Library:Stonemages

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Concerning Fallen Bridge and the Stonemages of Forenost

Valbreg, also called Velbrig, Valbridge, Faldridge, and many other names besides is the site of one of the notable Omae battles in the Wars that made Alenvar's name common among Omae and Syulvanas.

Valbreg is a dam and tower defensive structure on one of the southern tributaries of the Foroduin, once the southern marches of the Realm of Forenost. Legend and history suggest that the dam and tower defense was devised because most Homaenlad invasion forces of that era attacked along the rivers, using them as highways into Omae territory.

In order to construct and re-inforce such a dam and tower system, mages would tear a stone bridge deck from its pylons and insert it into a river. Other mages, masters of earth and water, would summon the rocks from riverbed and floodplain to bolster, support, and lift the skyward edge of the bridge-deck above the level of the surrounding land. At Valbreg-on-Foren, the mages used three bridges to create a layered defense: an outer wall made of the first bridge, an inner parapet built from the other two bridges, and three intervening towers built from the pylons of each bridge. Two of the three mage-pillars were felled during the fighting, as was the outer wall. Now all that remains of these walls are the rapids at Firstwall, now a gathering place for Homaenlad wizards, alchemists, and shamans.

The rapids of Firstwall are not, however, the main reason that Valbreg-on-Foren remains a place of Homaenlad pilgrimage, particularly among the warriors of the Forenosti tribes. The battles of Alenvar's time, at Valbreg and elswhere, have inspired much of the poetry of the Forenosti, and the remnants and monuments of that time no little amount of worship. That a tribe of mountain-dwelling Homaenlad should recount the battles which shaped the history of their land is no mystery, but my readers will perhaps wonder at their worship.

Remember that in the decades before its destruction, the Realm of Forenost was home to a particular school of omae founded by one Arcim of Fiorae. This school of thought, quickly rejected in the southern realms, held that the true practice of omae should be a collaboration among the four races - that any spell of true and lasting power must draw on the mystical gifts of as many races as possible. Loremasters of the Syulvanas and Runecrafters of Khuzdunat birth, along with Homaenlad who somehow learned the omae of our people and some part of the gifts of the Syulvanlad and Khuzdunlad, gathered to his college.

In time, however, the true nature of the Homaenlad became clear and unmistakable; and even Arcim's disciples were constrained to turn their power against the Nors invaders after all Homaenlad had forsaken the college. This collaboration of the three elder races cost its practitioners dearly at Valbreg, as any visitor may see.

The center pillar at Valbreg is topped with three stone figures - one Omae, one Syulvanas, one Khuzdunat. Legend, history, and my own divinations and illumancy suggest that the three were slowly turned to stone by the power of their own invocations. I have not been able to see directly into their last hours, only into the moments after their death, for the power of their omae is greater than that we now speak and shape, but I guess by the signs and sigils on the robes of the Omae among them that he was a Master Geomancer and one likely skilled in Runecasting. Even in death, his eyes and hands are directed at a rune carved into the top of the pillar. So too, I would guess, was the Khuzdunat woman, for the Khuzdunlad are known to sing but little. The work of the Syulvanas in this I cannot guess, except to say he must have been a Spellsinger and perhaps was channeling life into his cohorts. The mystic songs of the Syulvanlad are subject to change - oft forgotten and then rediscovered in some other place or way - so any other guess would be but folly. This one guess I will dare, however - that the effect of their spell was to spend their own lives to re-inforce the Omae warriors around them. Legend tells of a brief respite in the midst of the battle before the parapet was breached and all things turned to the favor of the Nors tribesmen.

Daerilon of the Mirrored Waters Master Diviner and Illumancer

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