History of the Northlands
They came out from the desert, pillaging and
killing, until nothing was left but the dead. We fought, oh how we fought, but their
strength was like that of ten men. Riding on monsterous steeds they came again and again.
We tried to fight, to stop them, to survive, but none could prevent what was to come. Then
when my men all lay dead they left, riding like thieves into the night.
I pitty all who must fight the Skissshar.
Entry from the Diary of Jervias Kornli, last governor of the north.
Before the arrival of the old gods, and the birth
of mankind and ancient war was fought in Aduria, a war between the Snakemen and the Giants
of the Northlands. Led by the Dragon sorceror, Morakrashin, the Snakemen rose from the
grasslands to become a race of sorcerors and warriors, one that but for a twist of fate
may have conquered all of Aebrynis. Morkrashin, one of the most powerful of the elder
Dragons had created the Snakemen as his servants, and then over time had shaped them into
In these ancient times the Northlands was a vast plain of grass, filled with herds of buffalo and antelope. To the west the Deismaar mountain range rose out of the grasses, home to Giants, Dragons, and other powerful beings. In the centre of the plain rose a single mountain, the lair of Morkrashin. This mountain, which was known then as it is now as the Spire was the lair of Morkrashin, and it was here that he began his experiments to alter the forms of lizards and snakes until they became powerful creatures similar to lizard men.
These creatures he named the Morkrain, although they would later give themselves another name, the Skissshar. Breeding rapidly they soon dominated the plains of the north, learning the arts of agriculture and magic. Morkrashin taught many the skills of magic so that they were able to fight off the many enemies to be found on the grasslands. Other, those less suited to the arts of magic he trained for battle.
The Morkrain soon domesticated animals, including horses and learned the arts of working metal, at the time bronze mainly. They expanded their empire, all in the name of the Dragon God, seeking to drive out any who challenged them. The Giants of the Deismaar mountains grew worried about their existance and soon they were at war with the Morkrain, fighting for dominion over the land.
This war waged for several years, drawing in more and more of the ancient beings. Dragons allied to Morkrashin quickly joined the conflict, and those allied to the Giants also arrived. At first the Morkrain, with the backing of Morkrashin and his allies drove back the Giants, but soon the smaller Snakemen found themselves outclassed by the taller and more powerful Giants and they were force back to Morkrashin's Spire.
It was there that great battle for domination of the north began. Had the Morkrain won then they would have gained control of the grassland, with the Giant army dead. This was not to be however as halfway through the battle, which they were winning their God, the Dragon Morkrashin died of a heart attack. The sight of their god tumbling from the sky was too much for most of his servants and most simply gave up the fight, threw down their weapons and were promptly slaughtered by the Giant army. Others however, especially those Morkrashin had taught magic did not surrender but continued the fight.
The battle for the Spire continued for another three months, eventually reaching a stalemate as the Giants were too tall to get inside the small internal passages that the Morkrain used and there were not enough surviving Snakemen to defeat the Giant army. With victory still far from their grasp the Giants and those Dragon allied with them choose instead to seal the mountain, and trap the Morkrain inside for all eternity.
With the powerful breath of the Dragons searing the rock of the Spire it began to melt, flowing down the sides of the mountain. It changed the Spire forever, from a normal looking mountain of rock to a jagged peak of glass and obsidian. The surviving Snakemen were trapped inside forever, or at least that was what the Giants though.
Many thousands of years past, and the Dragons and
Giants of the north began to die out. Constant warfare among the various Dragons of the
plains had led to the deaths of many of the greater Dragons and the Giant soon choose to
travel north, away from the Dragons. They would eventually travel to Cerilia, although
life there would turn out to be very similar to that on Aduria. From all this chaos and
war however came a new race, humanity.
Thought to have originated in the dark jungles of the south the Human race was young, but numerous. For centuries now they had spread across the continient and in the deep south had even formed towns and become civilised. It would be many more centuries before Human nomads came to the grasslands of the north, but when they did they would change the land forever.
At first all Humans were of the one race, all thought to have descended from the ancient race known as the Dra'khr'zoon. Over time however Humans of different regions began to develop different appearances and societies, until eventually the differences were so noticibly that they became seperate tribes.
Aduria became home to many of these tribes, and the Northlands held two of them, the Vos and the Andu. The Vos had arrived first, and had conquered vast regions of the grassy north. With the Giants gone and Dragons now becoming scarce there was little left to oppose them. Building villages and towns along the coast they became civilised to a point.
The second of the tribes was the Andu, a noble race of Humans that conquered the southern regions of the Northland and build large towns along the Silver and Pirilas rivers. The Andu became, over time, even more civilsed than the Vos, but during their arrival they still warred amonst each other. In fact it was these war that had bought them north from the southern regions of Aduria.
At the time the south was becoming very crowded, with more than ten seperate tribes competing for land and food. Fighting with stone weapons the tribes slaughter each other to gain the right to hunt in each area. The Vos were the first to tire of this fighting and after scouts discovered unclaimed lands north of the Great Desert they set out. The Andu, soon followed and after skirmishes with the Vos for the best lands choose to settle in the regions around what is now Solontara.
Then it was still grassland and the Pirilas river ran across the continent, bringing water to the Andu villages. Both tribes, now with large areas of land to hunt in grew strong, becoming the two most powerful tribes on the continent. With the settlement came peace, and wars between the different tribes were no longer common. Both the Vos and the Andu were becoming true civilisation. While the peace between the different tribe of each race was being forged though, hostilities between the two civilisations were becoming more and more common.
History does not recall what started the war, but
it was likely because of the expansion of the new Adurian Tribe to the south. The Adurian
were once part of the Masetian civilisation to the east, but had broken away and after
many battles had claimed the southern lands of the Andu as their own, capturing the
southern capital of Bella. This fight meant that many Andu tribemen from the south had
been forced north into lands that were traditionally Vos, leading to conflict.
What ever the reason the battles fought between the two were costly. The Andu eventually won and took much of the western Vos lands. However the Vos civilisation still dominated the rich lands of the east coast, especially north of what is now Kiskum. With thier powerful magicians and priests they worked on a plan that would create a barrier against invasion and protect them forever.
This mighty work of magic however was tainted by Azrai and twisted from its original purpose. Originally the great ring was meant to protect the people of Kiskum from invasion by alerting the diviners whenever anyone entered its range and then the illusionists could cast their spells through the device to misdirect the attackers and lead them away from the Vos lands. Had it succeeded it would have been one of the greatest artifacts of ancient Vosgaard.
Azrai, the god of the Adurian Empire however had other ideas. He learned of this plan and through careful plotting managed to twist several of the greatest Vos magician into serving him, but providing them with access to True Magic, until then only avalible to Dragons, Elves, and other magical beings. The new servants of Azrai were among those involved in the creation of the artifact and they altered its purpose, changing it from a creation of peace into one of chaos.
The great ring was supposed to allow divination and illusion magic to be cast through it to effect entire cities of great areas of land, making it sort of a magical ampliphier. It retains this ability, but because of Azrai's involvment in its creation it took a great toll on any who used it. Now any who uses the artifact become power mad, wishing only to control the lives of those around them. The first magician to use it was Irgor Kortov and his mind was absorbed by the ring, making it into a sentient artifact.
The artifact then sought to control the lives of those around him, trying to bend them to his will. Azrai hoped that once the artifact had taken control of Kiskum then he would be able to march in and conquer it without any trouble. The ancient Vos king of the land learned of what had happened to his court magician though and ordered the artifact buried, so that it may never see the light of day again.
This was done, and the Vos were able to fight at full strength against the Adurian invasion that followed sometime afterward. The battles cost the lives of many on both sides, eventual leading to the defeat of the Vos tribe. The Vos were not he walkover that Azrai thought they would be though.
The Holy War of Azrai
In the east, on the Subriyan Peninsular, the Empire
of Aduria had grown over the years to become a powerful force, all the while aided by the
God Azrai. Originally only a small nation along the southern edge of the Peninsular they
expanded greatly until they were soon a threat to the tribes of the Northlands.
By the time war came the Adurians were even more powerful. Two years earlier they had crushed the two Masetian empires, absorbing most of their population, although some fled north by boat to Cerilia. Now with the backing of Azrai they moved north to crush the Vos and the Andu.
Azrai, in his quest for power, had decreed to his followers that no other gods were to be permitted and ordered them to rid the world of the followers of other gods, ensuring that none remain to threaten him. His followers were only too happy to oblige and after crushing Masetia marched north against the Andu.
The Andu and the Vos joined their armies together for the battle, but even their combined numbers were unable to hold back the warriors of Azrai, as the God had gifted his followers with new weapons that they used to great effect against their enemies.
The war between the forces of Azrai and the two tribes of the north lasted for ten years, ending in victory for the Empire. Azrai, now mad with power, ordered that all who would not serve him would die. This led to the exodus north, across the mountains and into Cerilia. Tens of thousands of warriors, and their families fled the Northlands for Cerilia, leaving their homeland behind in the hands of Azrai's horde.
Azrai let them go for now, knowing that they were a defeated army. The Adurian had other troubles to worry about, including the Neha and Juh people to the south of the Empire. The remaining people of the northland became part of the Adurian Empire.
The war in the south dragged on for centuries, as the battles between the forces of Azrai and the armies of the other great tribes. Eventually though the war ended, and Azrai had gained control of the entire continent. He then turned his attention back to the Northlands, and the followers of the tribes he had allowed to flee into Cerilia. Eventually war broke out in Cerilia as well and Azrai marched his Adurian army north over the mountains to Deismaar where the final battle between the survivors of the tribes and the Adurian armies took place.
As history records Azrai lost this battle, and with it almost his entire northern army. Some survived, trapped on Cerilia by the destruction of the mountain, while a small number of other surviviors, including a large tribe of Dwarven warriors came south towards Adruia. The Dwarves survived and went on to become the nation of Dunedin in the Azure mountains (once known as the Deismaar Range).
Of the armies of Aduria though perhaps only as many as two thousand survied out of the tens of thousands that had been sent. Most of these were then driven away into the Northlands by the priests of Azrai, for they carried the word of Azrai's death at Deismaar, something Azrai did not want to get out or their power would be lost. These soldiers, most of them now blooded drifted into the grassland toward the Spire of Morkrashin, home of the imprisoned Snakemen.
The Skissshar Wars
Nearly four hundred years after the battle of
Deismaar the Snakeman race emerged from their imprisionment inside the Spire and began to
rampage across the lands of the north. Somehow the survivors of Deismaar had released the
Morkrain, who now called themselves the SKissshar onto the surface of Aebrynis once more.
What exactly happened to the Human survivors no-one knows, but it is commonly thought that
the Skissshar were in fact the transformed survivors of Deismaar, but this is incorrect.
Whatever the reason for their releases they wasted no time in taking control of the land around them. At that time to grasslands around the Spire where lightly populated, and it was these herdsmen and farmers that were the first to be killed by the Skissshar. More ruthless than even the most evil of the Emperor of Aduria they conquered much of the north before resistance was organised.
Eventually they stopped killing, and started enslaving instead. By the end of five years after their emergence the Skissshar empire took in all that was the Northlands, and they had created a mighty army. Jervias Kornli, governor of the north for the Empire was one of the few to mount a defense against the SKissshar, in what is now Kiskum. He later led the freedom movement in Kiskum after the war and went on to become that nations first king.
Eventually the Adurian Empire was forced to send troops north to fight off the Skissshar. Backed by thousands of priests and mighty legion the Empire pushed the SKissshar all the way back to their mountain in a long two year campaign. The magic of the Skissshar and the priestly powers of the Adurian took a great toll on the land, especially after a priest discovered that the Snakemen were vulnerable to cold.
Using powerful magic the priests caused snow to fall across the north, in a winter that lasted for nearly a whole year. The ancient grasslands were destroyed by the severe cold, although the SKissshar were also defeated and once again locked inside the Spire. The survivors of the war found that vast regions of the north were no longer inhabitible and eventually they would become desert. Only along a thin strip of coast was life possible, but it would be several centuries before settlers would return to the Northlands.
The Adurian Settlers
The Northlands Today