The Ways of Rhial

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The entrance to Rhial’s ways lay in a deep cavern, protected there since ancient times not from armies and demon hordes, but from the primordial storms that long ago arose around the Abyss which now only the oldest of Chaos remember. No tool or shadowcrafter’s art has touched the tunnels I now walk, but they are worn smooth and the paths are clear from countless ages of servants, supplicants, and enemies passing through.

The first sign that I am near the gates is a runestone, bright blue-white light assaults my eyes in the cavernous dark. Though I feel the runestone’s power, it cannot bring me to a halt to be inspected, as the tales say they once could do. I pass under the crumbling warden, and into a vast cavern where an underground river sparkles in the light of the runestones. The Binding Pillars that once held great Demon Lords encased in stone against an army bold enough to come against the house are empty now, covered in a thick layer of dust.

I step to the top of the stairs that will lead me down into the cavern which is the true beginning of Rhial’s ways, and a light blazes from the gates. For a moment the glory of the house impresses itself on me, I hesitate on the threshold. But the moment passes, and for all the bright light that shines forth, no actual power reaches me.

Stepping forward, I walk boldly toward the light. The power that bent the will of a King of Chaos, and some say made him, is here no longer. Like the king, it has passed on, and this shining light that wards the gates is the mere ghost of that former strength, impressive in aspect but lacking in force.
Adrigal the Wanderer: Collected Works

House Rhial Colours: Black and Purple Photobucket
Ancient beyond reckoning, House Rhial is among those Great Houses who claim to be the first noble house in Chaos. The truth of that matter is long lost to time, but a few houses like Rhial, Chanicut, and Sawall will always argue that they are the very foundation of the Courts. Though there is much glory associated with the name of Rhial, almost all of it is long in the past. They once held power to sway the King’s decisions, or even rival his power entirely, the matter is not clear, and investigating such claims can be dangerous.

What is known is that the house no longer does much of anything in politics. They didn’t participate in the war against Amber, but neither did they condemn it. Their armies are atrophied and several important contracts with demon tribes have expired. Several of their highlords are so decedant and inbred as to be considered mad even by Chaosian standards. There are some who whisper already that Rhial will no longer be a Great House soon. It remains to be seen if the younger generation can save the tottering house.
Rhial’s Ways

The Ways of Rhial are found in a deep and ancient cavern. The path in is marked, and somewhat guarded by runestones, magically enhanced stalactites or stalagmites that bear glowing magical runes. Once past the mighty Violet gates of the house, the interior is a strange collection of rooms without much in the way of hallways. There always seems to have been some use for the spaces inside, so that rooms that would have been hallways once have been purposed into something else until the whole thing is a confusing maze of oddly shaped rooms.

The interior shows the age of the Ways, one can barely tell when one moves from one shadow to another within them, since the connections have persisted for so long. The place is decorated in layers, peeling back the wooden paneling of a room may reveal ornate designs on the stone wall underneath. Secret passageways are common, and some of them are secret merely because they have been unused for so long that no one knows of them anymore.

The Ways of Rhial

Tears of the Lost AshenHaze Drascus