Rift: Travels Through Telara Part 17 - Iron Pine Peaks
Join Guardian scribe, Padraic, and his trusty, yet slow-witted lackey Bran, as they travel the length and breadth of Telara documenting the people, places, history, and folklore of the world. Before its all gone.
Travels Through Telara
Greetings, dear reader. It is a glorious day in Potters Field. The sun is shining. Bran is off picking strawberries with a pretty young girl he has been admiring and Barik is in a supremely gregarious mood. So much so that he wants to tell me a bit about his home, the Iron Pine Peaks. A perfect fit for my journals, so Im going to let him do the talking and I will simply write down what he says verbatim.
Its cold, he says over a mug of mead. Ice, freezing frigid cold. Colder than a witchs t**s. The likes of you would freeze your skinny bones off. Youd be off, crying back to your mummy as soon as the night comes. It gets into outsiders bones, see. Freezes them from the inside out. But even with all that, its beautiful, unnerstand? Theres a majesty to those frozen peaks. A constant stream of powdered snow that blows with the wind, like clouds scudding through the sky. Giant pine trees grow wherever they can, eking out a living in the crags and rocks. Tough. Thats what ye need to be to survive up there. Hardy.
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He paused, taking a sip from his mug.
What happened? I asked. What changed?
Crucia happened, thats what. This was way back, during the Age of Dragons, right? She wanted a home close to the sky, and he sat back with a proud grin on his face Iron Pine Peaks is the highest range in Telara. You know that?
I admitted that I did know that. He looked a bit disappointed.
Anyway, Crucia and her armies moved through the mountains, enslaving the people. But not just normal slavery, you hear? She enslaved their minds as well. There was nothing they could do to resist. Crucia invaded their heads, corrupting their very souls. She forced them to build a magnificent city that reached up to the clouds, and when it was fianlly finished, she lived there with her slaves, forcing them to dance for her amusement while the icy winds blew through the open corridors, while snow built up beneath open windows, freezing doors on their hinges.
I sighed and let him carry on. He finally finished up his rant and collapsed back into his chair. I waited for him to continue. He opened his mouth, raised a finger in the air, then closed his eyes and started snoring.
Right. So I will continue.
It wasnt, as Bork says, the common people who rose up. At least not at first. It was the Warlord Börte who was responsible for that. With her allies, the mage Phynnious Roth-mann and Ekkehard, Shaman of the Valnir, they led the armies against Crucias Storm Legion. Börte is now numbered as one of the greatest generals in the history of Telara. For her deeds at Iron Pine Peaks. She and her allies marched a force of Telarans into the mountains. They were outnumbered four-to-one by Crucias armies. Börtes army faltered at the sight of Crucias fighters laid out before them on the snow-covered plain, line upon line, column upon column.
But Börte didnt let that stop her. She saw the doubt and she immediately led her army into the fray. Alas, Crucia swept them aside like leaves in a winter wind, and then she picked through any survivors, and gave them a slow and very public death.
Börte saw the effect this had on her soldiers. Not only the defeat, but the Storm Legion had Infiltrators in their camp, Infiltrators who started to whisper of surrender, of giving in. When Börte saw what was happening she lined up her troops and stood before them. Luckily for us, her words were recorded so that future generation could hear of her inspiration.
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Our despair is Crucias strength, so she wants to break us, to see us submit. But in standing against her now, we have already won! We are girded against her victory by our unbroken spirits. We stand next to each other, emboldened by hope: hope that our children will fear no planar whelp, and will only know of the Blood Storm as proof their ancestors were strong!
In a not-so-distant place, my father led the Shalastir to drive Crucia back! Today, I bid you do the same! Hold fast to this world! Rip Telara from Crucias claws and break her fingers so she cannot grasp at us again! Ride, my brothers! Fight, my sisters! CRUSH THEM!
Her army roared in triumph at her words. She turned and rode into battle, her soldiers right behind her. They fought off and defeated the Storm Legion, and in a feat of sorcery never since equaled, Phynnious Rothmann and Ekkehard trapped Crucia inside her city, then shouted incantations that banished every shred of heat from the air. The valley filled with ice, pierced only by the topmost spires of the city.
Crucia was trapped inside a prison of her own making.
And since that day, Iron Pike Peaks has been cloaked in snow and ice, an eternal winter gripping the land in its cruel talons.
The colds in yer blood! Borik suddenly shouted, jerking forward in his chair. I squealed slightly in fright, but he had already fallen back to sleep again.