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    Rift Factions

    Rift: Planes of Telara has two playable factions: The Guardian and The Defiant.

    The Guardian
    Guardians are the chosen of Telara’s gods, the Vigil. When the tyrant Aedraxis called forth the power of the Plane of Death and devastated Telara, the Vigil chose the most powerful souls taken by the Shade to be the archons of the next age. A golden age awaits, but Telara must first be saved — by deed, by example, or by the sword. Its people must be redeemed, its corruptors cleansed. Only then will the Guardians be imbued with the divine and ascend to a higher level.


    The Vigil chose the Guardians from the three races of Telara who most put their faith in the gods, including the fearless Mathosians and the wise High Elves. Though each race is beloved of the gods, each seeks redemption for the sins of their leaders: Aedraxis Mathos unleashed the Shade, and Prince Hylas broke the Elves’ ancient covenant with the gods. Thus, the Guardians represent both the hopes of the world and of their fallen peoples.

    Within their holy city of Sanctum, the Guardians stand as bold sentinels against the dragons and their cults. Their crusades assault the undead armies of Regulos, their inquisitions purge the secretive cults of Akylios, and their agents search for sinister signs as far away as the deserts of Shimmersand. The Vigil does not dictate a single path to salvation, so the Guardians seek their own place in the holy litany by ending the corruption of the dragons and the blasphemy of the Defiants.

    The Guardians are driven forward by the memory of Telara’s countless fallen innocents, who cried out for salvation as the world was shattered, only to be consumed by the Destroyer. This, the Vigil reminds them, is what the Guardians must strive against, lest millions more meet the torment of oblivion in Regulos’s jaws. Only the light of the Guardians stands before such all-consuming darkness.

    Guardians Lore & History


    The Guardians represent the sincerest belief that the Vigil, the five gods of Telara, have not abandoned the world, but are working towards an intricate plan for the final battle of good against evil — the Day of Judgment. Members of this faction feel they have a destiny to fulfill as part of a divine plan to save the world.

    The Vigil chose the Guardians from the three races of Telara who most put their faith in the gods, including the fearless Mathosians and the wise High Elves. Though each race is beloved of the gods, each seeks redemption for the sins of their leaders: Aedraxis Mathos unleashed the Shade, and Prince Hylas broke the Elves’ ancient covenant with the gods. Thus, the Guardians represent both the hopes of the world and of their fallen peoples.


    The Guardians see themselves as the protectors of the people of Telara. They believe it is their sacred responsibility to bring law and order to the defenseless, even if they do not seem to appreciate or want it. Many do tend to be overly judgmental and controlling of the places they rule, but in the end they believe it to be in the people’s best interest. And all Guardians believe they serve the greater good by protecting the masses from the rifts, or from themselves.

    Within their holy city of Sanctum, the Guardians stand as bold sentinels against the dragons and their cults. Their crusades assault the undead armies of Regulos, their inquisitions purge the secretive cults of Akylios, and their agents search for sinister signs as far away as the deserts of Shimmersand. The Vigil does not dictate a single path to salvation, so the Guardians seek their own place in the holy litany by ending the corruption of the dragons and the blasphemy of the Defiants.

    The Guardians believe that a convergence of all the planes is coming and will destroy the world. It is their holy mission to prevent this catastrophe by restoring the Ward of Telara, and sealing off the planes forever. To this crusade they have sworn themselves — even if it means destroying the reckless Defiant faction before their foolishness ends the world before Regulos does.

    The Guardians are driven forward by the memory of Telara’s countless fallen innocents, who cried out for salvation as the world was shattered, only to be consumed by the Destroyer. This, the Vigil reminds them, is what the Guardians must strive against, lest millions more meet the torment of oblivion in Regulos’ jaws. Only the light of the Guardians stands before such all-consuming darkness.


    The Defiant

    The Defiant do not care whether the gods abandoned the world or not. To them, this entire planar convergence disaster is the gods’ fault in the first place. Indeed, as soon as things went from bad to worse, the gods suddenly and inexplicably disappeared.


    So while the Guardians run around Telara building temples, sticking their noses in everyone’s business, and desperately praying for a miracle, the Defiant plan on actually delivering one, even if it means being branded as heretics and operating outside the laws of the land.

    Above all else, Defiants are rugged individualists who love technology. Mixing technology with magic offers amazing opportunities for innovation, personal power, and cultural progress. If used correctly, these advancements could also be turned into spectacular weapons to fight the looming darkness. The Defiant absolutely believe that the best defense is a great offense – something the Guardians will never understand.


    With the help of enough eldritch war machines and magical innovations, Defiants believe the people of Telara will have the power to destroy the dragon gods themselves, without needing to rely on outdated religious dogma. When Telara is saved, the Defiant will be at the head of a new technomagic age, in which every facet of life is touched by their innovations.

    While some Defiants might reluctantly acknowledge that their methods are dangerous, potentially posing risks to the integrity of the world, they will be quick to point out that the world seems to be ending anyway, so everything is worth the risk. Besides, if the world is destroyed, who will be around to complain about it?

    Defiants Lore & History

    There have always been those who follow the will of the gods, and those who question them. While none denied the Vigil’s part in the miracle of the Ward, certain individuals and groups did not believe this was the only, or even the correct solution to the problem of the Blood Storm. Nor, they maintained, did the gods who built the Ward deserve unquestioning loyalty. The Vigil promised their worshipers unmatched power, but still some refused, such as the Eth and the Bahmi of Rhaza’de. Thus the world was divided between those devoted to the gods, and those who seek power by other means.

    The Dragonslayer Covenant was formed as an order of Telarans — primarily Eth and Bahmi — sworn to keeping watch over the Dragon Cults and preventing the Blood Storm Lords’ release. Given the Covenant’s embrace of Eth technology, none of the Vigil’s devoted races joined their initial ranks. Even after Eth fell, the order persevered.
    In the days preceding the Shade, the Dragonslayer Covenant uncovered evidence that Prince Aedraxis Mathos had been consorting with members of the Endless Court. Covenant leader Orphiel Farwind sent their most adept mage to warn Aedraxis’s brother Zareph. With the calamity of the Mathosian Civil War, death and horror spread over the land in a choking cloud, and the Dragonslayers lost many of their greatest trying to defend the people of Telara. Orphiel’s envoy, Asha Catari, died battling alongside Zareph and his generals.

    The Covenant had been devastated, their numbers too far reduced to halt the continued devastation of the crumbling Ward. Mourning their loss, Orphiel took his remaining followers to join the survivors at Port Scion. As the people rebuilt, he began investigating the remains of Eth technology. While a general edict had gone out to destroy all records thereof, the Covenant had kept a few in their leaders’ most private archives.

    Orphiel spread the belief that this technology should rise again, desperate times calling for desperate measures. Aided by a few close confidantes, his idea reached more and more ears. Many Telarans felt as though the gods had abandoned them, and so the climate was ripe for change. Just as Orphiel’s philosophy started to catch on, the first of the Ascendants returned to the Guardians.

    With these holy warriors wielding divine power in defense of their world, most Telarans felt assured the gods had a plan to fight the Blood Storm once again. Others were not so certain. Having lost much of the support he had begun to build, Orphiel continued his pursuit of Eth technology. Even the other members of the Dragonslayer Covenant turned away from Orphiel, forcing him to leave Port Scion with his remaining followers.

    His studies led the small band of scholars to the Shadowlands, following rumors of preserved Eth machines. Before the fall of the Eth empire, a splinter group of Eth mages sought forbidden avenues to eternal life, and so their secret workshop survived the purge of the Convocation. Orphiel discovered their long-abandoned site and powered their machines back up, delighted to find that with only a little bit of tuning, they worked perfectly once again. Lost members returned to the Dragonslayer Covenant, beginning with reborn Ascendant Asha Catari.


    Despite objections from the Ascendants of the gods, Zareph Mathos was open to utilizing both great powers, and cautiously sanctioned continued investigation into Eth technology. Since Zareph was lost in the fall of Port Scion, no leader has emerged to unite Telara’s survivors, and the Guardians demanded an end to the use of sourcestone machines. Orphiel and his followers’ refusal to comply caused a deep schism, pitting their faction against Cyril the Champion and his Guardians.
    Establishing themselves within the tower of Meridian in Freemarch, these “Defiants” moved forward with their studies, devoted to creating their own line of defense for Telara.


    The dragon cults

    The dragon cults are non-playable factions who seek the favour of the dragons. There are at least six dragon cults. The known dragon cults are the Endless Court or the Court of Regulos, House Aelfwar or the Cult of Life, Golden Maw or the Cult of Earth, the Wanton or the Cult of Maelforge, the Abyssal or the Cult of Akylios, and the Storm Legion or Cult of Crucia.

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