A Brief Synopsis

Many thousand years ago, or so it is estimated by wisemen, humans came to Sym. No one knows where they came from, or how they first appeared. Some say they were created by the Gods who endowed them with magical abilities, others say they are random fluctuations in Symís magical field, still others, especially learned doctors and alchemists claim they are brethren to monkeys and orcs and their kind. Whatever their origins, humans were quick to adapt to their new surroundings.

As soon as they established footholds in the south west of Sym they waged a terrible merciless war against the other races of Sym: orcs, trolls and dwarves. The humans were desperate warriors, because their homeland was a harsh place, and they had the magic power. The war in the lowlands was over in a matter of months, but fighting in the narrow mountain passes of the Ubermir mountains and deep in the Ansymar forest lasted for many years and occasional bursts of violent conflict continued long after the main strongholds of the orcs and dwarves fell.

The original races of Sym were relentlessly, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, driven deeper into the mountains. The trolls, a largely peaceful race of huge nocturnal creatures were enslaved, their great underground cities ransacked and garrisoned. The trolls were forced to work in great labor camps at clearing forests where many of them died from overexposure to the sun. Meanwhile the freedom-loving forest orcs were taken from their shady forest shrines and hamlets and forced to work the mines, where countless died from darkness, overexhaustion and silicosis.

Dwarves were best off of all the three original races. They simply retreated deeper and higher into the mountains to where it was too dangerous for humans to venture, the Werewolf lands, who possessed magics of their own, wielded by their shaman. However, they continued to supply the orcish and trollish guerrilla movements, which were steadily growing more powerful under the strain of human occupation, until war broke loose a second time nearly five hundred years later. Huge battles followed, consuming vast amounts of magic and invariably accompanied by the merciless genocide of the opposing races, with varying success until at last the forces reached a stand-off twenty kilometers north of the human capital Caen. The races finally agreed to peace talks. The agreement that followed gave humans most of the plains in the centre of Sym, restored the forests to the orcs, let the trolls back into their cities and allowed the dwarves to come down from their mountain strongholds.

A shaky peace ensued, which settled and became firm with the years, even though there were lapses of near-war. Dwarves and orcs learned some of the human magic, although it wasnít easy and for the trolls, magic remained a closed book. It was during another conflict that the four races were finally united against a common enemy.

Elves. Hordes of them. They came out of the west in great ragged bands, carrying everything they had, their whole households, killing all in their way, seeming endless. They had powerful magic. War raged across Sym, east to west and back. Fertile lands were razed, whole towns were slaughtered. Many hundreds of thousands died yet again. Finally the war ended with elves holding most of eastern Sym. Caen was totally demolished. Humans had suffered the most from the war and elves are hated bitterly. Even though humans and elves mix in border regions, it is unsafe for anyone with elven features to appear in the cities of the far west.