Hinterlands Part 2: Mythology

Posted: February 9, 2011 by ryanlecocq in Features

The word Hinterlands literally means the lands ‘outside’ or ‘over there.’  Usually this has a negative or superstitious connotation, as they are the ‘other’ lands not like these, not just the ‘North’ or ‘East’ lands.  The entire civilized lands of the game are on the continent’s southernmost peninsula, which is completely bordered to the North by mountains.  The rest of the lands beyond the Icebreak Mountains are called the ‘Hinterlands’ and are greatly feared for more than the harsh cold weather.

Myths and Legends of Antiquity

Once it was said that the gods lived among the people and provided for their every need.  With the help of the god’s magic, the people created powerful technology that advanced their lives well beyond their own capabilities.  When the gods finally left to create other worlds, they created a divine child from themselves who they left to rule in their place.  For many ages the people continued to live in peace and create many wonders.

After many centuries of immortal life, the Divine Ruler was said to have become corrupted by investigation into arcane magics.  Great magical constructs as well as massive beasts raised from the dead were said to be the result of these foul experiments.  The Divine Ruler unleashed these horrors on the people and the vast majority of the world’s population died.

The Divine Ruler controlled the world through a network of crystal strata throughout the planet through which magic power could be channeled.  The stone was of the element of fire and also warmed the lands to comfortable climate throughout the world.  The last of the world’s powerful human mages came up with a plan to turn this technology against the Divine Ruler.  By casting a powerful spell that would alter the world’s orbit with the other planets, the stone could be changed to ice.  This would freeze the world and everything powered by the Divine Ruler’s magic, hopefully killing the Ruler in the process.

Although none now live who know what transpired, the world was saved at the expense of the harsh cold the people have now grown accustomed to.  Most of the population have gathered around the southernmost tip of the land, where it is the warmest.  Although people everywhere know to fear the Hinterlands, the heart of the old empire, few believe in magic or the Divine Ruler in modern times.

In the last few decades temperatures have risen and life has greatly improved, especially in the Southern Cities.  The people have become hedonistic and liberal in the comparatively easy living.  In the far North, where nomadic tribes live near the Icebreak Mountains and the Hinterlands, strange rumors have begun, but few care about the affairs of smelly hill people.

The Village of Warden

At the very foot of the Icebreak Mountains sits the village of Warden.  The people of Warden hold a proud tradition of watching the pass where the Greatest River passes through the mountains, the only known break in the barrier.  Although the villagers do not know what they watch for or why they ward anymore, the chief is still called “The Lone Warden” and takes pride in keeping the foothill forests safe.

The player character is an orphan who was found near-drowned and frozen in the River on an annual village hunt called “The Watch-Thaw.”  The Lone Warden himself plucked the child from the river and declared it to be the prize of the hunt.  The chief adopted the child himself, declaring that one day the child would be the greatest hunter as he/she was born of the hunt.  True to this promise, your character has grown to be the finest hunter the foothills have ever known, bringing plenty to the people and winning acceptance.

The Southern City-States

Until recently the whole of Southland was divided into 3 small kingdoms.  30 years ago, Burjaard, the monarch of Lysi united the three in odd fashion by adopting the young king of Eldil as well as the princess of Nen and then demanding they wed on threat of arms.  Although the citizens of all three nations were baffled that Burjaard would seemingly will his land to his enemies, the course of history saw him named Burjaard the wise.  The king’s own wife had died childless and he was too old to remarry, so his line would have ended with him anyway.  It happened that King Terris Eldil and Princess Ilithiel Nen developed great love for both one another and the aging king Burjaard before they assumed the throne on his eventual death.  The king and queen sadly died young and well loved by their subjects when their hunting lodge was crushed in a landslide.  The Southern Cities are currently ruled by their young daughter Queen Lysen, who is advised by a council of twelve wisemen, four from each city-state. She holds court in her grandfather’s seat at Lysi, the city for which she was named.


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