This story follows the fictional land of Klindaron, its people and the great struggle against good and evil that arises. Its people are thrust into a war that was inevitable, a war that was forced on them. The scattered lands and peoples must unite in the face of diversity, and encourage those around them to forgive past grudges and stop the spread of the dark that threatens to engulf the land.
Prologue: Of Klindaron
Klindaron is a land with a varied climate. To the North it is cold. It is said that the furthest explored areas of the North hold icy wastelands, with no signs of life. This is widely regarded as a myth, as the inhabitants of Klindaron believe that life is everywhere. In the North live the creatures of fur. These people are made for the cold, and their destiny is to survive in the cold. Those that come from the North are the Fauns, the Harpies, the minotaur and the Gryphon.
In the West is where the sprawling forests and warm days are held. In the forests are hidden the Elf and the Brownie and the Gnome. They are pale skinned despite the heat. They are fast, slim and athletic. They are masters of the bow and the language of the woods. It is rare to find a person outside of the forests who speaks their strange and beautiful tongue. To the creatures of immortality, they are born immediately with the knowledge of speech, and all are bound by tradition and in some regions, law to learn the common tongue that was coined by the men and the centaur. They are friendly, and venture often to the surrounding lands to converse and teach and learn. Often considered the wisest creatures of the world.
The South is one of rainforest and jungle. Dark skinned people walk there, and they are people of hunt and nomadic ways. Some in the northernmost fringes have adopted civilised ways and live in tribal towns and in rare cases, cities. But the majority dwell deep in their wet greenery and shift from place to place. They are made up entirely of men and the secretive fairy. The fairy flitter through the trees and in the valleys where flowers grow in abundance. The heat is unbearable to people from the North and they have a distaste for the lands and its people. At times, the nomads in times of hardship and internal struggle have ventured into the Centre Lands to raid and pillage farms and villages. But these times are rare and retribution against these rare war parties is swift and brutal.
The central lands are a lands with very few woodland areas. They are plentiful in rivers and they are adorned with beautiful valleys. The climate is one of mixed rain and sunshine. The people there live simple lives. Farms and small walled towns dot the land. The people are comprised of mostly men and dwarves. The dwarves live in the mountain range that lies near the great lake Garlond. They are master craftsmen and are expert miners. They are employed all over the land as workers in mines and some have even taken residence in towns and cities to open blacksmithing businesses. The central lands hold the professional armies. The men have crafted an expert military, comprised of strong men and discipline. They have a King and a Queen, and have Knights and Dukes and Barons. They are the forefront of civilisation and technology in the land.
In the East, the evil stirs. It is desert and blistering heat, harsh lands with no water or wildlife. The sands are sinister and hold the blood of millions. The unknown powers reside here. The driving force behind the Orcs, the Ogres and the elf like Janar. These creatures are vast in number, stinking, dirty skinned, red eyed beasts one and all. The Janar are very elf like. They resemble the elf race except for some differences. All Janar have silver hair instead of golden. They have fangs unlike their counterparts, and they also have yellow eyes while the elf have green and blue eyes. No one has ever explored the land in detail, but no one has ever encountered where these creatures dwell or what makes them so evil. In the past, vast hordes of the creatures have appeared and threatened to sweep through the centre lands, but all these times they were held back by discipline and steel. But they stir more than ever, a horde ten thousand times the size of anything else some say. While others say it will be like all the other times. But they are unsure, and doubt clouds them. As in the East, vast smokes can be seen rising all days of the year. Something is coming, but what?
The people are unsure of how large the land is. The North goes unexplored for the tales of its deadly cold, and the South is has gone unmapped by its unlearnt people and even the friendly and well travelled elf are hesitant to travel too deeply into the jungles, as tales are passed of murderous tribes with foul weapons and wicked gods. The great forests that span the East border an ocean. The elf have no need of the ocean as they are content staying on land.
There is a myth of the creation of Klindaron, and this small story has an entire religion surrounding it. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, older than the oldest elf, there was a land of boiling lava and skin stripping winds. Until there came a great presence. The Creator. He swept his hand along the land, and vanquished the evil elements. He shifted them East, where they could do no harm to his chosen creations. Then He spread the remaining elements to different corners of the chosen land. The cold would dwell in the North, where his warmer skinned creatures could endure. In the South he put the heat and the trees to shade his chosen. He made water fall there daily to keep them cool, and in the West he put the sun and the mild warmth. The trees would shade the chosen, and keep them cool in the hot season.
And then His eyes turned upon the centre of this great land. He laid his hands flat and slowly and gently rose them higher, and higher. Eventually, a sprawling mass of rock and stony peaks was there. And beside it he spat. His spit formed into a great lake, that would keep these people watered and would draw animals there for food. Then he made small hills and gentle slopes, and adorned them with flowers. He then left a gift for the people. In the South, he left the gift of hunting, and he created the first men. He placed them in the jungles and taught them hunting. He then spread His hands wide across the length of the chosen land, and deer and fish and birds and other animals appeared. The South people were happy with their gift, but they forget The Creator and so He ignores them now, and occasionally curses them.
In the West he left the gift of language and immortality. He wanted the chosen here to be able to spread throughout the lands and teach those He loved. He then created the elf, the brownie and the gnome and spread them throughout the forests. He instilled in them a love of archery and all things natural. Then he turned his eyes to the North, and he created those with fur and wary trust. He made them strong and hostile. These would be His chosen warriors and He created the faun, the minotaur, the harpy and the gryphon. He gave them the gift of weaponry and of warm blood. He named them protectors and he made them close together.
Then he looked once more upon the centre lands. He placed more men here, except they were pale skinned and tall. He placed them among the valleys and gave them the knowledge of civilisation and wisdom. It wasn’t long before they were building homesteads and farms. He was pleased with them, and then He sat back and watched His new creations for a time, before He realised something was missing. He frowned then, and the first harsh weathers came. Wind and dark cloud and rain. But this was soon extinguished as He realised what was missing. He crafted a bearded race then. Short people, but stout and hardy. He gave them the gift of materials and tools. Then he found a place for them. He put them in the vast mountain beside the lake. He then hollowed passes and bored passages through the mountain. And they created buildings and populated the entire mountain. All was peaceful, and The Creator enjoyed what he had done in this place.
The people are divided between this story and the story of the All Mother, who gave birth to the land and everything on it. Although this doesn’t explain the evil. But the people who believe in the All Mother are the Southern tribes and some small parts of the East forest. When this story birthed a religion, people began adding beliefs into it. The second part of the Great Book details the coming of the Evil to the land.
The Creator was happy for a while, and peace was dominant amongst the land. The people had intermingled, and the elf were learning common tongue and struggling to teach the language of the woods. The dwarf had begun making their armours and weaponry and the first of their race came down from the mountain and mingled with the men. The men invented currency but all other races beside the dwarf were not very keen to adopt it. Everything was going to His divine plan. Until one fateful night.
The Creator was enjoying His own creation when he felt a darkness. He felt a chill and He felt fear for the first time. It seemed that to the East, where the harsh elements dwelt, there was a shadow. It engulfed the scorching wasteland and calmed the winds and lava. At first He thought this new presence wanted to still the harsh left in the land, and He foolishly let it continue to stay in the East. There this new thing made the ground hard again, it made the ground cooler and the winds slowed and no longer bit and clawed. He watched it with interest, and still He did not intervene. He then turned His attention back to the chosen, and watched them. Then He realised he had wondered about the new presence for too long, and rains had been falling all over the land for days. He stopped them and returned the sun and the warmth. Suddenly, he felt a wave of fear as powerful as a physical blow, and He again was afraid.
This new presence had created its own life. He observed the life, and what He saw repulsed him and made him shake with anger. Thunderstorms vicious and loud erupted around the entire land of Klindaron He challenged the new entity, and it revealed itself. Monstrous and hideous in form. It attacked him, while its monstrous creations built foul houses in the East. The Creator fought the entity for hundreds of years. This period was known as the Great Torment to the chosen. For four hundred years, floods, thunderstorms, earthquakes and even fire rain tormented the land as The Creator battled the Evil. The people cowered. The dwarf returned to their mountain and barricaded the caverns and stayed huddled in fear. The elf, brownie and gnome were aware of the war waging above them, and they added their chorus of voiced to The Creator.
They prayed and prayed, and gave Him strength. The North creatures were resilient and tough, and took the full force of these terrible events with a brave face. In the South, the tribes were ravaged and they scattered and broke away from each other. The men in the central valleys had nowhere to hide. The land was flat and they were flooded and drenched and killed. The men were wrought with grief and they sought refuge with the dwarf. They were allowed into the mountain, and the hard made towns and cities were abandoned by the men and reclaimed by the elements.
This ethereal battle continued until The Creator managed to throw down the Evil. He knew he couldn’t defeat the Evil, and that this stalemate was the only chance he had to impose terms. He took the weakened Evil, and beat it back to the East. He confined it there by creating a vast desert to separate the land of black rock and black mountains and ash that was the East. Then He was forced to watch as his shamed foe built more vile creatures. The Creator was insulted when the Evil made a mockery of the chosen. It created an abomination of elf and made them evil and twisted. He was angry, but he did not face the Evil in its own twisted and hate filled land. Instead, he calmed the terrible elements and made the land bearable again.
The men came out of the dwarf mountain and returned to their ruined homes and rebuilt in silence. The dwarf remained in their mountain, afraid that more would come. Those in the North continued as ever, strong in unity and strength. The South was once again plentiful with sunshine and animals and hunting began anew. And the West was happy once more. They took back to the trees and revelled in their old way of life returning. All was well once more, except for the looming presence that hung in the East, and threatened the world.
This is the Creation story of Klindaron, and how things came to be shaped. The Creator is said to still be watching, but concentrates on the doings of the Evil. The men of the valleys and hills have prepared an army, the creatures of the cold and snow are waiting as always, ready constantly and always alert to danger. The elf are taught with the bow and the sword and are masters. The South are blissfully unaware of the goings on around them, but their allegiance in the coming fight may prove incredibly deciding and could possibly hold the key to which side wins.
Chapter One: Of The West
In the West dwell the creatures of the woods. They are often considered the greatest of The Creators inventions. First, we will discuss the elf.
The elf were the second born in the world. They came after the men of the South, and they were given language and immortality. They spent the first thousand years of creations exploring the forest. They loved the trees and the protection and wonderment it offered them. Eventually, they began to build houses in their favourite trees and they were arguably the first to discover the uses of fire as light. The rest of the world was still in a stage of infancy while the elf were entering adulthood. They had gained knowledge and had language.
Eventually, the first elf discovered that the forest they thought stretched forever actually had an end. They flocked to “The edge of the world” or “Ki durma lo ki Matha” in their language. They stayed at the edges of the forest, watching the world beyond, and they saw people suffering in their ignorance of the things around them. The first elf to venture out of the forest were called the “Givers of Life” or “Jana lo Feire” in their language. They took pity on the outsiders and they went first to the central lands. More and more elf left the confines of the forest, and brought with them knowledge of fire, language, houses and hunting. The men were at first frightened of the elf, as they appeared wearing clothes and wielding fire.
But the men learnt to trust these people of the forest. They began to accept them into their tribes as friends. And in return for their trust, the elf taught them. The elf brought medicine and knew how to treat the sick. Many of the men were ill from the poor conditions of their homes and lands. The elf brought fire to them, so that they could be seen properly in the night. They gave them herbs from the trees and plants and prayed for them to The Creator. Then the elf taught language after the healing of the sick. They couldn’t teach their own tongue, as The Creator had forbidden it. Instead, they invented an entirely new language for the men, calling it “Common Tongue” or “Byntha Forlin” in their language. As such, the men became known to them as the “Borlin”.
Once they could properly talk to the men, they began to teach them in the art of housing. They brought wood from their forest, and constructed the first homes of man. They put them near the many rivers that flowed along the central lands so that the people would never go thirsty, and hunting was plentiful in those places. The elf then began to teach the men how to fend for themselves. They taught them archery. The men found this new weapon a breakthrough, and the elf were pleased with their work. They then taught the men of The Creator and what he had done for the world. The men believed the elf to be right about everything, and almost immediately adopted the elf religion and began praying. The elf returned to their forests and all was well.
Then they began to see uses for the horse, the creatures they had hunted for food for so long. They started to tame them, feeding them and talking to them. It wasn’t long before the horse were domesticated. The elf began to ride them, using their speed in the hunt and also to speed up travel. With the horse now under their control, they left the forest a second time with hundreds of the animals as a gift to the men. When they arrived in the central lands, they found much change. Where simple wooden houses stood, there were now stone cottages and the men had taken to wearing clothes. They had a few walled villages and the elf looked upon them with wonder. They had grown fast. The men were overjoyed at the return of the noble race, and the gift of horses pleased them greatly.
With the men taught in the ways of riding, the elf went North. They discovered snow, and extreme cold there. They brought with them much fire to keep warm in the harsh nights up there. And as they ventured further North, they found nothing except bleak daylight and freezing nights. But as they were ready to turn back to the shelter and warmth of the forest, they stumbled upon a large valley. In the valley were hundreds of thousands of creatures huddling next to fires. They came down to these creatures in peace, and they accepted the elf, thinking them seeking a place to live.
The elf taught the creatures in the North, as they taught the men. They discovered that the creatures believed that the entire world was cold like the North, and they were astonished to learn that there were places of green and leaf and sun. And many creatures left with the elf, when the elf had dispelled their gifts to the North. They took residence with the men as the elf would not allow the creatures into their forest, claming The Creator did not wish it. The creatures, with their new religion accepted the excuse, and inhabited the valleys in the central lands. But most of the minotaur, fauns, harpy and gryphon remained in their home and forged a way of life thanks to the elf.
Around this time, the dwarf came down from the mountain. They approached the men in the centre lands, and the men passed on the knowledge of the common tongue. It was the dwarf who introduced the first axe and the first sword. The knowledge of how to craft these weapons spread along the land, and to the northern fringes of the rainforest to the South. The elf traded medicines, herbs and horses for weapons and dwarf blacksmiths. Ever since then, weaponry was changed and the spear reshaped and made stronger, and the elf were taught how to craft the finest arrows. Made from the bark of the strongest trees of the West, the feathers were that of a dove, and the steel head was crafted in a dwarf smithy somewhere in the forest.
The world was undergoing a great change, independent cultures and traditions arose. Some breakaway elf who were close to the rainforest were taught the stories of the All Mother by the Southern men, and this spread the religion to the Northern expanses. All Mother shrines and temples can be found all over the land. But then there was an emptiness for a hundred years or so. The Creator had abandoned his subjects, and bad weather cast itself across Klindaron. And then, it calmed and the doubt was gone and The Creator was back once more.
And then thunderstorms. The elf had to leave the trees as they were hit by the wrath of the war waging above. The Evil and The Creator fought one another fiercely, and the immortal and mortal of the land below waited it out. The elf had to stay on the ground, unfamiliar and unwelcoming to them. Mud and dirt brought misery and disease back to the fair race. Thousands died until it eventually ceased, and the elf could return to their tree top houses once more.
But now the East was populated with Evil and disgusting, miserable creatures. And rumours came of elf like people raiding the men of the centre lands and killing indiscriminately and with a sick, twisted pleasure. Now, the elf have thrived, declined and thrived once more. They are ready to partake in the great struggle between good and evil in Klindaron.
The gnome have always looked up to the elf. Although they did accompany the elf on their journeys around Klindaron, they do prefer to live in their forest. Unlike the elf, they are slow to trust and believe the fast developing men should be treated with a degree of hostility. The gnome were given immortality by The Creator and they can be considered cousins of the dwarf. They are good at crafting, and are the makers of fine jewellery and their weaponry is second only to the dwarf, but no race makes better bows. They love archery and a common pass time for the youth is to have a spot of target practice with their bows.
The gnome, unlike the brownie and the elf, live on the ground in huts and caves. During the great battle between the Evil and The Creator, the gnome offered what shelter they could to the elf, but they caught the diseases that ravaged across the West, and many were killed. However, they survived the destruction and are now back to full strength. They make their weapons and jewels and some even head to the centre lands to become a soldier in the central army.
The brownie are similar to the elf in some aspects. They are both tall, and both have golden hair. Except the brownie are brown eyes and wear brown clothes instead of the green or white favoured by the elf. The brownie have also forsaken some of their woodland traditions and taken to living in separate tribes or claiming territory of their own (A lifestyle picked up from the men) and sometimes the brownie war with each other, despite the pleas of the elf and gnome to stop the mindless bloodshed. The brownie are largely available in the north of the woodland, and in their society it is punishable by death to revere the All Mother.
The brownie have taken to the trees with a heart, but abstain from practice with the bow. The brownie love riding, and are expert cavalrymen. They train on horseback from a young age, and many are offered mercenary contracts by the Centre Lands. During the fight between The Creator and the Evil, the brownie were the last to leave the now dangerous heights of the trees. They refused to leave, and many froze to death, or were killed by the vicious lightning that tore through the sky. But they survived, and eventually accepted their fate and left the treacherous heights. They recovered swiftly enough, and returned to their duties in silence, happy to have survived.
The West is a place of wonderment, a land of immortals. The first place created by Him, and the birth place of much of the knowledge that has saved countless lives and revolutionised the state of living along Klindaron. The allegiance of the West will be decisive, but it is without question that they will stand against the Evil that spreads thickly in the East, where smoke rises constantly, as if casting an evil eye over the entirety of the land.
SPQR! An ambitious historical project, coming soon. Check the Library for early version test writes. Recommended for anyone with a love of history.