Some might say vampires aren't real. Few travel into the grimy reaches of Southern Pirfwandis, so few get definitive proof. Even if you got the proof you wanted, you wouldn't live long enough to make a record of it. Still, no one wants to go to a swamp. Even the Mage’s College of Sehanakkat borders the valleys in the northwest and the swamps further to the south.
While hoards of monsters, ready to drag you into the murky depths, are at every turn, the real dangers rest within castles shrouded in an eerie mist. It is within these stone behemoths that the ageless blood drinkers make their home. The vampires are pale skinned, joyless creatures that only seek to extinguish the light of life. No one knows how to become one of them, as “mysterious, fanged” bites from the swamps are often lethal. Survivors tend to go missing shortly after treatment.
A vampire Lord of note is Cerise the Scarlet Glaive. Her namesake comes from a Gatterite polearm she wields. None have seen her face and lived to tell the tale, covering it with an ancient Kaevalonian warrior's helmet. Her accent gives the hint of a Dark Elf, but none know for sure. Still, those that doubt believe her to just be an extraordinary mortal. As for me, this is a mystical world and I have no reason to doubt there are such creatures.
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Far to the North, lies the snow-covered land of Delrin. The country has a bloody origin, with a long period of peace in between. Across the Frozen Ocean, from the land of Kaevalon, barbarians settled the icy peninsula. After many years of infighting, Sorianeth the Breaker formed the land into a kingdom. Though today, we are not discussing Sorianeth, or the barbarians that swept the land, but the disastrous North Kings War.
Jargos Vulkan is the current King of Delrin and his seat was not merely handed to him. The old King, Therasus Trumonde II, had named his grandson-in-law his heir. Marrying the crown princess, and being in favor of the people, the lowborn heir was loved by all. The “true”, and I use true quite loosely there, heir to the throne had disappeared for many years. Avogadro Trumonde simply appeared to claim the right after his grandfather passed.
It seemed as though Avogadro lacked the courage to face his brother-in-law. He opted to call the banners eternally loyal to the blood heir and challenge Jargos for rule of the country. The territories of Blackhearth, Dunkshire, Hokkal, and Sodrasen all came to the estranged prince’s aid. Meanwhile, Ectrear, Northridge, Nuulgrif, Thalen, and the capital city of Valkraag all came to Jargos’ support. While the larger cities of Hokkal and Dunkshire were pressed against him, Jargos was able to sway Ouramast onto his side.
The war raged for two years. First, a well fortified Sodrasen fell. Jargos saw the valiant fighters loyalists of Delrin and treated them with the respect any warrior deserved. For this, they found it hard to hate such a noble man. Hokkal, the industrial hub of the country, fell to a two pronged attack. The only defeat Jargos faced was at Dunkshire, where his flank had been defeated before they could advance. In their second attempt on the city, it was taken as well.
In a twist of irony, a battle did not decide the North Kings War. A curious event known as the Blackhearth Incident did. There were no survivors. Only hints of what remained suggested the city had been incredibly reinforced. An explosion, heard from a couple hundred miles away, was what gave Jargos his victory and secured his crown. Black, charred land and crumbled ruins were all that remained of the city. There were no bodies.
Even thirty years later, nothing grows in the area known as the Blackwind Hollow. They say even the faintest breeze there smells like death. Not a place I’d care to visit, though the rest of Delrin is quite nice. In the wake of the conflict, the country is unified once again. I can’t help but wonder, what happened at Blackhearth?
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Five. As far as we know, there were always five. The Gods have watched over our world for countless millennia, playing their hand in several schemes throughout history. That makes them sound malicious, though they are not. We are but ants to them. Play things for whatever agenda they have.
First is Orinth, the God of War and Wisdom. He holds domain over Air. He is depicted as a sturdy warrior in dark armor, draped in the cloak of a bear's fur. Due to his penchant for war, he is not above lending followers his great golden spear, Gungnir. His icon is a raven.
Second is Avanna, the Goddess of Justice and Trials. She holds domain over Fire. She is depicted as a burning angel clad in steel armor. Her blazing longsword may wind up in the mortal hands of someone truly just. Her icon is a scale. She is highly revered by the Court. Me, not so much.
Next is Theldrim, the God of Light. Obviously, he holds domain over Light; a curiosity considering few mortals in history ever could use such power. He is depicted as a white robed man and a Phoenix of pure light at his side. His followers may be lent a light-infused incorporeal shield called Brightwall. His icon is an X shaped cross.
The penultimate is Golmag, the God of Darkness. He holds domain over Dark. An important distinction to be made is that he is not evil, nor is Theldrim good. He is depicted as an old man with black holes for eyes and a ragged beard. His greatest followers may receive his mysterious lantern, Blacklight, in their hour of need. His icon is a curled horn.
Finally, Vinera. The sweet Goddess of Life attributed with the creation of Vinadorin and Elves, made in her own image. She holds domain over Earth and Water. She is depicted as a curvy woman made of tree bark and elongated ears. Those at one with nature can invoke her powerful scepter, Yggaraun. Her icon is a smiling tree.
Each exist within their own plane far beyond our reality, but may converge for any given purpose. It is believed in the War of Black Dawn, they assisted the champions that took down the monstrous Klurenok. Though, I’m getting ahead of myself. The five Gods. That’s all for now.
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