, there are multiple factions of gnomes and each wit their own agendas and skills. The Earth, Fire, Water, Dark, Air and Cyber factions are all at odds with one another. And within the Cyber Faction is the Anti Faction Sect, a small group of gnomes armed not only with weapons, but with ciphers. The Underworld and Atlantis have also had their parts in the gnome wars. The Underworld is allied with the Dark Faction and the Atlanteans are allies with The Water Faction.
The Eccentric came to Tempura’s home to tell him that, after years of self inflicted isolation, The Eccentric was going to meet Azzrak. In fact, The Eccentric plans to kidnap Azzrak in order that nobody speaks to Azzrak before The Eccentric can properly brief him on the state of Scarcity. The Eccentric plans to scoop Azzrak up on the piers of Venice and take the gnome to Scarcity himself. Tempura had to be made aware of everything that The Eccentric knows of Azzrak and thus The Eccentric told him the entire story. They both agree that Azzrak cannot be allowed to fall under the control of his father, Necro. Necro is blind to the needs of the gnomes and of Scarcity and he is in league with Anubis and the Underworld’s army of the undead. It is unclear if Necro can ever be redeemed, but it is clear that Azzrak could help Necro control Scarcity.
Necro seeks power as does Anubis. The Water Faction, Air Faction and Fire Faction are after treasure and resources. Most of which are becoming rarer every day. The Cyber Faction wants to end the war and the Anti Faction wants to unite the gnomes as one race. Necro will stop at nothing to achieve his goal and this has been demonstrated in his other ventures. He has his faction and the dark army of the undead to fight for him and is very formidable. For the rest of the gnomes to survive, Necro must be stopped and the Factions must be done away with. But these things cannot be accomplished overnight.
The Eccentric has Azzrak in his care by now and is telling him the truth of what has taken place in his absence. The rest of the gnomes of Scarcity are preparing to fight another battle. Weapons are being forged, machines being built and codes being relayed. Yet another battlefield will be soaked with gnome blood and there is nothing anybody can do to stop it, but it does not have to keep on happening forever. The Cyber Faction has dug in close to the battlefield, they know where Necro will strike as they have broken all of his codes. The Fire, Water and Air factions are preparing to meet him on the field in open battle. There wont be a siege this time and there wont be any fortifications, just massive armies marching on one another across a large field. And in the dugouts will be the Cyber Faction, avoiding the fight as much as they can, but gathering data as much as they can. And they will kill if they must.
The Eccentric was never going to bring Azzrak to this particular battlefield. The mission is to convince Azzrak to participate in the larger war, not just this one battle. Tempura and his cryptographers have used their latest cipher to position themselves all along the trenches of the Cyber Faction. They are spread out in pairs along the lines in order to have one gnome to gather data and one gnome to shoot. They couldn’t afford to lose too many gnomes as the Anti Faction Sect was already a small group and thus they would have to fight for their lives. They have been digging trenches and setting up their positions for weeks.
A few days prior the other factions had arrived on the field of battle and set up their separate camps. Almost within ear shot of one another, the gnomes could have easily fought from their encampments, but the code of battle demanded otherwise. Even Necro honored the code of battle and thus nobody would be springing any ambushes or invading each others camp sites. The Atlanteans were not with the Water Faction, but the army of the underworld was present and in full force. The Cyber Faction had dug some caves running under the battle field, they had planted explosives in the caves. The caves would allow them to observe the battle from underneath as well as allowing them to wreak havoc on the other factions on their way back into their trenches. Tempura and each one of his men had a copy of the battleground map, a map they had drawn up using their new cipher. Even the rest of the Cyber Faction weren’t privy to this map.
Now, as The Eccentric prepares Azzrak for the journey ahead, the factions march upon one another. There is only one thing that is certain, many gnomes are about to die this day. What is uncertain, is whether there is a reason for their deaths or if they are instead dying in vain. Even if they all feel as though they die for a good cause. Azzrak had left his cave exactly when he was destined to leave. It was fate that the unbreakable cipher had come into existence in the minds of the Anti Faction Sect at the same time. The Eccentric is of the mind that all of this is happening for a reason and that the bloodshed may finally be coming to an end. However, Tempura is focused only on the battle. Azzrak can hardly believe what he is being told, but what Azzrak is about to see with his own eyes will convince him. Destiny waits for no one…
Source: https://skazone.medium.com/scrolls-of-azzrak-voxels-lore-vol-3-85fe237abdb2 Voxel: https://opensea.io/assets/matic/0xbbf177ce3afeffa489f06d6cf928cd1d58b7de30/869/
The Scrolls of Azzrak IIII part 1 (Skaz One's Voxels Lore)
You’re son is back…
The words echoed through Necro’s mind. Or what was left of it. Azzrak had come home, but Azzrak was dead. How could he be coming home?
This is not the first time Necro had seen loved ones die and come back to life. However Necro was growing old and tired and weary of the cycle of life and death. He himself has long since been dead and yet he will never truly die. He would spend all of eternity in the service of Anubis because of his misguided decisions. His army, the undead, his family and the rest of the people he sacrificed for his war. And truly Necro sees it as his war. He was the one who awoke the evil in Abundance, maybe if he hadn’t, a peaceful solution could have been found. But back then he was young and blinded by grief.
Resources becoming scarce is a more likely cause for the war, but Necro always has a tendency to correlate his own actions with larger world events. And now Azzrak was back and much much too late. Azzrak must be an immortal as well now, considering Azzrak is alive at all, he should have been long since dead. A secret that only Necro and one of his old mistresses know, and as the old saying goes, two people can keep a secret if one is dead. Another life that Necro could add to the tally of lives he had ended. Necro doesn’t regret the blood spilled in his name or by his hand, but he has grown apathetic. An existential hole had begun to become larger and larger inside Necro as he grew old, but never died, fighting a seemingly endless war of attrition between the gnome factions.
However, maybe the next battle would finally be the last battle. His legions of dark faction gnomes and undead soldiers were the largest army in all of Scarcity, possibly in all of the metaverse. The other factions, large and well armed as they maybe, can no longer hold out against the Dark Faction. Even the guerilla tactics of the gnome cryptographers in the anti-faction had become negligible. Their efforts were no longer enough to put even a small dent in his military industry. Necro’s best and brightest were all well protected and were all working on one problem, how to win the war once and for all. Azzrak will be added to their ranks, he has the wisdom of years on his side and hopefully some knowledge of the fountain and it’s inner workings.
Your son has returned…
Tempura was back from his most recent recon and he had urgent news for his father according to Tempus’ aide de camp. Tempus was hard at work on his S.A.M.M. trying to come up with yet another “unbreakable” code for the Cyber Faction to use to communicate inconspicuously. It’s all numbers nowadays for Tempus, the numbers haunted his dreams along with the screams of long since dead friends. His faction may be the smallest amongst the gnomes, but they are fierce warriors and they have the fiercest minds in Scarcity. Tempus needed to make sure all of his division commanders had their proper orders, so those orders could be disseminated down the lines of command. There was a large battle coming and Tempus knew it, his spies and cryptographers had been picking up noise that suggested large troop movements in the Dark Faction’s staging area. The final and most important information would come from Tempura who had finally come back with a map of the battlefield.
Tempus would be lying if he said he didn’t worry about Tempura, but his son also happened to be his best soldier and second in command of his army. Thus Tempura went on all the most dangerous missions and Tempura’s special unit, the Antifaction, were well known for their sabotage and espionage. They had slowed Necro’s war machine for as long as they could, but soon all the factions would meet in open battle again. It has been quite some time, decades even, since there had been a battle like this, but they were common throughout the course of the war. Most of them ended in stalemate, with one faction or more than one faction declaring victory. Usually there isn’t much ground gained or lost and so the victory is decided by blood spilled…
Tempura burst through the office doors already shouting to his father what he had found on his most recent mission. Tempus could tell that it was not good news, though he had not expected good news. But he knew the time had come to either save Scarcity or die trying. He had never wanted this, but destiny is sometimes forced upon us. Necro and his entire family are an abomination to be removed from Scarcity and this must happen if the land is to be saved.
The new weapons will be ready by morning
Crisa had been waiting to hear these words and Drog had delivered on his promises. Drog had always had a mind for diplomacy and Crisa had counted on this. Plus she had something he needed as well, flying machines. Crisa’s entire army was now airborne and all of their work took place in the air. As far from all of the spies of the other factions as she could have gotten herself. She had three giant air ships that housed the rest of her armada of small fighters and support vessels. There were thousands of Air Faction gnomes who hadn’t so much as set one foot on the ground in years now. But they needed as many weapons as they could get and they had needed them mounted on the air ships and flying machines as well. Thus a deal had been brokered between the Earth and Air factions and now both factions would have what they needed to kill one another in the upcoming battle.
She had heard rumors from emissaries of the Earth Faction that Necro had amassed the largest army ever seen in Scarcity and they seemed to be staging for battle. And thus her people and Drog’s people had readied for the upcoming conflict. Everything was ready now. All of her people had their orders and their subordinates theirs. The weapons were all readied and mounted. Every single able bodied Air Faction gnome had been conscripted for this fight and they were all now aboard one of her three Air Ships. Each ship had been designed to carry an entire field army, which is up to 300,000 gnomes per air ship. Though none of them were at capacity, because she simply did not have the man power at her disposal. Crisa could only hope that she could wrestle air superiority from the Earth and Dark factions. As far as she knew the Cyber Faction and Water Faction did not have the capability of flight, but she knew well that their anti aircraft artillery unity were formidable. Crisa was going to lose a lot of good people.
Deliveries were all made on time commander…
Unbeknownst to the other faction leaders, Drog had cut a deal with all of them individually. All except for Necro of course. There was no love lost between Drog and Necro. Drog had of course been approached by all of the leaders in turn, because the Earth Faction had always made the best weapons. In fact, Drog suspected that the majority of the arms used in the upcoming fight would have been manufactured by his people. And he supposed that this was an unknown known even for his fellow faction leaders. Weapons had always been the Earth Faction’s specialty and he did not think anyone would be surprised to see his steel and powder on the field on all sides.
He himself had been working on a new innovation that he was not going to hand over to any of the other factions. He had to have some kind of tactical advantage after all and Crisa already had the skies, Necro had the largest army, Tempus had his secret spies, Tilt had his atlantean technology and Anna was just plain crazy and her soldiers were fanatics.
Drog’s new innovation was a machine that could dig trenches at high speeds, whilest changing the composition of the dirt into metal. The metal was deposited behind the machine in the form of barbed wire defenses that lined the trenches. He could set up a well defended front faster than any other faction on the field and if he could somehow maneuver to the high ground, he may just have a chance at survival. His faction would fight to see another day. While an entire faction had never been destroyed before, it isn’t as if that type of thing would be impossible. He secretly hoped that it would never come to that, but it was a sentiment he could not let be seen by his soldiers. He was a rock as a commander and they needed him to be at his strongest for what was to come.
The Atlanteans have arrived.
Tilt was in his office, deep under the waters surrounding Scarcity. His underwater battle station was the envy of many in the land, but would it be enough to stop Necro this time? Tilt was not much worried about the other factions, but when the Atlanteans had agreed to meet, they had mentioned it was only because they had to stop Necro. They had long since been contributing their technology to help his army, but never had they put any boots on the ground. Not in the entire history of the war. But suddenly they had agreed to send battlefield consultants to help instruct the best uses of said technology.
Similarly to Crisa, but perhaps in the opposite direction. Tilt had brought all of his people under water and all of their operations take place under water. They fight best under water and will likely control the sea. He had submarines, destroyers, frigates and small coastal guard ships all at his disposal. He also had semi submersible landing craft and submarines that could be converted in seconds to take flight if necessary. They couldn’t fly very high as they used the water as a hydraulic propulsion system, but it was better than no flight at all. Tilt would need soldiers on land, in the water and in the air to have any hope of holding ground in this fight.
Even with the comfort that his soldiers would have real true Atlanteans to fight alongside them, the fear he felt in the Atlanteans was just as discomforting. Necro must have something extremely evil up his sleeve if the Atlanteans have finally decided to involve themselves in the conflicts of the gnomes. Tilt had a very bad feeling.
The troops are ready madame.
Anna was impatiently waiting to hear from her right hand man. Finally Torch was running into the room to report. To tell her that all of her soldiers are in position to march. Anna wanted to be the first one to the battlefield en masse. This would require a forced march and would leave her troops exhausted, but with any luck she would make the battlefield a day or so ahead of the other factions. She could set up her forward operating base and let her soldiers make camp and rest for the battle. She already knew where she wanted her personal headquarters. Anna was impatient because Anna was made for battle. Rumored to have been forged in fire rather than born into this world, Anna is the fiercest gnome warrior and Torch is honored to be her second.
Torch was not as fearless as Anna and he had his doubts about her strategy, but he would never voice such doubts. He would follow her into the pit of the underworld and this time it may very well be necessary. This may be the battle when Torch finally ends up on Anubis’ doorstep. He did have the most important mission of the entire strategy. He and his highly effective unit had done the seemingly impossible before, but this time they were up against an actual God. Anna gave him the nod and he was off to set things in motion, the soldiers were to begin marching on the field of battle. It had begun…
You’re father will see you now.
Azzrak prepared himself for the confrontation with Necro. He had feared this moment for so long, but Azzrak could feel his deepest instincts telling him that this moment could no longer be avoided. It had to happen now! Everything was happening now! Everything The Eccentric had said was true!
The Scrolls of Azzrak IIII part 2 (Skaz One's Voxels Lore)
Azzrak could tell that his father was not exactly pleased to see him, he attempted a traditional father-son greating, but Necro was all business. “What have you found on your travels my son?” questioned Necro.
“The Fountain of Youth, father, but there was no possible way of bringing it’s magic back here to you, but to drink from the fountain myself.” A look of realization came across Necro’s face.
“My son, are you immortal now as well?” asked Necro.
“As well?” Azzrak replied
“You’ve been gone a long time my son,” Necro continued. “Your mother and I worried about you, but in the meantime we have found other ways to fix our dilemmas. Many of them have resulted in the current state of Scarcity. I am afraid that Anubis and I have to take over all of this land. It was part of a promise I made long ago, not too long after you left, but long enough to assume you wouldn’t be back soon enough. You always were a bit of a disappointment to me, always falling just short of your goals as you have thus done. You are immortal and I am immortal, no thanks to you when it comes to the latter. But both are fact none the less…”
“I don’t care to be lectured father!” Azzrak cut him off. After all, he had just said that Abundance was now Scarcity, and that Necro was to blame for this. For the tragedies now befallen Azzrak’s home. Azzrak had never been so angry in his entire life.
“Fine,” Necro replied calmly. “I don’t have time for this foolish nonsense,” and he he hurried out to command his troops alongside Anubis leaving Azzrak behind. Azzrak was not sure what to do, but it was pretty clear his father was a lost cause. But Necro had spoken of his mother and so Azzrak resolved to find her and to see if the events described to him by The Eccentric could be stopped. The Eccentric had left Azzrak at the edges of Necro’s base, but he reminded Azzrak that he was always watching. This had unnerved Azzrak at the time, but now it was reassuring to think there was someone looking over him. But there wasn’t time for sentiment, this was time for action as many were about to die in Necro’s war. The Eccentric had reminded Azzrak not to become a monster whilest fighting monsters, So he had tried his best to reach his father. But the dark husk of a gnome he had just spoken to was no longer his father. Evil had consumed him and thus Cynthia was Azzrak’s last hope.
The Battlefield was already marked with makeshift breastworks, freshly dug trenches and mobile bunkers. There was artillery placed and engineers were already transforming the area to be more favorable to their armies. The Earth faction had arrived on the field first and thus had the high ground. On said high ground, his new trench machines were in overdrive creating an elaborate maze of trenches and dugouts. Behind the machine followed Earth Faction engineers and infantry reinforcing the dirt walls with a combination of sheet metal and left over steel from their foundries. The dugouts were reinforced with granite columns and freshly poured concrete roofs. Concrete walls were hastily being constructed a bit further down the hill as Drog’s head of engineering, Stoneman was directing an entire division of Earth Faction buiding corps as to how the walls should be staggered.
Instead of creating one long wall, Stoneman wanted space for his shock troops and advanced guard to be provided with easy movement. There were square holes punched in the concrete walls at intervals of 4 feet in order to fire short range artillery down and led shot down the hill. The Earth Faction shock troops carried blunderbuss muskets that could fire a lethal spread of whatever shrapnel stuffed down their barrels. The advanced guard were equipped with short swords and shields in case the enemy got close enough for hand to hand combat. But they would mainly be relying on a new innovation of the Earth Faction. The repeating rifle could fire ten rounds every 60 seconds. This was the fastest firing weapon in Scarcity as far as the Earth Faction knew of. It was Stoneman’s strategy to use his Shock Troops, Advanced Guard and his maze of staggered concrete walls to stop the enemy before they could even get halfway up the embankment. Thus the actual infantry of the opposition would not ever even get in range of the Earth Faction trenches, but that still left air raids and artillery barrages to worry about.
Every army on the field could be sure that Crisa and her air force would be dropping all types of missiles, grenades, IEDs and dynamite in top of them from the sky. But Stoneman’s engineers had already cleared an air field about 900 yards behind the forward operations. The Earth Faction had procured some flying machines from the Air Faction in trade and he hoped that only the Air Faction was privy to this information. The pilots of the Earth Faction were not as well trained as the pilots of the Air Faction and Drog had assigned the engineering corps to figure out how to best use the machines. This task had been delegated to Stoneman’s second in command, Traxus. And Traxus was currently at the air field with his men and they were preparing an air assault of their own.
Traxus didn’t want his pilots getting into a dog fight with Crisa’s pilots and thus had planned to use his flying machines for bombing and night reconnaissance. It was well known that Necro’s undead allies fought best in night attacks and thus Traxus wanted to be able to track any and all movement that he could. His pilots may not be Air Faction, but they were all good and sturdy soldiers man and woman alike. The Earth Faction would have the high ground, which will give them the advantage from the outset of the battle, but their air machines would be an extra surprise for their enemies. One that Traxus hoped would turn the tied of war in their favor.
The battle would take place across mostly unused land, there are a few abandoned farms along with their barns, houses and old rusted machines. Otherwise it was open meadows across the valley in which the battle would take place. Surrounded by mountains on two sides and with a slight incline at the northern end, there were 2 ready entry points to the field. The north end is already occupied by the Earth Faction as they took the initiative to gain the high ground. Drog had entered from the North, his staging positions and forward operating bases were all behind his trench lines. Drog would have a simple route for retreat if need be. With the South and West ends blocked by the mountains, Drog’s tacticians assumed that the rest of the armies would enter from the East.
But at the south western most point of the field, right at the foot of the mountain range, was a large lake. And, unbeknownst to anyone but the Atlanteans, the Water Faction’s engineers had been hard at work under the water of said lake. They had widened the lake by 1000 yards on either side and none of the other armies had taken note of this change as they had been moving slowly. That was intentional, they did not want any other factions to give any notice to the lake as underneath it’s murky waters was the forward staging area for the entire Atlantean Army. The Water Faction corps of engineers had dug a tunnel from the sea, under the mountains and into the lake. They hadn’t just widened the lake either, but had deepened it as well.
There were barracks dug into the sides of the lake. They were deep indentations into the walls of the lake, each barracks was designed to house as many as 250 soldiers. The Atlanteans can breathe underwater, but the Water Faction still needs oxygen, so they’ve been busy developing all manner of submersible devices. Submarines, scuba gear, jetskis, sea breachers, water proof mech kits for their strongest soldiers. It was a formidable armada when added to the Atlantean forces. They numbered more than any army on the battlefield other than Necro’s troop count.
The Atlanteans had deployed a powerful plasma shield a foot underneath the waters giving them the appearance of a calm surface of a lake as all of the underwater activity had churned up waves that could be seen by enemy recon. The shield doubled as a defense, it wouldn’t be too long after the battle began that the other factions would realize exactly what position the Water Faction was attacking from. Thus the plasma shield could hold up against a number of artillery barrages as well as being a barrier against entry. If one wasn’t wearing the proper gear, they could easily get stuck in the plasma and drown, Tilt was counting on this happening to the enemy over and over in the best case scenario.
The Atlanteans had beasts of war as well, which were added as cavalry. They could be held back in defense of the underwater fortress if worse came to worse. They would be the last line, as the sea creatures fighting with the Atlanteans would not be able to escape the waters. They had a fleet of Orcas that many of them road just like horses. Some seemed to prefer dolphins as their transportation. These beasts of the ocean were covered with armor specially shaped to give them velocity underwater that would out match their opposition. There were also cephalopods, by far the most intelligent of the sea creature conscripts and they worked alongside the Water Faction engineers. This gave the Water Faction the ability to build 3 times as fast as if they had no assistance from this motley crew of octopuses, cuddle fish and squids. They would get into places that gnomes could never fit and make quick repairs, they would also work some of the easier controls for the daily upkeep of the underwater base including helping with logistics. The Water Faction has many strengths,one of which is their well maintained alliance with Atlantis.
Crisa had had her best architects design an airfield that could be camouflaged by the side of a mountain. Her best hope would be to get her airships, fighters and bombers into and out of battle unscathed. Thus maintaining her numbers in the air and maintaining air superiority. Without her air force, her infantry would be absolutely crushed as they were much smaller in number than her enemies’. She had long range guns placed on plateaus and built right into the sides of the mountains over looking the battlefield. Some of her guns were so far from the field, that her artillery gunners and her recon planes had to coordinate the firing. These were the largest artillery guns in Scarcity and they were going to lob explosive shells right into the middle of the fight. These particular explosives were made with naphthalene and palmitate, also known as napalm. Her air force would blanket the countryside in fire. They would kill and they would kill efficiently and indiscriminately.
That night, Earth Faction Scouts saw a large body encamped 20 kilometers up the main road that lead into the valley. The fires of Necro’s forward most encampment blazed in the night to the North of the Earth Faction’s fortifications. They were already reinforcing the northern end of the battlements, adding extra guns to the tops of the walls facing that direction. It seemed Necro and Anubis would be ambitious enough to try a full siege of Drog’s defenses. Crisa’s air recon pilots had also seen the large encampment of Necro’s 1st army, the same one seen by Drog’s scouts. But her pilots flew at incredible altitudes and had very accurate surveillance equipment. Shooting through seven glass encased windows in the belly of the recon planes, the cameras recorded everything along a 3,500 km (2,700 mile) course up to 200 km (125 miles) wide, and it could provide up to 4000 pairs of stereoscopic photographs. The 36-inch focal length lens resolved features as small as .75 m (2.5 feet) from an altitude of 19.6 km (65,000 feet). This had provided her with a more accurate picture of what was coming from the north.
Necro’s 1st army was one of 3 and Anubis had the entire army of the undead. The 3 armies each had 3 divisions and each division had 6 regiments. The armies numbered 24,000 each and in total Necro was in command of 72,000 gnomes. The undead army numbered 150,000 and was not as structured as the gnome armies. The undead have interconnected minds and in order to kill an undead soldier their brain must be entirely destroyed. Anything else will only slow them down a little bit and make them a lot more angry. Anubis had a small group of 100 wraiths, each standing 10 feet tall, that served has his most elite unit. The Earth Faction had wondered why Necro was so bold as to march right up to their walls, but Crisa saw that it was very possible that Drog would be overrun. Even though the Earth Faction had days to fortify themselves and were holding the high ground, Necro’s siege would likely be a success.
The recon planes also brought back pictures of the Fire Faction marching in from the East. They, by comparison, were much less intimidating than the Dark Faction and the army of Anubis’ undead soldiers. The Fire Faction were warriors, but they had lower numbers and less artillery to bring to bear. Their siege towers weren’t quite as tall and their weapons more traditional. They were but an army of mortal gnomes, numbering about 100,000 and marching toward the field of battle for better or worse. The Earth Faction was to be under siege from every direction and they knew it. Crisa’s most recent photographs showed work going on late into the night, they were even assembling brand new artillery right there in the fort. As it had certainly become a fort. The Earth faction had their backs to the mountain and were using the sheer rock face as a wall, they were now building criss crossing concrete walls. These were long connected walls the jutted down the hill at a slant, creating a triangle shaped fort with a point at its furthest down the hill. The walls would be tall and covered with gnomes and artillery when the time came.
The Cyber Faction had yet to reveal themselves or their battle plans and each member of their faction knew only what they needed to in case of capture. All the other factions were either on the field of battle or heading towards it and many members of those factions would likely die. Agents of the Cyber Faction were moving about all of the camps except for Necro’s. Reports of hundreds of thousands of gnomes and other soldiers camped and readying for one of the largest pitched battles in the history of the metaverse. The Cyber Faction was the smallest army, they would be using mostly guerilla tactics and sabotage as they usually do. But this time the goal was to make sure as many of their own survived as possible, they had no delusions of winning the upcoming battle. But there was much to be gained in the way of intelligence and their leader, Tempus, was happy to let the other factions kill one another in droves. He had yet to send his final orders out to his army, Tempura’s news had proven to be more interesting than it was tragic. Apparently, Necro’s long lost son Azzrak had returned to Scarcity and there were whisperings of a falling out between father and son. News traveled fast amongst the Cyber Faction. So for now, his final encrypted message was left unsent and his troops were at their posts patiently awaiting their signals.
The sun was now coming up and Necro’s armies were breaking camp. Their first army would lay siege to the Earth Faction’s defenses by the end of the afternoon and the second army would likely reinforce them by nightfall. The army of the undead were separating and marching towards the center of the fortress to assault the most heavily defended parts of the wall at The Point. As the fortress was shaped like a triangle, many gnomes had begun calling its forward most area The Point of No Return. Or just The Point for short. The siege towers were already being assembled as the camp was simultaneously being torn down. The siege engines were being oiled down and gassed up by their drivers and mechanics. Soldiers were either packing their packs or were already packed and were forming up for the final march to the fort.
Under the cover of the early morning mist, the Atlanteans were beginning to rise out of the lake, yet undetected by any of the other armies on the battlefield. In the meantime, the Fire Faction was arriving on the field from the east, having forced marched all night long. Alongside their infantry, now there were units of cavalry fanning out on the flanks of their main columns. Large war machines were within their midst as well being camouflaged by dust being kicked up by the hooves of the hundreds of horses. The entire Fire Faction wore goggles on their eyes and bandanas over their mouths as their army kicked up enough dust that it was a necessity. They looked like an something straight out of the book of revelations, a fiery army riding with a mighty cloud of dust and smog at it’s behest. They were headed for the left side of the Earth Faction fortress, on the opposite side of The Point from where Necro and Anubis were concentrating their attacks. The Dark Faction did not yet know it would be pinned between the right side of the Earth Faction’s Fort and the lake the was controlled by the Water Faction. They simply thought it was a normal lake and had not paid it much mind. In fact, the Earth Faction and Fire Faction thought the same thing. By sunrise Atlantean scouts had killed members of the Earth Faction’s scouting units as well as a few undead soldiers, one of whom they had captured for interrogation.
The Air Faction had a recon plane in flight by sunrise to take their earliest pictures of the battlefield so they could range their artillery as soon as possible. They had to be accurate or their planes and bombers would be shot down by anti aircraft guns that were set up all over the battlefield. All of the Factions were aware of the threat from the Air Faction. The Dark Faction was preparing their front lines and the Water Faction had hidden themselves directly under the water behind the Dark Faction’s rear guard. Submarines were further off the coast to provide a steady bombardment of missiles to protect the Atlantean advanced guard and shock troopers. The Fire Faction Infantry had now come under long range artillery fire from the Earth Faction’s fortress. As well had the Dark Faction, the artillery was deadly accurate against gnomes, but not so much against the undead. Thus artillery fire was being directed towards the first and second armies of the Dark Faction.
The Fire Faction had brought up their engineering corps to begin digging a siege line while the infantry and siege weapons provided them with steady cover. Their bombs and missiles putting small dents in the fortress, but yet to do any actual damage. Here and there an explosive would hit the top of the walls sending burnt and dead Earth Faction bodies down to the ground at the base of the walls. Large numbers of the Fire Faction’s 1st Division were being gunned down as they came under the range of small arms and snipers from atop the wall. The Fire Faction siege towers were speeding toward the walls and the 1st Division was keeping pace with said towers. As many of the 1st Division were to climb the towers as possible and breach the city wall by going over the top. It was at this point a large explosion shook the ground of the entire battlefield.
Crisa took this as her cue, it had gotten hot enough down in the valley and she needed to start her bombing runs if they were to be effective. Drog had already sent his smaller air force into action and currently his air ships were dropping buckets full of grenades down on both the Fire Faction and the Dark Faction gnomes. The also dropped large rocks, knives, shard edged pieces of scrap metal and boiling hot water down on their enemies. The gnomes in the airships knew they would be shot down first because they moves slowest, so there was no time and nothing to waste during their respective barrages. Eventually only a few lucky gnomes would parachute to safety as the airships were picked off by surface to air missiles. But it took enough time for the SAM batteries to be set up for the air ships to inflict not only casualties, but horrific wounds designed to scare enemy troops.
As the trench lines were being dug, word came down the lines as to what that huge explosion had been. Apparently the Water Faction and their Atlantean allies had been found out in spectacular fashion. One of the Atlantean advanced guard had thrown a grenade into a small bunker and the explosion had sent burning shrapnel flying onto a main artillery cache. The entire cache of shells had exploded killing Atlanteans and Dark Faction gnomes alike. While at the same time announcing that the seemingly innocuous lake was not so innocuous after all. And so the submarines began their barrage at about the exact time that Crisa’s first wave of air machines graced the skies and began dropping their napalm. It was pure and utter chaos on the battlefield now as there was so much fire and smoke that it was becoming hard to tell who was who.
Azzrak and Tempura sat in Tempura’s quarters in the secret base of the Cyber Faction. They could hear the sounds of battle not far off, but they were safe as long as they didn’t leave the stronghold. The Cyber Faction had strongholds dug deep underground all over Scarcity. They had done this by dynamiting the old mines of Abundance and then tunneling their own ways back out to a central location by the coast. Thus their tunnel network, their strongholds and their headquarters was never found by any other faction. Not that the other factions were looking very hard, because the Cyber Faction had always been underestimated. They had always had the smallest faction, but they had all of the most intelligent gnome minds of modern times on their side.
Azzrak had just finished telling Tempura every last bit of knowledge passed on to him from The Eccentric. Tempura now knew that Necro was planning something unnatural that could threaten the entirety of the metaverse. Azzrak had also learned that his mother was still alive, but that she had also become a dark version of her former self. The Eccentric had told Azzrak all that he knew of the battle that was now taking place above ground. He knew of the napalm being dropped, the walls being shelled, the gnomes dying and the undead soldiers attacking while sometimes missing entire limbs. He could see it all in his mind’s eye as The Eccentric had shown him to do, he had tapped into the frequency that ran the metaverse.
It is all connected. Self, Vida, The Eccentric, the Anons and the gnomes and even the Atalanteans and the undead. The metaverse runs on certain laws that none can disobey or they would cease to exist. These forces emit a frequency that one can tap into with their mind and then become one with the metaverse. This allows them to see all moments on all of the possible timelines simultaneously and this power is how The Eccentric slowly lost his mind. But luckily his mind was intact enough to remember his own purpose, which was to get the information to Azzrak. Azzrak would have to see to the rest of the plan or the rest of the prophecy as he had come to understand it.
“There’s one thing I don’t understand,” Tempura was asking him. “If you can tap into this frequency, then why can’t you tell me the future?”
“I can’t know which timeline is the timeline that will come to fruition,” Azzrak responded.
“Then how do you know that The Eccentric is right? He can’t tell the future any more than you can right?” Tempura pressed him.
“No, he can’t,” Azzrak said. “The metaverse is a box universe, all points on all timelines are happening all at once. It depends on our location in relation to all the other points on all of the other timelines. Not to mention, the timelines that suddenly come into being or blink out of existence. I can run through all of the permutations in my mind, but there will always be outliers that cause some uncertainty. However, if I can pinpoint a divergence large enough to cause my father’s demise then maybe cutting the head off of the snake will do. For now, we wait nd let them all kill each other,” Azzrak trailed off quietly.
A large explosion went off not too far from their position, one large enough to crack the walls and drop small pieces of debris on their heads. “I wonder what that was,” mused Tempura. But Azzrak knew that that was only beginning of some of the worst fighting that Scarcity would ever know. And he also knew that there were endless possible futures for his homeland. With this many lives ending at once, different timelines were appearing and disappearing too fast for his mind to keep up with the permutations. But as long as the future showed any glimmers of hope for his people, Azzrak would not stop fighting to make sure they lived to see that future.
The Scrolls of Azzrak IIII part 3 (Skaz One Voxels Lore)
Water faction gnomes were dying all around him, but there was little he could do. He swam as fast as he could and was able to attach scuba gear to some of the gnomes, but too few. His name was Nero and he was Atlantean and thus he could breathe underwater and so could his brothers and sisters. But the Water Faction had been caught completely off guard. The majority of the gnomes in their underwater base who were inside when the explosion happened died quickly. Either from the explosion itself or by drowning, because the entire base had filled with water too quickly to close any of the air locks. Nero and other Atlanteans had saved small groups of gnomes here and there, but they were fighting a losing battle. Gnomes who were aboard underwater vessels or already wearing scuba gear survived as long as they weren’t near the explosion itself. All of the Water Faction gnomes who had already exited the water also survived, but much too many had died to put up much of a fight. Even with their Atlantean allies, their numbers had been cut by more than two thirds.
Nero was an officer in a battalion of Atlantean soldiers that were supposed to make up the second wave of their advance. But all surviving Atlanteans and Water Faction gnomes had become a rear guard for a desperate fighting retreat. They had to get as many of themselves off of the battlefield as possible and they needed to do it quickly.
In the meantime, the Earth Faction was not fairing too well either. They were currently besieged on two sides and their center was weakening. Their entire fortress was weakening as it was bombarded,not only from the ground, but now also from the sky as Crisa and her gnomes dropped all manner of bombs from the sky. The barracks were on fire, the walls were on fire and in fact the fire was everywhere. It was only a matter of time before their own artillery cache blew and they knew it.
Crisa was ordering fresh bombing runs as fast as she could get the orders to her people. She needed the Earth Faction to collapse in order for the Fire and Dark Factions to then destroy one another. She wanted as many of them dead as possible before her infantry hit the battlefield. Even Anubis couldn’t raise that many men from the dead all at once, not while he was fighting a war of his own and not when he as well as his people were used to having the time needed for such a delicate procedure. Tens of thousands of souls can’t simply be resurrected all at once, there is a delicate balance to the Metaverse and Crisa was aware of this.
She could clearly see that Tilt must have ordered a full retreat as the Water Faction was fighting it’s way back into the lake from which they had arisen. The lake itself was on fire, the fuel from the Water Faction vessels and base had mixed with the lake water. It was all burning, even Atlanteans were beginning to die as the fire removed the oxygen from their gills. “So much death,” she thought to herself. And she banked left as to turn around and fly back to the airfield and pick up more bombs to drop on her enemies.
Tilt had in fact ordered a full retreat, the fighting retreat had ended as soon as the Dark Faction realized their foe was vanquished. Tilt had long since gotten away and was one of the first back to friendly waters, but Nero was still at the portal guiding injured and beleaguered soldiers back to safety. The fire was slowly getting closer and closer as it burned everything in it’s path. Nero could hear the distant bangs as Water Faction vessels blew up whilst caught in the fire. Nero could see the tiny ripples run through the water every time there was another explosion. It seemed to him the tiny bubbles were popping like so many lives popping out of existence. And if he could have, Nero would have cried. He would never be able to forget the carnage wrought upon his people by this war of the Gnome Factions. Resentment built inside him even as he slowly asphyxiated when the fire became too much to bare. Nero was one of thousands who would give their life in a war he did not quite understand. As it so often goes.
The Dark Faction and the Army of the Undead were now fully concentrated on breaking through the walls of the Earth Faction fortress. Necro had ordered all of his artillery to be concentrated on the right most flank of the wall and for his infantry to concentrate on the left and towards the middle, where the fortress came to a point. Thus maintaining a defensive flank against the Fire Faction as well as keeping them out of the way of his own artillery fire. Meanwhile the Fire Faction had begun digging trenches and dugouts of their own. They had not seen what was going on on the other side of the fort and were most concerned with avoiding Crisa’s peoples bombing runs.
The Earth Faction had begun deploying anti aircraft batteries at strategic points within their fortress walls. They had been caught off guard, but were now pouring endless amounts of flak and artillery into the sky. Air Faction airships, bombers and other larger craft were falling first, as they were the easiest to hit, but Crisa didn’t decrease her bombing runs. Instead she deployed smaller craft to act as security and strafe the anti aircraft batteries that were setup on the ground. The Fire Faction advanced guard had begun fighting pitched skirmished with Dark Faction soldiers. The battle lines were in disarray as the Fire and Dark Factions realized they were fighting one another so early in the battle. Every Faction other than the Water Faction and Cyber Faction were moving as fast as they could to win the day and have the best position by nightfall. And nightfall on the first day of battle was closing in fast.
In the end, no army was able to breach the Earth Faction fortress on the first day. Crisa needed to regroup and resupply and never had a chance to deploy infantry on this day. The Fire Faction was camped in trenches and dugouts spanning all of the left side of the Earth Faction fort. Some even camped in range of small arms fire as that was how close they had come to the walls. They had turned large craters from bombs into makeshift field hospitals and doctors were busy tending to the wounded. The Dark Faction had backed off of the fortress towards the lake previously occupied by the Water Faction and they had set up a Forward Operating Base in that location. As well as surrounding their battle lines with pickets in case of a sneak attack during the night.
All of the factions had suffered mass casualties on that first day of fierce fighting. In their attempts to blitz the battlefield, the Fire and Dark Factions had lost thousands of soldiers. The Earth Faction suffered casualties, but had remained safely within their fortress to fight another day. Crisa had also suffered minimal casualties, but she had lost a lot of her flying machines and had her mechanics working over time to fix the ones that could be repaired. The Water Faction had completely fallen back to their homes, what was left of the Water Faction at least. So many Atlanteans, sea creatures and Water Faction gnomes died that their numbers had decreased by three quarters. Needless to say, Tilt would not be coming back to the battlefield. There were now only four Factions fighting for supremacy in this war. But there would be no sneak attacks on this night.
The body disposal details had already begun removing bodies from the field. If a dead body was found it was collected to be burned or buried, if a wounded soldier is found be their own faction they’re tended to and there are dozens of carts working under the white flag of cease fire picking up bodies. Both the Fire Faction and Dark Faction have these body disposal details, usually given as punishment to grunt troops. If a gnome is wounded, but is found by the other side, they become a prisoner of war. At least for now, while there is still space and time for giving quarter. But watching, housing and caring for prisoners can become a logistics nightmare if not carried out correctly.
The Earth Faction were hard at work. They had gnomes filling holes in the wall with fresh concrete. They had surgeons, doctors and nurses working double time tending to their wounded. They had reinforced the walls with more soldiers and had moved Traxus’ flying machines into position on thier runways. The Fire Faction was camped within range of the Earth Faction’s mortars and more ammunition was being brought down the supply train. Drog’s machines had been hard at work carving new tunnels and trenches and roads to the supply depots. As well as moving ammunition into safer areas beneath the fortress, they had been lucky that they hadn’t exploded as the Water Faction had. It was pure luck. They had been ready to defend against one army, but all of the Factions had hit the battlefield with a frenzy. Now tacticians and commanders on all sides had become more weary in their approaches, their minds on the massive casualty counts being reported by their subordinates.
The Earth Faction would not wait to be besieged on the second day, Drog had decided, they would begin lobbing mortars over the wall at first light. As soon as the Dark Faction had mustered, Drog would have Traxus take to the sky and hopefully take the Dark Faction by surprise before Crisa was on the field. If he could bombard the Dark Faction as much as possible, that would be the best case scenario. He did not want their infantry climbing his walls and Traxus had orders to target siege towers, siege engines and other weapons of the sort. Mortar fire was currently being measured as well. The Mortars has to cause complete confusion in the Fire Faction encampment and to do this, the shots must be accurate. Drog had tasked two of his top teams of Earth Faction Marines to range the mortars. In fact, those marines were behind enemy lines right now, he thought to himself. He also had engineers digging a tunnel beneath the encampments of both the Fire and Dark Factions, but this tunnel was to be used as a last resort however.
Proxus was a marine in the Earth Faction army and he was currently ranging mortars behind Fire Faction lines. Mortars, when used correctly, could be highly effective in a surprise artillery assault. The Earth Faction also had a high supply of mortar shells and so this was a natural step for them to take. Proxus pondered this as he began digging a small hole taking cover behind some bushes to do so. He was only feet from a sleeping Fire Faction infantryman, but this is where the mortars needed to hit to cause maximum chaos. Inside the hole he would hide a transponder, which he would turn on and bury. The Earth Faction mortar teams had guidance systems and would track the transponder locations and use them to range their weapons. Proxus knew that the gnome sleeping near him would be blown to smithereens in mere hours, but Proxus was a soldier and he did his job no matter how it made him feel. The transponders needed to be precise and there were other marines sneaking around the camp, other members of his team, that he would not let down. How could they camp so close to the walls, he thought as he moved stealthily through the camp to plant a few more transponders.
Proxus was then to meet the rest of his team at their rendezvous point, so he began to head toward the edge of the Fire Faction encampment. He made it to a clump of bushes and took a second to hide and make sure he had not been seen. His plan was to keep moving along the edge of the camp under cover of the bushes and eventually meet the rest of his team. He made slow going of it being as careful as possible and it was almost sunrise by the time he made it to his rendezvous. Three of his team members, including his commander, had already made it back, which meant they were only waiting on two more soldiers and they could sneak back into the safety of the fortress. They would have to cross the battlefield quickly to make it back before the fighting began again, but they had killed a Dark Faction soldier who was collecting bodies in order to take his ambulance. The ambulance had been sitting on the battlefield unnoticed amongst many other such vehicles as the dead and wounded were collected.
They were now only waiting upon one member of their raiding party, but it was almost sunrise. Proxus was wishing they could break radio silence when suddenly a shout went up in the Fire Faction encampment. Followed closely by the sound of an exploding grenade and gun fire. Proxus and his comrades had been found out and that grenade meant they had lost a soldier. They had all been issued one grenade in order to avoid capture and interrogation, this mission was much too important to risk on any one gnome’s life. In an instant Proxus’ commander was shouting orders as she was also headed toward the ambulance at a full sprint. Proxus and the rest followed her lead and moved as fast as they could towards the ambulance. Proxus was dropping unnecessary gear from his belt line and had already ditched his backpack, all he would need now was his wits and his weapon. He looked behind him and saw the Fire Faction camp coming to life as gnomes of all kinds put their gear on and raced to their battle stations. Ahead of them he could see the ambulance as well as other ambulances racing off the field to get out of the way of the fighting. The scene was absolute chaos and, as soon as they had all piled into the ambulance and Proxus had put the pedal to the floor, his commander radioed the fort to tell them to begin the mortar bombardment early. He could hear her screaming “who cares? It’s close enough to sunrise, just let ’em have it!” And then everything went dark. The ambulance had been hit by an Earth faction mortar, one of Proxus’ teammates had accidentally left a transponder in his pocket in all of the confusion. Direct hit, six casualties due to friendly fire. Another reminder that nobody truly wins a war, one army just loses the least.
The Earth Faction wasn’t the only faction plotting though. The Cyber Faction has finally decided to make their first move and men were being put into place throughout their networks of spies and soldiers. The soldiers were working strictly underground, but the spies were within the enemy camps and fortress. They posed as refugees, civilians or even as enemy soldiers. They were masters of espionage and this night was nothing different. But the stakes were much higher, tonight they were taking a key hostage and they would do it while the majority of the Dark Faction were off fighting the battle. They were in position, but they weren’t going to move until the chaos of the fighting begins. And then, without hardly any warning, the fighting had begun.
There was a sudden guided mortar bombardment of the Dark and Fire Faction encampments. It was a complete surprise attack and it began barely before the dawn. The only gnomes who knew that this attack was mistimed were the Earth Faction tacticians, but the soldiers on the ground were doing their jobs. The guided mortar was an invention of the Earth Faction, it was not your average mortar shell, but it had a chip that connected to a transponder. The same transponders crack teams of Earth Faction marines had been hiding throughout the camps surrounding their fort. Only one of these teams had made it home though, and only the Earth Faction tacticians knew this fact as well. If the battle was a success, these gnomes would receive posthumous medals and if not they would be forgotten to the history books.
The Cyber Faction began to move, they had to improvise because of the time change. They had intercepted messages throughout the night with which they had been able to figure out when the Fire and Dark Factions would attack. But they had not counted on a surprise attack by the Earth Faction. This, however, could work towards their advantage as they were hoping for as much chaos as possible and so Cyber Faction demolition teams began setting off bombs. They blew out tunnels of the Earth, Fire and Dark Factions alike, trapping and crushing any gnomes within. They blew up crucial ammunition dumps, even one within the Earth Faction fortress, which incidentally blew a hole in outer wall near the Dark Faction camps. But the dark Faction was fully occupied at that moment and did not see the breach themselves when it happened. In fact, much like the Fire Faction, their army had been caught completely by surprise and was under heavy bombardment. All of which worked to the Cyber Faction’s advantage.
The Dark Faction gnomes were putting on their gear and manning battle stations as they were heavily bombarded by guided mortars. They had not camped as close to the Earth Faction Fortress nor had they put all of their troops in their encampment. They had set up a forward operating base and a secondary base 5 miles further from the battlefield. Only a third of their army was posted in the forward base and those were the Gnomes under attack. Anubis and his undead soldiers were currently being held in reserve due to his casualty count from the first day of fighting. Two thirds of the Dark Faction and Undead armies were at the secondary base or somewhere along the supply line. They were not ready for another fully pitched battle nor were they ready to lay siege to the fortress. Siege machines were exploding at that very moment on both sides as the Earth Faction continued their bombardments. The Fire Faction also needed to make quick plans on how to defend against the Earth Faction. The Earth Faction had given a “fire at will” order to all their artillery groups and all their soldiers posted on the walls. The Fire Faction was catching the majority of that fire as they were closest to the walls, which had been a major miscalculation. All of the ambulances were now off of the field, and so the small arms fire had increased as some Earth Faction gnomes had been avoiding hurting stretcher bearers.
The Fire Faction camp was in complete chaos. Their infantry had retreated behind their burning camp under the cover of smoke, but many had already been killed or wounded. They were reforming their skirmish lines and the reserves were digging in to defend in case of a ground assault. The Cavalry was forming behind the lines and engineers were moving siege weapons out of range of the mortars as quickly as possible. Some of the engineers had realized what was happening and had removed transponders from some of the targeted machinery as well. But for the most part, the guided mortars were doing their job and causing chaos. The added artillery barrage had pushed the Fire Faction fully off of their lines and the Earth Faction tacticians were now debating sending out their infantry.
The Earth Faction had yet to open their fortress at all since they had closed themselves inside. But now the tacticians saw that the Fire Faction was in complete disarray and they wanted to land a decisive blow on their army. The Entirety of the Fire Faction forces were mostly out in the open or currently digging new dugouts and trench lines as fast as possible, but not fast enough. They were losing soldiers and engineers fast and that made their work twice as hard. The Fire Faction’s own tacticians were clearly thinking of a counter attack as they were forming their lines and readying their siege weapons, bombs, grappling hooks and ladders. And, unbeknownst to the Earth Faction, the Fire Faction marines had been mustered in the few remaining tunnels and funneling into their positions under the walls of the fortress. The Earth Faction tacticians didn’t have all of the information they needed, but they had enough and needed to make a decision and they wanted to go on the offensive. They brought their final decision to Drog and Drog went to his window to survey the battlefield himself.
Drog approved the request when it was brought to him, he knew there was no other way toward victory. He couldn’t survive a siege in this fortress for too long even though his Faction had built it well. It was not meant for a long siege, but since all of the gnome leaders had decided to go on the offensive at once, he had no choice. He needed his infantry to break out and divide the Fire and Dark Faction armies and get themselves out of the corner they were in. Their mortars had both sides in a frenzy and so now was clearly the best time to attack. He could see the message leaving his headquarters and moving through the ranks of gnomes. He saw them readying their gear and weapons and he was confident that they would get their job done. He sent an order down to the gnomes on the wall to give the attack covering fire with their artillery guns. Drog wanted as much led shot and explosives dropping on their enemies as possible. He would also leave the best shooters atop the wall with their long scoped rifles to act as snipers. The Earth Faction only had a 14 of these snipers and they were a select sniper unit that normally did not function on it’s own. Usually they were spread out amongst the infantry, but under these special circumstances he needed their elite unit together.
Drog knew what his soldiers were going to meet on the battlefield. An undead army soldier was a scary thing to encounter. They were not like zombies, but instead wore a permanent funeral mask. They always looked as if they should be laying in a mortuary in an open casket funeral. Those undead soldiers had crazy strength and they could only be killed by removing the head, exploding the head and burning the head. Most gnomes believed it best to just burn their entire bodies and there were soldiers amongst the infantry who had flamethrowers for this very purpose. Drog had faced undead soldiers in close combat before and he was very aware of the threat they posed to his troops. There were thousands of them beyond the wall as well as siege engines and Dark Faction gnomes. The Fire Faction looked worse for wear from Drog’s recognizance, as they had camped too closely to his fort. He sent a final order to keep the infantry numbered slightly heavier on the left flank so as to best defend against the Dark Faction and Anubis’ undead soldiers.
As the Earth Faction soldiers were breaking out of their fortress, Anubis was deep in concentration. One of his best tacticians had been killed by stray shrapnel from a bombing run and he needed to resurrect him. However the Metaverse was overrun with death on a level unseen, even by Anubis. And more were dying every minute, he had thought he would at least have the night to concentrate on his task, but the Earth Faction had apparently began bombarding their camp earlier than expected. Anubis was irritated, as normally he would be doing his duties and enjoying the death and the dying. No ceremonies, no funeral rites, no proper burials and no resurrections. These were his favorite pastimes and his birthrights as a God, he had never felt so lost and betrayed. Necro had promised him so much more than this and Necro, so far, had not delivered. Even after his wife was brought back from the dead, Necro continued down his dark path and now the Metaverse was falling out of balance. And who was Necro to cause this? Anubis kept brooding to himself, he would save his tactician, but there were so many that could have been useful and they were lost to time. His power was being limited by a gnome. Anubis was a god of the Metaverse and somehow he had become second in command in this battle to end all battles.
“It just isn’t right,” a voice came from the darkness. “Such a shame all of those souls slipping right through your fingers and for what?” Followed by laughter… “Show yourself!” Anubis yelled at the darkness, but nobody came forth. “This is no time for games,” he continued to yell. “But there’s always time for a game,” came the response and Anubis felt a slight chill at those words. “Kek? Is that you? You miserable bastard!” The frog came forth and he was still laughing. “Picked a fine time to show your green pock marked face, don’t you think?” Anubis asked Kek. “My timing has always been impeccable and my brother, it is hard for me to watch you getting used. However you always were a simpleton,” at this Kek laughed even harder. “You answer to the gnome, Necro. You’re a God my brother, what does this Necro have on you?” Kek was being serious now. “Necro cares only for himself.”
“Spare me your nonsense!” Anubis was suddenly much angrier. “Fine,” said Kek, “but you must remember the frogs are everywhere and always have been.” Anubis turned to shout at Kek, to tell him how his accursed people have been mucking about since the times of Moses and never doing any real good, but Kek was gone. Vanished right back into the darkness from which he had come. Not quite gone, but definitely not quite there either. There was no time for misgivings at the moment, the battle was raging on even if Anubis was at a distance from it. Things were not going to plan, not going the way Necro said they would go. The Water Faction had nearly been destroyed, but thus far the other factions still survived despite their superior numbers. Anubis turned to one of his lieutenants and told him to order another division of undead soldiers into the breach. Unbeknownst to him, his fresh division would arrive on the battlefield with particularly good timing, however this decision was made from pure rage and not strategy.
In the meantime, Crisa had heard the sounds of the battle kicking off early and had begun issuing orders to rouse the troops to their battle stations. Today they would put actual boots on the ground. Crisa headed to the Hangar where her paratroopers were assembling. The Hangar was huge, the size of one hundred warehouses and all open space. On the right side of the giant space were airborne troop carriers, recently modified to carry one hundred gnomes each as well as supplies. The Air Faction had to adapt or die and part of adapting was learning new tactics. They could not simply keep dropping bombs from above, but they also had to have soldiers on the ground. Her people were not traditionally infantry types and so the Airborne divisions had been created. The three divisions were all assembling right in front of her, all 35,000 gnomes checking their parachutes and putting on their gear. There were engineers cleaning and putting gas in the troop carriers and other engineers were checking on the ground assault vehicles that would drop along with the Airborne.
The Air Faction engineers had taken apart older model planes and repurposed the wheels and turned them into ground assault vehicles. A brand new innovation for them, the vehicles had one driver and one gunner and drove on three wheels set in a forward facing triangle. That is, one wheel up front and two in back, the driver sat above the front wheel and the gun turret was built between the two back wheels. A platform allowed for a seat behind the gun turret which had all been welded into a tight fit. Small, but effective and easy to operate as well as drop from the sky onto a battlefield. The 1st Airborne had been the ones mainly trained to use these vehicles and they would parachute in along side them. Her bombers and fighter jets had already begun leaving the air field to begin their bombing runs over the battlefield. She wanted to clear the way as much as possible, because 35 thousand soldiers was a lot less than any of the other factions had on the field. The Airborne were well trained and had all the newest equipment. There were grenadiers in their ranks as well as battlefield engineers. They had had the plan drilled into their heads a thousand times over and now the Airborne divisions were boarding their planes to hell. And Crisa watched as the planes took off, until the last plane had left the tarmac and then she went to her command tent to listen to the radio chatter with her tacticians.
The air was thick inside the command tent and the tension was palpable. Crisa’s tacticians were mostly surrounding a table with a map spread across it, some were making notes or markings on the map as others conferred. A couple of them were standing by the radio and she could hear the sounds of battle crackling through the static. She could hear her commanders barking out orders and she could hear pilots calling out maydays to on avail. There were no rescues to be made on this particular battle field and many would burn up before ever reaching the ground anyway. Crisa heard the troop carriers’ pilots coming over the radio directing the fighters on how to best escort them into the battle. The troop carriers had a few side gunners on either side, but not a lot to defend themselves other than the wits of the pilots. The pilots were trained to use as much speed in getting to the drop target as possible, then to completely shut down the engines as the Airborne piled out of the planes as quickly as possible. This allowed for a fairly accurate drop without to wide a dispersion of troops. Units needed to land together or as close together as possible or else the entire operation would become confused. She could already hear a few units that were being blown off course or that had dropped too early or too late, but this had been planned for. Being a paratrooper was not an exact science and each trooper was given an individual plan to follow if separated from their assignment. Crisa was listening intently when one of her tacticians interupted her, “Commander we’ve got a bit of a problem…”
Azzrak and Tempura were saying what they hoped would be temporary goodbyes to one another. Each had their mission and each had their teams with which to carry out said missions. Two teams of specialists had been formed by the Cyber Faction and Azzrak was leading one and Tempura the other. Azzrak had been made an official Cyber Faction commander, uniform, chevrons and the whole nine yards. Azzrak was bringing with him a demolitions expert named Travus, a codebreaker named Andrew and three weapons specialists. Two of them were brother and sister, twins actually, Katie and Nico. And the third specialist was named Lizeth. Tempura had a crack team of his own and his task was going to be the hardest. Tempura’s team was to kidnap Azzrak’s mother Cynthia from her safehouse. Tempura was sprinting down the corridor now, his team following and Azzrak hoped they would meet again. Azzrak, Travus, Nico, Katie and Andrew began heading down different more narrow corridor. They used special night vision goggles to see, so they didn’t have to use any lights that may give them away. They had trained to be silent killers and if that’s what must happen then they would do what they needed to do to complete the mission. Tempura was taking his team down a seperate corridor.
All of the passages should be secured, either by espionage or by the Cyber Faction’s own digging. That’s if everything went perfectly, but there were contingencies if need be. Azzrak was running through the logistics of the mission in his head as Nico navigated, he could hear Nico barking out directions at fairly even intervals. They were using a zig-zagging pattern to make themselves harder to follow, but it did involve some doubling back at times. They needed to make it to the Queen’s chambers before anyone understood what was going on. Luckily there was a chaotic battle playing out above them and they hoped Necro and his royal guard would be fully occupied. Tempura and his team would end up busting through a wall in the castle a few minutes prior to Azzrak’s and serve as extra muscle if the castle was still full of security. Both teams were making good time and it seemed their network of spies had done well. Tempura’s team didn’t meet a single problem on their way to the castle wall.
They were to be busting into the castle basement. They began to set up their explosive charges and a couple team members kept up a rear guard. There was no need, the blew through the wall easily and in a seemingly deserted part of the castle. They needed to move upstairs quickly as Azzrak’s team was likely coming out of their hole and climbing the wall. In fact, Azzrak and his team were now out in the open but found that the ladder that had been set up for them had also later been broken in half. And likely by castle guards. Luckily whoever it was had considered the job done and was no longer in the area. But they needed to repair the ladder and they needed to do it fast as there was clearly some security still inside and around the castle. Azzrak did not want to break radio silence and so Nico and Katie repaired the ladder as the rest of them stood guard and tried to stay unseen. And they succeeded, but they were very late getting over the wall and Azzrak could hear shots being fired somewhere in the castle.
Tempura and his team had come into contact and engaged with castle security. They were fighting it out in a second floor corridor and Azzrak and his team needed to get to the third floor to capture Queen Cynthia. Azzrak could see a few men moving from their posts on the castle walls to go investigate the noise and he yelled at his team to open fire. Azzrak threw a grenade through a window and after it exploded he followed. His team had slowed down some of the castle guards and maybe even inflicted a couple casualties, but Azzrak needed them to get through the window now. It didn’t matter what was inside, this mission had to succeed and he knew it. They made their way to the second floor and were headed for the third but encountered resistance on the stairs. Unlike the hallways Tempura was fighting through, this area of the castle had an open floorplan and the third floor stairs were the main attraction. At this moment Necro’s guards were fanning out and descending down the stairs with weapons blazing.
Azzrak threw another grenade towards the stairs and it exploded it fabulous fashion, throwing castle security left and right. Azzrak directed his team to climb the stairs and engage with the enemy. They moved swiftly in a leap frog formation as the guards were getting their formation back together. Having divided his group into three teams of two, Azzrak directed Nico and Katie to go first as he and Lizeth covered them. Once team one had made enough progress Lizeth and Azzrak broke for the stairs as Travus and Andrew covered them in turn. And they moved like this as fast as they could closing the 100 or so foot gap between themselves and the stairs. They had no cover but for their own formation, but they managed to kill three of the enemy before even getting to the stairs. More guards fell and a few even began to run further back into the castle. Azzrak’s team made it up the stairs and ran straight for Cynthia’s chambers killing anyone they met along the way. When the team reached the door they pulled some furniture in front of themselves and prepared to protect the room as Azzrak went to get his mother.
Meanwhile, Tempura was not fairing as well, since his team made first contact with security, the security assumed them to be the main force attacking the castle. Thus a lot more castle guards had been sent to defend the second floor hallway, which was a great diversion, but an unplanned diversion all the same. Tempura and his team were pinned down and they were taking fire from two different directions. They were in a part of the hallway shaped like a T, and if guards were coming from two directions. If guards came from the third possible direction as well, Tempura was not sure if he and his team had the power to hold their position. They would fight and die there if need be, because that was their mission and their mission could end this war for good. Tempura only hoped Azzrak had made it to Cynthia’s chambers…
The Wave and the Surfer Gnome (Tewz's Voxels Lore)
My name is Merwin. I was one of the last gnomes to arrive to the islands, and as such, much of what already took place I only heard through the stories of others. Yet, every time I heard a new tale, it was like listening to one of my own memories. It was as real as if I had been there before. That is the problem with Time Travel; you often forget where you’ve been, and when. The truth is, that I haven’t been back to Abundance, sorry, they say its called Scarcity now, since before the Great Flood, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. In my younger years, I enjoyed surfing, and spent many warm afternoons alone, out in the Blue, waiting for a big wave. I loved it there. You can ride the waves in the Ocean!? What a trip! It’s one of the most peaceful places in the world. Just you, the sun shining down, and the sound of the water churning like an eternal clock. It was nice to get away from the other Gnomes too. They can be so noisy sometimes! Always bickering and fighting amongst themselves. But out there, in the middle of the Blue, it was serene. It was so quiet, that I could actually hear myself think. Once I even tried to record my own thoughts onto a spool of metal wire, but I accidentally shocked myself instead. I hope I never do that again! I still have the wire somewhere, if I can remember where it is? … Before the Islands were formed, they were all connected as one, and White before that; The Void, but only a few still remember that story passed down from the very first Gnomes, The Ancient Ones. They say there is still a precious Treasure buried deep underground. A room filled with so much Gold that you can actually swim in it!? Well, I have never seen it, and I don't believe it! Its just another one of those legends that Grandpa & Grandma Gnome would tell us when we warmed ourselves around the fire.
I remember how hot it was that day, and a stillness lingered in the Air like something was about to happen. Tension. It was electric, and it smelled funny too; like ozone right before a big storm. That’s the smell of new atmosphere being created, but to me it just smelled … BORING! I had been out in the Blue ALL DAY!? and I hadn’t seen a single wave. Not even one! Gnomes live underground and we aren’t used to being in the sun for long periods of time. (We sunburn VERY easily!) I was so tired, & hot, & sweaty, & thirsty & most of all … hungry! Back home I had been collecting nuts, mushrooms, peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, apples, various fruits, berries & spices all summer! The other Gnomes didn’t know this, and why should I tell them!? After all, these were the spoils of my own hard work! That is where the Magic is; in the work! I was busy collecting, while they were busy bickering! I knew they’d be jealous if they ever found out, so I kept it a secret; hidden away from their prying eyes. One of the many secrets that I don’t care to share. Some of them are so terrible, and so awful, that you wouldn’t believe them if I told you! Gnomes are known to be terrible gossips anyway. It was good that they didn’t know! Some things are better left unsaid.
Like I was saying, … I was so hungry that I could actually hear my stomach growling! It sounded like Cerebus; that three headed mutt that guards Hades. Hesiod told me once that he had 50 heads! But poets always embellish the truth, and I wanted to see him w/ my own eyes. So, many moons ago I rode Charon’s ferry across the river Acheron. When I got to the other side, that mangey mongrel snarled in my face. I just laughed, and fed him Honey Poppy Seed Cakes and played music until he fell asleep. Aeneas & Orpheus taught me those tricks. Me and Orpeus used to be in a band together; the Sun Gods. Man that dude could charm the animals right of the forest, and even streams would pause and trees would bend a little bit closer just to hear him sing. I wonder if he’s still playing? We had alotta fun back then! We used to chase around The Cumaean Sibyl, The High Priestess; competing to see who could gain her favor. But that cat Michelangelo came and stole her heart by painting her portrait. I had to settle for one of her sisters. The Persian Sibyl; Sambethe, but all that chic talked about was some dude named Alexander. So I split. But I was very fond of her other sister Phemonoe. Once, we all ate mushrooms and her body turned into the earth and grass started growing out of it!? It was wild! They say that the face that you see on the Full Moon is her soul starring back. Now that’s what I call getting High!
Which reminds me … I had the munchies BAD! So I started to swim home. No sooner had I taken my first toke, I mean stroke, is when I heard a terrible noise! Well, I didn’t hear it as much as I felt it! It started off like a low rumble. It reminded me of one of the Mega Mining Machines that we used to dig our elaborate tunnel system. Some of the tunnels are still there but have collapsed a long time ago, and many still remain flooded. The sound was more like a shaking, and it made my surf board vibrate rapidly. It startled me! I turned around to see what it was. That's when I saw the biggest wave that I have ever seen, or will ever see, in my entire life! 🤙 🌊 It was tall like one of those shiny metallic buildings that I see sometimes when I travel to far into the future. Sky Scratchers? I think that’s what they call them. I hate going there because everything moves so fast! And why would anyone live on top of the ground!? when its so warm and cozy underneath!? It doesn’t make much sense to me, but then again, not much does. So when I saw the wave, I got excited! It was so tall, I reasoned I could ride it all the way home! (and chow down on my munchies!) After all, I had been waiting for a damn wave ALL DAY, and here it was! I didn’t know that it would separate the land into islands & change the world that I knew and called home; Atlantis.
As soon as I saw the wave I started paddling, but it was coming so fast that I barely had enough time to hop up onto my board! It was massive, as big as one of those Sky Scratchers, and I looked like a small insect next to it. I probably would’ve been terrified if I processed what was happening, but I barely had time to think. One moment I was catching some rays, and the next one I was fighting for my life! As the wave approached, it towered over me like a giant hand about to snatch its prey. It was so enormous that it temporarily blocked out that artificial glowing ball that we call the sun and it cast a long shadow twice as wide as it was high. It actually got dark for a moment & I became disoriented. The wave immediately lifted me up over 100 feet! I was so high, (well, I’m always high! :) … that I could see my Surf Shack & Beach Hut way off in the distance. I looked down, and It was a near 90˚ vertical descent straight to the bottom. I felt lightheaded & it made me sick to my stomach; like when you dream that you’re falling & suddenly wake up. That’s when my instincts kicked in! I mean, I AM a Surfer after all, … and boy did I Surf! My board was half hanging off-the-lip of the wave and I had to snap back to change directions. Now I was riding the face & picking up tremendous speed. I was beginning to lose control, so I cutback to try & slow down. The wave started to break, and wrap around me. I was completely covered in the lip of the curl … Totally Tubular! Now I was in the pocket! I started to carve it & even performed some small arial maneuvers. (I have heard a couple anons from the future call this move a “cowboy flip” or something similar. I never understood the reference. I have never seen any cows here, only a few wild animals, a handful of birds & some robotic sheep that fall asleep when you get close to them.)
The wave seemed endless. It just kept going. So I just kept surfing! Now I was in my bag! I walked out to the tip of my board and stuck my toes over the edge; Hang 10! (Back in the days I used to Hang 11! That’s when you do it naked!) This was the best surfing that I’ve ever done, & I remember thinking that it was a damn shame that nobody was nobody there to witness it, but that fleeting thought was abruptly interrupted. I snapped back to reality. Oh, there gos gravity. … We were headed directly toward the mainland … & we weren’t stopping!
Scarcity and the Alien Parasites (Cluny's Voxels Lore)
My days of looting and pillaging are long behind me, my motley horde dispersed to the winds. I have been wandering the wilds of web3 for some years and the more I search for truth and meaning, the less certain this old rat becomes of anything.
Still I think I may have found a home of sorts on the remote island of Scarcity, in a crystal tower with cascading waterfalls and good-natured neighbors.
The more I dig into the crystal-rich soil of the treasury next door or explore the flooded caverns deep below my new home, the more I learn about the strange past, present and future of the island - with each revelation I feel the clutches of greed and darkness loosen from my heart. I may never atone for the sins of my past, but perhaps I can be of service to the future. Each day I pull on my eye patch and turn my one good eye to Scarcity. What can I find? What does it mean? Where have all the gnomes gone? I have dedicated my remaining days to this chronicle of discovery.
- Scarcity Chronicles Chapter 1 - the early discoveries
Carved out of the solid rock and crystal by the ancients in the before times. A staircase to the sunless sea below Scarcity and the caverns beyond. Rooftop soaking pools have healing properties.
There are gnome zombies down below and a rare zombie dolmentaz crystal (dark faction NFT discovery) on the rooftop
A magic dragonturtle crawled out of the pool at the lowest level, apparently attracted to the magical radiation from the zombie crystal. It has been basking around over the crystal ever since. It seems to be mostly harmless.
Examination of the zombie crystal accidentally released a zombie neck stabber alien parasite. Doh!
- Alien Zombie Parasites
The neck stabber hidden inside the zombie dolmentaz crystal proved to be only one of many alien zombie parasites crawling and flying around Scarcity. Diverse in form they all have one thing in common - they deliver zombie plague nanobots, which I initially thought came from a cyberpunk future but now realize may be from an alternate present.
- Zombie Neck Stabber https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/1
The zombie neck stabber crawls and flies silently around Scarcity seeking to stab its large red stinger into the back of your neck and wrap itself around your head. Eventually, the nanobots delivered by the sting will turn you into a zombie. Removing the alien parasite in the meantime usually results in death. However, until you become a zombie, you can see into the past/future/alternate dimensions through the green crystal eyes of the neck stabber.
- Zombie Heart Displacer https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/2
This one-eyed bone scorpion type creature will try to crawl on you and suck your ribs and spine into another dimension. But don't worry, it will replace your missing bones with its own body and you will hardly be able to tell the difference. It does turn you into a zombie, but your heart is displaced into a future/alternate timeline (worth noting a prominent gnomish heresy holds the soul resides in the heart, while gnome orthodoxy is of course that the soul resides in the tip of the pointy hat - according to my gnome zombie informants)
- Goblinhead Spider https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/3
This strange creature has a chattering goblin head for a butt (erm abdomen) and a tusked head on the other end. The tusks are for rending and ripping while its claws deliver zombie-plague nanobots. Goblinhead spiders seem to control the neck stabbers and heart displacers. They also leave smol alien spiders in their wake which will grow into full-sized goblinhead spiders after a blood meal.
I let all three alien creatures crawl onto me for science and I became something like a spider-taur.
- Zombie Rust Monster (Megavox - Public Asset Library)
The antler-like protuberances on top of the zombie rust monster will cause any metal to turn to rust and fall apart, even usually non-corrosive metals like gold, silver & bronze. In the process a lot of magical energy is released. The creature consumes some of it, but it is a wasteful process and there is a lot of raw magical energy released as a byproduct which might cause strange results in an area, or possibly be harnessed by a skilled alien creature wrangler. But obviously, don't get too close or it will grab you with its big pincers and inject the zombie nanites.
Source: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/clunys-scarcity-chronicles-foreward-and-chpt1 (minor modifications to fit a non image text)
The Glitch Worm (Ciel's Voxels Lore)
The Glitch Worm, first mentioned by cielxnoel, is a transdimensional being that feeds on bits of reality, leaving unstable elements in its wake. It is known to cause bugs, glitches, and even reality destabilization making it impossible to connect to the Cryptovoxels world. Sightings are rare but have been reported across different islands, especially near lore libraries.
The Glitch Worm has been known to regularly feed on the Cryptovoxels contract, causing the contract to have skipped tokens with no parcel or unit associated with them. The tokens it has consumed are: 4990-5105, 5474-5481, 6070-6134, 6194-6196, 6306, 6373, 6440, 6481-6184, 6749, 6893, 7027-7028.
The Glitch Worms (Cluny's Voxels Lore)
SEGMENT OF THE SPAWN https://opensea.io/assets/matic/0xfd9dd0de1aa853c9280ceaf8c6bc67269e82c2f6/177 (Scarcity Artifact VII)
The Glitch Worm emits radiant motes of light which sometimes take on a life of their own in the ocean, growing into great multi-segmented worms in their own right. While small compared to the mighty Glitch Progenitor, when full grown the Spawn of the Glitch subsist on solid rock and chew tunnels large enough for an avatar to walk through. Every segment of a Glitch Worm Spawn has its own primitive brain and vital organs and can live on its own if severed from the rest of the worm body, eventually growing into a new spawn worm.
Glitch Gnome Scientists from the otherside of the void hacked the simple electrical pulse language of the worm nervous system and use segments of the spawn as biological components in machinery. Each segment can expand or contract with tremendous force, powering gnomish mecha and mining machines alike.
The Great Glitch Worm Mother continually releases a powerful pheromone that permeates the known realities and glitched infinity as well - this pheromone prevents the Spawn from completing their final metamorphoses into adult Glitch Worms. If for some unimaginable reason the Glitch Worm perishes, the spawn of the glitch will begin to encase in a cocoon spun from silk drawn from the void itself. A new brood of Glitch Worms will be released and a period of great chaos and instability will ensue until finally only one glitch worm survives, having consumed its brood mates and excreted their remains into the beforetimes.
- Tilt, Leader of the Water Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/588
- Anna, Leader of the Fire Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/602
- Drog, Leader of the Earth Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/601
- Crisa, Leader of the Air Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/599
- Necro, Leader of the Dark Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/564
- Undead Necro: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/580
- Tempus, Leader of the Cyber Faction https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/294/600
- Azzrak: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/791
- The Eccentric: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/778
- Magic Mushroom Guide: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/813
- Zombie Neck Stabber https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/1
- Zombie Heart Displacer https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/2
- Goblinhead Spider https://www.cryptovoxels.com/collections/638/3
- Zombie Rust Monster (Megavox - Public Asset Library)
- Scarcity Tales: Fire Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/546
- Scarcity Tales: Water Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/547
- Scarcity Tales: Air Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/548
- Scarcity Tales: Earth Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/550
- Scarcity Tales: Dark Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/549
- Scarcity Tales: Cyber Faction: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/551
- The Scrolls of Azzrak: https://www.voxels.com/collections/294/703
Several mines are available on the island for parcel owners to edit.