- LORE -

On many worlds, there is one moment so momentous and shattering that all others end up measured by it.  On Zya, that moment was the Black Dawn.  Zya was never paradise, but it was home to a host of varied, vibrant species and cultures that coexisted - in relative peace.  All that changed when the Dyathus - the chaotic horde also known as the Dread - introduced themselves to the world in one massive blood-stained strike.  Since then, life on Zya has been irreversibly changed, all previous historical turning points rendered irrelevant.  Now, there is only Before The Dread and...well, it remains to be seen whether there is such a thing as After The Dread for the inhabitants of this world.  Or, will they slowly become assimilated into its swarm?


The Dyathus are evil incarnate - an amalgamation of everything foul, cruel, and unholy.  Demons and horrors, fiends and abominations, all things horrendous and vile - any nightmare creature that sentient beings within the universe could perceive only in their worst dreams can be found within its ranks.  Their origin is shrouded in myth and mystery.  Not native to Zya, they have entered this world as they have entered many others before it - spilling out through rifts in the fabric of reality from a dimension of pure evil and chaos.  They have no creed, no morals, no unified goal - only an all-encompassing need for pandemonium and destruction.


As if that was not enough, the Dyathus have one more weapon in their arsenal - the power to reanimate the dead and bend them to their will.  Wherever battle rages, they strengthen their numbers with the corpses of their enemies.  Witnesses from the battlefields speak of strange, alien maggots crawling into the mouths, ears, and eyes of the dead.  Some scholars believe these larvae are infused with dark sorcery, and the act of burrowing into the deceased flesh makes the dead rise.  Chance conspired with this necromancy when the Dread fell upon Zya, for the Terran flagship SOL-1, which crashed near to one such rift, gave them a great number of "volunteers" to join their unhallowed army.


Amongst those of the Dread that are still capable of independent thinking, a variety of motivations guide their actions.  Some are fueled by a thirst for blood, others by a thirst for power.  Others still wish to draw all living things into their deranged fold.  Few have motivations of a more personal nature - revenge, cruelty, or sport.  If there was any logic to their attack on Zya, that logic is known only to unholy Videl - a being of immeasurable power, and the undisputed leader of the Dread.  With the support of his High Warlords, he bends the hordes of turmoil to do his will and enact his plan - whatever that may be…


There is only one last bastion of hope for Zya - the Dyathus draw their power from the Realm of Chaos, the nightmare place from whence they come, and the farther away they get from it, the weaker they become.  Will the effort it takes them to wield their power in a realm different than their own be enough to give the Zyans a fighting chance, or will their world be engulfed by the gaping jaws of chaos?


The Dyathus strengthen their numbers when they defeat other legions in battle; therefore, this nation is recommended for players that enjoy swarming tactics to overrun the opposition.





- LORE -

If there is any rationale behind the chaos that is the Dyathus horde, that reason is Videl.  An ancient being of immeasurable power, Videl emerged from the Rift during the period of the Black Dawn, calling his dark minions to join him from the Realm of Chaos.


If you want to know where Videl is, you need only look toward the bloodiest battles and most heart-wrenching tragedies taking place on Zya.  Videl will be there...but he may not be what you expect.  No longer bound to a physical body, Videl transcends the mortal plane.  When he attacks, he attacks a being's very soul, taking over its body which he uses to do his bidding until he casts it aside for favor of another host.  He seems to have a particular fondness for possessing young children, enjoying the agony it causes those around him when he enacts his will through such a fragile and innocent frame.  No longer fully in the Realm of Chaos, nor fully in this universe, his inter-dimensional nature makes him nigh impossible to kill.  His true form, if he even has a form anymore, is largely unknown.  Those few who have seen it struggle to describe it, words falling half-uttered from their lips.


Whether he was always evil, or whether the powers of discord twisted him into the being he is today is not known.  Whatever the case, it happened so long ago - who is left to tell the tale?  Part of the Dread, he draws his negative energy from the Realm of Chaos, but he has something that his underlings do not - ancient relics of absolute power, which lend him many mystical abilities and increase his innate, unholy influence.  With these relics, he bent the Realm of Chaos to his will, subjugating all who lived there and now his insidious gaze lies on Zya.


What could an entity of such magnitude want?  What passion spurs him to strive for the subjugation of all known existence?  In scholarly circles and in taverns alike, the purpose of his invasion of this realm is eagerly discussed.  Is it a lust for conquest that drives him?  Is it the ambition to expand his army with the corpses of his slain enemies?  Is it rage alone and a desire for destruction?  Or does he search for something here that will further increase his immeasurable wrath?  Sadly, this last and most frightening of prospects appears to have the most credence to it - rumor has it that he is searching for something on Zya, some ancient, forgotten relic.  Will he find it?  More importantly, will Zya remain at the end of it all?


Theologists have speculated about what may happen when a being of such immense power grows even stronger.  There are those who say it will usher in a new age, plummeting this realm into the same chaos that plagues the one he arose from.  Others, optimistically, claim that he himself will cease to be, overwhelmed by forces no being can hope to control.  Others still say it will be the end to all things.


Summoning Videl allows the player to teleport one of their legions to any portal on the gameboard; therefore, acting as a constant threat to other player’s cities.

(Physical Attributes Unknown)

- LORE -

The Death Stalker.  The Lord of Shadow.  The Silent Dread.  Each town this fiend has tormented has for him an alias, for it is said that he will step out of the shadows to devour your soul if you should speak his real name.  Only under the brightness of the zenith sun in an open field, with no shadow in sight, may you dare utter it: Defiolous.  Even then, some say it is not safe – for the Dyathus Warlord’s treacherous power is such that even the small patch of shadow between your feet is sufficient to allow him to reach through and pull your soul into the dark void for whence he comes.


There is constant speculation about where Defiolous comes from and how he came about his terrible power.  Some say he is one of the primordial creatures of chaos, born before the worlds were formed.  Others say he was once a man, who felt the call of chaos from a young age and silently waited for the first rift to open during the Black Dawn, then stepped willingly through it, arms outstretched to receive his dreadful power.


Though not the largest of the Dread by far, nor the most fearsome in weaponry or wizardry, few things strike fear into the hearts of mortals like catching sight of him across a battlefield.  Wrapped in a tattered white cloak, he moves in absolute silence as he approaches his target, swift as the wind.  One moment he is there, the next he is gone as he bleeds from shadow to shadow in pursuit.  A heavy hood covers his head, keeping his face in perpetual darkness, a pair of curved, pointed horns - a gift from unholy Videl himself - protruding from underneath it.  It is said that Defiolous has myriad seeking eyes, all glowing red, hidden beneath that hood, one for every soul he is slowly ingesting.  Souls are his sustenance; their consumption is what keeps his hideous power ever-strong.  From each eye emanates a vicious red glow, visible only to those standing a mere foot away.  If you see it, it is too late - his crooked, talon-tipped fingers are already rending your flesh, pulling out your soul to consume and leaving your body a puppet to his will, or discarded refuse for his brethren to feast upon.  You will have been one of the fortunate ones…


Defiolous' true victims are those who never see him coming.  Rulers and generals, farmers and fishmongers - anyone may become his next mark.  No-one knows how he chooses his prey or why, only that once he has chosen, the hunt can only end in death.  For hours, days, or weeks he follows close behind wherever they go, watching them from the shadows.  Night after night, he makes his presence known with incorporeal sounds and silhouettes dancing in the dark.  His talons rake across windows, carve wounds in doors and floorboards.  To torture a mother, he wears the shadows of her child.  For a widow, he wears those of a love long lost.  Whatever you fear most, he will take its shape when he comes for you.  If you wake, you will wonder if it was all just a dream.


Is it fear alone that makes his victims eventually lose their senses?  Or is there something else about him, some infectious quality that bores into the very souls of his prey?  Whatever the cause, none of his victims have lasted more than a week under his dark influence before they're overtaken by violent impulses, tearing apart anyone who happens by.  While any soul provides nourishment, souls damaged in this fashion are his true delicacies.  It is said that he is never content except while he is watching such carnage of his own making from some dark corner, eyes glowing red under his hood, never lifting a finger.


When the deed is done, he withdraws his influence momentarily, just long enough that you may see the bodies strewn about your feet and realize what you have done.  When he opens your chest and finally consumes your soul, it is a mercy...almost.



(Male, 5’9”, 128 lbs.)




- LORE -

Have you ever seen a fallen angel in the midst of battle?  Have you ever seen pure elegance, surrounded by hordes of undead?  If you have, you've seen Seraphyss, one of the Dyathus High Warlords.


Named from the angels of old Earth mythology, Seraphyss was once one of the brightest among The Order.  As captain of a Terran Warbird, she earned the respect and loyalty of her crew by her skills as a tactician and her prowess as a fighter, and the admiration of others by her renowned beauty and charm.  Still, she had eyes only for one - Markus Validorn.  Having met while still in military training, they wed at a young age, long before she earned her rank, and he his political position.


Shortly after the Black Dawn, an all-out offensive operation was planned by The Order in the hopes of gaining the upper hand before the Dread was able to sink its claws into the planet.  As the most renowned battlecruiser, Seraphyss and her crew were sent to lead the charge.  Though it was with a heavy heart that Markus sent his wife into such danger, Seraphyss was not afraid - if things went badly, he would send reinforcements to help her and her crew retreat safely.  Seraphyss trusted her husband.  Yet, reinforcements never came, and she was killed along with her entire crew...


Her story might have ended here, but death hasn't been the same on Zya since the Dyathus came.  Seraphyss rose once more, with the thrumming of terrible power in her chest, and a fever for vengeance infecting her every thought.  Past death, she became imbued with incredible necromantic force.  No sooner were her eyes re-opened, then she reached out with her newfound power to reanimate her crew.


So impressed was Videl with the potential she displayed in her new form, that he made her a High Warlord of the Dyathus and gifted her with a great boon - a staff inlaid with a green, glowing gemstone, which in Seraphyss' hands grant her nearly limitless capacity to infect others with the undead symbiont.  Now a frequent sight on the battlefield, particularly in Krysis lands, she is perpetually surrounded by a cadre of rotting corpses whose eyes glow with the same sickly green as her staff.  Few have as great a command of reanimation as she.


Though normally the transformation from dead to undead takes several days, the touch of Seraphyss' staff reduces that time to mere seconds, allowing the dead to rise immediately.  Aside from this increased speed, she appears to have a greater degree of control over the sentience of her underlings.  Unlike the thoughtless ghouls that protect her body with theirs, she has allowed her crew to retain more human form and thought, and the ability to act independently in the aiding and protection of their leader, to whom they are loyal unto the end.


Like the vast majority of the undead, Seraphyss is driven by conquest and to spreading the symbiont to any being she can, to share the immortality she's found with all.  But beyond this initiative there is a deeper, more intense hunger - for revenge against the one she blames for her demise...the man she used to love.

(Female, 5'4", and 131 lbs.)



- LORE -

If Videl is the head of the Dyathus, then Shahkaheh is its firm right arm.  As the immortal general of the Dread, he commands the hordes of undead and unliving beings that comprise their ranks.  Countless war heroes throughout time allege to have slain Shahkaheh; whether liars or tragically mistaken, they have all been killed by his hand for their false claims.  For centuries, perhaps millennia, he has led the forces of chaos into battle at Videl's decree - victory after victory, shaped by his cunning and ferocity.


The most unsettling thing about Shahkaheh is that he appears almost alive – a single intact thing in an ocean of rotted flesh.  He wears little armor, including simple leather sandals and a pleated loincloth, the brightest of whites and never stained by a single drop of blood even in the most brutal battles, held up by a wide leather belt.  At the centre of the belt, an elliptical gem, enormous and glowing an ominous green aura, sits.  On his head is an ornate helmet, in the likeness of a black jackal, which obscures his face.  If it was not for his immense size - towering at a height of almost 13 feet - he could almost be mistaken for a Terran from Old Earth.  Bronze-skinned and muscular, he moves across the battlefield with the determination and confidence of an impossibly seasoned warrior.  He does not speak except to command his undead legions - and then his voice booms out louder than the loudest war horn.


In his hands he carries a pair of enormous blades, sharp enough to slice through bone and severe limbs, with curves similar to an ancient khopesh, flattened at the very ends to allow him to bludgeon as well as slash.  The length of the blades are carved with intricate markings, and the handles are gold.  He calls these twin blades Anpu and Inpu, and it is said they cannot be broken by any being, tool, or magic in existence.


If he was ever a man, he is not one now - a single look at his face will tell you that.  There lives no emotion there, no affection or desire or even blood-lust.  All such impulses have been lost to him long ago - now he only acts, and commands.  In his dark eyes, you will find no soul, only an endless star-studded void.  There are some that claim that Shahkaheh was never a being in his own right - that he is merely a vessel for the military will of Videl, a ruthless killing machine sent to do his master's bidding.


Yet there is one subtlety that hints there is something which resides even deeper within him.  Witnesses have found him, once a battle has come to its end, striding across the battlefield amongst the bodies of the fallen as though he is searching for something.  Terran historians speculate that he is searching for the soul of his first born.  As he goes past, any child found among the dead will rise and, in a silent procession, follow him into whatever abyss he calls home.  What dark magic awaits them there, what bloody altar?  No-one but Shahkaheh knows, though those few who have survived an encounter against his decayed troops agree on one thing - no undead child can be found among their ranks.




(Male, 12'7", and 537 lbs.)