Antecedents

The ancient ancestors of modern humanity, and founders of magic — for better or for worse.

It has ever been one of my greatest labors, to understand them, to learn the secrets of our ancient ancestors.   What caused their fall? What brought humanity from a Golden Age of Magic, to the very pits of the deepest dark, and from the dark to the world we live in now?   I only fear that, in our lack of understanding, we shall one day repeat their mistakes and face the very same plight.
— Anxious Nimai Scholar
  The Antecedents are the people of Malkora's ancient history, predecessors to all forms of humanity in the present day.    
Ancestors of all who now live in Malkora, these magically-inclined people lived in an era preceeding the Nameless Age, and left behind almost nothing to tell their story in the present day.

A People Long Gone

Little is known about the Antecedents and their lives, their cultures, the things which defined them as a people. Historians throughout Malkora have compiled scattered and spotty records detailing the daily lives of the Antecedents, their achievements, their cities, and more, but no information is more certain than this:   The Antecedents brought upon the Nameless Age.  

The Golden Age of Magic

Magic is a constant presence in the world of Malkora, a resource ever-available, though not all who walk the realm are capable of manipulating it themselves.   This was different, however, in the age of the Antecedents. Humanity as a whole once commanded magic as though it flowed freely through its veins — at least, this is what the stories say.  
Restored Map of the Empire of Aether by Strixxline

Empire of Aether

Ancient texts speak of an empire of the Antecedents which spanned thousands of years, from the Golden Age of Magic to the coming of the Nameless Age. This empire, known as the Empire of Aether, was believed to have dominion in all lands of the continent now known as Nefyran.  
Maps of this empire have been found in various conditions, albeit in ranges from scarcely legible to wholly indecipherable. The only names which have been successfully pulled from these ancient maps are, "Yulrorim," and "Arda."
 

The Ancient Yulrori

Though the lands of Yulrorim now exist as wastelands drained of all magical influence, historical records lead historians to believe that Yulrorim was once the jewel of the Empire of Aether. Described in ancient epics and accounts as a bastion of immense power and home to a diverse and highly ambitious populace, Yulrorim was believed to be the pinnacle of magical development in the Golden Age of Magic.   Knowing this, it is a harsh contrast to see Yulrorim now as this harrowing barrens few dare tread, devoid of all magic and eager to consume what little has the misfortune of finding its way within. To venture through it spells certain death — or worse — for almost any wayward leyborne traveler.    
The fall of the Yulrori is said to have been the catalyst for the coming of the Nameless Era, though this claim is based only in theory and speculation, citing myths and legends such as that of the Font of Oblivion.
 
Font of Oblivion by Strixxline via Midjourney

Arda and its Successors

The similarities between the names of the ancient "Arda" and more recent "Arsaces" were not ones to be lost on historians, especially given that the Monarchy had laid its roots in the very same land as this ancient Antecedent society.   Ever boasting a storied history, the Arsaces Monarchy and its kingdom within Terramarre rose from the ashes of the Nameless Age as one of the first kingdoms to regain societal stability in the Age of the Seekers.   It is known that the Arsaces line remained unbroken and in power since the dawn of the new age and through to its relatively recent end, but tracing the lineage into the Nameless Age has proven largely fruitless.    
Given the existence of large, present-day kingdoms in lands once occupied by the Antecedents, historians are eager to find connections between them and the past, if they exist.
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Historians have ever strived to extract crucial lessons from the fall of ancient civilizations
by Strixxline via Midjourney
Type
Ancient Civilization
Known Societies
Empire of Aether
Yulrorim
Arda

Records Lost to Time
Few if any records have survived which detail the lives and societies of the Antecedents, and historians are ever plagued by the task of picking apart fact from fiction in what documents they manage to find.   The only knowledge seen as certain, in regards to the Antecedents and their culture, is that they lived as one united empire until the Nameless Age brought about their extinction. Records detailing daily life before the onset of the Nameless Age paint the Antecedents as lovers of extravagance, with no mind for debt and expense, perhaps indicating that such notions did not exist within their societies.
Prize of the Umbralists by Strixxline via Midjourney
Remnants of the Past
Those which yet reside within the cursed lands of Yulrorim, namely the umbralin, are believed to be the key to understanding the fall of the Antecedents.   None have found success in such endeavors as traveling to the heart of Yulrorim for answers, or discussing the shadowed past of Yulrorim with its inhabitants which have, historically, been less than hospitable.   The activities of Yulrori organizations including the Umbralists inspire great fear in those who know of them, believing that their goals will bring about another Nameless Age if left unchecked.
Ancient Aurel Cathedral by Strixxline via Midjourney
Relics of Arda
Terramarre itself is a land steeped with history, of battlefields, ruins, and relics of the past, which archaeologists have ever yearned to explore and study, hoping to gain better understanding of the events of the Nameless Era.   They were never given the chance to do so, however, as governing bodies of the kingdom throughout history had ever banned the practice.   This restriction only grew more strict as the Alabaster Hand overtook the Arsaces Monarchy as the rulers of the kingdom.


Cover image: by Strixxline

Comments

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25 Sep, 2022 02:30

I really enjoyed this article!, Enjoyed the map you used and how you explained it lore wise what it was!, Overall a fantastic article!

25 Sep, 2022 04:48

Yay, thanks for giving it a read! ♥ Hoping to play with more maps and lore materials that exist in-world, since most of the history is very muddy for its historians. Could come up with some fun things!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
26 Sep, 2022 18:29

This article was striking from the moment I clicked the link. It just looks very cool! So I was excited to read it right away. I think it's something of a challenge to write an article about a "Lost to history" kind of civilization, and you manage it well. Great article! :)

26 Sep, 2022 19:59

Thank you for the wonderful comment! It certainly was a challenge to come up with the right way to approach writing about this civilization, and I hope to dive further into more ideas for them in the future. More muddy maps and spotty records, with lore descriptions backing them up :)


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
27 Sep, 2022 15:32

The ancient "Arda" and more recent "Arsaces" give you a great range of events to pull stories and adventures!

Read about the ancient history of the Anhult Wildlands in my Challenge article, Echoes of the Past.

Submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
28 Sep, 2022 03:28

That was sort of my goal with this article! I didn't have a ton of actual history written for my world aside from the general vibe of what's happened... so I wanted to give myself hooks to latch onto in the future when I find more time to develop the history more deeply!


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
Grandmaster tlcassis
Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia
28 Sep, 2022 02:17

Grabbing and well constructed! I really liked the material at the beginning and the quote. I like a bit more storytelling myself, but that's taste. I was not able to make your Chronicle work well, but that may be the feature - I gave up on trying to get a chronicle for this to work for me so it's probably a PEBKAC error...

Humans! My shortlisted competition entry for "On the Shoulders of Giants"   My Short stories for Spooktober
28 Sep, 2022 04:02

Thanks for the read and comment :) I'm sorry to hear the chronicle didn't quite work for you! It does seem like a finicky feature, but all I really did with it was place the three known major eras, and a few key events along the timeline. Not a ton of content in there, but little storytelling blurbs on each timeline event formatted as notes in a still-learning historian's book.   So all there really is to it at the moment is clicking on something on the timeline, "read the full story" on the pop-up, and bam! Little chunks of writing :)


Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
Check out Antecedents, my entry for On the Shoulders of Giants!
Grandmaster tlcassis
Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia
19 Oct, 2022 04:34

The chronicle was working a lot better tonight! I liked the popups on the side with the story content in them!

Humans! My shortlisted competition entry for "On the Shoulders of Giants"   My Short stories for Spooktober