Tuesday, July 26, 2016
This is what I do when I'm bored: I build worlds.
This one is called Orimus.
It's very much a fantasy world, and, as I was cooking it up, it's history unfolded for me.
Men came to Orimus from the east, crossing the Elvithian Ocean in great wooden ships that resembled swans. They arrived at the place they would build their great city, Wynrock. From Wynrock, men would explore their new home.
To the north was an inhospitable coastline that would earn its name, the Lamentable Coast, many times over. North and west, men discovered they were not alone in Orimus, when they stumbled across the Giants' Graveyard. Soon enough men encountered the giants themselves; that meeting did not go well and would eventually lead to the Giant War.
Men would have lost the Giant War if not for the appearance of the wizard, Zelerin. He came from the south, from somewhere beyond the Great Desolation. It was Zelerin who brokered a peace between men and giants. He raised the great wall that bears his name to this day and served as advisor and guide to the men of Wynrock before vanishing as quickly and unexpectedly as he had arrived.
The Long Peace followed the Giant War and men expanded through the South. They built the great citadels of Graygate and Stoutkeep, as well as the towns of Greenwood and Halcyon. Men ranged west and south, into the Red Woods and the Great Desolation, but these expeditions seldom returned. Those that did told terrifying tales and urged their kith and kin to be happy where they were.
The Long Peace did not last. It could not. North of Zelerin's Wall, the Medusa Queen escaped from her centuries-long imprisonment. She slew the giants and then turned her cold gaze south, to the lands of men. Graygate fell in a night, a thousand men turned to lifeless stone as the Medusa Queen's golem army marched toward Wynrock.
Zelerin returned and united a group of unlikely heroes to defeat the Medusa Queen. An immortal, she could not be killed. Instead, she was blinded and thrown into a magical labyrinth beneath Graygate.
This time, Zelerin did not vanish. He remained among men, establishing an isolated tower near the citadel of Stoutkeep, on the border of the Red Woods.
Over the years, the wizard's demeanor changed. He became reclusive and ill-tempered. Eventually, realizing he was slipping into madness, Zelerin drank a potion made from the Medusa Queen's eyes, and crumbled into dust.
Since Zelerin's death, Orimus has been fairly quiet. A few years ago, a man named Jerrin attempted to establish a colony north of Zelerin's Wall. The effort failed and that place is now known as Jerrin's Folly.
Men live quiet lives, clinging to the things that are familiar and safe. But everyone knows this peace too will end. There are rumors of something wicked stirring in the Red Woods. Beneath Graygate, the Medusa Queen has started to sing in her Labyrinth and her songs are said to be prophecies. In the south, there are reports that the Great Desolation is starting to creep north.
The peace will not last. The people of Orimus know this and so they sit by their fires, tend to their business, cherish their loved ones and ready themselves for war.