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Old 03-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #1
Black Knight of Keno
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A High Fantasy Adventure

The Map of the World Above Ground


Long ago before the dawn of mankind, when the dwarves were very young and when elves had founded their first kingdoms, the Centaurs and Eagles were the mighty races of the World. The Centaurs roamed the fields and forests of the World, keeping guard and flourishing as a society. High on the mountain tops, the mighty eagles of olden days dwelt in their wisdom of the World and kept the evils of the World in hiding. The Gods were happy and created more and more of the World to make it as diverse as one can make a World. But within all good, there is something that must balance it. Those Gods that opposed the views of creating a beautiful World distanced themselves from the Good Gods and began dwelling in the night and underground regions where their minions already sought control. Many Gods ruled their own dark and twisted species as Kings, devising plans of many kind in order to overthrow the Good Gods and take over the World above ground.

At some point many Evil Gods did unite,or at least their species did, and marched up from their subterranean homes. From Trolls to Goblins, vast armies poured up onto the World and found the Eagles opposing them as the very first ones. To battle the flying menace, the Evil Gods began molding Dragons and other flying menaces into the World to keep the Eagles busy while their armies marched. For two decades Evil and Good fought. Many great and legendary figures died before the Centaurs and Eagles turned to the newer races of Elves and Dwarves in an effort to use them as well to drive back the great menace. Another two decades went by and more legendary heroes were born before finally at the Battle of Denk Tule the Evil armies were defeated and dispersed. Many of the surviving Evil Races went back under ground to lick their wounds, but just as many found that they liked the World above ground more suiting for their needs and stayed there to wreak chaos and destruction on a smaller scale. The Eagles had weakened during this War and so had the Centaurs. Both once magnificent species found themselves to be in diminishing numbers and were forced to pull into their oldest and most sacred places while both Elves and Men began to find new Kingdoms to replace the old Centaur Kingdoms.

Eventually Centaurs and Eagles became rare. Elves and Men fight between each others for petty things and the dwarves keep their own Kingdoms in the caves while having a rich trade route with all Kingdoms. War has not ravaged the World for a thousand years or more. But now a threat comes from the Rhulak-Zagul region as an Orc warlord has managed to unite many tribes of many species under a single banner. The Mages speak of mysterious events in the Realms of Magic and the Warriors can smell the blood of combat in the air. Animals are nervous and old runes have been found that tell the tale of another Dark Age that will overcome the light once more.


-------

The town of Kolirum-Masaar, a busy town spit in the crossroads of an important trade route. By the fish-filled waters of Loch Langar, it is the first stop for those coming through the Gateway from Oerk and and important stop between the Elven and Human kingdoms. Only there could one find as many adventurers at one place.

A group of children scurried through the town to a large rock just beyond the town gates. Even some of the guards were slightly away from their spots because they were drawn to the rock. And not for naught. An elven bard sat on the rock and told many tales to the children, the stories ranging from old elven lullabies, restructured to stories, all the way to news from another part of the World. The children were like mesmerized by the bard, for not many came through the town even if one could so think. Bards were few and elven ones even fewer in number. The elf had sat there for hours on end, but now something interrupted him, for a dwarf approached through the crowd in a loud fashion as dwarves are common to. Eldir watched the dwarf, interrupting his tale for a short while and waited.
"Lad, would you be interested in a little job?" the dwarf asked once he had gotten through the crowd and stared at the elf and more or less the weapon and shield hung on the elf's back.
"I will be leaving this evening, but with whom I do not yet know" Eldir noted and the dwarf nodded.
"My cart will be ready by this evening. I will be leaving through the north gate" the Dwarf grunted and left, leaving Eldir smiling at the attitude of the Dwarf. As a response of the interruption, the elf decided to quit the story from before and change it into a story of a goofy dwarf who mined for fish.

--

A Centaur was a rare sight everywhere nowadays, but even so not many watched after the half-horse man as he traveled through the town in search of a proper place to rest. After an hour of wandering about, he decided to enter a tavern by the marketplace. After getting inside with a rather loud grunt and a tight squeeze through the door, the owner of the establishment came bowing to him in order to suit his every need. The only thing the Centaur named Skarra wished for at the time was a cold beverage and a place to sit, or lay down in the case of a Centaur, for a while. The Centaur was led to one of the tables near the door where he lay down with the human torso upright by the table. There he would wait for his drink.


"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe,
are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.
In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"

- Carl Sagan
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