Stevie Basevi of Sanctuary writes: My participation in this year’s Fantasy Faire is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend, Sammie Jestyr. We met in SL, but our friendship spanned both worlds. Dearest Sammie, You are missed….
A stranger wanders into town, having been drawn by something he is unable to name. Having no memory of Sanctuary, he explained he wandered in from the wilds, where his family now resides. As he got closer to the orb that encased our accursed Sultan Lut, strange things began to happen. Maltur began to behave oddly, as did the orb, which began to change color and pulsate.
This stranger walked toward the pulsating orb, each step bringing flashes of memory. Where did they come from? He’d begun to question who he was and why he was in Sanctuary. In the town square he’d transformed into a lycan then back into a human. Staring up at the orb that held Lut, he’d suddenly remembered, and reaching toward the Sultan, he let out a cry of anguish that seemed more animal than human! Suddenly he remembered.
Maltur knew who he was and why he was here. Still reaching for the orb, just as his finger was about to touch the crystal orb, it suddenly shattered, allowing the Sultan to escape, but at the same time, Maltur dissolved into the cool night air! Lut, enraged, began to terrorize the citizens of Sanctuary, running rampant, somehow seeming to understand that something was different, and that it involved him. Eventually Lut was weakened by the townspeople; a binding spell then sealed him in the orb again, and Maltur reappeared, only to be taken into custody. We all knew what the truth was now, about this mysterious stranger.
THE HISTORY OF SANCTUARY
In the end nothing could be done to stop the prophecy of doom and apocalypse of the world from being fulfilled. Man’s great age of technology and scientific discovery abruptly came to an end. The seals holding back the demonic legions of destruction and corruption were finally broken, unleashing a new age of darkness, magic and war. Ley Lines burst as the world was torn asunder. As these lines of mystical power awoke from their millennia long slumber, unleashing unto the world strange and exotic creatures and beings of myth and legend. The world was changed forever as humanity struggled to survive against the legions of undead horrors. Unleashing their technological marvels at these marauding threats, humanity fought bravely and valiantly. But their fight for survival was a losing battle. Billions died and their mighty cities were destroyed and turned into wastelands of towering steel skeletons and rotting corpses. Those that managed to survive retreated to a few cities and enclaves that were turned into bastions of relative safety from the wandering hordes of demons and supernatural horrors, while other survivors were enslaved by powerful beings or even by their own kind and used as cattle, servants, or worse…..food.
Sanctuary was one of these enclaves of safety that sprang forth into this new chaotic Earth. Sanctuary appeared on Earth several years (no one knows exactly when that was) after the start of the Death. The truth of the land of Sanctuary and its only city are known by only a few ancient beings. The seat of power and Sanctuary’s only city is in fact Sodom, of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. Legend speaks of these twin cities of depravity and decadence being destroyed by a vengeful god. In fact, a pact was made which allowed only one city to be destroyed and the other to be spared.
The Great Sultan, grieved, for he was told by two visitors that indeed, his cities were soon to be removed from the face of the earth. The Sultan pleaded with the angels, begging them to spare his land, but to no avail. The Angels shook their heads and told him that it was not God’s will that they be spared for there were no righteous folk amongst them and that indeed they told the sultan and his family to leave before the destruction happened, warning them not to look back even once.
Alas, it was not to be, for the sultan’s wife turned to look back one last time at the place she had known and was turned to a pillar of salt. Enraged, the sultan wept and screamed, then journeyed not away, but up into mountains, to speak to the Djinn to somehow save his lands.
So did he prostrate himself before the great Ruler of the Djinn, whose name is so long as to be unpronounceable within a man’s lifetime. The Great Djinn looked down upon the mortal man and told him thus “I will grant your wish, for a thousand thousand years shall Sodom, and not any other city, be held in the grasp of the great desert, and shall the works of man be limited and small, and for all time within the time I have decreed will Magic rule over that which is made by the hands of man.”
“But!” continues the Sultan of the Djinn’s. “But you will do something for me… You will give my people a home in your home. They will always be welcome and serve in your house. Never shall one of my children be turned away from your doors nor be without food and water. And you shall last as long as the city to see that this is carried out! That is my price oh great sultan of man. Do you agree?” The Sultan nodded eagerly, for it seemed as if he would achieve his dream of protecting his land and live a long, long life, so the great Djinn raised up his hands and the earth trembled and the sands rose up around the lands of the Sultan even as the fire rained down. To all who saw, it appeared that the two great cities were destroyed and to all knowledge it was so even though it was false. The Sultan was also given eternal life, but not as he had hoped for even the power of the Djinn cannot entirely resist the will of God. The Great Djinn tore from him all that was mortal and fashioned it into the shape of a great wolf, sent into the wilderness to live apart and separate from the sultan who became a being of stone, alive, but no longer able to appreciate the ways of the flesh or human warmth, and to for all time remind the people of Sodom, now Sanctuary, of the cost of their ways.
So did the great city of Sanctuary reside in its place, hidden away from the world and reality. However, the incredible energies unleashed at the time of the Death, ripped the city of Sanctuary away from that nether dimension it was hidden in…bringing it back to this chaotic Earth. As time passed word spread that there was safety in the lands surrounding Sanctuary and within the mystical walls of the city itself. Humanity flocked to it, as did vampyres, werewolves, elves, slavers, and many others. Portals were found, that led to many different times and places, and travelers from these places came through as well to bring their strange ways and customs to the city.
The truth was an abomination to both Gods, angels and the Djinn. This stranger, Maltur, was indeed the Sultan Lut, well at least the part of him that the Djinn had torn away and fashioned into the shape of a great wolf. The absurd truth though, was the magical community that the Sultan loved so well, had pulled a celestial trick on both God and the Djinn, and made a spell that turned that wolf into a lycan, without Lut’s knowledge! Though Maltur had no memory of who he was, he did go into the wilderness, but eventually found a mate, produced children, and was happy. When he wandered into Sanctuary on that fateful day, time and space travel being what it is, the closer he came to the Sultan of stone, the more it awakened something in both of them. In the Sultan Lut, it awakened hate and anger, as he’d realized the Maltur part of him was allowed to have the happiness he would never enjoy again, and given by the magical community that he loved enough to go against God to protect, while he himself was forced to remain imprisoned in the orb.
For Maltur, it awakened the truth of who he was, and what he’d been so very long ago. Casting his eyes upon the Lut that he once was, he felt the unbearable pain of what he’d done, who he’d hurt and the terrible loneliness of knowing most all he’d held close so very long ago were gone. Unfortunately, his presence in such close proximity to the Sultan also awakened the attention of both Angel and Djinn, and realizing they’d been duped so many years ago, made their way to Sanctuary, to try and make right what had been made wrong.
What we present to you this year, is what happened when Angel and Djinn caught up with Maltur, wanting him to make good on his sentence of unlife for eternity. Maltur did plead for his life, explaining he’d had no knowledge of his dark history, and so the Angels and Djinn brought him to the magistrate of Sanctuary, considering God was busy dealing with global warming or some such at the time, and was told that he’d go on trial to see if he should indeed be held responsible for what he’d done as the Sultan, so long ago.