The City Brothers and the City of Heroes
The events portrayed in Three Minutes to Midnight speak of the City Brothers, and the City of Heroes is the setting for the action of that tale.
The City Brothers
Conar, Hopelord of Men had four sons who are known collectively as the City Brothers. When the forces of Hope landed and had thrown back the armies of Despair some small way, Araluntir the Hopelord of Wizards issued a prophecy that the greatest of the Lands’ cities was yet to be founded, and would be by the sons of Conar. The sons eagerly sought the time and place of this wondrous City of Heroes throughout the Age of Balance.
Eko-telh was the eldest of the sons of Conar, and like his father was famed for the arts of building and leadership. Ekhonon, the second brother, was quieter and interested in law and matters of justice. Khoirah, unlike his elder siblings in many ways, was brilliantly talented in the mystic arts and in astrology, learning from both Araluntir and Ma-Eldar in years of devoted study. The youngest, Telhol, was first of the heroes to be born in the Lands themselves; he became skilled in the arts of healing and took little part in the early battles against Despair.
During this time, many came to suspect the deeds and motives of the third son, Khoirah- the eldest Eko-telh chief among them. But as Khoirah’s services to Hope time and again foresaw the intentions of the enemy and worked to the benefit of his father, he was suffered to remain among the counsels of the Hopelords alongside his brothers. Khoirah could read the stars nearly as well as the Araluntir, and was known to converse with dragons and other scaly beings to augment his great knowledge.
Throughout the Age of Balance the sons of Conar searched for the site of their augured city, returning when summoned to serve the Hopelords. After the Battle of the Razor, and Khoirah’s attempted betrayal, he was kept in durance by his brother Ekhonon. But Telhol, who had saved the Snake-Speaker’s life, constantly met any demand for greater punishment with an offer to lay down his own life instead. When the Hopelords met in council in 19 ADR, Conar mooted the strange plan to invade the utter East. The major lords, with varying degrees of reservation, agreed to accompany him (excepting Argens who left the council to found the southern empire). The City Brothers determined to attend their father for at least a part of the journey, but sources agree they were united in their desire to seek the founding site of their great city rather than fully accord with the plan of Hope. Eko-telh announced that nothing could prevent the founding promised in the stars, and swore that his city would be home to a race of heroes from every land in the kingdoms. Only those of sufficient stature would be able to either enter or leave the City of Heroes. Many bright lords and ladies accompanied Eko-telh on the force of this oration. Khoirah was suffered to go with his siblings in chains, under the watchful eye of Ekhonon and Telhol; else Eko-telh would surely have slain his brother. Aballe, heroine of the wars and wife of Ekhonon, also accompanied the City Brothers.
At this point the histories end. Legends, or perhaps just hopeful rumors, tell that the Brothers did indeed find the location of their promised city and erected there a marvelous metropolis. The beauty of the place was said to be beyond comparison, and there was a marvelous, unaging quality to the lands thereabout. According to the tales, the City is ringed by hills that frustrate all efforts to either leave or enter. The prophecy of Eko-telh may have come true, for throughout the centuries any from the Lands of Hope who searched for the City of Heroes came back disappointed, or not at all. This state of affairs lasted until around the year 1990 ADR. After that year, persistent stories arose that one man at least, had escaped from the City of Heroes. If true, this story would reinforce the argument of some that the change of the age had begun about this time.