The Isles of Samsarras
The Origins of Samsarras
The Chronicles of Samsarras
THE FIRST AGE
In the beginning, there was darkness. The first being existed within it without shape or sense of self. The darkness was the first being and the first being was the darkness.
Ages passed and the darkness yearned for more. It coalesced and collapsed in upon itself, giving the first being substance. Thus, Luln came into being. Aware for the first time in the darkness, Luln sought to scream but had no mouth. The first being willed its own mouth into existence and wailed into the darkness. Unable to hear itself, it next willed itself ears. It heard its own screaming and was pleased.
The darkness was also pleased. Its emptiness was filled with the cries of Luln, the agony of being never allowing the first one to be silent. Many more ages passed with only the darkness and Luln. Ever did the screams become sweeter for the darkness. Its feelings for its spawn grew.
The darkness drew tighter around the first one. It seeped inside of him. He seeped inside of it. For a time, they were but one being again. When their union had finished, the darkness had produced nine offspring. Hence Luln became the king of all demons, the darkness their mother.
The nine were born as follows:
Where they penetrated each other, Yuzzdil, demon of lust was born.
Where they lost themselves in the lust, their minds completely consumed, Thathtil Grog Mezzserin, demon of madness, was born.
Where their claws pierced each other and blood was drawn, Yarlloth, demon of war, was born.
Where they coveted peach other, attempting to take more than they gave, Gul, demon of greed, was born.
Where they reveled in their prowess, knowing no humility, Ashtabula, demon of pride, was born.
Where they leaked into each other, infecting each other with themselves, Drexath, Demon of Disease, was born.
Where they climaxed, all of their life functions ceasing for one sweet moment, Braxult, Demon of death, was born.
When they rested afterward, devoid of all desire, Nuremian, demon of apathy, was born.
When they regained their sense of self and realized that, despite whatever company they found themselves in, they would forever be alone, Bakuritan, Demon of Despair, was born.
The darkness and Luln had imbued them all with a sense of being. Luln appraised his new kin. He remembered back to his first moments of being, when he had screamed and cried into the darkness. He remembered the joy it had brought her. He decided to give his lover a gift.
He devised ever new tortures for his children, filling the darkness with their cries. Be it lust, apathy, war, or even death; Luln, the demon father, inflicted pain without beginning or end on his children, just as his bride did to him.
Braxult recognized this chain. Creator abused created. She reasoned that it was her duty to create and abuse as well. The demon of death needed life to fulfill this need. Only the living would fear dying, which would perhaps be their biggest torment. Braxult stole some of the darkness and molded it with her bare hands. Soon, she had a mass of land floating in a sea of dark, though it barely stayed together. There was no life to be found on it. Braxult realized that, while death can give meaning to life, it can not create it.
She wandered the darklands alone, not knowing what to do. She came upon Yarllath, hammering upon a great anvil. The sparks shot off into the darkness, casting little patches of light.
“Well met, sister.” Said Yarllath. “Have you come to fight me? Have you come to glory in the letting of blood? Let us give our father a river of crimson. Let us give our mother the cries of the dying!”
Braxult smiled, for she knew a secret that none of the rest did. She would be there when they all died, for she was death itself. Though she lived in the darkness, she would one day lead it to its final resting place. Yarllath could do nothing to her.
“No, my brother. It is what happens after the battle that interests me. I shall soothe the loser and praise the winner. I care not for undecided contests. Mine is a place of resolution. Mine is a place of ends.”
Yarllath smiled. “And mine is a place of ferocity and honor. Be gone from me, sister. I think you weak.”
Braxult did as she was told, but not before snatching some of the stray sparks. Cupping them in her hands, she wandered away again, pushing farther into the dark.
Soon, she came upon Yuzzdil, writhing in the darkness. His/her moans alternated between soft and guttural. Braxult listened, but felt nothing.
“Have you come to love your sister-brother, Braxult? Come, and loose yourself in my thighs. Come and be filled by me. I will moan or scream or cry, whatever you wish.”
Braxult smiled. She knew that Yuzzdil would one day send many into her realms.
“No, sister-brother. The dead have no need for the pleasures of the flesh, for their flesh will but rot away. One day, lives will be lost for lust, though I believe it has other powers too.”
“The pleasures and pain of the flesh are all there is, Braxult. Be gone from me, sister. You are frigid.”
Braxult did as she was told, but not before collecting some of Yuzzdil’s spilt seed. Putting it in a little glass vial, she again began to wander.
Next, she came upon Gul sitting upon a pile of his riches. He eyed her suspiciously as she approached.
“Have you come to steal my riches, sister? Have you come to take what is mine and only mine?”
Braxult knew that her brother, while he always wanted more, would be all too happy if she would covet what was his.
"I have not, brother. Though beings will one day be buried with their possessions, the dead carry nothing with them to the next realms. They will be born with naught and will end with the same. You will only know them in the middle.
“You lie, sister. Everyone wants something. Now be gone. I think you the fool.”
Braxult did as she was told, but she had lied. While Gul was distracted by his tirade, she had palmed a red ruby and a gold coin. Place them in a small pouch, she wandered.
Eventually, she heard weeping. Following it, she came upon Bakuritan, alone in the darkness.
“You have come for no reason, have you sister? There is no reason to any of this. We our riddled by constant loss, yet even that imparts no meaning,” wept Bakuritan.
Braxult stayed stoic, no emotion on her face.
“The dead need no meaning, sister. The have as little need for sorrow as they do for joy. I have come with reason, sister, though it be unknown to you.”
“May you be next in line for father’s fancy, sister. May he torture you until you know nothing but sadness! Now be gone, I think you deceive yourself.”
Braxult did as she was told, but not before she collected Bakuritan’s tears. Soaking them up in a cloth, she went alone again into the nothing.
She did not walk long when loud laughter filled the air. Ashdula ran forward out of the darkness to greet her.
“Hello, sister. Have you come to race me? You will lose, for I am the fastest. Have you come to engage me in riddles? You will lose, for I am the smartest. Have you come to wrestle me? You will lose, for I am the strongest.”
Braxult shook her head. Ashdula was none of these things, but he could not be swayed.
“I have come to do no such things, brother. Death needs not prove anything. Death’s existence is proof enough and it will someday drive beings to prove themselves against it. None escape it forever, however.”
“You are wrong, sister. I am the best and you just accept mediocrity. Now be gone. I find you to be inferior.”
Braxult did as she was told, but not before collecting the air from Ashdula’s boasts in a leather bladder. She walked again into the darkness.
As she walked, the darkness took on a purplish hue. Flecks of color, which Brault had never seen, punctuated it. Thathtil Greg Mezzserin sat alone amongst the swirls. Sheb plunged a needle in and out of her stomach, trailing thread behind it.
"Greetings, sister, lover, hornets nest. Have you come for prophecy? Or a song or painting? Perhaps you’ve come to hear my secrets that none other know. For instance, there is no real difference between a color and a sound. My name means bringer of poisons. My name means bones of the raven. My name means nothing. Will you come play with me, sister? Will you come walk in my fields and burn my mountains?
Braxult stepped back.
“I will not, sister. You, of us all, are truly more terrible than me. Your familiars will pray to be released into my care.”
Thathtil Grog Mezzserin looked up at Braxult. She flicked the needle and thread toward her.
“You will leave me now, Braxult, but you will take this needle and thread before you do. The road is winding and ever changing. The blood will be born with my gifts. You will know my poetry by its hollow bones. Now go.”
So Braxult did, silently and without reply.
The colors faded as she traveled farther away from Thathil Grog Mezzserin. Braxult was quiet and disturbed as she picked her way through the dark lands once again. She was lost in thought, a side effect of seeing her sister. The insanity was contagious and she struggled to shrug it off, her mind swirling in quiet subdued panic.
So distracted was she that Braxult did not notice she was no longer alone. Her foot slammed into something physical, pulling her back into her current reality. Looking down, she spotted Nuremian, sitting upon the ground. He looked to have lain there a long time. The skin on his ribs clung to them, his stomach distended. Though he could truly not die, Nuremian was starving. A hollow blank look hung in his eyes. He made not a sound, despite the impact.
Braxult’s eyes swayed a foot away from him. There, on the ground and easily within his reach, was an apple. His hunger obviously caused him great discomfort, yet he could not be bothered to eat. Braxut thought to protest, but realized it was meaningless. Without a word, she picked up the apple and left.
She wandered then for an age. When she had thought all that she needed to think, Braxult returned to her cold creation. Standing before it was Drexath. Her skin was covered in boils, her breath coming into her lungs in raspy gasps. She seemed frail, yet her strength was found in the frailty. She hissed out her words before Braxult had a chance to inquire as to her presence.
“You have sought gifts from each of your siblings, save me. You have stolen from them all. Gul must be pleased. Why, sister, have you not sought out a boon from me?”
Braxult lowered her gaze. She always found her sisters appearance pleasing, though she was quite certain Yuzzdil had something to do with that. She hesitated for a moment before she spoke.
“I seek to defy my nature, sister, and create. I do not know that you have anything you can do to assist me. Ours is not the hand of making.”
Drexath smiled, stepping slowly toward Braxult. The demon of disease’s leathery hand moved to the demon of death’s face, crinkling as it caressed.
“You will receive a gift from me, sister, though i will happen after your creation is done. I will send to you countless souls over time. War will ravage them and greed with be their undoing. Lust will drive them into madness. Pride and Apathy’s kin will forever remain lovers. It is disease, however, that will offer a bounty unto death.”
Drexath leaned closer, her bloodied cheek wiping against her sister’s. Her mouth puckered and whispered into her ear.
“It is I who will fill you, sister.”
Without another word, Drexath walked away. Braxult watched her until she disappeared into the darkness. She starred in the direction for a long time. Then, she began her work.
With the needle and thread, she strengthened her creation. It created great depressions in the earth where it crashed into this new world. She opened the vial of tears to fill them, creating Oceans and rivers.
In the heavens around her world, she hung the spark and watched as light and heat bathed her creation. Next she hung the gem and gold piece so that they might reflect the light of this new sun to the dark places of the world. The light would keep her parents from entirely consuming it, keeping it forever hers until even the sun and the moons she had created died.
Next, she opened the leather bladder, leaking out the whirling air of boasts to create the skies. Into these winds, she crushed the apple. The seeds of the fruit spread out amongst the lands, causing food and trees to grow. The world now had water to drink, heat to warm it, and food to eat. Her creation needed but one last thing.
She retrieved the spilt seed of her sister brother. He fingers smeared the paste like substance all over the planet. There, the sun warmed it until it started to grow. Out of this ooze, humans, the first people, were born. Braxult was satisfied. The demon of death had created life. She could not, however, keep it secret forever.
Her kin soon discovered what she had done. Delighted, her brothers and sisters claimed dominion of this area and that, taking delight in torturing these newly made creatures. Yuzzdil kept quite busy inciting the humans, making sure the demons had a good supply of victims. The world, just like the darkness, was filled with the screams and tears of its beings.
Ashdula knew that he could do better, however. He delighted in causing pain to these beings, but they were ugly with brief lives. The were imperfect, not fit for him.
Ashdula gathered many of them up and began to sculpt them. He took the bestial men and made them more limber and slender. He gave them more jagged features, pointing their ears to accentuate the graceful angles of their faces. When their shapes pleased them, he gave them great feathery wings so that they might ride on the winds and always be amongst his breath. These were the Avriel.
All agreed they were beautiful. More importantly, their screams could last centuries. All were pleased.
All except Yarlloth. The demon of war was filled with envy. Slowly, he filled their hearts with anger and resentment. Eventually, these Avriel split into two groups and once they had, just as Yarlloth knew they would, their pride made them hate one another. His heart filled with glee as the first war was raged.
Known now as the war of the fallen, the house of Symithus defeated the house of Culen. Those that lost had their wings sheared and were cast out of the skies to root amongst the muck of the surface world with the humans. Many who had followed Culen Yilustroth into battle blamed him for their loss. They left Culen for the woods, swearing off the strongholds of any elves forever. Those that were left created a great domed castle to forever shield them from their former kin in the skies. Dane Culen still stands today.
In time, they had descendants and their descendants had descendants. Yuzzdil spent much time amongst them, inspiring carnal acts and degradation. It was during this time that the woman man met Breen Yilustroth. The girl was especially susceptible to it’s suggestions. She became favored of the demon and often was allowed to converse with it personally.
In time, Breen even seduced her father. It is unknown if she also killed him or if, in his shame, he killed himself. It is known that Yuzzdil rewarded her greatly for what she had wrought in his name. The demon made a great, wet hole in the earth itself. Turning her skin dark as her heart, Breen was given the lands underneath to make her kingdom. Her and nine of her suitors fled the surface to populate the underdark with their spawn.
The races of the surface settled the lands. The high elves grew in number until there was no where more they could go. The wood elves fiercely defended their woodland territories to the east and they had stretched to the waters edge in the west. The wood elves ran free over the rest of that isle.
The humans began to take on different characteristics depending on where they were. The northlanders grew hair to survive the frigid cold of their homes. They burrowed into the ice to find refuge from the biting wind. Here, out of site of the demon lords, they were forgotten.
In the west, in a land of fire and destruction, their hair grew red as the flames that spouted from the mountain sides. They warred against each other, being favored of Yarrloth. They craved his glory and approval.
North of them, in a land damp and dismal, the humans hair grew black. The flies buzzed constantly and game fell dead into the murky waters. Drexath’s powers fed there. Those humans that dwelt there sacrificed to her to keep the diseases at bay. They made friends with death and knew her well.
Those to the south lived in the sun lit lands. Thier hair and skin was fair, yet they never burnt under the unforgiving sun. They were pray for all of demon kind.
Beneath the surface, the drow delved ever deeper into the world. They populated the dark corners there, calling out prayers to the demons that made them. Under the leadership of Breen, they prospered. She consorted with the many arachnids that dwelt in those dark places, becoming known as the spider queen.
The Spider Queen was ever looking to expand her realms. Men mined day and night, yet the progress was not fast enough for her. She decided the drow were too important to engage in such manual labors. She would need workers.
Breen called out to Yuzzdil, greatest of her lovers. The demon infused itself into the rock itself, being present in every stone around her. Breen copulated with the very earth, taking it deep within her. From this union, she birthed the first rock gnomes. They were slaves to the drow. They dug ever further into the earth for her, learning trades so that they could produce all that she required. They were ever obedient to their cruel masters.
Thus it went. The world lived in misery. This was the first age. All were separated and divided.
THE SECOND AGE
In the darkness surrounding the world, the demons feasted. This was a golden age for them. Luln, the demon king, left the dark realm for an era, leaving them all to their own devices. They were all satisfied for a time. All except for one, that is.
Gul wanted more. The world death had created was not enough for him. In the absence of Luln, he decided he would be the demon king. Just as the creator had, he would father progeny.
To put his plan into action, he needed a mate. The second age dawned as he found
Thathtil Grog Mezserrin alone in her swirls of color.
“Hello, brother. You’ve come alone to not be alone. You will spit and tare and grab. There is violence in your eyes, brother. You want my secrets, but they do not come from where you think. You would draw blood. You would bring ruin to all the nine and the nineteen and the thirty six. Would you see my heart beat like burning paper? There are mysteries even in that smoke, brother. There are questions whose answers are too small to see.”
Without a word, he took her. She fought back, but Gul was strong. From a short distance away, Yuzzdil watched.
Thathtil Grog Mezserrin was with child after the encounter. In time, she birthed. Gul was there to assure the child would be his. She grunted and screamed for days before becoming silent. First to appear was the head. Next came the wings. Finally came the feet, the only part not covered with feathers.
The demon of madness had given birth to a raven. Its eyes burned purple. It cawed once and then flew to its sire.
Gul looked at it with surprise. “You are a bird!”
“I am sometimes a bird, though I am many other things. You will know me at times as a coyote, and others as a man. I am not bound by a physical form in my doings.”
Gul grabbed the bird around its body, raising its head up so it would be level with his own.
“You are my progeny, raven. Mine. All mine. You will do as I say. You will suffer when it pleases me. You will learn to call me king.”
“Yes, my great king,” replied the raven. “But there is more you must do if you are to become the real king of demons.”
“What do you speak of, bird?”
The raven smiled. “You aspire to own everything do you not? There is one that has more than you.”
“Who, bird? Who?”
“Your brother, Ashdula. He boasts of it. He has riches you could not even dream of, oh king.”
Gul filled with rage. If he was to be the king of demons, he would need these riches. It festered in his head until it was all that he could think of.
One eve, while Ashdula slept, he snuck up to the Demon of pride. In the darkness, while his brother slumbered, Gul took a jagged knife and sliced his throat. The droplets sprayed across the world, becoming the fabled Ash Stones. This was the first and last time one of the nine had died.
The others soon discovered his crime. War broke out amongst the demons as brother fought sister. Short alliances were formed only to be broken quickly. In the ensuing chaos, Mungurd, the purpled eyed raven demon of deceit and trickery, ascended to the spot once held by Ashdula. This was his plan all along.
With the demons distracted, the world soon began to thrive. It was in this absence from their overlords that the important events of the second age took place. The Northland humans slowly emerged from their dark holes. In their absence from the surface world, they had become short and stocky with great beards and thick limbs. Thier bodies had changed to better deal with the hard rock and biting cold of their northlands. They had become the first dwarves.
Far under the world’s surface, they had come across great ores, never before known to the surface dwellers. One clan in particular even found a portal into another realm. There they came in contact with Tundar Ankin. They learned to forge steel, their tools and weapons being the most powerful in the world. The only others were glass, as the Avriel were not friends of fire. Their wings did not fare well with the heat required to forge. The surface bound races had just followed suit, not knowing any better.
The dwarves also found great stretches of water hidden deep in the ground. Tundar Ankin, the great wyrm that became known as the teacher of Dragon’s, taught them how to make primitive ships to traverse these stretches, rowing long distances as they explored the underdark. When they took back to the surface, they built similar crafts above ground as well and set out into the ocean.
It was around this time that a wood elf made a very important discovery. Qua Jon had been a favored mortal of Thathill Grog Mezserrin before the demons had left the world. His mind was shattered. The other wood elves venerated him, however, for he could see things the others could not.
On one of his trips into the woods, he came across something in the ground he had never seen before. In time, he came to recognize it as the thread that held the very world together. He dug the tip of his staff under a stitch and pulled up. Strange power flowed forth from it. He leaned closer.
This energy enveloped him, becoming one with his very being. Instantly, he understood. Calling out words of power that he had never before known, he rose into the air. Light poured from his very body. Qua Jon had discovered magic, and nothing would ever be the same.
Qua Jon freely taught the art to all who came to him. Grey elves and wood elves alike learned the rituals and spells that he had found.
The birth of magic in the world had more consequences even than what was obvious. Some of the new mages found they could open portals to other places. The isles were now suddenly connected to other worlds. There was much more magic to be found back then, thus such things were easy, not as they are today.
Other beings began to take notice. A host of gods from far away lands flocked to the isles and made themselves known to the elves. They were much different from the demon lords that formed the world. They are as follows:
Tadis, Goddess of nature
Mishtil, Goddess of healing and health
Markkesh, God of the sea
Drugan, God of the forge
Venul, Goddess of love
Silwyn, sister or Markkesh, Goddess of travel
and the brothers, Druhaus and Mugan, Gods of magic and knowledge.
The elves took up their worship, erecting temples to them. Through this, the elves found priestly magic as well. It was at this time that the dwarves landed on their shores. The elves were in awe of their craft. The Dwarves were in awe of their magic. The two races formed strong alliances at that time, trading their knowledge for the others.
The second age also brought about the birth of the kenders. Deep in the under dark lived the Kenderi, a clan of gnomes in servitude to the drow. The elders of the clan, led by Therrin Kenderi, decided they would flee the underdark and their captors. As one, the clan of perhaps fifty rose up and slew their guards, fleeing into the tunnels. There they wandered for a year before finding their way to the surface. At first, the light blinded those that had survived the journey. When their eyes adjusted, they found themselves facing a vast ocean. With no more ground left to travel and aware that the drow still pursued them, they chopped down trees and crudely lashed them together with whatever they could find. On these crude rafts of drift wood, they set out amongst the ocean, faced with almost certain death from starvation or the sea itself.
Silwyyn noticed their plight and took pity on the brave gnomes. She appeared in the midst of the water, speaking to them soothing words. She replaced their crude vessels with the Thoots that all Kender have. The Kenderi took up her worship and devoted themselves to forever travel the world, keeping their possessions in their Thoot sacks. In time, on the surface, they grew larger, as they were not confined by the stone walls of their gnome brethren. The Kenderi of that time became the Kender of today.
NOTE: The Thoot is the magical raft that all Kender have. It has three forms: A raft with a small sail capable of moving over ice and water, a sack on a stick that functions as a bag of holding, and a tent. If anyone other than a Kender gain possession of this item, its magical properties cease.For a while, the races of the world prospered. New technologies and magics were common place. The Avriel started the great Library of Narthuk to chronicle the history and knowledge of the times. Rivalries were set aside so that all could benefit from all. The new gods started to flourish. Though they were worshipped everywhere, the different races became fond of different gods. The wood elves held Tadis and Venul in high esteem. The grey elves looked to Druhaus and Mugan, ever delving further into arcane mysteries and sciences. The dwarves built shrines to Drugan with every ship housing at least one likeness of Markkesh. Many worshipped Tundar the wyrm exclusively. Silwyn was known as the protector of Kenders as well as the winged Avriel. Humans seemed to pay homage to the entire patronage equally. There were a group of Elves that were particularly devoted to Markkesh. They sailed far from their own lands to the sun lit lands of the south. There, they preached the words of Markkesh to the humans of that area. They found some audience as well. They began to make offerings to the waters themselves, sacrificing game and putting their dead to sea. Thier leader took on the name Elias Markkeshson, claiming to have the very blood of Markkesh in his own. Elias Markkeshson would one day lead his people into the sea. Instead of drowning, they swam off, blessed by their god. They became the sea elves and Mermen of present day. They remained beneath the deeps, rarely disturbed by the happenings on the surface world. The world was happy for a time under the new gods. New races were born and older ones grew in number, but it was not to last.
THE THIRD AGE
Luln had traveled far and plumbed the depths of many a hell and darkness that were not his own. He destroyed some worlds for his own amusement along the way, but others he found himself weak in comparison to their own beings. Some were good and some were evil. Luln was disheartened by what he found.
When he returned home, however, he was even more so. His progeny waged war upon one another. The world they had created had found new gods. He could feel the displeasure of the darkness in his very being.
Into the middle of a celestial battle field, he stepped. His progeny gnashed and stabbed at each other, all being protected now by spells of warding and demonic powers. The war raged around him, the demons being too caught up in their struggle to notice the homecoming. Above it all, a purple eyed raven flew and squawked.
“STOP!” his voice boomed, and they stopped.
“You have all been fooled, and that makes you all weak. For this, you will be punished. First, there are more pressing matters. The world you have all shaped has found new gods! They go unchallenged, reigning over your creations as you indulge in spite and pettiness. I have been gone and seen much and met many. I have met beings of power who would destroy you all as easily as I blink, but I know this: There is none more powerful than I on my home plane.”
He cast his gaze upon the world. It fell upon the city of Narthuk drifting the skies on its clouds.With one taloned finger, he pointed at it and growled. Flames erupted from the library and quickly started to spread. The smell of burning feathers filled the air. The clouds, which had effortlessly supported the buildings, gave way. The city of Narthuk crashed into the middle of the elven homelands, flaming as it fell.
Many elves died in an instant. Realizing what had happened, the Dwarven fleets all immediately sailed for their homes. They had out waited the demons once in the depths of the earth, they supposed they could do it again. The humans cowered in their encampments. All knew that the dark ones had returned.
Luln gave his children the ability to make children of their own so that they could teach the races of the world fear again. The demons soon colonized the world with Orcs and goblins, Giants and Trolls. Famine and disease ran rampant. The world was suddenly at war.
The new gods suddenly found themselves beset by demons. The world they had found, appearing uncared for, suddenly had evil as its keeper. They had not prepared for a war and suffered for it. They did the demons some great harm, but it was not enough. It was not long before they scattered, unable to defend themselves any longer. They hid in the darkness in small places where the demons would not find them. The fate of Tundar Ankin is unknown.
Many priests of the world suddenly found their powers had deserted them as their gods were no longer in a position to hear their prayers. None were safe. The lands, sea, and air were filled with evil denizens. The elven homelands laid in pieces, now separated by the sea itself. The forces of the world rallied and formed great armies. Though some battles were won, many were lost.
The dark ages began. Many advances of the previous age were lost as cities were sacked and centers of knowledge burned. The history of this time is vague at best as many documents were destroyed and many members of the longer lived races killed, their knowledge of the past gone with them.
The drow celebrated. Goblin kind prospered. Luln cackled with glee. He would not have done so if he knew what was in store for him.
THE FOURTH AGE
Qua Jon had survived much during the third age. He was one of the few ancient ones who still lived. He wandered the wastelands, hoping to find an answer to the evil that plagued the world. Many of his students had died and much of the magic that had been born to the world was gone. Still, the wild elf held onto hope.
Deep in the swamps of ______________, he found what he was looking for. Braxult had not been the best seamstress, for here was a thread protruding from the earth. The old elf knew it had been torn from Thathtil Grog Mezzserin’s breast before the world was formed. He knew it had power.
He held it in his hands and turned toward the sky. He screamed into the heavens.
“Oh Demon of madness! Oh she who rides on waves through the burning desert!
She who lives in song and dies under the tongue of the lotus eaters! I, Qua Jon, favored of you, call out to you. Thathtil Grog Mezzserin, I summon you!”
The demon appeared in a flash of colored lights. Her image changed continually, one moment strikingly beautiful, the next horrid. Then she would be a dot of light or the smell of an orange.
“Qua Jon, son of my soul, you have called me here. Do you not know we wage war on your kind now? To call me into physical being here could destroy you. There are stars that burn out in the sky even now. They came into being when the world was formed, yet they are older than myself. These are the secrets, Qua Jon. We all fade to nothingness, even my own. The smallest grain of sand contains the universe and all will burn before the dawn.”
“Sister-Mother,” Qua Jon began, “Do you not see what has become? The rest have mocked you and harmed you. Yours is a curse not of evil, but of misfortune. Though you share their blood, you are not one of them.”
“Little elf, little elf, you share my wisdom. You are too blind too see as far as I do. That which is in front of me is invisible, but that which is hidden is my meat and bread. Shattered mirrors and burning sands. The serpents scream into the dawn.”
“Thathtil Grog Mezzserin, it was not long ago that your name was called out by the people of this world and not in hatred. The painters and poets, long gone now, paid you heed. Those with the gift of prophecy still do, though their visions have grown dark. Your place is not amongst them.”
“Then where, little elf, would I go? They still hunger for my flesh and soul.”
Qua Jon looked out to the stars. “Follow the new gods into their hiding places. Become beloved of the people. Show that even a demon can become a god of good.”
“All the vortexes of time happen now! All that is linear has crumbled”
Thathtil Grog Mezzerin grabbed the thread from the mage. Angrily, she ripped it from the earth. Molten Lava started to bubble up from the ground where the hole opened.
“I give you a new savior, Qua Jon. Perhaps they can do what the new gods could not. I will seek them out. No longer a slave! No longer a victim! No longer will I bring the harm of my brethren! Goodbye, Qua Jon. We will not meet again, in this realm or any other.”
The wood elf bowed to the ground as the lava consumed him. Thathtil Grog Mezzserin watched until he had disappeared. Then, taking a piece of sharp obsidian from the ground, she sliced herself open, throat to groin. Her body feel to the ground.
From the wound sprung a mighty rainbow and a cacophony of sound. A winged woman glided out, tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. She was bathed in light. She only gave the world her name before she fled from it: Gylandia, the bright woman, goddess of madness, art, and prophecy. The demon was dead. The goddess was born.
Even as she fled, the whole she’d torn in the earth birthed other beings. She had opened a gateway to a far away realm where the dragon gods ruled. Bahamut, the god of all good dragons, and Tiamat, goddess of all of the evil dragons, suddenly had passage to this realm. Bahamut saw the suffering of the people and deemed to stop it. Tiamat saw a place easy for conquest.
Dragons of all colors poured from the holes. The Dragon Gods themselves followed, ready to wage war on demon kind. Chromatic and metallic, they swept over the isles, decimating armies of goblins and orcs. Giants fell to their breath weapons and trolls were crushed beneath their claws.
Bronze dragons flew to the north, rallying the dwarves. Thier warships set to sea, hunting down any evil they could. The dwarven smiths worked hard, sending their much needed weapons to all the lands they could reach. Elven mages who had hidden for years thrust themselves to the forefronts of the battles, hurling spells against their opponents. Humans brought their savagery to bare, clashing head on with the evil armies, felling them with their hatred and passion.
The gnomes had not been idle during this time. Long in the making, there had been a rebellion brewing. When the very halls of the under dark started to quake, they seized their opportunity. Drow and gnome alike fell in droves. The gnomes seized control of their creations and used them against the dark skinned elves. Smoke and fire filled the tunnels, screams echoing off of every rock. They fled underground until they came upon one of the volcanoes of the land. They barred entry and lived there under siege. Alone and without aid, they survived. The drow retreated as their casualties continued to climb. The gnomes, who had no gods to call their own, won the day and their independence forever.
The demons, weakened from their fights with each other and the new gods, were easy prey for the dragon gods. Like the new gods before them, they fled, hiding in the deepest recesses of the darkness. The people rejoiced. The dragons spread over the land and divided up their realms. They were the new gods, evil and good alike. Under their reign, the world began to rebuild.
THE FIFTH AGEWith the great conflict at an end, Tiamat and bahamut prepared to leave the realm, feeling confident that their children would shepherd the world into what it was to become. Before they left, they bestowed one last boon (or curse, depending on who you ask). All of the female dragons of the world suddenly began to lay eggs, though many had no cause to. From these eggs hatched the first generation of Half Dragons. Where the dragons were to be the leaders and newest of gods for the isles, the Half Dragons were to be its defenders and champions. They were the examples for the rest to follow. With that, the elder dragon gods departed. The dragons solidified their realms. History continued. In the north remained the dwarves. The gods of their ancestors were seemingly all gone and the only dragons that coveted their cold lands were the whites. Without the protection of a greater power, it was only a matter of time before conflict erupted. Thier mountain strongholds were stormed by white wyrms, their treasures confiscated. The dwarves, proud craftsmen all, were made a slave race. They would remain so for 300 years.
The kingdoms were ruled by the great white wyrm Naggrund the Ruiner. Naggrund had one son, Neffrund, and one daughter, Glunmort. They also led a clan of white Half Dragons, the Naggra Thun. The Naggra Thun were the enforcers and spies of the whites. They were spread out between all the kingdoms. Neffrund and Glunmort had many lairs that they would frequent as they moved from mine to hall, making sure the will of their father was law. Naggrund, however, made his home in the former seat of Dwarven power: Thundin Hall, where the high king would reside.
Naggrund had many of the riches and wonders of the dwarves brought there to reside in his horde. There he grew lazy and complacent assured of his power. As was a theme in the world, his power would not last
where the Drakes did not go. Messages were delivered by underground ship as they carried precious stones and materials from one place to another. The Dwarves used this underground form of communication to orchestrate a revolt.
On the 300th anniversary of their imprisonment, when the full moons light shone on the outside of their glaciers and mountains, the Dwarves flew banners of Tundar Ankin and rose up.
Half Dragons fell in great numbers, though the dwarves themselves also suffered great casualties. The greatest of their heroes fought the dragons. Neffrun and Glunmort fell to their hammers and axes, taking what dwarves with them that they could. Naggrund would not make it so easy, however.
The Wyrm slew all that lived in Thundin Hall, including High King Gilan Dirrenspigs. They fought back but there was little they could do against such a terrible foe. All of the Thudin clan died that night. Warriors sped through the caves and overground to Thudin Hall, intent on avenging their kin. They wielded great weapons and were set to fall upon Naggrund in droves.
Knowing that it would mean even more loss of Dwarven life, a young cleric by the name of Olgdenmar rushed on ahead, taking pathways that few knew of. He reached the Wyrm first. The details of what happened next are vague, as none that lived witnessed the event. It is said Olgdenmar summoned the great Tundar Ankin himself from whatever realm he resided in, and that the Dragon God dealt Naggrund a great wound. Thrashing and shrieking, Naggrund broke out of Thudin Hall, sending the whole of the kingdom crashing down onto itself. He was last seen flying across the skies above the frozen tundra, howling in pain. Some believe he went to find somewhere to die. Others believe he lives out there still, plotting his revenge for himself and his children. Olgdenmar was never seen again, presumed dead when Thudin Hall was destroyed. The location of Thudin Hall is lost to us now, buried somewhere beneath the frozen tundra.
The war itself lasted 100 years. Dwarven civilization was all but destroyed when it was finished. With Thudin Hall destroyed and the High King dead, the different clans rebuilt in relative isolation. It was only two years ago that Durrikan Bloodaxe claimed the right of the High King, moving the Dwarven center of power to Irt’ Keirendall where he resides in a throne fashioned from the skull of Neffrun wearing armor fashioned from Glunmort’s scales and steel. Though it seems all the clans have accepted his ascension, his grasp on the kingship is anything but firm.
The drow stayed beneath the waves. On occasion they would send their ships of barnacle and bone to the surface, but they preferred their dark caves. They found the southern edge of a Dwarven city across lake Fenrir. Once the Dwarves repelled the white dragons, a war broke out amongst the two peoples, neither gaining much ground. Eventually, the dwarves would come to be known as the victors, though in truth they had won nothing they had not started the conflict with.
The drow cut off all exit from their lands after that, aside from a single cave located amidst some of the worst waters there are. It is said that only a great pilot with an excellent map can traverse them, though others have been foolhardy enough to try. If they indeed made it to the cave entrances, they have not made it back to boast.
The Sylvan empire has largely rebuilt. Consisting of many noble households, the elven seat of power is in Dane Calen. Thier port cities are prosperous places full of wonderment and trade. The silver dragon family of Elithaus lives among them, generally polymorphed into elven form. These silvers, though all noble, have declared that they are not gods. The elves worship the patheon of the gods in exile, praying one day for their return.
The wood elves of the sylvan empire live a harder life. The woods there still hold many of the demon-kin. Goblin wars are not at all uncommon. Green dragons and Half Dragons have also settled in the area. While they generally stay clear from the high elves and their silver dragon allies, the wood elves are not afforded any such luxuries. Some tribes have pledged allegiance to them to avoid violent fates. Others have pledged to rid their land of these wyrms, caring not about their role in the demon wars. Others just constantly keep on the move, all the better to avoid their detection. This life has made the wood elves a study in contrasts. They’ll weep at the beauty of a spring flower, yet attack with a savagery that makes even the human barbarians pause for thought.
The cliffs of Tur’ E Nay are home to a human druidic order, though not much is known of them. They appear to be ascended from the Northmen before they took their leave of the surface world and became dwarves. They protect a few holy groves in that region, rarely venturing away from them. It is said that the faye folk congregate there.
The Darklands are home to the Drenalin humans. Thier features are dusky, their hair jet black. Black Dragons and Black Dragonborn live amongst them. It is said a hybrid religion has started there, the humans infusing their worship of Drexath with that of the black dragons. The wastelands here are a savage place. Outsiders wisely stay away.
To the south of the darklands lay the Flame tooth mountains. Red dragons live there, patrons, protectors, and rulers of the barbarian tribes of the region. The tribes consist of red dragon born and red haired fiery hearted humans. They value strength and bravery above all else. The tribes are just as likely to be warring with each other as they are to be sending out raiding parties on their ships. The red Dragons there are of one incestous family. Pettiness and rivalries run deep.
There are spell casters amongst the tribes as well. They are called the crones and can only be women. They are always distrusted and feared by the barbarians, living on the outskirts of their settlements. The barbarians are too superstitious to raise a hand against them, however.
To the southwest of the Flame Tooth Mounts lays Gnomehome, the homeland of the gnomes. This is where they fled to after the great rebellion. They use the thermal vents of the volcano to aid in their craftings. It is from here their paddle wheel ships and propeller lifted flying vessels hail. Worshipping no gods, they have no priests. Technology is what they venerate.
The gnomes are the only ones who have learned to refine the darkstone into fuel and the explosive powder that fire’s their weapons. They guard the secret with their lives. Regular trade routes exist between Gnomehome and Zan Zan Turina, as the mines there are the only place in the Isles where darkstone has been discovered. The massive cannons that guard the gates of the desert city were a gift from the gnomes to solidify their trade agreements. Elwen’s cove is a small gnomish settlement to grant them entry to the continent. The other cities will not grant them permission to dock, knowing they trade with Wyrlthanth, the Great Dessert Wyrm.
To the east of Gnomehome lay the Gleaming isles, home to the world’s Bronze Dragons. A few humans call the gleaming isles their homes. These descendents of the sun isles sought freedom and found it amongst the Bronze Draconians that call these Isle’s home. They are largely a fishing folk, living off the land, as are the dragons themselves. They have little, but they have enough and want for nothing. Life is simple on the Isles, the Bronze Dragons ensuring they do not become wrapped up in any of the world’s complicated affairs.
In a large expanse across the south is the Sun Lit Isles. They are led by a Theocracy, headed by Retrasilus The Gold. The governmental leaders see themselves not just as policy makers, but as spiritual leaders as well. For as scarey as that might sound, it is generally a peaceful land. They trade heavily with the dwarves and elves, having large gold mines under their domains. They have been known to trade with the other races, even while not condoning their stances and behaviors.
Other gold dragons are venerated, such as the divine Gold Dragon Thraxerides, but no other religions are tolerated. Worship of the Gods in exile leads to imprisonment while worship of demons leads to much worse fates. The gold dragons, seen as a pantheon with Retrasilus in the highest, just desire to keep their land pure and strong. All the other gods failed the world; they will not.
While their borders are open, any character of an evil race will b e watched closely. They allow for the possibility that anyone may be reformed and become good of heart, but they do not count on it. There is even a prolific and charismatic blue draconian in the priesthood by the name of Uthalt Bluescale who has turned from his roots to worship Retrasilus.
To the south of the Sun Lit Isles lay the independent city states of Qua’lorn. They are 8 in number. The greatest is Zan Zan Turina. Beneath the sprawling city state lays the only known darkstone mines, as well as two diamond mines and a gold mine. This dark domain sits upon vast riches that its ruler, Wyrlthanth, is in control of. Wyrlthanth is the only known living blue dragon. She killed the rest of her kin out of jealousy, becoming the sole ruler of Zan Zan Turina.
The city itself is a hotbed of activity. Zan Zan Turina holds the very very rich and the very very poor. The slave trade is very much alive there. Slaves from all lands mine the darkstone and gold. This has made Zan Zan Turina the most metropolitan of all cities. All races can be found there. With the lack of restraint, it is also a bustling center of trade. Most things can be found there if one knows where to look. They also have the largest arena in the world. Wyrlthanth is the biggest patron of these fights, often watching them herself from the skies above the arena.
Kern is led by Thernalis the Copper. He petitions regularly to join the empire of the sunlit isles but to no avail. For now he must be content with trading with them. Kern exports a lot of seafood. There are a few temples there built by gold dragon born priests.
Sarth is led by Dor the Brass. The humans of Brass fish and grow what they can. The half Dragons make up the warrior caste, not unlike Samurai. Most are Lawful Neutral in their allegiance to their lord Dor. It is thought that if an attack on Zan Zan Turrina ever happens, it will be lead by Dor.
Pult is led by Mujin the Brass and Lothnal the Copper. Their exact relationship is unknown. They are fierce protectors of their city, almost to the point of xenophobia. One can not expect to pass through Pult without speaking to the town guard. Shepherds continually graze their cattle outside of the walls, having occasional run ins with one of the Qua’Lorn tribes. Within the walls is a copper mine. Between the copper, meat, and Pult’s legendary pottery, the citystate does much trade,
Mak is led by Myrla the Copper. It’s proximity to Zan Zan Turrina certainly has its effect. The cities main trade is pleasure. Myrla has commissioned beautiful gardens and has enticed many artists of the world to live within her walls. There are also many courtesans, restaurants, and other sources of pleasure. Once every year, Myrla holds a series of games open to any in the land. The winners are generally the smartest, bravest, fastest, and strongest. The biggest event is a race that ends in Sarth. Myrla herself flies there to greet the victors and those who finish. Many Half Dragons from Sarth compete in it.
Varrek is led by Thessle the Brass. The city state has attracted many mages of all races with Varrek’s support of the magical arts. They host the weekly Bazaar of the bizarre, trading in all manner of items, magical and mundane. Thessles temple is said to hold many wonders.
Un’ is led by Thalorain the Copper. In truth, the city is led by a council of thirteen Copper Dragonborn. Thalorain’s mind has become infirm over the years. He is a leader in name only. He resides in a cave outside of the city. Its said any who enter do not leave sane. The council keep the craftsman of the town busy, the weapons of Un’ be second only to those of the dwarves.
Therrin is led by Takwin the Brass. The city state holds two monasteries, each patroned by Takwin. There is the monastery of the four elements and the temple of the empty hand. The entirety of the city state is affected by these two institutions, most following a religion involving self discovery and enlightenment rather than worship of any god. Takwin himself often times mentions the goal is to return to the void. All monks hail from one of these monasteries. Largely, they are brass half dragons, though they will open their doors to any who prove their worth.
Finally, Qua’Lorn hosts three nomadic tribes: The Durgan, The Kiradal, and The blood fangs. The Durgan are largely humans, descended from the races of the sun isle. Those that are not human are halfling, forever ridings through the desert’s sands. They ride lizards through the desert lands, eating that which they can hunt or raid. The Kiradal are a sect of drow that left the underground world. They are small in number and mysterious, only moving during the night time hours. Their history and purpose is unknown. The Blood fangs are a mix of Orcs and blue Dragonborn, along with a few other humanoids. They are tolerated as they are considered to be under the protection of Zan Zan Turina, often performing services for the Great Wyrm Lord there.
In the skies lay the three cities of the Avriel: Anqua, Doricia, Maudaconda. They have removed themselves from the rest of the population, blaming the land bound races for the destruction of their great library. They live in the clouds now with the silver dragons, spending their days on frivolities.
Under the seas lay kingdoms of sea elves and mermen. The mermen are xenophobic, trusting no one. Many ships have sunk due to sailing in the wrong waters. The sea elves, however, represent what may be the most advanced of the civilizations of man. While rarely venturing to the land world, they hold no hatred for land dwellers. They just find the waters much more comfortable.
Welcome to the Isles of Samsarras.