History of the Tertorae clan

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by Terry Harvey-Chadwick

Asrelia's Age, The God Time

In Asrelia's Age gods and people walked the world together, and neither could tell which was which. Our ancestor was the First Ancestor, called Grandfather Life. With Grandmother Life he had hundreds of children who, in turn, had hundreds of their own. The cosmos was at peace, but slowly awareness woke. Our ancestor's awareness awoke when she realised that she was different from other people, for she was among the Treasured People. Our ancestor lived in the beautiful, luxurious vaults and rooms of Asrelia. She grew up with the Rich Swan, one of the Earth Treasures of Asrelia.

The First Ceremony

At first no-one was ever hungry, for Asrelia contained enough food for everyone. But suddenly, some people were! Ernalda stopped the hunger by teaching people how to do the right ceremonies. These allowed people to find her sister, Esrola, who had been trapped behind a terrible mask by Angdertha. This was the first worship, one of the actions that separated mortals from deities. Our ancestor led the Sacrifice Dance, which our women still perform every year in the spring and discovered the secrets of preparing the bounty of Ernalda.

The Age of Stagnation

The Bright Emperor enslaved everyone and demanded absolute obedience that was little more than death-of-the-soul. But there was once force he could not control, and that was freedom. One little freedom became many, and they began to bring bigger freedoms. Finally, the great sky lay upon the fertile earth and begot Umath Ever-changing, the First Storm, who would bring change to the Bright Emporers stagnant realm.

The Umath Roots

Umath was an upstart god at first, with only a few crazy and dangerous brothers at his side. Gradually he gathered gods and men to his band and, with their help, reshaped the world. Our ancestors were one of the first mortals to help Umath when he separated the sky and earth, and was instrumental in this first act of violence.

The Storm Tribe Age

Umath's youngest and wisest son, Orlanth, made the world as it is today. He married Ernalda, formed the Storm Tribe, and established the first laws and customs that made us what we are today.

Orlanth is the King of the gods, whom men follow and women desire, and around whom the winds flock. Where the Bright Emperor sought to control people through fear, force and hollow laws, Orlanth gathered his people through force of virtue, character and example. Our ancestors were amongst the first to recognise Orlanth's greatness and followed him from the start.

The Wedding of Orlanth and Ernalda

Orlanth wooed and wed Ernalda. They invited the whole world to attend their nuptials and, since our ancestors were amongst their friends, they attended. When they entered the sacred space, they were asked if they wanted to stand on the right (Orlanth) or the left (Ernalda) side. Our ancestors chose to guard the sacred circle, with Elmal.

The First Ancestor Clans

At Ernaldas urging Orlanth made the Storm Tribe. He recognised the First Ancestor Clans. Grandfather Life was killed, so all of his descendants are doomed to die as well. The First Ancestor Clans recognise the ultimate distinction between gods and humans. Our ancestors joined the Urlanthing clan, the people of Urlanth, as primal member of the Storm Peoples.

The Vingkotling Age

Vingkot was the first human to rule over many clans. The Vingkotlings were great, with full baskets and fat herds, and always victorious over their foes. The people set up many altars, where the gods lived, and so established the relations of worship. King Vingkot led and sent many expeditions against the enemies who wanted to take it away. Vingkot is still worshipped for the great deeds he did, and for his leadership of the Storm Tribe when Orlanth went away.

Ancient Enemies

The foes of the Vingkotlings were many. As time went on we found ourselves fighting the same foes over and over again. One enemy in particular, the Darkness People, or Trolls, plagued our people consistently during this era, eating everything on our lands that they came across. Our ancestors fought these enemies so often we developed special magic to combat them. Even today our clan does not get on very well with the descendants of our Ancient Enemy, and our Wyter is especially effective against them.

The Gods War

The Gods War was long and destructive. When the gods clashed mountain ranges fell, the sky broke, and the earth was torn to shreds, like a rabbit in the jaws of a wolf. Our ancestors fought a lot, for those who did not fight died, and have no descendants today. Legendary heroes fought in those ages. They are many, although some are unknown outside our clan, who tell their tales. Our clan had a friendship with Helamakt, the Great Defender, helping him at the Battle of Ur Ain, where he drove the salty gods of the sea onwards like froth in a storm. Due to this ancient friendship we now maintain a small temple to Helamakt in the High Hills, near the Upper Heights Stead. Our clan wyter is able to draw upon the fighting storm and blow our foes over, making them easier to defeat.

The Three Red Peak Battle

One time among many, Vingkot travelled north to fight Dara Happa. Although he had done this before, this time he only took a few warriors with him, because he wanted to travel secretly. He took the three sons of Orand, and it was good that he did, because each if them saved the warband when they were in danger of failure. Our clan is one of those few whose ancestors participated in this great raid. Umak Redshot was a son of the warrior Orand, who rode in the warband of Kodig Vingkotsson. Umak made a special sacrifice to Orlanth, as shown by the scars cut in all the men of our clan. He used this power when Jagrekriand attacked. He had time for one shot, and it struck the enemy god hard. All of our warriors are able to learn this feat.

Subject Peoples

When the world fell apart, Vingkot welcomed refugees and reorganised the devastated clans, so that all might survive. He asked us to shelter the people of a ruined clan but let us choose what status to give them. We took in the Korsto Viv, the People of the Rivers, and gave them equal rights: the farmers became carls and the warriors became weapon thanes. Because of this, our clan does not agree with the taking of thralls.

The Chaos Age

Eventually, the Great Darkness descended on Glorantha. Many gods died, others slept, and even Orlanth abandoned his people to try to save the world. Everything in the universe seemed hostile, and was at least uncaring.

At last, only monsters, demons, formless Chaos, and their victims remained. Many were so terrible that nothing could withstand them. Clans, tribes, kingdoms and nations disappeared in this terrible time. Some things could be resisted with fire, magic and spear, and all people alive today are descended from someone who survived this time. During this time many beings came to us, feigning friendship, only to betray us, so many times that our Wyter has a sensitivity to feigned friendships, and is able to warn us when these false friends arrive.

Everyone who survived the Great Darkness did so because of a survival secret they learned. Most were saved by a living god, who protected them until Orlanth and Ernalda returned. Our clan survived by always moving on when danger threatened, by skating away on the ice. Since then all people in our clan have been good at skating on ice.

I Fought We Won

The entire world was on the brink of destruction and it came down to one person to resist Wakboth, the Devil. That person did, and so the world was saved. You learned in the initiation rites of our clan that you were that individual. Heort is the one who teaches you this, and so you are called a Heortling. Heort reorganised the people onto new clans. Many people came together. Although they became one people they had different traditions and ways of governing themselves. Our clan decided to emulate Orlanth and formed a Storm Ring, first established when Orlanth gave out the great God Treasures to his followers.

The Silver Age

King Heort guided our people out of the Great Darkness. He re-instituted sacrifice to the gods, organised people into clans, gave out the new laws for society, and arranged the first new tribe. In his honour we became Heortlings, part of the Koroltes Tribe, which no longer exists. He also arranged alliances with all the nearby Elder Races and formed the Unity Council. The Unity Council of Silver Age Dragon Pass was a unique and extraordinary event. Many ancient feuds and hostilities were set aisde for the sake of harmony. The unity allowed the peoples to cast off Chaos and to thrive in comparison with the rest of the miserable Darkness-plagued world.

For the first time ever humans and the Elder Races worked co-operatively. During this time of peace and co-operation our ancestors made alliances with the Mostali, whom we had previously called dwarves. The Mostali taught us the proper gestures and words to make a Mostali greeting, so that they will meet with us if it seems profitable or harmless.

The Hero Age: History

The unity between peoples established during the Silver Age did not last forever. Terrible things happened, and great wars destroyed whole lands and races. Some peoples remembered the old ways to live in the new world, and so they survived.

Lokamayadon

Orlanth always encouraged personal ambition. No-one thought there could be too much personal advancement until a priest called Lokamayadon took upon himself the powers of High Storm. He tried to replace Orlanth, peacefully at first and then by killing all who worshipped God. Most people went along with him because he was powerful, but most Heortlings resisted him, although it cost them greatly. Our ancestors fought the High Storm people when it was safe to do so, and the clan wouldn't be endangered too much. All Heortlings hate Lokamayadon and what he did, and when Lokamayadon's name is mentioned our clan automatically makes the sign of protection from evil gods with our right hands.

Arkat

Lokomo helped create a new god called Gbaji, which brought Chaos back. It would have destroyed the world except that the great hero Harmast Barefoot performed the Lightbringers Quest and brought back the destroyer of Gbaji. Arkat was the destroyer. He was a man who had lived before, a sorcerous demon in the form of a man, or maybe just a trickster. Arkat helped everybody, then betrayed them. He deserted his army when it fought Dara Happa. He left behind Durega, his lover; and he finally even left Harmast in the clutches of the She Shadows, his worst foe, so that he could betray the whole human race and become a troll. Everyone hates Arkat, even though he destroyed Gbaji and saved the world. Our clan suffered terribly at his hands, but we survived, even though we sent all of our warriors to fight with him.

The Empire of Wyrm's Friends

During the Imperial Age we were approached by a dragon, in the shape of a human, but with the soul of a dragon. The dragons had always been hostile or, at the best, utterly uncaring, but now it offered to share knowledge with us. Orlanth has always been the dragon-slayer, but many priests of other clans embraced these new ways and formed the EWF. Our ancestors resisted the dragons, for we would never believe them, although it cost us dear. Since that time we have always had reason to fear dragons and their kin.

The Dragonkill War

The EWF was corrupted by dragon powers and finally destroyed when the Dragonewts destroyed its leaders. Afterwards, several great armies invaded dragon Pass from the north, east and south. After decades of warfare, hundreds of dragons (including the great dragons) appeared, some as big as the sky, and ate every human being they found, hostile or otherwise. A few incredibly lucky people survived, said to number only en humans. Any hatred people felt for the dragons was replaced by unconquerable fear. We learnt that knowledge isn't harmful in itself, only the way it is used.

After the Dragonkill a series of Death runes were carved in stone and erected as the Cross Line, beyond which lay a land forever cursed. "Beyond that line is dragon, this side is us. None may cross except to make pain, horror and terrible death." For centuries, no-one even went close to it. Anyone who dared to cross was never heard from again.

Historical Memory

After the Dragonkill our ancestors lived in Volsaxar (Northern Heortland). We were a part of the Volsaxi Tribe, whose kings had no dynasties and operated in the old way, as rings. The clans were independent, always feuding with the Trolls of the Shadow Plateau and Kitori Wilds. Whitewall is a famous stronghold of Volsaxar, and Smithstone is the ancient capital.

However, our kings were themselves vassals of Ezkankekko, a troll demigod who lived in a huge volcanic palace on the Shadow Plateau. Ezkankekko ruled with justice and indifference, and generally kept the peace.

The Resettlement

In the year 1313ST a man swan ashore and began to cause trouble in the land of Kethaela. He confronted the Only Old One, Ezkankekko, and killed him. Thereafter, the usurper called himself The Pharaoh. The Pharaoh went throughout Kethaela and established his rules over the native peoples. When he came to our kingdom he used deceitful magic to overthrow our king, and Heortland became part of his kingdom and civil war broke out. At the same time as this was happening we heard that the lands to the north, in forbidden Dragon Pass, were once more open to humans. We decided to explore these new lands, so we planned and, when we were properly equipped and prepared we found some good new land and settled in Dragon Pass. As clans settled they began to fight one another. Some were conquered, some received tribute from dozens of others, and some formed alliances. We joined early into the Cinsina tribe and gained prestige in the tribe.

King Sartar

About 150 years ago a man named Sartar came to our land of warring tribes. His ways were new and strange, but his magic was powerful. He made this place into the kingdom that now bears his name. He gained most admiration from us when he immolated himself and rose into the sky, leaving behind The Flame of Sartar, which continued burning without fuel until the Lunars extinguished it.

The Lunar War

High King Sartar exchanged ambassadors with the king of Tarsh to promote peace and trade. Men and women in red robes came after his apotheosis, and for the first time people in Sartar learned about the Lunar goddess. The Red Moon had risen in 1247, a bad omen that surprised and frightened the Heortlings. Everyone became uncomfortable when they learned that the missionaries worshipped the red thing in the sky, for all the Sartarite prophesies warned that the Red Moon was a foe. Nonetheless, the Red Goddess' missionaries came through Sartar, seeking converts to her way. We gave the missionaries hospitality at this time. However, the Lunar Empire conquered Tarsh many years ago , then they tried to conquer Sartar as well. The great High King Tarkalor led everyone to many years of victory in battles with the Lunar Empire, and we fought honourably, but not insanely, as we also had the overall welfare of the clan to think of. Then there was the terrible defeat at Grizzly Peak, and the Lunars won the war. They occupied Sartar and closed down all the city temples of Orlanth, levied taxes, and enslaved those they deemed criminals or rebels. They imposed many laws that were impossible to obey, just so they had excuses to tax the clans and arrest anyone. We chose to bide our time until a good day for rebellion came.

With no Orlanthi king on the throne of Sartar, many of our countrymen took advantage of the opportunity to settle old grudges or steal from neighbours. The tribes fell to fighting one another. However, along with some other clans, we attacked the Telmori, a werewolf race that eats people and has never worshipped our gods. Cattle were given and taxes lifted to all those who gave aid.

Last year many clan chieftains and tribal kings, led by the Vingan warrior Kallyr Starbrow, took part in an uprising against the Lunars. We said that it was not the time for rebellion, but some of our warriors fought, even though we forbade them to.

When the Lunars conquered Sartar they sent assassins, demons and gods to kill all the heirs of the house of Sartar. However, during Starbrows Rebellion an heir was found in the south, a scholar named Temertain. He is now prepared to be the legendary "Philosopher King". His dynastic blood has been proven, but he could not light the flame of Sartar that the Lunars extinguished in 1602. So far, his philosophy seems to be close collaboration with the Lunars. However, even Lunar supporters know that he is weak, just a Lunar puppet. We hate him, but there is nothing to be done. The Lunars have made the Durulz scapegoats for the Kallyr's rebellion, and put a bounty on their heads. However, due to our ancient friendship with the river, we have never killed a Durulz just to make our lives a bit easier.

Recent Events

1607

The neighbouring Maboder tribe are wiped out by the Telmori. Cinsina warriors join Duke Jomes Wulf in conquering Telmori. The Maboder lands are given to Jomes Wulf and renamed Wulfsland.

1613: Starbrow Rebellion

The Dinacoli tribe attack Dangerford but are beaten off by Cinsina warriors. The Lunars march on Dangerford and the Decamoli surrender with good terms. Dangerford is now occupied by Lunar garrison, although the Decamoli still live there and collect tolls from river traffic.

The Blueberry and Gorde clans are forcibly reassigned to the Cinsina tribe from the Culbrea by the Lunars, after Starbrow's Rebellion is crushed.