by Elder Duveus
Know that I am the Elder Duveus, formerly the Prelate of our lands here in the West. I was a soldier once, but now I serve as a voice of the people. Do not think that the battle fires have gone from me though. For I have chosen a new kind of battlefield, where the fight is no less dangerous, nor less glorious. However, these writings are not to be about my life -- moreso they are an attempt to alleviate the fears and suspicions that are currently running rampant within the Empire. It is a chance for me to explain why my people have chosen to walk the path we have, and why it is important that the rest of our kind realize our intent. So with that said, let me begin...
There is much that can be said of our people. We have forged a vast Empire that covers almost all the continent of Albaria. The Emperor, may his strength never wane, is our leader. While we are a people who revel in the rite of combat, we have not always dwelled behind and within stone walls. Once we were as one with Nature, and it is that origin to which we must strive to return.
It was a natural progression for our far-distant ancestors to leave the forests and plains where the early tribes once roamed. The God-Emperor Xin'Alaudas had led the tribes against the Luethran civilization, Endia, and it was a time of great awakening for our people. The Luethra were not a small nation, and had built many cities. Within their ruins we would come away with a new understanding of greatness, and how one might achieve it. The Builder, Eimeuz supplied us with the materials to expand upon the Luethran achievements, and the mighty Xosiurion gave us the strength and determination to maintain them. We were also unified under one banner, a feat that had never been accomplished before, though many warlords had tried. The Founder also assured us that we would remain as a unified nation, for he declared himself Emperor, and made our only city at the time the capital. From that point, there was no turning back -- had we tried it, we would have been seen as a failure in the eyes of the Gods. So, even as our devotion to the Gods was becoming more stable, our connection to the land was beginning to waver. The Empire flourished, while our roots were forgotten.
Now is the time of a new awakening for our people. We Elders have studied the words and deeds of General Iluaja, and we have determined it was his wish that we return to Nature. How can this be, you ask? To us, there is no other logical explanation to why he would so humbly refuse the most honored position of Emperor, and then proceed to settle his troops in the forests of the West. As Gorbesh, we cannot deny his motives, for to do so would be to reject all that we as a people stand for. General Iluaja himself knew it would be a great challenge to return to our origins, and he laid the foundation for the movement to begin. I will not name him Xin'Alaudas reborn, as many of my fellow Elders are wont to do, but in a way his achievements do parallel that of the God-Emperor. For like Xin'Alaudas, General Iluaja was instrumental in leading our people to an existence far greater than that which we were currently experiencing.
Embracing that legacy, we of the West now call ourselves 'the Kaldar,' for even though we are still Gorbesh, our philosophical outlook on life has changed. We have returned to the forests and plains of our ancestors, reclaiming the birthright that was first given to us by the Gods. The mountains and rivers serve as the walls that protect our demesnes, and they guard us just as well as the stone walls that surround the largest cities such as Eimitek and Sufekulirps. What they lack in grandeur, they make up for in practicality. Such is our existence now: a simpler, but more fulfilling life.
We will always be Gorbesh, but now we commune with Nature, quite unlike the remainder of our people. Thus we have taken our new name, not to anger our brethren to the East, but to distinguish our identity, and the path we have chosen to follow. Nature is our Temple, and we reach out to the Gods through our worship therein. The Gorbesh Gods remain our Gods, their teachings are our heritage, and may the Empire forever prosper under their eternal gaze. However, while stone may be strong, it is not lasting. If properly nourished our roots will withstand the threshold of time.
The Luethra built their great cities of stone and precious gems -- they even built a city of water and glass. But the Luethra did not last. They, once the unchallenged masters of Albaria, grew weak and fell into the realms of song. Their walls and their magic did not protect them. And it is our fear that now, we ourselves grow soft in these cities. That for our survival, we must return to the Wild. If we lose our strength, the Gods will turn from us.
It is the will of the Gods that we prove our strength in trials of combat, and I will ask you all but one simple question. What better way to prove our strength, our worthiness in their eyes, than to conquer Nature itself? We will not accomplish this unless we first attempt to understand it, and this will be by far one of the most difficult struggles our people has ever faced. But what a struggle it will be!
Here in the West we will not only be faced with the trials of Nature, we will also face the threat of our long time, and ancient enemy, the Ocular. Our lust for battle has not diminished under our newfound sense of existence. On the contrary, our warriors have found a renewed desire to protect our lands, and those of the Empire. The West shall remain ever vigilant against whatever threat comes out of the Mists.
We Gorbesh have spent far too many centuries forgetting our roots, and it is time we remember who we once were. So it is that we Kaldar are willing to make the attempt, both for the glory of our race, and for the glory of the Empire. Hopefully, the dream will be achieved, and the mighty Alaudian Empire shall reign forever, Kaldar and Gorbesh together.