The east


When the ships of fire descended from the sky, only one landed on the Isle of the Dead. The others were either destroyed or scattered across the world. One of these ships landed in the north of the continent the Anvar called Rilvarinistara; 'The Land That Is Riven In Two', the name seemingly typical of the long-winded Anvar. A good portion of the ship survived, though the armoury and the engine room were separated from the main ship in the crash.

Unlike the relatively sedate landing of the colony ship that would one day become the short-lived city of Primus, the North ship's landing was practically explosive. Thousands died on impact, ignoring those who were killed when the aft section of the ship was torn away by atmospheric friction. Even so, ten thousand humans dragged themselves from the wreckage, stunned and confused, only to face a horror they hadn't expected.

Watching them from a nearby ridge, a Beast Pack, drawn by the crash landing, roared out a challenge and swarmed down into the attack. The humans would have been swept away in that same instant, if not for the presence of the ship's captain and it's five hundred strong compliment of Marines. For, although the armoury was gone, the Marines still carried their own personal weaponry.

Using the wreckage of their own ship, the Marines forced the Beasts into a strange form of trench warfare. They held out for eight days, though casualties on both sides were horrific. Just as it seemed that the human positions would be overwhelmed, the humming drone of an Anvar war-horn ripped the air. Using immense hammers, maces and axes, an Anvar Crusade swept into the side of the Beast Pack and scattered them to the winds.

For a few moments it seemed as if the terrified colonists would flee or even attack their saviours. However the Anvar Paladin, Gan, stepped forwards, lowered his weapon and threw the corpse of the Beast Pack Leader at the collective feet of the humans. This act bought Gan sufficient time to cast the simple spell: Common Tongue.

The ship captains response to a suit of talking armour is unrecorded, but was probably quite interesting to say the very least. The end result however is well known. Gan appreciated the way that, with more warning, the humans could probably have driven off the Beast attack with minimal casualties. For the first time in Tal'Vornian history an alliance was formed between two Races, the Anvar and the Northern Humans, or Northars as they came to be known, an alliance with no ulterior motive, an alliance forged simply for the betterment of both involved sides.

The following two hundred years were a time of constant warfare for the newly born Alliance. In the beginning, the highly advanced Northars, combined with the sheer power and tactical experience of the Anvar, swept away the Beast hoards. Even when the occasional Torma emerged from the wilderness, they were cut down in short order.

However, the north of Rilvarinistara did, and still does, mostly comprise of grassland. It was a simple method to use the Northars vastly superior long-range weaponry to obliterate the Beasts at a safe distance. However, south of the Giant's Bones, the immense mountain range that cut the continent in half, the terrain was very different, being made up of forest land, with only the occasional clearing to break the green mass.

The Beasts were driven beyond the mountains but no further. The Anvar supply lines grew too extended and the power cells of the human weapons finally began to die. Northar technological regression would have been harsh and quite possibly fatal, if not for the presence of the Anvar. Honouring the by now centuries old alliance, the Anvar provided food and building materials, allowing the Northar humans to create their first stronghold, the fortress known as Larlia, meaning Wall in the Anvar tongue.

Positioned in the mouth of Giant's Axe, the sole pass through the mountains, Larlia has only grown larger and more powerful over the years. A veritable mountain of fortifications, it is judged unbreakable without the specific intervention of a DarkSider strike-force or an entire Guardian Assault Unit. It has certainly never been breached by the almost constant Beast raids, Torma assaults and Southar hunting parties.

It was from this point that the Northar control spread. Numerous farms had been set up over the years, and these were connected with a highly efficient road network. This allowed the rapid movement of supplies and troops, especially the long-legged Anvar. Over time it was decided that an actual city, rather then a fortress was required, to home the building human population. To fulfil this aim the town known as Gar, a fishing village on the north coast of the continent, actually set in the centre of the Suban river, was rapidly expanded. Set on massive supports and linked with streets of heavy-wooden planking, Gar grew rapidly. When an immense swath of it's sea-ward edge were converted to a set of heavy duty docks, the trade of food and materials between the Northar and the Anvar landmass of Islara grew by a factor of three.

More then five hundred years after their landing and the Northar were a peaceful people, living in almost absolute harmony with the massive Anvar. Indeed this peace and respect grew so deep that a large majority of followers of Solar emerged. This movement grew so huge that a full new city to house them was created. Although the vast majority of Northar are now Solarists, the Temple-City of Solim is still the centre point of the religion and is commonly viewed as the nations capital. With more temples per square mile then any city outside of Islara, Solim is a vast place, dedicated to the worship of Solar.

The Anvar even went as far as to teach the Northar some basic magic, based upon their own Light Magics. Humans, being human, twisted this magic to their own ends and, believing it to be a gift from Solar, named it Holy. This magic was to become the Northar's greatest tactical asset, for it was based upon a combination of Guardian, Order and Light Magics. Indeed in recent years substantial Healing incantations have been added to the arsenal.

Northar troops are very similar to Anvar and are typically arrayed in a similar manner. Under the command of the most powerful Holy magic user and therefor the highest ranking priest in the unit, the troops form into crusades. Their leaders take the titles of Paladin whilst in command and Cleric afterwards. These crusades can be any size and commonly include young Anvar, though the Elder Race typically form their own battle units.

However peace never lasts. The Beast Herds and Packs of Torma continued to raid from the south. Things took another downward turn when a human corpse was found amidst a destroyed Beast Herd. The Anvar Crusade responsible for the Herd's destruction reported that they had been confronted by a type of magic they had never seen before, wielded by that human.

The Alliance by now was more then strong enough to weather the arrival of a rogue human. Indeed, several crusades were launched into the south, though with little result. For another fifty years there was no sign of humans running with Beast Herds. The incident was forgotten, thought of only as an aberration until a somewhat more serious incident occurred.

A massive combined assault of Beasts and Torma swept out of the Giant's Axe and promptly began to beat itself against the walls of Larlia. This alone was little threat against the now ancient fortress-city and it's defenders, however the Beasts and Torma were not alone. Humans, dressed in skins and wielding rough weaponry, were everywhere and worse still, some unleashed the flickering energies of Magic. Everywhere stone and steel aged and broke under the corrupting influence of this magic. Vicious, swift acting plagues swept through the populace and there was little the Solarist priests could do to quell it.

Eventually, and mostly thanks to the incredibly resilient Anvar, the attack was driven back, though not broken, and several of these Beast Humans were captured. Even as troops, supplies and weaponry were rushed in Larlia from the rest of the Alliance, the interrogation of the evil humans took place. It was discovered that another ship had landed, in the south of Rilvarinistara and these humans had been discovered by a Torma Pack. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for the Northar, the Torma leader decided not to simply eat the humans. Instead they were enslaved. However the full stroy of the Southar is told elsewhere. Suffice it to say that eventually the Southar developed magic and became free beings.

This first assault was just the start. More and more humans using this 'Corrupt' Magic began to appear and Larlia rapidly came to the brink of falling, until two things occurred. Firstly a new type of magic was developed in Gar, Illusion Magic, a magic that proved an effective distraction for the slow minded Beasts, but it was not a real counter to the Corrupt Magics. However the second event was. A human Crusade found the colony ships armoury.

Though much of the more sensitive and powerful equipment was destroyed by the crash and the passage of time, the PTAU's (Personal Tactical Assault Unit) as well as many of the more basic laser weapons were still functional. And more importantly a recharge fusion engine for refuelling the weapons and the PTAU's was discovered. Rushed to Larlia, along with many of the almost indestructible plates that had made up the ships hull, the fortress-city was resupplied and recreated.

Larlia is now, without question, the single most advanced city on the face of the planet. PTAU's patrol it's walls and many of the larger weapons have been altered so they can be used by Anvar. Massive artillery batteries lie within armoured bunkers and even the occasional Ion Cannon is not unheard of. In fact there have been so many developments related to the old High Technology that, with a bit of Holy Magic for support, limbs and organs can now be replaced with artifical ones. The process is, naturally, very expensive however and is normally reserved for the rich or the high military or priesthood ranks.

And so the current state of affairs continued until very recently. An unknown artifact, immense and shaped like a Gate, appeared on the outskirts of Solim. A Crusade sent to investigate reported that it appeared to be inert. As such, a permanent guard was set, but nothing else was done about the Gate, as it resisted all methods of dismantling. This turned out to have been something of a mistake when the Gate activated itself.

An Order Sect Task Force swept out of the open portal and set about slaughtering the stunned Crusade guarding the Gate. Hardly able to understand what was going on, the Crusade was cut down to a man and Anvar. The Order Task Force retreated back through the Gate, leaving the following message burned into the ground.

"This land is claimed in the name of the Order Sect."

It is illegal for any Sect to simply claim land without first gaining permission from the Magus Council. So far Robert LightBringer, Lord Guardian and Lord Magus, has denied granting permission for the attack, but, even though the claiming of land is illegal, once it has been claimed the land is legally the Sects. This is a law loophole common on Tal'Vorn, typical of the corruption in many of the previous Lord's Order. Though the Order members directly responsible for the attack were punished, their names were never presented to the Council and thus no method of tracking this punishment is possible without recourse to one of two ultimate sanctions; the DarkSiders, or a Command Imperial, where the majority of the Council demands that a specific Sect turn over all information about a certain subject. However the Magus Council is currently equally divided and the odds of forcing through a Command Imperial are slim. The odds of persuading the Lord DarkSide to investigate such a minor matter are slim as well.

The fact remains, however, that the Northar responded as they might be expected to do. They counter-attacked. Once activated, it was simple enough to use High Technology to reactivate the Gate. The Order didn't expect this, and the Gate opened into the middle of Vorn City. It was hours before the invaders could be driven back, and massive loss of life was only prevented by three lucky events. Drake FrostHeart had re-emerged from his extended campaign against the Venai under Vorn, and was thus able to lend his not insubstantial aid to the fight. Robert LightBringer was in the city along with his bodyguard and immediately threw them into the fray. And finally an unknown figure ripped out the heart of the assault with the blackest of Dark Magic. Unfortunately the Order response was abysmal, with the exception of Drake, there were no Order troops in the area for at least an hour into the fight, and their efforts in tracing the Dark Wizard were even worse. Drake, typically enough, refused to do what he viewed as a Mage's job, and the Order Sorcerer gathered more Order troops, along with several Guardian volunteers and descended back into the Undercity.

The Northar were pleased with the results of the attack, viewing it as an excellent test of the Magus Council's defences. Not only that but they managed to take several Guardian's prisoner. Though the Guardians, with stubbornness and fortitude typical of the Sect, resisted interrogation for a record period of time, they broke in the end. From them the Northar learned much of the Magus Council, and even who they had faced that day. Even now the Alliance is gearing up for a larger, pre-emptive assault, in an effort to stem any retribution on the part of the Guardians. It is unfortunate for the Magus Council that the normally limited exit points on the Gate have been unlocked, allowing the Northar to strike almost at will anywhere in the Eastern Land. Retribution is coming, and the forces of the Magus Council will be hard pressed to stop it, knowing that any Gate could be used to attack through. The Guardians are stretched as it is to contain the recent attacks by the Venai, Pravaii and Dark Mages. Another assault from a totally unknown force that can attack at will with technology and magic beyond their experience is not something that the Sect needs at the moment and could be lethal to Robert LightBringer's continued presence as the Lord Guardian, let alone the Lord Magus.

Brothers of the Faith! Blessed in Solar's Light! Rise up! These Order dogs attack our people and burn our land! They fight with their unholy Magics and defile our holy land! They must be PURGED! IN SOLAR'S NAME!
Spoken by a Northar Paladin prior to the counter assault on Vorn City. He was first into the attack, and killed three Guardians, a Fire Mage and a Ice Witch before Drake pulled his head off.

"My name is Gan. My Race is named Anvar. You fought with honour today. The Anvar respect that. I would speak with you on a matter of urgency and holy command."
The first words spoken by the Paladin Gan to the terrified human colonists.

© Joshua Binks (Paladin), Christopher Riley (Carnage) and Vanessa Vaughan (Andanin) 2002 -