Legends of Vanhyr
It is a name whose beginnings only the Old Ones remember. A thousand years ago, Men came to this place and founded a great empire, whose power and riches were unrivaled even by the Gods. In their pride and arrogance, Men built temples to new Gods, carving their names upon the Stones of Immortality, and felling the sacred places of the Old Gods. The elder races, seeing what Men had done, built temples of their own, and stopped giving the Old Ones the tribute that had been levied a thousand centuries before.
The Gods became angry.
From the northern mountains, the Old Gods raised their fists in anger, and fire came down from the heavens. The Gods raised a mighty host of their number, and smote the lands of Vanhyr and all of their inhabitants. It was the pride of Men that brought this scourge, and they paid for it dearly. The Old Gods demanded sacrifice, and took from Men and their allies the first born son or daughter of every house as tribute.
The tears of Men and Elves and Dwarves mingled into a great river, and sorrow crept back into the places of light. The sky darkened once more, and the winters again grew long as they had in the old days. Men no longer dared look at the mountains, and the Dwarves and Elves retreated back into the mist-shrouded depths once more.
But a light still shone in the south. In dark places where even the Old Gods dared not walk, the kings of Men and Dwarves and Elves came together to forge a new alliance. Armed by the toil of dwarven smiths working deep in their mountains, and trained in secret places where only the Elves had walked, a great army was built in secret. In the depths of the frozen north, before the very throne of the Old Gods, a great and desperate battle was fought to decide the fate of the lands of Vanhyr. The snows bled, the mountains heaved, and the winds tore a thousand banners.
In the echoes of the northern wind, the wives and children and mothers of the great army heard a cry of victory, and of freedom.
Six centuries and three score years have passed since that glorious day, and peace – long sought by the children of Men, has been elusive. Never again did the three races come together, and even the children of Men came to war upon one another. Two kingdoms of Men rose from the ashes of the sundered lands, and neither have known a generation’s peace in all these centuries. Some say it is the final curse of the Old Gods – others say it is simply the way of Men to shed one another’s blood.
Our heroes’ story is born out of this blood.
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