The Mage-Wars devastated old Arth. The forces of the Necromancer were too strong for the Alliance of the Light. They broke through the Barrier Mountains and ravaged the Alliance. Finally the Arch-Mage Solon, with the help of the Council of Mages devised an experimental gate. While the Allied Army and the Council of Mages slowed the Necromancer, the Arch-Mage led, and in some cases drove, the remnants of the Five Races through the Gate into the unknown. About 10,000 humans came through the Gate, along with about 5,000 each of Elves, Dwarves, Catfolk and Wolfkind.
The Five Races withdrew across Sanctuary River, founding Gatewatch Hold, and began to settle the surrounding lands. The Arch-Mage founded Refuge and set up the School of Magic. Many of the Five Races, mostly humans, settled in Refuge as well, and Lord Talisen the Valient, with the help of the Arch-Mage, set up the government that has ruled us since and was crowned High King. The Arch-Mage created the Shield of Hope, the Armor of the High King and The Crown of Destiny, and aquired Cut-Steel from the fae. These he gave to the High King and his heirs.
Then the Necromancer overran the Allied Army and captured the Gate. He sent hordes of trolls, orcs, and kobolds through the Gate. The High King rallied his warriors and held the Gate for a time but was driven back, so the Arch-Mage blew the Gate, decimating a large part of their armies and destroying forever our way back. The Gate, ruined but not destroyed, began spewing forth spoiled magic and strange monsters. The remnants of the Necromancer’s armies fled into the Troll Mountains.
The leaders of each of the Five Races swore fealty to the Empire of the New Lands and dispersed to their own lands. The Elves inhabited Elven-Holme in the northwest forests, the Dwarves dug into the Dwarven Mountains to the northeast, the Catfolk settled in the forests south of Elven-Holme and the Wolfkind moved to the fertile lands east of Gatewatch Hold. The humans settled in the valley of the Great River and the Eastern River.
The Shield of Hope is a kite shield that is exceptionally well-made. It is made from mithril with a large red gem in the center. The shield shines with a light that hurts undead, fills allied troops with hope, makes enemies quail, and can damage weapons that strike it. It is lighter than normal, and gives somewhat more protection than it should.
- The light from the Shield illuminates the area in front of the shield as a lantern.
- The light has a small but persistent damaging effect on undead of all types. Allied troops fight harder and rout less often. Enemies quail, fighting less hard and routing more often.
- The Shield emits a bright flash of light when weapons strike it, damaging and frequently breaking the weapon.
The Shield knows its master.
- If anyone except the High King or his heir use the Shield, it feels heavy and clumsy.
- The damaging effects on undead, the positive effects on allied troops, and the negative effects on enemy morale cease to function.
This lasts until the user discards it.