Just noticed this, since it was passed easily with the pages, figured I mention about it.
Kind of asking himself "Should I act before he can? Should I wait to see if the Fortune Teller was saying the truth? What will I do after I kill the Emperor?" etc. etc. never certain of what to do until the final moment.
Not to mention, that part of the Prima Guide, and for that matter same with the Realm of Torment quests, were from other's perspectives, not Shiro's. the Prima Guide shows from Vizu's perspectives and the perspective of other people who's souls that were recovered by Ritualists.
All in all, all four sources somewhat contradict each other really.
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Thread: Guild Wars 1 Thread Repository.
22-10-2008, 00:35 #31
01-11-2008, 05:26 #32
02-11-2008, 03:09 #33
I put all of the known official lore in my Guru Archives, so I figured I'd move those that are not on GWO over here for easy reference/for those who don't have them.
Feel free to change this as you want Leon.
The History of Tyria
It was almost three thousand years ago that a race of serpents stepped out of the Rift onto the soil of Tyria. Unlike ordinary serpents, these moved upright, used language, and adhered to an elaborate culture. They had been summoned by the old gods, brought to this world to be the custodians. Their task: shepherd the other creatures of the land through this time of transition, while the gods continued to create the world around them.
From the Tarnished Coast in the west to the Bay of Sirens (now called the Sea of Sorrows) in the south, from the far eastern reaches of the Crystal Desert to the Giant's Basin on the northern coast of Kryta, Tyria flourished under the protection of these mystical creatures. The serpents were the protectors of the land, the keepers of knowledge, the teachers of all things, and during their time the world was in balance.
But then a new race of creatures was birthed upon the world. They were neither serpent nor beast. They were neither plant nor stone. These creatures had no chitinous hide to protect themselves. They had no claws to tear flesh. They arrived naked and defenseless, except for one thing: their desire for control.
This new race of creatures was none other than us humans, and in no time we began to take over. Cities bloomed across the continent. Walls were erected, and weapons forged. Those things that we humans lacked, we simply built. We didn’t need tough hides nor rending claws when we could make metal armor and sharpened spears. We discovered fire, wrote books of our own, passed knowledge to one another through song and verse. Soon humans had everything we required, and it was then that we began to prey upon the other creatures. We hunted animals for sport, chased the druids from the jungle, and took up residence in lands that did not belong to us. We became the masters of this world. We took all of the privilege and none of the responsibility.
In less than a century, the serpents who had protected and nurtured Tyria were no longer needed. The balance they had achieved had been undone, and there was no way to bring it back. Seeing that the world had changed, and preferring not to fight a war over control of the continent, the serpents retreated from the world of men. They left the coasts and the jungles. They abandoned their settlements in the highlands and in the mountains. Leaving the newcomers be, the serpents went to live in the only place where we humans did not—or could not: the Crystal Desert.
The serpents never returned to the world of men, and slowly, their influence faded. To humans, they were just a part of the past, spoken about only in legends and myths. Eventually their memory all but passed from human consciousness. But they were not gone, only forgotten.
Despite the serpents’ retreat, the gods never halted their work creating the world, and with the benevolence of indulgent parents, they decided to create magic. It was to be a gift to all the intelligent creatures—meant to ease a life of toil and make survival a less arduous task. When they had finished creating their gift, they presented it to the humans and the Charr, the Tengu and the dwarves, the minotaurs and the imps, and all the races of the land.
But the gods had not counted upon one thing—greed.
Wars broke out immediately as the magical races fought for dominance. So much destruction was wrought that humans found themselves at the edge of extinction. When all seemed lost, it was King Doric, the leader of the united human tribes himself, who made the long trek to Arah, the city of the gods, on the Orrian peninsula. He gained an audience with the creators and begged them to help, to stop the wars and bring peace to the land once again.
The gods heard his pleas, and they intervened.
The forging of the world was complete. As their final act, the gods gathered back their gift of magic from all the races and trapped it inside a tall stone. They smashed the stone into five parts—four equal but opposing stones of magic, and one keystone. Without the keystone, the other four couldn’t be reassembled.
Each of the first four stones was the embodiment of a specific school of magic: preservation, destruction, aggression, and denial. Magic would still exist in the world, but the devastating power of all four types together would never again be at the command of one single creature. Those who accepted the gift would have to cooperate if they intended to use it to its fullest.
The gods told King Doric that since he had asked for peace, he and his descendants must carry the burden of protecting the stones. As an additional precaution, they used a drop of King Doric’s blood to seal each of the stones.
Then the stones were dropped, one by one, into the volcano off the southern shore of the Kingdom of Kryta, and the gods left this world forever, confident that they had balanced out their gift and circumvented greed.
Things were good for a time. No one race gained dominance over any other, and the world was once again at peace.
Over the next hundred years, the human kingdoms prospered. Powerful groups grew up within each nation. These were known as guilds. It was these groups, these guilds, that held the real power in Tyria. Though there were kings and organizations that made the laws and regulated the land, it was the guilds that enforced these laws—or didn’t—as they saw fit. As these guilds grew, their influence began to overlap.
As is ever the case with peace, it once again came to an end when the volcano erupted, spitting out the five stones and scattering them across Tyria. The magic they embodied seeped out into the lands around them. Though the Bloodstones, as they are called, have never been reunited, the power that they possess was enough to re-ignite the desire for power in the hearts of men.
The struggle for power commenced, and again war broke out. This time, though, the humans were not united. The guilds of the three most-influential kingdoms on the continent battled each other for supremacy. The kings of Ascalon, Kryta, and Orr were not powerful enough to stop the conflict, for the armies of the guilds were even more powerful than those of their own home nations.
The Guild Wars raged for decades, fueled by the desire for power and the influence of the Bloodstones. Never did the peace accords last long. Never did the negotiations take root. The conflict claimed the lives of many hundreds of thousands. It uprooted families, made neighbors into enemies, and soured the relations between the human nations—perhaps irrevocably.
Though the battles continued, each with a winner and loser, no one nation ever gained enough power to fully dominate the other two. Slowly, over the course of years, the wealth of each nation diminished. Their people grew weary, and their armies grew weaker as the constant fighting took its toll.
Eventually, as all things do, the wars did come to an end. But it was not the words of the silver-tongued peace negotiators or even the rough hand of a conquering hero that ended the Guild Wars. The resolution was instead brought about by an even greater war—a war brought by the Charr. In unprecedented numbers, the beasts from the north swept down through all three human kingdoms. Ascalon, Orr, and Kryta, embroiled in conflict with one another for more than fifty years, dropped their grudges and turned their attentions to defending their borders against the new threat.
Each kingdom dealt with the invasion in a different way. Ascalon stood their ground, having no place else to turn. Though their forces were depleted, they managed to rally behind the Great Northern Wall. But their defense was short lived. In a magical battle that would eventually be looked upon as the turning point for Ascalon (now referred to as the Searing), the Charr brought down fire and brimstone, destroying everything on the open plain for hundreds of miles. Their magic scorched the ground and the human cities as they swept through the Wall and moved on to Orr. The surviving humans of Ascalon have since retaken the wall and have held it against periodic attacks, but there is little left of this once-prosperous empire.
Orr was another story. To stop the invading army, the King of Orr’s personal advisor and sage turned to the powers of dark magic. Venturing into the vaults far below the marble streets of Arah, he unrolled a forbidden scroll and read the words he found printed there. The resulting explosion sank the entire peninsula and sent enough dirt into the air to blot out the sun for a hundred days. Though the Charr never reached the hallowed streets of Arah, nearly every citizen of Orr was killed that day.
Unable to keep the Charr out, and lacking magic powerful enough to push them back, Kryta turned to a man named Saul D'Alessio and his promises of unseen gods coming to aid in the war. Whether it was luck or truly the invisible hands of some new gods, Kryta managed to push back the Charr invasion, banishing the northern beasts back from whence they came.
The dust from this conflict is beginning to settle. Perhaps in this next age we will glean knowledge from our past mistakes. Perhaps we have learned when it is time to put away our hatred and simply work together. Or perhaps we will do what all nations in the history of the world have done—look blindly away from our past, and proceed to unleash a new and more terrible plague upon our land.
Let us hope this is not the case. Let us hope that we have learned our lesson.
Excerpt from The History of Tyria, Volume 1
-Thadeus Lamount, Historian
The Human Kingdoms
The Kingdom of Ascalon
Once, Ascalon was a beautiful, fertile land of rolling green countryside and magnificent cities. Her people were viewed as grim by their neighbors. This was perhaps, to be expected, given their never-ending war against the aggressive Charr. Indeed, it was their unfailing vigilance, their Great Northern Wall, and the blood they shed each year to defend it that had protected not only Ascalon, but also Kryta and Orr through the ages.
Then came the invasion, and with it, the Searing.
Anyone alive today will remember the day the lands of Ascalon were blasted and torn with magic fire. Whole cities and guilds were destroyed in the Searing, and the might of Ascalon was shattered. Now the Great Northern Wall lies broken, and the Charr have overrun much of the kingdom, defiling it with their unholy shrines, killing those who stand in their way.
The survival of Ascalon hinges on but a single remaining corner of the fallen kingdom—the capital city of Rin. In the final years of the last Guild War, the people of Rin looked to a soldier named Adelbern, a simple man of humble origins, who rallied the people with his courage and cunning and steeled them not only against the guilds of Orr and Kryta but also against the terrors of the Charr.
The sudden destruction of most of the kingdom during the Searing has taken much of the fight out of the man now known as King Adelbern. He has become stubborn and set in his ways, afraid of losing what little he has left. But in his son Rurik, the people see a leader with the courage to perhaps help them reclaim their fallen kingdom.
The survivors of Ascalon live in a state of constant warfare, using hit-and-run tactics and the remnants of the Great Wall to prevent any significant advances by the Charr into their territory. King Adelbern has circled the wagons, so to speak, content to simply defend what Ascalon has left and live to fight another day. Prince Rurik, on the other hand, is far more daring than his father thinks is wise, and has even suggested that the time may be coming to launch an offensive against the Charr.
Already the rumbling of the winds of change can be heard in the streets. People are frightened. They wonder what will become of them. Some even wonder aloud if Adelbern has lost what it takes to steer Ascalon back from the brink. They wish to see the prince step up and take command of the kingdom. Perhaps under his guidance, the people of Ascalon will live on to see another golden age.
The Kingdom of Orr
Situated on a peninsula south of Ascalon and west of the Crystal Desert, Orr was a vibrant, proud, and prosperous nation. Its citizens were the favored of the gods, living in the shadows of Arah, the deserted city once inhabited by the likes of Melandru, Dwayna, and Balthazar. Deeply spiritual, the Orrians looked after the buildings and structures left behind when the gods left Tyria, caring for them in the hopes that one day, the divine beings who created magic and bestowed it upon the world would return.
The Orrians were a peaceful people, hoping only to do their duty toward their gods and content to be rewarded in either this life or the next. When the guilds began feuding, Orr as a nation tried to stay out of the conflict. This was not the sort of struggle that entire kingdoms got involved in. But when the strife overflowed into armed conflict, and guilds from the other human nations began fighting in the streets of Arah, Orr rose to defend itself and the city of the gods.
Soon after Orr mobilized its armies, Kryta and Ascalon did as well, and what had started as a dispute between localized groups became an all-out war. The Guild Wars raged for nearly fifty years. During that time, none of the three human empires was able to assert dominance over either of the other two. While Ascalon, Orr, and Kryta were busy fighting with each other, they became blind to the threat from the north—the Charr. The northern beasts swept in, taking Ascalon in a spectacular magical battle.
At first, Orr was saved from much of the fighting. The guilds with allegiances to Ascalon and Kryta withdrew, heading back to defend their homes. Orr regrouped, granted a moment to prepare simply because they were farther south. The Charr had to make their way through Ascalon before they could reach the gates of Arah. But eventually Ascalon fell, and the Charr arrived in Orr.
Hopes were high that the Charr would be defeated quickly. The Orrian army was the equal of any in Tyria, and the invaders had already fought a long battle against the Ascalons. But those hopes were dashed in less than twelve hours.
The invaders reached the gates of Arah without breaking stride. The Orrians failed to protect their charge. With defeat at the doorstep and the kingdom nearly in ruins, one man turned to a forbidden magic. The king’s own personal advisor in the matters of the arcane took it upon himself to destroy the invaders, no matter the cost. Unrolling one of the Lost Scrolls, kept inside a warded vault deep within the catacombs below Arah, he spoke the words of a litany that spelled the end of the Kingdom of Orr forever.
There are few who survived that day, now known as the Cataclysm. While the Charr were never allowed to step foot in Arah, few count what the king’s advisor did on that day as a victory. The resulting explosion felled the invading army where it stood, but so too did it sink the entire peninsula, leaving only a scattering of small islands in its place. The beautiful city of Arah was consumed. What’s left above water now lies in a pile of ruins, blackened by the Cataclysm and years of neglect. All that remains in the wreckage of Orr are the wandering dead—those souls unable to rest in the shadow of this great disaster.
The Kingdom of Kryta
There are two types of humans in Kryta: those who worship the mysterious Unseen Ones and those who do not. The worshippers have become known as the White Mantle because of the long white sleeveless robes many of them wear.
It is the responsibility of the White Mantle to oversee the other humans and impose upon them the rules and laws of the Unseen Ones. Those inside the organization receive special privileges (more food, better clothing, access to books) simply for abiding by the rules of the Unseen Ones and carrying out the orders handed down by the White Mantle high priest. To the Krytans the White Mantle are the root of law and order, the protectors or saviors, if you will, of their lands.
The White Mantle maintain a series of temples all over the continent. Members of this organization frequently, though not always, choose to reside in these temples to better perform their duties to the Mantle and to more effectively worship the Unseen Ones.
Since the end of the last Guild War and the repelling of the Charr invasion, the White Mantle have maintained a high level of military preparedness. They don’t ever want to be caught off guard again, and they often keep large stores of weapons inside their temples to use in case of emergency. It’s also not uncommon for followers of the Mantle philosophy to be highly trained warriors. Fighting skills will come in handy if the day comes when they will need to once again defend Kryta from invasion.
Saul D’Alessio – Founder of the White Mantle
Saul D'Alessio was a fallen man. A gambler and a drunk, Saul reached the lowest point in his life when he lost a bet he could not repay. At the time, the local betting house was run by the Lucky Horseshoe, a gambling guild whose influence spanned almost the entire length of the continent. To avoid defaulting on his payment, Saul took to robbing merchants traveling on the road from Beetletun to Shaemoor. Though he successfully paid his debt to the Lucky Horseshoe, he was eventually fingered by one of his victims and tried as a thief. His punishment was exile from the Kingdom of Kryta. The local authorities blindfolded him and rode him out three full weeks before leaving him to fend for himself.
Alone, broke, and lost, Saul wandered through a dense forest for several days, surviving on only roots and berries. On the fourth day, delirious with hunger, Saul emerged from the trees to see what he thought was a hallucination—a city of massive towers reaching into the heavens. The architecture was astounding, and the creatures who lived here were unlike any he had ever seen. Walking down into their city, Saul got a closer look at the denizens of this place. They were tall and thin with with strange wing-like appendages that waved about in the slightest breeze. When they walked, their feet seemed not to touch the ground, and when they spoke, it was the most melodious sound he had ever heard. Surely these creatures were the stuff of divinity. Hungry and exhausted, his clothes ragged and dirty, Saul dropped to his knees and touched his forehead to the ground. He had found his gods, and they in turn had found their most devoted disciple.
Saul D’Alessio returned to Kryta a changed man. His rags had been replaced with a sleeveless, pure-white robe embroidered with golden thread. His once sunken, sickly features were again full and healthy. He no longer craved the bottle, no longer wished to strike it rich gambling. His life had purpose. He had returned to spread the word, to deliver his finding to the humans of Kryta.
During this time, the Krytan Empire was in the midst of two wars—one against the guilds of the other human nations, and another against the beastlike Charr. Food was becoming scarce as the invaders burned the crops and salted the fields. It was then that Saul came to the people, offering help from his powerful, enigmatic gods.
Saul’s new faith was so powerful that soon he had a small following. As a group, they traveled the land, recruiting more and more, offering salvation from trying times. Though no one ever saw the winged gods or their cities of massive towers, they took Saul at his word that they did truly exist. Saul was a shepherd, and his sheep followed his every step. Those who showed real conviction were given white robes, each embroidered with golden thread.
This was the beginning of the White Mantle.
Beaten, outnumbered, leaderless, and facing almost certain death, the people of Kryta looked to Saul to lead them out of their darkest hour. Saul D’Alessio was transformed from a messenger into the general of a great army. With their new faith and their new leader, Kryta and the White Mantle managed to push out the Charr, forcing them back over the mountains.
Though his efforts were successful, Saul eventually lost his life fighting the war that freed the humans of Kryta. In the last offensive of the war against the Charr, Saul led his troops deep into Charr territory. His network of spies, though normally quite effective, failed him on this day. The Charr were waiting in ambush, and the beastly creatures slaughtered Saul’s unit to the man. Consequently, Saul became a martyr for the White Mantle. His teachings live on in the temples, and his name adorns a seacoast on the southern edge of Kryta, a memorial to a man who brought peace and prosperity to the people of this tropical region.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 17-08-2010 at 03:43.
02-11-2008, 03:10 #34
Regions and Landscapes
The Ruins of Ascalon
Blasted and battered, the current landscape of Ascalon holds only the ghost of its former glory. Skeletons of grand cathedrals and remnants of whole cities lie broken on the shifted, displaced ground. The protective Great Northern Wall is perhaps the most intact structure in the entire kingdom, but the destruction that surrounds it lies in testament to its ultimate failure.
Before the Charr invasion and the Searing, Ascalon was a fertile land, full of wheat fields and blossoming flowers. Now though, little grows here in this wasteland. The once loamy earth is now dry and arid. The riverbeds have dried up, and the mudflats have turned into a patchwork of cracked plates and jagged scars in the ground.
The Shiverpeak Mountains
For hundreds of years, all the dwarves in this mountain range were united under one flag: the nation of the Deldrimor dwarves. Most of the architecture in the Shiverpeaks was built during this time, and it reflects a time of peace and prosperity—but that time is over now. Today, the mountains ring with the sounds of civil war, and new architecture has sprung up: slabs of stone lashed together with huge iron chains mark the areas where a new guild—those who have broken from the old ways—have made new settlements.
The Shiverpeaks are an inhospitable environment for the ill-prepared. There are only two known passes through the mountains, and any wishing to cross them must endure freezing wind, flash snow storms, and unstable terrain that shifts with the change in temperature.
Travelers to Kryta will find a stark contrast between the fortified, polished-stone buildings of the White Mantle and the thatch-roofed huts of the regular citizens. There is a surprising amount of wealth here, but it is kept in the hands of those who adhere to the doctrines of the Mantle, and this is reflected in the architecture of the region.
On the coast, the weather is hot and humid. This is somewhat mitigated by the beautiful white-sand beaches and the crystal-clear blue saltwater beyond. Farther inland, it cools down a bit, making the area ideal for farming and raising livestock. Those Krytans who don't practice any of the mystical arts tend to gravitate toward fishing and farming.
Years ago, many tribes of human druids lived among the Maguuma's lush greenery and wildlife. But it has been a long time since anyone has heard word from them, and many believe that they were eaten by hostile jungle creatures or simply swallowed whole by the man-eating plants now rampant in the jungle.
The higher elevations are mostly devoid of water. Only the largest and hardiest of plants can live here. But down farther, closer to the water table, the Maguuma grows thick. The vegetation can become so dense that there are areas of the jungle floor that have never been touched by the sun’s light.
Legends tell of a time, thousands of years ago, when the Crystal Desert was covered in water. These legends claim that it was the gods who raised the land, leaving it bare and empty in order to give the solitary creatures of the world a place to call their own. If the legends are true, humans were not among those for whom this land was made. There have been attempts by humans to settle in the desert, but they have, without exception, failed miserably, leaving behind only the grand monuments they built here proclaiming their short-lived triumph over this harsh land.
The weather in the Crystal Desert is hot and unforgiving. The winds blow hard, making and unmaking dunes, covering up the present and uncovering the past. An examination of the sand will reveal that each grain is actually a tiny, pointed crystal. In isolated locations, larger crystal formations have been revealed by the constant, unforgiving wind.
The Ring of Fire Island Chain
Just south of the Tarnished Coast lie the volcanic islands that together make up the Ring of Fire. The large volcano at the center of the ring is where the gods reportedly dropped the Bloodstones before leaving Tyria for good. Of the islands that surround this one, many are still active. Ships that pass by the Ring report hearing the tell-tale hiss of scalding hot lava hitting the ocean, instantly vaporizing the saltwater into steam.
The reefs off the islands are formed of black pumice stone. There are very few natural ports, and those that might be suitable for docking would bring the crew of the ship within danger of being caught by a sudden, unexpected eruption.
There are no known settlements in the Ring of Fire.
Before there were humans or dwarves, before there were even worlds or the stars that light the night sky, there was but one thing in the universe – the Mists. The Mists touch all things. They are what binds the universe together, past present, and future. They are the source of all good and evil, of all matter and knowledge. It is said that all forms of life, no matter how simple or complex, can trace their origins back to this one place.
In the middle of The Mists is a spot where time moves neither forward nor back. It is a tear in the fabric of the cosmos, the point of perfect balance between all forces of the universe. This place is known as the Rift, and there is nothing to which it does not connect, nothing that cannot be reached from inside it. Those who have the know-how to travel across the universe through the Mists must pass through the Rift on their way to all other places. It is the center of all things.
Hall of Heroes
In the center of the Rift, deep inside the Mists, stands the imposing walled fortress known across the multiverse as the Hall of Heroes. This structure is the pinnacle of the afterlife. When a hero dies, his spirit goes to one of two places: either it is buried with the deceased body, forever trapped inside the rotting flesh and rancid bones of the corpse, or it is released into the Rift. This latter honor goes to only those few whose deeds in life were legendary enough to be known across multiple worlds, and fewer still earn a place among the souls ensconced inside the Hall itself.
For a long while, the Rift and the Hall of Heroes were accessible only by those who had passed from the mortal world into the immaterial. It was the Land of the Dead, an exclusive club whose membership cost the blood of one’s own life. But within the last century all that has changed.
Lord Odran’s Folly
Using a spell of his own devising and the sacrifice of many souls, Lord Odran, a powerful arcanist who specialized in the study of temporal distortions, opened a portal that offered him access to the Mists and eventually into the Rift itself. The spirits who had given their lives to earn access to the hallowed afterlife were outraged. They turned their fury upon the intruder, attacking Lord Odran with all of their legendary, collective might. But it had been hundreds of years since most of the spirits had interacted with the physical world, and none of them had ever done so in their shadow form. As powerful as they had been in life, they could not harm the physical manifestation of the wizard lord—not yet. He was untouchable here in the land of the dead, and he traveled freely through the Hall of Heroes.
Over the years, Lord Odran learned to use the Rift to travel across the multiverse. He opened portals on nearly all of the different worlds, turning the Rift into his own personal gateway. But though he was clever, the wizard lord was himself only mortal, and eventually the spirits of the Hall discovered a way to interact with the corporeal world. Odran’s last physical journey through the Rift cost him his mortal life. The wizard lord was torn to shreds by hundreds of angry souls seeking retribution for his trespasses.
When Odran’s mortal body died, the wards and enchantments that kept his portals hidden failed, and the gates to the Hall of Heroes were laid open to all who were able to find them. The wizard lord had been canny though; Odran knew that one day he too might be ensconced in the Hall of Heroes, so he hid the portals in the most treacherous locations he could find. The fear of death, he surmised, would keep the meek at bay.
But a long time has passed, and it is clear now that the wizard lord, like the gods before him, underestimated the greed of men. Over time, the whereabouts of the portals have been revealed. Though they remain difficult to get to, there are those with enough skill and enough bravery to reach them, and every day the numbers of intruders to the Hall of Heroes rises.
An unending battle for supremacy rages inside the Hall. The spirit inhabitants have taken to playing groups of mortals against each other for sport, placing bets on which will make it farthest and giving special aid to those they favor. Control of the Hall itself has its rewards—and its costs as well.
Last edited by Konig Des Todes; 17-08-2010 at 03:45.
02-11-2008, 03:11 #35
Canthan Manuscripts Information
Prima Guide has it's own sticky.
The Emperor’s Court
Many nobles make up the bulk of the emperor’s court—trusted advisors, sycophantic yes-men, and in a few cases outright spies for the Kurzicks or Luxons. (These spies do not realize the emperor knows full well of their existence and uses them to control what information reaches these vassal cultures from the court of Emperor Kisu.) The court is distinct from the offices of the Celestial Ministry, in that its members are literally in the emperor’s presence for much of the day. The court is also where one will find the personal representatives of the Emperor Kisu, who act on his behalf in a number of arenas, both political and military. The Emperor’s Blade is the ruler’s able right hand, a deadly master of swordsmanship. The Emperor’s Voice speaks the Canthan monarch’s words. The Emperor’s Hand does Kisu’s bidding in cases where violence may not be needed, but words will not be enough.
The Celestial Ministry
The vast Empire of the Dragon contains hundreds of thousands of people. Many are human; some on the fringes of humanity, but Emperor Kisu rules all. Yet one man, even an Ascendant Emperor, cannot see to all of the concerns and laws governing so many. To keep Cantha running effectively, a bureaucracy is and always has been key. This bureaucracy—known collectively as the Celestial Ministry—has grown in size and power over the years, though not necessarily in efficiency. Emperor Kisu knows that the bureaucracy is too large, and in places too corrupt, but even the sovereign ruler of Cantha can only do so much to stem the tide of a growing bureaucratic class in Kaineng City. . The Celestial Ministry is divided into four smaller Ministries, each one devoted to a different aspect of Cantha’s imperial government. These ministries, each named after one of the four major elements, have been created over several hundred years to (ostensibly) meet certain needs that the Celestial Ministry could not handle. Their elemental names— Fire, Earth, Air, and Water—are traditionally tied to specific (and largely mythical) powers. The most visible function of all Ministries is tax collection, which makes them even more unpopular among the masses. Most Canthan citizens love their emperor, but hate the bureaucracy that runs his empire.
Ministry of Flame
The Ministry of Flame is the oldest of the four smaller organizations within the Celestial Ministry. The Ministry of Flame controls law enforcement and justice; convicted criminals may be incinerated.
Mythical Power: Control over the sunrise and sunset.
Ministry of Earth
The Ministry of Earth is synonymous with paperwork; record keeping, building projects, accounting, and more fall under this ministry’s purview. The Ministry of Earth is infamous for beginning public projects that never seem to get finished, but prove profitable to the friends and allies of the ministry.
Mythical Power: Control over the bounties of the land—animal, vegetable, and mineral.
Ministry of Water
This ministry controls the city’s water supply, irrigation, and the fishing industry, as well as sharing direct control of Cantha’s harbors with the Ministry of Wind (an eternal bone of contention).
Mythical Power: Controls rainfall as well as the moon’s rise and set.
Ministry of Wind
The Ministry of Wind oversees all trade and shipping that relies on the wind—over land or across the sea. Ship captains pay taxes that (the ministry claims) make the winds blow in the desired direction. The Ministry of Wind shares control of Cantha’s ports with the Ministry of Water.
Mythical Power: Controls the winds and storms.
The Vassal Factions
The Luxons, like their sworn enemies the Kurzicks, have long been “vassals” of Cantha—politically and economically absorbed by the empire long ago, but allowed to maintain distinct cultures and ways of life. All Luxons are united in their distrust of the Kurzicks, their frequent competitors for power and territory, and vice versa. But there was a time when the two vassal cultures were at peace. That peace was shattered when Shiro Tagachi killed the 27th emperor 200 years earlier. Though the Luxon and Kurzick champions slew Shiro and avenged the emperor’s death, they died along with thousands of others when the Jade Wind washed over the land. The Luxons and Kurzicks have been at odds ever since.
The Luxons of the Jade Sea
For a scant few seconds the storm that followed Shiro’s death wail roiled the sea, spawning waves that reached hundreds of feet into the air. An instant later, everything was frozen in place, but not because of a sudden cold front—the sea was not turned to ice. It had become solid jade. In order to survive, the Luxons had to adapt to a literally landlocked lifestyle, unable to transport goods to market or even sail to the nearby islands for fresh water. Their merchant ships had become one with the petrified ocean, and the currents that took them to farflung lands were now still as glass.
The traditionally seafaring Luxons became nomads sailing on a lifeless sea. They contrived ways to adapt their giant ships to the jade waves. They now carry out extensive jade mining operations on the frozen sea, uncovering magical oddities and precious resources made up of the petrified life embedded in the unmoving waves.
Today, the Luxons have grouped themselves into three different clans: the Serpent, the Turtle, and the Crab. To keep order, the Luxons invest authority in their Council of Elders, the ruling body that meets each year to modify and approve the “code” that all the clans will follow for the next 12 months. Although the clans often battle against one another, this is less about warfare and more about demonstrating which clan is the strongest and most powerful. These battles are usually fought by each clan’s champion, along with that champion’s elite guard. No matter how much the clans may disagree, they all come together when the Kurzicks need to be taught a lesson.
The Kurzicks of Echovald Forest
When the Jade Wind swept through the branches of Echovald Forest, it turned everything to stone. Birds crashed to the forest floor in midflight. Deer leaped from the ground as flesh and blood, and came to earth little more than life-like statues. Now, two centuries later, life has cautiously returned. The Kurzicks were the first to venture back to the forest. There they have adapted to their petrified surroundings and have begun to carve their culture into this new landscape. To the devout Kurzicks, everything is a sign; a portent of what is to come. They find a divine message and meaning in everything they witness. This church-state is ruled by the Council of Nobles, which makes decisions and laws only after receiving counsel from the spiritual leaders, known as the Redemptors. Great Houses govern the Kurzicks, ancient families that can trace their origins into Cantha’s distant past, and beyond.
Today there are five main Houses, two of which are the most powerful and influential. It is common for the Houses to argue among themselves, but when it comes time to fight the Luxons, the Kurzicks quickly forget their internal squabbles and focus their hatred on their long-standing enemy. Since Shiro’s death and the petrifaction of the forest, the Kurzicks have built their elaborate homes and cathedrals directly into the fossil trunks of enormous trees that make up the forest. Kurzick culture is built on ceremony, rituals, and traditions, and this is reflected in their elaborate architecture and art.
The Tengu of Cantha
Tengu are a unique species of avian humanoids found in both Tyria and Cantha. Females are generally larger than males of the species, though their plumage is plainer, even drab. Tengu lost the ability of flight some time in the distant past, but can use their almost human hands to wield all manner of weapons—when they want to. Their talons make most weapons superfluous. Tengu hate cooked food, and most live on a diet of fresh, raw meat.
The Angchu Tengu of Cantha have long been cut off from their kinfolk to the north—though Canthan merchants travel frequently to Tyria, few take along Tengu passengers. The Angchu are one of two Tengu tribes found in Cantha, and are the more peaceful of the two. (The more primitive and warlike Sensali Tengu will attack any humans—and any Angchu Tengu—on sight.) The Angchu have found ways to live with the humans that nominally control their land, while the Sensali prefer a nomadic life. The Angchu Tengu have learned much more articulate ways to communicate, and for the most part remain at peace with their human neighbors. The Angchu reserve most of their hatred and aggression for the Yeti people of the mountains, their sworn enemies since the days before Cantha even existed as a unified nation. The Canthans tolerate the Angchu Tengu, but few view them as equal with humans.
The largest Angchu settlement is known as Aerie in the common language (which supplanted ancient Canthan long ago, even on the southern continent). Both Tengu tribes have many names for the place, but refer to it as Aerie when speaking to outsiders. Aerie is ruled by Merlin Featherstone, a wise, gruff, but generally respected old Tengu who acts as the settlement’s mayor, sheriff, judge, and (if necessary) executioner. Most Canthans attribute the ongoing peace between Aerie and the humans of Cantha to Featherstone’s leadership. But even Merlin Featherstone cannot be held responsible if a foolish human tries to venture into Aerie (or any other Tengu village) during the lean months of winter. During that season, when fresh meat is scarce, the Angchu Tengu can become as hostile and territorial as their Sensali cousins.
02-11-2008, 03:12 #36
Nightfall Manuscripts Info
History of Elona
The Shattered Dynasty Era
Over four hundred years ago, the bloodiest civil war in Elonian history came to an end. Almost sixty years beforehand, a series of pretenders to the throne attempted to unite the nation. Some claimed to be the descendants of legacies reaching back to the time of the Primeval Kings. Others raised the banners of long-lost dynasties, attempting to resurrect the ideals and beliefs of the past. Historians now call this the period the Shattered Dynasty Era, a time when empires rose and fell in bloody conflict.
Warfare brought suffering, weakening civilizations against unseen horrors. By some accounts, widespread bloodshed and warfare strengthened malefic forces in the world. A few arcanists claim that such evils could very well have been the cause of such strife--yet wherever there is shadow, there is light. The Shattered Dynasty Era was a time when holy warriors roamed the countryside, learning the chants and prayers of the first few Dervishes to drive back the darkness. Paragons speak of a time when gods chose them as a select few: champions who would fight in conflicts more vital than the petty struggles of warring defenders.
The end of the Shattered Dynasty Era offered a time to rebuild. At this turning point in history, Elonians dedicated themselves to the ideal of a nation untroubled by the horrors of war. In 840 DR, long after the exodus of the gods from the world, the modern nation of Elona was born--a union between three provinces that has survived to this day.
Since then, each province has been equal but separate, answering to its own provincial government. Each one depends on its neighbors for trade and defense. Safe for a few golden ages in Elona's history, the land has suffered each time one ruler has attempted to control all three kingdoms. The Order of the Sunspears has helped maintain this compromise, acting independently of the three allied provinces. Its heroes know that the stability of this alliance keeps the country from returning to an era of chaos.
Palawa Joko and Turai Ossa
Near the Fortress of Jahai, a monument endures as a testament to Turai Ossa, the savior of Elona. On that site hundreds of years ago, Turai Ossa defeated the undead lord Palawa Joko, the Scourge of Vabbi-an event that brought the end of an era, and the dawn of a new one.
Since the Shattered Dynasty Era, the three provinces of Elona--Vabbi, Istan, and Kourna--had kept their distance from foreign politics. Each province had its own plans for their defense against outsiders. The province of Kourna had a strong army, and the Istani were known for a navy diligently watching the waters. In the days of Turai, however, the merchant princes of Vabbi were confident that treacheous terrain to the north would prevent invaders from threatening their lands--a mistake that would prove fatal.
Palawa Joko led an army of invaders through the Vabian Mines, cautiously infiltrating Elona's northernmost province. Loyal guards stood watch over the estates of the merchant princes, but they were unprepared for the advance of an entire army. Caught by surprise, those loyal to Vabbi fell quickly. With lightning-fast raids, the Scourge of Vabbi captured the estates of the Vabbi's wealthy, driving his enemies before him.
From there, Palawa ruthlessly and systematically conquered the nation, piece by piece. Over many months, he drove back the armies of Elona, growing stronger with each conquest. Triumphantly, Palawa Joko proclaimed himself the nation's sovereign, beginning an era of tyranny and oppresion. Within two years, the Kournan army had been reduced to struggling rebellion, an alliance of fugitives led by a single renegade warmarshal: Turai Ossa.
Using the desperate tactics of hit-and-run warfare, Warmarshal Turai harried and hunted Lord Joko's soldiers whenever possible. The last remnants of the Kournan army were desperate for victory, but they could not last forever. His loyal followers were eventually surrounded near the Grand Cataract of Jahai, where they prepared to make their final stand.
The defeat of Turai would have meant an end to freedom in Elona, and his army would not surrender or relent. The result was a bloodbath that lasted for days. Each time night fell, the battleground remained unchanged, as neither army gave any ground to the other. To stop the slaughter, Turai Ossa bravely challenged the enemy commander to single combat. At dawn, Ossa and Joko locked swords... and the monument in Jahai now shows the exact location where Ossa finally triumphed over the Scourge of Vabbi.
Elona was humbled, but ready to rebuild. Shaken and stunned, the people of Elona rallied behind Turai Ossa. The princes of Vabbi used their recaptured wealth to rebuild what had been destroyed. Some believe Turai had been chosen by the five true gods to free his nation, and many saw his victory as a sign of divine favor. The people of Kourna praised him as their warmarshal, and the rest of the nation was in desperate need of leadership. Soon thereafter, Turai was annointed as the king of all Elona. King Turai Ossa had succeeded where generations of Pretender Kings had failed, unifying the nation as one people.
King Turai had wealth, power, and influence, but he yearned for loftier goals. Openly, he ruled a grateful populace, but secretly, he spent his nights studying ancient wisdom. The more he read, the more he contemplated the role of the gods in his life. If he had been chosen by the gods as the savior of his nation, perhaps he was destined for greater accomplishments.
Musing on mysteries, Ossa sought his answers by seeking Ascension, a state of communion with the gods. He knew the path to that ideal ran through the wasteland north of Elona--lands that had been ruled by Palawa Joko years before. Turai stepped down from his position of authority, passing the title of warmarshal to his son, Kunai. Since that time, the title of warmarshal has been a hereditary one in Kourna, passed down through the many generations of Turai Ossa's descendents.
Turai and his followers then began a great pilgrimage, marching north into the Crystal Desert, where the gods once walked among men. His loyal entourage erected temples, raising pillars toward the heavens... but Ascension eluded him. Instead of everlasting life, he found the torment of eternal living death. In ghostly form, he still walks the earth. Many of his followers died as well, and their ghosts have remained in the Crystal Desert.
Some Elonians remember Turai for his heroism; others remember him as a madman whose false pride led him on a doomed pilgrimage. Since that bygone age, no one ruler has reigned over all of Elona--the three provinces have remained separate but equal. Yet to this day, Turai Ossa's descendents still rule over Kourna. Warmarshal Varesh Ossa represents the latest generation; and she shares her ancestor's fascination with the role of the gods in the lives of mere men and women.
As for Turai, he maintains his vigil over Elona, guiding others who follow the path of heroes. Scholars of lore know of him as the savior of Kourna, the man who single-handedly defeated the Scourge of Vabbi--but for many, he is simply the Ghostly Hero, a champion who stalks the troubled wastelands north of Elona, eternally ready to stand beside its heroes.
26-01-2009, 21:20 #37
In shorter terms, Kryta's gonna get flooded and Orr will finally show up. All of this will be going on while large dragons threaten to take over.
27-01-2009, 07:24 #38
Large dragons take over.
Undead dragon of orr rose Orr and with the rising giant tidal waves flooded Kryta.
And the forces of the Undead now watch the sea's to Cantha and Elona.
27-02-2009, 03:38 #39
Its too bad my Paleology wored was left out ;)
27-02-2009, 04:09 #40