Friday, June 20, 2008

Ashdod: Reign of the Anakim (Part One)

Many ages ago, during the time of the Ascension Wars, there was a race of mighty men, the sons of Anak, dwelling in the twin cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon in the land of Southwest Lankwood. Our story begins in spring of the first year of the Ascension Wars. Rumors filled the land. It was said that the great hero Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter, Healer of the Lands, the Armorer, King of Inventions, would soon break free of his imprisonment in Tartarus and lead his ancient people to greatness and glory. Merchants brought tales from distant lands as well that many other ancient heroes, rivals of old to Nimrod and the Anakim, were beginning to stir as well. Among this number was Mania, Firstborn of Gaia and Lady of Tyrants, queen of the flesh-eating demon empire of Lanka--a land of Rakshasas, cruel spirits with the arms of apes and the heads of tigers and donkeys. Another old foe and sometimes-ally was Invicta, Lady of Mountains, empress of the Ermorian Empire (alas, the noble Republic of Ermor was no more). More troublesome was the report of a strange land of fire-breathing ghosts and demons known as the Oni. This land, known as Yomi, was reputedly ruled by a fierce magician known as Topigog, Prince of Might, King of Kings, Patron of Languages. Like many rulers in this time of chaos, Topigog was seeking to proclaim himself King and God-Emperor over the whole world. This the Anakim would not permit, and they readied themselves for war and prepared for the return of their own God-King, Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter. Long had the Anakim kept to themselves, pondering the mysteries of the universe and brooding over the clay tablets which contained the records saved from the disaster when the Abysians burned the great city. The lands surrounding Southwest Lankwood contained valuable resources which would be needed for the war effort. As they were occupied by none save simple tribesmen, the Anakim felt justified in sending Aziru, Prophet of the Reawakening God, to subjugate the lands. Aziru proved his worth in inspiring his men with words of courage, and soon the lands were pacified by the Anakim and their human servants. Although some humans whispered that it was done with help from a roving band of human mercenaries as well, this was false, for was it not the great hero Yam-Nahar who had succeeded where the humans had failed and died, fighting armored knights in the Isle of the Hundred? By early fall of the first year the wood, metal, and stone of the tribes was being delivered to the Twin Cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon and the war machines were beginning to grind in earnest.
To be continued...

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