Darkest of all, its puissance a ravening cataract to sunder the veil of time and stride the void of chaos, was the Bane of Dôrmingrísh. Dôrmingrísh, that monster and mage king whose foul lore was writ in blood upon parchments of living flesh when our world was still young, when first the gods dreamt and chaos was chained. Thus the Prophesy speaks: But one dream brought madness, both shadow and light.
Then did Rânoc, that primal force of order and creation, reign over the lightless desolation of chaos. In its seething deeps dreams were tempered and realms without count born. In one such was our world formed. Krîl-lôc, in whose birth pains was forged our Bane.
Sealed it was, its lore lost to the eyes of men. Yet a splinter of the mage king’s malice survived his end. And to this shard, this fragmented and bitter shadow forever filled with spite, did the Bane call.
Answered it was, by flesh and bone.
Power it gave, in blood writ lore.
A doom it wrought, two worlds entwined.
– From the Histories of Krîl-lôc
by Faydrám, Queen of Prophesy,
Seeress of Doômzrill é Rânoc
For ten millennia two great civilizations ruled over this world. The Rân and Mârgrôllic empires. Together they rose to heights of power and illumination as had not been known in the dark epochs following the fall of that horror, the mage king Dôrmingrísh. So complete his fall, so final became his spite against life itself, it will be ten thousand millennia and more before mankind will again walk this world’s face, will again claim lordship over the land, and alas, with that ancient shadow of malice, that blighted legacy of the Mage King’s inimical will now a stain upon the most secret places of men’s hearts, mankind will come to desire cruel lordship over each other as well.
What discerning soul is taken unawares then, when a mere ten millennia following their emergence from the exile of extinction, Rân and Mârgrôllic, their hearts stained dark, lay stone to steel their swords to sharpen; lances they raise in deadly earnest; armies, warlocks, shamans and witches they marshal to war?
I scribe this history in the year 20,113 AS. Nine thousand years it has been since that ill conceived war was loosened across the far reaches of Krîl-lôc. Six millennia since the Krîll clans finally staunched our wounds and began the weary work to rebuild our shattered world. A world stricken and left uninhabitable across whole continents, devastated in a cataclysmic war between our two ancient and puissant empires; wars where fell weapons of malice and sorcery were wielded, kingdoms drowned, vast lands scorched lifeless and dead.
I pen these words with a fearful hand and troubled heart. I ask, of myself and the gods themselves, when is enough enough? Must we be cursed to repeat our most ignoble depredations for all time? Is this then, our wicked fate?
Driven by the iron will of our High Shaman, the resurgent Krîll clans, now an empire in our own right, searched for new and unspoiled lands to claim and settle. New lands?
Indeed, we sought more, much more. Our shamans and warlocks pierced the lightless void between realms in time and space in search of nothing less than worlds whole to master.
In the course of time their quest has found satisfaction. Our legions are soon to be unleashed upon a world. A world calling itself Rôme.
I fear our history will ever flog us bloody for what we are about to do.
Kraz-Ishdôc, Emperor 20,112AS
To have created an enemy such as these Rômäns, these Aestrâgor, speaks to both our hard fought victories as well as our monumental failures, or possibly just one monumental failure. Who but the Krîll could have survived a war such as we fought, and finally won to victory? A victory staggering in its cost. We who withstood the fell sorceries of the Witches, their armies, their implacable hatred. All true. Only to allow hubris to blind us with past glories. Ah, such arrogance, yes? Ever the gods play with chaos. Who are we to intrude in their games, we who must live in the present?
– An Emperor’s Dialogues
by Kraz-Ishdôc, Emperor of the Krîll Imperium
Both worlds, ours and Krîl-lôc, seem more like the two sides of a shadow than truly separate realms. Possibly they are both. In the Prophesy of Rânoc it says: One dream became darkness, one dream became light. One dream made day, one dream made night. But one dream brought madness, both shadow and light.
We like to believe that ours – our world – is of the light while Krîl-lôc is of the darkness. Our own history belies anything so clearly divided. We’re undeniably both, both shadow and light. And Krîl-lôc? Remember, our ultimate strength and power lies in the truth of a matter, not necessarily what we wish it to be. So ask again: And Krîl-lôc?
– The Use of Power
by Dael ap Owain
In the epochs that followed creation, when eternity and chaos lay chained within the gods’ dreams, and Time first stretched forth her power while her sisters took Shape and Form, then did chaos strive against his chains. And his struggles rippled across the gods’ gravid dreams. In time, a primal prophesy is born. Within the threads of this fabric . . .
– The Histories
by Halgrön of Rân
Doômzrill é Rânoc
The Prophesy of Rânoc
In dreams, the Gods forged Time’s chain.
One chain to hold them.
Nine links to bind them.
One link to break them.
In the waters of Rânoc they
tempered their work.
From Chaos nine dreams took
form and flight.
One dream became darkness,
One dream became light.
One dream made day,
One dream made night.
One dream was black,
One dream was white.
One dream gave weakness,
One dream gave might.
But one dream brought madness,
both shadow and light.
In the last days, in gravid splendor,
in strength and might I grow.
The ancient lore, puissant beyond death,
flows through my veins.
The force of Chaos arises ever stronger within.
Finally a new chalice do I require.
I, Dôrmingrísh, Wielder of Chaos, Master of Time.
In death lies the seed of my rebirth.
A soul to forge with flesh and bone.
Birth by blood and death.
My soul reborn in a virgin’s last throes.
A child, wicked and dire.
Dreams, corrupt with dooms of might.
Caustic in their madness,
both shadow and light.
A birth to bind them in death.
Sated in Life’s waters,
a dream’s flesh ever thirsts.
Two of the Promise,
Two of Rân,
Called to join,
both day and night.
Nine bells to call them.
One bell to free them.
Nine names to find him.
Nine names to bind him.
When Time is mastered,
the strength of madness has no bounds.
Balance ever holds the rupture.
- The Great Wars began in AS10,109, finally ending with Rân and Mârgrôllic’s destruction in AS13,250.
- The nine clans of the Krîll were first united under Ishrâk, son of Ishbrôn of Clan Ishdôc, Riders of the North Wind, in AS19,410.
- The nine clans of Krîll became the Nine Founding Families of Krîll in AS20,105 following the Kingdom Wars: 19,420 – 20,105.
- The Krîll Empire is founded, AS20,111
- The Krîll Empire invades Terra and Rome, AS20,113.
- Dael kills Drägorîsh, AS20,122.
The house cognomen is used in first introductions and for formal occasions. All citizens of a duchy carry its house’s cognomenial suffix, i.e. Krazûk-dôc. The following lists each house’s cognomen:
- House Ishdôc: dôc
- House: Kzàcok: cok
- House Brïnolk: olk
- House Azhòc: hòc
- House: Achrim: rim
- House Bashök: hök
- House Mordôl: dôl
- House: Skreel: eel
- House Daghakz: akz
A house’s heir carries the same name as his father (only men hold the ducal seat) with the suffix rak added, i.e. Krazûk-rak. An heir’s first son (a living duke’s grandson) carries his father and grandfather’s name with the suffix raki. Should the title go to a duke’s second son or other male descendent, they adopt his name upon enheriting the dukedom.
First daughters carry their mother’s name with the suffix ral, or rali for granddaughters. All daughters keep their house’s cognomen after marriage. Once married, they add their husband’s name and house. So, Drumish-ral-hòk becomes Drumish-hòk-min-Krazûk-dôc (Drumish of House Ashòk, wife of, Krazûk of House Ishdôc). Note the ral is dropped upon marriage.
When the Krîll clans first swept over the world of Rome, they were almost exclusively a mounted force – as they fought on Krîl-lôc. What infantry they used was primarily in their naval forces. Once on Earth, with a limited source of horseflesh, they quickly created an infantry force to fight alongside their cavalry. As it did for the Huns, the ragged terrain beyond the open steppes required such realignments.
It was General Aetius’ Rapax legions that first introduced the Krîll armies to Rome’s superb infantry tactics, armament, and engineering. They were so impressed they brought back to Krîl-lôc everything they liked from the empire. It is this blend of the Roman legion with the Krîll mounted scourge that evolved into what the Aestrâgor face in Dylan’s time. Many of the old Roman names for rank, formations and weapons are still in use although time has wrought changes to their original meanings.
- The Legion: 5,700 legionaries commanded by a legate/general
- Century: 100 legionaries commanded by a centurion
- Cohort: 5 centuries and support commanded by a tribune
- Legion: 10 cohorts and command and communications support
- The Scourge: 3,600 troopers commanded by a legate/general
- Mane: 25 troopers commanded by a decurion
- Whip: 100 troopers commanded by a whip leader/captain
- Lance: 3 whips and support commanded by a tribune
- Mace: 2 lances and support commanded by a prefect (jr.)
- Scythe: 2 maces and support commanded by a prefect (sr.)
- Scourge: 2 scythes and command and communications support
- The Hammer: A force/army of four or more legions and scourges
The divisions of Krîl-lôc’s year into months follows the movements of its larger moon.
Days are divided into 26 hours
Months have either 33 days (8) or 34 (5)
A year has 13 months / 434 days
- Du’dar’nag (Winter Solstice)
- Tas’vïr’az (Summer Solstice)