THE GREAT NECROMANCER

INTRODUCTION


In the Realm of Mundus, it is the final years of the fourteenth century of Jerome's Fire, an age marked by the emergence from the generations long Dark Age; a bleak era of time that saw much of the worlds population perish to famine and plague, as black clouds of volcanic ash darkened the skies to turn once fertile farmlands into lifeless and barren wastelands dominated by massive storms of dust. In the time since this emergence from darkness, the old world of the Founder Lands, which birthed the great empires of man, began to look outward for new shores, in search of fertile lands and new opportunities. The Founder Lands were dominated by three great empires. In the west lay the Yerensian Union in the vast land of Zhong and the endless jungles of Aria, in the east lay the lands of the Lumerian continent, home to the wealthy Verakayan Confederacy in the south and to the powerful Trivium Nation in the north. Explorers from the empires of the Founder Lands launched great expeditions of discovery, some driven by adventure, others by hunger, and yet more by greed.

The Frontier was found by Yerensian sailors, chasing old myths they discovered a vast continent with bountiful southern lands of rich soil, and deep northern forests of long nights and cold winds which blew down from the icy North Sea. Soon the empires of man vied for dominance of the new lands, and they were not alone, for in the northern lands of the deep night there lived a long isolated nocturnal civilization of ari-blood. These ari tribes were of a race divergent from man, with large eyes that could pierce the veil of night and long arms possessing great strength as to climb with ease. These long lost ari of the north had grey skin, robust forms, and a strange language and ways; they called themselves the Tes Varr.

In time a crusade against the indigenous Tes Varr of the Frontier was summoned by the Church of Order of the Trivium Nation. The rich merchants of the Verakayan Confederacy supplied the crusader armies of the Order from the southern shore whilst their rivals in the Yerensian Union, the only empire of man accepting of the ari as equals, succumbed to civil war and were marginalized upon the Frontier. The Trivium's crusaders went forth as a rising tide, flooding over the new untamed lands. They were led forth by the zealous knights of Persipola, skilled witch-hunters, and pitiless church ordained warrior-judges who were followed by endless ranks of common men seeking absolution of sin through purging the enemies of the Church of Order. The first crusade swept through much of the eastern and southern Frontier, claiming new lands in the name of the Trivium's Church of Order.

Disturbed by the demonic idol worship of the natives and the spread of new diseases amongst their pioneers, the Order's clergy on the Frontier deemed the Tes Varr people as a whole to be an intolerable and threatening presence to the souls of their faithful settlers. Ever fearing the coming of a new Dark Age, the theocratic Arch-Justice of the Church of Order declared the Tes Varr to be under the influence of witchcraft and called for the complete 'Judication' of the Tes Varri people, a war of forced conversion that would end only in obedience or death. Fielding a vast army of armored knights and assisted by powerful clans of Magi, mysterious practitioners of secret schools of knowledge, the Church of Order's forces bore devastating weapons of war that spewed fire and launched thunderous booms which could crack the best of defenses. Against such powerful foes the Tes Varr could do little to defend their homeland, yet, the indigenous Tes Varr, armed only with war-bows and crude iron spears, resisted, refusing to ever surrender. The native's faith could not be shaken and not one ever submitted to conversion, a stark refusal the crusaders had never witnessed before or since. The final bastion of defiant Tes Varr fought on with boundless valor in the face of their inevitable doom, giving their lives down to the very last man, woman, and child. In the end, despite their bravery, the Tes Varr were no more. Everything that had marked their existence was ordered to be put to the flame and purged from the face of Mundus by the crusaders. And so, the Tes Varr disappeared into the annals of history, a mere footnote to the march of time... or so it would seem.

It has been over two hundred years since the crusade against the Tes Varr was carried out. Settlers who now reside on their former lands are mostly ignorant to their existence. Odd ringed hills, overgrown and unmarked Tes Varr burial mounds, often go unnoticed, and shattered pieces of strange pottery occasionally unearthed by a farmer's plow are no more than small curiosities to the settlers, such is all that remains of the lost Tes Varr, now mostly known as the forgotten ari. Yet, unknown to the empires of man and their settlers on the Frontier, in the far north, across the freezing depths of the North Sea, dark shadows stir. Driven by a long hungered vengeance, and led by a ageless being of great power, known only to a few as the Great Necromancer, the shadows of the northern lights at frozen crown of the world turn their gaze south to bring forth an unrelenting crusade of their own, a war in which there can be no surrender. The Frontier is set to play out the last struggle of a secret war fought since time immemorial; a conflict born in a forgotten age, before the empires of man arose to dominate the world, and before the fall of the ancient nocturnal ari civilizations, a war whose outcome will forever alter the fate of Mundus.

A storm is coming that will tremble the world, and in its path lies a simple fisherman's son, a common man from the land of Mithos, unaware of the encroaching darkness, or the power that lay dormant within his blood...


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