<< Back to Setting
Vargo has a proud history that stretches back thousands of years. A significant part of the Vargen culture is storytelling. Stories are past from generation to generation and some stories are very regional, while others are known across the main continent. These are some of the more popular tales told around roaring bonfires and at children's bedtimes.
The Prophet's Prayer
Among the people of Vargo, this prayer is known as the Prophet's Prayer. It's origins are said to be ancient, and it is one of the mantras of the Vargen Church. According to legend, the Prophet himself visited Vargo centuries ago, and spoke this prayer to a small gathering of faithful Vargens.
"I place my trust in you, and through you, the Pancreator and the Light. I place my trust in only one god and one belief, in the Pancreator Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. God of Light, Light of Light, The Lord and Giver of Life. And I place my belief in the Descent of Grace, through which our Pancreator most-high projected his divine light into the world, for the brightening of our darkness, and removing our human impurities. He shall come again, with glory, so that those who are worthy may reflect back his light, to judge the quick and the dead, and whose kingdom shall have no end."
There are many ancient legends surrounding the central desert of the Vargen continent: it is a place of mystery and ominous portents, where even seasoned travelers can easily find themselves lost among endless dunes and scorched plains. One tale of note relates the story of a brave young lad who ventured into the dunes in search of treasure. Growing up in a humble peasant village, he had heard many a legend told of valuable relics and artifacts waiting for adventurous souls to find. Unfortunately, the lad lost his way in a sandstorm, and eventually took shelter under a rocky outcropping. When the storm abated near sunset, the boy discovered that the 'rock' under which he had been hiding was actually the stern of an ancient ship, buried nose-first in the sand.
According to the legend, the lad climbed aboard the old derelict and made his way forward, eager to discover what wealth the ship might carry. Upon reaching the bridge, he walked into a chilling scene. The ship's crew was still at their posts, working the controls as if the ship still plied the Void. These phantoms turned toward the boy as he gaped at them from the hatch, beckoning for him to join them on their eternal journey. Terrified, the young man fled the ship as fast as his legs could carry him. He kept running through the night, and eventually stumbled upon a caravan. The caravaneers returned him safely home, and never again did the boy leave the comfortable (if mundane) security of his village.
Legendary figures from Vargo's distant past, the Hospitalers were the perfect good Samaritans, offering comfort, food, and shelter to those in need of healing and refuge. It is believed that they existed on Vargo during the Diaspora, when the planet was first settled. In some stories the Hospitalers opposed the wicked Void Wizards who sought to control the planet, combatting their evil magic not with violence or force of arms, but with the power of faith. Some believe that Sainte Vargo herself was a Hospitaler.
Leviathan of the Shoals
One of the more disturbing folk stories is about the Leviathan of the Shoals. It's a creature, thought to be some kind of gigantic squid with a thousand tentacles that seeks out lone fishermen out at sea, grabs them, and hauls them underwater, leaving their boats unharmed to float back to shore. More then a few fishermen swear the Leviathan is real, as some of them have actually inherited their own boats from disappeared mariners. No one has ever survived an attack by the Leviathan, but a few of the folks claim to have seen one once attack a flitter south of Vargo. Its said though that the only time the Leviathan dares attack is at night, as no boat scuttled has ever been found near land except by early morning.
According to legend, the Nightstalkers are creatures who haunt the dark places on Vargo, especially caves where the light of day never reaches. By night they set out from their hiding places to seek out anyone foolish enough to wander the darkness alone, hoping to steal their souls to feed the emptiness within themselves. In ages past, it is said, the Nightstalkers were valiant warriors. Yet they dishonored themselves, and were thereafter cursed to wander the darkness forever in search of redemption that they will never find.
Nightstalkers are described as man-like beings as pale as ghosts, their skin horribly scarred and their eyes black and empty, betraying the dark Void that lies within them where their souls once were. Most folk who encounter a Nightstalker will never be seen again, although some say it is possible to appease them with gifts of weaponry or instruments of war.
Long ago, a strange blind man wandered out of Vargo's desert and began to preach in the Agora in Vargo City. He called himself The Seeker, and he warned of a great evil that threatened the planet. That prophecy came to pass, for the evil of which he spoke, the Void Wizards, nearly destroyed all that lived in the Light on Vargo. Over the centuries, this Seeker has returned from time to time, to give warning of evils that endanger the planet. When the Seeker appears, he is always garbed in tattered robes over what appears to be a threadbare pilot's jumpsuit, and there is a dirty rag tied around his sightless eyes. Some stories say he leans on a gnarled staff, while others have him carrying a fiddle upon which he plays ancient ballads.
Long ago, during the troubling times after the jumpgate was sealed, the fabric of society began to unravel under the pressure of fear and avarice that swept over Vargo. The Mercedes were hard pressed to maintain order in outlying areas that were not under their control before the Fall. Banditry and rebellion became a serious challenge to the Mercedes' hold over the planet, and dark forces arose to threaten all who stood in the Light. In answer to this challenge, there arose the Sentinels, a community of warriors led by a woman of remarkable martial prowess. Practitioners of the martial art Man'stuto, these followers of an ancient military tradition championed the cause of justice and faith.
Blessed by the Archbishop of Vargo, and sanctioned by the Mercedes, the Sentinels emerged as a force for good amidst the chaos. By special order of the Vargen Synod of Bishops, the Sentinels were given charge of safeguarding Vargo's most precious relic: the Holy Lantern of Sainte Vargo. Wielding this relic against the minions of evil, in concert with their superb martial skills, they held the darkness at bay and kept the people safe. For half a thousand years, the members of the order ranged across the planet like knights-errant of old, righting wrongs and bringing battle to the enemies of the Mercedes and the faith.
Over time, the evil of the desert was forgotten. Like the setting sun, the Sentinels faded into the horizon, disappearing from public life. No one knows what happened to this legendary band of warriors. Some say they still protect Vargo to this day, slinking between the shadows, vigilantly watching over the people and protecting them from the forces of darkness.
A folk tale among fisherfolk is the legend of the Silverbacks. They are mythical crab-like creatures that, according to legend, follow along after mariners, luring crawfish and schools to fishermen's nets. It is said that catching a Silverback will bring the fisherman two years of bad luck. Most fishermen tell you they only come out at dawn, when the full moon dives into the ocean.
<< Back to Setting
© 2008 Fading Suns MUSH