Songs of the Bards – Winter 58, 59AD

Despite the weather outside which continues to be frightful, the bards in the Inns and taverns have quite a tale to tell! Crowds have been gathering to hear of an amazing story that has come from beleaguered Duchy of Dawn!

The Duchy’s remaining two cities, Reach and Ancturin, knew that the Orcs would come ravening at their doorsteps, and in the Summer of 58AD, that is exactly what happened. As the remaining armies of the Duchy fled to the harbor city of Reach, the orcs pursued them relentlessly. Faced with the prospect of a long siege against a huge orc invasion, without hope of help, the City Council reached an astonishing decision – evacuate the ENTIRE city!

The population of Reach fled up the road towards Ancturin for nearly thirty days as the remaining armies followed behind to protect them. Couriers were sent to Ancturin to warn of them of what was coming. Every available ship was sent to the Bay of Ancturin, as those who would want to flee the Duchy would take the sea merchant’s route down the coast to the Duchy of Pisces and safety. A small force was left in Reach to serve as a rear guard and keep the Orcs delayed.

The plan worked! The small human contingent managed to keep the Orcs off-balance with bravery and luck, while the remainder of the forces and population made it to the Bay of Ancturin. Faced with a similar decision, the leaders of Ancturin, which is one of the original cities of humanity, made a similar decision. Evacuate! There were enough ships to hold the vast majority of both populations. Every available sea-worth vessel was used, from large merchant carrocks, to military ships, to small fishing vessels. The armies of Reach, Ancturin and the Ducal forces set up to fight to the last man to allow the common folks to escape.

The first ships have made it safely to Amfrey’s Point with this news (which came by way of merchant ships from that harbor town to Orleans and then through the Southron Duchy to Enonia.) so none know yet if all of the populations were evacuated… and who survived of the brave armies that faced to Bestial hordes.

The story is so popular that several songs have been sung over and over about it, but there is more news from closer to home…


  • The village of Penkurth has fallen, with the remaining survivors making their way to Yew. A large force of the Black Brotherhood raided the village and managed to destroy or drive out the defenders. Priest Girout, the leader of the village, survived the attack, but was wounded. Astonishingly, some of the survivors claim that Marshal Roehm’s daughter, Anastasia, was seen with the raiders!
  • Sir Reynald has been injured! As part of the feasting days during Winter, he and his company were performing a winter’s joust, and he was severely injured in a fall from his horse. Sir Reynald will recover and should be back in the saddle by Spring time.
  • In a surprise announcement and visit, Marshal Roehm has visited Yew with wonderful news – Sir Yinivax has been exalted to the highest rank and honor that the Duke can bestow and made him the Marshal of the lands around Yew! Marshal Ynivax will need to free Notchland Keep from the orcs in order to assume the traditional seat of the Marshal of Yew, but in the meantime, he continues to oversee the rebuilding of Yew and protection of its citizens.

Songs of the Bards – Winter 5, 59AD

The Inns and taverns were full of celebrations, while town squares and city parks hosted feasts and games in celebration of the Harvest Feast day on 45 Fall. In Yew, the day was especially celebratory, despite the devastation from the Orc occupation. Thanks to Mazlor of the Light and the Heroes of the Duchy, almost a thousand gold crowns were donated for both the celebration and to assist the refugees and freed slaves. The Heroes had gone north in search of Marshal Roehm’s daughter and had freed fifty humans still held by the Bestials in captivity. They found a great treasure during this adventure and generously shared from it to help those in need. Praises are still being sung of the Heroes and of the priest of the Light, who cured a man of blindness, fed slaves from prayer and miracles and helped the Heroes as they bravely fought back dozens of orcs and goblyns.

Winter has come to the Midlands of the Duchy and as the farms and towns settle down for the cold, the Marshal has returned to Enonia. He has left his trusted commander, Sir Ynivax, in Yew to continue to oversee recovery as well as fortify the town and surrounding villages for a possible counterattack in the Spring. Sir Reynald has been sent to Draycott and the lands just south, to oversee the investigation of recent Bestial raids on mines and towns to the south.

There is sadness among some in Enonia. The tavern keeper of the Eagle’s Alehouse – Avael Guntin – died from a strange accident. It appears that she died after the Harvest Feast celebrations when beer barrels fell over on her in the cellar of the tavern. As Avael was not married, the tavern has been closed. After an investigation by the Merchant’s Guild and Enonian constable, it has been ruled that the death was an accident.

Songs of the Bards – Autumn 35, 58AD

With the Harvest season nearly over, the inns are full of weary farmers and workers preparing for Winter. The harvests continue to look bountiful which bodes well for the Duchy of Irecia and the Kingdom in general. Marshall Roehm continues to restore order to the lands around Yew recently won back from the Bestials. Merchants are starting to reopen in Yew in small numbers, as are some refugees returning home.

The search for Roehm’s daughter, Anastasia Roehm, has come up short – no body found and no sign of her among the wounded, and only possible sightings of her being taken by the Black Riders during battle. The Marshall is said to be in great anguish over this.

The news from the village of Draycott is more hopeful. The Heroes of the Duchy, having found the path that the strange trolls have used to raid Lord Winright’s mine, not only defeated a small group of trolls, but also rescued elves who had been enslaved by the Bestials! The Heroes have taken the freed elves to unknown locations, but rumors have it that two have been seen with the pagan priestess Jorann in Enonia! Rumors abound that the Heroes found the last battlefields of Marshall Ormin and his army, as well having sighted the now-occupied Castle of Chorlton!

The “Winter’s Edge” celebration at the Chapel of Light has begun, with pilgrims all over the Midlands journeying to the Chapel to pray at the crystals made during the year. As always, the many crystals made in the Chapel are available to Pilgrims to take with them as talismans and decorations to use in their homes to remind them of the Light.

Somber songs and stories are being told of events down south in the Duchies of Southron and Pisces. No news has come directly from the Piscean lands, since the Orcs captured the vital land bridge between the Duchy and the rest of the Kingdom. Some merchant ships which have sailed to other ports have brought news that the Piscean armies are massing for a counterattack. Good news also may be coming from the Southron Duchy that they will also be attacking the Orcs holding the pass.

Songs of the Bards – Autumn 27, 58AD

Hail adventurers!

The Bards have been singing the praises of Marshall Roehm and Duke Reynald since the victory at Yew ten days earlier. The Marshall has been quick to try and restore some basic services and provisions to those who were left. He has also been securing the area around Yew to try and prepare for both a counter-attack and for the coming Winter.

The news of his missing daughter is not welcome to any, though. She is missing and neither ransom or fate is known. It is said she was either taken by the orcs or the cowardly humans in black armor, but it is not know for sure who has her.

The harvest is going very well, and the Enonian markets have filled many of the streets and surrounding fields outside the wall, as animals and produce come by wagon-fulls to head into the other parts of the Duchy and kingdom. It would appear that after 2 years of poor harvests, the Light has blessed the Duchy with plenty.

Dame Oriolt and Marshall Kelvin have invoked a centuries old rule allowing them to declare any worship of deities or religions outside of the Light to be “heretical and treasonous, bringing discord and disobedience to law and Man and therefore illegal in the eyes of the King and His Agents.” They are basing on a local interpretation that any worship outside the Light is “heretical and treasonous.” This has never been done before, and is considered controversional, especially when being done as locally as by a regional priest and a Marshall of a Duke. It is not known what the position of the Church and Duke will be, but the Dame is a strong and well liked priestess in the southern center of the Duchy. She has also declared that the activities of the Lightbringers to be Lawful in the eyes of the Marshall. It is said that several small gatherings of worshipers of old gods have been arrested.

Several bards sing of a strange story of trolls attacking a mine that lies between Enonia and Stouton. The mercenary captain, Ralen Gold and her tough group of men at arms, currently under the employ of Sir Chaddius Reynald, fought the foul creatures and prevented them from a raid, but the rocks they were found with are considered a strange haul. It is not known why the beasts were after a what is considered a scrap ore, instead of the valuable iron that the mine produces.

And finally, the bards are telling of ominous tales from the beleaguered Duchy of Pisces. It is said that the entire “neck” of land between the Southern Sithasten Mountains and the Callisto Seas has been overrun by orcs. This land bridge connects the Piscean lands with the rest of the kingdom. The Southron Ducal council is supposed to convene to determine their next course of action, as they have not received word from the Duchess of Pisces, Duchess Childress.

Songs of the Bards – Autumn 17, 58AD – The Battle of Yew

Hail Enonians!

The town is in a state of giddy celebration as word has come – the Marshal was victorious and has retaken Yew from the combined forces of the Black Brotherhood and the Orcs! A last minute desperate attack saw the Marshal’s knights drive the fearsome Orcs away from the town. With half of their forces lost, and both their camp and the town taken, the Orcs have retreated in disarray towards Notchland Keep, and some forces headed to Upland Hold.

The butcher’s bill was high, with a third of the Marshal’s forces lost. It is said that one of his twin daughters, a knight-in-training, is missing as well.

It is a time of great celebration in the Duchy! This year has already seen two major victories against the Orcs and everyone feels hope, even in the face of the grim news from elsewhere of Orcs advancing.

Songs of the Bards – Summer 1, 58AD – Assault on the Orc Fort

Gather close, Enonians, and let me tell you a tale of great bravery and victory!

On the first day of Summer, the 58th year after The Doom, the brave Marshall Roehm, his valiant companion Sir Reynald, a large company of knights, cavalry and foot soldiers crushed the Orcs who had set up a fort on the site of the old Dalewoods Wayfarer’s Inn. Aided by a brave group of adventurers who snuck into the fort unseen and blew open the gates, Roehm’s forces soundly defeated or drove off the orcs. It was the Marshall himself who speared the Orc Chieftain with his lance, ending the battle.

The adventurers, who’ve now been named Heroes of the Duchy of Irecia, had discovered a way into the inside of the palisade walls that was unknown to the Orcs. One of the adventurers, an elven mage by the name of Pyria, struck a dangerous deal with the mysterious Striped Mage for scrolls of Fireball, in order to blow the gates open and provide a clear path for the Marshall’s forces to overcome the defending Orcs.

The Marshall gathered his forces – knights consisting of nobles and landowners from around the vicinity of Enonia, militias and men-at-arms sworn to his service. Sir Reynald, brother to the Duke of Irecia, also joined the forces, bringing his mercenaries and his own retinue of knights and cavalry. Nearly 200 brave men and women marched at a double-time pace to the fort, making the trek in under 6 hours for what normally took 8 to 10 hours of a walk. Unfortunately, for the adventurers who would again enter the palisade to surprise the orcs, their mage Pyria was nowhere to be found!

The group was approached by a former adventurer by the name of Parabellum. It seemed that Pyria had been compelled to do something else, but wanted the attack to succeed, so she bargained with Parabellum to join the attack. He eagerly agreed, packing only a few things, the precious Fireball scroll and several pipes to keep his courage up. With their plan still intact, the adventurers set off with the attack force to begin the battle at dawn!

The adventurers entered the dark dirt tunnel. Their group consisted of the Might Mazlor – Curate of The Light, Balto and Fergus – the littleling and human friends, Ja’kar – the Fist of Mesha, Ragar the Ranger, Bel-a-dur the enigmatic elven warrior and Grel, Paladin of Tangadorin the Light Bringer. Joining them were Sally, an Adept of the Light, and the pipe-smoking, frying-pan toting Parabellum the Mage. Negotiating with a crazy kobold shaman who had a rat farm at the entrance to these dank and dirty tunnels, they bribed him with shanks of freshly butchered pork. He eagerly let them through and they negotiated familiar tunnels until they reached the basement walls of what had been the Inn.

The adventurers pushed through rocks and rubble that had been used to plug the tunnel from the basement. Creeping inside, they discovered that the orcs and goblyns had been busy! The former tunnels and small storerooms had been opened up into large workshops and barracks! Clearly, the bestials were looking to make this simple fort into a much larger facility, one that could support a thrust into the heart of the remaining human lands!

The adventurers found an opening to peek through, the stealthy thief Balto avoiding being seen. Horns blared as the Marshall began a pre-arranged feint, distracting the Orcs so that the adventurers could get in position to use the Fireball and destroy the gate. Deciding that the opening was too risky, the adventurers found the main doors from the workshops to the outside, but guarded by two goblyns! Bows thrummed, fists flew and swords flashed as two goblyns fell quickly. The adventurers crept outside into the middle of frantic Orc activity! The cavalry was about to ride out the East gate to sweep around the fort and flank the humans. The goblyn and orc foot soldiers massed at the West gate, ready to smash into the human lines.

A loud cheer erupted from the humans as the palisade gate blew apart in a fiery burst! The orcs, shocked, all turned to look at the adventurers now in their midst! Parabellum stood with a disintegrating parchment and a proud grin at his handiwork, while the rest of the party drew weapons and prepared to fight for their lives.

The Orc Chieftain bellowed out orders – ATTACK! – and the orc cavalry swept out of the fort in one direction, the complaining goblyns and dour orcs out the other to face the humans. Little did they know that a trap had been laid by the cunning Marshall… most of his knights were waiting for the orc cavalry to sweep by and he would crush them from behind!

The tide of battle shifted decisively when the orc foot soldiers broke and ran! Seeing the Marshall himself hold up to the charge of the cavalry, watching their orc mates die quickly, the foot soldiers’ resolve broke. They followed the goblyns, who never regained their morale, into the Dale Woods and back east towards orc lands. They ran past the charging knights of Sir Reynald, who had swept from the woods and were bearing down on the orc cavalry from the rear.

The orc cavalry crashed into the archers and into the guard of Marshall Roehm. The poor archers held up bravely, but were overrun, all dead save for three souls out of twenty. The Marshall, his knights and the orcs traded blows, and although the Marshall was injured, he kept fighting.

The orcs had been defeated! With the body of the fearsome Orc Chieftain laying dead at the feet of the Marshall, any hope the remaining forces had of regrouping vanished. Orcs and goblyns fled into the woods and back to the lands they came from. The men and women cheered long and hard. The victorious Marshall rode into the fort and the soldiers followed.

“We have taken the day!” the reinvigorated Marshall shouted. “We have bloodied their nose and sent them running! Long will this day be remembered for the bravery and stoutness of human hearts and arms! YOU are the victors and this is the first blow we strike against the Darkness! And to you, brave adventurers, we salute you! This day is because of your achievement and drive to find a way for us to take the fort. By my authority as Marshall, I name you all Heroes of the Duchy of Irecia!”

What are The Chronicles of Etinerra?

Some say it was sight of the three greater planets joining together in the sky that heralded the downfall of Man in the Lands.

Some say that the great silver sphere that plunged through the sky, bringing fire and destruction in its wake delivered the retribution for our sins.

Some say that the plagues that stalked the towns and keeps of our frontiers were the final stroke before the bestial beasts ravenged our farms and villages and drove the decimated Legions from the Far Reaches.

Whatever they say, it could not possibly fully account and list all of the calamities and travails that Man has suffered since the Darkest Hours. Our Doom has been multiple and ceaseless in its entirety. Its effects are long lasting, as we sit huddled in our small cities and fortified keeps. Slowly, we learn to adapt and we learn to live in this new Age – the age of The Doom, and the Dark Age.

And yet, there are those who will seek out the frontier again, who will seek to advance their station and plumb the secrets of the ancients, beat back the hordes of beasts and maybe perhaps cleanse our old lands of the Damned… those rare few who have decided to step forth. The so-called Nobility will not. The few armies that remain will not. But someone will…
— Ta-Shanarbiya, Priest of Yallowforth Keep, Year 52 AD (After Doom)

It is a dark time. Much has changed in the world that your forefathers and granddams knew. It almost two generations ago that the skies lit in flames, the world cracked open, the beasts and bestials poured from the dark and civilization retreated.

Man, Elf and Littlelings have retreated to the safety of numbers, abandoning much that they had gained in many generations. Kingdoms fell, fortresses crumbled and the tramp of foul feet was heard across many leagues. The Dwarfs have not been seen in generations and rumors abound of the “Dark Ones” return.

Man has survived in the face of Chaos and Doom, but much has been lost. Now, the Duchies struggle to hold the line against the ever-present Darkness. Survival is never certain, especially on the now sparsely populated frontiers. Once, these were well-known lands, but since the Doom of Man, they have fallen into darkness, now the story of legends and whispered myths. The other races, Elf and Littleling, they sit in their lands and hold their own, both cursing Man for the Doom of the lands and reaching out in the hopes that all may join to regain what was lost.

Links of interest:
The Lands of Men
Time of History (coming)
Five Year History Prior to the Doom (coming)