B - The History of Sarnaut


Sarnaut was once a thriving and peaceful planet. It had several continents, multiple climates, and a wide range of magnificent creatures. Many distinct civilizations rose and fell throughout the years, such as the human kingdom of the Zem, the Elven kingdom of Airin, and the human kingdom of the June.
The Conclave of the Great Mages was one of the most powerful groups in the world. Though bound by the Rules of the Conclave, they had access to arcane lore that made them capable of amazing feats. In the year 3029 of the Old Era the Great Mage Skrakan became the leader of the Conclave. He began to apprentice a number of mages, two of which became his most prodigious pupils — Tensess and Nezeb. 

Together, Tensess and Nezeb led the nomadic human Aro tribe. They brought them to the ruins of the June kingdom which had disappeared hundreds of years earlier due to a mysterious curse. Among the ruins the Aro waged war with the native Orcish tribes, and under the Great Mages' leadership the Aro were victorious. Thus the Kanian kingdom was established. 

After the Orcish tribes were defeated both mages, battle-scarred and hungry for power, fought for leadership of the Kanian people. Tensess emerged victorious and banished Nezeb to the desert. There he became the leader of a nomadic tribe of humans called the Ugra. Nezeb led the Ugra from the arid deserts and helped them seize some of the fertile Kanian lands. From this victory Nezeb formed the Xadaganian kingdom, an independent and strong human country, and started an enmity between the Kanians and the Xadaganians that would span millennia. 

Five hundred years after the first confrontation between Tensess' Kanians and Nezeb's Xadaganians, Skrakan attempted to resolve the conflict. Tensess' and Nezeb's influence had grown too large for Skrakan to control, but a temporary truce was formed between the two Great Mages, preserving the integrity of the Conclave. 

In the year 4015 of the Old Era the Great Cataclysm struck Sarnaut. The planet was shattered into thousands of pieces by the destructive energy of the Astral, a mysterious substance which began to surround Sarnaut. From the planet's remnants there emerged tiny chunks of land that floated in the Astral, called allods.
The allods were very unstable and were continuously eroded by the Astral. Millions perished until the Great Mages discovered a way to preserve the allods, ensuring the survival of Sarnaut's inhabitants. The cause of the Great Cataclysm remains a mystery despite the Great Mages' attempts to pass the disaster off as the forces of creation and destruction striving for equilibrium. With the passing of the Great Cataclysm, Sarnaut moved from the Old Era to the New Era. 

The chaos caused by the Great Cataclysm reignited the enmity between Tensess and Nezeb. This feud split the Conclave and in the year 356 of the New Era it was dissolved. Shortly afterwards the war between the Kanians and the Xadaganians escalated. Over hundreds of years others races were swept into the conflict, until two opposing factions were formed — the League, led by the Kanians, and the Empire, led by the Xadaganians.

In the middle of this conflict an amazing discovery was made by one of the most humble creatures — a Gibberling fisherman. This Gibberling was named Sven and one day while he was out fishing he used a strange stone to weight his fishing line. After a few hours with no fish caught, Sven fell asleep. When he awoke his boat had drifted over the edge of the allod and into the Astral — but instead of being destroyed it floated there peacefully, surrounded by a shield of light. It was created by the strange stone Sven had attached to his fishing line. The stone was found to contain a metal that was later named meteorite, and news of its properties spread throughout the allods. This resulted in the invention of Astral ships and heralded the Era of Astral Travel.
This new technology spurred the war between the League and the Empire to new heights. Members of the two factions were now able to travel between the allods without the assistance of the Great Mages. Battles over contested allods sprung up all across Sarnaut. One of the fiercest battles was fought over the allod of Kirah in the year 909 of the New Era. Owned by the Empire it was rich in meteorite ore, and so the League attempted to seize it. 

Unfortunately, one night in the year 910 large portals opened in the surrounding Astral. Legions of strange demons poured out onto the allod and attacked everything in sight, League or Empire. Both sides ordered their armies to evacuate the allod immediately but very few survived.
As the troops at Kirah soon discovered, they were not the only ones who had been attacked. Similar portals had opened up all across Sarnaut and many Great Mages had been killed. The allods they had been protecting had begun to crumble and thousands of lives were lost. The League and the Empire soon united in the face of a common enemy, but most of the demons' attacks abruptly stopped shortly after they had appeared. An uneasy peace between the League and the Empire lasted for a few decades, but with the threat of the Astral demons gone, war between the two factions began once again. 

Over time the frequency of the demons' attacks began to increase. To make things worse, a group of cultists emerged that worshipped the demons. Their motives were unclear, but many assumed that they sought their own survival by appeasing the monsters. 

In the year 965 Skrakan discovered the writings of an ancient June mage named Tka-Rik. He wrote that thousands of years ago the June had accidentally summoned the demons from another world, and that it was the demons that destroyed the June civilization. Tka-Rik claimed that the only way to stop the demons was to close the portals they came through. Most did not believe what came to be known as the "Tka-Rik Revelation", for if the demons had existed during the time of the June, why had they disappeared for thousands of years? And why would they suddenly return? 

While the origins of the demons were still unclear, it was evident that they could no longer be ignored. The Empire and the League allied once again and began a war against the demons known as the Great Astral Campaign. Skrakan, Nezeb, and Tensess gathered great armies and brought the battle against the demons to the Astral, intent on destroying the portals they had come through. While they eventually succeeded, the victory was bittersweet — Skrakan, Nezeb, and Tensess were killed and a giant Astral storm wiped out most of the League and Empire's fleets. 

After the wounded soldiers returned home the League quickly chose a new leader. He was a well-respected Great Mage named Aidenus. The transition of power in the Empire, however, was much more complicated. An old and experienced Great Mage named Gorluxor competed with the Great Mage Yasker, a young war hero who had been a favorite of Nezeb himself. Yasker eventually won his bid for power by appealing to the Orcs and the Arisen and promising them rights equal to the Xadaganians. 

With the demons almost completely annihilated, the League and the Empire's new leaders quickly resumed the animosity between the two factions. Small conflicts over contested allods began to erupt and it became clear that a new large-scale conflict loomed on the horizon. Finally, in the year 1008 war was officially declared after the discovery of a new allod known as the Holy Land.