Lands of Erdos
Varia Varn, Enak Varn, Blossus Varn, Liria Varn, Namara Varn, Onia Varn, Enader Varn, Alturak Varn, Arkos Varn, Markust Varn, and finally their two leaders; Khar Varn and Ovi Varn.
Save perhaps the gods themselves, no other beings have influenced Erdos this much, or have been as pivotal points in the developing history of the world.
The 12 Varn manifested on Erdos over 3500 years ago, in a place now called the Valley of the Varn, on Akualinor. No one knows of their origin, and even the Varn themselves claimed ignorance. They had no real memories before opening their eyes on Erdos. But they held immense knowledge about many things: the planes, the gods, magic, science, and philosophy.
They were humanoid in appearance and size, with bluish skin and strange markings that glowed with radiant power. Their eyes glowed with green energy. Of them, Varia, Liria, Namara, and Onia were female. The rest were male.
The Varn were definitely titans—the same extended family of cosmic entities that includes Demigods, Empyreans, Krakens, and the legendary Tarrasque. Beyond their superhuman physical attributes, they had innate magical powers, as well as considerable psychic abilities (including both telepathy and telekinesis). They had power over all elements and particularly fire and lightning, being able to actually transform into fire and lightning. They regularly flew around Erdos on hypersonic speeds and could achieve flight fast enough to escape Erdos’ atmosphere. Only the mightiest deific beings could stand against them individually, and fewer still on the mortal realm. United they were virtually unstoppable. They were, for all intents and purposes, living gods walking the world.
It is known that over the many centuries, the Varn had taken several mortal lovers, though some of them had a preference for their own kind. In both cases, it was evident that they could not procreate.
With all their considerable power, It was fortunate that above all else, the Varn had a single calling: to help the mortals of Erdos achieve greatness. 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 of. 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.
This was done via their fortress, the Citadel of the Varn, located in Akualinor. It was a colossal edifice, constructed with extradimensional magic making it essentially an entire city on the inside. The Citadel functioned as the Source of the Planar Seal.
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.
For two-thousand years, the Varn guided the people of Erdos. Thanks to them, mortal mages made staggering advancements in magic. It was a time of wonders, and it came to be known as the Age of the Varn.
But it wouldn’t last forever.
Ever since they laid down their right to be worshiped as gods, the Varn ceased to be the true masters of Erdos, but they had still held 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 the Varn 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.
On Khar’s side were Varia (who was also his wife), Onia, Alturak, Arkos, and Enak.
On Ovi’s side were Liria, Enader, Namara, Markust, and Blossus.
Thus begun the War of the Varn.
It lasted two decades. There were some mortals who tried to remain neutral, but it quickly proved impossible. Within the first three years, there was no person that didn’t have a stake in the war, one side or the other.
Terrible weapons and magics were unleashed on Erdos, scarring the Lands to this day. By the second decade, even the almost-impossible to kill Varn started dying out.
Most of the death and destruction was unleashed during the last five years of the war. By that point, Namara, Markust, Enak, and Blossus had been killed. In short order, Arkos, Liria, Alturak, Enader, and Onia followed in that order until the last year of the war, where only Khar, Varia, and Ovi remained.
By that point Erdos itself was a ruin. Most of the great weapons were used up, and destroyed in the process themselves. Few remained who had survived. Despite this, it seemed there was no ending in sight, until a major turning point: the death of Varia Varn.
With his lover dead, Khar and Ovi agreed to settle the conflict once and for all in a final, winner-takes-all, duel.
Fortunately for the Erdosians that had survived, Ovi Varn was the victor.
Ovi 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, hid the Citadel of the Varn in an extradimensional space, lifted Akualinor to the skies to keep it further hidden, and departed to planes unknown, never to be heard of since.
The end of the war marked a new era, and it became the reference point for the world’s calendars: AV, After Varn. Despite the devastation that was wrought by their actions, the latter Iron Empire kept using their names for the world’s months, a practice that remains to this day.
And somewhere beyond, in the vast recesses of the Astral Plane, Ovi, Last of the Varn, hides in shame…