"In all the land there was no force / That would oppose Borgonne's course / Not Cult of ARIAX, nor dynastic child / Would let their minds be so defiled / No bird nor beast nor even plant / Would stand against the revenant / And in time, her game of cards / Might have won her all the shards / Of broken lives left in her wake / Had Tom not bet the highest stake / Filled with greed, she took the bait / And clever Tom did seal her Fate."
- - Popular children's rhyme
During the early Tenebrous Period, a revenant wandered throughout Phlogistonia. She called herself Borgonne, and moved from town to town, beguiling unfortunate souls into gambling their lives away. How exactly she siphoned the life force from her victims is as yet unclear, as her penchant for dark places and a smoky atmosphere allowed her to flee the murder scenes undetected.
The recent development and compulsory implementation of Wireless Implanted Tranceivers (WITs) in the country's population coincided with the height of the Struggle for Consumer Control , which created the perfect environment for rumors about Borgonne to spread faster than the speed of rationality. Mass hysteria broke out and calls for her severed head reached a fever pitch almost overnight. Most of the prominent Ariaxan leaders refused to acknowledge that the revenant was a serious threat, and instead called for a mass recall of the WITs. Backlash against the leaders and their unpopular public statement was swift and resulted in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of three of the seven Consuls involved in the decision. The rest were forced into hiding until the threats of terrorism died down.
With the Ariaxans out of the way, the Flambo family now unquestionably held the highest offices of government. The populace now looked to them for retribution against Borgonne. Unfortunately, the Flambo Patriarch agreed with the Ariaxan course of action and attempted to muster the military to systematically go through each town and destroy the WITs with Radiometric Dowsers , under the guise of "hunting the revenant." A few clever, though not entirely sane, aides discovered his plan before it was implemented, and served the Patriarch a poisoned tincture.
For seven weeks, chaos reigned in Phlogistonia. There were a rash of murders, looting, and riots across the country, when, finally, a foreigner on a business trip happened to stop for a meal in a small tavern outside the capitol. According to reports at the time, he claimed that he recognized Borgonne the instant he saw her, and lacking any sense of self-preservation, decided to try to beat her at her own game. "In retrospect, it was an incredibly stupid, definitely drunken decision on my part," the man, Tom Garatner, said in an interview. "However, had I not decided to bet my own life as well as the lives of the people in my employ, she probably would have been more careful with her cards, and I would be dead. She just got greedy enough, and I managed to get lucky enough to beat her."
Tom is generally regarded as the quintessential folk hero and a national icon, despite being from another land.