Account of the Kingdom of Gera: History and Current Day

Unlike the other tome titled “Tales from the Kingdom of Gera” this tome is simply titled “An Academic Account of the Kingdom of Gera: History and Current Day” and is in much better condition, though some pages have been removed, other pages glowing unable to be read, through censorship of some mage against the information contained or a mishap from the spells preserving the tome is unclear. The writing inside is quite neat, tidy even, and there are several illustrations in place, some having words below them that when said creates a minor image in scale that can be manipulated and observed in detail. Several battles, recreations from the founding of Gera, can be found this way, observed and recorded through the hard work of several diviners no doubt.

The kingdom of Gera itself is an ancient place, a place that contains more environments than a single plot of land should have really. The magic of the place is old, older than the elves that once lived there, and alive in a way that even humans and dwarves can’t discount it. The Kingdom itself, in many ways, predates most of the established countries on the continent, likely being at least as old as the Isles or the Dynasty Lunaris, though both of these two countries might feel this claim to be unfounded or up to debate.

The above text has several illustrations with dates predating the current accepted calendar by several hundred years, as well illustrations of both elves and the fey that offered comment on the history of the place as they remember it. The interviews and comments actually have the dialogue recorded but between accents and time sound is fuzzy and hard to understand, partially due to spell decay of some kind though one would have to know the kind of environment and the area in which the tome was kept to be sure.

Back before the kingdom was as it is, the land was a place of chaos, ruled by warring Lich Lords the general people had no real freedom, though the lich lords did their best to give a perception of such. The first king of the land, Alric the Young, was also Alric the Betrayer, called such by the Lich Lords who had trained the young man in magic and the arts he used to free the people. While he himself was only a kinder tyrant than the lich lords he destroyed his family has generally been overwhelmingly kind to their people, starting with his daughter Cassandra the Benevolent. While in this day and age many things are lost on to how they ruled, it was know that much of Gera was ruined at that time due to the spread of necromancy and other foul magics. During the first war, the war for freedom from the undead kings, the land itself bucked and changed, the myriad waves of magic used interacting violently with the lands own living, primal, magic.

This bit shows several views of the land, seen through scrying the past, most of which is bloody or blackened. Several of the more consistently available rivers, like Silver’s Run and Magi’s Font are seen clogged with dams consisting of broken bodies and skeletons, the living and the dead piled high upon each other as the undead kings fought for total control of the land and it’s magic. Other things detail the harsh backlashes the primal magic of Gera inflicted upon the people and it’s foul rulers.

Now while there are still old growths of forest to be found in places like Irist’s Stand, called such for Alric’s right hand, Irist, a priest of Magic itself that stabilized the place and raised the land to fight for them and their cause, and the Blood Crags of the southern waste, other places don’t have weather so much as they have changes in environment, during the colder months towns might be found on mountains that hadn’t been there the last year, or in valleys filled with deep snow drifts. Summer might find one having a shore to a ocean that doesn’t exist, or hadn’t the week before. Each year brings new changes and hardships to the people, which might be why there is such acceptance amongst the common folk, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you worship, Gera is a harsh land with a hard people, however friendly, and despite their hardships, or because of them, they’ll welcome a friendly face and a helping hand.

This part reads more like a pamphlet for reasons to immigrate than anything else, showing pictures of current Gerians bringing in the harvest, or helping another family affected by a surge, people of all races and creed helping on another. Several interviews with deacons among the Church of Gods and The Fallen can be found here, as well those more known people amongst the University within the capital, as well as a note that anyone with the capability for magic or the desire to learn can come and do so without worry of any charges for the learning, which is offered by the kingdom for free to any citizen that wishes the knowledge.

While the forests of Irist stand tall in the north, and change rarely, the Eternal Fields where the capital city of Sanctum is found is the most unchanging place within Gera. However the method to which they made this place so stable is a secret from most, if not all, of the Gerian people. The last great working of necromancy, held in place by the dying wishes of a thousand good Gerian folk during the last days of the war. This stabilization would later prove to be the foundation of the greatest city of magic in the known world, and the greatest working ever to be seen on the continent of Elegris.

With the plains and farmlands found in the middle of the country one can go north and find the Irist Forest, with the small village of Irist’s Stand found within. One must be careful to follow the path, as while the forest doesn’t change drastically, the forest is much larger than what it appears to be when one goes off the past. The last scholar to attempt to map the forest was found years later, in the company of the fey who had saved the poor soul and attempted to do their best to restore him to health. Thankfully for him the dryads of the forest are a friendly sort, now there are new paths that can be found to the Scholar’s Grove, which has turned into a sort of outreach to the fey populace of the forest.

Here they show the dryads, and some of both the Seelie and Unseelie court conversing with those people that wish to talk to them. Somehow the author got an interview from several of both the court and the visitors at the time.

One of the largest reasons that Gera remains so peaceful and well adjusted to their chaotic land is due to the Royal Messengers and the Traveler’s Guild, while one operates under strict supervision of King and Country to protect and stabilize, the other is the adventuring sort within Gera. Both do a great deal to stabilize certain areas, and clean out nests of unsavory things that find their way to Gera due to the changes. Making use of the Traveler’s Waystation, a series of connected portals that connect to the Waystation Hub in the capital which is in reality an extra dimensional space, constantly maintained and monitored by both the Royal Messengers and the Traveler’s Guild. Passage for the common folk can be purchased at small sums of a few silver, however this small fee makes it more readily available and enables trading across the entire kingdom at a rather rapid pace, which generates more than enough funds to pay for the upkeep of the Waystation network itself.

This bit continues on, showing several towns with Waystations and the central hub itself, along with a map of its many rooms and places in such a way to be a working model of the building itself at the time this tome was printed. Other such images were likely here at some point but seem to have been removed, leaving only mundane illustrations, though they lack labels and dates on these pages. The tome continues in this vein, talking on other parts of Gera such as tourist attractions and the royal family, but in nowhere near the detail the above parts mentioned.

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Tales From Gera – Lore Building

The book before you is a fine thing, bound in supple black leather with a simple gold lettering on the front. The pages aren’t paper, but fine vellum, the ink faded and light but still clearly legible. The first page seems to be a forward of sort, having no name of the author but containing a simple message, scrawled in an imperfect script.

Perhaps I should call this the ramblings of an old man? Or maybe not, I’ve not written something I’ve assumed would be read you see. Most of what I write will never, should never, see the light of day.

But this will, for whatever reason. Perhaps, hopefully, in sharing this you’ll find some amusement, something to be distracting ye from yer troubles. Either way, I suppose it’s a fitting memoir, the stories of others from a man never known by the world, whose own story should never be told.

C.

There are several pages missing from the book, but a bit of the tome still remains, the fine pages preserved somehow from the ravages of time and civilization, the first story, a collection of events and personal knowledge, is simply titled “On the Matter of Slavers” and refers to a country that borders the kingdom of Gera, that kingdom of wild and unstable magic.

Really, when one thinks of slavers one inevitably thinks of the Pits, and who or what they are, but well, while the tools that feel they run things can be described I hesitate to say such a strong word as describe can be applied to that which they serve, and don’t seem to realize they serve at all. You see it started quite some time ago, when Arthur and Roland weren’t yet even born, that was, around, nearly six hundred years or so again from this day and age. Gera wasn’t yet truly unstable, there had been no need for a Sanctum yet and the country that would be known as The Slave Pits to all but those that live there hadn’t even been formed.

You see that area had always been a bit dark, a bit wrong, those wastes. Even the magic that caused Gera to bloom left that place untouched, barren and scarred. Suppose that shoulda been a sign, but nay, we didn’t take it. Those that were there, meself included, or a me I can barely recall, we were bandits, just rogues looking for a place the Guard couldn’t, wouldn’t get to us. The land was hard though, and the only way to get things to grow was with sweat and blood, and yet more blood.

The writing in the following bits grows a bit sloppy, as if written by a shaky hand, the diction of the words changes as well, more anger showing in the harsh lines of ink set down by the quill, the splatters of ink across the faded vellum. Its obvious that, whoever the author is, this part is close to home, and closer to the soul. Merely writing this bit was hard, thinking about it, remembering it, must have been a thousand times so.

Ye see, in Ulsir, the name the Slaver’s have for their own kingdom, the land isn’t fertile unless you feed it. That’s what we did then, all those years ago, we fed it, and then we were fed. We thought we’d find a new calling ye see, that perhaps with this we could be farmers, away from Gera and magic and just have a simpler life. Should have known it wouldn’t be that simple, it could never be that simple.

The brambles grew in a week, the forests coming in quicker. A haze, the blood mist, rolled in with it all and then, well, then the thoughts started. The idea of having others work it for us, having others do our toil.

Having more to feed that hungry land.

The writing, already scrunches together here, pulled tight on itself, as if the author was fighting against the next lines, forcing them to be small, to go unnoticed.

It gets in yer ‘ead ye see, draws ye in pulls on ye and ye hear it, hear it, and it echoes, and repeats nigh constant it is.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

The lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark continue for two pages after this, a large portion of pages have been torn from the binding before and after this bit before the next bit of legible writing can be found, continuing the story being told.

Every day that repeats, and every day we listened, and things just…got bad and even here, talking as I am, ye can feel the pull of that can’t ye? The corruption of it all. It turned a bunch of bad men worse, and they’re all still there. All of us that’d gone and been making that place into a power, we’re all still around ye know. Sem of us, well, some of us learned, some of us went to feed the land, unable to take the voice of it all. Idiots don’t realize we can’t stay dead, we don’t go that privilege. As long as that land is fed, we’ll be here, it’s gift to us for waking it.

Let that be a lesson to ye, ye find something left alone by near everything else? Leave it the hell alone. Else ye might just find out why it’s left alone…and that reason?

That reason might just be hell. Still don’t be knowing what be claiming me, don’t be knowing what caused the change, or near anything else, but that’s one thing I learned fer sure. Ye find something like that, something wrong, something, a bit off? Ye can be sure there is a thrice be damned reason for it. I can put a name to it, tell ye what it is, but describe? Give a reason to it? Ye might as well ask why we exist at all to ask such a question.

What is it? That’s simple, it’s Evil, what else could it be? Don’t be going thinking we were misguided men mind you, weren’t no good then, ain’t no good now. If there is one thing a bad man can be claiming well..

I know Evil when I see it, and that? That’s about as evil as it gets. If you value yer sanity, and yer morals, I’d say leave well enough alone and let em sort themselves out. I’m sure they’ll be dead or monsters, jes give it a few more centuries.

While there are yet many more pages that aren’t torn the writings on later pages seems to move and change, blurring or simply forming the lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark, visible on each page before you blink and the writing clears for a time. Whatever it was the author talked on, one notices it once they read of it, once they view it clearly. The issue stands however that when one does notice something so vile, so foul as the corruption of that place…it notices you in turn.

The Hunter

I look into the water, growling. I see a human, a woman. At least that’s the same. I remove the wolf skull that hides my new face, removing, my old one. A sob breaks through the quiet of the forest, mine I realize. Growling I snarl at the reflection. Even I must admit she’s beautiful, sleek, strong, but human. Her eyes are a bright gold, bright with the reflection of light in the dark night. She snarls and sharpened teeth gleam before she, before I, look away. Taking the skull I place it back upon my head. I will not forget, I will not take this quietly. Raising my new face to the bright moon, my new face, smooth, serene even in my rage and sorrow. My small nose and elegant mouth, my bright eyes narrowing. I release something, I feel it start in my chest before I open my mouth. Before I let the sound escape I smile as I realize I have not lost this.

I smile as I howl.

I sit in the darkness, crouched, waiting. Clothed humans, in strange materials, using their, firearms, weapons that spit metal and fire. These ones, they hunt the ones I called family, the smaller one hears my growl and I grin beneath my old skull. My eyes, bright in the darkness bring it to an eerie life even as simply wearing it makes me feel feral, wild again. My prey stalks forward, wolves howl in pain, I would help them soon. I still smell of wolf, not of these sickly apes. As they take the last step I see my attack as I plan, diving out, faster than they can dream of moving I hamstring the young one, not a cub, no, a first time hunter. The old male turns to me screaming at me a world fury before I bring my old claw across his throat. I hear a click and I look up, the furs covering me make no sound, they can see none of my form, only furs and bones and my old wolf skull, it scares them. The one pointing the firearm at me now is shaking, a young female, I frown. I do not like this but she will come back otherwise. So, moving slowly forward she aims, her body shaking still, like a doe circled by the pack. She can not see my grin as I anticipate the kill, I slide to the side as I see her form tense and she fires a bit wide of where I was. Not bad, no she does not want to be here, I see her look at the young male on the ground, her mate, passed out from pain but not dead yet. Perhaps I can do more than simply scare and kill here, I might be able to use this, later, on a different pack. This one, I have killed one of their own and I can not have stories told. Snarling I run towards her, using that speed that comes with my body, that speed that makes their own form seem a pale substitute. I cripple her leg, and she cries out and falls, dropping her gun.

She looks up at me, her eyes pale blue, tears forming as fear overwhelms her. I snarl, and she back away, than I bring the hilt across her face. Quickly I drag them to my home, and deal with hiding the knife wounds, it is not hard, there is deadfall everywhere and human bodies are so very frail.

The couple wakes up in the hospital, they think it was a fever dream. I tell them the old man and them suffered injuries from a deadfall, the doctors agree. They thanks and I warn them away from that forest, I also tell them that it is private property. When they ask who’s I laugh, and I smile, they shiver seeing something I can’t truly hide in it as I answer with the simple truth.

It’s mine.

It has been several months now since the change. I am lonely, I have put gates up around certain areas, and made sure the locals know this place is dangerous. With the dead fall and the wolves it is not a place to hunt. They asked to clear the wolves and I refused, saying they are bothering no one, they are living, the forest and its land is mine. When I awoke as this I found several things to point me towards why I am like this. It seems our Father, the First Alpha, decided some of us need to walk amongst their kind, to protect ourselves. Coyote has done this for a much longer time than ours, and the human’s Huntsman finds it favorable to have some of his hunt with us, we all do what we can to save our homes, our forests. They had, money, and numbers to use to contact those I needed to. It is still hard to talk at times, my voice comes out a with a growl to it, my claws are sharper and my thin form, while that of a frailer person, is much stronger than most. It is also apparently, quite lovely, and attracts attention I would rather not have. In the end though it helped, I purchased, just thinking it makes me want to snarl, but I own the land I once was a part of.

Now, now I have no pack. I am going to find the others, they say my kind is not uncommon, but I do not wish to leave the forest. I can recall my old self now, though I am much, much larger, I am told that this is because we are made to be as the first was, large and sleek, filled with that primal power. I can feel it, thrumming through, that wolf song that was once all that I was is now so much more, it flows and ebbs through out me, filling my mind and soul. I will take myself, to their cities, their towns and learn more of them. My head was filled with knowledge I could not sort through at first, but I know it now. I am in a small part of a larger territory called the United States, some northern area. I go now to another one, a large city called New York. I will find others like me, even if they did start human. They should want to protect the hunt, and our kind, as much as I.

The City And It’s Wonders

Running on all fours through the city, I smile, my muzzle pulling up to reveal my teeth. Lifting my head I sort through the scents. I can feel power in some of them, some cold, some like the light of summer. Some speak of cold earth and sweet blood and darkened days. That one seems very close, I decide to follow it. Running faster than these silly humans can see, and so quiet even another wolf would have to scent me first, I quickly gain on that scent. I stop and crouch down, not that it means much, I am a very beautiful wolf, but also quite large. The size of a large buck really. My fur is a dark gold with some streaks of silver through, a large band of it wrapping up and around my muzzle and over one eye. Looking forward, my eyes easily see through the power wrapping her, and I frown.

She is a small wisp of a thing, no taller than me, and her eyes gleam a strange red in the dark. She smiles and waves at me and I frown. Holding a hand out to me a blue pleasant light comes into being as she says. “My my, I’ve never seen a werewolf so dumb as to go TOWARDS one of my kind. Come on out dear, let me see you better.” As I meet her eyes I feel her try to pull at me with her power, I snarl and snap at the air, saying very firmly in my own way NO and she smiles fangs showing as she comes towards me.

Deciding to not fight, I do not know enough of this place to do so, and not wanting to do it here anyway, I walk forward my form becoming translucent as my fur falls off my shoulders, now long gold and brown hair falling to my back. My claws shift to my waist as my tail loops around them holding them in place and a thick cloak of fur is clasped around my neck. I look at her now, in my human form from beneath my skull. I cock my head to the side and ask what I wanted to from the start “What are you? You smell of blood and earth and night. It is a pleasant smell, but one of a predator, yet you wear the body of prey. What are you?” She looks at me shocked and starts to laugh.

“By the Dark I never thought to meet one of your kind. You are Wolfborn are you not? You are, new, to being, somewhat, human?” I nod and she looks at my skull and shudders. “Can you take your skull away and let me see who I talk to?”

I growl low in my throat, I will not remove it here, though it doesn’t matter, I have had it attempted to be taken before, it does not care for it. It tore the thief’s hands off. Once I shift it comes back to me anyway, I do not need it on to recall my form, it is simply one of the, tools, of what my title. It is still mine though. I stop my thoughts and look at her as she holds her hands up and looks at me, her small form coming only to my chin. I will not attack her though, her weakness is clever lie, she is strong to attack her would be folly, especially here. I can smell her pack on her.
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She glides forward, her movements so graceful as to be strange and puts her long, delicate fingers on the side of my old skull. Not stopping her I let out a huff and she laughs and I remove it and she steps back, a gasp coming from her as I grin. Than she steps forward again and puts her small hand to my cheek. Letting out a huff, I look at her, studying her as she lets me know, with posture and touch she means me no harm. Nodding at her, she smiles and skips backwards, quite a feet on four inch heels. I do not care for such shoes, but she seems to pull them off rather well.

Looking at me she curtsies, the small movement a respectful nod from one alpha to another. “I am Tira, who might be you be?”

I grin and talk, my rough voice with its growl making her shudder, though her scent tells me it is from something very different than fear. How, strange. “I am Mira, Mira Lykos. Daughter of the First. Would you be” I pause, trying to think of the words, this language is lost on me at times. “Would you and your pack be so kind as to grant me permission to be in your territory? I come looking for more of my own. I found not scent of them, and out of those I did your’s seem to be the, closest, to what I would like to meet. The others seemed, wrong somehow. Off putting.” I snarled a bit at the memory of the strange cold scent and that of the sweet summer. They were familiar, but not something I wanted to find here. They were to pure to be true, summer and winter each outside of season? Unlikely. The trees are just shedding their green, Winter has not yet come and Summer had just fallen to Autumn. No, those where something other, and I had no wish to reveal myself to them.

Lifting my head, I take a step back as two others swiftly appear. One snarls at me, his fangs showing he is one of Tira’s. Before his alpha can stop him he curses at me “Wolf, if you are in front of HER you will know your place! KNEEL!” His power slams me and I snarl, I am an ALPHA. Meeting his eyes my wolf skull flickers than reappears, once more masking my face. I snarl and the skull snarls with me, the sound like a call to death. Crouching forward I move towards, shooting out like a shot of light into the darkness. Coming up behind I raise my foot and kick him in the back, startling him forward.

My wolf raises to the surface and I snarl as I push him to the ground, the jaws of my skull mask around his through, my claw digging into his chest. he struggles and I shake his throat. I will not kill him, but he will respect me. I hear Tira sigh “Sigmund, I told you one day you would get cocky. Submit, you will not win. She is new to this and quite a bit more wolf than human, you will not get mercy from her. She is more likely to eat you than she is to do that.” His eyes widen and I start to scent fear, good, I snarl again and shake him until his skull rattles. I hear a whimper and he averts his eyes. Standing, so quickly as to make it seem that I had never attacked him at all my skull flickers again, this time now hanging behind me, as if it was a hood. My claws sheathed at my belt I turn to her and lick my lips. Now I am hungry with nothing to hunt.

Tira sighs again “Now you have truly caused a problem, she is Wolfborn Sigmund, not a Werewolf. She is also, like all Wolfborn, an Alpha though perhaps more of one than most. She is a Daughter of the First. You will treat her with respect, or she will handle it as she did just now.” Sigmund rises, his throat slowly healing the wound I gave it as he goes on to one knee, kneeling and with his head lowered, showing his assent to this decree. Turning to me Tira claps “Well Mira, lets go to where I live, I will tell you what you need to know from there. Well that is” She sniffs and frowns “Stupid dogs, you hunt a wolf!” I smile as she notices what I did from the start, I had been followed, by a pack it seems. A large male with long black hair comes out of the dark followed by a shorter female. They carry them selves regally, the alpha pair of the pack here. Seeing me they snarl and the male leaps for me, following his drive to attack the interloper on his territory. I laugh and knock him down and smiling walk into my old form. Looking down at them as they change their pack comes from the shadows. I frown, these frail things may be stronger than a true wolf, but they will not match me. Yawning I turn and lay down. They may be bigger than most wolves but not by much, I am still much larger than they are. They attack, and their teeth and claws barely tickle, like pups at play. I let out another yawn and Tira laughs.

“Mira, you are truly cruel.” I open one large eye and grin before rousing myself to teach the pups a lesson, I do not want their pack, just left alone. Coming up suddenly I use my bulk to knock them away and quickly zone in on the alpha pair, weaving through them I pick the male up by his scruff and push him to the ground, than just as quickly, begin to groom his fur. Everything stops as I do, and he seems shocked. There is some shame, but more chagrin I think. Nosing him away I quickly grab the alpha female and do the same. When I feel their fur is cleaned enough, I go through, weaving through their futile puppy antics and do the same to each one. Finally done I stop and look them over as I let my self slip back into walking on two legs. They look at me glumly, much like the pups I chastised in my old pack. Letting out a laugh I nod to the alpha and turn back to Tira.
“Not cruel, kind. They are pups compared to me, it would be same result if Sigmund and his tried to fight you yes?” She laughs again, like a musical chime it fills the air and I grin with her amusement.

The large male and the female come up to me, wonder in their eyes as well as some well needed humility. I nod to them and reach up and ruffle the males hair and then pull his chin down to greet him, rubbing my nose against his before moving to greet the female the same way. She smiles and kisses my cheek and whispers “A human greeting for you sister.”

I chuckle and pat her head than turn to Tira and motion to her. “Lead the way friend.”

She laughs again and shakes her head “To think a wolf pack coming to my lands as friends and not, well I’ll explain later but I will say, at least I am no longer bored.”