Six Impossible Things
The Tale of Thrice-Damned Gorol
The tale of Thrice-Damned Gorol, first of the Akuma(1): The first akuma, and thankfully only confirmed to date, fell even before the end of the Primordial war. Gorol’s first damnation was his betrayal of the Lawgivers during the war. He and his circle were involved in the destruction of the fetich soul of an unknown Primodrial(2). Gorol was a Night caste, and the only member of his circle to survive the battle. Whether it was survivor guilt, the dying emanations of the monster or simply witnessing the death of the key soul of one of the Primordials that gave him some special insight, none can say. What is known is that Gorol began to spy for Malfeas. He fed information to the enemy throughout the final third of the war, and is at least suspected of smuggling the soul-typhoon weapon into the hidden stronghold of the Dragon Kings. While it cannot be proven, he is one of only five Exalts who had both knowledge and access to the facility.
Gorol’s second damnation was roughly a century after the end of the war. Gorol made his way to the realm of the Yozis, and there met with defeated Malfeas. At this point, his Exaltation was twisted in some way, what Lytek and I have come to call the “Investiture of Infernal Might”. Similar to an Exaltation, but lacking anything in the way of subtlety and grace, Gorol became a ravening juggernaut of destruction. His circle, the newly Exalted inheritors of his previous circle, were present and assisting in his “research” when the Investiture took place. They were all killed; however before he died, one of them managed to send a message to the warrior-queen Calan and her Steward mate Tomun. Their lands bordered Gorol’s and they were ancient and powerful Exalts. They confronted Gorol and were able to destroy him, though at a terrible cost. One of Calan’s manses served as the battleground and nothing was left but a vitriol-tainted demesne reeking of Malfean taint.
Upon his death, Gorol’s final damnation took place. Instead of passing into Lethe or becoming a ghost in the Underworld, the oaths that bound him to Malfeas dragged his soul to hell. There have been periodic sightings in both Malfeas and the Underworld of a twisted and monstrously powerful mortwight that identified itself as Gorol, but few survive such encounters and they are growing less frequent.
(1) Archivist’s note: This section is taken verbatim from sealed Deliberative records and was written before the Deliberative was founded by Shining Sparrow, Twilight researcher into the nature of Exaltation. It is largely speculative and as such has proven impossible to confirm or deny.
(2) Light in Darkness’s research ties this Primodrial to the Neverborn “Abhorrence of Life” in her works. As no other evidence presents itself, this is as good a name as any.
This record is dated before the founding of the Deliberative. There is a reference note to a ruling by Queen Merela, first ruler of the Deliberative: after the Dliberative was established, she ordered the Calan’s Loss demesne quarantined, and for Lytek to monitor Gorol’s Exaltation before allowing it to return to Creation. Lytek filed a report stating that while there is a faint taint clinging to it that resists his efforts to cleanse, he believes there is no inherent flaw in the Exaltation. Close monitoring of this Exaltation shows a tendency toward demonology, but no bearer of the Exaltation since is known to be akuma. The official stance of Queen Merela and the Deliberative is that there are no akuma, while internal investigations must remain vigilant lest the ranks of Lawgivers ever be infiltrated again.
Further note: the search on akuma is linked to a late First Age record censuring Gold-Shadowed Arrow, a Night-caste inquisitor and veteran of the Primordial War. In the 35th century of the Solar Deliberative he took it upon himself to personally execute four Lawgivers, six Stewards, two elder advisers to the Deliberative, and 300 Dragon Blooded in the space of two months based on nothing more than his personal suspicion that they were all akuma.