The Ghost Horde

Legend of the Ghost Horde.

Prior to the expansion of humans from the southern kingdoms Lutins ranged freely south of the Dragon Mountains. They seldom bothered the reclusive Elves. In their arrogance the Elven nations saw Lutins as little more than barely-civilized beasts though some individual Elvish families had contact with them. A rarer few even took them in, taught them Elvish lore and craft, and treated them as a people of their own right. Understandably such Elves were not popular among their brethren. Those Lutins who were taught Elvish lore learned how to write, to craft scrolls or other archival formats, and in due course of time became the teachers and historians of the clans.

During the expansion of the Suielish empire Lutins were slaughtered out of hand by humans. They were eventually pushed back north of the Dragon Mountains, back into the territory left behind by the collapsing Giant empires. There they were contained for the better part of five hundred years until their numbers reached a point where the only direction to expand was southward.

At the time the Lutins of the Giant Downs were divided into two rough factions. The larger faction was a cobbled together horde under the influence of a Lutin war-chief called "Tumen t' H'kti" [Tumen the Dragon]. Tumen was in fact a hybrid of unknown secondary blood from Lom Shi'un. With him was the black dragon Ketai (full name lost to time). Lutin histories concerning Tumen and Ketai span some two hundred years, from his first appearance in roughly 75 CR to his death, as detailed in Suielish histories, in 237 CR. The black dragon, Ketai, may have fallen as well but such has never been historically recorded.

During the rise of Tumen a second Lutin faction opposed the war-chief's rhetoric about invading the human kingdoms. This faction was less nomadic and comprised the historians, teachers, shamen, and mages of the Lutin clans. They dwelt in the ruins of the ancient Giant built cities and maintained the cultural histories of the Lutins spanning back millenia. As Tumen gained power the Stone Clans were further and further marginalized. In 97 CR the war-chief ordered the Lutins under his sway to attack one of the clans that opposed him. The city of Sh'i Fenal was razed and the Ghost Eyes clan annihilated entirely.
After this attack all of the remaining Stone Clans went silent and disappeared during the winter of that year. With them went the entirety of Lutin magecraft, history, and the Shamen tribes who carried teaching from the cities to the clans. Only one Stone Clan did not withdraw, as they had allied with Tumen and were thus never told where to go. As the sole remaining shaminic clan the Moon Dogs became the cultural heart of the remaining Lutin clans.

None were left behind who knew where the Stone Clans went, the cities were left vacant.

In every city a warning was left behind: The Ghosts would rise again.

To paraphrase (since Lutin prophetic meter does not translate well), the last prophetic warning given by the vanished tribes is as follows:

Against the strength of the Human kingdoms the might of the Lutins would shatter.
Into the ice and stone they would be pushed, with their spears ever at the throat of their own [Lutin brothers].
Shattered and scattered, the Lutins would not know nothing but cruel brutality [Loss of established civilization].
In time the tribes would be shackled to a new master, like dogs brought to heel, and dashed against their ancient Human foes again.
Until one rises to cast walking stones into the chasm the Lutins would be another's crude bludgeon.
Taking fire into the Maw [of the World] the conqueror of stone would bring forth the Lost Clan(s).
With Fire in hand this one would lead the Ghost Horde from their ancient Stone Cities and claim the shattered tribes as His Own.
No Clan will stand against the Ghost Horde, no single blade can cut He who leads them, and under His fist the clans will become one again.

Author's Note:

The fate of the Ghost Horde has already been established; they will put on an appearance somewhere in 713-714 CR. Beginning in roughly 711 the Lutin tribes will begin withdrawing from the areas north of Metamor Keep as the newly arrived Ghost Horde begins consolidating the clans to itself. Any knowledge of what is transpiring among the clans would be sparse and almost impossible to verify.


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