PICTLAND (Medium Kingdom) -- Savage, warlike brutish, persistently resistant to
civilizing influences, the Picts inhabit the Primal forest of the Pictish
Wilderness. Constantly warring amongst themselves, the Picts must
find a leader strong enough to unite the tribes and hurl their vast hordes
upon the path of empire.
Listen, young Chieftain, to the
words of thy heritage and to the knowledge of thy people. Listen that
thy people may hunt more swiftly, war more violently, and revel in the
screams of thy dying foes. We the Picts have a long, long history. Well
have we remembered long, long hatreds, for there are those whom we have
indeed ancient reason to hate!
Once long ago, when the now
forgotten kingdom of Valusia was great, our people lived in two great
nations. Our homeland was the Pictish Isles in the western sea, and a
great nation of our people lived upon the mainland to serve and fight
in the armies of Valusia during the time of Kull, the conqueror, over
eight thousand years ago!
Lo, it was during these years that
the world was smitten by a Great Cataclysm which rocked the foundations
of the world and forever changed the face of the land. The Pictish
Islands sank and our people there with them, gone forever. Great
Valusia and her sister empires of that age were thrown down by the
earth's convulsions and we, her Pictish vassals, survived only after
great loss of life and much sorrow.
When the earth had ended its
torment, our forefathers began to build a great Pictish empire. Their
expansion brought them into contact with survivors of the fall of
Atlantis. How quickly we destroyed them in battle! We scattered the
Atlanteans into loose clans, fleeing for their lives to the Cimmerian
hills where for hundreds of years we hunted them like animals, but
could not destroy them. Unfortunately, the long years of war had
wearied our people so that in time the Pictish Empire fell apart and
the tribes went their many ways, laying claim to the western lands
which have become dear to our hearts.
For a thousand years our people
roamed freely in the Pictish Wilderness, content simply to hunt and
kill, torturing foes that we captured, as man was meant to do! And five
thousand years ago, the hated Atlanteans (who now call themselves
Cimmerians) began their howling descent from those cursed hills to
slaughter and destroy our northeastern tribes. We learned anew to hate
our old foes and in the thousands of years since we have learned to
sing the death chant whenever we slay one of those twice-cursed
Two thousand five hundred years
ago we acquired a new hatred: the Aquilonians. The Aquilonians came
upon our borders to destroy the ancient empire of Acheron and take
their lands. For a time, our peoples did not war upon one another
(except for occasional raids to kill a few men, as chance might
provide. This is only human). But when the Aquilonians felt strong,
they came upon our land with their clumsy Gunderland mercenaries,
struck into our homelands, slew whole tribes and drove the survivors
ever westward into the swamps and jungles. Their Bossonian vassals
settled into a land which was once ours and this we will never forget.
In our own time, the hated Aquilonians have invaded again and taken
what they call the Westmark for their own, and killed all of our people
who lived there. This we also remember!
Heed well now my words, O
Chieftain, as I report to thee of the length and breadth of thy kingdom.