The Quest of the ruined realm
How it came to be
(Word for word, original version)
January 1, 2005
All was peaceful in the land Rupernalden under the rule of the good and wise king, Redim Alag. He was just and fair, and did not tolerate criminals. The soldiers of his army were well trained and patrolled the land keeping peace.
The races in the land were mostly peaceful, keeping to themselves for the most part. Humans live in the hills, grasslands, and forests in the south, in towns and cities. That is where the capital city Gorvon is, where king Redim Alag lived in a grand palace that takes up one end of the city, protected from the back by a high cliff, and on all other sides by the fortified city.
Elves live in the great forests to the west, living in cities, towns and in houses in the trees. The Elven king and queen, Barwin and Slawna live in a great tree fort in five big trees. The Human and Elvish kings were allied.
Both Dwarves and Orcs live in the mountains that ring the Human and Elvish lands and the two races constantly are at war. The Dwarves live in a big underground city Drithmell and roam the mountains mining for gems and gold. They are known as the best smiths in all the lands.
The Orcs are the cruellest race of them all and fight for more land, power and the fun of fighting. Orcs are clever and make clever traps in the tunnels they constantly dig. Dwarves are skilled at detecting traps and have to be. The Orcs live under the rule of a chieftain who is constantly being replaced.
Hobbits live in the hilly grasslands to the east in settlements along rivers. Ironically they are distrustful of deep water and most can’t swim, though a few have learned the skill. They are content under human good rule and have sheriffs to keep the peace.
The area where Humans, Elves and Hobbits live is the Realm of Rupernalden. Redim Alag the Human king, and Barwin the Elvish king ruled it all, aiding each other and enjoying the peace.
In the far north the Troll tribes live and fight and keep to themselves. They live in large caves and each tribe has its own chiefs.
In the far north-west, living in marshland are Lizardmen. Not much is known about this secluded race.
Ogres dwell in the mountains in that area, big and tough like an overgrown version of Orc.
The area where Trolls, Lizardmen, and Ogres live in is called Grunterclush. It is a wild, rocky place and the people there are called barbarians by the people of Rupernalden. They are tough and strong because of the hard conditions they live in. Large groups of barbarians attack Rupernalden occasionally. King Redim Alag was known for being a great warrior, wielding his indestructible Great Axe, and bravely leading his army. When the Dwarves asked him for help in an unusually big fight with the Orcs, he personally led an army of three thousand veteran warriors to the aid. With his help the Dwarves beat back the Orcs and recovered much that had been stolen including some valuable mines.
The Orcs were furious and plotted Redim Alag’s assassination. An assassin named Zugla Gak, who was also an Orcish tracker followed the king on his way home, and when he had only a few guards around him shot him with a poisoned arrow. Then he ran and escaped.
As the king lay dieing he warned the soldiers around him about an evil Outlaw Leader called Blackhorn. He had an army of robbers, raiders, assassins and outlaws. He would try to take the throne. They would need a new leader that the people like to rule the realm.
The king was buried in a vault on a hill near Ravenpart, his palace. On his tomb was laid the Great Axe. Then the vault was sealed closed. A powerful wizard named Krethax, Redim Alag’s most trusted advisor, cast a powerful spell on the vault so no one could enter it.
Blackhorn attacked Gorvon with an army of over seven thousand people, of almost every race. Large Trolls and Ogres and even a few Lizardmen from the North, Orcish warriors, raiders and assassins, Humans of all classes, including Blackhorn himself and his own group of outlaws and robbers, a small amount of Dwarves and Hobbits, and only one Elf: a wizard of no fame, and little talent, but dangerous anyway.
The city of Gorvon is big and well protected, having cliffs behind it, hills on all other sides and a deep, wide moat around it. But with king dead everything was in confusion. People argued about who should be the new king, generals of the army argued about what tactics they should use to protect the city, and even arguing if they would be attacked at all. Spies were sent out to try find the well known group of outlaws and came back with mixed reports. Some saw only the group of outlaws and their leader, and others who saw them later saw a huge army of barbarians mostly. Some people panicked and fled to other cities, while other laughed and scoffed that nothing was going to happen.
When Blackhorn and his army came the city was not prepared for siege and the army was only partly assembled. Most of the army was away from the city, patrolling the land and trying to keep peace. Only the Power Guards, the king personal guards under their captain Jarn Drim, were completely ready to fight, as they always are. But there were only five hundred of them no matter how good they were. They faced an army mostly consisting of Trolls, Ogres and Orcs, as well as Blackhorn’s band, all of them tough, strong fighters. Only 1150 men of the army were ready to fight.
Using throwing axes, the enemy cut the chains holding the drawbridge up. After it crashed down a large battering ram wielded by Stone Trolls smashed apart the gates. The defenders shot arrows and sling stones and threw spears and axes at the enemy killing many of them but hardly slowing them down. Those killed were replaced by others. Hill and Stone Trolls and hundreds of Orcs rushed though the shattered gates and were killed by the defenders. But more came and the defenders became fewer and fewer, until almost all were killed.
Then Jarn Drim, captain of the Power Guard, who was now in control of all the troops, rallied the last of the warriors and Power Guards who were left, around 200 in total, and told them about the escape tunnels in the Palace. The people of the city and the remaining army fled, and escaped to other cities. Most did not make it and were captured as slaves or killed. Blackhorn called himself king and with his army, he captured all the other Human cities. The Elves could not help because a second army of barbarians attacked them. The Hobbits were easily taken over and forced to submit to Blackhorn as their new king. Those few who resisted were killed. Soon Blackhorn ruled all of Rupernalden, now called the Ruined Realm. He also controlled most of Grunterclush and the Orcs also served him. Only the Dwarves still resisted and they could not stand for long.
The wizard Krethax and Jarn Drim now lead a secret group of people still loyal to king Redim Alag. A hundred Power Guards remain and about 400 soldiers escaped alive from the ruins of the cities and many civilians are still opposed to Blackhorn. Almost all Elves and Hobbits oppose Blackhorn as well. The Dwarves hate Blackhorn and still defend their underground cities. The Dwarf king Dolg and his personal guards and army live in Drithmell and will fight to the death to protect their capitol city. The Dwarf civilians were all brought to Drithmell for protection. The captain of the Dwarf army, Ironhand, comes up with enough strategies so that they are still able to withstand Blackhorn.
Though the Elvish cities were destroyed, the Elves were not. King Barwin and Queen Slawna and most of the Elvish army survived and are in hiding in the great Greenwood Forest. The Elves know the forest better than anyone and can hide in there almost indefinitely by moving around so the enemy never knows where they are. The Elves are mostly left alone now because it is useless for Blackhorn to kill them if they kill so many of his men, and the Elves don’t actively fight him anymore either.
All who still oppose Blackhorn await a hero, prophesied by Wizard Krethax to defeat king Blackhorn, a person more powerful than Blackhorn and smart enough to find a way to defeat him, and brave enough to try.