The early history of the Lisians is one steeped in mystery. It is uncertain exactly when the Lisian race first arose, but, we know they were nomadic and roamed in camps across the Dunelands at the base of the Atlas Mountain range located to the south of the great Rock, also called the Pillars of Hercules, in the western reaches of Northern Africa.
It is not known who discovered who first, but at some point in time during this early period, some of the early Lisians encountered the Dog Soldiers of Amizeh far to the east. From that time on, intermittent skirmishes between the Lisian people and the Dog Soldiers began to take place. While the Dog Soldiers were more interested in fighting the Felines of the Nile Valley, they had no qualms about crossing the western reaches of the Great Desert and so came upon the Lisian people at the base of the Atlas Mountains. The Dog Soldiers of Amizeh were not the only enemies of the early Lisians, however, for the Undead hordes would occasionally come to the surface from beneath the Atlas Mountains and cause this reclusive people even further grief.
It should be mentioned that while the Dog Soldiers of Amizeh had a long and troubled history with the Lisian people, no record survives as to why the Beasts of Europe were never made aware of the Lisian nation’s existence until deep into the dark times we know as the Bleakness.
A very ancient legend among the Lisians tells of a prophecy made by the two founders of their nation of Maraket – Ismael and Karina. While original copies of this so-called ‘Siroccan Saga’ were lost long before the Beasts of Europe knew of the Lisians’ existence, the surviving copies would often differ in places in the narrative. In the Siroccan Saga, it is said to have told of an encounter with a god Ismael and Karina called ‘The Wandering One’ who bid the pair to found a nation for their people. This god then taught the Lisian people magic, but, also informed them that they should never teach it to outsiders of their lands until certain events were fulfilled. For the Lisians were told that a day would come during a time of great trouble when a Beast would appear from ‘beyond the dawn’ and they would know him by the magic he bore. Only then, were the Lisians to share their knowledge. The Lisians were told that this Beast would be the key to turning back an enemy that, left unchecked, would destroy the Lisian nation.
This prophecy would be fulfilled during the latter part of the Bleakness. The Lisians of Maraket had for centuries kept a secret eye on the lands north of the great Rock across the narrow water that separates the Dunelands of North Africa and Andalusia. The Lisians, thus, long knew of the Atavians and their ancient nation of Tartessos; but, the Atavians never learned of the Lisian people from across the Rock in the Dunelands in turn. When Vinga and his Vampires of the Blood Kingdom all but crushed the Beasts of the Covenant, sending all of Europe into the centuries long Bleakness, the Lisians soon became alarmed when the Atavians of Andalusia began to be pushed back to their southernmost strongholds.
The Atavians of ancient Tartessos had unknowingly provided the Lisians with protection from invasions from the north and so when the Lisians of Maraket came to learn their secret protectors were in danger of being defeated, a difficult decision was made. It was decided that the Lisians of Maraket would reveal their existence to their protectors and render aid, lest the Vampires utterly crush the Atavians and Maraket itself would one day become a target of the Vampire Palatine. The Lisians had enough enemies to deal with in the Dog Soldiers of Amizeh and the Undead incursions in the Atlans Mountains. Thus, the Lisians came to the Atavians and began to render assistance in secret during the last few centuries of the Bleakness.
So it was that when Atan and his White Shield came to the camps of Argantonio, last decendant of the last king of Tartessos to offer aid, that worthy revealed to Atan their secret weapon. The Lisians were, to Atan’s surprise, powerful magic users. Even better was the fact that this race of Beast, previously unknown to the Beasts of Europe, had neither been part of the Covenant nor the Beast Empire. This meant that they were not part of Solomon’s ban on the excesses of magic such as had been seen under the rule of the Mystarchs. Thus, this race of Beast still possessed arcane magic.
Now, due to their prophecy, the Lisians had refused to teach the Atavians their magic, which was all defensive magic, but, it still augmented the Atavians and allowed them to stand their ground for the next several centuries. When Atan came, though, the Lisians came to the decision that he was the Beast spoken of in their Siroccan Saga and for the first time in their history offered to teach an outsider their defensive magic. Atan, in turn, taught them his offensive magic and both sides grew in power.
Due to their position of secrecy, the Lisians turned down Atan’s offer to join the White Shield as they said their numbers were not great and to bring knowledge of their people to the attention of the Vampires at this point in the war would certainly spell their doom. Later on, though, as the tide of war turned against the Vampires, the Lisians finally revealed themselves and helped the Atavians push the Vampires out of Andalusia, though Argantonio perished in the fighting.
After the Bleakness ended, word spread of the role the Lisians had played in assisting the Atavians and pushing back the Blood Kingdom. Even though the Lisians were not part of the Covenant, all the Beasts of Europe welcomed their new allies warmly. The following years of prosperity brought a change for the Lisians as their culture experienced a renaissance now that they had open traffic with other Beasts. The Lisians kept their friendships with the Atavians and both cultures exchanged ideas. For the Atavians, their culture now blended many elements taken from Maraket and it became the aspiration of many an Atavian to visit the home of the Lisians.
The Lisians would later suffer alongside every other Beast against the growing threat of Man and would be included in the Migration. Their descendants would one day see their ancient homeland once more and rebuild Maraket. There the Lisian nation resumed its ancient friendship with the Atavians to the north in Andalusia.
Here the Lisians remained, mysterious and reclusive as ever, throughout the Age of Beasts until the Lisians were driven from their ancient home in the Atlas mountains of North Africa only a number of decades ago when the Anubians fully conquered that region. The Lisians fled north to Andalusia where they now fight alongside the Atavians and Taurians of Cazador to repel the Anubians from Europe. A number of others fled further north and settled in the Dustshore where they now struggle to retain hold of their new home which has become yet another front against the Anubian Empire.
Original SPM version:
Mysterious and reclusive, the Lisians were driven from their home in the Atlas mountains of North Africa when the Anubians conquered that region. They now fight with the Atavians and Taurians of Cadazor to repel the Anubians from Europe.
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