The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

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The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  synapse8193 on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:01 am

Jolly did the backbone of this, but I've put the history of Alcerion through a few revisions since Jolly and I last swapped versions and ideas, and I've included input from all of you in my most recent revisions. This is what I have most recently and so far. I have posted it here hoping for ideas for expansion, elaboration, revision, and clarification; whatever you guys can come up with.

I am debating adding a section on Dolnira and Reia (tentative name of the ancient confederation of eladrin baronies), but have not decided if these are worth noting other than the mere mention as filler history and explanation of cultural oddities that they currently receive.

Also, I am hoping to add sections on the histories of the various realms that have separated from Sithirus since that separation, and will be adding a history of Tylira as soon as I have one complete enough to add.

Again, any input, additions, expansions, deletions, alterations, elaboratons, anything would be awesome.

NOTA BENE: The prose for the part that I've added or heavily revised was quite terrible and actually painful to read, a result of late-night/early-morning writing bringing out the worst in my own writing style. So please forgive me for the horrendousness through which you suffer as you slug through this, if you slug through this. I will be hopefully posting a version editted for style soon.
NOTA BENE...again: This is a revised version of the History. Please feel free to peruse. Questions, comments, stylistic changes, all welcome.



The First Universe

The Universe was not always as it is now. Before the world that mortals now know, there was another world, ruled by very different gods. The First Universe was cut from the chaos of the Far Realm by the overgod Ao, lord of the Gods That Were. Infused with the order and sanity of Ao, the World That Was existed for ages, ruled by a host of deities and populated by hosts upon hosts of beasts and mortals. The order and stability established by Ao is not that of Alcerion, however. Ao’s World did not last.

In the final age of the World That Was, a cult calling itself the Sodality of Veritas dedicated itself to breaching the veil that Ao had erected between the World That Was and the maddening chaos and contradiction of the Far Realm. The cult sought an artifact known as the Savior’s Star, the power of which they would use to drag the First Universe into the chaos of the Time Before. The Sodality managed to deceive several of the Gods That Were and several demon lords, uniting them in a path of murder and destruction, serving the Sodality’s own mad ends.

A group of mortal adventurers sought out and retrieved the Savior’s Star before the Sodality of Veritas could use it for whatever evil they intended it. Only too late, however, did the nine adventurers discover that the Savior’s Star had no power of its own, but was instead a key to the Outer Chaos where the ancient and terrible progenitor deity that the Sodality’s writings referred to as Zenothogk held sway. One of the mortal adventurers, a servant of the Gods That Were, wished for the power of an overdeity. That wish resulted in the warrior switching places with Zenothogk’s soul and mouthpiece, Yelknirb. With such a horrifically power being and relic of the Far Realm in the world, the First Universe began to deteriorate and crumble into madness.

The Gods That Were, realizing what had happened, ceased their war and attempted to unite against Yelnirb and seal the off the hole which he had created between the Old World and the Far Realm. Their efforts were in vain. Yelknirb called to the maddening chaos which formed a part of all the gods, and easily dispatched them. With the Gods That Were dead and the chaos of the Far Realm leaking into the Old World, the universe quickly began to unravel. Only the mortal races, created purely from the stability and order of Ao, could stand against the threat of the Far Realm, and only one group of adventurers could hope to defeat Yelknirb.

In a climactic battle amidst the roiling chaos of the collapsing, crumbling, swirling cosmos, the nine adventurers slew Yelknirb, and drawing upon the energies of the slain gods, in addition to their own latent godhood, reformed the barrier between the cosmos and the monstrous Outside. The cosmos was destroyed. That Gods That Were had been eradicated. The Nine stood as the new creators and progenitors of the universe, and its new gods.


The Reforging

With naught but the chaotic ruin of a universe to show for their struggle, the Nine resolved to rebuild the universe. That was where the agreement ended. Almost immediately the gods began to bicker over what form the New World should take. Some of the gods thought creation should be bright and lush, while others thought the universe should be dark and grim. Some thought the universe should be intricate and complex in design, while others believed it should have a simple elegance. After a struggle that lasted an age, the gods divided the cosmos into three, the Middle Planes or the Worlds Between: the lush, bright, and magical Feywild; the Natural World; and the dark, grim, and stagnant Shadowfell. Above this they set the Astral Sea, the seat of the spiritual, divine, and ideal; and below they allowed the Elemental Chaos to settle, the left over raw material of the planes.

The gods also resurrected their closest friends and most trusted allies from the Old World, promoting them to the ranks of lesser gods. These lesser gods became the Nine Gods’ chief servants in their new world. Some devoted their service to a single of the Nine becoming an exarch of that deity. Most, however, owe fealty to several of the Nine, or simply serve the Nine as a group; these gods are agents. But the gods did not create the Second Generation, simply resurrected them. The first creations of the gods were the remainder of their heavenly hosts, angels crafted to be their servants and armies and agents in the Planes.

Thinking their position and power in the planes were solidified, the gods set about creating a place from which they could rule creation. The result was the greatest city the cosmos has ever known, the Astral City, Azar-Raaka. Azar-Raaka was a magnificent city, divided into nine districts, each very different in character and each ruled by a separate deity. Magnificent spires of astral metal towered over pools of liquid radiance and gardens of lush flora from across the planes. Spectacular lights and shadows deeper than void were common, depending upon the district and its ruler. Each god could manipulate his district at a whim. But the gods were not satisfied. It was not enough to have this magnificent astral city; the Nine were plagued with the same loneliness and desire that spurs on all gods; the Nine wanted someone in their own image, someone to teach, someone to rule; the Nine wanted mortals.

The gods’ first true mortals were a race of astral beings, designed specifically for life in Azar-Raaka. They fashioned a race of humanoids composed of pure astral energy, a race now known as the seraphs. To defend the seraphs and Azar-Raaka, the gods created special guardians, great magical beasts infused with raw elemental energies and gifted with lofty spirits which tied them to the Astral Sea: the dragons. Satisfied that the Astral City was protected, the gods turned their attention outward, to filling the planes. And so the gods worked, shaping and creating, and for an age the gods dwelt in Azar-Raaka, attended by angels, and ruling over the seraphs. Aside from the gods’ constant bickering, the age was relatively peaceful. But the reign of the gods at Azar-Raaka was not to last. Something else had survived the destruction of the First Universe.


The Dawn War

The demons of the Old World had, for the most part, not involved themselves in the final conflict. The Abyss had thus not drawn the attention of the Horrendous Outside. The roiling, caustic layers of the Abyss lay relatively unharmed, spewing and birthing new demons without fail. But the chaos of the destruction of the Old World had not left the Abyss completely untouched. The Abyss had been touched by the chaos, pieces of that infinite realm twisted and destroyed, other pieces warped beyond recognition and beyond the control of the demon lords who supposedly ruled there. In the first ages of the New World, the demons had been embroiled in power struggles and political games, mostly attempts to use the chaos of the Transition to overthrow and overtake reigning demon lords. But the power structure of the Abyss eventually stabilized (with several demon lords of the Old World dead, and several upstarts now controlling levels of the Abyss) and the demon lords turned their wrath outward, toward the planes and the creation which the gods had wrought.

No one is quite sure why the gods were not at Azar-Raaka when the demons mounted their attack. Some believe the Nine were reenforcing the boundary between the universe and the Far Realm, or preventing an actual incursion from that Outer Chaos. Some others believe the gods were crafting the mortal races, or in some other way shaping and reshaping the planes of their still-young creation. A few even believe the gods knew something had survived the fall of the Old World and were out searching for it, a theory that certainly explains the gods’ haste to create angelic armies and their decision to create the dragons as separate guardians to Azar-Raaka. Whatever the reason, the gods were not at the Astral City when the demon lords set their armies on Azar-Raaka and with the gods absent, the siege of Azar-Raaka was short, and the dragons and seraphs were overrun by demonic hordes.

The gods returned quickly and, realizing what had just happened, they turned their wrath upon the demons. The Astral Armies, the gods, their angelic hosts, and the dragons (and in most accounts loyal mortals), pursued the demons across the planes. The armies of the Nine were deadlocked in heated war with the Abyssal hordes within the Elemental Chaos, pushing slowly closer to the edges of the Abyss. Had the gods reached the Abyss then, some scholars speculate, they might have been able to destroy that ancient realm, burying it or casting it off of creation once and for all; but the tide of the war was not long to be in the gods’ favor.

A group of angels stumbled upon a means of drawing immense amounts of energy from the Elemental Chaos itself. These angels used this power to wipe out entire armies of demons, and it made them as powerful as demon lords one-to-one. The demons called these angels the primordials, engines of simultaneous creation and destruction fueled by the Elemental Plane itself. The primordials, for their part, took to the name gladly and set out to create their own armies, separate from those of the gods. First, they created the titans and then the giants as their servants. Thinking that they had crossed the threshold into godhood with the creation of their first intelligent beings, the primordials struck a deal with the demon lords, turning on the gods. Now terribly outnumbered and fighting on two fronts, the gods began to see their armies pushed slowly back through the planes.


The Pact Primeval

It was upon being pushed back into the Astral Sea that the gods seemed to be reaching the point of desperation. And it was in the midst of this desperation that the devils first appeared in the universe. Sources differ on the origins of the devils in Alcerion. Several sources of the Old History state that the devils, like the demons, had survived the death of the First Universe. These accounts, however, can only speculate on why the devils took so long to appear, and how it was that they appeared precisely in the time that they were needed.

The general consensus is that a small sub-group of the gods resurrected the devils, whose ancient Blood Wars with the demons would restore some semblance of balance to the universe. It was, so go the tales, a decision most of the gods involved would regret forever. According to this account, the Black Sovereign (who is the only god mentioned consistantly throughout all accounts of the deed and who still holds an active role in the politics of the Nine Hells) scoured the planes for the remnants of the souls of the Lords of the Nine Hells.

Finding the Archdevils (in some accounts enlisting the aid of the Great Dragon, the Iron Master, and the Night Shroud), he raised their specters to make this pact: the devils would be brought back to full life, the Nine Hells rebuilt as an astral dominion, and the devils would even be allowed to deal in souls again, provided that they resumed their feud with the demons, and that they were silent on the true nature of the origins of the cosmos and their return to power. This pact was deemed acceptable by Asmodeus and the gods, whose identities were assured secret as part of the pact, and the Pact Primeval was entered. The devils would be raised, and any single Archdevil informing another soul of the true events revolving around the appearance of the devils voided the Pact; the devils disappeared, wiped utterly from existence with the breaking of the Pact. The lower devils were resurrected with no memory of the fall of the First Universe.

The devils attacked the Abyss, drawing the demons away from the Astral Sea and removing their armies from the assault on the planes: the Blood Wars were reignited. The gods were able to resume their war with the primordials unhampered and finally defeated the primordials’ army at the battle of the Fortress of Chaos, the ruins of which were the foundation for the Temple of Elemental Evil. The majority of primordials were slain at this battle, and many more were slain later or imprisoned. A few, however, escaped, and would spend the next age taunting the gods, mounting attacks on them and their creation from positions of safety, then returning to hiding.


The Time of Troubles

After the Dawn War there followed a relatively long period of peace, during which the gods actively ruled over the Universe and fostered the growth and development of their creation. Little conflict was seen outside the bickering of the gods, the bickering of the mortal races and the slow, ongoing campaign to hunt down and destroy the few remaining primordials. Finally, the gods cornered Gal’Iaga, the strongest of the remaining primordials and their self-proclaimed queen. Gal’Iaga and her minions did not stand a chance against all of the Nine in what is often cynically (and erroneously) called their last act of unity. The Mistress of Chaos, in her last act of revenge upon the gods, uttered a curse and with her dying breath tore the Veil that the gods had spent so much time and effort to build. It is fairly universally agreed to be the first crack in a web of cracks, the first tear in the slowly fraying Veil between Alcerion and the Outer Chaos.

With the death of Gal’Iaga, an influx of beings terrible and powerful flooded the gods’ creation. It was a new war, a new fight for the gods, as they all tried to repair the hole that had been ripped into their Veil and fight the onslaught of terrible aberrations that pushed their way into the world. Not much in the way of specifics is known about the Time of Troubles. Many of the accounts of the era were burned as heretical. Depictions of members of the Nine perishing and being brought back to power (or in some accounts resurrecting on their own), accounts of as many as thousands of lesser gods and demigods rising to power, with and without the blessings of the Nine, were deemed too dangerous to survive.

After centuries of turmoil, the Nine reestablished their reign, slaying many lesser gods and demigods to do so, and having fought two wars, reclaimed the planes twice, repaired their torn creation twice, and patched the Veil separating the world from the Outer Chaos, the gods withdrew into their astral abodes and slept, leaving the mortal races to their own devices for a time. Without the guidance of the gods, however, the mortal races fell prey to other cosmic beings and forces, waging devastating wars of conquest, and destroying not only each other, but also the virgin lands of the continent of Alcerion.


The Age of Creeping Shadows

Dark forces had come out of hiding in the Second Universe, and as the gods slept, they crept into the world of mortals, twisting them, corrupting them, and pitting paranoid tribe against paranoid tribe. The devils in particular eagerly re-established their cults in the world, slowly gathering souls to fuel their infernal magic. In the Feywild, the powerful magic of the realm began to coalesce and suffuse the oldest of the realm’s denizens. Slowly, these fey creatures grew in power and intelligence, carving out kingdoms and domains of their own within the Feywild and establishing themselves as truly powerful Archfey.

In the lightless depths of the Underdark hidden shapes, long dormant, began to writhe and stir. The horrific aboleths and illithids became bolder with the gods gone and these aberrant terrors once more began to build their ancient underground empires. Cults to demon lords and primordials arose among the insane or delusional, while others awoke screaming of horrific dreams of a black gauntlet clenching a green sun. Curious instances of primitive tribes giving offerings to mysterious nature spirits sprouted up in the world. Most startling of all, however, the cruelest and most bloodthirsty of the leaders among the mortal races were often found to be mutilated, hermaphroditic freaks.


The Arkhosio-Turathi War

It was the steady rise of the Great Empires the shook the Nine from their slumber. In the west, a fledgling empire was rising from the city of Bael Turath. In the central parts of the world, the dragonborn empire of Arkhosia was sweeping across Alcerion. A third, largely isolationist kingdom in the mountains to the east, now known simply as Elderforge, seemed not to have the imperial ambitions of the other two. The burgeoning civilizations flourished, and it did not take long for the gods to pick favorites among the two that were soon to come into conflict.

The Turathi Empire was an empire steeped in magic and mysticism; the empire seemed tailor made for the Great Dragon. They aligned their cities, their temples, even their tombs, with the stars. They revered magic of all kinds and loved the beauty of simple, durable buildings and shapes. Even as the Turathi Empire grew and their tastes began to change with their magical technology, they still preferred elegant buildings, replacing obelisks and pyramids with domes, and spires that curved in the sky like mystic flames. While the Arkhosian Empire included the Great Dragon among their chief gods (the Three Dragons, the Great Dragon, the Iron Master, and the Radiant Vanguard) as the primary sire of dragons and as the source of the sorcerous power that many dragonborn held, the values of the Empire, honor and military prowess chief among them, were closer to those of the more martial gods, and thus they gained most of their favor from the Chaos Bringer, the Radiant Vanguard, and foremost the Iron Master.

As the Great Empires grew, they came into contact with one another, traded, and relations were good for a time. For centuries these Empires warred with lesser kingdoms and provinces, expanding inward towards the Eldath River Valley, and outward into the wildernesses of Alcerion. When their frontiers began to converge in Eldath their relations soured, soon heating into a full-scale war. As they had for nearly the entire history of the two Empires, the gods chose sides with the onslaught of war, not only fielding their angels in the Empires’ battles, but also entering the battlefields personally.

The Great Dragon was the first to rally behind Turath, leading some to believe that, since he had ties to both Empires, the Arkhosians must have been the aggressors. This is considered by most to be paltry evidence at best, since the Great Dragon had always been more closely tied to the mysticism of Turath than the martial society of Arkhosia. The Night Shroud, who had long been a patron to the clever Turathi, soon followed the Great Dragon in aiding Turath. Both of these gods became uneasy when the Black Sovereign joined their cause. The Iron Master and the Chaos Bringer quickly rallied behind the Arkhosians, with the Radiant Vanguard joining the fray against the Turathi with the introduction of the Black Sovereign to hostilities. Three gods did not choose sides: the Oaken Father, who feared his entry would upset the balance of the war and who cared little for civilization anyway; the Noble Drifter, who instead took the opportunity to liberate poorer provinces that had fallen under the Empires’ control; and the Grim Swordsman, Lord of Fate.

The war had raged for nearly two centuries when the Night Shroud withdrew. He saw his influence on Turath waning and that of the Black Sovereign growing as they gave up more of their freedoms to the nobility (a nobility increasing wasteful and extravagant and pernicious in their tastes and delights) and the good of the state began superseding individual achievement and greatness as the chief goal of the Empire. The Great Dragon soon followed, long since displeased with the influence the Black Sovereign now had over the Turathi, as well as the atrociousness of the long-dragging war, but now having finally fully lost hope that he could salvage the Turath for which he had begun this fight.

But the Arkhosians were not fairing much better. Seeing the horrible deeds of both sides in the war, the Iron Master withdrew; this was no longer a war, but a series of cataclysms and massacres strung together, and was thus not something in which he was willing to participate. The Chaos Bringer soon followed, purportedly because the war was “no longer fun” with so many of the other gods gone. Only the Radiant Vanguard remained to fight for Arkhosia, believing the Black Sovereign to be a force that had to be opposed at all costs.

Then suddenly and unexpectedly the Black Sovereign switched sides. He began fighting just as ruthlessly and underhandedly for the Arkhosian Empire as he had all along for the Turathi. The Radiant Vanguard was taken aback by this; he could not, would not fight with the Black Sovereign, but he was hesitant to fight for an empire that now resembled the Sovereign in nearly every way. Before the Vanguard had the chance to change sides (which scholars are almost certain he would have eventually, especially as Arkhosia came to rely on the Sovereign and his tactics), the Turathi, certain the Arkhosians would crush them with the support of both the Sovereign and the Vanguard, turned to an unlikely and unsavory set of allies.

In their desperation, the Turathi nobility, to whom the Turathi people had ceded everything they had, made a pact with the Archdevils. For the use of the armies of the Nine Hells and a fraction of their power, the final generation of Turath, which had long since ceded all of its rights and freedoms to the Turathi nobility, would sell their souls. The Turathi were marked in the Pact, and the children of the Turathi and those born after the Pact would become known as tieflings.

The Arkhosian Empire crumbled before the might of the Nine Hells, but the gods’ intervention was not yet over. The Grim Swordsman was infuriated by the Turathi Empire’s blatant attempt to avoid their ultimate fate through the invocation of the devils, and he brutally tore down all the great cities of Turath, and just as brutally punished many of those who survived the eventual fall of Turath, particularly in the capital of Bael Turath. To this day the Swordsman despises the tiefling race, a reminder of the insolence and cowardice of the Turathi people, and tieflings are rare among clergy of the Swordsman.

In an act known as the Last Accord of the Nine, an accord attributed in vast part to the efforts of the Oaken Father and the Night Shroud, the Sons of Ao swore not to take sides in this kind of conflict again, and each god instead took unto himself a land separate from those of the other gods, molded by his own will, and influenced directly by him. Thus the continent of Alcerion was sundered (if it wasn’t already), and the gods took what became known as the godlands for themselves.


Moil

It was not long before the Grim God himself fell pray to the partiality that the Accord was supposed to prevent, however. The Grim Swordsman had taken the lands that had been the heart of Turath for himself. Shirath, as it came to be known, Kingdom of Wastes, was and is a largely uninhabited stretch of blasted wastelands, craggy mountains, and general desolation.

As humans began to become the dominant race on Sithirus, a nation of humans called the Omoeli settled into Shirath. The region had been avoided like a plague had passed there. Some thought that was one of the methods the Swordsman used to bring down the Turathi Empire. The Omoeli, however, devout worshipers of the Grim Swordsman, did not fear the plague, nor anything else of the Death God. Fostered by the Grim Swordsman, the kingdom of Moil rose quickly. The Moili quickly began expanding their borders, pushing to the edge of Shirath. The people of Eldath feared a new age of conquest and war, this time with undead hordes as the foot-soldiers rather than warforged and genasi.

But seemingly as abruptly as it had risen, Moil was swept from the world when its last king, Acererak, sacrificed nearly all of his subjects in a ritual to make himself into a powerful lich. Many believe that this was prompted by an act of revenge by the Black Sovereign, who himself put the fear of death in Acererak’s heart, prompting the Grim Swordsman’s promising favorite and hopeful Chosen to forsake the principles of his god and sacrifice an entire kingdom to avoid death. Unable to bear the thought of losing both his favored empire and his favorite mortal, many say he only half-heartedly punished Acererak, confining him to his Tomb. Others claim Acererak went completely unpunished and that his exile is self-imposed. At any rate, the fall of Moil simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief into the people of Sithirus and deepened their collective melancholy.


Nerath

The fall of Arkhosia and of Turath had dramatically affected the psyche of those on the mainland of what used to be Alcerion, and the sudden rise and collapse of Moil had not helped matters. They had dubbed their newly sundered home Sithirus, the Land of Fallen Kings. Sithirus fell into a dark age. Many places persecuted users of arcane magic, particularly warlocks. Similarly, tieflings found themselves unwelcome anywhere. The tieflings were a people scattered and without a home, since the Grim Swordsman had seized their homeland as his own. The dragonborn similarly were deposed, but by humans rather than divine forces.

Several centuries later, however, a small human city (said to have been founded by nobles who had fled Turath even before the gods of Alcerion had started to leave the war) in the heart of what had been Arkhosia began rapidly expanding its influence, both through negotiation and through conquest. As the city’s influence grew larger, the Lord changed the city’s name to Bael Nerath, “city of the new kingdom.” The burgeoning young Empire spread slowly at first, then more quickly, carrying with it a hybrid culture, both Turathi in Arkhosian in flavor, but also holding some resemblance to the Dolniran Kingdom and the eladrin confederation of Reia of even before that.

Wherever Nerath expanded it territory, bans on arcane magic were lifted and the persecution of mages stopped. Tieflings and dragonborn found relative refuge in the highly metropolitan Nerath. Exploration began anew, and Nerathi expeditions braved the ruins of Turath, seeking long-lost arcane knowledge. A number of other expeditions left the shores of Sithirus, including trading expeditions to Orroth, sent to the dwarves in hope of learning the secrets to creating warforged. Exploratory missions into Tylira hoped that that magical place could open up even more arcane secrets to them. The only thing that stopped Nerath’s expansion northward in Sithirus was the boundary of the accursed former Turathi Empire, now the blasted and charred realm of the Swordman, and a realm thought both plague-ridden and cursed.

During its age of exploration, Nerath’s focus shifted from trade and diplomacy to conquest and capture. As such, trade in Tylira and Orroth became holdings in Tylira and Orroth. The Nerathi Empire has not grown in a while now, however, and some say it is starting to fail under its own weight, as well as falling pray to decadence similar to that of the Turathi. Its holdings in lands apart from Sithirus are shrinking in wars and border skirmishes in which the natives are pushing the Nerathi back. On Sithirus, however, Nerath remains the dominant political force in the world.

During its age of exploration, Nerath’s focus shifted from trade and diplomacy to conquest and capture. As such, trade with Tylira and Orroth became holdings in Tylira and Orroth. The Nerathi Empire has not grown in a while now, however, and some say it is starting to fail under its own weight. Some blame the nobility for falling pray to decadence similar to that of the Turathi. Others simply believe that the Nerathi have shifted their focus back to their homeland. Whatever the case, Nerath’s holdings in lands apart from Sithirus are shrinking in wars and border skirmishes in which the natives are pushing the Nerathi back. On Sithirus, however, Nerath remains the dominant political force in the world.

During this time of relative isolation from the gods, new evils have crept into the world and old evils have brooded in the world, from the cults of demon lords to the numerous cults dedicated to a mysterious, seemingly self-conflicting entity referred to as the Veiled Whisperer. World Shards, fragments of the old creation, linger too, defying the natural order and perhaps holding mysteries and lore from another time. Mostly, though, this is the age of mortals, a time when heroes are few, but essential. Civilization depends on heroes to survive. The copious forces seeking to control creation wage proxy wars via their mortal servants. It is a time of both great danger and great valor. This is an age of adventurers.


What Is Known

The history presented before is not the history that most mortals know. It is not the history disseminated by the Churches, or written in the tomes filling the ancient libraries. Much of the lore “known” by bards and clerics and other scholars is false, a cover story hiding the real origins of the universe. A rare few scholars of lost lore know pieces of the true history, but they are usually reclusive, dismissed as hacks, or executed as heretics. While several entities other than the gods know the origins of Alcerion, most consider it in their own best interest to hide the existence of the Old World as much as it is in the gods’ best interest; not even the demon lords want a repeat of the destruction wrought by the Sodality of Veritas.


The Myth of Ao

In the beginning, there was only Ao. Ao was perfect, the sum of all things. But such a Union could not be, and the different aspects of Ao’s soul were at war with each other. Rather than suffer an eternity of having his mind rip itself apart, Ao split his soul into Nine parts, equal in power. They are Ao; they are the One, and the Nine. And then, there were only the Nine Gods. The Nine looked upon the vast nothing, and found it dissatisfying. They created the Universe out of nothing, conjuring all that was, separating it from the Chaos of Nothing, and dividing it into the Planes and creating the mortal and immortal races. But none of the Nine had been willing to take on the darkest parts of Ao’s personage, and as existence aged that darkness corrupted the depths of the Universe. The Abyss and the demons within were the first and worst products of that corruption.

The Dawn War came quickly, as demons launched a surprise attack on Azar-Raaka. The gods fought the demons, their immortals by their side. After the rebellion of the primordials, there is a bit of disagreement over the chain of events. Some myths contend that the Black Sovereign created the Nine Hells as his astral fortress, but that the devils spawned from it, just as the demons from the Abyss. Others recount that a second piece of the darkness of Ao struck the Astral Sea, and thus the Hells and the devils were born. A few rare myths have the gods creating the devils as a balance to the demons, but this view is considered heretical in many churches, especially the Knights of the Nine, and is thus not widespread. Whatever the case, the devils ignited the Blood Wars and the gods defeated the primordials.

As with accounts of the true history of the world, myth tends to confuse the facts on the creation of the mortal races. Most civilizations put the creation of mortals before the Dawn War, and this is the most common view. Conveniently enough, most civilizations’ rulers claim descent from supposed heroes of the Dawn War. The gods’ exarches and agents were mortals, according to myth, but again, their origin myths differ depending upon the prevalent view of the creation of mortals at the time. After the Dawn War, however, the true history and the official history reconverge, and while several periods of time are not well documented, there are not scholars of secret histories that will start advancing world-view altering heresies about this time, at least, none that were covered up by the gods.
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synapse8193

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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  Chucklossus on Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:17 am

Lee i've got some issues with your history.

First off, a couple of times you reference things that are never explained such as, "The people of Eldath feared a new age of conquest and war, this time with undead hordes as the foot-soldiers rather than warforged and genasi." Who are the Eldath? And what war used warforged and genasi as foot-soldiers? Also what's going on with "Elderforge" during all the insanity? And who inhabits the empire? What are they all about?

Secondly, you shortly mention Newb's realm and a piece of it's history. What about the the realms of the rest of us? And what is going on in Shirath now and on the other continents?

Lastly, What is going on in the Underdark and the Feywild during all of this other than their brief mention in The Age of Creeping Shadows section.

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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  synapse8193 on Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:35 am

On your first issue, I thought I mentioned earlier that Eldath was the central region of Sithirus where the Turathi and Arkhosian Empires converged, but that might have gotten left out in a million rewrites. It was supposed to be there. As for the warforged and genasi, they were the footsoldiers for part of the Arkhosio-Turathi War. This is mentioned in their racial descriptions, and I thought putting it in the history would be adding too much info to something that already had a problem of having to carry too much info.

I don't know what Elderforge is doing. I was under the impression that you suggested they were sort of dealing arms to both sides, and I know that ancient dwarves was the proposed origin of the warforged. I'm pretty sure I did specify that Elderforge was dwarven. As to what else they're doing and what their deal is, I didn't figure that out. If you have any ideas, please, I would love the input, but I just didn't know.

As to the history of the other realms, I think I put in my post before the history that I hadn't written them yet. Shirath's history is included because Shirath is part of Sithirus, which is still the bulk of Alcerion, and the default part of the world. I'd been tacking histories under the descriptions of other realms to avoid a "Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice" sort of overlap in the last several headings of the history. Also, I wanted more input from the rest of you before I even began thinking about histories for the other realms. It seems wrong to write a history of your realm without you, you know? I'm still in the middle of writing a history of Tylira, and will post it as soon as I have it done, if that will help.

I do not know what is going on in the Feywild and the Shadowfell. If you have ideas, let me know, but I was concentrated on the Natural World as a matter of space and simplicity, although it would and an interesting level of complexity to start adding the Feywild and Shadowfell into calculations.

I hope that answers some of your questions and all. Again, the focus of the history was very general and of a supposed default campaign region. Any ideas for broadening it are appreciated.
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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  Chucklossus on Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:24 pm

ah i now understand the prevailing issue, for one don't be afraid of to much info it's the history of an entire world its supposed to lengthy and dense. Also it needs to be written so that everything can be understood by someone who hasn't been in on the development and remembrance of past conversations should not be assumed because until your reply I had no recollection of our conversation about Elderforge.

Also you did mention Eldath as the region but not that it was also a people. And I'm definitely interested in fleshing out the Feywild and Shadowfel, but I think more importantly is developing a history and geography of the Underdark which is part of the natural world

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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  synapse8193 on Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:33 pm

Jolly has proposed an alternative origin for the devils and the primordials. This is roughly how it translates, since I know Josh is busy and and I'm kind of eager to get discussion started on this. It should be easier for him to correct my mistakes than to explain the concept whole-cloth.

1.) The primordials are excess deific energies of the universe, which have attained a level of consciousness and slowly coalesced bodies in the elemental plane. The primordials are thus, fundamentally, power without restraint, both creation and destruction without aim or order, putting them in direct conflict with the gods.

2.) The archdevils take the space that primordials occupied in the original mythology; they are fallen angels. The nine original Lords of the Hells are the leaders of a movement to usurp the Nines' power and position. These corrupted angels and their followers are banished to a realm outside the rest of the cosmos, which they shape into the nine hells. NOTE: I say original Lords of the Nine Hells for a reason, because I already have several ideas for how the politics of the Nine Hells might play out.

So, first I'd like to know what everyone thinks. Like it? No? Like pieces? Then I'd like input on proposed alterations of the history based on the changes, should we decide to adopt them.

My personal proposal for an alternate history would be this:
1) God create angels.
2) The soon-to-be-devils start a civil war and are cast out.
3) The demons attack, starting the Dawn War.
4) Routing the demons, the Astral Armies are attacked by the primordials, and using the primordials as inadvertent reinforcements, the demons renew their assault on the gods.
5) The Black Sovereign leads a small number of the gods to establish the Pact Primeval, which loosens the terms of the devils banishment, allowing them to influence other planes, and eventually allowing for their current state, relatively free to deal in souls and influence the planes on a level on par with many other cosmically powerful beings, provided they instigate the a war with the demons. Most of this I envision taking place through various schemes of the Sovereign to check and counter the power of others of the Nine in Alcerion.

So, what does everyone think?
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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  Chucklossus on Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:51 pm

I like the changes, makes more sense for angels to become devils instead of primordials, also i like the primordials being more raw energy than humanoid creature

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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

Post  synapse8193 on Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:24 pm

I just moved this discussion to the cosmic powers forum. It seemed to fit there.
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Re: The History of Alcerion: Discussion and Editing

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