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Chapter 1: Nastralund

Journal Entry #1

I am Thormun. Valhalla is my homeland, though I do not recognize the regions that I dare to visit. My people, the Kyrie, lived peacefully here for thousands of years under the rule of our Archkyries. Then the wellsprings were found, and everything changed.

Ah, the mysterious wellsprings. Sixty-some years ago I discovered the first one quite by accident, in the Tarn of Volsunga. When I drank its water, I became stronger in body and mind; my wings grew to a wondrous size; I gained mystical powers; and to my astonishment, I stopped aging. Yet if I did not drink from the wellspring often, the powers faded.

I lived quite happily in this way for a time, except for the visions. You see, along with the powers came strange visions of armies at war on bleak, unknown battlegrounds. Their images were terrifying, and I lived in fear of them; yet I still drank the water.

I was not surprised to hear that other wellsprings had been found. Other Kyrie drank from them, and gained powers from them, and saw the visions. They became a super-species; they named themselves Valkyrie, and they seized control of the wellsprings.Inevitably, there began a violent struggle over the precious waters. I fled before they could find me, for I was alone, and did not want war. My powers soon vanished, and the visions along with them.

As for the visions of the Valkyrie-they became a horrifying reality. The Valkyrie discovered that the images in those visions were of great heroes, warriors and creatures from other worlds, other eras. They devised ways to beckon them to Valhalla, and gathered them into powerful armies to fight for their side. Lush valleys and hillsides became military strongholds. Majestic mountains became vantage points for deadly attacks on those below. Armies marched, fought, claimed victory or were vanquished, all for the wellsprings.

Alas, Valhalla, my once-serene homeland, has now become a war-torn and desolate ruin.

They are calling this age of war the Rise of the Valkyrie.

I travel the land in secret, carrying little more than my journals and my heavy burden of guilt, for it all began with me.

I record all that I witness or hear about, for those who will come after me. Indeed, if any do . . .

Journal Entry #2

War is everywhere, and its dangers multiply as Utgar's army grows in size and ferocity. I underestimated Utgar's savagery and hunger for power. His massive, tireless, well-prepared armies attack relentlessly, with little or no warning, and leave a sickening path of destruction in their wake. And now they have done the unforgivable: they have invaded my hometown of Tealeron. The peaceful village where I spend my childhood; where my brother, his wife and his children made their home; now utterly annihilated, a smoldering heap of rubble. I can only pray that my friends and family escaped safely.

Recently I had the privilege of meeting Jandar, Archkyrie and ruler of Nastralund, where many of Utgar's armies are now waging war. When Jandar told me of his constant need for soldiers and scouts, I eagerly volunteered for a scouting post in his army. The horrors of this war have given me new resolve, and I am no longer content to travel in secret. I am old, but I can still fly, and I know the region well. We will not lose this war; Utgar will not destroy this planet. And I will not sit silently by and simply watch Utgar work his evil.

Jandar also spoke of other Valkyrie, others who had drunk from the wellsprings. Rumors are of a Valkyrie in the east named Ullar. It is unclear whether he is Jandar's ally, Utgar's ally, or serves his own purpose. Jandar is sending emissaries to meet with Ullar and two others who have made their presence known. These other Valkyrie have not mastered the difficulties of summoning armies and, as of now, their forces are small. But soon they too will learn to control the visions and the war will only get worse. I hope their hearts are pure.

Journal Entry #3

Last night, I had the pleasure of camping with Jandar's Northern Army. The army has heard rumors of a pending attack. They are holding the highground in the old ruins of Stechavan, located in the southern part of the Nastralund. Sgt. Drake Alexander leads this army. He spoke of his family, and of a great war on a planet named Earth. He spoke of good and evil.

"Jandar is noble. Utgar on the other hand is evil. Utgar seeks power and wealth, like so many generals from Earth. At what point, do we, intelligent beings, actually learn from history?"

-Sgt. Drake Alexander

Journal Entry #4

Last night, I also met Raelin. She is beautiful and courageous. The Sentinels of Jandar all respect Raelin. She is also a childhood friend of Jandar's. The Sentinels spoke of her valor on the battlefield. I'm glad she is fighting on our side. We are going on a scouting mission today. I will document all that we see.

Journal Entry #5

This is Arik, he is a Sentinel. The Sentinels are the core of Jandars army, what's left of it. About 200 are in the Northern army. They are tough. Most of them have homes near here,

Journal Entry #6

We, Raelin and myself, travelled along the edge of the forest near Stechavan. Raelin described to me one of Utgar's many soldiers. "Be wary of this creature, for it never travels alone. Its bluish tint and foul smell are unmistakable. Known as a "Blade Grut" from the Orc family, this beast travels in large packs, using sheer numbers and jagged blades to hack away at their enemies. There are rumors of thousands of these creatures gathering just outside of Nastralund."

-Raelin

Journal Entry #7

Raelin also told me about Utgar's Marro Warriors. In the past, when I used to drink from the wellspring, I use to get visions of these creatures fighting hordes of snakes. "Skinless and dripping, these creatures are the most disgusting that I have seen yet. They are brutal with their weapons, and somehow they actually seem to be multiplying. During a battle I witnessed the most unusual thing. As soon as one of these creatures died, another was formed. I saw one creature in the water look as if it was going to split in two. Its body began to stretch apart. I thought it was going to split in half, then suddenly I looked and there were two of these creatures standing where there used to be only one. Can such creatures ever be completely destroyed?"

-Raelin

Journal Entry #8

As Raelin was talking quietly, we heard in the distance something moving through the forest. We quickly flew up into a large tree with many leaves. If we remain quiet we should be able to observe what is coming without being spotted. That's when we saw this hideous creature. Looks like Utgar has a new addition to his already powerful Marro Army. This creature was surrounded by an army of Marro Drones and a huge horde of Blade Gruts.

Journal Entry #9

On the left flank, there is a horde of these skeleton dogs. They look like another marro creature. Sgt. Alexander is not going to be happy. We are going to have to make a break for the air to warn the Northern army.

--> CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 2

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