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The dry hilltops danced with fire. Throughout the heart of the wild badlands the humans called the Wyrmsmokes, great bonfires had been kindled atop the ridges overlooking the Elsir Vale. For so long they had fought each other, tribe against tribe, race against race, engaged in the endless test of battle, feud, and betrayal. But tonight….tonight they stood together, hated enemies shoulder to shoulder, shouting together as brothers. And they saw that they were strong, and together they danced and sang and shook their blades at the smoke-hidden stars overhead. “We are the Kulkor Zhul!” they shouted, and the hills shook with the thunder of their voices. “We are the people of the Dragon, and none can stand before us!”

One by one the tribes fell silent. Armour creaked as thousands turned to look up to the Place of Speaking. There, a single champion emerged from the assemblage and stood at the top of the ancient stone stair that was cut into the side of the hill. A hundred blackened banners stood beneath him like a phalanx of spears, each marked with a great red hand. “Hear me, warriors of the Kulkor Zhul!” he cried. “No more shall we waste our blood fighting each other. Under the banner of the Red Hand of Doom we march to victory and conquest! Remember that you stood here this night, warriors of the Kulkor Zhul! For a hundred generations your sons and your sons’ sons will sing of the blood spilled by your swords and the glory you win in the nights to come! Now, my brothers – to WAR!”

The burning hills were too small to hold the shout the Kulkor Zhul gave in answer to their warlord’s call.

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Who can stand against the Red Hand of Doom? Who can stand against the Son of the Dragon?

The Red Hand of Doom

loum80 Ariannadathief Aedelas Bridgemeister