To the southeast of Hyuntai there is a small strip of land which separates Hyuntai from Dra`Vakaar, this area is also one of the most heavily fortified in all of Adunorh with guards who are given orders to kill any who attempt to cross the river.
The reason for this incredible amount of fortification is due to fact that for years the Kingdom of Dra`Vakaar has been ruled by powerful vampire overlords.
The landscape of Dra`Vakaar is marked by the rule of the vampire tyrants, the sky is eternally cloudy and all rivers and running water were dug up years ago. Now Dra`Vakaar is nothing more than a sickly swamp in which very little sunlight ever reaches.
The First Cycle
Long before vampirism was introduced Dra`Vakaar was known for the being home to the first warlocks and witches. But a long brutal inquisition killed many who had formed contracts with deities.
The First Warlocks
The first records of mortals taking pacts with deities originate from Dra`Vakaar. For the most part warlocks were feared by those around them and often times ostracized by their families and peers. Most of the exiled warlocks formed their own communities were they practiced their magic and worshiped the deity the had formed their pact with.
The massacre at Stanovoy
While the people of the Dra`Vakaar did not understand or trust the warlocks, there were not laws that had been passed that banned taking a pact with a deity. That all changed in the 395th year of the first cycle when warlocks who had taken a pact with Erythnul, god of panic and slaughter, murdered nearly everyone in the village of Stanovoy. The warlocks then went on a rampage throughout southern Dra`Vakaar killing and mutilating any they encountered. The king of Dra`Vakaar, Ivan the Silent, responded by ordering the execution of any person who was known to have taken a pact with deities. Ivan also called upon all of the kingdom's lords to help him muster an army to root out and destroy all warlocks who lived in his realm.
Most of the lords of Dra`Vakaar did not entirely understand that warlocks did not necessarily have to take a pact with an evil god to gain their power and thus killed those who had formed pacts with good and evil deities alike. Most warlocks either went into hiding or fled to islands off the coast of Dra`Vakaar were most still remain to this day.
The Second Cycle
The Second Cycle marked the beginning of vampirism as well as constant turmoil and war in Dra`Vakaar that has lasted until this very day.
The Story of King Edgar the PiousThe history of Dra`Vakaar begins after War of the Eye, in which the evil god Tharizdun attempted to destroy all of reality. The king of Dra`Vakaar Edgar Kristoff, or Edgar the Virtuous and his seven sons were returning home after fighting the war against Tharizdun. They had reached their homeland of Dra`Vakaar and were traveling by night to reach home quicker when they were ambushed by a group of highway men. The robbers attacked expectantly and mortally wounded Edgar and his sons leaving them for dead in the ditch.
The king and his son however were found by a hermit named Boris Van Troutsky who lived near by in the woods. Boris was an alchemist who had been living in seclusion trying to find the Alkahest, a mythical elixir with supposed ability to give the user eternal life. Boris had been out gathering herbs when he found the king and his sons lying in the ditch by the road. Boris, hoping for a reward. dragged each of the unconscious men to his hovel in the woods. Despite his best efforts Boris could not heal the king or his sons so in a last act of desperation Boris gave each of them a bit of the unfinished Alkahest, hoping that this may be able to cure their wounds.
To Boris' shock the Alkahest seemed to work, the king and his sons were soon able to move and speak, though not yet well enough to go home. Soon though Boris noticed that Edgar and his sons were acting strangely, they seemed to be becoming nocturnal and unwilling to go out in the day light, as well as no matter how much they drank they claimed that they still thirsted. Boris who was concerned about the what he may have caused decided to keep the king and his sons around a little longer to run some tests.
Unfortunately Boris' tests did not last long before the king and his son's attacked him, thinking that Boris men them harm. During the fight Boris began bleeding on the ground Edgar and his sons could not resist the urge to drink Boris' blood and did so. Upon drinking the alchemist's blood Edgar and his sons soon found that their strength and reflexes had increased ten fold. Thus the first vampire were born.
The Corruption of Edgar the Pious
Edgar was at first mortified by the murder of Boris Van Troutsky, he and his sons gave the alchemist a proper burial and vowed to never speak of this to anyone. Despite his best attempts the power given to Edgar and his sons by drinking Boris' blood soon began slowly to corrupt them. During the early days a single person may disappear but as the vampires realized that the more blood they drank made them more powerful they began to abduct more and more people.
Edgar began turning his most trusted advisers and military leaders into vampires as a reward for their service, soon the king's court was full of the monsters. Finally Edgar decreed that any human lords or barons who did not want to become vampires were unfit to rule their domains. The main reason was that Edgar viewed that anyone who did not want to join him was doing so in an act of treason and that there was a conspiracy afoot.
The remaining human lords decided to fight rather than step down, the resistance was lead by Victor Yanoshovitch who ruled a large amount of land in eastern Dra`Vakaar. The war against the humans was short and brutal the forces of Edgar slaughtered without discrimination or mercy. Yanoshovitch was killed during the siege against his castle by Edgar's forces.
Even though the outright resistance of the forces of king Edgar ended with the death of Yanoshovitch there were still small pockets of resistance scattered throughout the kingdom of Dra`Vakaar who plot the destruction of the vampire monarchy to this very day.
Attempted Invasion of Hyuntai
The newly created vampires soon began an invasion on Hyuntai hoping to gain control over valuable resources, such as spices located in the southern region. King Edgar lead the invasion with a large army composed of humans and newly created thralls into southern Hyuntai, crushing any resistance. The vampires began to enslave may of the conquered people turning them into their own personal labor force and blood bank. The army of king Edgar seemed unstoppable until the current eunich of southern Hyuntai, Zhang Fei, was visited in a dream by the sun god Pelor.
In those times vampires could go in the sunlight without being immolated and there was no known way to kill one. Pelor told Zhang Fei that if he stabbed king Edgar through the heart with a weapon made from pure blessed silver then and then burnt Edgar's body the vampire would die. Pelor also said that if Zhang Fei could do this then he would lend his assistance to the Hyuntains by slaying any vampire that entered under his gaze. Zhang Fei did as he was told and had his smiths forge him a naginata whose blade was pure silver and then had his priests bless it, just as the god specified. He then took a large contingent of men and went out to challenge King Edgar.
While King Edgar was a powerful and dangerous opponent his new found immortality made him sure that now man could kill him and commonly left solders butcher him on the battlefield before regenerating and killing them. This was now exception with Zhang Fei, King Edgar merely laughed at the eunuch's challenge, Zhang Fei did not hesitate though he plunged his naginata into the chest of King Edgar piercing his heart. King Edgar's laughting ceased and he felling to the ground unable to move. The other vampire commanders in the army who were standing the sunlight, the gaze of Pelor immediately burst into flames leaving nothing more than piles of ash.
Edgar's human troops seeing their so called indestructible leader slain panicked and were easily defeated by the Hyuntain troops. So it was that the weakness of the vampires was discovered many vampires perished that day in Hyuntai but a few managed to survive and eventually make their way back to Hyuntai forever condemned to walk in the night.
The Great Dredge
It was not soon after the first vampires were born that they found that they could not cross running water so they set about fixing this problem by having the citizens in their respective kingdoms dig up and destroy the rivers in around their land. This turned Dra`Vakaar from a once fertile land to nothing more than a massive swamp.
After vampires found that they could not stand in the direct sun light they set about finding a way to block out the sun. After years of trial and error the mages of the vampire's courts finally discovered a way to block out the sun with eternal cloud cover.
The Unending War
It was long before the vampires in Dra`Vakaar having been cut off from the rest of the world began fighting over what little land they did have. Since vampires did not die off easily nor have a short supply of troops living or dead they began to wage what became to be know as the unending war upon one another, the war has lasted into the current day.
The way society is structured in Dra`Vakaar is different than most other continents. The mining and selling of silver in any form is forbidden as well as garlic. People are expected to act as walking blood banks to the vampires if a human refuses to allow a vampire to drink their blood they will be killed or worse.
Some humans who are labeled as rebellious are sold as slaves primarily to the Great Shrike Slave Market or to black markets in western Hyuntai.
The Brotherhood of the night
The Brotherhood of the night is an elite force of assassins who work for the kingdom of Novorossiysk for the Vampire lord Dmitri the Silent. If Dmitri wants anything dead within his kingdom and he wants the act to be clean and discreet while still efficient the Brotherhood of the Night are his first choice. The most notablenoteable thing about the Brotherhood is that in order to join it you must first be a Pennaggolan, a vampire who's entrails heart, and lungs are separable from the rest of their body.
The process of becoming a Brother of the night is gory and not for the faint of heart. The initiates are often tested on their speed and agility along with fighting prowess, if they pass their heart, lungs, and entrails are removed from their body and then dipped in a very weak solution of holy water so that they cannot regenerate and reattach the rest of their body to the removed parts.
The order of the Redeemed
The order of the Redeemed is a group of vampires who seek redemption for their transgressions against Pelor by not drinking blood in any form and by trying to bring down their heretical brethren. The Order Of the Redeemed are closely linked to group like the Yanoshiovishians and as well as the Followers of the Sun, they often will act as spies in vampire courts. The Order of the Redeemed are lead by Thibaut Yefimovich one the generals during the invasion of Hyuntai who turned from his ways when he learned that the vampires were now enemies of Pelor.
The humans who chose to accept the vampire rule have become known as "Night Worshipers" or "The Betrayers" by the general populous. The job of a Night Worshiper can range from being a servant in the vampire's court to being a spy or even a youth which a vampire has chosen to turn when they grow older. Being a Nigh Worshiper is by no means a way to protect one's self, humans often ostracize and attack those who are believed to be in league with vampires. While some Night Worshipers live in the slums many more a relocated to nicer neighborhoods in the city as reward for their service.
Named after the baron who resisted vampire rule the Yanoshovishans are an underground resistance movement whose aim is to bring down vampire rule in Dra`Vakaar. They group is lead by Maxwell Yanikov a man who claims to have ties back to Yanoshovitch himself, while many dispute his claim what can be said is that Yanikov is an excellent strategist and warrior.
Dra`Vakaar has been divided over the years into seven kingdoms ruled by powerful vampire overlords who have often seized power through vicious coups and treachery. The warlords often wage war with one another attempting to gain control over more land and human servants. Originally the seven kingdoms were ruled by the sons of King Edgar, but in the current day only two of the original seven sons still rule over their kingdoms, the others have either been deposed or killed.