Creation –Before there was existence, there was nothing. From this the Creator made Chaos – a place of life and tumultuous energy, ever changing, ever shifting; and the Void – a realm of ultimate order, pristine, cold and empty; the ultimate epitomy of Law. Using the essence of these polar opposites a new place was made where Law and Chaos complimented each other to create a realm that could sustain life and here the Universe in all its entirety began. Beyond good and evil, the Balance between law and chaos allows existence to, well, exist! Both the Void and Chaos still exist beyond this ‘Reality’ but are unattainable, separated by the Veil.
The magic used by the gods in the battles fought, along with that of the fallen moon, were actually all of the same form of magic, just different parts of the wide-ranging spectrum. In order to survive, some of the creatures on Tymaera learned how to use this magic and embraced it. It was far more unpredictable and volatile than Elemental magic but did not rely on the intercession of the Oracles to perform. So some races found ways to tap into this new resource.
The Elves were quick to embrace this new power. One faction embraced the ‘White’ end of the spectrum and later became known as the Solaris, the Sun Elves. They used their new knowledge to create a vast flying city and soared high above the ash clouds choking the land, escaping the slow suffocation of Tymaera. Of those elves left behind, some studied the dark magic, embraced it and became the evil and twisted Lunaris, the Dark Elves. To this day they still live in the Dark Lands south of the Grey Mountains, at the edge of the bowl of the impact crater left by Ultharis. The final group of Elves shunned this new magic and kept their ancient ways of Elemental magic. They later became the Silvaris, the Wood Elves, as they specialised in Earth and Spirit magic.
The Fay also shunned this new power, as they had always been children of the Spirit aspect of Elemental magic (which is neither good nor evil). However, one group became disciples of the new magic. Their beings had been created by their god to be pure, and as the new magic possessed darkness as well as light (more darkness as their first contact with this new magic was through a piece of rock from Ultharis itself) the power corrupted them and its disciples became known as Wyches, led by one called the Bloodwych. They turned upon the others of their race and slew all but a very few and from the power of the blood they had spilt they opened a gateway to a plane of being that existed alongside the prime material plane where the horror of the Age of Dust had not reached. They chose to live there and so passed into legend but the two realms are so close that there are many places where the veils between worlds are weak and they can interact.
Seeing the death of the world over which they had fought so bitterly for so many aeons, the gods finally united, not wanting to lose their prize. Great and terrible winds sprang into being, sweeping the dust from the skies. At last, life-giving light fell upon the stricken planet.
Of the longevity-blessed creatures that had lived during the Age of Immortals, very few remained. The survivors were Dragons who had become dormant and sheltered in caves deep beneath the ground, surviving on the magic of their essences; Elves; the Fay and Unicorns, protected by their magical nature. It is said in the low, remote and dark places of the world some of the horrors that stalked the Age of Dust also survived and live there still.
However, some of the more powerful denizens of darkness remain, or have cults of followers in their name. These misbegotten beings await (or seek ways to bring the coming of) a Second Age of Dust, where dark beings can once more walk the land.
Ultharis still casts its influence upon the world. Legend maintains that in the heavens there is a patch of darkness where the fallen moon would once have orbited. The races touched by the dark magic of Ultharis, including those who follow the dark gods who sided with Chaos in the wars that eventually led to the god’s destruction, are said to be able to see this shadow; even to look to it in their prayers to their gods.
So much unnatural energy was released upon the Demon Eye’s destruction that the fabric of reality is thinned on Tymaera, particularly in Caevalonia where the moon struck. The non-elemental magic of the Chaos realm, in its raw form, Wild Magic, constantly seeps into the world. This allows creatures possessing magical essences to survive and magic-users tap into it.
This wild magic can be useful. However, there is great danger. The beings of the Chaos realm tasted what it was to have substance, to be real when they were summoned to battle before the Age of Dust. Returned by their defeat to their insubstantial place, they seek to escape and walk within Creation again. They seek to make it theirs, even. The weakened walls of reality allow some of the more powerful to break through back into the Multiverse. This is when they become substantial and are known as demons. With them comes more magic but the jealousy, anger and hate the demons possess against the races created by the gods make it tainted. Demon Magic. This corrupts everything that comes in contact with it and is the greatest threat Tymaera faces.
Most of the time very few demons get across the barriers of reality. The Shadow Realm is usually as far as they get (this is a place of darkness on the very edge of reality, right on the boundaries of chaos. It is also a half-world between the realms of the living and the realms of the dead). But there has been one occasion where a demon invasion occurred, when reality was rent and they spilled forth in their droves: Shine was the first demon to be summoned by the god of Chaos, she became almost unto a goddess herself, and became known as the Sister of Chaos. When all demons were banished back to their realm, she took a small part of the Prime Material Plane with her. Over many aeons she learned more of Creation and finally formed a living dimension around this rock by binding her essence to it. Seeing a dimension being formed where they could once more become ‘real’, other denizens of the Chaos Realm flocked to her. With them, Shine’s dimension grew but it was greatly limited. Even in this half-reality, the beings could take on form and identity to become individual demons. Seeking to extend her limits, Shine sought other worlds, smaller and less well established than Tymaera, whose inhabitants would not put up much of a fight, and found that by conquering the world with her demon army, she was able to absorb the planet into her dimension causing it to grow and her power increase, so she could send more demons to more worlds in the Prime Material Plane to make them her own.
Eventually she returned to Tymeara. As a focus point in reality she knew the gods would use their most powerful followers and conquest would be hard for her. So she took ‘recruits’ from the most powerful race on Tymaera. Dragons. Knowing they would be her worst enemies, she decided to strike at them first to bend them to her will before the gods used them as allies. She took most of them from the Ruined Lands and from the Dark Lands where it was easiest to enter reality. Using her power she transformed them into creatures to fight for her, dracosvulfs. These were not as powerful as their original dracoforms, but from previous experimentation (namely with the dragon Bloodbane, who eventually proved to be her downfall), she had found she could take no risks.
Shine’s demon armies broke through to Tymaera, and a century of desperate war began. However, she was eventually defeated when where Syrax Bloodbane, free of Shine’s control but not of her curse, and allies, trapped her within a pocket dimension from which there would be no escape for her. This was done during the ritual meant to bring her to Tymaera by taking the stone to which she had originally bound her essence and sealing her within. Then casting this into a place from which there could be no return.
Without her influence, although her dimension still existed, there was no force to guide her demons. Due to their chaotic nature they fell into disarray and were forced back into their demon dimension. A few that were stranded still wander Tymaera, but these can be destroyed. Some of her Greater Demons also remain in the Prime Material Plane, plotting ways to carry on Shine’s dark work. Demons still break through from the Chaos Realm, and this new Demon Dimension, but not in the devastating numbers as they had under the DemonQueen.
The human race is the most numerous, widespread and successful on Tymaera. Closely followed by the enterprising rattikin (although piggy-backing upon the success of other races may be considered as cheating: wherever civilisation is found, rattikin will be found clinging to its underbelly).
Shortly after elves and dwarves, humans came to Caevalonia. Within centuries the Empire was created, ranging across the entire country down to the World’s Spine. Things stayed this way for thousands of years. The original inhabitants of Caevalonia retreated (i.e. were driven) to their original habitats, places humans did not want to live in, and stayed there.
Long, long before the incursion of the demons of chaos, the first threat to civilisation came to be. A survivor from the Age of Dust, the dracoliche Raven, awoke from a sleep that had lasted Aeons. He saw how the world had changed from the dark place of his ‘rebirth’ as a liche. For a long time he studied these unfamiliar new mortal races. Then he decided he didn’t like them and wanted the world plunged back into darkness and death; the way he liked it. Peace returned after the dracoliche’s eventual defeat at the hands of the Wizards Council who sacrificed themselves to cast an enormously powerful spell that ripped the liche’s blackened soul from his body and imprisoned it in a magical staff, the Raven Staff, which they broke in two. The head of the staff was hidden while the shaft was cast through a portal, sending it to the Spirit World so that the two halves could never be united to free the dracoliche. As a final measure they cast the empty husk of his body into one of the lower planes.
Relative peace settled for a while then came the Dragon Wars and the Empire fell. Its remains were taken control of by the dread dragon Bloodbane. His terrible rule, based in the fallen city of Uth Nagor, lasted several centuries before he simply disappeared. The remains of the Empire crumbled and human civilisation broke apart, forming many different Kingdoms. Some were allies whilst others spent their time fighting. The largest was in the far north of Caevalonia, containing Fortune City and consisting of the seat of power of the original Empire.
The Dragon Wars, Bloodbane and the Empire slowly faded from living memory, becoming legend and reaching the point of mythology. A fledgling new Empire began to form from the ashes of the old.
Then the attack of Shine’s chaos demons began. Whereas the Dragon Wars had lasted almost a century until their brutal ending at the claws of the Seven, these Daemon Wars were shorter, lasting only a decade or so but brutal. The human kingdoms and the disparate nations of other races united against this threat and with Shine’s demise, victory was claimed.
This bitter time marked the lands though, and much damage still occurs thanks to the demon magic brought forth by Shine’s forces.
Once again, human civilisation – and those of other races – had taken a beating. Many of the central Kingdoms remained united and so the Second Empire was reformed. Having allied with other intelligent races of Caevalonia, the Empire now became far more accepting of them (Fortune City is now an absolute melting-pot, although some of the other more central regions, populated mostly by humans, are still xenophobic and elves and dwarves are only just tolerated). Mostly, however, the different species keep to their own territories and their own kind. Most of the rogue demons from the ‘Incursion’, as the wars with Shine are known, have been eliminated within the Empire, but are still rife beyond its borders.
At the edges of the Empire, some of the old Kingdoms still remain, having preferred their autonomy to central rule. Often the Empire tries to invade and assimilate these Border Kingdoms and the battles and struggles for land make for a cartographer’s nightmare.
This relative ‘peace’ was not long lasting as a new threat arose. The House of Dust, containing a gateway to the Spirit World and home to the Liche-King Bel-Sharoth, became a threat. Undead armies swept up from the south east and yet another bitter war came to be. Eventually his hordes were driven back and the liche himself became dormant. But the Desolation was left in his wake, where the dead still walk and the living fear to tread.
The Present –This is still the Age of Mortals, and the Second Empire retains its rule. Inter and intra-racial warring is commonplace. The last of Shine’s greater demons, the Lords of Darkness, plot evilly, as do the Dark Elves. Raven has escaped his prison but is not currently much threat (see the Daemonslayers) and from the House of Dust there is no sign of stirrings. Rumours of sightings of the mythical Bloodbane are laughed at (except by the pale and shaky witnesses) but tales of a great power, backed by the dark goddess Anshu, rising within the Hssaar deserts are taken far more seriously. There are no immediate threats to Tymaera although that could just be because they haven’t made themselves known yet...