Listen awhile as I relate to you this tale of legend, of swords, 
beasts, man and magic, of kingdoms lost and kingdoms won, and of a people 
born unto the unforgiving cradle that we call home.
   Long ago, when the body of Ishar burst open and flowed freely,  
creating the races of this world, there was formed a proud and noble 
people known as the Daelon.  The Daelon lived in peace and harmony with 
the other races of Ishar, led by the good king Preyen, a decent man who 
ruled justly.

   King Preyen and his wife Alla were blessed with three sons: Deen,
Bilwyn, and Urgurr.  As the three boys grew, each were marked by 
characteristics that distinguished him from the others.  Deen, the eldest 
son, spent much time in study, quickly learning with his bright mind.  He 
was also intrigued by the rigid political hierarchy of the Daelon, 
finding comfort in order.  Bilwyn shirked his studies, always finding 
something new to do in its stead.  He found little motivation in any 
activity, never landing on a hobby or interest that lasted more than a 
day or two.  Urgurr, the last of the sons, was marked by an unexplainable 
maliciousness, and constantly embarrassed the regal family with his cruel 

   As the boys matured, Preyen began to wonder which of his sons would 
succeed him, as Daelon tradition dictated that some great task must be 
completed by the child who was to take the throne.  Thus, Preyen devised 
a quest for his sons to determine which son had the ability required to 
lead so great a people.  

   After much research in ancient texts, Preyen had come across the 
legend of the great beast Gorgox.  This beast had ravaged the lands, 
destroying plant and animal alike, until a deity intervened and ripped 
Gorgox's heart from his chest and plunged it deep into the earth.  

   Said Preyen unto his sons, "He who finds the Darkheart and brings it 
safely to me shall secure his place on the throne."  The wise Preyen knew 
that obtaining the Darkheart would be a truly difficult task, and that 
his sons would be tested well in retrieving it.

   Bilwyn looked forward greatly to the adventure, and managed to 
persuade the reluctant Deen that it would be a quest of great importance. 
The devious Urgurr thought meanwhile how he could usurp his brothers and 
return with the Darkheart alone, assuring his place in line for the 
throne.  Yet, Urgurr knew that he would have to travel with his brothers,
and use them to his advantage until the very end.

   And thus the three embarked on a great journey, traveling to the ends 
of the vast kingdom and beyond.  They crossed deserts, mountains, gushing 
rivers, and vast fields of ice in search of the coveted Darkheart.  And 
then it was that the brothers wandered into a great forest of oak and 
pine and sighted in the distance an oak of epic proportions.  Hurriedly 
the young men scrambled through the low brush, attempting to reach the 
massive tree.

   Reaching the base of the tree, Deen, Bilwyn, and Urgurr scrambled up 
the branches, hoping to have a view of the surroundings for miles 
around.  As the three stood in a large crux in the branches, they peered 
around, searching for any sign of their goal.  Suddenly, Urgurr cocked 
his head, drawing the looks of his two brothers.  Urgurr stood for a 
moment, then looked downwards at a fair-sized hollow between the 
branches.  Moving quickly, Urgurr bent down and crawled through the 
hollow and disappeared into the darkness within the tree.  Deen and 
Bilwyn were puzzled by their brother's strange actions, and each stooped 
low and stared into the darkness of the hollow.  A soft sound , almost 
too soft to be heard, came from within the tree: "Thump, thump...  Thump, 
thump...  Thump, thump."  Without another thought, both boys leapt 
through the opening and into the darkness beyond.  

   As their infravision set in, Deen and Bilwyn looked at the scene 
before them.  Truly, they had arrived in a place of pure evil: ten feet 
from them stood Urgurr, completely entranced, and in front of him was the 
diabolical Darkheart.  The black, beating heart had become part of the 
tree, and hideous, pulsating veins and arteries ran between the heart and 
the twisted flesh of the great oak.  Each of the Daelon boys knew they 
had found their goal, but none could bring themselves to approach the 
beastly thing.  It was Bilwyn who first snapped out of the trance, and 
rushed towards the heart.  Seeing him move, his brothers too ran forward, 
each hoping to have the heart for their own.  All three clutched at the 
ghastly flesh of the heart and pulled with all their might, tearing it 
free from the oak...

   They had but seconds to realize their mistake.  Vile black blood 
sprayed from the veins of the tree and the pores of the heart, covering 
each of the boys entirely.  Writhing in terrible agony, the three fell to 
the floor.  The blood of the tree tore at the very fabric of their being, 
mutating them, transforming them into the physical manifestations of 
their minds.  The black oozing blood filled the hollow, and as the boys 
ran out of air, the blood poured into their lungs, drowning them and 
twisting at their organs.  The boys died horribly, and their bodies were 
washed from the tree and left to rot.

   And from their bodies sprung new life.  From Urgurr came the goblins, 
from Bilwyn the gnomes, and from Deen came the hobbits, each new race in 
the image of the Daelon from which it had been created.  To this day, the 
children of Urgurr, the goblins, have been bitter enemies with both the 
gnomes and the hobbits, and while the gnomes and hobbits live near one 
another, they are distant in heart.  The children of Bilwyn run carefree 
in the forest, while the reclusive children of Deen are rumored to have 
long ago retreated to the woods about their founding Ingeen tree.

-Paiele, wandering historian


   Recommended Levels: 13-20
   Group Size: 1-3

   Seek the small village of Ingeen nestled beneath the tranquil Ingeen 
   tree, but beware, for evil lurks in even the most serene of places...