The Dawn of History

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Solaron rises above a vast expanse of island-speckled sea, casting rays of ocher light across the crashing shores of a rocky coast. The scent of brine and fish carries inland upon a waft of crisp morning air; in the deep sky above, as the stars wane with the waxing dawn, the black volcanic orb of Atracus gives way to the golden radiance of the newly woken sun. There, upon a high crag overlooking the glory and majesty of nature, stands what at first might be taken as a human. He is Eldren, an Elder One, clothed in silk and leather vestments with a golden band upon his head and bronze bracers upon his arms. His silver hair glints in the dawning light, his wizened eyes are bright and clear, and the wrinkles of time that furrow his face seem more the product of his compassionate smile than the weight of the centuries he has seen.

Beside him waits another figure—a Tarriene in the musical tongue of the Eldren—a humans as they would one day be called. He seems an unlikely creature to accompany the Elder One, a savage figure donned in leathers and furs, his dark eyes peering from a face covered in coarse black hair. But he also wears a jeweled bronze belt and a kingly bronze helm, though, and carries upon his back a magnificent bronze axe that is ensorcelled and inconceivably old. To his people, he is a mighty warrior and an even mightier chief; to the Elder One, he is but a child. Like any child, there are many things he must learn before he can lead his people.

Soon, the Elder One would teach this man all he could learn. He would instruct him in the secrets of runes and of writing, show him how to grind plants into medicines, teach him to draw metals from rocks, and the train him in the craft of forging bronze, silver, and gold. Humankind lost these arts in the long, dark age during the War that plunged the world into chaos and ruin for untold millennia. Now, however, with the Demons sealed in the volcanic prison of Atracus and the last of the Demonsworn vanquished, the lingering night is finally ending and a glorious new age is dawning.

Five thousand years of history would span between that first dawning of civilization and the present age of steam, industry, and progress—five thousand years of war, wonders, legends, and empires.

The Last Cosmic War and the First Age of Darkness

For untold ages, in the vast epoch before the first human put chisel to stone, the Archons of Light and the Archons of Darkness battled for supremacy over All Creation. In those vast cosmic conflagrations, known to primordial myth as the Cosmic Wars, the stars themselves were said to have burned.

Some 10,000 years ago, the Archons of Darkness, by then known as Dv’gn or Demons, rose up to overthrow the last of the Archons of Light, known also as the Vanasir. In that Last Cosmic War, a great alliance of races united with the Vanasir and their Eldren armies against the monstrous Dv’gn hordes. Although the Vanasir sacrificed own their immortal essence, the Demons and their Demonsworn armies were finally defeated. Vanquished, the Demons were bound in chains of unbreakable adamant and sealed away on the scorched, volcanic world of Atracus.

In the bleak dark age following the end of the Last Cosmic War, civilizations rose and fell. Most of these civilizations were destroyed utterly, leaving no records or evidence apart from a few remote temples and artifacts. Humans had been reduced to little more than bands of barbarians and roving nomads that were led by warlords and sorcerers. Even the Eldren, in their greatness, struggled to survive.

That long dark age, now known as the First Age of Darkness, at last came to an end with the rise of the Empire of Keshim.

Continue to “Before the Age of Marada”

Demonic Abomination, by Nicolas Tribehou