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Annals of Anduvia (OOC)


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Kingdom of Mal'aghar

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Grala took charge of the Irontusk Clan following her husbands death in battle against the Gnoll Bands to the south. Far more thoughtful and tact in her leadership she's proved immensely capable at leading war efforts in the field against the Gnolls to the South and the Freemen to the East. She however feels far more worried about the Elves to the East, feeling the Kingdom and Empires state might make their people the target of raids or open war ever since the Empire's failure to conquer the Elven Capital in the last war. Having no patience or knowledge of politics she puts her time to what she does best at protecting the Kingdom from its neighboring enemies, with Gnoll Warbands and raid ever increasing she can only hope the Kingdom she fights for can hold together.

High Shaman Azhug

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Azhug is the only true remaining Shaman of the Kingdom, most of the Orcish Shamans had been lost in the bloody conflict over 100 years ago. This sacred position has slowly been preserved and attempts to rebuild the order have been slow and tedious. He watches the discontent within the Kingdom rising slowly, seeing the seams that hold it together slowly being pulled apart. He cares little of the Empire itself, but he doesn't wish to see the Kingdom torn apart and the efforts to create a prosperous home for his kin return to the inter-clan wars and bloody conflicts of old. He cannot take part in politics directly, the position of High Shaman is one of neutrality and to choose sides with the conflict between clans would only worsen the situation. The Spirits do not choose sides nor do they care for the ways of Mortals, however instead he puts his faith and work in his pupils to aid the Kingdom. For while he is bound by his position..his students are not..

Mol'gara Half Orken

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Mol'gara despite her half-human heritage has taken to the traditions and culture of her Orcish Kin, though far more mild mannered and learned than some of her other colleagues she nonetheless takes her duties and training into Shamanism quite seriously. Often enough in argument with Azhug over his neutral position of the issues within and outside of the Kingdom, she has become one of his more favored and chosen students tasking her with many missions across the Clans. Her Half-Human Heritage has given her a unique ability to travel the Empire and engage with its members far easier, a trait her teacher ensures is not wasted as she spends time working between the Empire and the Warchief as a sort of Liason and Diplomat.



MAP  LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA):
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MAGIC / SORCERY: SORCERY

UNIQUE UNIT:

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Manticores
These winged beasts share a ferocity and tenacity similar to that of the Orcs they have for so long lived beside. While many other cultures find these abhorrent creatures as nothing more than a cunning predator, Orcs have learned how to find a mutual benefit to living alongside such creatures. The Manticore's favored prey is the great Mala'har Boar. A pest that ravages many farms and homesteads, even hunting one of these great swine is dangerous for an orc who does not keep his wits about him.  While the Manticore is not truly sentient its high intelligence has allowed Orcs to form a mutual relationship with these creatures in mass hunting of the Mala'har Boar, slowly over time training and integrating these creatures for use in war and travel. Though the life of a Manticore Trainer is one with many scars and missing limbs. They serve as the Kingdom's Winged Cavalry striking fear into their enemies and foes in the air and on the ground.


POINT OF INTEREST:
Winged Peaks

The Winged Peaks, the tallest mountains of the Kingdom are home to the Manticore. While normally in small prides or even solitary as they spread across the Southern Mountains the Peaks are home to their ancestral mating and hunting grounds. When they gather it is always a dangerous time for those around the mountain. The Orcs have learned to live with these creatures and have developed a mutual respect for the Peaks. As such this area is often forbidden and left alone as to not stir the ire of the prides of Manticore that call the peaks home. This long existing relationship is what has allowed the Orcs of Mal'aghar to raise and train these creatures as well as this unique location, for it is only these circumstances that allowed this bond to ever occur.

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NATION NAME: Ashhold

RACE: Moon Elf

MAGIC / SORCERY: The Great Tree

 

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The realm of Ashhold is made up of several highly-populous islands in the Surkh Sound, colonized roughly 250 years ago by the elf Cerus Dwarfbane. In the intervening years they have grown dense with residents, both elven refugees from Ralek’s conquest and their many slaves from the vermin-races. The center of the realm is of course the city of Ashhold, so named for the volcanic ash which stains the bark of the great tree at its center.

 

In the current year Ashhold is proudly imperial - the elf prince saw Ralek for what he was long before most of the continent did, and today they reap the rewards of his foresight. To them, Anduvia is not merely a human empire but the coming of a new order, one which will elevate men and elves in symbiosis to rule together. The dream is yet fragile, and Cerus works tirelessly to keep it alive.

 

The nation’s history is inextricably tied to Cerus himself, and so any study of the islands inevitably begins with their Prince…


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Cerus Dwarfbane, the Requiter, Lord of Ashhold

 

Now approaching 600 years of age, the elf called Cerus is one of the most well-known and controversial figures on the continent. To many elves he is a traitor, to others a visionary. Some call his moves necessary and just, others see him as a hotheaded liability to the entire race. For better or for worse, he has been an undeniable force in the region for nearly his entire adult life, moving from princedom to princedom as it suited him. The old elf has fought in hundreds of battles and slain thousands of foes - his skin is covered in dozens of scars, some with more impressive origins than others.

 

BS 405: Cerus is born in the Whitewood, the son of a famous architect and his merchant wife. His childhood is peaceful, and his father lovingly teaches him his trade. Often the two walk through the forest, and his father speaks of the best use for every type of wood, and how to lay weight on a tree so that it may keep growing.

 

BS 404: Cerus is finally potty trained.

 

BS 380: As a lowborn, once Cerus comes of age he is expected to earn his keep. Though he loves the work he does with his father, he has by now realized that he will never have the man’s talents. Instead he goes to work for his mother, wishing for something different, and perhaps to travel at the same time.

 

BS 374: Cerus’ mother proves far less kind as an employer than she is as a parent. She forces her son through a grueling course of study for six long years before finally taking him along on a voyage into the inner sea. They carry goods to the Goldwood, and the young elf is forced to recite the dull minutia of supply chains for the entire journey.

 

BS 359: Following fifteen years of hard work and study, Cerus finally feels comfortable enough with the trade to attempt his own venture. Of the many nations he’s now visited, he identifies Sudryal as a likely place to begin importing raw materials for lunar magic. With seed funding from his now-proud mother, he sets off across the sea.

 

BS 341: Cerus barely ever considers moving back to the Whitewood, despite his heritage. Now nearing 70 years of age, he already feels established in a major sun elven port. Sudryal is impressive, its people more so. A large house, a small fortune and five ships come at his beck and call.

 

BS 334: Cerus meets the sun elf Jannaela, a fellow trader from the imperial capital. The two are interested in each other nearly from first sight, and begin having frequent romantic encounters on their travels. From romantic partnership blossoms business, and Jannaela is able to help him move imports into Sudryal’s capital. Both grow rich, and though they never marry due to religious differences, their attachment is well known to all.

 

BS 311: After three decades of stable business, Cerus and Jannaela learn that the long sun elven embargo on the distant Deepwood is over. Both are as bored as they are comfortable, and they can’t help but map out a scheme to bring south Deepwood exports all the way to Cerus’ homeland.

 

BS 308: Excited at the prospect of further expanding his business east, Cerus leaves his Sudryal estate in Jannaela’s capable hands and sails back off towards Whitewood in search of more investment.

 

BS 305: Sudryal outposts begin demanding tax from Whitewood merchants going south. Cerus joins a consortium of traders in writing a petition against the practice.

 

BS 303: While at a soiree raising money, Cerus encounters the lady Sylvaniel, a noble elf betrothed to the Whitewood’s heir apparent, Crown Prince Vudin. She appears impressed with him and seems on the verge of suggesting something before Vudin’s servants notice and whisk her away. One glares at him as they leave, and an ominous chill runs down Cerus’ spine.

 

BS 302: War breaks out with the Golden Empire of Sudryal, regarding tariff disputes in the future Carathian Coast. The Whitewood navy drafts anyone who has been to Sudryal into service, and Cerus is placed as an archer-deckhand on board the Snipe. The policy is strange to say the least, and Cerus immediately tries to appeal, but the order is signed by the Crown Prince himself. Cerus is furious but can do nothing, and resigns himself to his fate as he looks across the water, thinking of Jannaela and his hard-earned and soon-to-be-confiscated property.

 

BS 301: Thrown into military service, Cerus has scant training by elven standards when the fleet departs. Though a competent archer, he is only truly indoctrinated into the military while already under way. In the moldy cabin of the Snipe, despair takes him.

 

BS 300: The Whitewooders reach the Carathian Coast, and the disembarking army quickly overwhelms the local sun elf outposts. Crown Prince Vudin leads a detachment inland in search of tribals to rope into their cause. The rest of the year remains uneventful, and luckily so as the Whitewood navy is still dangerously undisciplined.

 

BS 298: The sun elves of Sudryal finally respond: a magnificent armada sails from Easak and falls upon the unprepared Whitewooders. The white ships struggle to pull back in good order, but many lives are lost including the lord admiral. The old elf Roima assumes command and restores discipline. Cerus escapes the worst of the battle.

 

BS 297: Licking their wounds in the straits, the Whitewood fleet ferries supplies from the homeland and tries to keep enough pressure on the sun elves to keep them off the army. There is good news from the mainland though, as Vudin has managed to provoke several tribes of orc vermin into attacking the Golden Empire. Defeat does not seem an immediate concern, and Roima awaits more ships.

 

BS 291: Following years of stalemate and constant training, Cerus has his first taste of real battle. Annoyed at the pace of their inevitable victory, Sudryal dispatches an expedition to the Whitewood itself, aiming for their naval port. Before they can arrive Roima lifts anchors and retreats west, further into the straits, and instead of landing in the wood, the sun elves give chase.

 

Roima finally makes her stand at the narrowest point in the channel, where her ships cannot be surrounded, and there they face the mighty enemy. Cerus’ vessel is boarded in the clash, and as he drives a spear through the heart of a tan-skinned elf, he feels the rush of combat and can find no comparison in his previous life.

 

BS 290: Following her victory Roima attempts to pursue the sun elves, but the enemy scatters to the four winds and takes up residence in a dozen ports. The naval war becomes diffuse, constant and unending, but the Snipe is never sunk or captured. Now fascinated with soldiering, Cerus learns as much as he can.

 

To the south, Vudin manages to stay in the fight, just barely. On more than one occasion Cerus watches from the sea as vermin-race allies are sacrificed to allow the moon elves to retreat. Even that is impressive - each spring Sudryal conjures armies of legendary size.

 

BS 283: The third major sea battle of the war occurs off of Easak, as the Whitewood fleet tries to throw the sun elves outside striking distance of their coast. In this they only partly succeed - the losses are distinctly in the moon elves favor, but Sudryal’s fleet hides itself in Easak’s port and cannot be dislodged. Cerus finds himself relishing the action, as the Snipe boards an impressive two enemy vessels throughout the day.

 

BS 272: After thirty years of service, Cerus is commissioned as a low ranking officer, the core of what is hoped to be a mighty Whitewood fleet for centuries to come.

 

BS 263: After nearly forty years of war, Sudryal and the Whitewood finally reach an accord. Vudin withdraws his forces from southern lands and allows his orc “allies” to be slaughtered, and the sun elves pull back their navy from the Carathian Coast. A dazed Cerus sails home, surprised to once again be contemplating civilian life. The Whitewood elves see it as a victory, and all the returning warriors are welcomed.

 

BS 260: Cerus meets Sylvaniel for the second time at the house of Roima, while being awarded for his conduct in Sudryal. This time she is significantly more forward, and the two discreetly slip off into the gardens.

 

BS 259: After several months of illicit coupling, the affair is discovered when Sylvaniel mentions it to the wrong one of her servants. The Prince’s staff are soon alerted to the fact, and Cerus is caught in the act and hauled before the royals.

 

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“Lift not thine eyes again, whelp.”

 

BS 258: Accused of adultery with the crown prince’s betrothed, Cerus is forced into a duel with Vudin himself. The future prince taunts him before a great audience including Cerus’ own parents, insulting his low birth and promising to have him cleaning chamber pots for the rest of his miserable life.The noble eventually disarms Cerus, makes him admit forcing himself on Sylvaniel, and relieves himself on the defeated elf. Practically the whole Whitewood sees it happen.

 

Humiliated and hated by all, Cerus sees no other option but to leave and never return. He escapes from bondage and goes to Sylvaniel, asking her with as much pride as he can muster to leave with him and find a new life. Her own honor not unsmirched, she agrees and the two flee the Whitewood.

 

BS 254: Pursued by Vudin’s men, Cerus and Sylvaniel cross to the other side of West Galaran. When necessary they hide among the plains-folk, but wherever they go Sylvaniel is never comfortable. She is a noble elf, and months upon months in the field have never been her wish. In an attempt to assuage her, Cerus promises they will settle in the Goldwood, the grandest elf forest on the continent.

 

BS 248: After a grueling journey the couple finally arrives in the Goldwood, barely speaking to each other. Cerus finds a place in the court of Prince Vainas, as a lieutenant with mediocre pay. Sylvaniel is at the very least comfortable, and the two are married the same year.

 

BS 232: War breaks out between Vainas and his neighbors. Under constant pressure to make more money, Cerus is only too eager to fight. He risks his life several times in pursuit of glory, and grows into an accomplished officer as the war drags on.  

 

BS 224: The war in the Goldwood comes to a close when a coalition of princes joins on Vainas’ side. In the final confrontation, Cerus recklessly leads his company over the walls of the rival city and deep into its bowels. There he slays the bloodthirsty Prince Maroas himself, and takes his gilded longsword. For his victory, Vainas finally raises him to general. Cerus and Sylvaniel move to a slightly bigger treehouse, and she is marginally satisfied for roughly two minutes.

 

BS 219: It becomes widely known in Vainas’ realm that Sylvaniel rarely spends the night at home, and spends her time socializing without her husband. Despite Cerus’ attempts otherwise, it seems clear he will never be the kind of prince she left behind, and their pleasant nights together become progressively more rare.

 

BS 207: Prince Vainas dies suddenly and without a clear heir. In a swift move to avert chaos, the generals of the realm convene and take joint power in a military junta. 

 

BS 206: Sensing weakness, the other princes of the Goldwood declare war on Vainas’ old lands. Determined to stand and fight, Cerus and the other generals immediately draft as many fighters as possible to defend themselves. Through sheer dynamism, Cerus is able to secure an unusually large number of veterans for his own command. He appoints Talaus of Giltroot as his second, having fought by his side in the last war and been impressed.

 

BS 204: The Goldwood war grows bitter and costly, but the Martial Court, as they now call themselves, still stands. Cerus’ veterans launch lightning offensives against each invader in turn while his comrades muster a heroic defense with massed levies. One by one, the princes are forced into decreasingly-generous peace settlements.

 

BS 199: The massed army of the Martial Court finally marches on Prince Seriul’s city to end the war. Seriul now stands alone, and feels compelled to surrender. The junta forces him to abdicate and appoints a new prince of their choosing.

 

BS 198: Cerus returns home in triumph, now one of the ruling masters of the supreme military power in the Goldwood. At last, he has the resources to keep his wife happy - but now in a position of responsibility, Cerus refuses to tap the state’s coffers for personal pleasure. It does not stop Sylvaniel from trying to convince him otherwise though, and she soon becomes pregnant.

 

BS 197: Sylvaniel’s labors are over, and she bears Cerus his first and only child, his daughter Alicia. Cerus steps away from service for a full year to be with his family, but any happiness between him and his wife is short-lived as they return to their same old squabbles.

 

BS 183: The rift between Cerus and his wife fully splits asunder. Presumably out of spite, Sylvaniel fornicates with a visiting dwarf functionary from the Black Crags, then brags about it to Cerus’ face. Naturally Cerus is enraged, but by the time he gets over his shock, both Sylvaniel and young Alicia have fled the city, riding south towards the Whitewood. He instead storms the Dwarven embassy, but they too have been forewarned and decided to make trips back home.

 

Filled with impotent rage, Cerus calls the junta together and demands they declare a war of revenge on the Dwarves. His fellow generals refuse. Cerus spits in their faces, and resolves to do it himself.

 

BS 182: Cerus, his hardened veterans, and anyone else who will listen march out of the Goldwood and fall upon the Black Crags. The Martial Court denounces his actions, but he remains a national hero and many flock to his cause nevertheless. Striking without warning, the elf charges cavalry directly into the closest underway he can find before the Dwarves even think to bar the gates. There is no quarter given - the inhabitants either flee, or they die.

 

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“Denizens of Krardamz! There is no saving thy putrid hive! Abandon thy posts! Abandon thy homes! Thou art but gnawing termites, and I the flame.”

 

BS 181: Cerus’ army breaches the Dwarven hold of Krardamz. Thousands of residents are put to the sword, and cartloads of treasure are dragged from the vaults. When the blood has fully soaked into the underroads, the army proclaims their leader Cerus Dwarfbane, the Requiter. The elves are surprised to discover, however, that the mines here have long since run dry. 

 

News of apparent Dwarven weakness spreads quickly, particularly when there is gold to be had. A flood of sellswords makes their way to the mountains from across the Goldwood, like vultures to a carcass. The loss of manpower further weakens the Martial Court and threatens to destabilize the region. Strongly worded letters pour in demanding that Cerus end his campaign.

 

BS 180: The Black Crag Holds desperately try to organize a combined defense as Cerus ravages their dingy tunnels. Most entrances to the underway are sealed in fear of more elven invasions, but the effort is wasted. Wherever the elven army goes, the Dwarves are forced away or deeper underground. It is said that Cerus refused to go a day without slaying three of the ignoble creatures.

 

BS 178: The combined might of the remaining holds faces Cerus in an underhighway. The elven host has by now grown to immense size, driven by greed and ambition, and Cerus wastes no time in crushing the opposition regardless of cost. Too many elves lie dead by the end of the day, but the day is his.

 

BS 177: The last hold in the Black Crags is breached. Those Dwarves that don’t die in the siege are cast to the winds, all vowing revenge.

 

Cerus writes to the Martial Court intending to annex the mountains into their realm, but they refuse. The generals are too threatened by the sudden rogue army on their border to want anything to do with him, and the princes feel the same.

 

BS 176: Cerus returns to Krardamz, cursing the names of his former comrades, cursing the Dwarves, and especially cursing Sylvaniel. He sits on the old Dwarven throne and declares that his work is not done. Atop a mountain of accumulated plunder, he will hunt down every straggler and burn out every ounce of resistance in the mountains until no one alive remembers who once lived there.

 

A long and cruel occupation begins, a thorn in the side of the Goldwood Princes and an outrage to all Dwarvenkind. For decades, Cerus will send hunters throughout the Black Crags rooting out the natives. Captured Dwarves are forced to carve his face into mountain sides in grueling conditions, or otherwise exterminated altogether. Despite his enthusiasm though, the “Deep-Prince” will never be able to fully control the mountains.

 

BS 150: The occupation of the Black Crags becomes increasingly untenable. Pressure from Dwarven revanchists as well as continuous desertion among the homesick elves progressively loosens Cerus’ grip on the region.

 

BS 132: Following a costly battle with the still-furious dwarves, Cerus finally yields to his soldiers, now on the verge of mutiny. They strip the holds for valuables, and he divides the hoard among his remaining men. The occupiers leave Dwarven territory, and while some slink back into the Goldwood, Cerus and his most loyal followers go west. He will not return to the region for centuries, and he remains a divisive topic among the elves there. As for the dwarves, they would likely kill him on sight were he to show himself, but the Black Crags never again regain their splendor.

 

BS 131: A pariah in the Whitewood and politically toxic in the Goldwood, Cerus and a thousand of his finest warriors begin a long period of rootlessness. In the Surkhish marches he offers his services to the highest bidder, but the long years fighting in darkness have taught him a lesson - that elves are too few and too infertile to waste their blood on each other while the vermin races breed like rats. He and his veterans refuse to do battle with elven settlements, and instead turn to slaughtering lizards and goblins with considerable enthusiasm. Whatever treasure they take is often distributed among the elven population, as Cerus aims to inspire them to his point of view.

 

BS 113: A general conflict breaks out among the elven states of the Marches. Unable to stay neutral, Cerus and his band are forced to leave, disheartened. Lower races soon exploit the chaos and reverse whatever progress he was able to make in the region.

 

BS 111: Cerus arrives in Rzhekia determined to try again. Once more he offers his sword against the vermin, fighting Greypeak Goblins and Silver Dwarves with equal gusto. His open calls for Elven unity, however, win him few friends among the ruling class.

 

BS 99: Prince Narien of Narien accepts Cerus into his regular service, and their goals align for some time. With the silver dwarves as a scapegoat, the two begin bringing the local states together into a formalized confederation.

 

BS 95: Elven unity in Rzhekia proves short-lived, as an attempt to organize an offensive campaign into the Silver Mountains faces vociferous opposition from the smaller cities. Narien drops the proposal to save face, and Cerus is only narrowly convinced not to go rogue and invade the mountains anyway. With their project stalled, a disillusioned Cerus settles down into a life of routine military service.

 

BS 78: After seventeen years of peace, Cerus suddenly and seemingly-inexplicably turns against his master, and indeed all the princes of Rzhekia. Denouncing them publicly as complacent, dishonest and self-interested, he causes a scene when he and Narien get into a shouting match in Narien’s very city streets. Cerus and his veterans depart from Narien the very next day, declaring themselves the Resolute. They spend the next few years spreading their uncompromising ideals across the region.

 

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“My warriors do not tire of struggle. Mayhap thine would not either, would but thou couldst give them something worth it.”

 

BS 74: The Rzhekian princes finally chase the Resolute from their lands, tiring of Cerus’ autistic screeching.

 

BS 73: Cerus and the Resolute return to the Surkhish marches, finding them overrun with lizardfolk. They do not stop, except to plunder food and steel from the locals.

 

BS 72: Attempts to march across Surkh proper fail. Determined to see what lies across it, Cerus personally leads a small party into the mire while the rest of the Resolute make camp, enslaving nearby lizards for provisions.

 

BS 71: Cerus struggles to cross the swamp, as it seemingly stretches forever and progress is slow. Instead he runs afoul of the great crimson wyvern ANTRAXES, HUNGER OF THE MIST. Cerus and his companions hastily make for camp, pursued the whole way by ANTRAXES, but ANTRAXES picks them off one by one until only Cerus remains. Cornered, the elf fights ANTRAXES alone, narrowly avoiding death as he first blinds the monster, and then finally slays it in the putrid water. He marks his victory by fashioning a cape from the red leather of ANTRAXES’ wing, but finds himself lost and alone in the bog.

 

It takes until the end of the year before Cerus finally stumbles out of Surkh, on the wrong side entirely.

 

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“Thy hunger outstripeth thine ability, serpent.”

 

BS 70: Cerus walks alone though the land of Northreach, cast into a strange land. Though he tries to make his way back around the swamp, he fails to avoid the many tribes of orcs moving through the region. He narrowly avoids true enslavement by offering his services to the first tribe that manages to surround him, a group that simply called themselves the Blooded.

 

Despite his prejudices, Cerus finds the orcs to be pleasingly simple. He will later admit that it would have been only too easy to stay in the north, to abandon his visions and to lose himself to the sword alone.

 

BS 67: The great orc horde of the True Tusks gathers in the foothills, their dull eyes set on Akizbuzal. Only too eager to spill the blood of what he sees to be his race’s arch-rival, Cerus urges his captors to join. The campaign swiftly overruns the dwarven outposts, but soon comes to a head outside Akizbuzal’s great gate. The Dwarves muster the greatest army Cerus has laid eyes on since his time in Sudryal, hundreds of years before - a challenge the orcs are happy to accept. Tens of thousands die in a mad attempt to breach the empire’s defenses, but Cerus is not among them, as he viciously rips through each foe he encounters alongside his captor-clan.

 

The day, however, ends in defeat. The True Tusks swiftly disintegrate, and Cerus is reminded of his own people. He takes the opportunity to leave on friendly terms with his captors, and boards a raft downriver from Northreach.

 

BS 65: Following the True Tusk campaign and a long journey south, Cerus enters Surkh Sound. It’s there that he first sees it - to the west, the unmistakable canopy of a Great Tree, its leaves the color of autumn, its boughs dusted with grey ash. He calls it the Alictree after the daughter he has not seen in well over a century, and as the sun sets into its branches he vows to return.

 

BS 64: By the time Cerus again reaches the southern river of Surkh, it has been eight years since he left his men camped there. He finds them there still. In his absence, the Resolute have formed an unstable slaver-state where the word of his finest lieutenant, Talaus, is law. Many of the elves from the region have migrated to live with the supremacist band, but their numbers pale in comparison to the multitude of lizards and goblins who have been rounded up and forced to keep the Resolute fed.

 

At the sight of this, Cerus is as moved by his men’s loyalty as they are to see him again. He names all thousand of them his brothers, and tells them of the Alictree to the west. It is there they will go, and for the next three years the elves work their slaves to death deforesting the region, building ships to leave Surkh for good.

 

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Talaus embraces his returned general - “The years have been empty without thy guidance.”

 

BS 61: The Resolute, their elven camp followers, and their many vermin-race slaves finally depart the Surhkish Marches, sailing downriver. In a land free of elven habitation, the fleet does not hesitate to mercilessly raid whatever settlements they come across, although Cerus insists that they let Orcs be when they come across them. His men do not question the order.

 

In Surkh Sound the journey is delayed somewhat, as a storm rolls in from the west and forces the fleet to land. It is Cerus’ first hint of the Sea of Fire, and for several months he can do nothing but gaze longingly at the canopy of his tree.

 

BS 60: The Resolute fleet finally reaches the island on which the Alictree sits. Cerus leaps to the sand, and among the tree’s great roots he declares his journey at an end. He will go no further, he will not look back. The vision of the Resolute will be achieved from here - from the city of Ashhold.

 

Over the following years the elves begin construction of a city around the base of the Alictree. As with most things, the effort is largely achieved with slave labor. The Resolute constantly raid the surrounding coasts and upriver in search of more fuel for their growing settlement.

 

BS 43: The walls of Ashhold are finally completed, a great brace for the tree. With the tree secured, the strongest slaves are moved beyond the wall to begin the grueling work of dredging a true harbor. Cerus sends messages to the mainland, that the elves who once spurned and feared him might know that he and his vision still live.

 

BS 31: A steady trickle of elven immigrants begins to arrive in Ashhold, some who knew Cerus in other kingdoms, others who believe in the cause of Elven unity, still others simply seeking the comfort of a Great Tree’s shade. The city expands up the Alictree’s trunk as much as it can, but most of the population ends up spilling onto the surrounding land.

 

BS 19: A strange ship pulls into the harbor, and a woman steps out claiming to be Cerus’ daughter. She has his eyes.

 

BS 12: Cerus and Alicia climb to the top of the Alictree on a clear day, the first to make the journey. With the wind blowing from the east and clearing the ash, they can see for miles.

 

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“We shalt forget from whence we came. I am me, and thou art thee.”

 

AS 1: A faint glow is seen in the west.

 

AS 4: Ashhold receives word of strange ships to the north. Investigation reveals a race of something between elf and dwarf, wholly new to the continent. More ships land seemingly every month.

 

AS 5: The Resolute launch several slaving expeditions against the settlers in modern Estria, bringing home hundreds of so-called humans. The slaves prove smarter than lizards and goblins, faster-breeding than dwarves, and more pliable than orcs or gnolls. More raids are launched every year, as Ashhold cannot help but exploit the vulnerable refugees.

 

AS 11: The humans of Estria organize their defenses sufficiently that inland lizards and goblins are again easier prey. Scattered raids continue, but for the most part the elves turn their attention elsewhere.

 

AS 13: Following years of humiliation, the Estrians raise a fleet and declare war, seeking revenge on the superior elf master race. Cerus meets them in the waters under the Alictree’s canopy, outmatching the embittered humans easily. In the wake of victory, he declares his intention to put these upstarts in their place and immediately sails north.

 

AS 15: The Resolute finally surround the largest Estrian port after two years of ravaging the area, picking apart human armies from afar and crushing the weak. Forced to admit their inability to deal with the vastly smaller Elven group, the human leaders sue for peace. Now aware that humans are colonizing all along the coast, Cerus is unwilling to commit to a full extermination and settles. The elves take the remnants of the Estrian navy and extract significant indemnities, but promise to refrain from further raiding in the area. An uneasy peace settles over the region.

 

AS 20: Cerus personally completes the Ashway, a system of ladders and bridges miles long by which anyone may reach the canopy of the Alictree. He says the work reminds him of his father.

 

AS 26: Ashholder ships make increasingly-frequent voyages both to the north and south. Cerus grows worried. The humans are well-organized and fruitful, while the elf princedoms are neither. Particularly to the south the human tide seems to only be accelerating, and their dominance seems more and more inevitable. Yet from this fear comes the seed of an idea - if the humans cannot be stopped, perhaps they can be guided to his own ends.

 

AS 29: Cerus’ messengers make peaceful contact with Ralek’s burgeoning kingdom, professing good intentions, though they are unable to fully shed their elven arrogance. The Anduvians turn them away, well aware of the multitudes of human slaves in Ashholder bondage.

 

AS 34: News of Prince Vudin’s declaration of war reaches Cerus’ ears. The tidings bring back memories of the Whitewood (some good, most bad), and also of Vudin himself (all bad). He spends an entire night fixed at a window in his palace, gazing south. Upon the morning he declares that unfinished business cannot be left so forever. 

 

Cerus and most of his Resolute board ships and depart within a month. Ashhold is left in the hands of General Talaus, and it will remain so for some time.

 

AS 36: Cerus arrives on the shores of Anduvia with nearly a thousand of the finest warriors on the continent behind him. Though met with hostility, they harm nobody and begin to march south after rumors of Ralek. So fast is their pace that no human host is able to intercept them.

 

Cerus finally meets Ralek in the aftermath of his first bloody victory against the Whitewood, and though the King’s soldiers are tired they nevertheless rally to destroy this suddenly approaching battalion. But Cerus approaches without weapons and without demands. He bows to the King in respect, declares that all his human slaves have been freed, and offers him his service and friendship. The decrepit elf princedoms must inevitably fall, and Ralek will be the one to end their suffering. But Cerus believes it need not be a purely destructive exercise. From the toppling of the elf tyrants will come a new order, one to lift the continent from stagnation. Cerus has seen it.

 

Ralek hesitantly accepts. He will not live to regret it.

 

AS 37: Cerus and the Resolute march south with the Anduvians, more aggressive than ever. Cerus drives them hard - the hated Vudin is near. With every patrol he slaughters, every burned baggage train, he leaves a single survivor to tell the Prince and his subjects who is responsible. As they march, Cerus tells Ralek everything he knows about the Whitewood and its people, reciting every plan of attack that he has had centuries to mull over.

 

Cerus’ behavior during this campaign is of course an act of bald hypocrisy, flying in the face of his common rhetoric about elves not spilling each others’ blood. It will in years to come be brought up by nearly every one of his critics, and Cerus himself will express guilt that he did not put the same effort into protecting the Whitewooders that he later did for Rzhekia. His efficiency does however impress many of the humans, and it is obvious to even a casual observer that Cerus had some issues to work out regarding his homeland.

 

AS 38: The Resolute prove instrumental in cutting off retreat from the Whitewood capital, for though Vudin is slain, Cerus has yet to get his hands on She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named. When the capital is breached, he sees many familiar faces from a previous life, but never her. Later questioning reveals that the woman who ruined his life has not been in the city for at least fifty years.

 

Each and every one of them watches as the Whitewood Great Tree is pulled down by the humans. Some grow angry. Some shed tears. Most are silent. Cerus watches his childhood shatter and wipes regret from his heart.

 

AS 39: Finally coming to his senses, Cerus pursues the Whitewood elves in a far more measured campaign. Though significant grudges persist, he is able to help convince the survivors to come to terms with Ralek.

 

AS 40: Cerus and his host march to Sendil, where he is introduced to much of the human nobility. He is able to send messages back to Ashhold from here, and he begins remotely preparing his realm for eventual union with the humans. Ralek has by now proven himself to the elf - if any of the human kingdoms are to be agents of real change, it will be his.

 

During this time Cerus and Ruul first meet as well, and instantly have problems with each other. An attempt by the Golden Tongues to arrest the elf nearly results in bloodshed, and only the intercession of Ralek himself keeps the peace. By the end of the year, each watches the other warily and avoids provocation.

 

AS 41: Cerus confers often with Ralek, though he clashes with his blades. An elf prince can only stoop so low, after all. He informs the Anduvians of much of the history of the continent and what lies in the interior.

 

Towards the end of the year Cerus acquires a large house near the docks of the human capital. He remains there for some time, in constant communication with both Ashhold and Ralek.

 

AS 46: Cerus returns briefly to Ashhold, though he still believes his presence necessary in the south. He finds the island in good hands under Talaus. Most former human slaves have been relocated to the countryside, and the Estrians remained cowed. He remains for a single year before returning to Sendil.

 

AS 47-53: Cerus works tirelessly within Ralek’s kingdom to ensure the conquered elves are not simply made into another slave race. The defiant ones he tries to ship to his own realm, where they won’t cause trouble and can still strengthen the race. The rest can hardly help but be good examples. It is vital that the humans not turn to extermination as elvenkind surely would in their position.

 

AS 53: Word arrives of Enalidus’ sudden campaign into Rzhekia. Worried that the situation might spin out of control with the princedoms there, Cerus quickly gathers his men and sets out from the capital.

 

AS 55: The Resolute arrive in Rzhekia to find Narien burned to the ground, along with four other elven cities that they once knew well. On a field far from the human forces, Cerus faces hard questions from his men.

 

The host remains in Rzhekia for the remainder of the campaign, much to the ire of Enalidus. Though Cerus proves effective in battle and defers to the blade’s orders, he continuously robs Enalidus of glory with constant ploys to avoid pitched battles. The elf still has ample connections in the area, and he pulls on them to elicit favorable surrenders and peace deals that the man cannot reasonably say no to. The two quickly grow to avoid each other’s company.

 

AS 60: With the last of the Rzhekian princedoms absorbed, a bitter Enalidus decides to press the question of religion. Butchery follows as the princes are nailed to the side of the road. Cerus is furious but essentially impotent, which pleases the blade to no end. As the general moves on, Cerus goes to work trying to evacuate as many elves as he can from the region before more oppression follows. Many go west to Ashhold, and the region is forever changed. Cerus never forgives Enalidus for his actions.

 

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“O noble princes, I beg thy forgiveness. This pain thou suffer shall return to its maker.”

 

AS 63: A year after Enalidus departs Rzhekia, Cerus follows. After several years observing the blade’s conduct he has determined not to let the man out of his sight, and his movements focus as much on safeguarding elven migrants on their way west as they do on war. Nevertheless, the Surkhish Marches are quite familiar to him and his men have fought lizards many times. The year is bloody. Lizard slaves flow downriver once more.

 

AS 65: Ralek’s army arrives in Surkh. Cerus is glad to have a more reasonable ally to work with, but it’s obvious by now that human armies will never tame the swamp. Cerus advises Ralek to move on to easier prey, but remains to fight. If anything the Resolute appear to be enjoying the pointless skirmishes, especially this close to home. Ships from Ashhold arrive constantly, keeping the army fed and the slaves flowing.

 

Over the length of the campaign, tensions ease somewhat between Cerus and the two blades. Belethor in particular expresses an interest in the sun elf empire of Sudryal, and Cerus happily shares his experiences there from an age ago. The sun elves are not corrupt and divided like his own people. Cerus advises leaving well enough alone, but nevertheless discusses Sudryal’s defenses with his new friend.

 

AS 70: With Ashhold Isle swiftly growing overpopulated, Talaus finally authorizes the colonization of the surrounding islands.

 

AS 79: The humans finally tire of pointlessly fighting in the mud. Cerus marches west with Ralek, promising to show the King his home.

 

AS 84: Following a joint campaign between Ralek’s army and the full strength of Ashhold, the last hostile men of the Burning Coast are subjugated. Ralek and Cerus sail to Ashhold itself, where the King stands beneath the Alictree and is introduced to Cerus’ people and to his daughter, Alicia. Cerus proudly shows off the realm he has built in less than two centuries, from the highest branches to the lowest sands.

 

AS 85: Ralek departs from Ashhold on a doomed expedition into the Sea of Fire. By the time he returns his army is severely depleted and he has no choice but to return to longer-conquered territories to raise more men. Cerus remains behind, comfortably at home for the first time in several decades.

 

AS 89: Estria unifies in direct opposition to Ralek’s expansion. The new kingdom rejects the old treaties forced on their predecessors by the elves, and a low-intensity conflict begins in Surkh Sound which continues to this day.

 

AS 96: Ashhold takes advantage of Enalidus’ campaign to launch incursions all along the Estrian coast. Simmering enmity between the two of them fully erupts when Cerus sacks several cities ahead of the blade’s advance. Enalidus sends several letters back to the capital complaining of Cerus’ initiative, but as all the land is absorbed into Anduvia and not Ashhold, the complaints come off as petty and are ignored.

 

AS 103: Cerus funds the construction of Alicia’s Rise, as a gift for his daughter’s three hundredth birthday.

 

AS 122: An Ashholder courier carrying vital intelligence in Torbak is tragically captured by orcish tribes, and is never heard from again.

 

AS 124: Upon Ralek’s ascension to Emperor, Cerus makes the journey to the far south alone to meet with him. It takes him two years to catch up to him, and he finds Ralek stricken with grief in the aftermath of Redmound. Cerus has by now seen countless friends die, but he lacks the words to console the Emperor. He merely gives the man a cask of fine brandy and says that such things are the price paid for extended life. In time, the saint will get used to it.

 

The next day, Cerus swears fealty to Ralek. Ashhold, for the last century an independent ally of the Anduvians, steps fully into the imperial fold.

 

AS 128: Cerus returns to Sendil with the rest of the imperial lords. He finds the city more magnificent than his last visit, and more hostile. Twice he is accosted on the street by agents of the golden tongue, and twice he is forced to spill blood rather than let them lay their filthy hands on him.

 

Following the great victory feast, Ruul and Cerus exchange stern words. The elf has not spent a hundred years building this empire to be harassed in its very capital over the asinine religious creed of the week, and he will not hesitate to spark a crisis if the order persists in this course. Ruul is as always a pragmatic man, and the two reach an unspoken agreement to stay out of each other’s way, for now.

 

AS 130: After two years in the capital, Cerus returns to Ashhold and settles in. Scattered conflict continues with Estria, but it is otherwise a restful time. The elves gaze from the Alictree across broad slave-worked farmland, and many of the Resolute finally retire.

 

AS 146: Cerus publishes My Resolution, a book in the elvish language explaining his life and his vision. It contrasts the squabbling Goldwood Princes to elves within Anduvia, and makes the case for what he has long argued: that Ralek’s rise was both necessary and beneficial for the elves. The great limit of elvenkind has always been its infertility - but by partnership with humans, not slavery or conquest, they can finally overcome that curse. Ralek and his followers can be a tool to bring about an elven utopia. 

 

The framing of humans as a tool for elven ends becomes easy fodder for conspiracy theories among those humans who can read elvish, though little real suspicion comes of it. Among the elves though, the book is highly controversial. Many denounce Cerus as a revisionist hypocrite, quick to point out his participation in the genocidal Whitewood war. But within Anduvia, these voices must speak quietly. They struggle to compete with Cerus’ supporters, who have watched him publicly work to place elves in positions of power since the very dawn of the empire. Whatever the reception, it’s clear to all that even on his island, Cerus is not idle.

 

AS 150: Cerus publishes On the Dwarves and Their Lies, a far shorter pamphlet written in plain common. It is essentially a grotesquely distorted account of the continent’s history prior to human arrival, in which every dwarven achievement is presented as having been stolen from the noble elves. Dwarves are greedy, duplicitous, and have no concept of oaths and honor, and yet if one breaks a promise to them, they remember it unto eternity. They are essentially no better than goblins, their ambition only stretches as far as getting drunk in a hole, and they will turn on the empire the moment they get the chance. Cerus also includes several salacious accounts of dwarves dragging human children underground to carry out profane rituals far from the light of day.

 

AS 176: When asked to join the invasion of Estria, Cerus is noncommittal. Ashhold does however volunteer to supply the army, and elf raids along the coast begin to intensify.

 

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National Idea - Thorns on the Wind

 

Mighty fighters as they might be, the elvish race is not one to waste its finest. A single warrior comes with decades if not centuries of experience, and is not so easy to replace. It is not seen as cowardly, then, to avoid close battle when possible. Cerus' followers are encouraged to keep their distance, preserve their numbers, and strike only when advantageous.

 

[All units carry elven longbows.]

 

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The Resolute - Heavy Infantry Greatbowmen

 

At the core of Cerus’ army are the Resolute: elven veterans from across the continent, many of which have followed him since his time in the Goldwood. Each and every one of them has spent centuries doing little else but fighting, and they consider themselves to be the art of war perfected. Clad in fine armor and skilled at killing nearly every race on the continent, they are Cerus’ vision made flesh, a swift knife on the battlefield.

 

While of course deadly at close range, the Resolute value the lives of their brothers infinitely more than any of their foes. As such, a sense of self-preservation developed over Cerus’ long march has led to most choosing the bow as their weapon of first resort. Each carries a powerful elven greatbow capable of immense distance and power, and the warriors are frighteningly accurate with them. Many a vermin-race company has melted long before coming to blows as their officers are plucked away.

 

In recent years a great deal of the Resolute have settled down, beating their swords into plowshares in Ashhold. But their skills have not faded, and their loyalty is to Cerus. Should he call on them again, they will answer.

 

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The Alictree

 

Rising from the center of Ashhold is a fully-grown Great Tree, the likes of which cannot be found elsewhere on the continent. Its leaves are the color of latest autumn, and rain down on the city along with the ash that coats its bark from the volcanos nearby. Its canopy is narrow, but its height is among the greatest recorded. Cerus does not speak of the previous inhabitants or what they called it, nor does anyone else. It is the Alictree of Ashhold, and it always has been.

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Delathin Principality


RACE: Moon Elf
MAGIC / SORCERY: Luron


BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY:

Born from the immediate aftermath of the fall of Prince Vudin and the Whitewood, the region now known as the Treemurk was once a verdant paradise but is now largely a decaying and treacherous swamp. Lady Haelia Delathin, last scion of a house largely wiped out in the fighting between Whitewood and Anduvia, came to lead a large band of refugees seeking shelter within the quickly dying woods and hinterlands. Adding political weight to a band of surviving Whitewood rangers and guardsmen who defended the isolated survivors from roving bandits and mercenaries, Lady Haelia negotiated the surrender of her group to the Empire. In line with St. Ralek's decree to spare those who bent the knee, in honour of their ferocity in battle, Haelia became Princess of her own rump state - in exchange for her only child at the time, a daughter, being sent to St. Ralek's new elven harem.

 

Where other survivors of Whitewood preferred to leave the past behind them and settle far from their dying forest, the Delathin Principality's lands mostly cover what is now known as the Treemurk. Most of its people live in settlements at the forest's edge, but Princess Haelia and her consort Aerondar see it as their duty to watch over the dying weald in its entirety. Few still live within, but Aerondar's Bloodmoon Rangers see to it that their lives are as free from molestation by malevolent forces as possible. Haelia holds court at the city of Shael'hanar, built upon the ruins of a Whitewood border fortress, from which the elves of the Principality content themselves to their isolation. In accordance with their subjugation to the empire, Delathin warriors often leave to fight in the empire's wars and serve with distinction. This is one of the few times those not of the Princess's court leave their borders. Many elves of other domains are often shocked at their grim nature and pale complexion - which is easily attributed by many to the effects of living in or in close proximity to the now accursed Treemurk. They lack the piety of many of their cousins, seeing the fall of Whitewood as the result of the blessed moon abandoning them. Nevertheless, Princess Haelia holds at least a nominal position as an Oracle of Luron, and priestly figures often depart from Shael'hanar to minister to the populace.

 


LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS:

 

Princess Haelia Delathin

 

Prince-Consort Aerondar

 


MAP  LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA):

 

TREEMURK. NOT CLOUDMURK.

 

UNIQUE UNIT:

Bloodmoon Rangers

  • The original name of Aerondar's band of surviving Whitewood soldiers, the Bloodmoon Rangers act as both a household guard and secret police for the Principality. They maintain watch-posts throughout the settlements of Delathin as well as within the haunted Treemurk itself.


POINT OF INTEREST:

 

tbd

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Falkorani

The Confederated Kobold Tribes


MAGIC / SORCERY: Dragon Cult


BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY:

In the depths of the earth, they say, are great draconic hoards kept by their serpentine masters. Armoured bodies lay upon countless lifetimes of wealth, however only the foolhardy can seek to slay the owners. The alternative to this, is to worship these Dragons as gods; for what else could they be?

Amongst the dark, critters scutter and none more so noble as the very descendants of the dragons themselves, the Kobolds. Colonies are birthed and destroyed in the dark with their wars against the other warrens, when they are not exterminated by other foes. They fight and die in the dark, escaping their destruction to find new homes. Rarely however, they escape the cycle of violence.

The tribe of the Falkorani initiated something odd, an alliance with their peer, the Sapiruna. Recently devastated by a goblin assault, the crippled tribe was contact by Chief Earth Splitter to join together, for their Lady Below could protect them. Given no alternative to survival, the Sapiruna accepted; beginning the confederation. To the Falkorani’s surprised, The Lady Below was pleased with the sudden addition of the new tribe, for the previous hoard was added to her own. So she bestowed upon one of their own, Great Maw, a gift, Xarreth. His body twisted into a new form, Great Maw became her Lady’s champion, and headed the banner of the Falkorani.  Now the tribe saw a new future, consolidation. Over the next fifty years, the Falkorani grew slowly, taking other Kobolds under their wing but avoiding the ire of their larger neighbours. However they would take note eventually.

In the year 180, they put forward their fealty to the Empire of Anduvia, an overlord that would take them as they were in order to survive; and expand in the mountains.


LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS:

 

Chief Earth Splitter

The unifier of the Falkorani, Chief Earth Splitter has ruled the confederated tribes for close to seventy years. He is old and careful, yet wiley enough to subdue sufficient Kobold tribes under his banner to form the Falkorani, better to worship their overlord. Of course, he wasn’t alone in these efforts.

 

Xarrerth

The chosen champion of The Lady Below, Xarreth was once one of Earth Splitter. Once called Great Maw, their faith was rewarded with his new name and form. He was the banner around which Kobolds could muster.


MAP  LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA):

Pm'd


UNIQUE UNIT:

 

Gloom Stalkers

Kobolds, owing to their size, avoid direct confrontation with their foes. Instead they’d rather trap, ambush and tackle them piecemeal; so enters the Gloom Stalkers. On a massed battlefield, the Gloom Stalkers are no different from some skilled archers. Again, that is not the Kobold way. They strike in the night, roving in small bands to avoid detection. In Anduvia there is not many who can boast a greater guerrilla fighting force.


POINT OF INTEREST:

Falkorn Deep Tunnels

The Kobold tunnels of Falkorn are some of the most extensive in the world, running deeper and denser into the earth than even the dwarven mines. They unearth secrets, relics and… More for the Falkorani.

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THE GREAT HORDE OF KHONOLL
 

RACE: Gnolls
 

MAGIC / SORCERY: tbd, requires consultation with Sup


BRIEF DESCRIPTION / HISTORY:

 

"Between the time when St. Ralek broke the White Tree, and the fall of the Sons of Sedorva, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Khonoll, destined to wear the jewelled crown of Aquignollia, upon a troubled brow. It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga. Let me tell you of the days of High Adventure!"  - Roland the Reluctant, Royal Chronicler of Khonoll, King of Gnolls

 

Gnolls, it has often been said, are a simple, brutish people. Indeed, their definition as "people" has oft been debated and frequently refuted by Anduvian scholarship. They are canine in appearance and temperament. Their lives generally revolve around food, its acquisition, and their primitive social hierarchy in which might, more often than not, makes right. They themselves describe themselves, proudly, as savage and war-like. They breed prodigously and migrate swiftly between regions, when their ravenous numbers have exhausted available hunting grounds. They have little to no understanding or love of settled societies, and often see them as no different from the herds of animals they generally follow. They are roving packs of predators, united often as familially related tribes and occasionally in larger hordes under a charismatic and brutal leader. And in this current age, there is none more charismatic, no more brutal, and no more destined for greatness than Khonoll: he who would claim the mantle of King of Gnolls!

 

Khonoll's rise to power began as most great gnolls does, as the whelp of tribal chieftain. Born from one of many litters of a favoured warrior she-gnoll of his noble sire, whose names are both lost to history in the shadow of their magnificent son, Khonoll survived to adulthood from the tribulations of his youth. As was the case in his tribe, whose name has again been lost to history in Khonoll's mighty shadow, the future Gnoll King's litter was sent into combat in their youth as a pack: the males forming the vanguard, using naught but claws and teeth, and the females taking up the rear with whatever stones and projectiles they could scavenge. Those who survived in the crucible of raiding between settled folk, and other roving gnoll bands, would graduate into the main war-packs upon maturity. Khonoll thrived in this environment, going from leading his litter to leading a throng of dozens in his first two years of life. Again, as is oft the case, upon his father's years catching up to him, he challenged his sire to single combat, bested and devoured him before the whole tribe. Securing victory by mounting his father's latest "matrimonial" conquest, as was tradition, the rule of Khonoll was undisputed.

 

From this, came many conquests. Possessed of fury, a self-belief, and a sheer audacity, did Khonoll defeat and assimilate a multitude of tribes to his cause. His skill and wisdom in rule were unsurpassed in gnoll-kind, and neither was his wrath nor strength at arms. Many tribes became one under him, and thus were all of thus subsumed into His Horde. The sons of his defeated and devoured enemies were now his Under-Chieftains, providing their greatest she-gnoll offspring to him in tribute, as with the appropriate tithe of loot and meat, as was custom and their great overlord's due. They came before the King of Gnolls, a title that was unfamiliar to them and had never before been claimed by a dogman. They cowered before him in submission, baring their underbellies and begged the knowledge of how Khonoll had the strength of will to conquer them, and to what purpose he had laid aside a sizeable portion of seized wealth. To them he answered, in the fashion of: "I am King of Gnolls, but submit myself to He who has proven Himself master of All Races, the Emperor of Men Ralek, who is as the Alpha of All Hordes, and thus our Liege."

 

Inspired by the example of the greatest of conquerors, and thus the most deserving of masters, who not even Khonoll, King of Gnolls, could hope to best, the great Khonoll declared his intention to cleave to the Master of Mankind, that his horde would know peace and kinship with the mighty realm of Anduvia and prosperity as its loyal vassals. Thus was a great tribute amassed by Khonoll and presented to the servants of St. Ralek, that all would know of his horde's allegiance. The gnollish horde of Khonoll would fight and devour the enemies of the Greatest Conqueror, that both gnoll and man would know glory, loot and meat!

 

Scholar's Note: The majority of the above is suspect in the extreme and relies entirely on the account of Roland Telenger, "the Reluctant", scribe and propagandist of the self-described King of Gnolls. From Roland's epithet, again self-described, and conveyed to us likely because the gnolls have no idea what the word "reluctant" means, we can surmise that much of his writings are not entirely truthful, if not outright fabrications dictated to him by the dogmen. In truth, we have not even a remote idea of the true origin or history of Khonoll, or why on Earth such a creature would profess himself such a devoted servant of Emperor Ralek, blessed be his name. Nevertheless, what cannot be disputed is that this brutal, inhuman warlord inexplicably considered himself one of the Empire's greatest champions and rampaged across the world beyond Anduvia's borders with abandon in the name of St. Ralek, sending back vast tributes and declaring all his victories in the name of our blessed state. Exactly why this is remains a matter of heated scholarly debate, and, despite their ludicrous nature, Roland the Reluctant's writings, periodically delivered to our border by dogman courier and bizarrely written as if from some point in the future, remain our only source on this perplexing and continuing period in Imperial history.


LEADER / NOTABLE CHARACTERS:

 

Khonoll Jo Grazak Vrrthaz Kurl Rathnak, Son-In-Spirit to Ralek, Tribe Alpha, Thousand-fold Impregnator, Claimer of Metal-things, Paterphagus, He-Whose-Like-Shall-Rare-Be-Seen-Again, King of Gnolls.

 

Roland Telenger, the Reluctant - Human scholar and chronicler of the exploits of the mighty King of Gnolls.


MAP  LOCATION (ONLY WITHIN OR NEAR TO ANDUVIA):

Somewhere north


UNIQUE UNIT:

Gnollish Warg Riders - There is perhaps a joke to be had about dogmen riding giant monstrous dogs, but the bloody carnage dealt by both in battle is enough to silence the most jovial commentator. (Monstrous Medium Cavalry)

 


POINT OF INTEREST:

The Crown of Khonoll - A masterstroke of imperial diplomats was the idea to bestow the gnollish king with a crown, showing him that the Empire favoured his endeavours in its name and also raising his credo among his bestial followers. In truth, the crown is but a simply produced gold affair designed to impress the easily impressed. Nevertheless, that Khonoll can physically show to his followers such a shiny example of Ralek's favour is a major boon to his reputation - and a sign to other forces within the empire that these gnolls are on the Empire's side.

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