The Legend of the Burning Sands
Once the world was young and green. Trees and grasslands flourished
food and game were plentiful, and the mortal races lived an
easy life in luxury. It was so for many years until the Burning
from his ancient slumber. He looked upon the green places of the Earth,
and his heart grew heavy with a terrible
joy, for it was his delight to
set the forests ablaze and burn the grasslands to cinders.
The Burning One rose up
from his bed of molten rock and strode across the
world. Where his feet touched the land, waters hissed and vanished, trees
into flames, and grasslands crisped and burned to ash. Deserts
poured from his mouth when he breathed, covered the burning
sand and rock, and ash covered the sun when he shook his head.
It was seen then that the Burning One
would not rest until the world was
ash and cinders. And so the Slanar'ar were brought forth, we who can
into the wastelands of the world and endure - oh so briefly - the
touch of the EverBurning Death. We were greater in those
times than in
these. Our footsteps shook the desert sands as we went into battle, and
our war-cries echoed from the
roof of the world to the depths of the sea.
A war was there in those times. Its battles raged across the skies,
the darkest ocean, and atop the highest mountain. The foundations
of the world shook as Great One fought Great One.
We were but foot
soldiers in one small part of that war, and it nearly destroyed us all.
In the end, the Burning
One was bound in chains of ever-flowing water and
killed in the War. The Slanar'ar were changed forever by those who saw
they could one day become a threat and banished to the wastes and
deserts that they had seen created by the Burning Ones.
But we remember.
Though storm and ice, fire and flood, darkness and rebirth, our memory is
It is said that the Slana'ar will never
give away anything, and it is
true. Every deed must be repaid; each transaction carefully weighed, and
sealed to satisfaction.
Many years ago, before the Sun had faded to yellow, when the snake could
still fly, the
Slana'ar were a great people. Our footsteps could shake the
mountains, fire sprang up at our command, and our voices would
through the deep places of the world.
In that time, a voice spoke to the tribe of Slana'ar, offering them
rewards for nothing. A gift, it said. And so the Slana'ar
accepted the gift. For a while, the Slana'ar were delighted with
gift, but then they noticed that they were less and less pleased. So they
asked the voice for another gift
-- one better than the last. And the
This went on for some time until one day the voice came to the
and said, "I have given you all that you have asked for and you have taken
it. Now the time has come
for you to repay my gifts." And the Slana'ar
protested, saying that they should not be required to pay for that which
given freely. The voice laughed, and said that nothing was ever given
for free. So the Slana'ar were taken
captive by the voice and forced into
Ever since that time, the Slana'ar have known that nothing is given
The Deaths of the World
The world has ended thrice before. Each time it has been reborn, rebuilt,
There are three more times the world may die and be reborn
before the final death when all will be still and cold once
The first death was the death of metal, the death of war and blood.
The second death was the death of
water, of ice and cold, that which
The third death was the death of stone, of earth that sunk beneath
waves, of soil that failed, of mountains crumbled.
It is said that the next death will be the death of wood,
but none can say
when or how such death will come.
It is known that the final death will be the death of spirit.
Before the Shattering, the world was rich
and beautiful. Many marvels
graced the sky, shone in the sun, and danced in the waves. Things that we
can not even imagine
now were commonplace, and the mortal races were
content in their lives.
The Slana'ar knew of the beauties of the
world because we were the ones
who bought and sold them. Traveling from place to place with our wonders,
the world bringing news, riches, and perhaps a bit of gossip as
well. While our home has always been the warm places of
the land, we
braved snow and ice to retrive the ice-orchids so prized by Trahern,
suffered through the misery of rain
and jungle to offer blood-stones to
the men of Arkat (and life-stones to their women), and ventured into the
to bring the rose-gold to the Dueregar for forging.
And then the Shattering came upon us, and a piece of the sun fell
earth and scorched the land turning vast acres to barren wasteland. We saw
the sun fall, felt the heat of its
passing, and to this day we sometimes
see the flickering light of the fallen piece as it reaches out to the sky.
is said that no one can be close to the sun and walk away unchanged. It
is why the Phoenix always brings a change to those who receive its
blessing. It is why
the nothing placed inside a fire emerges unscathed. It
is why the sun changes night to day and the fire changes darkness
light. It brings change.
That which lived in the lands where the sun's shard fell to earth were
it. The very land was changed. Now, it is harsh and desolate --
hostile to those mortal races who were not touched by the
For there are things that live in the waste -- terrible things driven mad
by the changes made to them and
by the constant light of the sun-shard.
Some were once Slana'ar. Some were human, elven, even trow. No one would
them now, for they have changed. They ride beasts that tower
over everything, and carry weapons made of living things.
some years, they send warriors against us, and we fight them. They raid
us for our herds and the water that we have found
in the desert. We fight
them, driving back the mad warriors. In some years, they come not at all,
and we are free
to tend our herds and live our lives in peace.
Once, a Slana'ar went into the waste, seeking treasures and wealth beyond
She returned, blinded by the sun-shard and speaking prophecy.
But when her tounge was idle, she said that she had seen
marvels out of a
child's imagination. Rocks that spoke, water that ran upstream,
butterflies larger than a goat, and
wonders beyond compare. Other Slana'ar
have since tired the same journey, but none have returned.