Fantasy Worlds- A New Map

Hi everyone, I’m currently working on the blog post regarding magic systems but in the meantime, I thought I would share with you one of the updated maps for the Sundered Crown Saga. Previously I used Campaign Cartographer3 to create the maps, but always found it a bit fiddly to use. For these new maps, I’ve used Inkarnate a free to use online resource that is simple to use and delivers a great end result.  Check out the new map for Delfinnia below-

Let me know what you think in the comments! I’ll be posting up more new maps over the coming weeks as well as revealing the new look cover for Quest for the Sundered Crown. I’ll be updating my new Writing Fantasy blog later this week so stay tuned.

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Monsters, Guilds and Beasts – The Guilds & Factions – The King’s Legion

Monsters, Guilds and Beasts – The Guilds & Factions – The King’s Legion

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This series of blog posts will focus on the various creatures, heroes and guilds that inhabit the world of Esperia and in particular the Kingdom of Delfinnia. This second part will be split into multiple posts. This one will focus on the King’s Legion.

‘Becoming a Legionnaire is an honour. You get to see the world and get paid doing it. The food isn’t too bad either,’ – Commander Stalvos of the Westerland Legion

The King’s Legion was formed shortly after the Magic Wars to restore order to a land which had been ripped apart by over ten years of conflict. The successful invasion of the Golden Empire by King Marcus of the Delfin tribe and his subsequent assassination led to a period of instability as the tribes and Free-fighters that aided in the downfall of the dark mages turned on one another. Markus’s brother, Riis restored order and took the crown for himself.

In a bid to end the strife he had forged a symbol of the broken alliance of the tribes and freedom fighters, the Sundered Crown. Upon placing the crown on his head, Riis reminded them of all they had achieved together. On the same day he announced the creation of the King’s legion, an army that would answer only to the monarch and no other.

Prior to the Magic Wars, the Golden Empire had been defended by multiple different armies which had loyalties to their respective lords. In theory, the Emperor was to have overall control but by the end of the Empire, the influence of the Emperors and Empresses had waned to such an extent that Wizard lordlings often used their troops to take lands from other lords and force the common folk to serve their will.

The early King’s Legion was a cobbled together bunch of warriors from the various tribes and volunteers; it was far from the elite force it would eventually evolve into. King Riis drilled the new legion himself and led campaigns against the followers of the N’gist that had held out in the east. Over time successive Delfinnian Kings, with the aid of the legions conquered the entire continent which was renamed Delfinnia.

Over the next centuries, the legion grew in size and began to exert its influence over the monarchy itself. There were now ten legions, each designated its own region to defend. Several King’s were assassinated and replaced by legion generals which had realised that they now wielded more might than the king. Their power was brought back under control by King Riis the third after he brutally purged the legion of potential traitors. With assistance from the Knight’s of Niveren and the Mages of Caldaria he brought the legions to heel. From that day on the legion knew who was boss and would never threaten their masters again.

The biggest test for the legion came in the year 620 AGE when the Yundol’s launched their massive invasion of Delfinnia. A brutal, warlike race, the Yundol’s raided the Marble Shore. Under the reign of King Ermin, a vast fleet of Yundol ships landed on the southern shore of Delfinnia. What Delfinnian ships were sent against them were destroyed and the King’s Legion was bested at Plock. The Yundols pillaged without challenge.

Disaster struck at the battle of the Retbit valley. King Ermin was slain battling the invaders in the Valley and the legion was put to flight. The legions failure led to the sacking of the sacred isle of Zahnia and saw the ancient city there reduced to ashes. As Ermin had no heir of age to ascend to the throne, the Diasect took up the regency. With the Legion battered and broken, the Diasect devised a plan. It divided the realm into the baronies of Champia, Bison, Robinta, Retbit, Eclin, Stormglade and Sunguard. Each lord of those territories was granted permission to raise their own armies and so ease the burden on the crown. The Legion meanwhile was restored by General Taman the Blade. Under his leadership, he restored the legions pride and led it to many victories against the invaders. Eventually, the Legion united with the Baronies armies and together launched a massive counter attack. The plan worked and together the barons and King’s Legion drove the Yundol’s back into the sea.

For a hundred years, the realm prospered once more. That was until the king and his heirs were assassinated by an unknown foe and the events of the Saga of the Sundered Crown began.

 

Monsters, Guilds and Beasts – The Guilds & Factions – The Knights of Niveren

Monsters, Guilds and Beasts – The Guilds & Factions – The Knights of Niveren

 

Image by http://www.deviantart.com/art/the-knight-273286408

This series of blog posts will focus on the various creatures, heroes and guilds that inhabit the world of Esperia and in particular the Kingdom of Delfinnia. This second part will be split into multiple posts. This one will focus on the Knights of Niveren.

What are guilds?

‘Delfinnia is a land rich with adventure, gold and opportunity. The various guilds that operate in the realm provide opportunities to the people. Some specialise in making money, others the defence of the innocent. Others appeal to those of a nefarious and criminal nature. All have a role to play’ – Rusay Broadmane, Baron of Robinta.

Guilds are an association of like-minded individuals that have teamed together to practise their chosen crafts or skills. In Delfinnia, the oldest of the guilds was formed in the days of the long deceased Nivion Empire whilst the newest was founded during the early days of the Kingdom of Delfinnia’s founding.

Some guilds have operations in every corner of the realm; among them are the Baker’s guild, Merchant guild, Mason’s guild and the Wood and Stone guild (which includes lumberjacks, carpenters and artisans.)

The major guilds

As well as minor guilds, eight major guilds operate in the kingdom. There are many Knightly orders in the realm but only two have the power to operate on a scale where they can field their own armies.

Knights of Niveren

The Knights of Niveren is the oldest monastic order in the world having been originally founded at the height of the Nivion Empire in the year 2450 OM. The knights were sworn to defend the Empire from all enemies and it was the order that waged many of the old Empires wars. After the devastating battle of the Greenmoor and Danon’s second return, the order was effectively wiped out and any surviving knights were hunted down by the N’gist.

For centuries, the order was forced to hide in the shadows. It was restored however when Zahnia the Great defeated Danon and ended the dark ages. During the days of the Golden Empire, the order was tasked with aiding the Nightblades hunt Fell beasts.

It was during this time that the Knights Vigil was created. Five of the orders most skilled knights was given the title of vigil knight and tasked with patrolling the world for signs of evil. If such a threat was discovered then the Knights Vigil were authorised to do whatever it took to eliminate the threat before it had a chance to emerge. A Knight Vigil slew the N’gist master Ardoman and broke the dark orders power. The Knights Vigil still existed and will continue with their task even if the order itself is destroyed or disbanded.

In the closing days of the Golden Empire, the magistrate and defacto ruler of the Empire, the wizard Sivion ordered that the order be disbanded. Unknown to the knights was that Sivion was secretly the head of the resurgent N’gist cult. His corrupt teachings had spread amongst the wizards and mages of the Empire and the Magic Wars began. Many of the disbanded knights joined the rebellion against the wizards and assisted the Delfin King Markus to invade and conquer the Golden Empire.

In the decades that followed the Knights reformed under a new charter, one that tasked the knights with hunting down illegal magic users and defend the realm from the remnants of the magic wars.

Under the reign of King Alden the third, however the peace was shattered. The remnants of the magic wars swarmed from the north to attack the realm. Un-dead hordes destroyed the city of Eclin and spread as far south as the walls of Balnor.

In response, the Knights of Niveren mobilised, and at the battle of Balnor crossing, the tide was turned. The following century saw the Knights of Niveren launch crusades into the mountains. Eventually the un-dead hordes were once more defeated but the N’gist followers who had unleashed the dead slinked back into the shadows.

Monsters, Guilds and Beasts Part 1 – Fell Beasts of the Void

This series of blog posts will focus on the various creatures, heroes and guilds that inhabit the world of Esperia and in particular the Kingdom of Delfinnia. This first section will focus on the Fell Beasts of the void.

What are Fell Beasts?

‘Fell Beasts are the scourge of this world. Made by a mad god and unleashed by a foolish mage, no other plague has slain so many and brought so much pain to the realms of men’ – Ferran of BlackMoor, Nightblade.

The Fell Beasts were created before man. A war between gods ended in a stalemate. In order to break the impasse the gods made a wager. Whoever could create the strongest creature would be declared the winner. The god of balance and order created men, beings strong and gifted with magic. The mad god Vectrix, however created the Void and the Fell Beasts. The creatures were imbued with Vectrix’s powers, a power that the mages call void magic.

Mankind waged war upon the beasts until finally they achieved victory and the god of balance banished Vectrix and his abominations into the void.

Only two men were left by the war’s end. Niveren and his brother, Danon. As thanks for their heroism the gods gifted Niveren and Danon with wives and created more people for them to share the world with.

Centuries passed and mankind began to forget the tales of old. A mage whose name was lost to history, accidentally opened up a portal, a portal to the void. Fell beasts swarmed through the breach and as more flooded into reality the barriers between the real world and the void fractured. To counter the threat the kingdoms of mankind united to battle the threat. Millions perished and all hope seemed lost until monster hunters skilled with magic entered the fray. With the Nightblades at their side the armies of men culled the Fell Beasts numbers enough to allow the wizard Aljeron to seal the breach. Despite his best efforts however the damage was done and Fell Beasts still slip into the real world from time to time.

Types of Fell Beasts

Fell Beasts come in different shapes and sizes but one thing they all have in common is their lust for human flesh. Normal weaponry cannot slay a Fell Beast, only weapons made of silver, pure metals or magic can do so. A typical King’s Legion soldier is equipped with both steel and silver weaponry. The Nightblades weapon of choice, the Tourmaline blade is perfect for the task. Such weapons are made of pure magical energy powered by the tourmaline crystals affixed to the hilt and summoned to life by the magic of the Nightblade.

Pucks

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Image by http://www.deviantart.com/art/goblin-gang-174538299

Small goblin like creatures that are covered in brown razor sharp fur. Their eyes are bulbous and yellow and their mouths are filled with dagger like teeth. Their small size means that they are not much of a threat on their own but Pucks very rarely hunt alone. Puck packs can number from a dozen to thousands. If a pack descends upon a village or undefended town then it will leave no-one alive.

Banshees

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Image by http://www.deviantart.com/art/Banshee-110302759

Perhaps the most feared of all Fell Beasts is the Banshee. These haunting beasts are more comprised of magic then flesh. They often haunt the moorlands, marshes and woods of the world, praying on any unwary travellers that stray into their hunting grounds. Their most distinguishable feature is their scream which paralyses its prey. Instead of eating their prey, a Banshee instead will absorb the energy from its victim. Banshees also have the ability to turn its prey into another Banshee.

‘You can always tell when a Banshee is near. The air grows icy cold and the hairs on your neck stand on end…then comes the scream’ – Sophia Cunning, Witch Hunter.

Redcaps/Goblins

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Image: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Goblin-Rabblemaster-461666296

Goblins are perhaps the most common of the Fell Beasts and the ones most similar to men. They are quite intelligent and have the ability to craft crude weaponry and perform complex strategies. When fighting Goblins, Legion commanders have compared them to battling human foes. Goblins live deep underground, rising to the surface only to hunt at night. Finding goblin lairs is the primary job of the Nightblades. The most powerful of goblin kind are the Redcaps, these goblins wear caps coated with human blood and appear to act as the leaders of goblin clans.

Gargantuan

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Image –http://www.deviantart.com/art/goblin-gang-174538299

These behemoths are thankfully incredibly rare. The size of a castle and with hides like iron these creatures have dealt untold devastation to cities across the world of Esperia. In appearance they look like massive four legged horned beasts with cavernous mouths full of thousands of needle like teeth. The last to have appeared in Delfinnia was three hundred years ago and was responsible for almost destroying the city of BlackMoor. Whole armies have gone against them only to be consumed. In the Magic Wars it was said that the dark mages used these creatures to assault enemy fortresses.

Negrist

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Image – http://www.deviantart.com/art/1-hour-monster-2-105460483

The ultimate killing machines. These foul creatures are bi-peds that stand taller than a man. They are hideous to behold with features straight out of a nightmare. As well as their deadly jaws the Negrist have razor blades instead of arms and are covered in poisonous hairs. They are also gifted with powerful void magic’s which enable them to blend in with their surroundings and resist magic’s used against them by mages or Nightblades.

Dragons

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Image – http://www.deviantart.com/art/dragon-255850862

Dragons are not true Fell beasts but instead victims of a great betrayal at the dawn of time. Legends say that the mighty creatures were the first to have been made by the first Goddess Aniron. They were gifted with immense magical power and knowledge and defended the world of their creator. Their dominance was short-lived however as Vectrix, jealous of Aniron’s love for them banished them to the void. Due to their immortality it is said that the dragons still live and are biding their time to escape their prison.

Part 2 will focus on the various guilds that inhabit the world of Esperia.

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 2

Previously, I wrote about the fun of world building, of how real life events and history has inspired me. In this post, I will be going into a bit more depth about how to introduce the little things that can make a fantasy world more believable.

Politics

No good fantasy story should be devoid of political intrigue and the world I created for the Sundered Crown Saga is full of it. Scheming barons, stupid lords and wicked villains all compete against one another for the lands greatest prize, the Sundered Crown.

In Heir, the main political narrative focuses on the aftermath of a king’s assassination and the power struggle that follows it.

For inspiration on the dirty dealings of power mad folks, simply watch the tv. With the UK general election coming up we will see perfect examples of dirty dealing, mudslinging and political wrangling, (hopefully, it will not end up with the leaders all fighting each other in mortal combat…hmm actually that sounds appealing and would make things a lot more interesting).

History in particular, is a great place to look for inspiration. Kings and Emperors were often overthrown by others greedy for the top job. George RR Martins Game of Thrones is the perfect example of a fantasy writer being influenced by real events. In GOT’s case the English War of the Roses.

Daily Life

How do the people live in your fantasy world? Is there a feudal system in place, which sees peasents being the slaves of the richer classes, or is people more equal? In my books, the realm of Delfinnia is more like the latter. People are not restrained by their birth and if they are talented enough, they can rise to the top.

To make a world more believable you should show how folks go about their daily lives. What jobs do they do? Where do they go for entertainment? Little things like make a world feel alive and a lot more believable to a reader.

Creatures

The best part about writing fantasy (in my opinion) is that you can let your imagination go wild when it comes to the creatures that inhabit it. The best example in the Sundered Crown Saga of that are the Fell Beasts of the Void. These monsters enter into the mortal world through breeches in the fabric of reality (magic, nuff said).

I based a few of the creatures on monsters from real life fairy tales and legends. Banshees, Goblins and Pucks are the most common but for book two there are a few that, I created from my own imagination. Keep an eye out for the Nightstalkers and Gargantuans!

Do you have any tips or advice for world building? Let me know in the comments or leave me a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 1

Creating Worlds – The World of Esperia & the Kingdom of Delfinnia Part 1

Previously, I wrote about the fun of world building, of how real life events and history has inspired me. In this post, I will be going into a bit more depth about how to introduce the little things that can make a fantasy world more believable.

Geography

Ok, ok so geography does not sound the most exciting thing to start with but it is important. If your make believe world is not feasible in terms of things like terrain, climate etc… Then readers are less likely to be pulled into the world.  In the Sundered Crown Saga, the world of Esperia follows what you would expect in the real world. Mountains are part of huge ranges, the coasts are battered by stormy seas and the cities are located in places that make sense.

Towns, cities and settlements would typically be built near to sources of water, or on defensible hills, if you place a city in the middle of a desert make sure you make clear to the reader how such a place is possible. Is there a spring underground? Or is water brought into the city by trading caravans?

In the Sundered Crown Saga, I made sure that when designing the world each place made sense. For example, the capital city of Sunguard is located at the centre of the kingdom, all roads lead to it meaning that trade and supplies are readily available. It is also located on the banks of a river (i.e a water source) and is surrounded by farmland (food).

The good thing about fantasy worlds however, is that you can also include the less mundane into your worlds. Esperia has two moons, which means that the planet’s tides are far higher than what we see on Earth.

At certain times of the year, travel by sea is made impossible due to massive waves. Things like that can be used in scenes that can make a reader think. Imagine being caught out at sea as a hundred foot wave’s tower over you!

Food & Drink

Little things like what food and drink your characters consume also add to the believability of a world. Video games like Skyrim are good examples of how to use simple food products to suck a gamer into Tamriel.

Books like the Lord of the Rings and Patrick Rothuss’s novels do similar things with food and drink. In Esperia the main food producing region is the barony of Robinta, home of the famous Robintan tea and cheeses.

In the second part of this post I will take a closer at politics and factions.

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Image:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Fantasy-Landscape-Adobe-Illustrator-Vector-342928253

 

 

Bit of World Building

The funnest part of writing fantasy and science fiction is definitely world building. Making maps or designing fictitious timelines is loads of fun and helps me as a writer involve myself deeper into the story that I am writing. For Heir to the Sundered Crown and my as yet unpublished Terran Defender series I created timelines which span hundreds and thousands of years.

The best way to make a timeline is to look at our own real life history as it is filled with interesting events which have molded and changed the world we lie in. For fantasy you can look at events from the Medieval period or ancient world for inspiration. Epic events have occurred throughout history, from wars for crowns, the fall of empires and the rise of tyrants. For HTTSC I was inspired by many of those events and all I did was then chuck magic into the mix.

Sci- fi is a different thing entirely however as the things your write about have yet to happen in the real world. With Sci-fi you can really cut loose!

As part of the world building process I made a coat of arms for the realm of Delfinnia which is below.

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How do you go about world building? Do you have any tips? Let me know via Facebook, Twitter or leave me a message on the blog 🙂

Brief History of Delfinnia Part 4

Part 4 – Delfinnia

A New Kingdom (2 AGE – 27 AGE)

With the murder of Marcus and Theodora, chaos followed. Civil war erupted amongst the tribes who had once been united in their campaign against the dark wizards and the Empire. After six years of conflict Marcus’s younger brother Riis won the crown.

In memory of the war a new crown was forged named the Sundered Crown, a reminder of the Sundered alliance of the tribes.

King Riis the first was a just and noble King and built upon his elder brother’s victory. He rebuilt the city of Sunguard and made the surviving champions that had aided his brother in his conquests nobles in his court. The lands now called Champia, Bison, and the Stormglades take their names from them.

Peace settled over the new realm of Delfinnia, but tensions remained high between the magic folk and commoners.

Purges (27 AGE – 494 AGE)

Violence erupted as magic users were persecuted by the common folk. In an attempt to halt the bloodletting Riis made it law that all magic users were to be exiled to the ancient city of the Mages, Caldaria. Only magic users useful to the crown were allowed to live outside its crystalline walls. The Nightblades continued to hunt the fell beasts of the void and a number of mages served as advisors and healers to the King. It was at this time that Riis formed the council of the Diasect, a body created to oversee and protect the realm from enemies both visible and hidden. The knights of Niveren reformed under a new charter to hunt down the illegal magic hunters and the witch hunter’s guild expanded in size. Burnings and executions became common place.

Crusades of Eclin (494 AGE – 696 AGE)

Two hundred years past and the kingdom prospered. Under the reign of King Alden the third however the peace was shattered. The remnants of the magic wars swarmed from the north to attack the realm. Un-dead hordes destroyed the city of Eclin and spread as far south as the walls of Balnor.

In response the newly formed King’s legion and the Knights of Niveren mobilised, and at the battle of Balnor crossing the tide was turned. The following century saw the Knights of Niveren launch crusades into the mountains. Eventually the un-dead hordes were once more defeated but the N’gist followers who had unleashed the dead slinked back into the shadows.

Age of peace (396 AGE – 520 AGE)

With the threat of evil removed Delfinnia expanded its borders. New cities arose including the city of Kingsford. The peace lasted for three hundred years and only the brief appearance of a Lich sent the kingdom to war once more. Once again the Knights of Niveren saved the day and contained the menace in the mountains. It was during this time that King Oldus the second rebuilt Eclin and turned it into the fortress city it is today. Delfinnian explorers took to Esperia’s seas to reconnect with the other peoples of the world. What they found however horrified them. The lands that had once been home to great empires and the Golden Empire had been reduced to savage, wild places. The people were barbarians, devoid of civilisation. Colonies were established across the sea, a move that awakened the wrath of the vicious Yundol’s, the savage descendants of the long lost Yolla Empire. Masters at sea craft the Yundol’s bested Delfinnia in a number of naval battles. Defeat at sea seemed certain until the royal fleet was built. The tide turned and the Yundol fleets were destroyed securing Delfinnia from invasion for another century.

Yundol Invasions (620 AGE – 634 AGE)

The Yundols returned. Under the reign of King Riis the fifth a vast fleet of Yundol ships landed on the southern shore of Delfinnia. What Delfinnian ships were sent against them were destroyed and the King’s legion was bested at Plock. The Yundol’s pillaged without challenge until a new idea was given to the Diasect. Riis died battling the invaders in the valley of Retbit and his son was but a child. The sacking of the sacred isle of Zahnia saw the ancient city there reduced to ashes.

The Baronies (634 AGE – 650 AGE)

As a result the Diasect became regents. Under its authority it divided the realm into the baronies of Champia, Bison, Robinta, Retbit, Eclin, Stormglade and Sunguard. Each lord of those territories was granted permission to raise their own armies and so ease the burden on the crown. The strategy worked and the baron of Retbit, by far the wealthiest of lords formed an army that rivaled the King’s own. Retbit’s forces counter attacked the Yundol’s from the north whilst the armies of the King’s Legion and barony of Champia attacked from the west. After years of heavy fighting the Yundol invaders were pushed back into the sea.

Following the victory the King’s legion built a huge wall along the south eastern shore. The Yundol’s still raid from time to time, but their menace is greatly reduced.

For a hundred years the realm prospered once more. That was until the King and his heirs were assassinated by an unknown foe and the events of the Saga of the Sundered Crown began.

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Brief history of Delfinnia Part three

Part 3 – The fall of the Niver (1GE – 976GE)

Rise of the Golden Empire

With the age of darkness over Zahnia went north and founded the city of Calderia, the home of the mages. The people loved him and proclaimed him King. Zahnia’s reign lasted for forty years and peace and prosperity came to the world. Massive new cities were built, roads, bridges and trade flourished once more. In the south massive reserves of gold were discovered bringing in a true golden age. The Golden Hills provided all of the gold for Esperia in this time and the wealth created allowed the creation of the Golden Empire.

Entire cities were constructed out of the precious metal and mighty castles sprung up around the land. In gratitude of the role they played in Danon’s second fall the people anointed mages as their lords and their power and influence increased until some were granted the title of lower Kings.

Sat on his throne of Gold was Zahnia who proclaimed the age of Gold as begun. A new epoch began that day and for nine hundred years peace ruled.

The Glory Days 1GE – 334 GE

Art, science, music, all prospered in the early centuries of the Golden Empire. Wonders of the world were built all over Esperia. The mighty golden statue of Zahnia was built into the side of the Mountains of Eclin.(long since lost to plundering thieves) The Great cathedral of Niveren was built in Sunguard and 48 wizard towers were constructed across the various continents of the world. The Wizard Lords were just and ruled well using their power to help the people and safeguard the world from evil.

Rise of the Wizard Kings 234 GE -974 GE

As time passed the wizards grew in power. The Emperor of the Empire was struggling to control the vastness of his glorious realm and so he made the most powerful wizards Kings to rule as they saw fit over the far reaches of the Empire. As the Clerics teach however all power corrupts and so it was with the wizard kings. Some grew jealous of their rivals lands and conflicts between the wizards grew common. With their magic the wizard kings had the power to topple cities. In the continent of Yundol, the empire fragmented as dozens of wizards battled one another for supremacy. The emperor was powerless to stop it. As the years passed, more and more territory slipped away from the Empire’s control as the common folk rebelled against the tyranny of the wizard kings.

 

The Magic Wars 974 GE -976 GE

Eventually the people grew tired of the wizards and their abuses. A group of warriors calling themselves the Free Fighters was formed and within a year rebellion had erupted right across the Empire. Battles between the Golden Empires armies and the Free Fighters became common place. Massacres and atrocities became common place and the heart of it all was the advisor to the Empress Theodora. Sivion the magistrate was secretly the head of the resurgent N’gist cult. His corrupt teachings had spread amongst the wizards and mages of the Empire. The N’gist used their dark powers to crush the rebels and raise the dead.

Millions perished in the bloodletting. One thing Sivion and his followers had not realised however was that their secret was known by a wizard known as RavenGuard. The wizard hastened west to the Great Plains where he sought out the aid of the nomadic Delfin tribe. Sivion had abducted the princes of the tribe in hopes to sacrifice her to his master, Danon who he intended to free from the void.

The King of the Delfin refused to aid the wizard but his son the Prince Markus took up his sword. With ten companions Markus embarked on a quest to save his sister. The Ten Champions as they were known infiltrated the Empire, snuck into Sunguard and freed the princess Ria and Empress Theodora. It was here that Markus met Theodora and a love that would echo down the ages was forged, it was in the royal palace too that Markus found Asphodel.

Unfortunately for the prince he had been promised to another, the daughter of the Delfin tribes arch rival the King of the Stormchaser clan. The Ten battled the forces of Sivion before fleeing back to their homeland. They returned to find their home besieged by the Stormchaser’s who were outraged upon discovering Marcus’s betrayal. Knowledge given to them by Sivion. In the battle that followed the Delfin tribe won the day but the King was slain. Markus was proclaimed King. His vengeance saw the Delfin tribe subjugate the other tribes.

The King of Delfinnia (1AGE -2 AGE)

With a vast host at his back Markus turned his attentions back to the Golden Empire which was now under the sole dominion of Sivion. What was left of the Free Fighters fled to join Markus. Mages arrayed against Sivion also swelled his ranks. With an army of close to a million men King Markus invaded the Empire. Several battles were fought and won until finally his army laid siege to Sunguard. There on the last days of the siege Sivion and his wicked followers cast dark magic which transformed him into a Lich. With his new powers Sivion laid waste to the Delfin army.

Defeat was almost nigh when Markus, wielding Asphodel cut down Sivion. With the dark wizard’s death his forces collapsed, his un-dead abominations fleeing north to cower in the darkness of the Eclin Mountains. The Empire was toppled, and Markus had conquered his enemies. With the fall of the Golden Empire the last great empire of the Nivion folk fell.

Markus was not to enjoy his victory for long. In an act worthy of the great tragedies, Marcus was murdered by the jilted princess of the Stormchaser clan. At a feast in his new capital the princess Yissa had arranged for the king to be killed. The feast hall doors were sealed. Hiding in the rafters of the hall were the assassins of the Crimson Blades. No one in the feasting hall survived. Including the Empress turned Queen Theodara.

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Brief History of Delfinnia Part Two

Part 2 – History of the Niver (1 OM- 8000OM)

The first folk settled at the base of the mountaintop upon which sat the city of Niveren, Sunguard. The war with Danon and his dark kin had reduced the once mighty city into a ruin. The glorious stone walls and temples still stood but the first men decided against rebuilding it as an act of respect for their champion. Gradually the Niver as they named themselves spread in all directions until they had a presence in the Eclin Mountains in the far north and in the basin of the Ridder River to the southwest. Various villages and kingdoms appeared and trade flourished between them.

Over the centuries the Niver took to the seas founding new lands all over Esperia. During the age of peace, technology blossomed as the first iron tools were developed. Hunting gave way to farming and with the use of magic many new skills were discovered. As magic use became more common the mages appeared. Over the centuries most of the folk began to forget the ways of old, instead focusing on farming, trade and government, the mages however continued to devote themselves to magic use.

It was the use of magic that paved the way to disaster for the early folk. A mage whose name was lost to history inadvertedly opened a portal to the void. Unable to reseal it the monsters of Vectrix entered the world of man. The first fell beasts burst forth from the Void. At first the beasts ran rampant across the world but, men are tenacious. An alliance of the kingdoms of the Niver banded together and over time culled the beast’s numbers. The best at hunting the monsters of the void were the specialist magic yielding hunters known as the Nightblades, the order which still defends the realm from the voids horrors.

The first Wizard, Aljeron sealed the portal to the void but the gap between worlds was damaged forever, beasts of the void would always seep through.

The kingdom of Nivion rose to dominate its neighbours until an empire was forged. Like Niverens realm before it, the capital of the Empire was established on the rebuilt city of Sunguard. For 200 years the empire dominated the northern continent of Esperia until it was weakened by other rival lands from across the sea. The Tulin’s, the Sarpi and Yolla empires all arose in this period.

Danon’s revenge

The descendants of Niveren prospered for thousands of years but always lurking in the shadows was the spirit of Danon. The offspring of Danon and his wife had not been idle and whilst the world above them witnessed the rise and fall of kings and empires they focused on furthering their power in the dark arts of witchcraft and black magic. A disciple of Danon known as Necron bound his soul with magic’s so foul that the site of his wicked experiments remains tainted to this day. The first Lich was born.

Necron rose to dominate all other followers of the Dark arts and his foul influence spread to the world of men. With promises of power and riches he seduced the rulers of the Sarpi Empire. In a century that once noble and rich empire had fallen to decadence and corruption, its people once noble and fair fell into wickedness.

Soon the Lich’s influence had spread to the Yolla and Tulins until only the fractured and broken Nivion Empire remained. Once more conflict erupted on Esperia. Millions perished in the bloodletting as the Nivion desperately tried to halt Necron’s power.

At the Battle of the Greenmoor the armies of three Empires clashed and their fleets fought at sea. The already weakened Nivion’s fought bravely but the power of Necron could not be broken. A knight of the Nivion Empire called Estran did not surrender. The scars of that mighty battle are evident in Delfinnia today as the once prosperous region of Greenmoor was turned into a wasteland, today it is known as the Blackmoor.

With a sword thought to be that mighty blade Asphodel, he mortally wounded Necron in single combat before he too was killed by the Lich’s forces. To this day the peoples of Delfinnia celebrate Estran with the feast of the Brave Knight on midsummer’s eve.

In a final act Necron gave himself to the spirit of Danon. The dark lord possessed the Lich, destroying its former host. Danon walked the earth once more and the world of man fell into darkness.

 

Dark Ages

Not many records remain from the thousand years of night. Needless to say that the world was a miserable place, the descendants of Niveren were enslaved and all life bent to the will of Danon.

For thousands of years the gods had been widely forgotten by the peoples of Esperia. For 300 years the power of Danon ruled unopposed until a small sect of mages fled to an island off the southeast shore of the lands of Nivion. In secret they worked to repeat the process of the unnamed mage who had opened the void. They did not want to open it however; instead they tapped into the power of Vectrix, the god long lost in his own universe. Harnessing the power of a god the mages were able to commune with Chiaroscuro, the god of balance who had been slumbering as men forgot his name.

Upon seeing what had happened to the world of his mother and the descendants of his greatest creation the god wept. Darkness ruled and in the absence of light it would last an eternity.

Chiaroscuro decided to once again bring balance to the world so he created a life, a child born of light with the power to undo all of the evil and restore order, a child with the spirit of his champion Niveren.

War of reclamation

Zahnia was born on the holy isle which today bears his name. Imbued with the soul of Niveren and the powers of Chiaroscuro he was the embodiment of virtue and righteous might. His childhood was spent in hiding on the isle and the mages taught him everything they knew. His knowledge of magic was unsurpassed. On his sixteenth birthday the mages told him it was time for him to go into the world and fulfil his destiny.

His first destination was across the sea where he brought light to the world once more. He battled the forces of Danon, winning every battle with his awesome powers. One by one he overthrew the corrupted emperors of the fallen empires.

Using his wits he liberated an entire continent and offered the people hope. In his thirty fifth years Zahnia was the most powerful man on Esperia. He beat the trials set by Danon who was hell bent on corrupting him. During his adventures Zahnia forged his legendary staff Erdasol and found the long lost blade Asphodel. With those mighty weapons Zahnia headed for Sunguard, now named Moonguard. With thousands of followers and the mages at his side Zahnia battled Danon.

The two fought for days until finally Zahnia struck Danon down with Asphodel. The Dark lord remembering the blade from long before cowered at its touch but did not die, so Zahnia raised his staff Erdasol and with a flash of lightning and fire from the sky was Danon defeated for a second time.

To prevent Danon from ever returning to the world of men Zahnia reopened the portal to the void and banished the dark one into it.

The age of darkness was over and the world reclaimed for the light.