Saturday, December 31, 2016

Flame of Rebellion - A Brief History of Dorn

Attend me my children, for I, Chanter Anon the Galdr, first scribe of the Library Tower, shall share with you the secret history of our people….
In ages past, beyond the veil of memory, the People of Dorn took to their longships and set out across the cruel sea in search of new lands to conquer and new treasures to plunder.  The voyage was fraught with peril and many ships were lost, but in time they arrived upon the emerald shores of a pristine, virgin land, Eredane.
In Eredane, the People of Dorn found civilizations soft and ripe for plunder.  The Elves they routed and drove deep into their forests.  The Dwarves, a hearty folk but unprepared for the brutality of the Dornish attack, were also routed and took refuge in their mountain fastness.  The lesser races, the gnomish people and the elf-kin Dunni, were enslaved and made to serve the Dorn.  The Dorn were unstoppable, conquering and settling all lands between the Elvish forest and the Dwarven mountains, from the icy peaks in the North all the way south to the Sea of Pelluria.
For many lifetimes the Elves and Dwarves resisted, but finally, bloodied and desperate, they sued for peace.  The Dorn settled the lands and began to build a new civilization and there was peace for many generations.
Then, without warning, a shadow rose in the North.  A being of immense power and corruption led its forces south, slaughtering and desecrating everything and everyone in its path.  The Elves and Dwarves cried out for aid for they said that this shadow had risen before and was a threat to all life on Eredane.  The People of Dorn rallied to their aid.  Led by the Bloodborn heroes of Dorn, Dayne, Dale, Redgard, and the rest of the heroes, the Dorn smashed the invading humanoid army and sent them scurrying back to the North.  The queen of the Elves, Aradil, honored the Dornish heroes with the creation of mighty, enchanted swords.  For Dayne, the greatest among them, was forged by the Dwarves a crown of unmatched beauty and majesty.  Dayne and his fellow Bloodborn founded Great Houses and ruled their respective regions of Eredane.  The mighty Dayne was crowned High King and was loved and honored by his people.
The Dorn, in their wisdom, consulted with the Elves of Erethor and the Dwarves of the Kaladruns and built a great wall, the Fortress Wall, which ran across the breadth of the continent.  Surely, the Shadow would not penetrate such a mighty structure.  
For two centuries the Dorn kept a wary and watchful eye on the North, but the Shadow was dormant, perhaps never to return.  They were caught unaware, however, by an invading force from the South.  The dreaded and feared hordes of the Sarcosan, who had driven the Dorn from Pelluria in the distant past, had arrived to conquer a new continent.  With their great hordes of mounted warriors and their dark magics and vile alchemy, the Sarcosans struck like a spear into the heart of the Dornish kingdom.  The Dornish resistance was fierce and they drove the Sarcosans back toward the sea.  The Elves, ever protective of their forest domain, drove the Sarcosan from their groves.  At last, unable to defeat the combined might of the three Eredane races, the Sarcosans sued for peace.  They were granted by Queen Esmir Dayne all the lands south of the Ardune, a small inland sea, in exchange for a permanent end of hostilities.
A long period of relative peace followed in which the Sarcosans, ever the raiders and would-be conquerors, clashed with the People of Dorn to their North, but nothing much ever came of it.  The people had forgotten the threat of the Shadow and turned their eyes from the North and abandoned the Fortress Wall.  Perhaps it was for this distraction that the Shadow had awaited, none can say, for the forces of darkness once again surged south from the broken and twisted lands of the far North.  The Fortress Wall was pierced in multiple locations and the swarm of corrupt humanoids again ravaged the country of the Dorn as well as the forests and deep holds of the Elves and Dwarves.  Even with the aid of the Sarcosans, the South was losing.  The loss of life was staggering and the Fell ravaged among the survivors.  Cities were burned and the land was made arid.  If not for the intervention of dragons, the war would surely have been lost.  When the smoke cleared and the ashes had settled to the charred ground, the survivors were few, but the hordes had been repelled and the Shadow was once again safely imprisoned in the North.
Peace, however, was hard to come by.  Though ten generations had passed since the Shadow had been vanquished, the foul orcs still harried and assaulted the stalwart Dwarves, causing them to dig ever deeper into their mountain tunnels.  Soon, they were cut off from the world and the doors to their great underground halls were closed and sealed.  The Elves, too, were under constant assault as orcs from beyond the Fortress Wall constantly tested their defenses and ambushed any unwary Elf who strayed too far north beyond the boundaries of their forest.  The Elves grew hard and bitter and turned their backs on the world of Man.  
There would be no peace for the Dorn either.  High King Valik Dayne, the last of his line, was betrayed and murdered by his closest friend, Duke Ivass Torbault.  The Torbaults slaughtered every living Dayne in a massacre we now call The Night of the Black Knife.  Backed by the Sarcosan Kalif, the Torbaults took the Crown of Dayne and surrendered the capital, Erenhead, to the Sarcosan Kalif without a struggle.  The Great Houses fought, to be sure.  Led by Houses Dale and Redgard, the Dorns mustered an army to take back the capital, but the Sarcosans were too powerful and claimed victory after victory against the Dornish footmen.  Soon, reluctantly, the Great Houses were forced to surrender and accept Sarcosan rule.  One by one the Great Houses bent the knee and swore fealty to Kalif, now High King, Omar ibn Akani.  
The era of Dornish independence had come to an end.
The campaign begins 25 years after the Night of the Black Knife.