Once, there dwelt upon a mighty mountain the Prince of Riluji’itai, Scion of Warriors, who held court in his beautiful Garden of Terrors, for he so loved the bright and colorful flowers which hungered for more than mere soil and sun.
For you see, the palace proper had been abandoned for ages, as the mourning of the
doleful spectres of the Void haunted its halls, and the Prince greatly
feared the company and wailing of the spectres on days of the full moon.
He so greatly feared them that he forbade their very mention by his lavishly
dressed courtiers, save those who wished to quickly satisfy the garden’s
But the flowers had thus been well-nourished indeed, whenever careless tongues
wagged and incautious slips made, and the bright blossoms and pale
violet leaves were most lovely indeed in the palid noontide light of the seven crimson suns of Altuun.
And so it happened that the Prince consulted his court astrologer,
the only one of his officials to show the discretion to avoid his wrath,
that he may know of the impending doom of his realm, his race, and
finally, himself, for he had consigned many an otherwise able statesman
to the fate of the pale violet leaves and bright blossoms.
“O Seer of the Stars and Seven Suns, tell me what I must know, for my
kingdom dies a little more with each passing moon, and the cacophony of
wailing from the palace vexes me greatly, even in this, the most lovely of
The sage bowed his twin heads, scaly features wrinkled with age and
brow furrowed in concentration as he pondered his response to the mad
Prince, whose days, as those of his kingdom and species itself, were surely numbered.
The blotched suns shown wanly and cried silently overhead as the prince
awaited his answer, nervously tapping his third hoof with growing impatience
against the garden walkway.
The bells in the haunted palace tolled in mourning as the parching light of
the blemished suns seemed ever more oppressive with each passing second.
Then the astrologer spoke, knowing that the unforgiving heavens had pronounced
their sentence upon both his Prince and their once glorious and living
“My Prince, Lord of Riluji’itai, and Protector of Avaruuk by the
Parched Seas of Noon… The suns and the dying stars have spoken, judgment
has been rendered, and the cosmic cycle shall be fulfilled… There is
nothing left to do, so let us end our sorrow, and with our passing usher
in a new cycle, we who remain alone of all our species.”
The hungry garden rustled in the arid breeze, the flowers swayed and
leaves writhed in anticipation as the prince and his only living advisor faced
each other, looked about them, and went, tentacle and tentacle into the
waiting and ravenous heart of the garden to meet their end, to join the
company of the spectres and find solace in the Void.