GURPS Test Camp...
Story so Far
It has been fifty years since the walls came down, and I fear that the restlessness of men will no longer be contained by simple stone, fear and good sense. I watch as factions rise to power, gaining followers among the masses who used to huddle in the shadows of a glowing magic barrier, but now look longingly… greedily at the landscape around. I fear my counsel will be headed no more.
When the royalty first regained the throne under Aidrek Kinstren, he was young. Just barely a man at 14, learning the ways of the world, and no spoiled prince. This young man worked with his hands as a blacksmith to help his family. He knew the value of men, and saw them die to protect him as his villa was overrun by soldiers. Perhaps it was that which prevented him from ever putting his trust in them. He felt that their blind obedience to orders was their greatest weakness, and instead chose to rebuild the Swords of Light and charge them with the protection of the royals.
As their ranks began to swell, the rebuilding of the golden palace also began to take shape. Down came the walls surrounding the mansions, and refugees from the poorest districts were escorted in, to share space near the royals. It was the move of a child, motivated by hope and love, and despite the friction and discontent it eventually caused, it was still considered one of the strongest gestures made by the royal family. These things, however, never work out as intended. After a generation was born and raised, the new king came to power and many of the undesirables were quietly removed.
It was during this time that the Imperials rose to power. Feeling disenfranchised by the royals, many of the populace sought leadership from the Temple. A new law, that reached above the squabble of city power by the loyalists and the Royals was now available for the people to embrace. A promise of a world out there beyond the strange plants and dangerous animals, beyond the demons and dark magic; a world that would embrace them as a lost child.
It was also during this time that the Tower Guild was formed, and the reconstruction of the Dragon Tower began. The elven king was wise, and powerful but too focused on magic. Strange, I know, to hear that from a mage. All things must be considered in moderation and providence, without too strong an eye for power. It was down this path that I saw the greatest strife and darkness. As the mages gained power, they, too fell victim to hubris and set out to map the city beyond the wall. It seems magic itself draws the very creatures it was meant to control and hold back. There was no spell quick enough, no fire burned hot enough, and no craft powerful enough to conceal the mages once they left the walls. Those that managed to return were deemed too damaged to be telling the truth, but I sat with them and listened. There was warning in their screams, and vision in their madness.
It was under the Garren and Dwarven kings that the houses rose. One house calling itself “Reborn” pulled in the wretches left behind by the others. Those not good enough to rub elbows in the church, those not redeemed by royal charity, and those too weak to fight with the army found a home here. Their intentions unclear, I suspect they are no better than the past they claim to be leaving behind.
When books recounting tales of house Tashenda were uncovered beneath some of those over excited by the notion of seeking power in the new world began putting their might behind the raising of a new house. Stone and steel met inside the city and sweat poured onto the cobblestones to lay down the foundation of what might become an even more oppressive force than the generals and their army.
And as the this age dawned under the Goblin king Gruetzer, commerce flourished. Coin replaced muscle, and influence shifted from organizations controlling large bodies of creatures to those at the crossroads of gold and silver. Gruetzer pulled the army from the brink of irrelevance, where it served only as city guardsmen and contingency and the Legion formed. Independent of the rest of the rank of royalty, the Legion owe a separate allegiance to the city, and the region surrounding. The Legion reached out to the remainder of the Myst Walkers who still dwelled within the walls to try to establish contact with any who survived their self-imposed exile.
Eager not to repeat the mistakes of the past, Gruetzer called for a quest to expand the city. Having lost scouting bands and wizards over the years, he knew that only a large force would be able to survive the wildlands. His crusade promises expansion, new resources, greater safety for all and possibly even reestablishing contact with the Empire. It is this madness that I have counselled against until it cost me my seat in the court. Even now I walk the streets, watching the young men and women prepare to throw their lives away on this meaningless crusade and wonder what the cost of vanity will be. How many souls will be extinguished by this greed? I suppose there’s no telling. We shall have to wait for the return of the Vanguard, if such a thing will come to pass.