Scarn 16 After
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The stories and fluff text that I put at the bottom of emails lives here…
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The old priest cast the children solemn look as he began, “The Titans created Scarn (the world). They put their power into it and their power is tied to it and it’s life to them. But the Titans had children and we call those children Gods. The Gods created the Divine races—humans, dwarves, halflings—and their power is in these beings—their worship, dedication, belief. The Gods feel our pain and we rely on them to protect us.”
A young girl with tight braids called out, “Great Teacher, what about the elves. Do the Gods feel the pain of the elves?”
“The Gods did not create the elves, child, and are not tied to them. Elves were created by a Titan—the only Titan that fought together with the Gods against the other Titans—and Elves are very old indeed. The Titans created all the Titanspawn, elves, orc, goblins, and countless new beings that rose After. They do not have the same tie to their races and do not feel the pain of others. No one feels the pain of Elves, and perhaps that is why they tend to be so arrogant. Nevertheless, they are the one Titanspawn that does not want to wipe out all of the Divine races and return the Titans to power. The Divine War is over, but the war against the Titanspawn has only just begun.”
—Priest that you overheard teaching children, circa 6 After.
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“The use of Arcane magic must cease! Arcane magic comes from one source, and one source only. Mesos. I ask you: why did the Gods subdue Mesos first? Because they feared him most! What happened when they cut him appart? Mountains around him exploded, the heavens erupted in flame and then the stars went out. Then he was cut into pieces and scattered across the land. That’s when magic really came to be in the hands of the people. How much magic did you see in the world before this? How much now? I tell you, every spell that is cast helps to bring those pieces of Mesos together and if that Titan ever returns, the very Gods will shake in fear and the Divine war will look like a friendly sparring match. No, we must destroy every spell caster before they destroy us.” — From the public trial of the thirteen mages, Kingdom of Lageni,14 years After.
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“On the first day of the Divine War the stars blackened. On the first day After Victory, Corean the Avenger reached into his forge for sparks and threw them into the sky. Corean be praised!” — prayer in the Corean Temple, Year 2 After.
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Many years after the fall of the Empire of Lede, and Army marched out of the Goblin Lands, the peninsula on the western coast of Ghelspad beyond the Ukrudan Desert. Made up of strange dwarves that, as was later discovered, hailed from a far land called Termana. The army advanced quickly on Darakeene, utterly claiming it.
Then, using the troops gained in that chaotic land, they marched upon the rest of Ghelspad. The battles were fierce, with most lands falling before the onslaught of the charduni. When it was realized that these dwarves were the favored servants of the Tyrant Chardun, there was panic. The southern nations fell quickly, with Calastia and Lageni – already Chardunite nations – accepting the leadership of the charduni in return for maintaining effective autonomy.
Elz also sued for peace, accepting charduni governance. The Empire of Venir was slowly chipped away, until a small sliver south of the halfling hills and North of the Forests of Calastia remained. Ankila of the Hammer was beset on two sides, one by charduni coming through Elz and the other by Calastian forces; though the Exemplars and champions of Hedrada fought valiantly, they were outmatched by chardun’s forces.
Some folk were never overcome by the Charduni, however. The dwarves of Burok Torn fought determinedly, aided by their own god, and defeated the charduni at the gates of their own city. Refugees from other areas fled to the dwarves when they heard of the ability of Burok Torn to defend itself, but the dwarven lands had no room for war-weary humans and others. The dwarves did, though, help the refugees settle in the plains across the Kelders. Aided by the faithful of Madriel, who arrived to lend aid to those suffering from the ravages of war, the dwarves protected the passes that led into the new human lands from the Charduni, allowing the new lands of Durrover to survive and grow despite the war in other places.
Indeed, the Charduni Empire never passed the Kelders, for the two primary means of passing them besides Burok Torn were occupied by titanic powers too powerful for even Chardun’s influence to mitigate. In the Canyon of Souls, the presence of a circle of Gulaben’s dridesses prevented the charduni from passing; the troops sent against the wind-witches were never seen again, though their screams supposedly still echo through the caverns.
The presence of Denev herself prevented the passage of the charduni into either the Ganjus or the passes near Amalthea. The very forests and mountains came to life against the slaver-dwarves and not even Chardun dared to raise his hand against the Earth Mother.
Ultimately, though, the Charduni ruled the majority of Ghelspad: from the now united nation of Darakeene, across the Gascars and into the Southern Kingdoms, the dwarven servants of Chardun governed. Even the mighty Sorcerer-Kings of Aurimar were forced to pay tribute to the charduni, despite the fact their their siege of Aruimar was never completed.
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“Dragons live under the South Fang! My cousin’s lost many cows to them and tracked one into the steppes… what a fool… got a couple scars on that trip and then decided to forget the cows and move South.” — Drunken talk overheard 15 years After.
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