The Old Ones Species in The Great Library | World Anvil
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The Old Ones

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange æons, even death may die.
— Hemeon Peaion Lemanis, The Mad Poet
Roje. Tarakan. Adjari...The enemies of Dvergar are many. But no matter how powerful, a being made of flesh can always be overcome and killed. Not all life is made from flesh, however. The world in all its ancient vastness has seen many things...and some relics of the past are not meant to be unearthed.  

Nameless Things

  "While the Nine slept, their minds were filled with the grandest of dreams. But when they woke, all they found was nightmarish horror filled with unnatural life. Shaken to the core, they set about ordering the world." These three lines are all that the ancient texts reveal about the state of the world that was before. A terror beyond comprehension, mercifully cleansed by the guiding hands of the creators. At least that is what most people believe. And thank the heavens that they do, for madness is the fate of the curious.   For while the Gods where thorough in their cleansing, they did not remove every piece of the old world. In small pockets deep within the earth, life of an unholy nature has survived. These things bear no name. Their form is so unnatural that it drives those witnessing them into madness. Their thought so alien that even trying to comprehend them leads down into the abyss. Only two things are really known of them: they are filled with eldritch power and a never-ending rage for the creations of their tormentors.  

Abyssal Wrath

  Whenever an "Old One", as Dvergari Mages refer to them in a futile attempt to bring some order to madness, is awoken, usually when a mining expedition reaches into the unknown depths of the Inner Earth, calamity follows. In Recorded History, there have been six such events, commonly known as Devrakarni:  
  • Nihursah - Worm of a Thousand Eyes:
    First of the ancient demons to wake, this creature terrorized the lands now known as the Mountains of Temir for over a century and scarred a vast stretch of the range's north-western peaks before it was "slain" in 3783 DA.
  • Ishkuhardad - The Fire Eater :
    Perhaps the most obscure of the Old Ones, an achievement in of itself, it woke in lands then belonging to the Roje. All references to it stem from obscure Orc Myth and it is only certain that it rose in 2104 DA and fell over six decades later.
  • Lugaldari - Forest of Arms:
    The only known Old One to rise in the far south of Dvergar, it woke sometime in the late 9th century DA. Information on it is kept secret even from most Dvergari Mages, rumour suggesting that it might be connected with the disappearance of the mysterious Medari around the same time.
  • Belrait - The Moving Void:
    When the miners of Quirok Sarmin dug too deep they unearthed a horror nothing could have prepared them for. In 207 DA, the entire hold was devoured by the Old One and what was once one of the greatest cities of Dwarvenkind turned empty and cold.
  • Alatan - Whisperer in the Darkness:
    Most infamous of them all, the Whisperer brought about the sundering of Elvenkind. Its actions echo far into the modern age, the wounds it dealt the New Order just as fresh as they were over 2000 years ago. The Sanethari or Dark Elves are the most obvious reminder of its deeds.
  • Rodran - The Mad Maelstorm:
    As Alatan did to the Elves, so did Rodran do to the Seafolk. Its emergence went unnoticed for centuries, a failure that had devastating consequences. When its plans where foiled at the tail end of the Reef Wars in 2329 NR, it vanished and some wonder if it still lurks within the depths of the Ostmaar.
Blessed are those that know not of the dark corners of this earth. For the abyss whispers a truth few would want to hear.
— Unknown
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Terror Beyond Imagination  
Few creatures are as feared by those who know. Even the mighty Adjari would rather flee in terror than face even the smallest chance of meeting an Old One. Their power is tremendous and only rivalled by the greatest of Mages and most monstrous of Dragons.   Whenever such a being is released, disaster follows. The strange energy that surrounds them is enough to drastically alter the land, turning it into something akin to their old home, always with terrifying consequences for the inhabitants.
  To Kill Memory  
The reason why the Devrakarni are largely obscure is as simple as it is ominous: no one can remember them. Dvergari Mages are adept at all things arcane, including the manipulation of the mind. Whenever an Old One is dealt with, the Mages will do their utmost to remove any trace of the event from popular memory.   Where magic can't help, propaganda does the job. The High Kingdom's agents are skilled at turning truth into lie and it rarely takes more than a few years to make mad ramblings out of horrifying accounts of a meeting with what many would call death itself. And while conflicts such as the Reef Wars are well known, the involvement of an Old One has been carefully removed.

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Cover image: by Justin Sweet


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