• Yathewah, the Tomb of Humanity

2016 Updated.
  • "Life was simple, once. Once upon a time, this land was ours. The Indigenous Races stayed far from us, even as we were ignorant of their intelligence. We were content to dig in the shallow dirt and remove gems or iron by the
tenweight. Even one's neighbor might Nabesna-blog-97.jpgfind a brace of gold ore beneath his garden, so up-thrust was the ore rich crust of the earth beneath our feet. Most grasses of these vast plains were but a hands breadth or two from rich, vital metals. These our families could take up in hand, and laughingly fill into a cart or one of the Gate senders. Once upon a time, that Gate still worked." The hag before you spits around a few remaining sharpened teeth with the help of the press of one smudged fingertip to cankered lip, before continuing to speak her tale.

  • "The fruits of our mines, forges, and craftsmen were well received, and indeed brought us completely imaginable riches. Even the criminals among us, banished here for the good of the homeplane, grew fat and redolent in the outpouring
of favor for our shipments sent back. Much required food and surplus wealth flowed back in to our greedy grubby hands. It was the golden age of the pioneers on our tiny plane, our time of dominance not just over our home plane, but also of other plane and other vast heady riches. With haphazard adaptation and magical stimuli, we had finally conquered extinction and spread out into the greater plane-verse. But let me back up a bit, and explain the tragedy of our first explorers." She gestures with one arm, taking in the back ground of rolled dirt, disturbed and thrust up grasses that hold an ivory backing to their green shoots.

  • "All of this, see all of it's verdant green and white, colors of grace and life. See how far and wide, how lush the fruits of root and vine, of branch and bark. Under rock, and over hill, all of this. If we were on Ansalon, or any number of other
planes, it would be a great bounty. Indeed it would be endless food for hundreds of thousands of souls, from the great plains to the deep twisted jungles. All would produce more than man kind could live on in all of our teeming million." She moves to lower the slit made bark eye shield, securing it more firmly on the once unbroken bridge of her knows. Glittering brown and gold eyes retreat within the protection of shadow that the goggles provide.
  • "This place is a velvet hell. All of these graceful shoots and leaves? Deadly poison. The ripest, most blush and swollen fruit, the direst death. Shitting your life away, blood and the rest of your
soft guts pressing in quick pace out your sensitive back end. See there is a glass, or a type of dirt here, that all the trees and plants sup on. Maybe it is in the rock, somewhere in the dirt we can't see, but it's part of this plane's life. Eat a fruit, boil up a root, even casually chew on some leaf you found in a second's idleness, and you will regret it. Regret it with clotted blood, shortening breath, and the slow torture of drowning on land and standing up."Her choking laugh ends quicker than it seems it should.

  • "So even this is in every way a verdantly brilliant land to live in, that one can go in any direction and live; almost all die a short death. Some would ask for quicker, if they had known the truth of
the lands they explored. So trust naught anything. You see a green field of prosperity, where you should see a glittering desert of death." The hag smacks her lips, exaggeratedly so. "There is one thing you can trust on here. Set your compass, brace your feet, and gird those soft balls of yours. The meat of the living holds your only salvation. What ever afflicts the plant life here reaches only that far, those and that which takes them in; exhibits none of the poison mineral."

  • The soft tap of something thin and violent against the high inside of your leg catches your attention as the meaning of her latest words sink in. The thin artery opening blade taps languidly on inner thigh before she moves away a silent few footsteps out of reach. "Remember dear, we eat meat here. All of the meats. Brace yourself to swallow."

  • "They dumped on us discouraged nobles, criminals of every sort, thoughtless pilgrims to some fantasy world of bliss, and retired soldiers from campaigns too infamous to be politically wise to be seen. They filled the outbound plane
gate line to bursting for years. We were one of the last to be recognized as a munic, a munical? municibale? municipal? yes, that last one. They sent us a Governor, in all of his brocade robes and palanquin. Even the stalwart guard of the 89th legion that made up his familial birth debt, didn't engender thanks or even tolerance from the populace. Even though we hated our minders, gracing their tables with riches and social disgrace at every turn, it was only a foreshadowing. We had everything we could ask for, aside from actual plenitude or easy life. Even then we had the ore shipments in beautiful bulk, which paid for grains and fruits from the old country; enough to be easily affordable. But it was not meant to last."

  • She opens her mouth, and pointing with one finger of a fist still held tight to a razor shiv of a blade, she indicates the swollen and drooping soft pallet at the roof of her mouth. "Sailors sickness. Young one, when you get the chance to
eat a liver, take it. Do not slice it, do not cook it, and for Anshar's sake don't boil it. Don't even breath on it. Take it in your bloody hands, cradle it fresh and steaming from the slit of muscle and skin that you draw it from. Look at it's burgundy and black sides for only a moment to be assured of no white spots or growths, then eat it all. Trust in the ache in my teeth, the tremble of my bones; eat it all. Lick your fingers once you'r done."
The Bloody.jpg
  • "Back to our history lesson, however. First came the Red Plague. Like whispers and rumors, new arrivals would speak of distant villages and hamlets found devoid of life. Then whole army units began to be lost, boats at sea never
returning or found wrecked with no man left aboard. Within the downward slope of a year, these rumors transited to fully fledged eye witness accounts. A curse had inflicted itself upon the empire of man kind. Impossibly strong maladies that worked quickly, and with unfailing finality. New pilgrims to or iron blackened shores dropped as soon as would midges in the summer sun. The boils and blood growths and crawled into waking vibrancy on their throats and backs did little more than raise the flag of our already wakened sense of horror and self preservation. No dear cleric to the old absent gods nor respected wizard could seem to take this infection to task, as the disease crept over our home plane." The old hunter is interrupted by a surprised, but gradually deep cough that rattles unhealthily around her chest. The spasm seems quickly suppressed, though not without discomfort.

  • "Ansalon, our birth plane, was ripping itself apart, legions of soldiers sent to butcher infected settlements, then turned upon by their fellows. Ever repressive measure was for naught. Refugees doubled through the Gate System like
untended chaff on the dark side a threshing mill. Some stayed, some leaving as quickly as they could for the varied colonies out away in the Black. That spurting arterial bleed of humanity moving between the planes slowed as the beating heart of our might world spanning nation was run dry. Eventually, a few brave explorers from the Lords Council went back to Ansalon through the gate, though it cost so much to open. They found naught but bones and rot all around the great Plaza of Travel, Bouleuterion of a Thousand Doors. Not so much as a rat had gnawed the stray fallen ear or fingertip; and no black coweled crows cawed sullenly or jiggled popped eyes from sockets. The two brave men died messily later on after their return to Yathewah, in quarantine." Over silvered and brown mixed hair slides her crow faced mask. Long and mocking in nose, the glint of her eyes obscured by the crystal lenses set to either side of the
beak as it consumes her face. The slit guards of her eye mask rest smoothly inside the apertures, protecting her from the glaringly blueish hue of the young sun above.

  • "Then, it was gone. Just like that a few weeks later; a light lit the night sky, and doom befell the Gate City here on Yathewah. Gone, all of it. Flattened and steaming by some unseen hand, and with that, we were all trapped. As far as we are concerned, we are the last of our kind."

  • Five cities remained, cut off from their government, cut off from the plane that kept them alive. But their pockets were deep, and they were still many. Gradually, a confused peace settled as the economic leaders in each community took control of the situation. Soon, they moved themselves up from governors and called themselves Lords. Their hubris set about sectioning up the land into their own personal kingdoms. Wonder at the realization that their reigns had suddenly been let go, gave way to avarice and desperate attention to what would ultimately profit them little. Land here, in the concepts of crops, in the terms of mining, in the terms of any real development was useless. Aside from the very few individual plots done mostly by small families of Ansalonian dirt transported here, there was no where that could grow the things they needed. But still yet, that was years in the offing. At first, blood needed to be spilt to show their neighbors that they were serious.

  • To the common man, however, things were not so good. Almost immediately, the value of currency dropped, and those who were smart began to stockpile what food and supplies could be found. The panic in the streets were slow in coming, true. This was a micro society of pioneers, salesmen and criminals. But one can not stop the mob mindset, once it begins to digest a situation. Smiles disappeared. Niceties quickly vanished, and suspicious eyes looked from every cracked door. The people, without leadership that cared, began to live in fear. Of each other, of the so called Lords that commanded them into an even bleaker future.

  • But we were unaware of the evil that was to arise from the south. Most would never know of it, or if they did, only as shadows and rumors. This evil did not physically come close to the human cities; however we did feel its indirect touch.

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  • The shroud of fear, brought paranoia and devious suspicion. From this, two things arose: the normal human concept that the grass will always be greener on your neighbor's side of the fence, and a man that would come to be known as the Dark Prince. Later, it was discovered that it was the work of his hands that the War of the 5 Cities started, which also had an unknowable, horrible, reason for its cause.

  • (During this time, the First War of Dominance was just beginning, though we would not learn of that nearly silent conflict till years after it had resolved itself in the Three-Finger's favor.)

  • The Lords of Teir Perth and Resha were brutally assassinated, and their families were outraged. Armies began to marshal as the two cities in question began to gear up for a clash. But, under the guise of peace, the previously hidden army of the City of Mesha struck Teir Perth instead.

  • Soon all of the cities were involved. Land was torched, hamlets were leveled, and any of the small possible sources of agriculture in this fallow area was destroyed. Their battle formations of steel shod soldiers marched and wheeled, striking and being struck, for the length of an entire season. They shed each other with bland care, striking at a moment's weakness. The few that returned from this conflict, retained their humanity only in the form they walk inside. In this blindness of human anger, they begot their own doom. By the time that they could no longer properly feed their armies, only the cities of Lorren, Kingstown, and Resha remained.

  • During this time, little did we know, a war of dominance was also going on. On multiple continents around the plane, the various Indigenous Races were waging war on one another with disastrous effect. These first few steps that these burgeoning intelligences took were to place the entire world on a specific path towards near a century of bloodshed. But we as humans were too deep in our own woe to notice.

  • As the internecine conflicts between the human cities wound down, the harder days begun. As the food surplus dwindled or were seized by the upper class, very few things were left for the common man. It began with pets, then beasts of burden that had to be fed special imported feed from beyond the portal. Some even turned to the outlying areas to try and catch some of the locals in their traps, success was rarely judged by losses but by weight of questionable meat returned. Within the next few years cannibalism was rampant, and man fought against man once again. The surviving cities degenerated into broken bands and isolationist predatory families, where the rule of the mighty is law. The grand homes lay silent, the great plazas stood empty. Bare bones lined the streets, and marked territories. The Druids fled from these places of stone and blood after a number of their group were killed. All hope seemed lost; the final doom of mankind was at hand. Famine stalked the terra firma, and faith was of no use.

(Non Humans taken into account, less than 1%) Rough Population:
Year 0 Post Gate Destruction
Year 1 Post Gate Destruction
Year 3 Post Gate Destruction
Year 5 Post Gate Destruction
Year 7 Post Gate Destruction
Year 9 Post Gate Destruction
Year 10 Post Gate Destruction
Year 11 Post Gate Destruction
Year 12 Post Gate Destruction

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  • Into of this chaos, this weight of misery and death, came Allen Doe. Out of the wilderness of the Three-Finger plains, came wagons full of food. Bargains had been struck, placed on debt and hope, negotiating in faith he didn't have, on credit that the local tribes did not have a concept of. It was enough to eventually slow the cannibalism and the starvation, and stop it enough in the southern reaches. Disease and murder were still rampant, but one must make the best out of things, or so his father used to say.

  • He was the first true ray of hope, once the populace was convinced that it wasn't some sort of subterfuge. Some still died, refusing his assistance. Just as much, some never truly gave up their hateful instincts that had been ground into them in such a harsh manner. Even there was no specific winter or summer, there was still a dark shadow over the lands. It did not snow, but the gutters still ran black at night.

  • Many of the still surviving populace gradually returned to jobs that they once had occupied. People who had resorted to living outside in the wild began to slowly filter back in like ghosts. A sense of teamwork gradually re-asserted itself over the next year or so. A shared quality and sharpening of the eye. They had all survived through something too terrible to speak of, a thread of something so deep, an undercurrent beneath every sharp sentence. Through Allen's guidance, more successful fishing and trapping techniques began to circulate throughout the populace, and the few remaining coastal villages built large netting rigs. It is not always economic to fish, as all ocean going movement is oar driven. There is no tidal (No moon) wind significant enough to drive a ship (No thermal variance due to tilt of the planet vrs parent sun to energize what would be considered 'trade winds'), thus none had ever been created. Gradually, the common man began to survive again. The locals tribes, in retrospect, asked little of us. We traded refined weapons and armor to the Three-Finger, in exchange for the food that they would acquire from their servant race, the Simians. It wasn't known at all that a violent conflict had just ended between the two to determine breeding rights and dominance. That wouldn't be evident for some years until the half-breeds grew to some maturity.
  • As more and more humans came from hiding; revealed their existence, and the amount of survivors began to mount, the food began to go short. Dangerously short. It was in the Seventh year after the gate city was destroyed by the unstable magics that sustained it, that some lean times began to crackle on the horizon like a distant black storm. It took too many long hours to create the equipment that the Three-Finger wanted in exchange from this break in their normally nomadic lifestyle. That, and they seemed to have very little concept of time. Shipments would be days off, and sometimes any meat they transported had long since spoiled. To them, it was no difference, as they are herbivores by nature. As a long since dead friend of mine once said, "If Lords of Bovines walked among us, it would be them."
  • Gamely, what remained of humanity pushed itself hard to keep up.

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  • Rumors began to filter in gradually, of mysterious people; normal people probably from Ansalon, walking among the Three-Finger and the Simians with impunity. Some even differed to them, and they were told to have a Three-Finger as a pet or side kick. The stories were always different.

  • As the rumors grew, sightings began to arise in the general public, sightings of dangerous and scarred heroes who were completely different from the regular populace. One of those heroes was said to have a silver magical arm, as well as a nasty temper. Another of a wild man, bedecked in scrolls and magic, but robed like a wilderness madman (It was sometimes said that this man was not just one, but actually also a snake-man at the same time. Some said that it all depended on what side of him you were looking at, at the time. No evidence is available to support this). Another sighting was of an angelic Elven figure, one who could change into animals at a whim. And last, a frightening Three-Finger of such proportions as to provide much a test to the strength of one's heart.

  • This, with the beginning of hope, began to change things. People suddenly had people to believe in, figure heads with amazing stories and remarkable powers. A new Time blossomed. The Time of Hope and Death