History - Primer
An Introduction to the History of the World
According to the storytellers all life began with the Elders and it is by their great power and knowledge that the universe was shaped into the Empire of A Hundred Worlds.
It is said that there were once an entire world devoted to each race and that the central world, Axyss was a meeting ground to discuss issues common to the denizens of the Empire and to resolve disputes between worlds. The legends state that a war broke out among the Elders and the mystical Eldergates that connected the worlds were destroyed, and with them all connection with the Elders.
In the absence of the Elders the Druids were the salvation of the people of Axyss. They alone had the power to produce enough food to sustain the population in the absence of the great powers of the Elders. In return for their salvation, the peoples were required to obey the Druidic laws:
- No one shall establish a dwelling lasting more than one season.
- No one shall undertake the harvesting, refining, or working of metals.
- No one shall cut or otherwise harm a living tree.
- No one shall bring harm to a living creature except in self-defense or in need of food.
- No one shall undertake the practice of magics other than those granted by the power of Nature.
- No one shall enter into or otherwise disturb the ruins of the Elder Cities, Structures or Constructs.
Under the rule of the Druids the people became roaming tribes of nomads living in harmony with the land. Each tribe had a Druid appointed as a judge of disputes and any disputes between tribes or concerns common to multiple tribes were addressed by the Druid Council. The tribes met twice a year in gatherings to trade and to compete in the Great Games.
For generations this pattern lasted, until the first among the people began to hear the voices of the lost Elders. At first the ‘listeners’ were labeled as mad – but over time the uncanny knowledge and power they had access to could not be denied. A new religion spawned around these ‘Clerics’ and for the first time there was credible opposition to the power of the Druids.
The first real schism came in the form of ‘The Miners’. This new guild was essentially a theocracy centered around the teachings of an Elder who called itself ‘The Anvil’. Many among the Dwarves in particular, for whom the practices of the Druids had never sat well, took to following these new teachings. They abandoned the practice of wandering and set up new habitations near the ruins of old cities.
At first, the miners had simply to uncover what was lost digging out vast quantities of metal and other precious materials from the ruins of fallen cities. The Anvil taught them the lost arts of working with metal and stone. Slowly, towns began to take shape for the first time in centuries. The Miners, their followers, and anyone who traded with them were declared Apostate by the Druids who refused them healing or trade. Many Miners died of starvation in the early years before they were joined by another new religion: the followers of an Elder calling itself, “The Plow”. This new Elder taught it’s followers the lost ways of agriculture and granted its Clerics special powers to grow crops that matched those of the Druids. Now that the settlements could offer a viable alternative to the enforced nomadic life, citizens began to flock to them in droves. As more and more citizens settled, even more began to find the blessings of Elders who took an interest in their actions, teaching them lost skills and granting the most faithful new powers.
Not all went well for the settlements. Of the nine cities that were established and began to grow, only three remain. Three were destroyed by secrets unearthed within the ruins they inhabitted, two were consumed by plague, and one, Arvahill came to outright warfare with the Druids and was razed by the tribes that remained loyal to them.
After the destruction of Arvahill the remaining cities joined into an alliance and struck a bargain with the Druid Council. They divided the world into two kingdoms, one where the Settlers were free to build and grow as they saw fit – so long as they made certain concessions in regard to pollution and the handling of discovered artifacts, and in turn the tribes were given free rein to roam the other half of the world, and to continue the practice of meeting twice a year when the trade restrictions would be lifted.