Chronicles of Ekos
History of Ekos
Many myths and legends exist on the creation of the multiverse, but no one can know for sure. All that is known is that out of the nothingness came The Old Gods, who took the raw stuff of the elements and wove it into the material plane.
Age of Gods
The time before time when the Old Gods strode the world, shaping it as they saw fit. It was during this time that many of the animals, beasts, monsters and sentient races were created. As time wore on the differences between the gods began to grow bigger. A schism about what influence they should have on the world grew, between those that thought the world should be dominated and ruled (Law), and those that felt it should be left to find its own path (Chaos). This led to a war between the Gods. The Chaos eventually won by banishing all Gods, including themselves from the material plane to the outer planes. They created the Eldarin to be caretakers of the world in their absence, infusing them with some of their divine power which granted them immortality and a mastery of magic.
Age of The Eldarin
As the gods influence waned, the Eldarins’ power grew, and they wielded their magic to shape the world to their liking, much as the gods did before them. Indeed to the lesser races they seemed like Gods, such was the power they wielded. As their mastery of magics increased, many found they could bend reality itself, shaping it to their will. But this has consequences. As they toyed with the nature of reality, it created echoes of the material plane. This created the Shadowfell and the Feywild, analogues of the world as they knew it but pushed to the extremes of light and dark. Some Eldarin embraced these new worlds as a fantastic discovery, travelling between them and seeing everything they had to offer. Others, fearing the damage that was being done, used their magic to cast off their material forms and shored up the barriers between worlds, trapping many of their kind in the mirror worlds. The powerful magics unleashed drained the remaining Eldarin of a portion of their power, killing many. Those than remained became mortal, albeit still long lived, and are the ancestors of the Elves we know today. Humbled by the sacrifice of their brethren, the remaining mortal Elves withdrew and formed communities roughly based on their philosophies. they were to become the wood elves of Timbrethi who believe in the balance of nature, the high who value knowledge and the balance of magic, and the dark elves, who valued the power of magic above all else. Each formed their own kingdom seeking isolation, fearing further death for their already decimated race. Those Eldarin who gave up their material forms became like gods, and were venerated by the remaining mortal elves.
Age of Man
With the retreat of the Eldarin civilisation, there was finally room for the other races to prosper and grow. The Human civilisation advanced exponentially, going from small subsistence communities to towns, to kingdoms. Wars were fought, borders drawn and redrawn. Out of the maelstrom on Ekos came the kingdoms of Sardonia, Theles and Kalvos, each with their own unique culture. To the west, in the harsh conditions of the continent of Zaphia, 2 civilizations grew to prominence – the Xian in the swamps and jungles of the peninsula, and the Al’ Kari in the deserts and volcanic wastes to the south.
On Ekos, the wars eventually stopped with the independence of Pavos being declared, a city central to the continent and a prize that had previously been fought over time and time again. With Peace came prosperity, and it was a golden age for the Kingdoms of Man on Ekos. The wilds were pushed back and civilisation prevailed. Trade between the races started, with the exception of the dark elves, who remained isolated to the north of the continent. It was during this time that the great magical universities were founded, and the study of magic was set about with great vigour. Part of the reason for this was the increasing of magical power in the world. The strength and influence of magic in the world seems to wax and wane over the centuries, a phenomenon the Eldarin called the ‘Echoes of Creation’. Whatever the reason, magical power was in the ascendance, and man studied it and began to harness it.
The Mage Wars
It was not long before the peace and prosperity was once again shattered. To the north, the Dark Elves emerged from their self-imposed isolation. Calling themselves the Yanesti Empire, they marched south on Theles, destroying and enslaving all that stood before them. Theles had grown complacent in the peace they had been enjoying, and were slow to react to the superior forces. Although The Yanesti Empire were few in number, each one was a powerful spell caster, and they supplemented their numbers with numerous summoned beasts and constructs. The conventional armies of men could do little in the face of such a magical onslaught, and despite their superior numbers they were slaughtered in the thousands. The north of the country was all but destroyed before they could put up any significant defence against their superior foe, and it was the universities and colleagues of mages that eventually halted their advance. By necessity they turned their research to the art of battle, and a new breed of mage known as War Casters began to turn the tide of battle. But Theles alone could not answer the threat, and the other kingdoms feared they would be next. The nations of men, Theles, Sardonia, Pavos and Kalvos, as well as many of the Dwarven clans, united under the banner of the Grande Alliance. They led a counter attack that finally seemed halt the Empires advance and begin to push them back. It was only the Elves of Timbrethi and Loredus that remained unwilling to join the fray, for they were fearful of the destruction that might be wrought should they turn their hands to war. It was during this time that the use of magic escalated to previously unheard of levels. Each new atrocity on one side was answered with previously unseen magics from the other. Taboos long held in the magic communities were broken out of necessity, and armies of the undead were raised to supplement the armies on both sides. Powerful magical weapons were forged and deployed on the battlefield. Intelligent Magical creatures fought on both sides, many Chromatic Dragons siding with the Yanesti Empire, The Metallics with the Grande Alliance.
The Mage Wars were 150 years ago, and although the land still bears the scars, they are beginning to heal. During the war, many parts of the land had returned to wilderness, and even now many villages and towns stand empty or have become home to bandits or monsters, their original owners having never returned from the battlefield. Northern Theles remains a dangerous wasteland, prowled by the magical beasts and summoned undead that remained after the war was done. Further north still the planesmeld twists and merges the fabric of the material plane, the raw stuff of the elements breaking through and spilling into the world forming a constantly shifting geography of fire, ice, water and air.
The terrible destruction of the Mage Wars caused the people to shun mages and magic, and they turned to the gods instead for guidance. The gods had taken note of the terrible destruction wrought during the mage wars, and not wanting to repeat it some empowered their followers with a fraction of their power.