Beastmen of Traladara

Beastmen of Traladara
Another legend of the Kingdom of Karameikos

The ancient history of the land now known as Karameikos can be found in the Song of King Halav

In ancient times, the land now called Karameikos was the forest homeland of the Traldar, men and women so favored by the Immortals and allowed to live in these beautiful lands.
The Immortals let the Traldar live happy, simple lives. The Traldar fished and hunted; the men spent most of their time sporting with one another and offering praise to the Immortals.

But the Immortals knew that the happiness of the Traldar was to end. Far to the west, a race of evil beast-men was preparing to march through the easterly lands in search of booty, prisoners and more hospitable homelands.

These beast-men had their own Immortal sponsors equal in might to the patrons of the Traldar, so only victory between man and beast-man would determine the fate of the two races.

The Immortals descended to Lavv, a Traldar village, to find clever youths and give them secrets they could use to defeat the beast-men.

They visited Halav Red-Hair, a maker of stone knives, and taught him to forge weapons and armor of bronze. They also taught him the arts of the sword and the strategy of warfare. They visited Petra, a maker of pottery, and taught her art of the bow, the craft of medicine, the use of the potter’s wheel, the spinning of flax and the use of the loom.

They visited Zirchev, a huntsman, and taught him how to tame and ride and fight from horses, how to train dogs to fight for their masters, how to walk silent as the cat, swim as the fish, see as the hawk.

Halav, Petra and Zirchev told the people of Lavv of what the beast-men intended. The king laughed and tried to drive the trio from Lavv. Halav, using the bronze sword given him by the Immortals, slew the king and assumed his crown.
In the years that followed, King Halav, Queen Petra and the Huntsman Zirchev taught their secrets to the people of Lavv and brought all the other villages of Traldar lands under their sway. Villagers grew into mighty cities, and Halav was renowned for his fairness and wisdom.

Eventually, the beast-men attacked in numberless waves from the west. The Traldar in glittering bronze armor stood against them. The irresistible force of the beast-men crashed into the unmovable object of the Traldar, and the war went on forever. Both sides lost great numbers of warriors; each Traldar fighter slew dozens of his bestial enemies before being slain.

Finally, King Halav managed to find the king of the beast-men alone on a hilltop. The beast-king was twice the height of a man, with the head of a wolf and a hairy body that was foul beyond compare. It brought its great axe against the sword given Halav by the Immortals.

This was the final battle of man and beast-man. It raged on from dawn until noon, both kings growing so tired that each could barely wield his weapon. In the “Song of King Halav,” both take time to rest during the fight and each describes his resoluteness and unconquerable fighting ability.

Evidently both were right: King Halav and the King of the Beast-Men perished upon one another’s weapons. Their armies looked upon one another, the beast-men now fearful because their king had perished, and the Traldar resolutely raising their weapons and barring the beast-men from advancing.

The beast-men departed Traldar lands. Queen Petra and Zirchev took up Halav’s body and returned home. Great was the lamentation in Lavv when they arrived, but, during the ritual burning of Halav’s body that night, the Immortals visited, spiriting Halav, Petra and Zirchev away. The Traldar mourned their king but turned their eye toward rebuilding their lands into a mighty empire.

Beastmen of Traladara

D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara Galero