Curse of the Grand Idol story arc
The Curse of the Grand Idol story arc revolves around a noble named Alder Carnelian as he uncovers his dark family legacy of bloodshed. It takes place in Arguros, an empire known for using mages as slaves to produce miraculum.
- Story:Ritual of the Carnelians
- Story:At the Militia Academy
- Story:City of Ghouls
- Story:Prisoner of the Law
Ritual of the Carnelians
For generations, the Carnelian and Sardius houses feuded over the methods of dealing with their inherent family curse tied to an ancient idol sunk beneath the waves. The curse forces both families to sacrifice humans in order to ward off an encroaching madness, although both of these families became gifted with inherent magical power as a result. The Carnelians, Alder's family, practiced discipline of the mind to make the sacrifices as infrequent as possible, while the Sardius family actively embraced it to increase their power.
Over the years, against his parents' wishes, Alder stops attending the sacrifice rituals, believing he could find a way to put a stop to them for good. He discovered that if he were to end the curse permanently, it would actually awaken the Grand Idol itself, and it would proceed to destroy most of Arguros. Alder then collaborated with his half-brother Filbert to attempt to perform this ritual before he was caught and interrupted by Sardius assassins that realized what he was trying to do. In the confrontation, his half-brother was killed while Alder was turned over back to his father.
Alder's father Jasper, despite being utterly disappointed with him, decided to give him a choice to stay or leave. After all, Jasper had also challenged the system during his own youth. Alder respectfully decides to leave and join the Militia, hoping that he could find more meaning in his life than just living off of human sacrifices.
At the Milita Academy
Alder Carnelian joins the Militia, seeking a new path of life away from his cursed family and trying to disassociate himself with his past by now becoming a servant of the empire. At the academy, he meets three other individuals: Crow Mahogany, Neil Illuvin and Darcy Lynette. Alder is initially disappointed by their overall lack of skill as soldiers, but he does his best to lead them. Having been living a life of isolated nobility, Alder is only now getting a firsthand glimpse of the everyman of the empire.
However, Alder soon quickly discovers that having gone so long without performing a sacrifice ritual had started to induce hallucinations in him. Thus, awakening with him was an urge for bloodlust, although Alder controlled it.
City of Ghouls
After only mere few weeks of training, the Militia sends Alder and the new recruits to deal with a plague on the island of Jacinth caused by a meltdown of a miraculum reactor. The radiation in the air mutated most of the locals into ghouls which now run rampant throughout the city. All most of the plague had been quarantined behind the walls, the local police struggles to put rioting citizens in their place as no one is allowed to leave the island.
When Alder, Crow, Neil and Darcy are sent into the quarantined areas to remove some of the ghoul population, they discover the presence of Alder's rival cursed family, the Sardius, had been at work, rounding up innocent civilians and using them for their sacrifice rituals - a much, more blunt and straightforward way of dealing with the curse than the Carnelians.
Alder however gets separated when he hallucinates a flying demon chasing him into hell. Alder, about to become lost in his own madness, tells his companions to flee from him. Thus, Crow, Neil and Darcy are forced to survive the ruined city without his guidance.
Prisoner of the Law
Alder, after his hallucination, finds himself captured by the Jacinth police accused of the use of black magic which was outlawed in most of Arguros, especially Jacinth. Alder was put on trial, about to become executed for his crimes before Jasper intervenes and vouches for him. Jasper is held prisoner in his place while Alder is free to go.
However, when Alder tries to explain that House Sardius had also been using black magic openly in public, he uncovers a series of backroom dealings and shady conspiracies. The current ruling house of the empire House Amethyst had contracted House Sardius to cause the reactor meltdown. Sardius would benefit from acquiring sacrifices while the empire would have one less political rival to worry about. And with that, Alder finds a new justification for unleashing the Grand Idol upon the world. His curse was directly causing Jacinth's suffering, and it would only be right to end it once and for all.
Alder proceeds to perform the ritual all by himself, awakening the Grand Idol and putting a stop to his hallucinations. But after House Amethyst discovers that he did, rather than imprisoning him, they decide to take advantage of him. Rather than sending in the empire's elite forces to take down the Grand Idol, they instead choose to let the Grand Idol level the entirety of Jacinth to the ground. And when the time was right, reveal that Alder was the one to have released the Grand Idol to turn the public against him.
Alder, however, using his own expertise in military knowledge, assembles the still relatively inexperienced militiamen to lead a rescue operation on his squadmates to save as many people as they can before the Grand Idol could destroy the entire city. But without outside support from the empire, they did not have the means to stop the Grand Idol. As a last ditch effort, Alder tells Lynette to bathe herself directly in the reactor's radiation at the risk of becoming a ghoul, but she manages to acquire massive amounts of energy and power to become borderline Bargod, thus giving her the ability to destroy the Grand Idol.
Alder and company celebrate a bittersweet victory. Jacinth is totally destroyed and House Sardius exiled from the empire altogether leaving House Carnelian the only real remaining opposition to the corrupted House Amethyst. With his father now publicly discredited, Alder becomes the new baron of House Carnelian, and he consolidates the last of Jacinth's military force as well as most of the Militia under his rule to build a new House Carnelian. In spite of all this, Amethyst still has Alder on a blackmail leash as they wait for the right moment to shatter his political career.
Curse of the Grand Idol story arc