Lands of Erdos
A (Very) Brief History of Erdos
There are many myths and legends about the time before humanity emerged. At the dawn of time, myths tell of a time were aberrant entities ruled the world from the depths of the sea. This Aboleth Empire fell when the gods emerged from the Astral Plane and soon dragons and giants came to dominate the world.
Most humanoids were still primitive at this point of time.
The Elder Aeon
Ten thousand years ago, with the onset of sedentary agriculture, humans came to have permanent settlements and founded the first proto-kingdoms.
The aldanelim-aeonians arrived on Erdos sometime during this era and elves descended from the moon as well. Humanity made contact with dwarves, and orcs were born in Grosgant.
Humans had the gift of psionics. The Elves brought the knowledge of magis, and the aeonians divine power. Together, they made the first shy steps towards the mastery of magic.
This period ends with the Elfwar and the creation of the stregoni.
Age of the Varn
The Varn manifested on Erdos, seemingly out of nowhere. Nobody knows their true origin—the Varn claimed it was a mystery even to them. They were godlike in power and ability.
Their leaders were the charismatic Khar Varn and the wise Ovi Varn. Together with their brothers and sisters—Varia, Enak, Blossus, Liria, Namara, Onia, Enader, Alturak, Arkos, and Markust—they immediately set off in a global quest of altruism. Such was their impact, that it didn’t take long for mortals to begin worshiping them as gods.
This led to a limited skirmish between the Varn and a few divine avatars—one that the Varn emerged victorious. Because of that, the Varn erected the Planar Seal, cutting off Erdos from all other planes of existence, and consequently blocking the gods from interfering. Divine magic ceased to exist overnight.
For a time, the Varn continued to be worshiped as gods, but they did not hold themselves as such. Soon enough, they promoted the Prime Discipline: the idea that no mortal should bow before a god and offer worship. The gods were to be respected, but nothing more, nothing less. In the span of a few short centuries, this philosophy came to dominate the belief systems of most Erdosians.
Centuries turned to millenia, and with the guidance of the Varn, mortal mages made staggering advancements in magic. At its height, the Age of the Varn was a time of wonders, filled with magic and mechana.
But it wouldn’t last forever.
War of the Varn
The Varn were never the true masters of Erdos, but they had tremendous influence as advisors to all the rulers of the world. But over time, even that influence waned.
That had always been the Varnian intent. For mortals to evolve and walk on their own. But once they were successful, not all of them enjoyed the fruits of their labor.
Craving the old days of true godhood, Khar Varn himself engineered strife between nations. His plan was to cause a great war, only to intervene and stop it, thus proving to mortals that they needed divine guidance after all.
However, Ovi Varn discovered this plot and attempted to stop him. Sadly, it only made things worse. A global war broke out between those who supported Khar and his bid for godhood (and the rewards they’d reap from him) and those defending the Prime Discipline.
Even the rest of the Varn chose sides, with half of them aligning with Ovi, and the rest supporting Khar.
The war only lasted two decades, but by its end Erdos was a smoldering ruin. All Varn but Khar and Ovi had perished, and the two settled the outcome of the war in a duel. And Ovi Varn was the one who won.
Fall of the Varn
Ovi Varn saw that Erdos, a world he once strived to guide and protect, had been reduced to ruin. The Varn had failed. And so he decided that the world should be left alone. He lifted the Planar Seal, and departed to parts unknown, never to be heard of since.
With the Seal gone, the gods were free to spread their influence on the world once again. Priests returned to the fore, spreading hope and guidance. Slowly, the world begun a long journey for recovery.
The end of the War was also the end of the Age of the Varn. ‘AV’ (short for After Varn) became the standard designation to number years in the Erdosian Calendar, standardized by the Iron Empire.
The Iron Empire
From the world’s ashes, new nations rose. Of them all, the one to influence the world’s history was the Kingdom of Mallenor, in south Athanor.
Ruled by a mighty warrior, Khaylen the Great, the Kingdom of Mallenor soon became the Empire of Athanor. And finally, in 55 AV, after conquering most of the world, it became the Iron Empire.
The Iron Empire was based on a system of meritocracy called the Merit of Authority. A type of extreme social darwinism where the strong ruled and the weak served. Khaylen himself assumed the title Imperium, the personification of Authority, and absolute master of all under his rule. He also claimed that he was the Champion of Garagom, a tyrannical god of strength (and the creator of the orcs). Because of that, he was rendered immortal.
It was, however, a lie. Khaylen created a dynasty. His descendants, all known as Imperium, simply continued the ruse of pretending they were Khaylen, the First Imperium.
This lie was perpetuated for over a thousand years.
The Great Rebellion
There is no denying that the Iron Empire was instrumental in uniting and repairing the shattered world that Erdos had become. There was also no denying that it was a merciless, cruel place to live in. And as time marched on, it became more and more tyrannical.
Many rebellions sought to rectify that. All of them were drowned in blood.
That was until the diamond elf raessarai, Kaenus Elang’draeon and the stregoni prince Damian Von Redlore, formed the Black Rose Alliance in 1518 AV. It was the beginning of the Great Rebellion.
The Black Rose rebels claimed victory after victory, until in 1526, the Last Imperium was killed, and the Iron Empire was no more.
A New Era
In the wake of empire’s fall, the free people of Erdos divided up their Lands in kingdoms and city states. The Hegemony of Dorianor was created in Limoch, with Kaenus himself as Hegemon.
In Athanor, Mallenor, the original Land of the Iron Empire was given to the orcs. Rechristened New Mallenor, it became a nation with a single mission: cast out the darkness of Garagom from the orcs, and pave a new destiny for the blackbloods.
Shadows of the Iron Empire lingered on, however. An organization called the Sons of Imperium was created in Grosgant, gradually gaining much influence.
It is the year 1736 AV. Two-hundred years have passed since the fall of the Iron Empire. Erdos is in a state of relative peace, but also great uncertainty.
But a long forgotten evil, inimical to mortal life, stirs once again from the abyssal depths of history. But who, if any, will rise to stop it?
See the TIMELINE for a bird’s eye view of important events.