A Tale of the 4th Coming
"There are tales of an ancient age, when Elves wandered the world in great numbers, when their achievements outshone even the brightness of the sun, when human and dwarven civilizations were still in their infancies. There was a time of legends and heroes, of incredible accomplishments and great deeds, a time when the world knew true grandeur. That time is long gone, however, crushed under the heel of fate and decay. The Elves are gone, now, victims to their own delusions. They failed to heed the warnings of the Harbinger, the one who came to warn them. He arrived on the night the moons and the Centaur constellation were aligned, several millenia ago, his appearance foul and nightmarish, and warned all who would listen of the impending doom that lay ahead. He issued warnings and prophecies, but the Elves had grown vain and arrogant, and heeded him not. The Harbinger left, promising to return when the time would be right again.
"Several generations later-a short time by Elven reckoning-the Harbinger returned, once more treading under an alignment of the moons and constellations. The Elves had all but forgotten his past warnings. As the Curse fell upon their race, they stood defenseless. Despite their arcane lore and magical skills, they could not resist the godly powers that crushed them. When the Harbinger left their lands, there was not a single building standing. It is said that the winds carried the stench of death even as far as the Dwarven villages in the north. The latter took this for a sign that evil was coming, and prepared to defend themselves. When the Harbinger came to their lands to warn them too that their turn would come, that great danger lay ahead, they grew fearful of the visitor's appearance, and shunned him. He left them, warning them that achievements alone were not the measure of a worthy people.
"A millenia later, the skies repeated their fateful alignment of moons and stars. The Dwarves had flourished into a society of craftsmen and artisans. They had built great cities and were dutifully worshipping their god. Prophecies from long ago warned them against a fate similar to that of the Elves, so they had taken care to properly groom themselves and prepare for the Third Coming. When the Harbinger came to them, however, they could not stand the sight and smell of him, and, mistaking him for some fiend from hell, immediately struck him down. This, historians say, was the very act that caused the downfall of the Dwarves. They also say that some humans witnessed the event, and that the Harbinger warned them as well, that he told them they too would be judged, lest their worthiness was greater than that of the Elves and the Dwarves.
"Now, it may be that none of this tale is true, that we are but a worried people living under an unusual alignment of stars, one which has not occurred in a thousand years, but maybe, just maybe, there is some truth to this tale. Maybe there really is a Harbinger that is walking the land even as we speak, walking towards us to judge us and torment us if we fail him. So, little scoundrel, before I kill you for your crimes, before I condemn your soul to everlasting fire, answer me this one question.
"Do you feel worthy, punk?"