The Crown Of Kings
The Crown Of Kings
Centuries ago, in the time we now call the Dark Ages, whole regions of the world were undiscovered. There were pockets of civilization, each with their own races and cultures. One such region was Kakhabad, a dark land at the end of the earth.
Although several warlords had tried, Kakhabad had never been ruled. All manner of evil creatures, forced from the more civilized lands beyond the Zanzunu Peaks, had gradually crawled into Kakhabad, which became known as the Verminpit at Earth End.
Civilization and order had spread throughout the rest of the known world ever since the discovery of the Crown of Kings by Chalanna the Reformer of Femphrey. With its help, Chalanna became Emperor of the largest empire in the eastern world. This magical Crown had mysterious powers, bestowing supernormal qualities of leadership and justice on its owner. But Chalanna’s own ambitions were not of conquest. He wished instead to establish peaceful nation-states, aligned to Femphrey. Thus in his wisdom he passed the fabled Crown from ruler to ruler in the neighboring kingdoms, and, with the help of its magical powers, one by one these lands became peaceful and prosperous.
The path was set. Each ruler would own the Crown of Kings for a four-year period in which to establish order within his kingdom and fall in with the growing Femphrey Alliance. So far the kingdoms of Ruddlestone, Lendleland, Gallantaria and Brice had taken their turns under the rule of the Crown. The benefits were immediate. War and strife were virtually unknown.
The King of Analand duly received the Crown of Kings amid great ceremony, and, from that day onwards, the development of Analand was ensured. No one quite knew how the Crown of Kings could have such an enormous uplifting effect on a whole nation. Some said it was divinely inspired; some that its power was merely in the mind. But one thing was certain – its effects were unquestionable. All was well in Analand, until the night of the Black Moon.
The King was the first to discover that the Crown was missing. Carried off on that starless night by Birdmen from Xamen, the Crown was on its way to Mampang in the outlaw territories of Kakhabad. News came from the Baklands that the Crown was being carried to the Archmage of Mampang whose ambitions were to make Kakhabad his kingdom.
Although Kakhabad was a dangerous land, it was in itself little threat to the surrounding kingdoms. The lack of rule meant it had no army and its own internal struggles kept it permanently preoccupied. But with the Crown of Kings to establish rule, Kakhabad could potentially be a deadly enemy to all members of the Femphrey Alliance.
Such was the shame that fell on Analand for the loss of the Crown that all benefits from two years under its rule soon disappeared. law, order and morale were breaking down. The King was losing the confidence of his subjects. Neighboring territories were looking suspiciously across their borders. There were even whisperings of invasions.
One hope remained. A small party – for a military force would never survive the journey – must travel, on foot and undetected to the Arch-Mage, to Mampang and rescue the Crown of Kings. Only on its safe return would the dreadful curse be lifted from Analand. You have volunteered yourself for this quest and your mission is clear. You must cross Kakhabad to the Mampang Fortress and find the Crown!