In an age now forgotten, four wicked beings were loosed upon the mortal world. These champions of evil brought suffering and death everywhere they went, and their arrival ushered a season of conflict that engulfed all peoples.
For a time, darkness held sway over the light.
Then a hero arose, a beacon of hope. Alone she stood before the combined might of the evil creatures and alone she defeated them. But the cost was great; she paid for the victory with her life.
Time passed, and with its passage the evils were forgotten and so too, the selfless sacrifice of a young hero. Forgotten, that is, by all save the few that lived in the small valley where the hero defeated her enemies. There, in the place now called the Valley of the Kings, the memory of these events burns brightly.
In the shadow of four mighty prisons people remember. They remember a time of sorrow and suffering. They remember creatures so wicked that even the bravest heroes quailed before them. But most of all they remember a hero. A woman that stood before the tide and turned it back.
Their champion. Their Goddess.
The Founding of Amore
A long season of peace and prosperity followed the Goddess' sacrifice.
Outside of the valley life marched on. Cities were founded, became kingdoms, became empires that burned themselves out to be replaced by others. Years blurred into decades, decades into centuries. All the while the four ancient evils grew restless and angry. Locked away in the small mountain valley they struggled against the bonds upon their prisons.
At the dawning of the present age something stirred. In the northern prison, called Wyvern Keep, the Lord of the North burst his bonds. Furious at so long an imprisonment, he sent his armies outward.
They killed indiscriminately. The wicked lord set his sights upon the prisons of his companions. His intent was clear, loose the shackles holding his brethren.
In the face of this evil the people rallied behind a young, charismatic leader Delith Amore. Known for his unassailable purity and gentle spirit, Delith built a coalition from all peoples of the valley and marched north, taking the fight to Wyvern Keep and the doorstep of the Lord of the North.
Still bards sing songs of the Seven Days Battle that erupted between the two armies. For seven long days they clashed. No quarter was asked, none given. The waters of Wyvern Lake ran red with the blood of thousands the skies blacked from the feathers of carrion birds come to feast upon the dead.
With the rising sun on the seventh day Amore met the Lord of the North in personal combat. For hours they fought, locked in a furious struggle upon which the victory of the war itself depended. Finally, as the last rays of the sun were fading Amore struck down his enemy and claimed the field.
The Lord of the North was dead. Slain at last by Amore Delith.
The survivors returned with Amore to the shores of Lake Crisar and put down the foundations of the great city of Amore. Human, elf, dwarf, halfling, gnome. All peoples were represented. All peoples welcome.
Many generations lived and died under the gentle rule of a Knight-Prince Amore following the Seven Days Battle. Civilization flourished and new cities sprung up all around Lake Crisar.
For a long time life in the vale could be called idyllic.
Then a darkness began to creep in. The first visible sign seen in the Lake of Calm when its crystal-clear waters began to grow cloudy. Soon the water took on an odor of rot and feces and within a few years what had been clear became black and fetid. A stain spreading its taint through the south of the vale.
And this was only the beginning.
Crops began to suffer, livestock grew sick, winters became longer and summers shorter, drought engulfed the valley. Within a decade the idyllic peace of the valley was shattered. People were hungry every day. Even wild animals were affected, turning feral and attacking mankind.
Inside Amore life was no easier. With food scarce, crime soared. The well-to-do faced attack and hatred. Food stores were pillaged. Knight-Lord Amore moved to squash this, sending his Silver Shields out with clear orders to end the violence. They succeeded in quashing the wave of crime but not putting to rest the problems of the people.
For the first time since its founding, Amore became a simmering pool of anger and resentment.
Then came the Slaughter of Angels.
The day started like any other. Hungry people choked the streets in front of the palace begging for food that Knight-Lord Amore was always willing to give. It was no secret that the Knight-Lord ate less than the poorest citizen of his city. On this day, Amore came into the waiting throngs himself, giving bread and soup to all. At his side, as always, his loyal captain Zaros Blackhand.
With no warning, while Amore was busy feeding his people, Zaros drew his sword and ran it through the back of Amore.
The people stood in muted shock and terror and watched horrified as Zaros stepped over the body and began cleaving a bloody path through the crowd itself. Panic overtook them then and they fled.
News of Amore’s death spread like fire on a prairie and within an hour of the attack a great rabble had gathered. They cast about killing and burning, generally seeking someone or something to blame.
It was this mob that came to the Goddess’ Shrine where Telinith Ral served the people. The greatest druid in the valley, Telinith Ral sat at the head of the druidic order.
The rabble tore down his shrine and demanded he leave the city – shouting that the Goddess had abandoned them.
But Telinith would not leave those whom he loved so greatly. He pled with them, begged them to see reason.
When the first rock struck him, he wept not for his own suffering but for the stain that had come over the people. Even as his bones were shattered he continued to plead for them. As they closed in on him and their feet struck him, he refused to fight back.Like a pack of rabid dogs the mob tore him limb from limb.
Slowly the mob calmed and as sanity returned to the mad villagers they realized what they had done and fell to their knees, wailing and begging for the Goddess’ pardon.
With a great crash thunder swallowed all other sounds and a score of lightning bolts lanced down out of a suddenly angry sky.
Into the midst of the crowd waded Dreath Malise, a respected and well-loved druid. He called upon the might of the elements sending bolt after bolt into the crowd. Lighting burned the people to a crisp. The now-terrified mob panicked and broke but Dreath summoned even greater primal magics intent on seeing every one of them dead. Like the wild animals they had shown themselves to be, he struck them down mercilessly.
When it was finished Dreath turned to the assembled druids and bid them come with him. Some refused, others joined him. The Servants of the Goddess were split with one sect remaining in the cities an the other abandoning those cities to their well-deserved fate.
In the aftermath of the Slaughter of Angels everything changed. Knight-Prince Amore was not dead, but mortally wounded, he passed into a deep coma from which he cannot be awoken and for the first time ever it is not a Knight-Prince Amore reigning in the city.
Zaros Blackhand vanished and has not been seen since.
A new sect of druids were born - the Dur’ahh - who strike out against civilization at every chance.
Peace and tranquility has quit the Valley of the Kings...