When attacks stopped and the Aetherials sent in their envoys, they knew they had us by the balls. All they had to do was squeeze and any other man would have sung them a tune worthy of the Erulan opera; but they've never contended with Darius Cronley. They came, two of them, humans in robes. Only thing that'd give them away was the eyes. The eyes glowed that sickly aether-green. They offered me a chance to surrender, a chance to live out our lives as vessels and breeders for their growing army. I sent their heads back on spikes. See if those spirits survive that.
But when they came back again, with new terms, well...then they were speaking my language. I was to be a piece in their grand design, a master of my very own army of aether-empowered humans. All I had to do was to pledge myself to their cause and to plant one of their crystals within the mine. The rest, they said, would be revealed in time.