As written by
Sage Thomas the Tamian
These are dark days for Tamia, so dark that we may never again see the light of day. A cloud of darkness, thick as smoke, clings to our fair city like a foul mist. Inside Tamia, it is almost perpetual night. Creatures most foul maraud, pillage, and kill at will. Yes, there are those who would stand and fight, but they cannot hold out much longer.
It was not always this way. Tamia, for many dozens of generations, was one of the most powerful cities in all of Eastern Olmran. Its citizens were learned and, in general, culturally advanced. Learning and knowledge flourished, prompting many sages and scholars to visit and make Tamia their home. From them came the workings of magic, refined enough for everyday use. Life was good in those days.
Then, without warning, a strange army riding under a red banner swept down on the town. Tamia held out for almost two years, but eventually the King laid aside his scepter, the staff of Niord, and surrendered to the new power: Kaid. Imperial Kaid, at that time, was an emerging culture from the sandy banks of the River Namm. Because Kaid lies in a veritable desert wasteland, the Kaidites were protected from enemy attack, until one day they burst forth in a conquering fury, and none in their path could withstand them.
The Kaidites brought with them their strange customs and gods. The supreme Tamian god, Niord, god of light and fury, was replaced with the warlike Helk. Ahrimal the forked-tongue had a temple right against the wall of the Palace itself. Tamian gods, save for Niord, were tolerated, so long as their worshippers did not cause any trouble. The Niordites continued to worship their god underground, however, even under severe persecution, for all knew that if their lost high god found his power, the Kaidites would be driven out.
The conflict was a hundred years in the making, and when it happened, events moved so quickly and in so bizarre a fashion that none could have foreseen it. The Kaidites brought their own gods with them, but they also brought the dark blight -- the Cult of Arnak. Arnak, whose mere name made every Kaidite, regardless of social station, quiver with fright. Arnak was true evil -- the high demon himself, some said. His worship was banned even from warlike Kaidite society, so strong was his evil.
Unfortunately, evil begets power, and the Cult of Arnak was no different. The cult came to fair Tamia soon after the Kaidite Occupation began. Many Kaidites, even those in the court of Duke Danius, joined and began worshipping the evil one. His cult grew in power until it was common knowledge that Arnak's evil was on the move in Tamia.
So, the supreme power struggle among the gods began, but not in a way that anyone foresaw. As Niord struggled against Helk and Ahrimal on the Celestial Plain, Arnak himself wove a mighty spell around the city of Tamia. The city was instantly plunged into darkness, as dark as night. Since that day, the sun has not shone in the city, save for a murky twilight that lasts for mere minutes a day. Arnak, then, in a mighty bid to claim Tamia for his own, loosed his Seven Servants upon the city.
Meanwhile, on the Celestial Plain, the three warring gods sensed their impending doom -- but much too late. Arnak had grown so much in power by casting his spell upon Tamia that they were powerless to stop him. Immediately, the three formed an alliance to rid the city and, indeed, all of Olmran from this scourge. Banned from the city they were bound to protect, Niord, Helk, and Ahrimal constantly strive to win back what once was theirs.
Arnak, pleased with his conquest, started his true invasion. As darkness fell over Tamia, he summoned his unholy army to raze the city. Each soul taken by his foul troops made him all the more powerful. Zombies, skeletons, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and his demons appeared from the nether planes to stake their claim to the city, all in the name of Arnak. Even humans, recruited from among the Kaidite and Tamian faithful of the Cult of Arnak gave up their souls to Arnak and became his necromancers and fighters. The hideous statue of Arnak in the temple glowed with an unholy light as his power grew.
Arnak's plan was clear. As soon as his army had harvested enough souls, he would have the power to make the jump from the nether planes to Tamia itself, forever unleashing his evil upon Tamia, Kaid, and eventually the entire continent of Olmran. It was not long -- weeks only -- until the city was nearly cleared of humans. Arnak wove his spells and prepared his corporeal body to make the journey from the nether plains to Olmran. His spell complete, he felt the pull of the magic take him toward the darkness at the end of the tunnel, the darkness surrounding Tamia.
But, just as he was about to reach his destination, Arnak felt his body and essence diverted to a different direction. Long he struggled against this power, but he had not enough strength to overcome the force. The between-planes spell had weakened him too much. In disbelief, he found himself funneled off to a flat, featureless plain of existence, where he was dumped unceremoniously on a barren, packed dirt ground on a world far from anywhere. At that moment, the glow of his statue in Tamia flickered, then dimmed, then was extinguished.
Arnak had fallen prey to the weakness of the cruel and strong -- he had underestimated his enemies. Individually, Helk, Ahrimal, and Niord were no match for Arnak; but together, their strength was more than the evil demon god could withstand. They used all of their combined life force in diverting Arnak to his prison. But so drained were the three from their exertion that they had not the strength to lift the evil spell from Tamia. Still, they knew that without Arnak's opposition, the humans might defend themselves from the evil horde. Helk, Ahrimal, and Niord retired to their respective planes, licking their wounds and building strength for their triumphant return.
It took little time for Arnak's minions to understand what had happened. Bloodthirsty and power hungry, the Seven Servants of Arnak's unholy army -- the strongest zombie, the strongest skeleton, the strongest ghost, and so on -- quickly formed their own cults and began their own power struggles against the humans, and even against each other.
That remains the situation today. Tamia is under darkness, but its human inhabitants are effectively fighting back. The unholy army has been reduced to seven different groups, each led by a powerful undead. Each of these leaders is worshipped as a god, as Arnak's power is gone. The gods of the Kaidites and Tamians have retired from the fight, but will return someday to reclaim their own.
And yet, some say that when the torchlight hits it just right, a tiny glow can be seen emanating from the dull and lifeless statue of Arnak.
This is the history of this great and august city from the beginning until the present day. I, Sage Thomas, known as Thomas the Tamian, put forward this history in good faith and utmost objectivity.
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