Lore Season 3: Nogard's Rising

Just over three years had passed since the death of Kalanant. Life had seemingly returned to normal. Tribes began to squabble, pups roamed Primordia in safety, and the forests were teeming with life.

Nogard was given another chance at life, but she was still haunted by memories of the night of her murder. An altar... Red robes… A dagger shining in the moonlight. She couldn’t describe what it felt like being reborn. Death and rebirth happened instantly for her.

Her parents hovered over her constantly, feeling a deep sense of guilt for her initial kidnapping. Nogard would often disappear into the forest for hours trying desperately to remember who took her that horrific night

Nogard knew about the prophecy but didn’t understand her role in it all. The council insisted that she was the prophesized leader that would protect the Moonrunners from evil. But Nogard didn’t know what to believe and whom to trust.

After the death of Kalanant, the Dragon Cult vanished from the mountain, leaving everything behind. The Tribes explored every corner but could never find an entrance other than the bloodied stone door.

As time went on Nogard spent more and more time in the mountain trying to make sense of the Dragon Cult and why they sacrificed her. She would sit in the dark tunnels for hours trying to understand the symbols and paintings scrawled on the walls.

Some nights, sitting atop the mountain, staring into the valley below, Nogard would see bright objects flitting through the sky. But always disappearing as they grew closer to Carouza. Her best friend Aulus who sometimes joined her could never see the lights Nogard spoke of. 

Aulus noticed that Nogard was lacking a sense of purpose and that her nightmares were getting worse. Worried that Nogard was thinking of taking her own life, he went to the high council and asked them to step in.

Dismayed by the news that Aulus, Nogard’s best friend, brought before them, the council knew it was time to speak to Nogard. Nogard hated the council for trying to control her life and keep her out of trouble. 

The Moonspeakers had spent the last three years interpreting the prophecy and agreed that Nogard had to go through a period of development translated to The Challenges in wolven speech.

Nogard stood before the leaders of each Tribe at the high council confused and slightly irritated. The Speaker looked around the room, first to the Moonspeakers, and then to Nogard and uttered a few simple words that would forever change Nogard’s life.

“You are to embark upon a series of challenges that will either make you a worthy leader, or kill you in the process.” Nogard, unsure if the Speaker was serious, began to smile. The Speaker stared blankly at her until the smile fell away.

No longer sharing a common enemy and a strong leader to bind them, infighting between the Tribes began to spread. The prophecy believed that Nogard would be the uniting force to usher in an age of prosperity for the Moonrunners.

Nogard, dismayed by the challenges she faced, began to battle with her destiny. She wanted a brighter future for Primordia, but feared dying a second time. Nogard argued she didn’t need the challenges to lead, but the council insisted it wasn’t their choice, but that of the prophecy.

The council introduced Nogard to Ezekiel, a Moonspeaker that volunteered to mentor her. Ezekiel was tall, dark-skinned, with a blue streak through his black hair. Nogard was relieved to know she wouldn’t be alone through The Challenges.

The first challenge put to Nogard was to retrieve a rare flower known as Silphium from the Xendra valley. Nogard, excited at the apparent ease of the task, was quickly informed by Ezekiel that the flower was at the furthest edge of Primordia.

It’s up to you the community to support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges. For every challenge Nogard faces, YOU, the Moonrunners, will face your own. This community challenge is to send pictures of yourself with your countries flag with the hashtag #NogardRising. To move on from this challenge, at least 5 different countries need to be represented! - Challenge Results

Ezekiel had given Nogard a map showing her how to reach Xendra. Nogard assumed she would be coming but soon realized she would have to face these challenges herself. Not even Aulus could come.

Nogard said farewell to her family, Ezekiel, and Aulus. She set out at first light and packed rations for a week-long journey. Nogard enjoyed the arduous hike to Xendra for the solitude it offered her.

A few days later Nogard reached Xendra only to realize that the flower grew at the very top of the enormous cliff-face flanking the valley. She sat at the bottom staring up in amazement at the task she faced.

Two days sooner than expected, Nogard returned to the council laden with a bag full of Silphium, and dropped it on the floor at their feet. The council, shocked, congratulated Nogard and told her to save one flower for her darkest moment.

Word spread throughout the Tribes that Nogard had successfully completed her first challenge, filling them with hope. Many Moonrunners, especially the veterans, believed Nogard was too immature, and doubted her ability to lead in times of war.

Nogard stared at the council with contempt and insisted they hurry up and tell her the next challenge so she could get it over with. They grunted in unison at her impudence. The Speaker, Andarax, through his teeth, proceeded to explain the next challenge.

A test of strength was needed to prove that Nogard had the physical ability to protect the Moonrunners in times of war. It was suggested by Andarax, The Speaker, that Nogard must remove all the boulders blocking the mountain passageways. 

Nogard jumped at the opportunity to inspect the Dragon Cult’s Den more closely, and sprinted out of the council room. She worked far into the night removing the enormous boulders from the passageways, uncovering hidden frescoes.

It’s time to support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges again. This community challenge is to reply with pictures of yourself at the gym with the hashtag #NogardRising. To move on from this challenge, at least 15 gyms need to be represented. - Challenge Results

Nogard worked for days, as if possessed, never stopping and never asking for help. Every boulder she rolled down the mountain brought her one step closer to knowing the truth about the people that murdered her.

As word spread about Nogard’s challenges curious Moonrunners sat in the valley below watching the boulders come streaming down the mountain. For four days the stones fell, until silence. 

Dripping in blood from cuts, and panting from exhaustion, Nogard finally made it to the Dragon Cult chamber door, the only known entrance to their lair. She made a feeble attempt to pry the door loose before collapsing.

Concerned about the silence from the mountain, Aulus went to check on Nogard, only to see her motionless body beside the bloodsoaked door. He sat beside her until she awoke, rested, but confused.

Support Nogard again on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to reply with pictures of your dogs with the hashtag #NogardRising as moral support. To move on from this challenge, at least 20 dogs need to come together. - Challenge Results

Once Aulus explained where she was and why, a fire lit in her eyes. Nogard charged at the giant stone door and at the last moment arched her shoulder and crashed through, sending a shockwave through the mountain.

Aulus peered through the entrance to see if Nogard was alive. Once he saw her giggling on the ground, he began to stare at all the wall paintings, symbols, and scrolls that littered the room.

The room was caked in dust, clearly being abandoned after the death of Kalanant. In the centre was a round table made from dragon bones and topped with an obsidian slab.

Thoughts raced through Nogard’s mind, trying to piece together everything she saw, with all she knew. There were enormous wall paintings filled with creatures she couldn’t recognize, and names that meant nothing to her.

From the first, darkest dawn, forged in hellfire, teeming with demon spawn
A demon unlike the rest, barrel chested, it rose above the horizon’s crest
The weak slunk away towards the interior, forever tormented, for they were inferior
Ages past, and their memory was lost, but even victory in war comes at a cost
For millennia they battled until few remained, their magic and lifeblood eventually drained
A prophecy kept safe by a chosen few, an impossible decision, they wish they never knew

Support Nogard again on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to reply with your own works of art of the creatures you think live on Carouza with the hashtag #NogardRising. To move on from this challenge, at least 15 creatures need to be shared. - Challenge Results

Aulus saw the desperation in her eyes, searching for answers. The largest fresco in the room, to Nogard, looked like a creation myth. It showed Primordia, alongside Carouza, surrounded by dragons, wolves, and humans.

Nogard squinted at the details, searching for clues. She was stunned at the number and variety of dragons, and couldn’t comprehend the purpose of the huge metal container beside the humans.

He bumped his snout into her to get her attention and told her that Andarax ordered him to tell her the next challenge. Nogard was broken from her reverie and stared intently at Aulus.

Andarax said she must stay alone in the cave for a week to be at peace with her thoughts. Aulus, visibly concerned for her wellbeing, and knowing her inner turmoil, meekly nudged forward a week’s worth of rations before leaving. 

Tribal leaders, hearing of Nogard’s attempts on her own life in the past, were concerned that Nogard was still too unstable mentally to lead the Moonrunners. They needed her to face her demons. 

The night she was sacrificed played over and over in her mind. The fear, panic, and pain of her death weighed on her like an anvil. Over and over, compulsively she would think about that night, and why it had to be her.

The first night, she absorbed herself in the cave paintings as a distraction. But as time went on, the thoughts began to creep in, filling her with dread. Minutes felt like days as she battled her own thoughts and the week-long challenge. 

Finally, on the fifth day, she broke. Nogard unleashed a shrill howl that made those aware of the challenge shudder in discomfort. Aulus, and Ezekiel, lowered their heads, filled with sadness at a what they viewed as torture, and resented the council for the decision.

Support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges again. This community challenge is to reply with photos of somewhere in nature - not your backyard! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #NogardRising. To move on from this challenge, at least 25 photos need to be shared. - Challenge Results

Aulus waited eagerly at the door alongside Ezekiel to make sure Nogard hadn’t gone completely insane. Calm and collected, Nogard made her way back to the council. She walked with purpose, exuding a sense of serenity that filled Aulus with relief.

On her way to the council hall she spread word that she would be giving a speech upon arrival. She waited patiently as the hall began to fill. By her side were Ezekiel and Aulus. Andarax sat on his wooden throne, watching Nogard with a piercing stare.

Silence filled the room as Nogard took to the podium and began to recount the last week of her life. The Moonrunners listened, gripped by her story, as she delved into her darkest moments, and the complete loss of hope.

She looked over to Aulus and Ezekiel with a friendly smile, and explained how they helped her find hope once more. She began to speak of a future, safe and prosperous for all tribes, and asked for nothing more than the chance to lead.

Support Nogard again on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to reply with photos of your wolfpack with the hashtag #NogardRising as moral support. To move on from this challenge, at least 40 wolfpacks need to come together. - Challenge Results

Many wolves left the chamber brimming with hope and excitement for their future. Most council members sat quietly, murmuring in their seats, pondering her words. Andarax shot up in his seat after the last non-council member left the chamber.

Andarax was unimpressed at Nogard’s insolence to convene a tribal meeting without his approval. Eyes fixed on Andarax as he began a long monologue to inform Nogard of her next challenge. 

Nogard rolled her eyes as she learnt that she had to practise leading a group of wolf cubs on their first hunting mission. She stormed out of the chamber and met the cubs at the edge of the forest.

Nogard learnt very quickly how frustrating leading a small group of thirty cubs could be and couldn’t fathom how to lead thousands in feuding tribes. By the end of the day Nogard became a master in patience and mastering her anger.

Support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges again. Speaking of the cubs first hunt - this community challenge is to reply with photos of Moonrunner inspired dishes with the hashtag #NogardRising to support them. To move on from this challenge, at least 50 dishes need to be submitted. - Challenge Results

Andarax awaited Nogard’s return, grinning with anticipation, expecting her to be furious and exhausted from the challenge. But, through the doors she strode, smiling, politely requesting her next challenge. 

Andarax scoffed and told her she was not ready for the next challenge. Ezekiel watched the hackles slowly raise on her back as she roared in defiance. Nogard exploded at Andarax for putting her through this nightmare. 

Tears began to stream down her cheek while Andarax grimaced in amusement. Ezekiel walked to her side and told her to be strong and harness her fury for the few remaining challenges.

The Speaker hushed the whispers, walked over to the large curtain, and unveiled a map of an elaborate obstacle course, clearly made by Andarax. The map was marked with skulls, fire, and spikes.

Two weeks passed before the obstacle course was completed. Nogard watched its construction and studied its layout with a burning intensity. She would spend running mock races in the forest while Ezekiel timed her.

When the day finally came, Nogard showed no emotion as she walked up to the starting line. A crowd of what looked like all of Primordia packed tightly into the amphitheatre, many having never laid eyes on Nogard.

Andarax gave a seemingly endless speech about the importance of The Challenges before turning his attention to Nogard’s “lacklustre” performance so far. Nogard didn’t listen to a word, but sat patiently staring down the track.

The crowd hushed, Nogard leaned forward, and the pistol fired. The crowd watched in awe, too stunned to applaud as Nogard ran quicker than any wolf in Moonrunner history. Some spectators were doubtful they were even watching a wolf. 

The Speaker, Andarax, seeing his deadly course completed as if it were built for a child, scowled in contempt. Aulus and Ezekiel watched him with smug satisfaction before going off to celebrate with Nogard.

Support and celebrate Nogard’s success on her journey through her most recent Challenge combatting the obstacle course. This community challenge is to reply with videos or photos showing off your special skills with the hashtag #NogardRising to support her. To move on from this challenge, at least 45 special skills need to be submitted. - Challenge Results

The morning after the race, Nogard found herself in immense pain. Her whole body ached as Kalanant’s magic coursed through her veins, searching for release. Aulus, unsure what to do, brought in Ezekiel, who immediately told her to find a Pack Tribe healer.

Nogard gathered some supplies and went in search of Fanderay, the Pack Tribe nurse that cared for her after her rebirth. Fanderay was still quite young herself, and like most Pack Tribe Moonrunners, dedicated her time to helping others. 

Fanderay had been following Nogard’s progress in The Challenges very closely and was surprised to see her in so much pain upon arrival. Especially after completing the last challenge so easily. 

Fanderay remembered how she would yelp in pain as a pup when the pains would come. But they stopped before she was old enough to remember them. She realised the pains were magical as Nogard would glow in the night when they appeared.

Nogard grew out of the pains, so Fanderay never felt the need to tell her, fearing she would feel even more alienated as a pup. Nogard was visibly upset but understood it was for her own wellbeing. She lovingly embraced Fanderay, and began the journey home.

Nogard made her way back to the council just as the sun began to set. The Speaker chastised her for being late and lectured her on the importance of punctuality for a leader. Nogard, unresponsive, sat and waited for Andarax to tell her the next challenge.

After Nogard had cleared the mountain of debris, Stealth Tribe had found a hidden passage from one of the tunnels leading into what they could only describe as a labyrinth. Two Stealth scouts had ventured inside but never returned.

To Andarax this was the perfect opportunity to finally be rid of Nogard once and for all and make space for his preferred leader of the Moonrunners, a bloodthirsty veteran known as Burner. 

Andarax never told her of the two lost scouts, and grinned maniacally, as she unknowingly walked into what he was certain would be her death. Had Nogard sought the guidance of Ezekiel, her mentor, she would’ve known the truth.

Nogard, still fighting the pain that pulsed through her body, made her way to the labyrinth entrance. She was amazed that Stealth Tribe was able to find a passageway so expertly concealed. Tentatively, and completely alone she ventured over the threshold.

She searched every dark recess for clues to understand the purpose of the labyrinth but found nothing. After only an hour she began to realize the fatal mistake she made, the walls weren’t perfectly straight, meaning her concept of north was quickly skewed.

Which passageway should Nogard turn down next? - Poll Results

  • Left = 47.5%
  • Right = 52.5%

Nogard stopped searching for clues and simply wandered aimlessly. She decided to follow the right passageway, thinking it would eventually lead to an exit if she followed it long enough. The vermiculate pathways tormented Nogard, desperately searching for some semblance of direction. Hours became days as darkness took hold of her resolve, and eventually her mind.

She first cursed, then accepted her fate. Soon her rations would disappear and hunger would overcome her. As her strength faded, and her fat reserves depleted, the pains she felt vanished leaving a wry smile on her face as she lay down and began to die.

Footsteps approached Nogard as her body lay motionless, faint breaths barely audible in the darkness. The figure wrapped his arms around her, now hardly more than a sack of bones, lifting her up and calmly walked her out of the labyrinth.

The crowd that gathered by the secret entrance had lost all hope of Nogard returning alive, two weeks having passed since she was last seen alive. Ezekiel had to physically restrain Aulus from running in to save her countless times.

Very few remained by the time footsteps were heard approaching. Unsure what was approaching the Moonrunners present began to bark ferociously, as a hooded figure emerged from the darkness holding what looked like Nogard’s gaunt corpse.

The figure slowly laid Nogard to the ground, never uttering a word. The wolves surrounded the red cloaked man with their weapons and ushered him out of the mountain and into a makeshift prison cell in council headquarters.

It’s time to support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to reply with the first NFT you purchased with the hashtag #NogardRising. To move on from this challenge, at least 50 NFTs need to be submitted. - Challenge Results

Nogard awoke with Ezekiel, Aulus, and Fanderay, her childhood nurse, asleep beside her hospital bed. She was covered in wires, which she surmised were pumping her with nutrients to replenish everything she lost. Nogard spent the next week in hospital recovering before being discharged.

Ezekiel told her of the two scouts that had already disappeared in the labyrinth. Andarax’s tactical omission of this fact infuriated, but did not surprise Nogard. He then told her of the red hooded figure that saved her life, and how they were being held in prison awaiting execution.

Should Nogard sprint to stop the execution or let it happen? - Poll Results

  • Stop the execution = 71.7%
  • Let the execution happen = 28.3%

Nogard’s eyes widened at the word execution and knew immediately this was the work of Andarax. She sprinted to the council hall, hoping to stop the execution before it was too late. Thankfully, she found him seated cross-legged in their cell, meditating, and mumbling softly.

Andarax, accompanied by the rest of the council, surrounded Nogard outside the prison cell and told her the next challenge. Andarax, as usual, was smiling as he informed Nogard that she was the one tasked with executing the Dragon Cult member.

A Moonspeaker translated to the human the details of his execution. Without hesitation he arose and disrobed into nothing but a loincloth, exposing the hundreds of tattoos that covered his entire body. Nogard, stunned, noticed their name on the pale body surrounded by Dragons.

Nogard was handed a sword by Andarax and walked over to the prisoner, thoughts racing through her head. The prisoner calmly lay their head on the block and said a few words under their breath that caught Ezekiel’s attention

CODE: 1DS4N2HLTTR M3YWB22THS2 GT4324GT1M1 LW5CFF5H5YM 11N1RT31NDS
Solved by @carteldebt: “I’m glad it was you now that I can be free of the guilt that haunts my dreams”

Nogard stood, sword raised, waiting for what felt like eternity to all present. Then in one sweeping motion she threw the sword against the wall, the clattering sound reverberating through the silent chamber. She turned to face the council and said “I cannot kill someone unarmed, especially one that saved my life”.

Andarax turned bright red while Ezekiel smiled with pride. Nogard had successfully completed the challenge. She had shown mercy to the enemy and not let her own personal emotions influence her decision making. One by one the council filed out of the dungeon.

The council was slowly becoming convinced Nogard had what it takes to lead the Moonrunners, but until The Challenges she had lived a very sheltered life. The council, hoping to quell the infighting bestowed her with the next challenge.

She was ordered to spend a week living with each Moonrunner tribe to understand why they continued to feud. She began to notice that certain tribes, who’s identity focused on war and domination were insatiable in their desire for conflict.

Her time with Stealth Tribe left her with more questions than answers. She felt like she was being watched for the entire week from afar. At one point in the night she heard a voice whisper to her: “when the time comes - choose restraint”

Predator Tribe and Brave Tribe in particular were the cause of the majority of conflicts. By the end of her time with the Tribes, Nogard had a potential solution to the issues faced by Tribes. 

Should Nogard reveal her plan to the council before she’s thought it through? - Poll Results

  • Yes - 39.3%
  • No - 60.7%

The council were intrigued as to her solution but she remained silent, refusing to give anything away. Thankfully this challenge didn’t require an immediate solution, giving Nogard ample time to ponder her options.

It’s time to support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to reply with your favorite Moonrunner that you hold and don’t forget the #NogardRising hashtag. To move on from this challenge, at least 60 Moonrunners need to be submitted. - Challenge Results

Andarax began to tire of these childish community building challenges. His interpretation of the The Challenges was that each should be life or death and force Nogard to use the powers, as outlined by the prophecy.

The legend of Nogard spread far and wide, and pressure was mounting on the Council to present a leader to quell the infighting. Andarax insisted a war veteran named Burner was the best choice, but the council were faithful to the prophecy.

A grand assembly was called for all Moonrunners far and wide to witness the two potential leaders speak to the public for the first time. Over seven thousand Moonrunners gathered in the chilling dusk to witness history.

Andarax, gave a rousing speech in support of Burner as the best candidate, infuriating Nogard who had given everything and risked her life at his whim. Andarax finished the speech calling Nogard weak and powerless, which for her, was the last straw.

Nogard briefly considered restraint after remembering the whispers from the Stealth Tribe. She lost all reason seeing Andarax’s shit-eating grin, as he stepped off the lectern. Nogard, ears ringing, began to glow as the power flowed through her.

Should Nogard openly disrespect Andarax in front of the Moonrunners? - Poll Results

  • Yes = 45%
  • No = 22%
  • Maybe a little = 33%

Nogard cursed Andarax’s lies immediately upon taking position in the centre of the stage and let out the loudest howl ever heard on Primordia, making all those around her shudder in pain. Suddenly, just as the echoes faded away, an enormous rift opened in the ground.

Panic spread as the rift caused an earthquake, tumbling houses and monuments to fallen soldiers. Wolves ran for cover. The rumbling ceased, and silence followed. Then, a giant insect-like claw reached out from within the abyss and pulled in a screaming Moonrunner.

Chaos spread immediately as an army of demons and cryptids began to swarm from the rift Nogard had created. Ezekiel recognised many of them as the same as those from the cave paintings from the Dragon Cult den.

It’s time to support Nogard on her journey through The Challenges. This community challenge is to tag another collection that you want by your side as the army of demons and cryptids swarm the Moonrunners. To move on from this challenge, at least 50 collaborations need to be submitted, don’t forget the #NogardRising hashtag. - Challenge Results

Seeing the death and destruction she unleashed filled her terror and guilt. She frantically searched for Ezekiel, finding him pinned down, being savagely attacked by a taloned demon. 

Nogard pounced on the demon, driving its head into the ground, crushing it between her jaws. Ezekiel writhed in pain on the ground, face brutally maimed. Nogard looked Ezekiel in the eyes, burst into tears, and ran away, heart pounding out of her chest.

As Nogard ran for her life she could see demons escaping in all directions, flying, burrowing, and crawling across Primordia. Tears streaming down her face she ran towards the labyrinth searching for safety from the chaos.

The words of caution from the Stealth Tribe phantom rang through her mind as she crossed the threshold into the labyrinth. A dark, quiet place to permanently fade away into darkness, away from the pressure of leading the Moonrunners.

Sprinting through the maze she felt the weight on her shoulders dissipate and the sounds of her panting echo through the empty pathways. Curiously, she caught the scent of the human that saved her, and unconsciously began to follow it.

It’s time to support Nogard on her final task in The Challenges. This community challenge is to share your best (dirty… evil…) ENS names to fight the demons and cryptids that are taking over Primordia. To move on from this challenge, at least 70 ENS names need to be submitted, don’t forget the #NogardRising hashtag. - Challenge Results

Nogard followed the scent for what felt like miles, never losing the spoor. Anywhere was better than the surface, where she would be forced to witness the cost of her arrogance and the death of countless innocents.

Finally, after a few hours she reached the centre of the maze, a single circular room with a statue in the centre. Upon closer inspection she realized it was a giant stone demon arm rising up from the ground clutching a tattered scroll.

She could see in its furls pictures of demons being killed, and what looked like a map of the maze. Nogard sat staring at the muscular arm and its talons, contemplating what to do. She knew a false move here might spell her death.

Nogard thought back to all she learnt during The Challenges. All the times she came within inches of dying, with nothing but her willpower keeping her alive. In a spur of courage she snatched the scroll from the demon arm.

The room began to rumble as the arm closed its grip and sank back underground. Nogard, wide-eyed in shock, didn’t even consider that the arm was living. A rift appeared where the arm once stood unleashing hellfire and smoke into the chamber.

She could hear the scattering of footsteps, their low growls, and do nothing but watch, frozen, as their silhouettes disperse through the haze. Nogard wished for nothing more than Ezekiel’s guidance at this moment.

The demons slowly emerged from the haze and surrounded Nogard who was backed up against a wall. They edged closer forward, salivating, ready to attack. Nogard striken with the same fear from the night she was murdered, unleashed a deafening roar as her last hope.

The shockwave from her roar sent the demons flying into the wall, most exploding on impact. The few that survived, howled in pain until the life slowly drained from their eyes. Nogard staggered in exhaustion and passed out.

Nogard awoke dazed and confused, surrounded by hundreds of corpses slowly decaying into their own toxic bile. The pain she felt was crippling, and each time she tried to find the will to stand, she crumbled under the magical pain pulsing through her.

The rift had thankfully closed, giving Nogard time to think up a plan. Her darkest moment had come, she opened the pouch and ate the Silphium the council told her to keep safe. The bitter taste mad her gag, but its numbing effects were immediate.

Slowly, she was able to stand again. She limped forward, finding the scroll underneath the corpse of an octopus-like demon that had lost the top half of its torso. Other than acting as a map to escape the labyrinth she hoped the scroll could help save the Moonrunners.

Nogard stumbled out of the labyrinth and back to the main square where the grand assembly had taken place. All she could see was chaos in all directions. She found Fanderay bandaging Ezekiel and asked what happened.

Burner, she explained, in typical Brave Tribe fashion had led a foolhardy charge into the melee without properly regrouping enough Moonrunners and was impaled by a girtablilu, a giant scorpion-like demon.

Hearing that the Moonrunners were without a leader, Nogard took a deep breath and unleashed a long “AWWWOOOOOO” rallying everyone that heard the call. Far and wide, her howl was heard, and from far and wide the tribes came running.

Thousands of Moonrunners filed into formation at Nogard’s command. Together they moved as one, annihilating every demon in sight. Nogard divided the army into battalions that spread across Primordia to hunt and destroy the demon scourge.

The battle lasted for days as the Moonrunners hunted down demons hiding in caves, bogs, cropfields, and abandoned human settlements. Nogard hunted day and night, like a demon possessed. Eventually, with Aulus at her side, she declared the battle over. 

With the help of Fanderay, Ezekiel had regained consciousness. He was completely blind in one eye and had burns to half his face. But, seeing Nogard proudly leading the Moonrunners put a smile on his face.

Andarax, witnessing the goring of Burner, was relieved to hear of Nogard’s return fearing the complete destruction of Moonrunner society. After the battle had ended he walked up to her and reluctantly congratulated her. He officially swore her in as the new leader of the Moonrunners.

Over the next few months, under Nogard’s leadership, hundreds more demons lurking in the shadows were slain. Normality seemed to return, and tensions between Tribes began to flare up once more.

Nogard knew exactly what the problem was. Many tribes began to transition from a semi-nomadic to a fixed settlement way of life. Lands that were once common moors were now being built up and settled in disputed land.

Nogard spent many sleepless nights trying to find a solution. It was the final challenge she couldn’t wrap her head around. She wandered Primordia seeking a solution. In her reverie she stumbled into an abandoned human settlement. 

Street after street of neatly arranged blocks of land, numbered, named, and most importantly, impossible to dispute. Nogard knew then and there what she had to do. She would spend the next few months marking out lands to be shared, and those that can be acquired.

As time went on the infighting finally stopped, even amongst the most aggressive tribes. It seemed like peace was finally here to stay. The Moonrunners, with Nogard at the helm, developed their technologies and understanding of science to new heights.

Nogard insisted the council focus their energy towards the stars to find answers. She was still the only one to see bright objects flying across the stars, and wanted nothing more than to know the truth.

She brought Ezekiel with her to translate and went to speak to the human that had saved her from the labyrinth. The human smiled upon seeing Nogard, as if he knew exactly why she had come. He slowly rose, manacles clanking at his heels.

Without Nogard saying a word to Ezekiel, the cultist stood up, looked at Nogard and said “The answers you seek are not on Primordia”. Ezekiel relayed the words to Nogard who understood what she had to do.

At that moment a huge crash was heard outside the dungeon. Everybody, including the manacled prisoner, raced outside, and stared in confused amazement at the scene before them. Nogard, the bravest, slowly approached whatever it was, sensing its power. 

At that moment, everything changed, and the Moonrunners would never be the same.