2.1 The Humans

No one is exactly sure where humans came from, or how they acquired the magic so many of them control. The area they claim to have come from, far in the south east, is known only as the Origin. It seems to have been a terrible place, a great jungle, home to a vast amount of creatures that preyed on each other and ultimately on humans. It is doubtful that humans originated in the “Origin”, but there seem to be no existing records of a time before.

Indeed, there are only a few legends that date back to the Origin. From these we know several things. The Origin wasn’t originally, if you may excuse the pun, a land of death and horror. It appears that it was once a beautiful place with bright colors, high light canopies and clear streams, but something that is unknown to us, a closely guarded secret of the human wizards (the magic?), changed all that. It started with the darkening of the water, which suddenly became murky and soup-like. Then, there came about subtle changes in the trees. They grew together, bound by new strains of vines, never seen before. The forest became dark and swampy. And then humans became to disappear. It happened in different ways. Sometimes it was a violent event, with hamlets broken down, doors torn from their hinges, blood and miscellaneous body parts scattered. Magic didn’t help. Sometimes it happened quietly, with all work simply abandoned and no trace of the victims. Humans began to form into armed villages, from where they would attempt to keep the monsters stalking them at bay. Conflicts followed. Some creatures were caught, all bone, teeth and muscles, these were denoted the Skyr but the others, called Vargols, the ones that left no trace of their presence and whisked away alert guards, remained free. The first and only Vargol to be caught was captured by the great wizard Ilefon, who imprisoned it when it came for him in the night. It didn’t seem to have been much, a cloud of slightly foggy air.

It was Ilefon who told humans to flee for their lives, and he led a huge band of two hundred thousand refugees from the Origin northeast into Sym. More groups were meant to follow, but the fate of the rest of humans is unknown. Ninety thousand, almost half of the humans who went on the exodus, perished. It was a crazed, desperate and extremely xenophobic band that finally reached the fertile lands of Sym. Ilefon had died from a combination of poison and fever along the way and the humans had no strong guidance. They split into smaller groups and went out to settle this new land. Almost immediately they encountered some of the indigenous population of Sym, which happened to be the trolls. It is quite an unfortunate turn of events. Had they encountered the dwarfs, or even the orcs, or had Ilefon still been alive, the history of Sym could have been a lot different. But the first scouting party to see the trolls saw in them the monsters of their nightmares. A skirmish quickly gained momentum and grew into a war. The trolls got their long-time allies, the dwarves and orcs, to bear against the vast human army, but their efforts couldn’t stop the humans who were fighting for their very survival with all the skill of someone who had fought for many years.

Under the command of Norgyn, later his Imperial Highness, Norgyn I, they routed the united armies of the three Original races one by one. The trolls, a gentle, peaceful and enigmatic people, were enslaved and put to work in great labor camps at construction work. The fortress-town Caen was raised almost entirely by the hands of trolls. Many were killed and chased out of their underground cities. The orcs, freedom-loving forest dwellers, were forced to work the mines that had belonged to the trolls, and their places of worship were desecrated. The dwarves were forced to abandon their great stone cities to the humans and flee back into the mountains, into the domain of the werewolves, perhaps the most secretive people of Sym.

The complete and oppressive rule of the humans was ended rapidly in one day in another bloody war. This time humans were divided among themselves over the fate of the other races. The forces came to a stand-off just north of Caen, the human capitol, and, under pressure from all sides, peace talks were started. These were the foundation of a friendship of the races that would last for many thousand years. A time of peace and prosperity ensued, accompanied by great works of art and magic, which lasted until the coming of the elves.

After the end of the Elvish Wars, humans, especially in the border regions set their differences with the other races aside. Several generations grew up in an atmosphere of racial tolerance and brotherhood. This lead to the formation of multiethnic cities such as Atopek, New Caen (rebuilt after the Fourth Elvish War) and Nordhelm.