The Rift: Part I (Einn)
Long before The Age of Men ended, Delahden was inhabited by four races that spanned a massive continent. Each race was unique in its own way and was scattered amongst the land, yet all still managed to live in harmony.
In the northeastern corner dwelled the five Nordic tribes. They were hulking men and women, said to be direct descendants of Ymir himself, and well known for their ability to track, hunt, and fight. Their lands spanned roughly a third of Delahden and were plagued with steep, rolling hills and harsh climates. As one traveled further north the terrain became much more treacherous, which is where the leader of all five tribes could be found.
Harald Leif was the largest Norseman anyone had ever seen. He came from a long line of tribal leaders, all of which had led their people to unimaginable successes over the years. His great grandfather was the first to stop the fighting between the tribes, and his father had drafted the treaty that brought true peace to all Norsemen. Harald had no children, though he had been close many times. He was now on his fourth wife, with the prior three all dying during child birth. Unfortunately, the children perished as well, with none of them surviving more than a month before succumbing to the elements of the northern lands.
Moving west, stretching from the northwestern edge all the way down to the wooded peninsula and over to the Lake of Prosperity was where the human race resided. Their lands were covered in glowing sea foam fields of shin-high switch grass that stretched as far as the eye could see. Unlike the Nordic lands the terrain here was flat and almost void of danger.
The humans were the most populous of the four races and had known nothing other than monarchy for the last few hundred years. Their current king was Abel Rudland, the first of his name and longest reigning king of his kind. He had one son, Alexander, who he was most proud of. Both father and son were majestic swordsmen and would continue to lead the human race into prosperity over the foreseeable future.
From the southern corner of Delahden all the way to eastern coast, the fields of grass began transforming into thickets of Banyans and Sequoias. These towering trees housed the small-statured woodland elves as well as a remarkable array of flora and fauna. Many believed these elves grew straight from the trees themselves due to their woodish looking skin and affinity for protecting the trees at all costs.
Leading the woodland elves was Daealla Paeris, one of the most beautiful queens the elven race had ever seen. She was much larger than the other elves, yet still minuscule in comparison to the other races. She had nine young children, but only two of those were her own. The others all came from families that had befallen unfortunate circumstances, or in some cases had died unexpectedly. Daealla was known after all as the “Magnanimous Queen” among her people; she was constantly sacrificing something of her own to help better others lives.
In the south-westernmost point of the realm, the beautiful sea foam colored grass faded to a dark amber orange from all of the salt that sprayed in from the two surrounding seas. The thickets of trees that en-housed the elven race vanished, and the mages replaced their smaller neighbors on the larger of Delahden’s peninsulas. The mages were unlike all the other races in the fact that they typically were known as drifters, and because they were actually a mixture of multiple races. Most are some mix of wood elf and human or wood elf and viking, but all began their trek south in hopes of understanding more about The Gift. Those who develop The Gift earlier on clearly stand out from the ones who develop it later however. They mature at a more rapid pace than the late blooming mages, and have a knack for all things magical. All mages tend to outlive other races as well, since the magic that flows through their bodies is that of the gods.
In command of the mages was Orrowyn Brovkos. He was chosen as leader over fifty years ago, and many believed he was well past his two hundredth day of birth. He was the greatest mage Delahden had ever seen and it was rumored he had mastered all forms of magic by the age of seven. Orrowyn had also been working on a new branch of magic that involved scarce ingredients and more developed powers, but no one outside of his few trusted council members had any specifics on the matter.
Each year the leaders, their most trusted advisers, and their families traveled to the center of the realm to discuss the future of Delahden. They met for six days to discuss bettering their people’s lives and to trade for goods certain regions did not have. It was a joyous time for all as they explored each other’s cultures and celebrated another year of life. But of course, all good things must come to an end.