AA - The Ageless Age
The Ageless Age is incomprehensible to mortals, but some theologies have ideas about what happened or what it was like before this plane came to existence. The Ageless Age is the beginning of time, before the existence of any plane or being. There are no record or accounts from this time for obvious reasons, but there are many theories. The Temples of the Eldest tell tales of the works that went in to the creation of all that is the world, how each Eldest brought part of the world into existence. There are those that speak to the idea that the world existed before the Eldest found it and perfected it for the mortal races to have. Rebuked by most Temples of the Eldest, there is the myth that the world as we know it is actually the body of a lost 7th eldest, one that the other six killed to maintain balance.
1 AO (After Origination)
Life on our plane of existence started well before light ever touched its surface. Creation stories differ, but most agree that in the beginning were the Eldest, which embodied various core characteristics of our particular plane. Sho’thar embodied shadow, while I’nil embodied light. Memnis embodied the elements, and together with all the other Eldest, the first life was known to spread across the planes.
Descended from them were the Fae. It is at the beginning of the origination that the first or great Fae were created, each one perfect and absolute in its purpose. These First Fae, or Arch-Fae, each brought into the world lesser Fae or spirits to assist in maintaining the world and all things with in it. For there were now creatures that needed to be watched over, mortals. Closely resembling their predecessors, the Fae created by Arch-Fae were also near pure embodiments of their particular traits, but deviated slightly from their elder roots. Where Memnis embodied all earth, fire, wind, and water, the Fae of the forest chose to follow the paths of water, earth and life. Over time, these deviations finally led to the creation of mortals. Elves are said to be the first, but with the elves came other mortals; beast of the land, birds of the sky, and fish of the sea; then other races in the forms of Dwarves, Ryggs, Kojin, and Halflings, and eventually Humans. It is theorized in ancient writings that Dwarves were actually the first mortal creatures, carving and constructing the earth below while Elves were formed on the surface. The creation mythos vary depending on culture, religion, and author.
Over thousands of years cities, societies, cultures, and development came to be on the Homelands. Time passed and mortals toiled, creating civilization in the form of cities, magic, language, and bonds between them. Exploration of the world occurred, lands of the continent were found and laid claim to, for that is the nature of mortals. It is during this time that great upheaval occurred due to High Magic used by mortals, and protections were put in place to preserve the world and safeguard mortals from the dangers of that untapped power
Circa 5000 AO - First War begins
While conflict was not new to the mortal races, none had yet waged war, for before the sun set one winter night no mortal race had truly believed themselves better than the others. On the eve of the Winter Solstice, the Drow attacked and began the First War in the history of Elves and Mortals.
Seeded among the Elvenkin, the Drow held a deep resentment in their hearts for their Elven brethren. While it was generally accepted by most that the Eldest worked in harmony with each other and held no hierarchy, the Drow viewed things differently. They believed that Sho’thar was the greatest of the Eldest, the most superior being of all living things. They believed that all other Eldest were created by the hand of Sho’thar and that darkness and shadow should be revered above all.
Thus began the spark of conflict. The other Elvinkin at first were oblivious to the Drow plans of domination. The Drow kept their plans hidden, only discussing them in the most secret and selective of meetings. Any dissention or even a hint of mistrust led to brutal consequences, and the Drow silently planned their attack.
On the eve of the Winter Solstice, the attack broke forth at the moment the sun set. The Elvenkin were completely taken off guard, and the Drow swept across the land, demanding their bloodkin submit to their rule or die. Many fought, but since peace had been prevalent for so long, those that stood against the Drow tyranny were slaughtered. Blood soaked the land and thus began the "Age of Darkness. The First War marked the first time of true death and destruction. Elvenkin fought each other to the death. Each demise was a small tragedy to the Elves, who did not know the horrors of death like the other races, having no known life span.
Circa 5100 AO - First War Ends, Drow Reign Begins (The "Age of Darkness")
The Drow created their version of a perfect society, and maintained their domination for over 800 years while their kin mourned their loss. Death was rarely experienced amongst the immortal Elves, so the day of domination came as a brutal shock to all Elvenkin. With their victory in the war, the Drow established themselves as the leaders of all mortals, and maintained order via fear and swift punishment to those that opposed them - even the smallest transgressions were met with cruel fates. During this time, great works were done, cities economically flourished and art was created, but it was all done under the rule of the Drow, and only for the glory of their Empire. The world knew no freedom. The great works were without passion.
After more than 800 years, High Elves met in secret meetings, and began to plan for a rebellion against the Drow. These meetings went on for years, slowly planning and growing until Sanctum Elves and other races were brought into the meetings and the planning. The High Elves decided they had planned enough and set into motion their own day of rebellion, a day when they would strike at the Drow and attempt to overthrow those in power.
5922 AO - Second War Begins (The "Eclipsal War")
Abhorring the brutal and forced rule by the Drow, the Elvenkin slowly began banding together, until at last the revolt took shape. The sun was high and the summer was hot when the Elves took to their blades and armor. They were relentless in their strike, fighting back and killing any Drow that even so much as lifted the slightest form of protest. The initial fight was the bloodiest war the land had ever seen, and the following battles changed the population of Elves for millennia.
Once the day of the rebellion had come and gone, the Second War had begun. The Elves begin to relive the horrors of war and the death that was brought with it. The other races joined the war efforts at times, but this was a war remembered in the blood of High Elves and Drow.
5982 AO - Second War Ends, Drow Reign Ends
After decades of battle, the Elves finally won a narrow, but resolute victory [against the Drow], regaining their freedom and coming again into a brighter age. At the end of the Second War that the world had ever seen, the High Elves had won and began to take control of the empire that the Drow had established, forcing their Drow into lesser places and separating from them. The Drow took their loss and separated from the world and the other races, finding dark and unexplored places to hide and lick their wounds. Some of the Drow submitted themselves to the victors, but were so few and held such little affection among their brethren that eventually their kind died off. A time of peace followed as the remainder of the Drow fell into the shadows, and all but disappeared.
The beginning of the separation began when the Drow took to inhabiting the darkness. Believing themselves the Chosen of Sho’Thar, the few survivors dedicated their lives to learning of the powers that darkness could provide. They made their homes in caves, only seen on the darkest of nights, and rarely at that.
The brighter age that the High Elves promised came in the form of rebuilding war torn lands, all people being brought under the Allied Empire for protection and mutual benefit, and peace between the races. To some who worked in shops and crafts across the lands, little changed except that in place of their Drow Archons were now High Elf dignitaries. Cultural and regional leaders bent knees to their new Elven leaders and made room for High Elven garrisons in capital cities.
Following the Second War, a great age of prosperity fell over the land. It was a quiet time on the war front,- trade grew, higher learning spread and was expanded upon, and all the while the High Elves oversaw all official regulations to keep the peace intact. Yet, the Drow had not given up their plight. In the shadows, they worked their connections, gathering allies quietly under the radar of the High Elves’ sharp watch. It is unknown when - but at some point during the time following the Second War, the Drow coerced some of the human clans to fall into the shadows with them, promising to make them powerful and give them the power the Drow had learned.
7782 AO - Third War Begins (Drow Uprising)
Deep in the dark places of the world the Drow were left alone, free of the watchful eyes of the empire that had once been theirs. It was in these dark places that the Drow schemed with others that were not accepted in the Allied Empire; Orcs, Norrhats, and pockets of Humans. It was in these meetings and from these races that the Drow found a way back to the surface and their “rightful” place as the leaders of the elves and all the races of the world - but they needed one last thing, a new weapon to use in this Final War, and they created it in the form of Grehloks. No one is sure how or when the first of the Grehloks was created - but the Drow hungered for more, and began mass turning of humans and other races.
Almost two thousand years passed as the Drow bid their time, slowly amassing connections and hiding in forgotten history - but the long lived Elves had not so easily forgotten the betrayal of the Drow. It was a clear evening, a night of fanfare and celebration as the anniversary of the end of the Second War would be celebrated all over the lands. The Drow and their allies had other plans to celebrate, for that was the night that they were going to reveal themselves and the Grehloks to the rest of the world, and take back the empire they so longed to rule.
The Third War broke out as the Drow lead the forces in full. Using the newly created Grehloks, Norraht, Troll, and various other machinations of blood magicks, the Drow launched a full out attack on all the major cities. They cut a line through the Empire, and worked their way towards the capital city.
The Third War was unlike the previous two wars in that all peoples were involved, not just the High Elves and The Drow. It was a time of death unlike anything ever seen before, for the non-elven races knew death and thus fought harder to avoid it.
No part of the lands were safe from the war - Dwarves battled Orcs in their stone cities, Ryggs fought defiantly against Drow rising from their tunnels in their vast caves, Halflings cavalry with Kojin mages covering them with magical bombardment rode across fields of battle to meet Hoards of Grehloks fighting at the command of Drow Archons. Humans hunted, and were hunted, by Norrhats in the streets of cities all across the known world.
The war lasted through only two decades of bloodshed, the shortest and most decisive war yet. The Allied Empire prevailed. Tired of the war, loss of life, and needless violence, they issued a decree that all races and peoples that had proven themselves accomplices to the Drow were to be exiled or be killed on sight.
7791 AO - Third War Ends (Exile Begins)
The Drow and their cohort were given three months to prepare to leave, and then were forced to take to the seas and travel to the unknown regions, now called the Exiled Lands. The loss was great, and souls were heavy at the toll of the great war, and a somber peace once again fell on the Homelands.
With the war over and the Drow gone, things began to return to the way they had once been. High Elves took their place ruling over the Empire, and the other races did what they could to maintain their cultural independence. To preserve peace and prevent a new war, any dissenters were Exiled to the sea like those before them.
The war soon became a faded memory, and the Allied Empire once again prospered. The continent flourished to the height of its glory. Trade thrived, and the people were in good health and happy. The lands were truly quiet and undisturbed - with the Exilation came a new age of comfort and relief.
8490 AO/1 AF (After Fire)
There were 700 years of true peace after the Third War, beyond minor regional squabbles there was no bloodshed like had been seen. With the defeat of the Drow - the only foes that ever truly presented a dangerous challenge - the Empire grew comfortable - but nothing could have prepared them for what would come.
For before that moment, dragons did not exist in the minds of mortal races, and in a blink of an eye dragon became real for so many people. Creatures that were so large that they blocked out the sky when they flew over a city, breathed fire so hot it melted stone and turned trees to ash, and possessed an unending hunger for destruction. These were the new rulers of what ever land they chose, for no mortal weapon or spell could pierce their hide, no steed could out run them, and no Eldest answered the crying prayers of their followers. Rather than fighting and dying, most people chose to either run or to hide, neither gave a guarantee of safety. Those that ran made for the coast and ships headed to sea to escape their burning world.
The peoples of the homelands fled the dragons, following those that had been exiled before them. What they founds was the Exiled Lands, and the Drow that had been sent away. Where they landed was fought for and eventually named Estel’Dor, and now serves as the Elendari stronghold.
The gameworld is currently in the year 7 A.F. (After Fire).
To see a map of the Homelands and some additional lore from just before the Age of Fire, please see the Homelands Lore page.