Sunday, January 13, 2013
Age of Myth
In the Mythic Age, two great peoples came to great power. The first, Nathair-Sgiathach (dragons) were masters of the elements. They inhabited places of great height or within rooms large enough for their massive bodies. The second, the Tuathanas (elves), were masters of the magical arts. Their love of nature led to the creation of living masterplaces to serve as their homes.
After the two great peoples, came their slaves and then the diplomats. The first group of slaves were the dwarves, servants to dragonkind. The dwarves were charged with carving the great chambers within the mountains in which the dragons lived. In carving out these caverns, the dwarves discovered veins of gold, silver, and gemstones. The dwarves began working these into the grande rooms and then their own possessions. The dragonkind took notice of these workings and fell in love with them. The dragonkind commanded more and more of these workings to be incorporated into everything the dwarves produced for the dragonkind. In time, the elves would notice these new additions to the dragonkinds' palaces and desire them for their own.
A second set of slaves were owned by the elves, the humans. Humans were the gardeners and builders for the Tuathanas. While the Tuathanas would create many wondrous living things, they had no patience to perform the necessary maintenance upon their mystical creations. Thus, humans toiled in an effort to maintain the wild creations of their often insane masters. While the dragonkind were often considered stoic and firm, the Tuathanas were flighty and unstable. When the dragons saw the wondrous things elven magic could accomplish, the dragons began to desire those magics in their great caverns.
Relations between the Tuathanas and dragonkind were never good. Both people mistrusted the other and the slaves did not speak a common tongue.
Into this world stepped the gnomes. Small of stature, these people were able to worm their way into the good graces of both peoples. They worked themselves so far into the two cultures, they became the unassuming deal-brokers between the two. With an allegiance to neither, this unbiased third party were perfect for the role they assumed. This role would expand beyond trade managers to include peace making diplomats and knowledgeable heralds.
In time, the two cultures grew more at ease with each other. Suspicions and lack of trust gave way to a golden age. As with all great things, this would come to an end.
Age of Conflict
And so the two kingdoms grew, the dragons upon and within the mountain ranges of the world and the elves within and around the forests. Within each realm, the slave races toiled and travailed, while the gnomes worked in and around everyone. The edges of the kingdoms began to chafe and fray until an inevitable conflict arose. What started as a small fracas expanded into a full blown war.
The cause of the original conflict is unknown and the participants long dead. What is known is that both sides would eventually commit their slaves, instead of themselves against each other. Man and dwarf bore the brunt of this conflict for many years. As the number of living slaves began to dwindle, the masters armorers of each side developed new wars to protect their slaves and kill the enemy. Chain armor and great swords, mithril armor and warhammers, nothing was spared. However, new and interesting ways to kill each other would not be enough.
The combined forces of humans and elves decimated the dwarven armies. Whole legions were slaughtered. The Nathair-Sgiathach were forced to re-enter the war and they struck directly at elven cities. The elves responded more readily than the dragons expected. Many Tuathanas were assigned to each army, not as advisers, but as spellcasters capable of summoning demons and creatures of chaos to fight the dragons.
The dragons and dwarves were no match for the combined forces of the Tuathanas and their slaves. The time of the dragons as a race of people, came to an end and the surviving dwarves were added as additional elven slaves, alongside the humans.
Age of Strife
It would not be long before the Tuathanas turned against the only foe left – themselves. Our ancestors and the dwarves' ancestors were forced to fight along-side their masters against our own people.
The Tuathanas fought House to House and between the Families of those houses. It started slow and in small amounts. A family wiped out here, a House destroyed there. It took five generations of our people for the War of the Ancients to begin. At that time, the internal structure of their kingdom had collapsed. As their numbers began to dwindle, they took to desperate measures. They began allowing us to use their weapons and armor, which they called, “steel.” They would never teach our ancestors how to create steel and it is something that we struggle to discern. Weapons and armors of solid steel are very rare and often heirlooms within families.
Other Tuathanas families took the children of our priests and taught them how to wield their mad sorceries. The were brought up in Wizards' chantries, learning the magics of Chaos and Law.
This sharing of knowledge would be the lynch pin in the Tuathanas race. As our ancestors were forced to fight each other, hatreds and rivalries that exist to this day were created. However, the children of our ancestors combined their wizardly learning with that of our ancestors' priestly abilities, taught by the Animal Lords, to bring together the leaders of our ancestors. In doing so, they were able to plant the seeds of rebellion.
As the Tuathanas had brought themselves to the brink of extinction, our ancestors and their children took action. As one people, they turned on their masters, the Tuathanas. At first, the Tuathanas were able to hold us back, but the dwarves and a fifth colony of Tuathanas joined the conflict. The masters were like lambs to the slaughter. They tried to fight. They tried to put aside their own differences. They even brought a Demon Prince to the world.
They succeeded in decimating one of our tribes and another sacrificed itself in order to vanquish the Demon Prince back to its Hell. These Tribes names are never spoken, lest their spirits be woken and seek revenge upon the living...for being alive.
Age of Recovery
The Tuathanas traitors were quick to surrender themselves to dwarven soldiers. They sued for peace and offered to allow the half-elves to read them with magics in order to determine purpose. An alliance of leaders amongst the humans, the half-elves, and the dwarves convened to decide the fates of the Tuathanas-traitors. As the traitors had helped destroy their own people, it was decided to allow them to live. They were given the annihilated city of Lanark. Lanark was one of the first elven cities destroyed by the dragons.
As quickly as the decision of what to do with the living Tuathanas, the alliance of men, half-elves, and dwarves fell apart. The dwarves set their sights upon their dwellings of old amongst the mountain peaks. The half-elves returned to the chantries in which they had learned magic. The gnomes disappeared and were rarely seen. And our grandparents set about rebuilding cities left barren by the wars. . .