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Between the birth of the world and the fall of man, there was an age. The Third Age. Into this age came mortals who shook the foundations of Tyrra a wrested the reins of power from powers and principalities. I alone have come to chronicle this time. I alone can tell of the dawning of the Third Age.

The Golden Age of the Sutherlands stilled its heart and died when the Empire fell to the dream of the Carpathians. The lands, once supreme, limped and crawled as a blind beggar in the wilderness for half a decade. Then it was revealed to the mortals of the realm that the immortal beings, greater powers, and beings ancient beyond days had hoarded their power and sustained the Second Age beyond its appointed time. Together, the mortals gathered in council and learned of a manner in which to end the crumbling antiquity that had been. All it would cost was everything. All it would mean was the end of the world. The heroes (and some say villains) of the Sutherlands gathered and faced the powers and principalities. They released into the world the legends and monsters of the First Age, the harbingers of the end of days. Thus began the Third Age. The Final Age.

Now upon the shoulders of these brief and terrible creatures, the mortal races of Tyrra, rests the fate of all the world. Ancient and primeval are their foes, these legends of the First Age, the would-be overlords of their dominion. All that remains is everything. To seize power from these ancient foes the mortals must wield the secrets of Tyrra, secrets long buried and held with covetous jealousy. Without the secrets of Tyrra, there can be no hope that mortals can rule, that they can survive. Thus came the Dark Age.

In this darkest hour, the Sutherlands finds itself with all of its enemies upon it once again. Jackals falling upon a great lion. Returned are the goblinkind, Orcs in great numbers, threatening the lands. The Sutherlands, like those wrecked upon a sand, to be washed away by the tide of Orcs that cover the land. The Carpathians, ever the enemy of the Sutherlands, is a great and august empire. Like the Sutherlands, they decline and tumble slowly towards oblivion. Carpathia has waged total war against the Orcs, a genocidal conflict that has lasted a millennium. The Sutherlands, for their part, accepted the rule of a Lich-King, known in the histories as the Ancient One. The Lich-King and his armies of the Undead, like the Bat-Lord before him, stave the tide of goblinkind. Thus both the Sutherlands and Carpathia remain. Yet the time will come between these two majestic realms when only one will survive. The last battle between them looms like the headsman's axe.

Ancient terrors threaten. Orcs roll across the hills and valleys and across the seas. Two nations stand at the brink of war. Civilization stands in the shade of oblivion. Is there a spark of hope that remains in the hearts of mortals? For only they may seize their destiny. Good and Evil. Law and Chaos. These concepts are well known to us, but an ineffable value remains as yet undefined. What will we become? Will we save civilization? Will we reshape it in a new image for a new age? The answers lie in the hands of the mortals themselves, all things are possible when all you have to lose is everything. Will the Dark Age of the Sutherlands signal the death knell for all that has come before? It is no longer for the ancient powers to decide. It lies in your hands, in our hands, to forge a future -- or to watch it turn to ash.

Thus came the Third Age. The Final Age.

Destiny awaits the bold.

Tallyn Kynhelm

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