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Unread 27th of April, 2008, 16:32
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Backdrop (Game Setting Details)

Fall of the Aloth Empire

The history of the Freelands can said to truly have begun with the rise of the Alothan Empire. Thousands of years ago the city Aloth was a small city to the south of what is now the Freelands. Over the centuries it spread to encompass its neighbours and grew into a mighty empire that stretched from the Ice Wastes of the north, to the Dread Desert of the south, the Great Western Sea and the Palaith Empire to the east. Due to a native passion for trade, a natural cunning for diplomacy, the strength of a firm military, and the wisdom to know when to use each, it united the Freelands under the banner of civilisation and stability for a thousand years.

The end of the Empire came from the east. Seers, Cunningmen, and Oracles all began divining visions of a great dark storm coming from the east. Even more perplexing, emissaries from the Palaith Empire arrived suing for peace in their unending war, with very favourable terms for Aloth. Concerned, the Emperor sent one of its heroes - Marlicus Lesito - to investigate. Lesito discovered the Palaith Empire under siege from a great host from the unknown east, one that had crushed kingdoms, cities and empires without mercy in its drive to rule the entire world.

Certain that after the Palaith Empire fell - which it surely would - Aloth would be next, Lesito raced back, assumed command of the armies massed on the eastern borders of the empire and marched back to launch a pre-emptive strike. Lestio returned as Palaith finally crumbled, catching the strange army unprepared and entangled with the remains of the Palaith forces, slaughtering them.

The victory was a two edged sword, the army Lesito had destroyed was just one part of the stranger's forces. His actions had bought Aloth time, but now when the strangers returned that would attack with all of their might. The Stranger's empire was maintained by the belief in its inevitable success; in the face of anything except total victory they would face a wave up uprisings and civil war. Forewarned from spies and interrogation of the captives Aloth made preparations.

Every legion marched to the eastern border, mercenaries and bandits alike were hired by the thousand, entire towns were stripped of manpower as the inhabitants were conscripted for what would be the largest battle the world had ever seen. The entire economy shifted to equip, feed and prepare the forces. Even the Dwarven and Elven peoples, outside the direct rule of Aloth sent their warriors to the conflict.

The Strangers struck at the end of winter, their armies stretched across a continent. Dozens of wide scale battle, ambushes and skirmishes took place independent of each other. Heroes were forged in the heat of battle, then slain. Mountains were levels and forests burnt as the wizards and holymen of both sides unleashed arcane forces on each other. Days turned into weeks and months of unending conflict as the unimaginable might of two empires were thrown at each other.

The tales of the war are manifold and contradictory. What is known is that as Spring wound to a close and Summer settled in, the Aloth Empire defeated the Strangers. Faced with a ferocity unlike any they had ever faced the Strangers were slowed, stopped and then driven back. Slaughtered in the tens of thousands it was a ragged fraction of their power that eventually fled the battle, only to be consumed in the rebellions that arose in the wake of the weakened overstate.

The Aloth Empire had won, and in their victory they achieved their own ruin. The planting season had passed without crops being sown, the bureaucratic and leadership heart of the Empire had perished on the battlefield, and the main part of the population of entire regions lay in unmarked mass graves. Famine wracked the Freelands, followed by plague. Banditry arose and trade stopped, people looked to their neighbours for security and self sustainability.

The Aloth Empire had no strength to ensure its unity. In the chaos, without fanfare, it disintegrated.
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Unread 29th of April, 2008, 08:33
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Of Elves

Elvish legend tells that they were the original inhabitants of the Freelands, that they were placed here by their gods and their civilisation covered the length and breadth of the land. Any evidence of the truth to these legends, however, have been lost in the mists of time.

What is known is at the time of the first elvish contact with humans, they inhabited a series of isles to the north west of the Freelands. The original humans were barely above the level of nomadic hunters without written language. Faced with a heavily superior society, the humans adopted the culture for their own, forming their own bastardised version of the language, philosophy and social constraints.

It was a golden age for the elves where they had no equals, though not without its problems. The human population boomed while the elven barely changed. Even as their culture spread from human to human back to the mainland the elves began to withdraw to remote corners of the isles.

The age of elves came to an end when rumour of a rising empire from the south reached them. Rumour grew into fact when Aloth launched an invasion of their isles, quickly conquering the human population and moving to strike at the unhuman elements. The Aloth and the Elven People engaged in a single battle, an ambush by the elves on an army that entered their territory. Though caught off guard the Aloth soldier counter attacked and both sides quickly withdrew, leaving the battle an indecisive draw but giving each respect for the other's military might.

In the aftermath Aloth and Elvish diplomats met and arrange a mutually beneficial arrangement to avoid any costly war. The elves recognised Aloth rulership of the human parts of the islands, and Aloth recognised the Elvish lands as outside their authority. The elves gained access to the benefits of a continent wide trade and travel, while Aloth gained access to centuries of philosophy, art and music, setting fire to a cultural revolution of their own. Both sides grew and blossomed under the arrangement.

And so things remained for the thousand year stability of the Aloth Empire, until one day emissaries arrived to warn of the approaching Stranger force and beg for aid. Alarmed by predictions from their own seers, the elven peoples agreed, marshalled an army and marched forth to the distant land. Most did not return
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Unread 3rd of November, 2009, 14:59
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Of Dwarves

The tale of Dwarvish history is one of conflict. Legends tells that once, long ago, they had a home outside the Freelands. This was a land of bounty and beauty, where all were at peace and ills were unknown. Then, in the innocence of their youth they were attacked and driven from their home.

As an entire race they migrated from place to place until they settled in a mountainous region in the centre of the Freelands. Fearful of having their adopted homeland taken from them, and dreaming of one day claiming the land that belonged to their ancestors, the dwarves turned their minds to weapons, armours and warriors, producing the finest armies the Freelands have ever known.

To the south of the dwarven lands the city Aloth was in the infancy of its empire when it began to encroach upon dwarven lands. Hearing tales of the riches to be found, Aloth sent forth an army under the command of Mestia, hero of the Calliun Wars to conquer this strange nation and bring it within the Empire.

The army invaded and were obliterated to the last man. The dwarven forces suffered no casualties. Enraged and empowered by an indomitable will, Aloth sent forth army after army to make war upon their enemies, and conflict after conflict the dwarven armies emerged victorious.

As time passed and the defeats were built upon defeat, the Aloth forces began to adapt, adopting the strategies, disposition – and in many cases even the equipment – of their foes. In this way, conceived from the ashes of defeat, the might of the Aloth Legions, iron fist of the empire, were born. The Alothan Empire spread east, west and north throughout the Freelands, until the dwarven kingdoms were surrounded upon all sides.

Generations of humans passed and the war slowed to a sliver of its former fever, but still it carried on - more from expected behaviour than any true desire to gain victory - draining the resources of both sides. Wide spread and barely hidden smuggling conducted trade between the two powers, dwarf crafted goods were prized possessions and dwarven folk traveled far and wide on the peaceful Alothan roads, even unto Aloth itself.

The state of affairs continued until Aloth was faced with the greatest threat to its empire before the arrival of The Strangers. Needing the resources wasted upon a pointless war both sides conducted a peace treaty and Aloth turned its attention to the arrival of the Seven Ships.

In the thousand years of stability that followed, the dwarven lands became an independent power within the Aloth empire, a centre for the crafts and trade from all corners of the Freelands, and they grew ever closer to their former foes. Things remained peaceful until emissaries arrived to warn them of an approaching danger, a vast army bent on conquering all before it.

Forewarned and determined to defend their homeland, the dwarven powers raised the greatest army they had ever known and marched east besides their human compatriots. Great and fell were the deeds that followed, until at the cost of many dwarven lives the Strangers were turned away.

Few Dwarves returned home.
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Unread 19th of April, 2012, 13:18
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Bad Map That's Mostly Inaccurate
  1. Elf Territories
  2. Dwarven Kingdoms
  3. Aloth
  4. Fantasy Egypt.
    Weird Spices and Silks come through here, but no one knows where the traders come from. It can't be across the Deadlands as everyone knows they're impassable.
  5. Great Desert.
    Totally impassable, except for the natives who pass across it all the time.
  6. Fantasy Vikings.
    Disunified villages and tribes. Frequent raids south for fun and profit. Only area of the Freelands not conquered by Aloth, the fall of the empire saved it from the inevitable invasion.
  7. Nomadic Hunter Gatherers.
    Stone Age. Mostly untouched by civilisation, part of Alothian empire on paper, but with little of value mostly ignored
  8. Deadlands.
    Lifeless area the result of war between Aloth and the Strangers. Totally impassable. Promise.

Vague Location for Each Chapter
A=Chapter 1
B=Chapter 2
C=Chapter 3
D=Chapter 4
E=Chapter 5
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Freelands.jpg (69.2 KB, 10 views)
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