The Second Age - The Age of the Awakening - Imperian Online Help

16.3 The Second Age - The Age of the Awakening

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THE AWAKENING - Year 1 AA - 914 AH
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Seers proclaimed a time of great destruction. General panic ensued.

During the month of Letum the single moon of Aetherius suffered a cataclysmic event of massive proportions. The moon shattered into three separate entities, threatening to destroy the fragile planet beneath it. Gravitational pulls caused raging floods, horrible earthquakes, and deadly weather events.

In time the planet recovered and adjusted to the trauma, but not without a price. Thousands lay dead, precious farmland had been destroyed and cities lay in rubble.

Scholars and academics determined the force of the shattering moon tore at the fabric of reality, releasing forces referred to as magick into the land. In addition, the moons themselves influenced the world beneath them. The moons tend to share the firmament, although at times their orbits bring a moon closer, allowing its influence to bear more fully upon the land.

Within days people began to claim they could perform feats of wonder, read minds, and foretell the future. Unrest amongst the people during this time led to witch hunts, hangings and burnings. Witchcraft was banned under pain of death as fear of the unknown ran rampant.

Moradeim - The Moon of Change. As it travels close to Aetherius, strange mutations and changes occur. It is accredited with the creation of many races across the land.

Sukhder - The Moon of Terror. Disaster and evil follow in the wake of this moon when it travels too close to the planet beneath it.

Aryana - The Moon of Life. This moon is considered a good omen by all in the land, bringing luck and prosperity to the peoples of Aetherius.


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THE FALL OF CAANAE - Year 100 AA
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The first signs of the Awakening came to bear on Caanae. Without warning, an incredible force, consisting of hundreds of thousands of green-skinned beasts, massive giants and muscular trolls swept down from the eastern mountains into the fertile valley. In a single day they marched through the city of Caanae, raping and pillaging, burning every building, overturning every rock; killing as they pleased and taking thousands of enslaved citizens with them, eastward to the mountains, never to be seen again.

Those who managed to escape either fled westward into the forests or south to the city of Stavenn, in search of refuge. Shocked at the ease with which these unknown invaders destroyed Caanae, the Stavennite city leaders eagerly took them in, looking to swell their numbers in case of a second invasion.

The hordes which invaded Caanae never came to bear on Stavenn.


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ORGANIZED WITCHCRAFT - Year 150 AA
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During this period in time, the ruling triumvirate of Stavenn noted an alarming increase in the use of magick within city limits. Gautier Lajos, a staunch protester of the mystic art's use, and a member of the High Council, advocated a law to disallow the use of magick within the walls of his beloved Stavenn. The remaining two members of Stavenn's government upheld this sentiment. In the year 150 AA, a law doing just that was passed.

Unbeknownst to their friends and citymates, Ayasha and Galen Gazali, two seemingly upstanding citizens of the great city of Stavenn, had uncovered the secrets of magick. Due to the law, and the general distrust of magick held by most of their colleagues, the couple decided to keep their practice quiet. However, through certain unmentionable circles, they came into contact with various other individuals of similar minds from across the lands, and even some from their own city. Each individual had something in common, despite incredibly diverse backgrounds: Each practiced the outlawed magicks of Aetherius.

And so, their secret sect of magick went unnoticed for about five years under the rule of Lajos and his Anti-Magick law. Around the year 154, a newcomer arrived in the city of Stavenn, one Lucien Pia. His fantastical stories of magick led to mass hysteria within the walls of Stavenn. The people became fanatically anti-magick, jumping at shadows, incriminating the most innocent of their brethren.

Ayasha and Galen watched in horror as friends and even fellow practitioners of magick were murdered as an immediate result of the accusations that were flung by the fanatics. Hundreds of innocents were slain along with scores of actual practitioners.

By some strange twist of fate, Ayasha and Galen Gazali were spared in this hysteria. The couple, and those of their sect who had survived, vowed not to let their comrades murders be in vain. They banded together as the Noctusari, worshipping Nemesis.

Around the year 165 AA, Valencia Pyralis, a Noctusari, decided to branch out. Leaving the city of Stavenn with those who supported her, she called her gathering the Wytchen, shamans of the highest degree. They journeyed to the wilderness and there they remained.

Meanwhile, as the hysteria over recent events died down within the walls of Stavenn, the Noctusari found themselves in positions of power within the political structure of their home city.


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THE DISCOVERY OF KINSARMAR - Year 207 AA
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Almost 15 years after the hysteria caused by the Gazalis and their fellow practitioners, Stavenn was finally ready to take on the outside world again. In the year 200 AA the powers-that-be dispatched scouting parties in all directions from their city in order to learn more about the surrounding areas. A seasoned explorer named Jaden Magnar led one Stavennite party to the north of the city.

After days of trekking to the north, the party stumbled upon a small village. The Stavennites watched the villagers as they went about their daily life, and finally Magnar approached one, a female villager looking to be about twenty years of age. Upon seeing the stranger in the midst of her home, the woman screamed and ran. The Stavennites were puzzled, until a village elder came to them.

The Elder, who introduced himself as Ilom Marcell, explained how this settlement was composed of the descendants of the fallen city of Caanae. They now called themselves Kinsarmarians. Marcell asked where these newcomers hailed from, and upon hearing the word Stavenn uttered, immediately became hostile, along with several other bystanders.

The Stavennite party was unarmed and unprepared for the sudden backlash of anger from the Kinsarmarians. The men of the village chased them, armed only with fists and their righteous anger, women and children hurled rocks, and the Stavennites ran.

The party returned to their home city bringing tales of these hostile villagers, sending ripples of outrage through the populace.


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IMPERIALISTIC STAVENN - Year 209 AA
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With the indignation of being chased from Kinsarmar still at the forefront of the Stavennites' minds, Kinsarmar had become a point of great interest for the city. Mahina Idris, the head of Stavenn's council, pondered the small village. She compared the size of Stavenn's army to that of Kinsarmar.

At that point, there were no doubts in her mind. She turned to the rest of the council and appealed to them. Stavenn was prosperous enough, yes, but why should such disrespect to their beloved Stavenn go unnoticed? Why shouldn't they, the descendants of long ago Stavennites, finish what their ancestors began, she asked. The council agreed, and a faction of the Stavennite army was dispatched to the north, to Kinsarmar.

Upon reaching the small village the faction brutally attacked the Kinsarmarians, depleting first their supplies, and then their numbers. The Kinsarmarians put up a valiant fight, but to no avail. The weaponry and sheer numbers of the invading army overwhelmed them.

Adding insult to injury, Misae Jerica, a prominent official in Stavenn, was appointed as the governor of Kinsarmar, and a stiff tax imposed upon the people. A small uprising led by the village elder, Ilom Marcell was quickly extinguished, all those involved put to death in front of their fellow citizens.


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CIVIL UNREST - Year 300 AA
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After nearly a century of harsh rule and crushing taxes, the city of Kinsarmar had become a city without hope. Occupying forces had taken control of all buildings, reducing the citizens to survival in small, make-shift structures. Lyria, a young Kinsarmar woman, was less than happy with her lot in life as a slave in her own village.

Creating a ripple effect, she decided to make a move towards freedom. Using a rare venom extract, Lyria poisoned the garrison she served, killing half the officials within hours. Her daring actions inspired other Kinsarmarians, who slaughtered the remaining overseers and officials in what was later called the Night of Morr's Embrace.

This act of rebellion liberated Kinsarmar, but Stavenn could not ignore this open threat to its authority. Within a matter of days an army was rapidly dispatched to quash the rebellion. Hardly a month after regaining its freedom, Kinsarmar was once again occupied.

With poor leadership and organization the city could render little resistance. Those the army could find were quickly, and gruesomely, executed. Several protagonists did manage to escape, fleeing towards the cover of the forests. Local rumor has it that Lyria, the girl who first began the ill-fated rebellion, escaped with them. Stavenn failed to locate these escapees, leading to whispered tales that Lyria would one day return to liberate her home.


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ANTIOCH, THE OASIS - Year 310 AA
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Disgusted by the continuing aggressive stance made by the powers in charge of Stavenn against the northerners, a small band of pacifists rebelled against the current leadership through protests. The people were quickly subdued, and those who were not slain were exiled, marched to the edge of the Shaahri Desert and left to die. After several days of travel, the few straggling survivors happened across a fertile oasis. Finding all they needed to make do, the survivors managed to form a small settlement, which became known as Antioch.


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THE AKRABI - Year 350 AA
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Moradeim, the Moon of Change, hung low in the sky over Aetherius for the first time in history. The vivid array of alterations among the human race was soon witnessed in the following months. The desert dwellers of Antioch were the first to discover strange mutations among their people. Their children were born with hard exterior carapaces, including for some long tails that were similar to those of the scorpion. At first these births wereseen as abominations, each one slain or left to the desert sands to die. The fear of this change began to subside after a generation, as the founders of Antioch chided their people to remember the compassion and pacifism that led them to the desert in the first place. Over time they were slowly accepted, and a new breed of men began to live alongside the human, known as the Akrabi.


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THE FOREST RACES - Year 400 AA
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The rebels of Kinsarmar refused to submit to the hostile control of Stavenn once and for all. Yet again, they rose up against the Stavennite rulers and expelled the offenders from their city. Stavenn responded by sending a force of several thousand warriors to subdue the favorably growing Kinsarmar. While marching through the forests near Kinsarmar the army was ambushed by an amazing magickal force, causing the very trees about them to come alive and attack the army. Survivors returned to Stavenn with harrowing tales depicting lithe humanoid beings with blades that danced with blinding speed.

Rumors of these attacks spread to the northern city of Kinsarmar and Antioch within days. Looking to establish communications with these forest warriors, city leaders dispatched small parties into the southern woods. It was there that two new races were revealed to the explorers: the Elves and Lycaeans.

The story that was uncovered began soon after the destruction of Caanae. Refugees of the once prosperous city fled deep into the forests to hide and rebuild a community within the secluded woodlands. Over time they found themselves affected by the catalytic effects of Moradeim. Their bodies went through a small series of changes which even affected the span of their lives. In fact, despite 400 years passing since the destruction of Caanae, none of them had perished to old age. They found themselves attuned to the forests and those creatures which dwell within Nature. Some developed the ability to manipulate the forests about them, and call the flora and fauna to action. These forestal races, finding their hearts in Nature, were known from then on as Arboreals, and they worshipped Asaka, Goddess of the Wild.

One older Kinsarmar scout noticed that among the council of forest dwellers there was a girl that seemed eerily familiar. With a cry of shock, he realized that it was the rebel Lyria from so many years ago. She was different, much different now. A shining coat of gray fur covered her body down to the agile tail that swished behind her predatorily. Fangs gleamed when she grinned at those who knew her stories.

Lyria had run for miles until she collapsed in the forest, wounded and exhausted from the losing battle. The Elves had taken her into their care and soon she too felt the effects of the Moon of Change. This forest was named the Khandava Forest and held the strongest magickal forces of any wilderness area in Aetherius. One night, when the three moons were full, she felt the first changes pulse through her veins. The howl of a wolf was heard in the distance, and in that lone cry, she felt a bond that would never be broken from that moment. She had become the first Lycaean, and the other rebels that had come with her soon changed as well, beginning this new and ferocious race. It was Lyria who had convinced the Elves and Lycaeans to take up arms against Stavenn, knowing their forests could surely have been next in their conquest of the land.


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THE MAGES OF KINSARMAR - Year 450 AA
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The people of Kinsarmar had felt the pain and suffering of oppression for far too many centuries. They were determined to protect their city; never again would it fall to the eastern orc forces or the encompassing nature of the southern Stavennites. They decided to embrace the arts of magick that were much hated and feared by the populace of Aetherius. They approached the elves, who appeared quite proficient in the mystic arts and those of survival, to learn their secrets. The people of Kinsarmar practiced under the tutelage of the forest dwellers with initial reservation, and then embraced their newfound skills with relish.

An ambitious elf named Darrin felt compassion for the plight of the Kinsarmar people, so he ventured out of his forest home to explore the rest of Aetherius. The life in the bustle of the city suited him very well, and he decided to make it his home. His knowledge of magick soon earned him respect in Kinsarmar; some were in awe of his skill and others simply feared the immense power that he could wield. Those that learned magick soon formed the great guild of the Mages with Darrin as its leader.

Over time, Darrin's lineage began physically changing to adapt to the city environment. Though their bodies were still slighter than those of the humans, they were just as strong to stand alongside them in the demanding life of the military, or other occupations. They lost their affinity towards Nature, but gained an even stronger understanding of Magick. The people of Kinsarmar called this new race the Sidhe. The spirit of exploration that flowed through Darrin's veins was still strong in the Sidhe and many of them moved on to live in other cities and travel to all corners of Aetherius.

A second guild, the Lorekeepers, evolved from the Mages of Kinsarmar. They used their magickal powers to create strong defenses against the possible onslaught of Stavenn and the great hordes, and they became masters of the sword. To be a Lorekeeper was an honor and many citizens of Kinsarmar strived to have the strength and understanding necessary for such a position. These strong individuals worked hard as protectors of their city and prepared for the fateful day when they would face off against the powers that would attempt to conquer Kinsarmar.


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THE EASTERN INVASION - Year 500 AA
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The primitive races that thrived only for the destruction and exploitation of others for their own survival lived in the dark caverns that dotted the mountains. This collection of orcs, ogres and trolls was called the Horde, and it was said that the majority of their homes lay in the Gongen Mountains. These foul creatures festered in the mountains, enslaving weaker races that happened to cross their sinister path. After using up the resources of the mountains around them, they plotted to overtake Kinsarmar and other civilizations.

Once again, the Horde swept across the land from their mountain keep, driving toward the northern city of Kinsarmar, desiring to crush it just as they had the city of Caanae centuries earlier. Kinsarmar rallied to the defensive after having trained and labored over the ages. Coupled with the archaic powers of the Mages and the deadly swords of the Lorekeepers, the citizens of Kinsarmar valiantly repulsed the attack. The Horde was unprepared for such a strong retaliation. They were shocked by the ferocity and skill of their opponents, and were forced to retreat to the Gongen Mountains to recuperate and heal their wounded.

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THE KOHDON - Year 550 AA
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During the times of struggle for Kinsarmar, Stavenn abandoned the control they had attempted to construct in that region and focused on strengthening the forces within their own city. Several units of the guard were sent throughout Aetherius to find land worth claiming, or additional resources to tap. When the Stavenn guard reached the mighty jungles, they discovered a hidden race. Not only had Moradeim affected the human races, but the creatures of the wild had also evolved into sophisticated beings. The Kohdon were reminiscent of reptilians that had grown to nearly the same size as humans. A myriad of colors reflected from their protective scales, often matching the wild crop of hair that topped their heads majestically.

The people of Stavenn were impressed with the large tails that could knock a man off of his feet in a single, deft movement; they were perfect for fighting, especially since their intelligence was not so advanced that they could comprehend the concept of politics. The members of Stavenn were able to convince some of the Kohdon to join them in Stavenn with promises of power and wealth if they were to join their military. Others remained behind in the jungles that they loved so much.


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KINSARMAR FREED - Year 600 AA
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The Horde had finally regrouped and marched forth from the hidden recesses of the Gongen Mountains, pouring into the land like a sickening plague. Laying siege to Kinsarmar and employing short muscular slaves as diggers, the Horde forces immediately worked at attempting to bring down the walls. After a full year, it seemed the forces of Kinsarmar would fall to the siege.

As the Horde surged into the city streets, the triumphant blast of the horn could be heard far to the south. The gleaming golden helms, bearing the symbol of the sun city of Antioch, shimmered across the open plains. With immeasurable ferocity, the army of Akrabi soldiers laid waste to the southern flank of the Horde army. A single unit of Antiochians, known as Wardancers, slew the Horde ten to one. Their deadly blades and skillful maneuvers, dances of war, cut through the fleeing masses with ease. From the west, the howl of the wolf heralded the coming of the Lycaean forces. These creatures of the forest slaughtered dozens of goblins and orcs with their razor sharp fangs and claws. For a moment in history, the races of the world fought in unison under the same cry for Freedom.

Once again the Horde was repelled and forced back to the Gongen Mountains. Retreating with haste, the Horde abandoned the slaves they had used to tear at Kinsarmar's walls. These creatures were called the Dwarves. Amazed by their sudden freedom, the Dwarves experienced mixed emotions. Some of them fled after the Horde, unable to imagine survival without their violent masters. Others fled to the forests or to the haven of Stavenn. The majority were angered by their slavery and mistreatment, and thus they took up arms against the fleeing Horde and chased them into the mountains, vowing that they would free their brethren.


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HORDE RAIDS - Year 700 AA
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The Horde finally abandoned attempts to conquer the northern city of Kinsarmar, knowing that its might would never overpower their magickal forces. They resorted to raiding the surrounding lands for their supplies. They slew residents of small villages, stealing their goods, and carting off some of the defenseless villagers to use as slaves in their mountain home. Many cities suffered from the constant raids on their towns and the raping of the surrounding countryside. On occasion, the Horde continues to wreak havoc in Aetherius even into modern times.


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THE LAMIRA - Year 730 AA
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The city of Antioch began to show signs of weakening, both from the Horde's raids and the misuse of resources. Their precious Oasis was beginning to dry up, which could end in the destruction of their very city if swift action wasn't taken. They sent out small groups of their people in all directions, searching for answers or aid. One group traveled far to the west until they reached the edge of the continent. They hardly believed their eyes as they looked out over the vast ocean that rippled with the ebb and flow of the tides. They ran to the beach and danced in the waves, never having seen so much water. Still, they were filled with despair; there was no way to transport this water back to their home and it tasted strongly of salt that nearly made them gag and sputter.

Their surprise would not end here, however. Out of the waves strode several lean figures, to the shock of the scouts. They introduced themselves as the Lamira in a foreign tongue, but after many hours of effort they picked up the language of Aetherius, being a highly intelligent race. Behind their ears laid several rows of gills that gave them the ability to swim through and below the ocean waters with ease. Their skin had a vague blue tinge and small fins glided across the surface of their frames, along the joint of their elbows and other areas. The Antiochians told the story of their troubles and begged for assistance. The Lamira finally agreed to give aid, since their legs allowed them to survive on land, though they preferred their home in the water.

Thus the group returned to Antioch, accompanied by their new companions. The Lamira circled the city, assessing the area for an entire day under the tense gaze of the community. Suddenly they stopped over a patch of sand and one Lamira thrust the butt of his staff against the ground. He uttered the simple command, "Here." And so the Antiochians dug in that very spot and soon they were rewarded with the gush of an underground spring. The citizens cheered for their replenished water source and prosperity reigned over Antioch again. The Lamira returned to their ocean home, though a few stayed on in the lands of Aetherius, intrigued by the people they had met.


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KAARK'KRAZUL - Year 800 AA
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A large Dwarf community establishes a base at the foot of the mountains bordering the Gongens to serve as a defense while keeping an eye on their enemies, the Horde. With amazing speed and efficiency the Dwarves construct a mighty underground fortress, known as Kaark'Krazul. This fortress is complex and intricate, supplying the inhabitants with a variety of places to live happily and train for battle. Using it as a base to combat the Horde, the Dwarves launch an aggressive campaign to eliminate their one-time slavers. They lay into the Horde tirelessly, ultimately freeing their enslaved brethren and others who had been conquered during the orcs' long-running tyranny.


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THE DREGS - Year 900 AA
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One hundred years of conflict between the Dwarf armies and the Horde had scarred the surrounding countryside. The raids made by the armies of Kaark'Krazul uncovered not only scores of Dwarven slaves, but areas of horrible conditions fittingly dubbed the Dregs, hidden away in the deep recesses of the Horde's many pits and caves. In these festering holes, the dwarves found a horrible, depressing sight. Caged and abused to the brink of death, hundreds of small, lithe humanoid creatures had been trapped. Known as the Gnomes, they were bred as food and enslaved after their ancestors had been captured by the Horde centuries ago.

The dwarves freed the gnomes from their dismal imprisonment to find refuge throughout Aetherius in both the forests and cities. They were ecstatic, free to bask in the sunlight which they'd been deprived of for so many ages. They laughed and twirled in the morning breeze and squealed with delight at the lush flora that surrounded them. They became a jovial race, though they never forgot the horrible conditions they were forced to dwell in; and so they lived life to the fullest, reminding the other inhabitants of Aetherius of the blessings of life and the joy of freedom.


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THE ENEMY WITHIN - Year 1000 AA
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It happened in the year 1000 AA that Asa Grady, a citizen of Stavenn, took a late-night stroll through his beloved hometown. Unsuspecting, he headed towards the hub of the town. However, as he neared the government buildings, he noted that a majority, but not ALL of the ruling council had gathered there. Asa found this odd that the council would call a late meeting, and yet not have all of its members present. As he neared the main building ever so quietly, he took note of the rhythmic chanting and strange gestures being made by the leaders of Stavenn.

After a few moments, a figure stepped up to the head of the table normally used by the government to deliberate on city issues, and immediately the chanting ceased. The figure was none other than Anoki Fauve, the head of the ruling council. Asa's curiosity grew as the figure spoke.

As Asa listened to Anoki speak, realization dawned on him, and with that realization came the horror of what he was witnessing. The people gathered here were members of a group that had been whispered about since the magick practitioners were hunted almost 900 years ago: The Noctusari. The abominations that caused hundreds of innocents to be slain persevered, even thrived, and now held positions of power within the very city that tried to wipe them out. With a cry of disgust, Asa fled from the secret meeting. He ran from house to house, awakening the unsuspecting citizens, and called them to arms against the unforeseen threat.

Within moments, a group of citizens were rallied outside of Asa's house, their minds still dulled by the sleep they had been so rudely roused from. As Asa explained what he had seen to them, the remnants of sleep were whisked away on wings of seething rage. The very people they had elected to protect them were their enemies! The enraged populace marched toward the government buildings, where the secret meeting of Noctusari was just letting out. Few members of the sect remained, but it was enough for the angered citizens of Stavenn.

The remaining Noctusari, including Anoki Fauve, were captured immediately and brought before a citizen-appointed judge. The judge immediately found them guilty of the highest treason and sentenced them all to death by hanging. The offenders were dragged out of the courtroom and from there, marched to the tops of the ramparts. As ropes were placed around each of their necks, Anoki Fauve spoke out, saying that Stavenn had not seen the last of the Noctusari. Those were his last words as he was pushed over the walls of Stavenn, along with his fellow practitioners. They were left there, hanging outside the walls of Stavenn for over a year to serve as a grisly reminder to those that escaped capture that night.


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THE CLERICS OF ANTIOCH - Year 1100 AA
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Marked by the formation of the Cleric guild within Antioch, missionaries worked outside the city, preaching ways of peace and prosperity to the races and cities of the land. Preaching that only through unity could the plague of the foul easterners be swept away. Only through cooperation could the children of the future be assured a life of prosperity. Calling upon the holy power of the Gods, they performed many miracles and wonders throughout the land.


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THE LIFE OF RECLUSION - Year 1200 AA
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A small group of devout Clerics sought a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency to create a stronger spiritual connection with their God. They traveled from the walls of Antioch into the seclusion of the nearby mountains. It is there that these modest Clerics formed the Monestary at Manoa. It becomes known as a haven for those seeking a life of meditation, reclusiveness and perfection.


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THE COUP OF STAVENN - Year 1300 AA
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After the blow to their numbers in 1000 AA, the Noctusari slowly but steadily regained power within the city of Stavenn. However, this time they were much more secretive, passing information along through a network of couriers instead of risking meetings within the city.

Soon they held the majority within Stavenn's ruling council once more, the head of which, Acacia Farrell, also served as a high-ranking member of the sect. Once their positions were secure, they prepared plans to take over the city. Members of their sect were trained in the arts of combat, and became known as the Diavlous, a guard fiercely loyal to the Noctusari.

Finally, Acacia and the rest of the council called a city meeting within the government buildings. They were now ready to proclaim the great city under Noctusari rule. As the citizens filed into the grand chambers, they did not know what to expect from this meeting. The hall was filled with a buzz of activity as people speculated on the purpose of the gathering. Within moments, Acacia, the council and the faction of Diavlous entered the room causing the din to slowly die down until finally Acacia spoke. She announced to Stavenn that she, and a vast majority of the ruling council was, in fact, Noctusari. The citizens were stunned into complete and utter silence. She went on to explain that the city was now under their rule.

Suddenly, Mordecai Vega, a long-time citizen of Stavenn spoke up. He attempted to rally the citizens to cleanse their great city of its Noctusari filth. Several of the attendees rose to the occasion, and as they neared the podium where the ruling council stood they noticed Acacia's beatific smile. It gave them pause, and that is when they noticed the Diavlous. The loyal guards of the Noctusari gathered up the few protesters, and when Acacia gave them the chance to recant, to profess loyalty to the Noctusari, they stood their ground and refused.

They were all executed later that day in the city square, serving as an example to the citizens of Stavenn of what would happen should they feel the need to liberate themselves.

As word of the Noctusari coup spread to the other cities, it recreated the mass hysteria witnessed around 150 AA. Witch-hunts were once again held in order to root out the foul influence of magick users.


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THE ASSASSINS OF KINSARMAR - Year 1400 AA
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Disgusted with the constant attempts at political control by the Stavennites, the mayor of Kinsarmar, Bela Nevere, approached his notoriously crafty court advisor, Sondgroth Suspira, to come up with some solutions. Without delay, Suspira brought the aging mayor his proposal to form an elite clan of spies devoted to rooting out Stavenn sympathizers. This group eventually came to be known as the Phantoms, because no one knew who any of them were though their work soon became legendary as many Stavennites were soon discovered and executed.

Sondgroth Suspira found himself the object of popular adoration and was accredited with bringing an era of prosperity to Kinsarmar, being the leader of the Phantoms, and their only known member. When Bela Nevere grew too old and could no longer function as leader, the people elected Sondgroth as their new mayor. This marked the beginning of the end for the Phantoms.

Unbeknownst to the populace of Kinsarmar, a young Phantom by the name of Insidian was beginning to gain much influence within the clandestine group. So charismatic was this young man that it is said he could bend the minds of others to his will. Soon Suspira and Insidian found themselves at odds over internal policies. Insidian and his faction are reputed to have developed the art of hypnotism, and in jealousy Suspira accused them of using magick. Insidian's group fled the city in disgust.

The following weeks were marked by intrigue the likes of which Aetherius has never seen since. Phantoms infiltrated Insidian's followers, and likewise agents were sent into Kinsarmar to keep a close eye on Suspira's plans. Meanwhile, surviving in the wild proved difficult but rewarding for Insidian's followers. In addition to the sabotage taught to them by Suspira, and the hypnotism pioneered by Insidian, they soon discovered processes with which to construct deadly toxins.

Insidian was not lost on the spies within his own group, and decided to take a bold course of action. On the 13th night of Tenebrae, 1413, Insidian and a small number of his most trusted followers infiltrated Kinsarmar, and together with his agents there murdered the remaining Phantoms in what came to be known as the Night of Sabotage. Insidian and his followers remained the only keepers of the secret arts of sabotage, hypnosis, and toxins, and they became known as The Saboteurs.