The Mythic EraThe Split Of The Dwergar:
Unterguardt has always been an inhospitable icy land, but in the times directly after the Fomoraigh retreated under the Wardenfells, conditions were practically unliveable. Between the release of thousands of unseelie Sidhe upon the destruction of the Gealai Aisling, the disrupted weather patterns caused by the arrival of the Fomoraigh and their wars with the Aen'Cead and the rise of the Wrothdar clans in the mountains, the people who dwelt upon the landmass of Unterguardt were hard-pressed to merely survive.
The Dwergar were the children of Fjell-Herkser, the Mountain Lord, one of the Aen'Cead who set out on his own to the north, and they dwelt deep in the mountains, with thriving communities in the Mournfrost and Blackspine ranges. When the Fomoraigh came into the world, Fjell-Hersker did what many of the Aen'Cead could not, and fled. Before he left, the Mountain Lord told his children that the mountains themselves would birth a great champion who would deliver their people their inheritance. It is not in the nature of the Dwergar to ever settle for anything less than the total amount of anything, and so over the years, their inheritance came to mean supremacy of the world.
After the destruction of the Gealai Aisling, Unterguardt, along with most of the known world, was wracked with devastation. The great Dwergar city of Jarnverk was destroyed by fire, and many of the people were left dispossessed. The survivors of Jarnverk wished to make a new home for themselves, far to the south in Norbayne, but the kings of the other holds forbade them, claiming Fjell-Hersker demanded that the Dwergar remain in the moutains of Unterguardt to await the coming of Raddare, the Saviour. Despite this, the Dwergar of Jarnverk departed over the seas, earning themselves the enmity of the rest of their race.
Within a century, the city of Nyjarnverk was completed in the mountains on the northern coast of Norbayne and the inhabitants struck up a close friendship with the Selkye tribes of the Icebays to the east and the Highlanders to the south. Nyjarnverk was considered a sanctuary for many years, but that is a story for another time...The First Stormlord Of Varr:
The origins of the race who would become the Invarrians is a story lost in the depths of time. What is known is that they came from Unterguardt and that wars between them and enemies such as the emergent Wrothdar clans and the fledgling kingdoms of the Urskinn, drove them west, to the shores of the sea. There they built ships, for they could not remain there, armies closing all around them.
For weeks they sailed, but they were hampered by the great sea-storms generated by the arrival and presence of the Foraoirse, the Everstorm as it was called, and many ships and lives were lost. It seemed that all would be lost when the ship of Egetrae Skjold ran aground on a small island. Upon that island was a stand of windswept trees and a stone shrine, with an altar of dark iron. Upon the altar lay a beautiful sword, blade inscribed with a language those who read did not know, but could somehow understand.
“Ek njota smidad vid foerad brenna vid inn myrkr, daudr vid inn verdr eda lif vid inn firar Varri.”
“I was forged to bring light to the darkness, death to the deserving and life to the people of Varr.”
- Harold Oakenshield’s reasonably accurate translation.
Egetrae Skjold took the sword and ordered the crew to use the stand of trees to repair the ship, believing that this was some kind of divine providence. As soon as the ship was repaired and set sail once more, the island vanished under the waves, shrine and all, leaving only the Gilded Sword as proof it ever existed. With the power of that very sword, the captain was able to calm the storms and uncover a large, rocky landmass to the west, which he led his people to. Varr, the Isle of the Reavers. The Stormlord And The Devourer:
Egetrae Skjold was made the Stormlord of all of Varr, and several settlements were founded across the island, foremost of which was the city of Isenhjem. It was not long however before another menace arose, the Devourer, theorised to be one of the Fomoraigh drawn north by the power emitted from the Gilded Sword, or perhaps one of the Aen'Cead, tainted in some way.
With the power of the Gilded Sword, Egetrae was able to defeat the Devourer and drive the thing back, beneath the waves, but at a terrible cost. A great many Invarrians were slain and Egetrae himself was mortally wounded. With the very last of his strength, the first Stormlord rode a great wave over the Dividing Range, landing in the uncharted east of Varr, where he found the site of an ancient temple, Werencha. It was there that he left the Gilded Sword, and faded into legend. The Roanfaille And The Biesz:
The Roanfaille of Sothbayne are another people whose origins are long lost. Each clan, and there are many, has a multitude of legends, and few of them match each other in anything but the most remote of ways. Two stories remain consistent, the first regarding a threat which caused the Roanfaille to migrate north from their homeland on the southern coasts of Sothbayne, way beyond the Wispaniyali Range which form the southern border of the known world, and the Ghostlands which reportedly stretch for hundreds of miles beyond them. This threat was called the Kiel in the Jezyk tongue, or the Zadlo in Wyraz, and all that the tales can agree on is that they were vicious and far more powerful than the Roanfaille were able to defeat on their own. Some stories claim they tainted the spirits of the dead, cursing them to seek out the living and try to take a new life for their own. Others claim that the creatures were born of flames, the twisted remnants of fire spirits. As the Roanfaille have always cremated their dead, both of these stories could be seen as being true.
Driven over the mountains by the Kiel, the Roanfaille found themselves in the Plain of Bones, the Nizina Kosci, a wide expanse of bones, a graveyard for some kind of gigantic, primordial beast. It has been theorised that the Aen'Cead responsible for the continent of Sothbayne may have bred some kind of beast of burden to help in shaping the world, maybe even the ancient relative of the mhor. Whatever the case, the bones in the Nizina Kosci are sometimes uncovered even to this day, and they are truly gargantuan.
For many years the Roanfaille journeyed through the massive graveyard, always northward. The Nizina Kosci however, was, and still is, an inhospitable place, and many died. The Roanfaille people dwindled, until only the strongest remained, and even they were at the end of the strength. In one particular obscure variant of the tale, told in the Wyraz language and only to those trusted with this knowledge, the Roanfaille were led by a man named Targowac Wyzwolicielem, the Deliverer, a warlock of significant power.
Targowac knew that his people could not last, and so manifested and bargained with the Biesz, a powerful daemonic entity. In exchange for the service of the souls of his people upon their deaths, Targowac asked the daemon feed them power to help them survive. The Biesz agreed, filling a cup with the essence of its being, and bade Targowac to drink. Upon drinking, Targowac found himself sustained by the barest morsel of food, no longer in need of water even on the hottest day and able to walk for many days without rest. Amazed by the changes he had wrought upon himself, the warlock encouraged his people to drink, and so were the Roanfaille able to escape the Nizina Kosci, but in the process damn themselves and all their descendants. The Bruin And The Death Of Sostenir:
Sostenir was the last surviving Aen'Cead known to history, the Great Bear of the Mountains, the Father of the Bruin. He retreated under the mountains on the southern coast of Norbayne, what would become known as the Oso Montanya, when the Fomoraigh arrived, hiding away with his people, who delved deep into the earth, hunting seams of gold and jewels.
The Bruin have always been distrustful of magic, perhaps a holdover from Sostenir himself, who did not approve of the open displays of power his kin were given to and preferred to make his own workings in a much more subtle fashion. When the Fomoraigh came, he forbade his people from dabbling in the arcane, and from working with daemons or communicating with the Sidhe, or, very much anyone from the outside at all.
For many centuries, the Bruin realm of Casaregne persisted in this way, ruled over by Sostenir, whose watchful gaze never relented, despite the eventual disappearance of the Fomoraigh. Any who were caught using magic were killed instantly, as Sostenir feared the attention of the outside world. This could not last.
A Bruin sorcerer named Enganar, the name of his family lost to time, had hidden his ability for many decades. Unable to practice his arts openly, Enganar his himself away in the deepest tunnels and there uncovered an ancient and powerful entity, an unseelie and tainted Sidhe, which wheedled its way into his embrace, filling his mind with venomous whispers. It told Enganar that Sostenir was but a shadow of his former self, driven mad by paranoia and it was only a matter of time before the Great Bear of the Mountain lost his grip on reality completely, destroying the Bruin and Casaregne in the process. If Enganar slew Sostenir, his people would be free to fulfil their full potential, no longer bound by the strictures of their ruler.
Enganar agreed and the Sidhe placed a glamour on the sorcerer, making him invisible to the sight of all. It also gave the Bruin a powerful dagger, etched with many fell curses and runes. It would take a weapon of immense power to strike down one of the Aen'Cead, even one as wretched as Sostenir after all, and this was a weapon forged for that very task. Taking the blade eagerly, Enganar slipped away and performed the deed, cutting the throat of the Father of the Bruin as he slept.
But the Sidhe had deceived Enganar, and as soon as the stroke fell, the glamour failed and all Sostenir's guards witnessed the event. Enganar was slain immediately, but it was all too late. The dagger Enganar had used had been ensorcelled in such a way that when it pierced the hide of Sostenir, all his power and life-force was consumed by the unseelie Sidhe. The Sidhe had made an error however. Sostenir was nowhere near as weak as it had believed, and a weakened Sostenir's full power was far too much for even that ancient entity to withstand. The Sidhe was ripped apart in a roiling maelstrom of arcane power which caused the Oso Montanya itself to split in two. Casaregne was destroyed, the site of its destruction still visible to this day, a monstrous rent through the middle of the mountains.
The Bruin founded a new citadel when the quakes died down, Grimguarda, the Watchful Hold, and though Sostenir is long since dead, his people maintain a fervent distrust of magic. Jaroslaw And The Ilaena: