Lore of Albadyn

Legends of Albadyn Short Story: Doom

Terrance had been proud once. Her hand lost due to her arrogance. Prior to that she had been a very curious creature, always landing in some new trouble due to her nosiness and impetuous nature. While the hand had returned due to the Temple Healers, the lesson she had learned had remained: while pride is acceptable, never underestimate an opponent due to their seeming lack of skill.

Now, however, she was simply a Half Elf trying to get by. Her half-blooded nature had only recently come to light, and it did not truly bother Terrance that much.

But now, her life was marching toward a conclusion.

The Hero’s Doom rests in the Hands of The Shadow Knight…

The word’s bitter refrain echoed through her mind as she walked toward the small fortress in the distance. She had found the words etched on a stone of fortune, which told those who touched it what their doom should come by. Had she not succumbed to a fit of curiosity, she would not be any the wiser.

But Terrance was not about to run. If she ran from her fate, her doom, she would never stop running until it caught up to her. She would never outrun it, merely spend her final time fleeing and dreading an hour that would surely, inevitably come.

Terrance refused to live in fear. She hadn’t until then, she wouldn’t now. Her head would remain held high, her knees unbowed. While not arrogant anymore, she was still a proud person, and pride demanded she face her doom on her terms.

As she approached the fortress a sentry spotted her and began to blow a trumpet of alarm. She raised her hand and a bolt of pure white energy soared from it, colliding with the sentry and silencing him but good.

A gate barred her way. She raised her hand again, her sword held firmly in her other. A large concentrated beam of white energy flew into the gate, and with a thunderous crash it exploded inward, showering the men behind it with splinters, pieces of metal, and holy rage. No one that had been behind the gate would trouble her.

As a group of assorted highwaymen and thugs rushed toward her, her mouth gained a bitter twist. She evaded their attacks with elegance and grace, the setting sun making her glistening white armor look as though it was all the color of blood. She danced through those who opposed her march toward her doom, leaving them wounded and fallen behind her.

Another bolt of energy flew from her hand, silencing the crossbowman who had almost fired at her. Her blade deflected an axe strike from a thug and looped back around, slicing him down. She saw a great stairway in front of her: it led to the great hall of the fort. She began walking up it, never wavering.

The doors of the great hall opened and a horde of enemies spilled out, all shouting and charging toward her. Her mind registered it as a temporary delay, nothing more.

She was hard beset, but despite the deluge of offensive force raining down on her, she maintained her grace and her power. Soon, though many, all her foes lay broken at her feet. She resumed her march.

As she reached the double doors of the great hall, carved with dragons and knights, seated before her was a knight dressed all in black, a massive morningstar mace resting in front of him, his hands on the bottom of its handle. He sat on a throne, and his helmet was spiked as though it were a crown.

“Your doom is here, knight. Stand and face it.” She said, the anger in her words edged with bitterness.

The knight rose, and towered over her. She was short already, but his height was incredible.

“You’re bleeding, little elf. Run away home and mend before I do something you’ll regret.”

His words were true: she had sustained an injury while she fought on the stairs. She did not care: if this was to be her doom, let it be one that would be told and retold as a legend of strength and pride.

She leapt forward, and her sword… struck empty air. Despite his incredible height, he was incredibly nimble. Terrance ducked almost a moment too late, and felt as one of the long spikes of the morningstar scratched the back of her breastplate. She rose and leapt, bouncing off the back of the throne to reach his full height. She bellowed in rage and white hot energy enveloped her curved Elven sword. With a mighty blow, her sword cut into the Shadow Knight’s helmet. Had he been a second slower, it would have cut through his head. Instead, it merely cut through his visor, showing part of his face.

However, the evade was costly, for now he was unbalanced. Terrance pressed the offensive, raining down blow after fury-filled blow. If her fate could be avoided, it would be, but if not, she would make it a costly win for her adversary.

His armor now covered in scratches, some of which were darkened by the blood coming out of them, the Shadow Knight realized the power his opponent possessed. He was nearly sandwiched between her and the wall: if he kept evading by walking backwards, he would soon be out of places to run.

Terrance swung her sword horizontally, and the Shadow Knight let go of his morningstar with one hand and grabbed her wrist. He pulled as hard as he could, and her feet left the ground. With a yell she flew into the wall, her back and head taking the brunt of the impact. She hit the floor and lay crumpled on her side, her eyes closed.

The Shadow Knight believed he had won for a moment, but then her eyes snapped open. Though doubtless her right shoulderblade was shattered beyond almost any repair, and her sword arm was doubtless sprained, her rage spiked, giving her strength for one final push. She rushed forward drunkenly and rammed her sword into the Shadow Knight’s leg. Though no longer glowing with white hot energy, the blade was still wickedly sharp, and with a scraping sound it went through.

The Shadow Knight howled in pain as his leg gave way. He fell to one knee and looked up to see Terrance, holding a long silver dagger in her hand.

His hand darted forward and wrapped around the lower half of her face. Before he could do anything else though the dagger was rammed through his elbow. Another howl echoed from his lips, and his arm fell limp by his side. But one arm remained. He balled up his fist and punched Terrance as hard as he could in the stomach. He realized his error: though it would wind her, it would not finish their fight. She flew into the wall again and cried out as her several of her ribs gave way to the pressure of the punch and the impact she had made with the wall.

The Shadow Knight struggled to rise and as he did, he grasped the haft of his Morningstar. With great effort he dragged himself toward his still seated opponent. For a little Elf, she had made a surprisingly tough opponent.

He raised his massive mace and bellowed in rage. She bellowed back, raising her remaining arm. A beam of energy came from it, though now tinged with red. This blast was holy rage mingled with pain and blood: it would not last long.

But it lasted long enough. the Shadow Knight fell backward, his helmet and a good portion of his breastplate incinerated off by the sheer power of the blast.

Terrance coughed. a small line of red came from the corner of her mouth and trickled down her chin.

She knew the veracity of the fortunestone’s words: though all her foes were fallen, she could not survive the damage she had taken in the process. Her head began to slump, and she exhaled her last.

A man in a white robe entered the scene of the battle. A small smile played across his lips. He was in time, but almost too late. He draped a small golden amulet around Terrance’s neck, and with a glimmer of gold she faded away from view.

With a pained gasp, Terrance awoke in the Temple. dressed in a plain white robe, she sat bolt upright and her eyes darted about as she strove to get her bearings.

“Where…” She began, but speaking was incredibly painful.

“You almost did not arrive in time, sister of faith.” A young man said. She looked at him. A priest.

“I… I had no intention of coming… How am I here?” She asked.

“A brother of faith gave you this, a Resurrection Talisman. You must have been dead when he arrived, though, for many of your injuries have not fully healed.”

Terrance fell backward onto the soft mattress. How? While the Temple had been striving to find a way to save the lives of Adventurers who fell in battle, it hadn’t been successful… had it?

“It is a new thing that the brother of faith designed. He had help from the Blessed: Arkenmagics were what we were missing. He insisted on giving you the first one. I told him where you were going and he came after you as swiftly as he could. I am glad he did.”

Terrance was as well. Her doom… she had perished: the prediction came true. But life had come again to her broken form, and now… now the future was open to her.

(This Story takes place right before the Resurrection Amulets were created. fortunate for Terrance they were invented when they were, eh?)

 

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Lore of Albadyn

Legends of Albadyn Short Story: Ghost

A couple of Bandits. That was it. Nothing fancy.

Of course it could never hope to be that simple. A couple had mutated into five, and they were far from the unskilled ruffians that Archaemon had been expecting.

Fortunately, he was him, and he had fought out of far worse situations. As several Bandits rushed him, he aimed his small rifle at them with a single arm and fired a shot from both of its barrels. Two of the Bandits wielding axes shouted and toppled over, but three were still rushing him, and it took him a minute to reload.

“Always be ready to get rough in a fight. You can’t rely on your silly guns all the time.”

A ghost of a smile haunted Archaemon’s face for a moment. Using his off hand he pulled out his knife and placed his Twinshot on the enchanted back-plate that he wore so he could carry his Twinshot on his back without using straps. He placed his knife in his main hand and sized up the men facing him.

Two wielded swords and wore light leather armor that had seen better days, but one wore commoner’s clothes and held a decrepit rusty axe.

The axe wielder lunged with a yell, and Archaemon dodged the man’s chop and struck the man’s back hard. Unfortunately, the dagger stuck fast.

“Void.” Archaemon muttered under his breath, and he evaded two strikes from the men with swords. Dodging handily out of the way, Archaemon found the fallen Bandit’s axe and lifted it. Evading two more strikes from the bandit duo facing him, he hurled the axe at one of the Bandits facing him. The axe found its mark. With a gurgle, he fell backwards, leaving his compatriot alone facing Archaemon.

But things were not going well for Archaemon. His gun was empty and the only weapon nearby was his bonestuck dagger.

“A foe’s sword can as easily become your own if you act fast enough.”

Archaemon and the man circled. Archaemon tried to calm down: he could handle one little Bandit, no problem.

And yet, with a handy strike, the Bandit sliced Archaemon’s exposed arm with the tip of his sword. Archaemon’s quick reflexes had ensured it was not a deep cut, but it still hurt. Archaemon had learned from Aja that there were few things more unpleasant than sweaty arms sticking to your sleeves in the middle of a battle, so he had had his Rook’s coat modified to be sleeveless. It traded protection for comfort, sure, but he was skilled enough to win without sleeves.

The Bandit twirled his sword around twice before thrusting with it. Archaemon smiled. Dodging to the side and lunging forward, Archaemon grabbed the Bandit’s wrist and brought his fist up under the Bandit’s elbow. The Bandit dropped his sword with a yell and stumbled backwards. Archaemon picked up the sword and marched forward. He looked at the man on the ground. He looked rather pathetic, and he whimpered for mercy.

Archaemon chuckled and shook his head as he turned to leave the man alive.

“Never leave an enemy behind you.”

As soon as the thought passed his mind he heard a yell. Archaemon jumped to the side and spun, using his momentum to propel his sword. The Bandit, who had been brandishing a rock, fell to the ground with a thud, immediately succumbing to the sword wound.

“Void take it Auburn why’d you have to be right about everything?” Archaemon asked quietly. No answer came to him, and a cold wind gently blew in his face. He ran his hand through his short brown hair and sighed raggedly.

He missed Auburn.

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Lore of Albadyn

Royal Proclamation (Legends of Albadyn Lore Update)

⊕Loyal Subjects of Donyavar⊕

On the night of the 25th of Autumn’s Dawning, in this the 25th year after the Four Day War, a group of adventurers fought against the Jade Drakeling that had been plaguing our countryside, and prevailed with few losses.

The Adventurers embarked late in the night, with the first party comprised of eight Adventurers with the Crimson Cross Guild arriving first. After withstanding the initial onslaught, the party struck back with courage and ferocity.

Sadly, the Dragon lashed out and bit into Tian, an Amaresu Samurai with the aforementioned guild, felling her without a chance for healing. She returned to the temple early on into the fight. This loss stalled the efforts of the Adventurers, and the dragon began to gain momentum. Fortunately, about that time, a second party comprised of six Adventurers from a fellow guild arrived. From here, the dragon was quickly felled.

The Adventurers who survived the battle were named as follows:

Aja Whiteshield

Orijen Whiteshield

Silas Archaemon

Terrance Gilfaren

Julius Ironwill

Xandra

Alrich Montague

Kirie

Jade

Scotia

Hope

Sasha

Mehpool

We thank them for vanquishing the Dragon and for keeping our land safe.

 

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Lore of Albadyn

Whitehaven Stories Pt 3: Memories

“Unless you better yourself, a worm like you does not deserve to exist in my presence.”

The woman’s voice was thick with loathing, and the man being forced to kneel before her snarled. He rose suddenly, mauling the two guards holding him down, and grabbed the sword out of one of their sheathes.

With a rapid whirl, the man’s newly-acquired blade soared through the air and was barely blocked by the woman’s own sword. With a forceful push, the woman sprung backward and landed in a defensive stance.

“Never… Belittle those… less powerful… than you.” The man’s voice was trembling with rage, and he sprung forward, swinging his arm downward in a powerful crushing blow. Instead of foolishly trying to block it, the woman sprung to the side and swung at the man, but he handily dodged it and swung at her with a masterful diagonal strike.

“You think that just because you have a high station you deserve the slavish devotion of all those around you? YOU’RE A FOOL!” He twirled his stolen sword in a flurry of strikes that the woman could barely stay ahead of. She was an adept swordswoman, and this disrespectful drunkard was keeping her on the edge of defeat.

Infuriated, the woman parried his strike and countered it with a jab and several artful slashes of her own. Then disaster struck. As she chopped downward, he sidestepped and the point of her sword bit into the ground. With a swift swing, searing pain bit through her left arm. She heard a snap, and a thud. Her left hand was no longer joined to her body.

Shock pulsed through her, and for one critical moment, she froze. A boot collided with her gut, sending her sprawling. The man’s sword point lightly touched the woman’s throat, and she began to cry despite herself.

“I could kill you right now. Know this. Acknowledge it. But instead, I prefer to teach you a lesson. There is always someone more powerful than you, but just because you possess greater power does not give you the right to belittle those around you. Remember that.”

The man threw the sword to the ground and staggered away, returning to the tavern from whence he had come. The woman struggled to rise. How… She had been so foolish! She had forgotten what she was meant to be, and what she had wanted when she was young.

She struggled into the temple. As the healers began their work, she instructed them implicitly

“Do not return my hand.”

 

 

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Terrance shook her head. The memory came and went unbidden, without sign of trigger or any indication of what brought it on. Despite the distance of fifteen years between that day and the one she was currently in, the memory was still as clear as though she had just experienced it.

She had learned how to fight without a hand, she had learned to get by, and she had learned humility. She sighed and poured herself a cup of water. It had been one day since Aja Whiteshield and Orijen had left to get whatever they needed, and Terrance was on edge: waiting before an operation was always the hardest part. She propped a book on the stand she had had made and opened it to her place.

She would always remember.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lore of Albadyn, Uncategorized

Whitehaven Stories pt. 2: The Mission

As Aja and Orijen sat at The Inn, Aja began to grow impatient. They had been at the determined locale for hours, and while the minstrel was adequate, plucking away ancient ballads on a well-worn lute, Aja was never one to take inaction well.

As she reached her boiling point, the door opened. A woman with shoulder length curly red hair and pointed ears entered, a longsword by her side and white armor with a red cross on the front equipped. The armor was nicked and dented in places, showing she had fought in many battles. The fact that her left hand was absent showed that not all of them had ended in victory.

She spotted them and walked over to their table, grabbing a chair and sitting down in a stately manner. She was fair of face, but not extravagantly so.

“Greetings, Aja, Orijen. I am Terrance, and I have been sent here to speak with you on behalf of High Priest Avram. He would have come to greet you personally, but there is a matter that required his immediate attention.”

Aja raised an eyebrow and looked at Orijen askance, but he seemed to be perfectly calm.

“What is the matter that the Temple requires our assistance with?” he asked, and Terrance exhaled a small sigh of relief.

“I was concerned that you would not help if it were not Avram that was here… The Temple has reached out to your guild in a matter concerning a shipment of gold that was stolen on its way here. The wagons were burnt, and the caretakers treated with the utmost of disrespect. Of the few that could speak, one remembered seeing this symbol on the breastplate of one of the men that robbed the caravan.”

Terrance produced a piece of paper. On it was an illustration of a jagged crown. Aja’s eyes widened, and Orijen looked at her.

“This… is bad. This symbol belongs to the Knights of the Fallen Court.” Aja said, and Terrance furrowed her eyebrows as she responded.

“The Knights of the Fallen Court? They’re merely a legend the Bandits came up with to give themselves credibility. Everyone knows that.”

Aja shook her head. She knew better: she had been a soldier at the border of the Disputed Lands in her youth, so she knew the workings of the Bandit world.

“No, they are real, they just very rarely do anything. They’re content to rule the Disputed Lands and horde all the riches the Bandit Clans pay them in tribute. If they’ve come this far north, we have a very serious problem.”Aja finished speaking, and Terrance sighed.

“First the influx of Void Cult activity, and now this. Donyavar is falling to pieces around our ears… Well, since you know this foe, I can get down to your mission. A small shipment of incredibly precious stones is leaving from the Whitehaven Grand Temple to be taken to Rhasys for the dedication of the new Temple there. If these stones are stolen, the Temple in Rhasys will not be able to receive any Adventurers that perish in their borders, and Adventurers working there will be forced to return to this world much farther away from their work than normal. Will you and your guild assist us in keeping it safe?” Terrance finished speaking, and awaited an answer.

Aja looked at Orijen, and they both smiled. Aja looked at Terrance and spoke, an excited edge to her voice.

“Give us two days, and we’ll make sure not even a dragon could steal these jewels.”

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Lore of Albadyn, Uncategorized

Whitehaven Stories Pt 1: Arrival

The rain cascaded on Whitehaven’s streets like a curtain of glistening beads, each bead plummeting freely until colliding with its target and exploding gloriously.

As long as its target wasn’t your eye, foolishly looking upward, you would be fine. Summers were warm in Donyavar, the neighboring land to Inyan. Whitehaven, the capital of that land, was famed far and wide for its glistening marble walls and streets, signs of its affluence and might.

The guards of Whitehaven, on the other hand, left much to be desired. As the woman and her companion entered the city through the main gate, the guards were too immersed in their game of Flags to even notice someone had entered. The woman tsked and shook her head, but the man smiled, glad that the men were enjoying themselves.

Both wore cloaks of dark black to keep the rain from their eyes, cloaks unmarked save for the small crimson cross embroidered on the right shoulder. To those who did not know of them, the symbol was nothing other than a decoration. To those who did, the symbol testified of their Guild Affiliation with the Crimson Crosses, a small adventurers Guild operating from the Inyani town of Harfast.

As the pair walked the streets, the woman surveyed the surrounding buildings seeking an inn, while the man looked around in wonder. The woman’s eyes lighted upon her sought-after establishment, a place imaginatively named The Inn.

As the pair entered, the woman lowered her hood. Her hair was short and raggedly cut, hanging just below her chin. Her hair was raven black, save for a streak of red in the lock that perpetually hung over her right eye. Her skin was pale, and her makeup accentuated that fact with its dark colors. Beneath her left eye, a symbol: a small half-diamond underlined her eye, its tip ending at her cheekbone. She was fair to look upon, and her face seemed to have an ageless quality to it, which annoyed the staff of The Inn to no end.

The man lowered his hood and straightened his shoulder length blonde hair. His ears were pointed elegantly, and his face constantly had a small smile on it. His skin was light golden, and he wore a small silver cross around his neck to show his status as a priest.

The woman took a seat at a round table in the dark corner, but her companion sat at the table next to it, which was somewhat more illuminated. After a brief wordless argument executed with expressions and gestures, the woman sighed and moved from her table to sit next to her companion.

One of the servers, a young woman with curly brown hair and freckles, approached and began to speak.

“Greetings, travelers! What may I get you on this rainy evening? We have tea if you’re feeling unwell after getting wet.”

The woman with the short hair sighed and spoke, her voice slightly lower than one would expect.

“I’ll have some brew, and the gentleman here will have, without fail…”

“Water.” He said in a slightly musical voice. The maid blushed slightly, and a flash of aggression flared in the woman’s eyes.

“Sorry, missy: he’s taken.” The maid’s eyes widened for a second, and she nodded and walked away.

“Well, it’s an improvement over the last one. No sword, for one thing.” The man said, and the woman chuckled. Shortly thereafter, the maid returned with their drinks, and after a drink, the woman spoke.

“Well, Orijen, what kind of work are we here to do?”

“Ideally, we’ll be finding out here in a few moments. My contact should already be here… Hopefully she’ll arrive soon, Aja.”

 

(TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR PART TWO!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lore of Albadyn

Human History and Customs in Albadyn

Introduction

Albadyn was created 4,000 years ago, and much has transpired since then. After the cataclysmic Four Day War, the Rulers of Albadyn decided that a book needed to be compiled recording the History of Albadyn.

Since compiling a year-by-year record would take far longer than anyone desires, my fellow Lorekeepers and I decided to see how many eras Albadyn has had. We made a list of seven main eras that every Race was experiencing some form of action.

Era I: The Dawning

The Dawning is the origin of each Race: who the Great Creator asked to guide them, what they learned, and where they were put down in Albadyn.

Era II: The First War

The First War is the record of what each Race did during the bloodiest battles in Albadyn’s history: the war against the Fallen Queen and the Ashen Legion.

Era III: The Ascent

The Ascent is the period of Albadyn’s history that was the most peaceful: in this Era, all of the Races of Albadyn decided who their leader(s) would be.

Era IV: The Wraith King’s Reign

The Reign of the Wraith King is one of Albadyn’s darkest times, when the Undying flooded the land, and the sun was obscured by the Fell Mist. Every Race encountered difficulties and struggles, and found new friends.

Era V: Growth and Renewal

The Era of Growth and Renewal is the time in Albadyn’s History when every Race really got into the swing of things: finding what they did best and reinforcing alliances formed during the Wraith King crisis. This is the longest period of Albadyn’s History, stretching out 1,000 years.

Era VI: The Four Day War

While the Four Day War lasted Four Days (obviously), the events leading up to it took about one year in total to come to fruition. The Four Day War affected every Race adversely in one form or another.

Era VII: The Present

The year 25 AFDW (after the four day war) is the present. In this section we will lay in order the customs and culture of each Race.

We sincerely hope that this tome increases the knowledge of the reader, and that you find it useful for many years to come.

Section One: Humans

Era I: The Dawning

Humans were the first race The Great Creator made. At Irini’s behest, He created them to be a varied people: differing in height and coloration. Irini, Arkeness of Valor and Agriculture (a pairing I have always found odd), was given the task of teaching the Humans what they would need to know to survive. Irini helped the Humans learn how to make wooden dwellings, and how to make the most of their flatland homeland of Inyan, which at that time stretched from what we now call The Ashlands to the mountains of Rhasys in the north.

Irini instilled in the Humans a courageous spirit, one willing to help others, and one willing to work for their food. When news of The Falling came to Irini, she taught the Humans how to fight like she fought: with longsword and shield. While Kiria had taught the Dwarves how to best make weaponry, Irini taught the Humans how to make adequate weaponry out of brass. While not as effective as the steel the Dwarves used, it would still get the job done.

Era II: The First War

When the Fallen Queen landed in the Ashlands with her corrupt followers, Irini led a group of Humans to try and negotiate with her. Irini made it clear why she did not bear the moniker “Arkeness of Wisdom”. The Fallen Queen turned the 500 Humans Irini had brought with her to the cause of wickedness, and Irini barely escaped with her life. Furious with herself for leading so many to corruption, she resolved that she would be the one to deal the Fallen Queen the final blow.

All of Humanity joined her in her rage: while the other Races were quickly gathering to defeat the Fallen Queen, the Humans engaged her at their southernmost border. While the Humans fought valiantly, one Ashen Legionnaire was a durable as five Humans.

Needless to say, the losses were catastrophic. By the time the other races arrived, The Fallen Queen and her forces had either slain or corrupted well over half of all the Humans that had come to the battle, which was around 10,000.

Making matters worse was the fact that Irini was fighting with her rage, not her intelligence. Instead of leading her forces personally, she was fighting the Fallen Queen. As the other Arken arrived, they watched in horror as The Fallen Queen nearly eradicated Irini with a blast of fell magic. The Humans, desperate to save their perishing leader, gave up a fragment of their life force to heal her. Revitalized, Irini realized what she had been doing, and asked her wisest ally, Josedech Stoneblade, to lead the Human army while she and the other Arken battled the Fallen Queen.

Irini was indeed the one to strike the final blow to the Fallen Queen, but The Fallen Queen had one last trick up her sleeve: with all of her hatred and wickedness, The Fallen Queen hitall of the Arken near her with one final explosion. After that, the Arken retired for a while to heal from their intense injuries.

Era III: The Ascent

Irini did show wisdom in that she knew there was a chance she would need to heal after the battle with The Fallen Queen. She left a letter for Josedech, as well as leaving him her most cherished possession. Sadly, I do not know what this possession was, for Josedech hid it before the end of his life…

However, Josedech was a wise man. When he asked the people of Inyan who they wanted to lead them, almost everyone said that he would be their King.

Josedech’s first order of business was forming a law enforcement system. Irini’s letter had detailed the Moral Laws of The Great Creator, and Josedech needed a group of people that would ensure these laws were carried out. Josedech knew that t

he Fallen Queen’s blathering had caused a large amount of people to take the seeds of evil into their hearts, regardless of race, and that whoever went against them would need to know how to fight.

Hence, the Guards were formed. Iron Guards would patrol the streets, using whatever combat skills they had (for those deficit a training course was present), Silver Guards would protect dignitaries, barons, mayors, dukes, and nobles, and the Praetorian Guards would oversee the guards in any given city.

After sorting that out, Josedech began sending out expeditions to trace out the farthest reaches of Inyan, with the goal of having it fully settled before the end of his reign.

Josedech also sent ambassadors to the Dwarves and the Golden Elves, seeking to establish trade agreements with them. Humans were better at growing vast quantities of food than any other race, and the Dwarves were more than willing to trade, as well.

Here is where Josedech’s wisdom was at its highest. Knowing that the Elves and the Dwarves had better weaponry than the Humans, he traded something the Humans had too much of for something they had not enough of.

At the age of 134, Josedech died, leaving the throne to his daughter, Ithica Stoneblade.

Ithica knew that Human cities were made predominantly of wood, and after witnessing the terrible effects of a fire on such construction, began seeking out better materials and methods for building cities. She found it with the Dwarves, who provided Humans with stone in exchange for the rights to establish a few mines in the southernmost corner of Inyan. Ithica readily agreed, viewing it as a spectacular deal. She then contracted the Gigantes and the Vahalyr to assist the Dwarves and Humans in constructing the cities. In return, the Vahalyr and Gigantes were given the secret of how to make cloth, something Ithica had picked up from the Dark Elves when they had come through the Human lands seeking a new home.

In no time at all, new cities were built out of stone, and a strong relationship had been formed between the Elves, the Dwarves, the Dark Elves, and the Humans. While the Vahalyr and the Gigantes felt no dislike for the Humans, they soon returned to their homes in the far north, far beyond the influence of the Humans.

Era IV: The Wraith King

One thousand years after the death of King Josedech, his reigning descendent (King Aristarchus the Affluent) faced one of the darkest times in Albadyn’s history.

Due to a single Dwarf’s greed, a great evil was released on Albadyn. The Wraith King, who had been imprisoned in the earth long ago by Lycane, Arkeness of the Vahalyr, was freed by the foolishness of that one lone dwarf. The Wraith King ruled with an iron fist for ten terrible years. During this time, all of Albadyn was shrouded in a fell mist, which made the daylight difficult to see in and the night bitterly cold.

The Humans suffered much the same as everyone else, but they felt keenly the sting of the Wraith King’s wrath since they were one of the most pious civilizations to be known.

Two years into the Wraith King’s reign, a gathering of Bishops was secretly arranged, and several Humans who knew how to fight and were simultaneously faithful to the Great Creator were selected to defend the Church, and indeed all of Albadyn.

After seven years of training and spiritual strengthening, the Seven Saints led a small army against the Wraith King’s castle of Nad’Razhka. After an intense and bloody battle, the Wraith King’s citadel was banished back into the depths of the earth.

Human contribution to this victory, while slight, was not insignificant. Of the army the Seven Saints assembled, approximately a third of it was Human. While only one of the Seven Saints was a Human, her name would not soon be forgotten: Boudicca Strongheart.

Era V: Growth and Renewal

Boudicca Strongheart is a name every Crusader knows. Her prowess with the spear and shield is legendary, and her wisdom more so. During her lifetime, King Aristarchus used her as a guide and an advisor, which led to his moniker “The Affluent”. Boudicca established the rules for being a Crusader, and led legal reforms throughout Inyan until she was too old to travel.

Her final request was that her spear and shield be hidden and that clues be scattered throughout Albadyn so that a hero worthy of them might find them some day. Although many Crusaders have tried to find the spear, none have succeeded past the second clue.

During the time of Growth and Renewal, the Humans renewed their alliances with the Golden Elves, Dwarves, and Dark Elves. Having learned how to mine from the Dwarves, the Humans began delving deep into the earth searching for treasures. They were successful.

King Aristarchus’s son, Alec (the most simply named King in Inyan’s history), established a currency system much like the one the Dwarves and Dark Elves enjoyed. Using metal presses, Copper, Silver, and Gold coins were created. Due to the sheer amount of wealth under Inyan, soon the Human Currency was used everywhere (with the notable exception of Varasha, which uses a different, much more complicated system to this day).

Alec’s son, Jambres, was a greedy old sot, and his taxes and other evil practices led to the split in the Human Race. About half of the Humans, infuriated by Jambres’ lackadaisical and deplorable lifestyle, decided that they would do things their own way, without a King to abuse power over them. After a brief and ugly confrontation, the land of Inyan was cut in half, with half being given to the rebels and half being kept by those living under Jambres’ rule. The upper half of Inyan was rechristened Donivar.

This cultural split was very significant, and its effects still tingle in the background of many Human minds.

At the end of the 960th year of the Era of Growth and Renewal, the son of Queen Isradore the Stern took the throne. His name? Kalvas. Kalvas was a cunning man given to no vices other than a consuming thirst for knowledge. This led to his undoing. After marrying Alastra, Princess of the Rathi, he came to discover a series of old books written by a man named Gorgeth.

Gorgeth was one of the Fallen Queen’s first Human supporters. Gorgeth had written down how she came to escape in the first place, and how a person with enough magic could contact her.

Desperate to learn what the Fallen Queen knew consumed Kalvas, and upon contacting her, she awakened in him the evil lying dormant in his heart. This is not to say that Kalvas was innocent in all that he did thereafter: while the Fallen Queen awoke the evil, he was the one who decided to keep it well fed. An important lesson in this day and time: just because evil stirs within you does not mean you are obligated to heed its call.

Kalvas then began taxing the people and gently dismantling the Guard system laid down so long ago by King Josedech. He wished to bring the Fallen Queen back to Albadyn, and if Inyan was weak, it would make it easier for her to establish a foothold.

However, Kalvas was smart, and knew that simply weakening Inyan’s Guard system was not enough. Many personages of great valor and strength had come to be, such as Athena Whiteshield (Mother of Aja Whiteshield, whom we shall get to later), Andros Strongheart (descendent of Boudicca Strongheart and General of Inyan’s standing army), and Evalynn Firewing. After thinking on it for a time, Kalvas hatched a plan.

Era VI: The Four Day War

Declaring that all of the Races should gather for a massive celebration (supposedly celebrating his daughter, Astenra’s 20th birthday), Kalvas designed an elaborate deathtrap. Choosing Fort Blackwing in the Disputed Lands as the venue, Kalvas set up a huge tournament field just outside the city. Fort Blackwing was a citadel with enough room to comfortably house 40,000 people, nestled in a canyon, using the back of the canyon as a rear wall.

Declaring a Tournament of Legends, Kalvas knew that the heroes of every land would come and try to win the enviable prize: The Stoneblade that King Josedech was famed for. While a Sorcerer would have little use for it in combat, the enchantments that kept it sharp for two thousand years had long since been lost, and would be a prize any spellcaster would fight for.

Sadly, Kalvas’ plan was successful. Every known Race sent their royals and a large quantity of their population to watch the tournament and participate in the party. Dwarves, Golden Elves, Dark Elves, and so on came to the tournament.

On the first day of that wretched war, the innocents were gathered around to watch the tournament. The field was huge, and there were plenty of seats. As the Legends charged one another, and as they met in the middle, Kalvas sprung his trap. Casting the Spell the Fallen Queen had taught him, two groups of 1,000 Ashen Legionnaires appeared on either side of the now encircled Legends. 500 from each group went to attack the civilians, and the other 500 from each group turned their blades on the contestants in the tournament.

Of the 1,000 Legends gathered, 250 never left that field.

Fighting through their vastly superior foe, the Legends desperately tried to save as many innocents as they could. Opening a way of escape that led to the city, the Legends divided their number. Of the 750 remaining, 150 would guard the retreat to Fort Blackwing. Among that number was Evalynn Firewing. Using her spells, she battled the Ashen Legionnaires valiantly, and it began to look as though it might be attainable to win.

Then the second phase of Kalvas’ trap sprung. Aware that the Legends might make it out of the tournament with the civilians, Kalvas had turned to the bloodthirsty Orc Tribes of the North, and had smuggled them into the Disputed Lands between Inyan and Donivar, where the festival was to be held.

Evalynn could have held her own against the almost mechanical Ashen Legionnaires, but the sheer ferocity and baseless hatred of the Orcs overwhelmed her. Screaming for the surviving Legends to flee, she burst out her final spell, the Phoenix Burst. Immolating a good 200 Ashen Legionnaires, as well as 100 assorted Orcs and Goblins, Evalynn Firewing left this world.

Sadly, all was not faring well for the fleeing innocents, either. Wolf-Rider-Goblins were harrying the evacuation, picking off any straggler they could get. As the last of the innocents flew through the outer gate, Aja Whiteshield and her mother, Athena, closed the gate. Seeing Andros Strongheart about to be overtaken by an Orc Shaman spell, Aja leapt forward and intercepted the spell with her shield. While this alone was enough to secure her the Iron Shield Mark, she would go above and beyond what was required of her.

The Legends and the garrison of Fort Blackwing now had a goal: defend the Outer Wall at all costs. The Outer Wall was the only thing keeping the innocent safe, so it took top priority. For two and a half days, the battle raged.

Kalvas’ final trap triggered on the Third day of the Four Day War. Using every drop of magical energy within him, he summoned The General, an Ashen of incredible power that stood over eight feet tall and had a sword that was seven feet tall.

The General marshalled the disparate forces of the Orcs and the Ashen Legionnaires and drove them forward with a Frenzy Rune. The Legends, 500 in number by this point, were tired and worn down, and found themselves facing a new, enraged opposition.

A spell cast by an Elven Sorcerer teleported the beleaguered defenders behind the Outer Wall they had been defending, allowing them an hour or two of rest while the Ashen and the Orcs tried to break down the gate. While the main combat forces rested, the spellcasters and archers rained destruction down on the invading force.

The General saw to it that the gate did not hold. With one swing of his mighty sword, a large rent was opened and from there the battle began anew.

Athena and Aja Whiteshield, as well as Andros Strongheart, decided that the most powerful Legends would fight The General, while the rest of the forces protected the city. As the General was merely standing by the gate, he apparently desired this outcome as well.

In the battle that followed, Athena Whiteshield was vanquished by a dark spell. The only reason Aja survived the fight was her heroism. Leaping forward to intercept a blow from the General that would have ended the life of the Golden Elf Patriarch, The General’s blow sent her flying toward the city, where she was rendered unconscious and nearly dead.

Ultimately, the General’s forces were routed and he himself slain by the combined fury of Andros Strongheart, Gamaliel Malloren, and Farres Ironwall. The General was finished like his Queen in the First War, vanquishing anything too near him, including Andros and Farres. Gamaliel tried to save them, but was unable to.

The Four Day War’s final casualty was Kalvas himself. Enraged by what her father had done, Astenra smote him with her most devastating spell. Had Kalvas not summoned The General, he might have survived, but his reservoirs of Magic were depleted, and his reign came to a brutal end.

Era VII: The Time of Legends (The Present)

Twenty-Five years later, and many of the civilians who witnessed the final stand of the Legends in the Four Day War have taken up the mantle of Adventurers, continuing to defend the weak like they themselves were defended.

Human Culture, Customs, and Skills

Human Culture is a very fair system. Humans by-and-large do not look down on anyone based on how much money they have or the coloring of their skin. Humans judge people by their actions, not by their possessions. Humans are famed for being a forgiving people, and their patience with others is something to be admired.

Humans live relatively short lives, usually not passing the age of 120. Most Human communities, Inyani and Donivarian both, believe that at the age of 18 you are an adult. Humans marry relatively young (18 or 20 being the usual age), and usually start a family in a new home with enough land to have a small farm.

As such, it does not take long for a village to crop up. If a group of four couples establish homesteads near one another, it will not take long until it has attracted the attention of other couples looking for a place to settle down, and soon enough there is a bustling village where once was a quiet patch of land.

Humans eat stews often, usually made with home-grown vegetables. Humans are often counted as equals with the Golden Elves when it comes to cooking. While the Human food may not look as pretty as the Golden Elf food, it tastes marvelous and fills your stomach, usually after a long day of farm work.

Humans adopted the drinking of mead from the Dwarves way back in Era II, the Time of Growing. Fond of its strong flavor and slightly tingly feel, Humans drink mead with their meals, while they talk, or while they play games, such as Flags (a game played with miniatures) or Merchantry, a game in which players strive to collect all cards of a single suit.

Humans are an agricultural wonder. Skilled in all manner of farming and herding, Humans very rarely go underfed, even when in the depths of poverty. Humans can often grow enough in a year to feed themselves throughout the next, allowing them to sell some of what they grow in the coming year. As such, Humans rarely remain poor for long.

Human homes are usually simple, single story dwellings with lots and lots of windows. Humans dislike feeling closed in a place: used to wide open fields as far as the eye can see, Humans feel faintly uneasy (not too much, though) when in a forest and simply detest being underground unless it is a large cavern.

Humans recently adopted an intense love for the changing of hair color from the Dark Elves. Usually, Humans have brown, black, or red hair. But go to a city or a large town now, and you will see greens, blues, pinks, and purples in abundance. Humans also have a great fondness for cosmetics, such as lipstick in reds and blacks and eye shadows and liners in any color imaginable. They dislike Dark Elven nail coloring, though, for the coloring often chips off during farm work.

Humans wear basically the same outfit: men wear tunics and breeches, and women wear short dresses and leggings. While Human dress for the most part is plain, they are fond of having beautiful patterns embroidered on the sleeves and around the collar.

A note about markings: Humans get tattoos rarely, but when they do it is usually to commemorate an event or an action. For instance, getting a name tattooed on your back or arm when you marry someone.

For Humans, however, Markings usually mean some form of military service. If a Human has a tattoo on their face or shoulder it usually denotes a great and heroic feat, with one notable exception. A list of the known military markings:

The Iron Shield: A black chevron tattooed under the left or right eye or on the right shoulder. Given to someone who defended an important person or a great deal of people on the battlefield.

The Thorn Vine: A thorn vine design tattooed on the left side of the face, reaching from the temple to the jawbone. Given to someone who vanquished a great deal of enemy forces single handedly.

The Black Rose: A black rose design tattooed in the middle of the forehead or on the right shoulder. Given to someone who vanquished a powerful enemy single handedly.

The Skull (Dishonor): A skull design tattooed across the entire face. Given when someone has brought shame or dishonor to their unit.

Militarily speaking, Inyani Humans have a standing army stationed in forts across the land. Donivarian Humans, on the other hand, have roving groups of soldiers that sweep across the land searching out bandits and Undying to vanquish.

Humans are skilled in the use of martial weapons, such as swords, spears, axes, maces, and hammers. If a Human decides to use a ranged weapon, he will either learn the use of a crossbow or purchase an exorbitantly expensive Goblin powder arm. Humans (by and large, though many Human archers have existed) do not use the bow very well, and feel that the Dwarven crystal weapons are aberrant and unnatural.

Human usually prefer armor that is not hindering in the mobility department. Humans prefer to guard their vital organs, but keep the rest simply in normal clothes. As such, Human armor usually consists of a breastplate and shoulder armor, bracers ending in fingerless leather gloves, and boots that come to right below the knee.

With these specializations in mind, Human Adventurers gravitate toward combat-oriented Classes such as the Fighter, the Warrior, the Archer, and the Praetorian. Humans are also often found as Priests or Crusaders in the service of the Temple.

Humans are at the forefront of the Adventurer movement. While other races certainly have Adventurers, Humans find the greatest amount of joy in Adventuring, in seeing the world, and in keeping others safe.

Til next we meet!

Ameus the Scribe

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