A Potted History of Velgarth
Several thousand years ago mages of incredible power-- enough to create new species and
other such wonders-- lived in conjunction with the rest of the populace. One of these mages; Kimyavir Ma'ar, the Mage
of Black Fire, hungered for power and dominion and started a war effort that soon spread to involve the entire continent;
plunging the kingdoms of Tantara and Predain into pitched battles.
The chief rallying point of the opposition to Ma'ar's brutal and sadistic campaign of
ethnic cleansing and total dictatorship was the city of Ka'Venusho (home of the Kaled'a'in peoples) and the Tower of
Urtho, the Mage of Silence and the creator of the gryphons.
A bitter betrayal left Urtho dying, but a magical weapon delivered Skandranon, the legendary
Black Gryphon, ensured Ma'ar's downfall. The joint magical fallout caused by the two Adepts dying caused the event known
only as The Cataclysm, where magic was broken and reduced, ensuring that there would never again be enough magic to allow
Adepts of the power of the old ones. Skandranon and the Kaled'a'in Clan k'Leshya fled south and west from the apocalypse,
eventually settling on the coast, building a city called White Gryphon, and forming an alliance with the Haighlei Empire.
The rest of the Kaled'a'in Clans gathered at the site of their annihilated home and made
a pact with their Goddess, Kal'enel; those Clans that renounced magic became the Plains dwelling Shin'a'in nomads; charged
with protecting the remains of Urtho's Tower, and the others became the mysterious forest dwelling Tayledras.
Many centuries later a nobleman-- Baron Valdemar-- fled, with his people, from the oppression
of the Empire that had arisen in the east. Valdemar, due to his wise leadership, had soon established a kingdom, named
after him, and was proclaimed King. To ensure that his kingdom could never fall victim to the corruption that had caused
him to flee the Empire, Valdemar prayed to his Gods and was rewarded by the appearence of the Companions-- guardian spirits
in the shape of gloriously white horses. The Companions Chose Gifted individuals to become 'Heralds'; incorrutable dispensers
of justice who answered only to their Companions and the monarch (who must also be a Herald).
Once their numbers were sufficient, the Companions began to breed normally, rather than
just manifesting in a place called The Grove, except for one; the stallion known as the Groveborn. This Companion never
appears to age, and always Chooses the Herald who is to be the Monarch's Own; their most personal confidant and advisor.
In the reign of the monarchs Queen Elspeth the Peacemaker, and then King Randale, 'true'
magic, the knowledge of it, was lost to Valdemar-- the dying wish of the famed last Herald-Mage Vanyel Ashkevron, who repelled
an invasion by the dark Adept Leareth, and Heralds possesed Mindmagic only.
In the time of Queen Selenay, the actions of the mad King Ancar of Hardorn forced Princess
Elspeth to journey afar for aid; she met the Tayledras people and discovered that she was an Adept level mage. After
several adventures, Elspeth and her new friends returned to Valdemar (with the aid of the ghost of Vanyel) in time to defeat
Ancar, and his ally, Mornelithe Falconsbane, who was discovered to be the reincarnated-by-blood-magic soul of Leareth-- and
Several years after this magical disturbances began to wrack the land, and it was discovered
that these Mage Storms were an echo of the long-distant Cataclysm. Concurrently, the Eastern Empire became convinced
that Valdemar was the cause of the Storms, and posed a severe threat to Valdemar and its allies. People from Valdemar,
Karse, Empire defectors in Hardorn, the Tayledras, Shin'a'in and returned Kaled'a'in banded together in an Alliance
and a party of them journeyed to the centre of the Dhorisha Plains, to Urtho's Tower and managed, with sacrifice, to stop
the Storms and prevent a repeat Cataclysm.
In the wake of the thwarted Cataclysm, magic was again disrupted, with the leylines of
power being completely changed and the magic-dependant Eastern Empire neutralised as a threat.