Tag Archives: Free Dwarves

Free Dwarves

The free dwarves of Brittanis are refugees and the children of refugees. At roughly the same time the Tiberian Empire abandoned Brittanis a century ago, the last dwarven King of Valyngaard was murdered by his youngest brother. The brother had made a pact with the forces of the Abyss , trading servitude for power. The Red Prince, as he is known now, commanded magic that enslaved his fellow dwarves’ minds and bent them to his will. Loyalist dwarves attempted to defend their fallen kingdom, but the infernal magic of Ironhall proved stronger than the scattered resistance could counter.
Instead, many dwarven families fled Valyngaard and settled among the lands of the other races. Now the Free Dwarves live in isolated pockets, struggling hard to keep their traditions and culture alive in the midst of terrible odds and encroaching cultures not their own. They strive to remember what it is to be dwarven, to maintain their clan and honor the gods in the ways that dwarves have for centuries untold.
In the deep heart of each and every Free Dwarf burns the knowledge of what they have lost and that fire smolders into a life of adventure for some. Many seek out the treasures of the past in hopes that power gained there can help the dwarven people. Others seek personal power to lead their fellows into prosperity.Others serve themselves, amassing strength in an effort to not be like their ancestors and pushed from yet another place of safety. The betrayal of Valyngaard is a shadow looming over every Free Dwarf.
  • Keywords: Traditional, earthy, solid, iron, stubborn, militant, disciplined, uncompromising
Four Things to Remember about Free Dwarves:
  • Tradition and Custom are EVERYTHING. In the century since the Iron Dwarves broke the royal line of Valyngaard, the Free Dwarves have been a people without a homeland, adrift and scattered among the communities of other races. They have been cut off from the eternal stone of their forefathers, and today the dwarves cling hard to the traditions, customs, tales and memories of their lost glory.
  • Loyalty is like stone. The Red Prince broke his oath of loyalty to his brother the King, and Valyngaard fell as a result. Especially as a people in exile, the Free Dwarves take loyalty especially seriously, in particular the oaths of loyalty binding a lord and vassal. They regard such things with an almost religious zeal, and woe unto those who break an oath to a dwarf; they can hold a grudge for a VERY long time and have been known to pass oaths of vengeance and retribution down from one generation to the next.
  • Words are like wind. For years before his betrayal the Red Prince spoke honeyed words to his King, all the while building a base of power to slay his family and enslave his people with infernal magic. This betrayal has greatly affected the dwarven outlook on verbal promises and speech in general. Though they still believe that oaths should be spoken true and with honor, they have first-hand seen the results of such treachery. Thus, while an honorable dwarf holds the oaths she herself has made with utter devotion, when it comes to others—even other dwarves—the assumption is not the same. A dwarf looks to see how a person acts and behaves to judge whether they hold to their oaths, not the words they say. Likewise, the belief of the dwarves is that feelings, emotions and thoughts on a matter are not positive or negative; it is entirely possible to be violently angry at someone and not act to to cause them harm. It is only when thought becomes behavior or action that it becomes good or ill.
  • Reclaim the Lost; Rebuild the Broken; Refuse Despair. This simple chant forms the core of many dwarven lives. They have firmly planted their feet in the earth and, though dealt a horrible blow by the corrupt dwarves of Ironhall, refused to go quietly into the growing darkness rising across Brittanis. They have dedicated themselves to slowly, methodically reclaiming that which has been lost in the last century—the knowledge, magic, and settlements of Valyngaard as well as their own racial pride and esteem. Until that final victory is achieved, the Free Dwarves construct communities of their own, rebuilding in new places the strength and glory of the dwarven people. And as each Free Dwarf stares at the horizon towards fallen Valyngaard, they refuse the despair that threatens the heart of every dwarf—the despair that corrupts and twists their people into the pitiless, infernal Iron Dwarves.
What Free Dwarves are NOT
  • Scottish. Despite the masterful performance of John Rhys-Davies in Lord of the Rings,dwarves are not Scottish. Don’t feel like you have to affect an accent in order to play one. You can if you choose to, though.
  • All bearded. Dwarven males pride themselves on their beards, and dwarven females take similar pride in long, luxurious hair plaited or braided into intricate knots and styles. However, males are not ALLOWED to grow a beard until they have achieved the age of majority and females likewise must wear their hair unbound until they are considered adults. It is POSSIBLE to play a dwarf male without a beard or a dwarf female with short hair, but you will beconsidered an adolescent by any other dwarf you meet. DWARVEN FEMALES DO NOT HAVE FACIAL HAIR.
The People The Free Dwarves are a people under siege; the loss of their homeland threatens to take all that they hold dear away from them. As each generation away from the Mountain Home passes, more of the traditions and lore of the dwarven people are lost, more ancient artifacts of power forgotten or corrupted by the Iron Dwarves, and less chance they will actually reclaim Valyngaard. As such, they stubbornly hold on to ancient traditions and ages-old customs in hope that when they eventually return to their ancestral homes they will still be the same dwarven people who were exiled a century ago. Most Free Dwarves dwell in freeholds,communities of dwarves from various families and clans that ended up in the same place after the destruction of Valyngaard. Freeholds are often nearby to or part of another community belonging to other races—a dwarven freehold may have been built against the walls of a human city or within sight of an elven village, just down the road. This allows the dwarves to have their own laws and traditions within their own walls, but still benefit from the trade and support of the larger settlement. Some call dwarves parasites for this behavior, but most realize the benefits a freehold brings to a community.
Freeholds are always built with defense in mind, regardless of the surrounding community. A freehold built against the walls of a city will also have solid defensible walls or battlements, whereas a log palisade or sturdy wooden wall surrounds more far-flung settlements. Whenever possible, Free Dwarves build into the earth, digging and mining in the ground and making subterranean halls, dwellings, and fortifications.
Freeholds are linked by a common sense of purpose and destiny—to rebuild the glory of the fallen kingdom of the dwarves. They pride themselves in a strong sense of community—families often work, eat, and train for battle together and can form devastatingly strong units on a battlefield in defense of their homes and families. It is said only half in jest that every dwarf, no matter what their calling in life, is part soldier and part priest. The dwarven struggle for survival in the last century caused a massive shift in dwarven thought and spirituality. Valyngaard,for all its glory and pride, had also become decadent and slothful—traits that allowed the Iron Dwarves to fester and grow and eventually conquer. Nowadays,the Free Dwarves hold tight to their military and religious traditions because it is those things which allowed them to survive and prosper after the exile. Every Free Dwarf pays homage to the gods and trains for battle. Even those visiting another settlement are required to train with the locals for one day out of the week.
The Free Dwarves value community greatly; the understand that in order to preserve their way of life there must be groups and settlements of dwarves working together for the benefit of everyone. Selfishness is considered the worst vice; putting your own good ahead of the good of the community a terrible crime. The dwarves of Valyngaard were well-known for their greed and avarice for material wealth. While this trait still exists for the Free Dwarves, large portions of individual wealth is put toward the good of the community and rebuilding what was lost.
Male dwarves are famed for their beards, though younger generations have adopted the habit of clipping them short. Regardless, a dwarf’s beard is always neatly kept and cared for. Contrary to popular belief, female dwarves do not have beards, though female dwarves are required to keep their hair bound and braided by ancient custom, and decorate their faces with tattoos designating their social status. Their weapons and armor are always well-kept and maintained.
Dwarven adventurers are held in particularly high esteem in the freeholds; they often donate large portions of their accumulated treasure and wealth to their home communities. When they retire from the adventuring life, it is not uncommon for the Moot (council of the eldest and most respected dwarves of a freehold) to elect that retired adventurer to the position of clan chief or some other position of respect in return for their donations to the community.
 
  • Free Dwarf Look and Feel Be sure to check out the Brittanis Pinterest page for Free Dwarves HERE!! (If you haven't seen Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies and The Hobbit movies, do so now. It's just easier that way. Their visuals for dwarves are just astoundingly beautiful.)
  • Free Dwarf costume is focused around two things: expression of dwarven culture and functionality. Every dwarf keenly feels the loss of their homeland, even 100 years later, and as such they seek to recreate just a bit of that lost glory and honor by dressing in such a way that reminds everyone who sees them of old Valyngaard. The geometric patterns of dwarven art and architecture are everywhere in their clothing: cut of a garment, decorations of embroidery or trim, quilting or augmentation of fabric, etc all express the look and feel of what was lost for all to see.
  • Likewise, dwarven clothing must be practical. Long or flowing garments, wide sleeves, and fragile fabrics serve no purpose and deteriorate quickly. As such they are only found in the formal attire of nobles and the ceremonial garments of the clergy. Rather than display their wealth and status with impractical, frivolous garments, the Free Dwarves honor their ancestors with exquisite decoration of fabric and beautiful dwarven-crafted jewelry. Likewise, it is considered dishonorable for a dwarf to carry weapons or armor not crafted by his own people; a dwarf would rather do his people honor by carrying an iron battleaxe crafted by a dwarven smith than a human-made longsword of supposedly higher quality. This DOES NOT apply to magic items and artifacts, however; these items are considered to be powerful boons reclaimed by the dwarven people for the benefit of Valyngaard. Dwarves who acquire magical treasures and donate them to the freehold gain great honor ad status within the community.
  • Lastly, it is a particular quirk of Free Dwarf society that the stylized faces of dwarves feature prominently in their art and architecture. It is believed that these visual homages to the ancestors of the dwarven people serve as guardians and protectors to those who wear them or live in buildings adorned with their faces. Thus is it extremely common to see at least one graven image of a dwarf-face on the garments, weapons, armor, or home of a Free Dwarf. These faces most often appear in items of stone or metal, but embroidered faces are not uncommon either.
Costume Inspiration Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings (Gimli, Moria) & The Hobbit (dwarves); Warhammer Fantasy Dwarves
  • Colors: Dark colors and rich earth-tones, as would be expected, are most common: forest green, midnight blue, deep purple, blood reds, burnt oranges, etc. Every shade of grey, brown, and black known to exist flourishes in dwarven fashion, and they often use gold or silver metallic accent to contrast the dark colors.
  • Materials: Leather is the most common dwarven material for outer garments such as aprons, coats, or over-tunics. But the tunnels and mines deep underground have surprisingly good temperature regulation, so dwarves wear a variety of other materials under the protective outer layer—cotton, linen and fine wool are all worn in combination. For particularly wealthy dwarves (of which there are few now), rich brocades are most common. Velvet and silk are considered flimsy and only used for ceremonial garb.
Armor:  Dwarves craft and armor themselves in some of the heaviest, most complicated armors known to Brittanis. They are masters of plate armor, and even their light armor is made in the same thick, protective styles as their plate. When mobility is needed, small plates of metal are affixed to a flexible backing in a lamellar style; it is believed that the Khemri learned this technique from the Free Dwarves.
  • Regardless of the type of armor, geometric patterns dominate dwarven armor styles: parallel lines, exact angles, and a distinct lack of curves define the style. These shapes and lines reflect the crystalline structure of the metals the dwarves work and the crystals and minerals they mine. These materials are often inlaid or worked into the armor, and the dwarves were the first to learn the secrets of masterwork crafting and the quasi-magical powers of such materials and gems.Because of this angular, faceted look, a dwarven regiment in polished armor going into battle is a shining, glitter sight to behold from a great distance. As mentioned above, the stylized faces of a dwarf’s ancestors are often worked into the motifs and geometric patterns that adorn dwarven armor. To go into battle in plain, un-decorated armor is to invite disaster, for you are deliberately shaming your ancestors and your people by not representing your race. Intricate engraving, precious metal inlays, and runic enhancements are so common as to be expected from dwarven armor.
Weapons & Shields
  • Battleaxes, picks and hammers are far and away the most common of dwarven weapons. These tools and implements of their trades translate well onto the battlefield, using the same muscles and techniques that mining, crafting and smithing do. Indeed, the very word “battleaxe” comes from the Free Dwarf tradition of having two matching copies of a single weapon made; a heavy, working tool stays behind at home and is used by the dwarf at his forge or place of work and the other, usually lighter weapon made for war goes with him off to battle. Thus, a “battle-axe” is literally the copy of your "working" axe you take with you to battle. This is one of the reasons dwarves wield their weapons like extensions of themselves, and why so many tales of tireless dwarven warriors exist.
  • Swords and other weapons do exist, and the dwarves who use them are often the most dedicated and dangerous fighters in the freehold—the tunnel fighters who focus on keeping the mines and warrens clear of monsters and invaders and who need those shorter, close-in weapons where the room needed to properly swing a hammer or axe might not be available. Nearly every dwarf carries a heavy dagger or long-knife, however, for just such occasions. Usually it is worn strapped horizontally to the small of the back for easy access.
  • Like their armor, the weapons of the Free Dwarves use geometric and angular patterns for their weapons. These simple but beautiful designs make dwarf weapons simple to care for and sharpen as well as repair if needed. The stylized face of a warrior ancestor of hero from a dwarf’s clan is often found on the weapon as well as decoration—and a constant reminder both of what is at stake for all dwarves, as well as the heroism and valor of their forebears.
  • Shields are almost as common as axes: it's almost comically difficult to injure a fully-armored dwarven warrior who is skilled at the use of a shield. Like their weapons, shields are decorated with the stylized faces and geometric patterns of the dwarven style. Square or hexagonal shields are common, as are variations of the pentagonal "heater" style shield of the Britons.
Costuming Requirements: Players of all Dwarf characters must wear a brown armband on their left forearm no narrower than 4 inches wide. Male dwarf players should have a beard or wear a costume prosthetic (see above note), and female dwarf players should keep their hair completely braided and have face-paint depicting an angular or geometric design in brown, black, or dark red.
Costuming Note: All racial identifier bands (or simply “race bands”) should be a pure representative of their color. Therefore the yellow race band worn by Sun Elves should not be mustard, orange-red, fluorescent yellow, pastel or any other variation. All effort should be made to keep it as purely YELLOW as possible. This armband should contrast the character’s costume and should be obviously a marker of the race and not a costume item. This ensures that it is easily identifiable on the battlefield and keeps “What race are you?!?” to a minimum. Help your fellow players out.
  • Naming Conventions: All Free Dwarves cling tightly to the naming conventions of their ancestors, just like they cling to the rest of their culture. Male names are two syllables, usually with a strong F, B, or TH sound in the beginning syllable. Female names tend to have more length, and make much use of the same kind of sounds as male names, but do so associated with a vowel, such as ISS, YLLA, and so on. Sample names and resources can be found in Appendix A.
  • Homeland: Free dwarves have no homeland--their ancient kingdom of Valyngaard was broken and usurped by devil-worshipping cultists and has been renamed Ironhall. Each and every Free Dwarf is a refugee or the child of refugees. As such, they have integrated themselves into other races’ cities and settlements, forming close-knit, even xenophobic communities of dwarves. It doesn’t matter what family or clan settles in an area—under all but the most extreme circumstances the dwarves of an area will congregate and work together.
  • Religion: Dwarves were exposed to the White Court through the Empire, but to date no dwarven Church dedicated to the entire pantheon exists. The single-minded dedication of the Free Dwarves means they focus themselves on a single deity entirely. The three gods traditionally revered by the dwarves are Ghorn and his children Dagmar and Emrys. Aenryia and Sarai are given honor due to their status as mother, but the dwarves revere the House of Ghorn first and foremost.
  • Racial Abilities Free Dwarf characters gain the following Racial Traits: Hero, Dwarf, Free Dwarf.
  • Sturdy: Dwarves gain +1 Vitality per tier.
  • Bound By Tradition: Dwarves typically do not engage in the arcane arts; likewise, due to their struggle to maintain their cultural identity, they rarely become Primal characters, either. Dwarves pay .5 extra CP for all Arcane and Primal skills. This only applies to the Source skills themselves—Class header skills do not have this penalty.
  • Oathbound: You are bound by your oaths and must be very careful before you make an oath, give your word or make some other formalized promise. Although casual conversation or expression of intent is not enough to cause this disadvantage to take effect, taking a formal oath or making a formal promise is binding. Whether by Fate, the will of the gods, or some other force in the universe, if you break your word or directly fail in an oath or promise you will be cursed by the spirits of your ancestors. Tales of these curses are always dire, and each is different. Some dwarves have the chance to atone, and some not so. None of their stories end well.
  • Master Crafter: Dwarves pay .5 CP less for any skill within a Crafting Header (Alchemist, Enchanter, or Artificer).
  • Cultural Weapons: Free Dwarves pay 1 less CP for all Blunt and Axe skills.
Racial Skills Free Dwarves may choose THREE of the following skills without paying CP at character creation, and can purchase others during character advancement with CP like normal skills. Dwarven Constitution (2, 2, 2 CP, Day): Whether from your love of strong drink, or a trick of body chemistry, you are less susceptible to conditions that assault your body.
  • Once per day, you may call “Resist by [Heroic Trait]” against an effect with a Metabolic Trait.
  • 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/day
  • 3rd Purchase: Usable 3/day
Stand Your Ground (3, 3, 3 CP; 1 Stamina; Battle): Dwarves are notoriously stubborn and hard to move when they don’t want to be moved. Having such a low center of gravity doesn’t hurt, either.
  • Once per battle, you can spend 1 Stamina to call “Resist by [Heroic Trait]” when you are the target of a Slow, Root, or Slam effect.
  • 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/battle
  • 3rd Purchase: Usable 3/battle
Earthbonded (2, 2, 2 CP; Watch):Your mystical link to the stone allows you to resist its effects.
  • Once per watch,you may call “Resist by [Heroic Trait]” against any effect with the Earth trait.
  • 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/watch
  • 3rd Purchase: Usable 3/Watch
Armor Familiarity (3, 4 CP):From a young age, adolescent dwarves are taught how to move, work, and fight in armor.
  • When wearing a full suit of armor (legs, arms, torso), you add +2 to the TOTAL armor points gained.
  • 2nd Purchase: You gain a bonus to the TOTAL armor points equal to your Tier.
Tireless Body (3, 3 CP):Your physical health is nearly supernatural.
  • When you are the target of an attack with a Metabolic trait, you need only rest 1 minute instead of 5 to end the effect.
  • 2nd Purchase: You need only 30 seconds of rest.
Nemesis (3, 3 CP):Your people have sworn an undying hatred for all things Infernal; they in return have done the same for you.
  • You can spend 1 Stamina to point at a target and call, “By My Gesture, Expose Infernal by [Heroic Trait]”.
  • 2nd Purchase: You call +1 to all damage verbals greater than 2 when attacking Infernal creatures.
Forgeborn (3, 3, 3 CP; Watch): You grew up in and around the underground forges of the dwarves, where coal and steam and red-hot steel were your constant companions.
  • Once per watch you can call, “Resist by [Heroic Trait]” to an Effect with the Fire trait.
  • 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/watch
  • 3rd Purchase: Usable 3/Watch
Weapon of Choice (2, 2, 2 CP, 1 Stamina, Battle)
  • When wielding a weapon from the Cultural Weapon list, a Free Dwarf character may make 2 melee or missile attacks for “X Damage,” where X is the character’s Tier+1.
  • 2nd Purchase: Usable 2/battle
  • 3rd Purchase: X is Tier +2
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Lyonesse

Young Queen, Old Enemies Capital: Redwall Castle Heraldry: Lion on a field of Burnt Orange Ethnic Majority: Brittanic, Norn Significant Minorities: Free Dwarves Major Religions: White Court (Aenryia, Aureus, Ghorn ), Old Faith ( Eldrea ) Ruled By: Queen Rosalind MacGregor Other Noble Families: Kathstein, Tremayne, Morrigen Lyonesse is a nation that could have fallen into ruin, but the resilience and ability of its royal family has surprised many. King Connor MacGregor, crowned just three years ago, was barely turned 19 years old when he took the throne. On his 18th birthday both his grandfather the old king and his father the prince were assassinated by unknown attackers. Suddenly thrust into leading a nation, Connor took the throne and led people into relative prosperity. Orkenay and the Fomorians both have designs on the mountain valleys of Lyonesse, but King Connor proved an able ruler, expanding his kingdom into the formerly lawless lands to the south. He has bound several of his grandfather’s loyalists to him by giving them lands or by marrying them into the royal house. Thus the nobility that might have faded away to other lands stayed and fought with renewed vigor for their new king. Sadly, this was only a peaceful interlude in the troubled history of Lyonesse. This past spring saw an attack by a large Fomorian force farther inland than had ever been seen before. King Connor rallied his vassals to fight the invaders and eventually prevailed, but lost a hand in the battle due to grievous injury. Only the intervention of a group of adventurers saved the kingdom from a grisly assault by the Fomorians. Later that year, King Connor, too, was assassinated at the castle of one of his own nobles. Lord Cedric Tremayne is suspected of being the assassin, but no proof to exonerate him or conclude his guilt has been found, and the man himself disappeared immediately after. Lyonesse is a mountainous land, filled with valleys and forests and natural resources. Its warriors are used to working in such rugged territory, and are known throughout Brittanis as foes of implacable endurance and stamina. Marching up and down mountain passes, through ancient woodlands and fighting battles on mountainsides makes the fighters of Lyonesse both incredibly adaptable and very difficult to wear down in a prolonged fight. King Connor’s elder sister Rosalind MacGregor—passed over for the throne when her father and grandfather were murdered in favor of her younger warrior brother— now sits upon the throne of Lyonesse with a country on the verge of civil war and both Siluria and the savage Kairn looming like vultures. It remains to be seen if the young Queen will be able to save her kingdom from ruin. Recent History Character Ideas

Logres, the Lost Lands

The Fallen Kingdom, The Swordlands

"This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man’s hand Under the twinkle of a fading star. --T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Men"
Capital: Caer Corbenic (fallen) Heraldry: Crossed Silver Swords on a Field of Black (no longer in use) Ethnic Majority: (former) Brynn, Brittanic, now more monsters than people. Significant Minorities: Free Dwarves (see below) Major Religions: Old Faith (Rhaine, Sarai); White Court (Dagmar, Arturian) Last Ruler: Queen Ceinwyn of the Fianna Other Noble Families: Rowyn, Tiarnach, Dierdra (all thought to be wiped out) For dozens of generations and more, the people of Logres stood vigilant against The Waste, their people constantly on guard against the gibbering, slithering horrors of that blasted, corrupting realm. Long before the coming of the Tiberian Empire, the ancient kings of the Brynn built the titanit Black Wall across the two major passes exiting The Waste, and guarded against the madness-inducing horrors of that place as their sacred duty. The wall stood over a hundred feet high, with watch posts every half-mile and only two major gates. All the realms of Brittanis paid tribute to the Fianna in gold, weapons, and soldiers to help them man the wall. For a long time, this tithe was seen as part of a king's homage to the gods, in protection of his people. Even the lords of far-off Siluria and Benwyck paid the tithe, knowing that if Logres should fall, all the kingdoms and realms of Brittanis would be in danger.
  • 44 years ago Logres that was fell and was destroyed; today it is a haunted, monster-infested wasteland known as The Swordlands in which no man is safe. Monsters pour through the gates that once stood strong against them to ravage and destroy all of central Brittanis.

History

 
  • Much of the history of Logres was lost in its destruction 44 years ago. It is known that the royal line had ruled unbroken since the construction of the Black Wall, an event that occurred after the Brynn pushed the Fomorians out of Brittanis. The Black Wall was old when the Tiberian Empire landed on Brittanic shores and began their conquest.
  • Early on during the conquest of Brittanis, the invading Imperials sent ambassadors to the various kings, queens, and chiefs f the land offering them alliance in exchange for continuing their own rule. Initially, Logres refused the Imperial overtures, and fought their own battles against the invading legions. Like most of the Brynn, however, they could not gather enough united strength and lost several battles.
  • Their forces depleted in their battles with the Imperials, the highlanders of Logres were nearly overwhelmed when an invasion from The Waste began assaulting the Black Wall. The Queen of Logres, then named Siobhan, sent to the Imperial commander with an offer: peace and alliance in exchange for troops to reinforce the Black Wall and keep the monsters of The Waste at bay.
  • The Imperial Commander, thinking that the monsters of the Waste were merely myth and the superstition of savages, agreed and sent a single cohort to assist. The cohort and a large Logrysian force were annihilated shortly thereafter and the Black Wall nearly over-run; only the intervention of a group of mighty heroes prevented the utter catastrophe that would have occurred had the Black Wall fallen. The heroes gave their lives in defense of the Black Wall; their names were lost to history in the fall of Logres.
  • For the remainder of the Imperial Occupation, a full legion of Imperial legionaries were stationed across the Black Wall. They held the line bravely, fending off at least two other potential incursions during the 600 years of Imperial rule. Logres, because it had submitted to the Empire (more or less) willingly, remained a self-ruled state and its royal house carried down unbroken through the generations.
  • Even before the time of the Empire, it was custom for the lords and rulers of Brittanis to send tribute to Logres in order to arm, train, feed, and support the soldiers on the Black Wall; ancient tales recounted what Brittanis was like before the construction of the Black Wall, and no ruler wanted that chaos and misery to reign again. As time went on, however, the kings either forgot or considered the bests of The Waste to be myth or no longer a threat. The tribute trickled in and once the Empire took over, stopped entirely.

Recent History

 
  • Just over a century ago, the Imperial legions were called back across the Sea of Storms to their homeland on the continent of Caledor. Almost immediately, The Waste began to stir once more, as if it knew the forces guarding the Black Wall were weakened. Logres called to the High Council of Brittanis for tribute once again, but no answer came. Again and again, as the attacks increased and more monsters slipped past the Black Wall, the rulers of Logres called for aid; again and again, they were met with only silence. When the Wastewar finally came, Logres stood valiantly against the oncoming tide of horror, but ultimately the kingdom was doomed.
  • The last confirmed and crowned monarch of Logres was Queen Ceinwyn, who ruled over the Fianna, a large tribe of Brynn as well as the Brittanic people who shared their lands. She was young and lovely, said to be the most beautiful woman of her generation, and she ruled Logres well up to the very end of her kingdom's days.
  • When the creatures of the Waste came pouring up to the Black Wall, Queen Ceinwyn immediately sent her mighty warlord, a knight and commander named Julius Ambrosius, to the council of Kings to ask for aid. The Council did not believe the cry for assistance; they claimed Ceinwyn had sent her warlord to extort money and troops from the other kingdoms in order to strengthen themselves in a bid to take power. They debated, and argued, and delayed. Julius pushed harder and harder to bring his Queen the support she needed, and Ceinwyn fought a series of protracted holding actions, delaying as long as she could and losing more and more ground every day to the twisted horrors of The Waste.
Eventually, it was too late. Ceinwyn fought one last, desperate battle and committed all her forces into stemming the tide of horror pouring through the Black Wall. Only after Ceinwyn was defeated and Logres utterly lost did the High Council see the true threat. Julius Ambrosius forced them into uniting and led the alliance into battle. After two long years of battle, Julius managed to push the mutated, chaos-infused horde back into the Waste, but the damage was done. Logres was lost, it's people scattered, its noble families crushed, its queen presumed dead in her last stand to buy Julius Ambrosius the time to unite the fractious kings of Brittanis under his banner.
  • Today, the lands once known as Logres are most often called The Swordlands, both in recognition of the crossed-swords heraldry of the fallen kingdom as well as the nature of the land itself. Monsters hunt the forests and hills here; bandit kings and brigands rule small patches of whatever land they can keep control of. Petty warlords try to carve out pieces of the countryside, ruling whatever they can defend until the monsters swallow up yet another settlement.
  The land is tainted by the corruption of The Waste-- the trees are stunted and gnarled, the grasses sickly and yellowish, the rivers brackish and nearly undrinkable. The land is not as twisted and mutated as The Waste itself, but the taint is spreading. Each year the Waste grows another mile or so. Right now it encompasses the Black Wall and several miles beyond it. No-one knows when the corruption will stop, or when another twisted, horrific horde will pour out of The Waste and across the landscape of fallen Logres to prey on the soft underbelly of Brittanis again.

Rumors

 
 
  • Julius Ambrosius was not only an oath-bound warlord to Queen Ceinwyn; rumors and tales say he was also her lover, and may even have been pregnant with his child.
  • Ceinwyn was a sorceress of great power; in the final years before the Wastewar, she succumbed to the curruption of the Waste and weakened her army before the invasion.
  • The spirits of Logres' army still linger in the Swordlands, animating from battlefields all over the countryside seemingly at random.
  • A mighty, dark power now rules in the Swordlands, amassing power and wealth needed to invade the heartlands of Brittanis.