The Story of Orina - Part III

Part III – The Age of the First Heroes (The War Without Crowns) – Recorded by Oratho Brightfire with research by Christof Graywater, later annotations by Cirren Brightfire

Gorahgog of Benhåll had moved into the South of Avostahn, his father Vrothugog lead the first wave which decimated several villages, the largest of which was Rolandmarch, this would spark what would be known as the War Without Crowns. It was Rolandmarch, where the Brother Races began their push back when the First Swords came to the village. Their raid was successful where Southern militias had fallen, and they would win the battle, but Commander Erilar Bjornson, the first of the First Swords, would fall. Captain Anders Northwind would become de facto leader of the group.

The Faction would splinter off into two groups to hunt down the Orcs that escaped from Rolandmarch, one group, led by Sergeant Jaune Arc, would head to the village of Longmound, where Vrothu was hidden in a fallen Halgain tower. Along the way they would discover a group of survivors from Rolandmarch, there had been an injury, and one of the men, Nikil Nal-na-Omina would provide a healing potion and the people would make their way to the city of Riverfall. Arc and his men would root out the Orcs, defeating them within the tower and earning the title of Heroes of Longmound, Jaune Arc, Marco “The Hawk”, Madislak Sunblade, and Nikil Nal-na-Omina. They earned a night’s rest and when they were awoken, they were summoned to Riverfall.

For some time Riverfall had been in the oppressive grip of The Tyrant, their people believed him to be a Halgain that had taken residence in an old temple devoted to Bechole, God of Sorrows. While Captain Northwind dealt with Orcs in the region, he requested the Heroes of Longmound, along with another of their unit, Olifer, the Gongblade, investigate the situation with the Tyrant, and after meeting with Mayor Carrot Speckleflower, they traveled into the woods, meeting some of the “servants” of the Tyrant, defeating them. Upon reaching the temple, on the steps, many of the heroes were given visions or words of their failures, a penance to entering the Temple of Sorrow. Within the Temple they found the being known as the Tyrant, and attempted to battle it, doing no harm, and eventually, it released more of its “servants”, and as The Hawk put one down, it got right back up. They found that the Tyrant was only an illusion and made their way upwards in the temple where they found several wizards had created the Tyrant as a collaborated illusion. The third wizard revealed to the group that there were two more, but they could not be found within the Temple.

When they returned, they learned that Orikdane Goldhammer, second Prince and Commander of the Northern Hammer had come to Riverfall, intent to use the First Swords to strike back into Blackmire, but they had also learned that a battalion of Blackmire with Black Dragon Ixisus was headed towards the Free City of Ayen’s Peak. Orikdane intended to let the split army move towards Ayen’s Peak while he sieged Kallosein with the army distracted. The Heroes of Longmound intended to pursue the Tyrant, after seeing that their magic could control the dead. They refused to join with Goldhammer, Anders Northwind, wanting to aid the people of Ayen’s Peak, to prevent the army from moving towards Othos, also refused to join with the Hammers, and the Swords followed him to Ayen’s Peak.

It was in this time that Nikil separated from the group, but in this time events occurred elsewhere, one in Ronvarl, a burglary at the College of the Ivory Spire. Rumors involve the Hidden Glass in this affair, and it is almost universally agreed that Travok “Chubs” Lutgehr of Ronvarl was involved. Two accomplices were spotted fleeing the crime, one appeared to be Kerrigan Lovelace1, a member of the College faculty, though she was later found having been strangled and left with a queen of spades on her person. Members of the Shepherds connected this crime to an individual only known as “The Gambler of Blood Mist2, an assassin who operated out of the town for many years. It is uncertain who was ultimately behind the burglary, though whispers from within the College point to a powerful artifact3.

A second event occurred in the mountains of Gohsenol, called Sin, at the prison/outpost known as Rivnavol. Prisoners screaming in the night and disappearing, and giant monsters began appearing in the facility. It was incorrectly believed this was connected to Captain Thisslethoit, but was later revealed that Deputy Warden Cindara Movolos was behind the problems. Of note, Inguar Steinson, Ode Bonesplitter and Markus Gleeton became valued members of the prison.

Yet another occurrence in the Northern lands of Norveska, known as the Kingdom of Beasts, the Black Wizard, Archaelvus traveled northward with several companions, one of which was identified as Dormand Stoneweaver, builder of the Stoneweaver Sanctuary, another was a Käinen known as Warryn Nigel, believed to be involved with Rook’s Carnival of Wonders. The details of the expedition are uncertain, they met with Jakob, King of the Weres, hoping to go beyond the Gate of Beauty, where the legendary village of Ønske was said to be. The group was sent to prevent Ulver attacks on a Langøret village on the White Serpent River, they defeated several of them, with the last one, Locris, agreeing to leave the village alone. Returning to the Keep in the Trees, Jakob would not let them through, but using magic in the night, they were able to get past the gate. At the village, some of this group wished into the village’s well, two of them disappeared, three more wished themselves away after the Black Wizard’s wish backfired.

When the Swords arrived at Ayen’s Peak, they informed the leader of the town, Wayland the Smith4, of the coming army, Wayland claimed to have been told this would happen many years ago, and the key to defeating the dragon lie in the Cloister of the Builder, a site in the nearby mountains that had been built by Othoram the Builder (Part of his deal with the God of Secrets, see the first of the histories). Once more the Heroes of Longmound were sent forth while the remainder of the Swords prepared the City for the coming battle. At the Cloister, the Heroes found much drawn from the past of Othoram, and many puzzles within, in the final room with the white square floor, they found a broken, massive, ancient blade atop a chessboard (I believe this to be the same blade that Gorahgog of Benhåll recovered from the Painted Stones, see Christof Graywater’s notes on The Age of Expansion). Within, it is also known that the Heroes were paid a visit by the God of Secrets himself, and many were offered deals, though it was said that Jaune Arc was the only one to accept his offer, to learn the location of his ancient family blade, the Cora Morrs. The blade returned would be reforged into the blade Durendal, the smaller pieces would be made into the arrows Durenflich.

The Heroes returned, but the Orcish army did not arrive as expected, their arrival not occurring until Mistfall, attempting to result in a fight in the fog, it was not however, in their favor as they expected. The Heroes of Longmound battled the Dragon Ixisus, the rest of the Swords and people of Ayen’s Peak battled the Orcish army, and though there were many losses, the Orcs were defeated and driven away.

During their stay here, it should be noted that Samuel Pollendina, of the Pollendina Family defected from the Northern Hammer to inform the Swords that Orikdane Goldhammer believed the Orcs of Blackmire had attained a powerful artifact. It is due to this that the First Swords were willing to march on Blackmire alongside the Northern Hammer. They would meet up at the edges of Blackmire, the Hammer had struck many Orc villages, and after their meeting, they would march upon Gorahgog’s familial home of Benhåll. Though the Heroes would bring the warriors of Benhåll to their knees without bloodshed, some would fight back and be defeated, one escaped, but when one was killed, after telling them the Orcs wanted them dead, the rest began to rise, but the combined Northern Armies put them down.

During this time, Jaune Arc led Thinoran Redleaf and Olifer the Gongblade on an expedition into Blackmire, where they found the lair of the slain dragon Ixisus. According to the Gongblade, Jaune went into a trance in the center of the dragon’s nest of bones, afterwards, it was found that Jaune had developed new magic abilities, but remained in the trance and disappeared into the Swamps.

The next few days would be spent marching to Kallosein, a diversion was attempted by offering Goldhammer as the chosen of their god. But the Orcs did not buy it, and began their assault, the Northern armies fought back, bringing down part of the wall of skulls and charged towards Draemonhjall at the center of town. There the many heroes fought against Gorahgog, and it was said that with the Durendal, Jaune Arc cut him down, and Nikil removed his head. The body presented to the armies and the fighting came to a stop after some time. The First Swords weakened considerably.

Inside Draemonhjall, Goldhammer found the Fylanvarian tablet and witnessed the escape of an Orc with a younger one. (Consultation with Prof. Christof Graywater possibly identifies this as Gologog of Benhåll, along with Volingog of Kallosein, Gorahgog’s son).

1 It is agreed upon by many scholars that the wizard Izidi was the false Ms. Lovelace, having suddenly departed from the City of Ronvarl, findings in the wizards spellbook related to shapechanging magic, and the finding that Chubs was last known to be at Izidi’s Rest. – CB

2 The identity of The Gambler of Blood Mist is still unknown, scholars have linked this title to a man by the name of Greven Tolkast, an associate of Burin Karstov, making the Blood Mist connection, he disappeared from any records at Rivnavol around this time. However, it is this very case that brings into doubt Tolkast’s identity as The Gambler, due to his association with House Karstov and the consensus that the Glass was involved in this job that Tolkast would have been identified. This may narrow down the identity of The Gambler to a man named Tallon, from what has been pieced together, he lived in Blood Mist for many years, and was associated with the Blood Moon, his former master was a servant to the Goddess of Luck, making a possible link to the cards, however, this is unproven. – CB

3 Rumors point to differing objects, many claim that it has to do with the Shard of Bloodmist Bay. – CB

4 Ayen’s Peak had no formal titles at this point in time, Wayland is the beginning of the Ayensmith lineage. – CB

The Story of Orina - Part III

The World of Orina Black_Wizards