The Parting of Antipathy
The group of five adventurers from around the world entered the isolated keep far from factioned lands.. They sit before the Council, a group of 9 sages of mixed race whose job it is to see to inter-racial affairs. Around a table they all sit, looking at the adventurers as they sit down the other end. They can clearly see a human, elf, gnome, halfling, dwarf, orc, gnoll, lizardfolk and minotaur, all in robes similar in design but different in color. Some have drawn hoods, while others sleeves are rolled up. The smell of incense fills the room and smells of various spices sold by merchants in the streets. The tall stained glass windows cast colored shadows of historic scenes upon the ground, the table and those sitting at it. The wind outside is barely audible and the rain is falling softly, tapping against the window as though asking to come in. Wind chimes outside ring sporadically and unmelodically as they are tossed around like parchment in the air. Finally, they nod to each other after eyeing the adventurers for what seems like forever and the human is the first to stand up.
“Perhaps we should start from the beginning, about how this all started. Some would like to forget, but without knowledge we would be lost. You should all be familiar with the Awakening, although we have found the exact events are not… quite all correct when told in different regions. Let me give you the TRUE happenings of the Awakening.
“When the first group of deities decided that our world was to be created, long ago before any time was recorded, they kept us separate. The humans had their own land, the dwarves had theirs, elves their own, and so on. Then, the gods removed those magical and physical barriers blocking us from knowing each others existence. Mountains moved, oceans calmed, land rose and trees bent out of the way. We were forced into each other, and at first all was well.
“It was quickly seen that there were 5 major powers among the races, which you can plainly see, are the 5 major races- Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, and Gnome. These 5 races thrived with each other after the Awakening, learning and sharing, building and growing, but the others…”
The human lends out a hand toward the orc and sits down as the orc stands up.
“Well, some of us wernt so lucky, y’no? Our ancestors felt they were cast side by the gods, forgotten in favor of the “major races”. I gotta tell ya lads, there was much resentment in them first days. But we managed and lived and we grew out in the likes of tribes, spreading and dividing.”
The orc sits and the elf gets up, removing the hood from his cloak.
“So, our time in peace was short lived, though. Although we shared resources, knowledge… we became torn. The Shattering happened, and as soon as we had worked together we were now at each other’s throats. We fought over countless petty issues and shed blood over minor conflicts. We fought for many years and the tribal races took advantage of our situations and struck while they could. Eventually the fighting stopped, but not completely. Any treaties since then have been short lived, and no race can say they are innocent in not starting it back up again.
“But this time, this time may prove to be different. We are coming to the end of the war, a resource war where each race has taken something from the others. We think that this is the opportunity to end it once and for all, and we have designed a treaty to work between all races. You have been brought here to be the heralds on this treaty, and to bring it to all the rulers of the lands. The tribals, too, will be affected, and if they were to comply it would be better for everyone. So here, take the treaty and present it to all the rulers. Your trip will not be an easy one, but it has more consequences than you could know.”