Varazskala 1132 AD
This is how we came to be as we are. A city living in harmony with the land, protecting the secrets of the Ancients and offering a haven to the broken and the lost.
The city grew thusly.
When the Ancients completed their ritual, on that day the great city was born. The first structures sprung up from the valley fully formed. At the base of the mountain, a great tree sprouted, bloomed, and turned to stone. A temple formed around the tree and small stone homes sprinkled the land around the temple to offer immediate shelter.
Because the stone tree had heart shaped leaves, the Brothers renamed their holy order The Order of Linden. They continued to offer their teaching and their guidance, but now with an expanded purpose.
Over time, the people began to learn how to harness and practice this magic. They built more structures, an expanded village, a keep, and a wall to surround them. They learned to farm the land in the brief months of summer. They worked together for the well-being of all, sharing their talents with each other freely.
The power left behind taught them to make plants grow, heal the sick, smite the wicked, move quicker than the eye, or fight harder than the greatest warrior. The books of knowledge given to the Brothers opened up unfathomable secrets of power, to which many paths were called.
Houses of magic emerged, dedicating themselves to specific studies the gifts the Ancients left behind. A generation passed and the people lived in peace. Then, the Brothers felt a calling again and realized that there was a need in the world for defenders against otherworldly threats. They called the best and brightest from each house to go out into the world and protect the common kingdoms from myths and monsters they could not possibly understand.
Thus, the Nahkari were created. A rank of high honor, chosen by the House leaders and blessed by the Brothers to go out into the countries around them and defend the innocent. Each time the winter thawed the Nahkari would ride out, down the mountains and wherever their instincts guide them. Each year before the winter frost they returned, with new knowledge of the surrounding kingdoms. They learn myths of every land, fight monsters that dwell in nightmares, and carry a seal to protect the very fabric of our existence.
The Nahkari began bringing refugees with them after the first year and many years thereafter. Leading the broken and the orphaned back to Varazskala the way the messenger of Light led their forefathers to the Ancients. The people who arrived could stay only if they made their vows to keep the secrets of the city and give up the surrounding world for a new life. Standing in the presence of such magic and wonder, very few ever turned away.
As the population expanded, there came a need for more regulation, as humans often needed to be governed. So Counts were appointed, and three ruling houses created to govern over common matters that did not involve magic. The two Counts and the Countess created the first orphanage, market place, and theater. They fostered musicians and artists among those that were not called to a magical House. They settled disputes by standing judgment with fairness and compassion. They foresaw the need for a relationship with the small keep of Klevia at the base of the mountain, as a ruse of keeping the stray traveler away.
The first Counts and Countess passed their titles down to their born and adopted children. Their sons and daughters free to marry whomever they choose and the people free to remove them if they prove themselves unworthy.
The city thrived, generations passed, the people continued to live in peace. In the summer months, everyone toiled to bring in the harvests and stock pile the food. In the winter, everyone celebrated the many festivals and listened to the Nahkari tell tales of the outside world. No one longed for it, though. To the refugees, Varazskala felt like paradise. With all the hardship they’d seen, who would want to return to it? Here they were understood, loved, and protected. For the generations born inside the city walls, nowhere else could compare. Their families believed in the promises made long ago. They took comfort from the colorful pattern of their lives, and their easy existence in harmony with the land.
They looked to the statues inside the temple built by the Ancients. They listened to the wisdom of the Brothers to guide them. The secrets of The Nine dwelling within them all.
This who we were, and who we are. Who we will become is still veiled.
Transcribed Histories, Volume I, 14, Moze, 1132 A.D.