The History of the Bide Stones
The first of the bide stones were uncovered from Prominence in the year -12357 BCE by a Soan miner, their name no longer relevant to history. During those first days, the Eldara became interested in the black material pulled from the skin of the planet. The Soan still being shepherded by the Eldara, relinquished much of the treasured substance up from the subterranean environs they called home. The stone took great skill to remove from the earth, as it had to be harvested whole and could not be cleaved from the living rock. When the bide stones were removed they came to the surface as misshapen rocks too large for the Eldara to transport to their facilities of inquiry and learning. Therefore, the Vrolua, those ancient giants linked to their mother goddess Vrol, were used to move the stones. It was then that the first property of the stones was discovered. As the Vrolua came into direct contact with the rocks, their bodies fell into a trancelike state. They would remain in this state until the stones were removed from their possession. A special device called the Limturas was constructed for the purpose of preventing skin to stone contact, making the transport of the stones over large distances possible. The Limturas, for the uninitiated is a special blanket of gold chain. When covered in gold the properties of a bide stone are nullified greatly. The stones were transported to the best centers of learning in Eldaran society. Cities like Alvatic and Varena, bore the greatest of bide stone scholars. These individuals created the first bide stone lore and as such are famed for their discoveries. Their names are lost to time but their actions informed future ages about the nature of these reality bending, sacred stones. The first research of the black stones came about during the year -8470 BCE and it was learned that the stones could send a user into a trance for several days as long as they were left to their own devices. In the year -7863, the secret to unlocking simple telepathic bindings with the stones was uncovered. This ushered in a brand new age of communication for the Eldara, who managed to keep this technology hidden from all other peoples. To maintain their technological advantage over their flock, the Eldara set forth a ruling called the Abidement wherein acts around bide stones were considered Bidden, others Unbidden, and some Forbidden, circa -7700 BCE. The history of the Abidement is for another discussion entirely. However, what can be said at this time, is that the document was all but destroyed after the corruption of the Eldara in -1 BCE. A single copy of the manuscript managed to escape the doom of time, in an ancient Vrolua cave system and it is from this document that all current versions of the Abidement evolved from. Understanding the further accomplishments of the Eldara in regards to the stones takes some speculation after this point. Before -1 BCE, the corruption spread through their ranks like wildfire and their history becomes shrouded in mystery. It is assumed that they became one with the stones in some way, though when this aspect of the stone became unlocked none are sure. While we cannot with certainty ascertain the exact moment of their transcendence, we can with exceeding amounts of clarity say that the unremarkable black stones soon became the most important material on Prominence, sought after by every Eldara to strengthen their grip over the flock, even while the fire of corruption sought to consume them. The first binding happened in -6300 BCE and the Eldaran Council were the first to withdraw from society to prolong their existence within the stones. The aftermath of this binding was prolonged as several wars were waged between the corrupt and the pure Eldara. The Eldara which chose protection within the stone, became known as the Elderage and remained in contact with their pure brethren. During the third war of Corruption a group of corrupted Eldara, known as The Butchered, acquired access to a collection of bide stones and completed the ritual to bind with them. This event is called The Binding of the Butchered, and occurred during -6031 BCE. Several events just like these took place between the time of the first and last war. Towards the end of these wars came a reckoning; the last of the known bide stones were bound to the final Eldara, the last Eldaran Council. This ended the Eldaran Age and brought about the Age of the Vrolua. While the bide stones were critical for preserving the lives of the Eldara in -1 BCE, they were now trapped within the stones to avoid the corruption that had befallen their other brethren. The peoples of Prominence, without the constant supervision of the Eldaran Council were free to explore the bide stones and all of the world for themselves. Sensing the change of power, the Vrolua took this opportunity to usher in a new, albeit short lived, age for themselves. They became explorers of both the stones and the oceans. They mapped out the continents and travelled as far as the Ombarisles to retrieve information about Eldaran strongholds and places of learning. In some of these ancient places, like Coranca, (sacked in 133 CE) they had to destroy any remaining corrupted Eldara. For reasons lost to time, the Vrolua grew distrustful of the power latent within the stones. By 1000 CE, the giants began gathering the stones and throwing them into the ocean. This event is known as The Hurling. All but the largest of stones, and those which were too small to be perceived by the giants were lost to the ocean depths. Then the stones awoke. The Howling occurred. For a more concise history of the Howling, please see Quri Frega's forthcoming work, The Howling Winds of Change. The Abidement survived and persisted as a document of import in regards to the stones throughout the age of giants. Nevertheless, during the Masked Age, it would fall out of favor for some time. Here histories collide and compete for dominance. Travel to Bheid and the people will refer to their history with such importance as to overlook all others. Ask the Alyric people and they shall react in kind. Scholars from one region call this period the Moonless Migration, while others point to the prevalence of masked societies and call it by the name, The Masked Age. Both are correct. The songs and tales of the Moonless Migration make very little mention of bide stones. And yet, the histories of the Masked Age hold several accounts of this lord or that holding a stone of powerful renown. The two populations of people, those of Bheid and those of the great migration, held little contact with one another. Telruin writings make plenty mention of stones, but none of the seafaring Alyri. Regardless, those stones which managed to escape the clutches of the Vrolua ended up in the hands of the Masked Lords of Bheid. These lords set down their own rules for interacting with the stones which stripped away the Bidden, Unbidden, and Forbidden acts of the Abidement and replaced them with heretical practices based more upon superstition than upon religious law. These activities persisted until the modern era, The Tarnished Age, with the arrival of the Silveiseans and the surviving copy of the old Abidement. The Silveiseans had been following the Abidement as a religious text without access to the bide stones mentioned in the book. When they arrived in Bheid to find that the world's largest stones still existed, they held a crusade to conquer what they considered to be their holy land. Of the hundreds of masked clans, only a few that keep the old traditions are still around to date. Scholars call this the Tarnished Age because it is thought that these heretical practices have somehow sullied the stones. Throughout this age, the Sunlen Kingdom has allowed unfettered access to the stones for priests of the Abidement and through their research of the stones much about their nature has been learned. Additional rules have been added to the Abidement's already lengthy tome.