Contrary to prior discussion, the Gods of Twilight Last are not the sole survivors of a raging god war. They are the most powerful left and dominate the lesser deities. Creation of this universe was by Zelaur, the god of Honor, the sole survivor of a prior god war. Zelaur found the Motherstone, and used it to rebuild the universe. He created the gods who then created titans, dragons, and lesser races. The gods started fighting for worshippers and Zelaur tried to stop them, but it looked like a great war was imminent. So, he made the Tablet of the Ages, compelling gods to fight only with proxies and ensuring peace. The problem-some gods got their spheres and divine rank and were displeased at their new station. Yi’Gor, god of Treachery, the bad seed son of Zelaur, violated the compact. Yi’Gor seduced his own mother into helping him betray his father, made the HackMaster swords (some fifty at the time but now there are only 13), and shattered the Tablet of the Ages into 12 or 13 pieces. This started the War of the Tablet of the Ages, and whole pantheons were slain; the war ended because the gods were starting to lose power and a stalemate was a victory for none. After the armistice, the factions formed into five cabals, each of which corresponds to a Council. Sadly with the Horrors manipulating events who knows what will transpire unless heroes can keep them in check.
Sadly, Zelaur went insane and tried to spin all of reality into his pattern, including the Horrors. This drove Zelaur mad so that he now seeks not to balance, but to destroy everything. One god, Aknar (Greater God of Neutrality) He first gave stealth and strength to wolves then to men. The men who started building cities and towns he tried to show the errors of that but to no avail. Aknar then bred his Garou. Hybrids of wolf and man to help stop and fight what Zelaur in his insanity has created. The garou were varied just like humanity and formed 13 distinct tribes. The horrors have many agents and many faces, all bent on the utter destruction of The Land. The Garou are fighting to keep this from coming, but they are dying out and losing the war. Some tribes believe the coming apocolypse will be the end of everything so fight desperately for even the smallest victory. Other tribes believe the side that wins at the final battle will be able to reshape the world in its own ideal. Some Garou blame the Horrors for all evils and some blame Zelaur for spinning the world into chaos. Thus the Garou can agree on nothing and will not provide a unified front in the coming End Times.
In The Land, magic, like many things in nature, goes through cycles. As the magic level rises, it allows creatures from the outer planes to cross from their distant, otherworldly dimension into our own. The creatures come in an almost infinite variety—from simple eating machines that devour all they encounter, to incredibly intelligent and cunning foes that feed off the negative emotions they inspire in their prey.
1500 years ago, a dark elven scholar named Ashrak of Murgo discovered that the time of the Horrors was being manipulated by Horrors who had tainted one of the tribes of werewolves into performing powerful blood magic’s and breaking open the astral plane, allowing the outer planar creatures to bring their war into our world. These garou who were once known as the White Howler tribe became the first of many to succumb and be known as Black Spiral Dancers. Almost all have some sort of chaos marking on them.
Ashrak of Murgo is banished from Wyrm Wood. He comes to live with a community of scholars translating ancient texts. Ashrak of Murgo presumed dead after Horrors attack his floating Tower leaving a final warning includes a mandate to learn from them. The Books of Harrow. looking for ways to defeat the Horrors. He founded the Eternal Library to transcribe the Books of Harrow in order to discover a way to defeat them — or at the very least, survive them. The community that grew up around the library developed wards and protections against these Horrors, which they traded to other lands and eventually became the powerful Ashram Empire, an extremely magically advanced civilization and the main antagonist of the The Land. Ashrak’s successor Kearos Navarim traveled to an island in the Selestrean Sea and founded Nehr’esham. The School of Shadows, a group of adepts and magicians who perform research and travel the world.
Jaron, assistant to Kearos Navarim, completes translation of the First Book of Harrow. The very first signs of Horrors appear. The Eternal Library is completed. Nehr’esham is renamed Ashram, meaning “Foundation”. The remaining Books of Harrow are translated. The researches of the School of Shadows give Ashram an unprecedented mastery of magic. The first Ashram trading fleet arrives in The Land. Ashram military armada arrives in The Land, to protect trade interests and secure their influence in the region. Ashram conquers Vivaine. Meache Vara Lingam of Ashram reveals the Rites of Protection and Passage, a theoretical basis for protection from the Horrors.
Ashram begins trading for vast amounts of orichalcum and true elements. Crystal raiders spark the Orichalcum Wars with their raiding. The lords and leaders of many lands take the chaos as opportunity to start plundering both Ashram airships and their neighbors’ lands. Battle of Sky Point; Ashram achieves crushing victory and wipes out several raider settlements. The Dwarf Nation signs peace agreement with Ashram, ending the Orichalcum Wars. The Ashram Empire is founded and The Land becomes its first province.
Magic levels continue to rise. Horrors begin to appear – sporadically at first, more often as time goes on. Communities begin preparing for the Scourge. Ashram’s price for its rites of protection is steep. Many seek alternate ways of protecting themselves; some find them, though their reliability is often suspect. The Ashram Empire expands enormously. Ashram strikes out against the dragons of The Land (and elsewhere) for providing knowledge to seekers on alternate (non-Ashram) ways to survive the Scourge. The dragons strike back. An unspoken truce of non-interference is reached after 50 years of fighting
Most reliable communications come from or through Ashram; the Ashram Empire holds together the fabric of civilization as their client states begin to panic. Demand for slaves for labor increases dramatically. Horrors become more and more frequent. The Book of Tomorrow is commissioned, and spread to a great many kaers in The Land. The Scourge begins. The Empire of Ashram seals its citadel. The dwarven kingdom keeps its gates open for as long as it can. King Magnus I of Throal dies at age 270. He is succeeded by his son, Magnus II.
The wooden kaer of Wyrm Wood is on the verge of collapse. The desperate Ritual of Thorns turns the forest into Blood Wood. Magic – and the Scourge – are at their height. In Throal, the Council Compact is completed after twenty years of work. King Magnus II of Throal dies at age 258. He is succeeded by his son Magnus III. The magic level of the world stabilizes for unknown reasons. Elemental clocks cease to drop. The Scourge is reckoned over TY 1420. Many Horrors remain, and the land is dangerous, but it is possible to live outside of a kaer again. Throal opens its gates and begins resettling the Throalic mountains.
Ashram vessels return to The Land, starting the First Ashram War. The Ashram Empire reconquers The Major city of Vivaine. The First Ashram War ends with a failed assault on Throal. The Military of Ashram retreat to Vivaine. The Ashram Empire consolidates its power structure for 35 years.Ashram returns to The Land for the first time since the First Ashram War, landing the giant behemoth Triumph next to Lake Ban. King Magnus III of Throal is assassinated. His son Princess Quaris ascends the throne; blaming the Empire of Ashram, she assaults Triumph, suffering great losses. It emerges that House Denairastas a noble house of Iopos were actually responsible for Magnus III’ death. The ork nation of Cara Fahd is re-founded and declares its sovereignty, evicting both Ashram and Throalic armies TY 1509.
The peoples of the world built kaers, underground towns and cities, which they sealed with the Ashram wards to wait out the time of the Horrors, which was called the Scourge. Ashram wizards and politicians warned many of the outlying nations around Ashram of the coming of the Horrors, offering the protection of the kaers to those who would pledge their loyalty to the Empire. Most of these nations agreed at first though some became unwilling to fulfill their end of the bargain after the end of the Scourge, wanting to have nothing to do with the bureaucratic nation run on political conflict and powered by slavery. After four hundred years of hiding, the Scourge ended, and the people emerged to a world changed by the Horrors.
One by one the kaers emerged. Uncertain of what was to greet them as they lifted the wards protecting them. Some were destroyed within hours as some of these Horrors and the minions they commanded were able to still function in our realm. Some kaers didn’t open at all. Some used other forms of magic or blood ritual to keep out the Horrors. Some simply disappeared.
It is the start of a new campaign in the year 1510. Lets get it on…