By John Bustrak.
Published by John Bustrak at Smashwords.
Copyright 2012, John Bustrak
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On a world known as 'Refuge' by its inhabitants, though they had forgotten why, the largest continent in the northern hemisphere was divided roughly into three parts by two immense mountain ranges, splitting the central part of the continent off from the coastal regions to either side. In time long past, the region's inhabitants had further divided it along political lines; nations, provinces, counties, and tribal territories, as people in any land are wont to do. The vast majority of those human-determined lines had long since been obliterated by wars, wars where man, beast, and beings neither man nor beast had twisted the very elements to their will, and blood was spilled across the land like so much water.
A full generation of war went by before it was realized that blood spilled on the lands tainted it, and crops grown on it had strange, all-too-often deadly effects on any creature who ate them. Few generals or Kings were interested in listening to the farmers by that point, and war raged on, until the lands earned a new name, the Blasted Lands, and less than a tenth of the region's original inhabitants remained, more dead due to induced famine than due to the wars themselves.