Wysłany: 2007-08-14, 12:59 Complete history of Nevendaar
Complete history of Nevendaar
Few legends were ever spoken about time before Nevendaar was created from the eternal night sea. Fewer still about the existences of the greater gods. What were spoken amongst the races of Nevendaar was that the greater pantheon of gods always existed, or were created by an older race of primordial gods, or even that they were once a race like those of men and dwarves, but they transcended their mortal constraints to rule the heavens. Whatever was said, it is clear that the minds of man, elf, and dwarf cannot encompass what it means to be a god, only that they are to raised on a gilded pedestal and worshipped, obeyed, and unquestioned.
That doesn’t mean that legends of the times before the land was land, and the seas were seas existed. The children of every race can account in harmony how Nevendaar was created, and the strife and pain that caused life to be hard and people to strain their eyes to the sky in supplication of the gods’ favors.
Those legends first speak of the Highfather, lord of the gods, and bringer of light. At his side stood the greater gods, Gallean, Solonielle, and Wotan. The four would come to represent the highest order of gods, with the lesser deities cling to one or many of their collective feet. The Highfather was the first to show the gods’ desire to create by forming the heavenly host from the strands of hair in his beard. The angels worshipped the Highfather and shed light across the heavens that swirled like streaking arrows in the wine dark sea. The angels quickly found favor with the gods, and names like Gabriel, Isabel, and Michael were anointed with power. But none found the eye of the Highfather like an angel named Bethrezen. The greater god was so pleased with his creation in Bethrezen that he gifted the angel with the power to create.
Bethrezen was humbled by the Highfather’s generosity and determined to honor him by creating the perfect world. This world Bethrezen called Nevendaar, or ‘the sacred lands’ in the angelic tongue. Seeing the world Bethrezen had created, the three greater gods also longed to aid in the creation of the world. Gallean first touched the lands with a loving caress and created the great trees and forests that populated the land with their fertile shadows and pierced the sky with shrines of silent mediation. Solonielle saw Gallean’s creation and cried for joy. Her salty tears rushed across Nevendaar filling the seas and creating rivers and lakes that dotted the landscape. Then together in a loving embrace the god and goddess joined together to create two races in their combined images. From the woods sprouted the elves, graceful and gentle to the land that harbored them. And the seas flourished with the merfolk, who dove to the depths and created temples in honor of the deities. Not to be undone, Wotan struck the earth and massive ranges of mountains tore into the sky. Towering over the rest of creation, Wotan chiseled the dwarven races out of granite and limestone, with the intent that they should rule over all of the lands. However the dwarves were content at the peak of the world and built cities on and into the mountain ranges where they lived. So to did the lesser gods create lesser races that dotted the lands with new cultures and new figures.
Seeing the other gods’ gifts to his Nevendaar, Bethrezen pulled feathers from his wings and formed the great and small birds of the lands. Then he drew the salt from his eyes and filled the seas with fish. He rubbed the skin from his hands and feet to create the beasts of earth. And from his blood he created man and gave them everything they desired in his perfect world. Content with his work he showed this Nevendaar to the angelic hosts, announcing that he would show his offering to the Highfather, a symbol of his respect. He asked that his brothers and sisters would stand guard over the offering while he fetched the Highfather. But many of the angels were jealous of what Bethrezen created. They stole to the surface of Nevendaar and spoke with mankind who were focused on the will of the gods. For the first time, mankind saw its existence for what it truly was. The dark angels to mankind of mortality. They spoke of possessions and desires, and quickly mankind fell into these traps. Greed and lust ran rampant across the lands, and mankind burned much of creation in their impulse.
As the great forest burned, the elven race rushed to the towering mountains for shelter. The dwarves feared that the madness that gripped mankind had spread to the elves, so the earthen race created swords and hammers to protect their cities. Unarmed, most of the elves were slaughtered, and their blood stained the rivers that ran down from the peaks. Gallean cried in terror at the carnage that was enacted upon his elves and demanded that Wotan punish his creations. Wotan sneered at the other god. The forest god turned to bind the dwarves into the earth and Wotan roared in anger. Transforming himself into a great wolf, Wotan attacked Gallean, tearing his heart out of the god’s chest. With divine strength Wotan hurled the beating heart into the sun where it would lie forever. Solonielle rushed to her love’s aid, braving the sun’s fury in an attempt to rescue the heart of the god. When she emerged from the torturous surface of the sun, her beauty and grace was gone, leaving only the scarred countenance full of righteous anger at the stone god. However when she placed the heart back in Gallean’s chest, it refused to beat sending Solonielle into a despair that consumed her.
When Bethrezen returned to Nevendaar with the Highfather, the elder god was furious at the destruction and death that he saw. Enraged he hurled Bethrezen into the center of his own world, condemning him to an eternity at its core, as punishment for the insult. Then the Highfather gave the people of Nevendaar law to cease the chaos and destruction. Once again peace eased over Nevendaar, and the races lived in uneasy harmony with their heart strained to feel the presence of the divine once again.
In the center of Nevendaar, Bethrezen boiled with anger that his offering was tainted and he was blamed. Fueled by hatred, Bethrezen created a new race, the race of demons. They would be his weapons to enact his retribution on the world that condemned him, on the angels that betrayed him, and the god that spurned him. His hatred twisted him in on himself, shaping his once beautiful body into a corrupt shell of chaos. Yet his patience remained, sending his spite against the world in small dosages, and biding his time until he could enact his escape from his prison and destroy all that was created.
Likewise, Solonielle’s despair consumed her. She ignored the pleas from her children and cries until her eyes drained themselves of any sign of compassion. Her own heart withered in the emptiness of her chest and she stopped calling herself Solonielle for the name Mortis. Mortis yearned to be embraced by Gallean once again, and longed for the consoling touch of oblivion. Only her seething anger at Wotan and his half-men gave her purpose. And with the patience of a goddess, she too waited for a time to enact her own vengeance.
The Great War:
For six thousands years, peace reigned in Nevendaar. While there were conflicts between the lesser races and the three greater races on Nevendaar, these were few and met with limited resistance. The dwarven races and elves forged a silent peace accord, and the kingdoms of man flourished across the landscape. Slowly the kingdoms merged into one great empire, the Holy Empire dedicated to the worship of the Highfather. The clans of dwarves found solitude at the peaks of their mountains. The elves abided their lives in the great forests, pleading to the heavens for Gallean or Solonielle to grant them a sign that they weren’t alone. It was a time of great harvest, when death was a welcome mistress after a long life.
That doesn’t mean that Bethrezen was content in his demonic prison. He occasionally vented his wrath, burning forests from below, and ravaging farms. Occasional demons escaped the hellish lair of their dark god to reap chaos on the surface world. But despite these rare occurrences, Nevendaar knew peace.
The first sign truly dark sign of what was to come came five hundred years before the first Great War in a southern kingdom of the Empire called Alkmaar. Mortis foresaw an opportunity to reap her vengeance on the children of Wotan, and carefully began to sow her seeds of death. A foul mist enshrouded Alkmaar, filling the air with a vile plague that even the mystical people that inhabited the lands couldn’t disperse. Within days the population was all but wiped out, and the Empire determined the land was cursed, renaming it the Forests of Night. The few people that remained with a thread of life still clinging to the world before death, quickly proselytized themselves before Mortis, and began to learn her magic of unnatural death. However this land remained cloistered from the rest of the world, unbidden into the rest of Nevendaar.
It wasn’t until the age when Stummir Thunderhammer sat on the throne of the High King of the Mountain Clans, and a young prince named Demosthene was proclaimed Emperor that the dire prophecies began to emerge from messengers of the gods. In the clans, a prophet named Memnor was granted a dream by one of Wotan’s valkyries. In it Memnor heard of the approaching Ragnorok, a time where death would threaten the children of the mountain god, and attempt to extinguish life. Meanwhile the prophets of the Empire, and the oracles of the elves foretold of the rise of a fiery angel that would bring destruction in his wake. Many ignored the telling, others armed themselves for the war that was to come. Bethrezen and Mortis sought their revenge.
First came the opening of hell into Nevendaar. A abyssal pit ripped the earth apart and spilled forth with Bethrezen’s demonic host, intent on creating an egress for their dark god to escape his damned cell. They quickly rushed into the cities, bringing fire and brimstone as they came. All while using their dark magic to possess the Queen and wife of Demosthene into freely giving herself to the legions.
Taking advantage of the Empire’s internal concerns, Mortis launched her own assault on the tribes of the dwarven people. Raising the dead Alkmaar from their restless graves, she sent the shambling undead at the Clans with quenchless lust for dwarven blood. Lead by the necromancer Hela, the undead stormed the fortresses of the High King, and slaughtered him, raising his corpse up as a sacrifice to the dark goddess.
Stunned at the events, the Mountain Clans faltered for a moment, before they drove back towards the Undead Hordes with cries of valor. Lead by a warrior named Morok Cloudkeeper, and flanked by valkyries, the Clans surged back into the undead, tearing through their unnatural limbs with the ferocity of their battle axes and berserk rage at the dishonor done to their king. They pursued Hela into her own lair where they recovered their stone Rune of Wisdom and sealed the necromancer’s spirit in stone.
In the Empire, lead by the Imperial paladins, man renewed their desperate plight against the Legions, forcing them back to the rent in the earth. Powerful white wizards sealed the opening while knights on valiant chargers dispatched any demons they found. However the victory was tainted. The wife of the Emperor lay slain, having succumbed to Bethrezen’s powers, and the infant son of Demosthene had vanished. Worse still were the dark prophecies that Ragnorok had but just begun, and Bethrezen’s armies would return. Licking their wounds and readying themselves for what was to come, the three races of Nevendaar returned home to be with their husbands and wives, in wait for the days of the dark prophecy.
The Dark Prophecy:
Ten years past after the Great War, and the three races of Nevendaar licked their wounds. The once great Mountain Clans were in shambles after the assault of the undead while fear of the still approaching Ragnorok haunted their dreams. Only the newly crowned High King Morok Cloudkeeper maintained his optimism that the dwarven races would emerge victorious. The Empire was hardly in better shape. Emperor Demosthene had collapsed in on himself over the death of his wife and his missing heir. Ruthless robber barons snatched up land and enslaved the people with the Imperial order was focused on itself. And the glorious elves sat in their forests, lamenting the vision of the monstrosity their once beautiful goddess had become. To make matters worse, prophecy abounded that worsening days were behind the horizon, threatening to engulf Nevendaar in the grasp of chaos and death. Only one prophecy offered a glimmer of hope, Bethrezen was dying.
In order to free his minions onto the surface world, Bethrezen sacrificed too much of his own power to break even that small of a seal into Nevendaar. But he was prepared in the child Uther. The missing son of Uther was to be the new host for Bethrezen’s spirit and power. Gifted with the budding powers of a god, Uther emerged into Wotan’s Spine and was led to the Empire’s lands by dwarves. Uther’s presence sparked life into the Emperor and the Holy Empire. Flanked by the young prince who could hold his own against even the most powerful of knights and mages, the Empire quickly reestablished itself within its verdant borders, crushing upstarts like Baron de Lalye. The Highfather seemed to be shining down on the kingdom of man once again. However it was not the eyes of benevolence that watched Uther. Other deities had invested their attention on the boy, and watched his progress with rapt interest.
Meanwhile, the Clans were attempting to deal with issues within the scope of their cliffs and spires. Their newly appointed High King was dealing with the death of his son in a different, and even more frightening manner. Using one of the Runes of Wisdom, Morok attempted to resurrect the corpse of Gymner, his son. The effort transformed Morok into a lunatic who began to attack his own clan. After a bloody battle, the body of Morok was placed beside Gymner’s in a funeral pyre. Reeling from the blow of a second dead king, the Clans placed Morok’s daughter, Yataa’Halli as the new regent.
However it was during this time that the Legions and Hordes began to emerge again. Demons began to plague the Devil Mountains and the Undead Hordes awoke from their graves to march towards the elven cities. Prophecy began to come true as the an elf named Lyf forsake the elven beliefs to embrace the goddess Mortis. For the first time, the elven people rallied under one banner to address the undead threat, with the aid of the Empire. Lyf was destroyed, but not before he marred the ground with the blood of those he slaughtered.
To the north, Queen Yataa’Halli determined to reunite the scattered clans and with them, the twelve Runes of Wisdom. Reclaiming the lost city of Greyhelm as her capitol and directed by valkyries, Yataa’Halli and the dwarven Loremasters began to seek a way to avert the coming Ragnorok. However despite their best efforts, a dark mage named Huggin managed to release the great wyrm, Niddhog into the world threatening to devour all of the dwarven clans.
In the Empire, Uther was to be crown as the next Emperor, as was the custom by the current reigning sovereign. However the young prince had other goals. Instead he slaughtered Demosthene and revealed himself as touched by the soul of Bethrezen, and master of the dying god’s powers. Flanked by demons, Uther began to make his way to claim his throne in Hell when the agents of the Empire and the Legions still loyal to Bethrezen clashed with Uther’s demonic army.
The elves also faced fiercer opposition from the undead waves that clogged their forests with their rotting corpses. The elves were slowly pushed back into their sacred cities that had never before faced invasion. Mortis’ desire to reclaim the land Gallean granted their children drove her to atrocities that shattered the spirits of the elven brotherhood. With the backs to their capitol, led by their Queen Taladrielle, the elves readied for the final assault of the hordes.
Facing disaster on all sides, the three races fought valiantly to save Nevendaar from destruction. The dwarves rallied around Yataa’Halli, and the dwarven queen blessed with Wotan’s might, struck the killing blow against the great wyrm, felling it and the ebb of Ragnorok to the confines of runic lore. Uther, faced by the combined might of the Empire and the Legions of Bethrezen faltered in his surge to claim Hell. It was the Baron Emry that killed the abomination of the half-god. With their champion killed, and Bethrezen’s power returning to the dark god, the Legions returned to his prison where he raged in unbridled anger against his fetters. Weary and beleaguered the Empire turned from the field of battle to their homes and the rise of new problems within the Holy Empire. No one stayed to witness a ghastly shade emerge to scoop up the spilt blood of the divine Uther, and fly back to its mistresses waiting hand.
The throng of the Hordes was too much for the elven protectors and Queen Taladrielle was slain. Fleeing for their lives, Mortis reclaimed the elven lands and started her own sacrifice. Spilling the recovered blood of Uther on the divine elven lands, Mortis resurrected her love Gallean. However as the forest god opened his eyes, he did not see the goddess he loved. Instead he saw a monstrosity, with no resemblance to the goddess Solonielle. With one word the forest god crushed the undead that littered his lands, then turned his back on Mortis who screamed in pain at his rejection. The elven lands were awash with rejoice and sorrow at the return of their god, and the death of their queen. There was much to rebuild across Nevendaar. And far more that dark minds sought to crush.
The Rise of the Elves:
Embittered by her rejection at the hands of her former lover, Mortis welled with spite at Gallean and the elves. Sending out dark tendrils to influence other races in her plot, Mortis began to weave a web that if enacted would scar Gallean and the elves with marks of her vengeance for eternity.
Meanwhile, the race of men struggled with reuniting the Empire after the death of Demosthene and Uther. Three figures emerged from the patchwork. Baron Emry, a figure that had risen from the ranks of nobles to be considered a saint by many after his defeat of Uther was favored among the people, however the Duchess Ambrielle had the backing of the aristocracy with her network of spies, and Count Flamel Crowly who had emerged as a religious fanatic, bent on controlling the masses through threats of eternal damnation.
The Clans gained word from a spirit wolf, that their god Wotan wished to speak with them, and instructed them on the runic magic that would open a portal to the realm of the gods. Excited about the prospect of speaking with their deity, the dwarves began to train new Loremasters to recover the ranks that were decimated during the Ragnorok, all while a grand celebration was planned.
Stewing in his pit, Bethrezen’s informants revealed to him the location of the elves’ mana well within a sacred triad of cities. The well could give Bethrezen an opportunity to spill forth his foul realm into the lands of Nevendaar, corrupting it forever. But the newly energized elves stood watch over their cities with powerful wards and warriors bent on its protection. What was more, a pending alliance between the elves and Baron Emry threatened his plans that would strengthen the defenses against him to a point where the Legions could not hope to emerge victorious. Bethrezen turned to his agent, Count Crowly, directing him to lay a claim for the crown. Crowly, eager for power, started a civil war with the hopes of decimating Baron Emry and Duchess Ambrielle with the combined forces of the Legion and his fanatic inquisitors.
At the same time, Crowly’s forces attacked the first of the elven triad where Gallean’s Avatar, Lachla’an resided. The Avatar fought valiantly to protect the city, but fell under the combined strength of Crowly’s soldiers and the demons from Hell. However when the Count turned his attention to the remaining free lands of the Empire, he faced an alliance between Emry and Ambrielle. With the combined might of Emry’s paladins and Ambrielle’s assassins, Crowley insurrection was crushed and he was killed by his own inquisitors for being a heretic.
However the ploy to distract the Empire worked and Bethrezen’s armies attacked the remaining two sacred cities, slaughtering the elves that attempted to protect it. In victory, the Legions celebrated their fortune in horrific manner that resulted in more deaths than the fighting to take the cities themselves. With the mana well captured, brimstone surged into the air, scorching the forests of the elves and marring the land forever. However Bethrezen was far from happy. The intelligence he had received proved less beneficial to his goals than he thought. The well spouted its fire, but its progress was slow and Bethrezen was forced to wait for the lands to burn in his effigy.
In the Spine, the Clans were prepared for their ritual, and as the Loremasters enacted the magic to open the rift so as to speak with their god, the last piece of Mortis’ plan fell into place. Lead by Lachala’an, reborn as a dreaded dark elf, the undead surged into the celebration forcing the dwarven races to retreat from their newly opened rift. Corrupted with contempt for Gallean and the elves, Lachla’an attacked the Gallean through the rift. Spurred by the destruction of three of his sacred cities, the foul taint that his mana well poured into Nevendaar, the deaths of countless elves, and the final insult of the dark elf, Gallean flew into a reckless rage. Emerging from the rift, Gallean transformed into a feral beast, tearing through the dark elf and the relentless hordes like dried parchment. The behemoth surged into the other lands, killing indiscriminately. It was nature’s wrath incarnate, and all of the races fled in terror at the deranged god. When the carnage was complete, Mortis emerged laughing at the monster Gallean had become. Horrified at his lack of restraint and the blood staining his hands, Gallean fled back through the rift, mocked by Mortis’ foul grin.
The elves retreated deep into their forests and began to change. One group of elves, led by their new queen Illumielle began to rebuild their cities into shining palaces fit for their graceful race. Donning glimmering armor and chanting spells of power, these noble elves thought to turn to the Empire for guidance and an alliance. However in the recesses of the forest another group of elves calling themselves the wild elves forged their own identity, one that embraced the ferocity and savageness of nature.
It was from the quiet voice of an oracle named Millu that begins to once again speak the will of Gallean to the elves. Her voice cracked at the god’s strange two-sided nature. She cried out to the leader of the wild elves, a bandit lord named Tora’ach, directing him to attack an Imperial settlement. With savage fury, the elves and centaurs tore through the town, and raze it to the ground.
Queen Illumielle was stunned at the destruction and ferocity exhibited by the new faction. To address what at first the noble elves saw as heresy, they sent wardens to arrest Millu, but Tora’ach spirited her away. Agreeing to an unarmed meeting, Tora’ach and Illumielle meet to discuss the oracle’s fate, when Millu received another prophecy from the god. Seeing the reflection of Gallean in her eyes, the elves ally under her decree, to wage war against the Empire. Disturbed by the news, Illumielle led the new Alliance against Imperial cities, all while frightened by the image of the god in the oracles eyes. Two sides, one shape glimmering in light, the other obscured by darkness.
Led by the newly crowned King Emry, the Empire turned to the Clans for aid. The dwarves hearing the pleas of the Empire turned from their cities and joined in a counter offensive that struck a deep blow against the Alliance, killing Tora’ach. However fueled by Millu, the elves galvanized their defenses and turned back the combined assaults of the two races. Led by a young general named Serphis, the elves attacked the dwarven cities directly. The terrible rage of the elves took the dwarves by surprise and the city that Queen Yataa’Halli was sacked, and the queen was slain. Stunned at the death of their queen the Clans retreated, and the elves turned their attention to the Empire.
Mustering forces that rivaled the Empire’s, the elves launched an invasion against the capitol city of Temperance. King Emry, aided by a master engineer of the dwarves, Gumtik Bledwater, stalled the attack for three months before General Serphis managed to breach the walls of the Imperial city. Fearing for the lives of his people, King Emry signaled a full retreat, fighting the approach of the elves with desperation as they fled. Temperance fell, and Illumielle declared the city as the new Alliance capitol. But there was little celebration. The elves were confused by the turn of events and the changing will of their once peaceful god. They rebuilt the city to best fit the elves, as Millu struggled to make sense the will of their god.
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