Nogry Węsz, the Dark Swan
Arald of Doom
Nogry Węsz, the Dark Swan, is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and, by extension, the small constellation it is part of. In regions other than the Dark Lands it is known by different names, like Rheri in Doujate or Hori in the Empire, both meaning "tail".
The MythLegends tell the Dark Lands were, at the beginning of the third era, a prosperous region, where four kingdoms rose at the four cardinal points. They did not live in peace and waged war one another, seeking to prevail. In a moonless night, Nogry Węsz appeared in the sky, illuminating the region. People look up at it excited, witnessing the birth of a star. The next day, a thick fog covered the four lands and a dark sky threatened heavy rain. It seemed nothing out of the ordinary, but the day after nothing changed and so for a week first, a month then. Hunters in the woods began observing weird events: wooden cabinets appearing out of nowhere, shadows moving and, above all, trees dying. The four kings agreed on a truce and went in a neutral location, at the centre of the region, accompanied by a soldier and a mage each. They chose as a location a lake, now lost. They discussed for days about the situation, until, on the fourth night, a gigantic skeletal swan rose from the water with dreary screeches, engulfed in a shroud of dark fog, mystical purple fire for wings. They tried to fight the demon back, with no avail. The beast killed the king of the south, the soldier of the west and the mage of the east and flew away northwards. The survivors told the tale and started a common hunt, in a unified attempt of killing the abomination. Nature seemed to become ever gloomier and hinder hunters work: the dark creature we all know today were born. In the four following months, the southern kingdom fell into a civil war, trying to determine the heir to the throne, the western one suffered a terrible illness which wiped out the population making them ghosts and spirits, while in the eastern people lost reason, transforming into aggressive beasts. The northern kingdom became unreachable: all the roads and paths known were subverted and did not exists anymore and nothing was heard from them. After four years, only the southern people who survived the civil war were still alive in the four lands. Cities were no more and people were forced to live in small villages, hunting and gathering in the woods, fighting against spirits, were-animals and abominations.
OmenNogry Węsz is considered an ominous omen if brighter than usual: anyone who wants to survive the night remains in the village, possibly protected by runes and magic, chanting magical mantras to divert demons. Before leaving for a long journey, always wait for Nogry Węsz to be dimmer: this way, demons will be weaker and will not try engaging fights.
Rheri or Hori, the Tail