Historical Event

Historical Event

Vaxia Frequently Asked Questions

The Vaxia setting has been around in one form or another for nearly twenty years. There is a lot of information to take in so we understand how daunting navigating the wiki can be. We hope this will answer many of the major questions our players may have and help get you introduced to the setting of Vaxia sooner. If you have a question that you think we should have listed here please let Setting know so we can update this section.


What kind of setting/world is Vaxia?

The setting is a historically themed high fantasy type world set in a time period that is similar a range of the Renaissance to The Age of Discovery. There is magic, fantastical creatures and species, the wonder of exploration and early science, and even some steam punk and magitech elements sprinkled in.

The world of Vaxia itself has three major continents that house a variety of flavor of locations and cultures to choose from for a character, ensuring we have lots of diversity in play to offer.
We do our best to ensure that anyone can see a version of themselves in the world as they like.


Is there magic and how does it work?

Magic is very present and common in the world of Vaxia.
Unlike other games though we do not have a list of spells characters have to use, or even specific spheres/schools characters have to choose from. Rather magic is a theme players can use to connect three aspects into a single skill. There are all sorts of possibilities that this can translate to. For more information on magic refer to: Vaxia Magic

Though magic isn’t a catch all solution to everything. Diseases can become resistant to magic just like they can mundane medicine. Some people or creatures can even become resistant to magic as well. Nor can magic stop the weather (it can be used to take some of the brunt to keep a city from being destroyed, but it takes many mages on hand to perform the ritual to basically create a city sized shield.). Magic makes it possible to do some small scale terraforming, but to try it on a very large scale can (and has) lead to disaster.
Magic can have some high risks if the caster is not careful.

There are also some areas in the world where magic can not be casted or found at all. These zones are known as null magic zones. These zones don’t and cannot be moved. If an object is removed from a null zone, it could have some magic resistance, but the absolute null effect is only present in the area where the object was taken.


What are the major roleplay locations?

While it is possible to roleplay anywhere in the world of Vaxia, the main hub of all roleplay in the Vaxia setting is taking place in the city of Ramsalon and its immediate surroundings.

The city is a bustling port with a river running right through the center and a wall surrounding the city, except along the cliff-side, and the port. It is a massive metropolis sitting on its own peninsula, home to almost a million people, with many of the comforts you might expect of Renaissance-era Europe - inns, shops, banks, hospitals, even indoor plumbing in most areas. The majority of the population are humans, Elves and Half-Elves but you can find all manner of folk walking about. Orcs Goblins and Nethar may draw some troubled looks when spotted in the city due to past conflicts between the old Empire and some of their respective peoples, but they aren't barred entry to the city and many groups are trying to build better relationships to avoid mistakes of the past.

Ramsalon used to be the former capital city of the Vaxian Empire which in 3013 (2013) was overthrown by the Shi Inkahan Empire in a surprise invasion in order to liberate the Vaxian Continent from the old Empire in the Naga Nori War

The Ramsalon Town Guard work to keep the peace, but Ramsalon has an odd quality of attracting stranger-than-average dangers, and often relies on its many adventurers for protection.

North of the city is the Ramsalon Forest which is even more massive than the city, and an untrained traveler is best keeping to the caravan trails to avoid getting lost. Past the forest are the Ramsalon Mountains.


What all has happened in the history of Vaxia?

Alot! Thankfully though we have a timeline that gives a at a glance look at the major events to have happened in Vaxia.
Timeline and Historical Events of Vaxia


What kind of technology exists in Vaxia?

Vaxia is set in a time period similar to our own Age of Discovery and Renassance. Nearly any kind technology that could be found in that time frame anywhere in the world is a possibility, with a couple of exceptions.

There is also a kind of twist to some of the technology levels due to the existence of magic which has also made possible a kind of technology to exist that is similar to really earlier level of steampunk and a kind of magitech of a similar flavor as well.

The presence of magic has also helped with several quality of life technologies. Cities are built with a slightly more advanced infrastructure then at the Renaissance level. Indoor plumbing that is quite sanitary and similar to near modern times and climate control are a couple of examples. Some larger cities will even have structures that are like Renaissance themed skyscrapers, with towers that reach towards the sky in a fantastical fashion, and buildings stacked up to.

Most gunpowder related technology has been kept to the form of just explosives.
Firearm related technology has not evolved past the most primitive levels as such the hand canon or fire lance. This is due to that such weapons have proven a bit impractical with the existence of magic, as a magically imbued bolt or arrow are easy to come by, just as devastating, and much more accurate, without the risks usually involved in firearm manufacturing. So you won’t find any muskets or pistols in the setting.

Clockwork based technology is very possibly through mundane and magical means.

Travel technology exists primarily in the form of ships - water and air, wagons pulled by animals or golems, riding animals, walking, the use of teleportation and portals, or any combination of those. Magic portals have removed the need for developing mass forms of travel across land as there are mages nearly anywhere that can port someone for a small price. For ocean travel ships still remain the best option as portalling takes a lot of energy to make the distance and setting up checkpoints are not as easy out in the open waters as it is over land. There are some ships that are designed to fly in the air, but they take an immense about of magical energy to power for the time being and are rarely seen.


Who are the bad guys?

Evil is what you make of it

The setting of Vaxia does not have a specific evil or bad guy group.

We specifically design our species to not be typecasted into being the permanent ‘bad guy’. There is no everyone that belongs to X species is always evil. Instead it is up to the various factions, groups, and organizations to fill those roles. These organizations are also limited to the regions of which they operate.

It is a matter of perception and this will differ from character to character based upon the ideals and background we give them, and further shaped by the experiences they have in their adventures as you the player see fit to add or take from.

Whom may be a bad guy to your character will be dependent on which view of the world you want to take with them. Even more so if they are going to affiliate with certain organizations, as the known enemies of those groups will in effect be the bad guys for your character.

In short you get to decide whom is going to be the bad guys in the eyes of your character.

You can find a list of organizations/factions/groups here: Vaxia Organizations
Each organization where applicable should have a list of known enemies and allies, and which region(s) they operate in.

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History of Shi Inkahan

A land of honor and tradition, Shi Inkahan is located far to the west of Vaxia, crossing the enormous Western Kadrass ocean. For centuries, it was closed for all the foreign kingdoms, with the exception of Wang Port the main entrance coming from the east, that is used only for commerce. Shi Inkahan is famous because of its legends, traditions and moods, including their reputation as great martial artists. Historically reclusive, the Shinkans had only recently opened their doors to the rest of their world, because of the Xiao Ken a former Emperor.

Shinkans say theirs is the oldest empire, founded in the legendary days of the First Oni War. It is located far to the west, too far for most adventurers to reach twice in their lifetime, and too big to pass as mere legend. But that is changing fast, as technology advances so do the ambition of merchants and sailors (and pirates). Two main mountain chains, the Red and Blue Dragon, in east and west, divide their land, which elsewise is dominated by jungles. It is ruled by its Emperor from the proud capitol of Kiotoi


Ki Otoi (means throne of wisdom) was founded around the year 1000 from our age. Placed in the middle of the Mojingan Valley, the city is constructed over the Otoi lake, binded with four bridges. A true jewel of architecture ( I think it as some kind of Bangkok and the Forbidden City meld) with high towers and large statues. The first emperor is supposed to have been Bashu Kero, the demigod, but this version is not confirmed because in the first years, the Shinkans always painted their history with myths and legends over true information. But, from the beginning, the House of the Sun, as the imperial bloodline called themselves, reigned the country from those ancient times.

Many times, they got away from the throne, and many times, they were restored. But in the end, the traditions and the religion were stronger than the political structure.

The Mojingan Age

From centuries ago, the Mojingans lived in the valleys of Shi Inkahan, being the most stronger beings in the land. War natured, the mojingan army was feared in many parts of the world. Known as berserkers in battle, stealth in the night, and intelligent in politics, the mojingans were a race to be feared and respected. In the year 1320 of our year, the mojingans conquered the human clans and Ki Otoi city, and Varavatra, the wise, ruled Shi Inkahan with his iron claw. They constructed many monuments, enginering, and other benefits that made Shi Inkahan one of the most beautiful countries in the world, because their architecture was always sychronized with nature.

The mojingan decandence ocurred about the year 1650, amazingly, because of a plague that lashed the country, terribly affected the mojingans. The humans took advantage of this, and reconquered the city in 1690. For many years, Humans and Mojingans were in terrible conflicts with each other until the agreements of Wu Han in 1750 when the two races made a pact to live with each other without aggression.

Some mojingans still remember the days of the ancient glory, but most of them now are used to living and working side by side with humans. The mojingans are the base of the shinkan army, occupying most of the important places. Varavatra the 6th, is now the main General of the shinkan army. He commanded the shinkan strike forces against Necromos in the war of Guundhagor in the vaxian alliance.

Red Lotus War

Shi Inkahan suffered the Red Lotus War only about 10 years ago. It was provoked by Hickorigatta a member of the Red Lotus party (Kuei Kajan) and a noble who ruled the city of Yoon Gwe at the south, along with a disciple of the legendary necromancer, Necromos. Feeling betrayed because the love of Xiao Ken despised her, and prefered the beautiful Yam Jin, Hickorigatta planned her revenge. She manipulated the strings of power for many years before she got a powerful army ready to strike the capital city, but destiny acted, and the bashumatsus and the rest of the Shi Inkahan army fought against the Red Lotus army. In the end, Hickorigatta killed Yam Jin, the Empress, and disappeared after her army was defeated. But her vengeance was complete. Xiao Ken constructed a monument after that (something similar to the Taj Mahal in our world), the Empress's Tomb, in the downtown of Ki Otoi, for remembering all the victims of the war, besides his wife, Yam Jin.

Ashimai and Evergard were two of the bashumatsus who really knew about what was behind the Red Lotus war.

Today, the Kuei Kajan are trying to clear their names, because not all their members were involved in the war. But now, they're using a new plan to claim the throne of Xiao Ken for themselves. Rumours say that an amazing warrior, called Jian Su, is used by the Kuei Kajan , marking him as the Bashu Kuno, that is, the dragon knight. Many people are starting to follow this supposed "choosen one", but no one knows...

Another recent fact, is that the princess (that renounced the throne for marrying Evergard, the first outlander Bashumatsu ever) was kidnapped by a group of invisible beings called the kharmas, an ancient race that was exterminated by the mojingans during the ruling of Varavatra the wise... but maybe those creatures are linked with the Kuei Kajan... and maybe Hickorigatta... in some way...


Present Day:

The Shinkan people are mostly humans. Mojingans are found in in the Mojingan Valleys near Yungue and Nagas are found in the deeper portions of the jungle. There are stories of demons and spirits that fit the description of other species such as Elves Dwarves Halfings and many others.

The Bashumatsu are perhaps the most famous Shinkan group. The name means "the one who is loved by the dragon". These monks have devoted their lives to learn the ways of the ki, manipulating it and using it to help other people. Similar to a shaolin, disciplined as a samurai, the bashumatsus are pacifist warlords that are ready to defend the innocent, the land and the Emperor. A bashumatsu only uses his Naga Musho sword, that is a blade with no edge except on the top, for defense, not for attack, except in extreme cases, which is why it has the edge only on the top. They dress in red tunics and with a black large hat, symbolizing the melding of life (the red) with the cosmos (the black hat). The bashumatsus is supposed to be an institution founded by the great dragon itself, for keeping the peace and order, and teaching normal men the ways of enlightment and illumination. Their main base is at the Bashumatsu Temple, in the Blue Dragon Mountain chain. Though they are dedicated to protecting peace, the combat prowess of the bashumatsu monks is legendary, often compared to that of the Vaxian Drads

Politics
Shi Inkahan is not a democracy, but an aristocratic system with the main head of the Emperor or Emperors at the top. The mojingans have high positions inside the Imperial Court, and many political factions have been formed during the years.

Regional Lords
Every region, many of the larger cities, and some governmental services, are ruled by a lord, in a feudal system. These lords are sometimes called daimyos, counts, or governors, and most claim descendance from one hero of the ancient age. There are approximately 60 of these daimyos. An incomplete list follows:

  • Chengain, a Mojingan, of a city just east of the Red Dragon Mountains
  • Jikan of the Western Plains, east of the Red Dragon Mountains
  • "The Judge" of Poi Poi
  • Kunjao of the Western Marches, by the Land of Witches across the Red Dragon Mountains
  • Pang of the Red Dragon Mountains
  • Togramatsu of Yungue

Until the aftermath of the Fifth Oni War, when they were united in Marriage and promoted to Emperor, Sawa and Yujin guarded the north and south Western Marches, respectively.

Political Parties
The actual Emperor has faced many times the problem of dealing with the different allegiances:

  • Bashu Jipon Dragon Claws - the loyalist group to the emperor, traditionalist, wants to keep or return to the old ways of doing things. Generally isolationist. This group also controls the Imperial Archives of Shi Inkahan.
  • Maru Ajai the Jade Mirrors - this group is very republican, they are imperialist and think that war is the only way to demonstrate the honor and superiority of Shi Inkahan.
  • Jamba Agani the Wind Runners - more radical, their ideas are generally anarchist or libertarian.
  • Kuei Kajan Red Lotus - this group is infamous as the party of Hikorigatta the Red Witch, who provoked the violent Red Lotus War. Kuei Kajan is trying to clear their name, trying to make people to forget the past. This party is the party of poor people and the underclass, and employs much communist rhetoric.

About 25 of Shi Inkahan's daimyos follow the Bashu Jipon; about 20 are Maru Ajai; and perhaps 10 who have made fortunes in commerce instead of through inheritance are Jamba Agani; the rest are functionally independent of the party system. Only peasants follow the Kuei Kajan these days.

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Shanty Town

Historical Reference
Shanty Town was a district of Ramsalon before the Darkest Night

Geography
Shanty Town was located at the extreme south-west end of the city, bordered to the south and west by Gauntlet Gulf, to the east by the Crawfang River, and to the north by the districts of Town Green and Wayward Ho

Shanty Town lay at a lower elevation than most of the rest of the city and was prone to occasional flooding.

Population
The poorest individuals (predominantly human) in the city lived in Shanty Town, chiefly in small huts, lean-tos, and other hovels which gave the district its name. Crime was rampant and the Town Guard rarely made any appearances here.

Darkest Night
Shanty Town suffered more destruction during the Darkest Night and more Ramsalonians died here than in any other district, even though it saw relatively little actual fighting.

The Black Oil Plague swept easily through the densely-crowded slums, and the earthquakes collapsed most of the dwellings, and the path of the Crawfang River was redirected through the middle of Shanty Town, drowning many.

Aftermath
After the Darkest Night, most of Shanty Town lay under water, and the southern part of the district had been lifted straight into the air along with the Haven Croft district.
First General Augustus Razzaine paved over the graveyard of Death Row and built tenements there, renaming the area Beth Bow and moving all the surviving slum-dwellers there.

As the south-eastern shore of the city was now fairly sheer cliff, ships would now have to sail around the raised southern half of the former Shanty Town to land in Wayward Ho or the river, so it proved an ideal location for a fortress, so the massive Congreth-Kane Castle was built there.
Part of the northern portion of Shanty Town was resettled by immigrants from Shi Inkahan, who also coöpted some of the Town Green and Court Of Heroes to build Shinkantown The rest of northern Shanty Town was annexed into the Town Green.

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Red Lotus War

Red Lotus War

The Red Lotus War was a massive conflict in Shi Inkahan when the proletariat followers of the Kuei Kajan philosophy, led by Hickorigatta and Lord Xen Kuan, trying to cast off the shackles of their monarchist oppressors, rose up in open rebellion. They were defeated, but many died.

Shi Inkahan suffered the Red Lotus war around the year 2995. It was provoked by Hickorigatta, a member of the Red Lotus party (Kuei Kajan) and a noble who ruled the city of Yoon Gwe at the south, along with a disciple of the legendary necromancer, Necromos Feeling betrayed because the love of Xiao Ken despised her, and prefered the beautiful Yam Jin, Hickorigatta planned her revenge. She manipulated the strings of power for many years before she got a powerful army ready to strike the capital city, but destiny acted, and the bashumatsus and the rest of the Shi Inkahan army fought against the Red Lotus army. In the end, Hickorigatta killed Yam Jin, the Empress, and disappeared after her army was defeated. But her vengeance was complete. Xiao Ken constructed a monument after that (something similar to the Taj Mahal in our world), the Empress's Tomb, in the downtown of Ki Otoi, for remembering all the victims of the war, besides his wife, Yam Jin.

Ashimai and Evergard were two of the bashumatsus who really knew about what was behind the Red Lotus war.

Today, the Kuei Kajan are trying to clear their names, because not all their members were involved in the war. But now, they're using a new plan to claim the throne of Xiao Ken for themselves. Rumours say that an amazing warrior, called Jian Su, is used by the Kuei Kajan , marking him as the Bashu Kuno, that is, the dragon knight. Many people are starting to follow this supposed "choosen one", but no one knows...

Another recent fact, is that the princess (that renounced the throne for marrying Evergard, the first outlander Bashumatsu ever) was kidnapped by a group of invisible beings called the kharmas, an ancient race that was exterminated by the Mojingans during the ruling of Varavatra the wise... but maybe those creatures are linked with the Kuei Kajan...and maybe Hickorigatta... in some way...

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Sirian History

Sirian is originally an Elfin and later an Old Sirian colony, until the Cataclysm severed all communications outside of the solar system. Since that time, Sirian has developed a number of independent nations, confederations, and clans. Sirian is believed to have been inhabited since approximately 1000 BCE [note: all dates are provided in standard Sirian years. Sirian years are approximately 85% the length of a year on the Julian calendar]. It currently has a population in excess of three billion.

Terraforming of Sirian (1080–787 BCE) Sirian Planet (known to Sirian astronomers as Maydax-M-1482b) is approximately two billion years old. Despite being so young, Sirian has a highly developed and complex biosphere due advanced terraforming. The terraforming began no later than 1080 BCE. The terraforming included rapid changes in the planet’s atmosphere, tectonic activity, and ecology. Sirian did have primitive native life, but 99% of all life on Sirian was introduced artificially.

It is believed the terraforming was conducted by a technologically advanced race called the Elfin, although very little is known of their methods and motivations. The Elfin terraforming technology is considered to be of immense value if discovered, which was a contributing factor to the Plistein Rebellion and the Cataclysm of 610 BCE.

Because of Sirian’s location in a nebula, it was naturally hidden from astronomers. Scientists in the Zuxian empire did not detect the changes resulting from terraforming until it had already progressed by several centuries. At this point, a ship was dispatched to colonize and study the planet.

Colonization by the Zuxian empire (Age of Knowledge, 787–610 BCE)
The first human colonists arrived in 787 BCE in order to study the terraforming of Maydax-M-1482b and to establish a permanent colony. In order to make the long journey, most colonists were virtualized and travelled as purely digital entities. Once they arrived at the planet, their bodies were custom-grown and perfectly adapted to the environment. As bodies were designed to the specifications of the individuals, the first colonists represented the full range of skin colors and human features.

The Sirians established two megaplexes; one in the Ancient Valley called Vyzny (later Sirian City) which was the primary space port and research hub, and an industrial and agricultural hub called Domai on the northern continent (since destroyed). Additionally, they established a number of smaller settlements across the planet, especially on the more clement northern continent. Within a few decades the population stabilized at five billion individuals, supported by many times that number in robots, AIs, and domesticated animals.

Limitations in extreme-range communications and the colony’s small population resulted in technological stagnation, while the colony developed a culture largely unique from the rest of the empire. The Sirians did have a mature level of technology at the time of their arrival, permitting them to virtualize minds, manufacture or repair the human body, travel near the speed of light, and undertake massive geo-engineering projects. Traditional methods of living, dying, and reproducing were considered wasteful and eccentric, and most manual labor was conducted by robots or AIs.

Early in their colonization, the Sirians established communications with the Elfin. The Elfin claimed credit for terraforming the planet, but refused to provide any assistance, technological or otherwise, to the Sirians. The Elfin did not interfere with Sirian colonization, and declined to normalize relations. Despite intense searching, there is no evidence that the Sirians ever discovered Elfin infrastructure or methods of terraforming.

The Cataclysm (610–604BCE)
The destructive potential modern technology, especially aggressive terraforming, was a subject of ongoing debate across the empire. One of the most politically active organizations was a young religion called the Brothers of Plistein. The staggering death tolls of recent wars and industrial accidents resulted in a public backlash against many types of advanced technology and the ranks of the Plisteins ballooned. Within two years, the movement was co-opted by political interests. This infused the movement with significant material resources and high-level political connections, but those investors used the movement to carry out deadly attacks and create a sense of fear and obedience in the Zuxian Empire.

The popularity of Plistein precepts grew on Maydax-M-1482b, but the Plisteins never held a majority nor were involved in any acts of destruction. However, the research on Elfin terraforming became a point of contention back in the empire. A number of agents were recruited or immigrated to Maydax-M-1482b, and over several years they infiltrated critical infrastructure. It is not clear if the agents were originally planted with the intention of a terror attack, or if they were repurposed for that at a later date.

These individuals made several coordinated attacks, intended to permanently disrupt research on terraforming techniques. Early on October 23, 610 BCE a virus hit the Maydax-M-1482b network. The virus took advantage of an intentional backdoor installed on colony computer systems to support national security and emergency operations. Almost all computer systems were impacted, and began destroying data. The primary antimatter reactor on Domai was sabotaged and failed to enter SCRAM, resulting in a massive explosion that destroyed the entire megaplex. Vyzny was similarly sabotaged, but the reactor was shut down safely. Space command went offline, including with it all communications with orbiting space craft and with the Zuxian empire. Communications would never be re-established.

With the power outage and the security failure, Vyzny went into an automatic defensive mode. Automated weapons activated and destroyed anything within a fifty mile radius of the city borders. The city was designed to be self-sufficient while properly powered, and to wait until it received the encoded ‘all clear’ message from command in orbit. With the power to support grow-houses cut and no communications, the residents of Vyzny starved, or were killed by the automated defenses as they fled the city. Vyzny would maintain its defensive posture for six hundred years, killing anyone who might stumble on the city.

Cities outside of the two megaplexes fared marginally better. Cascading failures brought down power across the planet. With this, computer systems, AIs, robots, manufacturing, agriculture, and medical support shut down over the course of weeks. The destruction of Domai raised a plume of radioactive dust that blocked out the sun, resulting in a nuclear winter. Ships infected with the computer virus crashed back to the planet, adding more dust to the choked atmosphere. Ships in stable orbits usually lost power, and the inhabitants froze to death within days. Only a few, small ships avoided infection, but lacking the resources to survive independently in space they were forced to land.

The first winter after the Cataclysm, the population dropped from five billion to two billion. The population halved every following year for three years, finally stabilizing at two hundred million in 604 BCE. During this period, average temperatures for the planet were just above freezing.

The Brotherhood of Plistein were instrumental in assisting after the disaster. They had invested in alternate technologies, which provided critical aid. Colonists were able to return some power generators to service, especially wind or solar plants. While most AIs were permanently disabled, simpler robots and machines could be retrofitted and returned to service. Most towns had an active Plistein temple, which provided support and filled the gap following the failure of the existing government. Under the Plistein priests, colonists eschewed advanced technologies as the cause of the Cataclysm. Many towns burned libraries and actively destroyed advanced facilities.

Age of Clouds (604–486 BCE)
The fallout from the Cataclysm continued for decades, causing agricultural failure and cold temperatures across the planet. The first Unlife attacks occurred in the south and the disease spread northward. The Plisteins claimed the unlife were biological experiments escaped during the Cataclysm, although modern research suggests this is unlikely. With the low human population and the numerous environmental threats, unlife numbers stayed small.

Most of the population lived on the northern continent in small villages of 50 to 200 people, supported by service robots and machines, and almost all labor was focused on agriculture. Most of these were pure democracies or theocracies. Because of limitations of power generation and batteries, vehicles couldn’t travel more than five hundred kilometers before requiring recharging. This limited international trade and exploration. Most people avoided complex technology, and pre-cataclysm artifacts were viewed with suspicion. With assistance from ancient Plistein documents, the colonists begin reproducing without the aid of genetic sequencing or exowombs. Despite the hardships of childrearing, populations grew quickly.

To the south, the powerful wind currents made permanent agriculture difficult. Instead, bands would follow weather systems between automated greenhouses and abandoned Old Sirian structures. Because of their reliance on scavenged technology, the Plistein faith was not able to achieve any significant penetration. Their diet relied heavily on hunting and gathering, to augment long periods of dry or wet weather destroying crops. Because of the difficulties of living, the south was never able to establish the complex political structures that would rise in the north.

Age of Kings (486–250 BCE)
Populations in the north rose quickly and towns banded together into city-states. 486 BCE marks the first single government spanning over fifty million people, in the city-state of Krandham. northern city states competed for resources, including old technology, arable land, and slaves. The states underwent a series of alliances and wars. Most combat was focused on destroying or capturing the enemy’s irreplaceable technology, in order to force the city into becoming a vassal. Democratic governments such as Kandham eventually fell in favor of quicker dictatorships and oligarchies, and enforced hierarchies. The value of scavenged technology meant that Plistein believes lost sway with political leaders and the military, instead becoming a religion of the poor. The most successful city-states, Galanor, Belham, Bolvintia Gardarin, Wynardun, and Grovus, employed a rigid military hierarchy and inter-marriage to ultimately create a stable balance of power.

In the south, bands were more frequently bound by familial ties, with a matriarch leading the family through cooperation with every other member of the tribe. Multiple tribes would occasionally band together under a single charismatic leader, but the lack of stable social structures prevented long-term survival of governments following the death of those leaders. These tribes are normally referred to by their family lineage. Multiple tribes carry the name of Ackbar, in reference to the famous warlord, but other large tribes include the Ogebor, the Aarus, and the Yeboah.

The hostile southern environment meant there was no competition for land or labor, only for technical ability and functioning technology. Tribes succeeded through technical skill, adaptability, bargaining, or banditry. A few locations permitted permanent or semi-permanent trading posts, including South Ridge, Visuballe, and Burnal.

452 BCE, Lady Akous and her family established the first permanent trade route with the north. The south and north had long since established communications via radio, television, and Internet but physical travel was difficult and dangerous. Lady Akous provided a variety of foods and spices, mineral wealth, and recovered technology in exchange for the north’s manufactured goods and cheap food stocks.

Age of Expansion (250–98 BCE)
250 BCE the state of Bolvintia officially annexed a neighboring city Rahv, overthrowing the existing government and replacing it with their own. Re-establishing communication lines, new power plants, and fuel refineries permitted governments to extend their power beyond being city-states into full nations. Other states soon followed, expanding their zone of control.

At this time, the human population was over two billion, mostly concentrated in the north. As advances in technology and manufacturing increased the quality of life, the Plistein faith lost adherents. Meanwhile, industrial technologies made slavery uneconomical in the more advanced nations. Cheap manual labor was instead supplied by a large, poor underclass who, when their services were replaced by robotics, were relegated to life as scavengers.

228 BCE marks the founding of the Republic of New Sirian between the leading nations of the north. This was a loose confederation of the northern industrial powerhouses banded together to establish a planet-wide empire. Representatives from reach nation would meet in Galanor to negotiate interstate trade, treaties, law enforcement, and recognize territory claims. The republic relied heavily on old Sirian architecture and terminology in order to lend them legitimacy. The planet, previously referred to by a number of informal names, was officially renamed “Sirian”. The republic held most modern media outlets, and so there was a degree of cultural assimilation even among the distant southern tribes.

Nations of the Republic held the north, and used their trade bloc to dominate non-confederated nations. The trade imbalance resulted in an abundance of cheap labor, which the Republic was quick to leverage. Non-confederated nations such as Brakhaven were limited to becoming sources of cheap production. The land and oceans outside of the northern continent were formally divided among the great powers, although given the size and lack of resources, incursions were usually well tolerated.

The republic rebuilt the Old Sirian monorail, connecting Galanor to South Ridge. Galanor formally claimed South Ridge as a Galanor holding, although a few years later quarters of the city were granted to Bolvintia and Belham. South Ridge was now the ‘gateway to the south’ for the Northern Republics and the beginning of the occupation for the southern clans. northern forces pushed deeper into the south claiming resources, drafting individuals with special skillsets, and establishing work houses. However, the access to northern markets and farms filled the south with cheap food and new commercial opportunities. Southern clans, some independently and some at the end of a northern gun, re-opened abandoned mines and boreholes, extracting rare minerals for use by northern industries.

Space Age (98–0 BCE)
98 BCE, Bolvintian astronaut Valentine Seaskimmer was the first human to orbit Sirian in nearly six hundred years. The Bolvintian space program continued to lead the planet, and would eventually establish an automated monitoring base on Philipees.

In the south, advanced manufacturing permitted the construction of newer and more efficient vehicles. Cheap flight permitted clans to cover a much larger area, and thereby maintain multiple farms across a wide range. The southern cities grew in size and number. Some of the southern clans expanded into ocean vessels and underwater bathyscaphe habitats. This increased their ability to generate electricity and recover lost artifacts.

Those clans who refused to accept the yoke of the north, and the resistance fighters within occupied cities, waged an ongoing war of attrition, sabotaging and stealing equipment from northern-controlled facilities. Early in the conflict the southern clans were unable to fight directly against the Galanor and Bolvintia armored combat vehicles, and much of their energy was spent evading detection from Bolvintia’s orbiting satellites.

In 63 BCE, after a series of failures of the republic space program and an abrupt shift in the economic market, the primary source of political power in the Republic of New Sirian transferred from Galanor to Bolvintia. Bolvintia initiated a series of anti-espionage and strategic reforms, and more aggressive exploitation of southern neighbors. Raids of republic trading goods increased.

South Ridge leveraged the temporary political instability and a series of terrorist attacks hit northern-held facilities and security stations throughout the city. Galanor security forces withdrew, leaving Bolvintia to take the lead in re-establishing the republic’s political hold (the other allied states were still represented in the defense of South Ridge). The city was embroiled in months of riots and house-to-house fighting. A small nuclear device was detonated one hundred miles outside of Bolvintia, clearly intended as a warning.

The republic continued the fight for another month before officially relinquishing their holding over South Ridge and the surrounding areas. They instead placed the city under an immediate trade embargo, beginning several years of economic strain and starvation. Smuggling became the status quo for supporting the city. Southern insurgents in the north and south continued a policy of total war, attacking population centers and infrastructure, demanding that Bolvintia completely leave the south, however no further large-scale nuclear weapons were used. The embargo on South Ridge was lifted years later and replaced with crippling tariffs and carefully coordinated espionage and market manipulation, as well as frequent military incursions.

In 47 BCE, an Old Sirian ship made an emergency landing on Sirian. The crew was from the planet of Gargoria, reported the empire to be in a state of collapse and diaspora, and that contact was lost with the capital nearly a century prior. As the ship had suffered significant damage, and Gargoria was in a state of war, the crew elected to establish a permanent colony on the southern edge of the Great Desert.

As the population in the south increased, outbreaks of unlife grew more common and far more deadly, especially among the high-population northern-controlled facilities. By 40 BCE most southern habitats had at least rudimentary defenses against unlife, and many locations were considered unsafe for travelers. Twenty years later, swarms numbering in the thousands moved from farm to city to mine, overwhelming populations as they migrated north. The northern republics established a cordon along the northern part of the ancient valley, leaving the southern metropolises to fend for themselves. Southern insurgents made frequent attacks against northern lines, and the north responded by shooting southern refugees on sight. 17 BCE marks the first outbreaks of unlife on the northern continent in over a century. Several more followed, mostly among the less protected non-confederated states. While the south supported swarms of thousands, northern metropolises would swell hordes into the hundreds of thousands.

In 21 BCE, Belham scouts stumbled upon a previously-unknown city in the Crescent Mountains. Despite the city's size, there appeared to be exactly one living inhabitant, who showed up in no digital records and refused to give a name. On returning with a larger force to seize the city and its impressive technology, Belham found only a shallow crater at the reported site. A year later, a floating city was seen hovering over the Great Forest in the southern lands. Soon robotic envoys from the city established friendly (if tentative) trade arrangements with small, local villages. Only the bots themselves transferred goods or funds back and forth—no travelers or merchants were ever allowed into the floating city. When the robotic traders responded with only confusion about the name of their home or who ran it, the locals simply started calling it 'mecha city' - a name the envoys themselves adapted over time.

When a Bolvintian fighter wing was destroyed by performing reconnaissance on the city in 12 BCE, the northern republics waged a campaign of aerial and cyber warfare. However, the city appeared to have superior predictive technologies and eluded orbital and aerial reconnaissance.

5 BCE Bolvintia attacked South Ridge with carpet bombing and artillery fire. The city was reduced to rubble. Hundreds of thousands died, and the survivors mostly fled. South Ridge is now only inhabited by a few thousand scavengers and travelling clanspeople.

In the same year, the northern states agreed to a pact of nonaggression with Mecha City and its leader, whom they teasingly dubbed the Mecha King. This marked the first time Mecha City was officially recognized by the outside world as a sovereign nation, with its borders extending to the edges of the floating city, regardless of where it may be geologically at any point in time.

1 BCE, the automated defenses, including radar Cloaking over Vyzny failed. The Dela Clan was first to enter the city, and it soon fell under the political protection of the southern-aligned state of West Cove. The discovery of Vyzny, then called Sirian City in hopes it would be a gift to all the world, is considered the single greatest defining moment since the Cataclysm, as the city contained a wealth of abandoned technology and information, almost perfectly preserved. The North soon attacked and laid claim to the city. Technology was tested and incorporated into northern projects, frequently with no knowledge of their inner workings or intended functions. Some engineers had a degree of intuition that permitted them to use the technology, but most regarded it simply as a form of magic. Within the months before and after the discovery of the city, some individuals also began demonstrating superhuman abilities which were ascribed to either lost technology or simply magic. Regardless of the cause, it seemed humanity was on the edge of a golden age.

The northern republics' dominance of the planet included a cultural aspect, establishing a planet-wide language and dialect, standardizing measurements, Holidays and legal systems. The discovery of the city gave cause for standardizing calendars as well, restarting the count at 0 of the ‘Common Era’. It was expected the new Calendar would mark the age of a new empire for future generations.

(Current Sirian dates are calculated as the current real life date, minus 2010 years.)

Modern Era (0 BCE – Present)
With the discovery of ancient Sirian technology, including the ability to travel at superluminal speeds, the northern republics began the construction of new stations and ships. While the management was primarily northern military officers and industrial engineers, most of the workers and designers were southerners, selected for their long history of repairing scavenged technology and their lower labor costs. Within a few years, the first ships were completed and sent out of the solar system, in hopes of establishing contact with the Zuxian empire, or at least with other intelligent life. Unlike the politics planetside, the ships were predominately crewed and led by southerners. The fleet was successful in making contact with several new species including the Taramar and the Mutaren although the later instability of the Sirian technology meant that returning to those distant planets is now considered foolhardy.

Meanwhile, the planet saw a failure of magical devices, frequently in a dramatic burst of destruction, but sometimes in far more subtle and more dangerous ways. Those individuals who previously were hailed as magical suffered either a ‘flaring’, where they had a sudden outburst of destructive energy, or a ‘fading’, where they would voluntarily walk into the wilderness never to return.

The autumn of 3 CE was a massive coordinated attack, now remembered as the Inferno. Crowns and mobs of thralls, tens of thousands strong stormed power stations, military outposts, water purification plants, and factories. Cities went dark and life ground to a halt. People fled population centers in droves, seeking fresh food and water. Most of these people would only ever return as unlife. Some cities, especially in the militarized north, were able to hold out and maintain industrial capacity. Realizing the events were global and coordinated, the northern republics leaders debated behind closed doors for a week before establishing communications with southern cities and clans. They formally relinquished claims over most southern lands (excluding Sirian City) in exchange for a binding political alliance called the Treatise Body. Most southern representatives, seeing their own populations trapped and starving, accepted.

The Treatise Body immediately appointed military leaders charged with the defense of the planet, and established a Senate focused primarily on international relations as well as civilian government. It had taken nearly a month to establish the governing structure of the Treatise Body, and even with its far-reaching executive powers and planet-wide humanitarian missions, they had lost the initiative. The Treatise Body actions against the unlife were ineffective. Meanwhile, unlife armies walked into starved and isolated towns, devouring the survivors and destroying what remained. Belham drones reported back images of individuals surrounded by a preternatural glow, leading the unlife and exerting superhuman abilities. These individuals have since been labeled the ‘Crowned’, and are recognized as the dominant threat behind the unlife resurgence.

The north tightened border security, reinforced population centers, and increased production of space technology. The Republics offered the south military and humanitarian support in exchange for mining and industrial production. The cities of the south varied in their responses; most focusing on supporting survivors directly or fighting unlife, while others established their own space programs while leaving refugees to die. Regardless of policies, they needed their supplies from the north and so production protected at great cost. The Mecha King left obscurity, as he led raids into trapped shelters and established defended bunkers for survivors to await pickup. Those the Mecha King rescued were digitized; converted into electronic consciousness. Their old bodies were discarded in favor of robotic bodies or a purely digital existence.

Since the Inferno, the war against The Crowned and the unlife continues unabated. Population centers stay dark to avoid drawing attention of feral unlife, and bristle with defenses against coordinated Crowned attacks. Many consider the planet unfit for habitation, and those who are able have escaped into orbit. In space the Treatise Body is the dominant political force, sustained by the military and industry of all Sirian states. The Treatise Body recognizes that evacuating every person from the planet into space is impossible, but political deadlock prevents more drastic action. Treatise Body action is frequently undermined by the common belief that its members, who only recently were in a war of global occupation, will soon fall back to hostilities.

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Army of the Burning Rose

Army of the Burning Rose

Cassio D'Arcy A Jorkanian Story wrote:

"My grand father told me the story of the founding of the Order of the Burning Rose at least a dozen times before he died. It was one of the stories that he chose to tell during the celebration of Winter Night, honoring it as a part of his and our families history. It is also the only story that I'd ever heard him speak plainly, with no need or cause for exaggeration. Instead, like many old Knights, he told a story of five simple farmers who lived in terrible times and still managed to do extraordinary things. And he told this tale with a calm reverence that let the history and the honor of old deeds weave magic for itself.
The following account is in no way my Grandfather's story. Nor can it hope to even be good account of the history of the Order of the Burning Rose. In order to experience a good account of the Order, find an old knight. Order him a few pints of stout. Then ask him quietly to tell you a story.
If you cannot, then perhaps the following will have to suffice."

The Winter of Desperation
"The Red Priests of Phrea Fromme strictly governed Jorkana of almost two hundred years. Their laws and rules dominated Jorkanian society, and when they were nearly completely destroyed by Kane, Jorkana slipped into a listless chaos. To drive a knife farther into the already wounded society, Kane's armies marched across Jorkana towards West Grom raping the fields of their harvests and pillaging farms as they would. And then, when Kane's armies were gone, Orcs and Goblins found Jorkana easy meat to prey off of as well, making the destruction of any sort of organized society in Jorkana complete.
In the midst of all this chaos, thousands died. Entire families were lost or conscripted into Kane's army. Old houses were divided and much of Jorkana was laid barren. Fear governed the time, and hope was a commodity that few managed to keep.

Then winter came. Tales suggest that this was not an ordinary winter, nor can history trace back exactly when this winter was. But tales are clear that this winter was ferocious and uncanny in its duration. The oldest stories say that the winter lasted for entire years, keeping the land frozen when not covered in snow, and in nearly perpetual darkness as storm clouds rolled over the sky. Tales also say that the winter was Phrea Fromme's final curse on Jorkana, while others claim that it was a cleansing blessing sent from benevolent spirits who wished to ease the suffering of the land.

The truth is that it does not matter whether or not some mystical winter came to freeze the land; winters are a very common occurrence in Jorkana, and they are bitterly cold without any divine influence attached to them. What is important however is that at some point after the fall of Akraburz, probably during the quite hours of winter when it was too hard for orcs to be raiding, or Kane's armies were held down by snow, when hope was nearly lost, and the desperation for unity became so great, a small group of farmers became Knights and set off to build Jorkana back together."

History of the Order of the Burning Rose
"The birth of the Order of the Burning Rose took place the village of Quinn sometime after Kane's war with West Grom. The village of Quinn was not a large settlement, and like so many others it was broken and isolated by the cold of the winter. It is known though that in spite of the villages desperation, or perhaps because of it, three men gathered around an Inn table to discuss the futures of their families.

Joshuan Ross is said to have been Quinn's mayor, though little exists to confirm whether or not mayors were elected at this time. Reasoning suggests that Ross may have been a leading figure in the community in some respect, perhaps a priest, but he wouldn't have held an office that Jorkanian's might recognize today. Whatever role he held though, it is known that Ross was the one who called together two of his friends and surviving towns-men, Bart Obreck and Seamus Royk. Bart Obreck was the towns clerk and Royk a skilled horse trader who's breed heard had been taken by Kane's army. The meeting began simply enough, probably with a few glasses of moonshine whiskey, but as it progressed these three men began to talk of the future, or more precisely their fears that the future would remain as bleak as it was then.

Certainly the talk that they made was not revolutionary. The revolution began with what happened after their few friendly drinks were over. Ross took from his pocket a blank piece of parchment and with his friends began to draft a letter. In that letter held what Ross, Obreck, and Royk saw as being the only way to keep their village and land from fading to dust.

The letter that Ross and his companions drafted was a call of gathering. The letter was to be taken to four of the nearest villages to Quinn. It asked that each of these villages elect two men to help with bringing some structure back to Jorkana. One of these elected men was to return to Quinn to have council with Ross. The other was to ride on to another village and spread news of his mustering and repeat the process of requesting men be sent to gather in Quinn for a small parley. On the morning after this letter was drafted, Obreck, Seamus Royke and his brother Tomman, and a half elven man named Emon met on the village green to set out from Quinn. Each of the four men was dressed in a similar dark gray leather riding duster, made for them by Obreck's wife and they set out at sunrise in four cardinal directions away from the town to carry on the word of muster.
Some have said that true revolution needs only one spark be burst into inevitable flames. So was true of Jorkana. Villages met the news of mustering a mixture of fear, enthusiasm and desperation. Each of those first four villages to receive Ross's letter though sent men to join him in Quinn. The villages that could be found after sent men as well, and more after that. Within a months time, twenty seven men gathered around Ross and began to form the first Jorkanian militia.
The primary mission of the Order of the Burning Rose was set by the precedent of Ross, Obreck, the Roykes and Emon Half-Elven; spread the knowledge that Jorkana Is not broken. To do this lines of communication needed to be opened and maintained. This lead to the Order's second tasks - patrol the roads and highways.

Outward from Quinn a network of communities was slowly built that stretched outward like a spiders web. Mounted men on light horse, dressed in a uniform riding duster, sand brown breeches and green tunic guarded this network and began countering the raids of the goblin and orc hoards that sill spilled into Jorkana from Meribor. To provide more centralized protection, nineteen other villages were established as base points for the Order, so that orders could be given more easily, and organization was improved.

Over time the orc menace faded. Kane's armies moved into the southern peninsulas of the Vaxian Continent and a sense of unity was restored to Jorkana. The system of county-states that form Jorkana was established and it was decided that the militia that protected the roads, should become an army.

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The Namori Cataclysm

Cataclysm
The Namori Cataclysm was a massive event that occurred approximately 3000 years ago, when the Kaa Taan became angry and destroyed all civilization, centered on the capitol, which was completely annihilated and is now known as No Man's Land. Very little architecture was left intact, aside from Kanestronia Cathedral in Ramsalon Dawnport Crystal, the Cemetary of the Abyss in Candenord, the Elven Portal Network, and a few other monuments. Very few artifacts were left, and even fewer have survived to the present day. All those that remain intact were very powerful, including the Elemental Scepters and tomes written by Averatos (and subsequently discovered by a teenage Necromos).

It's almost impossible to divinate past the Cataclysm. There is what feels like a wall of painful static and interference. Even if a diviner beats the difficulty to see that far in the past, they'll rebound against this wall and get a massive headache for their trouble.

In addition, any knowledge or item from before the Cataclysm requires explicit Setting approval.

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Orc War

Orc War

The Orc War can refer to one of two events:

    The First Orc War , when Emperor Ramsen I led the Tribe of the Half Moon in a campaign against the Orcs of Ghuundagor under Necromos's command, in the early part of the second century after the Cataclysm.

    The Second Orc War, when First General Augustus Razzaine led the Iron Army and a coalition of Elves Shinkans, and Candenordians against the orcs of Ghuundagor under Necromos's command, some 2900 years later.



First Orc War
    In approximately the year 115 after the Cataclysm, Emperor Ramsen I, grandson of Kane Foraiya, led the army of Vaxia against the orcs of Ghuundagor and Necromos their leader. Ramsen's forces managed to defeat the orcs and razed Ghuundagor to the ground. It would take millennia before the orcs would rebuild their capitol to its former glory. Necromos himself escaped, though he would later be killed by Ramsen's son Minos, only to come back as an archlich.


Second Orc War
    The Second Orc war was a bloody campaign which took place in approximately the year 3002.

    Necromos had been biding his time since the Darkest Night building his reputation among the orcs of Ghuundagor and lying in wait for an opportune moment to strike the Vaxian Empire again. He showed himself during a grand tournament at the newly-built Coliseum in Beth Bow declaring war on the Empire. Soon afterward, orcs began to pour into Ramsalon from Ghoondagor via Necromos's newly-rebuilt Underpass portal, occupying Beth Bow and killing many of the people who lived there.

    Eventually, Father Pero managed to deactivate the portal, allowing the Iron Army and the Automatons to drive the orcs from the city. Then First General Augustus Razzaine marshaled his forces, called his allies among the elves and in Shi Inkahan and Candenord, and marched west through Jorkana to Ghuundagor.

    Necromos had allies of his own, but his former apprentices "Snakeskin" and Tyrael Greenflame saw the way the winds were blowing and abandoned him in his darkest hour, instantly shooting to the top of Necromos's list of people upon whom to exact a terrible vengeance.
    Well over a million orcs were killed by the allies, then Necromos raised all the fallen from both sides as Zombies After a massive battle in the shadow of Mount Fang, Necromos, weakened by the exertion, fled and hid.

    The bodies of the orcs were dragged to a massive heap on the surface of Meribor and burned, then dirt was dumped on them. This heap was known as the Black Hill until it was planted with grass, bushes, and a single hardy tree and started to be known as the Green Hill.

    Ghuundagor was looted, then the Underpass was reactivated by the Royal Labs and the penal colony Victory City was established slightly to the southeast to mine the rich ores of the region, which the orcs hadn't managed to deplete in all the millennia they occupied the area.

    The orc survivors, particularly the Vulture Clan eventually gathered in GHOUL (built in the ruins of Ghuundagor) and New Ghuundagor (near Iskrania), though New Ghuundagor was abandoned during GHOUL's war in Iskrania and its inhabitants relocated to GHOUL.

      Report on the Second Orc War wrote:

      The Finale

      Ghuundagor was burned to the ground (or "to the abyss/sea" to be precise). Only about 2000 orcish women and children escaped Necromos. The rest of the orc population was turned into Undead and eventually slaughtered by the Iron Army and the Nargols. The survivors split, 80 percent went to the outskirts of Iskrania to make an orc town there, the rest are scattered in the vast desolation of the west coast all the day down to Dawnport/Crystal. Elves from the elven coalition and Vaxians from Ramsalon and other parts of the empire, are -still- looting Ghuundagor. Yup, the hoard of a thousand years was there, and this is how it is being split: 20 percent to the Vaxian Empire, 20 percent to the elves, 10 percent to East Grom West Grom Shi-Inkahan and Candenord each, 5 percent to Arpaksad Ish-Lavin/Tesaria/Miser, Nebrak/Kundul, Dawnport/Jorkana each.

      On the home front, Lagolace spared the last warring faction from the Orcs who came through the Beth Bow portal, or through the forest. They are about 1000 orcs, mostly male, they have split too, 80 percent going to said new town by Iskrania (already called "New Ghuundagor" by some), and the rest scattering about the forests.

      3 out of the 5 Nargols returned home to Candenord. 2 Stay under Empire's orders. Most the Shinkan AND Candenorian fleet is on Arpaksad, before beginning the large ocean travel back home. Friendly Garrisons of Mojingans stay. Bashumatsus... .. I think they are looking for the princess/evergard right now. The huge Iron Army fleet stays in Dawnport, perhaps permanently to help boost that poor city's economy (Ish-Lavin, Argonn and Ramsalon are making more fleet anyway). Parts of it, however, are returning to their home ports. The Iron Army stayed a month in Njordstrom during the secret Plague crisis, but now they are almost all of them home.

      Necromos . is around. And it is said, from the bowels of the ruins of Ghuundagor.. strange noises sometimes come out...


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Darkest Night

Darkest Night

In approximately 2998, Merguth's Black Oil Plague, the armies of rebellious West Grom the Whirler's machines, Zombies Necromos earthquakes, floods, and sinkholes all struck in quick succession or at the same time, devastating the city and killing untold thousands.

In the earthquakes, the southern part of the city, including the Haven Croft district and part of Shanty Town rose straight into the air, forming large cliffs on most sides. This redirected the flow of the Crawfang River westward, and it flooded most of Shanty Town, the lowest-lying and poorest district of the city.

Aftermath

Afterward, First General Augustus Razzaine organized massive rebuilding efforts. The huge cemetery of Death Row, which had been Necromos's seat whenever he invaded Ramsalon and from which many zombies had come, was completely paved over, replaced with tenement housing, and renamed Beth Bow The ruins of Shanty Town were evacuated and the poor were housed in Beth Bow.

The Congreth Kane Castle was built on the great bluff where the southern part of Shanty Town had stood, overlooking Gauntlet Gulf. Any fleet attempting to invade Ramsalon must pass under the walls of this castle to access the docks of Wayward Ho or the river.

The northern parts of what had been Shanty Town were eventually incorporated into the Town Green and the new Shinkantown where immigrants from Shi Inkahan congregated, particularly after the Red Lotus War and the Second Orc War

The walls of the city were completely rebuilt, bigger and stronger than before, and expanded to enclose the areas where people had settled beyond the walls before the Darkest Night

The designs of the Whirler's machines were adapted and the Empire built its own fleet of Automatons designed to keep law and order and prevent a second Darkest Night.

With the deaths of so many thousands, the expansion of the city walls, and the construction of high-density tenement housing on what was once a graveyard, and the new focus on law and order, most of the city seems less stiflingly crowded and more peaceful than it once did.
Maps of Ramsalon Before and After the Darkest Night

Drathan wrote:

To the People of the Land:
To the Emperor of Shi-Inkahan, Your Majesty Xiao-Ken in Kiotoi and Masters of the Bashumatsus, at the Shimpo Ryu Temple
To the Elegions of the Five Countries of Candenord, Del Japor, Alquepor, Mosgrov, Corpis and Belrun
To the Baron Mazhek, of Drakavia
To our Governor in Ardenia Lord Auris.
To Vice Chancellor Orum in Arpaksad
To Marcus and the leaders of West Grom in Njordstrom and East Grom in Njaradbad.
To the loyal Jorkana and Governor Dornis in Araistan

To the Vaxian Colonies in the Southern Ports Miser and Ish-Lavin, in the Western Abyss, Dawnport-Crystal, the plains, Tesaria and Iskrania the feuds of Nebrak and the House of Cygnus, and Simril the Dwarf in Kundul in the Iron Desert.

To Nazhmarshin, as a plea.
To anyone who lives and preserves life:

We come to you...in our time of dearest need. My name is Drathan I am.... a vaxian. I live in Ramsalon.

It is not the Ramsalon you knew, or respected or feared anymore. It i s not, Ramsalon the Conqueror, Ramsalon the Cold, Ramsalon the cauldron of greed and power, blood, iron and magic. Not anymore. Now.... it is Ramsalon the Black, Ramsalon the Humbled.. needing of help.

All of you know of the wars with the Grom, and it might still be news to you to know of their daring attack to our piers. What you probably don't know, and I assure you there are those who don't want you to hear, is that my city won the war in the last of the cold strategies, and like an omen, got its own dark retribution some days after that. Our prided War Man, self-appointed First General of the Black Dragon Army, Augustus Razzaine, and his feared Royal Forces, were notably absent last week, during Grom's attack on the Piers. Hundreds died, and the graves were still unsettled in Crow's Island, that became a base of sorts, for the Grom invasion. One grey morning, I counted up to 8 ships stationed there, through the fog, as I looked from the height of Emil Barak and more were coming. Contrary to my beliefs, I was about to ready for war myself, when word came from Razzaine, in the form of a messenger.

The proclamation that ended the war, was both an act of the highest treachery, and wit. Razzaine and his Royal Forces, were not there in the Grom Invasion, because they were busy. Busy in Grom territory, in Njordstrom itself. As the general expected, only women and children were there when he arrived, for all the men, had left to war. Still, our General did not touch a single soul, for all I know, I believe he spared their lives, to give the gromites a reason to come back home for. And still, Razzaine burnt the Grom fields, to ashes. Destroyed the houses, the shelters, and the farm lands. Only churches, museums and other monuments, he respected. Winter, in his mind, was his strongest ally, and without staining his sword with any blood, he achieved his purpose. That grey day the news arose over the warring men in the Black Pier, swords fell to the ground, and men held their breaths. The Grom invasion stopped, because the warriors now had no time to lose to run back home, and shelter their families, now in disgrace, from the coming winter. I appreciate of Razzaine, that no blood was shed. But I despise, that he placed innocent women and children at risk. I despise that he waited, until the Grom forces were far from home, before pulling his move, putting in risk all the Ramsalon citizens who fought and died in the piers. Up until the Habrin Bridge, they went, and in the east, I saw them from the Emil Barak, and down, in Ewan Dans Avenue. And then.. the news came, and they went back to their ships, cursing and gloom of heart. Like I said.. the last of the Ramsalon moves over the land.

It was soon to be paid back in full wage. Three days later I saw my fears come true, and my efforts fail, as the Black Oil plague, that my friends and I had been fighting so intensely, finally sprouted out in completeness, near the Black Pier as well as in Shanty Town. ... hh.. I will always carry in me, the weight of the irony, of the cure I had. Poison Number Five, was the cure. Long ago I discovered the yellow dust of the Poison Number Five can turn Black Oil into dust. But never, for the life of me, aye, the life of the people, could I figure out, how to remove its deadliness on humans. Hours later, moved by pure despair, I tried it on a group of infested soldiers, and.. true enough, the Black Oil died, but so did the soldiers, at exactly 5 minutes, with a yellowish color in their eyes. ...hh.. there are many things that happened that night, that I will never forget. Many scenes..h..

Everything happened too fast. The news of Shanty Town being under the Plague were still making their way into Town Green, when the trumpets and marching sounds of Razzaine's Army stormed down Habrin Bridge, decided, to.. remove.. the plague. To eliminate it. I bet Razzaine felt glad that he had kept his Royal Armies fresh from the Grom Wars, seeing the rest of the guard beaten down tired. Am sure also, he thought of it as an easy battle.. his fresh and strong Royal Forces versus the Grom tired and poor inhabitants of the Shanty. hh.. Heavens.. am so sure.. he then regretted every step of his march, and every knot in his train of thoughts, when near the Crawfang Tavern it erupted the Great Confrontation that many noble haters, and shanty haters, had foreseen so long ago. But not in these circumstances. Always having a plan B, Razzaine went to me. To me, .. to ask me for the Poison Number Five. To cure Shanty, he said. But I knew too much already, else I would had fallen prey of his words, like men before me. He wanted the Poison Five to win his battle against Shanty.. but it was too late.

We were able to show him, through the magic of my wife, how his own men, were being corrupted by the Black Oil.. and the Black Oil reigning sovereign in the Chaos of both armies. But fate gave us a graceful blow even still, a last card made to seal our tombstone: The Whirler.

I will never forget when in the fray of the battle I saw the demonic machines emerging, with drills and blades and spines, and limbs like spiders and bodys like shinning orbs of silver undestructible, and automatons that walked on two feet like us, but killed like nothing I had seen before. I think, that is also the time, when Razzaine started to lose it. Me, I had lost it already, long before him. I thank my wife for her wisdom and support.

She begun flying innocent victims to Crow's Island for Safety. I just wish we had checked with Grom forces stationed there first. I will never thank enough, those who were with her, and talked the Grom captains, as hurt as they were, into helping us now, in our deepest despair. Thank you to Cecil Brax, to Chardin Grey, to Scar.

By the time Razzaine and I arrived back to Habrin Bridge, S.O.R.S.A was already gaining back the control of the situation, at a heavy price of blood, guts and steel, which seemed to be the only currency that night, and commander Tardach is to be commended. I just wish we could had prevented that bomb coach exploding and bringing Habrin down.. Why did they do it? I think the Green House was behind it. What do I know. It mutilated communication to Shanty and sealed their doom. Oh, but it was not even near.. not even near, of the worse of moments.

Whirler Machines were chaos bringers, and nothing could stop them, men or magic or steel, except the Black Oil itself, which fought everyone and everything with ferocity yet to be paired by an organic living thing. Louise Vixan was the only star in the black sky that night, a blue light bringing people to safety, as many as she could.

Desperate as I was, I ran in the direction of the fires, but I was too late. The First Hospital was .. almost in the domain of the netherworld when I saw it, and I will never forget the screams, and the smoke.. and the smells, and the pain. Many nurses went back into the fire to rescue more patients, and many never made it out. Doctors, struggling to find an opportunity to lay down the patients in sheets in the walkway outside, were constantly faced with death and mutilation from silvery spiders, iron men and other devices of evil. Some defendants appeared, and this priest by the name of Pero, healed so many people, and I haven't met him since, but if he reads this, I wish to.

If he remembers me, I was the man in the black long coat who kept flying in and out of windows carrying people out, and crying in despair as I could not be as fast as the flames were, nor as greedy to those who awaited me immobile in their beds. I tried to quench the air room by room by means of magic, but I was already too spent that night. And still, so little I knew of the things to come. It took the strong advice of an old friend, to tear me away from that place, to save the Orphanage, that could still be saved. Rynry bless those souls that I abandoned, they will heave in my conscience for as long as I live, for then I flew to the Orphanage to save the children instead. They are now, in Kanestronia Cathedral spilled across the floor, like ash flowers, in that dark marble hall that never knew the voice of young, till it cried last night.

Aye.. shame on us. Shame on us. Shame. The tears froze in my cheeks for the last time, I thought, and curse my skin for its magical coldness, it was nothing compared to the spectacle before my eyes as I stared and rang the huge bell, on top of the Rectory in the White Rose University until it fell. Flames or oil, or machines, or mad men, or swords and blood, and deadly rays of magic, flooded the landscape in those places where Darkness wasn't merciful enough to hide the chaos from my sore eyes.

Then it came, the earthquake. Some have told me, they believe it was because the Black Oil was corroding the pillars and the very roots upon which our city has been standing, since the longest time. Others, told me this morning, it was the wrath of the gods. I remembered myself, my old prophecy of doom, about the Cold Lady, the White Lady, Lady Death, coming to claim from me all the lives I once took, blinded by the Drad life, Unlife and the Black Hand Curse in my heart. The Earth shook, like in my nightmares, and buildings fell, many of them in part, but some of them, completely. The prison walls fell, and through the wide open hole , I saw a contingent of people running out, only to be met by a smaller, but deadlier army of machines, only to start another bloody fight, as the Shields arrived, and Polaris started slashing iron, like I had never seen.

...hh.. many of the events that night, are better suited for tales of heroes and demons.. .. the greatest cowardy and the greatest courage, the greatest good will, together with evil greed, they all lit the land that night, for the sky was pitch black.. let me now, go to the end of my story.

I guess, some of the gromites must have come back on their own, to kill Razzaine in revenge. And I guess Razzaine himself, was re-evaluating not only his strategy, but by all heaves, the meaning of life, and living it. When I saw him, he was still by Habrin Bridge, many a wound I saw in his arms, and his sword was dancing in his hand like a slow lightning, bringing prompt death to the machines like no one else could. But he was infested with the Black Oil already. Must have gotten it in Wayward Ho, earlier that day, I believe he was fighting a lone Grom army. Do not know. His eyes, usually radiant of sheer power and coldness, resembled now, the depths of the Snar abyss, or the sky upon us.

I finally came back to my senses, and the memory of Mortaries, fighting the chess board, came to me, to tell me to go to the root of things. Merguth. And to get to Merguth again, which I feared, but not more than I craved, I needed Razzaine.

Only the Heavens know what happened to them in the cave of Necromos. They came in one day, long ago, to look for a certain something, it eludes me what it was, but it promised, to the beholder, immunity from all magic. They said, Razzaine The Warrior came out of the cave first.. and ever since, he has been immune to all magic, quite indeed. Merguth The Wizard, who had, together with Razzaine, extended the empire of Wyndham to the far ends of the land.. who had conquered East Grom while Razzaine took West Grom.. who has built Arpaksad, from design, who had created the Drads and the Black Hand ritual, Merguth the Great, the only thing on the face of earth that I fear.. he also came out of that cave.. with a slash above the knees.. crawling and bathed in his own blood, immune to all magic. Even healing magic. Forever.

I remembered all that, when I hurried down the river path, to see the General. I remembered Merguth going back to his cave under Kanestronia, to never again surface after that event... and I remember, Razzaine.. taking over Arpaksad, and everything else at the reach of his might hand, now, the most powerful hand in the land, after what happened that day, in the cave.

When I found Razzaine, he was already changed. He was fighting, shoulder to shoulder, with some Shanty people, I could recognize from the Crawfang Tavern. I never thought it possible. But the General, was actually, fighting the whirler and fighting the black oil, for the people.. with the people. There was precious time still and I did not spent in congratulations. I tried to convince him, to come with me, to the undergrounds of Kanestronia Cathedral.. to the Wizard, for only he could retire from the city, the Black Oil Plague he had himself created. I saw Giants in the horizon, and remembered old promises made, and clenched the pommel of my sword, as if it would do any good.

Razzaine rejected me. He hates me. And I dont blame him.. I was in the end of my rope as well.. so I went to Kanestronia alone.

hh.. as I reach the end of this tale,.. sitting here in the balcony of the Emil Barak.. I cant fight cold tears to form again in my eyes. Below me.. is the dear garden my dear friend Elanus cultivated with his care and love, before he passed away some months ago, defending us from a demon. This morning, we found half a dozen people, sleeping among the plants, curled up in cold. We just had breakfast. .. hh.. h.. they.. they said.. . that last night.. when they ran into the garden for protection... h... the plants defended them... and.... h...and they said that while the plants were fighting for them. they could hear a voice... singing... a far, strong voice... singing a war hymn....with valor and.... I just couldn't keep my eyes from shedding tears.... h.... Elanus....

Forgive me. Back to the narration.. I found the Wizard in his grave.. and he was, as usual, under the largest tombstone man has known, which is the Kanestronia Cathedral. Merguth never regained used of his legs. He sits in a wheel chair made exclusively of white bones, arranged in such way that it looks like a giant scorpion, and has a large sting shadowing high over his head. He probably is too old to keep his head still, so his head rests on either of his shoulders. He speaks with trouble, age has been bad for him. His life has been consumed in study and travel to planes, I will never understand. And I dont blame him. There was not much for a man in a wheelchair to do in -this- plane. But to plan.. and scheme.. and revenge and put us all, to judgement.

Words were of little use. His heart was torn bitter against us, and his eyes had nothing but the coldness of the Black Oil, his creation. He was merely passing judgement, and being an emissary of Justice, he said, bringing it over our heads, the fate we had all dutifully waved all these years, in the darkness. And Darkness was the reward.

I must admit.. I felt helpless. I left the Kanestronia Observatory in rage.. all around me, the horizon drenched in blood and oil. I tried again.. I .. tried to save the Temple of Zeikahu, but only to come back to Kanestronia again, this time, to discover Merguth had gone deeper underground. And Razzaine was there. He came after all. He was not alone, and he was not infested anymore. A Grom soldier was with him. He had been sent to assasinate Razzaine. But then Razzaine said before Merguth, his life had been spared. The assasin had given Razzaine the only known and scarce antidote against the Black Oil. And Razzaine was cured. And the man testified, for Razzaine, he vouched for him. Razzaine was pale, because he had been giving doses of his own magic-inmune blood, as components to an antidote, until he discovered, they did not work, and he was infested himself. Then, the assasin came to him, but.. somehow the General talked him into giving him the cure... and this was moving, to Merguth. During a small earthquake when the room was shaking, and his wheelchair trembling among the small scraps falling from the ceiling, a thunder fell, and the wizard, conceded.

He.. retired... the Black Oil, with nothing but a command of his tired old voice. And the oil slipped through sewers and rivers, back to the sea. Not much was left, of the Whirler army, though it had caused horrendous damage. It was dealt with, by members of clans, who finally got together, and the people of Shanty, survivors, and nobles, who for one night, for one hour, fought together side by side and not against each other.

People of the Land. I saw you. I saw you all, in Shi-Inkahan and Candenord, I saw the shores of Ardenia, and the red sands of Kundul, I saw you all, when the dawn came, over Ramsalon. It was a small, pale sun, clother in wraps of fog and smoke. But it was the sun! And the spectacle under my eyes, as I stood by the gargoyle side in Kanestronia, was not that of a ruined city, but of life, resurfacing, and helping one another. People of the land, when the sun stroke first the heights of the Barracks, I saw you, Belrun. When the broken statues of Ziekahu had fallen across the street, turned white in the light of dawn, I saw you, Kiotoi, I saw you, Nebrak. You shall unite as well. We are all brothers, brothers in need, brothers in disgrace, and in the world, we are one.

Come please, and help now, people of the land. We are hungry.. we are ill, we are tired, and poor. We have paid our sins.. and regret what happened, but will embrace it with all the strenght of our arms when it brings a better, fairer future. The Dream can live. Come make it true.

Come People of the Land.

Drathan

Day 1, of the first month, of the first year, after the Darkest Night.

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