That Blackmoor rose to great heights and then fell in a cataclysmic Rain of Fire is about all that is remembered of the kingdom and empire from four thousand years in the Known World’s past.
To most people of the Known World, the sable on argent represents a Black Eagle of Karameikos, not the Sweeping Hawk of Andahar. That name, if it is known, is only whispered in the deepest recesses of the great libraries in Sundsvall or Glantri City. The words of that house, though, live on in toasts raised over feast day tables, spoken after oaths and handshakes sealed a treaty that ended decades of war between Thyatis and Alphatia:
“Once and Always.”
Truer words have never been spoken. While the destruction and devastation of the Great Rain of Fire caught the Immortals off guard, the men of Blackmoor saw it the more they worked on Project Valkyrie.
For hundreds of years, the Northern Marches were all that stood between Tuska Rosa and her goal in the heart of the Thonian Empire. The Afridhi, which had crushed the Vales and ground the Duchy of Ten into submission found their fury thrown back into their teeth on the lances and swords of a ragtag, patchwork army of Northern barons.
The Afridhi came, again and again, stronger every time, their numbers bolstered by demons of shadow and flame.
But Blackmoor had the wild magics of the North, and Uther’s bargain ensured that the powers of the North would fight at the side of the barons.
“Once and Always,” was the oath spoken over that covenant.
While Blackmoor perished, drowned in fire and then the cold waters of the Northern Sea, the promise— and the line that had made it— was not broken.
Uther’s daughters survive, and will do so until the threats brought into the world by the Afridhi and the Beast Men are extinguished once and always…
Rob’s blog and website chronicles a bit of a darker take on the Mystara presented in the D&D Gazetteers. Thorn's Chronicle is posted semi-regularly on the Mystara board of The Piazza.
The Above is the first blog entry on this blog written by guest blogger RobJN, who also frequents the Comeback Inn. I have for a long time been fascinated by his ongoing series Thorn's Chronicle and I am very pleased when he agreed to write this piece for us. This might not be the last we hear from him here either!