The battlefield is but a canvas; this is the first lesson that you learn and embed deep into your soul. You, the artist, wield weapons of destruction and paint the ground you walk upon with splatters of blood. You decorate every world you visit with the corpses of your victims, their rotting flesh on display for all to witness your strength and prowess. The stench of the deceased latches onto your very being and refuses to waft away, a constant reminder that you are a force to be reckoned with.
You are Death and you are unstoppable. Foes may attempt to flee Death’s clutches, but it is always to no avail, for no one can truly escape Death himself.
You have wrought death and destruction for longer than you could possibly remember. You have lived many years -- all nephilim have. You belong to a race that has been living for millenniums. Some say you have existed far longer than angels and demons; others believe that you are the result of the union between angel and demon. If someone were to ask you which was the truth, you would dance around the question as best as you could -- or you'd tell them that your origins simply do not matter.
There are three nephilim you put above all others: your siblings. Fury and Strife, your younger sister and brother, have always been under your watchful eye, but it is your youngest brother War you feel you must look after most. As the eldest of four, you have always thought of yourself as a leader, and you go out of your way to prove your worth of such a title.
You and your siblings are fine warriors -- though you would easily argue that you are a bit finer than they are -- and each of you have participated in the conquests of the nephilim. You traverse to different worlds, slaughtering all who stand in your way because that is simply the way things are. The strongest emerge as the victors, and the nephilim have emerged victorious in countless fights. The leading nephilim Absalom has been at the helm of all of these victories, and you are proud to treat him as if he is one of your brothers.
Yet, as years move past at an agonizingly slow crawl, you and your siblings grow tired of the constant battles your people fight. The spilling of blood feels pointless and wasteful after a time, no longer the artistry it once was.
It is when your kin want to wage war against humanity to take over mankind's kingdom when you finally put your foot down. The nephilim had no claim to that world, and you fear that they may disrupt the balance of the universe by trying to take such a realm by force. You gather your siblings and you approach the Charred Council where you stand before perhaps the most powerful entity in creation. They give you and your brothers and sister immense power, noble steeds, and appoint you as the four horsemen dedicated to bringing balance throughout the lands -- but you know that nothing comes free, especially not strength. In exchange for such power, the Council assigns you to perform one simple task.
The genocide of your people.
You do as you are told. Finding it fitting to wear a mask as an executioner, you slaughter those you once called friends and family. They lie dead at your feet with twisted faces of anguish and looks of betrayal, empty shells of the life that once flowed through their bodies. You harvest their souls and keep them locked up in an amulet, as the Council demanded you collect them so they may be destroyed to prevent any chance of the nephilim’s return. With every killing blow comes guilt and remorse. The more bloodied your blade, the more regret weighs on your heart. You know that what you are doing is what’s best for every living thing in every world imaginable, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Killing Absalom hurts the worst. With his dying breath, he calls you his brother, and you are horrified when you are unable to add his soul to your collection; instead, he dissipates into a black ooze, and it’s the last you see of him.
In the aftermath, only four nephilim live; only the four horsemen remain. From then on, you are marked by the title “Kinslayer.”
You haven’t removed your mask since the day your kind went extinct.
You cannot bring yourself to rid the souls of your kin. Instead, you make your way to the Crowfather, an ancient being renowned for guarding a plethora of secrets. You ask him to keep the nephilim souls, and he agrees to do so. A voice in your head lingers and tells you that you've made a mistake, that you should have listened to the Council, but your heart forbids you from turning back and putting an end to the souls of your brethren.
It is in seclusion where you live for centuries. You spend many years stewing on your regrets. The only companions you truly have are Despair, your mount, and Dust, a crow given to you by the Crowfather. You don’t keep in touch with your siblings as much as you ought to. You venture out very little, and only to ensure that the balance of life itself is not disrupted. It is a lonely life, but you learn to adjust to it.
However, you are forced to take action when the apocalypse happens. The apocalypse shouldn’t have happened -- not so soon -- and it had devastated the entirety of the human race, dooming every single one to a harsh, merciless death. You couldn’t fathom why it happened, but when the Council put the blame on War and imprisoned him for the premature apocalypse, you could not stand idle. Your brother may have been brash, but he would never go against the Council in such a manner.
You would do anything to prove your brother’s innocence. Anything.
You come to realize that if you can find a way to resurrect humanity, then the Council will have to absolve War of his supposed crime. With Despair’s reins in your hands and Dust resting upon your shoulder, you travel to find the Crowfather once more, certain that he must know some way to restore mankind. Unfortunately, he had been driven to the brink of madness, tormented by the vengeful nephilim souls he had been harboring, and while he tells you that you had to reach the Tree of Life, he refuses to let you get to it while he draws breath. Unwilling to let him stand in your way, you cut him down and execute him.
Upon doing so, the souls of the nephilim are released from their amulet and embed themselves into your chest. The Crowfather’s corpse is turned into a portal, and when you enter it, you are transported to another realm. It is here where you learn about the Corruption, but at the time, you cannot care less about it. All that concerns you is freeing your brother. The more you learn about the Corruption, however, the more you realize that it has to be dealt with. It is a horrific infection, forcing beings to succumb to heinous acts and crumble into madness. Corruption is an obstacle barring your path to saving your brother, and you refuse to let it hold you back.
On your journey to the Tree of Life, you are horrified to discover that Absalom is not dead; Absalom is the source of the Corruption, and whatever is left of him has been replaced by the hellish substance. You feel conflicted. You always regretted “killing” Absalom and you always wished you could see him again, but perhaps you should have ensured that he was truly dead eons ago to avoid seeing him transform into such an abomination.
You cannot deal with Absalom at the moment. Right now, your brother needs you. So, you enter the Tree of Life and enter the Kingdom of the Dead, and it is there you are told that you must next reach the Well of Souls. To hear such a thing is aggravating. You’ve already spent so much time traveling to this damned tree, thinking that it’ll be the key to fixing everything, but now you have to go somewhere else too. You search for guidance in how to get to the Well of Souls, and much to your surprise, you locate the ghost of the Crowfather. He informs you that you must go to the kingdoms of Heaven and Hell to gather pieces of a key that will open the way to the Well, but he warns you that you must take care of the Corruption as well.
Not only that, but he also tells you that a sacrifice would be needed to restore humanity.
By now, you’re sick and tired of going from place to place; you're sick and tired of feeling as if you are toyed with, and you feel stuck desperately wishing for an easier path. All you wanted was to clear your brother’s name, not to go on some wild goose chase in a feeble attempt to bring back humans. Yet, you have come too far to turn back now. You trudge onward, reaching Heaven and forcefully taking their key from an angel infected with the Corruption. You enter Hell, angry and ready to lash out at all who attempt to speak to you, and you are given their key once you prove yourself in battle.
With both keys, you can finally reach the Well of Souls, and it is far from being in good condition. Corruption, of course, has infiltrated the Well. Even worse? The avatar of Corruption itself is there waiting for you: Absalom himself. To put a stop to the Corruption, Absalom has to die -- for good this time. You don’t hesitate when you kill what is left of the thing you once called your brother. You don’t even bother to try to take his hand, nor do you dare call him brother when he practically begs for you to do both of those things. Whatever he was, he was no longer the Absalom you knew, and you simply ignore his pleas and leave him for death’s cold clutches.
After all you have gone through, in the end, you feel lost. You are exhausted. You are hurting for your kind. You ponder if humanity is worth all this trouble you have been through. Only two choices lie ahead: you sacrifice humanity and restore the nephilim, or you sacrifice the nephilim and restore humanity. The former will bring back all those you slaughtered, the ones you once loved beyond measure, yet the latter will give another race a fresh opportunity at life, and the redemption of your brother. To make matters more complicated, to sacrifice the nephilim souls requires sacrificing your own life in the process, as you cannot separate their souls from your own body.
You realize your decision was already made long ago. You have dedicated yourself to keeping the universe in balance, and bringing back the nephilim would only threaten to tip the scales. Not only that, but you believe that humanity deserves to have a chance at life -- and you wholeheartedly believe that saving humanity is the only way your brother would be granted freedom. Your only true option is to resurrect humankind, no matter the cost.
At the edge of the Well you stand only for a moment. In the next moment, you fling yourself to the depths below, fully ready to accept that your fate ends here.