What follows are the words of the Dulenirron - a manuscript completed by an anonymous monk of Chronicler not long after the beginning of the New World. It was this work which served as the basis of the extensive and well regarded histories of Azura Glyndolyn, scholar of the realms. Believed to have been penned around the year 40 of the New World, the Dulenirron (an Old Form Kormyrian word meaning "the sadness") describes the fall of the Old World and the light of hope that gave rise to the New World.
Penned on June 17th, of 1206
One thousand years before the fall, The Empire of Kormyre shone brightly upon the face of Arawyn. Nine kingdoms strong, the Empire was sturdy in arms and passionate at heart. The workings of men have never been brighter, the harvests never so bountiful, nor the people so blessed as in that day. Yea but the sun never pauses in her course from the brilliance of noon to the gloom of night, and thus it is with the mortal world, too.
It began with the arrival of the hobgoblins. Stronger and wiser than their craven goblinoid cousins, the hobgoblins established an empire to rival that of the human Kormyre, replete with dark, dingy, walled cities, raucous with the gibbering of goblinoid voices. Many of the goblinoid clans long known around the lands of Kormyre willingly swore allegiance to the hobgoblins, while others were subjugated by whip and sword, and still others were slaughtered in contempt and driven in straggling bands to the reaches of the Northern Wastes, where the men of the Frost offered them no welcome and drove them by force of steel to the bleak landscape of the Ice Plains.
Across many miles of desolate flats the goblinoids traveled, arriving after many weeks at the feet of great mountains formed of ice. Among these mountains there dwelled a strange and horrid beast that would bring forth the ruin of the Old World. His name was Uelrog, and upon seeing him for the first time, the goblinoids knelt on the icy ground and paid homage to his greatness. Uelrog’s visage resembled that of an orc, only more monstrous by far. Taller than a man by three or four lengths, Uelrog had four massive arms, three fiendish eyes, and a great, gaping maw lined with spiny, rending teeth. He was a beast heretofore unknown to the world of Arawyn.
The goblinoids settled there, and served Uelrog patiently. They managed to find just enough food and stay just warm enough to continue to survive and prepare arms for the day when their master would lead them down from the ice, below the Northern Wastes, and through the lands of men, and of elves, and of dwarves, and of hobgoblins. After the passing of many moons, Uelrog rose from his throne and bade his servants to follow, and conquer.
As Uelrog’s army emerged from the purgatory of the Ice Plains, a great storm – the result of warring among the deities, and the madness of one, Malikar – came upon the midlands and lashed the cities and forests with lightning, thunder, and a deluge. The priests of men and elves pleaded for salvation, but the fury of Malikar and the storm he had created could not be abated.
Uelrog arrived at the threshold of this storm, the ranks of his army now swollen with all manner of foul beasts and malicious creatures that had observed his passing and sensed that a dark hour had come. His army quivered at the might of the storm, but Uelrog merely laughed at it, and reveled in the chaos and destruction it had wrought. Some say that Uelrog called the storm his friend; others say he claimed it as his own doing. Regardless, his army trembled no longer, and with a murderous roar, they descended upon the midlands.
The lands of the gnomes were the first to fall, and then the elves. Distracted by the great storm, the elven sentinels were caught unaware by Uelrog’s army, and their graceful, magnificent kingdom was soon razed. South of the slaughter, twelve riders – the elders of elvenkind – departed for Kormyre, hoping to rally the arms of men to their cause.
As the elven cities smoldered and Uelrog reformed his army, the elders arrived in the lands of men. Their alarm was heeded, and messengers dispatched to the dwarves and the hobgoblins. The dwarves consented to help and sent many of their stoutest warriors, though the hobgoblins demurred, perhaps untrusting of men, perhaps unafraid for themselves.
The great storm raged and a blanket of fog draped the lands as the army of men, dwarves, and what remaining elves could be mustered marched north to confront Uelrog by the city of Arkovnia. They arrived to find Arkovnia sacked and burned, and an ambush awaiting them. The battle was long and desperate, and though the men, dwarves, and elves gave a heroic accounting, defeat loomed ever closer as the battle wore on for a fortnight and more.
Then upon the field came a great surprise - the legions of the hobgoblins. The lines of Uelrog’s army buckled and victory over the dark horde seemed imminent. As if signaling what was inevitable, Uelrog mysteriously departed the field, leaving his army to collapse in the absence of his might and leadership. Through the fog and rain could be heard the trumpet calls of men, and the songs of triumph.
A great rift then tore the land asunder, separating for ages to come those that once lived as neighbors. Uelrog, the Ravager, was consumed by this rift, and of his fate, nothing is known. The tattered remnants of his army withdrew from the midlands and marched the desolate journey beyond the Northern Wastes and across the Ice Plains once again, there to await their master’s return.
The storm had abated and the army of the Ravager had been defeated, but the hours of darkness were not concluded. The misery and ruin only adopted new countenances, and fashioned evil anew. A plague visited the lands, as the ruins and decay of the great storm and the war choked the air with death. Men and elves perished in great numbers, and everywhere there was disorder.
And so, the hobgoblin legions returned, this time to conquer those whom they had fought beside so recently. They captured the human cities of Avondale and Vollka. Though the plague began to affect the ranks of their legions, they pressed on, until their ambition took them to the gates of Covens Keep, the great dwarven stronghold. The dwarves had not suffered from the plague, being hardier creatures than men or elves, and they quickly overwhelmed the hobgoblins and drove them back, liberating Vollka and Avondale and finally sending the hobgoblins limping back from whence they came, carrying the dreaded plague with them. The disease did more of its mortal work there, and great ruin came to the hobgoblins.
Amid all the gloom and devastation and disease, there prayed a man known only as the Silent Knight. It was to he alone that the deities finally spoke, finally offered an end to days of great ills and woe. Buried beneath an ancient jade tower, the Silent Knight discovered the Arduenna stone, an artifact of the deities. While other men marveled at the stone and wondered about its purpose, the Silent Knight knew, for he had received the prophecy in his prayers. He bade the others to leave the tower, and then placed the stone into the base of a great pedestal. In a blinding flash, the jade tower erupted, casting shards all over the land, and releasing a healing wind that purged the land of disease and soothed the hearts of men. The Silent Knight himself was gone, his life a sacrifice to the hopes of the future.
And so in the ashes of the Old World, began a New World.