Posts Tagged ‘Primea’

“Primea is a tumultuous place, to say the least. You see it everyday in my trade, if you could call it a trade. I travel from one end of the continent to the other, exploring every ruin and following every tale. I thrive on the unknown and the bizarre, I flourish in exploration, I live for mystery. I’ve seen many things that I can’t explain and many things that I wish I hadn’t even witnessed. Prime amongst these are the monsters of Dust. I find myself writing time and again just how dreadful these horrific things are. Just how dangerous they are. Just how absolutely alien they are. I feel like I’m beginning to repeat myself. They’re simply the worst denizens of this world. I often get chills as I rest, simply by thinking about the creatures I’ve seen. However, this is lessened somewhat by knowing there are those out there who have dedicated their lives to hunting these horrors.

Not all are willing to sit by and allow horrors of Dust ravage outlying villages and scheme in unknown labyrinths. There are those who would cast their fear aside and become a predator. A predator of Dust monsters. A scary prospect, to be sure. These individuals are considered madmen and fools by the majority of the civilized population. Their cause can be considered just, though inevitably ghastly. These individuals are commonly called “Dust Slayers” or “Inquisitors”. Collectively, they are referred to as the “Common Inquisition”. A legion of common people who live to end Dust monsters. They are not a literal group or institution, but they share a common interest and often exchange information with one another if their paths cross.

They are naturally all dangerous individuals. I’ve met a small number in my time. I’ve seen them take on abominations, the likes of which you could not imagine. Naturally not all I met were sane. Dust Slayers usually operate alone, either fearing for the safety of other innocents or cultivating a deep mistrust for everyone and everything. It is not uncommon for an Inquisitors hunt to spill over into the fields of crime. More than one Inquisitor has become a serial killer, supposedly as the lines between monster and man were blurred.

There is almost always a particular event that sets a Slayer off on his or her personal crusade. It is not a simply whim that compels a man to hunt a creature made of pure chaos, a very real and physical nightmare. Inquisitors hunt for their own reasons, not simply for the good of civilization. It is rare indeed for an Inquisitor to hunt simply to protect the innocent, their hunts are pervaded by pure hatred or self-destructive thoughts. A Slayer may have lost a loved one to a Dust creature or witnessed the remains of a humble village on the edge of a wasteland. Rather than shrink away in fear from the experience, these individuals set out for revenge against the manifestations of Dust.

The majority of Slayers are solitary hunters, though they have been known to hunt in groups. Individual Slayers may pick up the same trail and decide to partner up. This way, larger Dust creatures can be toppled. A small group of Slayers armed with musket, sabre and gunpowder can dominate even the most terrible creature, given the planning. That is the most important facet of the Common Inquisition. Without an element of pre-planning, an inexperienced Slayer is likely to have the tables turned on himself. As with mundane animals, a Dust monster is freakishly dangerous when cornered.

As well as these, there are a small number of organizations that also claim to be hunters of Dust. There are the obvious governmental institutions like Tern Street and the Masques, who seek to further the interests of their nations. These are not strictly members of the Common Inquisition clearly, though have been known to assist in eliminating Dust creatures. I’ve even heard tell of individual Tern Street Runners assisting Inquisitors in specific hunts. There are less well-known or underground groups that also seek to eliminate the Dust. They too hunt the Dust monsters, however they have their own reasons for being and for hunting. For example, there is the Brotherhood of Calont who follow in the footsteps of a legendary Dust Slayer. Also, the Coterie of the Impervious Crucible, who bring a religious fervor like no other to the hunt. These groups are not necessarily considered part of the Common Inquisition, but I felt were worth mentioning all the same.

Many Inquisitors are ordinary people who often lead secret lives, working at day and hunting at night. Many have families and loved ones to take care of. An Inquisitor is rarely a rich individual, it doesn’t often bring a monetary reward nor gratitude. They have been known to even live in slums, hunting with the barest essentials and armaments. Indeed, many Slayers have nothing but the hunt left. Hunting out of obsession or with suicidal intentions. Some of these poor souls become twisted, becoming part of that which they once hunted. These poor fools are known as “Furies”. Their minds crack at the horrors they have faced or are bent to the will of their Dust prey. Many go mad, seeing everyone and everything as enemies. As I mentioned previously, many become serial killers, believing the innocents they slaughter are Dust creatures as well. These people embody the line “When the hunter becomes the hunted”. How horrifically literal.

I fear the world would be a darker place without the Common Inquisition watching our streets and lands. They are a force of grey against the blackness of the Dust. They aren’t perfect, and they most certainly are not necessarily pure servitors of justice. But I think that the people of Primea, myself included, can sleep softer knowing that there are those who try to keep the monsters back, fighting desperately with their sword arms and sanity.”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

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“During all my travels and all of my years, there are few beings in this world that worry me more than the Julmurns. These abominable, reptilian creatures have stained countless lands with blood, razed numberless homes and brutally ended untold lives. I hesitate to call these beings evil however, they are simply blinded by what can only be described as an immensely influential theocracy. Julmurns live in a church-state, one that dwarfs even that of the Human Religion of Dust of the past. The Dust is ironically integral to the Julmurn culture as well, in a far less harmful form however. The Julmurns once surged from the wastelands of the south end of Primea, intent on dominating all “inferior” beings. They sought nothing more than to bring all of Primea under their theocratical and tyrannical yolk.

The Julmurns hail from the Zyst Einode (yet another Dust Wasteland), south of the Pienna mountains in the neutral lands. They have carved something of a state out of the savage lands of the southern edge of Primea. A Julmurn is typically regarded as a savage and loathsome creature, almost universally despised in the lands of mankind. Julmurns are something of a tribal race, primitive in terms of technology yet well versed in the occult. They prefer to live in villages scattered throughout the Badlands of the south, electing to live in smaller groups rather than erect grand cities. There is one exception to this rule however. There is a place deep within the Zyst Einode that is said to be something of a sacred city-cathedral. Julmurns rarely mention it. There are few depictions of it in Julmurn texts. Mankind has never set foot there, nor has humanity even bore witness to it. It is simply referred to as the “Unseen City”. Even Julmurns that have ventured out into the world appear to know nothing of it either. I have been unable to learn anything more on this firmly mysterious place.

The Julmurns are a truly archaic race. Tribal records even predate those of humanity. They are, therefore, believed to have evolved far before humans did. It is possible that the Julmurns are more aware of where the Dust came from too. An odd theory perhaps, but the Julmurns raise some interesting parallels to Dust monsters. You see, the Julmurns are a Dust-based race, yet are not created by any form of Dust magic. They could be referred to as a “natural” Dust creature. Also, unlike Dust monsters, Julmurns haves some measure of intelligence and are undoubtedly self-aware. They are primitive, yes. Perhaps even barbaric. But they are not monsters. They are simply another fascinating, albeit terrifying, race of our world.

Unlike Humans, Julmurns are a fairly unified people. They very rarely war with each other and appear to exhibit a certain brotherhood amongst themselves. They commonly trade amongst villages, they have even been known to trade with outside powers, such as Hauteclaire or Bulrin. There are Julmurns that venture out on their own, even settling in human cities, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. This race-wide kinship can largely be attributed to the powerful Julmurn religion. The Julmurns refer to this as the “Topisulk” or the “Way of Dust”. The Julmurns worship the Dust, it pervades their very being, their very society. They believe that all life came from the Dust and that the Julmurns were chosen by the Dust as some kind of “Prime race” Julmurns view themselves was the prime examples of life in this world.  Flux and mutation are tenets of their religion, the Julmurns embrace Dust mutation as the will of their deity. Dust monsters do not harm the Julmurns and have even been known to serve them in some of their conquests. They believe that one day the Dust will perfect their forms into demigods. But first they must demonstrate their superiority over the inferior children of Dust. Because of this belief, coupled with the Julmurns chosen habitat, they are highly subject to Dust mutation. It is common to see Julmurns with extra sets of arms, secondary jaws, extra eyes or all manner of other shocking anomalies. They embrace these changes as gifts from the Dust. They are physically beings of constant flux. A Julmurns day isn’t complete without contact with the Dust after all.

The Julmurns were first encountered by humanity in the time of Emperor Otto Bulrin, when a Julmurn raid was initiate on the neutral city of Hauteclaire. A message of requested aid was sent to the Bulrin Empire, whom answered with an army built from the folk of Ontarfeld and Emperor Otto’s personal guard. The raid became a full siege, with an estimated total of 12,000 Julmurns present. The defense forces of Hauteclaire only numbered roughly a thousand, with the Bulrin reinforcements numbering about 3000. Upon Otto’s arrival, he witness horror like no other, civilians caught outside the city walls by the Julmurns were being butchered and even eaten in some cases. The Julmurns also appeared to conduct strange rituals on living and dead captives alike, spawning horrific Dust creatures. Otto took note that the Dust monsters appeared to treat the Julmurns as kin.

Upon witnessing this travesty, Otto ordered an attack. The Bulrin forces battle tooth and claw against primitive (though effective) Julmurn melee weaponry, Dust monsters and destructive Dust magic. Unfortunately in an unforeseen flanking charge, Otto was slain by an unusually large Julmurn with four arms. However the typical Bulrin discipline won out in the end, with the Bulrins successfully managing to meet up with the beleaguered Hauteclaire forces. Reinforcements from the Nordfeld 2nd legion and a detachment from the Kingdom of Riefe border forces arrived at this time and together the Humans managed to push the Julmurns back south to a previously unknown pass in the Pienna mountains, evidently where the Julmurn horde had initially poured from. Here, the Julmurns began to flee en masse, cursing as they went. The day was won. From that day onward the pass, which is now known as Union Pass (in honor of the Bulrins, Hauteclairians and Riefans who fought there), is kept under close guard and watch by neutral forces, in case of future attacks. There would be further, yet smaller, raids from the south but these were always beaten back by the staunch defenders of Union Pass.

Perhaps you now see why Julmurns are almost universally hated and reviled where ever they go, almost treated in the same way those innocents at Hauteclaire were treated by the Julmurn horde. However, as mentioned before, not all Julmurns are like those butchers. Not all Julmurns follow the Topisulk and indeed not all are savages. There are Julmurns within Human and Demien circles, often hidden, taking employment as guards or strongmen. These same Julmurns ofttimes find a form of kinship in the criminal underworld, utilizing their strong bodies as leg-breakers or robbers.

The average Julmurn is roughly 7ft for males and 6”5ft for females, dwarfing any average Human. They have roughly humanoid bodies, sporting two arms and walking on two legs. The head is always lizard-like, oft even complete with crests. Their bodies are hairless and instead are scaled. Julmurn skin tones can range from grey to a fleshy/pink color (like a Human) to near greens. They have a tendency to slouch, which tends to mask their true height somewhat. It is a scientifically agreed fact that almost every Julmurn is something of a physical powerhouse, musclebound and durable. Unfortunately, they suffer for this strength in the mental department. Though often cunning, Julmurns are naturally dim-witted and notoriously stupid. They struggle with Human speech, electing instead to speak in their native tongues. It has, however, been known for Dust to give to give individual Julmurns unnatural intellect. I even once heard a story of a Julmurn inventor. Take that with a grain of salt though.

Julmurns who follow the Topisulk view all other non-Dust based creatures as inferior and unworthy of existing. Theirs is a traditional and superstitious race, with countless traditions and customs, from war-dances to mating rites. Their entire culture revolves around the Dust or “Konigcyste”. Their creation story, which is well known to scholars all over, is a strange tale of an intergalactic being, Dust, a lost people and something that the Julmurns call the “Pilczar” or “Weak God”. It is unknown whether this Pilczar is the intergalactic being or the lost people however. It is a mysterious story, even the Julmurns are ignorant of its true meaning.

It would not be unreasonable to think that the Julmurn culture may hold clues into the nature and creation of the Dust. Let us hope it is not our doom…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

Julmurn

 

“Nobody knows where the taint came from. Nobody knows who or what created it. Nobody knows why it exists. Nobody even knows what it truly is. Amazingly, a little over 2000 years ago (during an era of time known as the “Olden Days”) our ancestors worshiped the taint. Seeing it as a means to greater power. Indeed, the “Dust” as it is known IS a means to a greater power. The power of magic.

Those who learn to manipulate the Dust can give rise to horrifically powerful magics. They can create fire from thin air, they can transmute one object into another, they can slow their own aging, they can even raise the dead to serve them. These are just grains of sand in an immense desert of possibilities. Magic is raw power. A “Dust Mage” can do anything, given practice and patience. This power comes at a tremendous cost though. The Dust will destroy your mind. Maybe tomorrow, maybe many decades from now. But it will.

You see, the Dust is like an invisible poison. It is almost everywhere, sailing around in the atmosphere. It seeps in and out of everything, corrupting and distorting. It behaves erratically. Impossibly. As a Dust Mage can do anything, so too can the Dust itself. Dust breeds madness it all life it touches. Minds shatter and bodies mutate. It even breaths disturbing life into abominable creatures. Beasts of Dust come seemingly from the aether.

Dust monsters, as we call them, can look like almost anything you can imagine and some things you cannot. I saw a Dust abomination once that appeared almost indistinguishable from a child, save for green glowing eyes and a second enormous gluttonous maw on its abdomen. I saw a Dust monster that resembled a regal knight of old, but sprouting from its back was what can only be described as a set of gallows with a maiden hanging low from them. These beasts of Dust appear to represent concepts that the Dust has corrupted. It corrupts the very concepts the world relies upon. They are happiness turned to gleeful murder, they are the family of twisted amalgamations of flesh, they are faith turned to obsession, they are love turned to bondage. Dust simply creates living nightmares.

With all this said, why would anyone choose to walk the lonely path of Dust? The raw power of course! A Dust Mage can outdo any normal man. Magic is the great conqueror, I’m afraid. My word, i seem to have gone on something of a tangent. Forgive me!

Our ancestors founded the “Religion of Dust”, the worship of Dust and all of its manifestations. Madness, true, but magic is also the great persuader. How were they to know it was the Dust causing men to go insane? How were they to know that it was the Dust causing their fields to wither? How were they to know it was the Dust creating the horrific beasts that ravaged their travelers? Perhaps they were too blinded by the sermons and commandments of the so-called Dust clergy. The Dust Mages were the ones who held the power, they were the ones who fooled the frightened populace. They fashioned themselves into priests and clerics. The Confederacy of Dust was founded.

Those were dark times indeed, when those zealous or made enough to undertake the rites of Dust to join the religion proper were turned into mindless, heartless servants of the priests of Dust. Anyone who didn’t show their faith were exiled, killed or worse. The so-called “Army” of the Confederacy was a horde of zealots and maniacs, nothing like the disciplined military of today. Our ancestors were xenophobic to the extreme, slaying outsiders who did not show fervor on sight. The economy too was a shambles, it was a truly corrupt system controlled by the bigots of the church. Education was heavily dictated and controlled by the priests, creating new generations of believers.

You may wonder how our great Bulrin Empire came to be from such a state of zealous idiocy. When the Religion of Dust was founded, it was small scale as you would expect. It was simply a sect of Dust magi who sought true power. Despite all of their wisdom, even they could not see the corruption in their souls and on the their bodies, the corruption of the Dust. Greatest among them was the Primarch, Garin Moldavic. A mage of extreme power, he claimed to have journeyed from a land far to the west, across the sea. A land were Dust was common and easily wielded. He led the mages to silently and effortlessly murder the previous chiefs and leaders, regardless of their devotion to the Dust. Then the Primarch declared himself and the other magi the true leaders of the land.

Oddly, the people willingly fell to their whims, perhaps out of fear or maybe out of genuine curiosity. Over time the small kingdom of the old chiefs became a great empire. The Confederacy of Dust was growing. At this point, it was close to the size of our modern day Bulrin Empire. The Primarch and his clergy ruled the people with an iron fist. Utter faith was absolutely required of everyone in the empire. But in every dictatorship, there will be mavericks…

There was a group of soldiers who had endured enough. Their families butchered and friends either dead or insane, this group rebelled against the magi. They declared war upon their own masters. Records of this rebellion are few and far between I’m afraid. All i know is that the soldiers were cunning in the extreme. One by one, the magi were cut down, until only the Primarch remained.

The people were joining the soldiers in droves, they were to be slaves no more. The Primarch fled to his grand temple in the capital. He surrounded himself with the few truly zealous guards and various fanatics. The rebellious soldiers, led by the man known as Conrad Bulrin and aided by the peasantry, fought their way through the fanatical tide. Up the mammoth stairs of the grand temple they fought, cutting down legions of Dust worshipers. As his soldiers held the worshipers off, Conrad Bulrin and give of his closest officers charged the temple itself. Tragically, two of the officers were killed in the charge. Conrad led the remaining officers into the prayer chamber where the Primarch awaited.

As soon as the group had entered the chamber and set their eyes upon the cornered Primarch, the entire chamber became a swirling vortex of Dust and created a barrier between Conrad and the Primarch himself. Helplessly, he watched as the mage vanished into thin air. The storm subsided, along with the fury of the battle outside between the soldiers and the fanatics. The fanatics lost the will the fight upon learning of their lords disappearance. Conrad and his men claimed victory. Conrad reclaimed the country back from the Confederacy of Dust in the name of the people. He ended up becoming their new ruler, ironically.

He took to the role enthusiastically, by all accounts. He began to reform the country, into what is today the Bulrin Empire. The went through a large scale transformation as the Religion of Dust (and to some extent, its followers) was abolished and removed. The Confederacy of Dust became Bulrin, the land named after its liberating hero. It was not until Conrad’s son, Ulrich, took over from his father that Bulrin became the Bulrin Empire as under his leadership surrounding regions were brought under its yolk. The Empire was split into four provinces, each partly named after the officers who fought at Conrads side. It was a time of great change, but also great joy.

And so, the Religion of Dust was crushed. But alas, its taint was never completely expelled, the wastelands created by the magics the Dust magi had used remained. Also, even to this day it is a mystery what became of Garin Moldavic and there are always whispers of secret covens of Dust worshipers all around the continent. Dust itself remains, as it always has. Perhaps the Religion of Dust isn’t as dead as we think…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

“Among the many institutions that keep the Bulrin Empire strong, it is Tern Street that is truly the most illustrious. The operatives of this unsung defense, known as “runners”, have protected the empire from threats within and without its borders. More elite than the police force and more adaptable than the Bulrin army, the Tern Street runners are the clandestine hand of the Emperor and his dukes. The runners, though mainly covert, are seen as heroes by those they have served and as liquidators to those they have faced. Either through subterfuge, information or strength of steel, the runners are a force to be reckoned with.

There was once a time when the runners were thought to be mercenaries hired to keep the population quiet, but this idea mostly stems from their detractors. The runners are so much more than secret police though; they are spies, assassins, bodyguards, occultists and soldiers of fortune, among many other types. This most vital of institutions alone could be all that has defended the empire from countless threats outside the public eye, from cultists to foreign spies, from terrorists to monsters.

Tern Street itself is based in the Golus province of Bulrin, in the city of Northgate. The headquarters themselves are a small, modest building in the southern quarter of the city, close to the city hall. The name quite simply comes from the location of the headquarters, Tern Street. The headquarters is set up in an old, musky house. Made to look inconspicuous quite deliberately from the outside, but still containing everything needed. This headquarters is where the administration staff work and where the office of the current chief, Martin Eracy, is located. There are two other minor, secondary headquarters within Northgate, one close to the Croft Asylum and another close to the city gate in the eastern quarter. Tern Street is an empire-wide institution though, so offices are located elsewhere too, from Highgard to Ontarfeld. These smaller offices are known as “Annexes”.

Tern Street owes full allegiance to whoever occupies the position of Emperor and also to the Duke of Golus. This allegiance stems right back from the institutions creation, not from some forced edict. Approximately 900 years ago now. Oh yes, Tern Street is rather old! As the story goes, the head of the militia in Northgate just so happened to be a childhood friend of the emperor of the time, Ulrich Bulrin. He was the second Emperor of the Bulrin empire, Conrads son. Ulrich saw the huge numbers of Dust cultists and all manner of horrendous events that the army and militia simply were unable to keep in check. The empire was in peril. Ulrich decided to create a force solely dedicated to eliminating these threats and went to his childhood friend, Adrian Von Tern, the then-chief of the militia, to lead this force. Tern accepted wholeheartedly, relinquishing his position as head of the militia to another capable individual, Madam Francisca, and became the first Chief of the Runners. Madam Francisca is also notable in that she turned Bulrins militia force into the police force we know today. However, the runners did have a base of operations, but over time Terns own home fulfilled this purpose. The street his house lay upon at the time was called South road.

The runners at the time were little more than trained watchmen and militia. They had some “special” training in identifying and stamping out Dust users, but little more. However, they proved effective and over time the problems plaguing the empire began to diminish. Ulrich was thrilled by the progress of the runners and Terns leadership, and in thanks renamed South road to Tern Street. To honor Adrian Von Tern. From then on, the runners became the Tern Street runners and they have advanced greatly over time. They are now exceedingly well equipped and have some of the finest training in the empire. The runners were founded in Ulrich Bulrins time, so they have protected the empire for roughly 920 years, from when Ulrich was 36 years old. It was the relationship and respect between the Emperor and the chief of the runners that created the runners dedication to the emperor and this has remained as an institutional tradition ever since.

The runners were founded with two aims in mind. Firstly they were to act as an extra elite defense against unusual threats within and without the empire. Secondly, they were to deal with cases and threats that the police and military cannot, either due to potential collateral damage or cases of diplomatic sensitivity. There is much confusion inside and outside the empire as to what exactly the Tern Street runners do. In truth, there is no single answer to that. Although their original role was to strike down that which the police and army cannot, this has hugely expanded and the runners now fulfill many different roles. The primary role they fill though, is to protect the public and weed out threats to public safety, such as terrorists or asylum escapees. They also act as detectives, sent to solve major crimes and crimes that involve anything supernatural. Runners are also often called upon to act as bodyguards for important persons such as politicians and have even guarded the Emperor himself in the past. The runners can also support the police in their investigations, lending specialist knowledge.

Another major role the runners fill is that of espionage, they can be called upon to spy on and gather information on Bulrins rivals and enemies, such as the merchant city of Hauteclaire and the Kingdom of Riefe. Another, fairly uncommon role the runners have been known to fill to test new technology created by the great scientific minds of the empire. In order to fulfill these roles, runners are given “missions” that they must complete. A mission could involve protecting a leading scientist or slaying a particular cultist. The majority of these missions are given to a runner by the Bulrin government, through Tern Streets offices. Tern Street is known to accept missions from other sources too, acting as private detectives of sorts. Lets say a wealthy landowner may want a deadly creature expelled from his fields for example. He would go to Tern Street and pay a runner and the institution to solve his monster problem. So, although Tern Street is a government institution, it is also a private contractor in a sense. Tern Street has even been known to take missions from outside of the empire, however runners will never do anything that will harm or threaten the empire or any of its interests or assets.

Runners are always well equipped for and knowledgeable of the job at hand. This is primarily due to their extensive training of concepts such as criminology, combat, science and leadership, among other things. This does allow runners to be able to tackle any kind of work, from detective work to bounty hunting. The individuals who make up the runners can come from any and all walks of life. They can come from upper class backgrounds, farming families, police officers, miners or countless other persons. The reasons that an individual may join are almost as diverse as those who join, however, I’ve deduced a few common reasons. The most common reason is for money. That old chestnut! It seems obvious really, runners are paid handsomely and are given free healthcare as well, a good reason for any to join. Another, more noble, reason people join is a true desire to protect their nation, the runners are an excellent way to do this, second only to joining the army. Another reason could be to develop oneself, both physically and mentally, as well as to gain contacts. Others join to get or mete out justice, while others still even seek to get revenge for some past slight by joining the runners.

Joining is, in fact, fairly simple for such a complex institution. There are three methods: firstly, you must simply fill out an application form picked up from Tern Street itself or an annex, secondly it is common for a police officer who performs exceedingly well to be invited to join the runners and thirdly it can be quite easy to join if one knows a runner or is related to one. When one join, the hard work begins. When one joins, they start out as a recruit until they complete their demanding training. Once this is complete, they become a runner proper, a 4th degree runner or “Tenderfoot”. As they complete their duties satisfactorily they can be promoted to 3rd degree runners known as “Operatives”. Succeed further and you could become a 2nd degree runner or “Virtuoso”. Truly exceed and you can become a 1st degree runner or “Ace”. Each rank grants higher pay, more benefits, respect and extra training. The reasons for a promotion can vary, but the primary factor is through simple merit. One must truly earn a promotion. There is a rank above a 1st degree runner that is simply reserved for the chief of the runners.

There have been a number of famous, renowned or even legendary runners in the past. The empire put these heroes on pedestals, to be sure. They are regarded as such because of their abilities, reputation, great deeds or their positions. Perhaps it would be wise to speak of such unique individuals. The first and seemingly most obvious individual would be Adrian Von Tern himself, whose great leadership held the early runners together and gained them the reputation for getting the job done. Terns family seal was taken and adjusted to become the Tern Street runners insignia: an outspread raven with eyes on its wings contained within a shield shape. Another great runner was known as Baphory the Jaw, a Julmurn runner (a notably rare occurrence) who was known for having a secondary lower jaw outside of his actual jawline. This was due to Dust mutation, which Julmurns are known for, that occurred at some point in his past. It wasn’t his unique appearance that gained him reverence though. He is famous because of a single deed, a truly heroic and selfless act that shocked the other runners who know him. Baphory single-handedly rescued a number of Bulrin prisoners of war from Riefe during the War of Perspectives. However, upon their escape, they were spotted and pursued. These same prisoners had mocked and insulted Baphory when he came to rescue them simply because he was a Julmurn, a race usually known for being savages. Despite this, upon realizing that the pursuers had muskets and would soon be able to fire upon the escapees, Baphory told the escapees to keep running and turned to face the pursuers alone. He charged them, cutting down many but ultimately being brought down, sacrificing himself to save those who had mocked him. Presumably those same prisoners told Baphorys story back at him, out of shame. He has been remembered since for this selfless act, representing wholeheartedly what the runners exist for: protecting others.

And lastly, another legendary runner was Karl Von Postrach. He was a runner who specialized in bounty hunting, espionage and assassination. He was a cold and distant man, very direct in personality. They say he was from an unknown mountain village in the Ontarfeld province. Hailing from the time of Emperor Patrick Bulrin, Karl was a highly feared asset to Bulrin. Silent and deadly, he could eliminate anyone, anywhere, at any time if desired. He was so feared, in fact, that both the Bulrin and Riefan people called him the “Shadow of Bulrin”. His abilities were truly legendary, easily belittling any other runner of the time in unrelenting skill, particularly at assassination. It is even said that others have taken up his mantle, there are even rumors of an apprentice or line of apprentices.

These runners are more have left their mark on the empire and Tern Street itself, just as Tern Street has left its mark on Primea. I daresay that there would be Bulrin empire to this day if it were not for these cryptic defenders. I wonder where the future will take them…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

“The Mawkins are a race, if the word can be attributed, of sentient (and in some cases, semi-sentient) constructs that were created in a dark experiment by an advocate of Dust-science in the olden days. They are unique in the fact that they are one of the few beings on Daetrolos that is completely non-living, but still aware of itself. These are no necromantic abominations. Quite the opposite in my humble opinion. Hated by many, yet pitied by many more , Mawkins are almost always considered outsiders.

The Mawkins have a tragic past. In the days of the Religion of Dust, a number of Dust magi theorized that Dust could be combined with technology, primitive as it was back then. One such mage was Vincent Mespot from Riefe. He worked tirelessly to create a perfect worker using Dust magic and a combination of wooden parts and iron.  Slaves had served the church for long enough and Mespot wanted to, quite literally, replace them. Now, clearly technology wasn’t the same back then. Mespot build a vaguely human-shaped body out of wood, iron bolts, stitching and tattered cloth. Afterwards Mespot imbued the body with pure Dust energy. From the ‘ribcage’ of the body came a dim green light (a significant indicator of Dust energy), so Mespot knew he was on to something.

Over the next few days, the body began to warp slightly, its stitched eyes burst open and the same eery green light emitted from them as well. The body also started to reek of pure Dust, even to the extent that fumes of Dust came off and out of it. Mespot  began to address the abominable body as “Frank” (for unknown reason) and over time Frank began to respond. It began to twitch occasionally, trying to lift its head and arms. It was slowly coming alive! Mespot could only revel in his own achievement by this point. Mespot began to work on more of these constructs as he put Frank to work on the fields on his land.

Over the course of several months, Mespot had created a sizable “workforce” of constructs. He called them Mawkins, apparently this name originated from a book he read once. As the constructs came alive further, they began to embrace this name. They had started to exhibit startling levels of sentience and intelligence by this point, some even attempted to put on clothes. Others tried to write, though it was almost impossible with the cheap iron or wooden hands they had.

Mespot was not impressed with the Mawkins ability to work, despite their startling levels of sentience and also despite his earlier joy. They were too clumsy and picked up laborious tasks too slowly. He decided to increase the amount of Dust in many of the Mawkins, hopefully to lead to greater intelligence and competence. This also served to warp some of their bodies further.

Now, this next part is confusing. Dust magi are a strange lot, their minds wracked by voices and visions. The more they embrace the Dust, the more it slowly destroys their bodies and minds. It is not unknown for those exposed to Dust to contract all manner of psychological conditions. Mespot was no different, his mind flip-flopped constantly. He would be thrilled about something one minute and full of rage the next. This was one of those situations. Mespot was getting old by this point, indeed records would place him about nearly 90. Despite this, he would still of been undeniably powerful and dangerous, but the Dust was taking its toll. He was going progressively more mad. This caused him to be cruel and inexplicably angry towards his creations and because of this, many of them became resentful of him.

Mespots cruelty only grew. He’d tear known the Mawkins down as they worked. He’d burn those who didn’t understand commands. The Mawkins resentment became hatred, which became wrath. Mespot had caused a number of the Mawkins to flee out into the wilderness already and the remaining few (including Frank) had had enough of it. One night, a group of 10 or so Mawkins, Frank included, approached Mespot as he slept and quite literally tore him apart with their rickety clawed hands. Records show that Mespots body was found in no less than 26 pieces, scattered around his hovel. The Mawkins knew what they had done, they certainly felt regret. A new feeling to them. They so no option other than to leave the masters home and fields and try to forge a new life elsewhere. So they did so. With greatly differing success.

The Mawkins split up and wandered. During this time, they found out how physically strong they were, their bodies were tremendously strong and were also capable of manipulating Dust like a Dust mage would, though without any perceivable detriments to themselves. Presumably this ability comes from the energy used to animate their bodies. Unfortunately, they also found that they were hated, animals avoided them, plants sometimes withered in their presence and people they came across were often less than kind, to say the least. And that’s the way it’s always been since. Mawkins have inexplicably grown in numbers over the years to the point where they can now be regarded as a race in their own right. It is actually unknown how exactly the Mawkin numbers have grown at all, but is widely believed that they have merely learned to build and animate others of their kind.

Mawkins are a nomadic race, primarily due to the hatred and bile they receive from everything and everyone they come across, this is theorized to be due to the Dust that animates them. It often affects those around them in a negative manner. They are known as “Bogeymen” by most civilized people and are occasionally thought of as nothing more than any other Dust monster, despite their assertions to the contrary. After all, they have learned to talk in the many years they have existed, these are no monsters. The average Mawkin will always appear somewhat similar to the traditional farm scarecrow, but one that can move and talk. Another notable feature would be the green glows that emanate from its eyes and torso. Not wishing to return the same hatred they receive, Mawkins are still extremely eager to help people and do travel into cities despite the dangers. Due to their strength, resilience and unique abilities, a Mawkin makes a powerful ally. There are, however, few would who put trust into one of the Bogeymen.

How do i know so much about the creation and lives of these odd creatures? Well, i should be allowed some mystery correct? I’ll simply leave you with a clue. I have an individual sat across from me right now as i write who knows it all first hand. I’ll leave it to you to decide who it may be…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

Mawkin

“Like walking, grass-covered hills masquerading as a sentient race, the Forns are an imposing species of elemental and statue-like beings. A truly ancient and primeval race, the Forns originate from the High Mountains at the northern end of the Nordfeld province of the Bulrin Empire. The Forns regard themselves as the wise protectors of nature and are generally respected by races of smaller statures. The Forns are something of a lonely race, they do not often meet with other members of their race and this sometimes causes observers to see them as aloof or feral. Most definitely, this is not the case. Forns merely do not crave the company and protection of others, like Humans do for example. Indeed, a Forn is not a being that has much cause to fear other creatures or races in the mountains. Their sheer size and stature affords them much safety. Because of this same stature, the Forns are held in great reverence by the people of the Nordfeld province, who view them as spirits of nature.

The Forns, by their own admittance, are moderately cold creatures. They even claim to eschew emotions altogether. The few conversations i have actually had with Forns do indeed show that they don’t publicly display emotions, even to each other. Their words do, however, belay a certain great wisdom and intelligence. They pick up different languages very easily.  Because of this coldness, they do not act as a Human would in a given situation. They believe in the “greater good” and do not usually view individuals as particularly valued. A Forn will think little of sacrificing itself to save allies or innocents.

The average Forn is huge, standing at about 10-12 feet tall. Their large bodies are made up of stone, grey fur and ashen muscly flesh. Forns can come in several shapes, from wide shouldered brutes to towering, slender giants. The stone body parts they own, usually the arms, legs or head, give further credence to the elemental spirit theory held by the Nordfeld peoples. Forns survive on very little matter, even eating rocks or gravel. They do not even appear to require to ingest liquids of any kind. This enables Forns to survive up in the forbidding High Mountains with little trouble. Other than these precious few facts, very little is known about the biology of these legendary creatures. They certainly don’t appear to be particularly willing to speak of such things.

The original meeting between Mankind and the Forns unfortunately ended in a hefty measure of bloodshed. The first Human settlers of the Nordfeld province saw the giant Forns as monsters, perhaps beings of Dust, and hunted and attacked them on sight. Large parties of Human hunters even tracked the innocent Forns for days before attacking en masse. These first few encounters almost always ended in the retreat of the hunters under the awesome physical strength of the Forns. Indeed, an individual Forn could shrug off arrows and blades with little trouble and each swipe could topple whole groups of Humans.

It was not until the full Bulrin army marched into the mountains that the Forns finally banded together to protect themselves. The martial discipline of the Bulrin army matched against a wall of Forns.  However, the ensuing battle was interrupted by the truly colossal frame of the “Meistari”. If a Forn is a walking hill, then the Meistari is a walking mountain. This near-mythic member of the Forn race, who is held in reverence by the Forn people, individually stormed through the Bulrin army demanding an audience with its leader, the now late Emperor Augustus Bulrin. After a brief exchange, the Bulrin empire had unexpectedly made an alliance with the Forn race. The exact circumstances of this negotiation are lost to the annals of time, they died with the Emperor on his death bed. The alliance had the sole aim of ending the bloodshed and to forge a new understanding of each race. Shortly after the agreement was sealed, the Meistari vanished back into the mountains and has never been seen since.

Ever since that time, the Humans of the Bulrin empire have honored their Forn allies, and the Forns have often marched to war under the Bulrin standard. Lending their large frames and tremendous physical strength to the cause. They often act as walking supply caravans, battering rams and ‘one-Forn line-breakers. Forns don’t really appear to trust many Humans outside of the Bulrin empire and as such, seem to have developed a particular dislike for the Riefans. I hope that the future of the Forns lies in peace, their peaceful temperaments do not suit war and intrigue, in my opinion…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

Forn

“I may be human myself, but it seems unfair to write these studies on our fellow Primean inhabitants without mentioning my own kind. It’s not exactly wrong to say that Humans are a central, if not THE central, race on Primea. I will attempt to write this from an outside perspective, but i feel that will be challenging at best. Regardless, I’m a scholar. I will do my best. I will, however, attempt to keep it reasonably brief.

Humans are one of the most common races on Primea, if not Daetrolos. They are an ancient race that allegedly evolved from primates. They tend to be extremely varied. A very adaptable race, individuals can range from very pale to near black skin. Individuals exhibit a large variety of hair colors and a seemingly random spectrum of weights and heights. Humans are hugely intelligent, able to achieve almost anything they put their minds to. They are an incredibly curious race who have pioneered the majority of technological advancements and can claim to have discovered most locations on Primea. An inquisitive mind leads humans to always wonder what is over the next hill, what is across the sea, what is under the mountains.

Humans are not a peaceful race. They have also, in the past, been masters of warfare and destruction. Brutal, cunning and unrelenting, these are the traits of humans at war.   Humans can be greedy and merely out for themselves as individuals. They have been known to start wars for meager winnings.  With that said, humans can also be one of the most forgiving races on Primea. I dare you to attempt to reconcile with a Mawkin. It’s not a pretty prospect. I feel this is mainly due to humanitys ability to adapt to any situation. There is no need to make an enemy if an ally can be made.

There are three major human powers in the world, as far as i know at this point. The Bulrin Empire, the Kingdom of Riefe and the Migran Empire. These three powers have been instigators of immense wars of conquest in the past, but it would be fair to say that tensions have stabilized in recent times. The Migrans are the only nation that still seems to prepare for war, across the ocean in their desert domain. Humans abilities with economics, politics and science dwarf those of the more traditional races of Primea, like the Demiens and Forns.

Unlike the majority of other races on Primea at least, humanity is largely individualistic. A human is unlikely to act in the interests of bettering the race as a whole. No, a human will act to benefit himself and his family. Unlike Demiens, who will generally act to better their entire enclave. Despite these so-called shortcomings, humans are a predominantly friendly, if suspicious race. They can be welcoming to outsiders unless some kind of historical hostility exists, such as the Bulrin Empires complete intolerance to anything even slightly pertaining to the Dust and Dust magic. Ultimately the human race is an immensely and undeniably authoritative force on Primea and Daetrolos as a whole. Let us hope that my human brothers and sisters back at home in Bulrins future lies in peace…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

 

“A brawny and proud, yet slightly diminutive, race humanoids that originated from the Golmont mountains in the southern section of the Bulrin Empire. These mountains sit comfortably on the borders of both the Golus and Ontarfeld provinces. There have been reports of small enclaves in various mountain ranges all over Primea containing groups of Demiens, but the large mountain city of Galdorez is officially recognized as the Demien capital. Galdorez hides within the Golmont mountains. Though it is the capital of the Demien people, it is perhaps not their most well known stronghold. That honor is held proudly by the great enclave in the Ragfez Mountains, within the neutral lands.

The races history is centric to the underground world they inhabit. It is not exactly clear what the Demiens evolved from. It is not even entirely clear to the Demiens themselves. There are theories of course.  That they came from the very similar subterranean mammalian creatures called Rockrats that are common in many Primean mountain ranges. Another theory is that Demiens evolved from some form of inferior creature that inhabited the underground waterways. This would explain the fish-like qualities i suppose. Another, more esoteric, theory is that they were somehow born from the very rocks of the mountains. Suggesting that they are in fact some kind of earth-based “Elemental”.

The average Demien is only slightly taller than a Human child, at about 4”9. They are significantly broader than a Human and tend to have considerably more muscle mass. They have quite leathery skin that always comes in differing shades of gray. Their faces are punctuated by fairly long, black, ovular eyes that go up diagonally on their almost bestial skull. A Demien head is an odd cross between an fish and some kind of avian beast. However, the most fascinating feature of the Demien anatomy is their “Lignama” or light stalk. This curious extremity protrudes from the rear of their heads and usually dangles down their back, reaching to just above the waist on a typical Demien. It resembles a hat-like tube, but is occasionally flat. This light stalk clearly evolved while the race mostly resides underground. It gives off an eerie glow, which ranges from a dark blue, to a teal, to a soft pink to a vibrant red. This evolution is quite bizarre when you consider that the races eyes are also designed for seeing in the dark.

The Demien race first came into contact with Humanity, whom they now hold a strong partnership and relationship with, during an expeditionary journey into the Golmont mountains about 150 years ago now. The expedition was led by a Doctor Garth Ament, a Bulrin. He and his fellow explorers discovered several small groups of Demiens, who were cautious and ever-so-slightly aggressive. At first there was conflict, as the Humans mistook the Demiens as creatures born from Dust.  After a few small scale skirmishes, a Demien diplomat managed to make peaceful contact with the Doctor himself. The diplomat explained what the Demiens were and that they had only acted in defense. The diplomat took the good Doctor to meet the Demien Kaiser ‘Kan Macturz’ and a treaty was fostered. The Kaiser was then put in contact with the Bulrin parliament by courier and further peace treaties were brokered. The Bulrins and the Demiens now are true allies and dedicated friends. Demiens have the same rights as Humans within the Empire. Indeed, Demiens even have the option to serve in the Bulrin army if they wish.

From this a booming friendship has grown, slowly but surely.  The Demiens have taught Humanity how to work with new metals and minerals, and together they have developed new technologies such as new ways to power basic machinery using underground magma, new building techniques and the the most advanced artillery in Primea. Demiens are renowned for their mastery of metallurgy and architecture, most likely originating from their exquisite, but homely mountain sanctuaries. The palace of the Demien Kaiser is a masterpiece that is rivaled by few. I have visited it myself and i don’t believe i have actually stood in such obvious awe in my entire life.

The Demiens are a great people. It is truly humbling to see how flawlessly they work together. A task that would take 10 Humans, can be completed in half the time by 3 Demiens. They are industrious and welcoming. Their Lava festivals are something to behold and i have a personal adoration for Demien architecture. Indeed if i was ever going to settle down somewhere and establish a home, i would hire a Demien architect. There is much i don’t know about them; their mating habits, their origins,  but i intend to learn more in the future. A truly amazing people…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

Demiens

“Roughly 100 years ago, a war began between the Empire of Bulrin and the Kingdom of Riefe. This bloody conflict was known as the “War of Perspectives”, although occasionally it is referred to as the “Great War” or the “Brutal Romance”. The war raged for approximately 45 years and even then the tension did not entirely dissipate. The wounds inflicted on each nation are still felt to this day. Never before had Humankind fought so viciously (and in some cases, so mercilessly) as they did during the war.

The war began when a leading member of the Bulrin parliament and a dear personal friend of the emperor of the time was assassinated. This man was Sir Klaus Tainsturm, a much adored member of parliament and a highly respected politician. Sir Tainsturm had been visiting the Kingdom of Riefe as a diplomat. A member of his entourage returned, gravely wounded, to the capital of the Bulrin Empire Highdon. Managing only to say the politician and his guards had been kidnapped, tortured and then murdered before passing away himself. Naturally, the people of Bulrin were outraged at this betrayal and demanded their emperor, Terminus Bulrin, declare war on Riefe. After much deliberation between the parliament and Riefan diplomats, who utterly denied any wrongdoing, the Bulrin Empire declared war on the Kingdom of Riefe. These two powers were fairly matched in military strength however and many strategists expected a total stalemate. The forecast for the war was grim.

At first, they were wrong. Countless battles were fought over the neutral lands in the centre of Primea, with the Riefans taking the brunt of the casualties. The Bulrin Empire dominated the battlefield for a good 10 years, during which the army utterly crushed the 1st Riefan army led by the feared General Touclaire at the battle of the Fell-hill. After this victory, the Bulrin pushed the Riefans back across the Fell Marches and the Vert Plains, therefore invading the Kingdom of Riefes lands. This was the longest portion of the war, with countless skirmishes and sieges within the Riefan lands, spanning the course of 20 years. Though massive damage was dealt to Riefe, including the razing of their great fortress Kerys, the Bulrin army made extremely slow progress towards the Riefan capital. Even by this point, losses to both sides were incalculable, far too numerous to deduce. In truth, the Bulrin army never made it to the capital of Riefe, but instead were made to retreat after three major defeats; the Battle of Hauteclaire, the Battle of Painsley fields and the battle of Agaire pass. The latter is still taught to novice strategists as a perfect example of a small force in a exceptional position defeating a much larger one.

Warflame

Over the remaining fifteen years of the war, the Riefans (with the help of their new allies the Hauteclarians) managed to push the tattered scraps of the Bulrin army to their borderline province of Ontarfeld and its castle-like mountains. The Ontarfeld mountains proved the deciding factor in the defense, proving almost impregnable to the Riefans inferior siege technology. The defense by the Bulrins was brutal but undeniably heroic. Of particular note is the siege of Bulrin fortress Helmgrund, where a force of nearly 20,000 Riefans was defeated by a force of a mere 500 Bulrins. It was about this time, during the last two years of the war, that negotiations began between the monarchy of Riefe and the government of Bulrin, aiming for an end to the bloodshed.

Naturally a great deal of these negotiations involved investigations of the murder of Klaus Tainsturm and his entourage. The incident was still a mystery, as the Riefan officials denied any involvement. The investigations were conducted by the Bulrins Tern Street Runners and the Riefes own agency, the Masques. This investigations and the diplomatic negotiations continue for two years until the officials on both sides signed a ceasefire. The War of Perspectives was over.

The 45 year long war had taken its toll on both sides, with countless dead and miles upon miles of land destroyed. Not to mention damage to defenses and property. The terms of the ceasefire were never openly discussed, the murder of Klaus Tainsturm was never resolved and so many people of Bulrin do feel somewhat cheated and feel they didn’t the revenge they desired. They ignore the enormous amount of damage dished out to the Riefan military and land. There have been numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the ceasefire and indeed, the war itself. Some believe the war was planned along, to test military might. Some even stipulate that another outside force was responsible for the whole thing, to weaken the two nations. Some believe that Sir Klaus Tainsturm is still alive out there somewhere and that it all was set up. There are too many theories to practically list here, some far more radical than others.

But regardless of the reasons, the War of Perspectives will always be remembered. Acting as a reminder to mankind of more war-like and barbaric times. Let it never happen again…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.

Bulrin empire

“Depending who you talk to, Bulrin can go by many different names. Some positive, others not so much. The Blighted Jewel. The Empire. The Eastern Power. The Home Of Alchemy. The list goes on. Universally however, Bulrin can be known both as an economic and martial powerhouse. Few lands on Primea have not been affected by the Empire, whether it be through conflict, diplomacy, trade or exploration. It is a leader in industry, mining and science. Many say it is ahead of its main rival by quite a margin.

Bulrin is a large empire on the eastern ‘prong’ of the continent of Primea that has lastly nearly a thousand years now. Although primarily of human stock, the empire is far more accepting of other sentient races than its rival: the Kingdom of Riefe. Demiens, Forns, Mawkins and even Julmurns are usually welcomed with open arms.  The Empire formed after a revolution which liberated the Bulrin people from a thousand years under the corrupt and wicked “Church Of Dust”. The Empire has enjoyed almost unrivaled wealth and power almost exclusively due to its mighty leader, Walter Bulrin, the 16th emperor. A venerable and just man who looks upon his realm from the great city of Highdon in Highgard.The Empires status is also sustained by its impressive military which boast the most disciplined men in all of Primea. Vast numbers of experienced line infantry, backed up by steam powered cavalry and some of the most advanced artillery in the known world.

The people of the four provinces live in peace and prosperity under the Emperor and there is very little on this continent with the capability of unseating that.  The Empire will likely keep its position as a Primean superpower for years to come. Though i hear of a distant force far to the west, across the sea, that looks to these lands with hungry eyes. Something catastrophic may happen soon, if my instincts are correct.”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.