Lore in Progress
About eight hundred years ago, a Drasean traveler named Elyn Rizi discovered a towering oak tree in the grasslands. She had traveled far North-East of her homelands in the swamps, beckoned by some unknown force that seemed to pull at her very soul. When she discovered the great tree, it is said she had a vision of how it came to Elyria, a story so wonderful and inspiring, it drove her to tell it until the end of her days. She began to spread the tale of the Bloodoak, and people flocked to her side to hear the stories.
From Elyn Rizi’s inspiration, others wishing to spread the stories came. The Oakenroot were born: a mystical faction seeking to tell of the magnificent Bloodoak. Military minded individuals formed the Thornbrud, clans who under this banner allied themselves with the Oakenheart. The Brud vowed to protect the Oakenroot as they studied the ways of spirit, culture, pacifism, and lore-keeping.
Overtime, the Oakenroot claimed a great deal of the territory near the Bloodoak, and established a great library in the North-West of the kingdom’s territory. The Sharizi, those descended from Elyn Rizi, paved the path for the Oakenroot. The Sharizi built a library, often called the Athenaeum, just due north of Vali, the city they held. Many others came to work there, and soon the Athenaeum was a place of great reknown.
Here, all the knowledge of the tribes, religions, politics, lore, and culture were collected, along with many renditions of the Bloodoak story. Elyn Rizi’s bloodline became known as the Sharizi, and they were almost always in the position of “Oakheart,” leader of the Oakenroot. Unfortunately, this oasis of knowledge, culture, and peace would not last. In the late late 650s, the First Warden (King) of Bloodoak formed an alliance with the nearby kingdom of Xeilias by agreeing to marry the Oakheart heir, Imreys, to the foreign king’s daughter, Dierdrin. Marrying for any reason other than love was completely against Sharizi culture, but First Warden Ektsil pushed, stating it was for the good of the kingdom.
It was not. Almost 10 years after the forced wedding, a Xeilias-Bloodoak heir was finally born: Sutorys.
On the babe’s first birthday, a grand festival was held. Xeilias, however, did not arrive for the festivities, but rather for bloodshed. As they attacked, the first wave was a decisive blow against the Sharizi bloodline, wiping out their nearby town of Vali before sweeping in to destroy the Oakenroot Library: the Athenaeum.
As the fires began and the first killing blow landed upon Imreys’s father, Imreys panicked. Gathering his things - the divining deck passed down through his family for generations, his journal, and a favored book of stories, Imreys grabbed his son, and attempted to flee. Confronted by Xelian warriors, he was certain he would die, until a familiar face appeared. Ta’Ah’Lah, the lover he’d been forced not to wed, saved him but was lost in the conflict. Dierdren, too, was killed.
Although the Thornbrud came to the rescue as soon as word reached them, it was too late. They were able to drive back or kill the remaining Xeilians, but only few associated with the Oakenroot and the Sharizi survived.
His homelands on fire, his future destroyed, Imreys did what he thought he must. He fled to the woodland savannah to the south with his son and his bound sereadae. Together with sereadae Azesax, Imreys spent the last of his years in hiding, teaching Sutoryus the ways of the Sharizi in the hopes that one day, their old traditions might come alive once again.
Although Bloodoak was then in the midst of an ongoing war against Xeilias, Sutoryus came out of hiding. After his father’s death, he stepped forward seeking those wishing to return to Elyn Rizi’s original heartlands. He was not entirely sure where it was, but possessed some ancient records and maps. Most importantly, Sutorys had a will to reclaim his heritage, as well as an intense drive to reinstate a seat from which the old Sharizi culture could be reborn.
So he set out with a band of travelers and wanderers looking for a home: in the next year, Ah’wena would begin to be built.