Stalwart Against the Rot and Ruin
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Long-awaited days of grandeur are never seen. Instead, rot and decay now hold sway over the court in the land of Voluptia. Ruin is a sight more comfortable than opulence; Apathetic dispositions are maintained by the lack of pleasantries. Despite all of this, there's a spot unblemished. A sanctuary for all that was and what will be. A place in which one would find no muck, and where dust will not settle. Some see it as an oasis from the deluge that surrounds it.

A garden containing statues of forgotten monarchs. With walls of hanging ivy bearing mosaics portraying histories of a kingdom whose own citizens can't even remember the lands they live upon. A rusted gate with words above saying "For the Righteous"

Dwellers of this grand cataclysm hum of things that once were. Envisioning to all those who can hear of the marvels of ages past. Their velleity implores their return to what once was but instead they can only ruminate on the idea. Imparting remembrances of order and prosperity; with each longing for the haven that's never seemingly in grasp. But there are haunting things whispered of this serene tableau. Reminders of horrors best forgotten to the mire. Some say those who wander too close to the last altar of serenity don't ever return.

The marbles contain faint memories of the true Voluptia. A place in which false nobility hides revulsion of all that doesn't maintain what once was the status quo. These trials of the inhabitants are only carried out in the Stalwart, in the place that "true" Voluptia sustains itself. On flesh was grand old Voluptia built. With bones, the foundations of Voluptia were wrought. A land of wealth, prosperity, and dignity.

But of course, it did not last. Soon the refuse that had been disposed of crept back into sight. Places in which crops seemed ever-abundant became barren. The blood that had fed the kingdom soon sept into the land itself. And soon enough the grand halls crumbled, statues fell and the palisades turned to sand. Yet there was one last refuge from the end, a place in which the origins of the great kingdom can be found.

Were one to ignore the rumors of the Stalwart and wander into the gardens they will be greeted with a set of stairs leading into the yawning pit of the earth. Continuing down steps that seem to last an eternity, sconces of unlit torches guide ever downward.

When at last the bottom is reached a door of menacing steel with symbols lost to this world will sit. Beyond this sits a sepulcher dedicated to the founding of the lost kingdom of Voluptia. In the center of this room sits a slab of the darkest of stones. No chains line its edges, and it remains austere in its presence. But untold misery has been participated upon this slab.

It's here at least where one will be doomed to be a part of the kingdom forever. To be sewn into the earth as a single fragment of the kingdom. And where finally, after the earth itself had been filled with the suffering of its own people that it had enough.

So if in your wandering you come across a place in which the last dregs of luxury seem to be maintained, it's best to stay far away. For in this place you will only become another piece of the earth.

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