An Introductory to Val'Vahan's History

Below is written a broad and basic history of the world, from the Creation of the World leading up to the time of the Empire of Juraedon and ending with the prophesized End of the World in accordance to our religion. For reference, here is an unfinished timeline of the world. Not all the events listed in the timeline are written here. This article will be intermittently updated to create a more full history.

The Seats

To me, as I meditate and consider in my mind concerning the creation of this world in which we are kept enclosed, even such is the rapidity of that creation; as is contained in the book of Mosheh, which he wrote about its creation, and which is called Genesis. Vahan produced that entire mass for the adornment of His majesty in an instant; all to which He consecrated . . . with a blessing . . .
— Calabriam, an Ante-Ad'swan Father

First, there was Vahan, and he created the gods. “Take thy place among the stars!” he said, and then the Seats came from nothing. They shone as stars and were gloried like kings.

These are all their names, which are ranked in given powers. Firstly, the Kings of the Earth; they sit on high thrones: Hundimar, who is Seat of the sky and lord of the winds, closest to Vahan; Lur, who is Seat of the sea and lord of the waves, his voice is grave and deep as the depths, he runs through all the waters of the world and is alone, as he did not wed; Velziel, who is Seat of burning, lord of life, and his booming voice shakes the hearts of evil men; Morrôs, who is Seat of truth, lord of the dead and those who pass through death, and his heart is like iron; Lerluft, who is Seat of day, lord of light, and he rides his steed Hiffne across the blue sky in the long cycle; Yernaud, who is Seat of foundation, he is alone in his great work, and on his shoulders lay the many worlds, he does not speak much, but is rough and wild and untamed and may upend his joyous burden at any moment.

Then the Queens of the Earth; on their brows sit wisdom: Nos, who is seat of night, lady of dark, wife to Lerluft, and she stands on the moon in the long cycle; Hod, who is the seat of glory, she is wife to Velziel, and sings with silver voice as she hunts with her beloved, she grew the verdant plants of the world for her delight and she formed the animals out of the earth to be the world's delight; Chesed, who is seat of love, she wed last to Gendûet, and she is slain but will be reborn; Chemtmay, who is seat of faith, she is wed to Morrôs, and she weaves a tapestry of things done and things yet to come; Koter, who is seat of majesty, she is wed to Hundimar, and from her mind came the architecture and the many arts of Boryen, which was the gods’ place of power, from her works came the starry expanse, and she is most loved by the Elves

Last is Gendûet, who is betrayer, and fallen. He was Seat of Judgement, but renamed himself Choice and Freedom. Doing so he enslaved the hearts of many.

The Powers

And then Vahan raised his right hand and called out, “Be filled with thought!” and then the Powers — Seers and Solitudes — arose from nothing. They glittered as the dew on the morning grass, and were colored like the silver twilight.

The Seers are greater than the Solitudes, but the Powers of the World are without equal so long as they are in their abode. These are some of their names: Matania, he is Seer, and is Power of rain, sorrow, and fate. He is ever-present in the realms of Morrôs and lies on the isle of Runimens where he is borne with sorrowful weight, and teaches of longing and wisdom in pain. Then is Shpl, she is a Seer, and is Power of snow, peace, and past. She is wed to Matania, and she sings on his isle, playing her lyre. She brings rest to the weary and helps the lost find home. Euilez comes next, they are Seer, and are Power of floods, frenzy, and forgetfulness. Euilez gives to all things that move their vitality and animation, and grants virility. They are a spirit of unthought, and love the green things of the earth the most, and above all love the vine. They are patron to the hopeful couple, winemakers, and the Wizard. They will free you from Thought's tyranny. Together, the three seers will teach you the lessons of the Holy Present.

Next is Malkuth, he is Solitude and Power of reason. He once lived in the realm of Gendûet, but then moved to the halls of Morrôs, where he writes poems in honor of Chemtmay, who is most beautiful to him. The artists and philosophers of the world honor him. Now is Da’at, he is Solitude and Power of containment. He brings himself between both the halls of Hundimar and Lur. From him, one will learn of a life well-lived. Then is Netzach, she is Solitude and Power of endurance. She is a maiden warrior of Hod, and runs on her bare feet, faster and longer-lasting than the deer that follow her in the wild. In days past she danced on the evergreen lawns of Boryen. She grants all living things their longevity, and she above all adores the plant, and has granted them the longest lives of all mortal things. Now is Binah, he is Solitude and Power of understanding. He is vassal to Lur, and in the sounds of the sea one will hear his echoes and then long for further shores. Then is Tiferet, she is Solitude and Power of reflection. She is vassal to Hundimar, and is wife to Binah. In the bite of the wind one will hear her sighs. In the storms where wind and water meet, one will see and hear Tiferet and Binah’s joyous and thunderous meeting. Moroi, he is Solitude and Power of change. He is vassal to Yernaud. In the heat of the forge, with the crackling of burning wood, and with the twisting of iron, you can hear him most clearly. For his is the delight of the manipulation of things. Inventions are his joy, and turmoil is the fire with which he creates. He chases Netzach, and he desires her affections, but she will forever rebuff him, it is said, at least until the end of days when all things are reborn, and at last she will return his advances and they will be wed.

The Principalities

Then Vahan raised his left hand and called out, “Take thy heavy form!” and then the Principalities arose from nothing. They were created least like the great spirits before them. On them was the glory of the mundane. There were innumerable numbers of the Principalities, and they all dripped with sap or foam or sweat, laden in clothes of bark or soot or metal, and they clamored with happy noise in an exaltation of their new life. Greatest among these spirits was Tevil, the Principality of Voice.

Vahan then said to the gathering, “Go you all and make this void full and formed. Soon, others not thyself will accompany you, and they will be of the matter from which you create.” And to the gathering of spirits, it was like the air split in two, and they saw a vast darkness before them, formless and deep. Vahan then stood. He raised both his hands, and a bright flame burst from his fingers and lit the darkness, trailing a rainbow path. “Go then, and use the far path to reach the world.”

And the desire to shape the world filled many spirits, for in the trailing fire they saw a vision of a place which was hitherto hidden from their knowledge. They saw a green world with great straits of water between the green. And in that world were great works of dirt and stone, and there were weathers and ice and sand. Then they saw many moving things, and there were many beings like them, who stood tall and spoke, but these beings were also totally unlike, and the gathering was enraptured by the glory. So, many of the spirits descended down the path and headed towards the earth, but many also stayed by Vahan, for they rather saw splendor in the immaterial.

Nevertheless, all the Seats, many of the Powers, and many of the Principalities descended to the earth. Then they saw the full vastness of their work to come, for there was naught but shadowed wasteland, and they set about their long labor. For many ages of the world did they work, setting valley and hill, wood and plain, cave and cliff, but their work was only finished when Lur released the floods of heaven and filled the basins of the earth. So water was the final creation, and in it yet lives the echoes of the gods; so the Children of God still hearken unsated to the voices of the sea, and know not for what they listen. And with Lur's final work all was created, and was good. On the green fields of Boryen the gods reclined, resting from long years of creation. And they were glad. For the world was made, and it lay in the midst of innumerable stars.

The Seeds of Darkness

It is said that in the dimmest recesses of Time, Vahan began creation. And the first of things to be made were the gods and their servants. The gods were splendid and good, and for a time all things were good. But Gevurah oft delved into the Void, and in his lonesomeness he believed himself to be the Lonesome; set apart from all things. Thus a rift was beheld, and Gevurah thought to himself that he was indeed different, and great. But he held these thoughts in his heart, and the gods still believed him to be their brother.

When the time of descent came to be, and the gods and the assorted hosts readied themselves to build a world from the darkened waste, Vahan took Gevurah aside and whispered to the Seat. At their final parting, it seemed as if the dreadful Doom Gevurah had set for himself had settled. For Vahan's words had set a great fear in the god, and he feigned to himself that he would change his course and be content with being but one god among the many. But as the great labor of the gods began and the valleys were delved and the hills were raised, and the basins were filled with the seas and the great mountains were set as lofty proclamations, a lust grew within the Seat of Judgement, and he desired all these things to bow and call him 'Lord'. His black desire grew to its utmost when the Elves first appeared. They appeared at the end of the gods' labors.

The Coming of the Elves

The cliffs of Adarnäule and its breaking clods of earth mixed with the foam of the sea crashing upon the shore of Ren ê Taule, and into this mixture Vahan exhaled his Spirit of Life, and the mixture became the Elves: the First-born. The Elves awoke and saw above them the wheeling constellations -- and in those days the stars were still young and brightly lit. The Elves made for themselves a language, and they called themselves a name that is now lost, but meant the 'The Beloved Amidst the Innumerable Stars'.

It was soon after their creation that the Elves separated, and they spread across the earth and were fruitful and multiplied. The gods soon learned of these strange new creations, which they had foreseen a little of in Heaven, and they longed to be with them. So Hundimar told Uziel and Hod to gather their greatest runners, and to find and bring all the Elvenfolk to Boryen where the gods lay in rest. Netzach, Solitude and Power of Endurance, lead the assembly of runners, and they went across the face of the earth over all terrains and gathered all the Elves that would come. And most Elves, when they saw the gods in their glory and majesty, felt love in their hearts and would quickly accept. But Gevurah had begun his dark designs, and while the gods still counseled on what to do with the Elvenfolk, he had already set his evil purposes upon the world. Many of the Elves were dogged by his shadowy presence or were followed by his evil spirits, and, when the runners of the gods appeared to them, they rejected the gods in fear, for they had sensed their brother's dark presence, and assumed all the gods to be the same. These are the Ava'lman: the Lost Elves. And they have never seen the glories of Boryen.

The gods were unsure why some Elves rejected their offer and gift. The gods were as yet untouched by evil stain, and were still young. They did not know of dark designs, and their minds were as yet clean of the wearies of evil. So they thought it to be an unmarred and free choice of the Elves. They did not inquire further.

Masks of the Gods

It was shortly agreed upon that the gods should bear masks in the presence of the Elves, for the Elves were as of yet unable to see the gods clearly without great pain, and the gods could not speak with the Elves unless they hid their glory somewhat -- their words were too great for the Elven ears. So the Elves first saw the gods in their diminutive forms, but the gods were still awful and beautiful. And, for a time, all things were good. The Elves, if they inquired about the masks, were answered kindly by the gods as to why they could not reveal themselves. There, the Elves grew in full stature and strength. They became mighty in craft and word. And various clans were formed among the Elves, led by great lords. These times of peace lasted for a very long while, though the history books don't entreat much on them.

All the while Gevurah wrought his shadowy designs, and the gods yet thought of him as brother and ally. He walked among the Elves in fair form. He spoke to them with fair words and assisted with their crafts and their speech. Gevurah became their great benefactor. His eyes were keen, and he was able to see any flaws in the Elvish arts and was able to assist and perfect them. But with his boons came also curses. He whispered, added, here and there, phrases of contempt, of discontent, and of future portents which he twisted to his designs. He spoke subtly. Those who heard him thought his words to be their own. He showed them visions of grand castles and courtyards; of splendid armies, terrible with banners; of the riches of the earth and her gems; visions of power and glory; and visions of a Race to come: Man. Gevurah told the Elves of the race of Man, who were born mortal. He spoke of Man's weakness due to their mortality, and their malleability to the whims of the gods. Gevurah muttered that the gods sought to control the weak race of Man. Gevurah claimed that the gods would soon toss away the Elves, and that the gods thought little of them.

And pervading all his speech was the symbol of the Masked Gods: an image of secrecy and deception; of crafty deities wishing to dominate those who would soon become too powerful for them to control. Near all the Elves listened, and only Fionn's House rejected Gevurah outright, though this rejection was at the end of matters, and was too little, too late.

Soon the Elves grumbled, and they smithied weapons of war in secret. And all the while the gods, though they saw the hurts and grumbling of the Elves, could not see the source of the corruption. For a long while they suspected a being from the Outer Void had returned to plague the world, and Uziel long searched the world fruitlessly for these opponents. They still could not see that one of their own had fallen.

The Breaking of the Elves

The Elven people, now mighty and large, were called to counsel with the gods, who hoped to reconcile whatever hurts they felt. And though the Elves came armed in glittering armors and weapons, with bold banners propped up as standards of war, it seemed that the gods might yet have established peace. Alas, Gevurah's words had taken too deep a root, and a single arrow marked the Breaking of the Elves.

The gods fled in sorrow. They did not wish to lay waste to the Elves, whom they loved, but they could not remain. So they came to the shores of Boryen and left in white boats. The Elves could not catch the gods. They attempted many times to mar them with arrowheads, but failed. It was an unfortunate stone, whizzing from a sling, that forever cut the rebellious Elves from the gods. That stone struck Chesed's mask and broke a crack imperceptible to the eye, but a light as scorching as the sun, more brilliant than the fiercest flame, burst outwards and smote a tenth of the assembled Elves. These elves fell down in agony, and they are forever named the Itie'lman: the Blind Elves. The gods disappeared over the horizon, and the light shone no more. For this Gevurah has ever despised the Elves, though he had used them most in his designs.

The Elves split into two great groups, the Itie'lman and the much larger Yeqitari. The Itie'lman mourned their loss, but set about building their western kingdoms. The Yeqitari continued onwards their dim path, intent on claiming the world, and traveled into the Far East.

Gevurah's Betrayal Revealed

Now, though the gods' vision had long been hidden, they were not fools, and they soon closed upon Gevurah's betrayal. Perhaps most instrumental to their cause was Fionn eä Vanwi, who had been loyal to the gods, and brought his clan the Vanwi into Heaven. Fionn told of Gevurah's false words and treacherous plans, and the gods heeded the great Elf's words. They questioned Gevurah, and Uziel, who had always distrusted the Seat of Judgement, was the champion of Fionn's words. Under close scrutiny, the cracks and flaws in Gevurah's plans were rent fully open, and his lies were laid bare. The gods made to grab Gevurah and to bind him, but his greatest ploy was revealed. For a long while, Gevurah had labored and sown his black seed amongst the heavenly spirits themselves. Among the spirits of the world, the principalities, he had many who followed him. Even some of the Powers and Solitudes had been seduced by his words. Among the greatest of Gevurah's minions was Ishim, who was a Power. Ishim took the form of a great snake, and his shadow stretched long and was black as pitch. Ishim turned his shadow so that it blinded the gods in Heaven, and Gevurah made his escape. Uziel made after him, but the darkness had a form, and was choking and difficult to maneuvuer in, and Uziel beat his hands in the darkness.

Gevurah fled to the earth, and he stationed himself in the East, where the Yeqitari Elves yet lay and were liable to his words. The gods began an inspection of all the heavenly beings. The gods were now grown wily towards deceit, and now understood the ways of darkness, though they themselves remained good. In that purge, a third of the heavenly spirits were found corrupted, and there was a great battle. The dark spirits fled to the earth and swarmed to their master. And the gods held council on what to do with their fallen brother.

The Arising of Man

Lerluft rides his steed Hiffne across the blue sky in the long cycle, and they are resplendent and beautiful together. Now, Vahan took a long hair of Hiffne's fiery mane, and cast it upon the snowy fields of Baantar. At the striking of the long fiery hair against the chilled snow, there was a great hiss of steam, and from that steam rose Men, the Second-born; and Vahan exhaled into them the Breath of Life; and to Man was given the Gift of Death, though in the rejection of the gift many woes have been caused. Their arising was from struggle; so it has been, and Man has ever been the Creature of Paradox and Delight.

Now, Mannan Seat of the Sea has awareness wherever there is water, be it little or great. He saw the arising of Men, and for awhile he cared for them. Mannan spoke comforting words to the first Men, though they could not understand the god. So thus we all still feel comforted by the babbling of the brook or the lapping of the waves. And Mannan saw that they were near the territories of the Eastern Elves and Gevurah's dominion, so he went to the gods and told them of Man's plight, and the gods fashioned a means for Man to escape Gevurah.

The gods saw that Man was formed from the mane of Hiffne. Hiffne had many children, and the gods thought to give these children of the Sun to Men to ride outwards. But Hiffne's children were quick, fiercely hot, and intangible as the wind, and Men could not fit these creatures. So, Lerluft took Hiffne's many children; and Hundimar blew them down with the bustling wind; and Mannan embraced them, and tempered them with the waters of the ocean. The scions of Hiffne were rendered a form hard and steady. The winds and waters weighed them down. Their heat was from flesh and blood. And their manes now frothed with foam. Though the scions of Hiffne were slowed down somewhat, now their heavy hooves summoned the sound of thunder. They were the progenitors of Horsekind, but these scions were larger and had more stamina. The snort of their breath could warm a man for a day in the most chilling conditions.

They came bursting from the sea, and the Men gathered there loved the creatures dearly. So we have, in our hearts, the love of the Horse and all the high places from which we can see many things.

But Gevurah was also quick to act, and he ensnared many Men before the gods could assist them. These Men were either taken as slaves, or worse, were subject to the experiments of Marqôd. There was a massive exodus to the West, and the Men who fled spoke of a dark presence to the East.

The Six Wars of Hate

Gevurah set his evil spirits to work. Greatest among them was Abayin, who was Gevurah's lieutenant. Gevurah then renamed himself GOD OF CHOICE AND FREEDOM, and commanded Abayin to began to found the great Empires of the East. But it was Qumran who created the greatest works of those dark times. He crafted glittering towers and metal cities unlike anything ever made before or after. Gevurah's kingdom was one of steam and steel. The Yeqitari Elves set about creating a mechanical empire.

But the Elves of the West were also great in their bodies and minds. They formed great kingdoms. They made mighty arms and armies. They made for themselves great civilizations across the Western World, and their peoples grew strong and varied. They had Magicks which we do not know of and were more like Arts than anything we manage today. This was the Summertime of the Kingdoms of the Western Elves, but the East lay ever a dark shadow over their minds, and War was always on the horizon.

At last the pyre was struck and the fires of war were set. The Yeqitari came with their weapons and ships of war against the Itie'lman. There were Six Great Wars of the Elves. In the first two, it seemed that the West had the upper hand. But Gevurah then imbued his evil follower spirits with corporeal form, and then Abayin led a great charge from the north. The Morlon Elves were extinguished, and so the West began to recede before the oncoming tide.

Allied with the Elves were the Dwarfs, and there were many great Houses of Men who resided with the Elves and grew mighty under their learning. In the northeast were the Corodwalt Tribes. They were vital in the war efforts. But Marqôd's work had borne fruit. The orcs, the goblins, the Tieflings, the wargs, the beasts of war, and Young Purple the Wingless, first of the Chromatic Dragons and a herald of a greater power to come: these were the monsters created to destroy the Itie'lman and their allies.

Those wars were bloody and terrible. Though for the most part dark and hopeless, there were a few bright spots of hope and chivalry. Many stories happened, then. Too many to tell.

The Seventh War of Hate

Then, when all seemed lost, Amandil the Mariner set off in his white ship with the Sword of Mathiel, and he sought to beseech the gods. And the gods came with thunder and fire. Fionn eä Vanwi led the Great Hosts, and Gevurah's machinations were at an end, and the god was captured.

But his schemes were not fully spent. Gevurah was bound, but he sought to escape under the shadow of the World-serpent Ishim. But at that moment Ishim was slain by Mathiel and Tevil. So Gevurah was bare before the wrath of Uziel. The Seat of Judgement flung himself from the High Heavens, and he fell upon the oceans. There Gevurah died, and he was bound within the Gates of Night.

The End of Days

Gevurah shall return at the End of Days. But then he will be finally killed by the white blade of Calmacil, and at last, evil shall die and the world will be borne anew. Praise be to God.

The High Men of the North

The Nelqorana were a proud and strong race that lived in the far, far north -- well beyond any current known regions of the world. They ruled an ancient empire many thousands of years ago from their seat of power in the island of Nelqora. Their land was one of ice, snow, and frost. But their difficult land didn't halt their rapid expansion across the Orridental and Erub after the fall of Gevurah. Their cities were large and beautiful. Their warriors were terrifying. The Men of Nelqora were above all men of the sea, and their fair sails emblazoned with the golden swan were the heralds of a race come to save a world being harassed by the ancient elves of the east and the remains of the Black King's kingdom.

The Beginnings

As with all Men, the Men of Nelqora first arose in the fields of Baantar. They made their way into the Altaic country and learned much craft from the Elves there, who were, at the time, untouched by Gevurah's influence. Even today the Altaic elves are the least like their Orridental brothers. In the Altaic countries they were not yet come full stature though, and were still organized into tribes which collectively were called the Corodwalt.

Eventually, the Corodwalt tribes were betrayed by their elven friends and were reduced to fighting a guerrilla war in the north. Their many tribes often drove the elves to despair at ever quenching this unkillable race of Man. Their efforts were invaluable and provided much relief for the kingdoms of Erub. It was during this time that Calmacil the Half-elven arrived in the cold north with Men of the House of Bel, and he established a federation between the tribes. Though Calmacil died in the Seventh War of Hate against the dragon Young Purple, his great-grandson Fareacil became King of the Corodwalt, and at this time the tribal men had grown in strength, stature, and skill; and so now could rightfully take the name Nelqorana: the High Men of the North.

A Divine Gift

At the end of the Wars of Hate the gods granted the Men of Nelqora and their king a boon. The Nelqorana would be granted an island. They need only to tell where, and the gods would shape the earth. This isle would be beautiful and rich in resources. The dirt would be black, and a casual throw of seeds of any sort would reap a bountiful harvest. The weather would be fair and even. The cliffs would be tall and provide a far view. The woods would be thick and dark and easily purposed for shipbuilding. So long as the Men of Nelqora took care of this isle, they would live in abundance.

But the Men of Nelqora loved the lakes and snow-covered pines and firs and the desolate plains of the north. The Northerness was in their blood. Furthermore, because the Altaic Elves had shown them kindness before, they dared not to encroach at all on the elves' old territory. So they asked, almost sheepishly, that they could rather have a cold land far to the north.

The gods granted their wish, but, because they chose according to where their hearts called - even though it gave them a hard life - and because they had chosen out of kindness for friends long turned enemy, the gods gave them a bounty greater than their original offer.

The woods were not only thick and dark and easily purposed for shipbuilding, but also grew quickly. A forest cut down could regrow in a year. The cliffs were tall, and also made of mineable salt. The weather followed the needs and desires of the people who farmed the land. It rained when it needed to, and no snow ever fell on the Great Gift of the Gods, which was called the Vale of Abo. Though the island was mostly snow and tundra, the Vale of Abo was ever fertile and warm. The land was warmed by the hot river Nyslott, which sprung from the waters underneath the great volcano Asklja which sat at the island's center. The hotness of the river didn't kill the crops and instead nourished the land to be rich and easy to farm. The Nelqorana were granted long and strong lives. But the greatest gift of the gods were the Great Eagles, whom the Men of Nelqora tamed and rode on like steeds of war.

So a cold and white isle (with a strip of green) had arisen in the far north. It was shaped like a round-headed tadpole. Minor islands in the south trailed in a line like a tail. These islands were ever covered in snow. Everything the gods said would be, was, and the Men of Nelqora were happy and prosperous. The gods reascended to Heaven with Gevurah in chains, and the world rebuilt itself.

Grinding ice soon grew up around the island, and ships could only reach Nelqora by means of the southern pass Koraxka. The southern pass Koraxka was calm and free from ice entirely.

Rise and Fall of an Empire

The rest of Nelqora's history and her people is one of growth, colonization, decadence, and then destruction. The Men of Nelqora spread across the world on their long, white ships and brought learning and understanding to people still suffering from the aftermath of the Wars of Hate. With iron from the Mountain Helsingfors they created wondrous tools to build and create with. They also made weapons to combat malevolent forces. As said before, their white sails emblazoned with the golden swan was a sign of joy.

But after many years this benevolent industry soon turned to greedy conquest, and the Nelqorana stretched their empire across the northern hemisphere. The heart of their empire, the island of Nelqora, grew tall and fair and strong. The tundra and snow were layered in spires of ice. Palaces were chiseled from the mountainsides. The eyries of their Great Eagles grew so tall that they could be seen from the northernmost tip of the Altaic Country. The ships of the Nelqorana became many sailed and large and dominated the seas with their fires that could freeze water. Even the misted lands of Moinen were penetrated by the Nelqorana. Nothing was unexplored or unreached by them.

This glorious but cruel age lasted many hundred years. The beginning of the end was when the last Emperor of Nelqora Kjan-Kullarvo (so named after the hero) at last invited the Arch-devil Abayin, lieutenant of Gevurah, to his court. The Nelqorana had long been dabbling in black magic and the cult of the pagans, but it was when Abayin began to advise the Emperor that the Nelqorana entered their most powerful and prosperous age yet. The Devil whispered potent words to the Emperor, but it was to deceive the Emperor, for the Devil envied the Nelqorana's great wealth and power, and he despised Men for felling his master, and he wished to destroy all that they had wrought.

The Folvkin Palace and Nelqora's Destruction

This final age was defined by the Folvkin Palace; the Palace in the Sky; the Palace that Reached the Heavens. It was a monstrous building with its foundations set on the dead volcano Makai. The palace was to be built higher and higher like a spike, and then when it at last reached the sky the Nelqorana would, with the help of Abayin, pierce the sky and reach Heaven and take the Holy Place from the gods who, in their absence, showed their weakness. Emperor Kjan-Kullarvo, who was forty when the project began, focused his empire's efforts on this project. He would grab Heaven as if it were an object to be taken.

After many years the Nelqorana were about to finish their palace. But before they were to set the final stone on the final spire of their palace, the gods beseeched Vahan. For too long had the Men of Nelqora ignored their warnings, and for too long had they been suffered.

The sleeping magma underneath Makai awoke. The little volcano erupted and melted away the stone keeps and the fine towers of ice and crystal. The Folvkin Palace came crashing down and fell upon the island. All the ramparts and all the magical safety measures failed as the rumbling of the volcano set off a dozen other mountains long thought dormant. Fire burst from the mountain tops and ruined the places of magic. The shaking of the earth tore the island in two, and the falling palace crushed the Vale of Abo, killing its inhabitants, and covered the green land under ice and crystal.

The Divorce of Heaven and Earth

Then Vahan took Sky and Heaven and divided them. The veil was torn away and Heaven was removed from the Earth. No longer could one ascend to the gods, as Amandil did with his white ship, for now, the sky only ever grew taller, forever and ever, and the confines of the earth were open to the starry expanse.

A sign was placed upon the world. Once a night, on the day that Nelqora was destroyed, at the very top of the world a pole of light would descend from the Heavens. If one could climb its full height in a day, then he should reach the gods. But it is impossible, as the pole stretches as far as the sky does: forever and ever, into the midst of the innumerable stars. This is the North Pole.

Resolution of the Destruction

Now, the eruptions, the earthquakes, and the falling palace - splintering and sending down shards like missiles - destroyed all there was on the island of Nelqora. The hot river Nyslott was chilled and the fiery bowels of Asklja were emptied. The Vale of Abo was no more. The iron of Helsingfors had been long stripped away. The wondrous towers and spires of the tundra were shattered and broken by the disasters and the falling palace. The fields of darkly wooded trees had been flattened and rendered impotent as shards of crystal filled the soil. Without their tools, the Nelqorana couldn't mine the salt of their cliffs.

There was nothing left of Nelqora but many ruins and a handful of people. The Emperor Kjan-Kullarvo had been at the top of the Folvkin Palace to oversee the placement of the final stone. He was dead - crushed like the seat of his empire. The Devil Abayin hadn't escaped a grisly fate, either. He had begun to believe his lies, cunning as they were, and, after seeing the might of Nelqora, he thought that they could challenge the gods and hurt the Heavenly host. He, too, was destroyed with his Emperor at the top of the Folvkin Palace. They say that the Arch-devil can never take an unpained form ever again. He is forever pierced by a million shards of ice and crystal.

When many sought to escape their desolate island, they found the pass of Koraxkha had closed with ice. They were trapped and no one could help them. Their eagle eyries had been destroyed, and though the eagles flew away and escaped being crushed, they couldn't eat, for Nelqora was naught but ice and snow, now. The eagles traveled south over the sea to find food. All of them died during the journey but for one, the greatest of their breed, Flaxanavi. But he was weak and starved at the end of his travels, and with his dying breaths, he told of the tragedy of Nelqora to the villagers who found him crashed against a tree.

The empire quickly crumbled without their heartland. All that is left of Nelqora are ruins on the southern continents.

But they say that the Men of Nelqora are a hardy race, and it is possible some of them still survive to this day. It is impossible to know, as the ice is impassable, and in the vast sea, even magic cannot locate where the island is.

Some say Nelqora was a myth, but their ruins say otherwise.

The full tragedy of the island of Nelqora is recorded in the Vahka Vanha.

Juraedon's History

The City of Juraedon was founded in 1370 Year of Nelqora, according to records from the Nelqorana's glass paper records. For a very long while, the city was called Jelum, after the reigning dynasty of Nelqora at the time. It was a small fishing village that was expected to grow into an important future colony, due to its position on the Beart Promontory and the Isthmus of Juraedon, which had not yet been divided into the Elsmere Strait and the Juraedon Canal. For many decades, the colony was relatively unknown and unimportant, despite these initial high expectations. The Elves of the East had begun to recover from the Wars of Hate, and Nelqorana expansion into Tizüb was relegated mostly to the northern shores, clinging to the sterile Yellow Ash Plains, although the western colonies were expansive and powerful.

As Nelqora expanded her colonies and grew in military might, finally founding many colonies in Tizüb, Juraedon grew to greater importance as a city that could bridge the continents. Juraedon's sister city Anudaen was built at this time. There were plans for excavation to begin the delving of the Canal of Juraedon through the Isthmus of Juraedon, but these plans were halted for reasons unknown. A little progress had been made, though. The Magics of the Nelqorana was greater than the ones we control today, and the canal they had begun to build had the appearance of a natural strait and a natural breakage of the continents. Thereafter this unfinished canal was called the Elsmere Strait, and it laid the foundations of the later Canal of Juraedon. The Elsmere Strait is about three times wider than the Canal, and twice as deep.

So Juraedon grew, and it became a city nearly as prominent as the colonial jewel of the Nelqorana: the City of Lille.

Though Juraedon was an important trade city, there was not much effort done into cultivating the vast boreal forests around the city walls, and the soil was quite poor, a far cry from the wealth of the Great Plains in Greater Huraedon.

Nelqora's Fall

In the 1591 Year of Nelqora, the Great Seat of the High Men of the North was crushed underneath the weight of the Folvkin Palace, and the island sunk beneath the waves. Great chaos occurred across the colonies of the Nelqorana, and Juraedon diminished as trade faltered, and petty lords within the city looted and pillaged and stole away Juraedon's wealth. For a long while, the City of Juraedon retreated from her White Walls and her people were relegated to the central districts and only had the population to man the Walls of Blachernae. It was under the leadership of the Elf Wilahil that the city of Juraedon was brought back from the brink of destruction, and the city refounded itself as a city-state in 1666 Year of Nelqora. From this day onwards, Juraedon has always had a special love towards the Elvenfolk, and have treated them well. Most famous of Wilahil's accomplishments was the founding of the Hosts of Juraedon, an elite fighting force dedicated to the protection of the city-state. It was their fearsome reputation that halted Hod the Great's absolute conquest of the city. And it was their legacy that allowed Juraedon to grow into the great empire it is today.

Though Juraedon, at this point still called Jelum, was still much less wealthy than in the old days, it survived and prospered somewhat as a city of trade. But it was at this time that the city-states of Eastern Lower Huraedon grew in prominence, and, due to their position near Greater Huraedon these cities became more attractive than Juraedon, so much of the lucrative trade of the East skirted the Archine Sea and landed at the cities of Archine or Quen. While Juraedon was still important for northern trade, the eastern kingdoms of the Elves, now free of the Nelqorana chains, were much more willing to trade along the sea routes of the south than the north. So Juraedon entered a period of incremental growth and unimportance. In the years thereafter the City of Juraedon grew large enough to be able to man her White Walls, although most lands within these walls were still devoted to farmland.

Hod's Conquests

The conquests of Hod the Great began in 1801 Year of Nelqora and ended in 1842 Year of Nelqora. Hod's empire spanned from the Revon Basin to the River Pentos, and was bounded by the Western Mountains and the Mendesian River. The Years of Hod began, the Empire of Mother Huraedon was founded, and on 5 Year of Hod, the mighty and newly crowned Emperor brought his armies upon the various states of Juraedon Proper and brought them to heel. The City of Juraedon aligned itself with Hod, and were forced to pay tribute, although they retained some independence.

But these conquests proved fruitful for Juraedon, still, at that time, called Jelum. The many city-states of Eastern Lower Huraedon were destroyed and razed, and Juraedon regained some of her importance. The means to build a canal were still out of reach, but the trade winds were favourable in bringing ships to Juraedon's ports, and so the city grew ever more. Perhaps most importantly, these conquests allowed the spread of knowledge of the broader world, and this was when Juraedon first learned of the jungle city-state of Kilae, and a great friendship was struck. Perhaps the two united because they saw in each other a kindred weakness. Both were cities founded on isthmuses, and both were otherwise unremarkable and small. Kilae, at that point, was the greater of the two city-states, but great profit was made from their long-distance alliance.

The incremental growths continued, and Juraedon began to become urbanized, though it was still a relatively unimportant city in the Territories of Mother Huraedon.

The Decline of Mother Huraedon

But the Empire of Mother Huraedon began its decline after the death of Hod's son, Gavan the Builder, and territories were slowly lost to either warlords to rebellions by the locals. The death spiral was very long, and Mother Huraedon's last city, the city of Dodorion, was conquered by the warlord Tenga in 892 Year of Hod. Juraedon was long an ally of Hod's empire, and its final death marked the end of a prosperous age. During the years of Mother Huraedon's decline, the great city-states of Eastern Lower Huraedon began to restore themselves, and the city of Quen renamed itself Thalassokratia, City of Sea Power, to embody the great might of itself and its fellow city-states. Juraedon shrank once again, and it seemed that the progress of the past years was all for not.

This was a time of strife, and the importance of Juraedon diminished even further, although Kilae grew in importance as the eastern coast of Aran grew in wealth. This was a time of successor states, and the most powerful of these was Aleriez, the Kingdom of the Great Plains with its capitol in Pert. Second most prominent of these kingdoms was the Dwarf Kingdom of Das Eklachen, located under the Mountains of Das Eklachen, which was a kindred kingdom with the Dwarf Kingdom of Das Belchara, which was located under the Western Mountains.

It was trade with the Dwarfs of Das Eklachen that ensure Juraedon's survival. It was the incoming trade by brave Jelunese merchants who dared to face the Altaic Front that gave Juraedon the strength to maintain its city in the bitter north. But tragedy struck when the dragon Gaorung turned the Kingdom of Das Eklachen asunder, and the Dwarfs fled their ancestral homes to reside in the much larger and more powerful sister kingdom of Das Belchara. The cycle went on, and Juraedon was on the brink of dissolution and impotence. The city-state of Kilae grew in importance and founded its own state of Kilae that composed of all of the Isthmus of Isim. Perhaps it was Kilae's friendship that kept Juraedon's merchants, and therefore its place in the world, afloat.

The Blood Wars and Magic

Juraedon Army man
by Kingdom Come: Deliverance

It was the advent of the Blood Wars in 689 Year of Huraedon that brought Juraedon to the position it is today. As the world flung itself into chaos, Juraedon boomed.

With war comes a need for weapons, and weapons must be traded for if desired en-masse. Merchants, seeing the gold to be made, went to the kingdoms of the east and procured the weapons required. Juraedon was quick to act, and with its safe position in the north, far from the fighting, Juraedon became wealthy and took no loss. At this time, Kilae had carved for itself a large kingdom, with its economy and political centre along the coast of the continent Aran.

The Blood Wars raged on for many decades, and, as the next century came to pass, Juraedon discovered a hidden cache of glass paper, the fragile relics of the Nelqorana. Carefully deciphering the rare treasure, the sages of Juraedon uncovered the most monumental of sciences, long thought lost forever, they had discovered the basic principles of Magic, written on tablets meant for school children.

Sages secretly learned the words of magic and became proto-wizards. The Mayor Lirit saw the great deeds that could be accomplished with Juraedon's discovery and forbade any citizens to leave the city, so afraid was he of the secret of magic getting out. So Juraedon developed magic in secret, and though there were many close calls, the secret remained a secret, and the Hosts of Juraedon prepared for war. In a show of incredible trust not known in today's less noble times, the city-state of Juraedon brought proto-wizards to Kilae to teach that southern kingdom of the powers of magic. And yet, still, magic remained a close secret. If there be any who denies miracles in history, let him witness this occasion.

The Hosts marched from Jelum's White Walls, and though the states of what is now known as Juraedon Proper fell quickly, the states of Huraedon proved difficult to conquer. Even with magic the fighting was long and ferocious.

But, in a decade, Juraedon spanned from the Beart Promontory to the eastern edge of the Mendesian, to the southern reaches of Lower Huraedon, to the northernmost tip of the newly founded Kingdom of Seinis. To the south, Kilae conquered the kingdoms of Aran's eastern coast and conquered the Peku Mountain kingdoms. Jelum renamed itself Juraedon, hearkening back to the name of Huraedon. In the next 10 years the Alk'kir kingdoms would fall as well, and Juraedon was confirmed by the Patriarch of Uendale as Imperial Supreme, rulers of Erub and, by Juraedon's choice, inheritors of the Mantle of Nelqora, her mother country. Emperor Adhonal was the first emperor. He was the son of Mayor Lirit.

This is the history of an upstart city-state on the edges of the world. Today it is the head of a great empire. A proverbial story to be honored and admired.

Beginning of the End Times

The prophecies of Matania are difficult to decipher in certain places, but the beginning of the prophecies - those dictating the end of times - are clear in their pronouncement of doom and defeat, only to, at the darkest time, rise up into victory. The end of days will surely be terrible, but it is good that, in the end, evil is only a passing shadow, here for a moment and then gone, smitten by the shaft of light that is Vahan. That first prophecy is then, correctly said by Father Julere, one of hope -- despite its initial contents.

— Father Victitian, an Ante-Ad'swan Father

And Matania spoke this Doom: when the world is old and the powers are weary, Gevurah will see that his watch sleepeth, and he shall steal out of the Gates of Night and set his wolves Scorn and Hate upon the Sun and Moon. These wolves shall bear upon Lerluft and engulf him, and they shall bear upon Nos and tear her to shreds. The day will be as sackcloth thrown over, and the night will bleed red and the terrible Fimbul-winter will begin. The earth will be deluged with the blood of the gods.

These times will be of crime, and all good is to be banished from the earth. The Elves will quiver in the Halls of the Dead, and Men shall gnash their teeth and curse the gods whilst hiding in their caves.

At this terrible calamity the whole earth will tremble and shake, the stars, affrightened, will fall from their places, and the Devil Lords, long disunited, will bow before their Lord returned and march as one. Abayin will be renewed, and he will walk the world again in raiment of splendor. To him, many will go and pledge their life and service, and a mighty empire shall set itself on the face of the earth. The world-serpent Ishim shall be revived and it will coil around the earth. With its immense writhings and commotion, the seas will be lashed into huge waves such as had never before disturbed the deeps of the ocean. Ishim will crawl upon the land, poison following his trail, and he will join the deadly fray of Gevurah.

End of the World

The Response of the Gods

At this, the horn of Uziel shall be blown, and the gods will sally forth from the High Halls of Heaven, and descend upon the Earth in their wrath and power, though not as brilliantly as before. For Uziel shall have but one hand, Hundimar but one eye, and Yesod shall groan over his heavy burden, now too great, and the gods have shrunk in number from twelve to nine.

The armies of the Enemy will be like the grains of sand on a beach. Gevurah will march at the forward, terrible as a king, thunderous and proud as a dark, high mountain. Marching with him will be all the deluded creatures, the monsters, the corrupted things of Marqôd, and the Giants, who will march with their gods newly returned: Elohim and Theos.

The Defeat of the Gods

The last battle shall be held on Birin's broad plain. The gods will be assembled, their shining armies dwarfed by the Enemy. Hundimar will strike against the serpent, but at each succeeding moment of the struggle its colossal size will assume greater proportions, until finally its wide-open jaws embrace all the space between the heavens and the earth, and the foul monster will rush furiously upon the King of the Gods and engulph him bodily within its horrid maw. Uziel and Hod shall strive against Elohim and Theos, but for every three strikes the giants shall have four, and they too will succumb. Mannan will be overwashed by the Devils; even the sea shall be filled with their incessant hate and filth.

The Coming of Mathiel

But then, the Heavens will open and there a rider called Faithful and True shall sit upon a white horse. His eyes will be of flame, and on his head shall be many crowns. His vesture shall be dipped in blood, and his armor will be of iron. From the heavens Mathiel shall descend and then strive with Gevurah; on his right shall be Tevil of Voice, on his left shall be Calmacil; and the white blade of Calmacil will deal unto Gevurah his death and final end; so shall the children of Men be avenged.

Out of Mathiel's mouth will be a sharp sword. With it, he will smite the enemy, and he shall conquer them with a rod of iron. A great pit will open under the feet of the enemy, and they shall be swallowed up by the earth and be consumed by its subterranean fire.

Rebirth of the World

Thereafter the earth will be broken and re-made. All the righteous will be assembled, and they will speak their secret names, and new names will be given unto them. Their words will be collected in a book called Power and Life, and it shall not serve the One but instead serve the All, though the One shall be found in the All. Amandil will descend with his white ship and shall be the last to speak his name. Then he will take that Book of Life and Power and take off towards the sky. He will read from that book, and a light will cover the earth. In that light the gods will grow young again, and their slain shall be stirred to life and their hurts shall be healed. Chesed, Seat of Love, will once again take her place among the gods, and her beauty will be more splendid than ever before. The elves will awake and their dead will arise, and the purpose of Vahan will be filled in them. But of Men it is not spoken, for their fate is hidden even from the gods.

So say I!


Cover image: by Jelke Ludolphij

Comments

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Venerable Grandmaster ZackTheGreat
Zack Hopkins-DeMerchant
30 Jul, 2018 05:34

Absolutely beautiful, vivid, and gripping. Well done!

Sage yingfire
Sean Sullivan
30 Jul, 2018 06:39

Thanks man

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