Explorer's Guide to Vreathe
((Unless specifically stated, All images on this world are by me, Chrispy_0, either created by me, or generated using programs such as Artbreeder and Midjourney))
An Explorer's Guide to Vreathe
189th Edition, Published August 7th, 2980 I.A.
Welcome Travelers, to the world of Vreathe! Whether you are just curious about the Middle World you live in, or you traveled through a portal from somewhere in time and space, my Explorer's Guide to Vreathe will be indispensable in your travels!
But what is it you want to know? If you are reading this particular edition, then you are likely finding yourself in the middle of the Iron Age. That or in a very old library, or in a past location violating the laws of Nora the Supreme Judge. Either way, this book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this fantastic world, from the planet's geography and climate to its history and people. I'll tell you the cosmology of the universe, the current gods occupying the universe, and even the laws of magic, both natural and not!
I recommend you take a few minutes to read the first chapters of this guide to familiarize yourself with the world of Vreathe before your travels. I guarantee you will learn something you didn't know before!
Gods and Cosmology
Vreathe is the name of the world at the base of Meliheal
, the World Tree. This tree was planted in the beginning of days, an uncountable number of eons in the past. Meliheal also serves as a wellspring of souls, both in new souls born on vreathe, and old souls that return after death.
Vreathe was a perfect but shapeless world created by the Elder God, Alom. With the Elder Goddess Yanneth, they created the eternal wellspring, a source of never ending life. Another Elder God, Tarcur, planted the World Seed in the center and from that the world tree grew. The Elder Goddess Nora soon joined them in shepherding the growth of the tree, adding the concepts of order and time.
Other worlds also connect to Vreathe through Meliheal. Depending on the myth, the worlds were either created from the growth of the tree or were connected naturally over time. In Iron Age human mythology, all of these worlds are presented as flat disks that are literally connected by the roots and branches of the tree. Previous civilizations such as the Olimians
, and their descendants have a different interpretation, that all the worlds are round and bound by physical law, their connection through Meliheal is instead with portals in space.
In the beginning of days, within the Gardens of Cil, there were many Elder Gods, not just the four we know of on Vreathe. In those days, they were known as the Rena. Then the supreme being, Cillo presented them with a world seed. The Rena didn't know what to do with them at first, so Cillo took it back and turned it into the first world tree. He then burned it away when he was done. The remains of this tree became the Ashes and Embers of Creation, and became the stars and nebula in the sky. These ashes and embers were evenly distributed and were ordered. He then presented the best of the Rena, Tarcur, with a new world seed.
After Alom, Yanneth, Nora, and Tarcur came together and started shepherding the growth of Meliheal, some of the other Rena became jealous and attempted to destroy the tree. The started the first War of the Cosmos that scarred the universe, sending everything out of order. The four Elder Gods of Vreathe managed to beat back the other Rena and the World Tree was unharmed. Tarcur captured many of these rogue Rena and imprisoned them on a world he created. In this dark, black hellscape known as Tarsuros, the Rena are imprisoned on the surface under immense pressure, with their aether drained and unable to escape.
The Elder Gods and their Children
Elder God of Space. Alom created the first light, the Sun, and created the world we now know as Vreathe.
Elder Goddess of Creation. Without her guiding hand, nothing, not even the Dragons, would have been brought to life.
Elder Goddess of Time and the Supreme Judge. She regulates the flow of time and judges all souls connected to Meliheal.
Elder God of Order and Entrophy and the Father of Dragons. Tarcur was the original planter of the World Seed.
Alom and Yanneth's Children
Kalbeth - Goddess of the Greater Moon. Most of her power now resides in the Fairies that originated from there.
Altus - God of Giants. He planted the seeds that became all of the mountain ranges on Vreathe.
Sol - God of the Sun, Also called Oiae. He has never visited Vreathe and since the earliest ages of the world has provided a constant light.
Nora and Tarcur's Children
Beirunes - God of Fire. He once tried to conquer the universe, but he was stopped and imprisoned beneath the foggy sea.
Ibora - Goddess of Water. She sacrificed herself to put out what is known as the All-Fire, which threatened all of existence long ago.
Vikuon - God of Lightning. His wrath destroyed the greatest city men ever built. He was imprisoned beneath the Aetheric Sea.
Nivema - Goddess of Frost. She lives in isolation on a glacier in the ocean, known as Nivema's Sorrow.
Tellars - Emmissary of the Supreme Being Cillo. Tellars's power is greater than that of the Elder gods combined and has appeared at various points in history to bring messages from the creator.
Nodan - Wayward God of the Lesser Moon. He is the son of a different set of Elder Gods from elsewhere in the universe.
Llithane - Queen of Vampires. Originally a human. After her death, Tarcur imparted some of his own power to reincarnate her into a dark, immortal and terrifying being.
Kjato - Elder God from another world. He appeared during the Iron Age, claiming to be a Parallel being that knew the nature of the cosmos. He was quickly taken prisoner by Tellars, and pulled out of this world.
Xiara - Another Parallel being. Tellars appeared on Vreathe at several points through history to find her, but Xiara has managed to stay hidden for many thousands of years.
The Dragon Lords
In the darkness of his domain, Tarcur took aspects of the imprisoned Rena, then created the Dragon Lords, who were to be guardians of Meliheal. In time, half of them were corrupted like Tarcur and their goal was to destroy the tree instead. All of the Dragon Lords were destroyed or driven away from Vreathe during the Silver Age, but their magic powers still corrupts the land.
Obala - The Magnetar.
Loralkas - The Pulsar.
Etaltra - The Impervious.
Ferrioux - The Quasar.
Anarian - The Diamond.
Matan - The Infinite.
Segra - The Nebulous.
Xiralgus - The Nova.
Maeos - The Incorporeal.
Oliark - The Arcane.
Estellex - The Immovable.
Xestendi - The Falling Star.
Differaxi - The Hivemind.
Senget - The Wellspring.
"Oh yeah, Vreathe is definitely a flat world! You'll sail straight off the edge in a massive waterfall to the hells below! All these globes and maps the Elves have, totally fake! They only make them to mess with humans!"
(...why are Iron age people so dumb?)
The world is not actually flat, as some would have you believe. Just like the two moons, Vreathe is in fact quite round even though many depictions of Vreathe is of a flat world.
The Disk-like appearance of most maps is due to the maximum reach of the light of the Tower of Heaven
, sometimes called the Great Lantern or Lantern of Heaven. This structure was built during the Golden Age, before there was a Sun. The Gold Race went into the void themselves and gathered dying embers from the first tree. They put these embers in a lantern and placed it at the top of the tower. During the Gold Age, the Tower of Heaven lit every corner of Vreathe in a calm, warm light that pierces all but stone and casts no shadows. In current times, the magic of the lantern is diminished. It is barely visible only at night. The sun outshines it during the day.
The lands and sea beyond the reach of the Lantern was known as the Abyss or the Dark Lands. So few people return from the far reaches of the world that very little is known about these locations. Because of this, map makers don't even bother drawing these areas on the map, instead drawing an outline representing the limits of the world and the knowledge of the humans of Vreathe.
If you were to approach a descendant of the Silver Race such as an Elf or Centaur, they would present you with an immaculately detailed globe or map projection, showing lands and nations that humans just wouldn't believe existed otherwise. Human map makers don't trust the Silver Race maps though, and continue to draw lands beyond Vreathe as an empty abyss. For the purpose of this guide and your time here, Vreathe is simply the lands originally touched by the Tower of Heaven, represented by the map below. All Other lands are not considered part of Vreathe or the world as known by humans.
This Elven Globe shows the world with very accurate elevation measurements. With this globe, you can see the continents of Shalinar and Tenson, with the lands of Vreathe in the lower right.
This Canvas Map from the Iron Age shows the world ending in waterfalls. These Self-Updating Maps
were magically enchanted to redraw themselves every few years when the master map was updated. They also come with other enchantments. The self-updating aspect of the maps stopped functioning when the last of Grethan Freula's line died out in 2980 I.A.. It is still an accurate map of Vreathe and none of the map's other functions were lost yet.
Depending on where you are in the history of the Iron Age, Cassel is either one large nation, or an alliance split into as many as five smaller kingdoms: three human kingdoms and two elf kingdoms. The nation absorbed many other smaller nations and kingdoms through its long history and is culturally different depending on where in the land you are.
Cassel has been stable kingdom for most of its existence, partially due to the mythical status of its human rulers, said to be directly descended from Saint Nora. The other major reason is that the Elves and Humans get along for the most part in these lands. Recently Cassel has undergone a crisis when the King of the North was assassinated and the Queen of the West vanished, throwing large parts of the nation into disarray.
Kingdom of men in Central Vreathe. This kingdom is directly descended from the Broze Age Kingdom of the same name. In ancient times, they had an empire that stretched from Frozelandt to the Olimian Wastes. In current times, their kingdom is greatly diminished.
A collection of six elven kingdoms in Northern Vreathe, consisting of Faeon, Terrask, Ordland, Mire, Neldland and Shinea. The Elves of this region call themselves Golden Elves or Sun Elves. Their kingdoms are among the richest and most elegant across the world. I'd be cautious if you attempt to travel there as a human, since they are treated like second class citizens at best, and like pets and objects at worst.
Alluth is an area of deserts, mountains, and some tropical forests. Mainly humans live there with some Lamia and other fey scattered around. The Alluthians practice a different religion from other humans and worship the moon. They also worship a living saint, someone with the Moon Trace
Populated by a variety of fey known as the Inakans. Their lands are mostly barren of plant life but are resource rich. Recently the various tribes of the Inakans united and they declared war on the rest of the world. Most of Western Vreathe has fallen to them over the last thirty years.
Iron Age understanding of magic is limited compared to that of previous ages. It is understood that casting magic involves the usage of of Mana and Aether, two strange energy sources that exists inside everything in the universe.
Mana can be used to conjure and convert energy and matter, but it is mostly bound by the laws of nature. An understanding of how the chemical elements interact with each other and the world around is necessary to cast magic.
Aether is the leftover primordial energy of the Gods that left Vreathe long ago. It can still be evoked by knowing and reciting the true nature of the old gods. Aether ignores every aspect of the natural world and can be used to cast terrifyingly powerful spells.
Throughout the history of Vreathe, four races of humans were said to have walked out of Meliheal. They were the races of Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Iron. Races such as the Elves, Centaurs, Fairies, Trolls, and many others are all actually also humans on Vreathe. They were created from the Silver Race using magic to experiment on themselves. Some of these races have a single unified ethnicity with a single language and belief system. Then there are the Iron Race and descendents of Silver. They have almost too many languages to count. The Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Races all look similar to each other, with small differences in color and shape. The many descendants of the Silver Race come in many different shapes and sizes.
There are other beings on Vreathe created by the Gods. The elder god Tarcur created the Anarion and Sarlar. Both are reptilian, but where they differ is in their minds. the Anarion were created with a singular purpose to serve Tarcur for all time. The Sarlar were given free will at the request of another god. There are also Dragons. Tarcur created Segra the Mother of Dragons eons ago and all dragons are descended from her.
There are also the Giants, spawn of the god Altus. Back in the beginning of days, Altus was exiled by the other gods to the wastes of the North. Altus made it his purpose to destroy Vreathe. He created the giants to help him with this task.
Each of the Gods at one point in time created their own race of beings, either in mockery of the humans or to help them with their task. Many of them are extinct, and many more are so small in number they are barely worth mentioning.
The history of Vreathe is dominated by the elder god Tarcur manipulating and decieving gods and men alike in his attempts to destroy Meliheal, the World Tree. Far back in the beginning of days, when Cillo presented the Rana with the World Seed, none of them were willing to take it, all except Tarcur. Tarcur then went to find his fellow elder gods, Alom and Yanneth who ran into the void when the First tree grew. With them they created Vreathe and planted the seed that would turn into Meliheal.
Things were going well for them. Tarcur even created the Anarians to aid them with shepherding the growth of the tree. But Cillo left their throne for a third time and visited Vreathe. They were impressed at Tarcur's ability to create, but also told Tarcur that Vreathe was not for the Anarians. A Race of his own creation would inherit the world.
After hearing this, after learning all his work was for something not of his making, Tarcur made it his goal to destroy the World Tree. He tried for years and years to make that happen, but the other gods were able to win and preserve the tree every time. When the Gold Race walked out of Meliheal with a prophecy that if they died out, Cillo will leave his throne for a fourth time and destroy everything, Tarcur made it his goal to destroy every last member of the Gold Race.
Tarcur is responsible for the Gold Race nearly dying out. He hunted them down and tortured their immortal souls until they gave up on this existence. When the Silver Race walked out of the tree, Tarcur approached them as a friend, teaching them powerful magics. This resulted in the Silver Race nearly destroying itself and in a cataclysm that forever altered their being. Tarcur was even responsible for the ice age that ended the Bronze civilization. He was finally cast out of Vreathe and imprisoned on the moon Kalbeth. The gods Alom and Yanneth watch over his prison.
Now three thousand years into the Iron Age, the Bronze Race is reduced to a single nation. The Silver Race doesn't exist anymore except for their magically altered descendants. The Gold Race is almost extinct. They are so few in number and so few people have ever met one that they are considered to be mythical. But there are some that remain.
The current conflict in the world involves the Iron Kingdom. Someone claiming to be a prophet is taking advantage of a group of elves called the Inakans, of the Iruakint. Their entire land was dried out and frozen during the Ice Age. This prophet approached them with knowledge of magic and technology, turning them into the most advanced civilization on Vreathe. In return, he convinced them to conquer the world and hunt down the remaining members of the Gold Race.
The Primary faith on Vreath is that of Silism. Most of Vreathe's religion centers around Saint Nora, Former Elder Goddess, and the Supreme Judge. She gave up her immortality to save humans from extinction at the end of the Bronze Age. She then started spreading teachings about the Elder Gods for a thousand years before she died. In death she sits on a throne at the edge of the afterlife inside Meliheal the World Tree, weighing the worth of dead souls that pass through before they are sent to heaven or hell. Very rarely she will send a soul back to Vreath to live once again.
A significant portion of Iron Age religious writings centers around the achievements of the elder gods. It also tells of the many failures of the God Tarcur and how his many deceptions caused three previous races of men to fall. Because of this, there are three primary teachings, or rather, cautions of Silism:
Beware the Silver Race. The Silver Race was responsible for hunting down dragons and gods alike. They assisted Tarcur in ending the Gold Race, and their descendants were at war with the Bronze race throughout the ages. By Divine Law, Elves cannot be kings and they are shut out of the afterlife.
Beware of the power of magic. While the Iron Race can barely cast magic in comparison to the previous races of humans, it is still incredibly dangerous and was responsible for killing gods and forever altering the Silver Race into their many descendants.
Beware false prophets and promises. Saint Nora is dead. Tarcur is imprisoned on the moon Kalbeth and watched over by Alom and Yanneth. All of the gods are either dead or cast out of Vreathe to never return. Do not trust anyone claiming to be a messiah, a prophet, or a child of any god. Do not believe what they promise. They are lying.