The Ages of Verthal
This is where I will be continually adding pieces of history about Verthal. Check back occasionally to see what I may have tossed in here. This whole area will become more detailed as time passes.
- The Keeper
So it was together, that the Powers decided that they should create life and let those they would birth sing the praises of their power and creation.
A world was crafted and sent into motion among the heavens as it cooled. Among the large portions of land they set forth many a wondrous creature to wander the earth and create an existence free of the influence of the gods.
Among this tapestry of life, the Gods also set man, crafted in their image. To man they gave reason, thought, and a deep need to explain the world around them.
Man was given his place in the world and then also set free to work toward whatever goals he felt were needed. The awakening of life was running throughout the world, as was the discovery of the forces that made this miracle possible. Simple organisms thrived in the oceans and seas. Life began to develop very slowly, and animals made their presence known. Man was in his earliest stage of awareness, hunting the plains for food and water, never stopping to put down roots, for the needs of eating and shelter were too great and his knowledge had not progressed far enough to allow him to develop a more permanent lifestyle.
From this primitive awareness, man found the need to explain the world around him. The Gods were discovered and man sought to emulate their personalities to help his need to find order in a chaotic world.
Soon, man’s knowledge grew and civilizations were formed as they found new ways to make life easier for themselves. Kingdoms rose and fell and man soon ruled all that they saw.
The gods had not yet seen fit to create the other intelligent races, as man was their first attempt, they felt they should help guide them before they began to work on others.
One night changed everything. From the sky rained fire as dozens of monstrously huge objects crashed to the earth in molten balls and threw clouds of water and dirt miles into the air. All life sought to hide as the firestorm raged across the world. Life nearly ceased but for the tiniest of miracles, as well as the intervention of the gods.
These objects were in fact, unthinkably evil creatures created by the feelings of hatred and anger by the gods millions of years prior as they warred amongst each other. They had been making their way across the multi-verse for aeons before crashing to Verthal. These creatures were massive beings of tremendous power and might. Following in the wake of the largest creatures were hundreds of smaller ones, moving where the larger ones lead. They crashed into the center of the single landmass that dominated Verthal and sent the land masses into motion.
The largest of these sank to the bottom of the ocean and remained comatose from the energies required to propel him through the infinity of space.
Some of the smaller ones were able to wake themselves and set about exploring their new domain. Indeed, some still walk Verthal today. They are more of a spiritual presence than a physical one, existing on multiple planes of existence at once as they do. Magical beings, they feed off of the negative feelings and emotions of others.
To the massive creatures that managed to hold onto a slight semblance of awareness, those humans that existed at that time were as nothing to them, though the smaller ones took much pleasure in toying with the humans. They shaped their dreams and taught a few of them magic, then watched as these humans wreaked havoc on their fellow man.
The men they taught became infamous in their quests for dominance. They destroyed massive cities and even countries in their thirst for more power.
To some, the very presence of these alien beings gave them power, and in some, madness. The intelligence and might possessed by these few men allowed them to conquer parts of Verthal later in man’s history. Some men tapped these energies unwittingly, but managed to retain their basic goodness and were able to perform great miracles of love and peace with this power.
Then something happened. It was the very magic that had so permeated the world that made it possible for a man by the name of Mikel Andros to be born. He was gifted with the ability to harness more magic that anyone who had come before him Indeed, he could harness more of the powers of magic than all of the smaller aliens that walked Verthal and even approached what the large ones were able to.
He tried to banish the aliens to another place and time, but was only partially successful. Most were forced into a strange nether place were they remain trapped unless summoned.
In the process however, Mikel tapped too much energy and lost control. The magic engulfed the world, changing everything and everyone. Man became twisted and changed. Elves, dwarves, kobolds, goblins, ogres and more were born, even un-living things were given life.
The backlash of magic wiped out most life however, and caused flooding, earthquakes, and other disasters to spring up around the globe.
The survivors fled as far from ground zero as fast as possible. Most settled into whatever hospitable area they could find and were reduced to a warlike state for centuries as they warred with each other using the remnants of weapons from the prior age.
Soon, these small battles escalated and the different races of men became separated by their distrust of one another. This bigotry escalated and soon war broke out in full. The dwarves attacked, the elves countered, the ogres jumped in and soon the remainder of the world was involved in the struggle. The conflict served to almost wipe everyone from the face of Verthal.
Salvation came as one man stepped forward to help, he convinced the races to stop their war, and eventually they did, though they retreated to their newly built homes rather than trust one another.
An uneasy alliance formed between the races and peace generally reined. Hundreds of years passed and the remains of the prior ages passed on to dust. The people of the world reverted to an easier, older style of living again and began to make kingdoms.
The individual races began to develop their own culture and societies. Almost all recollection of the previous ages faded and became little more than myth and legend.
Since that time, several more ages have come and gone. Some bringing great enlightenment, others sorrow and misery. Always however, remains the distrust of the races. Never has this been erased, though even the gods have stepped forward to try to help put this aside.
The Age of Awakening
Man is created by the gods and begins to explore his new home.
The Age of Building
The rise of the first human empires.
The Age of Awareness
The time of man’s greatest knowledge and power. The magic of the Invaders began to permeate all of creation however, and the effects were beginning to be felt.
The Age of Destruction
And so did Mikel Andros call upon the powers he possessed, powers which sprang from the nightmare creatures who walked and slept on Verthal. And so did he seek to destroy these creatures with their own powers. In so doing he unleashed power unheard of, power only seen in nightmares. Only partially did he succeed, driving the monsters who lurked in the dark and lonely corners of the world to a strange nether place, neither of this world or of the next.
Verthal was unable to hold the power unleashed however, and groaned in agony as the very skin of the world was torn apart.
The shift in Verthal’s crust was as sudden as it was devastating. It moved with such deadly force, with such overwhelming ferocity that it caught everything in its path unaware and unsuspecting. It came like a leviathan from the ocean depths its jaws open wide ready to close on its victim. Nothing signified its approach, nothing warned of its danger.
Like a thief in the night, the deadly force moved, secretly and silently, propelled by centrifugal forces, its primeval power multiplying in strength, multiplying in intensity and with ever increasing velocity it carried its deadly power encased in the frigid ice of the poles, and with a suddenness born of seeming desperation, it tore the planets rigid crust asunder. There was a moment of seeming indecision, and then the world virtually ignited in angry response as volcanoes erupted and deadly earthquakes shook the globe.
The cataclysm came literally out of the blue, shattering Verthal’s crust and driving the ocean into a maelstrom of death as the waters, boiling in rage, burst across the land in 100 foot waves that afforded no warning to the inhabitants, no mercy for the living. A great civilization was reduced to rubble. With the passage of time only a legend of the dream of the Golden Age, the Age of Awareness, remained in the minds of those who survived. Those that could, had sought protection in the hills Others were less fortunate but no less determined, fought it out with nature with a courage born of desperation.
Few prevailed, but those that did wandered the ruins like wild children. They had been stripped of their basic necessities and the dreams of tomorrow that their civilization had provided. The were bewildered as the found their trust in the gods, in Nature, and even in their fellow man. They were shattered, yet driven by the instinct to survive, and they began the task of forging a living from what remained, knowing nothing of what tomorrow would bring. It would be many years, and countless aftershocks, before the event was over, so, without choice, they lived minute by minute with an anxiety born of panic, wondering, always wondering, if, or when, Verthal would be so struck again.
Out of this devastation walked new races, races formed by the unleashing of Andros’ magic. Elves, dwarves, goblins and more were now part of the world and indeed fought for their place in the new order of things.
The Age of Ruin
The Peoples of the world try to survive following the destruction wrought by the massive power of Mikel Andros.
The Age of Power
The world was a shambles for many hundreds of years after the Great Change wrought by Mikel Andros. Humankind had degenerated to its lowest form, barely above the animals as they fought over the scraps remaining from their previous world. As was mentioned above, it was the very power wielded by Mikel that had created the other races we know today, dwarves, elves, halflings, orcs, goblins, etc. He also created a race of serpent men called the Rashan. These creatures rose first from the ashes and dominated the known world. With force of arms and a nearly unbreakable alliance with the Dragons, they enslaved nearly all the other races in their rise to power. The elves managed to avoid enslavement as they retreated to their forest homes and waged such vicious war against the serpents, that the snake men were forced to parlay a truce with them.
Hundreds of years passed as the Rashan Empire rose. Its military no longer ran the world however, as a peaceful rein slowly overtook them. Though most of the peoples of the Rashan empire seemed content, the slave races were still not free, nor were they happy.
The Rashan empire was devoted to the peaceful worship of Yig, the serpent god. A massive god who strangely enough, promoted peace and soft-spoken well-being between the races, even as his followers enslaved others in his name.
This great civilization vanished overnight, their world-spanning empire destroyed by humans who summoned the hand of the Unspeakable One, a loathsome deity born outside known space. Most of the serpent people who were struck by the Unspeakable One degenerated into savagery, though a few managed to retain their sanity. These few fled the wrath of the usurpers and took refuge in dark holes in the earth.
Thus rose the mighty human Aruthis Arkhman and his army of rebels. Taking advantage of the serpent men’s degenerated minds, they threw off their chains and destroyed the snake men, allowing a new era of peace and freedom for humans everywhere.
The Age of Might
The Age of Discovery
The Current Age.
1376 E.A. (Eighth Age)