(Redirected from Backstory)
Nothing is truly known of how the universe came to be. The most respected account of the Beginning was recorded by Ukar scholars who gathered information regarding Science and Magic to construct an explanation for the existence of this world.
Before the universe existed as it is known, there was only mana and a sphere of energy to which it was attracted and which it surrounded in all directions. Then, an anomaly. The sphere suddenly expanded with great force. In an instant, four elements were born from the explosion. The elements clashed and collided with each other as they were propelled into the universe.
Mana was strewn into chaos. It expanded, shifted, condensed, and dispersed to make way for the elements. As mana pushed into itself, some condensed enough to become sentient, but the beings were undone just as quickly as the mana dispersed. These un-embodied flashes of life occurred a near infinite number of times in the first second as the universe cast outward. These were the spirits of the Gods. In this same instant, one condensation of mana compressed greatly enough to gain control of itself and its mind. It did not allow itself to expand again, as it reveled in its existence. It was the first God. The being watched as mana instinctively seeped into the elements of the expanding universe, creating a vacuum of space. As the God had this first thought, elsewhere three more Gods were born.
Mana was still abundant enough for the Gods to know of the others' existence, but as mana streams spread into the growing universe and pooled among the elements, the Gods became detached from each other and were alone in their minds. They came together in resistance to the void created by their loneness. With their power, the Gods could control the four elements, to which they were so attracted, and they instinctively began manipulating these elements in order to create worlds.
The Ancean Era is a term used to defined the time period between the beginning of recorded history and the events at the Mana Tree. The start of this Era marks the first year of the common calendar, which has been adopted all over Gasaron thanks to the efficient spread of information by Ukar scholars. The Era takes its name from the continent of Ancea, which at this point in time was the only inhabited continent on Gasaron.
Rise of the Platinum Kingdom
The beginning of the Ancean Era is characterised by the rapid expansion of the Human city of Keshlam, the first Human settlement to develop an advanced political structure and to become a city-state. Under the rule of Lord Janeb Venn of Keshlam, the city expanded its sphere of influence and annexed the main tribal settlements of Ancea under its rulership. Lord Venn was crowned King Janeb the Founder, first holder of the Platinum Crown. His realm became known as the Platinum Kingdom and it extended over all of mainland Ancea, excluding the Land of Fire - then seen as an island with little resources and sparsely inhabited by Kralogs - and the Tempus Mountains, which remained independent tribes under the control of the Ukar race.
Under King Janeb and several of his successors, the Platinum Kingdom grew and prospered. Three cities developed on the eastern side of Ancea: Tulimshar, Hurnscald and Nivalis. Under the Kingdom, the capital city of Keshlam and its three children cities became prosperous centres of trade that drew most of the human population to the safety of their walls.
The Red Queen
The Platinum Crown continued to follow a clear line of succession for 206 years, always providing a good successor for the realm, who ensured its continued development. On the year 206CCE, after a long crisis of succession, a minor noble (whose original name remains unknown) came to inherit the Platinum Crown. She styled herself Queen Platyna the Red. She cared little for the day-to-day administration of her realm, and delegated most such tasks to her council. Most of her days were spent working on her personal image as Queen. She became known for her regalness and her public displays of her own power over her subjects. However, the general growth of the Kingdom halted during her reign for the first time in over two centuries of its existence. The economy began to collapse under her lavish spending at court, which created an extrordinary wealth imbalance throughout the population. New developments were abandoned and maintenance of roads and buildings became slow. Widespead famines caused by improper administration of the land hit twice during this time, causing the death of over half of the Human population within just five years.
The Blue Revolution
Tired of the Queen's neglect for her people, the council decided to seize power and depose Platyna the Red. On March 213, during one of the Queen's long absences from court, Chancellor Benjamin Frost convinced the entire council to support an immediate takeover. He proclaimed the Republic of Ancea and appointed himself Lord Prince of the Republic. This event would become known as the Blue Revolution - taking its name from the uniform colours of the Chancellor - and mark the end of the Platinum Kingdom. Benjamin Frost maintained his title for eighteen months and was eventually deposed by the very council that had supported him during the Revolution. Rather than electing a successor, the council declared itself head of government as well as head of state and continued to rule the Republic.
Emergence of the City-States
The Republic of Ancea ceased to exist officially in August 216CCE, when the cities of Tulimshar, Hurnscald and Nivalis installed their own independent governments. The Council of the Republic retained de jure control over the City of Keshlam, now their last controlled territory. Despite that, they stopped meeting regularly and neglected the administration of the City in favour of devoting time to regaining control of the rest of Ancea. This sent Keshlam into rapid decline, and its citizen began to emigrate to the other Cities. Tulimshar nearly doubled its size as it was the only city to allow free immigration within its borders. This caused wisespread poverty in the lower parts of the city, but also provided plenty of cheap labour to boost its trading economy. Hurnscald and Nivalis became the uncontested capitals of their respective regions of Argaes and Kazei, while Tulimshar continued to be the only port and permanent settlement in Tonori. Keshlam, once the proud capital of the Platinum Kingdom, became mostly abandoned, with its population concentrated into a single quarter of the city and ruled by an assembly which took on the duties of the inactive Council.
The Aemilean Era marks the period of time between the beginning of an established political balance between the City-States and Gasaron post-Mana Tree.
The Mana Tree
The City-States established a stable political balance, with each City exercising control over its native region and acting independently from the others. Keshlam was the only exception, being only able to maintain control within its city boundaries where its walls once stood; the rest of the land on Argaes was effectively under the jurisdiction of Hurnscald. Nivalis maintained its power easily within Kazei, but never successfully held control over the Tempus Mountains or the Land of Fire, which were respectively inhabited by the Ukar and the Kralogs. In the South, Tulimshar ruled over the great desert of Tonori and disputed for many years a large patch of grassland on the border of Argaes.
The various races lived in relative peace with each other. Trade was good and each had their naturally defined territory, with Humans focusing their interest on their own cities. However, the first tensions began to arise when the Humans set forth to discover the Source of Magic. For many years the Ukar scholars had studied the nature of Magic. They theorised that a source must exist, which keeps free Mana bound to Gasaron and maintains its flow within all living creatures. The Human wizards thus launched a grand expedition to follow the flow of Mana by sensing where it was strongest, thus being able to eventually identify its source.
Free Mana travels in many directions, and this search took several years before the expedition finally found the right direction to follow. They discovered a large tree growing in a deep cave underneath the island of Candor. The tree had no leaves on its branches, but grew strong and was well alive even in the darkness of the cave. It gave light off itself and its energy empowered the wizards. Its roots extended into pure Mana and reached around all of Gasaron, creating the various flows of free Mana that allowed Magic to exist.
The wizards took control of the island and the Tree, which they named [The Mana Tree]. They studied it and began to alter its flow of Mana so that they could control the use of Magic in Gasaron. They declared themselves the highest authority in matters of Magic and limited its use, claiming it was too dangerous a weapon to be available to all. They mostly restricted Magic use to those of highest status in Human society as well as some Ukar scholars. This action was met with widespread opposition from all races. Before the discovery of the Mana Tree, the use of Magic was only limited to one's skill. With dedication and proper training, anyone had the ability to control Magic no matter their status.
The Mana War
The Tritans were the first to organise an offensive in response to the wizard's control of Magic. They came from the Ocean and attacked the Human cities. Their objective was to depose the wizards and block all access to Candor, so that the Mana Tree may remain untouched and Magic may be used by all once again. In order to reach Candor from the Tritan Ocean, the armies had to cross the entire region of Argaes. The main target was the seat of the Wizard Order, a large tower on the disputed border between Argaes and Tonori. Armies were sent to the defense of the cities and the south of Argaes became a battlefield that surrounded the city of Keshlam.
With troops supplied from both Hurnscald and Tulimshar, defenses around the Wizard Order were too strong for the Tritans to overcome. The armies were thus redirected in an unexpected maneuver towards Hurnscald. The city was caught unprepared and fell under siege. As Hurnscald's armies were recalled to the city to free it from the siege, the Kralog tribes of the Land of Fire arrived with their small ships from the western shores. They joined forces with the Tritans and turned the tide of battle, allowing the troops to enter Hurnscald before the Human armies could reach it. Support from Nivalis had been expected by Hurnscald, but the Ukar launched an offensive in the Tempus Mountains as the warriors were crossing the pass. The city of Hurnscald has been taken, but at great cost. Now, the resistance army crossed the Clear Sea to reach Candor. A battle of magic ensued. Wizards from both sides of the conflict agitated the Mana flow around the Tree in an attempt to cut off the enemy's access to its Magic. The ground shook and the deep tunnels leading to the Tree's cave collapsed.
Nobody knows what the extend of the damage was to the Tree itself, as its cave became unaccessible and its entrance lost. However, something occured, as a great wave of energy launched from the depths of Candor and extended outward in all directions. A Mana storm had been triggered. Free Mana flowed chaotically in and out of all living things and creating devastating effects on the land. A Great Quake shook the earth of Ancea and the land began to split. A fracture split Tonori from the rest of Ancea and flooded the south of Argaes. The city of Keshlam, now war-torn as well as poor, was wiped off the map. Only ruins were left in its place. The Wizard Order launched one last effort to preserve their tower, which happened to be located over the fracture. The tower was saved, cutting out a small island between Argaes and Tonori, but the wizards were deeply affected by their use of such powerful magic during the Mana storm. Their bodies were left disfigured and their minds were shut off from the outside world. Part of their Order was still on Candor and part was at the tower. After days of hardly being able to fend for themselves, the wizards of the Order began to regain their mental capacities. Their bodies had healed, but they were heavily mutated. The Raijin race was born. A race born of Magic. Humans encapsuled in a Mana storm and altered forever.
The Fleet of Ancea
Following the end of the War, a band of adventurers formed in Argaes from those who had lost their homes and families. They sailed from Hurnscald to Tulimshar and then to Nivalis, the last permanent settlements of humans. There, they gathered merchants and warriors to join them in a journey to find a new land on which to live. The group found the support of Tulimshar's merchant lords and was given ships to sail east, past the Clear Sea and towards the Long Ocean which nobody had explored before. The newly created Fleet of Ancea travelled so far that they were never heard from again. They eventually found a new land after much hardship. The continent was known from legends of explorers who had sailed far and never returned. It was named after one of these legendary explorers, Aemil. The southern shores, and the region which the Fleet had first found, was named Aurora, after its beautiful sunrise. The Fleet settled in the western side of Aurora and built their first village, which one day would become the great City of Esperia, the largest and most powerful city in Gasaron.
Expansion into Aurora
The land of Aurora proved to be the most fertile land to ever have been discovered. Many settlers from Esperia quickly moved towards the countryside and claimed patches of land to build farms. Food production increased dramatically to the benefit of Esperia. As the farms extended into the entire Aurora region, a group of merchants decided to found a new city on the eastern shores of Aemil. Their hope was to one day reconnect with the people of Ancea and developing the technology to enstablish a trade between the two continents. The City of Artis was thus founded, a large merchant port which connected the East and the West of Aurora, carrying goods back and forth.