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Song of the Dark

Sometime near the end of the reign of the Obertari - a cruel Southern faction who had opposed Berythian mages and driven them off their lands - a wave of monstrous beasts was suddenly and violently unleashed across the Relan landscape. It was the last time the presence of dragons would be noted in a large-scale historical account.   Once conventional weapons proved useless, the Obertari's only defense was to turn to the magical organization known as the Moonshield, a militarized branch of the Nurhetic Tradition, but due to poor leadership, the Moonshield could not marshal their forces effectively against the foe and disbanded entirely after a series of critical failures on the battlefield, leaving the Obertari vulnerable. Refusing to the bitter end to call to the Berythians for aid, the Obertari were eventually crushed by their own hubris (and of course, countless gnashing teeth). The ensuing power vacuum gave rise to the Hundred Feuds period (2242-2000), during which it is said that Rela cried out for the return of the Berythians to come put an end to the the creatures that besieged their lands.   And so they did, retaking territories that these days form part of Draksineon and bringing with them the Cativene lords, who had graciously hosted the mages during their exile. The Cativene Dynasty was formally established in 2000, bringing an end to the Hundred Feuds. The return of order was credited equally to the military prowess of the Cativenes and the Berythians' magical might. The latter, once again in possession of magic-rich lands, began to rebuild the lost splendour of their achievements.   Since that time, no monsters of any kind have ever plagued Rela or indeed, anywhere else. Outside the odd and unverifiable folk tale or tavern rumour, there have been no true sightings of any sort of extraordinary beast. This lasting peace is regarded by mundanes and mages alike as a testament to the vigilance of the Berythian Order in safeguarding the common realm.   An end to this truce is prophesied, lamentably; it is called The Song of the Dark. At some future point, monstrous types will again threaten the land, far more terribly and angrily than ever before, and it will fall to mages to ensure the preservation of all humans, who the creatures will naturally seek to eradicate. And so, while the population pays its debt of gratitude to the mages for the job they've already done, they cleave all the more closely to them in fear of the storm yet to come, as The Song describes. Meanwhile, many mages (especially young ones) derive from it a strong sense of purpose as it frames their training as preparing for something definite - nothing less than a winner-take-all battle between good and evil. Equal parts history and legend, The Song comes down to the inhabitants of Draksineon in particular as received truth. Everybody knows it, and few question it.


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