The Destruction of Arik and Modern Day Markshire

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    • Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar

    It is generally known that a great battle between wizards and the ruling family caused the destruction of Arik and created the Timeless Desert. What is not known by the survivors of that destruction is that a member of that ruling family brought about the conflict and triggered the destruction of their capitol city nearly 100 years ago.

    Verner was the eldest Mark of the time. His great, great grandnephew, Hanse, was the current ruler. Verner still coveted the crown and plotted to kill the entire ruling family. It was he who started the friction between the Marks and the Wizards of Arik.

    Verner Mark was the first born son of Willem Mark. The law of Markshire stated that any Mark who held sorcerous power would be removed from the line of ascension. Upon his 13th birthday Verner was tested by the highest wizards of Markshire for sorcerous abilities. Verner knew that he held the ability to control magic and had hid his abilities from everyone, with the exception of the Lord High Wizard Malkin. Malkin used the boy in an attempt to gain control of the kingdom for himself. The plot was uncovered and Verner was discovered to be a wizard of some talent.

    Verner grew up in disgrace. Distrusted by his family and generally viewed as a troublemaker by the populace, Verner left Markshire to study abroad and remove himself from a country that disliked him. For years he traveled while his powers grew. Many thought he was gone for good. However, upon the coronation of his great, great grandnephew, he returned under the guise of the Great Wizard Rochon. Rochon arrived in great splendor and he eventually became the first “foreign” Lord High Wizard.

    As Rochon, Verner worked feverously to uncover the magics behind the throne and the ruling family. After many months of research, Verner began his campaign to create friction between the Wizards and the Marks. Finally in an attempt to start open conflict, Verner, slew his own apprentice and framed the Captain of the Guard and trusted advisor to Hanse, Lord Luke Thymes. Luke’s birthright as a Half-Giant son of the evil god of Frost Giants, Thrym and as best friend to the King of Markshire brought the enmity of the Wizards to a boil and the conflict was begun.

    At the height of the conflict, Verner found the key element to bring the downfall of the Marks as ruling family and ensure his eternal life. He began the ritual as the final battle played out between the wizards and the army of Markshire. He was found by Thymes and a second battle ensued. The outcome of this battle resulted in the unmasking of Verner and his death. Upon his death the spell was released and the resulting backlash caused the power core of the Wizards of Arik to become unstable. The core started to grow in size and many fled the city as a small sun appeared at the top of the Wizard’s Citadel. The army led by Hanse Mark himself stormed the Citadel in the hope of finding the key to the core and averting the cataclysm about to be released. The key was lost and the core exploded killing Hanse and the majority of the army as well as destroying the entire city of Arik.

    The magics released by the explosion shifted the balance of magic in the region. The result became felt by the survivors as the made their way toward the Thrym Mountains and the pass that led to the wilderness beyond. An icy wind blew from the north and Luke Thymes knew that his father had taken hold of the magics and applied his will to the land about them. The wind continued to blow and the land was scoured of all plants and animals not suited to the arctic cold. The ground turned rigid and broke apart. Dust began to swirl around the refugees as they continued to travel toward the mountains.

    When at last they reached the relative safety of the mountains the land behind them bore neither vegetation nor landmarks. A desert of grey sand shifted behind them and they knew that they would never again see the ruins of their beloved city of Arik. From that time forward the Frost Giants have held sway in the Timeless Desert as it is now called.

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