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This is a land with many tongues, and every place or personage of importance is given equally many names. But in the north there is a place that, by any name, is a land of the dead. That land is ruled by he who was once no doubt a man, but who is now a king, the King of Death, the Horned King, the Dragon Killer.
He straddles the lines between this world and the other, stealing strength from each, and he has so lived for hundreds of years. He is now said to be a monstrous figure, skeletal, made and armed and armored of metal, rags, and bone. He wears a mask that is a human skull, and he is crowned with teeth and dry antlers. The earth groans and cracks where he walks, and living things recoil.
The Horned King steals the hearts of unborn children, causing them to be born dead, yet grow into warriors and serve him unswervingly. They are all appetite, they have no voice nor conscience, they kill and devour and don't ever relent. Only bodily destruction harms them; they never die.
He steals also treasures, not only gold and jewels but all things of advantage to men. Time was, we had harps that played themselves, cauldrons that filled themselves with food, looms that wove themselves, horses who ran on the wind, birds who spoke. Harpers, wild children, and the wise could take the forms of animals, speak with the ancestors, and see the future. But long ago, by craft and deceit, those treasures and arts were taken, one by one, and jealously hidden away.
In this way, the King of Death laid siege to these lands for a hundred years, never quite conquering but never quite defeated.
But then came the sons of the Empire-Across-The-Sea, sailing in ships of white and black. They carried with them strange signs and strange treasures, and they also carried with them their gods. They made common cause with the people of this land, and they drove the Horned King back to his first holdings, deep in the north ... but he still could not be thrown down.
And so, in consultation with their priests, the sons of the Empire built the wall, Laug's Wall, and they prayed before it and wrote signs upon it, and bound the Dragon Killer to remain beyond it. Or so they claimed. It is for this reason that, of the several Imperial gods, none has been able to claim hearts in this land so well as Laug.