Yo! This is a RP me and a friend of mine (Magus) created about two years ago. But first, I'd like to see if anyone has a reasonable amount of interest in it. I don't want to start up something with a dead crowd, ya know? So, uh, how many of you guys like it? ^-^ ______________________________________________________________________________ The great Kingdom of Leonard the Wise had long stood on the shores of the Seepay River, south of the ancient ruins of Kaegil on the shores of the Sea. It was a shining shield against the goblins of the South and the ravagers from the East, filled with gallant knights clad with the colors of the Crown. To the northwest lay the City of Wonders, where the wise wizards of the High Council kept the knowledge of the Ancient Days, before the Plague. They had magnificent powers mysterious and arcane, but they were generous with their knowledge, and had gifted our King with many magical suits of armor, the like of which could not be rivalled by any blacksmith. Upon these suits were laid spells of power and strength, allowing those who wore them to lift heavy stones as if they were empty boxes, or carry many men upon their backs like children. With this gift of magic armor, Leonard the Wise and his noble knights were able to drive back the goblins in the Great War, and kingdoms from all the lands of the West lent their aid, from the wild-men of the Deserts to the stout herders of the plains with their wild stallions and long rope-weapons. In the years that followed, the Kingdom had a period of peace and prosperity. Now, the High Council asks us to go forth into the wilds of the southwest in search of a mysterious mineral of the ancient world, which glowed without fire and could curse men who looked upon it with boils and sickness, yet held unimaginable power if harnessed by the wisdom of the Ancients. The wizards assure us that our armor is enchanted to prevent the curse from falling upon us, but warn that things may have changed in the past few thousand years... Dwarves: Orod Khazad The great dwarf-city of Orod Khazad was founded about a century after the Plague in what was once a vast mine of the Ancient World by Farthi Stonefist, a formidable dwarvish miner turned warrior and leader by necessity. The dwarf and his followers braved the harsh mountain winters and frequent attacks by Goblins from the east, becoming a strong and hardy race which valued strength and endurance and craftsmanship. Over the ages, the dwarves have carved out a vast underground city beneath the mountains, and enormous veins of iron and coal have brought them great wealth and fame throughout the land. Dwarves are grave and gruff, but shrewd with money and loyal to allies. They prefer melee weapons such as hammers and axes, and always wear heavy armor. They are experts at smithing, mining, masonry and ale-brewing, and their food is both hearty and energizing for helping them live through the long, harsh winters in the mountains. They tend to wear thick wool, leather and furs for warding off the mountain cold, and have long beards and generous body hair, being also stout with thick skins and strong bodies. They are slightly taller than halflings. Halflings: Fairfield The halfling village of Fairfield on the Blossom-Downs is an old settlement from about two centuries after the Plague, founded by a wandering farmer-turned-leader named Bolgo Greenhill and his followers as a peaceful refuge from the dangers of the world outside. It is situated in what the wizards say was once an enormous garden of the Ancient World. Though it had been abandoned for ages, it was still as lush and fertile as of old, and as Bolgo and his fellow halflings began to farm the land, it gave forth a rich bounty of fruit and grain and flax. The light forest and fertile land allowed the halflings a good life, and the inhabitants there eventually adapted archery and ambush rather than close-combat melee as their main form of defense. As a result, halflings are generally physically weaker than dwarves, though they are nearly unmatched in stealth and marksmanship. They are excellent cooks, carpenters, farmers and singers, and their food is homely and flavorful, perfect for refreshments after a hard day's work on the fields. They tend to prefer bright natural colors such as green and yellow, and are both inquisitive and talkative, though they tend to be cautious and wary of danger. Though well-fed and jolly, they are formidable fighters and remarkably difficult to daunt when it comes down to it. The Tale of the Great War It was in the third century, a hundred years after the founding of Fairfield by the halflings, when the Kingdom of Thalassana was in its infancy. King Leonard the First was a leader of great renown at the time, brave and strong but inexperienced in the ways of true war. Hordes of goblins came from the wastelands of the East, led by a particularly savage and gigantic creature who called himself Zarthag the Scarred. Under his command, the goblins united into a fierce and terrifying army, burning as they came. The dwarves of Orod Khazad were forced to shut the doors of their city, and Fairfields bristled with arrows. Thalassana, however, was laid siege as its farmlands were burned and its villages ransacked. For years the people held out valiantly within the walls of the city, but soon hunger and thirst set in, and the goblins poisoned the wells, spreading sickness and death. Seeing the desperation of the inhabitants, Zarthag rode up to the gates just beyond bowshot, offering truce and parley with the King. Seeing the cost of war and fearing for the end of the kingdom, Leonard the First thought for many days, councelling with his advisors and sons on how to deal with the situation. In the end, he decided to trust the word of the goblin, and rode out with a small guard of noble knights, trusting in peace, to compromise with the enemy. But treachery was in the black heart of Zarthag, and as the old king rode out with his loyal knights under the White Flag of Truce, he was ambushed by goblins. Mighty as he was, his small group could not hold back the waves of enemies, and at the last, surrounded by the fallen, our King fell to the blade of the Scarred Goblin. Leonard the Second, then only a lad of 20, the Crown Prince, could only look on as his father's body was defiled and consumed by the creatures, his head removed and placed high up on a platform in mockery to the West. Fierce with anger, the newly-crowned king swore vengeance upon the goblins for this crime, calling upon all the peoples of the West to aid him. Outraged by the goblins' treachery, in this time of need wild-men from the Badlands and herders from the southwest came to our aid, and the wizards of the High Council intervened in the daily lives of common men for the first time in three hundred years. With wondrous magic, they called down fire and lightning and the very powers of nature to drive back the hordes. They also gifted young King Leonard the Second with a great store of enchanted armor which lent strength and speed to the wearer, and with these new weapons the Knights of Thalassana fought valiantly and saved the kingdom from utter ruin. Riding forth from the gates of the city, they crushed the armies of the enemy with sword and javelin, and broke the siege of Orod Khazad and the harrying of Fairfields. United against a common enemy, the free peoples of the West drove back the goblins back into the wastelands of the East, and from thence they have not come again in the last two centuries. The Accounting of Zarthag Zarthag was no fool, goblin though he was. He saw the united strength of the West, and knew that he would gain no victory that day. Defeated, the traitor withdrew from the field of battle, seeking to return to the wasteland to rally once more and crush Thalassana on his own time. Yet fate was against him, and as he turned his great back upon the field, the young Leonard let loose a single arrow from his father's bow, and in that moment, Zarthag the Scarred, enemy of the West, was destroyed. Like ants scattering when the brooding thing within their hive is crushed, the ranks of goblins fled, some into holes, others into caves, never again to return. Yet some fled into the wilds and wastes of the East, and with them went Murgaz, son of Zarthag. Scores of years would pass like the falling of leaves as Thalassana prospered, and the fire of rage that burned within Murgaz festered like a cancer. Slowly, goblin by goblin, his father's army grew once more, united by a hatred for all those who lived in the Free Lands of the West, never forgetting their loss that day upon the fields of Thalassana.