Savages. Brutes. Untamed hordes. A dynasty of relics and a kingdom of the accursed. The Kingdom of Gorgoth was once a mighty Empire of Titans. It transformed into the horde of Demons, then to the savage tribes of the Horned King. Ages come and go, time rises and falls, and ever the tithe of blood must be paid.
In the beginning, the land was without form, and void. The work of the Progenitors was not yet complete, their sculpture of existence still raw and untamed. In the edges of this reality, where the light cast it’s darkest shadows, crept the Elemental Evil of the Darkness. IT too was still nacent, still unformed, but it’s urge to thrive formed the first beings that would serve IT. The Ogre Mages, and the Genasi.
Great and powerful, these mortal coils were birthed from the land itself, spewed forth with fiery vitriol as if rejected from the soil as tumors. As they grew conscious they immediately took to raising the great ziggurats of their kingdom. Their servants, the lesser Genasi, were creatures of more elemental power; stolen souls of the land captured in physical forms, and enslaved by the thousands. The Darkness formed them equally in rage, spite, malice and hatred, and their works were tortured and barbed, rough and unclean. Stone was beaten from the earth, sand smoldered under eldritch flame. Cruel glass twisted sunlight into hellish glaze. Their cathedrals to the mighty Darkness were a testament to the languished glories and untamed wild of their wasted potentials.
When the true Demon princes rose up, all chitinous shell and leathery hide, they cracked whip and chain and demanded the fealty of the horrendous masses before them. The Ogre mages, having lived a fat and satisfying era on the Earth, balked at the claim of the Princes and refused to bend knee to them.
The fury of the Demons was indescribable. The land remains stained red to this day where the blood flowed in fathoms.
The Ogre Mages would not fall easily, and they battled with great impunity against their would be masters. They forged the Ogre Blades; mighty weapons of power instilled with their arcane might, capable of severing the spirit from the body and battling the very soul and essence of an enemy. In the end, however, it would prove too little, too late. The Demons carved their way throughout the ranks, infesting the Gensai with elemental evil, corrupting the very corrupted beings of the land with ichorous and bilious infection. The horde grew, the Ogre Mages fell, and the Ziggurats glared in the sun.
Time crawled onward and life desperately crept out from the grasp of evil. The hordes of the Demon Princes were wild and cruel, incapable of reason or thought. They feasted on dwarf, man, elf, anything alive and capable of feeling pain. When the horde swept through the land, the armies of the races fell like grass to the scythe. When there was no more stock to cut, no more innocents to find, the horde fell upon itself in it’ smadness. The Demon Princes rules over the carnage for a time, as it amused them. Then they departed from this world, their work complete. The plans of the Darkness inscrutable even to the vast depths of black knowledge they carried.
The mortal races survived, and so too did the horde. Mewling creatures below the notice of the cruelties of the Demons, they survived through obscurity. The scavenged an existence on the fringes of the horrors of the land, and eventually, once the turmoil subsided, they ventured back into the light of the world. These were no longer the gensai or the ogre mage, or even the horrific tortured malformed creatures born of the Darkness. These were the first true Beastmen.
Myriad were their forms: The Orc was mighty and strong and hammered steel to sword. The Ogre and Giant mightier still, but dimwitted and savage, titans of muscle. Hobgoblins were the cunning, Goblins even more so, both of them savage and wicked. Ibixians, Aven, Skinks, and Lizardfolk; each rose and found a niche in the new lands of Gorgoth, the cursed lands of blood red soil. They formed tribes and clans, fought for lands and slaves. They scraped out fortresses of ancient stone in the shadow of the Ziggurats of their ancestors. The mountains of fire belched smoke and black ichor to the world, and their forges poured slag and iron in great measure to tools of war. Savage mortals these Beastmen were. Unkempt, untidy, and unbeaten. A great Horde.
And so, risen from their ranks came the mighty and terrible ruler known as the Horned King. His brow festooned with curled and knobbed chitin and nail. A crown of Horn that bristled not just with the red stains of his fallen enemies, but with the unholy mantle to which he had inherited. The source of his power was never discovered by his acolytes, through they took great care in service to his power. The eldritch trappings were demanding of blood sacrifice; spirits of torture whispering from their realm into the mortal coils. They needed the lifeblood of mortals to sustain them, and through this sustenance they emboldened the Horned King. His might amplified, his Horde grew, and soon he turned his great swarm of savages North, to the lands of the other Mortals. No longer would they be servants to the immortal Progenitors or dark Princes. Now they would serve their Horned King!
The untamed masses threw their every bit of hatred at their enemies, but in the end it would amount to little. The races had formed an unholy Alliance, forged in their cowardly retreat from the mighty Demon Princes. Now, together, they stood against the tide of the Horde with resolution. Spear and sword met tooth and nail, and the beastmen fell by the score. When the Horned King faced down the enemy ,personally seeking out the great generals of the Allied army, he fell to treachery most foul. The Gray blade struck, snicker snack! His head loosed from his frame like so much cordwood, split and tossed to the earth.
But that would not remain the only insult to the Horde.
The Alliance then cursed them, with magics more unholy than even those of their great ancestors! The Ansible of Spirits sundered the very veil of magic where they drew their savagery, their blood spirits’ power! Darkness spread about the land, souls were torn from their bodies, and the lineage of mighty warriors was forever twisted and despoiled. In an instant magic power fouled the lands of Gorgoth, forever to remain blackened and brackish, never to grow pure and green again.
The Horde dispersed. The tribes retreated. The Alliance had won.
In the aftermath, the stains of the war were everywhere; bloodroot grew up from the land where the dead lay, feeding on the essence of the earth. Where the bloodroot grew, nothing else could, so despoiled and drained of life. The vile plant was then the only source of food that would grow for the Beastmen, but the plant was no manna from heaven. The red ichor of the rubbery flesh sustained, but in such a way as to intrude on the soul of it’s consumer. The ichor spread like a cancer, beastmen no longer able to eat flesh or harvest, only the accursed root to survive.
Then, rising from the West came the dark Lords of Night. The Elven mystics would prey upon the Beastmen, twist their mind with enchantment or worse, enslave their dead with necromancy. Where they resisted, the Dark Elves would concoct the Bloodwine from the root; a noxious and addictive thing, full of heady magic and blissful toxicity, they would then bargain Beastmen souls and servitude for a taste of the drug.
Some would escape these curses, hiding from the armies of men and elf and dwarf, lurking in the lands between the black soil and green wood. The Southlands would eventually come to call them the Scorned; half-breeds of outlaws, criminals and the savage beasts. Speakers of the spirit who would barter blood with the damned. The Lords of Night would allow them leave, unconcerned with the few of their horde escaped from their clutches.