News of Arunë
THE ARVOREEN WAR
Fair listeners, I come straight from the elvish stronghold in Silversong, and I bear many a tale for you now! Come, finish that cup of wine and list close, for what I say has great import!
The three goblin tribes of the vast forest have grown restless again and as the winter has progressed much has been made of the great gatherings of Theraz-goblins of the wood. Who or what leads these creatures is unknown: rumors speak alternately of a powerful wizard, an ogre more cunning than any other on this continent, a vampiric spirit possessing the body of a fallen elf, and there are even those who hint it is a lieutenant of Vagrysj the Lion sent to Arunia to bring war and sorrows to its inhabitants in preparation for the day that Mamil al-Tyfir falls and the Lion acquires a fleet capable of bearing him into the north.
What is known is that some twenty thousand Theraz have gathered in camps ringing the ancient city of Arvorienna and their very presence has upset the delicate balance of the tribes. The Azeraks and Temreks have run wild, spilling from the heart of the forest and the deep bowels of the earth where normally they dwell! The whisper of elvish knights says that many were sent to fight Azeraks threatening the entish Moting of Ten, now the Moting of Eight as two have fallen. Those self-same knights are now directed south, to help break the threat near Arvorienna. Meantime, Temrek camps have appeared on the Ring Road near the capital; King Anundarien has issued a promise to honor each goblin head brought to his court with a sum of twenty golden suns, and five thousand coins of the realm for the man, elf, or dwarf who manages to remove the camps by force or otherwise. Tis said in Sirinon that the lord Tyr Findon has ridden out to seek reprisal on the goblins for desperate raids they have made against his city, and indeed watch-fires have been seen ringing their great camp.
Ranging companies are withdrawn from the southern border to the heart of Silversong and the King has issued a call to arms for all those of Alcosa blood or banner—a call which may be his last. Vicious and angry insinuations point to the policies of the Tower for the current troubles, and the Alcosa seek to supplant him with a candidate of their own. It is often said that they wish for a dynasty of kings to be re-established in Silversong, though Anundarien would see an election as in days before the great civil war.
If rumor serves, the first clashes between elf and Theraz goblin have been fought, the skirmishing being indecisive. The great fear remains that the Theraz will ring Arvorienna complete and once she is girded a great siege will begin. Thus many Green Wizards accompany the flower of Tyrman knighthood into the central forests, some four or five thousand elves strong. Citizen-militias shall be called before time runs too short, with elvish swordsmen accompanying their mounted kin. Spears are being sharpened, and whetstones turned.
The darkest hour has yet to come for there is no sign of the three tribes of goblin-kin working beneath one banner. If that black day ever dawns, the Tower will assuredly call the entire kingdom to war, shaking the ancient elvish war machine from its moss-covered slumbers to deal the forest goblins such a blow that they will not rise again within an elvish lifetime.
Swords and Sorcery
The world, the place the elves call Arunë, is old. Older than the imagination of most of the learned sages from every race. All know that it’s creation can be traced back to the First Age and that nine Ages intervene between then and now. How long that time is, none can truly say. Accurate records become useless before the period known as the Bleeding Plague that came at the beginning of the Ninth Age. Scholarly reports were destroyed en masse as libraries and private collections were turned over to the madness and chaos of the Plague.
The Bleeding Plague
On both sides of the Trade Sea, at the end of the Eighth Age, a great renaissance of Elven culture and civilization was underway. It was at the height of this renaissance (called the Elithä in the language of the northern elves) that the Bleeding Plague struck.
Ruinous to the Elven cultures, and highly contagious amongst that long-lived people, many cities and large states were depopulated by the Plague. Soon enough, it spread to the other demi-human races and to men. It was most virulent amongst the Elves where it originated, however. This led many cities (left adrift as their larger governments crumbled around them) to bar their gates and let no newcomers in. Magical wards were erected to obscure the surrounding countryside. The last living Elves entered a long period of seclusion.
When the ravages of the Bleeding Plague finally died down and the Elves re-emerged, it was to a changed world. Mass hysteria and violence had wiped away many old regimes, and it took the inhabitants of Arunë decades to establish working social organizations.
The Ninth Age
After the Bleeding Plague, historians began the recording of the Ninth Age. This was an age of rebirth, of slow resurgence after the shattering events of the disease had run their course. Chief amongst the changes of this Age was the arrival of a powerful Planes-walking wizard named Crisby who had returned from a long jaunt away from this world. When he returned, he brought with him news that Ozmiandre Griswald, the hero of the Eigth Age, was dead.
However, as part of his efforts to rebuild the world, Crisby founded the Grand Conclave of Wizards in the north. This brought together many disparate magical traditions, unspoken and unwritten since the Third Age. In so doing, he formalized many of the relationships of powerful wizards that had threatened the existence and peaceful living of various communities. Notable for it’s refusal to join the Conclave was the old kingdom of Teral which was eventually destroyed by a magical war during the Tenth Age.
Other institutions were founded and maintained as well, but most did not last into the Tenth Age. Crisby’s Grand Conclave did.
The Tenth Age
The modern age of the world, marked by the death of the last true-royal Thyrnessian monarch with bloodline traceable back to the Milenean kingdoms of the Third Age. It has been five hundred years since the passage of the Tenth Age, and since then many things have changed. Teral has fallen, the Dominions of Ishtria have conquered many of their neighbors, and at long last adventuring has been reborn in the minds of the common people, leading farmer’s sons and daughters to take up swords and hunt for treasure in the depths of ancient ruins.