The story of Menemronn... or
where everything started. We will try in the following to gather the scattered
Nybelmarian legends about this wizard of
old and offer you a coherent story about the beginnings of this continent. That
because all the nations of Nybelmar (elves
or humans, no matter) that still have
rememberings about such distant times, all of them mention a great war, a great
alliance and a great victory; and the figure of Menemronn the
Purple, the powerful wizard, always stands in the center of all these myths and
From what we gathered, we reached the conclusion that Menemronn should have been one of the Chosen, one that fought in that terrible ancient war. There are no records though among the Sarvonian myths about him, thus we cannot say what was his real role in the War of the Chosen. But what we can say is that in some moment, more than ten thousand years ago, this wizard came to Nybelmar and set out for a campaign meant to bring the continent at his feet. A great alliance was forged against him and finally he was defeated. But in the mountains of Eferán’ypheró, the easternmost Nybelmarian range of mountains that, supposedly, was magically created by him, a new nation was born, the Murmillions, a nation that will hold his memory in great respect. Menemronn's defeat has not brought peace in Nybelmar as perhaps it was supposed to, but it meant just the beginning of a long and troubled history, filled with wars, hatred, treachery and intolerance.
Picture description. Probably the most legendary wizard of the continent of Nybelmar demonstrating his darkest stare: Menemronn. Picture drawn by Seeker.
Indeed, dark and troubled seems the history of Nybelmar, but one cannot understand it, or learn from it, without understanding this myth, this story. Because, as we have already said, with Menemronn everything started...
We cannot pretend to offer you a "biography" of this man, as his life and deeds
are stories already weaved in a mythical structure. We have several "versions"
of Menemronn, as different people report to him in different ways. The
Kayr elves have their story, the
Korweynite humans have their
story and as well the Murmillion men
present their version as well. There are other versions too (we haven't
mentioned the dwarves or the Esgarothanian
humans, for instance), but we'll try to follow just these ones here, as these
people were the main "actors" in these ancient events.
The only place in Nybelmar where you will hear about the common Sarvonian myth of the War of the Chosen are the Kayr lands (maybe except for the Dasans Great Library, but their hidden texts mentioning the War of the Chosen are actually based on Kayr stories). Thus only the Kayr elves are naming Menemronn a "Chosen". But apart from that, even they do not know about this wizard's deeds before he came to Nybelmar. So one thing is for sure: about ten thousand years before Santhros (SC) the one named "Menemronn the Purple" settled in eastern Nybelmar. There, at the edge of the newly formed ocean, he erected, by means of magic, a vast mountain range called "the fortress of Eferán’ypheró", "The Burning Mountains".
Using his great powers, he subdued all the tribes living around his new home. He formed a formidable army and he began to burn and chop down the Emerald Woods, the home of his strongest opponents, the elves. The war that started, had slowly spread over all the Nybelmarian lands and all the free races suffered greatly. Those who didn't want to join Menemronn's dreadful legions were meant to be purged from the face of the earth. But when seemingly all hope was lost, a new ray of light shone for the battered tribes, as a great alliance appeared to rise just from the ashes of this continent.
As a last, desperate try to fight against all odds, the Taeánrhim (as the elves living in the Emerald Woods were calling themselves) sent ambassadors throughout the burned lands, to seek if there are still any traces of resistance. First they went where the dwarves lived, but, alas, they found only smoldering ruined cities. As many tribes on this continent the dwarves tried to carry on the battle by themselves. And thus they payed a high price. But still, hidden deep inside the mountains, the ambassadors found two remaining dwarven settlements, maybe overlooked by the hordes of the Burning Mountains. Then they travelled south, crossing the great Eypesh river, looking for the human settlements. But they were all pillaged and deserted. With the last hope dying, the messengers headed then towards the Sohoi Mountains. And they did good, as there they found the refuge of three of the human tribes, led by three great heroes: Korweyn (later to be known as "the Great"), Enfastalos (later to be known as "the Quick") and Kyras (later to be known as "the Dark"). And there, on the Sohoi Mountains, the Great Alliance was forged, a last attempt of overthrowing the powerful dark wizard from Eferán’ypheró.
The elves left their forests to avenge their fallen woods, the dwarves left their mountains to avenge their fallen brothers and the humans left their refuge to reclaim their former lands. Great battles took place on the plains between Eypesh and Jerrah, but the humans fought with a refound prowess and finally they managed to overcome the twisted armies of Menemronn. All the versions of this story agree that it was the human Korweyn the one who had slain Menemronn's champion, causing havoc among the dark ones. The war moved then further to the east and after months and months of endless battles the Alliance's army were at the gates of Eferán’ypheró. Again, the humans were the first who stormed the fortress, where, it is said, Menemronn himself awaited them. But this time they failed. Both Korweyn and Enfastalos died by Menemronn's very hands and many human soldiers perished with them. Kyras and his men though, managed to retreat from the scene of battle. The dwarven squadrons then took their place but again, no breakthrough was to be seen. It was only when the elven princess Imsádi charged frenetically followed by an elven battle group that the fate of this battle favoured the Alliance.
Following the chaos, Menemronn tried to flee but Imsádi's arrow, it is said, found a gap in the Darklord's obsidian armor, where Enfastalos' bows had opened the ways. Then towering over the falling wizard, her silver sword struck a mighty blow, deep into the the gap created by Korweyn's blast. Also it is said, that just before the sunrise, with a last curse on his lips, this Chosen of Nybelmar fell within a thick dark mist and his body was never to be found. Everyone that stood near enough died soon after and Imsádi was no exception. The elves named this sickness the "Black Breath of Menemronn". Imsádi was hulled into white clothes and laid on a bed of satin and silk, but under the influence of this sickness her skin had been turned grey and dry, and even the dwarves mourned the evanescence of her beauty...
Silent and still grieving the elves turned back in their remaining woods advising everyone to leave the place as soon as possible. The dwarves followed them to head even further to the west, deep inside the Zharkanian Mountains, but the humans stayed arguing about what they should do. Kyras and his men wanted to stay and form a new wondrous Kingdom on such a place of power, but Nandros (Korweyn's brother) wanted to follow the advice of the elves. Finally they all decided to leave, but before crossing the Jerrah, Kyras turned his men back into the hills before the Burning Mountains. There, with his men, and with the remnants of Menemronn's armies (humans, but also some twisted elven clans) they forged a new nation: Murmillions. Enfastalos' men scattered along the southern coast and Nandros led his people back into the Sohoi mountains, never to forget or forgive Kyras' betrayals.
That year was called "The Year of Dawn" and in the Santharian Calendar it matches the year 8956 b.S. - the year in which the first Shadow fell and when all the races started to build their future once again.
The Legends. There are even more legends about Menemronn that bring more detail into this story. But before passing on to some of them we should mention how the three main versions of the story differ to one another.
First, we suppose that the most "accurate" version would be that of the Kayr elves (as they are the only ones that can actually remember what happened there), but nevertheless, their version is quite subjective. Also they care less about the humans' problems regarding the defeat of Menemronn so not much can be found out in the elven stories about their role. The supposed death of Menemronn is also a bit foggy in their version as they were never sure if his disappearance meant also his death - therefore their later suspicion that a new Shadow is rising in Ehebion: the very spark that started the centuries long war between the first Korweyn Empire and the Ehebion Kingdom.
Second, the Korweynite version may not be so accurate but instead supplies the missing facts about the role of the humans in this first great war. They tend to see this as an ancestral battle between "good" and "evil", a battle in which the dark ones were defeated by the human prowess (they mention the elven princess Imsádi slaying Menemronn, but they also point to the fact that without their deeds, she would have never managed to accomplish that).
And third, we have the Murmillion version, which presents everything in a very different light. For Murmillions, Menemronn was not at all the "evil" wizard bent on destroying the world, instead they see him as a civilizing hero. His goal was to bring "enlightenment" to a barbaric land, to show the "true path" to the lost peoples of Nybelmar. They also see Menemronn's defeat in a different way: he was not actually killed, but it was his decision and accomplishment to leave this world for a better one. As a last act, with a last hope to bring redemption for the souls of the sinners, he accomplished a ritual of transcendence, being the first one to lead the way on the "true path" - the forefather. Woven in foolish beliefs, as Murmillions claim, the elves were never able to understand Menemronn's message, and influenced by elves the Korweynite "barbarians" plunged even deeper into a sinful existence. If it wasn't for Kyras, they say, maybe Menemronn's message would have died with his disappearance.
An interesting side of this myth would be the concept of "Chosen", usually applied to Menemronn by the Kayr elves. By this concept they refer, of course, to the famous Sarvonian myth about the War of the Chosen. However, the Sarvonian myth never mentions anyone that could match Menemronn's description. The Kayr elves, though, go even further and support the claim that Menemronn was actually the Chosen of Coór. So dark and powerful this wizard seemed to them, that they couldn't think of anything else: Menemronn was the ride of the ultimate evil, Avá's counterpart, Coór. Thus nothing was more important for them than to eradicate any traces of such evil from the lands. But for the humans or the dwarves that fought in this war, this concept had little meaning, if any. So maybe this idea would have passed unnoticed if it wasn't to be taken and reinterpreted in another context. And what is interesting (and, we might say, also surprising) is that this reinterpretation happened in the Murmillion context. Indeed, what reasons a Murmillion would have to accept such a concept related to the one that showed them the way to redemption? Needless to say, such reasons could have only been offered by the Murmillion' bizarre Arkhaeon Guild. They took this concept from the elven stories as a truth, but while doing this they also twisted the meaning of Avá and Coór accusing (yet again) the elves of misunderstanding (see the Arkhaeon Guild entry for more details on this matter). In the later times (long after the Year of Darkness), they went even further, claiming that, as a Chosen of Coór, not only that he didn't die, but that his "spirit" lives in each and every enlightened one (the Guild Leaders, obviously).
After the war, the highest peak of Menemronn's magical mountains crumbled into the sea with a furious eruption, its place being taken by what we call now the "Bay of Desolation" (the most treacherous waters on the eastern coast). His fortresses were also slowly swallowed by the mountains but, nevertheless, a lot of knowledge, buildings and artifacts survived and they would of course become material for many legends in the minds of the people involved in these events. Such is the case with Menemronn's enchanted obsidian armour. It is believed that the one that wears it gains great powers over nature and is also bound to master the lands though no matter the cost. Or the "Mourning Mountain", a deadly illusion that manifests in the darkests of nights around the city of Dasans - the travellers are fooled to climb a mountain that will disappear in the morning taking the travellers with it. Or the wargs, roaming the dark forests of Ehebion.
But perhaps the most interesting of all is the legend about the Throne of Menemronn. The Kayr elves tell that the throne on which Menemronn sat was filled with magical energies radiating from eight stones that were built in it. They claim that these stones were crafted by Menemronn himself to help him achieve the complete domination of all the peoples of Nybelmar. Supposedly there were four stones concentrating the power of the elements and another four acting as their counterpart. They named the stones Avásh'catár (standing for Wind), Efér'catár (standing for Fire), Már'catár (standing for Water), Mód'catár (standing for Earth), and as well Ancían'catár (standing for Silence), Móh'catár (standing for Darkness), Cár'tuulén'catár (standing for Ice) and Hal'catár (standing for Stone). Still, the exact purpose for which he crafted them is only a matter of speculation, what is sure though is that their mere presence has the power to influence the mind of the bearer. After the war, the elves claimed the "Lightstones" to help them heal the lands and warned the humans not to touch the remaining "Darkstones". But these were later claimed by Kyras and spreaded among the new clans of Ehebion (the so called "Lords of the Sickle"). Eventually they were lost so that only the Kayr elves and the Korweynite humans still believe in their existence.