Boss Lore: Kaleos Reborn

The Darkest Day in Songhai Empire History

The common folk had all heard the rumors. The whispers that Kaleos Xaan, the legendary General of the grand Songhai army, had perished in combat. Or in the Torture Caverns of Shar. Or by choking on a mistdragonfruit. Although the cause of death varied, the fact of death was undisputed.

The commoners were all gathered in the great square outside of Xaan Imperial Palace, waiting for the Emperor to emerge and allay or confirm their fears.

They’re in for a surprise, thought Kaleos, a wry grin on his ghostly-pale face as he stepped out onto the palace balcony. Even from up here he could smell the filth of the peasants waiting down below. Not that they were unclean — most looked freshly bathed and had on their best clothes — it’s just that they were alive. Ever since his glorious Rebirth there was nothing more putrid to Kaleos than the stench of a living being. And this city was full of them. But not for much longer, he reminded himself.

“Greetings, people of the Songhai Empire,” Kaleos began, his voice cold and lifeless. There were gasps from the crowd, and some people fainted. Doubtless they could not handle his stunning new looks. “You believe me to be dead. However, as you can see, I am not. I have been Reborn, more powerful than ever before. And with this second chance at life came a newfound clarity — the separation between the Songhai Empire and the Abyssian Host is artificial. I have already begun to tear down the wall between our factions by letting the Abyssian into Xenhai. In exchange, they have helped assure my ascension to the throne. Let it suffice to say that you will not be hearing from the former Emperor anymore — I am your Emperor now.”

The common folk stood in shocked silence for a full ninety seconds, roping and missing their turn. Kaleos then continued his speech.

“I would like to present to you all a symbol of my Rebirth, and the Rebirth of this empire. And it is nothing so crude as the eggs that those Magmar brutes hatch out of. It is… truly beautiful.” As he said this, a great dark phoenix rose up above the palace and twirled in a column of purple flame. Half of the commoners were incinerated instantly, although one of them had the time to croak, “Mr. Xaan, I don’t feel so good,” before crumbling into a pile of ash. But the fun wasn’t over yet. The unscathed civilians watched in terror as their dead friends and family rose from the ashes, looking the same except paler, facing in the other direction, and with an ominous red glow under their feet.

The stench of the living had already begun to lighten, and Kaleos smiled. He gestured, and the Reborn commoners encircled the living ones, making sure none could escape the square.

“You may be wondering why you are still alive,” Kaleos intoned, his pink eyes gleaming with malice. “I assure you, it is only temporary. All must die and be Reborn. I just wanted you to see the future that awaits you — eternal undeath in my service. Rejoice, for you are about to experience death and live to tell of it!” He snapped his fingers, and purple spikes burst from the ground, impaling the common folk furthest from him. As Kaleos watched the peasants’ blood pool at their feet and then disappear after a few seconds, he felt stronger than ever before. Seeing the survivors trying to flee from the ring of Reborn made him laugh, a sound like a serpenti’s rasping last breath. Feeling giddy with power, he started to dance, snapping his fingers to make the shadow creep spread across the square, impaling more and more people until no one was left alive.

Kaleos inhaled deeply. The air was filled with the sweet scents of sweat, blood, tears, and the recently deceased. Not a trace of life.

He addressed his attentive undead audience, “This was only the first step in reinventing our nation for… er, with… the Abyssian. Thank you all for helping to make this the best Rebirthday party ever!” Everyone clapped, and none louder than Kaleos himself.

But somewhere deep in the twisted recesses of his mind, a fragment of the old Kaleos Xaan thought with despair, What have I done?

Want more Kaleos Reborn?

The following stories are fan creations (by me, Anjo) from the former Duelyst Forums and do not represent anything about Dream Sloth Games. Forum-goers made decisions between each chapter that determined what the protagonist would do at the beginning of the next chapter.

Kaleos Reborn origin story: Duelyst Poll-Venture #1: Into the Abyss

The fall of Kaleos Reborn: Duelyst Poll-Venture #2: The Golden Omelette