Thursday, April 14, 2016

The old, old world

It has been remarked that Arihmere, like the rest of the Harrowmarch, has a patchy and chaotic history, subject to the rise and fall of empires, and the whims of kings, raiders, and would-be conquerers. Sometimes, glimpses of an even older history can be caught, necessarily partial and sometimes contradictory, a patchwork of legends and surmise.

Elemental Age

Elementals, the titanic primal forces, carve the world out of the First Matter. Many of the more elaborate pantheons mark out their myths of origin at this time.

Serpent Age

The Eldest Serpents rule and squabble over a primitive world. Notable creatures of this era are massive and reptilian: wyrms, drakes, serpents, and so on.

Ourgarth Hunts

Honed to ferocity in the shadow of the greater wyrms, the Ourgarths (giants and trolls), worshippers of darkness and strength, march out to rule the world. They herd massive aurochs, stalked by dire wolves and long-toothed lions.

Fae Domains

The otherworldly and magical creatures collectively known as the fae overcome the ancient rule of the giants and carve out their own domains. The fae claim to have learned magic, amidst their endless quarreling, from the dreams of dragons, which merely shows how little they may be trusted on any matter.

Others say that spirits, severed from the Earth during the Elemental Age, creep back across the borders of the world with the help of the Fae.

Fae Wars

The normally feuding fae raise their war-banners against the Ourgarth, betraying an uneasy peace and beginning a long series of wars.

Circle Builders

Ancient human clans (now remembered only for their enigmatic stone circles) join the battle ranks of the fae in confronting the Ourgarth. Human claim to have learned magic from the fae, in return for the mastery of iron, but the fae assert that their arts were stolen.

Rise of Marass Grim

A Dark Lord of the fae betrays his lineage and joins with the giants. The simmering war turns into an epic confrontation.

Arak Amay

Loosely interpreted by all sides as "The Battle Lost by Winning". The Fae-Garth War ends in disaster. The fae shelter within their  fortified mounds and the deep forests, while the giants and trolls sulk in the Unterdaerk.

Elder Folk

The human survivors of all the above found kingdoms around the seas, river plains, and northern forests. They are later known as the Ellfolk.

What follows is loosely called history, from the austere and wolvish empires of Earduath and Kees, to the campaigns against the Reaver Thegns, to the various struggles of the Sundering Wars. Occasionally, a beast or monster out of one of the elder ages slithers into view, but only the dragons know the whole truth of what went before, and they are not inclined to share.