The Windward Coast
The spoken history of the world.
The first age of man we call it.
The time when the world was full of life, brimming over with excesses of undreamed proportions. The spoken histories from before the Longnight reveal little except the wealth of the nations around us was extreme and we all prospered. But something happened to end it all.
They call it the Farslayer Wars, where empires made war across the great seas. Little more than a name has even passed down from the misty recollection of the generations of long ago to our own, but we do know it ended the prosperity of the kingdoms. Empires collapsed and the gods crushed the survivors with the deadly cold of the Longnight. It was an ageless night, cloaking the world in frozen wastes, ripping the heart from the very land as those left alive sought to grow what little they could.
With the Great Kings gone and the Longnight casting its inky shadow over our world, the races fled into the deep, warm caverns of the earth. The dwarves, it is said, had been there from the beginning, making their homes near the surface places, but now fled before the influx of the elves, goblins, orcs, men and others. So suspicious were they of the others, the dwarves sought deeper and darker caverns than had ever been imagined by any of the races before.
As for the elves, they sought balance and warmth. They journeyed after their brethren to see if they could convince the short folk to come back toward the surface. In exasperation, they found a middle spot and a great source of power between, and then began to form their now legendary bond with the earth. The others, such as the orcs, goblins and ogres had been corrupted by the Farslayer Wars and the magic released during it. As a result, they were shunned and grew wroth with the others for they were not beautiful and clean, marred by the gods’ power.
Humans fared worst of all in that time, for they chose to stay near the surface, relying on wits and what little magic they had to keep themselves alive and watch for then end of the Longnight. Few survived, for the last scion of the gods still walked upon the world. The Beast strode in mighty leaps and bounds, taking the few men who dared venture forth, tearing their bodies apart and flinging the remains down into the holes where the others had hidden themselves….
…Then dawn came to defeat the Longnight. Some say the gods had died then, but the elves knew better. They said the gods were across the Great Ocean, walking among the wastes there, trying to rebuild the vast world they had destroyed.
Here and there, the world came back from the brink of complete destruction. Man, who came out of the pits first, found the world laid to waste and built fishing villages upon the eastern coasts. So they began to restore their numbers to their former glory. Less than five hundred years later they banded together into rough city-states. Now, they have three kingdoms that make war upon each other.
The Northern kingdom, Laurentia, the Southern, Galsea, and in the centre of the two, Buren. Of the thousands of miles of coastline they occupy, their reach only extends for a few hundred miles inland at best, making the sea trades their first priority, and little else. Of the three, only Laurentia tests the forested world to the West, delving into its green reaches, and pushing at the borders of the Great Green, the forest of the orcs and, it is said, the home to a vast kingdom of elves.
Of the elves, none can clearly recall. They emerged some time after the humans growing mighty the woods and calling it home. Now, generations upon generations later, the Great Green, as men call it, extend for hundreds of miles inland, perhaps even thousands. None can know for sure, since the breadth of the Land has never been walked by a man, and the elves have not been seen for twenty generations or more. All that is known is whenever a man enters the deep forest, he does not return.
As for the dwarves, no one knows what has happened to that sturdy race. They disappeared eons ago, undergoing a self-imposed exile to avoid the elves and other races. According to the legends, they had found a portal to a mystical land so deep within the earth and now lived in prosperity beyond even the ancients and who had empires which spanned the world.
The orcs, goblins and other such races are a constant source of irritation to the kingdoms of men. They take their care for nothing, but still are corrupted by the Farslayer War and breed themselves for the worst traits, only to grow stronger and more reprehensible as the years and centuries pass. War is made upon them by the kingdoms of men, with genocide in view.
There are a few among the humans who are victims of the foulest deeds by orcs. Of such vicious attacks word is not often spoken. More often than not, the women kill themselves lest an abomination be let free upon the world. Those not honourable enough for such a course will kill the baby when it is born. Very few times will the half-breed survive beyond the first hours of existence. For those that do, a life of bitter resentment and slavery or other abuses wait for them. They are killed on sight in Laurentia and Buren, but Galsea allows them to live on as slaves. The non-human tribes view them as weaklings and offer them little more than scorn, but they are not killed or imprisoned as slaves.
Now, the Farslayer Wars are in the dim reaches of history. The small town of Dunhill is where you were bred for the simple life of a coastal town, but there is more out there…you just know it. Legends, rumours and all manner of stories from afar reach the tavern where young and old gather at the end of a long day’s work. And the world spins on. You are left to learn what you may before fate takes you upon her ride.