Tales from Atelea
“All of creation was destroyed and rebuilt, again and again… simultaneously, in what was both an eternity and an instant.” – Philosophical koan describing the state of existence before the creation of Atelea
Throughout the cycle of eternity, the Primordials shaped many worlds only to unravel them. This cycle had no beginning and it will have no end.
The Primordial Age:
Out of the unshaped chaos, the fabric of reality was woven by the Primordials. With the utterance of the single word, the first being to come into existence was the goddess Atelea. Out of her lifeforce many other beings were formed by the Primordials and so too did Atelea give birth to own “little gods.”
During this time, a few mortal races would come into existence, some of which would survive the destruction cased by the ensuing conflict.
The God-Primordial War:
This newly formed world was becoming stagnate in the eyes of the Primordials. Atelea soon grew to realize that, like all of their creations, she and her children would soon be destroyed and the Primordials would begin anew.
Atelea knew that she she and her children did not have the power to destroy their creators. Fearing for their lives as well, Atelea’s little gods conspired with her in secret, to win the favor of a Primordial. If even one could be swayed to their cause, it would have the potential to change the outcome of the impending conflict. Being the most clever of the little gods, a deity who would, in later ages, become known as “The Pawn” assumed an alluring form and convinced one of the Primordials to meet with her in the “Far Realm” on the edge of reality, where they would not be noticed, far beyond time and space. “If we survive this conflict” she told him, “your brothers will be gone, and you will have purview over the ending of all beings.”
Although the exact details of the the war are perhaps beyond the scope of the understanding of mortal beings, this much is known:
1.) The Gods won, but only because of the Primordial whom The Pawn convinced to side with them. Because all of the Primordials possessed potentially infinite creative and destructive force, the conflict between them and the traitor came down to a test of wills. It has been suggested that the outcome may have been what it was because the traitor has a tangible ideal it was fighting for.
2.) That Primordial would become Death, and he would have purview over the ending of all beings. Although this was more or less what had been implicitly promised to him by The Pawn, Atelea and the other gods had never technically agreed to this. That being said, “The Pantheon” realized the futility of turning on the last remaining primordial. It was agreed that so long as Death held purview over the end of all beings, it would not seek the lives of any of The Pantheon.
3.) The remaining Primordials, who were not killed during the conflict, fled to the edge of reality, beyond type and space. Having been stripped of their world shaping powers, the lack of causality in the Far Realm warped and twisted their minds beyond any rational thought. They became hive mind entity called The Crux, who feed on the very fabric of reality and seek to devour all of time and space.
The Crux Invasion
After being pushed to the Far Realm, beyond time and space, The Primordials, having been warped into the horrific Crux, mounted one final attack on Atelea. Because of their new nature, as beings who ate at the very fabric of reality, the world shaping powers of Death, Atelea and The Pantheon, could do little to hold of the invasion and seemingly inevitable destruction of Atelea. After all they had fought for during the God-Primodial War, it seemed that Atelea would meet it’s end.
What both The Crux and the Pantheon failed to anticipate however, was the tenacity and cunning of mortal beings. Led by the relatively young Aasimar race, the mortal beings of Atelea launched a last ditch assault at The Ether, the metaphysical border between Atlea and the rest of existence, which The Crux had broken through to from the Far Realm.
The Crux found the souls of mortal beings to be firmly entrenched in the fabric of reality, and not nearly so mutable as those of Gods or their former selves as Primordials. They had enough difficulty eating mortal beings that it gave their armies a fighting chance and The Crux were driven back to the Far Realm.
A sort of “border legion” was set up by the Aasimar to patrol the edges of reality and stave off any future Crux invasion. From then on, the most powerful mortals of Atelea would be be recruited to this calling.
The First Age:
Also referred to as the “Lost Age,” The First Age was a period of peace marred by relatively few major conflicts. The Aasimar Kingdom ruled over most of Atelea.
“The Floating Continent,” Saelum Agri was constructed during this time. It housed The Aasimar Kingdoms greatest magical and technological wonders.
After centuries of peace, war broke out between the Aasimar Kingdom and the uprising Tiefling tribes. Halfway through this conflict the tribes would band together and form the Tiefling Empire and this now unified front, was enough to turn the tides of the war. The Aasimar Kingdom eventually fell and every last remaining Aasimar was hunted down and killed.
Upon his capture and shortly before his death the last of the Aasimar, an oracle, foretold the prophecy of the future he had seen to the Tiefling Emperor, “Your Empire will ascend to the highest heaven, only to fall to the lowest hell.”
The Second Age:
And so, having killed the last of the Aasimar, the Tiefling race set it’s sights on further expanding it’s borders. At it’s zenith, the Tiefling Empire would expand across most of known Atelea.
As the Empire grew, many of the races whose the lands the Tieflings had conquered were subjugated and enslaved. Among them were the Elves, refugees from the distant island continent of Meu. Although many Tiefling nobles were enamored with these enigmatic and hauntingly beautiful creatures, their delicate frames and indomitable wills made them less than ideal slaves. However, though selective breeding, an entirely new race of beings was breed from the elves. This new race dubbed “Humans” by the their masters, proved to be more hardy and easier to manipulate.
It was this newly created slave race who would prove to be the Tiefling Empire’s undoing. It was the humans who would play a pivotal role in Atelea’s history by leading a series of slave revolts across the Empire. Much to the alarm of the Tiefling Emperor and his generals, the strategically located port city of “Tor Turathay” had been overtaken by their human subserviants. With the aid of the Elves as well as other other races, who had been subjugated by or were hostile to the Tieflings, such as Goliaths, Shifters and Dwarves the rebellion gained momentum. Support for the Human uprising grew as city, region and nation soon began to rise up again their oppressors and the Tiefling Empire began to crumble.
After many years of war, the Empire threw the last of it’s dwindling pool of resources into one final attempt to lay siege to Tor Torathay which the Humans had renamed “Thrones”. As it had became a symbol of the fight against Tiefling oppression, as well as the center of the rebel forces’ military campaign, the Tieflings were counting on a victory in order to squelch the uprising and resecure the stability of the Empire.
Despite the Empire’s superior numbers and weaponry, Humanity, lead by their newly crowned leader King Narshe, and it’s allies were able defeat the vast Tiefling army and send the Empire into into it’s death throws. Upon their final defeat a Tiefling defector, a mage by the name of “Ophiuchus” placed a curse on the remaining Tieflings that would be passed down from generation to generation, which would sow seeds of distrust amongst the Tiefling species, ensuring that they would never again form an empire.
The Third Age
And so humanity settled in the subcontinent which had been the seat of the Tiefling Empire, and the landmass it’s self became know as “Narshe,” after it’s King. There was a period of relative peace and humanity quickly became the rising star of Atelea. However this peace would not last long.
During this age a contagion swept across Narshe and the surrounding areas, killing vast quantities of the population, and turning others into flesh eating monsters. Hardest hit were the Elves, who had the least resistance to the plague and were brought down to numbers so low that for a time their race risked extinction.
The contagion brought with it political upheaval and soon Narshe was on the brink of a full fledged civil war.