Valdorian Age - Rising Power on the Frontier
For thousands upon thousands of years, the Drindrish held humanity in chains, using men and women as their slaves and treating them as little more than chattel. The inhuman race ruled all of Sarth, and they made for harsh masters. But from among men arose a hero to break the chains of slavery and lead his fellows to freedom.
Rise of Valdor
That man’s name was Valdor. He was born to a humble station, his parents farmers working to feed a tyrant who barely left them enough food for themselves and their child. As the boy neared his tenyear time, the tyrant took young Valdor from his family and gave made him a blacksmith’s apprentice. Even at that young age, Valdor had greater strength than most men, and all could see he would grow to become a giant. In his master’s smithy Valdor was forced to make weapons for the tyrants – the same weapons the Drindrish used to keep men in chains – and the work rankled him.
By sixteen, the boy had not just great strength, but also intelligence, charisma, and good looks – a thick head of black hair that still marks the Emperors of Valdoria, and blue eyes that smoldered with rage at his captivity. By seventeen, he had organized a revolt and killed his first Drindrish.
When he was eighteen, a yellow-bellied man betrayed his revolt. Captured by his enemies, Valdor went to work in the mines of the frigid south. Few men survived the gold mines of the Heavenspire Mountains, the sharp towering peaks that overlooked the Iceswept Ocean, and the Drindrish intended the rebellious slave to die there after a year or two. But he did not. Sending him to the mines was the last mistake the tyrants would make.
Valdor’s first uprising failed because its members were farmers and craftsmen whose hearts were filled with hate for their masters, but who had little taste for violence or skill with weapons. But the slaves who worked the Heavenspire Mountains were being punished for their crimes against their masters. They were men and women who had already struck out at the Drindrish – who hated the tyrants as much as Valdor hated them and had already proven themselves capable of inflicting harm on them. Valdor came among these slaves, and there he found the seeds of an army.
Despite the foul sorcery of the Drindrish, their dragon-riders, and their armies, Valdor and his fellow slaves defeated them in battle after battle.
The Old Gods favored their beloved son and stripped the Drindrish of their magic and caused their dragons to refuse to be roused from their dens. It fell to Valdor to kill the warriors in the Drindrish armies with sword and axe. He excelled at that task, and he needed no help from the gods at that task, and he needed no help from the gods to defeat the Drindrish armies in bloody-handed combat, for the divine had given him all the gifts he needed at his birth.
In the end, after twenty years of fighting, the Drindrish fled the world, sailing west in their gilded barges until they disappeared over the horizon. Then came the real task of forming an empire.
According to stories, the Valdorian Age began with the departure of the gods from this world. The gods are said to have left because of the murder of the last hero, Valdor, by his mistress. Whether or not this story is true, it is clear that if the gods are present in the world, they do not answer their prayers.
Growth of the Empire
The previous chapter covers much of the history of Valdoria since that time. Valdor founded his empire – the lands now called the Heartland – and later emperors expanded its territories. In the wake of the retreat of the Drindrish, the freed slaves outside of Valdoria formed their own nations, but these city-states and petty domains were scattered and unorganized. The emperors going upon their Tours found little opposition to the Empire’s expansion. Only later centuries did these places band together and try to resist Valdoria, but by then the Empire was too large to be stopped – it had become the greatest nation mankind had ever known. And, in truth, many places preferred to join the Empire, for the rule of the emperors was just and what man doesn’t want to live free? But then the custom of the Tour came to an end and the Empire began to change… for the worse, many say.
Return to Valdoria