Back to Main Page
Three thousand years ago, the Gorn Athyn Empire was at its peak. Their level of accomplishment in city-building and the art of magic have not been equalled since. Then, a catastrophe struck, and the cities vanished. Half of their empire lay covered in ash, the other half was broken in great earthquakes. None know whether this was caused by the anger of the gods or from the release of uncontained magical forces. Regardless, the surviving Gorn Athyn soon found themselves at the mercy of races they had once enslaved. Those who survived fled to the woods, abandoned their former decadence, and renounced civilization. The Gorn Athyn have since lived on the fringes of civilization, watching their successors for signs of the hubris they once displayed.
II. Population and Demographics
30,000 Humans; 4,000 Elves
III. Major Settlements
A set of ruins built around a chasm in the wood known only as the Lost City (pop. 1,200) serves as a spiritual and political center. For the most part, the Gorn Athyn live in small hamlets set among the roots of the giant trees of the Gnarl.
IV. Resources and Trade
The Gorn Athyn live off the meager resources they find in the forest. They reject all exchange with outsiders, concerned they might fall once again into their decadent ways.
There is no formal leader among the Gorn Athyn. Each clan has a hetman, and councils at the Lost City determine policies that effect the entire Gnarl.
The Gorn Athyn consider themselves abandoned by the gods and betrayed by magic. Spellcasters are not welcome in the Gnarl. The Gorn Athyn are a race defeated, and they know it. They have little enthusiasm for rivalries among the clans. They guard against exploitation by outside powers, but for the most part, they are content to be ignored. The one thing that could rouse them from their torpor is the possibility that a nation might reach the heights of arrogance they once did. Their memory of the Ruin is still fresh. They would fight to keep it from happening again.
The Gnarl is a place of despair, where the tired remnant of a once-proud race awaits the end of time. They are Luddites in their fashion, and given the right prod, they could become militant Luddites.
Some believe that the Gorn Athyn still harbor the secrets that made their empire so great in ancient times. If so, those secrets are closely guarded and the Gorn Athyn would fight fanatically to preserve them.