Tales of Arcania I

In these series of write-ups, I will try to share small stories of various characters that are in the D&D campaign I created a few years ago. The campaign needed a whole world to be created in order to fully function and that meant creating characters, factions, plots and all sorts of other things. Naturally, there are stories within it, legends of the past, that players will not be able to ever see or experience unless they were to read it somewhere. The Tales of Arcania will serve the purpose of giving this more in-depth look at the world of Arcania.

Astalar’s Dilemma

Part I

“Darn orcs and their persistence!” yelled Astalar, as he furiously went back and forth in his chambers. Lieutenant Yldir held her words as she saw her commander continue to yell out things. “We need a plan and we need it now lieutenant. We cannot let them take this fort. If they do, the city will fall in a matter of days” he said waving his hands in a nervous manner, pointing at the huge map in front of them which showed the entire field of Yrilien. The map was filled with little statues of knight looking pawns and others that resembled monsters of all kinds. “We have nothing!” he yelled and then paused for a second. “And we will die with nothing…” he continued, while lowering his head and closing his eyes.

His despair was not without reason. The very things he swore to protect since he became a soldier, were now in danger of getting completely destroyed. The families, the traditions and all other things that the Tiefling peacekeepers founded in the land of Yrilien were going to perish at the hands of savages. The orcs had been ravaging the lands around Yrilien for years now, but the Yrilien guard was able to fend them off every single time. Only this time, the mages that held the walls around the lands suddenly vanished and an attack from all fronts was now imminent.

“I knew better than to trust humans, they are all the same. I always said I would not be like them. I would not see race but instead, what is in a person’s heart. How little I knew back then” he grumbled as he tried to understand why the mages disappeared in just a day. “Surely someone was involved in that commander. Surely they did not betray us. Why would they do so anyway?” asked Yldir. The tall and beautiful red-skinned tiefling was battle-scarred from all the battles she had fought alongside Astalar. Despite her bright blue eyes and the beauty that she hid below her helmet most of the time she walked around, Astalar knew what she had been through so he trusted her to a great extent. “So be it Yldir, yet we still have a situation in our hands. One without a solution” he argued as he continued to scour the battle-map before him. Yldir approached Astalar and put her hand on his shoulder. “Then we die, so that others may live.”

The plan was to save as much time as possible for the people of Yrilien to find their way out of the city and escape the massacre that was to come. Astalar’s finest warriors would hold the line for as long as they could. A heroic decision and a heroic death. Astalar did not believe in heroic deaths though. He had left his home long ago and after all these years of insurmountable efforts, he was able to build a future for his race as well as himself in this beautiful, tiefling ruled city. But the hate of the other races towards tieflings was so great, that they would not aid them, even in their time of need. Astalar had sent out messengers to ask for help, but none had answered.

“Let us ride then, my commander” said Yldir as she put on her helmet and started walking out of the chambers. Astalar walked to the large window behind him, gazed upon the city before him and after drawing a deep breath, he also grabbed his helmet and started walking. The time had come.

The orcs had come in the thousands. None had expected them to be that many, let alone as well equipped as they were. Ballistas, battering rams and all sorts of other war-things were on the once peaceful fields of Yrilien. The city was under siege. The city, was also empty though. The order had been given hours before the orcs had arrived and the only population the city now had, was the few hundred elite warriors. All tieflings, all fighting for the same cause. Astalar and Yldir standing at the helm of the battalion, ready to take on anything.

The battle that ensued that day, was something that would not be written down in any book. Not unless I had written about it at least, but then again, who reads these. I expect this book to rot in the back of Whistledale’s library anyway. Nonetheless, little is known as to what happened to Astalar that day. Legends say though, that Yldir gazed into her commander’s eyes before drawing her last breath and yelled her last few fateful words. The words that would mark Astalar, as well as the tiefling people, for years to come.

“Live in pride and die with honor, my tiefling brother.”

Astalar saw most of his brethren fall in combat. He managed to slice through a dozen more orcs before he was cut down himself. The cut was so deep that he could barely find strength to say anything in his final moments. His eyes just closed and an all so familiar darkness covered all he could see. He opened his eyes again and all he saw was a dirt road behind him and the back of a moving wagon that he slowly felt he was lying in. He could hear the horse’s hooves behind him as they traversed the path he was taking and he was already wondering what had happened.

Astalar soon realized he was gravely wounded and he could barely move his arms or legs. He tried to look down and all he could see was parts of his bloodied armor as the rest of his body was covered with a grey blanket. Another sort of curiosity overtook him quite fast and he snapped his head around to see who it was that was guiding the small wooden wagon. That is when he saw the bright white eyes of a human with long white hair.

“You are finally awake my tiefling friend. Hold tight, we got a long journey ahead,” the man exclaimed in a quite youthful for his looks voice. “But… who are you? And how did you find me? Why did you save me?” said Astalar in a hurried manner, as if he couldn’t get answers fast enough to satisfy he ever-growing curiosity. “Easy now my friend. I am sure you have a lot of questions but all you need to know for now,” he said in a very calm voice as he took a pause right after.

“I am Melor and, the stars… the stars are why I am here.”

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