In the Beginning

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by Kieran Deladh

During the feudal period before the Empire of the Khorezim was formed, many small states existed, ruled over by warlords. Their constant fighting led to a demand for skilled mercenary work. And the combat also disrupted many innocent lives. Arising from these conditions, groups started to form to cater to these needs... warriors and agents to take the fight to the warlords, and systems to protect those trapped in the middle of it all. Philosophies and strategies were formed during the times to change the nature of war. Highly trained and skilled mercenaries could do what it would take a small army to take care of. Methods of lessening combat through use of espionage, assassination, and sabotage. Subtlety was the key.

Finally, about 1800 or so years ago a single leader set out to do what many others had sought to do. Unite the land. As usual, mercenaries took their side for and against this man. However, dedicated mercs decided to aid in the cause of uniting the lands into a single kingdom... their hope was to stop the fighting that was ravaging the continent. After many difficult battles, they were successful in fulfilling their ideals. They continued to aid the newly formed kingdom in dealing with the occasional threat as well as with information gathering. However the times of peace started to wear away at them. When an expedition to the new continent was started, they leapt at the chance and set off. In Hyathis they found a new world to ply their trades. When an invasion force from the Nother(North?) threatened Hyathis, they fought alongside the Legions. For the two years of the war, they struggled against the magics of the opposition. Their exact contribution to the ending of the war is debatable.

The same can be said for what exactly happened to them when the war was concluded. Some claim they were ordered to stay in Hyathis to keep a watch on the continent. Others say they voluntarily stayed... perhaps to further hone their skills in this new land. As it happened, most of the experienced veterans and wounded stayed in Hyathis while others returned to the empire of the Khorezim. As time went on, those who returned weakened and struggled to maintain their skills. Back on the continent the descendents of the 'exiles' set up shop.

The influence of these people is subtle giving their nature but is felt throughout the continent.

The known communities formed or influenced by the 'exiles'...

In Arboria:

Kisun Village.

A small community of farmers and artisans. Also home to an ancient temple complex dedicated to the 'spirits'. Numerous shrines are located about to them as well. The people of this region are rumored to have inhabited the area even before the Elves arrived, perhaps making them closer to the Fae that inhabit the Mountains to the West. They are highly spiritual, following a way that is very close to Arborian druidism, though they do not venerate Gaia to the same degree, if at all.

Kisun Village is also home to a sect of warrior-sages who practice a unique strain of the Seventh Gift that leans heavily on the Spirit aspect. Their duty is to look after the temple and shrines as well as to purify unclean objects of malicious spirits. They believe that everything has a spirit.. or atleast the potential for one. This spirit can be affected by the actions of those about it.

An example would be a knife used to murder someone. This object would be stained not only by the victim's blood but also the intentions of the murderer and of the victim. These brief thoughts and sensations can accumulate in an object, granting it with time a soul of its own. Most people aren't aware enough to notice it fully but it comes across as a 'haunting' feeling. If left unchecked, this can lead to problems naturally. So the sages attempt to purify the spirit through cleansing of varous methods.


Xiaoqi Import and Exports:

A 1000 year old loose trading association that was formed to link even the most remote communities with each other in a mutual beneficial way. Their business is small but they work with rarities that other merchants could only dream of. The main base of operation is located in Southern Oceanuus but there are representives across Hyanthis. Notably a second office and shop has been set up recently in Shadokhan. While they lack the quantity of the UMA, they make up for it in the quality of the goods they can provide. There are rumors that they can also provide mercenaries for hire. Some also say that they have ties to the Khorezim.


There was a community in Balthazor of 'hunters'. Originally established to combat 'demons', as these beings were sparce they turned to handling destructive spellcasters and the undead. This particular combination may have led to their downfall. The exact details are unknown, some say they got on the bad side of the 'puppetmasters' of Balthazor. There are numerous ruins of their bases about Balthazor. From what is known, they researched methods of using magical devices as tools and weapons rather than try and specialize in any of the mancies. Since fire proved especially useful, there was much trade and communication with groups in Thermador. Some survivors may have even escaped to the deserts.


There may still be artifacts left here from the times of the Great War between the forces of the Khorezim aligned with Southern Hyanthis against Northern invaders. Unknown guardians keep these places safe from intruders and raiders.


There are rumors of two influenced groups here, though only one has true roots in this area. That one is said to be able to use wards and may have some ties to the village of Kisan. Also there is a small order of healers that came has its roots in of all places Balthazor. They're intentions are to study necromancy in a beneficial way to ease pain. Not much else is known about them.


The nomadic ways of the deserts have made it difficult to figure out if there are any influences here, but there are tales of roving mercenaries who use tactics very similiar to the exiles.

As some of these references and information are obscure, more investigation is needed before it can be confirmed. If it's even possible.


Note: This manuscript was donated by the player of Shade of Grey (08/27/2003)

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