These collected notes are are often sketchy. Much has been lost over the years. To the best of my ability, I have put together the hints, scraps and rumor together in order to give you a somewhat coherent history of the world of Elemental. Some of this may just be myth as much of it seems fantastical and unbelievable. It is, however, the best I can do and will, I hope, allow us to predict what events may occur next.
The Lost History
In the beginning there were the Mithrilar. These beings of unfathomable might had purposes we can only guess at. The source of their strength was the master crystal called the Telenanth. The mightiest of the Mithrilar, Draginol, fashioned a powerful tool designed to take the cosmic energy from a great Telenanth crystal to make use for his own ends. His attempt failed and the crystal shattered into hundreds of shards.
For a long while, no one knew the fate of Draginol. We would, however, later learn that he had drifted unconsciously through space and time until he collided with the primordial world of Elemental, forever altering its history. Meanwhile, Draginol’s servants, the Elas’nir, sometimes referred to as the precursors of civilization itself, struggled to collect these shards in preparation for the day their master returned. The power of these shards ultimately divided the Elas’nir paving the way for their foes, the Dred’nir to emerge.
The Three Continents
The world of Elemental is made up of three continents. Most of our history deals with the largest of the three, Anthys for this was where much of the information I have on Elemental has come from through the Kingdoms of Men starting as far back as Tan-la-Ur, the man who taught the dragons the speech of men.
For the purposes of time keeping, I will give years in terms of Before the Cataclysm (BC) and After the Cataclysm (AC). The Cataclysm was an event that took place on the continent of Anthsys which we will get to in great detail shortly.
The other two continents, Korrel and Sylt are as different from each other as they are from Anthsys. Unlike Anthsys, which was dominated by men and their Fallen derivatives, Sylt and Korrel are populated by very different creatures.
Korrel has been populated by the Frozen Realm for ages and populated by creates both great and small that do not resemble men in the lease.
The other continent, Sylt, is a wild place populated by creatures that refer to themselves as Faedra but that term does not seem to refer to a particular race as the Faedra come in many different forms.
The first Age of Elemental: Rise of fall of the Magi
Emergence of the first cities. The myth of Tan-la-Ur, the man who could talk to Dragons. The Empire of Al-Ashteroth rises in the east. This is a bloodthirsty, warlike kingdom, in which magic is controlled by a select caste of warrior-priests. These priests lead their people into battle against the dragons, resulting in the extermination of those beasts from the world… or so it is assumed.
7000 B.C. /O O.R. (Old Reckoning; pre-cataclysm Calendar of Elemental)
Al-Ashteroth falls into decline. The rise of the great-city states; Bantree, in the west; Malaya in the south, and Hallas, in the east (far to the north of Al-Ashteroth, at the point where the Gandru river flows into the Eastern Sea) arise. This is the noontide of the Magicians. Elemental is rich in magic and the rulers of this world master it, and use it to do great works.
5012 B.C./1988 O.R.
Events of the Book of the Magi in the Hiergamenon.
The greatest of all these early sorcerers - Lord Ereog of Hallas, Lord Argynn of Malaya, and Breon, the Witch Queen of Nimmeria – combine forces to cast the Spell of Making, thus creating the Forge of the Overlords, which allows the creation of magical objects.
The casting of this incredibly powerful spell, however, creates a ripple in space, one that shines like a beacon in the dark of the universe, and attracts the attention of the Arnor. The two factions of this race have continued their struggle over all the millennia since the shattering of the Telenanth; the shards of that crystal have in fact played a key role in that battle. Possession of one of these shards – scattered throughout the known universe – magnifies the abilities of the holder severalfold.
Discovery of the island continent of Sylt, thought to be legendary. And the rediscovery of the Faedra, thought to be a myth.
3434 B.C./3566 O.R./O P.C. (Paridian Calendar)
Pariden, one of the Elas’nir, constructs a portal enabling him to travel between worlds. He [DS1] arrives on Elemental, on the continent of Anthys, in the capital city of the great city-state Hallas, the site of the forge. His emergence from the portal seems to the people of Hallas like the descent of their gods to their world. Within the span of a few generations, it becomes an important chapter in the world’s cosmology.
Within the span of a few years, ancient Hallas is renamed Pariden.
Pariden and other Elas’nir begin their exploration of Elemental, puzzled as to the source of the world’s magic.
Meanwhile, on the Arnor’s own homeworld, the Dred’nir, learning of Pariden’s successful construction of the portal, intensify their struggle against the Elas’nir, hoping to seize control of the gateway between worlds.
3406 B.C./ 3988 O.R/ 428 P.C.
Birth of Rox Janeel.
2988 B.C./4012 O.R./446 P.C. (Paridean Calendar)
Their powers augmented by a significant number of shards, the Dred’nir seize control of the portal. The first of them emerge in Elemental. Among their number are Curgen, Kir’Tion, and the Lady Umber.
Their arrival is also like a scene out of some cosmic mythos; a scene of terror, and slaughter. Hundreds of men perish; Pariden himself is killed as well. Realizing the source of the Dred’nir’s strength, one of Pariden’s most trusted lieutenants – the Elas’nir Tandis – leads a last desperate struggle against Curgen, hoping to gain possession of some of those shards for himself. In this, he is only partly successful.
He does, however, succeed in destroying the portal between worlds, preventing the arrival of further Dred’nir… and in the process, stranding himself and his fellow immortals on Elemental forever.
Rox Janeel of Pariden collects the stories of the Magi, which have been passed down orally over the Millenia, and those of the Titans, which he has lived through, into a single volume for the first time; this is the Hiergamenon.
Curgen renames Pariden Imperium and begins to order affairs in the east to his liking.
He sends Kir-Tion and Lady Umber to the jungles of Al-Ashteroth, seeking the source of the great magics once performed there by the warrior-priests of that ancient nation. Seeking control of the seemingly endless supply of magic in the world.
Men are increasingly enslaved in this task.
The immortals are now commonly referred to as titans. Curgen – and the most powerful of his lieutenants – are now called Dread Lords.
Among the hills and crags of the Spine of the Empire – the mountain range that runs diagonally through the Eastern part of the continent – resistance to the Dread Lord forms. The Free Cities of Valgona and Eldric are formed, and fall to Curgen’s armies. The resistance is driven (literally) underground, into the great tunnels that honeycomb the mountains; this underground world becomes known as Calebethon.
The Wrath of the Magicians.
A great force of mortal men, led by the two surviving Elas’nir – Tandis, and Talax - arises to resist the increasing spread of Curgen’s Empire. At the Battle of Engar’s Steppe, in the heart of the continent, the Dred’nir and their army are halted in their tracks.
An uneasy truce is reached. The known world – the continent of Anthys - is split into two rival spheres of influence. Free men, in the west. Dred’nir, and their lackeys, in the East. The dividing line is the Capacean range, roughly in the middle of the continent.
A thousand years of peace begin.
In the west, new cities, new kingdoms, new sovereigns arise. Along the western coast, the city of Coriopolis becomes the crown jewel in the most powerful of all the nations of men, Athica. A council of merchant Lords rule Ruvenna, the trading capital of the western world, while in ancient Zabril, a council of sorcerers emerges as the ruling force.
Tandis, and the surviving Elas’nir, fade from the sight of men.
In the east, revolt is the order of the day. Curgen’s Empire splinters; both Kir-Tion and the Lady Umber break away from Imperium, and begin the construction of Empires of their own.
The Lord Protectors’ Road (note name change) is constructed. It runs across the continent, from Coriopolis in the far west, along the Gandru River eastward to Capitar, and eventually through the Capacean range into the East, to Imperium itself. The road is sovereign territory, belonging to no nation. By mutual agreement between Curgen and Tandis – and, it is hinted at, through the powers of magic - no one who travels it can be attacked.
Curgen, however, is not satisfied with the status quo.
The second Age of Elemental: Age of Titans
The Dread Lord’s armies wipe out the last of the Free Resistance in the underground city of Calebethon. In the deepest, most hidden recesses of these caverns, Curgen constructs a laboratory, and begins to experiment. First on animals, including Dragons taken from the Isle of Sylt, and then on men. He twists the very stuff of their bodies; he transforms them into hundreds of other kinds of creatures.
Over the course of the next few centuries, in the hidden laboratory that will become known as N’it’va’ganesh, the various races that will become known as the Fallen are born.
Kir-Tion is not satisfied with the status quo either.
Frustrated with resistance to his own empire by the mortals under his rule, jealous of Curgen’s continually growing might, he conceives of a way to seize control of the power contained in all the shards, no matter where they are located.
Key to this plan is one particular Dred’nir – Tar-Thela, who has the unique ability to find the shards, and bind them to her in her mind.
Kir-Tion attacks her without warning, and removes her memories. He sends her out into the world then, on a quest to find the shards and gain their power for him.
Tar-Thela’s quest ends in success, of a sort. Much of the magic of Elemental is indeed absorbed into the shards. But an unexpected result occurs: the shards, once filled with magic, become rooted to the world where they rest, unable to be moved.
The race to control these shards begins.
During the next two hundred years, war between the Dread Lords – punctuated by scattered skirmishes between Curgen’s forces and those of the west – is the order of the day.
After a great siege, Curgen slays Kir-Tirion at the battle of Al-Ashteroth, leaving the Lady Umber, whose seat of power is the city of Ythril, built on the ruins of the most powerful of all the ancient-sea faring kingdoms, Malaya, as his chief rival.
In the west, the kingdoms of Men are dwindling in strength, as mortals born after the capture of magic possess no magic. Tandis the Arnor organizes his fellow Elas’nir and men to resist the growing might of the east.
In what had been the free city of Valgona, a boy named Hosten is born. He is the first Channeler – the first mortal to sense and control any shard he has ever touched.
Timeframe for NEMESIS of the GODS.
Inspired and led by Hosten, who has grown into a man, a sorcerer supreme, more powerful than all but a handful of Arnor himself, the cities of the Imperial Spine revolt, and throw off the yoke of Empire.
The revolt reaches Imperium itself; taken by surprise at its strength, the Dread Lord is forced to flee.
Hosten marches into the City, and declares the age of the Titans has ended. He renames Imperium Pariden once more, and agrees to serve as First Councillor.
Hosten’s son Morrigan is born. The proverbial bad seed; he inherits his father's ability, and a lust for power that cannot be quenched.
Curgen and his followers – led by Magnir - consolidate rule in territory south and west of Imperium.
They discover a way to block Channelers from accessing the shards under their control by building a special type of construct.
Curgen also discovers Tar-Thela, and decides to put her to use.
The Emerald Queen, under Curgen’s control, enters Imperium in secret. She seduces Morrigan.
Curgen assigns the Dread Knight, Magnar to build an army to reclaim Pariden.
Magnar and an army of the Fallen march on Pariden; Morrigan betrays and murders his father. The city falls; Morrigan declares himself Emperor; Curgen is content to be the power beyond the throne.
Pariden renamed Imperium once more.
646 - 400 B.C.
Morrigan's evil grows; he accesses the shards for ever darker, more twisted purposes. He appropriates Curgen’s laboratory for his own purposes; it is rumored that within the vast catacombs beneath the Spine of the Empire (henceforth commonly known as Morrigan’s Spine as well), all manner of experiments take place, and nature itself is twisted to the most foul of purposes - Morrigan's quest for eternal life.
What is not commonly known; in the process of exploring the tunnels in and around N’it’Vaganesh, Morrigan has come across a thing thought lost long, long ago. The Bane of the Dred’nir. Recognizing its importance, he constructs a chamber to hide it from Curgen, and the other Arnor.
Resistance to Morrigan and his creatures grows; formation of the Azure Knights, a secret organization composed of warriors, channelers, and their relatives, all assembled under the aegis of Tandis, who has infiltrated the East, after having heard – ever so faintly, almost subliminally - the song of the Bane.
Tandis befriends Magor, helps Dragons escape Morrigan’s clutches…
Morrigan’s quest for immortality fails; he dies.
Curgen ascends the throne once more.
Throughout the East, the Fallen, who have become powerful in their own right, begin to challenge Magnar and Curgen.
The Lady Umber co-opts some of these forces; she begins to gather them to her side. Her goal soon becomes clear; she seeks to succeed where Kir-Tion failed centuries earlier. She desires to control the shards of the Telenanth – all of them – for her own purposes.
The Umbran Wars.
Lady Umber consolidates her power and territory, allowing the Fallen under her command to raise armies of their own, to shape alliances in a gradually tightening arc around Imperium and its territories.
The Free Cities of the North rebel once more; a distant relative of Hosten’s, Amarian I, Amarian the Warrior, emerges as their leader.
Within the city of Imperium, Curgen, his own influence and abilities waning, begins a project of his own. His plan: re-open the long-shuttered portal to the world of the Arnor. He seeks fresh allies; others of the Dred’nir faction. It will be a difficult task, taking generations to complete. More than time is required, however. Blood is a necessary ingredient; the stuff of Elemental itself. Thousands of men must be sacrificed for him to realize his dream.
Tandis learns of Curgen’s plan. Unable to locate the Bane, he returns to the West, and begins assembling an army to confront the Dread Lord. Among his allies: Tar-Thela, the Emerald Sorceress, who he has helped escape Curgen’s clutches.
The stakes are nothing less than the survival of Elemental itself; Tandis fears that the energies Curgen is gathering will result not just in the opening of the portal, but a cataclysm of epic proportions.
The great army of the west – five hundred thousand men strong – begins its march towards Imperium.
Tandis attempts to convince the Lady Umber to allow them free passage across her territories; to persuade her that the threat Curgen poses is worth a temporary alliance between them. She suggests a private meeting between the two of them, near the city of Gemend.
Tar-Thela tries to dissuade Tandis from going; she is convinced the meeting is a trap. Tandis brushes asides her concerns.
Notes by Brad and Dave on this:
But Tar-Thela is right. The meeting is a trap; an epic confrontation between the Arnor ensues. It ends with the Lady Umber dead, and with Tandis vanished, apparently killed as well.[DS2] [BRW3]
Without his unifying presence, the great army of men breaks apart. Fully half those present turn back for home. Some engage the great host of Fallen Lady Umber had assembled; the fighting rages all through the summer and fall.
With the coming of winter, Tar-Thela brokers a peace with the Lady Umber’s forces. They join, and together start the march eastward again, towards Imperium, intending to thwart Curgen’s plan.
Under the command of Amarian III, the Free Armies of the North join forces with Tar-Thela and Lady Umber’s Fallen.
As winter arrives, the great host of men and Fallen arrive at the gates of Imperium, and attack.
It is an epic battle, involving the release of energies magical and mortal on a scale unseen in the planet’s history.
It is also, if you will, an alarm of sorts.
Deep within the planet, the energies of the being that were once Draginol are awakened by this release of power.
This is not just a massive explosion, though it is that of course - Tar-Thela is slain. Curgen is slain, Talax is driven mad – it is an extinction-level event.
Cities, civilizations worldwide are laid waste. Ninety percent of all life is lost. Korrel is reduced to a third of its former size. Its inhabitants, requiring a frozen climate to survive, are forced to seek refuge elsewhere. Sylt is reduced to a series of islands. Its inhabitants seeking refuge elsewhere. Anthys splits along the Capacean range, rendering the divide between east and west permanent.
Mountains become volcanoes; the sky darkens; the sun disappears. Wildlife, forests, jungles, farmland turn from green to gray. Life all but vanishes from the continent. Without food, people begin to starve. Within a span of weeks, civilization itself has broken down entirely.
In the west, the great Athican empire crumbles. The streets of Coriopolis run red with blood from rioting, and blue with sea-water as aftershocks from the Cataclysm swallow the city near-entire. In the south, the great temple-complexes of Zabril crumble.
In the east, the devastation – both natural and self-inflicted - is even worse. With their Titan masters gone, the Fallen turn on each other. Wholesale slaughter ensues; in the chaos, the remnants of the vast host which attacked Imperium set out for the Western Continent, and a chance at new life. Among their number; Amarian the III, as well as his daughter and heir, eight-year old Procipinee, who is herself revealed now as a channeler of uncommon power. Mere days into their journey – soon to be known as the Eternal March – they are forced underground, into Calebethon, where they are forced to confront horrors near-unimaginable.
The third Age of Elemental: Rise of the Channelers
The Titans (Elas’nir and Dred’nir alike) were gone giving the world an opportunity forge its own destiny. This destiny would be irrevocably tied to the fate of those mortals who would channel the trapped energies within the shards to do great deeds both benevolent and cruel.
In the devastated interior of the Western continent, great caravans of roving barbarians arise to plunder the remnants of civilization. In response, Walderon, the Duke of Ruvenna, last of the great merchant-Lords of Serrane, hires a group of mercenary soldiers to help defend his city.
Amarian III perishes at the Henge. The King’s life – and death - is chronicled in detail by Ezmir the Scribe in the account he has been keeping of the Eternal March; it will become an important chapter in the Third Book of the Hiergamenon.
The survivors of the Eternal March at last reach the Western Coast, and the remnants of Coriopolis. A split arises in their ranks; some wish to rebuild Athica’s former capital; others, led by Procipinee, want to start anew entirely. The company parts; two months, and some two hundred miles to the north later, at a pristine, miraculously undamaged piece of coastline in the shadow of the Lesser Skarps, Procipinee founds the city of New Pariden, and declares herself Queen.
Within the span of a decade, thousands of survivors have joined her.
Walderon orders the capture and training of slaves to supplement his army of mercenaries.
Reestablishment of law in the city of Tan-takreet, at the northwest tip of Lake Zabril. The Drota – savage natives of the surrounding jungles – are driven out by forces led by members of the Miners Guild.
Birth of Rand Markinn.
The country of New Pariden formally established.
Ezmir the Scribe founds the library at New Pariden; it contains a collection of rare manuscripts and artifacts brought on the Eternal March from the East, including items dating back to the days of the Empire of Hallas.
The founding of the port city of Calder. Over the next few years, the city’s population explodes, fueled largely by trade from Ruvenna.
Death of Ezmir the Scribe.
Walderon’s armies seize control of Calder.
The miners guild extends their control to cities south along the shore of Lake Zabril.
Death of Walderon; his son, Walderon II, becomes Duke of Ruvenna.
In Calder, the first Freedom Games are held. The competitors are slaves gathered from every corner of Ruvenna’s growing trade empire; they compete against each other for a chance to win their freedom, providing, in the process, entertainment for the increasingly jaded nobility.
The great Arena is built in Calder to house the games, which are now conducted four times a year, to massive audiences.
The Century, captained by Rand Markinn of the Miners Guild – a name that by now is a misnomer, as the guild encompasses not just miners but traders and merchants as well – reach the ruins of the city of Zad-Zabril, at the southern tip of lake Zabril. There, they come across a scene out of nightmare. Hundreds of skeletons scattered across the city plazas; buildings stained with blood and gore nearly a century old. There is death-magic at work here; the new arrivals are split as to whether to turn back or continue south. Eventually – at Markinn’s urging – they continue on.
Markinn’s ship – the Century – returns to Tan-takreet, laden with spices and exotic goods from the interior of the great jungles south of Lake Zabril. Markinn returns a changed man; along with him, he brings a channeler – a woman called Sanjo – who is not only his lover, but his constant companion. Within the year, he has built himself a great estate on the outskirts of Tan-takreet. His wealth grows a dozen fold, as rivals to his interests either cede advantage to him or disappear – or die – mysteriously.
The leaders of Calder meet with Walderon III; they agree to a power-sharing arrangement, a revival of the Council of Lords that once ruled the traders of the Serrane Empire.
Markinn establishes the republic of Gilden; to most observers, the newly-styled `Lord’ Markinn seems to have absolute power over his country’s doings.
Rumors begin to spread that Markinn has made alliance with the forces of death-magic… and that Sanjo is not only the true power behind Lord Markinn’s newly acquired wealth and might, but the personification of those forces.
Birth of Relias.
Birth of Magesta, daughter of Queen Procipinee.
Irane, Tarth’s daughter, is born in Ruvenna. Menissa, Tarth’s wife, dies in childbirth.
General Carrodus, commander of the Ruvennan Armies, seizes power from the Council of Lords. He names his new country Capitar.
One of his officers – a brilliant strategist, an equally adept swordsman – is a man named Tarth.
Carrodus expands the boundaries of his Empire, by enslaving more and more of the local populace. Tarth refuses to enforce the General’s slavery or slaughter edict in the foothills to the south of the Gandru river; for his disobedience, he is made a slave himself.
Lord Markinn announces his intention to dredge the Sulassi River, opening up a path for goods produced by the Miners Guild to reach the ancient port of Bantree, and the sea beyond.
Death of Tarth. Irane, his daughter, seizes power. She is a masterful warrior; she is also a tactless, heartless ruler, who will come to be as despised by her people as her father was lionized.
Procipinee sees visions of a rise of an Empire of Sorcery that is led by a Fallen Enchantress assigns her champion, Relias, to investigate.
Relias’s expedition to the East.
Events of Book I: The Fallen Enchantress.
Relias learns that the heirs of the Dread have consolidated power and begun to build new empires. Kraxis, the lone bastion of men in the East has allied itself with the Fallen Empire of Magnar.
Relias escapes from the East.
The great rebellion; slaves led by Tarth rise up against their masters. The war lasts two long, bloody years: at the end of it, the slaves are granted their freedom, and territory south of the Gandru river to make their homes in. Worthless swamp, in the eyes of most, though events will prove those who believe that wrong.
Queen Procipinee is unimpressed with Relias’s report. In response, Relias founds his own kingdom, Altar.
Events of Book II: The War of Magic
Events of Book III: Legendary Heroes
The invasion by the Fallen Enchantress is repulsed and the Kingdoms of the West begin to unify around Relias.
Events of Book IV, Yoren’s Blade
The Fallen Enchantress solidifies her power in the East. Relias is unable to convince Procipinee to invade the East before Ceresa consolidates.
The Confederacy of the Three Kingdoms – a confederacy formed by the banding together of Gilden, Capitar, and Altar - is established. New Pariden is excluded.
Events of Book V: Empire of Sorcery
Ceresa successfully unifies all of the Empires of the East under her rule.
The Empire of Sorcery captures the Henge.
Pariden falls. Procipinee, wholly ruined both in body and in spirit plots a final revenge. Only Altar remains free from the Empire of Sorcery. Magesta turns against her mother, unites with Relias and successfully cast the spell of Making to bring down the Empire of Sorcery.
Magesta and Relias wed
A mysterious hero rises in the furthest West.
Events of Book VI: Wrath of a Vanquished Kingdom
Faedra begin to inhabit hidden places in Anthys.
Birth of Galor to Magesta/Relias
Relias and Magesta face off against the Black Sorcerer, a villain of immense power and cruelty. Both Relias and Magesta fall at his hand. He is fought to a stand-still by young Galor. The Black Sorcerer retreats into the East.
The Black Sorcerer finds “Curgen’s Bane” and uses it to begin obliterating the shards to capture their essence.
Events of Book VII: The Sorcerer King
In the east, the rise of Empire once more. Forces gathering, massing; a storm on the horizon. Rumors of the return of the twisted Arnor Talax surface.
Tandis the Arnor emerges with the public persona as the new captain of the Azure Knights.
Events of Book VII: Destiny’s Embers
Events of Book VIII: Curgen’s Bane
Events of Book IX: The Last Mithrilar