Loosely based on the Anima Series Rpg's. Please keep Contributions & Edits Civil. For Credits/Acknowledgements - Chronicles of Shafador Wiki:AboutEdit
Dawn of TimeEdit
The Old Continent is said to be where our Great Maker slumbers, where he first stepped out of the Wake and walked upon the soil of the world. At the beginning of time when Alkavir first came into being, he crafted six aspects from his own flesh, in his own image and breathed life into their bodies; these Aspects would become the Firstborn, the Dragons.
For a time, the Dragons were perfectly happy doing their appointed tasks in maintaining destiny and the balance of the world, though as the centuries passed the Dragons would become more and more isolated from one another, and soon the Dragons needed something more to make their lives have meaning. Each Dragon created their own servitor race, crafting them from the unintelligent beasts that roamed Shafador and each was given a portion of the Dragon's Soul, so that they might have some influence over the Dragon's purview and capable of assisting in their duties.
In time however, the Beastmen grew greatly in number, their nations spanning across every inch of the Old Continent. The Kierrn took control of the deep forests that filled much of Shafador's midlands, while their opposites, the Lepid, gained control over the vast plains and thick jungles. The mighty Ursal race took to the high mountain tops and the deep burrowing Skag delved deep underground. The Merle set out beneath the waves of the surrounding seas and the many lakes and rivers of Shafador, becoming three distinct subspecies and the Avari took to the skies where they could reign free.
With the guidance of the Dragons, the Beastman held a certain level of balance in the world, though this peace would not last. Eventually a primal rage sparked in the Beastmen, a flaw the Dragons had not foreseen in their children which caused a bloody war spanning over a century, known as the War of Rage. The Beastmen began battling over territories, the Wolves seeking control over the vast tundra in the North which had been controlled by the Lepid, the Skag fighting the Ursal for control over the volcanic mountains in the far South, and some battles were fought without cause such as the conflict between the Sea Merle and the Avari.
The Dragons, who were unable to directly intervene, were at a loss for how to end this conflict between their children, and so they collectively prayed to their Father. At first, it seemed that the slumbering god did not hear his children's pleas for help, but at the bloodiest part of the war he emerged from his dreaming state to answer their call. His answer was not what one might think however, he did not force the Beastmen to cease their fighting, nor did he unleash his own wrath on them. Instead he created his own chosen, much like the Dragons had. This new race would have the same blessing as the Dragons, to be the direct children of Alkavir, but they would be made mortal so that they could understand the plights of the Beastmen. This new race was us, and we are Humanity.
The Damnation of OblivionEdit
And man forgot.
No one is able to say why it happened - or how. Perhaps some sort of natural phenomenon erased our memories. Perhaps we broke a rule of some unknown Power, and we were punished for that. Perhaps, simply put, we did it to ourselves.
Like small children, reduced to something little more than animals, we roamed throughout centuries while our arrogant civilization tumbled down around us. Everything turned to ruins. The ruins turned to dust. And the dust was taken by the wind. The world had a different name then.
But no one remains to remember it…
At some point, man caught their attention. Why? We will never know. Perhaps something in our nature attracted them to us. It is also possible that we woke them with our silent cries. They did not belong to this world. They came from far away, and their arrival split the sky and fragmented the earth. For a time, the unknowns observed us closely, studying who we were and what we had become. They were intrigued - fascinated in their own way about our condition. Those beings could not decide between intervening or, on the other hand, remaining hidden and letting evolution continue unaltered.
But in the end, they chose something unexpected. They created their own work inspired by us.
Thus the Duk'zarist were born. They were a perfected version of man - dually shaped from the darkness of our ignorant years and the fire that they hoped would light their way. In them, the principal human feelings were increased. They were gifted with great powers, but at the same time, they carried a tremendous weakness. However, the greatest difference that distinguished them from us was rooted deep within their very essence. Their souls, even though made in the image and likeness of ours, were more closely bound to the spiritual world than that of ours. Thus, they possessed supernatural powers, that, with time, we would once again call magic.
And thus, from one day to the next, they walked beside us. And ever since that sunrise, we would never be alone again.
However, some of the creators were not satisfied with their work. The unknowns thought that they had only limited themselves by carrying out a simple adaptation of a "something" that already existed. Therefore, they proceeded to give life once again. This time, they dug deeper into the forgotten memories of man, their endless fountain of inspiration, and from the imagination of the humankind would sprout a new kind of creature.
This new race would be an incarnation of fantasy, born from our goblins and fairies. To differentiate them even more from the Duk'zarist, they based their souls on the supernatural powers of the Light. Even now, we call them a name from our fairy tales - Elves. However, they have their own name: Sylvain.
But this second work was not warmly received by those who considered the Duk'zarist and humans as the focal point of their attention. A silent reprimand surrounded the void in which the creators lived, a silence even the mortals could hear.
The situation worsened. While some limited themselves to observing, others gave free reign to their creativity. Not counting on the others, they again conceived new creations, and an amalgam of creatures appeared in that world with no name. They even gave life to the elements themselves and to beings whose nature is completely unexplainable - like the great beasts known as Behemoth and Leviathan.
In very little time, disagreement among the creators reached unimaginable levels - and Creation itself would be witness to its consequences...
The War in the SkiesEdit
The fight did not last nine days or nine nights, nor did it last hours. Perhaps everything ended in minutes - or maybe even less. In the end, however, C'iel and Gaira stood among the desolation. Were they living weapons built by Alkavir to assure mutual destruction? Were they beings capable of devouring gods with a simple thought? Could they erase those who had brought them into existence? Or would they be the incarnation of the conscious will of each side? Primordial concepts prior to creation.
Whatever the answer, neither one found a reason to continue the confrontation. And they were not alone. Seven beings, survivors of the battle, were raised by each side. Alongside C'iel, who today we call the Lady of the Light, stood the Ilakavir. The Delkavir, the Lords of Darkness, stood with Gaira.
No one knows why mortals did not suffer the consequences of this conflict. Nor is it known what made C'iel and Gaira decide to stay with us. Perhaps, within themselves, they felt that they had to protect us and stay next to all those children who were starting to take their first steps.
As time drew on, the land had a new name. It would be called Gaia.
The Birth of GaiaEdit
There is not a lot to be said about what happened in the years following the conflict except that it was a period of splendor and progress. Every race began to flourish and advanced quickly in several fields, pressing forward in the arts, philosophy, and even in new forms of science. Cities were established, and the first kingdoms were formed - some of which even grew to become empires. In the beginning, the newly arrived had little interaction between themselves, given that each race was found over distant places along the globe. Only the humans, spread out all over the place, found themselves interacting with various races at once. Back then, man still lived in a cultural state that was pretty primitive. However, thanks to the influence of other civilizations, we began to find our place, little by little, in the new order of things.
It was an era where the supernatural could be found everywhere. The warlocks wielded mystical forces with ease, and the line that separated the Wake from the material world was so thin that all types of creatures could manifest themselves physically. The Delkavir and Ilakavir continued to work during this period of development, making small interventions and handing out knowledge to some. They taught the beginnings of magic and observed with joy how their teachings were quickly assimilated. They never demanded anything in return. Neither of them had desire to become gods or to receive adoration - although many of their incarnations inspired cults to a variety of deities and demons. As time passed, each faction began to feel an attraction for certain races and cultures, especially those that were evolving in a way that was more akin to their ideals.
Like the first born, the civilizations that progressed more quickly were the Sylvain and the Duk'zarist. The Sylvain gravitated to the philosophy of C'iel, who maintained the idea that all living things have a right to live in an established order of complete equality, and they moved forward in accordance with this idea. On the contrary, the Duk'zarist developed a culture that was more similar to Gaira, whose ideology affirmed that the strong should rule over the meek, so as to avoid chaos and destruction. Thus, the Duk'zarist evolved militarily, inventing weapons of great force and focusing on the use of magic for warfare.
Unavoidably, the different ideologies between these two main cultures were clearly in conflict, and the relations between both races became more tense. Finally, the Duk'zarist came to the conclusion that if things continued to evolve this way, all of Gaia would find itself plunged into anarchy. Therefore, they decided that the time had come to impose a new order. Lead by Ghestalt Orbatos Noah, their first emperor, they began what would be known as the War of Darkness.
Perhaps something deep within them, their human source, drove them to fight.
The War of DarknessEdit
The war was terrible, and both earth and sky were stained with blood. C'iel and the Ilakavir looked on in horror but decided not to intervene openly, so as to prevent Gaira from doing the same. At first, the Duk'zarist focused all their efforts against the elves, who were unable to face their bellicose might. They dominated elementals and lesser dragons, and built flying fortresses that laid waste to entire cities. In spite of their smaller number, a Duk'zarist warrior could finish off more than ten Sylvain.
Soon, the Duk'zarist began to wage war on various fronts against other races, believing that there was no other force on the face of Gaia that could stop them. They did not count on the support of all the Delkavir, some of whom had looked on with satisfaction at the growth of the cultures that were in danger. In fact, they suggested to Gaira that he should intervene. The Dark Lord, however, preferred to sit back and smile, probably foreseeing what was to come.
It was only near the end that all the people of Gaia truly understood what their destiny might be. At that moment, between chaos and blood, an individual arose who accomplished what would never happen again - the union of all the races against a common foe. Even now, we do not know who he was - not even his name. Naturally, each culture who remembers the war believes that this person was from their race. Nobody, however, has any proof.
Be that as it may, the last desperate alliance achieved the unthinkable - it stopped the conquerors' advance and made them retreat step by step. This was an inconceivable thought for the Duk'zarist. They observed with growing frustration and dismay as enemies who previously fell before them started to hold their own. Even worse, these upstart races started to use the Duk'zarist weakness to iron against them. Through this war, in fact, the Sylvain had already become a formidable adversary, capable of matching them almost on equal terms.
In the end, the Duk'zarist retreated to their own border, aware that they now fought for their very survival. More then ask, they demanded that the Delkavir intervene in their favor, accusing the Dark Ones of turning their backs on them when things turned against them. In that moment of absolute desperation, before the final battle, Ghestalt himself challenged Gaira, urging the Delkavir to follow him if he defeated their Lord.
No one doubted the outcome of this confrontation - not even Ghestalt himself.
What else could have happened?
After that final defeat, they retreated into the confines of their land. Reduced in numbers, the Duk'zarist never fully recovered the complete superiority they enjoyed during this period.
Gaia was in ruins, ready to begin the long process of reconstruction.
The Chaos EraEdit
The war affected everyone - especially the Elven Empire and the Duk'zarist. The relationship between the different races were strained, but even so, they made an attempt to press forward. Many opened their borders and began to cooperate amongst themselves, especially those who had formed part of the alliance. However, the same level of trust that used to exist between the races would never be present for fear that history would repeat itself.
It was without a doubt a strange era - one in which a few individuals reached exorbitant levels of power, almost becoming gods. Some of them were able to alter the course of the tides simply by their presence, split mountains in two, and eliminate entire armies with horrifying efficiency. Little by little, both the Delkavir and the Ilkavir began to intervene less in the world, aware that their participation in ancient times could have caused the war.
It was during this time that humans, who were less affected by the war, would become a true force. Spread throughout the world, we raised up numerous kingdoms and empires, finding strength in our numbers. From night to day, new cultures and civilizations appeared, some of which last even now, while others would soon find themselves plunged into nothingness. Humans even attained the ability to master supernatural secrets. Those who did showed off their powers by bending the weak under their will.
Isn't ironic that, in our moment of greatest triumph, we were our own worst enemy? Very quickly, the human kingdoms got involved in numerous internal conflicts, trying to conquer neighboring human lands. In these chaotic times, various men tried to unify all the lands, but their campaigns only brought failure and death. Even now some of their empires are still remembered - like Solomon. But those are stories for a different time.
The Shadow of the CrossEdit
Are we perhaps prisoners of an ironic destiny that forces us to repeat our past? Or is it simply that we wake from a dream from another age? Because then, between the ashes of our own wars, there arrived a Messiah. He was a simple man who had nothing but wanted everything. He was a bright figure, a light that dazzled beggars and kings, whose surroundings filled those who were lost and needed something to believe in. It was said that he brought the word of Alkavir himself and his word became law.
His doctrine said that all of us were equal under Alkavir, that we had a place in his home. He taught us compassion and forgiveness, but also to fear the One and his vengeance. Magic and the supernatural did not have a place in his precepts - nor did those who utilized such things. With him appeared twelve apostles, bearers of his creed, by whom it reached almost every corner of the world. And by voice and sword, he was about to accomplish that which had never been done before - uniting us under one flag.
But every paradise has its serpent.
At the gates of Solomon, the last stronghold of an already wilting empire, the Messiah was betrayed by one of his apostles, a man who responded to the name of Iscariot. As payment, they gave him thirty pieces of black metal, which is said to have contained the knowledge to change Gaia.
Beware anyone who holds one of the thirty, as our sins rest upon them.
The Messiah was crucified that same night. Over the course of thirteen hours he laid there on the cross tormented along the walls of Solomon. When he expired, the skies did not open nor did the ground tremble. The waters did not turn into blood; neither did the firmament darken.
He simply died.
The Eleven Holy KingdomsEdit
His death was only the beginning. The apostles finished that impossible dream for him, tearing down the walls of Solomon, thus destroying the last remnants of the Chaos Era. A new stage of history was beginning, and every man, woman and child were able to sense it.
The apostles built a city along the tomb of the Messiah, the holy Archangel. In due time, it would become the capital of the world. This city was the foundation of what would become the Sacred Holy Empire of Abel. The apostles, realizing that it was impossible for them to maintain unity in this newly formed Empire, divided the land into eleven dominions, proclaiming themselves prime spiritual leaders and, later, holy kings.
All of this happened approximately three years after the death of the Messiah.
Strictly enforcing the new doctrines, the apostles prohibited the use of magic and the mystic sciences. Thus, man slowly but inexorably separated the supernatural from his life. The Empire closed its borders to the other races, with whom they stopped having even the slightest form of relationship. They, lost in their own thoughts, did not give this act the fundamental importance that it would have in the end.
Had the religion veered from its original course, or was this always the intention of the Messiah? Be that as it may, the faith began to view the other races as monsters, demonic creatures that used dark and impious arts. The wizards and mystics were hunted by a branch of inquisitors whose occupation was to find and execute them. The eleven apostles, though exceptionally long lived, finally began to die one after the other, leaving the crown to their progeny. In no time, disputes started. The holy kingdoms began to separate themselves, joining together in various alliances that would maintain tense relations with each other for more then two hundred years.
But far away in the core seas, formed in the shadows, there stood a twelth kingdom of man. Rah, the last descendent of Iscariot, decided that the time had come to act.
The War of GodEdit
Separated from the others, Rah had raised up a powerful nation, which he named Judas. Under his command, he united all those who had rejected the holy dogmas of the Church of Light, or who had been persecuted by the Church. Barbarians, pagans, and wizards were converted into their armies. But Rah was not content. He made alliances with supernatural races and creatures. In his machinations, he even contacted the Duk'zarist, to whom he promised to give that which they most longed for - an end to their weakness to Iron. In secret, he attracted the young Duk'zarist empress, Ark Noah, to the island of Tol Rauko, where he held her to force her people to support him.
Rah's objective was not simply to conquer. He set his goals much higher. His goal was to destroy "God" so that man could turn into gods. For him, religion was nothing more than chains that impeded us from reaching our true potential, a cloud that blinded our vision of the world. But the Church of Light was not his only adversary. He also intended to destroy the non-human religions, consuming all the beliefs in the pyre of his dreams, until the only thing left of them was ash. Finally, when he believed himself ready, he declared war on the world. That was the year 223, a date that none would ever forget.
He commanded an army the likes had never been seen, not even in the era of darkness. Primordial horrors and Great Beasts walked alongside men, Duk'zarist and giants, destroying everything they found in their way. The holy kingdoms did not know how to react at first. Distanced because of minor disputes, they were unable to respond cohesively against the coming forces; one after another they fell, totally devastated. Rah's army immolated their enclaves in chillingly rapid succession. Serrano fell in only a day. Bedoire did not last much longer than that - even with their great technical advances. The blood of millions cried out to the heavens, but the blue sky remained silent.
Seeing their ancient enemies rise again, the Elven nations and their allies offered their help, but mankind rejected them without giving them a single thought. Even so, the Sylvain were well aware that they could not sit idly by, and so they decided to initiate their war independently. But they could do little against the combined power of Rah's forces.
And then, against all odds, Aeolus Hawke, the young uncrowned heir to one of the holy kingdoms, changed the tide of the war and brought us hope. A natural born leader, he was able to gather together the remaining armies and accepted the alliance proposed by the elves and other races. But even united, the power of Judas was difficult to overcome.
Seeing his troops in trouble, Rah abandoned the islands so that he could put himself in front of his armies, accompanied by his eight most powerful agents, the Conclave, who were like living gods. Nothing seemed able to stop them. However, something happened unbeknownst to Rah. While he was away, a single Duk'zarist, is named Larvae, entered the underbelly of Tol Rauko and rescued Noah from her imprisonment. In the depths of the island, Larvae found something else as well. In that place, Rah was building a strange machine that combined a lost technology with magic, an artifact that channeled the souls of all the victims of the war. The liberation of Noah turned everything that had happened around. The Duk'zarist, on the brink of obtaining a total victory over their eternal enemies, retreated from the conflict, destroying the armies of Judas that they encountered.
Aeolus saw the opportunity that he had been waiting for, and continued his offensive with renewed energy until he made Judas' forces submit. Rah had to retreat, returning to his castle to wait for a new opportunity to regroup - an opportunity that would never arrive. With blood, pain and tears, the young Hawke drove his armies through the desolated kingdoms until he reached the beach. There, gathering all the forces that remained at his disposal, he rode the waves towards the capital of Judas.
And at that instant, seeing the end from atop his castle in Tol Rauko, Rah's tragic cackle could be heard echoing across the island - an echo redolent with sadness and bitterness. It was painfully obvious that Rah's dream had reached its end, and so he committed the greatest atrocity.
If he could not save the world, then he would destroy it.
With Aeolus at the gates of his fortress, Rah started up the machine. Even now, we are unable to comprehend the true repercussions of what he did, but without a doubt, he created an unprecedented disturbance in the physical and spiritual world. Both C'iel and Gaira, who had up to this point been merely observing the war from a distance, realized the severity of Rah's actions and decided to stop the holocaust before his device destroyed all of creation. Their intervention prevented the machine from fully unleashing its effect. However, the damage it wreaked was already severe. This would be the last time that C'iel and Gaira intervened openly on Gaia.
The Lord of Judas totally disappeared from the face of the earth. Physically in contact with his construction during the moment of its activation, his body, and perhaps his soul, couldn't withstand the tremendous power that was unleashed. Three years after its genesis, the war ended - but could anyone truly claim victory?
More than one-hundred million died during the conflict, and every civilization hung on the verge of extinction. Racial hatred had reached outrageous levels; the war's survivors killed anyone of another species on sight. In addition, supernatural beings were suffering for some unknown reason. It was as if they lacked a vital element, like air. And then, from the shadows of history, those who pulled the strings behind the world realized that the people of Gaia would never be able to coexist again.
What happened next is difficult to tell. At the moment of absolute chaos, three hidden societies, those puppeteers who secretly guided the history of the existence, began their preparations to save us from our worst enemy - ourselves. They were Imperium, The Technocracy and the Illuminati, and each belonged to the race of Men, Sylvain, and Duk'zarist, respectively. They had existed for thousands of years, though their actions had never been written down in books, and they possessed a combination of unknown technology and magic, superior even to the one Rah had used with such senselessness.
Everything began a few hours after the end of the war. These three organizations released a power that should have been reserved only for the gods - a force that shook the very foundation of reality. Such an event did not go unnoticed by C'iel and Gaira, who had received an unexpected formal invitation to be part of that strange project. Delkavir and Ilakavir manifested themselves as ambassadors for light and darkness in a meeting in which the future of Gaia would be decided.
Everyone gathered had come to the same conclusion - it was not possible for the different races to live together without destroying each other. In addition, Rah's machine had created a vortex that had reduced magic over a vast territory. Although its effects would gradually disappear, any supernatural beings who lived in that area would suffocate due to a lack of mystic energies. Therefore, there was only one solution - separate the world.
Imperium, the Technocracy and the Illuminati raised invisible walls across our reality, creating an impassable Barrier sealed with the blood of the Delkavir and the Ilakavir. The distribution of territories was uneven. Humans, who were the most numerous race, kept the largest zone - the one most affected by Rah's machine. The three organizations came to a set of agreements amongst themselves, rules that they committed themselves to follow so as to maintain the equilibrium. Each of them would only deal with the enclave inhabited by their own race, and they would not intervene under any circumstances in the affairs of others enclaves. At the same time, they would keep the existence of the other worlds a secret.
Since that time, we only have access to a third of the world, ignorant about the existence of those creatures who live only in our myths.
These are our chains... and our salvation.
The Holy Empire of AbelEdit
But... What had happened to Aeolus Hawke? That child, barely seventeen years old and covered in the blood of his friends and enemies, would turn into the backbone of an empire that would shake the very pillars of the earth.
The holy kingdoms had disappeared completely by now, and barbarians, bandits and supernatural creatures plundered the establishments of the refugees in search of gold and food. They say that heroism is born from need, and this was a time that cried out for heroes. In that period of decline, Aeolus, still in command of a small army, brought order to the chaotic lands. In blood and fire, he killed thousands of plunderers, allowing those who surrendered to join in the crusade.
A host of those without hearth and home followed him, for he gave them food and took care of the sick. A few months later, he reached the ruins of Archangel and ordered its reconstruction while he left with the army to safeguard the other territories. Refugees from all over reached the city, amazed by how much it had grown in only five years.
Finally, after almost a decade of continued fighting, Aeolus returned to the capital, where he made his most important decision. He gathered his four most important generals, and he granted them the title of the Lords of War. From now on, they would maintain the integrity of the lands under his control and help incorporate new territories. He also created the position of Supreme Archbishop, who would be in charge of spiritual matters and the Church of Light. To assure the political stability of the unified lands, he separated them into Principalities, placing nobles or Church leaders as governors.
Thus it was that Aeolus Hawke, on the 16th of September, 233 years after the Messiah, founded the Sacred Holy Empire of Abel, proclaiming himself Emperor and Supreme Pontiff.
But the twenty-seven-year-old Emperor did not remain inactive for long. Even though the Lords of War did an excellent job, he left once more to personally lead his army in the annexation of new principalities in an attempt to unify all of Gaia under his sacred flag. During his travels, he discovered small isolated towns inhabited by supernatural beings who had tried to rebuild their homes after the war. With great pain in his heart, he felt obligated to exile them from his lands, knowing that he could not permit himself to feel compassion. If any resisted and refused to leave, he destroyed them without mercy.
Nevertheless, some survivors hide themselves among us, camouflaging their appearance thanks to their reduced supernatural abilities. To solve this problem, the Church recreated the Inquisition, which was provided with more power then it had ever had. The inquisitors, individuals selected with superhuman abilities - were charged with the task of hunting down the surviving wizards and supernatural creatures and destroying them completely.
But Aeolus did not want all of their works entirely lost. He wished that at least someone would remember the beings who had walked beside us before the war. Therefore, he created a branch of knights that answered neither to the Lords of War nor the Church, but only to him. He tasked them with conserving in secret the knowledge and culture of the myths of Gaia, assuring that they wouldn't be forgotten. This powerful order settled in to Rah's ancient fortress and became known as the Knights of Tol Rauko.
Over the course of fifty years, Aeolus and his four Lords of War continued their task. Any territories that did not want to join the Empire were forced by the power of the army to seek out unification. First all of the Old Continent, then Lannet and Shivat, and lastly the western continent - all gradually became a Principality of Abel. In this way, all of Gaia found itself unified under a single flag. In the end, after almost half a century of fighting, the Emperor could rest and spend some time with his empress, who he had espoused when he had formed the Empire. And in the year 355, at the age of one-hundred and fourty nine, Aeolus Hawke passed away like he had always hoped - peacefully and in his own bed.
His only son, Lazaro inherited the crown of the Empire. Well instructed to carry its weight since he was a babe, Lazaro exceeded his father's expectations of wise rulership. Thus, the Hawke House ruled over Abel for more than six centuries, and ushered in an age of great prosperity. The Empire, however, did experience some difficulties. It would be a lie to state otherwise. Lannet and Shivat tried to become independent on three occasions, and the Emperor needed to squash these rebellions. The Principality of Kushistan directly opposed the Church of Light, developing its own religious doctrines, and the power over the western continent began to dissipate slowly and imperceptibly. Nevertheless, all of these problems were settled with great skill and alacrity by the Hawke emperors, who acted with just measures, always using the most appropriate method to solve each problem.
Man, bit by bit, began to forget any history prior to the Empire, until the existence of supernatural beings and wizards became simply stories that the elders told around campfires. Nothing seemed to be able to damage the power of Abel - until the reign of Lascar Hawke.
Corrupted by the absolute power of the Emperor, Lascar led his court to a level of depravity and cruelty the likes of which had never been seen. He ordered executions without any meaning, possessed whatever woman he desired, declared senseless wars, and even drove his wife to suicide after she gave birth to his only son, Grayson.
Elias Borges, political cousin to Lascar and the youngest and most idealistic of the four Lords of War, saw the corrupt emperor's rule as a danger to the very foundation of the Holy Empire. He could no longer stand the actions of his lord and rose up against him. The coup d'etat occurred swiftly and with very little bloodshed. Everything was organized in Archangel, and even the Church and Tol Rauko turned their backs on the Emperor. The plan was simple; Elias would force his cousin to abdicate in favor of his son without causing him even the slightest harm. The Lord of War knew that if he executed Lascar, the Empire would crumble, as the Imperial Ruler would lose his holiness.
Nevertheless, proud until the bitter end, Lascar forced his son Grayson to kill him with the imperial sword of Aeolus. That action condemned the heir and Abel urgently needed a new lord. Thus, Elias, as the most direct descendent to the title, was proclaimed Holy Emperor with the support of the remaining Lords of War and the Supreme Archbishop Augustus. Unable to bring himself to execute the young Grayson, Elias sent him far away, conferring on him the title of Prince of Lucrecio, one of the most important territories. Thus, in the year 957, the long genealogy of the Hawke finally abandoned the imperial throne after almost seven centuries of rule.
The Last EmperorEdit
Elias was the perfect ruler, as at home in politics as he was on the battlefield. With skill and the proper decisions, he maintained stability in the Empire - even though many principalities believed that they had reached the ideal moment to declare themselves independent. Unfortunately, Elias did not have such luck in his personal life. His wife died giving birth to his first daughter, Adelina, which left him deeply hurt. Throwing the blame of what had happened on the child, he put her in charge of the Heaven Order, his personal guard, and avoided her whenever possible.
Soon after, his friend and mentor, the Supreme Archbishop Augustus, passed away without leaving a clear successor. The decision to choose his replacement was a difficult task, since none of the applicants appeared to be qualified. Nevertheless, in one of his interviews, Elias met a young abbess, named Eljared, who, at barely twenty-six years of age, had already reached the highest rank that a woman could achieve within the Church. The Emperor became fascinated with her, unable to get the young woman out of his head. They spent a lot of time together, and to the surprise of the whole Empire, he decided to grant her the title of Supreme Archbishop, an act that contradicted every ecclesiastic tradition.
Many principalities and a great part of the Church rebelled against his decision, but the Emperor let the protests fall on deaf ears. Little by little, the new Archbishop began to show more power within the Empire. After a time, the Emperor would not make a decision without her advice. Finally, Elias left Abel in her hands, blinded by the love that he felt toward her. At that moment, Eljared was able to monopolize as much power as the Emperor himself, making her own decisions without giving any explanations.
The principalities emphatically protested her actions, until Maximillian Hess, Lord of Remo, accused her publicly of enthralling the emperor with witchcraft. A week later, the Empire's troops would descend upon Remo with such enormous cruelty that the rest of the principalities felt shaken. Soon, some lords declared themselves independent from the Saint Holy Empire. Having been contradicted, Eljared declared war on every rebelling kingdom, ordering her troops to leave no stone unturned wherever they passed through.
It was then that the Lord of War Thadeus Kisdain, personal friend to Elias and general of the armies of Archangel, implored his friend to stop such atrocities. Elias, however, barely reacted to the supplications of his old brother in arms, recommending that he should remain on the sidelines unless he himself wanted to be accused of treason. Seeing that he had no other options, Thadeus raised part of the armies of Archangel and, in the name of the future Empress Adelina, he stormed the palace.
Thadeus simply wished to detain his lord in much the same way that Elias had tried to do years before with Lascar. Again, however, nothing ended as it should. The young Empress, who was only twelve years old, stopped Elias and urged her father to reconsider the start of the war. Paranoid and crazed, the Emperor accused the girl of being the basis of all his sorrows, and he tried to execute her. At that moment, Remus, lord of the Heaven Order and mentor to Adelina, intervened. Unfortunately, he found himself obligated to end the Emperor's life. That fateful night was not like any other. An enormous storm covered the skies of Gaia... and for a few minutes they turned crimson, like blood.
The death of Elias revolutionized the Empire. Archbishop Eljared disappeared, and nothing more would be known of her. Thadeus and the Heaven Order placed themselves under the command of Adelina and declared her the legitimate heir to the throne of Abel. However, the rebelling principalities refused to accept her as their supreme ruler, and some of the Lords of War believed that she was too inexperienced to hold such a high title. They proclaimed themselves sovereigns of the territories they controlled. And during that period of chaos, the Church named their own Supreme Archbishop who, in waiting for a new Emperor, believed that he wielded absolute authority.
And for the first time since the dawn of the Empire, the world returned to a period of uncertainty...
Beyond the VeilEdit
In the worlds beyond our own the creatures we had long forgotten continued to live on. Shortly after the separation of the world, the Dragons slipped into a deep slumber that nothing seemed capable of awaking them from, and the Ilakavir and Delkavir continued to remain isolated from the affairs of the world. While the supernatural races continued to progress and grow, divided amongst their two worlds a new force festered in the darkness, beyond the world… perhaps in the same place the Old Ones had come from originally, perhaps the remnants of those defeated in the war between the Ilakavir and the Delkavir. This entity called itself Atropal, the Neverborn, the All-Hunger.
It’s touch slowly spread into the world, its entropic essence infecting it like a cancer creating what are known as Shadowlands, places of dead magic that suffocate the life from the land and that which lives in it. All across the worlds beyond, tears formed in the land and darkness spilled out, making the war or rather the deaths and murder that came with it like a natural disaster capable of changing the very face of Gaia.
In their slumber, the Dragons could not foresee the coming events and were helpless against it. The All-Hunger came for them just as eagerly as it had any other living being, though in his attempts he only managed to consume one of these mighty beasts. Severanth. The Ebon Dragon was perhaps the greatest loss and the catalyst of the Shadow War that would rage during the course of the growing Empire in Shafador. The tremors of this war could be felt in small amounts by the denizens of the Shafador as magic slowly seeped through the growing cracks and supernatural beings began slowly reappearing in the world, remaining hidden for the time being as they explored this now alien realm.
Amongst the Chaos two new races were born within the dual realms of the Wake, the Rha’shoan who were akin to the Sylvain in that they represented life and freedom, and the Delvathri who were creatures born from the hatred and malignancy of the Shadow War, creatures that appeared as malformed humanoids with protrusions of metal and crystal growing from their bodies. These two races would be the catalyst that would bring the world together once again.
The Veil had begun to break and the world was being made whole once again…
It is now the year 989. Magic is returning with strength to Gaia, and the line that separates the world of the Wake with ours is becoming evermore fragile. The Empire has shattered into tiny pieces, and a three-way battle for control is about to commence between the Empress, the Lords of War, and the Church. The souls of the supernatural beings who have died over the course of these last centuries are being reborn in human children, giving rise to the birth of the Nephilim. In addition, entities that have survived for eras hidden from man have realized that the moment has arrived to manifest themselves in the world.
All of them can feel it. It has begun.
And all the things I have told... I have seen them.
Because I never forgot.
That was my damnation. - Zev, the Forgotten Saint