World History

Unexpected Consequences

To a seasoned traveler such as yourself, you may find yourself in an unfamiliar place where everything has turned on its head. And I must warn you before it’s too late. Now forgive me for not knowing your range and experience but since you’re here, you’ve never been there. Oh, yes, of course. How would I know? Well, I’ll let you figure that out at the end. Now sit by that fire and warm yourself and pray you do not dream tonight.
Very far back in time or something similar, an unfortunate accident took place. A foolhardy adventurer decided to risk everything they owned for whatever gain we shall never know. It was supposed to be common knowledge that enchanted items that held realms within them could not be placed inside each other. Yet this was the case. A powerful void ripped everything away and consumed the adventurer, their small part of the world and all the magic it contained. These are usually tales of dead creatures, where the story ends but this is where mine begins.

Very far back in time or something similar, an unfortunate accident took place. A foolhardy adventurer decided to risk everything they owned for whatever gain we shall never know. It was supposed to be common knowledge that enchanted items that held realms within them could not be placed inside each other. Yet this was the case. A powerful void ripped everything away and consumed the adventurer, their small part of the world and all the magic it contained. These are usually tales of dead creatures, where the story ends but this is where mine begins.

Have you ever thought of what happens to those realms swallowed by that maw in the universe? Are they destroyed or even erased from all existence? In this case neither. In the accident, one realm did survive but cut off from our world. It floated there in the nothing for untold ages until was caught in the current that binds the planes, Ley Lines.

The Progenitor of Nothing

As Ley energy flowed through that realm it started to build, like a fisherman’s net tied across a river. Now understandably, what I’m about to tell you next might sound absurd, beyond even a madman. Over time, imbued by raw magics, that nothing, that empty realm, become something in itself. As the realm swelled with energy, the boundaries were stretched thin, too thin and it collapsed in itself. At the center was a new entity, a being of pure potential and destruction. It was bound by thin arcane veils, cutting the entity off from the leylines and setting it drifting, alone the in the known planes.

As its knowledge of the realms grew so too did its loneliness. It could see the other planes and understood the very basics of creation but not the precision, skill or knowledge to truly create what others had. And so it crudely fashioned basic concepts of the realm and then gave them sentience. Belenos was born from light and revelry, Nicnevern from darkness and secrets. Cernunnos was fashioned from the concept of life itself, with its counterpart of Anatheon, death, being the last to be formed. But there was a fundamental flaw that The Void could not itself foresaw. With its power of creation now fully invested in its children it became consumed by its destructive side. Not only did it now resent its children for their abilities far beyond its own but the noise they made, their incessant noise, drove it to the edge of madness.

The Void Entity corrected it’s mistake almost immediately. Much like here, life and death, night and day do not meet each other naturally. The moon follows the sun and the cycle of life is eternal. As such, it bound the four of them to two wheels. Belenos and Nicnevern rose and fell while Cernunnos and Anatheon were bound in an eternal chase. This was the basis of the Divine Machine. And so the Void Entity got its wish. Neither one of those entities would ever meet or speak to each other again.

The Elements of Resistance

With its creations silenced. The Void Entity took little notice of what it had made. In its ignorance, it’s children schemed. Although they could not talk to each other, they had prepared a little for the eventuality. The void was all around them although deaf and blind to them for the moment. But if they were to change anything, they would have to banish the void from between them.

They possessed the same knowledge as the Void Entity, perhaps even more so and enacted their plan. They needed messengers to carry their words. Senuna, that of fire, was created from Beleno’s light and as such created a beacon to all. To protect this light, Nicnevern surrounded it in darkness, creating Thonios, that of the earth. Cernunnos covered its surfaces with life-giving water, Bakunawa. The words were carried upon the final breath of existence, held by Anatheon, who created The Horages.

The eight combined and talking in secret to each other, slowly and subtly banished The Void Entity from between them as their own material realm expanded between the gaps in the divine machine. And once they were all sure it was safe to do, they all created life, Nantosuelta. These secondary entities created the basic building blocks for all of existence and advised on how best to protect their new realm. They decided they needed to grant sentience to the world they knew the dangers of the majority of the humanoid races becoming dominate and destroying what they had built. The second problem was that societies, culture, and life took time to develop and to learn to protect itself. Neither situation was agreeable to any one of them.

Where we call home, the Warforged were constructed by mortal hands, who grew into life. In that realm, Thonios saw them as the perfect foundation. Made from both wood and stone, they were the embodiment of balance. It created a Warforged known as Castra. It was not like a Warforged we would know. It was a gargantuan size. It could create mountains, dig valleys and shape vast tracts of lands nations wide. It, itself, was given the ability to create humanoid sized warforged. Thes served as supplemental architects. Creating, defining and refining the world ready for new races. They could survive every landscape and every weather.

They set about creating settlements, villages, castles, and infrastructure. As we have built our nation’s over time, the Warforged created them in a blink of an eye. However, as they built, their power depleted and like all life, it needs to be sustained. The warforged were powered by crystals made of pure magic that grew across the land. They were not mere arcane crystals that we know, they were homes to beings far more complex than you or I could come to understand in many, many lifetimes.

The Tethering of The Wilds

In every realm, in every plane, there are links to the Feywild and the Shadowfell. These are only formed, however, by the Ley Lines that run through them, a nexus of sorts. But when this realm was created, they Ley Lines were cut off at first. With a material plane created, it was once again tethered to Ley energy. But this sudden reintroduction caused havoc. Instead of naturally weaving through the landscape in rare occurrences, the realm their Old Ones created became entangled in a web of them. The realm was blanked by the Feywild and Shadowfell almost, with every Leyline a possible gateway.

The majority of those ley lines, however, were underground or ran through mountains and as such, collected in a vessel much as it did before. This time, however, it was not the void itself but the crystals that grew in the deep caverns. These were the same crystals used to power the Warforged and as the First Born learned magic, helped empower them as well.

But in these crystals lay more than just magic. Now I am sure, as a traveler of the planes, you have experienced things beyond comprehension but I would like you to imagine something for me. If magic, its raw essence, could move, speak, take form, what do you think it would be? Even I do not know but it is true. There is a race of people, much like ourselves, that live within magic itself, in the leylines, carrying knowledge, ideas, power, and truth between realms, between realms without these crystals. The Ley entities took refuge in these crystals and as they grew their colonies did to so too, until harvested. As the Fae Wilds and Shadowfell anchored themselves to the world, the Ley Entities took a vow of revenge against those that had abused and murdered their kin.

The Revenge of the Void

The Old Ones knew in time, that their creation would not go unnoticed and their luck had finally run out. As we know the Abyss and the Nine Hells so too did the Void Entity. As the world formed it seeped in, just a slither at first but enough. No divine or mortal with powers of The Old Ones can see The Void Entity a disguise it used carefully and at its most destructive.

In that emptiness, the realms of demons and devils were distilled into a nightmarish landscape. Each of those vile places devouring each other and erupting from the slain anew. But at the time their leaders, the Lords of both realms mere copies under the control of the Void Entity. It taught them of its ways. Of consumption, death, chaos and the Void itself. The Lords drank its words and their people followed.

At the borders of the place, who some call The Antethemica, the veil was stretched thin. Much like in its creation these walls would break of the Void Entity would ever lose power or somehow cease to exist. This veil couldn’t contain the taint of all that evil and deep below the surface of this new world, beneath the feet of The First Born seeds of the Underdark grew. As caverns were mined for crystals and expanded to live in, it took root and what we know of that same place exists there as well, far beyond its terrors we know of it now. And of course, The Void Entity knew its children and it’s demise only made things worse.

The Colossus of Sundering

The Old Ones, now emboldened by both their creations development and their own co-operation, decided to plot their creator’s death’. They knew that the Void Entity desperately wanted to consume of off its children, and in turn their own creations. And as part of it, The Old Ones knew that they could not outright destroy what made them, or everything, including themselves, would be destroyed. They had to trick it, with words of surrender and an axe behind their backs.

They repurposed the Colossus into a weapon. The First of the Old Ones supported by their offspring imbued the Warforged with their powers. Their conflicting natures fought within it as its mechanisms dealt with the stress of containing the duality of existences. But it was this duality, the idea of separation itself, became the blade.

There are no stories of how they managed to convince the Entity to take physical form. Some say it was on lies, others coercion. I place it down to its own hubris but regardless of why it did, it did. You can only imagine what happened next. A fight that split apart The Void Entity or at least most of it. Some managed to escape but most were trapped in toxic forms but forms nonetheless. With the final blow, the energies erupted out of both the Void Entity and the Colossus turning an entire mountain range to a desert in seconds.

The fragments of that Warforged were melted down and each individual slither of The Sundered one was encased in the metal. The powers now nullified, the Old Ones scattered the boxes and used their Kin to charge sentinels to guard those prisons. But time was not kind. Those prisons soon succumbed to the influence of the Void Entity and those metal boxes became its Idols and a source of its corrupting influence. Most from what I hear still lay with their protectors or deep within forgotten vaults but some have found their way to the light and into the hands of new beings.

The energy unbound by The Sundering became a realm in itself. The Void Entity created a way to slowly regain its control, the Void Wilds. Fragments of reality from all of existence lay floating towards The Void Entity’s maw, a giant black hole. The missing, the forgotten, those that succumb to madness and chaos all end there to feed its perpetual hunger. But that is not it’s only source.

The Feywild, with its abundance of Ley Lines aits energy coursing through it, was the ideal endless buffet. This Void Wilds lay almost on the underside of the Feywild itself. It ripped the very edge of the realm and started to slowly consume. The constant ley energy created an endless spawning of the Faewilds. And it was due to this that the monarchs of the Feywild left for the mortal plane, creating the Marchlands in their wake as they tried to anchor their reality to another. But this constant consumption had another cost. The Shadowfell connection to the Feywild was destroyed. Any portal or anchor to its counterpart shifted at such speed that its counterpart couldn’t keep up and was eventually consumed of the link wasn’t already ripped apart. The realm was cast adrift. Only anchored by the few Ley Lines that ran through it, and the mortal realm.

The Creation of the First Born

The Warforged created the foundations for society but it was Nantosuelta’s first gift, the Dragonborn that shaped the societies. They were recognised for their adaptability and as such new colours and patterns were marked upon their skin denoting who they ‘followed’. They were taught in the ways of these entities and cultivated a way of life that became commonplace.

The second gift from Nantosuelta was the very life on their shared world, but with the gifts of intelligence. Each creature, in its most basic form, had all the attributes needed yet lacked humanoid form. It was those races that they could see in other planes subjected to the whim and will or dominant powers. Although they could feel no empathy for them, they were both in similar circumstances and made Nantosuelta’s picks all the more suitable.

The Warforged were recalled to Castra but some, much like those in our realm, rebelled against their creator and demanded independence. They were denied and Castra, acting as guardian of its creations, exacted what little control it had left and shattered their crystal cores. Slowly they lost all but basic functions, movement and for most, lost everything. But the realm was prepared for the new races and soon enough they came into being.

That first creation, however, their inspiration became more than its counterparts. It was given all but the mightiest of powers that the Old Ones possesses, creating what is known as the First Kin. They much like any other Kin bore the mark of The Old One that blessed them but these were beasts themselves but they were far beyond that. They were beyond even mortals of what we would call divine but some were worshiped as such and unfortunately, they helped perpetuate a religion which saw more Kin created.

The Dragonborn alongside the First Kin taught them their ways and passed on the influence of their creators indirectly. They were now known as Old Ones and emphatically passed on to the Dragonborn that they were not gods and did not wish to be addressed or worshiped as such. The Old Ones did not see their creation as under any one individual’s control and shared everything equally. They would not interfere with their creation as long as they were happy that it would survive the Void Entity plans. Once culture, commerce, and such things were created, Dragonborn returned to their ancestral mountains and life was quiet. For a time at least

Religion became a contention and as much as it was stamped out its tenants became sometimes more intense in some. It became widely known that there was no point to worship as the Old Ones would not answer prayers or give guidance, they were all but done with their creation after they had fought for its survival and didn’t need mortals pestering them. But they did regardless. The Kin, alongside the tenants of the Dragonborn, made it possible for some to attain a state similar to that which identified the Kin species in the first place. Such dedication and tenacity became less of an annoyance and more intriguing, as their creations had, much like themselves, surpassed their creators.

As rewards, they transferred a copy The Mark from their First Kin to them. And for most of that realms existence, the only those species associated with That Old Old could bear that mark, however, their hard four structure to the world would be turned on its head

The Genesis of the Secondborn

Although some races claim to have been created by happenstance and fate, those that are regularly familiar with were last to inhabit that realm. With the First Born mining away at the habitats of the Ley Entities to expanding their magical understanding and control, their rage spilled out. With no means of communication, the Ley Entities tried to show their plight through bursts of Ley energy to their oppressors but they did not share a common realm to exist in, let alone a common language to understand their signals. With their homes all but being systematically destroyed they turned to their own knowledge, they turned to us.

We, the elves, dwarves, halflings and all that have colonised everywhere we can and have become the predominant force. And that is what we were used for. Peoples from across all realms were ripped from their realities, or copies were made of them to populate a new colonial army that would hopefully, put a stop to the spread of The Firstborn called the Calling of the Creation, and thus the Secondborn were created.

Much like you would introduce a predator to catch vermin it worked for the most part. The Firstborn were ousted from their ancestral homes and forced into new ways of life, sometimes even at the fringes of the known world. However, much like the firstborn, the secondborn found the very same crystals their foe was using against them and continued in kind. As colonial wars died down, a line was drawn by all the races that once the Secondborn had fully settled, their race could not resettle or expand beyond their territories unless authorised by a Kin.

The Ley entities had lost the war they gambled on, and the secondborn had taken their realm’s knowledge with them, not only advancing magical practices and developments but also its integration with rapidly advancing technology for certain races. I can tell you now that those Old Ones did not expect an elf or a halfling trying to be like them. Nor will they expect the Ley Entities revenge.

Now, adventurer, have you guessed why I could tell you this? Did I travel there? Do I come from there? Or have I gone completely mad? It’s hard to tell but never mistake that place for home.