Launch day has come and gone for the juggernaut that is RIFT, but thankfully, that hasn't stopped Trion Worlds from pumping out nifty lore-centric PR pieces. The latest installment covers the sordid history of the Endless Court, a cabal of cultists that "trade flesh and breath for the hollow promise of power over the dead."

The Endless Court was born of the dark designs of a fallen mage (Alekor Devishnille) and a corrupt warlord (Mahr Rilthain), the former of whom slaughtered whole villages to obtain ritualistic components and the latter of whom sacrificed his own children to prove his loyalty to Regulos.

There's more darkness, despair, and danger in the lore excerpt after the cut, so don't say we didn't warn you.

The origins of the Endless Court

Six are the Dragon Cults, one for each of the Blood Storm, yet the most powerful and nihilistic of these cabals is the Endless Court. From the purest child to the vilest deviant, revulsion is the understandable reaction when one's entire world is threatened with destruction. Yet some wretches fall outside understanding, people so twisted and perverse that annihilation seems a blessing. And from among their number come the cultists of the Endless Court. Offered a place in Regulos's midnight realm, they trade flesh and breath for the hollow promise of power over the dead.

The Endless Court began as a conspiracy between two powerful figures during the time of the Blood Storm: the dark mage Alekor Devishnille and the warlord Mahr Rilthain. They say Mahr sacrificed his own children to prove his loyalty to Regulos and sever his attachment to life. Meanwhile, Alekor slaughtered whole villages to gather the components for his cruel rituals. These two were the first to wear the black robes of Regulos, rallying others to work toward Telara's end, and their traditions were passed down through the generations. Even after the Destroyer was banished, his followers never ceased to haunt Telara.

They have moved as shadows in the courts of history's great civilizations, always waiting for the chance to please their patron. Now and then their covens have been rooted out, leaving knights, duchesses, and great scholars all dancing side by side on a gibbet, yet somehow their order always re-emerges in time.

Endless designs

Since the Ward broke, the Endless have been stepping up their activities throughout Telara. Those cells that had hidden away for centuries no longer fear detection, as the great armies of Telara have all but crumbled. Worse, they are finding many new converts, as the threat of extinction left many mortals hopeless and drawn to a reward after death – a place in Regulos's Endless Court.

Everywhere the Endless go, corruption spreads, and the Endless go everywhere. Hungry for sourcestone, their rotting hordes have taken over Deepstrike Mine. Meanwhile in Scarlet Gorge, their cultists murder the innocent to serve as an undead workforce. Hungry for power, they are using Caer Mathos-heart of the noble Mathosian Empire-as the center of their ritual to call Regulos back to Telara. Hungry for control, they have turned once-glorious Port Scion into a hive of corpses, ready to spill out and cover Telara. Hungry, hungry, never satisfied, the Endless Court seeks to be like their dragon, a great glutton that devours the world.

Behind every one of their sins is Alsbeth the Discordant, greatest servant of the Destroyer since King Aedraxis fell. If she is not stopped, she may even find a way to return Aedraxis to his disloyal kingdom. For what power has Regulos if not unlimited access to the wicked dead?

Love to hate

Regulos offers his minions eternal existence as masters of the undead. It remains to be seen whether he will keep his word or simply devour his followers once all opposition has been removed, but of all the Blood Storm, Regulos is the most honest about what he expects. Members of the Endless Court must embrace death – not the natural cycle of decay and rebirth, but the void of nihilistic hunger. There is no room in the Destroyer's service for attachment to the mortal coil, or for love. How perfect that his slaves sever their attachments by sacrificing the one they love the most?

Initiates of the Endless Court must allow the cult to capture their dearest companion. During the rite of initiation, necromantic artifacts corrupt the supplicant's soul and open their heart to oblivion by closing it everything else. As the ritual approaches climax, the initiate renounces their love for the victim and finally murders the poor soul on an altar to Regulos. Only when love and hope and joy bleed out on the black stone is the Devourer convinced the initiate is fool enough to stuff the whole world down a dragon's gaping gullet, and jump in after.

This article was originally published on Massively.