The Age of Mists
Before the Age of Spears, there came a time in the prehistory of humanity that has been almost wholly lost to human records. More than a thousand years before the present day, before humanity had spread across Leng, they found themselves as refugees. Fleeing from the south in great numbers, they escaped the harsh desert that is now known as the Plains of Dust; in living memory, it had been a lush and fertile land. Their journey is known to old legends as the Great Exodus.
Some struggled to survive on the northern borders of their old homeland - they created the kingdom of Alta, now in ruins. They did not run far enough, and all who have travelled to Alta in the present day say that it is a cursed, evil place. Others tried to remain in the Plains of Dust or fled south, becoming the shalafi nomads of the desert.
Still more fled north into Qolor; a barren wasteland it may be, but compared to the blazing sun of the Plains of Dust it was an improvement. These tribes, who learned to survive in that hostile and treacherous land, became the Karpathi barbarians of today. Still others fled yet further on their exodus, and would eventually flee far enough to become the ancestors of Arelon, and Vingaard, and all the human civilisations of the present day.
Although the broken cities of Alta remain, as do the oral traditions and tales of the Karpathi and the shalafi, this is a period that should properly be considered prehistoric. It is remembered by ancient folk legends, ruined cities and forgotten monuments. Although there are many legends - some more fanciful, some more credible - there is little concrete history of this time outside of the oldest archives of grey elven history. For this reason, it is known as the Age of Mists; a dark age of terror and fear after the golden age that came before it.
2000 - 1750 BE
- The Great Exodus (2000-1950 BE)
- The Reclamation of Alta (1998-1993 BE)
- The Scattering of the Forsaken (1995 BE)
- The Dragon of Alta (1993-1985 BE)
1750 - 1500 BE
1500 - 1250 BE
1250 - 1000 BE
2000 - 1750 BE
The Great Exodus2000-1950 BE
In the aftermath of the Searing of the Plains of Dust, those few humans who had remained in Andruith were forced into the north. Andruith had been steadily emptying for two centuries as the Aspostasy continued and the land transformed from a fertile paradise into a hellish barrens; a steady stream of refugees fled both north and south to escape the conflict. Even so, there were many who had remained in Andruith through thick and thin: those fervently dedicated to their fey gods, those who had nowhere else to go, and those for whom war had become a way of life.
Many of these stragglers died when the Plains of Dust were created - a massive extermination of human life not seen in the past since the days of the First Gods in Altea. Those who survived found themselves fleeing the burning sands that were the remnants of their old life: it is impossible to know much about anything from this period of time, but some scholars have estimated their numbers as no less than 10,000 souls.
Those who fled the Plains of Dust can be divided into two groups: the Forsaken, and the Altans. The first group fled the south as quickly as their feet and mounts could carry them. Although the north had in the past been a place of fear and awe - both for the fey lurking there and the legends of monstrous creatures roaming the wilderness - the presence of such beings held little fear in comparison to the destruction the Forsaken were fleeing. This group would flee into the Plains of Qolor and beyond.
The second group, the Altans, were of a different mindset. Though scarred by their experiences, many of them were inveterate warriors who now saw that the fierce competition of Andruith had been wiped out. They fled only as far as they needed to: to the ruins of the once-great city of Alta, at the northern edge of the desert. Here they attempted to rebuild and survive in their harsh surroundings. They are the ancestors both of the doomed people of Alta and the shalafi nomads that still inhabit the Plains of Dust to this day.
The Reclamation of Alta1998-1993 BE
Two years after the Plains of Dust were first scorched, the refugees fleeing northwest were divided at the edge of the desert by a charismatic figure. Of the 10,000 or so who fled Andruith, about half fell under his sway - which some claim was down to more than mere force of personality. The name of this leader is lost to time, and there are many theories as to just who or what he was - a normal man, magnified by time and myth? Or a wild mage, as some have proposed? Some even believe that he may have been a dragon in human form, deceiving his followers into servitude. Whether or not this is true, he is known to history as the Dragon Emperor of Alta.
His "pitch", according to the oldest accounts, was simple. For two long years they had been suffering the fate of Andruith, he said. Under the harsh glare of the desert, countless of their friends and family had died. But here, at the edge of the desert, there was a place they could survive. Though the ground was hard and cracked, there was water - the mighty Lifeblood River, which flows from the mountains of Oshokthespen. There were the ruins of the broken city of Alta; ready to be rebuilt and made fit for purpose. Under his leadership, they would not make the mistakes of the Andruans.
It is said that day that he proved his words with a display of magical power, the nature of which varies with the telling. Whether it was by magic or sheer force of debate, half of the Forsaken stayed to become Altans with him. The rest continued on the Great Exodus. Over the course of the next five years, the city of Alta and its surroundings would slowly be rebuilt. Despite his strange demeanour and unnatural powers, their newfound leader deftly guided the Altans in the creation of a new civilisation from the ruins of the old.
The Scattering of the Forsaken1995 BE
Even as the Altans prepared the ruins of their city for habitation, the Forsaken continued their flight into the northwest. For three long years their punishing journey through the barren wasteland now known as the Plains of Qolor. Though more temperate than the Plains of Dust, the Forsaken had no broad river of soothing water to rely on, as the Altans did. Their expedition was slow and fraught with suffering and death.
By 1995 BE, the Forsaken had made their way into the center of Qolor. Their numbers had dwindled further from the harsh conditions to a mere 3,000 souls. Of those who remained, there were two factions with opposing views on how to proceed. One was led by a former priest of the dead gods of Andruith, by the name of Karpath. He told that the vice and arrogance of the Andruans had were responsible for their present condition, and that the blasted wastes of Qolor were their punishment.
The followers of Karpath, the Karpathi, disagreed violently with the other refugees. They believed that the advancements of Andruith - the conjuration of spirits, and the building of empires - were responsible for all their woes. In a land like Qolor, where every day was a struggle for survival, they could live out their lives as the gods intended. They warned that the Forsaken might find greener pastures, but that they would spell doom just as it did for the Andruans.
Eventually, in 1995, the Forsaken scattered to the winds. Some went west, and would eventually settled on the western coast of Leng, but most followed the rivers east towards the Sea of Flails. The Karpathi bade them go freely, but with a warning: no king will ever rule in Qolor. Come here with the instruments of war, and you will not find quarter in the harsh lands of the Karpathi.
The Dragon of Alta1993-1985 BE
Compared to the fate of the Karpathi and of the other refugees who hopefully continued into the rest of Leng, the Altans lived an easy life. By 1993 BE, TODO
1750 - 1500 BE
1500 - 1250 BE
1250 - 1000 BE
Awakening of Uzan Rith1100 BE
Before 1100 BE, there were no signs of any dwarves on Leng. Although the world had been inhabited by dwarves in the distant past - long before humans or even elves came to Morus - they had long since sequestered themselves in their mountainhomes. Locked in the Ancestor Forges built to protect them from an ancient and forgotten evil, they slumbered.
The mountainhomes that survived to the end of the Age of Mists are as follows:
- Uzan Rith, east of the Dagrenoth Ur mountains
- Nilun Ebbek, center of Dagrenoth Ur mountains
- Edem Azmol, north of Dagrenoth Ur mountains
- Rukon Zon, west of Tamora
- Zon Sacat, Sacatmorul mountains
- Oshokthespen, Oshokthespen mountains
Of all these ancient mountain dwarven strongholds, the elders of Uzan Rith were the first to awaken. That the humans - still scattered across Leng as nomads and barbarians - were wholly ignorant of their existence is not surprising. That not even the sagacious elves were aware of the newly awoken dwarves is somewhat more so. For the dwarven elders, after having awoken from their ordeal, did not reveal themselves.
The next century was spent by the dwarves of Uzan Rith in secrecy, rebuilding their crumbling homes. Much of the ancient lore had been lost to the millennia, and the elders who had built the Ancestor Forges did not survive long after their awakening. It was left to their children to relight the ancient forges, delve new mines and unearth old tunnels to restore the former glory of the dwarves of old.
Awakening of the Dwarves1000 BE
In 1000 BE, about a century after the first dwarves emerged from the Ancestor Forges in Uzan Rith, the other mountainhomes awoke: Nilun Ebbek, Edem Azmol, Rukon Zon, Zon Sacat, and Oshokthespen. It is unclear why Uzan Rith awoke so much earlier than the others, for the other five mountainhomes awoke within a decade of each other, one by one. Their reaction to the desolation that remained of their once-magnificent citadels was similar to that of Uzan Rith; they elected to hide themselves deep beneath the earth and rebuild.
The attentions of the other five mountainhomes were turned entirely inwards during this period; they were not even aware of what transpired in the world above. But as Uzan Rith expanded and broke into the light of the sun for the first time in millennia, events were transpiring that would force them to interact with the world around them. For the Age of Spears was about to begin - marked by a tide of blood.