The Land of Teuhyo
(Inspired by Dungeons and Dragons)
In the Ancient Dragon tongue, the land is called Teuhyo. The strange creatures who cower in the swamps and mountain caves know it as Tir. The secluded Elves deep in their forests named it Tiryns, and for the Humans that have carved themselves empires out of the rocky shores, it is Tera. It is their hearth and home, beyond which the empty sea sits, roughly beating the shore as though to drag the land back within its watery depths.
The continent is split by the Antitaurus Mountain Range, and within its center, deep underground, one can hear the clang of hammers and the whirring of strange machines. The city of Duamutef, home to Dwarves and Dark Elves, bustles with life away from the tyranny of the sun, keeping the secrets of metal and magic away from prying eyes. Venture deep enough in, and a dark-haired Elven priestess will be seen burning her incense; cleansing the temple of Neith, and distracting herself from thoughts of her own child, whose absence weighs heavy on her mind.
Almost as a foil to their ways, any contact they engage in is with the Ancient Quetzalcoatl people of Mocuala; great humanoid serpents who live nestled on the sunny island between the Tethys and Enyalius rivers. Proud are they who claim to be the of the line of Dragons, created by The Father of Skies, only to be wiped from the continent at the end of an age. They live still as kings of the desert heat, and inside the great jeweled castles, women and men of all races dance as concubines for their king, the Shah. Those concubines of Human or Elven descent may give birth to metal-scaled hybrid children, the Axolotls. In fact, as the sun rises in the sky, the markets close and the Quetzalcoatl settle in the sun for the traditional rest. A pink serpentine woman slips past their sleeping bodies, her strangely Elven-looking child clutched in her arms. She heads east, towards the only other place she knows will accept them. The Round Table Concordia.
Races and classes from all over the continent flock to Concordia’s walls in times of need, lured by stories of freedom and brotherhood that the Round Table evangelized to inspire army morale. High on the ideals of a liberty and equality, they brought down the hammer of justice and drove out Orcish hordes, bringing years of peace to the city. The temple to the Goddess Adele stands tall and proud next to the College, the hub of learning for anyone seeking magic, but its old walls are not without their secrets. Still, Concordia accepts all regardless of race or creed. Even a lone Elven woman- her coarse, dark hair tangled and dirtied from months of overland travel, is not turned away at the door. She thanks the guards who let her in, as she holds the tiny hand of the copper-skinned child who walks beside her, and praying for salvation from the secret that binds him to whence they came.
They flee persecution from Tal-Ornafel’s king, a character shrouded in mystery. Some say his domain as old as the gods themselves, blessed by their divine hand, and many of the Elves would seem to believe so. Those who have seen the forest kingdom describe an air of pride mixed with fear, and strict social divides that no one dares to cross: the rich remain in their castles, like dolls to be displayed, and the poor are cast down into the slums, never to be gazed upon. Those who attempt to bridge these gaps are rarely forgiven, though there are whispers of a rebellious princess who fell in love with a Human soldier, a man from the rival kingdom of Gabriota. If the story is true, the princess cannot be found to tell it.
If she did flee, it was the smartest choice. La Nation Divina de Nuestra Santisima Maria Gabriota, or simply Gabriota as many prefer to say, may be almost as prudent, arrogant and bigoted as the Elves they claim to hate. Though in their mind, it is the versatile Human who shall inherit the earth. All those who disagree with their values, their religion and their pride are immediately looked down upon, and as such the people of Gabriota seethe at the thought of their neighbor Concordia to the east. Nothing would bring them more pleasure than to see the ancient walls crumble, crushing the diverse populace within and leaving them as the strongest Human power alive. And by the grace of Mother Maria, they may just have a trick up their sleeves.
Life always finds a way, even between the species. Rumors have spread between the tiny towns along the swampy forests that the Orcs still roam, taking captive women deep into the forest, where they give birth to Half-Human monster men, tusked and green and stronger than ten Humans together. If only they could see these half-breeds, though, they would see a tiny boy only a few feet tall, with tusks not quite grown in yet, screaming for his mother to get the shovel; another swamp gator has crawled it’s way into the house.
Years pass. Decades pile on top of one another like stones, laying a foundation upon which the next generation of heroes shall take their first steps across the plains, the eyes of vengeful spirits watching their every move from high above; some betting on success, and some poised for failure.