The Aftermath 3

Searching the Oblivion

For five thousand years the evolution of Tellus (Earth) was corrupted by the presence of the Eye and the meteor, manipulating nature through unnatural ideas from the human mythologies. Unicorns, goblins, trolls, dragons, and countless other impossibilities was made flesh, though only a few managed to last.
Fantasy became reality, and the alien energies from the meteor covered the world and with time became the source for the magic of magicians. Some souls of the dead kept themselves in our world through the same energies, and even animals learned to harness smaller portions of this power.
But eventually the Eye was destroyed for good, and evolution started speeding down and normalize. But many of the fantasy creatures still existed, magic was still available, and humanity was no longer what it once was. The northern and the southern parts of the world lost contact because of increasing sea monsters. Geomania was shattered and overwhelmed. Pyroica was left by itself. And Hydroena and Aeromina became divided by four main groups of people:
One; Humans and a few minorities, like dwarves.
Two; Elves.
Three; Orcs and their fellow conquered greenskins.
Four; The UnDead, near-dead, all-dead, wanted-dead, and even a few live ones.

Following is a little basic information about these four groups one thousand years after the death of Sight (a.k.a. the Eye).

- - -

The Human Nature
William: "Now to find out how to sleep."

In the Kingdom of Guildia the power of rulership was divided between the King, the Nobles, the Temple of Will, the Guilds, the Wizards, and the Bluewind Industries. The politics was always difficult to deal with, seeing as some people would have their influence in more than just one power. A very fine balance hinging on that no one gets too much ahead of themselves.

The King was technically the rule and law of the country (hence Kingdom), and also the guy with the biggest, strongest and best trained army. Luckily he had some very good cont(r)acts with the rich dwarves, and he also tried to keep the people on his side through proper welfare arrangements and some clever propaganda. He also tend to stay on the good side of the heroes, something which gives him a clear edge over the Temple of Will.

The Nobles, cousins and adoptive cousins of the King, spent most of their time doing what Nobles do best: Picking on the poor and plotting at the door. Divided in families (houses), and then divided by individuals, the Nobles normally bicker among themselves. But you can be sure that when the King dies, the Nobles will start throwing out their family trees, their titles, their voices, their money, their assassins, their relatives, their hopes, their... Well, you get the picture. Anyway, most of it also gets thrown out the window.

The Temple of Will mostly goes around and between the other powers. Gaining riches through the riches who wants to stay on the good side of God when they reach whatever afterlife there is. Gaining followers among the poor by promising them lots of riches when also they one day reach the afterlife. There is, of course, a great variety of thoughts and ideas among the heads of the Temple, and they always try to follow as much as possible of what their Great William has commanded them (they seem to completely ignore the commandment of leaving Him alone). The Temple isn't really very united in their work, though they follow the lead of their Grand Church.

The Guilds, however, is a very different matter. All with their headquarters in Guildia (with the exception of the Mad Dog Killers Guild, which has relocated to Deathmoor across the border), most of the Guilds usually just goes on with their professions. A few, however, is interested in helping the government expand (their own purses), thus involving themselves a little bit in actual politics. These few includes (especially) the Assassins Guild, the Thieves Guild, the Spies Guild, the Plotters Guild, the Villains Guild, the Real Villains Guild, the Forgers Guild, the Curiosity Guild... Er, okay, a lot of guilds. Half the houses in Guildia is actually, one way or another, a guildhouse.

The Wizards, with their Wizard Tower outside Guildia City as a center, is kinda spread around the two southern continents in huts and mini-towers. Once away from the main Wizard Tower the wizards turn a lot more individualistic and less interested in politics, while those who decides to stay after finishing studentship gets very entangled into the wheel of power. The Wizards also has good connections with the Temple of Will due to their interests in Willpower, and they offer special advisors for hire to those who wishes it. It probably should be mentioned that the Guilds try to keep out of the Wizards business, seeing as they are very close neighbours and very vulnerable to falling meteors.

The Bluewind Industries is mostly a great merchant company spread over the two southern continents, and most of the day-to-day business is conducted independently by trustable underlings. The actual owners is the Bluewind family, completely in control and at the same time doing very little themselves, and very seldom seen in public. With base of operations in the City of Bluewind (guess what they named the city after!), the Bluewind Industries is what keeps the world of money in check.
(Funny note: The company isn't really run by a family. It's just an illusion so that people won't notice so easily that the real owner, Martin Bluewind, doesn't age or die naturally. There is also no evidence whatsoever that Mr. Bluewind and a great, notorious villain known only as the Raider has any connection with each other.)

The Dwarves, who live underground in their mines, aren't really believed to have any effect on the politics of humans. This view is both right and wrong, seeing as the dwarves only care for their underworld, and the only reason humans mostly bother with them is their valuable gold, metal, stone and jewels, and the fact that they can't just wander in and simply grab it. Luckily for those very humans the dwarves needs certain supplies they can't get underground, like food better than water and weeds, wood, candlelight...
However, dwarves seldom invite elves and wizards inside in case those damn magic users decides to "help out" a little by blowing up that particular placed pillar, or something. They also don't allow in the bigger greenskins due to a low ceiling and a high chance for raining rocks. However, they do allow in the nice, friendly, charismatic, decent, holy, trustworthy and above all dangerous Raider...

- - -

The Elven Mystery
William: "I've got a bad feeling about this." - - - Drain DeSwamp: "Yeah, me too."

Elves. These tall beings has existed in the Woods of Elvor and the surrounding great forests for countless ages, absorbing themselves in the usage of magic. Exploring and developping this ancient power, the Willpower, further than their records are dated. To the elves magic has become second nature, using it both for the simple and the complicated things in life. An elf has no need for flint and wood, neither do they require much food as they also can feed on the same power (which also explains why they often are so very thin). All senses severely heightened, both sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, along with other senses unavailable to lesser beings. (Sometimes these strong senses aren't all they're cracked up to be, especially when they're eating lemons and smelling rotten fish. They also clap their hands very softly when they're cheering.)

Elves. Among their friends and allies (humans, dwarves, magicians, etc) they are counted as wise and even divine, respected for their great knowledge and their great magical powers. Living high up in the trees, specializing their fighting skills towards the ranged side with bows, throwing knives, lightning beams, fireballs and sound waves, the elves live very isolated from the other peoples. In fact few outsiders knows how their society works, and only fragments of their art, their history and their magic has ever been shown to non-elven beings. An elf is easily recognised because of their tall stance, golden hair, highly noble speech and shiny eyes. Humans can, of course, look the same, but you always, and by always we mean every single, bloody time, you can always recognise him by his pointy ears. After all, the only other pointyeared, humanoid creature around are orcs, and they are greencolored and therefore easily distinguished. End of discussion!

Elves. They have never really gotten along with the greenskins, and whenever they get into each others areas they get chased out of them. But this dislike goes even deeper with the orcs, for elves and orcs share a history hidden from all outsiders, and their hate for each other has turned so strong throughout the ages that it is an instinct to became enraged in the others presence. Anyway, the greenskins see the elves as arrogant cowards, and there is a lot of orcish prophecies about the events that will happen should magic ever vanish from the world. (You do not want to hear the specifics in those tales.)

Elves. Ruled by a Queen, who is advised by the Elvor Council, which has its members carefully selected (by the queen) among the most powerful and most knowledgeable elves. In all matters the Queen's word is final, and the Council carries the orders out. All elves in the Realms of Elvor are subject to the Queen, and they look on their supreme ruler with love, respect, honor, and a little bit fear. Few dares to disobey the queen, not only because they fear to be ripped apart by a mob of elves should they, but because she is also sort of the Supreme High Priestess of the Arch Temple of the God of Willpower. The Queen is considered to be the Hand of Will, whose grandmother was chosen by the Great God William to speak for Him when He is absent. (Which was true, in a sense, as after having stayed three days with the elves and their awing he announced a decision in front of the public: "Hey! You! The one who is holding that feather duster! Come over here! Yes, you! Okay, see that gang of people over there?! I want you to hand them some of these smokebombs and tell them to go away or something! Ah, finally the bloody window opened! I'll leave you in charge here for now! Bye!"
Funny enough the exact words aren't really remembered.)

Side note: The elves have many times invited the great hero Zordon to their Capitol, though he strangely seldom wishes to come. They find this strange, seeing as he has pointed ears and therefore clearly must have elven ancestry. And the few times he does come he always brings company, and then leaves as soon as elvenly possible. Even the Queen (whose eyes turns very bright when she meets him) can not convince him to stay around for long. The elves have never met a more serious and silent man before, though stories claim something else...

Elves. Shrouded in mystery. When you look at them you see certainty, wisdom, knowledge, superiority, divinity and magic. You see beings whom has seen and understood everything. Enlightened. Elves. Creatures from fantasy. Not real elves. Only they remembers that they were once members of the human race, a secret carefully kept under control through their alien radiance, because the elves are more human than they dare to admit...

- - -

The Orcish Structure
Robin: "I believe in good introes." - - - The Raider: "I believe I'm gonna kill you."

Orcs, trolls, goblins, gremlins, imps, ogres and locustins. These are the remaining greenskinned species, all subjects under the Orcish Domain of Blaze, and all great believers in the Great God William. The power of ruling was split among three people (usually orcs): The first is the Grand Shaman, head of the Supreme Temple and in control of nearly all religious activity. The second is the Intern Chief, whose duty is to keep the peace and pieces together among the seven species. And the third is the Extern Lord, who has the knowledge and grace to deal with the outsiders and their politics to ensure the continuing expanding cooperation with the other nations. (Oversimply put; religious figurehead, police chief and ambassador.)

The orcs are the most human looking and currently the dominating specie among the greenskins. Once they were elves who turned away from magic, and thus they have inherited the pointed ears, an ancient history that both elf and orc has kept secret from the rest of the world. (The same history is the true basis for the enraging hatred that these two species keep for each other.) Orcs are, in many ways, very similar to humans (though orcs eat meat raw), and they are starting to get much better along with the whiteskins (except the elves). But be warned, no matter how sivilized an orc may be, once angered their bloodthirst will start flaring up.

The trolls are the biggest of the greenskins, originally creatures of the mountains, though they have found the plains and the forests much easier to walk in. They tend to blend into the background as big hills when they're standing still, mostly because they have lots of small trees and bushes growing on them. They also have a very slow thinking process, and they have a very, very slow walking pace. Trolls basicly eat rocks and plants, maybe a few animals by accident, and most of the time they ignore people. The only reason they haven't gone extinct is because they have skin as hard as rocks, and can hit just as hard.

The goblins are creatures who mimics orcish and human behaviour, and has developed a very similar appearence and technique. But there are concepts and procedures they don't understand, and most of the time the other species avoid them. Goblins are also considered untrustworthy because they tend to steal stuff rather than make it or trade it, and if the odds in a fight are against them their final solution is to not be around during the unpleasentries. Goblins prefer plains rather than the woods, which makes it easier to run, easier to pull down and hide, and easier to not have an elf suddenly drop down on them from above. The reason they haven't gone extinct may be because they run like hell.

The gremlins are small creatures, but big enough to get their hands around your throat. They have a bad habit of playing nasty tricks, tearing up important stuff, and cutting your throat when you're not looking. They tend to be very slimy and smelly, and it is easy to notice when they are around. During the day they tend to be harmless and civilized, but in the night they sneak around and let their instincts get the better of them, though there is always little proof that they were responsible for whatever they did (that smell and slime could be from another gremlin, after all). It is very common to lock inside as many gremlins as possible before the sun sets, and then let them out as it dawns. The only reason they haven't been killed to extinction is because they are very good at tricking death as well.

The imps are the smallest of the greenskins, and actually also quite bright. They usually live in big groups, are very well behaved, and often ignored by the other species. They don't eat or sleep much, they avoid attention, and they aren't very agressive. (However, give an imp some alcohol and you can forget all that was previously mentioned about them.) The reason they haven't gone extinct is probably because there is so bloody many of them, and they aren't normally noticed by predators.

The ogres are the second biggest creature among the greenskins, and almost as bright as the imps. But ogres are easily angered, and their minds can not storage both rage and intellect at the same time, so once they have gone into a hitting frenzy their reason takes a vacation. (But once calm, ogres can be quite the nice chap.) Ogres also tend to eat a lot, so there is always quite a lot of fat on them, and they are capable of eating just about anything. (Ogres looks on heavy weight as a sort of symbol of status.) Unfortunately it seems like the ogres are nearing their extinction, and in just maybe five or six more generations they may have finally died out. They eat themselves to death, and without a great amount of food they will also die of starvation.

The locustins are the only greenskin which isn't humanoid, but more like giant insects. They have a wide variety of forms, some like locust, other spiders, scorpions, cockroaches, maybe even bees or mosquitos. There aren't really all that many of them, not compared to the amounts of the other greenskins, but they do stick out in the crowd. Their size and intellect varies from individual to individual, but most of the time they act as regular people. They have some difficulties with speaking, but they understand quite well what they're told (though sometimes they pretend they don't, especially when you say they owe you money).

Side note: Many people, of all species, has heard of the great hero Zordon. (Not to be confused with the disgraced zero Zordon whom caused a great massacre during the Race Wars over a thousand years ago!) But what only a few knows, not counting the entire (sniggering) orcish race, is that the great hero Zordon isn't half elf, but half orc. The fact that he looks like a whiteskin is caused by his other half being human.

- - -

The UnDead World
Don: "Why do I feel like running away all of a sudden?"

The Master Lich Lord Nightmare of the UnDead Empire of the Lich' Moor, the Emperor of Death and the only surviving undead creature created from the necromancy originated on the Pyroica Continent over a thousand years ago (phew). This is the being that brought the powers of necromancy back into the world. An ancient, living, human skeleton feared by the living. Ruler of the northern part of the Aeromina Continent, Lord Nightmare is victim of his own poor lack of judgement. Lord Nightmare, your worst nightmare, Don.

In the beginning Lord Nightmare was just a simple villain living upon the hillside alone in his dark castle, sometimes visited by a few old friends. He wasn't really any threat to anyone who didn't come and knock on his door, but with enough time things would change. Eventually he was sought out by different kinds of people who wanted to become apprentices and learn the power of necromancy. Bored of living alone he accepted those which seemed suitable, and he taught away the basics of necromancy. But the deeper secrets he kept to himself, among them the secret to binding the soul to the skeleton and rising as a Lich. Instead he encouraged his students to go in their own directions, but some were disappointed and claimed that they would never live long enough to properly explore the mysteries of necromancy. After much thinking Lord Nightmare offered his students to personally perform the soulbinding on them and turn them into an everliving Lich if they wanted, but only after passing a test. Some dared to accept, and others did not. Only those who were able to sit all the way through and listen to him while he showed off his family album passed, for they had shown that they really wanted this gift and that they had the patience for the following ages to come being UnDead.

And so the Liches numbers grew (slowly), and they created zombies, skeletons, wraiths, banshees and death knights of their own. This created concern for the followers of William in the Kingdom of Guildia, something which caused a war which the UnDead easily won. So Lord Nightmare and his fellow Liches gained huge areas in the northern part of their continent, creating the Empire of the Lich' Moor. Thus the Liches found interest in both governing and necromaning, though they mostly left the living to themselves. And the living who hadn't run off towards Guildia during the war found that the UnDead weren't really all that bad. Well (most of them anyway). And eventually the Castle of Deathmoor became the City and Capitol of Deathmoor, a place united with both the living and the dead, and with time they all got used to each other.

The Liches are necromancers who have passed the Test of the Album, and thus had their souls fused to their bones by Lord Nightmare through the secret deeper powers of necromancy, to live eternally as UnDead until some bloody hero comes crashing into the living room. These Liches then becomes part of the Masters, aiding Lord Nightmare in ruling the Lich'Moor. (Not all Liches are bare skeletons. Some prefer to keep the meat on for as long as possible.) Liches are the only UnDead capable of creating through magic.

The zombies and skeletons are the simplest UnDead creatures, mindless minions (mostly) who is given the simplest tasks. Has a tendency to take orders very literally, and doesn't stop unless given clear instructions by their Masters. Mostly used as fighters and guards, sometimes also as available victims for building anger. (Lord Nightmare swears that these UnDead are much smarter than they seem, and that they're acting stupid on purpose!)

The wraiths are individuals who were given, or who took certain objects, and eventually became corrupted by the strong necromanic enchantment placed on those very objects. (Gold rings, jewelled daggers, spiky crowns, etc...) The wraiths have then been enslaved to the Masters will, though the end results differs. Most take a liking to dark clothes, robes and cloaks, and often end up with very pale faces. Some also gain some very strange powers, like shapeshifting into mist or spitting poison and acid. (For some strange reason the notorious Raider always immediately kills wraiths whom he hear uses the word "precious".)

The banshees are basically (female) spirits with the ability to enter peoples minds and destroy them (or throw them out or something). Some can even take control of the body afterwards as well and thus use them until the body actually dies. Some can also read minds and steal other peoples memories, and thus create illusions to distract or disturb those people. Lord Nightmare prefer to keep them seperated from the living most of the time, just in case they get funny ideas. (A friend of Lord Nightmare who sometimes visits, a man called Robin, seems to have a very disturbing effect on the banshees.)

The death knights are made from people who were once powerful warriors (like heroes and villains). Just as they were about to die the Masters would give them the chance to live again, and serve. Those who accepted and became death knights had their souls fused into their skull (similar to how you create Liches, but much simpler and only keeps the target alive for a couple of centuries), and was then given a whole new armor specially made to make them look a lot more terrifying, with lots of black and a scary helmet which would cover up their faces.

The UnDead Empire of the Lich' Moor is very tolerant about their visitors, and even allows common criminals and infamous villains from the other nations to come sit down and relax without too much fear from this nation. People with bad conscious sort of gets a second chance, though they will be in damned trouble if they can't control themselves here. (Strangely enough the religion of William never managed to plant itself in the Lich' Moor.)

Agnar Idsøe
11. September 2005


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