A historical look which tells the story of how the Dungeon Crawler universe came to pass, from its very beginning all the way up to the present age.
In the beginning...
... the Light shone through the emptiness. From the Light sprung forth Heaven and the Angels, the oldest and most beautiful of beings. The emptiness was devoid of conflict, and so it was also devoid of purpose. The Light desired there to be purpose.
From the emptiness seeped in the Darkness, borne to strive against the Light and its children, it would clarify the contrast of existence and therefore reveal the goodness that was the Light.
The Darkness bore offspring of its own a twisted reflection of the Angels, these were Demons. From their domain of Hell these wretched souls would contend for supremacy of the universe with the children of light for conquest of Heaven, but ultimately would lose at every turn.
The AGE of VALOUR
Time passed in conflict and purpose; the children of light vanquished, and the abject children of darkness strived to overcome. It was a simple and straight forward time, but now there was no resolution. The battles and wars would go on and on, souls could not die, the wars would last forever. The Light decided to leave Heaven and Hell behind for a time to contemplate a place where resolution could be found. It concluded it could create a place for those that could live and die, and therefore have something to gain and something to lose; a place for Mortals. With that loss would come realization, release, revelation and salvation or damnation.
The AGE of DESCENT
Cunning and treachery became effective instruments against the children of light. The angels were curious of the Lights newest conception, but they noticed the Lights preoccupation with its new creation and the ageless battles they waged seemed to diminish in importance. They had been forgotten and their endless suffering became insignificant. Realizing their doubts in their importance, the Darkness began to plot; it whispered in the ears of the Angels and the seeds of discord began to grow.
The greatest of the Angels listened to the Darkness, realizing his greatness when compared to these Mortals he became self-righteous and began bending the ears of others. Before long a line was drawn between them, and a great war began between Angels. This terrible war carried a heavy toll on the Mortals.
The AGE of TIDES
During the Battle for Heaven the Mortals were lost and thus despaired. Broken by the temptations of Darkness and caught between the great powers, they trembled and swayed like the tide. They segregated and turned upon one another with promises that they were more worthy than another, and dark gifts would be granted should they side with demons whom were set upon the mortal planes unchecked as the Angels warred.
The Mortals became unrecognisable to each other, so physically and spiritually warped and twisted that they no longer recognized each other as brother and sister. They gave themselves names like Fae, Dragons, Giants and the titles now known as the elder races. By the end of the Age of Tides the Mortal children of the Light, the Nephilim, were all but extinct.
The AGE of MORTALS
The Light would not idly watch as his newest creation was decimated by an unchecked rival. He drew a veil to divide the Mortals and returned to Heaven to banish his insubordinate children and cast them to Hell. There they were cut off from the Light and had to face the children of darkness alone, weakened by their fall from grace, and fight for control over its denizens. This war would last eons, and an age of peace for the Mortals began.
The Light returned to observe the land of the Mortals, whom were now protected by the veil, and created a second mortal race simply called man. Man was less than the Nephilim, in a world without angelic or demonic conflict, they would not need the size, strength and near perfection of the Nephilim; and rightly so, this way they would need one another. Locked out the Light and the Darkness would keep vigil from beyond the veil, but moderators were needed to educate the mortal children and allow them to choose.
The moderators needed to maintain order and balance, and thus were borne the terrestrial bound Eidolons. The Eidolons would pass on their knowledge of magic, an energy drawn from the veil itself, and in return Mortals would strive to accomplish great and good things. Magic would also serve as an instrument to allow the Mortals to defend themselves from common threats that might appear.
The Darkness knew that mortals could not be reached through the veil, but the Eidolons were in contact with the veil and could be. During this Age of Mortals the newly created mediators also could not ignore the logic of the Darkness. They were created as instruments of balance, of neutrality, and the mortals only knew of reward. The Darkness convinced the spirits that in order to create true balance, they would need to also teach mortals about punishment and denial. The Eidolons agreed, balance was not evident in their design. They then decided that to keep their roles in the world neutral, they must divide between those that would keep their traditional bonds of rewarding and those that would teach by punishing. Thus a line was drawn and the Primal Eidolons would serve, while the Eldritch Eidolons would threaten treachery at every turn.
Mortals began to follow in the footsteps of the Nephilim, and their forms began to reflect this change, thus were born; Humans, Orcs, Centaurs and many new divisions of mortals. The changes were not as drastic as the elder races, but were still great. They clustered together, using their minor differences to keep them fractured. These physical changes were difficult to attain, and after a time the pursuit of conquest took over the pursuit of superiority.
The mortals were not the only ones that changed, it also began to change the very veil itself, worlds began to manifest where only the veil once existed.
The AGE of INSIGHT
Then something unexpected happened, and the universe stopped briefly as if holding its breath. Whether through accident or design the denizens of the astral realm made contact with the mortals. It is said that at that very moment the Astral Plane was torn asunder and two smaller realms began to form; the Netherworld and Pandemonium. Thus came in to existence the use of arcane magic, power that could be wrought without the need of invocation and with it much trepidation, for now mortals could wield untold power directly. But in the mortal realm, time governs all, and the new found power would not escape its grip either. Mortals could gain the power on their own, without tithing to the Eidolons for it, but in time and with practice; and in the end of the Age of Insight spells would become just another tool to be refined into wizardry and sorcery. The magi that used arcane power was raw, wild, unpredictable and often detrimental, but once refined it could be better manifested in to desirable results. Wizardry governed over the elements, while Sorcery would govern over more fringe concepts.
When the war between the Angels ended the world of Mortals was left twisted and in ruin. Centuries passed and the lands began to heal and the dark ages of chaos came to an end, order began to form and civilizations grew. With civilization came the sins of mortals, and war between brother and sister. To some the Light became the symbol of Justice, and with it came War.
Good and evil became relative in the mortal world and mortal emissaries were desperately needed to win back the influence of the Light. The Light began to tamper with the mortal realm, the Eidolons having lost their grip, but the Darkness objected. How could the Light show its righteous path without the Darkness to contrast it? The Light agreed. As much light that would pierce the veil, that much darkness could seep its way through as well.
Vassals that would come forth could spread the word of the Light, reveal its power and the true path and guidance would be passed down, and with it misguidance would follow.
The AGE of KINGS
Wrought by the wars of its many different races and cultures, the world of Ara, bent by magic, molded by mysticism and chiselled with might, is home. In the lands of Aerymohr, the power would rise and fall as the tide, it was a thriving continent filled with life and death. Those that rose to power would eventually fall through the ages from corruption, lack of control or to some other equally cataclysmic event brought on by the flaws of a short life.
Recently the southern most part of the continent of Aerymohr was home to a battle for supremacy which waged over decades. An upstart race emerged victorious over the long standing civilizations. Lead by their Emperor, the Dreadlanders began to enslave the entire southern hemisphere. Then the Emperor turned his Generals, the Dreadlords, north to the more remote and wild reaches of the continent.
To the north human barbarian tribes joined and had come down from the Frostpeak Mountains to farm and begin a civilization in the grasslands. Newly organized, they faced a huge war between themselves and the Black Tusk Horde, consisting of forty united clans of Orcs from the Icrecrest mountains. The Barbarians of the surrounding area were hired as mercenaries, and an ally force from the neighbouring desert kingdom of Azrahda came to the call carried by the gypsies to unite for humanity. The battles crossed through the realm of the Dwarves and to the edges of the Elven borders, but neither paid any heed to them. They owed nothing to the primitive and chaotic Humans.
Seven of the chieftains of the grasslanders were slain in battle, one by one they fell to the mighty horde. Only one survived to see the Horde defeated, the eighth chieftain Keldorn. This man was thus unchallenged in leadership and proclaimed the grasslands his daughter, his kingdom, the kingdom of Keldorna. It would be his to protect and to rule. A vast city sprung up in the centre of the Keldornan Grasslands, towns and villages began to take root under the banner of the red eagle and they quickly became a power to contend with. The seven points of the eagle's body represent the seven chieftains that died united, and now watch from above. The King ruled peacefully with the surrounding area and in his passing he passed on this legacy to his lineage.
Now, eight generations later, a new threat has arisen.
The AGE of AN EMPIRE
In the grasslands of Keldorn word did not reach of this impending doom until it was already set upon them, the black banner of the Dreadlanders threatened their borders from the south. Making the arduous journey through the Wastelands, the Dreadlanders sought to easily overwhelm the weaker northern nation, but the journey was too perilous and their army became too thin to conquer. The Dreadlord held his ground at the ancient abandoned ruins of Zhira and aptly named it the City of Shadows. There they waited, coiling like a snake, preparing to strike. Holding their troops at the threshold of the grasslands, they erected a great black wall with three towers. The Azrahdii, the desert neighbours of the Keldorns, sent armies to harass the Dreadlanders and prevent if not prolong their rest.
It had become too expensive for Keldorn to hold a standing army against the waiting invaders. So the King relinquished his hold on the war draft, allowing his people to heal the land, their families to grow, to rebuild the treasury and regain their trust. He did announce one thing however, that anyone to cause the Dreadlord great ilk would be amply rewarded by the King himself.
It is only a matter of time before the Dreadlanders move forward, and the King's heart weighs heavy, for he knows it is a fool's errand to stand against them...