The Vellant'im, which means Swordborn or Sword-Mountain in the Old Tongue, are a warrior based people, who come from the Vellanti Islands far across the sea. The modern peoples of the Continent did not know of their existence until after the Vellanti invasion in 737.
History and CultureEdit
The Vellant'im lived on the Vellanti Islands across the sea. The diarmadhi, the rulers of the ancient Continent, went exploring, discovered these islands, and took them over. They, like their very distant relatives the Merida, were forced to serve a sorcerous power against which they had no defense. Unlike the Merida who held the Desert and were an elite assassin force, the Vellant'im were mere barbarians. When the Sorcerers fell from power and their knowledge and ways were lost, the Vellant'im were forgotten by the faradh'im and the people of the Continent. To common knowledge, even the Merida did not remember their ancient brethren.
Years passed; new generations of Vellant'im were born, carrying the hate and drive for vengeance that fired their ancestors' souls. As the Continent forgot their existence, the remaining - and replenishing - Vellant'im stewed in their hatred and prepared for war. Probably due to the need to replenish their numbers after being driven from the Continent, the Vellant'im practiced polygamy. Women in the society were relegated to that of broodmare; their worth was determined by the number of sons - future warriors - they bore to their husbands. For this very reason - the ability to bear sons - wives, especailly pregnant ones, were honored in their society.
Due to their vengeful desire, the Vellant'im culture was based on the warrior. The Vellanti people trained for war, bred for war, and dreamed of war. The mark of honor of a Vellanti man was the number of tokens he had taken from his slain enemies - for example if a Vellanti warrior had killed a faradhi he would tie the faradhi's rings into his beard. Once a Vellanti male was old enough to grow a beard, he was old enough to fight and earn his tokens of honor and prowess.
After generations of readying for war, the Vellant'im were strong enough and vast enough in number to begin planning their attack. They gathered information on the Azhrei, the Kir'rei, or High Prince, of the Continent. The High Warlord studied his adversary, studied how he thought, how he ruled, and how he fought. As the Warlord studied the ruler, he became fascinated by another: the Azhreia, the Sunrunner High Princess. Her strength and spirit caught the Warlords attention as she was so different from the women of his own people. He felt drawn to her and envisioned the day he would meet her, most likely on the day the Azhrei fell.
- Main article: Vellanti War
In 737 the Vellant'im invaded the Continent. They struck select targets on all sides of the Continent at the same time, surprising every Princedom and disabling each port quickly so aid could not be easily rendered. As the Vellant'im forces moved inland, they slowly converged on the Desert, the seat of the Kir'rei (High Prince) and the Continent's main strength. One of the Vellanti forces raged through the Desert, taking Keep after Keep until they reached Stronghold. There the Azhrei made his last stand. If the High Warlord had not arrived with his own army, the Azhrei would have won; but the High Warlord did arrive. As his men attacked Stronghold with renewed force, the Keep suddenly erupted into flames: the Azhreia had set it ablaze, her beloved husband's funeral pyre.
The Vellant'im were winning the war on nearly all fronts - Goddess Keep was giving them trouble. The High Warlord camped outside the ruins of Stronghold, planning his next attacks carefully. Then, he was given a lovely present in the form of the Kir'reia, Meiglan, and Rislyn. He held the two captive, knowing that while he did so, the High Prince's hands were - for the most part - tied. The High Warlord also knew that the Continent's forces were divided; the enmity between the High Prince and the Lord of Goddess Keep was deep and strong. He also knew that what diarmadhi were left were in hiding - and that they had not come forward to fight for the Continent.
The tide of the war changed unexpectedly for the High Warlord. Skybowl, one of the last free Desert Keeps, had been offered to him by its Lady, Ruala. He believed her defection in the hope of protecting her unborn child; it was a trap. Many of his men were poisoned. Not enough though. He went to war with the High Prince, who had now been joined by Andry, the Lord of Goddess Keep. They used sorcery. Hundreds of Vellant'im died. The High Warlord killed the Kir'reia. Pol, enraged, killed him using his gifts. Pol then wrested control of the Ros'alath from Andry and, using all the faradhi and diarmadhi at his disposal, ceased the killing. Vellant'im instead fell unconscious by the thousands. Not a single blade was drawn that day - excepting Meiglan's death - yet the Vellant'im, a fierce warrior people vastly outnumbering their opponents, were defeated. They were sent home, back across the sea in shame and in despair; neither their numbers nor their warriors' prowess could conquer the Continent. They were a defeated people. On top of that - they had to deal with Chiana and Rinhoel of Meadowlord.
- Varek: Born in 698, he was the Second Battlelord of the Vellant'im.
- Vellanti High Warlord: Leader of the Vellanti invasion. He had five wives and dozens of sons waiting for his victorious return.