News of Arunë

SPRING, 503

Ho, there lad! I just come from Tyrma where the ships are setting out again and the masts have been socketed. Trade resumes, but the city swarms with refugees. That’s right – foes from the south, Theraz goblins all gathering by Arvorienna and making a nuisance of themselves. The streets are clogged with ilmai farmers and freeholders who’ve been displaced by the knights of the king or the forces of the goblins.

They say the elves have ringed Arvorienna round and that the forces of the Alcosa are even now being called to repel the goblins and fight side-by-side with the free companies of the King. Mercenaries are drawn to the war like flies. Though garlands of flowers all white and blossoming bedeck the ancient stones of Tyrma, its streets are flooded with Brighthearts in red surcoats clamoring Talifer’s call to war. The free folk gather and groan, eating from the king’s own table and the banquets laid out for them by the temples.

The Talifernians, now… they’ve begun a resurgence in those parts. Once they were quite famous. The coast was dotted with shrines. But as time wore on, their order withdrew to the Mede of War. Not so any longer! The remains of Tyr Valaniera have been recovered from their age-old shrine and translated to Tyrma herself, where pilgrims now swamp the Talifernians. Their numbers grow day by day, and they shout of fielding free companies to fight under the king’s banner.

War stirs in these parts, friend. There’s money to be made, and glory to be had… if you can but reach out and take it.

Swords and Sorcery

Pillar of Miles, sketch from the 9th Age

The world, the place the elves call Arunë, is old. Older than the imagination of most of the learned sages from every race. All know that it’s creation can be traced back to the First Age and that nine Ages intervene between then and now. How long that time is, none can truly say. Accurate records become useless before the period known as the Bleeding Plague that came at the beginning of the Ninth Age. Scholarly reports were destroyed en masse as libraries and private collections were turned over to the madness and chaos of the Plague.

The Bleeding Plague

The Bleeding Plague

On both sides of the Trade Sea, at the end of the Eighth Age, a great renaissance of Elven culture and civilization was underway. It was at the height of this renaissance (called the Elithä in the language of the northern elves) that the Bleeding Plague struck.

Ruinous to the Elven cultures, and highly contagious amongst that long-lived people, many cities and large states were depopulated by the Plague. Soon enough, it spread to the other demi-human races and to men. It was most virulent amongst the Elves where it originated, however. This led many cities (left adrift as their larger governments crumbled around them) to bar their gates and let no newcomers in. Magical wards were erected to obscure the surrounding countryside. The last living Elves entered a long period of seclusion.

When the ravages of the Bleeding Plague finally died down and the Elves re-emerged, it was to a changed world. Mass hysteria and violence had wiped away many old regimes, and it took the inhabitants of Arunë decades to establish working social organizations.

The Ninth Age

After the Bleeding Plague, historians began the recording of the Ninth Age. This was an age of rebirth, of slow resurgence after the shattering events of the disease had run their course. Chief amongst the changes of this Age was the arrival of a powerful Planes-walking wizard named Crisby who had returned from a long jaunt away from this world. When he returned, he brought with him news that Ozmiandre Griswald, the hero of the Eigth Age, was dead.

However, as part of his efforts to rebuild the world, Crisby founded the Grand Conclave of Wizards in the north. This brought together many disparate magical traditions, unspoken and unwritten since the Third Age. In so doing, he formalized many of the relationships of powerful wizards that had threatened the existence and peaceful living of various communities. Notable for it’s refusal to join the Conclave was the old kingdom of Teral which was eventually destroyed by a magical war during the Tenth Age.

Other institutions were founded and maintained as well, but most did not last into the Tenth Age. Crisby’s Grand Conclave did.

The Tenth Age

The modern age of the world, marked by the death of the last true-royal Thyrnessian monarch with bloodline traceable back to the Milenean kingdoms of the Third Age. It has been five hundred years since the passage of the Tenth Age, and since then many things have changed. Teral has fallen, the Dominions of Ishtria have conquered many of their neighbors, and at long last adventuring has been reborn in the minds of the common people, leading farmer’s sons and daughters to take up swords and hunt for treasure in the depths of ancient ruins.