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The Chalice Saga, volume 1
Part 1: The Death of Zek
Vol, the god of death, is an old and kind god. He guards the sea of souls within the world, ensuring that everyone who dies here, be they mortal, demon, or even god, return their life force to the soul sea, to live in comfort until such time as they are drawn into the world again.
But Vol had a brother, Zek, a cruel god who captured souls in his chalice - a mythical goblet that could contain countless souls. Those who died while feeling an overwhelming dark emotion, such as hate or fear, were in danger of falling into his chalice. Zek caught far fewer souls than Vol, but the ones he did catch were kept in torment.
Sometimes Zek would drink from his chalice, consuming souls to amuse himself, but most souls in the chalice were sent back to the world as undead. Conjured by evil necromancers, these poor creatures were forced to live as slaves until they died again and were returned to the chalice - where they suffered renewed torment. These souls were reborn countless times, never resting, always in anguish.
Vol hated his brother and vowed to destroy him and free the souls trapped in his chalice. But despite Vol's power, he could never stop his brother. For countless centuries they battled, but it was only during the God War that he managed to gain the upper hand.
Vol and Dreva fought side by side against Zek, finally overpowering him. In a moment of triumph, Vol took Zek's chalice and dumped it out, pouring countless tortured souls into the aether. "Your reign is over, Zek. I will take your stolen souls back to the sea. Surrender to me. Surrender to death."
But Zek was a cunning god and he knew how the battle would play out. He had reserved his mightiest avatar and his most powerful scions, and he brought them into the battle. For a brief moment they fought against death itself, and of course they were quickly destroyed. But the moment of distraction gave Zek time to reclaim the chalice.
Zek poured into the now-empty chalice a piece of his own power: the power to capture souls and bring forth the undead. And then he hurled the chalice into his hidden dimension, known as Acur, the dark dimension of Angst, which most gods could not perceive. For even though Zek was a selfish god who was terrified of his own demise, he refused to give his brother the satisfaction of removing undeath from the world. Another god would come.