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Town of Vendarius
Banewarrens Pictures
Who's Who?
Nereida's Journal

Sound Mind, Pt. 1
Sound Mind, Pts. 2&3
Eldest Son, Pt. 1
Eldest Son, Pt. 2
Eldest Son, Pt. 3
Eldest Son, Pts. 4&5
Ex Libris, Pt. 1
Ex Libris, Pts. 2&3
Ex Libris, Pt. 4
Start at the End, Pt. 2
Banewarrens, Pt. 1
Banewarrens, Pt. 2
Banewarrens, Pt. 3
Banewarrens, Pt. 4
Banewarrens, Pt. 5
Banewarrens, Pt. 6
Banewarrens, Pt. 7
Banewarrens, Pt. 8
Banewarrens, Pt. 9
Banewarrens, Pt. 10
Banewarrens, Pt. 11
Banewarrens, Pt. 12
Banewarrens, Pt. 13
Banewarrens, Pt. 14
Banewarrens, Pt. 15
Banewarrens, Interlude
Banewarrens, Pt. 16
Banewarrens, Pt. 17
Banewarrens, Pt. 18
Banewarrens, Pt. 19
Banewarrens, Pt. 20
Banewarrens, Pt. 21



Legacy of the Burning Star

Across Vatheria, the year 2784 is remembered with dread.  It was the year the great wars began, the year that first saw the Frost move south across the face of lands once fair and green, and the shadows move north to engulf ancient centers of learning and culture. But in the minds of the people of the Imperial heartlands, it was the Year of the Burning Star.

In that year, a great sign was seen in the heavens, a star with a great tail of fire, which stretched across the sky and grew until it was visible by day and gave so much light at night that men could walk through village streets without the aid of a lantern. But this was no benevolent star. Astrologers and mystics warned that this was a sign of terrible things to come.

Late in that year, the star at last fell from the sky, leaving a flaming trail of wreckage across the Crusader States and striking the plain of Acaris at a point near the border with Haladhor, just south of the confluence of the rivers Phaedon and Edruin. The ground shook and a pillar of smoke and ash rose miles into the sky. The hills of Haladhor and the grasses of the Phaedon valley burned for weeks.

Where the burning star had fallen, the earth was changed. It lay twisted and burned, with weird columns of shattered glass. Amid the devastation there walked terrors out of legend, great giants wreathed in flames, and horrid things which crawled among the burning sands, and all living things fled before them. Soon all the lands around the Valley of the Burning Star were devoid of people; their once rich farms left to wither and become wild.

Yet in the little town of Vendarius, there was a priest, a humble Seeker who was wise in the lore of magic. His name was Claudius Amulius Quintus Amantes  and he had led a quiet, contemplative life until the Burning Star fell. On the very same night, a celestial visited Quintus Amantes and tole the scholar-priest that he must arise and travel to the site of the fallen star, there to receive the gift of the Opener (for that is the ancient name of Borlamnos). Some say that this messenger was none other than Kardev the raven, who serves the god as messenger on Theeurth.

Armed with little more than his faith and an old walking staff, Quintus traveled to the Valley of the Burning Star and there was confronted by the terrors of that place. But the servants of the god were about him, and he walked unmolested into the heart of the valley. There, to his amazement, he found an altar, as of black iron, and this bore many strange signs. And round about the altar he found five tiny babes, naked and mewling. These he carried away with him, in his donkey-cart, and returned to Vendarius, though all the while he was in the valley, strange beasts did menace and follow him.

Now these children were apparently ordinary save for one thing. Each bore a strange mark upon the right hand and arm, as of many lines of silver, which twisted and turned in the light when one gazed too long upon them. Nor where all the children alike. One girl there was, and three human boys. The fifth was a halfling boy, though all agreed that he bore a strong resemblance to the other four, though he were half their size.

That these children were important, Quintus Amantes had no doubt. But whether they were sent by the god or by another, he was never certain. He raised them as his own, and taught them to love and respect the gifts of the Opener. He studied their strange markings, never able to learn much about them, but certain that they were a sort of rune or sigil. The five children took his family name, Amantes, and grew towards adulthood in his small town. They became pillars of the church in their small community, and the Amantes "family" became well-known in Vendarius. But always their restless nature showed through. A keen need to learn, a desire for something they barely understood kept them from being academics like their adoptive father. Instead, they turned to a life of action...

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