Thursday, October 13, 2016


The Naen Vormak are a savage elvish tribe who live in far undiscovered territory in the Desolate North. They are a small tribe, pushed to the brink by other bigger, stronger tribes. Their blood-magic is thin, and they have few sons, so they have no choice but to squat at the edge of the World Glacier, scrabbling and scavenging for what scraps they can get in that truly inhospitable place.

The Naen Vormak are not popular people. They're nasty, dirty, and brutish. If there are fewer of them than there are of you, they're servile and obsequious, but useless; they lie, cheat, and steal whenever they think they can get away with it. If there are more of them than there are of you, they'll turn violent, kill you or enslave you, and pillage your camp.

Some of the other elvish nomad tribes have stories of a time before the coming of the cold and the advancement of the wastes, when the Desolate North was a place of plenty. In these legends, they lived in forests and caves, shaped to their pleasure and housing many elves. Game abounded, the cold did not bite so much, their magics were stronger, and they had time for arts and pursuits which have since been lost.

The Naen Vormak also have such stories, but theirs take a different turn. Back in the time of legends, their forefather found something. Something deep, dark, underground. Something he dared not share with his friends, but that demanded his allegiance and that of his family, and that still does.

Every ten years a small party of the Naen Vormak head south. They dodge through lands claimed by other, bigger tribes bringing children to sacrifice to their god.

If their god is pleased with the sacrifice (the children disappear without a trace), his rantings commence. Pouring into their minds come secrets. Sometimes they learn of the future, sometimes of the past. Sometimes (the most precious and secret times), they learn of their god.

Their god was wounded long ago in a forgotten battle with mighty forces. He cannot leave his lair, and rests simply on the floor in a little nest of gifts and cast-offs made for him by the Naen Vormak. His huge spherical bulk rarely moves, and then only shifts a little across the floor. Sometimes he blesses or curses them with his gaze, settling his great milky eye or one of his many smaller roving eyes upon them.

A man knowledgeable about such things would call him a Beholder. A man more knowledgeable about such things would note that this is the oldest and largest Beholder ever chronicled.

From their god, the Naen Vormak have learned some little about Beholders. Sometimes, they have even caught glimpses of the sights of other gods.

Or, perhaps they are right: these are all manifestations of one God.

According to the Naen Vormak, in the Beginning Times before the World-Egg cracked and spilled Reality across the cosmos, this God had no name, and he blindly groped his way through the unformed chaos. As such He is older and stranger than the other gods, many of whom spilt out of the World-Egg with everything else. But when He blundered into Reality, in His blindness He smelt it, felt it, tasted it. He pushed against it, stretched it. Eventually He pressed through it, in places, and in those places His being became enfleshed, in an act of cosmic irony, as eyes. Eyes of the Blind God. The Blind God could now see.

Whatever a Beholder sees, all other Beholders also see. Whenever one is killed, all know who, where, and when. As manifestations of the Blind God they all have their own minds, unhinged and unfathomable.

Fortunately Beholders are usually not much for vengeance. Usually.

A particularly daring or desperate man might find a way to obtain information from a Beholder about the doings or surroundings of its brethren. If the legends are true, the forefather of the Naen Vormak may have been just such a man.

Still the best

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