One Day - For eons, it seemed, there had been the prophecy. Laws had changed and emperors had come and gone, but the promise of a hero–chosen by fate to fight the Empire–had remained. The prophecy had been fulfilled before—or at least almost fulfilled. It had been over a hundred years since the priests had last made the journey to the mainland of Muir to preach of the Coming, and the stories told of previous trips long ago. In each instance, the Chosen One had sailed south for the fiery isle of Hokori to fulfill their destiny, only to disappear. The priests, it was said, had erred, missed a crucial sign that would have belied their judgement. Such was the faith of the people, however, that these failures were dismissed. They continued to believe, as they had for centuries. What else could they do? The thought of a Chosen One, one of their own to lead them into a new era, gave them too much hope to pass up.
God’s Not Enough - Since he was born, Michael had been told he was special. The priests came early into his mother’s pregnancy, proclaiming that the prophecy had finally come true. This time, they had read every text, studied every line, considered every possibility; there was no mistake. As Michael grew, he looked forward to the day that he could sail south, like many before him, and claim his rightful place as leader of the people. He dreamed of beating back the Empire and ruling his island home like a king
Control - As time went on, it seemed that the time of prophecy had indeed come. The muirian people began to whisper of change, and the Empire’s fierce grip closed ever tighter. The population chafed against the Empire, growing ever more impatient with their own lack of independence. Across the island, people began to unite against their oppressors. The budding revolution was unique: it had no single voice or leader. The underground movement acted as one united body, slowly gaining power and support among the common folk.
Death is a Sentence - The movement began to boil over just as Michael came of age, and soon Muir was plunged into full-scale revolt. Michael, seeing an opportunity to prove himself, joined the revolutionary army. However, the revolution continued as it began, and no clear leader emerged. The people had risen up, almost as one, in a vast surge, bucking the oppressive rule of the Empire and establishing something that, as far as they knew, had never existed before: a government of the people. They had triumphed, somehow, against the odds.
The Isle - Recognizing that this new government had no single ruler, Michael was convinced that it was his time. He sailed south, as the legends told him to, and confronted the priests. What he learned there, among the fires of Mount Toku, was devastating: there was no prophecy. The Empire had perpetuated the lie for hundreds of years, giving the islanders hope and, at the same time, keeping them subdued. If the islanders knew their time would come, the Empire believed, they would have no reason to revolt. Convinced of his own sanctity, Michael slaughtered the peaceful priests in a blind rage.
Nothing at All - Michael felt remorse for the brutal murders of the priests, but was still convinced that the prophecy was real and he was the Chosen One. Fleeing the scene of the crime, he hatched a plan to claim his throne. He would return to the mainland and tell the unwitting revolutionaries that the priests had indeed bestowed upon him the right to rule. Because of Hokori Isle’s isolation from Muir, they would be none the wiser and Michael could finally claim his throne.
The Cycle - Michael returned to Muir to execute his plan, only to have his hopes crushed. While he was occupied on Hokori, the Empire gathered its strength for one final push against the revolutionaries. Unable to withstand the full might of the Empire, the new popular government fell and the Empire returned to power on Muir. Without the receptive popular government, Michael had no path to power. Faced with little choice, he returned to obscurity, leaving his aspirations behind him.