The Queen’s Gift 3737-3742

Grimm’s wise councilors dared not risk his ire by speaking out against the Queen. Trusting their master, they hoped he would soon realize her fell influence. But when she grew big with child, fear gripped their hearts. They knew that once she had borne him a child, she would conspire to kill young Jeraziah and set her own spawn as heir.

In secret, they stole the Prince away and brought him to a distant monastery of scholar-priests where he would be secure. In his bed they put the corpse of dead peasant boy of similar mien and with magic and craft disguised the differences between them.

Dark Sylvia 3737-3742

It was in his wanders that he met the woman known as Sylvia. Raven-haired, imperious, like and yet unlike his lost queen, he found her in a village at the edges of his realm. She was wordless, but needed no words to convey her desire. Grimm drowned his grief in lust and soon returned to Adkarna with his new queen.

Though Grimm retook the throne with renewed vigor, it soon became clear that he was a changed man. The mute Queen ruled his heart, and soon her cruel nature revealed itself to all save Grimm. For a time, the Legion’s success was undaunted by her interference, for the courage of the armies and the wisdom of the general did not fade. But as gold was spent on ever more lavish palaces, as dissenting voices fell silent, as ill-planned raids left the doughtiest veterans dead, the Legion’s string of victories came to an end.

Jeraziah Grimm 3734

Jeraziah Grimm, heir to the Legion’s crown, mighty even as a babe, was born to Maliken and Andraste. But he was born in blood and death, ripping his way untimely from his mother’s body. The mightiest healers of the Legion could not stanch the flow of blood; the most learned Chaplains could not coax life back into her cold flesh. The Prince was born; the Queen was dead.

The Death of Andraste

Devastated by the loss, Grimm gave the rearing of his son to his most trusted advisors, left the destruction of the Beasts to his warlords, and sank into despair. He wandered his capital, Adkarna, in mourning black, prayed silently in each of the great cathedrals established throughout his lands, and, for five years, knew only bitterness.

Beast Bone Years

Bound together by Grimm’s iron will, guided by Andraste’s unmatched knowledge of the Beasts and their realms, Man began a war of reconquest that promised to restore civilization to Newerth. In battle after battle, the Beasts were beaten, driven from their lairs and dens, slaughtered by the hundred. Their skulls adorned weapons and fortress halls, their claws and fangs hung on the necklaces of brave warriors. For as long as King and Queen reigned, defeat was unknown.

The Single Banner 3701-3720

Wearied and bloodied by the last campaign, Grimm had little desire to face enemies even more shadowy and mobile than his last foes. He sent emissaries to the Scouts. Many divisions of Legionnaires marched into the distant wilderness, never to return. Whether it was Man or Beast who brought them doom, Grimm never knew, but at last, after two hundred had vanished, he himself led a band of chosen warriors to seek out the leader of the Scouts.

From the ranks of the Scouts emerged their queen, a woman of severe beauty and ice-blue eyes. Her name was Andraste. Each leader, fearless and unconquered, was reflected in the other’s gaze; in that moment, they knew themselves.

More respect than love, for their hearts were long since hardened against weak emotions, the bond between them was instant and could not be broken. Silence held the armies; loyal soldiers for long years, they had come to know their masters’ minds and could see there would be no battle. Arms were lowered. Hands extended. And Man was united under a single banner.

The Tamed Savages 3701-3720

The Prophet’s Retinue – Frost Fields

It was against the Savages who had guarded Man’s borders for centuries that he knew he would face his greatest test. For a dozen bloody years, his armies launched invasions into their hills and forests, facing foes as brave as they were disorganized. Savage man, woman, and child alike fought; aged warriors sharpened their canes to spears and joined the ranks. Every acre the Legion occupied was filled with spies and hidden foes, and every mile was paid in blood. At last, the remaining Savage warriors banded together and faced the Legion in a final, desperate battle. But all their vaunted courage and lust for battle fell before the steady march of Grimm’s soldiers, who were endlessly supplied by Builders and healed by Chaplains. In the end, even the proud, free Savages swore fealty to Grimm and joined his Legion.

Deconstruction of the Builders 3701-3720

Convinced that the triumph of humanity justified any sin, and willing to sacrifice his own salvation so that Man could reign once more over Beast, he launched war after war against the other clans. His methods were brutal, his soldiers disciplined and unflagging. First he claimed the Builders, and set them to supplying his growing Legion of Man with weapons unmatched by those of his enemies.

Maliken Grimm 3701

Even as it seemed impossible that the ever-divided, sometimes warring clans would ever unite, there arose on the plains a leader of unmatched valor and genius, Maliken Grimm.

Grimm, in defiance of the most basic of the Prophet’s teaching, set all his will to finding a way to crush his brother Man. Alone among those who had arisen since the fall of the Ancients, Grimm conceived of the possibility of uniting by strength of arms the scattered children of Sol.

The Clans are Born 3510-3700

In the end, however, as mortals must, the Prophet met his end, ensnared by a woman whose husband the Five had slain in a long-forgotten battle against a petty tyrant. With the Prophet’s death, the Five recorded his teachings and went their separate ways. Shining with the reflected light of their fallen teacher, the Five became beacons for Man in the troubled hour. To each flocked those fearful of the Beasts and those with courage to strive for more than mere subsistence.

Disciples of the disciples, these refugees took on the character of their chosen leaders.

One clan turned in reverence to studying the sacred text, the Codex Solaris, and eschewed worldly ways. (Martyrs & Prophets & Disciples)

Another, led by a warrior driven nigh-mad by the Prophet’s murder, roved the fringes of human lands, holding back the onslaught of the Beasts. (Savages)

A third traveled to the mountains and began, with stern will and a strong arm, to rebuild Man’s lost cities and reclaim the forgotten arts. (Builders)

Yet another clan vowed silence and left behind their brethren, condemning them for the death of the Prophet. They journeyed into the heart of the Beasts’ realm, stalking the creatures that for so long had preyed on Man. (Scouts)

The fifth and final disciple, a man of commanding stature and great wisdom, set his standard on the central plains of the human lands and vowed to build from his followers an army that would reclaim Newerth for Man and spread the worship of Sol to all corners of the world. (Legion)

As is the way of things, the brotherhood of the five disciples lasted only so long as their lives. As the generations passed, and the threat of the Beasts was kept at bay by the men who had dedicated their lives to the endless battle, mankind once more fell to squabbling. Each of the five clans viewed the others with a suspicious eye. As time passed, the clans became more and more committed to their distinct paths, and the distance between them grew only greater.

Each race unable to gather itself for total war, a stalemate endured between Man and Beast.

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