Before Creation[edit | edit source]
Before there were worlds there was void. An endless abyss of impenetrable darkness, inky and swirling with chaos. From that chaos faint glimmers of light found each other, the power of creation shielding itself from the void, becoming worlds. The light and life inside these worlds angered the void, the order and harmony filling it with jealousy and hunger, but no matter much it raged they remained protected, only yielding once they had met their natural end. One world formed with an imperfection however, a fragment of void hidden amongst the light. This fragment of void would eventually lead to that world’s untimely fall, and worse give the void a power that may threaten creation itself. That world is Eterra.
Primal Era[edit | edit source]
Creation[edit | edit source]
Legends say that Eterra crafted this world with her own hands, spreading life and vitality through the barren land, what existed before her none can say but herself and possibly The Observer. The ancient world was covered by forests and jungles, inhabited by beast people and a multitude of creatures that could only thrive in this wild time.
The Birth of Lagon[edit | edit source]
The stories say that ages ago, long before humanity arose, Lagon was nameless, a terrifying being of unknowable anatomy that shattered the mind of any mortal that dared to look upon it. Where the other great gods that would be charged by Eterra with the protection of humanity were already proven leaders of the lands they ruled, the being that would become Lagon was a raging monstrosity. No other spirits of the sea could hope to challenge the raging titan when Eterra decided to empower the gods she knew any spirit she chose would be destroyed by this abomination, so she crafted a plan.
Eterra waded out into the western sea and formed an island from which she could speak to the sea titan from. She waited until the moon was full and bright in the night sky and called out to it, the waters frothed as the titan’s many eyes rose up to answer her. To it, she said, “Creature, I offer you a bargain. Every night I stand watch over my humans for I know you hunger for them so, but tonight there are matters I must attend to elsewhere and I can not protect them. Do you see the moon overhead? If you keep even one of your terrible eyes fixed upon the moon and if the terrible body attached to it does not leave this island until the moon has passed from its sight and it gazes upon the dawn, I will reward that terrible creature with the moon itself. This way I will know my humans are safe.”
The sea titan agreed to this deal and Eterra went on her way, for the titan had a plan of its own. The titan began carving pieces from itself, a claw here, a slab of shell and coral there, and arranged it in the shape of one of the humans Eterra so loved then crowned it with its smallest most pitiful eye, angling it to stare directly at the moon. Its work finished, the titan dragged its still bleeding mass back into the sea and began to swim for the mainland so it could find the humans and feast.
Eterra anticipated this treachery however, she returned to the island and saw the sea titan’s work and touched that small singular eye and coaxed the moonlight into it. It grew and grew, larger and brighter until it appeared as though the moon itself was atop the figure, and then, the power of the moon and Eterra flowed from that eye and into the rest of the flesh, giving it life. This new creature turned to Eterra and bade her, “Mother Goddess, what am I? What is my purpose?”
Eterra spoke, “You are Lagon, the god of sea and storms. Your purpose is to go and destroy the sea titan that now swims to my shore.” And Lagon raised his hands, as monstrous as they were and crafted his first storm. The waves battered the bleeding sea titan, slamming it into the rocks and edges of the shore. Thunder rang out, shattering the titan’s shell, lightning searing its writhing flesh. Despite this assault, the sea titan still managed to reach the shore, just in time for it to lose the last of its lifeblood, the spot where he died is the titanic shell which is now the center of the city Thetima. Lagon reached down to the trail of blood the titan left behind, stretching from where it had first carved Lagon’s body on the island, through the clouded waters and to the pool that formed under the titan’s corpse, and he touched it. The blood surged then, frothing into the form of dozens of creatures who we now know as the Neried, the merpeople who are the children of Lagon.
They returned to the island and helped Lagon build his temple, the temple that would become his home and prison, as even though he had done as Eterra asked, the deal she had made with the titan said that the eye and its terrible body must remain on the island until it sees the dawn. Unfortunately, the moon is eternally reflected in Lagon’s great cyclopean eye, and he may never leave his island home.
Northlands Civil War[edit | edit source]
Most conflicts between Northlands Tribes are settled by trials of combat between the champions of the disputing tribes. When a conflict is dire enough that a trial between the champions is insufficient it is mediated by the greatest of the tribes, the one lead by Heorot himself. The High Chieftain mediates these more severe disputes, seeking to reach a peaceful resolution, and if even this fails the system of a trial of combat is called upon again, except with the Great Champion facing the champions of both conflicting tribes at the same time. In the history of the north, the Great Champion of Heorot’s tribe has only failed this trial once, when the champion of Morditas drove his frozen blade into the Great Champion’s heart. Morditas then declared his intention of usurping Heorot and laying waste to the humans too weak to serve him, sparking a civil war that raged for a hundred years, stalling the progress of the people of the north while their neighbors to the south flourished.
Divine Era[edit | edit source]
Year 1059[edit | edit source]
Rahyeh, the God of the Mountains, declared his war upon the other gods. Rahyeh set his sight upon the north first, viewing their lack of development as weakness and sending his armies into their land. The Great Champion of this Era of Warring Gods is a man named Gahardod, who after assembling the tribes set out on a quest. He sought out the frozen tree of Morditas, hoping to challenge the cursed specter of his champion so he may take his frozen blade which legend says was carved from the deepest of the glaciers at the crown of the world and makes its wielder undefeatable.
The Maiden's Vision[edit | edit source]
Vessel Maiden Apophis looked into her scrying pool again, the delicate crystal of the bowl glowing in the starlight that passed through the open ceiling of her Observatory. She checked the curve of the bowl for scratches or imperfections, it was perfect. She checked the alignment of the stars, they reflected in the pool without error. Apophis held her breath, dawn was close, she had been doing this from the second she could get the stars to reflect properly. If she couldn’t find what she was looking for she would have to wait for the next evening to continue, yet again. She had to find what she was looking for. She gripped the sides of the bowl with her scaled hands and thrust her face in.
She saw herself from miles above and years in the past, a Nagasa infant pulled from a massive pile of golden scales among many, each one bearing a jewel embedded upon their brow, the one belonging to her was black as night. The older Apophis stared down at her past, her eyes reluctant to focus on the Majasa in this vision, golden scales fresh and soft, flexing her new body, but the jewel that rested on her brow always demanded Apophis’ attention. The jewel of the previous Vessel Maiden.
Apophis righted herself, and focused on the other side of eternity, the pathways of the future. She gazed upon the endless threads reaching from past to present to future, all unchanging and unique. Many of them ended in Rahyeh, the conquering flame of the east, destroying her or subjugating her. If he continued to do the same to Majasa and her people was unknowable to her. Many more threads ended in Rahyeh’s defeat, she did not rejoice in these threads for they all ended the same for her. Majasa’s gold scales and jewels were always bare in places, dull in others, she would rise slowly above Apophis before striking, swallowing her whole. Apophis assumes what would follow in these timelines would be as the Diamond Priests told her the ritual had always proceeded. The golden scales would be harvested and given to the humans, a new generation of True Nagasa would be born from her shed jewels, a new Vessel Maiden bearing her black gem among them, the leftover skin would be reshaped and molded into the witless False Nagasa to toil as the Diamond Priests deem fit. A rejuvenated Majasa would then exult, her body new and gleaming, the previous Vessel Maiden’s black gem resting on her brow.
All the threads of fate Apophis could trace ended these ways, all save for one. A strange thread that ran in the wrong direction, reaching from the future and into the present, a thread that was not her own, the thread she had become obsessed with. She traced this thread like she had done countless times, past her sacrifice, or ascension as the Diamond Priests called it, to Majasa. Into a strange future where the humans had conquered the rest of the gods and extended their lives with cruel magic. The thread continued, the night sky she was falling into growing dimmer and dimmer, the stars fading away into an inky darkness until that was all that was left. She witnessed a future consumed by darkness, where fate itself died, a void.
Apophis pulled herself away from the darkness and dashed the bowl to the ground, its shatter drowned out by her shriek of rage. Oblivion. Void. What use was seeing the threads of fate if this was the only future the world had? This anger she felt inside her, it was familiar, an anger that burned with shame. This was the anger of her youth, rage at knowing her fate as a Vessel Maiden, that her purpose was to supply her goddess a means to the immortality she had refused ages ago, simply to always have wealth to gift to the pathetic humans. Why must she face oblivion for the sake of their greed? For Majasa? She doesn’t deserve this. A voice that wasn’t hers itched at the back of her mind.
“They deserve this…”
Apophis turned to the puddle of water where she had shattered the bowl. It was black. It was spreading.
“This is the fate of all things… you will not be alone…”
She stood transfixed as she watched the puddle grow, a figure rising from it that seemed to drain the light from the stars themselves. Apophis smiled.
Imperial Era, Year 1621[edit | edit source]
The different cultures and civilizations of mankind have begun to decline, a ruthless Emperor that has embraced undeath having subjugating any who would resist his rule. The beast people are down to their last, nature has begun to suffer, and the living humans are fighting a losing battle against the Undead Empire. The Undead Empire has embraced the strict culture of Rahyeh’s old domain but made it more militaristic, embracing necromantic experiments fueled by the Emperor’s foul power.
Ruined Era, Year 2281[edit | edit source]
The Void has covered most of the surface, most of humanity fleeing underground, those who remain on the surface going mad. The last bastion of humanity exists underneath the surface, safe from the horrors that dwell above.
End of Civilization on the Surface[edit | edit source]
The surface is desolate, any land not consumed by the void is withered and dying, the essence of life itself is being sapped away from the world yet some humans still live there, most of them driven to insanity and embracing the end of all things. There are exceptions however, for even in the darkest of times the light of hope still burns, there are humans who have remained on the surface and guarded the last vestiges of the long dormant Eterra’s power, its light protecting them in turn. In time though, even the most defiant fire may die, and on that day this last enclave fell to the void and the cultists who revel in its wake.
The only survivors were a woman and her son, the Primalist, who had found a cave passage in the mountains and destroyed the entrance behind them. They explored the cave system, comforted that they would die in a darkness of their own choosing rather than be consumed by the void until they discovered signs of habitation, and eventually the light of torches. They had found themselves within underground sanctuary and the scrutiny of its people.
Acolyte is Exiled[edit | edit source]
The Acolyte hungered for knowledge, her apprenticeship under the Last Refuge Elders leaving her bored and restless. Her master was a kind man, he spared her the bellows and caning that other apprentices endured for their mistakes, but still, she was not satisfied. She wanted to be more than these gray men and hunched women hiding in this subterranean city. She wanted power.
She had heard tales of the surface’s past like any youth would have, but the tales that interested her the most were those of the Undead Empire and their mastery over death. Most apprentices would have never dared to ask their master about the magic the Undead Empire wielded, and most mentors would never have conceded that tomes detailing their dark secrets still existed hidden in the archives. Alas, the acolyte and her master were fools.
She still remembers it, the feeling when she first recited a chant from one of those tomes, a mouse tied to the glyph she had etched. The power of its soul, no matter how meager, as it flew into her, and the sight of its tiny skeleton tearing its way from the tiny corpse. She was found out of course, her dark experiments growing more bold, but she had grown clever by then and made her escape to the shadowy slums.
Last Refuge Falls to the Void[edit | edit source]
The day eventually came when the void came crashing through the rocks into Last Refuge spreading their corruption and wiping the settlement clean of life. Somehow, the Primalist, Acolyte, Mage, Knight, and Rogue managed to escape.