Prologue

Journey to Raven’s End
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There are many stories told of the old world.

They are passed down from grandfather to father to son. They speak of the grand, opulent castles of the southern continent, and bridges that stretched across the sea. No less spoken of are great treasures of gold and silver and gems, but which paled by comparison to the powerful relics that held captive magic energy of unspeakable power.

Tales abound of great warriors, who donned shining plate mail to test their mettle, and sought to push back the wilds and snuff out chaos. Magi that could harness energies to light up the sky, or change the very fabric of the world itself.

All of these things, the stone, the steel, the boundless treasures, all are now lost. All turned to dust and rubble, or hidden away, far from where the evil that had come to lay siege to the world, could find it.

It was nearly 300 years ago when the earth opened, and from the Great Rift poured out the armies of the Kelic-Drow. They harnessed the dark powers of the underworld and quickly lay siege to the lands, and the armies of man caught unprepared were slaughtered. The battallions of elves and dwarves that rose to repel the blight had to abandon their cause, and fled. The elves found refuge in the Narwood, protected by the thick forest and it’s denizens. The dwarves, to the north into the Ashfall Mountains, where the cold is so extreme the Kelic-Drow found it unsuitable to make chase, and let them clutch to their frozen abode.

Those few humans, who had escaped to the great wastes of Black Ice, north of the Pale Tower, huddled together for warmth and fought to fend off starvation.

The ones left behind were enslaved by this new terror. For more than two centuries they endured a wrath so terrible we will not speak of it here.

And so it remained, the world broken by the evil that had risen from the darkness.
That is, until, only a few decades ago. Amongst the scattered people of Istomar, were few that guarded the arcane knowledge of the old world. Faced with little choice, they formed a pact with forces beyond and summoned unnatural creatures into our world with one purpose; to turn the tides against their Kelic-Drow overlords.

The endeavour was successful. The grip that the dark Elves had on the world loosened and they were pushed back into the darkness. It is there they remain, defeated, but awaiting their next chance to spring forth.

Much has changed in Istomar since the Kelic-Drow retreated. A great bitterness has divided the world of man from the Elves and Dwarves for many years. Many say their armies abandoned the world too quickly and left all mankind to die.

However, when mankind returned from the wastes, your forefathers were charged with the task of putting stone with mortar and till with soil. To rebuild the cities and roads that had fallen to ruin or been burned in the wars.

It falls to you to seek out the secrets of the old world, to uncover the treasures that have been lost or buried by time and war.

It is an age of renaissance. Those scattered souls who once shook off the shackles to fight back the darkness now hold sacred all knowledge passed down, and thirst for more. Known only as the Arcanum, their sigil of a candle in the blackness is a symbol of the wisdom they guard in their keeps, found in many cities across Istomar. It is well known that the rewards for recovering ancient secrets of the old world are great. Those who gain their favour, and are given entry into their halls, may in turn find rewards that are incalculable.

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Prologue

Raven's End Jimberfly Jimberfly