The Isle of Desolation as an enormous island that stretches along the east coast of Parthenthius from the Purple sea to the beginnings of the Stonepile desert. It was once a tropical paradise. Temperate rainforests filled the northern half, filled with harmless creatures and giant trees. The southern half was filled with more temperate forest and a large plain filled with grasses and roaming herds of animals.
Two peoples lives there. The Ca, to the north survived in the rainforests, living easily on the bounty of the forests. To the south live the Kathk, a plains people who followed the herds. One dry summer, a brush fire ripped across the plains pushing both man and animal north into the forests.
The fire had struck close to the end of summer and when fall came, the herds remained north, forcing the Kathk to remain. When winter came the herds began to die of a dieses they picked up in the humid jungles. These diseases decimated the herds, threatening the Kalhk with starvation. They began to hunt the forest animals, arousing the anger of the Ca, who feared that the supply of game would not last.
By the next summer the shrunken herds had still not travelled south. Kathk scouts reported that the winter had been extremely rainy and had washed away much of the topsoil. What had been the herds' grazing lands was rapidly turning into wasteland. They began to cut down the forests to make land for the herds. Soon, skirmishes between the Ca and Kathk began to erupt. The Kathk eventually decided to rid themselves of their neighbours, once and for all.
They began a policy of genocide that killed half the Ca population and drove the rest to the northmost edge of the island. They lived in fear and hiding for nearly a century before they found a strange vessel, crashed upon the beach. The vessel was a Endazi supply barge that had run aground in a storm. In its cargo hold were crates filled with swords, axes, bows, armour and other weapons of war. The Ca where amazed, they had been fighting with bows and clubs. Even more valuable, where two breeding pairs of firemanes that had survived the crash.
They learned quickly how to use and adapt the new weapons and equipment. They used their growing herd of firemanes for transport and food. Not having a clue as to what a bridal was, they took to sitting on the firemanes' backs to get them to cooperate. They soon combined this with their new combat skills, and for the first time in Parthenthius history, mounted warriors appeared.
Roughly one hundred years after the discovery of the barge, the began to move south. What they found was their beloved forests, cut down and replaced by miles of dusty coloured grass. Fortunately the firemanes thrived in these new conditions and their herds began to multiply, pushing slowly southwards, wiping out Kathk armies and settlements. Nearly four centuries after the Ca had been pushed from their homes, the Kathk had been reduced to slaves and the Ca had become masters over their part of the world.
The islands face in this time had changed dramatically. The lush rainforests of the north had been cut and burned for pastureland. The lack of rainforest too, altered the climate. Winters grew longer and colder and summers where hash and dry.
The Ca had developed a warrior society and without the Kathk to unite the tribes, they were reduced to internal squabbling and feuds. They began to mark territory and build strongholds, waging war on each other. They likely would have eliminated themselves, had it not been for two factors 1) they bred like flies and despite the constant wars, their numbers where beginning to seriously overcrowd the island and 2) another visit from afar.
This time a Kilan merchant vessel that had come looking for new profits,
dropped anchor offshore. The Ca eliminated the landing parties and quickly
chased the ship away. But they became intrigued. Throughout their history
they believed themselves to be the only people on the planet (they saw
the first visit as a gift form their god). The discovery of others to conquest
excited them to no end. Many ways where tried to get across the channel
to the mainland and most failed.
The First Invasion
An imaginative young man named Atasar Sanli saw the ancient holy text about the gift from god and began to study what they saw as their god's chariot (the Endazi barge). He build a model and floated it across rivers, ponds and lakes to see if it would work. He then set out to build a full sized model that he proposed to take across the channel and back. Much to everyone's surprise, he made it. He then set up the first barge-line and became the sole Warkhan of the new land.
The Anasar began to settle the empty east coast, spreading south to the mouth of the gulf of Conquest and north to the edge of the Sylar forest. Overjoyed with their new land, they united for the first time under one Warkhan, Atasar, who organized small parties to find passes through the mountains. When to scouts came back with stories of vast plains and wealth, Warkhan Sanli sent bigger and bigger raiding parties across the mountains, followed by settlers and their herds.
By the time of his sixtieth birthday, Sanli had conquered and area the nearly the size of the modern Parthenthian empire. The Warkhans swore their allegiance and named Sanli their Overkhan, they even renamed their people the Anasar, in his honour. By the time age of his death at eighty-three, Overkhan Sanli had conquered all the lands north of the corridor and up north into the Sylar, frequently raiding as far north as the Korsalish wandergrounds.
Sanli's son tried to continue the conquest but proved less effective
than his father, the hordes lost no ground, but gained none either. Sanli's
grandson Bansa, discovered the Doragon corridor and sent his hordes south.
There they began a policy of raids and destruction. Unlike the north, they
never conquered, they only swarmed across the corridor, destroying farmsteads
and crops, burning villages and sacking cities. Mil Tanor was saved by
a plague that ripped across the hordes, killing thousands of soldiers and
settlers alike. Decimated, they withdrew from the continent hoping to stop
the spread of the disease. The first invasion was over.
The Second Invasion
It took nearly one hundred years for the Hordes to suffiently recover from the plague. When they finally rebuilt their numbers, they mounted a new campaign, again conquering the north. This time they only pushed as far as the Sylar. Their home, then known as Kasar island, was in serious danger from over farming to feed the hordes. Their new lands where mainly jungle and desert, with very little good farmland. The only solution seemed to lay in the south.
They pushed across the corridor to find a new army waiting for them. The Kilan, fearing just such an invasion had gathered an army that rivalled the size of the hordes. So began a long a vicious war that lasted nearly three decades. When it was over, the hordes had once again been pushed above the corridor and the south lay in near ruins.
Back on Kasar, the food problem began to grow critical. The hordes began
to go without food and they quickly responded by pillaging cities and raiding.
Thousands began to starve and die, especially in the desert regiments.
After much debate they where withdrawn or left to fend for themselves.
The second invasion was now over.
The Third Invasion
The third invasion is almost an extension to the second. Raiding into the continent lasted years after the official withdraw. One such raiding party came across the ruins of a mighty city that looked like it had fallen from the stars. This city was taken, nearly whole back across the straits, and it's inhabitants where taken into slavery.
The city was the floating city of Erythria, the home of a race of warrior-mages that had dissolved in the great disaster. They tortured the inhabitants into revealing the secrets of the city and its war machines. Using their new-found knowledge, they again landed on the continent, only thirty years after they had left.
With their new machines and advisors, they struck north all the way
to the Valtak icefields, adding the Naejeeri, the Korsalish and the
Valtak to their armies. They then crossed the corridor, spreading quickly
over the land like a shadow, exterminating all the Kilan they came across.
Fifty five years after they had been pushed from the continent for the
second time, they ruled it from north to south, east to west.
The Anasar were brutal masters. They moved and wiped races arbitrarily. They tortured and massacred, pillaged and raped the people and the land. They didn't care for the land or the traditions of the people. They turned Kasar island into a testing ground for new war machines, destroying the land in viscous mock battles between slave armies.
The Great Expulsion
The Anasar empire reigned with a cruel hand for almost two hundred years. However during that time a resistance grew. First it was only mild sabotage, then assassinations and finally limited military engagements with small rebel armies.
The freedom movement was lead by the Tanor, but had members from every
subjugated race and their numbers were growing daily. On the two hundredth
anniversary of the Empire they raided the Imperial palace at Lal Chim,
razing it to the ground and slaughtering the Anasar Warkhans and the Overkhan's
family who where all in attendance. To started a twenty year war that came
to be known as the Great Expulsion were the hordes where pushed back to
the Karar island, known now as Desolation isle.
Desolation Isle is the largest island on Parthenius. Separated from the mainland by the Cirioco Straits, it's once rich shores now a hard cold wasteland. Little of the island is fertile save for a small strip along the southern end that escaped the devastation. Stretching all they way to the north is a flat featureless plain subjected to wild magics and covered with only a short dry grass the feeds the few meagre herds of the Anasar.
The Anasar and their few remaining subjects live in giant stone fortresses lining the southern and eastern shores of Desolation isle. Each is home to a Warkhan and his tribesmen who preside over a small area of the precious farmland.
Wars are common yet raiding is not, pacts signed soon after the end of the Great Expulsion forbade any Warkhan to attack the citadel of another, and in the process possibly destroying even more precious farmland. Instead a messenger is sent to the citadel of an enemy to issue a statement known as a Battle Cry when war is desired. The receiver of that message must comply and march his army out into the northern wastes to fight.
If the receiver does not comply to the message then the Anasar are allowed
to use magic to force a confrontation. Through Kalt mages, the citadel
will suffer droughts, deaths, plagues and fires until they send forth their
warriors. Magic is seen as cowardly and unfair but not compiling to a Battle
Cry is seen as a worst form of cowardice.
A mean and brooding people, they stand nearly seven feet with skin and hair a solid grey. They live only for the glory of combat, training daily for feuds and wars that may arise over the tiniest insult or whim. They live in giant citadels built during the days of the Invasions for protection. Now they lie impotent and half empty as the laws of war do not allow sieges for fear of destroying their last remaining farmland. They despise all other people, and see them as week and animals to be dominated and mastered and so rain down on their remaining slaves with cruelty and without mercy.
The only time when the clans come together in relative peace is during the bi-annual Clanmeets where trade and commerce is carried out as well as the meeting of the Warkhans to decide policy for the land.
Recently the Anasar have agreed to deal with the Malthan in order to
re-conquer the continent. They are wary of the Mind-mages but feel they
can wrest control away from them after they aid them in the conquest. A
few Warkhans have been completely taken over by the Mages whose these puppets
to speak on the Malthan's behalf at ceremonies and Clanmmeets.
The Kalt are a mongrel race comprised of blood from the Anasar, the Kathk, the Erythrian, and all the conquered races of the planet. Their colours are varried and mixed often in with strange and random mutations as a result of their exposer to strange magics during the Invasions. As a result a walk down a Kalt village street looks life a wild rainbow, alive and shifting as the crowds pass you like an explosion in a paint factory. Even the buildings are brightly coloured with paints and decorations. The sight of this wild explosion of colour in such a bleak place is surprising to most and conflicts even with the towering desolate Citadels and the dispositions of their masters
They are the infantry and the rabble during the frequent Warkhan feuds and are sent to be slaughtered by the hundreds to protect week positions or attack inaccessible targets. More often than not they are abandoned on the battlefield by armies to provide cover and diversions while the retreating Anasar masters flee for their lives.
Despite this they have a full and prosperous town life in sprawling villages that spread out around the Citadels. They do the manual and artistic chores of the community, farming and mining as well as crafting and artisan. They labour for which they are most valued is their talents for magic.
They preserved much of the knowledge taught to them by the Erythrians as well as mixing with spells and knowledge learned from the Invasions. They are not allowed to practise without the consent of their masters and all spells are to watched over by a Anasar master. Anyone practising magic without supervision is subject to torture, execution and likely the death of the person's entire family. The Anasar have little respect for the mages and call on their services only rarely, usually for amusement or to call devastation on an enemy who has refused the Battle Cry. Recently the some Anasar have loosened the restrictions allowed on magic use. Some spells have been allowed to be caste without supervision, usually for healing and entertainment. However only a few Warkhans have allowed this and the sentiment is far from universal.
The Sanctum Alcedon
Shigata Ga Nai High