A Winter Night's Melody
The land of Kilgareth
Few centuries ago, the Land of Kilgareth was filled with joy and life. All this came to an end ,after the Downpour of Nevermore. Kilgareth is a large continent on the east of Sternovia and south of Questhalos. To its south, it meets the vast Salt Sea and to the east lie the coniferous forests of Nalthalak.
The land of Kilgareth is a barren empty land, alas, with little geographical importance nowadays. Legends speak of its fertility in ages past, but all these rumours are rarely considered, and if they ever do, it is disregard that those comments contain.
Some centuries ago, the land was ruled by Kilnaroth, direct ancestor of Kilgareth,the obsidian king ,forger of steel and ruler of the early life. He was a young and disobedient prince, who cared more for his sword than for his people. Soon ,after he came of age, his enemies were already more than his allies. Disdain and treachery laid everywhere ,and backs were the most preferable targets for those who weren't careful enough.
One man however, a wizard by the name of Fernagog, rose up and rallied the people. He spoke ill of the young king and promised the people wealth and good fortune. He asked for their support in his cause to usurp the king, and brought help from afar. Nothing went as planned. On that day, the skies bled and the earth cracked. All that rose from the earth to greet the sun was blighted and diminished to ash. And the people came to know those named the Warlords. Mysterious beings from a world afar, coated in a pitch black armour, reminiscent of obsidian, and eyes as crimson as blood. They spoke to the people with arrogance, claiming to be gods. Few dared oppose them ,and those who did, were torn apart and scattered to the earth. After months, all of Kilgareth fell to the iron grasp of the Warlords. Kilnaroth's head was delivered to the masses as a sign of redemption, but no being would celebrate. The Warlords demanded that the people called them warlords and obeyed them as their true masters. Some tried to resist and rebel ,but were flayed and massacred. A few managed to leave from the Warlord's presence ,and those who did named themselves the Outrangers. People would hope for aeons that these men would help fight off the dictators, but to no avail. They were soon forgotten and very rarely are their names heard.
After the reign of the Warlords began, the land was shaped anew. The Warlords demanded the burning of all books and the destruction of all knowledge. Only they ,would hold knowledge as the supreme masters ,and only those who showed their absolute faith in them would be granted a part of this knowledge. It was also ordered that the firstborn sons of humans be given to the warlords as a sign of gratitude to their greatness. The world belongs to them, and those who seek a peaceful life dare not speak ill of the Warlords.
Tales long lost from books and only spoken to from grandma to second son, speak of the weavers of the world, the Humming Maidens. Some say that these maidens sang the melody of the world and chanted its glory. When their song turned darker, and was no longer pleasant to the human ear ,the maidens were locked away to keep at their task. Some say that this dark song was a prophecy for these days and that the key to salvation would be to hear their songs once more and decipher it. But no hope exists in this world any longer. People grow up knowing that no pleasing song will reach their ears, no knowledge different than what their kin knows will be heard and that through silence is the only way they can survive. Mercy and hope doesn't exist in such a world ,and those who believe in fairytales are before long named lunatics and asked to silence themselves.
The extra briefings for the knowledge bearers:
The Pantheon of Kilgareth:
Nastheez ,Lord of War,Fire and Blood
Molneera,Lady of Deception,Trickery and poisons
Elandra,Lady of Destruction,Natural Disasters and Pain
Drakarth,Lord of Death,Winter and Nightmares
Vendril,Lord of Famine,Murder and Illness,
Kilgara,Lady of Life,Light and Courage
Aldurin,Lord of Strength,Righteousness and Justice
Caedra,Lady of Family,Love and Peace
Qrassil,Lord of Nature,Seas and Spirituality
Turalinar,Lord of Knowledge,Arts and Crafts
Kilgareth's flora and fauna used to be the same as those of a coniferous climate. After the downpour of nevermore, the ground became worked soil, largely : it contained more gravel than dirt and wasn't fertile enough for crops to grow. The ground is fairly volatile and full of dehydrated terrain, however that doesn't make Kilgareth a non agricultural land. All roots can flourish normally, and thus sweet potatoes and carrots are the most usual meal of an average worker. Tall grass exists in some areas, but it reminds the grass of savannah and is thus less nutritional. As such, the animals of the land are a shadow of their former selves, some deer not having enough meat to feed a family. The water of Kilgareth is very tasty, due to the several minerals imbued within it from the rocky ground. However there aren't many lakes around the land, and most towns are provided with water from the Warlord's mages and clerics. Due to the ground's physiology, a very common finding is mushrooms, and they are one of the most common meals of the commoner, apart from the other roots. The sun, is less bright than it used to be, around 12 degrees Celsius below its former self. Degrees in Kilgareth are not countable and no measure of counting heat has been found as of yet.
The arcane arts were taught to the humans by the first King Kilgareth. The first wizard would listen to the songs of the maidens for years, until they could finally understand the melody behind each word. Apart from their notes, their whole existence and expression would emanate a melody, that was constant, yet ever changing. That is the essence of magic in this world. The world is constant, yet fluid. Through the analyzing of this melody, people have written theories on how to explain it. Seven different theories exist ,from archmages of all ages. And each of these reflects another type of magic: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. Aspiring Wizards learn all of these theories and choose to become specialists in the type that is more understandable to them. And though now the music is gone, most books were enchanted to create the music of the Maidens. Depending on the criteria of each theory, the mage can then break it into pieces and understand the way in which his thought must be directed, in order to produce the result that he needs to achieve. Bards tend to mimic the melody in order to do their spells. Divine magic casters tend to ask for their god's help in order to bring the song to their minds. Sorcerers are born with the melody stuck in their mind. And Warlocks take their magic from the understanding that their patron has of that melody. Warlocks are the only spell casters that do not understand the song.
The kingdom of humanoids begun largely 1200 years ago. The first men (humanoid men, not humans/also means females) lay in hiding of the terrific beasts of Kilgareth. And just when despair was blooming and the men run into hiding, a stalwart man appeared into the land. His name was Kilgareth and he was the first king of the land. He rallied the forces of men, he taught them how to forge steel and used his obsidian armour to secure every humanoid ‘s protection. After his death, the orcs, goblins and many other races fled the empire ,but the rest remained loyal, until after 200 years they broke apart into separate kingdoms. However the spawns of Kilgareth were always respected and their say on matters was always heard. In year 800 the humming maidens were lost due to their singing of dark songs. Year 900 was the appearance of the Warlords. At year 350 a great famine appeared due to the fact that the people weren't paying attention to the earth and that was when Vendril the god of famine illness and murder appeared in the song of the maidens. In year 400 Lady Molneera poisoned chieftain Orog-Barad, an orc chief ,for claiming that he was a god, and made her appearance to the Pantheon. The rest appeared with their names from the dawn of the world into the maiden's songs.
The players start off at the inn of The Ale-Drowned Man.The Inn has existed for a mere 5 years,and it is well hidden in the woods of Calemnar.The Inn is supposed to be a place of neutrality,where everyone can freely discuss on any subject,without being afraid of the Warlord’s wrath.Mainly adventurers tend to meet here ,seeking to hear of ways to bring down the tyranny,or to help the land,or in any way to help themselves to some coins.The inn is run by Scallywag Billy,a man of 40 years,tall and proud,with his shortsword always in reach.It is rumored that his place has many escape tunnels,and also some say that Billy hides books in his secret chambers,but it is mostly doubted.Most Adventurers there respect Billy ,and know him for being an honest man.Some have worked with him in the past and know not to get on his nerves.Apart from Billy,his partner,as he often refers to her,Janet,helps him with the serving.The place is pretty large,and the two can barely help fill the bellies of their customers.Janet always wears her “Lucky Pants”,as she calls them,that are the reason some adventurers come way too often.She bears a dozen of knives on her,making it clear:”You can watch all you want,but you ain’t leaving alive if you touch”.