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First Age

A Brief Synopsis

Chapter 1 - Creation

At the dawn of creation, nine new gods were brought into the void between worlds. Some gods were righteous and holy, and some wished only ill and evil. Others still were interested in nature and creation, and it was these that first crafted the lands and seas of Talibri.

Helias, whose light is everlasting, filled the new world with her light. The new light showed a barren world, devoid of life. Adena, the bringer of natural life, crafted the trees, oceans, mountains, and rivers and gave life to the creatures of the land. Ito, the bringer of law, created the six elemental spirits to bring order to these new creations. The new gods sought to find places for themselves in the world that they had created, but after only a few years found that they were unsatisfied.

Chapter 2 - Peoples and the First Cities

Flynn, in his wisdom, created the first humans and gifted them with wisdom. The humans settled in many places across the land, living out their days in the paradise that the new gods had created for them. Soon, some of the other gods became jealous of the worship that Flynn received from his creation. The new gods demanded a people of their own, and tasked Flynn with creating more people to populate the lands.

Adena sought a people to tend to her forests, so Flynn crafted the elves from the flowers and trees. Adena granted her elves the gift of everlasting youth, so that they would never grow old. The elves built their homes in the treetops of the forest and built a temple to Adena and worshipped her there. In time, the temple became known as Emelglad and was the first city in the world of Talibri.

Artemos sought a people of strength and courage, and Flynn crafted the Dwarves from the stones and ore of the land. Artemos granted his dwarves the gift of strength and gave them the mountains they were born from as their home. The dwarves dug deep into the mountains with their divine strength and crafted wonders in the name of Artemos. They called their land Cauruin and it was the second city.

The peoples had been granted eternal life, and each race built many wonders in worship of their creators. The humans discovered the sea and began to explore it and find new lands across the seas. The lush forest land of Armica was discovered and quickly settled by the humans. The elves discovered the elemental spirits and delighted in their existence. The elementals shared the secrets of cultivation and herblore. The dwarves discovered the secrets of stone and metal. Through their strength the dwarves worked the stone and metal into many wondrous forms. The three child races were at peace.

The tyrant god Jonas had watched from afar in a dread keep he had built for himself and sought to test these new races to see if they were worthy of the gift of life. He created the orcs, the goblins, and all of the beasts and monsters in the world. The orcs were a ferocious race of strengh and rage. The goblins were a race of greed and cunning. The beasts and monsters were mindless creatures that shared more with animals than with men, and among these creatures were the first dragons.

Chapter 3 - Death and the Protectors=

Jonas sent his creations among the other peoples to test their strength. The orcs went among the humans, ravaging their villages and sending them out across the land in fear. The goblins used their cunning and tricked the dwarves into fighting amongest themselves, causing Cauruin to fall to ruin as the dwarves divided themselves into clans and left to form their own new cities. The beasts and monsters destroyed the homes of the immortal elves. The elves, while immortal, lacked the ability to fight back and were driven from Emelglad.

Hassan, the god of protection, safeguarded the weakest among the scattered peoples, but he knew that the conflict must end. He went among the three peoples and found among each a champion. The three champions were Helda the Dwarf, Leo the Human, and Orinia the Elf. Helda challenged the dwarven clans for leadership through a contest of strength, she defeated all challengers and re-united the dwarven clans. Orinia rallied the broken spirits of her people and sought to ally herself with the dwarves. The dwarven and elven forces however were not enough to defeat the orcs and beasts. Leo had been watching as the conflict progressed and sought to join the fight. Leo convinced his elders that humankind must fight with the other races in order to secure peace.

With the the combined strength of the three races, the invaders were pushed back to the dread keep of Jonas. The heroes challenged Jonas himself and fought with him with all of their might, but ultimately their strength was not enough and their bodies were destroyed in the battle. Jonas told the assembled force that they had passed his test and proven that their races were worthy of the gift of life, the rage of the orcs was taken from them and the beasts were released to run free.

The allied army weeped at the loss of their heroes. Since their creation, the people had never known death. Xyra-Le, the goddess of death, heard their cries and spoke to them.

"Your heroes need not die. They can be restored through a sacrifice of life." said Xyra-Le.

The people spoke amongst themselves and agreed to pay any price to bring back their loved ones. Xyra-Le stripped them of their immortality and brought their heroes back from destruction.

Chapter 4 - Law and the Founding of Leola

The people cheered and wept anew for while they had their heroes again, they now knew the fear of death and sought revenge upon the now-complacent orcs. Ito, the god of justice, appeared before them and forbade them from taking their revenge.

"Blood for blood is not just. These people did not choose to do what they did, they were commanded by the Evil God Jonas." said Ito.

"What should we do then? What is just?" asked the people.

"Gather your wisest from among you, and have them consider the matter." said Ito.

The people then gathered their wisest, and spent 3 days discussing what would be the just course of action. At the end of the third day after hearing all arguments the three heroes, having experienced mortality first-hand, spoke up and said the orcs and goblins should not be killed as life should be preserved at all costs. The people were moved by their words and agreed to forgive the orcs and goblins and agreed to forgive them.

The people embraced their former enemies and sought to honor the Heroes. The people asked for the heroes to lead them in rebuilding their razed cities. The dwarves and elves went back to their cities and swore to always be allies to the elves and the humans in the future if Jonas or any other force ever attacked. The humans founded the first country, Leola, named for their champion.

Shana, the goddess of fortune, appeared to the people and blessed their new country with good luck in the future. A road was built through Leola from Cauruin to Emelglad and the people traded knowledge, crafts, and the bounties of their labors. The people of Leola lived peacefully for 200 years on the abundant resources in the land.

The Giving of Law

Chapter 1 - Creation

In the first age, the lands were wild and untamed. The people of the land that would one day be known as Leola sought guidance to set themselves on the path that their creators wished for them to follow. They gathered fruits, meats, and drinks made from honey and wheat in order to have a feast in honor of the gods. They prayed and feasted for 3 days until Ito Giver-of-Law and Hassan Protector-of-Weak came to join their feast. The gods arrival was met with further festivities as the two gods joined them in their reverie. After five days of celebration, the elders amongst the people spoke with the gods and began to question them on what they should do.

“Great Lords, what should we do to receive your favor?” they asked.

“The gods favor is given freely to those that are deserving.” said Ito.

“Wise Lords, how ought we live in order to please the gods?” they asked.

“Be kind and good to one another, for that shows that you revere that lives that were given to you” said Hassan.

“Merciful Lords, for what reason were we created?” they asked.

“To share in the bounty of this world with us and live humble, good lives.” said Ito.

“Powerful Lords, how ought we govern ourselves?” they asked.

“Elect the wisest and most learned among you to lead you to prosperity. For those that lead, lead your people for the benefit of all, and not for the benefit of the few.” said Hassan.

“Just Lords, what is right and what is wrong?” they asked.

“Treat others as you would have them treat you, that mutual respect may be shared between all.” said Ito.

“Mighty Lords, you are two of the nine gods. Which of you should we follow?” they asked.

“You should follow none of us. Your lives are your own and you should live them.” said Ito.

“Gracious Lords, how ought we best use the abundant gifts of the land?” they asked.

“Preserve them, lest they cease to be.” said Hassan.

“Kind Lords, how ought we deal with those that break these laws?” they asked.

“Learn from your mistakes, and do not repeat them. Forgive one another for transgressions and strive to act out of respect for your fellow man.” said Ito.

The people formed the basis of law with these answers, and they became the guiding principles of the first peoples.

Second Age

A Brief Synopsis

Chapter 1 - The Storytellers

As the peace continued, the first scholar emerged among the Dwarves. Arnos the First Storyteller sought to lay down a record of what had transpired and so, the first writings were carved into stone in the city of Cauruin where they remain to this day. Others felt that the mission of Arnos was good and joined him, together they formed a group that called themselves The Storytellers and strived to keep history alive. The storytellers organized the days, months, and years in order to improve life for all; they also founded the first college in Cauruin and offered to share what they knew in exchange for others providing what they had learned. Thus the world’s knowledge grew. It was then that the first voyages across the sea began.

Chapter 2 - The Age of Exploration and the discovery of Magic

An elven woodcarver from Emelglad named Merela sought to create a craft capable of handling the rough seas to discover any lands that may lay beyond the shores of Vedin. Merela built a boat from the wood of her homeland in the Evergloam. Hassan saw her work and blessed it with his protection. Merela gathered together a small crew and set out to sea. When she returned a year later, she had brought a new ship and new materials that had never been seen before. The crafters and artisans of the world then followed her example and set out to sea. To the south, the lands of Lani and Suman were quickly discovered and the cites of Kulani and Rakesh were founded. In the north where the land grew cold, a frozen land was found, but no cities were founded. To the west, the lush land of Armica was found, and the city of Smithton was founded. As word of these new lands spread, people sought out these new places in the hopes of finding new adventure, fame, and wealth.

As the people spread out amongst the land, they lived and they died. Hundreds of years passed and the world started to change. Across the world, the souls of the dead seeped into the land and gave rise to a new power. People of all races started to exhibit strange abilities to control the elements, manipulate the laws of nature, and achieve superhuman feats. The storytellers and other scholars met to discuss these happenings. The god Flynn appeared to them and spoke of the discovery of Mana. Mana was the life energy of the world, living inside each and every man and woman. Flynn warned them to use caution, as mana allowed mankind to bend and change the world. The storytellers agreed, and those among them that had begun to study and understand this new form of power created a sanctuary on the new island nation of Lani. The storytellers wrote books and begun to master this new power that they called "magic".

Chapter 3 - Ferrul and Oro

Among the Storytellers was one man that desired to use this newfound magic to remake the world for himself. The man was named Ferrul Cos. Ferrul sought immortality and dominion over all people. He stole away from Lani and went into the flourishing kingdom of Leola in order to conquer it. None could stand against his magic, as many had not yet begun to awaken their own mana. However, Ferrul recognized his own limits and knew he would need protection in case his own power ever waned. In time, he recruited a small army and gathered military power to protect himself against attack. Using magic, he controlled the king’s line and ordered the Leolan army to march against Cauruin and Emelglad. The dwarven and elven lands quickly surrendered to the overwhelming force and agreed to be under the rulership of Leola. Ferrul ruled this way for 15 years, acquiring more wealth, power, and dominion over Vedin.

A group of mercenaries from across the kingdom banded together and called themselves the Protectors. The Protectors swore to liberate the people from Ferrul’s unjust rule. The Protectors liberated Cauruin and Emelglad, and pushed Ferrul’s army back. As the Protectors began a final skirmish against Ferrul’s camp the Protector’s leader, Marshall of the Plains, was captured. Ferrul removed Marshall’s soul from his body and embedded into his own blade to exist in anguish for all time. With their leader defeated, the Protectors fled into hiding. Marshall’s blade was cast away into the wilderness, never to be found, and Ferrul’s rule seemed all but secure. 25 years later, a young boy named Oro found the lost blade while exploring the land where his family had settled. Oro was weak, but Marshall’s spirit inhabited the blade and allowed Marshall to grant Oro strength of arms in combat. With the spirit Marshall’s guidance, Oro grew stronger and met new allies. Along Oro’s journey he met a sorceress named Cassandra Goranish who taught him to harness his own latent magic. Together with the spirit Marshall and Cassandra the sorceress, Oro reunited the protector’s and fought back against Ferrul’s army. Oro himself struck the final blow against the aging wizard using Marshall’s blade. The Protectors swore an oath to safeguard Oro and Leola and rise again if a new threat ever appeared. Oro himself kept the Blade of Marshall and settled in western Leola to learn magic with Cassandra in a place that eventually became the town of Oros. Oro, Cassandra and Marshall had many other adventures, but that is another tale.

With Ferrul defeated, the government of Leola decided it needed to better protect itself against the new threat of magic. The Leolan government built a great fortress on the western shore of Vedin and named it Lowenheim. The wandering people of Leola would have their own city, and they would wander no more. King Leo X sent a messenger to ask the Storytellers of Lani to share their knowledge with Leola, which lead to the founding of the first Mage’s College in the fortress of Lowenheim. Over time, other cities were founded across Lowenheim. These new cities prospered and Leola grew in wealth.

Chapter 4 - The Crisis of the Rifts

As Leola prospered, the Mage’s College noticed a dangerous power building in various places across the land. Ley lines of mana had taken root deep in the earth across all of Talibri. At places where these ley lines intersected, they formed loci of power, and at these loci reality begun to tear itself asunder. Rifts opened near the loci and across the ley lines, and extraplanar creatures began to pour through. The celestials were benevolent, seeking to learn about their new world. The elementals were bewildered and lost and sought only to return home. The infernals were deeply evil and sought only to destroy and corrupt this new world. These newcomers to Talibri had power far beyond that of mankind and quickly created havoc everywhere they went. The Protectors banded together once more and called upon the god Hassan to help them combat these new foes. Hassan himself proved to be unable to contain the threat alone and asked for the aid of other gods like himself. Flynn, Adena, and Ito rushed to his side and helped contain the threat.

With her powers over natural magics, Adena found she could control the elementals to a small degree, and sought to make peace with them. In short time, Adena befriended many elementals and helped to soothe their rage. Six elemental lords were appointed and empowered with a portion of Adena’s power to keep their brethren safe and under control. Ito sought to reason with the celestials and they quickly agreed that their place in Talibri should be one of non-interference. The Celestials were allowed to visit our world, but not interfere in mortal matters. The infernals on the other hand evaded the gods attempts at diplomacy or capture. The god of secrets knew that the infernals could never be reasoned with and so he created a hidden artifact to control the mana of the world and stop the rifts from being able to open. The damage had been done however, and those across the world began to fear magic.

Chapter 5 - The Wildlings and Armica

Clans of people across Talibri rejected the use of magic and sought to find new ways to live. Tribes of people from Leola journeyed east to find their own way. Among these peoples were Anrut the Wildling. He was an orcish leader that believed mankind should rely on strength and tradition. He led his people on an exodus into the place now known as the Wildlands and sought to settle them in a new society that did not rely on magic. His people struggled in the harsh Wildlands as they were now filled with powerful and deadly creatures that had been warped by the abundant magic in the land. While many died, those that survived grew stronger, and soon formed a new way of life where strength became the law of their land. The Tyrant god noticed these new people and was pleased. He sought them out and challenged them to defeat him in single combat to prove their strength or face death. Many powerful warriors lost their lives until Anrut challenged Jonas to a contest of strength. Anrut boasted that he was blessed by Artemos and could not be defeated. Upon hearing the name of his hated enemy, Jonas flew into a rage and attacked Anrut. Anrut was clever, and disarmed Jonas, wrestling him to the ground. Jonas and Anrut wrestled for 3 days and their strength was such that its damage and scarred the land around them, creating the many hills and valleys of the eastern Wildlands. Ultimately Jonas could not defeat Anrut and Anrut couldn't get Jonas to submit. Using all of his godly power Jonas finally escaped but did not continue to fight. He admitted that he had found an equal in strength and wished to fight again. He gave a blessing to Anrut and the wild people of his tribe and promised to return and battle with them again. It is said that Jonas still battles the Wildlings every generation to test their strength. The wildlings were the first of two peoples to reject magic and form their own society away from all others.

In the newly formed land of Armica, a dispute among the various clan leaders gave rise to a civil war among them. Some believed that magic was a tool to be used for the good of the people, while some believed it was evil and that their people should unify against Leola and its allies and stamp out magic before more harm could be caused. The clans against the use of magic were the Aurastrans, the Margons, and the Fureens. The clans for the use of magic were the Orans, the Silvesti, and the Purgas. Among these six Armican clans the Orans and the Aurastrans held the most wealth and power, and so as this new conflict between the clans began the lesser clans merged into the greater. These clans fought a devastating war that lasted 15 years, but eventually the Oran clan surrendered and agreed to fall under Aurastran rule. The Aurastran clan spoke against magic and claimed that it had caused the conflict that had claimed so many Armican lives. A new government was formed, calling themselves the United Armican Party and the scars of the war were quickly forgotten behind the new rallying cry of ridding the world of magic. Armica knew that they would need an advantage against the magical kingdoms of Leola, Lani, and Suman. The Armican government began to research the way the world worked and quickly discovered idea after idea. In only 100 years, they advanced from the use of iron and steel to creating machines of steam and coal. They jealously kept these ideas to themselves and built impenetrable walls around their cities to protect themselves and their technology.

With the rifts closed and the various clans of people now separated, the people sought more than ever to find purpose for their lives. The gods kept to themselves now more than ever and ceased to interfere with the problems of man. With the gods becoming more myth than reality, new temples and new religions were founded across the world. The great Order of Helias was formed in the tropical land of Lani. The Al’Harisi formed in Suman and began to build shrines to Hassan across the lands. Xyra-Le began to accumulate followers and a temple was built for her in Vedin. Many other temples were built, and Talibri experienced a second age of peace, lasting another 300 years.

Third Age

Unity Day

Chapter 1 - Preparation

Unity Day is a celebration of the peace resulting from the end of turmoil that defined the First Age. After Jonas' brutal trial ended the races that were united by need remained in peace for centuries. Every year Lowenheim's holds a multi-day festival which culminates on Unity Day with a re-enactment of the heroes' fight that proved the strength of Leola to Jonas. These festivities require a copious amount of resources and so every year Lowenheim (already noted for its bustling trade centers) becomes a hub for the global trade market. Tradesmen far and wide make the trek to the city prepared to sell their wares for top Leol during the time of high demand. The market value of fish in particular tend to skyrocket during this time as hungry festival goers seek out some delicious dishes from places they have not yet visited.

Chapter 2 - Trouble Brewing

With the warehouses fully stocked and people flocking to the city daily Lowenheim begins the festivities! The market district is filled with people drinking, laughing, and enjoying the vendors. As evening falls on the first night fog fills the air. The previously busy streets start to empty out as families head home for the night to prepare for another festival filled day. As night falls shadows can be seen moving swiftly through the now dense fog. These silent invaders manage to go undiscovered as they briefly drop a strange vial down all the wells in the city. With their task done they disappear from the city leaving no trace.

The next morning the streets filled once more to continue the festival however soon after the morning meal a great wave of illness swept through the streets. Where there was partying just moments before there now lay hundreds of people too weak to stand. The moaning of the sick could be heard like a gong ringing through the city. Without help Lowenheim may meet its end. Thankfully Old Grok made the trip from Gild to join in the celebration. He managed to recall a recipe from his old days as an alchemist that may help with the symptoms. If the people work together they may be able to buy enough time to discover a cure!

Chapter 3 - Investigating the Cause

Suspecting foul play, Captain Arvin of the Golden Lions has asked his troops and adventurers attending the event to search for any clues. After checking every well, an adventurer found a mysterious vial of unknown liquid. The vial was presented to Old Grok, who didn't have a clue what was in it. Arvin sent the adventurer to the Mage's College to investigate further. While the college was mostly empty, the ghostly professor Bernard was still around. Bernard quickly discovered the cause was magical in nature. The vial had held a curse in liquid form. The only cure would be to craft an herbal counter-curse and quickly distribute it.

With information about the cure finally ready, the adventurer rushed back to Old Grok to ask for help with crafting the remedy. Old Grok tasked anyone that was able to quickly gather herbs to remove the curse before the symptoms got worse. Time was running out, and the the adventurers would need to work together to save the festival and its celebrants.

Chapter 4 - Invasion!

While Old Grok was preparing the counter-curse and distributing it to the sick, the ground started to rumble. City guards on the watchtower called out that an enemy army was approaching! Creatures and abominations of all kinds marched and slithered toward the city. Suddenly the watchtower was struck by a massive explosion of flame! A lone figure behind the army appeared to be using magic to siege the city and leading his troops to take it by force. Captain Arvin rallied the troops and gave the order to defend the city. As the guardsmen moved into position to stop the siege, Arvin turned to the festival goers.

"Any among you that can take up arms, fight with us!" he yelled. "The enemy wizard must be stopped before the city walls are destroyed. We will count on you to help us!"

"Our wizards are also running low on mana potions, so we will need assistance with acquiring more." he continued. "All of us must band together to defeat this enemy!"

The adventurers let out a hearty battlecry and pushed through the gates headlong into the enemy army. Many enemies blocked their way, but they continued to fight on to reach the enemy wizard.

Meanwhile, budding alchemists quickly worked to create supplies needed for the fight.

Chapter 5 - Aftermath

The combined might of the adventurers and the Golden Lions carved their way through the monsters to their leader. He protected himself with an arcane shield of pure mana.

"Well done heroes! You've defeated my forces and pushed me into a corner." he said. "I am Jamil Foresson, greatest Arch-Mage of the age! Though I am defeated today, I shall return again to take my revenge!"

With his final words, his form disappears with an audible pop and a rush of air as he teleports away. The heroes task was not completed however as the enemy still had forces attacking. The heroes returned to their task and fought bravely, wiping out the invading force. Once the fighting was over, a somber tone settled over the festival. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up after the battle, and as the night went on, the mood improved. On the dawn of the final day of the festival, the celebratory spirit had returned but taken on a different tone. The festival was continued with renewed vigor, not only in celebration of the past, but also in celebration of the present.

Now was the time for celebration, and that meant fresh cooked food!

Chapter 6 - Rebuilding

With the completion of the festival the damage to the city was estimated to be extremely costly. Many of the outer wall sections were damaged beyond repair and would need to be completely rebuilt. The homes and shops near the outer wall were also nearly destroyed leaving hundreds without homes or work spaces. The mysterious mage Jamil left the remnants of his army to be massacred but there are still some tenacious bands haunting the nearby roads and villages. The city has called upon the aide of all nearby adventurers to help the in any way they are able to. In return they promise to share some wonderful secrets the Golden Lions managed to uncover from Jamil's base of operation prior to attacking the city.


Conversations With A Master

Chapter 1

By Jeseth of Lani

I was nervous to be finally sitting down with the foremost expert on swordplay in the known world. It had taken months to even secure this interview as she was busy with her duties of training and leadership, but I felt as though this meeting would provide excellent material for those interested in learning the art of combat. When the time came, I heard a knock on my door and a Lion stood behind it. He wore the black and silver plate of his standing. He told me to gather my belongings and follow him. We left Lowenheim's gates and headed into the fields where a small camp had been set up for what looked like training exercises. It was strange, to say the least, to see so many of the fabled defenders of Leola doing their daily exercise like any other soldiers. Lira the Black Mane, the highest ranking officer in the elite of the elite. I had been led to her tent, no bigger or smaller than any of the others, as equality was one of the Black Lion's tenets. Still, her very presence seemed to radiate authority and power. As I sat down, I felt her gaze pierce through, sizing me up in an instant and determining my threat level.

"I understand that you have come to speak with me for a book. I can spare only a few minutes, but soon I will need to get back to training"

"Yes of course! I appreciate the time you've taken to talk with me!"

"It is important that we document our history to let future generations learn from us, so I feel this is a good use of time."

"To start things off, I would like to know, how is it that you reached the position you currently have?"

"A simple question. I demonstrated my might, my ability to lead, and my cunning. I rose up the ranks in my hometown of Emelglad and sought greater challenges, so the Black Lions naturally was where I wanted to test my skills. After defeating the other applicants in the Trials, I earned my spot, and the former leader Eric promoted me until I was able to issue him a challenge of leadership."

"What was the challenge of leadership? I've heard of this before but never learned the details."

"To be a Black Lion, one must be the elite among the elite, so strength, cunning, and leadership are valued here above all. Eric and I engaged in a contest of those three virtues and I emerged victoriously. As per our traditions, I did not slay him so that he could stay on and pass on his knowledge and expertise."

"I see...and what does Eric do now?"

"Eric is my second in command. He deals with the politicians vying for our support, and lets me spend my time keeping the teeth of the Lion sharp. Do not misunderstand though, Eric is still more capable with a blade than any warrior you'll ever meet."

"So even the older members of the lions are still useful...interesting..."

"Make no mistake, all Black Lions are useful, we are warriors!"

Her voice shook the room when she said this, she stood up and glared in my direction with her words. The one that had led me to her tent came in and whispered something into her ear, which seemed to change her attention from me to another matter.

"I'm sorry! I do not mean to offend!"

"It is of no concern, however the time for talking has ended as I must move out. We have received an order to push back encroaching monsters from the Spider Caves."

"Do you mean the spider caves of Gloomglade?! I've heard stories of them! Aren't they dangerous?"

"Are the spider caves of Gloomglade dangerous? No, they are a perfect place for practicing swordsmanship! The spiders there are far less dangerous than dealing with the politics in the city."

With that, she and her fellow Lion left me alone in the tent. It was a strange meeting for me, but clearly, Lira is someone unlike any other. While I felt fear when I heard Gloomglade mentioned, she seemed excited.