Posts Tagged ‘Riefe’

“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.



“There are many stories and folkloric tales where the power of Dust magic was used with the best of intentions. It makes sense, great power should be used for good. However, even the most pure of intentions cannot halt the corruption that stems from the Dust. The tale of Thistle-Knoll is one such story. Thistle-Knoll was a Human built town that rested in the hills on the edge of the Taklik region, also known as the Swamp of Contagions. It was founded about two years after the War of Perspectives as a collaborative effort between the Bulrin Empire and the Kingdom of Riefe. The purpose of the towns position was twofold. Firstly, to act as lookout point into the Taklik region. This region was largely unknown at the time and both nations feared what may lie within. Secondly, it was created as a diplomatic gesture between the two nations. Both nations would have a presence in the neutral lands thanks to this towns position.

As it was a collaboration between these two Human countries, the population was predominantly Human, with a minority of Demiens. Settlers from both countries rolled in day by day until the population was really quite large, particularly for such an out of the way area. At first there was disagreement between Riefe and Bulrin over who should be left in charge of the settlement. It was eventually decided, however, that Arrick Nils was to be left in charge. Arrick Nils was a well known Bulrin scholar. He proudly took the mantle of mayor of Thistle-Knoll. Riefe insisted that Jean Bruel, an adviser from Riefes court, was to be added to Arricks entourage to add a little Riefan weight to the decision making process. These two men proved to be a superior partnership, they loved and respected the people under their charge. Both noble men, they dedicated themselves wholly to ensuring the stability of the fledgeling settlement and the safety of its citizens.

The town was at its peak roughly fear years after it was initially founded. It was something of a model town, especially considering it’s unconventional position. Happy citizens, well supplied, well protected by its militia and it’s landscape. It was proudly paraded both in Riefe and Bulrin as a example to follow. It was seen as a symbol of Riefan and Bulrin cooperation. How ironic that it would soon turn so very rotten.

How did it all go so wrong? Halfway through the sixth year of the towns life, reports began coming in of hunters and wild animals being found dead, Stone cold with entire strips of skin and flesh hanging off or missing entirely. For some reason, this dismemberment (if it can called as such) usually occurred on the victims lower jaw and forearms. It was far from restricted to those areas though. A frightening development, by all reports! Understandably there was a panic as the “plague”, as they called it, appeared to be leaving a swathe of death and destruction literally directly towards the town. As you’d expected, citizens began to fall ill all over the town. They complained of immense pain, visions of snakes and the sound of incessant and uncontrolled laughter.  Men of science and medicine began to look for a cure, including Jean Bruel, who was an experienced alchemist. These learned men gave the plague a name, a name that is remembered as a horror of science. They called it the “Morbid Laughter”.

The story becomes a little bit odd now. It’s not entirely clear who wrote the reports I now have but it makes for pretty fascinating reading. A year passed, bringing the towns life to seven and a half years. Only a small number of citizens remained, most have perished from the plague, even the mayor passed away like the others. Only Jean Bruel and a handful of patients remain, and yet, as if driven by some kind of insane logic, he continued to try and find a cure. Jean Bruel had a secret. It was known to nobody save himself, but Jean was in fact a Dust mage. He had been as such for his whole life but despite this, he was a good man. He studied for days, trying to find a cure, a way to bring the town back. As he studied, the few remaining patients went cold, also succumbing to the Morbid Laughter. Jean too, began to feel the intense agony wracking his body and heard the ever increasing bestial laughter. The same evil laughter the others had heard. I think it’s fair to say Jean was on the verge of insanity by this point, driven by the disease and his Dust magic.

His mind was bent on bringing the town back, no matter what. Jean called to it, begging it. As it often does, the Dust obeyed. With his final breath, Jean cast an immeasurably powerful spell before exhaling his last breath. The effects were  not immediately felt. The town lay silent for several hours. Corpses lay everywhere, on the streets, in the hospital, in the homes, nothing stirred.

But over time, the corpses began to stir and rise again, with green-yellow corpse-lights in their eyes. Looking disgustedly and in terror at their new forms, the former citizens of Thistle-Knoll were reborn. Their new bodies, despite how they abhorred them, afforded them several unseen (at the time) benefits. Jean Bruel had brought back the town, but in turn had afford them a horrible form. They lived, but they were abominations and they knew it. And thus, the Plague Envoys were born. They took this name as they believed that the plague had power over them still, in a visual sense at least, they were emissaries for it.

The Plague Envoys are a race of undead creatures were were once Human, brought back to life with Dust magic. Obviously, many of them despised their new forms (some even attempting suicide), while the majority decided to carry on with their “unlives”. The town of Thistle-Knoll is now a dark, dark place with an unshakable pall of death hanging over it and the stench of the plague looming like a cloud above it. Meetings between the Plague Envoys and their former countrymen from Bulrin and Riefe were often met with horror, their former friends forsaking them as undead monsters that should be purged.

The Plague Envoys look much like an ordinary Human being, with a handful of significant differences. They almost always will have decayed flesh and a pale look to their face. They are quite often missing flesh on their forearms and lower jaws, exposing bone (which quite often is morphed slightly into claws and fangs respectively) but the reason for this specific deformity is unknown. Plague Envoys also always have yellow-green glowing eyes, giving them a fearful appearance in the dark. Presumably this light is from the Dust magic that was used to animate them. Plague Envoys are one of the only undead beings in Daetrolos that have retained free will, putting them firmly in the “High Undead” category. Another feature of a Plague Envoy is the green musk that seems to follow them, bringing with it a terrible odor. This musk almost certainly comes from a combination of their decayed flesh and the plague. Which highlights another point, Plague Envoys no longer decay and appear to be able to pass on diseases to others with frightening efficiency. This often gets them labelled as “Plaguebearers” and “Diseased Rats”.

But Plague envoys are Human in every other sense apart from physical appearance. They feel love, hate, happiness and sorrow like any other Human. However, all of these feelings tend to carry a melancholy taint with them. Time and age mean little to them now, as they outlive their relatives ad friends in their home countries with ease.

Many Plague Envoys search for the cause of the Morbid Laughter or a cure for it, leading many into the path of the alchemist. Many follow the path of their savior (or corrupter, as some call him) and learn to wield Dust magic, their corrupted bodies giving them a measure of protection from its effects. They also make ferocious opponents in combat, being nigh-on impossible to slay and possessing natural weapons in the form of their claws and tough decayed bodies. They have an uncanny ability to continue to fight even as they are dismembered and decapitated, much like other undead creatures.

Unlife is a unique condition, leading to many benefits and detriments. Some embrace “the change” while others see Jean Bruel as another Dust mage bent with insanity who cursed them to this dismal existence. The Plague Envoys are melancholy parodies of mankind who harbor a hatred for those who forsook them and a dogged determination to research their condition and its cause, as well as the origin of the plague and slaughter those responsible…”

From the memoirs of Hermann Maestra.


“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.


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.