Monday, August 24, 2015

An Angle on Osriel, Pt. I

800 CE: In the early days, colonial powers called Dawn Wilds the vast region tucked between what would become Nav-Gandar and Eastern Ellyrion. Tribal fellfolk owned these lands, and they knew trouble was coming. By 848 CE, southern tribes had crossed through the Osirim Range, seeking refuge from Munaani settlers stealing their lands. During the next thirteen years, native stone clans migrated from the Great Mountain Island, along the Alvern Heights, while water tribes sailed up the coast to the shores of Crimson Deep. Disputes flared for control of ancestral lands until the shamans came to an agreement, and the new tribes settled. But peace was short lived.

A few fleeting years later, rulers of Munaan, Alorea, and Kragdûr watched as unclaimed lands of the Great Caldera were quickly being snatched. In a bid to grab more territories before all would be settled, Nicareans landed at the site of Lorical, and pushed across a large lake, claiming its southeastern banks. A great battle against the fellfolk gave it its present name, the Lake of Tears. Another Nicarean force disembarked close to the Osirim, marching in a pincer move to seize much of the south. Their forces stretched thin and barely able to hold their ground, the Nicareans prayed to Teos for help. The sun god heard their prayers and turned to the Gate Keeper (see CAL1 “In Stranger Skies,” page 63). Through the celestial vortex came humans from another reality, joyous and sun-loving people taken from a world ravaged by the plague. They spoke an elegant-sounding language that sang to Nicarean ears. None of them remembered whence they’d come, but they honored Teos and that was good enough as far as the Nicareans were concerned. Monfalconia became the name they gave their new homeland.

861 CE:  Araldûr dwarves followed the same route as the native stone clans once did, driving them out of the Alvern Heights. Meanwhile, newly-invented Kragdûras steamers flew to the tall mountains in the east, prospecting for favorable construction and mining sites. They soon found themselves in the same predicament as the Nicareans and prayed to Khrâlia for help. The Gate Keeper dutifully fetched more people. These were good-hearted folk, northerners to be sure. They sounded awfully strange to the dwarves, but they fiercely praised the All Mother. Some still remembered the secrets of delicacies such as pierogi, kielbasa, and smoked cheese, and all was fine with the ravenous warriors of Kragdûr. The newcomers called their new homeland Czarziemia.

874 CE:  To prevent forces of Kragdûr and Nicarea from heading north, the Aloreans seized a vast area, arching from Devansy Island through to the great central valley and down to the outskirts of Monfalconia. This huge elven territory became known as Linnefarn. To help his faithful contain their rivals, Delathien resorted to the same stratagem as his divine counterparts had used. Soon, humans joined the elves east of the Lake of Tears. Shod in wooden clogs and with a penchant for growing tulips and erecting windmills, they honored Delathien just the same, and that was tolerable enough to the Aloreans. These newcomers soon gave this fertile region of Linnefarn a name that they liked better—the Rijkland.

Unable to summon the Dread Lands, fellfolk tribes were forced to flee wherever they could. In the wake of hopeless battles ending with disasters and epidemics, many natives resumed their northbound flight or scrambled to the shores of the Eastern Calderan Sea. Those who stayed became the servants of the fast-spreading newcomers who settled the tribe lands while warriors of Alorea, Kragdûr, and Nicarea remained entirely too busy squabbling over borders.

To be continued.