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Experimenting with leather and a soldering iron, pictures to follow.
Once more you come to the fire of this old man. It fills my old heart with joy to see you return so frequently, young friend. The thirst for knowledge has not left this world yet, then. Be seated, warm yourself at the fire and listen.
For today, I will go back further than before in my tales and tell you of the time before the Khadras-Tien. I have told you that the Immortals were the firstborn of Khadras and I was true in my words, for they embody his divine will to this day. They were created with intent and purpose. But they were not the first life that came into this world. For a long time, while the Great Shaper Whose Hands Form The World was bestowing his gift upon lands and sea and they were filled with his divine essence, life began in ways he never had foreseen, and he rejoiced. For what he created were four of the most magnificent beasts you could imagine. These four beasts truly were the first living beings to behold the face of Khadras and to walk his world.
All of them were enormous, giants that shook the land where their feet fell. The first was a mixture of eagle and lion, as large as a mountain. Curved beak and razorsharp talon, a plumage of pure white and a coat of golden fur made her the most beautiful being to grace the skies with her presence. You may remember that I told you of gryphons and how they were the great allies of the Khadras-Tien. This was in fact the first of them all, great Aelos. She embodied the force of the northern winds, the biting cold of the mountaintops and the silent nobility of winter. From her all gryphons originated, so we were told. She was grace and purity, like the first snow, but also harsh and cold like the gales of the icelands. She was order and balance made flesh.

When Khadras next looked to the isles of the south, those mountains of fire beyond the island of Al-Djahet Banejma, what he saw was a beast with eyes like the heart of the sun and a scaly hide of obsidian. It was winged, like Aelos, but where she was the cold of winter, Rhakron the Flame was fire given form, the embodiment of the summer sun.  In his maw there burned a flame as hot as the molten blood of the mountains and horns lined his massive head, tough and pointed. He was the origin of all other dragons, a devious winged serpent, cunning and hungry for power. Rakhron wished for change, for supremacy over all living beings, to become the sole creature worthy of the attention of the creator.
Khadras foresaw that there would never be peace between Aelos and Rhakron and instructed them to stay to their own lands. Rakhron was to stay on the Firepeaks and Nauregar, while Aelos would rule over the Ironbeak and the World's End mountains and Gohrdland beyond. We both know that the dragon defied that order as soon as Khadras had left. He went north with his brood and demanded control of all the skies from Aelos. What followed was a war that only ended when our golden city burned and all the dragons and all the gryphons disappeared from this world. This war ended both Aelos and Rakhron and now, the skies are empty, ruled by no one. Some things, even our Great Shaper could not foresee.
But I was not done with this tale. What Khadras next spotted was a glorious beetle, a gargantuan scarab prowling Ehadras. Its carapace shone chromatic and beautiful, the very image of a rainbow after rain in spring. When it took flight, the sands were awash in furious storms and many of the oases of the desert were burried underneath dunes he formed. Soon, Erekkil the Scarab abandoned the surface to live in the ground, trying to preserve the world above. It saddened Khadras when the beetle began to burrow underneath the sands of distant Ehadras, away from the sun that painted his chitin in such beautiful colours.  Where it has gone from there, we do not know, but I imagine that far below our world it sleeps until some event only it and the Great Shaper have seen. What will happen then, I cannot begin to imagine. The Ehadrasi, at least those that know this tale, swear to it that Erekkil must be the first of the Jackal-Scarabs living in the deserts of their dry, distant land. I imagine there is some truth to it, but the beauty of their chitin would only be a pale image of their forefather.
Of the final beast of legend, Khadras only managed a glimpse. Uomagyn he called it, and it was the strangest of the four. Khadras sensed great sadness in it, a solemn fog on his mind like a forest in fall. Perhaps it was that Uomagyn was as smart as Aelos and Rhakron, but unable to communicate with our father, as he was bound to a life beneath the waves. I like to think that whales sing their sad songs out of sympathy for the forgotten one. Khadras never realized this in his passionate effort to create the world and when he was ready to leave, it was too late and Uomagyn has retreated to his solemn exile in the depths. Unlike the others, there is no animal I know of that resembles the water beast. His head was that of a fish, but with massive plates covering the head, while his body ended not in a tailfin but webbed tentacles like an octopus.
I know what you might be thinking now, that fits the description of the Shipsbane. Let me assure you, even that mythical being would be dwarfed by one such as Uomagyn. They were the greatest beings made by Khadras and nothing you have seen in this world would match their feral strength and size.
Another wonder that the creator gave us, and that was lost to time. It is enough to sadden this old man. Perhaps it is best you return another time.
The Beasts
The final part of the lore introductions given by Fyndranos the lorekeeper. He reveals that even though the Firstborn deserve their name, they are not the first to live in Khadrasa.
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Welcome back, my young friend. What I have to for you today is a tale of a people often overlooked. Mayhaps you know of the Melinae, the curious little people living in the Bay in the likeness of badgers walking on two legs. Perhaps you have even heard of their natural affinity for magic and tinkering with enchantments, a skill even the mages of the Arcanite Islands have trouble matching.
What you will not know is that the little villages in the Badger Valley they now inhabit are nothing but the faintest whisper of who they truly were, so long ago. The Melinae perhaps had the largest kingdom in all of Khadrasa, certainly as large as the counties and duchies of the Bay combined. It was hidden underneath the lands of the Khadras-Tien, in great caverns, where the only light came from strange stones and plants that are stranger still. There their cities were carved into the great stone pillars that kept the overworld from collapsing into the caverns below the surface
You look skeptic, a good trait to have. I promise you, all this is true. I have learned much in the libraries of Khadras-Jun and from the eldest of the Melinae and saw the entrance to their great cavern realm. Hidden in the Badger Valley it laid, a gate wrought from stone with skill that the Kandu could only hope to have matched at their zenith, when they still lived in the great plains beyond the pass. Of course that was before the fall of our golden city, when the land was still green and covered in rolling foothills and massive forests, all of which have disappeared in the upheaval that followed. So there I was, standing before a locked gate of such unmatched craftsmanship, yet of a small scale. It was still impressive, but not what you may have imagined initially. Given our size, it is only natural that we see their buildings as smaller than they should be. No higher than a large house, it was still a breathakingly tall building for the Melinae who held it in fearful reverence. None could tell me about it in the Badger Valley, nothing more than that it was their forefathers, long ago, who came through this gate. There are no records in their species that go further back, a small wonder considering they paint on cave walls and carve statues that tell stories, rather than write their history down. I knew that here I could gain no further knowledge so I left the curious Melinae people to their own machinations once more and moved to Everhold Keep. The lord of House Malder still regards us Khadras-Tien as revered teachers and protectors and the messenger I sent to Highrock returned with his approval. He gladly offered me aid in reaching the ruins of old Urkhand, where the Kandu made their first mountain halls.
It was a long walk, but on the roads made by the Firstborn, travel comes easy and we made plenty of progress. Soon we entered Forlorn Point, where I bid farewell to my Malder escort and instead joined a group of nomads moving further north and east to continue my travels. When finally I reached the great halls of Urkhand, withered by age and covered in dust, it still seemed as magnificent and impressive as it was the day we saw it built. Kandu masonry and stone craft truly never succumbs to decay. And so it was that in the libraries, on stone tablets thin as leather, in fine runes crafted by masters long dead, I found the last piece to the puzzle.
In the time of Khadras-Jun, the Kandu delved deeply into Ironbeak Mountains, bringing forth both fine ore for steel and great riches in gems and gold. They also encountered the great caverns beneath this continent and eventually, the cities of the Melinae. It is not surprising the Kandu remember little to nothing of this, too much has happened since then and too much of their civilization lost to the Bay of Strife. Why the Melinae now are on the surface, that much I cannot tell you. The expedition of the Kandu never returned to the curious underground dwellers. And as they were wary of the unknown race and feared for the safety of their own people and their treasures, they closed the access to the caverns off and never mentioned its location. It could be anywhere within the vast mining network of great Urkhand, disguised as lose boulders and grown rock so it might as well be lost. No, I fear the only way to explore the great underworld of the Melinae Kingdom is through that gate in the Badger Vale. And even then, we have to remember that the little folk left for a reason. Whatever managed to drive an entire people from such a mighty realm no doubt will still be down there in the dark and the abandoned cities and I had no interest in throwing myself at it.
But, my young friend, now you know of the Melinae and perhaps you will regard them with more respect in the future. For the simple folk you see today are but a shadow of their unmatched glory, and one day we might end like them.
The Melinae
In this fourth lore piece, Fyndranos reveals his knowledge about the Badgerfolk, the Melinae of the Baylands
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Back for more, are you? Old Fyndranos has more stories for you then. Sit with me and listen. Listen well, for I believe this knowledge should no longer be secret.
I told you of the birth of this world, and how Khadras brought life to it. I told you of the rise of the Immortals and their fall into slavery. But what you did not hear was the story of the lost wanderer. When we began our journey south, he did not follow the call of the Khaa, did not wish to go into the lands of the south. Instead, he set off to the east, alone. Along the looming World’s End mountains, he walked for many days and nights until he found a pass, high up in the mountain range. Through this hidden path, the Pass of Shards, he came upon a mysterious land, unlike any of the parts of Khadrasa you know. This wasteland seemed untouched by Khadras, barren and dead. Massive grey and black crystals broke through the ground, the sand carried by the wind smoothing them. In the center of it all, the lone Khadras-Tien found a strange monolith. Higher than the highest towers of the cities, almost reaching the clouds, it stood there, untouched by the ageless wind grinding it. Black and polished, hexagonal in shape, it was unsettling to behold, for there was no shadow cast by it. It appeared as if it was not there, not part of this world.
As he approached, the wanderer saw that it was not solid black and what first had seemed like sunlight reflecting off of the pillar was actually writing, covering all of the massive shape. As if he was hypnotized, he walked ever closer to it and finally reached out to touch the monolith.
Nobody knows what happened next, none of the records in the vast libraries of the Khadras-Tien gave away any answer. What I know is that once he awoke, the Immortal had committed sin unlike any other. Today the monolith remains black and strange, alien to this world. Nothing reflects off its surface, but the words have disappeared. Far in the west, even beyond the Ung-Bavon crater of the Godforge, the Firstborn stood in the middle of a massive scar, what we have come to call the Tesseract. Around him, the land itself was gone. Nothing remained, no forests or hills, not even the sky was still there. Instead, a plain grey horizon slowly flowed into a dark, perfectly flat plain. Only a thin cover of dust remained of the land, blanketing a solid, metal surface. An endlessly repeating pattern was etched into the metal, confusing the eye and impossible to read for most.  A son of Khadras had torn away part of the work of his great father, infected this world with immeasurable destruction. The Tesseract pulsed and glowed with an alien light, and the immortal knew why. The Unmade Land was spreading, expanding into Khadrasa, tearing away more and more of what Khadras had shaped. With knowledge of his deed and the consequences he wrought for the world, there was but one thing he could do. As fast as he could and with no further regard for himself he used the energy of his own amulet to raise the Warden Stones around the proof of his sin. On these stones he etched this story and the name he gave himself, no longer wishing to be one of the Khadras-Tien. As Nihilus the Unmaker we remember him, and the Unmade Land remains, though no longer spreading. For that, he also is called the warden, as his thankless task is to protect the world from his sin. Throughout all these thousands of years, the scar of unmaking still lies dormant in the heart of the land and an outpost of humans we entrusted long ago with keeping the wards intact still stands vigil. Should Winter’s Reach fall and the wards come undone, we all would be swallowed by the Unmade Land, the work of Khadras in vain.
I believe you are justified in asking just who could have the power to resist the hand of creation itself. True, who indeed could stand against the one who is superior even to the gods?
I am taking a risk naming him, but know that Yxion is everything Khadras is not. In a great struggle predating even the birth of the Firstborn, there were two who sought to control the stars. Brothers, to use a word you could understand, but so much more than that. Even we, children of Khadras as we are, could not grasp the concept any closer than that. It is only thanks to rules even the Creator and the Eraser had to bow to that the stars were not torn apart in their war. For the forces of creation and destruction both obey a higher order. Khadras did not reveal much about her, only a name. Nikosh, the Keeper. She, so it seems, was the one who banished the Eraser from this plane as Khadras emerged the stronger one. Though, it is obvious, his touch lingers on many worlds still. The monolith of shadows was his mark, and had Khadras not turned this world into his, it would have perished. And, so I fear, his influence never completely waned. There is little I know of what happened to the Khadras-Tien Khaa and what exactly caused our downfall, but it is likely the agents of the Eraser were involved, even if it was the gryphons and dragons who ultimately tore down our city, if involuntarily.
You’re still curious, aren’t you? I am glad you wish to learn so much, but for now, this is your lesson and it has to be enough for the day. Return soon and this old man might have more wisdom for you.
Of the Unmaker
Fyndranos has another story. The great evil that was once banished is revealed, but can it truly be defeated?
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It is good to see you return, for there is yet more to learn of this world. You know much about the Khadras-Tien now, but I have not revealed insight about their greatest allies so far. The Gryphons of the Ironbeak mountains, for the longest time, were both protectors of the young races as well as the flying mounts of the Immortals. On huge wings they cut through the sky, their beaks and talons able to rip apart anything that would dare to threaten them. Their size and might were legendary, as was their benevolence and wisdom. All races respected the Gryphons, hunting them or poaching their nests was a crime punishable by death. With them at their side, there was no threat to this world the Khadras-Tien would not be able to face down. So it was only fitting that in the final hours of the glorious kingdom of the Firstborn, the gryphons perished as well.
At the time the great passage into the Bay of Strive was carved by Kha-Tirsan, our explorers found a valley north of the Bay, home to fantastic creatures. Not only hunting grounds to the immense Frostmane wolves, but also to the gryphons, we quickly named it Gryphonvale. Overlooking the vale was a mountain of great height, Aelos’ Reach. In those days, the peak was full of nests and it was common to see gryphons circle over the vale. What a sight that was…
In the gryphons, the Khadras-Tien found kindred spirits. We both valued balance, never taking more than we need and never giving more than what is required. And both Immortals and gryphons were terrible forces if wronged. Soon after, we began to learn the art of riding these majestic winged beasts. Khadras had created such a large land that we could never hope to effectively travel by foot, even on Kha-Tirsan’s great roads. On the backs of the gryphons however, carried by tireless wings, we reached every corner of this world, the island of Nauregar in the Central Sea and Arcanite, south of the Bay. Even distant Ehadrasi, the mysterious empire of the Nhazremi, was no longer out of reach. Our ambassadors and diplomats came to all, our teachers and architects followed. The Nhazremi built golden cities in the deserts, canals and the power of the wind bringing water and life to them. On Nauregar, the already ingenious and skilled Gnomes experienced a golden age of technology neither you humans nor the metalwrights of the Kandu can hope to match even today.
And even as golden ages go, this was a long and prosperous one. Still it came to an end.
That end could not have come at a worse time. It was the time of the reunion, a lost tradition of the immortals. We would all come together, from all corners of the world, to join our Khaa in Khadras-Jun. There, reports on the younger races were made and we would discuss the future, how best to help them along and how to avoid wars. Your lust for bloodshed and warfare was apparent even then. You had as much freedom as we could give you without risking the way things are today, I assure you. During that last reunion, while we all were in the great, lost city, our enemies struck. Confusion weakened our defenses, many died before we realized what had conspired against us. After all, why would any of you attack us? The reason that we were immortal and would never be defeated alone would have deterred any hostilities, and we thought that our gifts and our teachings were enough to make us strong allies. My brethren and I underestimated the mortal will to power though, a mistake the agents of the Eraser exploited freely. Whispered promises of being made like the immortal god kings in their golden city, becoming greater than even the children of the Creator, becoming like unto a god, those lies rung strong in the ears of the mortals that assaulted us. From within the city they struck, utilizing magic far stronger than anything we had seen before. There was no doubt the power they unleashed was not their own, that those mortals were but vessels for the shades of Yxion the Eraser. We were unprepared and easy prey. I know many from those days that will never leave the eternal dream again, their amulets broken and part of the rubble of Khadras-Jun…
It was obvious that they knew much about us. The attackers focused on our heroes, the pillars of our history, the legends that held us together. Marisan the huntress, Junicosan the founder, Orsindos the Diplomat and Mirontar fell quickly, even revered Helindros, master of arms, he who slew a dragon in single combat, could not withstand their onslaught. Many more heroes died defending the council building, the legendary Hand of Khadras, the elite guard of the Khaa, was almost completely wiped out. The eldritch magic simply tore the guardsmen apart and drained their amulets. On top of our confusion and disarray, their greatest advantage was that we were faced with something we had never encountered before. Fear, fear of death, of being gone forever, made us weak. Judge us for that as you wish, but for us, who we had known nothing but life and rebirth for thousands of years, the sudden realization that we were finite was more terrifying than you can imagine. While we were fleeing or fighting for our very lives, the gryphons were outraged. Even with the age-old vendetta against the dragons, who contested their rule over the sky and the mountains, they came to the aid of their friends. Their furor was bone-chilling and they tore into the ranks of the traitors and shades like the fury of the very elements themselves. It seemed we were saved, that we were beaten but not broken. Then, we were betrayed again. The dragons came, gleefully abusing the weakness of the gryphons to finally end their conquest, cut through the clouds and Khadras-Jun became the battlefield of immortals, traitors and the titans of the heavens. I remember the next day as clearly now as I saw it then. The massive, white walls of Khadras-Jun no longer stood proud, now blackened by magic and dragon fire. In the streets, fallen immortals, never to rise again, lay crushed underneath the broken bodies of vile dragon and noble gryphon. Dried blood covered walls and stairs, forever staining the splendor of the grand city. Fires raged unchecked, devouring our written knowledge, wiping out many of the remainders of the massacre of the previous day. The great enemy had failed in destroying us all, but he could not have come closer.
And what happened to our brave, noble, foolish allies after their sacrifice? Even I cannot tell. Maybe they died so that we were spared and the world will never again behold the glory of the Hand of Khadras riding across the sky on their powerful mounts. If anything good could come from a day that black, it is that we have not seen a single dragon since they tore into the gryphons above Khadras-Jun. I only know that our enemy is aware of his failure, but he is, above all else, persistent and patient. One day, he will again whisper in the ears of mortals, and he will again raise an army of corrupted traitors to unmake the works of Khadras. I fear he will not be stopped this time.
When the Gryphons Left
The second story told by the lorekeeper. This one is about the gryphons and why they are no longer seen in the world.
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deviantID

GrimSheeper
The Shaikan
Germany
The woolly winged Angel of Death, at your service.

Current Residence: Germany
Favourite genre of music: Industrial
Operating System: PC
MP3 player of choice: I'm not picky
Favourite cartoon character: Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth
Personal Quote: I'm just that great!
Interests
  • Listening to: Clutch
  • Reading: Rogue Trader Rulebook
  • Playing: Serious Sam 3
So, I'm home. Saw Clutch live on the 28th, was pretty ballin'.

Nix mehr mit USA für die nächste Zeit.

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BlackDonner Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for favving.
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darkchild130 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave mate!
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DragaoNegro Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012
<3 I love you, just so you know :D
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Thanks for the fave :)
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Malcontent1692 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Hey man thanks for the fav! Always appreciate a fan :)
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ty for the fav!
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die-doppelhelix Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
;-)
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thanks 4 the fav
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furiousflamewolf Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Dankeschön fürs llama ^^
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LittleBitofCrazy Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the :+devwatch:
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CzechBiohazard Featured By Owner May 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a bunch for all of the comments, I really appreciate it, but I can't reply to them right now, because I have to get ready for work, but I'll make sure to reply to them all when I have the time, later tomorrow. Thanks again! :D
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ElysianTrooper Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Danke für den letzten Fave..;-)
Gruß von der Garde..
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lycan-rising Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
oh dear lord...it's your birthday.

Another year of chaos, anarchy and madness.

well, might as well get it started quick. *goes on a rampaging crusade*

happy birthday!
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Queen-Duck Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
To make it "official", Happy Birthday! :3

Welcome, sir. To the world of being a grown-up. There's no turning back now. >>
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