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Lor-Angur, The Seat of Magic

T

he longer you travel with people, the more you find yourself thinking like them. The bond between a company of travellers becomes stronger the stranger the lands and enduring the hardship becomes easier with friends at your side. Barlak Therdenbrook, our leader and elder guide, had become what what can only be described as a father figure to me. So every evening, I listened to his stories and wondered how many more I might be privileged to hear and what more I might learn from him.

Exasperated by the suppression in Albar, scholars began to seek those with magical abilities and nurture their talents. Whilst this was at first in secret, avoiding the attentions of the Albarian crown, it would soon bring scholars into direct conflict with the ruling elite. Their opportunity came with the discovery of ancient ruins that harboured a vast hoard of magical artefacts and transcripts. Ancient writings amongst the haul described an impregnable barrier that could be charged by sunlight via three magical crystals. After much planning and experimentation, mages were convinced the barrier could be formed around a settlement to protect it. Declaring independence from Albar, the scholars founded their own city, Lor-Angur. Albar immediately sent forth riders to crush this rebellion but they encountered an impassable barrier around the fledgeling city. Fearing their return to Albar in defeat, numerous soldiers deserted, many joining Lor-Angur.

During the harsh winter to come, which would later become known as the Winter of Wolves, several Albarian towns were attacked by wolves. These wolves were reported to methodically attack Albarian nobles and soldiers and many tales of miraculous escapes spread amongst the peasant population. Several wolves were even sighted as far as the Salkamaerian border as they stalked through Albar. The Magi of Lor-Angur were declared responsible for the happenings.

Inevitably Albar sent further soldiers, intent on crushing Lor-Angur. Although structured as a fortress, the fledgling city still depended heavily on the magical barrier surrounding it. Come spring this barrier had begun to weaken with the crystals not sufficiently charged by the limited light of the winter months. As word was received of approaching legions, diplomats were sent from the city to request support from the Salkamaerian Empire. Although sympathetic, the plea was rejected as Lor-Angur was situated so deep within Albarian territory; instead the Emperor of Salkamar, Regis Saldor Negus I declared the 'City of Magi' to be a Salkamaerian protectorate as his own forces had often been openly supported by the magi of Lor-Angur.

As the magical barrier faded the Albarian forces laid siege to Lor-Angur inducing the Salkamaerians to declare war once again on Albar. Heavy losses were incurred by the Albarians trying to hold the siege as effective spells rained down on them. Many of the magi of Lor-Angur were former Albarian peasants who enthusiastically defended their new found freedom and righted old wrongs of their former masters. Eventually dwindling supplies forced the legions to lift the prolonged siege and retreat. Longer days enabled sufficient charging of the crystals to enable reactivation of the barrier and scholars worked frantically to improve longevity of the charge.

For years to come as Lor-Angur continued to flourish, the lands would be plagued by skirmishes between Albarian and Salkamaerian forces, the latter always supported by the spells of powerful magi of Lor-Angur.

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