To correct those flaws, she began experimenting with angels. When hundreds of trials failed to produce satisfactory results, she concluded it was due to the weakness of an organic body. As her work transitioned into golems, she had an epiphany. Perhaps the true problem was the possession of a physical form. True immortality transcended the laws of life and death itself. She began transmuting test subjects en masse, turning the extensive underground laboratory into a massive refining complex to create a being without limitations, a living embodiment of her ideals. And now, those years of endless labor will soon be complete.
A call to arms has been sent far and wide across all Revaliir, backed by a shaky tentative collaboration between Ortolanus and Iskander—the former an ancient lich who was a colleague of Ekaterina’s first victims and the latter an elder from Zets’Ki Cradle. The normally parsimonious undead master has even offered rewards for the brave souls who choose to risk their lives in breaching the underground stronghold to put an end to Ekaterina and her creation, once and for all.
For too long, Serafina had felt that the mantle of Death had always overshadowed that of Debauchery. While she held the power of both spheres, so few sought her out for the latter. Thus, the Infernal Queen set upon a task to show the people of Revaliir that Debauchery in itself was something incredible to behold.
With the help of a skilled procurer who also happened to be rather adept at potion making, Serafina crafted something spectacular for the populace as a whole: Luxurium, a sweet, decadent wine, unlike anything ever tasted in Revaliir. The wine was made from the finest Adelunan grapes along with a myriad of other well-refined ingredients, all designed to create a drink of ultimate enjoyment. Sailor’s Chew eliminated the need for much sleep, allowing the drinker to revel to their heart’s content with no exhaustion. The addition of Dyno dulled any major pain the imbiber would experience, allowing life’s minor aches to go on unnoticed, or allowing them to dance for hours on end. A hint of Feybloom kept them wanting more… and a pinch of Blacknectar added for a mysterious kick.
The wine was distributed to the taverns of every major city in Revaliir, though its origin and ingredients were left unexplained. The cases were simply delivered with a note that they were to be served to customers free of charge, and that more would arrive before they ran out. The taverns operated under the assumption that the wine was being delivered by one of the new vineyards as a promotional attempt to gain status with the major cities - and the patrons seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the new product.Serafina was thrilled as she looked in on the cities, seeing the large and raucous parties that were taking place. Debauchery had taken hold, and she had managed to do so without the destruction the sphere of Death so often came with. Things were going exactly as she had hoped, and soon Revaliir would know the delights that their deepest desires could bring them!
Unbeknownst to Serafina, one of the many zealots who followed the mantle of Death had caught wind of her plans. This particular follower was quite skilled in the dark arts, a powerful black mage. At some point, he had managed to sneak into the area of the Hall of Indulgence where Luxurium was being produced in large quantities, placing a curse upon the entirety of the product. He had been unassuming enough while in the realm where he had gone undetected, leaving little trace of his being there.
Just over a week had gone by, and the parties continued… but something was different. There had been reports of injuries, collapses, even a few deaths… all associated with the parties that had been taking place by those drinking Luxurium. This brought a bit of worry to Serafina, of course, but there would be those who overindulged at any party, so it was bound to happen.
When she caught wind of what began happening just a few days later, Serafina was struck with panic. The issue was no longer that people were partying to excess… it seemed that the excess had spilled into other things, such as crime and violence. Taverns were being robbed of their food and drink, revellers were being left beaten and bloody in streets and alleyways, and corpses were being found with evidence of cannibalism.
Further research revealed that a large chunk of the population who had consumed Luxurium had been adversely affected by it. Some grew incredibly violent, gathering in packs with nothing on their mind but causing pain to anyone around them. They themselves seemed to feel no pain, not stopping until they left their victims broken and bloody. Some had turned to mindless zombies, feasting on the flesh of those around them, and at times, even their own. Many of the victims of this cannibalism seemed not to care, even as they were being consumed. Others who were affected but not as badly were exhibiting traits of psychopathy, caring only for themselves, with impulsive behavior and a lack of empathy.
Serafina managed to find traces that the Luxurium had been tampered with, and several of her reapers had managed to track down the black mage responsible for the curse. The mage had been powerful enough where even Serafina’s magic was not a match for reversing what damage had been done. Consultation with several apothecaries and alchemists brought forth the conclusion that these people could be cured, but it was going to take a great amount of healing herbs and alchemical concoctions to do so. They would also have to track down the mage and punish him for his transgressions.
Midday, only two days into the destruction, the goddess’s voice could be heard throughout the cities that had been affected, and their surrounding areas. ”People of Revaliir,”
she began. ”What was meant to be a gift to you all to show you the joys of indulgence has become a deadly, destructive agent. I sent you the Luxurium wine with the intent that you would be able to enjoy life as never before, but someone had a different idea. The Black Mage Haldemar has tampered with the wine, and this is what is causing the destruction you see around you.”
Even those deeply affected by the wine seemed to slow, being particularly lulled by the goddess’s voice. ”I am asking for your help, Revaliir,”
she continued. ”For those of you willing to fight, my reapers could use your assistance in tracking Haldemar down. He seems to have a small army of rather powerful mages that are masking his trail behind him. These are religious zealots who view Death as the only way, so beware - they will make use of powerful dark magic,”
she warned. ”And for those of you who don’t want to fight, you can help us by retrieving the ingredients we need for the cure,”
she continued. ”Valerian root, chamomile flowers, and echinacea leaves are what we need the most of. Each city will have a place designated for these to be left.”
She continued only for a short time longer. ”Beware while collecting the ingredients, however… those affected with severe violence will most likely be obstacles in your path,”
she concluded. ”Those of you who choose to help will be greatly rewarded,”
she said. ”And you all have my heartfelt thanks. I also deeply apologize for the pain that has been indirectly caused from Inferos, and I promise you all - we will right this wrong.”