In the heavens, where dimensions are infinite; where neither time nor space exists, a great battle between good and evil will rage for thousands of years, until one day the fabric of time will
be torn asunder, and two worlds will converge to a single point. And through this tear in space, evil will be let in.
From Elder Hamel’s visions as recorded
in the Luurian Histories
Thin, dark clouds swept like phantoms over the three full moons, shutting out their light and bringing a dark and ghostly feeling to the small village. The trees, a living barrier to the world
beyond, swayed in the growing breeze, stretching their wraith-like branches as if to fly away. Flickering shadows danced on the roofs of the thatched huts and the air grew thick.
Nestled deep within the giant trees of the Gosalur Forest, all was quiet in the village
of Luur, the inhabitants fast asleep after a long day in their fields, readying for the annual harvest feast.
Even Aschilar, charged this night with keeping the eternal flame burning in the center of the village, had
fallen into peaceful slumber.
Only the elder Hamel remained half awake, stirring restlessly, fighting with unseen demons that plagued
his sleep for days. Prophetic stirrings of doom haunted him. Visions pounded into his mind, pressed in on his frail chest.
Finally, Hamel threw off his blanket and cursed under his breath, forcing his worn body gently from the
straw bed. He wrapped himself in a shawl and paced inside his hut. The visions were sporadic of late and clouded with portents he could not decipher, but the prophecies he had received did
not bode well for the people of Luur.
Outside the hut, a cool breeze rustled leaves, but beyond that sound, a low pounding echoed through the
walls, and Hamel stopped, turning his head from side to side. He opened the door and stepped out into the evening air. Dark, frightening clouds crossed the sky, like the signs in his visions,
causing him to stagger in horror. Hamel clutched his chest and fell to his knees.
He is coming!
Hamel almost stumbled as he rushed to Aschilar and shook him awake. “You must get inside. Quickly!”
He offered the bewildered sentry no other explanation, but as if evil itself heard, the air became heavier
The sound arose like thunder, a slow rumbling to the east. Hamel’s heart sped up, and he saw Aschilar stop
in his tracks. The rumbling grew louder, and Hamel strained to understand its source. Not thunder, despite the unnatural clouds.
Searching his long and ancient memory, the realization hit him like a physical blow. Horses.
The ground shook, and Hamel knew for certain there were horses. Horses with riders. Hundreds, thousands
One after another, the doors to each hut opened, and confused villagers spilled out into the village
square. Hamel raised his hand before they could speak. The sound surrounded them, and Hamel spotted the first rider beyond the trees. He left his hand raised, demanding quiet as more and more
Luur was a protected place, and as Hamel expected, none of the riders turned toward the village. On and on
they went, dressed in black armor, roaring past with great speed, but never noticing Luur.
When the last rider passed, Hamel turned a solemn eye to the bewildered crowd. “The council will meet at
dawn.” He then turned and went inside his hut.
He heard the men of the village as they ushered their wives and children to their homes. The sun would not
rise for at least an hour, and they talked anxiously among themselves, awaiting the elder’s return.
Hamel felt as if a great weight were crushing him because he had witnessed such a horde in his divinations
and fitful dreams of late. As he gazed down at his withered body, he knew his time of passing drew near, and it was neither a pleasant nor an unpleasant thought. He worried only about the others.
He had guided and cared for them for centuries, knowing the day of evil would eventually come.
Luurians were simple farmers and blessed beyond their realization, with soil that was always fruitful, and
weather that was eternally kind.
Conditions such as these existed nowhere else in the world and this Hamel knew well. A quiet comfort
surrounded Luur. Its people were farmers and artisans, and the living standards were the simplest possible. The people worked, slept, and prayed.
To a stranger, the village would appear unassuming. But mystery surrounded it. It was a sheltered place, a
protected and holy place. And the strangest mystery of all was that no one outside the village boundaries knew of Luur's existence. The eternal flame was a symbol of this mystery and a reminder
that Luur was everlasting.
The trees were hundreds of feet high; their trunks so immense it would take twenty men stretching
arm-to-arm to encompass even one. And there were no paths leading out of the village because no one ever thought to leave. There was no reason to leave. The people of Luur were quiet and happy and
knew nothing of the violence which dominated the outside world. And this is how it was planned. The people of Luur were the descendants of the creation, the first gift of life imparted to the
world. The pure and true progenies of an omniscient force from which good and evil sprang. And in the village of Luur, each day had been the same for a thousand years - until now.
“Our legends have warned us of this time,” Hamel began, unsure how to address the gathering. “A time when
evil is loosed upon the land. However, you should not frighten your families with this news.
“I am the keeper of our sacred Word and bound to protect our people. For many centuries, since my father’s
brother left the fold of Luur, evil has risen in the other world and has slowly turned its eye to Luur. We call this evil Mordak.”
Murmurs arose among the men at hearing this forbidden name.
“Fear not, my children. You are descendants of the first people. The great Creator has long protected our
village and clouded Mordak’s knowledge of Luur; held him in abeyance. But I fear he has awakened.
“I know not if the great clamor that descended upon us this day is Mordak, but my visions tell me the time
is ripe for his appearance in our land.
“We must learn if he approaches, for if so, there is much to do. I require five volunteers to journey
beyond the boundaries of Luur and into the other world. These five will be our scouts, and they will return with the answers we seek, or die in the quest.”
One by one, all the men lifted their hands high.
So pure of heart. A tight smile formed on Hamel’s face. “You are all good and true, but some must
stay to care for the women and children. Lucious, Kevyn, Homilar, Michiel and Heschliar. You five will go. I can give you no guidance save for this: Reject the ways of the other world. Discover
what you can of this evil and return. Go now and prepare to depart when the sun has set beyond the trees.”
In the quiet evening, Hamel watched as the five brave men from Luur stood at the edge of the Gosalur
Forest. The tall bearded one glanced at the others but said nothing. Then, together, they stepped beyond the protective boundary into an unknown world.
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