Wretched Lands

Preface

The end of Aglarost

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The Realm has fallen.

It has been five years since the kingdom was shaken to the core and brought down to its knees. Five long years since the great army that swept the land, vanished as quickly as they came, the moment they ravaged the capital city and tore the castle to the ground.

Or so we thought.

What we believed to be the end of the war, turned out to be only the start of something worse. The foul creatures that comprised Svirfneblin’s troops: orcs and goblins, trolls and ogres, and other things we’d never seen before and do not have a name for; they never vanished but merely retreated to the woods and mountains, once the magical bond that turned them into servants of the dark wizard was broken.

Those who survived their first winter in the wilderness decided once was enough, and set out to raid villages, towns and cities. They started as small bands, and for some time the citizens of the fallen kingdom were able to contain them; but their numbers grew as their clans formed alliances or were absorbed by larger ones. Soon we were being attacked by large hordes… and we weren’t able to contain them anymore.

Entire villages were taken, destroyed or burned to the ground.

Hundreds upon hundreds died, of which mostly women, children and the elders; for many of our men had perished during the war. A few years later, only the largest, strongest cities remain standing; still fighting off the relentless assaults and sieges by the horrific creatures that have taken our land hostage.

The roads were never safe to travel, but now it has become an act of suicide. The only way for us to move from one city to the next is by large numbers and heavily armed.

Women have taken on the task of protecting their homes and thus it is now a common thing to see female warriors everywhere, but after five years of struggle a new generation has risen from the ashes, raised with blood and steel and baptized by the fire of war. The youngsters, men and women alike, are now skilled warriors who are tired of hiding behind the safety of city walls, and are ready to break free, their hearts burning with desire to claim back the land that was stolen from them.

The path ahead is rough, for there are rumors of a real army being gathered up north, and sometimes the wind carries the sound of drums pounding in the distance. And even though we haven’t seen or heard of wizards of magic since the war, the shadows still roam the land at night and there’s a strange feeling in the air, as if somewhere, sometime soon, something terrible is going to happen.

If there are gods still out there looking out for us, if this wretched land hasn’t yet been forsaken and forgotten by them as everyone believes; I pray they return and help us all before it’s too late.

-Taken from the diary of Edgard Fitzherbert Clarke, Head Scholar and Record Keeper at the Great Library in Green Hill City.

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