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This land is called...

Somewhere In The Land Of Elandalor

Call-Wilder

This land is called:  Call-Wilder          Ideas, storyline, location, history.

Elandalor - The Princess Of Spirits

The land of Call-Wilder is the region in the northeast reaches of a greater land named Elandalor.  It is not the farthest reaches of this world, but is nearly the farthest north men have built settlements.  It consists of large, flat stretches of tundra and grasslands, broken up by huge jagged mountain ranges.  There are sparse areas of forests and stunted wilder trees, which resemble cedar trees.  The weather is harsh and cold most of the year, with a couple of brief months of warmer weather. 

There is a very large mountains range to the north that divides Call-Wilder from the Grail-Uplands, a cold, bitter and foreboding place of little interest to mankind or the other races.  A large gap lies in this mountain, Roans-Gap often just called the Gap, which allows the fierce north winds to blow south into Call-Wilder.  Often these winds blow so fierce that a strong rider and steed are unable to make any headway up Roans-Gap.  In the winter months this pass fills with snow and ice and thus protects the southern reaches from the true cold of the northern land called Grail-Uplands.

Many, many centuries ago a war had been fought in this gap between the races of Elandalor and an evil that inhabited that mountain range.  The evil was defeated by the casting of the Great Spell, thus a fort, called Brens-Garrison, was built at the southern end of the pass to offer some protection, and warning, if ever the land was invaded again.  But long had it been since anything stirred in those mountains and the fort is no longer manned by any but ghosts.

In the time of that ancient battle all of Elandalor once contained magic that was freely practiced and used.  It is said that back then the Call-Wilder was not such a harsh place for some mages could control the weather and blocked the harsh winds of the north blowing through Roans-Gap.  But with the end of that great battle was the end of magic in the land.  So much of the magic of the world was used, by both sides, in that great fight and it is said that none was left when evil was defeated. As wives mourned the loss of their husbands, families the loss of their children, many began to believe it was the magic that caused the wars of the past.  Soon it was believed that any magic was an evil thing that should be destroyed, along with those that appeared to possess it.

For decades after the war mage hunts took place trying to find any who showed signs of the magic.  Thousands were slain or thrown into dungeons, most of whom were simply in the wrong place or wrongly accused by those who hated them or wanted them destroyed.  Once great families fell to accusations of Margery and places of learning and knowledge were burned to the ground. It is said that all the of Elandalor fell into the Dark Ages, but this story is of only Call-Wilder.

Northway-Road goes from the second largest town in Call-Wilder, named Bend-Town, to Brens-Garrison.  Bend-Town is situated at a narrow bend in the River-Rull, and just west of a chasm the river runs through called Key-Pass.  Here the town can defend itself from pirate that often try raids up the River-Rull.  Bend-Town is often called Mill-Town, or Farmer-Town. 

In the whole land of Call-Wilder there is little land that can be tamed and harvested.  Only the land between Cliff-Well and Bend-Town is such a place.  Here the warmer breezes of the Ungar Sea flow up the valley of the River-Rull and the grasslands have been converted to farms growing wheat and corn, and other grains.  And the farmers take these to Bend-Town where large mills sit upon the River-Rulls rapids to grind the wheat and grains.  Here too they can find markets for what fruits and vegetables that can be grown.

River-Rull is the original highway between the then settlements of Bend-Town and the City of Cliff-Well, the largest city in Call-Wilder.  This was long ago and now there is a road linking this northeastern area with the rest of Elandalor and this road is called the Great-Westway-Road.

The City of Cliff-Well is built between the High-Bluffs and the shores of the Ungar Sea.  The bluffs protect the town from the great northern winds and winter blasts, while the Ungar Sea pushes warmer water into her harbors.  This makes Cliff-Well often foggy and mysterious in appearance, but quite comfortable by Call-Wilder standards.

Just west of Bend-Town the Great-Westway-Road turns slightly north and west of the River-Rull because for many leagues the river is bordered by the Mesol Wastes, or Mesol Marshes to others.  No road could be built over this land, though it was tried and the eastern most attempt at it still lays within the Forgotten-Forest.

Along the Great-Westway-Road lies Fort-Tarn.  A still thriving wood palisade fort built to guard the great roads west and east bound merchants.  The great cities to the west often still send warriors and guardsman to man the fort and require that Cliff-Well and Bend-Town also contribute men and arms.

Still farther west, and near the western border of Call-Wilder, is the small village of Gimmels Reach.  This is the home of the Stone-Dwells.  A branch of the Dwarf race that settled there long ago.  Originally it was settled by Dwarves to mine the Mithril silver located within the deeps of Stone-Burrow.  Over the centuries the Mithril changed the dwarves.  They became smaller, paler, and more crafty than dwarves and are now called Dwells or Stone-Dwells  In this time Gimmels-Reach is used by the Stone-Dwells to trade with the merchants travelling the Great-Westway-Road. Even though most Stone-Dwells prefer to live underground they are comfortable in the open reaches and fear not the sky.  They follow their God Ximetra, Lord of Stone.

Stone-Burrow is a large outcropping or rocks, not really a mountain, but a mountain underground.  Vast is its reaches and deep have the Stone-Dwells mined into its heart.  No one knows how far and how deep the Stone-Burrow goes, but some have found caves in the Mesol Wastes that lead into the Stone-Burrows.

Mesol Marshes, or Wastes depending on who you are, is an evil place.  The Stone-Dwells call it the Wastes, but the rest of Call-Wilder refer to it as the Marshes.  Here the brackish water can fool the most seasoned traveler, for even though it appears but inches deep great caverns lay beneath the green-black waters.  A race of half-man, half-lizards live there within great cities in those deep dark water caverns.  They do not venture out into the rest of the land and will not stand for those who cross into theirs.  They are called the Tor-Mal, or Krinnish in their tongue.  They follow NitCrull the God of the Underdark.

Just to the east of Gimmels-Reach lies a road going to the northwest.  This road has no name, but follows a natural shallow, sloping valley up to the Carn Mountains.and the pass at Dark-Curn.  There a deep chasm makes a pass through the mountains and comes out at a place called Tessa’s Run.  Further north and west up this road and you will arrive at West-Slew Town.

West-Slew Town is a wicked, nasty, but large town filled with rogues, thieves, and outcasts from every other part of Elandalor.  The Guild families rule this town providing protection to the outcasts, but requiring their services in return.

The Flats is an area north of the Forgotten Forest, midway between there and the tundra plains farther north.  Most of the Flats consists of tall grasses for as far as the eye can see, and here and there small copse of tree like islands in the sea.

Standing tall and alone in the region called simply the Flats is the Lone Mountain.  It rises the highest than any other peek in the land.  And upon its top is Narsh-Keep.  Built so far back in time and history that no one knows its origin.  Once the warlord Markeye tried to take this Keep for his own.  He led two hundred of his best warriors and mages up the Soul’s Pass to the Dim-Keep Stairs, long ago carved below the Narsh-Keep.  He lead so many not to do battle, for no one had been seen in the Keep for centuries, but rather to establish a base to operate from.  Some say he made it, though others thought otherwise.  Markeye never made Narsh-Keep his own.  Nothing was ever heard of he or his men.  Nothing was ever asked or investigated.  The matter left to history and legend.

North of the Flats lies the Great Tundra-Rise.  Nearly the size of the Flats the Tundra-Rise covers an area of 1/3 of the land of Call-Wilder.  Between flat topped rises, windblown bluffs, vast aired dunes, and steep ravines, this is an inhospitable land wherein the Rangs call home.  The Rangs are a nomadic people who follow the great tundra herds north and south through the seasons.  They follow Thuse, the Thunder God.

In the Eastern Carn Mountains is the Dwarf city of Deep-Falls.  It lies at the end of Tundra-Flat Road that splits off westward from the Northway-Road.  Here is the only Dwarf settlement east of the Kibern-Forest and north of the River-Rull.  Here it is said the walls within the great underground city are lined with jewels and the walks paved with gold.  Many have tried to enter Deep-Falls with looting and sacking in mind.  None have succeeded and the dwarves have lived there in reasonable peace for long centuries past.  They worship no gods, but revere the Mother Earth, which is odd for this is also what the Elves revere, but Dwarves do not care for the Elves and it is said the Elves feel likewise.

Mage-Wind is a magical city sitting between the eastern edge of the Northern Mountains and the Ungar Sea.  This is the seat of all magical learning in the lands of Elandalor.  Why is it so far and isolated here in the Call-Wilder?  It is because there is not much magic in Elandalor and many look upon it as an evil things, though it is not.  It is simply misunderstood.  But still those that do possess any magic are sought out by the learned scholars of this place and brought there to learn, as much as for their protection.  Often those found to possess magic are stoned or slain if revealed when infants.  No evil may enter Mage-Wind, or any with evil deeds in mind.  For it is protected by mighty spells that cause a great wind off of the Ungar Sea that none may break through.

There is no road leading to Mage-Wind.  One must cross the Flats and the Tundra-Rise to make their way to this magical city.  To keep those unwanted away some say that many wards have been placed upon the land to lead those astray, wandering lost in the tall grasses of the Flats or the changing land of the Tundra-Rise.

The western coastline of Call-Wilder, from the Tundra-Rise to the Northern Mountains are high granite and rock cliffs.  The city of Mage-Wind sits upon the highest spot and has a long, back and forth, stairway leading from a narrow beach to the walls of the city.  But no entrance lies there, one must walk south and west around the city to the main gates facing west.

As the Tundra-Rise merges into the Flats the coastline also flattens in wide sandy beaches.  Then just to the north of the city of Cliff-Well great rolling dunes appear and become large grassy hillocks just outside of Cliff-Well.

The land of Elvenmare lies between the Carn Mountains and the Northern Mountains with the western most edge of the Tundra-Flat at its eastern borders and Kibern-Forest at its west most border.  Here the tall Elbar tress grow to heights of two hundred feet it is said.  Its mighty limbs are yards thick and within them the Elves build their home.  They are the Tree-Elves, or Nimbrifar, and are the only elves know in Call-Wilder, though other races of elves have been seen from time to time.

Timeral is the largest city of the elves and sits at the heart of the Elvenmare.  High within the tallest of the Elbar trees only those who the elves allow ever see that city of the trees

The land south of the River-Rull consist of mainly tall pines and stands of cedar swamps.  Here the woods are so think that two men standing shoulder to shoulder could not walk far before the trees would force them apart.  There is no road through these woods as they extend for many leagues to the south.

The Ungar Sea is vast, so vast that none know its boundaries.  Some say the Pirates of the Prey know its farthest reaches, but that is considered tales and gossip.  Some say the mages of Mage-Wind tried to send themselves out over the waves of Ungar to find its end and thus perished in the deed.  This too is considered but a tall tale.

Hero:   Talmakie

Heroine:  Silkara

Races:

Valkyries  -  Winged humans of battle and war.

 

Centaurs  -  These strange creatures have the head arms and chest of a man but the legs and lower half of a horse

 

Mankind

                        Rangs   -  They are a nomadic people who roam the Tundra-Flats and the northern edges of the Flats.  They follow the herds of elk, deer, and other animals across the tundra.  Living in animal skin huts and wearing clothes made from hides.  They have little us for finer clothes or jewels and such.  Often small bands will travel down to Bend-Town to trade pelts and hides for items of metal, such as knives, spear heads, pots, pans, hooks,  etc.

                        Agges  -  These are a sea faring people who choose a life at sea and see little of land except to trade and repair their ships.  Far out in the Ungar sea the Agges have huge sailing ships that can house and protect fifty or more men.  Each ship is owned by a family and there they live for most of their life.  Sons and daughters grow up, get married, and have children, all upon their families ship

Often dozens, to hundreds, of their ships will lash themselves one to the other to make small floating islands.  Here they held moot, traded goods, swapped stories, dated and married. This was the closest to “landâ€� that any of them knew.

                        Rangers  -  The Rangers are those dedicated to the land and peaceful creatures of Call-Wilder.  Singular, isolated wanderers are the Rangers.  None know for sure of all their comings and goings, but where ever there has been trouble in the land Rangers were there.  They fought at the ancient battle at Roans Gap, against pirate raiders on the River-Rull, and many, many more battles.  They also serve as guilds and escorts to others crossing the Call-Wilder.

Rangers are well known to the elves and the dwarves and friended by both.

                        Baerdune Clans  -  These hard souls inhabit the forests south of the River-Rull and live their lives always isolated and secure in area of the forest worked out by constant battle between the clans.

            Mages  -  Fewest and most unknown of all the peoples of Call-Wilder. How many there are in the city of Mage-Wind is not known for sure, and what is practiced there is also little known.  But nothing of harm has ever come from the Mages and they are left alone in Call-Wilder.

                        Illusion Mage  -  They are master of conjuring illusions, both visual and in the mind.  They can sense another feelings, wishes and fears and can use this to both heal and to battle.

                       

                        Battle Mage  -  They are the masters of the offensive and defensive battle magic.  Fireballs, lightning, earthquakes, every form of magic is in their domain if it can be used in battle.

                        Heart Mages  -  These mages are the one who are guided by the heart.  All their magic is only for good and never to hurt or damage.  They delve deepest into the meaning behind the magic.  Why one person posses it and what affect has the magic on the person, and the person upon their magic.

                        Earth Mages  -  They are masters of the elemental magic.  They can work the elements of nature from small changes in the weather, a breeze, a short rain, etc.  They can also call up the Earth Elemental to do their bidding, but only if they have the willpower to control it.  For the Elemental are neither good or evil, but uncaring.

            Dwarf  -  The Dwarves are the hardiest of the races and live mainly in the city of Deep-Well.  Their love of metal and metal making has made them premier blacksmiths, weaponsmiths, and armorsmiths.  They mine the Carn Mountains for the ore they need so have come to love the gold and gems they have found there.  They are short and stocky with thick arms and legs, their faces are covered in long hair and beards.

            Stone-Dwells  -  The Stone-Dwells

           

            Tor-Mal or Krinnish

            Elves

Dark (Svartalfar)  Dark elves have black hair and black eyes, and sometimes black skin.

Light (Liosalfar)   With blond hair, pale skin and blue eyes. They are generally tall and slim, with sharp, delicate features and pointed ears

                        Tree-Elves  or Nimbrifar

Elves are mysterious, mystical beings, wrought from light during the birth of time. They are often arrogant and haughty as a result of their advanced age both as a race, and as individuals. They have seen the dawn of time, the birth of man, the changing of countless seasons, all blurred into a history remembered and revered in stories and songs.

In nature they find solace; and for the most part are a peaceful people and mean no harm to those who do no harm. But woe be to those who oppose the Elves, for to awaken the anger and fury is to most assuredly bring about your own destruction. Beneath the soft exteriors of the elves, beyond their songs of peace and tranquility lie skilled archers, powerful mages and deadly warriors. There is no more revered friend than an elf, and likewise, there is no more feared foe than an angry elf.

They are the wardens of nature, the children of the gods. Their lives are long and know no sickness or disease. They know much happiness but also carry great sorrow. They feel the joy of mother earth and her children but also feel all her grief, all throughout history. They are one with the Earth, Elfs were made from it and they shall return to it at the end of time.

Wither-Downs is the sight of a battle even more ancient than the one fought at Roans-Gap.  Here the Tundra-Rise merges with the Flats and low, barrel shaped mounds rise out of the earth like burial mounds in the graveyard of giants.  This battle did not involve any of the current races that inhabit Elandalor, but rather an older and more ancient race then the dwarves and elves.  In these mounds laid the souls of  a hundred thousand who fought what no one knows.  Yet their spirit still hold sway across the Wither-Downs and many a lost traveler has found their fate in that place.

The Wither-Downs is located at the head of the Snake-River, a long, winding, slow moving river that runs to the Ungar Sea.  All along the length of this river are small springs and tributaries to feed the river.  Some of these are said to be magical and can heal even the worst wounds of the body.

Elbar Trees -  These trees only grow in the land of the Nimbrifar called Elvenmare. They are a smooth barked tree growing to heights of a hundred feet or more, some reaching two hundred feet.  There branches are broad and strong and near the base often many feet thick.  The leaves of the Elbar are broad and flat with six lobes, each with six lobes within.  They shield the trees, and their inhabitants, from any prying eyes below.  So large and strong are these trees that no axe, or machine, invented by the races, can fell an Elbar tree.  Within its branches the Tree-Elves make their homes.

 Wilder Trees -  These are the most common trees in this part of the lands.  Similar to the cedar, yet taller and stronger.  They grow in both the Flats and the Tundra Rise and always in small tight groups, or copses.  Often they are used for shelter by wayward travelers or animals in the wild.  With short stubby trunks and broad, wide spanning crooked branches.  Still the trees with the copse can grow to heights of twenty or thirty feet.  Raising them above the grasses of the Flats or the trenches of the Tundra-Rise.

Flats Grass -  These grasses fill the Flats and vary from long, fine, narrow leaves to thick, bamboo type grass with stems as thick as a mans thumb.  The grass thrives in areas where most other plants would have long ago died, so therefore it is the most abundant.  In areas the grass can grow to ten feet in height. Often it is thick that none can ride through it.  The stems are often used for blow pipes by the Rang.  The grass does not burn easily and fires are rare among the wide plains of the Flats.

Turn Trees  -  These trees grow an apple like fruit and can only be found growing amongst the Wilder trees.  One can live of the Turn apples, they provide nourishment and juice to slack the thirst and fill the body.  One must take care of the thorns of the Turn Tree for they are tipped with a poison that freezes the body and numbs the mind.

Thistle Flower -  These flowering plants from in the sands of the Tundra-Rise.  A tea is often brewed from the leaves of this plant and the flowers are often use as medicine in healing internal ailments such as ill stomachs and headaches.

Glow-Pads -  These are large lily pads that grow in the Mesol Marshes.  They are full phosphorus and chlorophyll that causes the leaves to glow in the night.  Some pads are large enough for a small man, or animal, to stand upon and not sink into the dark water of the marshes.  The stems of these plants extend for many, many feet below the surface and are greatly prized for the Orian gems that grow at the base of their stems.

Orian Gems -  This gem is the results of mineral deposits absorbed by the Glow-Pad plants.  Deep blue in color and seemingly without depth.  Women prize these gems for their hair pieces and necklaces.  Once these gems were also prized by the mages long ago for they could be filled with the power of certain spells, then used by even those who wielded no magic within themselves

The Grey-Sands is a small area at the foot of the Northern Mountains just beyond the northern edge of the Carn Mountains.  Here the sand is more like ash.  Both in its color and its texture.  It gets into ones clothes, hair, eyes, and everything else.  No plants grow here, no animals live here, and none cross this land unless in great need or haste. 

The Grail-Uplands caps the lands of Elandalor and is ringed by the Northern Mountains.  Here the bitter wind always blows, with ice and snow covering everything there. Once, long ago, men made a venture north through Roans-Gap to see what lay beyond.  Over a dozen hardy souls set out from Bens-Garrison in the middle of a Call-Wilder summer.  Before the winters snows could block the gap three ragged and crazed men were found wandering aimlessly south.  They talked in bits and pieces, broken up by screams and then silence.  Some kindly men took these two to the city of Mage-Wind, for there they would care for the two and perhaps in time return them to sanity and learn of what is was that made them such.

The Northern Mountain truly protect the lands of Call-Wilder.  Even as harsh as the land can get it would be far worse if the snows and cold blasts of the Grail-Upland were ever to descend in full force upon the land.  Snow does fall in the winter, but rarely as far south as the Flats, and rarer still is it when snow falls in Cliff-Well of Bend-Town.  Even without snow it still can get very, very cold on the Tundra-Rise and the cold air seems to slowly creep and crawl its way south in winter to wrap itself around the River-Rull like a cold blanket.  At these times the River-Rull steams as its mists fill the air and people shrink back from her shores.  Then when the next morning’s sun breaks through the sky the people are greeted with a rare and wonderful sight.  For all the trees appear covered in glass and sparkle brightly in the sunshine.  Yet before the sun reaches noon all the ice is burned from their branches and they are but trees again.

Storyline?

Magic has all but disappeared in the land of Call-Wilder.  We do not know about the rest of Elandalor.  Life in the land of Call-Wilder has been settled and quiet for many, many generations and has taken on the same routine for most.  Even the pirate raids are taken as a part of life and handled in turn. 

Magic is about to return.  How does it return?  Who does it affect first?  What are the signs of its return?  What is the danger is present?

The Mages in Mage-Wind know something is up for they are finding more and more children in the land who possess some form of magic.  Even their own magic seems to be getting better and more accurate.  Since their scrying has gotten better is that why they are locating more and more magic wielders?

Something is happening the land of the Grey-Sands.  A magic winds is said to blow there causing a wall of the gray ash to rise and move across the land.  Then when it subsides the land of the Grey-Sands grows just a little bit more.  Some have been caught in these ash winds and from which have never returned. 

When the last battle was fought at Roans-Gap all of the armies of Elandalor were present and for a time it seemed even that would not be enough to conquer the evil forces arrayed against it.  Then some of the greatest mages in Elandalor decided to conjure the greatest spell of repel ever attempted.  This was thought to be their last hope to save the land.  So they called all the mages to them at what was to become Brens-Garrison.  For days they worked on the spell as battle raged around them.  Ogres, trolls and might dulmen were only yards from the mages when their spell was at last completed.  Then a blast shook the whole of the gap and towers of rock fell from its walls.  All the mages, warriors, ogres, trolls, and dulmen for miles around disappeared in that mighty blast.  Those far off in the distance saw the brightness of the spells release and heard the screams of dying men and beasts fill the air.

Those small bands of fighters that were not caught in the blast made their way to Roans-Gap, expecting to find a death and destruction all around.  But when they got to the gap there was nothing.  Nothing unusual.  It was as if no battle ever took place, no bodies, no scorched earth, and no armies. Just the tundra and the rocks.  The rocks that had fallen had changed the look of Roans-Gap.  Widening it at spots, narrowing it at others.  But nothing remained of the thousands of warriors and mages once battling there, and nothing of the enemy’s forces.

Before the casting of that spell there was no Grey-Lands.  That place appeared as suddenly as the battle at Roans-Gap disappeared.  What once was the western reach of the Tundra-Rise, with its bluffs and ravines, tough grasses and wilder trees, now it was nothing but ashen sand, flat for many miles at the foot of the Northern Mountains.

Since no one lived, or even crossed that part of Call-Wilder it was a very long time before the Grey-Sands were discovered.  And by that time no connection was ever made between it and what had happened at the Gap.

What this spell did was to wall off the material world from those planes of existence that magic emanates from.  As if a great seal had been broken as the spell was completed all magic in the land was pulled out like a ship down the great whirlpools in the Ungar Sea.  Then with a tremendous roar and clap the wall went up sealing all those engaged in that battle to be sealed behind it.  Forever removed from the lands they loved and fought for.  But they did not die.

They found themselves in a dark land where magic was supreme and evil lurked in every corner.  The spell had not only sealed them in, but had destroyed or weakened the mightiest of the demons in this realm.  Theirs was an unending hatred of the material plane and all that inhabited it.  Long had they planned and schemed for its conquest.  Only with the power of many of the demons at once could they open a door to the material world and send one of their kind there, or to send in hundreds of their minions.

Some of those caught in this land survived for they did not age, but could be killed.  In battle or by accident.  Over the centuries they strove to learn how they could make an opening in the wall to allow them to return.  But some thought this too dangerous as it might make an opening that the evil of that place could slip through and once again threaten their homes.

There was no name for this place in the language of the races of Elandalor and as they learned the tongue of those that lived there they learned the name of the place.  It was called Amaganthan, for this was the best it could be translated.  There was no sun as the material world contained.  Instead there was always a silver white ball in the sky that cast a faint white light.  Shadows had no soft edges in this light, but rather sharp edges defining that which was in the light and that which was not.  The shadows were dark and black as black, there was no gray.   There was no day nor night, just the glow of the silvery sphere.

There were no mountains in this place and where high area did rise it was often only a few dozen feet above the rest of the land.  But deep, large crevasses did litter the land and often a red glow of melted earth could be seen far below.  Some of these the dwarves explored and found a dark ore that could be smelted and made into weapons and tools.  Also the dwarves found that the molten lava there could be harnessed and used in their forges.

Because elves, men, dwarves, and dwells were all caught in the spells grasp their diversity is why they survived and it was only together that this could happen.

Trees existed in this place, but no like trees known before.  These had no leaves and shallow roots.  They grew gnarled and crooked, but could be cut and shaped into arms, furniture, doors, and other things.  There were plants growing there also, but colorless without flower and a coarse rough grass covered much of the land..  Of these plants some could be eaten and some had tubers and roots that could be eaten.  Wild beasts did also exists, but none like those known.  It was as if the gods had mixed and scrambled the creatures of the material plane and cast them into the air where they came back down mixed of parts from other beasts.

Beasts of Amaganthan:

            Obren  -  These looked to be part bear and part dragon.  Their body was that of a huge bear with thick black fur, while its head was on a long leathery neck and looked like that of a small dragon.  It did not breathe fire, but was fast and vicious with sharp long teeth and powerful jaws.

            Gryphons  -  These beasts were part lion and part eagle.  The body of the lion and the head and forefeet of a great huge bird.  Wings sprouted from their backs and they prowled the air looking for their prey.

           

            Hyctor  -  Part wolf and part rat.  These are the size of large wolves with a rat like head and tail.  They were the scavengers of the land and rarely attacked living creatures.

            Caiws  -  A large grazing beast of the land.  Hundreds of them could be seen roaming the land eating all the plants and grass in their path.  They breed quickly and had many offspring for this was needed to survive.  They were to prey to all the hunting beast of this place and were the only real source of meat for those lost in the land.  Weighing in from a hundred stones or more they had a tough hide and sparse coarse hair of black.

            Teeks  -  This is what would pass as small birds.  More insect then bird often thousands of them formed large clouds in what was always a cloudless sky.

Note :  A stone is about equal to 2 pounds.

            Skerts  -  Something like a field mouse and a lizard combined.  They are small and fast and eat the many insects that inhabit the land.  Some can be caught and trained as pets, as long as they are well fed.  With short feet, long leathery faces, a long tongue that can snap out a grab its prey.

Monsters of Amaganthan: (and some that exist in Elandalor)

Minatour          Body of a man and head of a bull.  Large, brutish, and mean they are the commanders in the field for many of the armies of evil in this place.

Kebolds           Small, goblin like creatures.  Quick of feet and breed by the thousands they are by far the foot soldiers of the evil armies.

Goblins                        Green skinned devils, nearly the size of a young boy, they are the spies and connivers of the evil forces.  They prefer the dark and the underground.  They even shun the dull silver light of Amaganthan.

 

Ettins               Huge two headed beasts with simple minds and only the wish to kill and slaughter.  They carry large clubs and use their great bulk to crush upon their victims.  For some reason the Ettins were one of the creatues of this plane that could easily cross to the material plane on their own without the help of the demon lords.

Dark Trolls       Very much like the trolls that inhabit the material plane with the exception that these are much larger and black as coal.  Smarter and faster than their cousins.

 

Cruel Ogre       Again, similar to their material cousins these Ogres are larger and meaner, but have not the sense of a flea.

            Drakes             A kin to the dragons, but with wings too small to take flight.

            Dragons

           Cerberus          A three-headed hound

           

            Chimera           This has a human head and the body of several animals, part bear, part lion, and part eagle.

            Nymphs

Dryads                         Forest Nymphs were spirits of nature protector of their tree

Naiads             Nymphs of springs and rivers.

 

Limniads          Nymphs of the lakes, marshes and swamps.

 

 Meliads           Nymphs of the ash-trees from with Tal bow is made

 

Imps                These aare small devilish creatures that delight in playing cruel tricks on the other races.

Ogres               Large beast-like men with low intelligence that roam within many legends. More akin to trolls and giants, these creatures are often battled by heroes and are known to be evil

 

Ocrs                 A race of degenerate creatures that look like distorted humans with animal features. Tribes of these evil creatures roam the fantasy worlds battling humans

Rocs                Giant eagles that were large enough to block out the sun with the shadow of their wings.

 

Selkie               A shape shifting folk that can change from human into to other animals

 

            Fire Demon      Great creatures of magic that live in the fire and rage of the molten earth.  Twice the size of an Ettin and twice as strong.  They do not wield any magic, but can control flame and fire.

            Dark Demon    Demons as black as ones darkest nightmares.  They are creatures of pure magic and wield it to their will.  All may have been destroyed at the casting of the great spell.

            Demon Lords   These are the greatest of demons that live in Amaganthan.  It is from them that all is done in the land.  What shall live and what shall die is in their domain.  The casting of the great spell of repel drained the Lords of most of their magic and they retired to the depths of the Abyss to smolder and brood upon their plight.

 

Back to the Grey-Lands.

Those that survived the casting of that great spell so long ago have learned how they might return to their own world.  As they make their spells and bend their wills to the task an opening has begun to open.  Small as it may be it was an opening.  Not so large that any could travel back to the material plane.  But enough to let magic to slip back.  And this was the magic being detected by the mages in Mage-Wind.

This was also the magic that the Demon Lord Degar smelled in the air.  Magic lost for so long now lingered on the edges of his senses and it was his guide and his lure.  How he hated to presence of those beings from the material plane.  It was due to them he knew that he now long suffered in silence and despair.  Never had he known despair.  This was for lesser creatures and those whom he tortured in their short meaningless life.  Now he could do little to destroy these foes.  Only harassment of menial war could he wages upon them and even with a host of thousands at his disposal many creatures sensed the loss of his magic and the failing of his power.  So many did not follow him any longer, all to the weakening of his power.  How he hated the races of Elandalor and now how he hated lesser creatures and demons in his own realm.  Much he had to set right.

What the Grey-Lands are is the remnants of magic on the material plane, like a giant burial mound to what once was.  Yet here the tenuous link between the magical realms and the material world still existed, along with its counterpart in Amaganthan.  This was the place located by those in Amaganthan and where they were attempting to come home.

For despite what the Demon Lords believe magic does not spring from Amaganthan, but from yet another plane known to none.  A plane where there is not good and no evil for such things do not exist there.  Only magic, but nothing to wield it.  So always it seeks ways off its plane to the others like air trapped in the water it seeks a way out.

Of all the Rangers in the land of Call-Wilder few patrolled the edges of the Northern Mountains.  The Tree Elves of Elvinmare rarely left their domain to venture to the north.  Only the trading caravans of the Rangs, and exploring parties of Dwarves, traveled near the Grey-Lands.  Soon more and more stories began to reach the Rangers ears of the clouds of dust and the disappearance of travelers in that realm.  And when the stories reached the ears of one Ranger in particular a small party was dispatched to investigate.  That Ranger was called Talmakie and he led the party of eight other Rangers north and east out of Timeral for the journey.

The Rangers were well known to the Nimbrifar and the elves would lend aid to the Rangers when needed.  More so than most they know of Talmakie, of his dark past and of his present, and they called him elf-friend.  An honor bestowed on very few of the other races for the elves trusted not others outside their own race.  A trait shared by every other race in Elandalor except for mankind.  Considered a flaw by the elves, dwarves, and dwells, but considered their strongest point by the wise.

The Elf King Silmendell ruled the Elvenmare, along with his Queen Amoradain.  They too had heard the stories off the changes taken place in the Grey-Lands.  Of all the races of Elandalor the loss of magic was hardest on them.  Much of their world was made of magic and spells and these all were dispelled at the casting of the Great Spell.  They survived by their skill at the bow and the silence of their movements through the woods.  Too proud to accept failure and too strong willed to simply fade away they strengthened their lands and their homes.  Defending them against many attacks by men in those early days after the defeat of evil at Roans-Gap.  Mankind saw the elves then as all that remained of the evil of magic.  Even though the elves themselves no longer possessed the magic.

Of all of mankind it was the Rangers that the elves only trusted.  And that was only after many a great deed performed by Rangers past in proof of their devotion to the land and to the creatures within it.  Soon most of the rest of mankind forgot about elves and Elvenmare, which suited the elves well.

Grumph Axefall was the King of the Dwarves and lived in the city of Deep-Well.  Grumph had little interest in the rest of Call-Wilders peoples.  All his interests were in the mining of the Carn Mountains and the search for precious gems, silver, and gold.  Long ago he had given up hope of ever finding Mithril silver in those mountains.  The lure of the Northern Mountains began to tug at Grumphs thoughts with promise of riches and treasures unknown.  And finally Grumph gave into these calls so began sending out search parties to scout the Northern Mountain slopes nearest to Deep-Well.

At first the reports returning were hopeful.  Many new sights had been seen, of caverns deep and strong and some finding of gems.  The parties began to get larger and larger as Grumph made plans to make a base camp in those mountains, then a settlement from which to start mining in earnest.  Then some parties did not return and patrols sent in search of them did not return.  The angry Kings thoughts turned to the elves and he began to think they were behind his people’s disappearance. 

Then as that summer turned in fall part of one of the patrol returned.  They told the Dwarf King of the ash clouds the floated across the north lands out of the Grey-Lands and of those caught in the cloud who were gone forever.  Now the King knew it could not be the elves, but what?  Now all thought of mines, metal, and gems were gone from his mind.  He had lost many of his people and those that caused their disappearance would not go unpunished. This he vowed and he began to think upon his next steps.

Far to the east Norn the Brave sat alongside the Meeting Fire with the other Rang leaders.  Kim the Stout was there too and both exchanged looks as the latest stories of lives lost near the Grey-Lands was told.  The Rang tribes often traded with the Dwarves of Deep-Well, getting metal goods in exchange for hides and plant goods.  Often times it was information sold to the Dwarfs concerning the foothills of the Northern Mountains.

Two caravans had been lost when they passed nearest to the Grey-Lands.  The stories told of a dark wind that would arise out from the Grey-Lands, sweeping south and east obscuring all from view and how those who got caught in the ashen cloud were never seen again.  Not body, not clothes, not wagon nor horse.  Nothing remained once the cloud passed.  Men were expected to be lost in such a trip, but goods!  Now that was a great loss for the Rang had little to trade and what they did have was a precious as gold to them.

Both Norn and Kim knew they could not let such a loss go unanswered, but how to answer was what was at issue in this meet.  Some of the tribes wanted to send their warriors west to root out this thing and kind their lost goods and friends.   Yet how does one fight a cloud?  Long this meet will last and many a proposal will be made and rejected.  Perhaps they should seek out the Dwarf King and ask his advice in this matter.  Such an idea did not sit well with many of the older leaders.  They were not ones to ask any for advice, but to take matters into their own hands.

Again, both Norn and Kim were younger leaders and had not yet the egos and pride the elder leaders had.  They pressed the point of seeking the Dwarf King until finally it was agreed.  But only if Norn and Kim lead the trip to seek the Dwarf King in Deep-Well.  It was then that the two exchanged glances.  For them to depart would leave their tribes weakened without their leaders and both also knew there were others who might take advantage of their absence.  Things must be put into place before they left, but both agreed to go.

The Mage Wiltherwind high in the Tower of Seer in the city of Mage-Wind too saw the ashen clouds rising from the Grey-Lands.  He had been watching the far off events from within the Visure Looking Glass.  This magic mirror allowed those with the ability to see things far off in both time and place.  At the time of Wiltherwind only the viewing of far distant places was known to them.

He was much troubled by what he saw because even the Visure could not see within those clouds.  And no magic of the Illusion Mages could penetrate it.  He also saw that those caught up within the clouds were never seen again and that those clouds did not last long.  The clouds sprang up as if from nowhere and left only a trail of ashen sand, all else was gone in its wake.

A meeting was planned among the wisest and greatest of the mages.  Witherwind knew that all had not yet gathered for some were far off seeking out the many more people of magic who kept showing up in Elandalor.  Odd, he thought, that this cloud should show itself at the same time more and more magic was appearing in the land.

Now we have the convergence of four groups, the Rangers, Dwarves, Rang and Mages.  All for the same purpose.  To see what is behind the disappearances and the ashen clouds near the Grey-Lands.

The cause of the ashen clouds are the attempts by those trapped in Amaganthan.  In each attempts they make to open a path to their home the ashen clouds raise up to block the path.  They know not what havoc the cloud causes, nor are they aware that everything trapped within the cloud end up in Amaganthan.  Soon they will make this discovery when in front of their very eyes appear a band of dwarves and from them they learn the truth of their actions.  From this they decide to stop their attempts until the situation can be fully explored.  They also sent out search parties to find those others that have been sent from the material plane to this land.

Deep within his realm the Demon Lord Degar grinned a wicked grin.  Now he has learned what the people of Call-Wilder have been up to.  At first he had thought that seemingly lost bands of men and dwarves he had recently enslaved were part of that original group.  Now he simply grinned. He knew the spells cast by the human mages and knew he could make use of those spells.  He had only on problem.  It was the location from where the mages were casting that spell that aided in opening the path to the material plane.  Either he must take that land from them or find another that would suite his purpose.  Or both!

Talmakie & Silkara  (Tal & Silk)

Talmakie,

Tal is a Ranger who patrols the Tundra-Rise from Elvenmare to Mage-Wind.  Most of the time he patrols alone.  This is the way he prefers it.  His father was a Ranger, and his father before him, and his father before him.  For as long back as any in his family can remember one male from each generation always became a Ranger.  Sworn to protect the land and those that live peacefully upon it.

He was born and raised in Fort Tarn where is father had finally settled to raise his family.  He also was a Ranger, but when Tal became a young man his father stopped to roaming of a Ranger to begin the training of his son.

They were well off in Tals youth, not rich, but they lacked for nothing.  And they did not need what they did not need.  Tals fathers name was Milakie and he was well known amongst the Rangers and among the people of Fort Tarn and Bend-Town.  He taught Tal the lessons of the forest, to know every plant, every tree, and every creature there.  To know not only of them, but to know the why of them.  Tal learned that everything had a reason for being.  The good as well as the bad, and that some things that appeared to be bad or evil were simply survival.

His father taught him how to handle the long ashbow and the sword.  The ashbow was a mighty weapon that could send an arrow clear through an oak tree a foot thick.  The bow stood nearly five feet tall and was made of the strongest limbs of the Ashfur tree that grew in parts of the Kibern-Forest.  When the battle was too close for the bow it served well in other ways of battle.  Milakie taught Tal how to use the bows strength to strike his opponents, how to place one end of the bow into the ground and use it to launch over an enemy, then turn back upon them.

Of the sword Tal preferred the Til-Broadsword.  It was a two handed weapon, well balanced and seeming light in the swinging of it.  Longer than a standard broadsword, but slimmer with two small pommel ridges to help one keep their grip on the sword.  Tal wore the sword across his back from right to left.  The sheath for this blade was such that when you pulled out the sword over your shoulder it would swing up and away from your back.  Allowing the sword to be drawn straight out to face your foes.

The Til-Broadsword that Tal wore had been his great grandfathers and it had been his weapon of choice, ahead of even that of the ashbow.  Milakie was never comfortable with the blade, nor was his father.  So long it sat, carefully and reverently on the wall in their small family cabin.  When Tal first asked to try it Milakie was not sure. It had been so long since it had been used he did not know if he could teach his some its proper use.  Yet when he saw Tal swing and parry with that blade he knew it was destined to be his.  It seemed as if the two became one, the sword an extension of Tal and Tal and extension of the sword.  The swords name was Rane-Cleft.

Silkara,

Silk was of the Bruin family of Cliff-Well.  He mother as a teacher in the city, while her father was a politician and lawyer in Cliff-Well who represented the interests of the cities to the west. She was now eighteen years of age and she was sick of the city, of the rich and their excesses, and how her father had to pander to the egos and whims of foolish people.

Silk loved her father, but could not understand how he could love a job such as his.  She had heard him speak in public and watched and listened as her father words held the crowds in its grip and how he could sway and change their opinions if need be.  At least for a little while and that was often all the time he needed.  He was a good man, but all too often he had no real control over what he spoke about and what opinions he expressed.  These came from the merchants and rulers of far off places that viewed Call-Wilder as a resource they could exploit.  Both in its people and in its land.

Her mother was hers name was Leorlia and she was said by many to be the most beautiful women in all the southern reaches of Call-Wilder.  She was part elf, for her father was an elven warrior who fell in love with a girl from the west, married her and brought her to live with him in Elvenmare.  Something, her mother told her that had never been done before. Silks grandmothers name was Kimley-Anne and her grandfather’s name was Orion.  Her mother told her many stories of grandfather and grandmother.  Of the travels they took, the battles they were in.  Yes they battled together side by side for neither could stand not having the other by their side.

They fought this way because both knew that Kimley could not live as long as the one she loved so they taunted and teased death to take them both.  And so it was, when Silk was a very little girl her grandparents had went off to the west to fight in the goblin wars that threatened to western borders of Elvenmare.  There they died in battle, side by side, and were carried off in honor and buried deep within the Elvenmare forests.

Her mother’s beauty had also passed on to Silk. Of all the women in Cliff-Well she was the most wooed and sought after for marriage.  But she would have none of it.  There was too much of the world to see and too much yet to do and she would not be tied up in a marriage.  Besides, she told herself, she had not met her prince yet and was not in love with anyone in that city by the sea.

Her mother often told Silk that see had the fire and temperament of her grandmother and her parents had actually allowed her to take lessons in how to ride and handle a horse.  On her own she took up archery and her father put up a small target range near their home.  On every archery contest that came up in the city she would enter, and most of the time she would win.  Those that did not resent her for being female considered her the finest shot in Cliff-Well, but many more others scoffed at her and felt the contest were rigged due to her father’s power within the city. She took no heed of these things for her father always told her, “Know the truth in your heart and let the lies and promises of those who know not the truth fall deaf upon your earsâ€�.  Her father also taught her that “truthâ€� can have many different sides.

In the highest foothills of the east Carn Mountains sits the entrance to the dwarf city of Deep-Well.  The door to this city is a great arch tens of feet tall and wide enough for a dozen warriors to walk though side by side.  Around its edges are carved the likeness of ancient dwarves of old, heroes in battle and great dwarf mages.  Also many runes of magic secretly carved into the intricate designs of that door.  It is said that those runes revealed to the dwarves any weapons or magic items passing through the door.  Some who have never entered the dwarf kingdom think it foolish of the dwarves to have such a large door so easily seen from afar and easy to enter.  How could such a entry to their city be defended?  This question is only asked by those who know nothing of dwarves.

Within the large entrance to Deep-Well is a huge opening that looks to have no doors or openings, but a large round well in the floor on the far side of the cavern.  Then as you approach that well its size grows and before you reach its edges stair appear leading down the well.  For this is the only way, only way known to the outside, to enter Deep-Well.  The granite encircling the walls around and above the well opening were hard and unyielding to weapons or to fire.  There was nothing near large enough to drop into the hole in order to plug it and nothing that large could be brought through the main door.

The stairs spiraled down, down, deep into that well and if you stood at its edge you might just make out the very bottom if the lights therein were lit.  Only two men could walk these steps side by side and any invading army would be hard pressed indeed to invade that way.  For at several levels down that shaft were secret rooms and windows opening in the walls across from the stairs as they spiral down.

The well opens into a cavern so large that all that see it for the first time are in wonder that such a structure could exist.  The stairs continue down the side of the wall to that cavern and land near the center of the cavern, which is called the Deep-Entry Hall.  The halls ceiling is well over fifty feet high and the cavern is near one hundred feet wide and over a thousand feet long.  In it are all sorts of boxes and blocks of stone.  In the walls here and there are small and large metal doors.  Far on the east end are two large, arched openings and to the west is a single arched opening.

Smokeless torches line the walls brightening the hall from top to bottom and end to end.  Dozens of busy dwarves could be seen scurrying to and fro, moving boxes, shouting orders, and shifting large blocks of granite onto sleds and smaller blocks onto carts drawn by small stout horses.  From far to the west the ringing of hammer on anvils can he heard coming from that opening and to the east many more dwarf voices can be heard at times above the noise of the entry hall.

As you walk through the west archway you can feel a blast of warm air, which gets warmer and warmer as you descend the smooth faced tunnel still lower.  

 

This is a very, very old story I started more than two decades ago. Parts I incorporated into some more current stories.