Part I: Age of the Gods
Part I: Age of the Gods
Creation – 10,000 PN
Creation and the Age of the Dragons
Since before the dawn of time, Uhel has labored at his forge. Here the Creator god forged the world at the dawn of time, and flung it spinning into the sky. At this time Uhel placed upon the world his creatures, near-immortal beings of immense power, who he intended to inhabit this world. He named them Dragons.
The First Dragons were far more powerful and terrible than anything in the later ages of the world. They survived the primordial power of the elements, and even took on some of their nature. They worked great magics and gazed at the stars, seeking to understand the nature of their creator. They made other, lesser races to serve them - the Dragon-men and other creatures.
Elementals and the Age of the Giants
Though Uhel forged the world, it was not finished. Uhel set upon the world the four gods of the elements, charged with doing the fine work of his creation. Ulf, the earth god, walked the surface of the world, shaping the mountains with his hands, and making lakes with his footprints. When Ulf was done, Kylee, the goddess of the sea, loosed her waters upon the world, filling the lakes, seas and rivers. Then Vultan, the fire god, caused the fires of the earth to come forth and sear the ground. Cheleria, the goddess of the winds, saw the fires and blew her gentle breath upon them – fanning the flames, but summoning a great storm which quenched the fires.
The four could see their task would take eons, and that the help of their lesser Elementals, though great, would not be sufficient. So they created beings to help with their labors. Massive and strong, attuned the the elements of their creators, these creatures were called Giants. The first created and most common were called the Ansvar; but soon bigger and stronger giants were created - Sea and Storm, Stone and Frost - until there were thousands of Giants laboring upon the earth and sea.
The Dragons did not like the giants, and the two races fought. At first the Giants were overcome by the powerful Dragons, and cried out to their gods, who heard their pleas, and created a master race to watch over them - the Titans. Each one an ancient and powerful creature of magic, a Titan was a mach for even the First Dragons. The power of the Titans brought about occasional peace, but soon the Giants began to fight among themselves, and the Dragons as well.
Despite this constant conflict, the elemental gods and their giants worked, changing and reforging the land and sea. As their elements conflicted, each diety became enamored of another. Vultan desired Cheleria, for she could make his fire burn hotter. For her part, Cheleria was heart-set on immovable Ulf, who ignored her fiercest tempest. As for Ulf, the earth-god had set his diamond eyes upon the goddess of the waters. Kylee of course desired Vultan’s fire, but could never have it, for fire and water are always at odds. And so each chases the other, none of the four satisfied, all warring with another to gain favor with the object of their desire. Thus we have storms, and floods, and fire, and avalanche.
The Nine and the Age of the Outsiders
Soon the unrequited pursuits of the four grew more violent. Their strivings caused massive shifts in the earth and sea; huge firestorms and terrible earthquakes. Many First Dragons and Giants were killed. Such was the uproar of their conflict that Uhel himself was annoyed. Deeply incensed by the interruption, Uhel chastised the four and set the Nine over them – three for order, three for change, and three to hold the balance. These were The Nine – the gods of order, chaos, and neutrality. They are the greater gods. Athor, god of light, rules the three gods of order, taking both Marya, the goddess of creation, and Skylae, the goddess of law, as his brides. As for the gods of chaos, Phane, the god of death, and Gathal, the god of chaos, fought one another over the favor of Hylarr, goddess of darkness.
The Wars of the Gods
Born in direct conflict with one another, the gods of order and of chaos began to battle one another openly - but with armies of hosts on outer planes, so as not to draw the ire of Uhel. The weapons of the gods were mighty – a glance from Athor could sear mountains, while a blow from Phane’s mace could take the life from any lesser being. not content to fight alone, the gods created legions to fight their wars – the Celestial taking the side of order, the Fiendish taking the side of chaos.
As the wars of the gods dragged on, their children joined the fray. Athor’s firstborn, Gromm, the god of battle, came forth in a thunderbolt and smote mighty Phane. Skylae’s daughter, Braeya, the goddess of mercy, was borne by her so that battle would not be fought without respite. Gathal and Hylarr bore a son, Shalokar, the god of trickery. The offspring of Hylarr and Phane was Gahl-tath-Urok, which became the Abomination. This creature was so utterly repulsive that even Hylarr cast it from her into the deepest sea of the world.
Shalokar, wishing to grow more powerful, sought to destroy Phane through trickery, so that he could take his place. He whispered a plan in Phane’s ear, and the god of death disguised himself as Athor and came to Marya. The deception was discovered, but too late – Marya bore a child of both good and evil. Her offspring was the goddess Chatalize, who, being shunned by both sides, claimed the underworld as her own realm. While Phane was away, Shalokar and Hylarr conceived Vuul, the god of murder. Thus was the true object of Shalokar’s plan revealed. Athor’s rage at Phane’s trickery was incandescent. Three times he chased the god of Death around the world, and three times did Phane manage to evade his wrath.
Finally, when it seemed the wrath of the gods would destroy the world, the remaining three gods of neutrality acted. Halgar assumed the role of arbiter of the gods, and became the god of justice. Seiba limited Marya’s creation and Phane’s destruction by placing a limit on life, and forbidding the gods to slay a being before its life was spent. Kronarr set an order to all things, becoming the god of time. And so balance at last came to the world. While order and chaos still do battle, now the gods of neutrality prevent either side from escalating their conflict beyond limits. Halgar took it upon himself to lay down the laws of nature, to calm the constant struggle between the elemental gods.
However, the god of justice was at first too strict, and he so limited their powers that for an instant, all the elemental gods were allowed the object of their desire. From Vultan and Cheleria came Alyssa, the goddess of love. From Cheleria and Ulf came Ianadale, god of the forests. From Ulf and Kylee came Bors, the god of winter, and from Kylee and Vultan came Shyla, the goddess of summer.
Moreover, the ranks of the Celestials and infernals swelled, as new beings were called forth from the aether; Azata, Demons, and other strange beings. Some chose to serve the Nine, others to oppose all life, still others to meddle in mortal affairs.
Halgar corrected his error at once, allowing some change to keep the world in motion, but not the upheaval that had so changed the world during the early age of the gods. Gromm and Braeya, despite their opposing natures, did at this time produce four offspring, three sons and one daughter. First among their sons was Kath, the god of honor. Second came Kern, his twin, god of hunting. Then came Mishya, goddess of wisdom, and finally Brandt, the god of oaths. Bors and Shyla, who rule the seasons, had a son of their own – Vigos, the god of trade. Unhappy with the number of Skylae's children, Hylarr seduced Halgar, and bore Avaruum, the goddess of greed. Alyssa, the goddess of love, had three children of poorly understood parentage. Firstborn to her was a daughter, Akarai, the goddess of rage. Next came Archgate, the god of construction. Finally she bore Dra, the god of merriment, last born of the gods.
The Age of the Elves
The Wars of the Gods and the Balancing had nearly wiped out the old mortal races. The Dragons endured, though much reduced from their great power. Their servants, the Dragon-men, were fewer and fewer. Hardy Giants still roamed the world, reduced in power and in number, but surviving - though nearly all the Titans had fallen in the Wars.
In this world two younger mortal races rose to power - the Elves, created by Marya to serve as bringers of light to the world, and the Snakefolk, slaves of the ancient Dragons, freed by the death and diminishing of their master's power.
The Elves established their own city on the Dannenbrock, and lived among the lesser gods, and were taught much by them. They built ships and sailed Kylee's seas, exploring the world. They claimed all of creation as theirs, and set about learning all they could about their world.
Naturally the ancient races of Dragons and Giants were affronted by the audacity of the young Elves, and fought against them. The dark gods aided the snake-men servants of the dying Dragon-men, turning them to evil, and using them to oppose the rise of the Elves.
Wishing the Elves to bring about the rule of Light, the gods encouraged the Elves to spread to whatever corner of the world they wished. This the Elves did, departing the Dannenbrock, and settling in great cities on all the lands of the world.
With the Elves gone from the Dannenbrock, the gods created new races. Dwarves and Gnomes and Flen and others, all to be scattered around the world. They created so many that the tasks of shaping the mortal forms were often given to Celestial minions, who made some races in their own image - such as the Shivan and the Merfolk. As the Light gods acted, the dark reacted - their minions creating dark and twisted races, or feeding Gahl-tath-Urok to cause the Abomination to whelp more monsters. The younger races went into the world after the Elves, and often settled near them, or sheltered under the might of Elven arms.
Many great wars did the Elves fight against Dragon and Giant and snakemen. The Elves destroyed the last of the Dragon-men, and drove their snakefolk servants into hiding in the deep jungles and dark places of the world. For a time, it seemed that mortal Elves would rule the world, tipping the balance - through mortal free will - towards the side of light.
But the dark gods would not be beaten so easily. They abandoned their snake-man minions and went to the Elves, promising them power and knowledge and greatness - why should Elves be mortal, they asked, when the gods were not? The light gods knew the secret of immortality, but would not tell the Elves. Angered, some Elves believed the Dark gods, and confronted the others - and were shamed for their ungratefulness. These Elves renounced the Light gods and left the Elven cities - settling instead in a dark, mountainous land they called Naduum, where they armed themselves, determined to storm the Dannenbrock and take the secret of immortality. They gathered to themselves all the dark and ambitious races of the world, founding dozens of fortress-cities and fielding mighty armies.
Worried by their brethren's madness, the remaining Elves drew together, determined to defend the Dannenbrock from their fellows, whatever the cost. They gathered to themselves all the races of light, building a mighty fleet of silver ships, and many white-towered cities on the islands of Skos.