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The Tale of Dalia Half-Heart
(And the Fall of Lidreon)

In the last ages of the empire of Lidreon just before the nations of the Dwarves was to unite and take control of the world, Lidreon was well. The nation covered all the land from the ruined lands of the north all the way to the Serpent’s nest. It was the rule of King Nidro. He was a typical monarch of Lidreon. His magic servants were feared throughout his empire and beyond. Yet his armies were engaged in both battling the Elves, the Dwarves, Delorea, and the Goblins of the north. So great was the desires of Nidro to expand his nation, he employed a hundred necromancers to raise an army loyal to him completely. They did so, and his will was about to be completed.
With Nidro’s victory at hand, a small trifle in his council brought to light a grievous trait of one of his concubines.. Her name was Dalia, and she was a lover to one of the gardeners in Nidro’s palace. Several of his generals challenged his authority, saying that he was not fit to command a nation if he could not even control one of his mistresses. So, Nidro had the gardener killed, and promised that any others to betray him in that way would be treated likewise.. Dalia was given mercy though, for her beauty was great, and Nidro favored her especially. She did not favor him in return. The next time he brought her to his bed she strangled him with her bare hands. Then rising from his bed she fled the castle. The next day the King’s most powerful general took control of Lidreon saying that he would rule until the king’s son was old enough to take command of the nation.
His name was lost to the annuals of history, leaving nothing of him to this day, for it was not long until one of the necromancers instead took his place. Through various bloody battles and deadly treachery the throne of Lidreon was eventually held firmly by Drezgog, a Lich who was killed in his first attempt to claim the throne. He ruled Lidreon more harshly than any before him.
It was during his rule that Dalia returned to the awareness of the world. She arose as a warrior amongst the dwarves, slaying droves of Drezgog’s undead. She carried both an axe and a warhammer. She battled clad in the skin of a tiger, which many claim she had killed with her bare hands. She fought with all of the ferocity of the beast whose skin clothed her. Golems of stone and earth crumbled under the force of her blows. Despite this startling change she remained beautiful, and another suitor laid his claim, and she accepted. He was a Delorean, by the name of Fiyr. He too was involved in an effort to overthrow the tyrant necromancer that now pressed his country. In a desperate gamble the two of them infiltrated the keep of Lidreon to slay the Lich, but there, within the hold of the enemy, they were caught.. Drezgog cast a spell and burned Fiyr while they fought. Dalia, seeing her love once more being stolen from her, was filled with a great fury. She jumped between the Fiyr and the necromancer, crushing the Lich with her hammer. Then she and her love held one another on the floor of the bloody palace, until at last they were both as cold as the stone on which they lay.
With the Lich killed, and many of his necromancers slain, the armies they had raised perished. It was only a few years after that the Delorean and Elvish Kings crowned the first king of the first nation of the Dwarves. His name was Ravathan, and he named his new nation Dal-Fiyr, in honor of the two lovers who had slain the necromancer of Lidreon. It is in Dal-Fiyr that a statue of the two was constructed, of Dalia, holding Fiyr in her arms, her face scarred by the flames of the Lich. It is said that they were buried under the great block of stone which the statue was carved from, and next to it grows a tree, planted by Fiyr just before the two of them went to slay the necromancer. In it he had placed both of their memories.

Of the Hunt of Rathorn

During the rule of King Osiris a great many students took to learning from him the ways of Earthen Speech. They learned crafts of healing and averting illness. Others learned to form armor from living plants, or to even fuse themselves with the forest. These disciplines reached their peek during Osiris’ rule. Though none of his students showed more promise than Rathorn.
Rathorn could nearly match Osiris in any feat of will. He showed cleverness and strength in every task he was given. So it was he that was granted the authority to treat with the Lord of the Flies. For two years he carried messages from his king to the king of the goblins. In those two years he met a young slave-girl. It is not known when, or how, but merely that they did meet. She had been born a slave, and had never even been granted a name. She knew nothing of the world beyond, but Rathorn could not but find himself infatuated with her. So whenever he could he told her tales of his travels, or of great heroes of the past. One day, when they were alone she spoke the words that sealed their fate. She told him that in all the years she had been a prisoner of the goblins she had never felt so captive until she had met Rathorn. She asked him to see what the world was like away from her dreary labors, and painful punishments. Rathorn, bound by his responsibility as emissary could not release her. If he did then he risked starting a war between the goblins and his own people. He promised that somehow he would get her out of Kerda.
Then in one of his visits he could not find her. She had vanished as if she had never been. Then at length he learned that she had been sold, to a villainous man who worked for the goblins as a soldier. Rathorn held his temper in check until he left Kerda to return to his home.
When at last he reached Volturin he fell into a rage before his king. He raved and reveled in the idea of vengeance. He made oaths and vows to set her free, to release her from her bonds. He needed her, he had to have her.
Osiris came forward and set his hand on Rathorn’s shoulder. Rathorn turned to meet the eyes of his mentor and Osiris saw that they had changed. They had become as black as the depth of Rathorn’s hatred. Osiris asked, “Friend, who is it that you do this for?”
“For her!” came Rathorn’s adamant reply.
“Your eyes betray you, friend. As dark as the world without the sun. As black as the space between the stars. I know the width and breadth of your mind. I know that you love her, but you do this for your own love, not hers,” Osiris took him to the balcony and showed him to the people there, saying, “Behold this man of our people. His eyes now shadowed with his own loathing. No longer is he one of us. Broken from the bonds of his kin shall he be. Hinder him not in his travels, but give him no aid.” Then Osiris looked into the changed eyes of his friend for the last time, “Go now. I hold you to no oaths or obligations. Your life is yours to do as you please. Goodbye, and may we meet once more beyond the reaches of the sky.”
With that Rathorn bound his will to that of the ancient castle of Delorea, and drew up armor about him, though this armor was grown not in the ordinary way of the Nature Child. It can be seen still in the memories of many trees of old Volturin, as many recorded that day in their memories. The armor was first an ashen black, but was then overtaken by fleshy muscle. Only after these disturbing layers of armor were complete was he at last enwrapped in the armor of a Nature Child. He leapt from the balcony, and glided over the heads of all those assembled. They gasped in awe at the spectacle falling to the ground. It was only then realized how close Rathorn had become to Osiris, for no one else had ever achieved such a feat save for the King Osiris.
Rathorn left the country in less than a day, and continued northward to the goblin holds. He passed through forest and field, traversing the Hinderland at speed. Those few who witnessed his passing described his form as that of a beast, and truly Rathorn had become as feral as the forests which he mastered.
The clarity of his travels is lost to history, as all that is known for certain once he entered Kerda is that he succeeded in finding his lost love. Rumor of the time spoke of his devastating campaign against the goblins and their servants.
When he succeeded in finding her they quickly fled into the wilderness, where they are said to have lived out their lives together.

Of the First Lord of the Flies
 The Union of the Goblin clans
And the Vengeance of Tinel

            After the Fall of Fithriliand but before the end of the thousand year plague was a time of disarray amongst the goblin kind. In disjointed clans and nomadic armies they hid in the Wandering Wood and in the northern mountains trying to hide from the search parties of the dwarves and humans that hunted them down. Of the many clans of Goblins there was one which was lead by a goblin names Kalishtog. Kalishtog was a resilient warrior; patience was a virtue which he had in great abundance. However he was mortal and had not the time of an elf or a dragon. Moving against a far removed village he began his campaign against his enemies.
            He struck with viciousness against the small establishment and took every villager that he could as a slave. A young girl by the name of Tinel was able to escape. She traveled for weeks surviving on forest berries and herbs. She was found nearly dead by a Delorean who had been traveling through that area. She was taken to a fortress of dwarves where she told them of her homes destruction.
            With this knowledge the dwarves launched an attack on the goblins that still inhabited the city. The goblins were slaughtered, until Kalishtog came forward. He was the last standing before the small army of dwarves. With his great-sword he struck down the entirety of the army on his own. With his army destroyed and his plans for attack ended he retreated into the Wandering Wood.
            Exactly what transpired in the shadows of the deep forest is not known but years later he returned. Now his clan had doubled since his first effort and was of far hardier warriors than those he had brought before. With them a large number of giant flies followed. These early stages of goblins were rare in these times. The eggs were often destroyed by anyone who found them. Kalishtog was showing his total confidence in revealing these fragile youth to battle. Yet, it proved that his arrogance was well earned. His warriors were of great skill and fought furiously. Many regiments were sent against them but the effort proved useless. The trial of these forest traveling goblins was almost impossible to track, even in their large numbers.
            Kalishtog eventually led the goblins into an attack against a fortress of the dwarves. They took it in a matter of days as they burned away all the food and poisoned the water around the fortress. Then they inhabited it and renamed it “Tu’et’kronog” meaning “Small ones’ Death.”
            The dwarves marshaled a large force and marched against the fortress. They found it impossible to battle. Food in the area was made scarce by the goblin’s burning of the land. Yet the goblin’s feasted heavily on the dead dwarves. In this manner the dwarves were made vulnerable.
            Kalishtog struck their supply lines and the dwarves were forced to retreat for lack of food. In their absence Kalishtog abandoned the fortress and moved on to a mountain location. There he built his own fortress. The Dwarves returned to find Tu’et’kronog empty. They began to reclaim it but eventually found that it was not completely abandoned. The Goblins had lured several cave trolls there. The beasts created much havoc and the dwarves were forced out once again.
            Not knowing where Kalishtog had gone the dwarves searched thoroughly for him. Rather than let them come upon him when he was not ready he sent out a message to as many goblin clans as he could. It was a challenge, one which was accepted by a large number of the dwindling tribes. Kalishtog met thirty-four chieftains of other clans in battle and was victorious. His strength was unmatched by any who faced him. So he brought an army to bear against the dwarves. For the first time in three centuries the goblins rallied in a sizable force. About ten thousand goblins had gathered in the expanding fortress.
            From this protected position they waged a guerrilla war against the dwarves. With every road being watched the dwarves were unable to make any movements into the goblin territory. The goblins burrowed under the ground as the dwarves did as they were not able to expand. Their population grew so far that in the next few years they began to gather the attention of more than just the dwarves. Trolls began to join them in the protection of their underworld chambers. Humans of corrupt cause joined their ranks. Warlocks flocked to the dark dens of the Goblin King. He then declared himself the Lord of the Flies, as he was the only goblin chieftain to still have the flies that would be born into new goblins.
            Kalishtog extended his kingdom to encompass several more fortress cities. Under constant attack by the dwarves he continued to grow in power. Then one day an elf entered his castle, bringing with him a young girl bound in chains. The elf had come for the sword of the Goblin King. He had brought the young girl to trade.
            The Goblin King took audience with the elf and spoke with him in length. The goblin took no interest in the girl. She would make neither a good slave nor a fine meal and the goblin king valued his blade too highly. The elf then revealed the identity of the girl; it was Tinel the child who had given him away in his first effort against the dwarves.
            Enraged the goblin lunged at the girl with his bare hands. As he charged the chains around her fell away. In her hand appeared the sword of the goblin king, light poured from her, making her hard to look at. Not realizing his mistake the goblin king ran into his own weapon and died. The elf and the young woman walked out of the palace without being challenged. It is said they were last seen walking into the Wandering Woods, still bringing with them the sword which they had taken.

Tale of the Harba’dwaith
And the Death of Detorn

            In the days before the great plague, before the fall of Fithfiliand, there were many vile beings that sought dominion over their kin. Among them was Mannel, a cousin of the king of Fithriliand at that time. Though at first he was a stout student of the Celestial Order he fell into darkness for the sake of “artistic” pursuits.
            His mind became twisted by his long hours experimenting with Necromancy. In his private hold he was discovered with the corpses of thirty-four animals of livestock and three children who had gone missing weeks earlier. So Mannel was tried and found guilty of stealing livestock, murder of fellow man, and the practice of malicious magics.
            At the moment he was declared guilty Mannel fell into a violent rage. He then revealed to what extent he had practiced in the Mastery of Death. Mannel struck out at the council that had been assembled to sentence him. Many of whom were students of magic and staved off the attacks, but he called forth an army of Verar. Using the floor of the council chamber he made five giants of stone. Mannel then instructed them to shatter the walls, which they did. Mannel escaped in the ensuing chaos.
            Years later a massive army of necromantic creations laid siege to the outposts of Fithriliand. Leading them was a drained man whose body was little more than a skeleton. He came forward one day to declare his desire, “I am Mannel! One whom you shunned and cursed. I have returned greater than you. I have cast away all that I was and now I cast away the name you once gave me. I am now Harba, the scourge of Fithriliand. By my hand shall you fall!”
            He went on to lead many successful battles against Fithriliand and the Elves who sought to stop him. As Harba continued his success many more with interests in necromancy joined his ranks providing a consistent flow of soldiers to the battle field. So Harba began to turn away from the war in order to learn more of his own powers. After his leadership was neglected the war began to turn against him. So through a series of well planned battles Fithriliand was able to destroy the majority of Harba’s army.
            Harba received word of the failures of his generals and had them go to the front lines in order to “better direct” his forces. Then Harba’s armies retreated leaving all of them to die. This brought all of Harba’s forces back under his direct control. He then executed a massed assault of all his armies in a fierce push to reclaim lost land. They were crushed by the leadership of Detorn who set a trap for them. Thus Harba was left without an army. At least that was what he led the world to believe. He unleashed a series of beasts which he called the Harba’dwaith. These were the creation of his long research. Unlike his previous creations these were not limited to normal necromantic restrictions, these could grow, learn, and even produce more of their own kind.
            With this mass of beasts he was able to shatter the remaining forces of Fithriliand. So Harba seemed to have won his vengeance. The Elves were able to send a portion of their honor guard to assassinate Harba. This force was led by Detorn. In a desperate gamble they were able to covertly kill Harba and end the twenty-seven year war with his monstrosities. Detorn traveled far and wide in an effort to hunt down the last of the Harba’dwaith, which were able to outlive their creator. It is said he was killed whilst on this quest for he was never seen again.


Tal’Dorath and the Noldor

            Tal’Dorath was a slave. Born into chains. He worked for nothing from dawn to dusk every day. The Noldor were those that controlled him. This people treated him savagely. By the time he was an adult his back had been scarred two hundred and twenty times.

            As years past he became weary of this. So one day when a whip snapped next to him he struck back. In a wave of fury many others followed his lead. The city that had once been their labor ground became their fortress.

            Tal’Dorath lead his fellows into the preparations of war. To which they were well suited. Master smiths made swords and armor. Catapults were made from timbers of houses. In time they were prepared.

            Noldor’s armies marched against the city. Wave upon wave. Each time they were held at bay. Eventually the Noldor stopped attacking. Instead they besieged the city. They poisoned all the rivers surrounding it. All the animals in the surrounding lands were killed. The only food that the slaves had now was inside the walls of the city.

            So inside the city the slaves decided to call to the Elves for help. And the Elves responded. They sent an army of Elven wizards that attacked the Noldor’s flanks. Then Tal’Dorath struck out from his fortress city with all of his remaining allies. The Noldor army was crushed between them.

            The slaves were freed from the Noldor’s rule, but Tal’Dorath never received that freedom. In that final battle he was killed. So the remnants of his friends established the Knights of Tal’Dora. Their mission for the rest of their lives was to free all those enslaved.

Of the Wanderer

            In the early days before the creation of the first great city of Man was a time of elvish rule. It was a time of architectural wonders and historic works of art, though these times were not without their dangers. Goblins existed in vast numbers and trolls from the depths of the earth were attempting to breach the final gap between them and the surface. Yet, it was in this prosperous, though precarious, time that the race of man sought to create their own great city.

            Construction began with many powers working against them. The Elves, who were left unaware of this endeavor, requested the aid of human craftsmen to expand their own cities. Goblins led endless raids into the territories that man had set aside. The construction was thus slowed to a crawl, leaving many to doubt the possibility of its completion.

            Then a being came to speak with the builders. He wore a concealing cloak, and spoke of a secret method which man could use to build their city. He spoke of a hidden passageway to an old hollow. An ancient power had there inscribed a great many secrets in a hidden tome. So, after much debate a number of the builders volunteered to go with this strange wanderer to see this tome.

            As he had said the wanderer took them to the entrance of what he described as an endless maze. Should you not follow the right trail you would be eternally lost within it’s walls. He brought them directly to the door, which led into the maze. Once there the Wanderer drew from the folds of his cloak a key, which was made of a black metal. The metal was unlike anything that had ever before been seen by man or elf. Thus there at the door the men knew that this being was unlike anything that had ever walked the earth before.

            The wanderer did not unlock the door himself, but rather handed the key to one of the men who had come with him. He was a proud man, consistently seeking greater repute amongst his fellows. So, when he was handed the key he did not question what he was to do. He confidently strode forward and touched the key to the door. Immediately his body became stiff and turned the color of shale. The door transformed into living flesh, his life transferred from his body into the stone gateway. The door drew back leaving his body to be a memorial to the sacrifices yet to come. They entered, guided by the imposing figure of the wanderer.

            They traversed many winding paths. The Wanderer guided them without hesitation, and walked through the corridors as if he knew them well. Then at last he came to a dead end. The group stood before the wall in shock. The wanderer stood in silence. They waited for several hours, till at last several members of the group turned back, in the hopes of finding their way back to the exit. In just a few moments after they left the wanderer spoke, “Now, those who have not the fortitude to go forward have gone. We may now continue,” Then he raised his hand and touched the wall before him. It crumbled into a small pile of dust. A stairway was left open before them. Quietly they proceeded into the shadowed gate. The spiral stairway went deep into the ground. There they found a chamber, with a pillar that stood the entire length that they had gone down. It towered over them, and all along its length was a vast series of symbols. The Wanderer then drew from his cloak a piece of curved glass, which he handed to another of those with him. He said, “Though you may find many wondrous things written here you must read only what you need to know, for on this pillar is the secrets of beings far greater than the living man. The deep thoughts which they think shall not be known to mankind for many centuries as of yet.”

            The man replied, “And how am I to know what secret is the one I’m to read?”

            The Wanderer pointed to the pillar and said, “The one you are to read has been inscribed with your name.”

            “How is that possible?” The man asked, perplexed.

            “They knew that you would be coming,” replied the Wanderer. The man, taking heart in this he began searching the pillar for his name, and found that there were many names inscribed on the dark stone. At length he came to his own and read what was written there with it. Almost immediately he fell to the ground, as if he had been struck, and his companions moved to aid him. Then they heard the voice of the Wanderer issue forth from his mouth saying, “Be still and fear not, for the deed has been done and the task at hand now is to return to your home. This vessel shall carry the knowledge that we need to construct the great city that is to be the home of all humanity.”

            With that the small remainder of the group returned to the site of the construction. There the man who had read the inscription went and spoke in private to each of the chief architects in turn. They were told their own part of the city to build, in their own way, and that they were not to inform the others of how it was that they would perform their tasks. They were to act separately from one another until the final stages of linking the city were reached. Then the man became ill and was bed ridden for a week, while the laborers toiled his life seemed to slip away. Until at last his fever broke, and he arose, remembering nothing of what he had read, and the Wanderer returned in the form he had previously taken.

            Now knowing that this Wanderer was not any normal creature, and that all of mankind was in debt to him, the leaders of the construction asked him what it was that he wanted from them. The Wanderer requested only that his name be written as a citizen of the city, so that he may find sanctuary there for as long as it stands.