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In the Ruins of An Empire

"They say that all things must end, and I may be an old naive man but I like to think that even the end is just the dawn of a new beginning. I am not a scholar or one trained in the arcane arts, but I do remember my lectures in the temple all those years ago. Before The Four left us to fend for ourselfs. Before the beginning of the end. Before all what we thought we had gained was lost once more.

I am old now and there is not many of us left. First came the great Khans of the Yazak Steppes with their great hordes of orc riders and for years our eastern borders were under siege. Slowly draining us of blood, of money and of able-bodied men. Our rightous ways slowly lost as we succumbed to treachery, deceit and greed. Fragmented and torn asunder we were a house divided.

And then they came. The Great War-Host of Hule came from those far-away eastern mountain provinces and were upon us like a swarm of hungry locust devouring all that it encountered. We did not have a chance. Their host were too numerous and their magic too strong. We were constantly retreating. We were constantly defeated. Constantly praying to our Immortals to bring salvation. But our pleas were not heard, and in the end we died. We died as a nation and died as a people, and the dream that once was Zuyevo - the Jewel of the West - died along side us. Thirsty for our grain and our gold they staid but instead of expanding their borders to the West they were satisfied with making sure we would never again rise as a nation. They broke our Mother Church. They outlawed The Four. They played greedy warlord and prince against each other, and then they shifted their attention to the war in the East against mighty and magical Glantri.

We were no more. Shattered and defeated we struggled to survive and gather the few of us who had lived through the onslaught. We dared not dream of the old days because the memories would pain us too much. Instead we lived amongst the ruins of an empire and the dream that was once Zuyevo.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Forgive an old man for his mad ramblings and I promise to try and concentrate now. Listen carefully and hear a tale of the End, and then perhaps - who knows - you will be the new Beginning ..."