The Valley of Icesus is all that remains of the once beautiful planet called Aegic. It is a huge valley surrounded by a mountain range, and a shimmering forcefield above it. This is the last place where life remains, the rest of the planet is covered in solid ice. It is a vast, cruel and barren country, where a merciless and almost endless winter arrives each year, drowning life in the thick snow cover. But as the snow recedes, it becomes beautiful and passionate and life is reborn to enjoy the glory of a short summer. The Icesus valley is the frontier between civilisation and wilderness. It is the clash between the church of elemental gods and the pagans. It is the great divide between light and dark. And it is becoming a battle field. To understand this conflict it is necessary to understand the people of Icesus - the Valkor and the pagans.

The southern, more fertile part of the valley is dominated by the glorious kingdom of Valkor and their stupendous, fierce horsemen. They annexed most of the region into their kingdom about two generations ago, and now control large estates of land from their capital city of Vaerlon. The valley is also home to numerous sects of the ascetic doctrine of Church of Elements, many of whom care for the sick and the poor. If khatuns of Valkor rule for everyone, and these religious sects preach for everyone, it is the common people who labor in the fields, the cities and the villages. They work for everyone, and hold on their shoulders both the khatuns and the priests of these elemental sects. All put together, these peoples (horsemen, khatuns, priests, serfs) are called the Children of Light, because they live in the light of their Elemental Gods. The iron fist of Valkor has proven to be a terrible and effective weapon for defeating rebellion, and the people would not even dream of rising up against them.

The northern part of the valley is populated by three main pagan groups who live in the wild and untamed arctic wilderness - the Eskarans, the Gaesati and the Goblins. The strongest of the pagan groups is the Eskarans. These people previously settled in the northern forests of the valley and were displaced by the incoming Valkors. Today they continue an endless guerrilla war against the usurpers. Like their ancestors, the Eskaran place their faith in the dark mistresses of the gloomy wilders and warlocks of the northern forests, offering them victims in exchange for their witchcraft. For generations the Eskarans have been waiting for their opportunity to claim the lands of their birthright, and their seers are now telling us that the time for change is at hand.

The Gaesati are the original inhabitants of the Icesus valley, they were pushed north as the ancestral mothers of the Eskaran kingdom moved in to take possession of their hunting and fishing lands. Today the Gaesati make their home in the extreme north, a harsh and often treeless country. They are a nomadic people, herding reindeer for food and hides. They trust their lives to the hands of spirits and sacred locations, this grants them the means to survive in a valley where, in the chilling conditions and innumerable supernatural dangers, no one else could survive. They are a peace-loving people (they did not take up guerilla warfare against their conquerors) but their spiritual discipline threatens to draw them into the politics of the valley.

The Goblin peoples are the least numerous pagan group of the valley, they include trolls, ogres, orcs, goblins and kobolds. Previously they lived in deep caves of the darkest forests at the edges of the valley, where they tried to avoid contact with the human people (humans, elves, dwarves) who would hunt them for sport. Recently, the settlers of the Children of Light have begun to fell these forests, and they are now pushing the Goblins away from the valley. As of today’s date, the Valkor expansion has pushed at least two-thirds of the Goblin people from their homes. About one half of the dislocated Goblins have joined the dark elf czardom of Graemor and they now live in that desolate city. The other half have formed various ruthless paramilitary kingdom-clans driven by orcs, where they live in even more cramped living conditions. It may only be a matter of time before the frustration and rage of these angry creatures will overflow on all fronts.

The Kingdom of Valkor is currently in crisis. Its expansion has come to an end, and alarming rumors of civil war between the mighty khatuns are raging in the East. Elves and dwarves have not yet accepted that the kingdom is falling apart, though this seems inevitable. At the same time, the pressure from the valley to the south has increased alarmingly, with increased looting and stories of witches and warlocks traveling openly in the daylight. Wilders, a scourge which was believed to have been defeated, are on the move again, and in some places the people are ready to reject the doctrine of the Church of Elements to restore old habits.

Icesus is a rogue-like multi-user online roleplaying game (MUD) focusing on combat, character development, player interaction and economy.

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