The Swords of Fate

In long ages past, the Chantric Oracle foretold the coming of twelve swords into which the fate of Theeurth had been bound.  These dozen blades are more than mere weapons; they are the fulcrums of time itself, and in their forging is foretold the final fate of all who dwell within the Walls of Night.

These storied swords gather about them great heroes and villains, and the rediscovery of one of them always brings change.  Sometimes the change is great, as the rise and fall of empires; at other times it is subtle, shifting the flow of events only slightly.  But always, the lives of those who wield them are forever changed.

The Swords of Fate. Brian Rek, artist.

Few scholars agree on the identity of all twelve of the Swords of Fate, and the Chantric Oracle provided no such list.  Still, they are commonly thought to include the following:

  • Calathar – The Crusader
  • Demonbane – The Sword of Light
  • Demonheart – The Sword of Darkness
  • Glorendal – The Sword of Heroes
  • Nightwing – The Sword of Undeath
  • Scatha – The Sword of Dragons
  • Tynfangh – The Sword of Lost Causes

The Ice King

Far to the north of all civilized lands lies an endless, trackless desert of ice, known as Akkia. This land is sparsely populated by giants, trolls and other creatures of the ice. Among the wise, it is whispered that all these beings pay fealty to one great overlord, the Ice King, who sits in his fortress atop the world and waits patiently for the proper alignment of the stars. Then he will launch the great age of ice.

It has been noted by many that the winters are worse than a century ago…

Black Haven

On the wild north shore of the Bay of Ben Thael stands the ancient fortress of Black Haven. It is a great, brooding place of mammoth stones and mighty iron gates. No man dares approach its ramparts and sailors count it an ill omen to see any lights coming from its portals.

This is the home of the Eleanturí, the Oathtakers. Ages ago, when the first men had just entered the valleys of this land, the elves of the Misty Isles landed here to drive away the Sea-Lords. No legend tells who or what the Sea-Lords were, save that they dealt with the darkest forms of wizardry. The elves do not speak of it. But when the Sea-Lords were defeated, the kindred of the elves returned to their islands, save for Prince Feälros of the Maedhren, the Deep elves. His son, Amargon, had been slain by the Sea-Lords, and he and his surviving sons swore an oath never to leave Vatheria until Amargon was avenged. So the Eleanturí built the great fortress men call Black Haven, but the real name of which is Narthoriel, and they wait still for some word or sign of the Sea-Lords.

No man has seen one of the Eleanturí in centuries, but watchfires are still lit on its ramparts, and a few sailors have reported seeing sleek, black ships glide silently past toward the huge seaward doors of the fortress. The last time that the Eleanturí took the field in force was more than eight hundred years ago, when their arrival saved the Conorrian legions from annhiliation at the hands of a Daeron army near Dwarfbridge.

Nereseä, the Druid Isle

In the middle of the Bay of Ben Thael sits the large island of Nereseä. It is surrounded by dangerous reefs that make it all but unapproachable. Only the druids know the safe route. Ships which desire to call at the port of Midhean must take on a druid pilot. These can be found at Alqualondë, Duncrannoch and Cruachan.

The island is the home of the druids, the priests of the goddess Daria. No non-druid is ever allowed beyond the walls of Midhean, but rumors abound of fantastic monsters, ancient cities, and fabulous wealth. The most persistent legend about Nereseä is that at its secret heart lies the lost city of Valethon, greatest of the Mage-Cities of the ancient empire of Numanthaur.

The Phantom Army

Centuries before the dissolution of the Miletian Empire, the wilds of Estwilde and the Edgemoor mountains were teeming with orcish cities. The orcs constantly raided the Miletian farmers and merchants, as they had the Conorrians before them. Soon, the citadel of Duncrannoch was built and the Miletian XXIX legion was stationed there to protect the road and fend off the orcs.

In the winter of 1971, a vast orcish army caught and surprised the legion along the high bluffs above the Dun Aerinn river, near what is now the Sothwood. The entire army was slaughtered to a man and their bodies flung from the heights. Legend says that in the morning, the bodies were gone.

From time to time over the centuries, travelers have reported seeing a ghostly army in ancient gear marching near the old road , or through the Sothwood. Bards say that it is the spirits of the XXIX Legion, seeking to fulfill their ancient oath to protect Estwilde.

The Misty Isles

Far to the west, it is said, lie the Misty Isles, legendary home of the elven kingdoms. No human ship can ever find them, for the queen of the elves surrounds them with a mist that human eyes cannot penetrate, making sailing in those waters deadly. But the Isles themselves are said to be beautiful, with tall white towers and perfect, immortal inhabitants. It is said that no man who once lays eyes on those islands may ever leave, but that none would want to, either.

The Lost City of Azanârgud

Somewhere in the cold northern mountains lies the entrance to the ancient dwarven city of Azanârgud. In ages past, Azanârgud was a great center of industry and trade. There lived the greatest miners, jewellers, armorers, architects and engineers of any nation. When the last dwarves of Azanârgud  died out, they sealed the city’s doors and hid them from the sight of men. Any who could find that city would be as rich as the mightiest emperor.

The Sleeping Gods

The oldest legends, whispered in secret from aeons before the coming of man, speak of a time before the gods, when Theeurth was ruled by beings of unbelievable power and evil. These were the Titans, first children of the chaos that existed at the beginning of time. Such unbridled power and madness was the lot of the Titans that no force could stand against them and all creation was their plaything.

But they contained the seeds of their own downfall. Greatest of the Titans was Ologothos, who forced the Chaos to lay with him and give birth to children. But the Chaos was wiser than the Titans, and more powerful still, and the children she bore she hid away from their father until they were strong and warlike. She called these children gods and gave them a golden circlet made of her own hair, with which they could restrain the Titans and bring order to the world.

So the gods rose up against their father and against his kind, and warred upon them in a terrible war that destroyed the old world and brought a new world to life. And the Titans were imprisoned under Theeurth in a deathless sleep, dreaming of a future where they once again rule. And many of the servitors of the Titans fled into the dark places of Theeurth and there still await their masters’ call.

Cults of the Titans appear and reappear throughout history. Always they are stamped out and always they return in some new guise. Should they ever manage to waken their masters, all the good of the world would be washed away in one awful instant.