Campaign of the Month: October 2010
Wyrmshadow Campaign Setting
Wyrmshadow History: The Age of the Lost
The Age of the Lost
ca. 300,000 – 100,000 years ago
The former Ancients were reduced in their loss of power to savage existences. Many died in the ensuing centuries, unable to come to terms with the chaos and turmoil they had created in the world during the Wyrm’s rest. Some, however, grew to adapt and evolve to survive and take advantage of the few advantages left them. The first of the Elves, Dwarves, and Men were born, the first generations of the races that would one day inherit the world of Wyrmshadow itself. Other races, the Gnomes, Halflings, Weren, and Nasnoi, would also come to populate this world, the remnants of the Ancients all but disappearing after a hundred millenia of evolution.
Over the course of 200,000 years, these fledgling races found ways to cope with the harsh realities of the world. Some, most notably the Elves, began to find ways to tap into an alternative source of power, magic, by drawing mana from the cosmic realm of Etheria. Mana, a potent universal fuel for all manner of powerful magics, paved the way for Elves to build and thrive to a greater extent than their Dwarf and Human cousins. Eventually, these descendants of the Ancients began to forget their connections to one another, either by natural lapse of memory or an intentional discard of familiarity with the other races.
The Saurians, reptilian offshoots of the animalistic Weren, formed a barbaric society in the ruins of the Ancients’ Temple of the Wyrm, within striking distance of the Elven state of Quae. Before long, the two societies began to clash, the ides of war were on the winds, and all races chose sides in the bitter conflict, the First War of Wyrmshadow.
Though the Elves, allied with the Humans and Nasnoi, had the power of magic on their side, the Saurians had overwhelming numbers and made use of brutal, terrifying tactics in their long and costly war. The Saurians had all but conquered the southern continent in a war that lasted nearly 200 years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Then, a hero, a human, rose to the challenge of the Sau Empire, amassing a small but formidable force and mounting an impressive campaign to retake the conquered lands of the people of Wyrmshadow one acre at a time. This human was possessed of a power far greater than any mere mortal, the power of a true Ancient, though memory of those times had by then been all but lost to the passage of time. From The Perch, The Legendary Wyrm spoke the name of this Ancient reborn in human skin, Phoenix, and the Wyrm smiled upon the Phoenix’s awakening as a hero to the innocent, a champion of creation.
The Saurians were routed before long, as their numbers dwindled, their allies switched allegiances to follow the human, Idrahl, the reborn Phoenix, and as the new age dawned, the last of the savage Saurian race was extinguished from history. The bonds created between Elves and Men during this time, at the end of the Age of the Lost, would not perish from Wyrmshadow in all of history, strained though these bonds might be.
From The Perch, Aos believed that the Saurians who had fallen in combat did so out of their very nature and, as such, their extinction at the hands of an Ancient was counter to the balance. Phi argued that their savagery merited their expulsion from Wyrmshadow, as they were too disruptive of the growth of the peoples of the world. Nus claimed that Phi was being too shortsighted, that the Elves, if not given the perspective of this war to ally and rely upon the other races would have dominated and stagnated the growth of all the others anyway. The Legendary Wyrm stated that all of the Elders were correct, that war seemed to have forced old, unhealthy habits to disappear, the balance to be regained through heroics. The hero Idrahl, whose name would be immortalized in the human island nation of Idrahaal, had proven that conflict, specifically the overcoming of conflict, was perhaps the greatest force of evolution the world had yet seen.
With that, the Wyrm decided that the Saurians had yet to fulfill their role in the world. Thus, the Saurians would be granted life anew, this time in the image of their creator, the Legendary Wyrm itself. With the permission of the Wyrm, Nus took the souls of the fallen Saurians and created the world’s first Dragons: Bahamut and Tiamat.
The Age of the Dragons had begun.