The Basin has long been a smelting pot of races and cultures, predominately human but with significant numbers of demi-human. For long years the Basin has been Imperial, governed and run by an Emperor and his council. The reign of the Emperors was considered by most philosophers and historians to be long and wise and there have been many great names in our past. However recently, in the last two years, tragedy has struck the Imperial Basin and great changes have occurred.
Over the past 10 years an entity known as Arcathain has been steadily growing in power to the North of the Basin, beyond the tribe lands. For many of those years his intentions were unclear, it was not until he travelled to the Basin after the culmination of the 4th Gabrak Wars. There he used the burgeoning feeling of peace to arrange a position within the Council of Magic for himself. It was from this place that Arcathain engineered the downfall of the Empire.
For many years he had been arming the tribal nation and bringing their scattered tribes together under one banner, that of the Golga Golga Golga. Through subversive means he arranged for the tribals to be responsible for the removal of a potent Imperial artefact. The artefact, known as the Emperors Finger, was then destroyed by the power of Arcathain leaving its return impossible.
War followed as Emperor Joshua sent his forces to recover the artefact, not knowing of its destruction. During the first few months of the combat a new power arose in the South of the Basin. A man known as Ithylaran appeared in the southern county of Pardetion claiming to be the last descendant of the old Kings of the Basin. Subverting the will of the ½ Orcs he took command and Pardetion became a kingdom in its own right.
The fighting over the next few years was bloody and slowly it became clear that the Empire was failing. It was at this point that the Emperor made his last mistake. In need of new leadership for his beleaguered armies he called upon the greatest general of all time, Gabrak. The repercussions were immense, causing 90% of guildic support to withdraw and ally themselves with the forces of Captain Stone of the Border Patrol, now commanding five companies under the banner of Duke Patryck Draygal.
The war raged, Gabraks forces destroyed a large tribal army attempting to breach the Koren Pass. Duke Draygal and his men held the north yet still the forces of the Basin dwindled. It became obvious that defeat was inevitable unless drastic action was taken. A decision was made, a unit of men would strike at Arcathains heart, destroy him and with luck sunder his power.
Needless to say the strike was successful and now part of contemporary legend. Arcathain was destroyed and with him his hold over the tribals. They retreated back to the woods and mountains from whence they came and a great calm descended upon the ruins of the Imperial Basin. From those ruins a new order has begun. The remaining Dukes amalgamated their lands and most bent the knee to Patryck Draygal proclaiming him King. The few who did not have proclaimed their lands as mini-kingdoms owing no man fealty.
On top of this the Guilds themselves have withdrawn their trainers, closing their doors and placing strict policies on whom they train. The struggle for power in the Basin now rests firmly upon the Guilds, Churches, and Colleges of Magic to decide.
King Draygals succession to the throne did not leave him, as he had hoped, in times of peace far from it, the true war was only beginning. The Basin had been split down into several Duchies:
The Western Marches contain capitol of Haven; the Western Marches border the Harthalian Woods and the Razorback mountains extending almost as far South as Koren and as far as Strabe to the East. Duke Syrius Rules The Wooded ways to the South a portion of land directly under the Kings own territory that extends all the way down to Pardetion in the South. Duke Syrius maintains an extremely lawful territory and is the bastion of Ekimelahw in the Basin. The Bitter Vale is a slim sliver of a Duchy that borders the Western Marches to the West and the Golden Lands and the Ferns to the East; it slides far to the South where it touches on the North Eastern corner of the Wooded Ways. The Bitter Vale is monitored by the Duke Dazak, High Priest of the Order of Bethylak and is considered by many to be a particularly lawless duchy, indeed Ekimelahw’s presence is rarely felt the law instead being maintained by Dazak’s militia; The Frozen Men.
The Golden lands are the territories of Duke Dieron the Blessed an Angel of Tiberius, as you can imagine the lands are a bastion for the Churches of light and renowned for their puritan ways. The golden lands are nestled to the North of the Ferns and the East of the Bitter Vale, to the North are the Dwarven strongholds and the Razorback mountains and to the East the edge of the Duchy of Ironstone bay. Ironstone Bay is the subject of many a court gossip; Torkaylin is rumoured to be in league with various dark creatures of the underworld and planning invasion of the basin. Certainly he still has the largest and most prepared army available to any of the Dukes and would be difficult to overcome in any battle. Traitors Bay borders the Sea to the East and both the Golden lands and The Ferns to the West.
The Ferns are the dominion of Duke Dasmamacas an old Warrior whom many consider to be a relic of many campaigns but still the dogged warrior continues to support his beloved Royal Basin. The Ferns are a roving range of forests and woodland that the Duke has allowed the Druids to utilise and cultivate with minimal interference. The Ferns border to the North onto the Golden lands and to the West onto the Bitter Vale, to the South they border both Dreff Wood and the Coast whilst to the East lies Traitors Bay.
Each of these Duchies contains numerous Baronies, Barons, Earls, Counts and Knights, all of whom answer to the King. The King finds support in each and everyone of his nobles and would be hard pressed to act without them. Any Court decision must be ratified by a number of nobles and the Kings will is infinitely influenced by various political protagonists. The King however is considered just by all who know him and a breath of fresh air after previous leaders of the Great Basin
The Codex Wars were a terrible series of battles between the peoples of Vaklam and the armies of the Unseelie Fae. As the Vaklamian people learnt millennia ago a powerful artefact known as the Codex of War was activated which caused a massive war between the Fae, who then inhabited Vaklam, and a race of aggressors assumed to be the Earth Tribes. The plan was that the Fae would be destroyed and could be replaced as the dominant life form on Vaklam, the Fae however fled their realm and the Codex of War remained forgotten. At some point in the last few centuries the Codex was found again and read from, this time in an effort to displace the races of Vaklam and replace them with the Unseelie Fae. Through the reading of the Codex of War great tension was created across the planet and for many years great Wars raged, such as the tribal wars, that sapped the strength of the Vaklamian populace. However the fabled adventuring community of Vaklam did not fail it and it was discovered that the Codex existed and that we could stand against the armies of the Unseelie, however they did not stand alone.
Nine Challengers of great power stood with them: Arthurian the Archangel of War, Marchessa the Archangel of Death, Orbolom Daemon Lord of Deceit, Kimon the Lawbringer ancient enemy of the Zoraneth, The Sage of the Cold Mountain; oriental Aspect of the Air, Grunwalda Crowback; Smith of the Ages, The Shining One; God King of the Cloud Elves, Shen Gong; The Ghost Samurai and Kazosh the God of Dreams. Empowered as they were by the Codex itself none could stand against their power least they to had become ordained. So it was that heroes set forth in pursuit of the Chalices and Crowns that would grant them the strength to oppose the enemy. Whilst there was no shortage of heroes who participated in the discovery of those items it was only nine heroes that became ordained ready to do battle against the Challengers for they and they alone where the Champions of Vaklam.
Imravin of the College of Controlling Power Duke Dieron of the Church of Tiberius, Seth of the Church of Rayvahn, Galen Trask of the Hunters Guild, Lady Rowan of the Pumpkin Court, Nathan of the College of Controlling Power, Sephiroth of the Greater Teeth, Venn-Ra of the Church of Notelexus and Duke Jarmak of the Church of Naed stood to protect us. Yet whilst they were becoming ordainined a mighty war was fought upon the plains of the Western Marches; Arrayed against us the Unseelie Fae and the Challengers were joined by Daemons of Orbolom, Undead of Marchessa and the creations of Crowback; all in their millions. The people of the Basin fought equally as bravely and were joined by the Orientals, the Tribals, the Fae, The Dark Churches and the creatures from beyond the pail that they bring with them. The Colleges attacked with fire and golem and all the nerve they could muster, the churches brought the wrath of the Gods down upon the enemy. The Zoraneth, Daemons of Sarkith and even the Mandragoran once more fought against the evil but still we could not prevail, millions upon millions died even when the elemental houses themselves joined the battle.
Thus it was when all seemed lost, that the challengers would destroy all life on Vaklam and set themselves up as the new deities of the Unseelie Fae that the tide of the battle turned all but briefly as the Gods themselves entered the Fray. It was during these tentative days that the end drew near; the champions returned successful and ready for war, sadly some heavy casualties had been inflicted; The Devourer was dead and Naed had been sorely wounded by the enemy. The majority of his temples including the key of Naed itself had been destroyed, his clergy had all but fallen trying to bring down Orbolom and he himself had been mortally wounded but finally we were ready to bring down the aggressor.
None can remember that final day save that the Unseelie and the champions were gone. The Seelie Fae had also left sealing their borders behind them as they did so blaming the peoples of the basin for a great many troubles that had befallen them. The dead still lay about the floor but our protagonists were gone. For nine months we herad nothing, not a whisper not a jot of the enemy until a few weeks gone when recently stalwart adventurers answered the call of the Seelie Fae, apparantly the Unseelie Fae were being invaded by troops from Vaklam and were becoming an extinct race. Many were defecting to the Seelie lands and causing them great problems. The Seelie called for help and the adventurers were summoned. Their investigations led them to another world where they rescued a Bethylakian artificer called Professor Hedgehog who told them the following:
The Codex effects were diverted to the alternative Vaklam. The new gods quickly eliminated whatever pantheon existed there previously. The immediate effects were an aggressive invasion of lands by the Cloud Elves led by the ‘Saviour’. The main defence was offered by Daemonic mercenaries called the Hell Guard. It is indicative of the type of world formed that a terrible war raged and passes in the brief time since the final ritual of the Codex was triggered. This was called the War of Unification, during which the Sun was ‘disassociated’!
Then the Unseelie tried to invade. This served to define the ‘Saviour’ as the Commander of the combined forces of Vaklam. With the very specific configuration of Gods driven by a background of war, invasion proved to be a major strategic error on the part of the Unseelie Fae! Since that time the entire focus of effort on the whole of the alternative Vaklam has been towards war! Brutal efficiency and divine dictate had no care or sympathy for individual agendas or the environment. There were no neutral parties, all races and all resources were forcibly re-designated and used for war.
The Zoraneth: The Zoraneth are an ancient Race of sea Elves who were the enemies of Kimon the Law Bringer. They were also to be victims of the original Codex reading and gave up their mortality to protect themselves from it, in short they became Undead. Whilst they are Undead they seem to show little want for destruction or violence and during the Codex they managed to force the Kingdom into signing a Non Aggression Pact with them. The Zoraneth and the “Evil” Churches now exist on an island off the South Coast of the Basin. They are, however, in open hostility with the peoples of Calvarg (another southern island) who still worship Kimon as their God.
The Church of The Devourer: With the demise of their God the Priests of The Devourer stood helplessly by as the portfolio of Murder, Deceit and Anarchy was taken by the Yama Lords, an Oriental Sect involved with Shen Gong. The Church is now called the Church of Ultimate Evil and is part of the amalgamation of Churches that exist of the Isle of the Zoraneth. The Archangels of the Devourer seem to have vanished but the rumour indicates that the Archangel of Murder has metamorphasised itself into a Demi-God called Despair.
The Fae: The Fae were early casualties of the Codex battles when the actions taken by the adventuring community caused the Fae to have their souls returned to them. For long years the Fae stuck to a bargain they made with the Gods of Vaklam whereby their souls would remain with the gods from birth granting the Gods the powers of focus Magic. The Faes souls were kept in an eternal state of happiness and the Fae themselves were kept safe from the magic of the Gods. Since the reunification the Fae seem to be split on the subject of whether they wish their souls returned from whence they came, the debate continues.