In the lands of Varden, a good lord rules. He modestly calls himself Duke of Varden, Lord Trebon, son of Terwin. He is seated in the small mountain castle Sommerfell, looking out over the valley he owns. It’s a small duchy, only consisting of the valley of Varden and some barren territories to the northwest, where civilization quickly breaks into chaos. Most of the valley is forest and peaceful villages lie scattered in the lands. Some prominent figures also reside here, like the ancient treespirit Ergonwint and the crazy wizard Tacitus has a seperate piece of the forest. To the north it is bordered by mountains where Dwarves live – but also orcs, ogres and the like. To the west and southwest, it is bordered by the great forest of Ellendil. Though Elves and Dwarves are not known as peacefull races, in Varden there exists a delicate balance of power that has quite history.
History of Varden
Some centuries ago, the great-grandfather of Trebon, Isewald the Magnificent ruled over Varden. To obtain warmth and fire, the people of Varden have always found there resort in coal. And in those days, coal was abundant. Coal mines could be found almost on every mountainside and the people of Varden could be said to have become wealthy because of it. But then disaster struck. Apparently, a demi-demon had been asleep in one of the mountains for many centuries. But the continuous mining efforts had awoken it from its slumber, and ofcourse, this creature was up to no good. It quickly climbed up to the surface and rained down death to the Vardeners. Although Varden had an army, it did not pose any threat to the demi-demon and they were forced to flee. It even destroyed the then capital of Varden, Somset!
When Isewald saw his hall and his town burned to the ground, he sent out a message to all neighbouring nations. The message spread quickly, and, although Varden could not count of the support of the other duchys – since wars raged between the nations even then – the Dwarves and Elves did respond with adequate actions. From the woods came many archers and even some Elven magicians and from the mountains emerged hundreds of Dwarven veterans who had fought and defeated many of these creatures before. Together with the remaining human army, they made a sizeable force, set out to vanquish this hellish beast. And so they did: the battle was fierce and intense and lasted for multiple days. Many were killed. Ultimately, it was the human leader Isewald who slew the beast with a mighty blow, but was killed himself as well, when the terrible beast fell on him, crushing him instantly. It was then and there, the humans, Elves and Dwarves made a pact. They would not threaten eachothers lands anymore and if another abomination of this kind was ever found, the humans could count on both the Elves and the Dwarves to stand by their side to rid the world of its presence once again.
Today, the blade of the beast is still visible, untouched by time, jammed between the rocks. It is a site of pilgrimage and once a year, on the day of the battle, a ritual and feast is held at the site, in remembrance of Isewald the Magnificent and to renew the pact made so long ago. And each year it is still visited by descendants of the Elven and Dwarven leaders. The skull of the terrible beast hangs above the throne of the lord of Varden.
The Duke’s Family
The Duke has two sons: Borgnir, aged 22, and Adewolf, aged 19. They are strong and with a good heart. But will one be able to let the other rule or will Varden perish in an internal conflict? Will they be able to keep their heads cool or will they plunge Varden into an all-out war with Aduran? Lord Trebon hopes the best, but he cannot foresee the future of Varden.