Second Era Myth in Nys | World Anvil

Second Era

The Second Era was a mysterious period where the Abyss ruled over Nys through a powerful archdemon. Their name was Etrem, according to Damparo, but he is the only source. The period's main characteristic was a dark mist, the kradd, raising and lowering at irregular intervals. It made living much more difficult than it was without it.   Little was known about magic, and that little was confused enough to make it way too unreliable. Tribes and villages had no more than a single eng, a sorcerer similar to a modern Alńe, with a younger apprentice, if they were lucky.   Since Damparo is the primary and most complete source of knowledge about this period, it is unclear whether the Second Era had the same characteristics throughout Nys. Ancient Shajīn scripts seem to suggest the situation was alike in the desert, at least.   The Second Era ended when Damparo killed Etrem.


During this period, people lived in small villages or were nomads. The land was mostly barren or very difficult to cultivate, and settle anywhere was bound to attract undesired attention.   The fact that the Abyss had control over Nys does not mean it was actively doing something to maintain that control. Demons stalked the land in an unorganized fashion, attacking whatever living being they could find, including other demons. Chaotic energies slowly corrupted every animal, person or place, making every activity dangerous, even handling docile pets.   Living during the Second Era was not as living under an evil tyrant but without rules whatsoever. Etrem did nothing to make life difficult to people, it was the abyssal corruption to poison everything alive.   The most prominent sign of this chaos was the kradd. It presented itself as a dark mist but had no relation to physical laws. It was a magical seal generated by the presence of Etrem. At irregular intervals it would rise out of nowhere, covering land, sea, even hills. Sometimes it would rise for only a couple of meters, sometimes it would enshroud mountains.   Visibility was reduced within the mist to a few meters at most. People immediately suffered its effects, while corrupted animals and demons seemed to be almost immune to it, if not empowered.   Its duration and intensity were also variable. It could last a day or two, a week, a couple of months. When it was high, it was difficult to count days, since the sun could not breach its darkness. When it lowered, it was a relief, for those still alive. But only temporary, since it would rise again.   It ended when the Moon Goddess tasked Damparo to kill Etrem. His success meant Nys was finally liberated from the Abyss' yoke.   After the archdemon's death, the kradd quickly lost intensity. At first, it would still rise erratically for shorter periods until it disappeared almost completely.  

Historical Basis

While information is rare about this period, nobody doubts its past existence. Several ancient texts scattered all over Nys mention a dark time. However, there are two main reasons for people to believe the Second Era story: the current condition of the Dark Lands and the persistence of a dark mist in some places.   The Dark Lands are a vast region north of the Arkadhian New Empire, where living feels much like in the Second Era. Small villages survive in unpleasant woods where spirits, weird animals and demons wonder, looking for preys. Unfortunately, nobody can compare them directly, since Damparo is the only living person knowing how exactly the Second Era was, but he cannot leave the Garden of Memories where he currently resides.   In some reclusive places, like ruins and caves, a thick dark mist can still be found. Damparo believes it is not proper kradd, but a byproduct of it, maybe with some similar characteristic. A few scholars and mages are studying it, without much success.  

Variations & Mutation

Two aspects of the Second Era generate discussion: its duration and origin.   While it was difficult to count days during the high kradd periods, many argue people were still able to count generations, thus keeping track of time decently. Others point out how often tribes merged and separated, making generations a confused way of counting years. Moreover, many people believed to still be in the Second Era even after Damparo killed the archdemon since they were only able to see the kradd stay low for longer and longer.   Scholars are unable to even find an order of magnitude for the duration. Some propose a few centuries, some other several millennia. Information is too scarce to find an answer for now.   As for the origin, the most credited story refers to the Cycle of the Ages. According to it, periods of peace and darkness alternated, depending on the entity gaining hegemony over the universe. It would then be preferable to call the Second Era Dark Era since there is no mean of knowing how many cycles passed from the beginning of time.   A few people think there was no First Era. They claim the world was created from abyssal chaos, born directly into a dark era. They are declining in number since archaeologists are retrieving more ancient ruins from the Old Empire and this version has no means of justifying their existence.   Some people do not believe in the Cycle, but still think there was a time before the kradd when people lived as they would now if there were a single hegemonic power. Some other, especially elves in their forests, claim gods lived on Nys during the First Era. It was a holy period, and their empire was sacred, unmatched in purity and well-being, but the Abyss overwhelmed them with its violence, wiping them out of existence. They claim to be their heirs, pointing to the missing key to the Lost Temple as a proof.
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Cover image: Nys Logo by Fabrizio Fioretti


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