PLACE The Temple Of Torin

It was nearly a hundred years ago that Torin the Outcast came here. For years he had been travelling the lands, moving from haven to haven and travelling with the Gypsy halflings – it is even said they took him to other islands and he saw the underground homes of the Gnomes but wasn’t allowed in- but we have no evidence of that and why would anyone refuse a traveller entrance? So, we don’t know for certain, whether those stories are true or not.

He searched for a reason - a reason why the islands were under the yoke of the humanoids. Why the ‘good’ races didn’t control the world and he searched for a way to give man a better future. In his travels he paid particular attention to the Holy men he met, we know he met the druids of the halflings and the priests in the havens - and he may have met dwarven and Gnomic priests too – but none of them could give him an answer. Although it soon became clear to him that all of them had complete and utter faith in their gods and that their gods responded to ceremonies and prayers by granting powers to their priests. In that time, he came to realise that all of the gods were powerful, and developed his prayers so that they addressed many of the gods at the same time. To his wonder, he realised that he too was gaining priestly powers and realised that he had hit on a universal truth, which became the cornerstone of the Church of Torin. ‘All the gods are great and deserve our worship, and by worshipping one you worship them all.

Eventually his travels bought him here to the ancient city of Golden Hope, where he came across the halls of the Ancients tended by a group he dubbed The Old Order. Here was a marvellous room, redolent with magics, preserved in the centre of a ruined city. While the room itself was shabby the Knights of the Old Order travelled the land, hunting and slaying any stray humanoids that came too close to the city and bringing home foods and other supplies. And in the Halls of the Ancients there was another - a Holy man, a Halfling known as Brother Frantus, who tended to the magics of the halls and gave healing to the Knights of the Old Order. While Frantus was reluctant to share his faith, over the years Torin pieced together bits of information and realised that the Ancients and The Old Order were the power that was needed to ensure the survival of mankind. The Ancients were the Protectors and all it needed was to bring the Humans here and let them learn at the feet of the Ancients and the Old Order.

Slowly, he started to repair the halls of the Ancients. Carving great stone statues and crosses to symbolise the god hood and generally making the place suitable as a temple. Then he managed to persuade the Knights of the Old order to help him. Slowly they started to travel further afield - bringing in stray humans to help populate the ruins of golden Hope - and it was then he gave the city its new name - ‘New Hope’.

Slowly, slowly the people came and new Hope Grew, there were no great heroes, but the newcomers all worked together to rebuild the city. The came the first big movement, a whole settlement of people came to live in the ‘New Hope’, and thus the started to grow. During this time, both Torin and Brother Frantus (see Note 1) passed away. Frantus was replaced by Brother Barnabus, and life went on.

After Torin’s death the whole town met to decide a new leader and they called him the Mayor of New Hope. However, there was squabbling in the town, and dissent -, the town continued to grow, but without strong leadership.

It was then that the humanoids attacked. The weakened town folks were being driven backwards into the town, and New Hope was going to be lost. Then out from the Halls of the Ancients burst a whole company of Old Order Knights, who started to drive the humanoids back. Then from behind the humanoids came a rain of arrows. A party of Elves from Garthurian had heard the news and had travelled over land to see for themselves. Caught between the humans, strengthened by the Old Order and the elves with their bows – the humanoids broke and scattered. Thus was the alliance (and trade agreement) between the humans and the elves won.

It was in the aftermath of this victory, that the people of New Hope called upon their leaders to come up with a system of strong government – that they could all adhere to – and over the next few weeks the New Hope charter was hammered out that pretty much defines the way that the town is still run today.

(Note 1) Actually - Frantus didn’t pass away - but was recalled. Frantus was actually a very low grade ancient (perhaps he was recalled to become the hermit on Kagadan) and he was replaced by one of the new constructs that the more powerful ancients had created, that was immune from being controlled by Tyzak. More importantly, Frantus had learned from Torin (without Torin realising) and Brother Barnabus ‘knew’ the rituals and prayers that Torin had developed to worship all the gods equally. And now the Church of Torin really does have a working priest hood.

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