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Approximately one thousand years ago, a gathering of eight great magical beings took place. These beings-- Balthak, Cyttorak, Farallah, Ikonn, Krakkan, Raggadorr, Valtorr, and Watoomb-- disagreed as to who had the greatest power. Hence, they settled on the Wager of the Octessence. Each being created an artifact with a fraction of their respective power, which would transform the first human who made physical contact with it into an Exemplar, a living personification of the power. Using outside agents, to construct temples to house the artifacts, the magical beings planned that the first mortal to find the artifact would trigger a spell that would quickly draw others to the remaining artifacts, creating eight Exemplars. Then would come the Ceremony of the Octessence, where a gathering of the Exemplars would attend the construction of a great magical engine, The God Machine, which would overwhelm the wills of all human beings. After the enslavement of humanity, each Exemplar would rule an eighth of humanity, with subsequently a war between all Exemplars in which only one would be left standing.

Each of the entities created a temple in different parts of the world, and the various magical totems were placed in the respective temples.

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