There are currently 18 radios in Terra Maledicta. They are split up into three groups - Professor Gabriel Krafft, Die Wahrheit (comprised of Wolfram Von List, Kortifex, and Zaballa), and the other Dark Aether entities.
Krafft: Well, my allies, we finally made it. Thanks to our new friend, Vercanna, you have escaped the containment spell Kortifex erected around Stalingrad. Of course, this deep in the Egyptian desert, we ahve no radio contact with Allied forces. We must still fight Von List on our own. But our odds have improved. I believe we are close to finding a means of separating Von List from Kortifex, denying Die Wahrheit the means to raise their undead army. You see, this is the site where they found the Scepter of Kortifex. And it apepars to hold continued significance to Von List's plans. That oasis and the small settlement around it has traded hands between Allied and Axis forces, but the true battle begins now. With us. Bellekar and I have been discussing that Tome of Rituals page you saw at Shi No Numa, secured by the void spell and its energy anchors. We believe it details how demonic artifacts work -- how they maintain symbiosis between a human and a Dark Aether entity. And quite possibly, how to sever that bond. Just imagine: cutting the cord between Kortifex and Von List. That, my friends, is now our mission. The Tome Page just might put an end to his entire unholy affair.
Krafft: Quite a change, is it not? To trade the numbing cold of Stalingrad for the blistering heat of the desert? Well, at least Kortifex's barrier spell no longer hems you in. And you know whom we have to thank for our new area of operations. Vercanna the Last -- elemental nature-spirit of the Dark Aether dimensions. She showed us the way here. When we first began sending messages to the Dark Aether, we were unsure who would receive them. But Bellekar hoped it would be a certain someone with whim she once joined forces before. We are fortunate indeed Vercanna answered the call. She certainly has reason enough to oppose Kortifex. But that story is hers to tell. What is increasingly clear is that we shall need even more help from the "other side" to succeed against Von List. We have your new friend, the Decimator, and even a "beachhead" -- so to speak -- in the Dark Aether istelf! We are closer than ever to denying Von List his otherwordly power. Let us stay on mission and committed to victory.
Krafft: Krafft to Special Forces. I am concerned that the encroachment of Dark Aether elements into our world appears to be accelerating. The most obvious example is Zaballa the Deceiver -- the assassin Kortifex recently summoned. But there are others. For example: the Augmentor worms that strengthen Kortifex by corrupting our world. Thank goodness their Control Runes give away their position. And then there is the void spell with its energy anchors. Such powerful forms of rune magic were not possible when Von List first joined with Kortifex. Simply put, our enemies are growing stronger. You can see it in the landscape all around you. Dark Aether crystals spreading throughout the land. We may be making progress in our mission, but so are they. We must reboudle our efforts if we are to stop Die Wahrheit before it is too late.
Krafft: Gabriel Krafft, audio memoir part seven. Those first days after Von List bonded with Kortifex were... well, they were terrifying. The change in him was obvious. He was still the same murderous Oberfûhrer, but I had never questioned his sanity until then. He immediately ordered all units of his Die Wahrheit battalion to mobilize. Destination: Stalingrad. OVer a year has passed since the German surrender, and now Stalingrad lay deep in enemy territory. There was no way Berlin would approved this. I wondered if they would try to stop him. I wondered if I still had any value to Die Wahrheit. I wondered if this would spell doom for my poor Sasha. I was relieved when Von List told me I would accompany him. Apparently, he still needed me. But the mission was too terrible to contemplate. I knew he planned to resurrect all those dead soldiers. I had very few options to oppose him. My only chance lay with the other artifacts we had collected. I suspected they also harbored entities like Kortifex. I had no idea if they would be friend or foe. So I made it my business to find out.
Krafft: Krafft. Memoir entry number eight. Once we arrived in Stalingrad, Von List locked me in my office, along with most of the notes and relics we brought with us. He was busy securing the area and exhuming mass graves. I was instructed to study the Tome of Rituals for anything that could boost Kortifex's power -- and there for Von List's. The other artifacts were locked in a trunk. Kortifex told Von List to destroy them, but the Overführer balked, thinking we could draw on their power, too. So I picked the lock -- something Sasha once taught me -- and laid hands on the Mask of Bellekar. The initial shock nearly killed me. My heart seized up, I feel and hit my head. When I awoke, I was no longer alone. Bellekar was... in my head. Ancient and wise. We got along immediately. But I was clearly an unsuitable host for such a being. I touched the mask again so she could withdraw. But in that brief time, we had established a connection, and begun to formulate a plan. I used the radio Von List left me to send a distress call. We needed the right kind of hosts: Allied soldiers committed to vanquishing the Nazis.
Krafft: Professor Gabriel Krafft, entry nine. During our journey to Stalingrad, one particularly concern hung over me. If, as I suspected, Von List's mission was not authorized, the Nazi High Command might brand us deserters. If so, any prisoners kept by Die Wahrheit would likely be transferred to the camps, or simply executed. I was frightened of the strange new light in Von List's eyes, but for the sake of my Sasha I kept demanding to know what would happen to my spouse. Of course he did not want to hear it. But Sasha was how he maintained leverage over me. And he still needed my expertise. When the last Die Wahrheit unit arrived in Stalingrad, they brought with them a letter from Sasha. Von List had requested it to, ah, "shut me up". It was the glimmer of hope I needed. It was... carefully worded. There was little warmth, no in-jokes or personal references. But Sasha was alive and relatively safe. That was all I needed to continue my work.
Von List: Oberführer Von List to all Die Wahrheit personnel. We have lost contact with our unit in the Egyptian desert. It appears something went wrong when they set off demolition charges in the chamber where we found the Scepter of Kortifex. This mission was to prevent Professor Krafft and his allies from discovering the circumstances of Kortifex's imprisonment in that temple. Instead, upon detonation, every radio at the site went dark -- including those in vehicles well outside the blast radius. This was 36 hours ago. Since the task force has yet to make contact, all are presumed dead. Krafft and his soldiers were still trapped in Stalingrad as this indicent unfolded. This raises the possibility that someone else is now working to subvert Die Wahrheit's mission. We are working to ascertain what really transpired at our desert operations site. Until then, remain vigilant.
Von List: Kortifex, kindly tell your lackey not to crowd me. It is... distracting.
Zaballa: Tell me yourself, red-blood. No need to trouble my lord if I intimidate you. And it's not you I am drawn to. It is he who resides in your unworthy flesh.
Kortifex: Zaballa, keep a civil tongue. You are here to help him as much as to help me.
Von List: Precisely. Though there is something else troubling me: why does she look so much like that mad demon helping the enemy?
Zaballa: Saraxis? Well, what do you expect? She's my sister.
Von List: I beg your pardon?
Kortifex She refers to the Sisters of Agony. There are always five of them. Should one fall, I choose a replacement from the Dark Aether clans and... alter her to match the others.
Von List: I see. You do that if one "falls". But not if one betrays you...?
Kortifex: That human scholar betrayed you, Wolfram. We all have our disappointments.
Zaballa: Don't worry, Wolfie -- she'll be dead soon. And then you'll only have my pretty faces to worry about.
Von List: Oberführer Wolfram Von List to all troops of Kampfgruppe Die Wahrheit. By now, many of you have seen our new ally from the Dark Aether supporting field operations. Her name is Zaballa the Deceiver. She is one of a team of elite assassins, hand-picked by Kortifex thousands of years ago. She brings to us a variety of abilities. They should prove instrumental in eradicating the soldiers working with Professor Krafft. These include her Dark Aether energy-strikes, and her ability to create duplicates of herself. Her long history with the Dark Aether entities assisting Krafft means she knows their secrets, their tactics... She can get under their skin in ways we cannot. In short--
Zaballa: In short, stay out of my way. I'll kill your enemies if it pleases Lord Kortifex, but I don't much care which uniform you red-bloods wear.
Von List: Kortifex, keep your pet on a shorter leash while I am addressing my men.
Zaballa: (laughs) "Shorter leash"? We Sisters of Agony operate just as our creator intended. Whatever I do, assume it is sanctioned by my lord. And be thankful we're on your side.
Von List: Krafft and his troublemakers have a new ally. Tell me, Kortifex, what exactly are we up against?
Kortifex: Her name is Vercanna. Vercanna the Last.
Von List: Not a very flattering title.
Kortifex: She is the last of her clan. I saw to that.
Von List: And what did her clan do to deserve that fate?
Kortifex: They told me to stop my armies from razing their precious Wilds. No one tells me what to do.
Von List: And these Dark Aether "clans"? Is this why you all look so different?
Kortifex: Indeed. Some, like Inviktor's, formed the backbone of my armies. Some, like Bellekar's focused on studies and rune magic. Vercanna's people were hermits. They dwelt in the Wilds, communing with their so-called Web of Life.
Von List: And when they asked you to honor their home, they discovered you are not... a nature-lover. So why is this Vercanna still alive? Why did you not finishin the job?
Kortifex: At the time, we did not understand how their cursed life-web worked. How it linked them together. When one died, their life-energy passed to the others. The power of an entire clan now resides in Vercanna. She may be impossible to kill.
Von List: Well if there is a way, we damn well better find it.
Von List: This is Oberführer Wolfram Von List to all troops of Kampfgruppe Die Wahrheit. The Allied soldiers gathered by the traitor Krafft have escaped Kortifex's containment spell. We think they may be at our remote operations post in Egypt, but are unable to confirm this as we lost contact with our personnel on site. I've also reason to believe they have been joined by another of Kortifex's foes from the Dark Aether. Her name is Vercanna. She possesses healing powers than can make the Allied schweine particularly hard to kill. I should like to get a better sense of what this "Vercanna" brings to the battle. But if nothing else I want to know what happened at the Egypt site, and if they had anything to do with it. Should this be the case, it is only one of many reasons I want them exterminated.
Von List: Kortifex, I try to be a patient man, but time is a luxury in very short supply right now.
Von List: Meaning you promised me an army of millions! Yet here we are, still amassing power so you can make good on our bargain!
Kortifex: Our bargain. Yes. I help you win your war, then you release me back to the Dark Aether. Nothing has changed in our arrangement.
Von List: Except you make such little progress on the first half of the deal!
Kortifex: Mind your tone, mortal. What you ask is proving more difficult than anticipated, but it can be done. It is merely a question of bringing more power from the Dark Aether into your world. Thus I summoned Zaballa, and brought my Augmentors. I am even utilizing void magic. All to accomplish your ends, Wolfram.
Von List: Yes. Well. If much more of your world spills into mine, soon I won't have to send you home. You will alread be there.
Kortifex: Come now, Wolfram. I will take it all with me when the time comes to reclaim my throne. This ball of dust is not what I am after. I leave that all to you.
Von List: Very well. But I cannot wait forever.
Dark Aether Entities
Vercanna: "Human". Is that what you seedlings call yourselves? You are a strange sight indeed... though not entirely displeasing. By all rights, I should not be here. Your world is none of my concern. And neither should you be. From what I gather, I spent most of your species' existence in the Wilds of the Dark Aether, communing with the Web of Life... or what remained of it after Kortifex's armies left a wasteland in their tracks. Kortifex the Deathless. He slaughtered my clan. Once we ranged across the Dark Aether. Now I am all that is left. Vercanna. The Last. The rage and sorrow of so many lost loved ones. It echoes through my bones. so much slaughter. A debt in blood, demanding to be paid. I thought Bellekar and I gained some vengeance when the Deathless one was banished. But still he has lived on. So when her "messengers" began reaching my world, offering to truly settle the score... Well! I am Vercanna the Last. I am here to end Kortifex -- to bring death to the Deathless. And if it takes human help to do so, then let us get to it!
Norticus: Soldiers of Norticus, by now you are well aware that we face a new adversary on the field of battle. Zaballa the Deceiver. One of Kortifex's personal assassins. And you may be asking yourself how she can be here in person -- without need of an artifact. The answer is that, in a sense, she's not here at all. You may have seen two of her at once, yes? She is "the Deceiver" because she can create fully independent copies of herself. The real Zaballa remains in the Dark Aether. So each time you defeat her in combat, know that you will see her again. The one consolation is that she feels the pain and demise of each copy she makes. They are connected to her. Each loss hurts. So take her seriously and put her done as swiftly as possible. It hurts her every time.
Bellekar: Saraxis, this plan we are considering -- separating Kortifex from Von List. I sense it disturbs you.
Saraxis: Come on, Bellekar. You really worried about my feelings? Or that I might somehow foul up your scheme?
Bellekar: You seldom speak of it, but you are the only one of us ever forced back into their artifact by an external power.
Saraxis: I don't want to talk about that.
Bellekar: Look, I know we are not friends. You do not... value friendship.
Saraxis: Not true! I've lost count of all the human friends I've made.
Bellekar: And discarded. Those friendships are all too brief.
Saraxis: That's the problem with immortality. Every other immortal just becomes a pain in the ass. Present company not excluded.
Bellekar: Well, what we are aiming for with Kortifex is different than what happened to you. We want to force him back into his scepter, then cast him out with no human to host him.
Saraxis: We... We can do that?
Bellekar: It depends what is on that page Von List was so desperate to protect.
Saraxis: And then what? Would it kill Kortifex. Or simply unleash him?
Bellekar: Well, we may not be friends, but at least we are asking the same questions.
Saraxis: Vercanna. We should talk.
Vercanna: No need. I know you left the Sisters of Agony before they hunted down my clan.
Saraxis: Okay. Good. That's a relief. I didn't want to have to look over my shoulder for you all the time.
Vercanna: Is that not how you have always lived? Unsure who or what might pursuing you?
Saraxis: Well, I wouldn't put it that way--
Vercanna: No, you would make a joke and focus on your "playthings" and never admit how little you know about who you were before your time with the Sisters.
Saraxis: You know about that? But you've been hiding in the Wilds since anyone can remember.
Vercanna: I kept to myself. But I watched. I listened. I was actually proud of you when you turned against Kortifex and struck out on your own.
Saraxis: Do you remember me joining the Sisters? What was the story there?
Vercanna: It's a tale for another time. When you are ready to hear it. For now, just know that Kortifex named you "the Shadow" for a reason...
Decimator: Greetings, warrior. My name is... well, I don't remember. Just call me Decimator. Everyone does. How I came by that name is the story of my rise and fall. I was once a commander of the Night Legions. Kortifex was my lord and master. And I made certain his troops delivered nothing short of victory! THe slightest failing and I would decimate their ranks! Hence the name. This won me no love from the troops. But I cared only for winning battles. And then the clans rose up against Kortifex. And when we faced their gathered forces, for the first time in anyone's memory, the Night Legions lost. Kortifex was furious. But rather than decimate all of us, he singled me out. He... cursed me -- made me one with my own shield. Trapped for eternity. Cast aside like garbage. I lived on only as a cautionary tale for those who would fail the Deathless one. But now I have you. This is my chance to rise again! And show my former master than I. Am not. Garbage!
Decimator: Hail, warriors. The Decimator salutes you! I am grateful to once again see battle, but there are things we must discuss. I refer to the blood rituals you've witnessed. You know what I mean: those sacrificial Syphoncores the revenants gather round as their very essence is drawn from them. Long has it been since blood-magic was in use. How I prayed I would never see those Syphoncores again. If Kortifex is using them now, it means he grows desperate. But a foe is never more than dangerous than when their back is to the wall. The Syphoncores were created to amplify his power. You've seen it done, yes? Revenants give their lifeblood to charge one up. Then a rift opens -- a hellmouth from which spews even more enemies. Work swiftly to prevent their sacrifice. Deny those ancient stones their chance to drink their fill. Remember: if they succeed in opening rifts, the fault is no one's but your own.