The lands of Charth Annix are little more than a rugged stretch of badlands riddled with gaping holes in the earth from which is extracted a king’s ransom of ore to serve the church and the empire. Hundreds of slaves toil and work upon these harsh lands, delving into the deadly mines, moving rock and boulder to cultivate a system of roadways or tending the Charth in other ways be it serving within the household of lesser nobles or tending to more mundane chores such as laundry and cleaning.
For years you have toiled on this land, whatever light of freedom you once harbored within has been dimmed by the daily exhaustion you suffer through, the endless horizon of rock and sand and the constant breakdown of your strength and sense of individuality. Behind the Wall of Bones a proper slave may rise as high as the priesthood provided he obey those above him and honor his station as decided by Chardun above all else. But life as a slave is never easy and displays of character, personality or imagination have long been beaten or driven out of you. Indeed, to even speak of such things is a crime, to speak of a place or person who dwells beyond the Wall of Bones is punished severely and to show any reverence for any divine lord other than Chardun is an exile to the mines – a death sentence to even the most hardy of slaves.
Over the years this bleak landscape has undergone some changes and many slaves look upon their labors with pride. Where there once lay drying and soggy beds of streams and lakes there now sways tall and healthy rivers and fields of precious serpent weed, the staple of a Dunahnae slave’s life. The greenish brown crop grows in abundance within these dredged channels, the sound of the rigid stalks rubbing together with every breeze does indeed sound akin to the scraping of serpentine scales. Newly captured slaves must force down the brownish squash made from this plant, but its bitter taste and acrid odor is the only meal a slave of Dunahnae will ever know, and they are quick to snatch up portions of this gruel from the plates of other slaves who show even the slightest reluctance to consume the meal that Chardun has provided for them.
This is not the only treachery among those enslaved; all seek to better their standing in society or their reputation among the soldiers, charths and priests whom they serve by following the laws of the land. It is a way of life for a slave to inform on his fellow slave for even the most minor of infractions. Some slaves will even enact instant punishment in the forms of beatings or confiscating of rations. Through these means many slaves rise to a greater rank, given the privileges of lesser overseers, they are entrusted with the responsibility of watching over their fellow slaves and enforcing punishment when the time comes. Such slaves are generally more liberal and generous with the whip, hoping to impress their betters through their zeal and mercilessness.
By the day life grows harder; by the year you forget a little more of the life you led before or the friends and family you once knew. This is your life now. You belong to Charth Annix and owe your existence to his honor and mercy. You are a tool to be used to strengthen the land and the church and Charth Annix is the hand that now wields and directs you. What once seemed like hell has slowly become the norm – a wretched, weary and horrid existence, but one in which only the truly strong and obedient can survive for any length of time.
Is it time now to commit? Is it time to lay aside your beliefs of old and consign them to some corner of your mind where fantasy and make-belief allow you to visit when exhaustion and sleep overwhelm you in the night? For holding on to such hopes and such memories will only pull you down in this new life – hope can only be twisted into despair; pride or dignity can only lead to punishment and pain. The survivor in you must finally give in to the knowledge that submission and obedience are the only paths that will lead to your continued existence.
And now, as you struggle with these truths a call goes out among the slaves; Lengthlord Uriadak, one of the most feared and heavy-handed of the Charth’s soldiers and over-seers, is gathering a contingent of slaves for what is being called a place of honor in service to the Charth. From the noble houses, to the brackish fields and to the hellish mines, individual slaves are being dragged aside to march east in service to your Lord, Charth Annix.