|“||Praise be to Tekenas, father of our race, father of our Imperium, saviour by his sword of our very souls.||”|
– A line sacred to Human Orthodoxy.
The Empire of Skirata, its foundation legend, its future now uncertain, stands on the brink of collapse; its armies shattered, its cities ground to dust, its people slain or enslaved before the overbearing might of Orcish conquest. Once the symbol of Human hegemony and a center of Human faith, this great power stands on its last legs, and nothing, not even the might of the Sacred Sword - prophecised to defend Humanity in its darkest hour - can save what remains. The end is nigh, doom is afoot, and Humanity has fallen.
These are the stories streaming from the far west, brought by the ragged refugees of every land in service to the Empire, and if their presence was not disturbing enough, that so few crossed from the homeland stands as a greater concern still. Scouting ships, sent to get what glimpse they can of the stricken nation return only with reports of utter devastation. Perhaps it is true, perhaps Skirata has truly fallen, and if that is the case the Empire's colonies here are now its last bastion.
Fifty years ago, before the troubles that now forsake the Empire, the Emperor's twin sons set forth with a great fleet each; one traveling east and the other west, their mission to discover new lands and make them the Emperor's own. The western fleet, commanded by the great Torisin Vachias, touched down in the land now known as Narshima, the land that is also your home. The native humans, following a culture vastly different from their colonizer's own, were driven into the mountains where they still remain; some cooperating with Imperial interests, others stubbornly resisting even to this day. Over time Narshima and its colonies prospered, delivering new and exotic goods to the Empire's marketplaces and receiving bounties of wealth in return, eventually permitting the arrival of a race new to the island.
Much of the Elven race had long remained under the yoke of Imperial rule, its remaining nations allowed some degree of independence so long as they paid a yearly tax, not in money, but in the freedom of their youth. Although the trade in human slaves had long existed legally within the Empire, the demand for Elven slaves was always greater, and the former trade slowly dwindled into nothingness; replaced with an equally vile, but massively cheaper, form of labor. Now that the Narshima colonies were well established, these slaves could be sent without fear of uprising or rebellion and soon the farms and plantations of the region were worked by a large and growing population of Elves. Until recently, everything was going as planned.
With the collapse of Imperial authority less than a year ago, and the chaos said to be engulfing the rest of the known world, the power once weilded by the colonies is quickly dwindling. So, now only one question remains: who will take its place?
Who are you?Edit
Skirata may have fallen, but its people remain! The Empire and its legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of its descendants, and to abandon that legacy - no, that dream - would be to desecrate all that your people's ancestors lived for. Despite these desperate times, there is still hope, and with adequate faith and force in your hands perhaps the Empire is not as far-gone as many would like to believe. Perhaps, through time and effort, a new Empire can be rebuilt from the ashes. Loyal citizen, the time has come for you to take up the sword and defend your Empire! Strike down its foes in Tekenas' name!
Skirata has fallen, the old ways are dead, and it's time to clear room for the new. Refugees from the capital bring word of a new prophet, a girl by the name of Orellia whom, in humanty's darkest hour, drove back the night where Tekenas' holy sword would not. As the city's fate seemed sealed, a voice cried forth from the heights; nothing more than a girl, but with the passion and fury of a god. Truly she is a new prophet come among men, speaking not of holy artifacts nor the sanctity of one man, but the spirits within all men; the rights of every man to his own freedom. You know Orellia's word is true, but many deny it, evil men with evil hearts bent on the oppression of each man's rights. These men must change or die, because progress is inevitable, and if they cannot follow Orellia's faith, they will be crushed beneath it! Free spirit, the time has come for you to take up the sword to defend your faith! Strike down your foes in Orellia's name!
When the great Imperial ships landed upon your people's shores, your fathers knew a great change had come to the world, and that things would never be the same again. However well the old spirits may have guided your people in the past, the Empire could do so better, and to ignore this would be nothing short of idiocy. Skirata brought change for the better and under it your people prospered. Now that it has fallen where are you to turn? To the failed ways of your ancestors? Are you to join the desperate rebels in the hills? No, the path of your people cannot be changed, you will fight for the future, not the past. Brave warrior, the time has come for you to take up the sword and defend your people's destiny! Strike down your foes in its name!
When the great Imperial ships landed upon your people's shores, your fathers knew a great change had come to the world, and that things would never be the same again. The invaders brought only suffering, and while your forefathers bravely fought them to a standstill in the hills, their ways corrupted the land your ancestors had called home for generations. This impurity must be cleansed, and now that the invaders have lost their home, the source of their power, there could be no better opportunity to return the favor. Brave warrior, the time has come for you to take up the sword and defend your very way of life! Strike down your foes in your ancestor's names!
As a child, you never thought that you'd find yourself so far across the sea, nor that you'd be able to call this strange island home. For years, hate towards your Skiratan masters had simmered just beneath the surface of your people's calm demeanour, but now, with the balance of power changed irrevocably, the hate and anger has boiled forth. From the colonial towns and cities of this island will rise a new Elven nation, founded upon the fury of your people, and the departed souls of a hundred thousand Skiratans. You will be oppressed no more, not by the Skiratans, nor by these natives calling themselves the Narshima. There can be only one answer to their oppression, and they will receive it in full: death. Brave Elven Rebel, the time has come for you to give Humanity an answer to your suffering! Strike them down in the name of your people's dark past, and their bright future!
All of these others, with their ideologies and great speeches singing forth praises and destruction alike, are fools waiting only to fight eachother into Oblivion. You are no fool, you know that power was never truly built upon faith or righteousness, but by the cold and hard way of the sword. You need no ideology, you need only yourself, and those who follow you do so because they wish for a share in the spoils. It will be by the sword, then, that you will conquer Narshima; and put to rest each of these warring factions with no future. Perhaps the Empire has fallen, perhaps it has not, but either way when the time comes, Narshima will not be the end of your conquests.