Long ago, the world of Lægresfære was nigh barren. ’Twas a desolate land of death and despair, inhabited by disparate peoples scattered across the lands. Life for those primitive folk was nothing more than pathetic tragedy, a never-ending struggle for survival and to one day propagate.
The First Era began when the Wyrms bestowed upon these meager beings the First Insight, that of fire. Yet to control its power, they were merely able to summon the element from brush and stone. Still, summons were enough. No longer did they feast upon raw meats too tough to swallow. No longer did they fear the cold darkness of the night. No longer did they fall prey to the unknown horrors that lurk in the shadows. In the First Era, man became man, more than a bipedal beast.
Next came the Second Era, sparked by another gift of the hallowed Wyrms. The Second Insight was that of metals. Bygone then was desperate flintknapping to construct fragile tools. From fire came forges and from forges came shields and weapons, hammers and nails, knives and forks. This was a time of kings and country, a true era of power. Nonetheless, the world was cruel, for Lægresfære is a land full of more than mere lions and wolves. True as it was in the First Era, man no longer fell prey to unknown horrors, they now fell victim to those they knew.
Try as the people might, no pleading drew closer the dawn of a third era. The Wyrms fell deaf to the demands of those who saw what fangs nature bore against them. Pathetic no more but tragedies all the same, the folk of this time could naught but impotently brandish their new arms against the monsters that lived beside them. In time, they too became monsters, for their power could not effect death nor harm upon monsters but could do so with ease against men. This was a new Era of its own, one of degradation above elevation, a time of violence: The Era of Strife.
Finally, after millennia of death at the hands of both beast and brethren, the Third Era arrived. From the Ásar Mountains on the Wydheth Continent descended a herald of the Wyrms known now simply as the Sage. The Sage brought with them a sutra of the Wyrms, the sacred texts studied by many to this day. Among their teachings stood one commandment which shook this land far deeper than the past pittances the Wyrms had bestowed: do not pray for salvation brought by your gods, seize the power of salvation for your own. The sutra then went on to explain in its own convoluted manner how one might do so. Yes, the Third Insight was that of conjuration, of sorcery.
Pacts could be formed by anyone with Fae or Faun with which the elements could be warped in ones favor. Some were even born with these pacts already formed, those we call Ylfe, yet learning to wield this power was not so easy to intuit. The Sage’s sutra began to unlock the secrets of thaumaturgy and with it the ability to fight against the world itself. This text also pointed to another sort of pact, not with the Fae of the lands but the Wyrms of the heavens. Therin lies the realm of the Miko, the Pact of the Wyrms; power that goes beyond mere influence over the elements as it completely dominates them, a subjugation of nature to bring about miracles, that is thaumaturgy.
That land whence the Sage’s word spread became the holy land to the east of the Ásars, aptly dubbed Østendūna. Descendants of the Sage are here revered as High Priests from a bloodline favored by the Wyrms. This preference, in turn, extends upon their line the divine right to rule those who live within the Wyrms’ shadows. Thus formed a kingdom of those who sought protection from the horrors of nature: the Rex of Østendūna.
In time, the power of this nation became renowned the world over. Those neighboring realms with little power of their own sought the righteousness of the High Priest at the head of Østendūna. What was once a small holy Rex extended its protections far and wide, from the Princep of Danastris to the Rex of Irminstrōm and the Princep of Hrothvik, thus forming a great Imperium. Soon, too, the Dux of Merithe and smaller nations composing the Eastern Mark joined for fear of the savage maritime aggressors of the peninsula extending beyond them.
Just beyond the southern borders of this Imperium, two small estates found themselves sandwiched between this great power beyond their class and expanses of wood filled with mystical monsters, these were Midford and Südbrücke. The first joined swiftly once refuge was offered. Midford had much to offer in return as a lush land nuzzled betwixt Hrothvik and the Far Lake. The latter, however, struggled to find its place. Südbrücke encompassed many banks of the great Irminstrōm that flows down the whole of Wydheth, thus making it more than welcome as a hub of trade, but much of its land is overgrown with forest and that which was clear was dry and coarse. When the Imperium finally requested that Südbrücke merge within its borders, the deal struck then was not so favorable as given to Midford. As a land upon the Irminstrōm, it became a land within the Rex of Irminstrōm. A new ruler was then appointed by the Imperator to oversee the deforestation of this new county within his realm, set on milking what fertile soil could be unearthed from beneath the trees for any resource that could service him.
Thus is the piecemeal history of the Grafschaft Südbrücke as told by its scholars. A history lived by its people, though many hear little of the details. This is the land wherein our story shall continue.
March 24th, 831 — Delcroft, Østendūna
On this day, a villein charged with a small plot just outside the village of Delcroft welcomes his first child into the world. Össur is something of an outlier to be without child such as he is in his twenties already, yet he and his wife Iðunn had failed to conceive a child before this point. Despite his reluctance to become a father in a world where his child will only grow to see the same dreadful world through which Össur himself has lived, he had tried earnestly to build a family for himself. Iðunn, too, felt some level of fear given the status of both herself and her husband that they could provide no joy for a child here. Nonetheless, the miracle of birth is one they will happily celebrate.
The village as a whole will celebrate alongside them once the trial of labor is passed. Their endless duties to their lords can wait as they sing and dance for this joyous occasion. It may be only a small reprieve from the toils to which they will all return when the sun rises again, but a festival they will hold.
We, too may celebrate Guðrún, daughter of Össur, for she is the new incarnation of our favored character Yamada Imari. Let us see where she takes this life I have provided. Will she follow the path of any old villein’s daughter and marry the first bachelor to propose so that she may provide the next generation of laborers for the lord, dying in obscurity? Or will she use the gift of knowledge gained in her past life to become a great hero in this realm? Only time will tell, yet my hope is on something between the two. Anything else would be horribly boring.
My promise to Imari, to provide support, will not go unfulfilled. Already, that support has begun in the form of a blessing at birth. Guðrún has been born a Miko. This is northing more than an edge, it is up to her to sharpen it. Wherefrom the impetus to do so will come is still unknown. The Imperium will provide support to anyone with talent for magic but seek out every child in their lands with such potential they will not. Thus, happenstance it shall be! I’ll try my best to meddle little.