Vaaj had decreased in population by half during its prince’s absence, but it still had high walls manned by able troops. Rather than storm it, Dothan Vou presented himself at the gates, demanding that they be opened. His father, Dothan Xiong, by now old and nearly blind, ordered the guard to admit his son.

Dothan Vou patiently explained his revelation to his father, presenting him with a copy of the Nihilexicon and claiming that his new philosophy was the secret to conquering not only the Great Famine, but all other problems. Dothan Xiong asked in return, after a long pause, how a man who did not believe in ascension could ever hope to see such a plan succeed before he fell into oblivion himself.

“The One did it,” was Dothan Vou’s reply. “The One ascended,” his father replied angrily. “This is a descent, and one into madness.” He then ordered his son to leave, casting him out.

Dothan Vou politely obeyed, retreating through the city gates. His father dispatched emissaries to his allies, begging for help–the only sources by which the incident is known, as the messengers proved to be among the only survivors of what was to come.

Within a day, half of Vaaj was sick or dying; Dothan Vou had spread his insidious mercy poison into the water while within the walls. Depleted and still starving, the city guard were no match for Dothan Vou’s forces, and the city was slain to the last.

Rather than raze it, though, Dothan Vou–now known simply as Dothan, as he had become the last of his line–established it as a base. He would spend the next few years consolidating and preparing for his great crusade of oblivion.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!