The Exodus Edit
The Ryn'em people claim to be born of dragon magic, originating on a barren continent covered by ice and snow, even farther north than the Everwinter. Here they flourished for centuries under the rule of a Dragon Lord Parvientan Protector of the Frost. Calling this powerful dragon their father, they were taught powerful magic and learned to flourish in such a frozen wasteland. The Ryn'em legends explain that a time known as the Great Winter, brought a century of blizzards and storms unlike any, so determined that they were unable to be dispelled by even Parvientan himself. On a night darker than any other, a fiery beast made its way to the shores of Parventia as they called it, and spread flame unto the ice destroying the Ryn'em civilization. Locked in battle high in the sky, it was clear to the Ryn'em that their guardian was the smaller contender and would surely fail. Surviving Ryn'em claim that they used their magic to freeze over the usually vicious sea that separates their land from Melgador and began to march, unsure of their final destination. Distancing themselves from the cries of the dragons, the Ryn'em traveled for 100 years laying a frozen path atop the cold sea. The number of survivors was not great, less than one hundred, and unsure of where they were going, a leader Leameus emerged and lead the group that wound up on the shores of Melgador.
With great speed, it is said, the Ryn'em quickly crossed the continent, finally settling in the mountains south of the Great Lake. Their leader, an old Ryn'em taking the title of Leamaeus Leam'zhare [Common Translation: Leamaeus, Leamaeus the Last] is said to have used his knowledge of magic to overnight, construct a great fortified town and castle for his people to reside. The ruins of Zyteus and the Palace of Zhare would exist as a testament to the Ryn'em abilities for millennia.
=== A New Home === After establishing themselves on the immensely more fertile continent, the Ryn'em set their sights on establishing a great nation in this new land. First introducing themselves to the nearby Kingdoms of Men and Elf, the Ryn'em came with gifts holding great magical powers. At first the leaders had very diverse thoughts about the Ryn'em, thinking they were Gods, Sea Elves, or even trickster demons. However after showing off their unmatched abilities, the Kings of Elf and Man saw very little reason to refuse Ryn'em Rule and all the benefits that would come with it. Trade routes were quickly established between the three regions, as well as stronger fortifications and larger cities. Most importantly, the exchange of information allowed the Men and Elves to advance civilization much faster than they would have on their own. Even in such a harsh environment, life was much easier for the people of this new Empire, as the Ryn'em leaders proved to be benevolent and wise, allowing local rulers to assist with the rule of the land, and maintaining a sense of safety and instilling good values into the growing empire.
Building an Empire Edit
However it was not long before the Ryn'em came into contact with several other cultures of Melgador. The Ryn'em were eager to add the sunny lands of the west to their Empire, and explore the thick forest north of the Human Kingdoms. First, emissaries traveled west to convince the Daedic Princes to join their empire, however they were not as willing to give up their control. As the Lands of the Sun were far from the dangerous mountains of central Melgador, the Daeds were happy with their way of life, and were incredibly weary of any magic. When the Ryn'em attempted to woo the Daeds as they had the men and elves, the Sand Princes refused the offer. The Emperor Leamaeus, worried about being perceived as merciless, refused his general's requests to invade their land and take it by force. Although victory would be swift and assured, Leamaeus insisted in building his empire through good, not evil. For this reason, Leamaeus would never see the Ryn'em Empire at its greatest, as he insisted on waiting until the Daeds were ready to join him.
Meanwhile, the growing Dwarven and Klaygun peoples to the north felt the opposite way, and were delighted to be welcomed into the empire. Many southern families traveled north to live in the resource abundant mountains, however even more Dwarven and Klaygun families traveled south to the fertile plains. This assimilation propelled the Ryn'em empire's growth as the people worked together and shared technology, as well as labor between them. A major benefit to the Klayguns also arose from this unification, as the more aggressive and malicious clan leaders were forced to submit or face death, allowing them to live in relative peace. During this time, the city Caelfall and the Castle at Barrowhill were constructed. More prosperous than the relationship between the Ryn'em and any every culture, was the relationship between them and the Dwarves. Not long after the Dwarven leaders set their eyes upon the advanced technologies of the Ryn'em, did they agree that joining the growing empire could prove incredibly fruitful. Dwarves from all over took an interest in the building techniques used by the Ryn'em, their ability to carve stone so intricately, and even traces of magic that were used to assist them. While the Dwarves and Klaygun were weary of magic and its powers, few ventured out of their set ways and began to practice the arcane arts. It is believed this intricate carving magic was used to decorate the grand halls of Thel Thorum, after it was constructed by the Dwarves in the early ages.
It was not until the appearance of a large behemoth known as the Sand Death, that the second Ryn'em Emperor Chaermes saw an opportunity to help the Daeds, and sent his greatest warriors to defeat the beast. Seeing the Ryn'em use their crystal bows swiftly bring down such a monster, the Daeds became open to trading with the Ryn'em and even began studying some magic. It was not long after several Orcish raids from the north west, that an offer to join the Empire in exchange for stone fortifications was accepted by the Daedic Princes. The Ryn'em quickly got to work building the city Ale'ael in the new territory they named Tandorsun, or Land of the Fire.
In the later years, the Orcish clans settled to the west began encroaching on the empire's land, razing towns and farms throughout the countryside. The Ryn'em agreed to remain pacifists, and attempted to make peace with the orcs, with little success. However a few orcs had heard about the powers of the Ryn'em and desired to learn from them. Several Orcish chiefs signed peace treaties with the Ryn'em, in exchange for knowledge, and when their Orcish allies faced extinction from other Orcish clans, the Ryn'em chose to, for the first time, engage in battle with another humanoid culture. With a collected army gathered from all corners of the Empire, the armies met north of the Cedian River, in the Ashfield, the clans of orcs were incredibly outnumbered. The fierce Orcish warriors followed tradition of leadership through one-on one combat, and although it was clear which army would win the battle, the Emperor elected to fight one on one against the orc chosen to face him. The orcs had never before seen such skill and grace while fighting, and even admired how the skilled swordsman danced around the orc's great axe and cut him down. As the army headed home, only there as a show of force, the Orcish and Ryn'em leaders began talks of peace. Within the decade, the Orcish lands were also added to the growing empire, and for the first time, orcs were introduced to the stone castles of the south. The roads were extended into the new territory, and the first fortified Orcish city Anghor Thon were constructed.
The New World Edit
It was at this point that Ivgisir, the Third Emperor of the Ryn'em observed the Six Realms of the Empire, as they were named: Atlas, Sinverin, Tandorsun, Undorgard, Ovargard, and Cecardin. For years the leaders of the empire tried to unite the different cultures of the land by building infrastructure, encouraging trade and travel between realms, and promoting an identity and political sentiment throughout the Empire. Some of the Empire's greatest achievements was the establishment of the gold Riem as a standard currency, constructing a calendar to keep track of days, and combining their language with some words of the native cultures, creating a common language known as Atmiya. Throughout the age of the Ryn'em, the cultures of Melgador grew much more civilized and united against the common enemy which was the harsh environment and fierce behemoths of Melgador.
Near the end of Ivgisir's reign as Emperor, he noticed the difficulties surrounding the freedom of religion that the Ryn'em allowed in their Empire. While the Ryn'em tried to bring everyone together, their vast differences often led to confusion, arguments, and in some cases even large scale fighting between the inhabitants of each realm. Ivgisir tried to quell these outbreaks by establishing the first Wards of Melgador, gathering noble children from each of the realms and training them in their civilized ways, as well as exposing them to the other cultures. At the end of their training, the newly educated nobles would return home to share their knowledge and wisdom with their families and their realms. While this worked for some cultures, the vast differences between them made others lose sight of the larger picture. One Ward in particular, a proud human named Harlon Kendall of House Kendall was disturbed by the gruesome orcs of the north and returned to his people with tales of their treachery. The humans would not allow such a savage people to be part of their nation, and waged a secret war upon the orcs, sending raiding parties to burn their camps and ambush their trade caravans. It is believed that House Kendall was the first to settle in the land known as the Ice Plains, where they constructed Kendall Castle. When the new Ryn'em Emperor Bjalkes discovered this betrayal, Harlon and his followers were put to trial and found guilty, forced to live out their days in prison. As Harlon was the heir to House Kendall, it is believed that the leaders of the house attempted to rescue him, however what became of House Kendall is unknown, many years later, their castle in the north Kendhall was granted to Lord Barryn.
Throughout the existence of the Empire, the religious freedoms granted by Ryn'em leaders proved to be a strong barrier stopping cultures from assimilating. As each new culture joined, they brought along their own gods and goddesses, and often attempted to share them with whomever would listen. In order to reduce the impact this had, Bjalkes set out to prove that there were in fact no gods, and that the people that should be praised are the Realm's leaders. It took many years, but after several generations, the confusion of religion was no more, as the practice itself had dwindled down to only a fraction of the population. The worship of deities seen as divine was replaced by the appreciation and celebration of the great heroes and leaders of the Ryn'em Age. It was around this time, when rumors were spread of the Giants of Everwinter and their kin/rivals, the Nords. Seen as the last free realm of Melgador, Bjalkes grew ambitious and declared he would not rest until Melgador was united. At first he attempted to send missionaries with grand stories of the southern Realms, but the strange Nords treat this as an attack against them and display their own strength by sending their own caravan south, with the skull of a massive behemoth, which was dropped outside the city of Zyteus. Bjalkes however had his mind made up, and chose to take the north by force if that is what it required. Gathering an army with intent to use it this time, Bjalkes gathered the most impressive fighters and generals throughout the Empire and offered them riches beyond belief if they bring him the north. With a decent force of professional warriors, as well as a massive amount of auxiliary fighters, Bjalkes was convinced he would be able to conquer the north decisively. However, Bjalkes had misjudged the fearless Nords who drew their swords and axes against the southerners. As the nords were much stronger and all around more experienced fighters, the first invasion through the Pass was a complete disaster. Ambushed by a much smaller force, the Nords held fast at the Battle of The Pass, and forced the invading army to retreat. The following decade would prove unsuccessful for the emperor Bjalkes who attempted time and time again, to add the north to his empire. The only sign of success came when Balgruf the Betrayer turned sides and joined the Ryn'em in their efforts to unite the continent. However this betrayal lead to the near decimation of his clan as well as his own death. Only a few survivors made it south to live with the Ryn'em.
Rebels on the Front Edit
It was not long before many Orcish chieftains decided they could be more successful fighting their neighbors to the south, and began sending raiding parties to the Dwarven, Daedic, and Klaygun civilizations. Bjalkes saw this raiding as a huge detriment to the empire and so he gathered the forces one last time, to put down the rebellion before it grew out of hand. It is said Bjalkes ordered his generals to travel to each village and slaughter the male children, as a lesson to the orcs not to revolt ever again. A large number of young orcs were also taken south to the capital, where they would be raised in civilization. The battles that ensued were won by the forces of the Ryn'em each time, and the once booming orc population was drastically cut down. It was not long before Ryn'em leaders saw Bjalkes for what he was, and replaced him with a young, ambitious student who they all agreed showed great promise named Thyneron. Different than his predecessor, Thyneron turned away from war, and worked to improve the life of his subjects. He continued to build infrastructure, promote magic, and even a higher understanding of their world. Thyneron's one strong belief was that they cannot rely on their so called "gods" for anything, and promoted the concept of self-improvement and free will. He even claimed to have visited the afterlife, returning to exclaim how their beliefs were wrong and after death was simply nothingness. He was so moving in his writings and sayings, that a large portion of his people stopped praying all together. It is said that at this moment, the gods of Winterfall spoke to Thyneron attempting to prove him wrong, warning him of a terrible retribution that would come from his teachings, however Thyneron refused to listen. It is believed the Ryn'em had uncovered secrets of the universe and Thyneron and his advisors were convinced that even if these beings were gods, that they were much less powerful than they would have you believe.
The first signs showed soon after, as terrifying shadow beasts began to terrorize people throughout the Empire. Although it seemed these beasts were targeting the Ryn'em, they still tore through anyone who stood in their way. In an effort to show their own strength, the Ryn'em set more guards in their cities, and even began preparing for war, unsure of who their attacker truly was. One final time, did the Divines, as they called themselves speak to Thyneron, pleading him to repent, insisting a higher power would punish them if he disobeyed. When Thyneron openly refused, showing of his own power and clearing the "divines" from his mind, the palace of Zyteus was visited by a monstrous beast, who slayed the Emperor and continued to wreak havoc on the Ryn'em capital, reducing its most glorious buildings to dust. Thyneron would not be the hero of this story, and instead, the divines shined upon a young student, who would soon become the great Ry'emus Rem'zhare. Studying alongside the other Wards of the Empire, Ry'emus lead them carefully through the burning city, to the barracks, where they prepared for a defense of the city. After a gruesome battle with the fierce Daema invaders, the surviving wards set out to banish the monsters and shut the Gates of Hell. Following the instructions of a vision, Ry'emus led his companions to one of the largest battle sites where the armies of hell had crashed upon the Ryn'em forces only days before. Thousands of bodies still littered the fields and the grass was stained red with blood, however in the center of the field ten Ryn'em warriors remained, their bodies encased in stone. It is said that as Ry'emus removed the stone weapons from the statues, they were imbued with magic from the gods. Each of Ry'emus' disciples received a weapon, and with it, a blessing from one of the Ten Divines, as they would soon be called.
Artifacts of the Stone Edit
With their godly weapons, the Ry'emus and his disciples traveled the continent facing hordes of daema, gaining fame and glory. As word spread of the Wards of the Ryn'em warriors from all over traveled to join them, ultimately creating a significant sized army. When the time was right, Ry'emus and his army approached the Great Gate, where the Daema had been escaping from, and fought their final battle. With victory in their sights, the Wards ventured into the Infernal Plane to end the invasion once and for all. After a battle with the Infernal General Krargouke, Remus and his disciples progressed to The Palace of Raimozihr, where they killed the Daemon Lord Methrea and released the Keeper of the Infernal from his bindings. While his remaining army and disciples fell back through the gate, Remus stayed behind to make sure it was closed, never to be opened again. What he did not know, was that his love, General Jude Winter, had also stayed behind, doomed to share his fate. After the last of the army was through, Ry'emus closed the gate, but not before he noticed Jude alongside him. It is believed that Remus attempted to share his knowledge with his lover before sending her back through the portal, for when Winter emerged from the portal mere moments before it was sealed forever, she was distraught. Appearing to had lost her mind, Winter only spoke prophecy of the future, and was unable to speak for herself. The warriors were broken after the loss of their leader and fallen comrades, however they were forced to go on. It is unknown if Remus ever escaped the Infernal Plane, however he will live forever as the hero of Melgador.
In his last moments, it is said that Ry'emus enchanted eight stones and encased them into artifacts left for the future leaders of what would become Winterfall.
Crown of Atlas - Golden Jeweled Crown of Atlas
- Famous for its duel sapphires and diamond, holds powerful enchantments to stop wrongdoers from wielding its power
- Enchanted with a Pure White Diamond
Amulet of The Sun- Tandersun
- Enchanted with a deep red Ruby
Shield of the Eternal- Dragonscale Shield of The Ice Planes
- Indestructible light shield, with a large Sapphire set into the center
Crystal Crown - The Circlet of Aldinar, the Ebonwood
- The Circlet is said to enhance vision, stealth, and acrobatics
- Enchanted with a shiny silver gem
Cloak of the Ritual - Silver Coast
- This sentient cloak is able to enhances magic and defensive abilities
Fangs of Winter- Helmet with large wolf like mouth - Dehn
- Emerald jeweled eyes said to grant the power to shape shift into a deadly winter wolf
Fists of the Unyielding - Valkar
- Enchanted Mithril gauntlets
Belt of the Wanderer - The Pass
- Additional strength and defense