The Heart of Barsaive
The Heart of Heroes
Gaze up at the night sky, my gracious friends, and marvel at the constellations hanging there. The Hunter, the Mountain, the Great Oak, the Air Dancer, the Butterfly, the Horse, the Ship, the Sleeping Warrior and the Winged Snake. All familiar, yet all wondrous, these gems of the sky each point the way toward the Heart of Heroes.
The Heart of Heroes holds within it the Nine True Names, each Name the essence of a noble Name-giver race. Without our Names, we would be as the animals, ephemeral as soap bubbles, unable to make a mark upon our world! Only by shaping of our own patterns, our own destinies, can we forge the destiny of our people and our world. And among all the true Names of our Universe, the Nine True Names of the Heart of Heroes are shining beacons to light the dim path of destiny, shimmering swords to cut to the heart of the Universe’s secrets, miraculous healing balms to right the greatest wrongs.
In times long past, eons before the terrors of the Scourge, nine heroes placed the secrets of their Names within a magical treasure greater and more powerful than any the world has seen before or since. This magical treasure if the Heart of Heroes, forged of purest orichalcum and imbued with the essences of the nine adventurers who created it. These heroes embodied the truest, best qualities of each of the Name-giver races. Indeed, it is said that the exploits of these nine adventurers shaped the natures of each Name-giver race for all time to come. The Nine True Names are the first Names of us all, and therein lies their tremendous power.
The Heart of Heroes is beautiful beyond anything else in existence. The smile of an innocent child, the strains of the sweetest love song, the brilliant grace of the rising sun on the clearest day – all these things are as withered leaves beside the beauty of the Heart. The Heart of Heroes fits within a troll’s palm, and in it the adventurers carved nine filigreed keyholes. Each one of the nine keys to the Heart holds the secret of one of the Nine True Names, and can release that secret to the holder of that key.
When these great heroes created the Heart and its keys, each of them swore to hide their key in a place known only to them. They left us clues to the hiding places in ancient poems and songs, so that we, their descendants, may uncover and use the power of the Nine Names in our hour of need. No one knows where the keys are now, nor where the Heart lies hidden. But the Universe itself give us the most valuable clue of all – the very stars above our heads. Ninety-nine days after the Heart of Heroes was forged, each of the nine adventurers vanished from Barsaive. On that same night, sages and wizards saw for the first time the nine constellations that to our eyes are so dear: the Hunter, stars of the humans; the Mountain, stars of the dwarfs; the Ship, stars of the t’skrang; the Great Oak, stars of the elves; the Air Dancer, stars of the trolls; the Butterfly, stars of the windlings; the Horse, stars of the orks; the Sleeping Warrior, stars of the obsidimen; and the Winged Snake, that some call the stars of the dragons.