Race - The Cyclopes

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Hundreds of years after driving the Bounders from the Emerald Kingdom at the beginning of the Age of Beasts, the Faeries swept across the Emerald Sea into the Scotian Highlands. The Broccan clans resisted to the best of their abilities but like the Bounders were no match for the strange power and weird magics of the Faeries. Hundreds of Broccan clans disappeared and a multitude of refugees fled south into Anglorum, but the Faeries were not satisfied with simply taking the Scotian Highlands, and they began their long march south.

Through Anglorum they crawled, destroying castles and villages as they made their way inevitably towards Camelot. King Luthar IV tried to mount a defense, but the combination of the plague-weakened population and sheer power of the Faeries swept his armies from the field like the threshing of wheat. Within a month of starting their march, the Faeries had surrounded Camelot.

The terrified population waited for the attack, but it never came. Instead the Faeries surrounding the city began to chat in a strange sing-song way and manner. They continued this for three days and three nights. On the evening of the fourth day, an explosion in the heavens lit up the night sky. It was Djall's Hammer, bearing the broken Spirit Mother once again for the first time since the days of the Age of Legend. The Faerie Folk had been waiting for their power to wax when Agalarna passed directly overhead to take take Camelot. What happened instead was something nobody expected.

Djall's Hammer, set in motion by the Kronos, the now-imprisoned Lord of the Titans, so many ages ago had smashed into the Earth's moon. The resulting explosion cracked the lunar surface and caused shards of the comet, infused with the now-twisted essence of the Spirit Mother, to rain down on Earth for many days to follow. To the Faeries, who considered the comet sacred ever since Djall had imprisoned their Spirit Mother on it long ago, this was not merely a bad omen; this was the dissolution of their dreams. They had hoped against hope for unimaginably long that they would someday find a way to rescue Agalarna and get her safely off Djall's Hammer, but she could not have survived the collision with the moon. Agalarna was dead, their hopes were crushed, and morale was low. Worse, with the destruction of Djall's Hammer their power, which was about to wax, retreated like the ocean tide pulling out.

The Faerie began an ordered retreat back to the Scotian Highlands, leaving the low blood Cyclopes behind with orders to fight to the last man or woman but to hold off any forces sent by Luthar to harry their retreat. The Cyclopes were not a natural warrior race, and as low bloods they were not well-treated by most of the Faerie high bloods. They knew they were being left as fodder to die, and they made what was perhaps a natural and understandable choice: As soon as the high bloods had left, they surrendured to Luthar's armies and allowed themselves to be taken captive.

Luthar did not know what to do with the Cyclopes. They were cooperative enough, and not dissimilar to Beasts aside from the single, huge eye they all carried. For a few months, Luthar kept them locked up but fed well and treated lightly. However, the plague King Luthar suspected had been started by the Gloom Witches of Coldstorm Coven was now back on top as the biggest threat to Anglorum and when it spread to the royal family it proved particularly virulent. Within six months, Luthar was dead as were all with even a drop of Luthar's blood flowing their their veins. The House of Luthar was no more, and it now fell to High Chancellor Hadrian to try and hold Anglorum together.

Hadrian's first act was to issue a full quarantine of all cities, towns, and villages, and an order to halt all trade. This would temporarily cripple the economy of the nation but it was a necessary act in order to stop the spread of the plague even further. Soon enough, the plague took its course. Many died, but many remained uninfected due to Hadrian's extreme measures. The plague eventually died away, but while attacking the shadowy Coldstorm Coven was a priority, Hadrian wisely threw Anglorum's resources into building a wall south of the Faerielands, to ensure that any subsequent invasion by the Faerie would be significantly more difficult.

Hadrian's Wall was the biggest building project in the history of Anglorum, and the Beastpower needed to complete it was massive. Hadrian enlisted the informal leader of the Cyclopes - a female known as Trilla Greateye - to assist in the building of it, and she and the rest of the captive Cyclopes did just that, though Hadrian did not make them toil any harder than the Beasts beside whom they worked. The Wall took a decade to complete but now stands as a mighty bulwark between the Faeries to the north and Anglorum to the south, and was built partially by the hands of the same people it is meant to keep out.

For the part of the Cyclopes, this was an acceptable situation. They were, ironically, better treated by their captors than by their own people and if they had to work hard, well, hard work was all they had ever known under the mastery of the high blood Faerie Folk. For many generations they served the successive rulers of Anglorum, through the Bloodless Wars, and slowly they began to be accepted among Beasts. By the time of our great-grandfathers, the Cyclopes were formally emancipated and allowed to live freely among the Beasts as equals. There are some who will never trust those of Faerie blood, of course, but overall the Cyclopes are happier now than they have ever been. They eat and drink alongside their Beast compatriots and count themselves privileged to fight and die among them, for the good of all.

The Cyclopes are one of the most ancient races though they joined the ranks of Beasts relatively recently. They were born of Faerie-blood and defected to the Beasts when their Faerie rulers abandoned them on the field of battle. Their reputation is for having a different perspective on the world around them than others do.

The Clockwork The Daemons