Webcomic profile: Monstroniverse lore
Monstroniverse lore
Everything you need to know about Monstroniverse (18+)
Last update: 28th May 2020, 4:09 PM
Graphic Violence / Gore Frequent Frontal Nudity Strong Sexual Themes
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This is the combination of all lore/monstrology articles about Monstroniverse, the fantasy universe I created as the basis for my stories and comics.

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Darksh1ne
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Darksh1ne
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Men of their word
Everything that is known about dwarves comes from the testimonies of slaves who managed to return to the surface from the Underworld captivity. An exceptional feat available only to the strongest, most persistent and luckiest of women. But it should be interesting to know that not all of these slaves escaped on their own - some of them have been released by dwarves as part of a deal. That’s right, while dwarves are generally considered as vile and cruel creatures, there is one thing that should not be overlooked – the dwarven honor and the sanctity of a deal.


Roles or slaves
Slaves serve different roles within dwarven cities and such roles are not given out randomly. Upon first arrival all slaves go through an interview and a series of tests. Each slave is given options, and according to their choice, they have to prove if they are able to perform the chosen tasks.
Naturally, every slave would choose the only option that provides a chance of regaining freedom – the so called ‘Racing slave’.
Anyone who chooses this option but fails to prove themselves during the following tests, or those who outright skip this option, are given roles or ‘Sex slave’ or ‘Test subject’.
After the assigned to a role, newly arrived slaves are sent to the salve auction, where they are bought out by the residents of the city. From now on each slave belongs to a particular dwarf, and can be presented passed on to another as a gift or as a trade good.


Sex slaves, Test subjects and Breeders
The role of a sex slave is available to beautiful women who are either too weak or too unskilled to perform as racing slaves. Needless to explain what happens to these slaves on a daily basis. But to be assigned to this role is not an irreversible fate. Throughout their service, sex slaves are provided with space, time and tools for training. Each sex slave may eventually ask for a re-qualification and to attempt to pass the tests for a Racing slave again.

The test subject role is left for children, for elderly and for those who don’t meet specific standards of beauty. Aka, having deformities, too small bust, too flat ass or is simply deemed too unattractive due to specific standards of beauty.
To return from this role, or to survive long within it, is a very difficult task. This role is, in fact, a death sentence. Test subjects are used in all kind of magical, alchemical and psychological experiments and rarely survive for long.
The only test subject who have a chance to escape this role are children, who are sometimes captured by goblins during their raids, and are sold at a significantly lower price. If such children manage to survive long enough and reach maturity, depending of their skills and appearance, they may be re-assigned into one of the previously mentioned roles.

The fourth role, ‘The breeders’ does not exist as an option available for slaves. It’s clear from the name what this role is all about. Slaves of other roles who misbehave or offend their masters, who attempt to escape or are caught sabotaging dwarven property and structures, may be forcefully assigned to this role. They are taken away into unknown sections of the city from where they will never return. Breeders no longer belong to a specific dwarf, but to the city itself. Considering that dwarven semen does not impregnate women the normal way, it is not known how exactly the Breeders are being impregnated. The popular theory involves special enchanting rituals performed on the breeders during insemination. This is believed to be the one and only way dwarves procreate.


Racing slaves. The motivation and the grand prize
Slaves of this role are the most privileged and beloved by the dwarven community. They form the heart of dwarven society, being the source of entertainment and profit. Slaves who have earned this role are used by their masters as participants in various competitions, sport events and shows. Those who manage to come victorious in competitions not only increase their own value but also provide their master with praise, recognition and fame. The fruits of the slave’s success are not go exclusively to the master who owns her. Racing slaves may gain their own fan bases, receive presents and gifts, may be granted extra freedoms, privileges and even access to places restricted to the rest. But all of those things are mere stepping stones on the path towards the main prize – true freedom.
Slaves of different roles are motivated differently. Test subjects and sex slaves are threatened with violent punishments and the demotion to the role of a Breeder if they disobey or don’t perform their duties well.
Racing slaves are motivated by the faint chance of gaining freedom to return to the surface. And to give this prize true value, dwarves are not shy to fulfill their promises and to actually set free the slaves who’ve earned it.
The conditions of freedom are set to each individual racing slave depending on their popularity and the desires of the dwarf who owns the salve. Some are tasked with winning a certain number of matches in a specific or different sport events. Some are praised for the sheer performance and fame, regardless of the placing.
Dwarves operate on the principal that all good things have to end (Except for their own lives and way their society works of course). They adore to see their favorite racing slaves rise to the top and to leave undefeated. For that reason alone the idea of setting the most successful and highly valuable slaves free is so natural within dwarves society. Dwarves hate to see great things degrade and fall out of grace.


Dwarven slug-race
There are many types of games and competitions dwarves organize for slaves to participate in. Some involve fighting monsters, some pitch teams of slaves against each other in various activities, from sexual and innocent to violent and bloody. But one event stands out as the most beloved and the most entertaining of all. The so-called Dwarven slug-race.
Traditionally held at least once a month in every dwarven city, this event gathers attention of the entire population. The day of this race is always a holiday and every dwarf, from young to old, is expected to witness it.


The preparations
Each dwarf can present only one racing slave for participation in this event. The number of participants may vary from a few dozen to a hundred, and if the number of slave-masters exceeds that, the event may be separated into several matches.
All participating girls are stripped naked and delivered to the race entrance. The only way to get into the racetrack is via two lifts - one at the start of the track, the other at the end.
There are several variations of track, each suited for a specific number of participants. Each track is presented as a tunnel with numerous turns, traps and obstacles, customized differently for each race (to minimize the advantage of those slaves who have managed to survive in previous races). Their length can be from 1 km to 5 kms, while the width of the tunnels may vary from wide to thin within the same track.

The main obstacle of each race, however, is presented by an addition of Underworld slugs, a sub-species related to the Carniworms from the surface who only dwells in the underworld. These slugs are known for their incredible breeding and growth speed. The eggs of these slugs are carefully delivered onto the track by servants exactly one day before the race begins. They are spread on the floor all along the track length, where the concentration of eggs increases closer to the finish line.
The eggs hatch within a few hours, and young slugs spread all around the tunnel, searching for food. Usually a large number of small mammals, mostly rats, are also left within the tunnel to ensure the presence of at least some slug matriarchs.

The race
Rules of the race are simple - the racing slaves must reach the other end of the track and the one who does it first wins. During the race the women have to run as fast as they can, while not only avoiding traps and slugs, but also expecting betrayal from other slaves as they have full freedom of action. Even magic is allowed. It’s a common occurrence for racing slaves to be intentionally pushed into the traps or slugs, but if noticed, may damage the reputation of the racing slave. Unless, of course, that is the kind of reputation she and her master are intentionally working towards.

The master of the victorious slave receives a solid reward and as a bonus, the right to claim the slave who comes to the finish last as his own.

There are special enchanted spheres installed across the track. They record everything happening during the race and can be viewed live by slave masters, and even distributed via enchanted crystals afterwards for other citizens to watch.

The underworld slugs
It is fortunate that these monsters can’t survive on the surface as the direct sunlight is deadly to them. Their ability to breed and grow is astonishing, and their appetite is unquenchable. These slugs can move much faster than any other and have strong, flexible tentacles on the lower part of their bodies. With them they can grab, hold and pull victims much larger than themselves. Just one slug is often enough to slow down a humanoid female, and she has a very limited time to break free before more slugs arrive and completely overwhelm her.

Underworld slugs have a unique form of society, where the majority serves so called matriarchs. These matriarchs are a special kind of female slug, that can grow into immense monstrosities within just a few hours after birth. This is possible when they gain access to a large amount of food (all the rats are already eaten by the time the race begins). They are slow but also carnivorous, and require their lesser subjects to gather food for them. When a fully grown matriarch is around, male slugs try to capture any living creature and deliver it to the matriarch as a gift, so she can produce new eggs.

Male slugs can’t consume anything larger than rats, but they can use other creatures to extract food for themselves. That’s why during the race some women are not delivered to the matriarch, but are being pulled away from her, to the walls, where she can’t reach them. There male slugs inject their semen into the victim, impregnating her with unfertile eggs. These eggs hatch within minutes and can be consumed as food by other slugs.

Bonus round
Once the main race is over, all slave masters gather for a vote. The vote for the bonus game is aimed to decide the fate of those females who got caught by the slugs but were not fed to the matriarchs. If the majority of slave masters vote for the bonus round to happen, all slaves who just finished the race, except for the winner, are provided with a weapon of their choice, and are sent back into the track. Their objective now is to rescue as many captives as possibly by carving their way through the sea of slugs.
Underworld slugs breed fast, but they are extremely vulnerable to slashing weapons, that’s why even a slave with poor combat experience, but armed with a good blade, can easily kill dozens of slugs alone.
This round allows dwarves to enjoy some beautiful carnage, and to save some of the slaves who otherwise would be lost. Everybody wins!

When the race and bonus round are complete, the track has to be purged. For that dwarves install sacks with a flammable substance on the ceiling of the tunnels. When the mechanism triggers, the liquid is spilled. Just a small spark then turns the tunnel into an inferno, killing all slugs and those unfortunate slaves who were left behind.
Author Note
Darksh1ne
The history of Monstroniverse can be divided into two main periods - Before and after the Great collapse. This mysterious cataclysm happened twelve thousand years before the events of Monstroniverse adventures story. It affected the entire world, caused colossal devastation and led to countless casualties. Because of the colossal amount of time that passed since the event, it’s hard to say what the live before the cataclysm was like. Some monstrologists even blame it for the creation of monsters.





During and after
The Great collapse was nothing like any explainable cataclysm. There were no volcanic activities and no earthquakes prior to it, the changes were sudden. Historians and scientists are convinced that the Great collapse is responsible for deaths of 90% of humanoid population across all known lands, blaming half of the casualties on the initial effect of land transformation, and the rest on sudden appearance of large numbers of monsters.

For decades after the Great collapse occurred tales of thousands of witnesses were gathered and carefully studied. This gave future generations a chance to get a clear picture of what exactly happened during the cataclysm.

It all began from a sudden shimmer in the sky and the surrounding. Most witnesses described it as a series of light-blue flashes and sparks engulfing everything around them. These lights were harmless on their own and could be observed even indoors and underground, lasting for about 10 seconds.
Some witnesses claimed that they saw how exactly the light have been spreading - they described a colossal fast-moving wave, engulfing the land and the entire sky in a particular direction.

Shortly after the lights appeared the cataclysm itself began. Plants, creatures and monsters of previously unknown nature began materializing everywhere in great numbers.
In some areas also appeared previously non-existent bodies of land, from pebbles to entire mountains. The majority of casualties happened in these few seconds, when the newly materialized landmass trapped and crushed entire towns with all residents within. But unlike living creatures, who appeared everywhere, this effect occurred only in selected areas, following a certain topographic pattern.

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In just mere seconds the entire world changed and became a much more hostile and dangerous place. Those who were lucky to survive the materialization of additional landmass had to escape claws, fangs and tentacles of monsters they have never encountered before. Civilizations of old ceased to exist.

Throughout the millennia’s the state of the world slowly stabilized. Humanoids managed to survive and to adapt to the new conditions. They got used to high concentration of monsters around them and learnt how to fight them, how to keep them at bay and even how to use them for their own needs. Global population already reaching the pre-collapse numbers and new powerful nations rose from the ashes.


Why and how
No one knows the reason why the Great collapse happened and what could be the source of such devastating effect. Throughout the history the greatest scientific minds crafted numerous theories about this riddle. Most of them assume that the event had magical nature and could even be artificial. This is supported by the existence of arcane spells that deal with space and reality manipulations. One would only need to find a way to cast such a spell at with an unlimited power at hand.
It was like the landmass and creatures have been teleported into the world from an unknown location, if not even a different dimension… but who could be responsible for this and most importantly how was this possible - remains one of the greatest mysteries of the world history.

Unsurprisingly an event of such magnitude gave birth to some exotic religious beliefs and prophesies, however most of them died out throughout the thousands of years, as nothing like this happened ever since.


The Lost era
While the Great collapse is blamed for the creation of monsters, it is impossible to say for sure if they didn’t exist before it. The items and records that could belong to the pre-Great collapsed era are exceptionally rare and highly valuable. But even the sum of what archeologists of the world have already managed to gather is not enough to paint a clear picture of what world was like. For that reason, the timeline before the Great collapse is now called The Lost era.

Still, let’s take a look at the information that is known to us about that distant age.
- The maps of the old world show a completely different landscape. South-Eastern part of Karandia for example used to lie on the bottom of the ocean, while there used to be a large body of land in the area of Ruby beads archipelagos. Such drastic changes touched every continent of the world.

- Magic existed already pre-cataclysm. Ancient scrolls with unique spells of the Lost era are carefully preserved in the most respectable magic schools around the world.

There is no trustworthy information if the monsters existed prior to cataclysm or not. One stone tablet showing a glowslimer offering some king of gift to humanoid women have been unearthed three thousand years ago in Principalities. However there are enough skeptics who don’t believe that it was made before the collapse, and that what is shown on it could simply be a symbolic representation of the Gifts of nature.

- There is a strong suspicion among modern geologist that the cataclysm also affected the weather. In the old world winters played a much bigger part of the year circle. Nowadays snow only falls out in Northern and central parts of Karandia for only two week during the year, but before the cataclysm it used to hold for more than two months. This information came from an ancient calendar found in the buried city near Kraf empire.
Author Note
Darksh1ne
Important note - Refugees of Boltok who settled down in the South-East of Karandia would keep calling their kingdom Boltok for at least five centuries after the Day of burning sky. Later, during a civil war the kingdom will be renamed into Dornia. The events that led to the creation of Fields of the damned happen in pre-civil war kingdom, that’s why in this article, for historical accuracy, they will be called Boltok.





An artificial disaster with a noble goal
There are many dangerous areas in Karandia. Dense forests and jungles populated by powerful and highly aggressive monsters, areas where the environment itself is deadly to any living organisms, lands affected by anomalies with unexplainable origin. However, the world history remembers several disastrous events with long lasting and severe effects, caused by the humanoids themselves.
The creation of the Field of the damned is one such event. A vast area in the Eastern region of Karandia, stretching from the shores of Midland sea to the Sea of giants remains corrupted by powerful dark magic and seems to be unable to recover.

Surprisingly, the intention to create the cursed land did not belong to evil, malicious people. After the Green tide suffered its devastating defeat during the Day of burning sky, the remaining orcs of the Eastern greenlands did not stop their destructive raids across the Eastern Karandia. Smaller in numbers and significantly weaker, they still posed a serious threat threat to the remaining people of Boltok kingdom.
Life in constant fear of orcs lasted for almost four centuries. Boltok had to endure numerous small and large raids from the North, several times reaching the brink of complete destruction. Something had to be done. Some unorthodox measure to prevent orcish raids from entering into these lands for at least a couple of decades. Enough time for Boltok citizens to build strong castles and to create a somewhat decent regular army.

On the year 371 after the Day of burning sky a council of nobles have been called to find an effective but affordable solution. That’s where countess Rinara Dusktale stepped forward with a shocking proposition - to use her knowledge of necromancy and to turn a portion of the land, separating humans and orcs into a deadly, impassable trap.
It is important to note that before that day lady Rinara studied necromancy in secret, as this form of magic was shunned and even persecuted in old Boltok. Coming out and declaring that she had a solution of such blasphemous kind was a brave move, which could easily cost her freedom and even life. However the nobility and even the king of the new Boltok dynasty were so desperate that they agreed to support Rinara’s plan, a large convincing part in which was her desire to cover all the expenses by herself. For that, however, she also declared a special condition - that if her plan succeeded and Boltok would find peace for the upcoming years, necromancy would have to be legalized. This part was met with heavy resistance, but after no better solution could be found, the nobles had to agree.

During her studies Rinara managed to master the creation of ancient forbidden Necrobeacons - enchanted devices which could act as remote, inanimate necromancers and to reanimate the corpses in certain area around them for as long as they were active. Rinara wanted to plant necrobeacons all over the thinnest region between the two seas, which has been desolated by war and had not a single inhabited settlements left. Not only orcs would have to fight through the undead in order to pass this region, such environment could easily plant panic and fear in hearts of the raiders, as Northern clans were well known for their superstitious beliefs and traditions.

Rinara and her followers were offered a sizable escort of guards and several carts to transport provision and necrobeacons. After several weeks of intense preparations the party left Boltok and travelled North, to the region formerly known as Damani wilds. It took Rinara and her people more than two months to plant the beacons. Most have been put underground, some were mounted on trees or stamps, obscured with improvised camouflage. Somewhere in a distant destroyed village the final part of the plan has been finished - the installation of the control crystal. It connected all necrobeacons created by Rinara, and upon activation the chain effect followed. One by one half a thousand of necrobeacons came to life, turning a silent, lifeless place into hell. Countless corpses of Damani, Boltok and orc soldiers, villagers and even monsters who died in this region during the last many years clawed their way from ground, standing now as a living wall of death.

Rinara did not expect such high number of undead to answer the call, so she and her followers had to fight their way through the undead in order to get away. But unfortunately only Rinara safely returned to the South.


The story of Rinara and the consequences of her creation would continue for at least forty years from that point. The acceptance of necromancy as legal practice, the hordes of undead who would slowly spread all across Eastern Karandia would lead to a bloody civil war, tearing the kingdom into pieces and leading to religious tensions, birth of inquisition and enforcement of strict laws against not only necromancy, but magic in general. All of this you can learn from the history of Dornia, while in this article we will take a closer look at how exactly the necrobeacons and the undead work.


The necromancy and the case of Fields of the damned
Necromancy is a section of Death magic, allowing to reanimate and control the biological remains of living craetures. There are 2 fundamental stages in the act necromancy - reanimation and control. Reanimation fills the dead biological material with dark energy, which binds parts of it together and depending on the type of creature, gives them certain basic abilities which they used to have in life, but can no longer have due to malfunctioning or even missing organs. In case of undead humanoids such senses are sight and ability to hear (more complicated reanimation spells can make the undead stronger and even add extra abilities)

Control spells allow necromancers to give commands and assign tasks for the undead, which will be performed as long as the undead is physically able to, or it would break its body by trying. Before an undead can be controlled, it first must be reanimated, but a reanimated undead does not necessary require commands to function.
Undead left without control, or in terms of necromancers “untamed” - would follow basic, instinctive desires of the creature they once were. The most basic desire is to satiate hunger, that’s why an undead humanoid would always attack any living creature that they see.

A reanimated undead functions for as long as the dead energy presents within them. The body of an undead ceases rotting, due to the dead energy consuming life from the maggots and other insects who would attempt to perform the grim task. That’s why a reanimated corpse is able to function for a significant amount of time, for as long as the dead energy is provided by the caster or the necrobeacon.
An undead can also sustain itself by eating living or freshly killed living creatures. During such act they do not feed on flesh of the victim, but on the life force, that feeds the death energy and makes them even stronger.


The reason why the Field of the damned keeps being such dangerous place lies in the way Rinara tuned her necrobeacons. In it’s core principal a necrobeacon is simply a crystal infused with dead energy, able to continuously pulse and radiate this energy with specific encryption. These pulses act the same way as spells casted by a living mages, and this principal is not unique to death magic at all - enchanting allows creation of such devices with many other schools of magic in mind.

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Necrobeacon’s pulses serve two purposes - First, they cast reanimation spell in a wide radius, bringing dead to life and second, they infuse already existing undead with fresh dead energy, prolonging their functionality.
Typically, enchanted objects like this can work only for a limited time, until the energy runs out. But the new, improved necrobeacons of Rinara could function almost for eternity thanks to a special self-sustaining, interconnected system. While one beacon shuts down to restore its energy, a principal widely used in all many self sustaining enchantments, another, not too far from it, keeps working and keeps the undead active. By the time it runs out of energy, the first necrobeacon regenerates its energy and turns itself on once again. Rinara’s followers planted the necrobeacos not randomly, but keeping this system in mind, that’s why the undead of Fields of the damned never run out of energy.

For the last nine centuries the number of undead here significantly lowered, thanks to the bodies of those who got reanimated so long ago already withered away completely, but the problem is that if anything else dies here even today, it gets reanimated as well and would serve for many decades forward. And the worst of all is that Rinara, thinking that there would not be enough humanoid remains to create an effective barrier from orcs, adjusted her necrobeacons to also reanimate large monsters and animals. Anything larger than a cat is vulnerable to the curse of this place.

image

Fields of the damned is a self contained, cursed ground. It never runs out of loyal servants, as while you can warn people not to approach it, you can’t do the same with animals and monsters, who accidently walk too close and die here.
May be one day someone would find all the necrobeacos and breaks them, or may be someone would find the control crystal and shuts them down. Unfortunately though, the location of this crystal and the necrobeacons is unknown, as Rinara kept it secret after her return and till her disappearance forty years after. It is still unclear if she was simply afraid for her life and kept it a secret as self protection from possible conspiracies, or it was her plan all along, and the fact that only she alone returned from the expedition might not have been a coincidence…
Author Note
Darksh1ne
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The anomalies of Karandia
Karandia is a massive continent and it hides a lot of secrets. Throughout the known history different areas of this land suffered a series of unusual disasters, which left behind strange long-lasting effects. Crystal dust desert in Tamir, littered with massive formations of crystals, where no plants grow and no wildlife dwells; The Ashen waste in Principalities, which changed its residence into arcane-filled abominations; Basin of immortality within the Red python basic, where as rumors say death has no power over living organisms; Ruby beads isles, where plants, animals and even humanoids gain red pigmentation if stay there long enough - these are just a few examples of active anomalies in Karandia but there are many more of them.

For thousands of years scientists and mages from different nations explored and studied these areas, building a lot of theories about their nature and origin. Most of these theories point out at the obvious involvement of magic, altered or empowered by some unknown artifacts. Only a few theories try to explain the existence of anomalies as mysterious natural processes. But in the middle of 110th century these theories lost their relevance when a certain object had been obtained by scientists of Tamir, proving in theory and in practice that creation of such anomalies can be achieved artificially.


Kifir jungle incidents
The early history of Tamir is very poorly documented. While many suspect that Tamir royalty hides the truth for one reason or another, the public is left with vogue, story-like interpretation of events from that time. This obscure period of Tamir’s history begins after Boltok refugees arrived to Tamir peninsula and is concluded by the arrival of wanderer Kern and his victory over the aboriginal nation of Sina four decades later. Numerous stories of Tamir’s war against Sina and the fable about wanderer Kern can be found today in many libraries or Tamir and outside of it, but how much in them is truth and how much is fiction – remains an open question. However, to the historians and scientists of the world it is clear that the event that happened in the end of that period might be the most significant in all of recorded history, thanks to its connection to the known Karandian anomalies.

The fact of Sina’s existence is undeniable – even if someone would disregard the stories and fables of Tamir, the old records about them were found in literature and archives of the ruins of Damani and in libraries of Dornia and Ribera. In them Sina is described as a nation of dark-skinned humans who ruled over the entire Tamir, had a strange culture of superstitious beliefs and active practice of human sacrifices.
Orcs from Northern Tamir, who were never a part of the Green tide also tell numerous stories how their ancestors encountered Sina. In these stories Sina was presented as hostile, militarized society who often raided orcish lands to collect slaves.

Thirty-seven years after the Boltok refugees arrived to the peninsula and formed the new kingdom, in the end of the obscure period of Tamir’s history, Sina’s activity have no longer been registered neither in Tamir nor outside of it. This perfectly matches the fable of Kern, which tells about his adventure into the Kifir jungle where he created a colossal cloud of Grey mist that poisoned and killed most if not all residents of Sina’s capitol.

The archive of historical royal documents confirms that after that event Kifir jungle had been declared a restricted area and for several centuries there even existed a law that punished trespassers. This law has been long lifted, but adventurers who dare to venture into the depths of Kifir never return.

Officially Tamir kingdom has sent three expeditions into the heart of Kifir after the incident. In first case a small scouting party disappeared without a trace, in the second several scounts returned, reporting the active presence of the deadly Grey mist within the heart of the jungle. The third case tell about an army sent into the Kifir, whose mission was to create a safe passage towards the contaminated area, but it ended in a disaster. The army has been completely obliterated by an unknown S-class monster.


The first documented artificial anomaly. Grey mist of Kifir jungle
As the fable of wanderer Kern states, after his return from Kifir jungle and declaration that Sina was destroyed, king Tovarn II refused to believe it and ordered a scouting expedition to venture into Kifir and confirm or deny this claim.
The group of fifteen riders, led by prince Ronik reached Kifir but only two scouts made it back. They confirmed the Sina’s defeat and told about the Grey mist, which enveloped Seon and jungle around it.


The following information comes from the documents that were widely spread all across the world by the scientific society of Tamir. They briefly tell about Kern’s involvement into the destruction of Sina but they pay much more attention at technicalities, how he could manage such a feat.

The Grey mist that he used is a powerful spell of Shadow magic. It allows the caster to create a cloud of grey-ish, partly transparent mist which if inhaled, suffocates any animal, monster or humanoid. The Grey mist is harmless to insects and plants, that’s why the jungle surrounding Seon did not die with its inhabitants.
Grey mist’s size and duration directly rely on the caster’s power and do not require channeling. While unexperienced or weak mages could create a cloud of mist that lasts up to 10 seconds, more experienced mages can prolong its existence to up to 5-6 minutes and of much larger size.

This significant detail igniting the interest of royal mages of Tamir to Kern’s magic is the unnaturally long existence of his Grey mist. According to the fable, Kern’s Grey mist lasted for at least a month – the time that took him to return to Kortas plus the time that took the scouting party to reach the jungle. And if we take into consideration reports of the second scouting party that ventured into Kifir a century later – the same Grey mist may existed even now.
Just one month was already too long. Even the most powerful mages in history could not make anything like this, not with their own power, not with help of any other known enchanted artifacts. The decision of king Tovern II to execute Kern after his arrival could be a fatal mistake. The secret of Kern’s magic seemingly died with him.
This did not stop the royal mages however. What a person can’t tell - can be learned from their remains. That’s why with the king’s permission Kern’s body and belongings had been delivered to a secret laboratory for study.


Sol crystal
The goal of mages and scientists who got their hands on recently executed Kern was to figure out how did he managed to cast a seemingly well-known spell but with such unnaturally large area and extremely long duration of effect.

First they examined his body. Kern had several cuts on his hands and across his torso and legs – researches came to conclusion that these were obtained while he was making his way through the dangerous jungle.
There exist tools that allow to measure the potency of person’s energy pool so this was their next step. In Kern’s case nothing seemed out of ordinary at first – the measuring process confirmed a lingering presence of a potent energy pool, typical to experienced mages.
The first strange discovery lied in Kern’s energy pool’s progression. It is a known fact that ethereal energy from a potent energy pool does not instantly disperse after the mage dies as it is not directly connected to the body’s biological functions. When the body dies, energy pool remains but is no longer renewed, thus it slowly weakens until nothing is left. The process may take up to a week, but in Kern’s case everything was different.
His energy pool weakened unusually slowly and fully dispersed only several months later.

Next step was to find out why Kern’s energy pool behaved so strangely. Examination of his belongings didn’t give any clues at first – he wore simple clothes, had a small sum of money, several simple enchanted trinkets and an iron staff with a seemingly typical enchanted crystal at its top.
The researches quickly came to realization that there was something very wrong about this crystal. Mages often carry energy crystals such as this in their staves, wands or in trinkets. Energy crystals serve as extra sources of energy, allowing the owner to cast more spells than they would able by using only their own energy pool. There are more types of enchanted crystals which can empower, prolong or even change the visual effects of spells but in any case they are supposed to hold certain amount of energy of their own. Kern’s crystal was different – it was hollow, void of any energy.

Some researches suspected that this crystal could merely serve a cosmetic function or has been fully depleted, that Kern was too poor to buy a renewable energy crystal. And this crystal would be simply shoved aside as useless junk if the subject of research did not hold sust high importance. At closer inspection the researchers realized that they could not figure out where this crystal came from – it was made of an unknown mineral.
It appeared to be highly resistant to any forms of physical or elemental damage, it did not react at any forms of energy channeled into or through it. Enchantment analysis didn’t give any result either.
The secret of Kern’s crystal has been discovered during an accident. One of the researcher’s assistants, young orc Tomek accidently shoved the crystal off the table. The crystal wouldn’t break from such fall but the orc instinctively caught it before it reached the ground, rending his hand over its pointy edge. This is when the orc realized that something happened to him – he felt a strange connection between him and the crystal. A connection through blood. The secret of scars of Kern’s hands have been solved.

During the following days several experiments have been performed and the results were astonishing. Through freshly spilled blood the crystal formed a direct connection to the person’s energy pool and would sustain it for as long as the person held the crystal.
After the connection was established – any amount of energy channeled into the crystal somehow multiplied and returned to the caster, expanding their energy pool to abnormal proportions. During this effect no device for energy pool measurement could show the result – it was simply too high.
After that two things could happened. If the person let go of the crystal the connection broke and their energy pool would return back to normal with the extra energy obtained from the crystal dispersing.
But if a person tried to cast a spell while being infused by the crystal, the spell would consume all extra energy and would be empowered to a frightening degree.

Several tests of spell casting with the crystal’s infusion caused massive damage to targets and structures around them. After several such incidents, some of which involved casualties among the research team, the king ordered to stop any further tests, to confiscate the crystal and to lock it up in a hidden chamber. The risk of even greater disasters happening if the artifact would be tempered with even more grew too high.

Despite this, all of the researches who took part in the study of the crystal were rewarded and orc Tomek have even been granted a permission to give the artifact a name. Tomek chose to call it Sol after his beloved hometown in the North of Tamir.

For three more years the crystal would remain hidden away and the extracted information was analyzed by Tamirian scientists. Soon, however, would happen an event that changed the history of the continent and would give Sol crystal a world-wide fame.



The day of burning sky
Three years after Sina’s downfall and the study of Sol crystal a grim news arrived to Tamir. After a crushing defeat on the shores of Principalities four decades ago the Green tide was reformed and began a new march to the South. New generations of orcs craved the glory of their grandfathers and began a new conquest against hated human kingdoms. This time their sights were set on Tamir peninsula and its new human kingdom.
While hundreds of thousands of orcs marches through the main land of the continent, the king of Tamir gathered nobles and allies to discuss a solution. Native Tamir orcs offered to send scouts who would infiltrate the approaching army and monitor their movements from within. Light elves of Shanidal offered to meet the Green tide in the neck of peninsula where they successfully created several well-fortified outposts in case of a land invasion.
Finally, a human arch mage, one of those who took part in the research of the Sol crystal, stepped forward and offered to put the dangerous artifact to use once more.

This proposition quickly caught interest of an elven sorceress Siviana, who heard about the Sol crystal for the first time. The king was about to chastise the arch mage for disclosure of such information but have been quickly reminded about the exceptional severity of the situation. And since Siviana was well known as a master of destructive fire magic, the choice was made in her favor.
When Siviana received the instructions from the human arch mage he warned her that during their testing of Sol crystals possibilities they only used simple, weak spells. No one knew what would happen if a high level spell would be cast under its infusion. Siviana accepted the risk and considered the Green tide as the perfect subject for such experiment.

After receiving the full information from the research, she made her way towards the Tamir peninsula neck, to the first line of fortifications and remained there till the Green tide appeared on the horizon.
What happened next surpassed any imaginable expectations. Seeing an endless wall of green-skinned invaders before her Siviana infused her already massive energy pool with Sol crystals’ energy. The spell she used was rain of fire, which could be casted on high distance and covered an already large area. But instead of appearing over the approaching Green tide, the entire sky turned red and colossal rifts of magma emerged all over the land. Huge molten comets poured down and engulfed the land in flames and explosions.

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That day the neck of the peninsula turned into a series of shattered islands, completely separating Tamir from the main land. The entire Green tide as well as defenders of Tamir perishes in just a few minutes. This event will be forever known as the Day of burning sky.


In conclusion
Sol crystal saved Tamir kingdom but at a high price. Siviana and every defender who died in the sea of fire became national heroes. But for those who knew about Sol crystal’s ability to withstand damage, it was not the end – they suspected that the crystal could still be out there and it had to be found before it would get into wrong hands.

Many months of intense search on the bottom of the sea around the area where Siviana’s outposts used to stand yielded an unexpected result. The Sol crystal have been found in fragments. It is unknown how many fragments have been found and if all of them has been recovered. First the royal mages thought that it was destroyed but further examination showed that each fragment was still functioning, but with lesser potency.

That day a new theory was born. A breakthrough which was too important to hide from the world, and so the sum of the knowledge about Sol crystal and its shards have been passed to the scientific societies of other kingdoms of Karandia.

It was concluded that the Sol crystal shattered because Siviana overloaded it, not because it was caught into the destruction of the fire magic. Every obtained shard was fully functioning on their own, that’s why a suspicion was made that the Sol crystal could’ve been used by Kern or someone who owned it before him to create the anomalies of Karandia. Sol shards refused to reattach to each other, no matter what methods the researchers have tried.

Some researches who analyzed the Sol crystals’ appearance even made an interesting addition to the theory - that Sol crystal possessed by Kern could in fact be also a fragment. A fragment of an even larger, more powerful body. One can only guess what the original, whole artifact could do.
Author Note
Darksh1ne
.







General information
Dwarves are a mysterious race that can be met in the depths of Underworld. They are universally considered as the true villains of this world. A highly xenophobic and cruel race that exclusively consists of men. Exceptionally intelligent and skilled in craftsmanship, dwarves live in colossal underground cities, built in shapes of monolithic structures resistant to the infiltrations of Sunless lords.
Dwarves are fascinated with blood sports and slavery, preferring to observe and consume, rather than to do the required work. They don’t capture slaves themselves, instead they use others to do it for them. Throughout thousands of years and by using ingenious manipulations, they’ve successfully bent the entire race of goblins to their will, using these green-skinned people to do their bidding. To dwarves, goblins serve as both a meat shield from any possible invasions from above, and also as the source of female slaves from the surface – the most valuable resource for the dwarves.
Surprisingly enough, dwarves don’t use slaves any kind of labor. Instead, they are used for as pets, as sex toys, as participants in numerous sports, as expendable subjects for magical and alchemical experiments, and possibly also as breeders.
To be captured by goblins and to be delivered into a dwarven city is a fate worse than death. Only select few have ever returned to tell the tale. And what they told became the entire sum of knowledge about this wicked mysterious race.


Physiology
- Dwarves are short, but muscular and heavy creatures. Their impressive physical strength is not a result of intense training, but a natural feature. Height varies from 130 to 160 cm.
- When it comes to skin and hair colors, dwarves are almost identical to humans.
- Majority of dwarves have a dormant Energy pool at birth, but they can expand it and learn magic with relative ease.
- Ironically, while being the dwellers of the deepest depths of the Underworld, dwarves don’t have any natural spells. Their eyes are extremely sensitive to the slightest source of light and allow them to see well with minimal presence of light, but to see in pitch darkness they have to carry around torches and lamps.


Procreation
Dwarven race consists exclusively of men and their method of procreation is a lot similar to dryads. To have children they have to use women of other races, but even that is not enough. By itself dwarven seed can’t impregnate any female they have sex with. They have to rely on special rituals and help of enchanting to make that possible.
Author Note