Ardania: The Majesty Campaign Setting (3.5e Campaign Setting)
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- 1 Ardania, The Majesty Campaign Setting
- 1.1 History
- 1.1.1 Krolm creates the First Humans
- 1.1.2 The Rise and Fall of Brashnard
- 1.1.3 The Dragon Wars
- 1.1.4 The Birth of Lunord and Helia
- 1.1.5 The Beginning of the Kingdom Age
- 1.1.6 The Cities of Lunord and Helia
- 1.1.7 The Return of the Barbarians
- 1.1.8 The Ten Thousand Arrows War
- 1.1.9 The Six Winters' War
- 1.1.10 The Fall of Garuta and Rendishire
- 1.1.11 The Appearance of Vendral
- 1.1.12 The Dark Age of Humanity
- 1.1.13 The Three Monster Kingdoms
- 1.1.14 The Rise and Fall of the Goblins
- 1.1.15 The Rise and Fall of the Serpent Empire
- 1.1.16 The Emergence of the Witch King
- 1.1.17 The Origins of Sydrian, Ardania's First King
- 1.1.18 The Making of Ardania's Greatest Hero
- 1.1.19 The Quest for the Holy Chalice
- 1.1.20 The Disappearance of Sydrian
- 1.1.21 The Seven Children of Lunord and Helia
- 1.1.22 The Crusade of Makkat the Madman
- 1.1.23 The Creation of Godly Artifacts
- 1.1.24 The Arrival of the Elves
- 1.1.25 The Spread of the New Religions
- 1.1.26 Good King Teevus, the First King of Valmorgen
- 1.1.27 The Reemergence of Wizardry
- 1.1.28 The Emergence of the Liche Queen
- 1.1.29 The Appearance of the Black Phantoms
- 1.1.30 The Rise of Dark Wizardry
- 1.1.31 The Battle of Ravenswood
- 1.1.32 Andravus's Minotaur Invasion
- 1.1.33 The Abominable Creations of Pyrog the Shadowed
- 1.1.34 The Appearance of Dirgo
- 1.1.35 Of Warriors, Paladins, Rogues and Warriors of Discord
- 1.2 Pantheon
- 1.1 History
Ardania, The Majesty Campaign Setting
In anticipation of the newly announced Majesty 2, and to honor the critically aclaimed Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, I have begun a new project to bring the Majesty Franchise to the Dungeons and Dragons RPG style.
So prepare to step into a world like no other. Ardania is a land filled with adventure and danger. A land filled with back-stabbing rogues, noble paladins, magic-weilding wizards, rage-filled barbarians and other brave adventurers of all stripes. A land where evil is only just held bay, and sinister forces gather to destroy you at any opportunity. A land of endless possibilities for adventure...
Based on Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, from Cyberlore, and Majesty: Heroes of Ardania, a popular online RPG, Ardania: The Majesty Campaign Setting is a D&D style take on this classic game. Prepare for the adventure of your life...
This is the history given by Majesty: Heroes of Ardania RPG.
Krolm creates the First Humans
When our land was young, the lone deity Krolm, Lord of the Wild, looked out across Ardania and felt his rage grow. No creatures knew of him - none could spread across the land and do his bidding. From his rage came life - the first Humans to walk in Ardania. They were Barbarians, followers of Krolm.
A simple philosophy bound these Barbarians together. They believed that strength is power and that the unknown must be conquered. Their god supported them in war against Ardania's perilous mysteries. They made a crude living off the dangerous land. Little else mattered.
The Rise and Fall of Brashnard
A small group of Barbarians stumbled upon a source of great magical power. One of these men, Brashnard, was transformed. He halted his wandering and his weapon training and turned to study. Other Barbarians grew increasingly suspicious, and the greatly intensified when Brashnard succeeded in creating Ardania's first magical item - Brashnard's Sphere.
Brashnard wanted his brethren to understand the useful nature of his studies and not to fear them. While demonstrating the wondrous powers of his Sphere to the warlord Rogna BloodAxe, Rogna grew deeply afraid and killed the Wizard. With one crushing blow from his axe, he then shattered the Sphere. It took more than 2,000 years for magical study to once again surface in Ardania.
The Dragon Wars
The Barbarians made great inroads throughout the lowlands, pushing back other creatures and taking land to support their normadic lifestyle. They began to get noticed by some of Ardania's most powerful monsters. Infuriated with the encroaching Humans, the Dragons counterattacked. They rose from their underground lairs and followed their Dragon King, Andraxal-Kerlazor, into battle. The Barbarians couldn't stand the tremendous force of the flying beats and began to lose ground rapidly.
Krolm knew that he had to intervene, or his minons would fail. He took physical form and traveled north past the Hellfire Mountains to Dtar-Mordin. Here lived the Dwarves, a small race that excelled in the workings of steel and stone and lived primarily underground. Krolm made a deal with them. He would infuse the entire Dwarven race with greater strength. In return, the Dwarven Queen Dorva Stoneback fashioned for Krolm a sword to kill Andraxal-Kerlazor. The Dwarves' enhanced strength helped them push out from their caverns and settle on the surface, largely in the Valley of Gur-Mechina.
The battle between Krolm and the Dragon King was the most ferocious the young world had ever seen. When the dust finally cleared, the Dragon King was slain and buried, with the sword still embedded in his chest. The Dragons were broken and scattered, not to be organized again until Scrylia the Serpent Queen gathered them under her command 1,500 years later. Andraxal-Kerlazor's sole hatchling, Vendral, was only a yearling at the time of his father's death. Without proper training he could never become a true Dragon King, and so his father was the last Ardania has ever seen.
The Birth of Lunord and Helia
Krolm was severely wounded in the battle and it took centuries for him to fully recuperate. During this time, his Barbarians began to drift from his teachings - some of them even settled into permanent villages. During this time Krolm sired a boy and a girl to rule while he rested. None know the identity of the mother. His son Lunord became The Moon God and his daughter Helia, The Sun Goddess. Krolm did not know that they would one day overthrow him.
The Beginning of the Kingdom Age
In one numberless year, after a string of numberless centuries, something simple but remarkable happened. One of these new settlements, Garuta, desired to keep a written record of its history. A lowly scribe, Kyra Rundelsnark, was hired by the village leader to perform this duty. She started her reports at year one. Her numbering system quickly spread across Ardania. Thus, our yearly calendar begins when Kyra Rundersnark, who incidentally had terrible handwriting, began her new job. As you know, our years are now called Kingdom Age, or K.A.
The Cities of Lunord and Helia
Of the many city states in Ardania, only two grew into prominence, Garuta and Rendishire. Garuta was a most impressive city built on steep, rocky spires. As the ideology of its citizens drifted away from Krolm, Lunord came into favor. The first Temple to Lunord was a massive structure capping off Garuta's great stone terraces.
Those men who fully dedicated themselves to Lunord were called Adepts. Lunord bestowed upon them a cup of his own devising, the Holy Chalice. This relic brought good health to the Adepts and was stored in the upper reaches of the temple.
Many days travel to the southwest lay the city state of Rendishire. In many ways, this settlement was Garuta's complete opposite. Rendishire was a grand sprawl, filling the valley at the base of the Hellfire Mountains. While this was not a well-protected position, it lay on a major trade route of the time. Soon a new race settled in Rendishire, with only a grudging welcome: the lowly gnomes.
The people of Rendishire began to worship Helia. The women warriors who served Helia were known as Solarii. Helia granted them the Sun Orb, a scintillating magical relic that brought strength to the Solarii. It was kept in the temple's giant rotating solacranum.
The Return of the Barbarians
By K.A. 300, these city states were each run by powerful monarchs. Meanwhile, many people yearned for the old ways, and they finally broke away from the city states to continue their nomadic heritage. They left the pace and pressures of the city behind, along with their belongings, once again bringing Barbarians to Ardania. Also at this time, Krolm regained consciousness on his path to recuperation.
The Ten Thousand Arrows War
It seemed inevitable that Garuta and Rendishire would fall into conflict - over trade, over land, or over religion. Lunord and Helia became outright enemies as they each struggled to become Ardania's most powerful deity. The battles between the city states began in K.A. 412 and lasted more than 80 years. This devastating was, later called the Ten Thousand Arrows War, took a great toll on the Humans of Ardania. Smaller city states were forced to side with one or the other. Whenever one side gained an advantage, the other took it back. Incidentally, it is certain that sprawling Rendishire would have fallen were it not for their industrious Gnomes. Both the Holy Chalice and the Sun Orb were lost during the war.
The Six Winters' War
The Barbarians suffered the most, however. They were forced into service by the city states and routinely betrayed and used as disposable troops. Krolm looked on with growing rage and used what little strength he had recovered to send word to his Barbarian leaders. He told them to strike back at the followers of his children. The city states were weakened from the long war and were too focused on each other to see the surprise attack coming.
The ensuing conflagration so weakened Helia and Lunord that the day and night skies dimmed and there was no season but winter for the next six years. The Barbarians fought against both city states, who in a last-ditch effort put aside their hatreds and united against the followers of their father. During this brief truce, Helia and Lunord sired seven children, four of them quadruplets. These children did not play a part in the world until much later.
The Fall of Garuta and Rendishire
The Barbarians were victorious, and they shattered both Garuta and Rendishire in what we now call the Six Winters' War. They swore that never again would they ally with the followers of another god.
The Appearance of Vendral
Near the end of the Six Winters' War, at the end of the Ten Thousand Arrow War, an ill omen for humanity occurred. The two-headed Vendral, now grown into adolescence, was seen for the first time. He destroyed an entire village in one hour. From that day until present, every century or two, Vendral has awakened for a short time and caused terrible havoc.
The Dark Age of Humanity
In K.A. 500, all of the Human city states had been destroyed, with only small villages and outposts left clinging for survival. Barbarians roamed the land again, but in far fewer numbers and without the overwhelming power they enjoyed 500 years before. These were the darkest days for humanity, during which all may easily have been lost.
The Three Monster Kingdoms
Three monster kingdoms rose across Ardania as the humans fell. One was led by a magical and purely evil creature - the Witch King. He commanded the allegiance of thousands of the ancient Daemonwoods as well as other, lesser creatures. The second was Scrylia, the Serpent Queen. She gathered a formidable army of Dragons, Greater Gorgons, Medusae, and Harpies. The eldest son of Helia and Lunord, a foul, mishappen god called Grum-Gog, formed the final monster kingdom. His followers consisted of legions of Goblins as well as a smattering of Trolls.
The Rise and Fall of the Goblins
Despite their tenacity and ferocity, the diminutive Goblins were never able to expand their kingdom very far. Pushed by Barbarians on one side and devastated by Dragons on the other, they fled into the Hellfire Mountains and were reduced to a small, struggling populace. To this day, Grum-Gog still plans for an eventual Goblin conquest of Ardania.
The Rise and Fall of the Serpent Empire
Scrylia, on the other hand, nearly did conquer Ardania. Her powerful forces scattered everyone in her path. Just as she was planning to destroy the remaining Human outposts, her forces mutinied. The Medusae were furious at being subordinate to the Greater Gorgons, and launched a civil war with help from the Harpies. Unwilling to get caught up in the conflict, the Dragons left and returned to their underground lairs. The Greater Gorgons were nearly exterminated, with only a few escaping to the Northern Reaches. Scrylia herself was killed in the fighting. Victorious in their civil war, the Medusae and Harpies were left without the aid of the Dragons, and the entire serpent kingdom quickly crumbled.
The Emergence of the Witch King
The Witch King, having weathered the Serpent Queen's advancement, was next to try to dominate Ardania. He spread a horrible curse of pestilence throughout the land, weakening his enemies and causing massive natural destruction. He made one error, though, and that was when he stumbled upon Lunord's Holy Chalice in a hidden stone vault. As he was not ordained by Lunord to transport the Chalice, he could not remove it from the vault. Instead of sealing and burying it, though, he grew attached to it and returned to drink the blood of his victims from it. In the end, this attraction would be his downfall.
The Origins of Sydrian, Ardania's First King
The man who eventually drove off the Witch King and returned humanity to its path of greatness was Sydrian, known now as the Wandering King. Sydrian was born to Gwnella, the leader of Thallis, a city state allied to Garuta during the Ten Thousand Arrows War. After the Six Winters' War and the fall of Garuta, Thallis became a small outpost of men and women who hunkered down to protect themselves from the Ardanian anarchy.
They were unsuccessful in this attempt. Scrylia's forces burned the entire settlement to the ground 15 years later, in K.A. 515, during a massive Dragon assault. Young Sydrian was only three years old at the time. A Gnome, whose name was never recorded, grabbed the son of Gwenella and risked his own life to take him to safety. From this tragic beginning, Sydrian began a new life in the wilds of Ardania. Not much is known about his childhood, but when he reappeared 13 years later he was an impressive warrior.
One day, Sydrian was wandering when he heard sounds of fighting nearby. A Caravan heading to the Human enclave of Cullian had been waylaid by a band of Trolls. Sydrian rushed into the fray to help the guards. His natural talent for battle was astounding, and the Trolls were reduced to pools of their mucous-like flesh before they knew what hit them. The guards took Sydrian to Cullian where the prince of the enclave eventually adopted him.
The Making of Ardania's Greatest Hero
As Sydrian grew to manhood, he became leader of the prince's guard. Under his leadership, the guard was well known for its compassion to the Cullain people and its dedication to duty. All seemed to be going well for young Captain Sydrian, but fate's unpleasant touch was reaching out for him.
It began with a few missing Caravans in K.A. 539. Then several travelers were found brutally slain in the nearby forests. The threat to the enclave became obvious. Some force was behind these attacks and Sydrian dedicated himself to stopping it.
In doing so, Sydrian made the biggest mistake of this life. He formed a party of his strongest and bravest soldiers to seek out and destroy this menace. Fueled by determination, they marched deep into the wilderness following clues left behind by the murderers. While they were gone on the search, the city came under a massive attack by creatures of all shapes and sizes, Sydrian had fallen for a decoy.
The Quest for the Holy Chalice
When he returned, Cullain lay in ruins before him. Though Sydrian's home and family were destroyed, his sense of duty grew stronger than ever. He needed to end the nightmare that Ardania had become. That night he had a vision. He saw the Witch King sitting in a stone vault and knew that the Witch King was behind the destruction of his adopted home. But his vision focused on what the Witch King was drinking from, Lunord's Holy Chalice. If he could claim the Chalice, it would provide humanity with the power to withstand the Witch King's terrible curse. People would unite and fight back against the horrors of the land.
With his greatest warriors, Sydrian led a crusade across Ardania, battling the minions of the Witch King whenever possible. All the while, they gathered clues as to the whereabouts of the Holy Chalice. The selfless acts of Sydrian's forces attracted the atteion of other brave heroes, who joined him. Soon the ranks of Sydrian's Knights swelled, allowing them to cover even more territory.
Desperate for the Humans to help against the rising tide of monsters, the Dwarven settlements to the north sent Sydrian priceless gifts. The bulk of the gifts consisted of 60 swords that were particularly effective against magical creatures. The Dwarves also created a stunning crown of gold and precious Dwarven steel. The crown was rumored to give Sydrian and any of his blood descendants even greater wisdom in their rule.
Flickering hopes began to take root in the minds of the Ardanian people. Everyone referred to Sydrian as king. Eventually, in K.A. 564, he gathered enough clues to track down the Chalice. He assembled a handpicked group of men and women and led them on the final quest for this sacred relic.
He lost 23 good knights getting to the vault, but Sydrian finally claimed the Holy Chalice. Lunord permitted him to carry the relic, and he brought it back with him. The Holy Chalice spread health and strength to the Human settlements within a week's travel in all directions. With the people renewed in courage, Sydrian was easily able to muster enough strong men and women to meet the Witch King head-on in battle - and to eventually prevail. The Witch King fled and his forces were decimated in K.A. 578.
Sydrian never ruled a settlement, which earned him the title of the Wandering King. But he is regarded as Ardania's first king. If you are reading this tome, then his blood flows through your veins - for you are his direct descendant.
The Disappearance of Sydrian
After the Witch King's defeat, people clamored for Sydrian to establish a government and rule the land; but he did not. He said governing was something he would not be good at, and instead he appointed his daughter Rallia to the role. Ardania's first queen built on the great achievements of her father and founded the basis for governing that we still use today.
As for Sydrian, it appears that he hid a poisonous wound received in battle with the Witch King. He became somewhat delusional, and one night he simply disappeared. Many years later, in K.A. 599, an old man wandered into a small fishing village on an island just off the west coast of Ardania. He wore the tattered but familiar robes of the Sydrian order. When asked who he was, he looked confused, hesitated, and then said, “Sydrian. Sydrian, of course!” The townsfolk laughed, thinking him a deluded fool.
Two days later, the old man died, under the care of a local innkeeper. In disposing of the man's belongings, the innkeeper was astonished to find what appeared to be the Holy Chalice in the man's carrying bag. He gathered the townsfolk to show them his remarkable discovery, but when he returned, the Chalice and the body of the old man had disappeared. The island was renamed the Isle of Sydrian.
Sydrian's mark on Ardania is unmistakable. He forged order from chaos and saved humanity from extinction. In all of our history, there is no greater hero.
The Seven Children of Lunord and Helia
With the destruction of Garuta and Rendishire, and all throughout the Age of the Sydrian Knights, the popularity of Lunord and Helia greatly waned. There remained some followers of both gods, and they still argued with each other constantly. Krolm had followers as well, but they were battered and disorganized by the endless wars.
All seven of Lunord and Helia's children were conceived and born during the Six Winters' War, K.A. 494-499. Their first child, who became Grum-Gog the Lord of Pestilance, rallied his Goblin and Troll followers into terrible defeats in battle, as mentioned earlier. Their second and third children were also misshapen beasts, and neither was even strong enough to be a god. Url-Shekk was the second child, a massive three-headed creature that hated light. This infuriated Helia, who cast her child into the Nether World. Occasionally, it pushes through into Ardania where it relieved its suffering by torturing lesser creatures, such as Humans. The third child, Rrongol, was extremely dim-witted. It followed his father's every step until Lunord grew frustrated and cast it into the mortal world.
Helia and Lunord finally had success with their children in their quadruplets. They had two girls and two boys, all of whom were gods. Like their parents, each pair became polar opposites. Krypta became the goddess of death and her sister Agrela, goddess of life. Fervus became the god of chaos and his brother Dauros, the god of law. All four of them headed in their own ideologal directions, which would soon splinter Ardania into even more religious factions.
The Crusade of Makkat the Madman
Upon his death, Sydrian had returned the Holy Chalice to Lunord. With his relic, Lunord was better able to communicate with his Adepts. Helia was not, as her Sun Orb was still missing. Lunord chose the Adept Makkat the Wise to hear the message of his children's arrival. Makkat was struck by lightning while polishing the horns of the Temple to Lunord, and he fell into a deep coma. When he finally came to, he began jabbering about his vision. Because of his, he was nicknamed Makkat the Madman.
He told of how Lunord and Helia sired four new gods. He said that Lunord felt defeated as he and his sister's stuggle had caused so much hardship to humanity. He wanted to be left alone, and for his children to be worshipped. He did not want history to repeat itself. Makkat held up Lunord's Holy Chalice as proof of his words.
Divisions appeared everywhere. Many Solarii and Adepts left their orders in disillusionment, while others stayed on and branded Makkat a heretic. People everywhere cautiously began to look at the new gods, unsure of whether they were real of not. Makkat accumulated a dedicated legion that traveled with him and began to force this new belief system on religious practitioners.
Those who continued to adhere to the belief that Lunord or Helia reigned supreme were cast out, thrown into dungeons, tortured until they agreed to follow the new gods, or simply killed. The violence did not bubble over into everyday life of Ardania very often; it usually remained inside religious circles. But within this realm, it was explosive.
Prince Quinn of Mayhew attempted to confront The Madman and his crusading zealots. He organized a force to stand against Makkat. Learning of this, Makkat infiltrated Quinn's ranks and subverted his key officers. When the two forces met in battle, most of Quinn's army deserted and he was killed. This moment marked the last major resistance to the new gods.
The remaining Adepts and Solarii became champions of combat to protect themselves, although to this day they still do not work together. Helia's Solarii finally killed Makkat in K.A. 642, after 11 years of his crusade. The remaining followers of Lunord and Helia celebrated the day, but Makkat's detath only served to boost the popularity of the new gods. The new religions adopted a gentler face, drawing new believers in droves.
The Creation of Godly Artifacts
The new gods each created an artifact, although theirs were not as powerful as their parents'. Krypta made the Holy Bell, the symbol of approaching death. Agrela fashioned the Magic Ring, containing the power of health. Fervus created the Holy Candle, which flickered with the essence of chaos. Dauros created the Holy Book of Law.
The Arrival of the Elves
During this time, a new race appeared in the land. Elegant blue ships sailed into Ardania from the east. Elves disembarked, set fire to their ships, and formed their own settlement in the Treldan Wood. They would not speak of where they came from, only saying that whatever was here was better. They introduced gambling, alcohol, and other vices of pleasure to Ardania.
The Spread of the New Religions
Soon, temples to the four new gods were found in almost every town, though never all at once. Due to their opposing natures, these gods also created friction between their followers. Unlike before, however, this general dislike has never erupted into open battle. Healers of Agrela and Priestesses of Krypta refuse to build temples near to each other. Cultists of Fervus and Monks of Dauros also refused to do so. Over time, this has evolved into Healers and Cultists avoiding each other, as well as Priestesses and Monks - although these enmities are not as deep. Temples to the old gods, Lunord, Helia, and even Krolm, also continued to exist.
Good King Teevus, the First King of Valmorgen
At this time the other great line of sovereigns, after your own, was initiated. Good King Teevus was the first of the Valmorgens. He, more than anyone, helped reduce the animosity between the old and new religions. He proudly proclaimed himself a follower of all deities, explaining that their various belief systems represented different aspects of a complete individual. While many followed Teevus's example, in practice they usually favored one god over the others.
The Reemergence of Wizardry
Another major event during this time was the reemergence of Wizardry. After so many centuries of turmoil, there was finally enough calmness for Libraries to be erected and learning to gain in priority. One of these scholars, Tholar, founded the first Library of the arcane arts. Over time, people from all of Ardania with the gift of magic came to study with him. His Library evolved into the first Wizard's Guild. Wizardry had finally became part of Ardania; it had been 2,000 years since the first Wizard, Brashnard, was slain.
Tholar himself began writing the Grimoire Arcanus, the master book of spells that is hand-copied by each Wizard Guildmaster and added to as new incantations are discovered. He and his assistant created the Lantern of Andrevyll, which sends magical powers through the air to remote towers. It was his grandson, Tholar III, who invented the Bellanus Orb, which is strong enough to channel the most powerful magics.
The Emergence of the Liche Queen
Also of note at this time was the arrival of the Liche Queen. This evil-tempered monstrosity was the first high priestess of Krypta. She tried to advance her studies too quickly in an attempt to make Krypta more powerful than the other deities. While performing a dangerous ritual, her mind snapped and instead of honoring death, she became the sworn enemy of all living things. She was the first recorded undead creature in Ardania. The Liche Queen fled into the Dark Forest, was involved in some terrible atrocities, and has not been seen since that time. It is likely that she perished in her insanity.
The Appearance of the Black Phantoms
Another unfortunate addition to Ardania during this time of relative calm was the Black Phantoms. No one knows where these strange, incredibly powerful, magical apparitions originated. It is also unclear what they are after. What is clear is that any who have fought against the Black Phantoms have perished.
The Rise of Dark Wizardry
Many kingdoms emerged in Ardania during this time, each with its own sovereign. This period is primarily marked with smaller battles, alliances, betrayals, and petty feuds between these young kingdoms. Smaller wars were fought against monster kingdoms as well, but no conflicts threatened to engulf all of Ardania as they had in the past. The time was also known for the sinister workings of a new breed of evil, the dark Wizard.
One example of dark wizardry came from the Goblin Priests of the Grisnot tribe. Likely with the divine assistance from Grum-Gog, they magically altered normal spiders into the vicious Giant Spiders that we must contend with today. The tribe intended to use them as war steeds, but instead, the Giant Spiders immediately attacked their masters and devoured every last one of them.
The Battle of Ravenswood
The Giant Spiders did find a master, however, and it was not the Goblins. The Witch King reemerged from hiding with an army of Daemonwoods and Giant Spiders and assaulted the kingdom of Ravenswood in K.A. 1205. This area was largely populated with Barbarians and the new, more refined frontiersmen who called themselves Rangers. The battle was costly to the humans, but in the end they prevailed. The Witch King once again escaped. The few surviving Barbarians and Rangers made a blood pact of friendship, called the Treaty of Ravenswood, which still stands today.
Andravus's Minotaur Invasion
Another dark Wizard operating during this time was Andravus. He was the Wizard advisor to the queen of Lormidia. He became power-mad and desired the throne for himself. Andravus retreated into his studies and invented the ultimate front-line troop, the minotaur. He created an entire army of these beasts and marched them on Lormidia. Many brave and worthy warriors fled from this seemingly unbeatable army.
By coincidence, the large yearly gathering of Barbarians took place at this time, right on the outskirts of Lormidia. Before they knew what was happening, the Barbarians were surrounded by minotaurs. Every last one of them would have been slain had it not been for Tholar IV.
This descendant of the great Tholar had traveled to Lormidia to investigate allegations of Andravus' twisted work. He arrived in time to see the Barbarians being surrounded in a hopeless situation. Tholar IV used the local Wizard's Guild to cast Invisibility on every single one of the Barbarians - a remarkable feat of Wizardry endurance. With the Minotaurs confused, he then teleported into the middle of the Barbarians and began to cast swarms of meteors at the Minotaurs. The beasts quickly fled the battle. Tholar IV died from exhaustion that day. It was this selfless act that led the Barbarians to throw aside their distrust of Wizards, and to vow allegiance to their new allies.
Unfortunately, no one was able to stop Andravus and his Minotaurs from then crushing Lormidia. The once-great city was leveled. Andravus tried to rebuild it, but he could not control his Minotaurs, who loved to destroy much more than to build, and no Humans wanted anything to do with him. A counterattack led by the Valmorgens and the Sydrians in K.A. 1415 was successful, Andravus was killed, and his foul warriors scattered across the land.
One contingent of these Minotaurs headed north through the mountains. They attacked a Dwarven outpost at Torin's Peak in K.A. 1418. The only remarkable fact about his minor skirmish is that the Dwarves successfully used their new Ballistae to destroy the Minotaur attackers.
One great Minotaur leader, Gorsha Blackhoof, was responsible, as I'm sure you know, for stealing the Crown of Sydrian from our kingdom. One day this relic will be returned, and until then, each sovereign of Sydrian must get by with just his or her natural wisdom.
The Abominable Creations of Pyrog the Shadowed
Another evil Wizard, Pyrog the Shadowed, also performed his foul experiments during this period. He mutated existing plantlife into the Flowering Strangleweed. After his “success” with this procedure, he next worked on a much bigger scale. Pyrog combined parts of Dragon, his own Wizard's blood, bits of a lowly hummingbird, as well as other unrecorded ingredients, resulting in the terrible Evil Oculi. Pyrog apparently died while attempting to create a new magical creature far stronger than the Oculi. This was certainly for the best as far as humanity is concerned.
The Appearance of Dirgo
One other creature of note first seen during this time was Dirgo the Cyclops. This massive creature lived on a small island off the eastern shore of Ardania. No one knows how old he is, or even if he is mortal. Apparently, a sailor disembarked on his island and shot his eye through with an arrow.
Suspicions have fallen on the elves but they claim that none of their kind has set foot on a sailing vessel since landing in Ardania. Regardless, Dirgo now wanders the land in a blind rage, smashing what he can in hopes that eventually he will smash the sailor responsible.
Of Warriors, Paladins, Rogues and Warriors of Discord
New disciplines of training and study became available during this time as well. The best fighters from the city and palace guard started the Warriors Guild, to venture into the wilderness to destroy evil where it bred. The teachings of Dauros reignited the idea of the Sydrian Knights, who are now called Paladins. The warped rituals of the Cultists brought the brutish Warriors of Discord into being. The growth of the kingdoms also brought about the Rogues, with their ramshackle guilds. As mentioned before, heroes with a taste for travel formed into guilds of Rangers.
Humanity has come so far and been through so much, but the journey ahead is still fraught with danger. The great prophet Juleck has seen times of great difficulty ahead. The monsters have been dormant for too long; signs point to them rising again.
Krolm, the Lord of the Wilds, is the Father-God of all other deities (Except perhaps the Forgotten One). Betrayed by his own children - the new gods of Ardania, he broods alone with no allies. His followers are Barbarians who shun other religions. Ardanian worshipers of Krolm embrace the term barbarian not only as an apt description but as an honorable title. Armed with axe and club and fueled by the boundless rage of their jealous elder god, woe be to any foe who crosses the path of a rampaging Barbarian!
Helia is the Goddess of the Sun. She is opposed to her brother Lunord. Her followers are the Solarus. The Solarii (plural of Solarus) are the warrior women of the Sun-Goddess Helia. With her blessing, the Solarii wage war against evil. Each Solarus bears the sigil of Helia, a massive spiked mace, with which she may focus the sun's energy into cleansing fire-magic.
Lunord is the God of the Moon. He is opposed to his sister Helia. Adepts are the swift, mystic warriors of Lunord, war-god of the Moon & Wind. They move quickly from battle to battle defending the kingdom and bringing honor to their god. They are good fighters, as any follower of a war-god should be. They prefer light armor so they may stay fleet of foot.
Agrela is the Goddess of Life and is allied with her brother Dauros. She is opposed to Fervus and Krypta. Her followers are Healers. Healers are the care-givers of Ardania. They are more concerned about the well-being of the citezenry of the kingdom than they are about politics or defense of hte kingdom. Some healers have even been known to take pity on the enemies of the kingdom - even when the kingdom is under attack. Luckily, this is a rare occurance.
Dauros is the God of Justice and is allied with Agrela. He is opposed to Fervus and Krypta. His followers are Monks and Paladins. The Pious followers of Dauros, God of Law, Monks are not tempted by the allure of Elven vices. They dedicate themselves to refining body and soul. They are widely acknowledged as some of Ardania's fiercest fighters, but they accomplish this by using only their bare hands and lightning-fast reflexes. Magic is also part of the Monk's arsenal. Their vow of silence lends them an unassuming image in Ardania's society.
Fervus is the God of Chaos. His followers are Cultists and Warriors of Discord. He is allied with Krypta and is opposed to Agrela and Dauros. Little is known about the odd followers of the god known as Fervus. They seem to worship all things natural but they also revel in discord and chaos. It is difficult to engage them in intelligent discourse which explains the difficulty in understanding their ways.
Krypta is the Godess of Death. Her followers are mysterious Priests. She is allied with Fervus and opposed to Agrela and Dauros. The sinister followers of Krypta, goddess of death, are well versed in all forms of necromancy. A priestess commands powerful death spells and with time may raise a retinue of skeletons to serve as her personal guards.
Grum-Gog is the power-hungry lord of the goblin race. He protects the goblin people as a whole. Goblin priests are the servants of Grum-Gog. They seek to spread disease and pestilence throughout the land.
The Forgotten Goddess was a deity of the Northlands until the new gods came along and pushed her out of memory. Now her only followers are monsters and society's misfits and outcasts. Some theorize that she is the mother of Lunord and Helia. The Forgotten One claims no temples.