For centuries, the once prosperous and verdant Wildlands have devolved further and further into war. Once intermeshed societies have pulled back to their ancestral roots, with communities aligning with their fellow kin. Orcs have established tribal communities throughout the grasslands, seeking to increase their dominion through raids and coercion. Humans, maintaining strongholds along the coasts have consolidated in defensible cities, seeking to keep balance through diplomacy and strategic alliances.

Dwarves reside in the Barlus Mountains that run a jagged line across the heart of the Wildlands. Here they control the flow of much of the Wildlands natural resources. Nearly all roads from east to west must pass through the mountains and thus they wield influence over much of the Wildland’s trade. The elves, which bear credit for miraculous feats through their ability to manipulate magic, have organized in the forests.

The Wildlands, however, were not always divided. The Wildlands was once a burgeoning nation of abundance and peace. This was during the time of the Grand Arkon Jurah. Nobody knows the origins of the Arkon, although many canonical texts during those times attested to his persistence throughout history. What is known is that the Arkon appeared one day in the cosmopolitan capital of Borcade, bearing gifts and offering up his innumerable talents. He healed the sick, helped nobles plan out their cities and aided the elves in honing their connections with magic.

At first, he was treated with caution, as one would suspect, for he was not born of this world. Their trepidations, however, faded when they saw powers unlike anything the people of the Wildlands had ever seen. Soon, the Arkon had gained prominence like no other leader since the beginning of time. And still, as the Arkon reached near divine status wherever he tread, he always came with gifts. He advised many of the most powerful kings and queens and each, in turn, learned to trust his wisdom. Then, when it seemed as if the Wildlands might rise up as the most prosperous nation in all the world, the Arkon Jurah disappeared. As months dragged into years the blame and bitterness spread like a plague. The united kingdoms quickly severed apart, cleaved into smaller factions as mistrust absorbed them.
The religious texts of the time, however, had portended that this event would come to pass. Another Arkon was not to grace the Wildlands for another five hundred years. When he did return, however, they stated that he would bring a prosperity unlike anything that had ever been seen and all the races of the lands would live together in harmony. Only the true Arkon, the texts decreed, could bring together all the disparate groups of the Wildlands. Still, they noted, there was reason for great fear, for imposters may come bearing the mask of the Arkon and seek to rule over the Wildlands, rather than serve it. While the true Arkon would bring lasting peace and unity, the False Arkons would twist the wills of men for their own gain.

And so it came that one day, nearly 500 years after the Arkon, Jurah, had disappeared that an Arkon was found bearing offerings in the western city of Abolith. The news spread quickly and thousands rallied behind the returned Arkon. But then a message came, carried with considerable haste from the mountains of Barlus. News had it another Arkon had arrived there too. Confusion and alarm percolated through the cities and towns of the Wildlands as reports abounded of numerous False Arkons. Some had the power to heal, others to use magic unparalleled by even the adept elves. Still others seemed to be able to see into the future, providing predictions that invariably transpired. And so these mysterious beings, the Arkons, or Treskan’s as some would later come to call them, wondered the lands, gathering followers as they did. Even amongst the races, factions began to align behind different self-proclaimed Arkons.
The true Arkon, as well as his false imitators, slowly began to gain the allegiances of troops of followers, asking favors of them to help lead the Wildlands to an age of supposed peace. And while they sought favors they also continued to give their followers the use of their services and abilities. Ask too much without offering up their wisdom and power and they risked losing the faith of their followers. On the other hand, a Arkon who gathered great support but focused on nothing but dispersing gifts, would be susceptible to attack or manipulation at the hands of factions who were being led by other proclaimed Arkons.

Assume the identity of an Arkon and navigate the complex landscape of the Wildlands. Ask favors from the different races to further push towards the goal of uniting all of the tribes. Be wary, however, for if you do not give offerings to the Wildland’s leaders, you will never be able to forge the coalition you seek. Be wary too of the other purported Arkons, for they seek to silence all other Arkons they see as False.

Orcs first found themselves in the Wildlands in the early days, after a band of some six hundred orcs, fleeing persecution in the nation of Bavok, fled south and arrived at the Wildlands northern shores in the Sagaraz Bay. Quickly they settled into the unfettered land, establishing the settlement of Mu’Ja Nar that still stands today. For nearly a decade the burgeoning population grew through hunting and gathering sustenance. Then, around 450 AF, a band of orc hunters tread deep into the woods, traversing many great tributary rivers and arrived at Toridon where they came across their first other inhabitants. At this time Toridon was a well-established dwarven city built into the great black rock cliffs of the Barlus mountain range (a mountain range that stretches diagonally nearly the whole length of the Wildlands). The hunters were taken captive, then eventually released after a meeting was brokered between the orc and dwarven leaders. The dwarves saw opportunity in the foreigners, naturally adept at combat and traversing the open plains, to help them in extracting resources from the western human establishments of Krescent and Abolith. And so the deal was set that the dwarves would let the orcs settle the grasslands without interference and would supply them with finely crafted weapons, arrows and food stocks and in exchange the orcs would deliver cloth (silk), spices, gold, silver and artifacts that they pilfered in their raids from the human settlements on the coast. Although the orcs nearly always pocketed a disproportionate share of the loot on the excursions, the dwarves seemed content with the arrangement.

While the elves arrived in the Wildlands earlier than the orcs, for a nearly a century they resided solely on the eastern side of the Barlus mountains, their development confined to the city of Tempest. Thus, the Orcs aligned themselves with the dwarves and fought bitterly with the humans for many years to come. The partnership with the dwarves allowed the orcs to expand their reach and focus their efforts less on hunting and gathering, and more on war and domesticating the wild beasts of the grasslands.

Around 510 AF, after one particularly brutal raid where they had been ambushed by a legion of cavalry and lost a full two thirds of their party, the orcs met a mysterious figure. His skin was purple and his eyes glowed a faint blue. He spoke a strange tongue and yet, in some deep, residual part of their minds it was familiar, a sound that harkened back to a time long ago, like a bard’s tune that draws one back to a childhood memory. His hands emanated soft blue light and with it he healed the injured, cured the infirm and helped domesticate even the most wild and dangerous beasts into reliable steeds. Quickly the orc chieftains and leaders rallied around the man who called himself the Arkon. He told them he had also met with the other great leaders of the Wildlands and he wanted to bring peace. Through cooperation, he espoused, each of the races could reach new levels of prosperity and advancement. And from 510 AF – 568 AF the Wildlands forged an interconnectivity that had previously been thought to be impossible. Cities sprang up, populations boomed and war seemed an afterthought, like folk stories one reads when they are young but they know such tales are foreign and far away. The orcs, along with all of the races, erected great monuments to the Arkon, praised his insight and leadership and anointed him the highest law in the land. Then, in the long doldrums of the year 568 AF a strange occurrence transpired. The Arkon did not meet with the chiefs at their winter solstice, nor did he attend The Herding, an established tradition at that point for nearly thirty years. They sent word to the other kings, counselors and leaders and got a chilling refrain, they had not seen the Arkon for many months. Then, like coping with a mysterious death that never gives closure, the orcs were forced to adjust to this new time, where the Arkon was not with them. At first things continued on much like they had, but soon a human lord in the city of Krescent decided he no longer wanted to uphold their old contracts. He argued that the orcs received undue excess in the times of the Arkon and that he was merely adjusting things back to a reasonable medium. In 569 AF, equipped with the Baks (a mix between bison and lions) as steeds, the orcs launched what was one of their bloodiest wars to date. The chieftains blamed the human lords for the death of the Arkon, deducing that the reneging on the contracts was likely a calculated plan after they had killed the Arkon to grab more power. The orcs, whose numbers had grown to nearly thirty thousand in the preceding years, mustered up an army and marched to the coast. The lords, predicting the move, summoned armies from east and west and called their allies in the elven council to their aid.

What would several years later be called the Age of Silence by scholars in the great libraries of Abolith, a period that stretched from 568 AF – 1044 AF, began with a war that claimed nearly fifty thousands lives, with a great brunt of that loss coming from the orcs. After briefly holding the city of Krescent the orcs were soon pushed out and settled back in the Desert of Eyes. With the male population especially decimated, the orcs were unable to meet their trade obligations to the dwarves. When the elves, under a since passed High Councilor named Kissana, came to the orc camps and enslaved the orcs, the dwarves stood silent. While the orcs decried the treachery of the dwarves, the dwarven leaders claimed that despite delivering on their weapons and food stocks both during the war in the west and for nearly a year afterwards, they had received none of their agreed upon bullion or artifacts in return and thus, the terms were void. And so began a dark and bitter period in the saga of the orcs time in the Wildlands, were their populations were subject to great persecution, enslavement and abuse as they moved around frequently and became highly decentralized, with small tribes moving all over the continent. Still, the orcs’ battle acumen, daunting physical size and communion with the wild beasts of the land made them a continual threat, wherever they went and whatever their numbers. With their skills, several thrifty tribes began to slowly regrow, their rancor over the abuse of their kin never forgotten. Then in 1044 AF, an orc chieftain by the name of Detharg, met, who he presumed, was the Arkon, brought back to life and re-incarnated to help restore the orcs to their former glory….

  • 350 AF
    Orcs arrive in the Wildlands
  • 450 AF
    Orcs encounter the dwarves at Taridon
  • 510 AF
    The Arkon arrives
  • 568 AF
    The Arkon disappears...
  • 569 AF
    The Age of Silence begins after a crippling war leaves the orcs without 2/3 of their population
  • 572 AF
    Orcs face enslavement and bitter persecution from the elves
  • 590 AF
    Orcs muster a small band of fighters and raze the elves capital city of Tempest
  • 1044 AF
    An outsider claiming to be the Arkon arrives and is met by chieftain Detharg...
The first human inhabitants to the Wildlands spotted the land mass in route to Bavok aboard a merchant vessel. After reporting back to king Jagis, an expedition force was organized and soon after arrival on the western shores, the land was deemed to be fertile and abundant. It's coasts were blanketed in arable land and its bays were teeming with seafood that was hastily being shuttled back to feed the metropolis's in the northernly continents. Over the course of some forty years, between 290-330 AF, the intrepid settlers expanded quickly and temporary dwelling were replaced with burgeoning cities. Stone, wood and farm equipment was either harvested from inland or traded to them from the dwarves. The dwarves, who welcomed their arrival, asserted that they would protect their shipments through the perilous mountains for a tariff. And so the cities grew and expanded and lordships from across the world sent emissaries to set up settlements in the Wildlands. Besides the occasional threat of pirates, that repeatedly set up make-shift camps on the Gastiv Isles and would harass trade ships coming in and out of the ports, the human lords cooperated and co-existed peaceful with each other under the rule of king Jagis. The relationships with the other races, however, were more strained. Orcs occupied the interior grasslands and although they rarely ran into them, they had to deal with occasional attacks when they crossed the interior to harvest lumber from the woods. The elves were enigmatic and rarely seen but also were quick to draw arms if a unsuspecting lumberjack crossed over the wrong side of a river or into the wrong grove. The primary tension, however, was with their initial allies, the dwarven kings. In 380 AF, Jagis passed away at the elder age of eighty-seven in his throne room on the mainland in Bavok. He had three sons and the eldest, a fiery, bombastic man by the name of Denalin took over. As Denalin's power grew, both in the Wildlands and abroad, he became increasingly incensed at the lack of deference he felt from the dwarves. In 425 AF, he sent diplomats to negotiate a change in the tariff's charged on passing through the mountains, as he felt they were unnecessarily onerous and his men could secure their own caravans. The dwarves refused and further noted that future diplomats who came with such "pin-headed demands" would be turned away without counsel. Denalin summoned his lords and made appeals to their coffers, claiming the levies were costing them a small fortune. The claims were slightly embellished but did the trick to rally a small army that Denalin used to wage war in the mountains. They conquered several cities quickly but their lack of knowledge of the terrain and the difficulty of their cavalry in moving between peaks left them often vulnerable. The dwarves dealt them devastating losses and despite the pleads of the lords to abandon the failing operation, Denalin demanded that they double down. After a year and the loss of thousand of lives the humans pulled back and the dwarves blocked all movement of their goods through the pass. Tensions began to develop between various human lords and Denalin's kingship and it seemed several years after the failed incursion into the mountains that a civil war might mount. The lords were furious that they had been made to take the brunt of the losses and their houses demanded decreased taxes to the crown to allow them to rebuild. The crown refused and the conflict was exacerbated by Denalin’s age, with had rendered him infirm and cloudy of mind and his son, Hector, was forced to take the reigns of governance. When it seemed conflict between the lords and the crown was about to peak, Hector caught a fortuitous break. The orcs began to launch raids against the trade caravans and shipments of the human cities. The attacks rallied the lords together against the imminent threat and gave Hector the ability to appeal to the lord’s economic well-being. Over the next few years the coastal human cities quickly erected defensive walls but even so, shipments of supplies moving to and from the cities were constantly harangued by raiders, who killed and pilfered with callous disregard. Hector managed to broker increased aid to the cities from the mainland kingdoms in Bavok, and eventually was the first of the kings to take up permanent residence in the Wildlands. He died at the age of fifty-six, from an unknown ailment that left him bed-ridden for nearly a year before claiming his life. When he passed in 455 AF, his son Galgius took over at the tender age of sixteen. He quickly grew into his role and was forced to work with the lords to defend the realm against the orc raiders that had begun to harass and rob from them just a few years prior. Then, in 510 AF, while Galgius was visiting the city of Abolith, he found an unexpected visitor at his manor. The visitor wore a thick brown cloak that shroud his face and claimed to have important information. After taking him in, Galgius was shocked to discover that the visitor had vibrant purple skin, etched with ruins on his forehead that glowed faintly as he spoke. His presence was simultaneously imperious and comforting as he emanated a strange aura about him. The outsider knew that the Wildlands was rife with war and distrust and claimed that he could help broker a more peaceful age. Galgius was skeptical but the outsider, who called himself the Arkon, said he would proof his abilities. He stopped the raids from the orcs and re-opened the pass that the dwarves had shut down. Instead of having to travel all the way around the continent via boat, shipments could now arrive ten to twenty times faster by virtue of cross-country caravan. Once earning Galgius’s trust, he convinced the king to implement a new system of taxes on his lords that allowed them to develop their farms and fields with less fiscal obligations and then every few years provide substantially more than they had before due to increased production. The lords were ecstatic as they became far more profitable and could cycle their fields, leaving some fallow in their off years, without having to worry about a minimum annual tax. Even despite the great excess that the next few decades produced, Galgius was not happy. He felt as if his power was being eroded by the Arkon, who had reached near divine status amongst the kings, lords and leaders of the Wildlands. Galgius, publicly lauded the Arkon but privately he often would rebel against his counsel. In 510 AF, he increased taxes on his lords against the advice of the Arkon. The lords accepted to maintain the peace, which the Arkon placed in utmost importance but the shift led to some grousing speculations. In 528 AF, at the age of eighty nine, Galgius died of natural causes, making him the oldest ever king in the Invictan bloodline, stretching back several centuries. He had no sons, but before he passed he elected to give leadership to one of his nephews, a man by the name of Ragimond. It was a surprising decision to the lords, who expected one of their houses to be named to the crown since Galgius lacked natural heirs. In 568 AF, the Arkon suddenly disappeared and the stability and prosperity that he had brought seemed to rapidly decline. Under Ragimond, after the Arkon’s disappearance, the crown decreed that the trade arrangements with the orcs were unjust and that the Arkon had offered them far too much land. The dwarves rescinded back to more isolationism after the Arkon’s disappearance and re-instated the levies on goods moving from coast to coast (albeit these rates were still lower then before the Arkon had intervened). Tensions between the lords and the crown grew as the tax rates remained consistent with rates during the time of the Arkon, but new changing trade dynamics in the Wildlands made it so that the lords were far less profitable. Then, declaring that the humans had been the ones to kill the Arkon, the orcs launched a massive invasion against the coastal cities of Krescent and Abolith in the northwest. Ragimond rallied the elves, as well as got many battalions of men from the mainlands in Bavok, that now had settlements in the west to their aid and in a quick but bloody war beat back the orc invaders. Over the next several centuries, the Wildlands devolved deeper and deeper into chaos and conflict. Disease and malnutrition spread like a plague through the coastal cities and many prominent houses took to the ports to move their people from the Wildlands for good. Then, in 1044 AF, a purple skinned outsider arrived at the city of Borcade in the south, where king Hajol had moved the capital some thirty years earlier. He claimed he was the Arkon and that the crown would once again be mighty and vast….
The dwarves were the earliest inhabitants to the Wildlands, taking up residence in the Barlus mountain long before any scrolls or tombs even began to chronicle the histories of the land. Complex labyrinths of tunnels, as well as sprawling settlements on the surface expanded and grew as time beat on. One might be surprised to discover that the dwarves had few children, typically only one child per family, as the dwarves were always expanding to new settlements to make room for their burgeoning population. This was due to their ageless biology, wherein the average dwarf lived to be nearly four hundred years old. Even the elves, spry and astute of mind until the day they passed, rarely lived into their third century. Conservative by nature, and with a penchant for beauty in craftsmanship, the dwarves mined and then forged countless artifacts, which they kept stored away in vaults in deep caverns. Around 80 AF, they stumbled upon an exceptionally rare and previously undiscovered stone called Aqin. A rich, seamless blue, the material turned out to be stronger than diamond and the dwarves bore holes ever deeper into the earth in an avaricious frenzy to extract as much of it as they could find. Around 200 AF the elves arrived in the Wildlands, setting up a thriving metropolis in the city of Tempest. The elves had the mystical power of sight (ability to see and sense things in other areas of the world) and using their mind’s eye could actually feel into the stone of the mountain to find traces of precious minerals. Alliances between the elf mystics and the dwarves were quickly penned and the elves were heaped in opulence in exchange for their gifts. The human settlers, that came in droves between 290-330 AF, swarmed the east and west of the Wildlands, pouring out across the coasts. Within the first century of their arrival conflict boiled over between the newcomers and the dwarves. The king, a bearish middle-age man with a head of hair white as snow by the name of Denalin, decried that the dwarves were forcing a levy on shipments that passed from East to West through the mountains. The dwarves contended that the toll was well justified, for they maintained the treacherous roads in all weather conditions and from all matter of wild beasts. Furthermore, the dwarf kings felt that they had been more than kind with the newcomers, offering them favorable trade for iron, weapons, tills, harnesses and all matter of equipment needed for settlement and expansion. In exchange they had received a spattering of things from silks and herbs, to vellum and fresh livestock. Denalin became increasingly incensed as the dwarves held firm and eventually rallied the lords of the various northern cities and waged war in the perilous mountains. The effort was clearly quixotic and some three thousand human soldiers lost their lives in exchange for the temporary seizure of a few small mining towns across the Barlus’s coldest northern peaks. In no more than a year the fighting had ceased, the dwarves blocked off any shipments bound to or from Krescent and Abolith in the West and Khalel in the East. Trade ground to a halt and to the surprise of the dwarven kings, their people seemed more troubled by the new found arrangement than their human counterparts. The dwarven miners had become accustomed to the spices and fine silks of the West. And so the dwarven lords contemplated war, a prospect that troubled them greatly for battle outside their anointed peaks was unchartered territory. They proposed an offer to the elves, who recently had branched out to the western reaches of the woods that shroud the Barlus but they were thoroughly uninterested. The elves seemed immersed in prophecy and strange rituals and the dwarven kings always felt uneasy around their leaders. Unanimously, the dwarves decided it was best to keep their relationship strong in regards to their services of mineral scrying and not press the issue. Then, quite fortuitously, an opportunity presented itself in an uncharacteristically hot summer in 450 AF. A band of orcs, whom the dwarves had heard only rumors about in years past, found themselves in the mountains. The dwarf kings saw an opportunity with the orcs, who seemed bred for battle. They asserted that the Wildlands lay under their control but they would leave the orcs to expand throughout the mainlands as they saw fit, should they agree to help them with their war efforts in the north with Denalin’s grandson, Galgius and his lords. In addition, they would help them expand and with their raids, by giving them finely crafted weapons and supplying them with food so they could turn away from farming and growing. To the dwarves, the arrangement seemed brilliant. They had another force to fight their battles. They could recoup the gold, silver and precious metals they had traded away in the past, not to mention get their people back the fineries they yearned for. And to top that off they now had the orcs dependent on their food stocks, so they knew they would deliver for them. In 510 AF, Kolgor, the eldest of the dwarven kings, while paying his homage to the old gods on a frosty peak was met with a quite unexpected visitor. A slender, human looking man stood before him, with purple skin and eyes that mirrored the icy flakes that floated down around them. He said he could help the dwarves gain knowledge of the ancients and through coordination with the other Wildland leaders, create a time of unbridled prosperity. The dwarves were a deeply religious people and were quickly drawn in as he relayed to them stories, taught even the most veteran smiths new techniques in the forge and imbued their picks and axes with magic that made them smash into rock like it was brittle crystal. The visitor called himself the Arkon and quickly the dwarves revered him as an incarnate of Nasgarian, the god of the mountains. For centuries the dwarves had relied on oral tradition to pass down stories and histories but with the Arkon leading new ventures, and armed with supplies of vellum scrolls and ink from the west, they began what would become one of the most vast and expansive libraries in the wildlands (the largest in fact, outside of Abolith and Borcade). Furthermore, the Arkon pressed that the dwarves held an invaluable roll in the unity that was to come. Despite the reluctance from the dwarven kings, the Arkon beseeched that they open up the passes from east to west. Prosperity for the dwarven populations boomed and over the next several decades they reached a gilded age of opulence. So much so that some of the kings groused quietly that their people were turning soft, as with the aid of both magic and refined technique, mining was quicker and less labor intensive then ever before. The Arkon had the power of sight, to see into the weave of times to come and pull out visions. This power was like that of the elves but as refined as some of the greatest high councilors in all the world. Once a month the Arkon would appear at Tannis peak, the highest platform in the whole stretch of the Barlus Mountains and pay homage to the old gods alongside Kolgor and the other four dwarven kings. The Arkon never stated he was a god, but nor did he refute the dwarves claims that he was Nasgarian incarnate. Instead he preached the importance of prayer and reverence for the old gods that made the world and all it’s glory, and stated that the dwarves were destined to build a land of peaceful coexistence. This, he explained, could only be achieved through working with the other races and valuing their contributions. Then in 568 AF, during a long, bone-chilling winter with hardly any precipitation, the Arkon did not arrive at Tannis’s peak. He did not arrive that month, then the next and soon the dwarves were scouring the land and sending missives to every remote reach but to no avail. Kolgor was the first to make a statement to the rest of the kings, stating he had seen this come to past in a vision. He claimed that the Arkon had gone but would return, and this trial was a test to their resilience and godliness. He had the priests craft canonical texts from his recollection. It was not long after the Arkon’s disappearance that word reached the Barlus Mountains that trouble was brewing in the West. The orcs were assembling an army over a trade dispute with the human lords. The elven high council had stated that they stood with Ragimond and the human lords of the West. The dwarves consulted and decided it was best to not intervene. It was a brutal and quick war that left the orcs crippled. Desperate and with depleted numbers the orcs sent messages asking for additional rations and supplies beyond their normal trade arrangement. At first the dwarves acquiesced on promises of increased returns in the future but after nearly a year of no return barter they cut off supplies. The Eleven High Council sent emissaries to meet with the Dwarven Kings and asked that they not intervene in their engagements. Thus the dwarves pulled back to the mountains and limited their diplomatic entanglements thereafter. Hundreds of years past and the dwarves build great gilded cities and collected tombs from all over the world. As conflict raged and deepened in the Wildlands, the dwarves stayed removed, simply maintaining complete control over all goods passing through the Barlus mountains. Then, in 1044 AF, a young dwarven prince by the name of Rurian met, who he presumed, was the Arkon, brought back to help elevate the dwarves to unrivaled prosperity.
In 198 AF a band of elves arrived on the eastern shores of the Wildlands and made their way inland to establish the first city outside the Barlus mountains. With a population of just over a hundred, the early pioneers were following a vision that had been seen by Kastil, a young and auspicious elven High Councilor. Kastil had foreseen that the Wildlands was home to a precious mineral, that when combined with the magic the elves possessed, could form powerful artifacts that could deepen the reach of the elves power of sight. The elves were born with the ability to see, or scry, different areas of the world, but the power weakened with distance. But by spreading out across the world and connecting with each other through various constructed artifacts, they sought to expand the potency of their sight. Shortly after arrival Kastil fashioned a deal with the dwarven kings, who were the only inhabitant of the Wildlands at the time, wherein the elves would help use their power of sight to see into the rock of the mountains for precious minerals. In exchange the dwarves provided the elves with both great wealth and with small amounts of Aqin, a rare blue mineral that helped the elves create their magical orbs of sight. For centuries, the elves interfaced very rarely with anyone else, slowly expanding their civilizations and making their homes in the woodlands that flanked the Barlus mountains at the Wildlands center. The lucrative trade deal that the elves had established drew attention, however, from other elven lords around the world and several came to the Wildlands to share in the bounty. In 440 AF the first eleven council was formed in the Wildlands, consisting of Kastil as the Eleven High Councilor and four other eleven lords. As the elves built out new cities and expanded into the western forests, they came into occasional conflict with the orcs and humans. Although the skirmishes were often brief and related to logging or hunting in the elves anointed territory, they almost always ended in the elves favor. And as the human kings and orc chiefs in the West grew old and died and their kin took their places, the one constant amongst the elves was Kastil. For reasons unknown to even the other elven lords, Kastil did not seem to age. Half a dozen centuries had past since his birth and although his hair turned to a pure white, characteristic of elves in their second and third centuries, he still remained as keen of mind and able-bodied as in his youth. So the elves kept to themselves and kept isolated from the battles and politics of the other races of the Wildlands. They used their power of sight to gain innumerable insights about events all over the world and sold the information at a high price. Then, in 510 AF, Kastil had just left a council meeting and was walking across a long treetop bridge, a trellis of vines bound tightly together, when he met a strange hooded figure. The elves rarely had surprise visitors and when the outsider withdrew his cowl to expose purple, runic skin, Kastil’s guards were quick to react. The first guard drew his bow and fired a bolt that missed the outsider’s head by inches. Another adjacent guard fired at the stranger as well, with his arrow finding its mark in the thigh of the intruder. The outsider spoke, his voice impossible smooth, completely unflustered by the protruding bolt that sat lodged in his leg, “Brothers and sisters. I come in peace and to aid you. Kastil, I have much to speak with you about.” Kastil was puzzled but told his men to hold their fire, his eyes trying to see into the soul of this strange visitor. The eyes of everyone in the canopy swelled when the visitor raised his hand and a streak of blue light, moving like a snake, swept from his hand and around the bolt. The arrow slowly pulled from the skin and the skin sealed itself after the bolt had left, leaving the wounded area looking completely untarnished. And so this was how Kastil came to meet the Arkon, the mystical outsider who had met with all the leaders of the land and had plans to help all of them achieve great prosperity. With the elves specifically though, he had to offer something unprecedented, for they were not mired with war or conflict and were abundant already in wealth. So the Arkon promised to help them forge artifacts of unprecedented power. He claimed, that by imbuing his magic into the orbs they were creating, he could engineer them to not only allow the elves to see various areas of the world, but in fact, they could warp the construct of time all together to see into the future. And so it was that over the next five decade the Arkon and the elves together forged a dozen of the new orbs that gave the elves the power of foresight. He warned the elves that in the event that he should have to leave, they must use this power to maintain the peace that he had built. Despite the elves isolation, they had noticed the new age of prosperity under the Arkon and applauded his efforts to bring everyone together. Elves moved to coastal metropolises and humans, orcs and dwarves intermingled in the elven cities in the woods. Then, one day, in 568 AF, the Arkon disappeared. The elves scoured the Wildlands and beyond, using every ounce of their magical sight to check from mountain peaks to dells. But they came up short. In the wake of the disappearance Kastil had a troubling vision while channeling the Orb of Nastol for future sight, the orcs raiding and burning their capital city of Tempest. The council met to determine what they must do and as they did, elven scriers reported that a large orc army was moving for the coast to lay siege to some of the human’s largest metropolises. So they decided they would aid the humans in an effort to destabilize the new threat they had seen was coming from the orcs. The tactic worked and the combined might of the elves and humans drove back the orcs and dealt them a devastating loss in a lopsided and quick war that didn’t span but three weeks. The council, however, knew that as long as the orcs remained in the Wildlands, the risk of the vision coming to pass was still there. They grappled to understand how manipulating the present could affect the future without the sage guidance of the Arkon. So, in a split decision by the council they agreed they had to enslave the orcs, forcing their population to not rebuild, and keeping them separated. They feared the interference of the dwarves, who had a material alliance with the orcs, but correctly guessed that their own ties to the dwarves were far more lucrative and the dwarven kings agreed to step aside. And so the elves continued to attempt control of the woods and used their new forced labor to help them expand and build cities at increasing speed. They found mines and used the orc labor to extract metals and stone that they then traded to the humans who were rapidly expanding in the West. Despite these efforts, however, many bands of orcs avoided their capture and one of these renegade bands attacked the city of tempest with a trained force of some one hundred orcs. Normally they would of detected this thread long before it arrived, but like the arrival of the Arkon, they were caught off-guard. Although the orcs were quickly driven back and with sizeable losses almost immediately, they managed through a concerted effort to bath the streets and bridges in oil and then to start a raging fire. The blaze burned Tempest and the surrounding area for many miles to the ground. Some three thousand elves lost their lives in the inferno that required the aid of thousands of their neighbors to fully extinguish. In the wake of the brutal attack, they scoured the land, enslaving more orcs out of malice then utility. As more centuries since the disappearance of the Arkon passed, the politics of the Wildlands became increasingly convoluted. The humans were gaining power but the lords were not all unified with the crown, or the king who claimed leadership over the Wildlands. In addition some of the elven lords found themselves more tightly bound in with their human allies then the eleven council’s influence. Then in 1044 AF, a hooded figure, claiming to be the Arkon, arrived to meet Kastil. He spoke of helping the elves learn to control their power of foresight like long ago….