Five great Ages marked the development and history of Tera’fir. Tera’fir is decorated with a savage past of war, bloodshed, kinstrife, and chaos, but it has also known prosperity and the rise, the fall, and the rebirth of civilization.
Though most of its history has been lost beyond the current Age of the Sword, here is what historians and lore masters have been able to piece together from the fossils and ancient runes that survived the test of time.
Began with the coming of the Elves and ends with the Kinswar
Long before the coming of humans to Tera’fir there were the elves, called the Quessir among their own kind. Even they were not native to Tera’fir though none now are sure of their exact origins. Most historians simply state that they came from the Grey and leave it at that. Others have attempted to delve further into their origins but have come up with few answers that could be agreed upon.
The forests were plentiful and magic was ripe within the land, but the elves newly born into this ancient world did not find the peaceful paradise that it had at first appeared, for the great Dragons dominated both the skies above, and the world below, and the elves were little more to them then mice left to scurry beneath their descending shadow.
One of the greatest and most beautiful of forests was Isilme, home to endless leagues of giant evergreens and crystal springs. Deep within the heart of this enchanted forest the elves forged the heart of their power and the seat of their defense. The construction of Talenme’a began, the first of the elven cities. Soon Talenme’a became a marvel of natural beauty and architectural wonder that would never been seen by human eyes.
The greatest among the elven Magi banded together to create the Mantle that would protect the elven stronghold even against the might of the dragons. A year and a day they spent in the casting, and in the end the twelve Magi sacrificed their lives to the protective magic they wove together. They remain now as living statues frozen in eternal sleep gathered around a pillar of crystal that is the source of the Mantle.
It would take centuries before the elves broke the dominance of the dragons and became the sole masters under the sun and the twin moons of Tera’fir. The dragons that survived the long centuries of battle retreated to their lofty mountaintops or hid among the darkened places of the earth.
The elves knew only a few decades of peace before war once more darkened the landscape, but this time it was not a race from afar, or creatures of the sky that brought war once more to their precious forests, but strife among their own kin.
It was the drow who were the aggressors, and though at the time much similar to their kin, the drow were far too war like and power hungry for the tolerance of their fairer cousins. Though they welcomed the drow’s prowess in the war with the dragons, it was not to be tolerated during the time of peace to follow. When the drow started dealing in forces that evidently lead to their corruption, their elven cousins knew the time of the Sundering had come. All attempts to reason with their darker natured cousins had ended in bloodshed, and finally to the Kinswar that would forever alter the future of the elves. In the end the drow were slain or driven underground, while their cousins of the surface spent centuries repairing the devastation that was wrought.
Marks the arrival of Man and ends with the war against the Elves.
When the first humans arrived on Tera’fir the elves paid them little attention seeing them as little more then harmless beasts. It was true at least that by elven standards the primitive and barbaric tribes of humans were little worth taking note of, but it would not be long before that perception drastically changed.
They were the Vanyir, living among the treacherous Northern steppes that the elves had considered un-inhabitable by any intelligent creature; a sentiment they would still echo to this day. Human magic was paltry in comparison to the elves, their weapons crude, and their manner shockingly uncouth and uncivil. When the first humans began to trickle down into the elven inhabited lands they were driven away and often slain. Still to the astonishment of the elves the humans were not deterred. In fact as the years passed the humans grew in alarmingly advancing numbers that left the elves in terrified awe of the humans resilience and mastery of survival.
Cities sprang up by the dozens and the elves found themselves losing ground to the far more primitive race of humans. As sages and councilors among the elves conferred on this new threat, cities turned into a kingdom, and the humans began to perfect the forging of steel. By the time the elves decided to move against the humans in force it was already too late. Centuries had passed, and while but a brief span of time to the elves, it was all the time in the world to the humans to prepare a defense, and time enough to learn the crude and savage mastery of war.
A massive army of elves advanced upon a frontier city of humans and found that it had been turned into a fortified stronghold surrounded by a balustrade of towering logs. The human defense was crude but effective, and as the surviving elves limped back to their tree-top cities they had plenty of time to ponder their new respect for human achievement. Many more times the elves tested the human defenses, and each time the battle was bloodier then the last, and the result the same. The elves, severely dwindled in numbers, had to concur that the humans were a threat that had grown beyond their ability to contend with.
The humans, elated by their many victories, lost much of their own respect and awe of the elves and gathered an army of their own. They marched with an army large enough in their own minds to conquer the entire world. Another bloody battle ensued but this time it was the humans that were devastated.
The elves long remembered their bloody defeat and never again attempted an assault upon the human fortifications and turned their energy into defense of their forest borders. The humans did not learn so quickly, and either due to their shorter memories or persistent spirit each generation of humans saw another war marching against the elves, and each ended in the same bloody slaughter.
Began and ended with the Acheron.
Magic that began as a primitive form among the humans continued to develop and take shape until it began to rival, even dwarf, the magical might of the elves. It was in the mighty city of Articus, the center of civilization, that the Council of Acheron was formed. Their control over the raw chaos of magic was unsurpassed. Mighty fortresses and cities even were carved from impenetrable rock and lifted into the air to float among the clouds.
There were some among the Acheron whose greed for power surpassed their wisdom, and a quest for dominance among the Magi had begun. A Magi named Rrathel, seduced by the promise of power from an Arch-Fiend named Abraccus, summoned the demon to serve him in war against his rivals, but the demon had plans of his own. War raged and the Acheron, under the guidance of the Magi Akailan, erected the Seven Seals to stave off the darkness that the demon sought to bring into the world.
The Seals formed an impenetrable barrier against the abyss through which evil could not pass. Abraccus, though banished and held at bay by the Seals, found a way to extend his touch through the breach to twist the hearts of mortal mages. Rrathel and many who followed him fought to destroy the Seals but Mordannon, his own apprentice, slew him before he could complete the task of destroying the final Seal.
The War of the Magi wrought a terrible destruction upon the world, and the great floating cities fell shattering to the ground. The Acheron had come to an end. Nearly all had been slain during the magical chaos that their war had unleashed. Those few who survived fled into obscurement by the mobs of the un-gifted that sought to put an end to the Magi that enslaved them and brought such devastation.
Began with the destruction of all but one of the great seals which put an end to the Acheron and nearly caused the destruction of all magic.
With the passing of the Acheron and the destruction of their greatest cities, civilization had fallen into ruin. Once more primitive man and savage tribes of barbarians ruled the world. Without the advanced means in which to store knowledge very little is known of the lore of this time, and it was a long and slow process before man was able to develop some of the knowledge that was lost.
Gradually over the centuries civilization was reborn and once more kingdoms and nations were formed. Even the city of Articus was rebuilt and named Tienna Mar in tribute of the new dawn of civilization that was to come.
Began with the War of Five Nations, in which the Empire of Tienna Mar nearly collapsed, and the Empire of Asgra was born.
Once more with the recreation of wealth, knowledge, and lore, there came those who would covet it, thus began the War of Five Nations. Petty nations and barbarian tribes set their eye of greed upon the shinning city of Tienna Mar that stood alone as the new birth place of culture and civilization. The war lasted for decades and reached to the very gates of the golden city. The advanced training and discipline of the knights of Tienna Mar held the primitive hordes at bay, the war took its toll. The city’s hold upon the world had been broken, and the fledgling empire it strove to become had crumbled.
Only with the rise in power of the Magi Queen Alenthia did Tienna Mar start to regain a large part of its power. For 200 years she reigned and Tienna Mar thrived, but so did a new power in the South.
During the War of Five Nations the Asgran were but one roving band of savage barbarians that valued strength of arms and brutality above all other virtues. They were broken before the very gates of Tienna Mar and the shattered remains of their army were sent scurrying back into the tundra. The city they had seen filled their hearts with wonder, and one leader among them named Caeculus put an end to their nomadic wandering and founded the city of Asgra. There they attempted to mimic the city and civilization that had inspired them to greatness.
In time Asgra became an Empire that rivaled even Tienna Mar in its glory. Through war and conquest Asgra brought much of the known world under its yoke, but through battle and bloodshed so did Asgra thrive in riches, culture, and civilization to become the center of Tera’fir. As its Empire spread so did other lesser nations adopt much of its culture and learning to add to the greatness of Asgra.