The Tale of Themelues
Themelues never believed the prophecies. They were just whispers of an age long forgotten; echos of powerless relics buried deep in the earth. That’s not what magic does anyways. It doesn’t tell you the future, it only allows you to glimpse possibilities. Heightening your natural predictive skills and granting you the power to extrapolate further. Of course it also gives you the power to bend nature to your whim, break the laws of physics and exert terrifying might. But when the prophecies stated the red moon would encompass the whole of the horizon, engulf the world in flames and plunge civilization into the frigid darkness he considered it an old wives tale. Of no more value than your mother exhorting you to never cross a dwarf. Themelues had crossed dwarves. They’re not so frightening if one can just hold them at arms length. Then they just look like a fat and bearded halflings. The red moon had always been where it was. His entire life. His parent’s life, his grandparents life, and so on and so forth. To the dawn of creation itself. The Gods had seen fit that the day was to be bright and golden and the night was to be dim and the surface hued with red. That the transition of day into night and night into day be glittered with the most beautiful shades of indescribable colors. Colors so elusive yet vibrant that the Gods themselves would not permit their naming. Colors of so many hues that one would spend thousands of lifetimes cataloging them all.
But Themelues would not do that. His life was constantly faced with more pressing concerns. Over his unnaturally long lifetime the red moon was most certainly getting closer. “How could this be?!” he would cry nightly after he finally accepted this fact. The ground below him was growing ever redder and he knew now that the prophecies were right. That in time the surface of his world itself would glow red, then orange, then white as the rocks themselves burst into flames. Something which he had tried before but had never been successful at. “Why would the Gods grant me such great powers; powers that have allowed me to bring this world into prosperity if only to snuff out all that they have created? I who have done what no other man could have done. Why should I, who should have the greatest favor the Gods could grant, be cursed with the knowledge that civilization ends with me?”
So Themelues spent the years leading to the eternal twilight devising a solution. If only the surface erupts into flames then one could build civilization underground and that would at least allow survival. The great migration was not met with enthusiasm. In the final hundred years leading to his death Themelues became cruel and impatient. Entire cities voiced their objections and were met with swift judgement. All were to move underground as he ordered. Those that refused would die by his hands, not the Gods. The Gods would take the surface, but they would not take the lives of his subjects.
After the migration Themelues vanished. He wandered into the caverns beneath what was once the greatest city on the planet and never came back out. Some claim he killed himself and others believe a tunnel collapse did him in. He did however leave behind countless writings. Some call them ramblings of a madman who lived far beyond natural death. His brain destroyed from the years of channeling greater magic than the world had ever seen. Others call them prophecies from the only man with enough foresight to heed the tales of the ancients. The man who saved the bulk of civilization from the destruction a hundred years later. When the earth shook and spewed flames from deep underground. Igniting the surface and destroying all that had once been. Winter fell and summer did not return for 400 hundred years.