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***Hailan Rising Lore*** Official
Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:26 PM
Hailan… The smallest of the world's nine continents.
The High Road Mountains… The peak of the mountain was said to be the highest known elevation in all the world. The length of the range spanned the entire center of the continent, cutting Hailan into two distinct halves. The mountain range was of such mass that only the bravest of souls would dare to attempt a pass over the expanse. A skilled explorer could pass over the mountain in no less than ten days. Expeditions were held in an attempt to lay trails across the mountain, making for easier passage. Only rugged, half noticeable, trails were able to be laid into the steep incline of the mountain though. The few who did manage to ascend to the mountain top would be surprised to find an almost flat and hospitable surface.
Nestled along the southern foot of the mountain laid the Orcian nation (pronounced Or-Shan). A private people, tribal in nature, the Orcs never strayed far from their own borders. They lived off the land and were wary of outsiders. Throughout history, many other races and civilizations would attempt to overthrow the Orcian kingdom in an effort to take control of the Orcish land. The Orcs were strong by nature, and the fiercest of warriors when needed. Countless tales of might and bravery have been told through the centuries of great Orcish warriors, warriors who stood to protect their land and families. All who would attempt to remove the Orcs from their homeland would pay dearly.
On the northernmost wall of the mountain was the vast human kingdom of Elian (pronounced Ee-Ly-An). Adventurous at heart, the Humans possessed a passion for exploration and invention. The people of Elian lined their city streets with beautifully constructed stone buildings and architectural wonders. Rarely would any outside civilization dare threaten the lands of the human realm. Proud and boastful, the Humans constructed the Elian Castle into the base of the mountain. The towering monolith alone told all comers of the Human might to be found within the Elian kingdom. It also served as a word of warning to any who would dare to stand defiantly before them.
Rarely would Humans and Orcs cross paths. The High Road Mountain range served not only as a geographical barrier, but a barrier between two distinct cultural and racial regions.
Chapter 2 - Favor of the Elves
The Elves placed the burdens of the world upon their shoulders. They would try to help any and all who found themselves in need. Throughout the centuries, the Elves would go to war in support of their allies, willingly giving the lives of their own so that others may survive.
For their dedication to the betterment of all life, the Gods looked favorably upon all Elf kind. Lianna, the God of Life, favored the Elves in such a way that she showed herself in a physical form on the battlefield at the conclusion of "The War of Life". Lianna appeared in all her majesty before the Elven Kral Dilas. She warned Dilas that his battles and great deeds, while noble and worthwhile, could be undone by just one corrupt soul were they able to venture into his home. This would be the only time in recorded history that a God would appear in physical form.
Chapter 3 - The Corruption of Calen
At birth, Calen was but a mere mortal by Elven standards. The Elves were blessed with long life, often living for two centuries or more. As Calen aged, he quickly came to be known throughout the Elven kingdom of Sayla as the greatest and noblest member of the Elven warriors. At the age of 28, Calen took the Elven princess Uil, Dilas's daughter, as his bride. Now married into the royal Elven lineage, Calen found great favor with Dilas. Dilas would name Calen to be the successor to the Elven throne. Upon the death of Dilas, Calen would assume the throne and the role of the Kral.
During Calen's 56th year, Dilas passed away. In the wake of the sad occasion, Calen was named the Kral of Sayla.
For years Halsah, son of Dilas, had hidden contempt and hate for Calen as he had long hoped for the throne of the Kral. Halsah felt unloved and humiliated as Dilas had overlooked him in favor of Calen for a successor. Overcome with hate and rage, Halsah attempted to impale Calen by way of the sword on the night of Calen's crowning. In an attempt to stop the unexpected attack, Uil threw herself between Halsah and Calen. The sword of Halsah penetrated the heart of Uil, and her lifeless body fell to the floor. Overcome with grief and remorse, Halsah fell on his own sword.
Enraged, Calen drew his own sword and ordered all within the chamber to leave. Calen picked up the lifeless body of Uil and carried her from the great Elven hall. He mounted his horse, still holding his fallen beloved, and rode deep into the Sayla Forest.
It was known that deep within the forest lived an exiled Elf by the name of Thorgruum. Decades ago, Thorgruum fell victim to the ancient and forbidden ways of Dark Elf sorcery and was cast forever from Sayla. Calen rode for hours through the dark night of the forest until reaching the sorcerers dwelling in the treetops.
Calling out from the ground below, Calen demanded that Thorgruum show himself. Thorgruum, in his shadowy veil and robe, did indeed appear to Calen and motioned for him to be silent. Thorgruum, like a feather on the wind, floated from the treetops to the ground where Calen had lain the cold body of Uil. Calen began to plead for Thorgruum to use his sorcery to restore her to life, but again… Thorgruum motioned for Calen to be silent, for he already knew what Calen desired.
Thorgruum placed his hand upon the forehead of Uil and looked coldly into Calen's eyes. He offered a deal to him… Life would be restored to Uil if Calen would revoke the favor of the Gods. Calen must also serve Thorgruum in all his wicked deeds from that day forward. Unflinching, Calen agreed.
Thorgruum removed his hand from the forehead of Uil. As he did, her eyes slowly opened. She stared blankly into the eyes of Calen as if she had never seen him before, and rose to her feet. Calen was overjoyed and moved towards her, but she withdrew in fright. Confused, Calen attempted again to move towards her, but this time found himself unable to move. Thorgruum cackled aloud wickedly. The dark sorcerer began to cast a spell over Calen. Calen screamed in pain as his body began to transform limb by limb. His fair Elven skin hardened and darkened. His long, flowing hair fell to the ground. His deep blue eyes turned as black as night. Calen was no longer the noble Elven soldier, but an evil thing of wickedness that would strike fear into the bravest of warriors. Terrified, Uil ran from him as fast as she could.
The last thing that the true eyes of Calen would ever see was the sight of his beloved Uil running terrified from him into the darkness of the forest.
As Thorgruum cast his spell, he told Calen that he would no longer be known by that name, but that from that moment on he would be known as Krow. Krow would be made to do all of Thorgruum's evil bidding.
Chapter 4 -Krow
Over a century after the corruption of Calen…
Krow grew to such a state of power that none on the planet dared stand before him. Even Thorgruum was unable to control the hate and contempt of Krow. Fearful that he might meet his end by Krow's hand, Thorgruum cowered into underground caverns and was never seen again.
Krow transcended beyond a physical body bound to the world. He ascended into a being that was able to walk within the realm of the Gods. Known as "The Death God" both on the planet as well as the heavens, Krow had long waged war on the celestial army of Lianna. Krow blamed Lianna for not intervening on the death of Uil. With that single thought in mind, Krow sought to corrupt all that was good in the world out of simple vengeance.
While Krow was able to corrupt the hearts of mortal men on the surface of the world, he was unable to rid the heavens of Lianna. The war in the celestial realm was a relentless stalemate of unchecked evil against the angels of Lianna. Tiring of the stalemate, Krow centered his focus from the realm of the Gods to the realm of the planet. If he could not rid the heavens of Lianna, he would destroy her beloved world of mortals.
Chapter 5 - The Flood
In an attempt to rid the world of all life with one swift action, Krow used all his strength and power to summon a great volcano through the icy depths of the "X" (known only as X due to the fact that it had never been explored, map makers simply X’ed it off the map) polar region. The volcano tore through the center of the landmass, spewing forth its lava. For weeks, lava poured from the volcano. A scorching sheet of molten lava eventually covered the entire frozen wilderness of X. As X melted away beneath the lava, the waters across the world began to rise to new heights.
As the waters submerged the world, all races and people alike fought for survival. The elves took to their ships, the vampires hid beneath the earth in catacomb dwellings, the dwarves put trust in their mountain tunnels, all the peoples of the world did what they could to fend off the coming devastation.
Krow, weary and sapped of energy from the destruction lain forth from his fingertips, was finally silenced.
Chapter 6 - The Ascent
The raging flood quickly swept through the Hailan continent. Those of the Orcian lands who were able bodied enough to attempt to scale the southern side of the High Road mountain side did so. The humans of the Elian kingdom did so as well from the northern side. Both nations raced up the mountain as fast as they could, leaving their former lives to the merciless waters. Orcs and Humans alike gave their all to overcome the unrelenting incline of the mountainside, unaware of the struggle that the other was facing.
On the evening of the fourth day of the ascent, the Orcs who survived the journey reached the mountain peak. Weary and exhausted, there they waited alone to meet their fate. During the morning hours of the fifth day, the humans began to finally approach the mountain top. When the Orcs sighted the first humans to arrive, without hesitation they moved to help any Human in need of assistance.
For as long as any could remember, the Orcs and Humans had existed as two independent nations… two cultures that would never intermingle. Orcian and Elian were two kingdoms divided by only a mountain, but seemingly as distant from each other as the end of the horizon. But on this day, they were one people.
The Orcs and Humans sat in quiet thought and remorse. Both peoples, unaware of the coming flood, had little time to prepare for the upward journey. Tragically, the population of both nations mostly perished in the waters. Those who survived the ascent mourned the loss of their families and friends. Atop the mountain, they waited for the waters to reach them, and take them to join those who were lost in the flood.
On the sixth day the waters still crept slowly up the mountainside. All people on the mountain top now knew that they were the last remaining people of the planet. For if this was the highest peak of the world, surely nothing else could have survived…
On the other side of the world, the final icy remains of X gave way to the molten lava, melting into the ocean covered planet.
Two more days passed. The Orcs and Humans surveyed the watery expanse that surrounded their mountain top. The waters calmed and ceased to rise any further. For the first time in many days there was a glimmer of hope in the eyes of all who stood atop the High Road peak. The Orcs were the first to yell out in an almost seemingly victorious chant. The Humans joined the Orcs with a loud war like battle cry. Though diminished in number and disheartened, they vowed to live on.
Chapter 7 - The Reconstruction
That very day the two nations made a pact with one another. No longer would they be two separate nations, but one. The kingdoms of Orcian and Elian would be laid to rest in the watery grave at the foot of the mountainsides below them. From that moment forward, they would work together to ensure their survival.
Resources were limited. A person could only walk for a half days time at most before reaching the shoreline. There was enough vegetation among the small landscape to feed the survivors of the flood. Animal life was also abundant, but both the Orcs and Humans agreed to not eat of the animals except for certain occasions.
Within days, crude housing would begin to be erected. The Orcs built huts of mud, sticks. and straw. The Humans pulled stone from the ground to build their new homes. Little did they know that these small structures would lay the groundwork for the great city of Highroad.
Chapter 8 - The Opening of the Gates
Twenty years later...
The waters finally began to recede as X refroze in the polar region of the world. Life has proven difficult for the Orcs and Humans of Highroad. The city itself though stands as a testament to its citizens will to survive. The buildings and walls of Highroad stand tall, a symbol of the unity between the Humans and Orcs.
The Orcs and Humans adopted the ancient Elven Kral government system. There would be no political monarchies... Each nation would choose one representative, their Kral. The two Krals worked together in most all cases to establish laws and regulations that they believed would benefit all the people of Highroad.
Lives, as limited as they were, were to be protected at all costs. Due to this, the Krals agreed that no person should live outside the city walls.
But one day a great dragon appeared along the eastern shore. Town citizens who claimed to have seen the dragon also claimed to have seen the great beast fly away across the ocean. While stories of the dragon spread fear throughout the people, they realized this meant there must be another body of land nearby above sea level.
For the first time, the Krals of Highroad allowed their people to move outside the city walls and closer to the shore. This was done so that great ships could be built along the coast.
Chapter 9 - The Backbone
The Orcs and Humans have finished the construction of the first ship that would leave Highroad in search of a new land. Sightings of the dragon have become frequent. On every occasion that the Dragon has appeared it is always on the eastern side of the island. Every time the dragon flies away, it is over the eastern waters.
With this knowledge, chosen Orcs and Humans set sail for the first voyage away from Highroad. To their great dismay, after only a single day voyage, they have indeed sighted land. From afar, they can see an island with a winding terrain that much resembles the spine of the dragon itself. With this in mind, they declare the island to be named Backbone.
And here begins the bloody conflict...
Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:38 PM
I just wanted to give some feedback on the above Hailan Rising world lore. When we first began the talks of actually making our own game - we knew that we had to build out the world in small chunks (due to us being a tiny team). So with that in mind, I began conceptualizing a world of made up of islands.
Way back then - LevelArtist was still working on War Rock. LevelArtist and I discussed what a small PvP based island might look like - and we built it out. It was actually a design for an FPS map that LevelArtist had been kicking around for quite sometime. This island came to be known as 'Backbone' - and it was the beginning of the development of Hailan Rising.
After we finished building out this first prototype island in Unity, our company allowed us to continue building the game - but with the understanding that we would be developing the game on our own time. As the game progressed though, a couple other people became interested in working with us - and we then had a team of four. Now that we had some programming support, we were able to get characters in the game and moving around on screen. This got the rest of the company excited, and we were given the green light to create our own game development department - and all of our official full time jobs were switched to developing Hailan Rising.
At this point, we needed to explain why our world was made up of islands - so I began putting the pen to the paper, imagining and writing out our world lore. Everyone was excited with the first pass at it - so we never veered from that path. The above writing is what we began with a long time ago, and it is the same lore that drives our world today. There has been slight changes and updates to it as time has gone on - but it remains largely unchanged.
For those of you that have been following the development of our game for a long while now - you now have the chance to know the true history of the Hailan *continent* (there is a story hint buried in there!).