History traces a path far different than scholars would have one believe; it refuses to flow straight and true, like the path of an arrow. Rather it bends and flexes from the lost shadows of time not unlike the flight of a bat hunting through the night sky. Each of the civilized races trace their time upon Mirona along circuitous paths, often overlapping through the long ages.
The Watch of the Saurides
Each race tells the story of their time through their own eyes, yet they all acknowledge that the earliest written chronicles of their land comes from the fallen civilization of the Saurides. Their legends tell of five immortal creatures, the Dragons Everliving, the creators of the great dragons that commanded the skies of Mirona for untold centuries. These beings begat the race of saurides to act as the earth-bound servitors of the great dragons. Gifted builders, the saurides constructed the cities whose ancient bones can still be found in the present day. Gifted chroniclers, they wrote the words that describe the infancy of the other civilizations.
The earliest accounts, dated to about 21,000 years before the present day (562 Post-Cataclysm or 2095 years after the Kidegian Empite was formed), described the characteristics of the land and the various races upon it as witnessed by the flights of the great dragons.
The humans, as well as their less numerous companions, the halflings, were the most widespread of all, ranging wide across the continents face. Some followed a nomadic existance, following the great herds of animals, while others bedded down in the same tribal villages each night, surviving through hunting the beasts of the forests and mountains.
Elves hid themselves within the great forests of the north, content in their own tree-top communities, thriving on the bounty obtained from the forest floor.
Less was seen of the ancient dwarves, for they still made their homes in the venerable mountains and the caverns which ran deep under them. Their few small villages were built near the entrance to their underground homes, and served as escapes for those rare dwarves that explored the lands above.
Hundreds of other sentient beings, ranging from the mysterious treelings to the savage ogres, endured in much smaller numbers, attending to their own needs in small enclaves of their kind.
Only the Saurides, guided by the great dragons, had created an advanced civilization, living within walled cities, forging great works, and trading with those few races who dared approach their mighty gates.
The Fall of the Dragons
1500 years later (18,928BE), Kai-Itza, the leading Dragon Chronicler, lamented
They came from the south, the most ancient and revered dragons in the vanguard, the youngest in the rear, each flight led by one of the Dragons Everliving. None had witnessed such a stately congress of the great drakes before, nor will it be seen again. As each of the five flights soared aloft, a keening wail sounded and the flight dove to the great Ashuri Plain, leaving only the Everliving in the sky.
The immortal creator-dragons circled the plains, their luminous wings boosting them higher into the sky until they were nothing more than a speck. An abrupt chill shaded the hearts of those gathered as the Everliving disappeared from view.
The five Dragons Everliving relinquished their hold on the creatures they had created and disappeared from the world. The lesser dragons (still immensely powerful in the own right) were left to guide themselves, but without the counsel of their masters, the natural arrogance and independence of the dragons came to the fore. A few short centuries later, the dragons had removed themselves to their own domains, leaving only the city S’Farr intact and populated to act as neutral ground.
The Rise of the Gods-Created
By 16,400BE, the other races, known to the Saurides as the Shenseye, or Gods-Created, had begin to form larger, more distinct, groups. Elven tribes in the far north had grown ever larger, forming large towns suspended from the massive branches of the iron oaks. Humans did the same in the great plains of the south, east, and west, while dwarves forged massive citadels in the high mountain peaks. Trade, in goods, ideas, and culture, expanded between the groups, all under the watchful eyes of the saurides still within the walls of S’Farr.
Humans, elves, and dwarves advanced slowly, tribal camps becoming villages, then towns. Interbreeding among those groups close enough began to solidify the social networks originally created by trade. Relations between the different races waxed and waned, largely depending on the needs of their peoples. Meanwhile, draconic culture continued its inexorable decline; betrayal in the halls of S’Farr in 15,382BE erased the last vestiges of civility between the dragons. They took to the sky, leaving a broken and burning city behind them. While dragons would continue to amass power and build followers for another 10,000 years, their ancient civilization would never return.
The Blackened Wood Wars
Human tribes grew continuously larger, ever craving new lands to feed and grow their peoples. Smaller tribes merged peacefully, or were violently consumed, by larger ones. Villages became towns, hunters became warriors, and hunger became greed. Soon, tiring of fighting amongst themselves for the ebbing resources, they turned toward their northern neighbors; the dwarves and elves.
Human tribes began challenging the elven kinfolk around 13,000BE by claiming swathes of lands for their own use. The elven people lived amongst the boughs of the ancient trees; the loss of them to human clear-cutting practices was unacceptable. The elves claimed that such practices were a direct attack on their people and responded with deadly force. Human woodcutters found themselves besieged by spirits of the animals and forests, farmers were felled by the great ranged bows of the elves, and traders were captured and tortured. Human leadership insisted the incursions were a misunderstanding, and demanded the elven tribes cease their bloody assaults and make reparations to the tribes. The elves intensified their attacks. Bloody skirmishes escalated into brutal battles, the fields and forests running red with the blood of the two races.
Intermittent warfare continued between the humans and elves for the greatest part of the next 750 years. Bonds between the elven tribes strengthened during the battles, ultimately resulting in the formation of the first elven nation, Vauriul, in 12,483BE.
Enter the Dwarves
As Vauriul was pushed further into the dark forests of the north, the dwarves, confident that the human tribes would turn next to them, plunged into the fray, assaulting unprotected villages and towns along the humans’ weakened western flank in 12,385BE. Braced by the sudden attack, the human tribes were forced to battle two very different opponents at the same time. The dwarven nation of Korolir drove southward relentlessly, attempting to carve the human lands in twain. Their goal was within sight until another human tribe entered the conflict.
A western tribe, known as the Tyrg, launched a vicious attack on Korolir’s neighboring city, Thrafak. Led by Canold Skull-bearer, the Tyrg were known as powerful sorcerers. They had refused to enter the battle with the elves but Canold proclaimed he would not stand by while witnessing the treachery of the dwarves. Thrafak, a weaker dwarven city, was unable to withstand the magical assault, and begged Korolir to cease hostilities with the humans.
Grabbner ‘ak Korolir met with Canold Skull-bearer in the spring of 12,382BE, to convince him to leave the battlefield. Canold fammously informed the dwarven leader that for every human felled by dwarven axe or sword, three dwarves would perish in the black fires of his people’s magic. Legend claims that, to prove his point, Grabbner’s entire entourage was abruptly engulfed in dark flames as Canold uttered his proclamation.
The dwarves quickly quit t he battlefield, leaving the elves to face the wrath of humans alone. But Canold of the Tyrg was not finished; as Carell Blackmain, war chief of the Tirell gathered his people for another attack on the elves, he was unceremoniously lifted into the air. His rage filled screams turned to fear as his body began to pulse; slowly at first, then faster and faster, Carell’s anguished screams rent the air, increasing in pitch until his body was suddenly ripped apart.
As his blood slowly dripped down upon the horrified onlookers, three men rode into his camp, each dressed in black cloaks and astride black stallions. The leader threw back his own hood to reveal the craggy and tattooed face of Canold Skull-Bearer. He stared across the assembled crowd and began to speak. His words, legendary now, were simple: “My people will not come to your aid again. Gird yourselves for war if you must, but know that you now fight on your own.”
Current Year: 562 Post-Cataclysm (PC)
77 Era of the Risen Dead (ERD), 0PC – Night of Violet Stars
222 Times of Plague (TP), 0ERD – Zombies rise in the city of Kema
644RD (Ranian Dominion), 0TP – First confirmed case of the Plague of Crimson Tears in Kema
590KD (Kidegia Dominion), 0RD – House Ranian takes control of the Empire
823BE (Before Empire), 0KD – Last of the majore city-states, Tear, swears fealty to Hyir Kidegia. Empire is founded.