PICTLAND
Pictish Savage

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.

NATIONAL HISTORY


       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 Cimmerians!

       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.

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