The history and origins of Ormgard.Edit
The history of Ormgard begins with Orme, a powerful Barbarian chieftain who ruled the Blackwolf clan many generations ago. The Great Wyrm gave Orme terrible powers, commanding him to gather the tribes that would follow him and drive the Dark creatures from the lowlands. Orme led a mighty army to conquer the Dark Heart, establishing a fortress-city called Hearth at the centre. The Great Wyrm told Orme to guard the lands he had conquered against the day that the Great Wyrm would return and require them. The barbarians who had followed Orme called themselves Gardians, and they called the land, Ormgard. For many generations they prospered, building new towns and learning the arts of farming, as the hunting grew scarce. They learnt skills of literacy from the Outlanders, and the Dwarves taught them the secrets of forging iron.
The First War of Darkness.
Even during the times of prosperity the people of Ormgard suffered many hardships for the Darkness tried constantly to recapture the lost lands. For a short while things were peaceful, but in 172 A.O. a servant of Darkness united the orcs and evil creatures of the Dark Forest and led a great Army against Ormgard. King Borser, a direct descendant of Orme, was slain in battle, his standard captured and his Army scattered. With Borser’s heir only a young boy and none of the nobles willing to face the Army and its Dark magics in battle, the Orc hoard marched unopposed to lay siege to Hearth.
An honourable Count, Nerra, whose lands were in the far West of the Kingdom, was sent a vision by the Light. He was instructed to go to the lands of the Mountain Dwarves with whom the Gardians had little contact and ask for their help. The dwarves agreed to help Nerra and made great suits of metal armour for his retinue, teaching his men how to forge and care for it. A combined force of armoured knights and dwarven axe men marched to Hearth and relieved the siege. They fell upon the Orc horde from the rear, destroying it utterly. Count Nerra was crowned King and the surviving knights formed the Order of the Eagle, to preserve the virtues of chivalry and charity, and to give praise to Marnus, the God who had given them victory over the forces of Darkness.
Many of the Dwarves that marched to Hearth with Nerra returned to their lands, but grants of property in Hearth from the King, convinced some to stay. These Dwarves mixed easily with the Gardians, acquiring much of their culture, until eventually they became known as Valley Dwarves. Eventually, the Valley Dwarves spread until they became a normal sight in most towns and cities of Ormgard. With their aid, the Gardians began to trade with the Mountain Dwarves, selling food and clothing for precious metals, iron and gemstones.
The Coming of TarnaEdit
Such was the vigilance of the Order of Eagle, that the Orcs were never again able to threaten the Kingdom. Many years of peace ensued under the wise rule of the King’s of Nerra’s line, but in 309 A.O. Darkness conceived its most appalling act, raising the dead from the ground. It created armies of Unliving Forces throughout Ormgard. Waves of Skeletons and Zombies attacked towns and Villages slaying wantonly, and none dared face them in battle. Only the appearance of bands of warriors, who preached the religion of Tarna, the protectress of the dead, saved Ormgard. These warriors, armed with heavy maces and faith in Tarna, destroyed the Unliving abominations and returned the dead to their rest.
The First Outlander WarEdit
Strangers from other lands, called Outlanders by the Gardians had appeared infrequently over the years. Although they taught skills of literacy to those who would learn, they often tried to preach strange religions or sell curious artifacts. Many were feared for their ability to cast strange magic. In 331 A.O. an immense force of outlanders came across the sea, attacking and destroying many coastal settlements. They landed near Hearth, and moved inland to besiege the city. They attacked with strange devices and powerful magic and the walls of hearth were breached for the first time. The people of Hearth held out however and eventually the Outland Army was forced to retreat. Some managed to return to their ships, but many did not and they scattered throughout the land.
The Dark PlagueEdit
In 362 A.O. Darkness sent the Dark plague, a dreadful virulent illness which slew thousands, killing Gardians, Dwarves, Elves, peasants and nobility alike. Warriors suffered most, and there were few whole men to defend Ormgard. At the height of the suffering the plague was broken by the arrival of the Healers of Arin, men and women skilled in the healing arts who did not shun the plague as sensible folk did, but went into the houses of those who were dying and gave them healing. As the white-robed Healers spread south the plague retreated and civilisation was restored.
The current King Aiden died in 439 A.O. mysteriously naming his younger son, Alric, as heir in his will. Civil war erupted as Alric and Alden, the eldest son, fought for the crown. Famine ensued with many nobles forced to fight for whichever side could pay the most. Alden defeated Alric at the battle of Kisburn Grove and forced his nobles to swear allegiance. He marched to Hearth in triumph and sent riders ahead to prepare for his coronation. When Aiden arrived at Hearth, Robert, the first priest of Feylis presented him with a crown fit for a King. When Alden was crowned before his assembled nobles, the power of Feylis in the crown exposed his Dark Allegiance, and his nobles quickly deposed him. Gavin the Earl Sendria was crowned King in 440 A.O.
The second Outlander WarEdit
In 448 A.O. a large Army of Outlanders attempted to attack Ormgard from the North. Coming through the Mountain Passes, where the Dwarves lived, they conquered the small settlements of the Barbarians and Mountain Dwarves who lived there. King Gavin’s Army, swelled by several Barbarian clans and many Dwarven refugees, attacked the Army at Dural Pass. Defeating them easily, the Outlanders were forced to sue for peace by nightfall. The conquered settlements were liberated and many Outlander wizards were captured and taken to Hearth.
In 498 A.O. The veiled Mother made herself known to the people of Ormgard. Choosing Arnstadt as the location of her temple, she instructed her followers to study and prepare the town to become a site of learning. Four years later, a group of mages successfully petitioned King Gerard to allow them to construct a university in the town, which was given its own charter. Funded jointly by the King, the Earl Morien, and the temple of the Veiled Mother, the university is the first of its kind in the known world. The university aims to teach the Elemental magics learned from the Outlanders, as well as History, Law and Philosophy.
The Fall of Arnstadt and the Rise of ObdaworEdit
Shortly after the completion of the University in Arnstadt, a force of Orcs led by the charismatic Dark priest, Caligan attacked and captured the town. The Earl Morien, distressed over the sudden death of his wife, failed to react to the force as it overran the town. Due to his inaction against the forces of Darkness and his unwillingness to recapture the town, King Gerard named Earl Brandholm as his successor, replacing the Earl Morien as heir to the throne.
In the far south of the kingdom, a Necromancer by the name of Obdawor raised a mighty Army and claimed the land as his own, again inaction by the Earl Morien allowed Obdawor to consolidate his position and entrench himself behind powerful unliving minions.
To the west, the small town of Thorn was infected by a virulent Plague, wiping out all the inhabitants. The area was off limits to all and the King’s Foresters patrolled the area constantly, vigorously enforcing the Earl’s law.
The Persecution of Arin
Eventually, The Earl Morien acted, but not how his advisors wished, enraged over the loss of his wife and the inability of the Priests of Arin to cure her. He banished all the priests from his Earldom. Earl Brandholm and Earl Blackwolf quickly followed suit, fearing some Darkness conspiracy had corrupted the priesthood.
The Death of ObdaworEdit
In the year 515 A.O. a group of adventures from the city of Keinplatz finally managed to destroy Obdawor. Shortly afterwards, the Orcs that had inhabited Arnstadt withdrew back to the Dark Forest for some unknown reason. Seeing an opportunity, the Steward of Keinplatz, Lord Turpin, openly rebelled against Earl Morien. Turpin was disgusted by Earl Morien’s inactivity towards the forces of Darkness so proclaimed himself the new ruler of the Earldom. With the help of the Order of the Eagle, Lord Turpin rebuilt Arnstadt and reopened the University there. A cold war has since developed between Keinplatz in the west and Arnstadt in the East.
With the upheaval in the Earldom, a force of Outlanders subdued several tribes of Orcs, forcing them to serve them and began to harass the Earl’s forces, razing several villages. This alleged “scouting force” was eventually destroyed by a band of adventurers.
As well as this, a cult of Darkness worshipers who claimed to worship Obdawor took over the village of Ghent and began to spread corruption throughout the land, the forces sent from the town destroyed several small isolated villages. Eventually, a group of adventurers led by the Order of the Eagle destroyed the Town.
The Loss of Arin
The consequences of the persecution of the Priests of Arin become known. Arin had withdrawn from the lands and his followers have become even scarcer. Rumour had it that he has been captured by a powerful group of Darkness worshipers who were preparing to perform some Dark ritual on him. A task force was organised to assess the likelihood of this and if it is the case to find and rescue him. Arin was eventually rescued by a brave group of adventures and Arin took back his position in the stars.
The Reign of Sir Turpin
After self-proclamation Turpin rallied support by waging a war against those not of Gardian stock. Elves and Dwarves were outlawed as if akin to orcs. Militia who were loyal to Sir Turpin enforced this and this made many enemies of the Elves and Dwarves. Sir Turpins 'reign' was cut short by a group of adventurer's and Turpin fled the land and has not set foot in Morien's lands since.
The Kings son
The king's son had been ill for some time with an illness like that which had killed Earl Morien's wife. If it were not for a group of adventurers from Keinplatz then he surely would have suffered the same fate. The group led by the renowned Zenethist Ceridian consisted of an outlander mage named Wutang and a mercernary, Janus the Tall. The group hunted down a conclave of Darkness mages and destroyed the ritual they were performing. The ritual placed a magical disease on the prince, which defied all known cures with the destruction of the ritual the prince slowly returned to health. The conclave which was found in the land of Brandholm appeared to have acted under the very nose of Brandholm without his awarness as he denied any knowledge of the matter.
Earl Blackwolf a 'Liche'?
In 518 A.O. strange rumours were rife in the Earldom of Blackwolf. The Earl had been seen acting strangely, refusing audience and hiding himself away from the court. Then his daughter was kidnapped and Blackwolf himself led the rescue party into Earl Morien's land. Through clever manoeuvring, a group of adventurers had manipulated Earl Blackwolf into revealing himself as a Darkness worshipper.
Battles raged as Blackwolf sent large forces of Undead in to the forests North of Keinplatz in search of his daughter, the only person left alive who could prove his guilt.
What was not known, but suspected by some, until his death was that Blackwolf was actually a Liche and had been killed and replaced some time ago. In the final battle with the Undead lord Wutang famed outlander wizard died along with Brother Eliyah, priest of Tarna, both were rumored to have been quested by Tarna herself to complete this duty and on completion their time upon this land was over.
Suradin was a powerful Darkness worshipper who taunted the adventurers of Keinplatz. Many times they battled and lost out to him and his minions. Suradin has slain many in his quest for power, killed whole villages and sacrificed their souls to the Darkness.
The final battle came when Suradin was about to place a blight on the land using a powerful Darkness ritual. A brave group of adventurers set out to destroy him but unfortunately failed. Suradin had won again and in the lands of Morien no crops grew, cattle died and water went foul. For one year and a day this prevailed plunging the Earldom in to harsh times. During this time of hardship the Earl drew resources from the Outlands and the other Earldoms stacking up great debt which would take the Earldom along time to pay off.
Eventually another group of adventurers went out and finished the work of the first group by at last killing the foul Darkness that was Suradin.
A lowly Necromancer that some adventurers met soon rose to great power and became a thorn in the adventurer's side. Darklin under the protection of powerful illusion spells even came to the adventurer's inn to taunt the adventures. After several attempts at killing him a group of adventurers with the aid of the Gods of Light, who stopped his power of disappearing, finally killed him.
On an adventure some adventures stumbled on to a large dark ritual which they were too late to stop. The ritual opened a large portal which when stepped through led to the very heart of the dark forest, this portal lead to many of the dark creatures coming through into the close proximity to Kleinplatz. Due to the items needed, which went missing thanks to an adventurer named Jaden, the adventurers were unable to close the dark portal.
An ex-adventurer named Marcus the bold amassed a large army of Orcs after he was cursed by the Gods of Light. Having many friends within the adventurers it took the adventures a while to act, in this period of time Marcus the bold, now know as General Black, took full advantage and spent this time training his army of Orcs in tactics and warfare. His Orcs were spotted throughout the Kingdom, each time in the location of attacks on the priests of Light. Many priests of Light were killed by General Black's army and this was in obvious retaliation to the curses the Gods of Light had bestowed upon General Black, but what was noticeable was that the Orcs never attacked the villages or the common folk of the land.
After many attempts at reaching General Black, which usually ended with the capture of some of the adventures, the adventures finally made it to General Black himself only to find two Daemons between them and the General. Using a Zenethist scroll that the party had found on the way they called forth Marnus, one of the Gods of Light, to aid them. The trap had been set and the adventurers walked into it, General Black sacrificed the two Daemons with the help of a mage named Sylus Arden and entrapped Marnus ripping him away from Ormguard and his followers.
Phoenix from the Flames
After much taunting from General Black and after many months of inactivity, the adventurers finally launched their rescue bid for Marnus.
A new God of Light know as Magus, believed to be the brother of Marnus, developed a following in Ormguard. With the help of one of Magus' Aeons or even possibly the God himself Titus Ordessa summoned Marnus into the presence of the adventurers and shattered his spirit banishing him to the shadow Realms for a short period of time.
The adventurers set forth again to confront General Black. After discovering the General's hiding place the adventurers fought through wave after wave of Orcs to reach the General. In the final battle the General was captured and the rest of the Orcs and his mage Sylus Arden abandoned him. Sir Mercurio a knight of Marnus challenged the General to single combat, both were strong fighters but Mercurio bested the General and in that moment Marnus was free and the crisis of the Light was over.
The Door is Closed
After nearly a year of the portal being open the adventurers managed to get their hands on the missing three items required to close the portal. They set out with the intent of finally closing this foul door to the dark forest and they succeeded, but as the portal was closed it set of an earthquake which damaged many of the surrounding villages. Hopefully the likes of this portal will never be seen again.
The Civil War
In 521 A.O. King Gerard died giving Earl Brandholm the throne. Many opposed this move including Earl Morien and Lady Blackwolf throwing the kingdom into a vicious Civil War. The war raged on, no side really gaining the upper hand and the priests of Marnus waited for their God to name the next King as he has in the past but no answer was heard. The adventurers played a large part in the war as they helped Earl Morien capture Ghent from the Kings grasp but at the last peg the adventures let the Earl down and he lost his life. Shortly afterwards a group of adventurers captured the King and handed him over to the zenithists for trial.