This article is about the world of Mage Wars. For other uses, see Etheria (disambiguation).
History of Etheria
In the beginning, the realm of Etheria was a void. Out of this void arose four beings of great power, referred to as the Elemental Lords:
- Al Abbeden, Emir of the Roaring Fires
- Ugulanthu, Baron of the Rumbling Deeps
- Val'as Sherean, Mistress of the Murky Phantoms
- Ilasthasa, Duches of the Windswept Aeries
These four beings combined their essences to create the world of Etheria.
However, the Elemental Lords were not satisfied, and craved audience. Each created beings that closely identified with their own nature. Al Abbeden created the Grug, a grouping of races that includes Orcs, Goblins, Trolls and Giants. Ugulanthu created the Dwarves. Val'as Sherean created the Elves. And finally, Illasthasa created the Dragons.
For a time, the Elemental Lords were happy, but eventually they realized their creations were too much like themselves, and grew bored. As a result, the Elemental Lords once again joined forces to create a new, varied race, and called them Humans.
The Golden Age
The races thrived under the attention and tutelage of Elemental Lords. Soon, this burgeoning world of Etheria began to attract the notice of other powerful beings as well.
Other beings of power began to size up the might of the Elemental Lords, and the world they had created, and began to dwell in Etheria. The Elemental Lords took this as flattery, and did not disturb these new beings, thinking them friendly. However, the interlopers viewed the Elemental Lords as past their prime. More and more began to walk with and interact with the growing humanoid civilizations, and their personalities and attentions finally began to displace the Elemental Lords power among the races. Ultimately, these beings were referred to as the New Gods.
The Elemental Lords were realized that their time had passed, and retreated back into the void to plot and scheme as to how they could one day take back their power. In their absence, the New Gods organized themselves according to a new hierarchy, and as they did so, gained more worshippers. In return, they enlightened the world of the races, opening their eyes to knowledge and learning. The Eleven Kingdoms began to record history, and the first great Human kingdom, the Kingdom of Frelhal, arose.
The New Gods also shared the secrets of the magic, the secrets of the Voltari and V'tar with their worshippers, something that the Elemental Lords had kept for themselves and only their most trusted servants. As knowledge of V'Tar spellcraft great, a wave of great prosperity washed across the land. This was the Golden Age for Etheria, and it was a time of miracles and unimaginable achievements. There has not been a time of greater knowledge since.
The Age of Catastrophe
Finally, from the recesses of the Void, the Elemental Lords decided the time to reclaim Etheria had come. They combined all their power, and convinced the Dragons to fight along side them for their cause. They attacked the civilizations that had turned to the New Gods, striking across the length and breath of Etheria. This was called the Elemental Wars, and as it progressed, battles raged, cities burned, and the very land itself was reshaped and transformed through war-wielded V'Tar power.
Finally, Nailiana, the leader of the Dragons and the first dragon created, was slain. Despite the atrocities of war that they had already seen, this event galvanized the Dragons, and they withdrew their support from the Elemental Lords. Without their help, the Elemental Lords were severely weakened, and were eventually beaten.
Civilization went about the task of repairing much of the damage the war had inflicted. The High Elves founded the nation of Sortilege as a source of learning in the ashes of the conflict. Seeing the destruction that limitless, unfettered V'Tar magic wrought, the New Gods passed onto their worshippers a new method of slowly drawing upon magical energy (channeling), and spending it to create specific effects, known as spells. In time the races learned to research and develop their own spells. The New Gods organized these spells around their own pantheon to create the systems of magic that would later become the 6 major schools of magic.
As magic classification grew, so too did ambition. The Empire of Frelhal had weathered the Elemental Wars, but had been weakened by the chaos and destruction that it had rained down upon it. A new kingdom, called Sen Ahreal, sprang up, and the stage was set for conflict between the empires. Finally, Sen Ahreal grew large enough and powerful enough to attack Frelhal directly.
The war was swift and brutal, and saw Frelhal defeated by Sen Ahreal's superior magical and military forces. Flush with the treasure they had gained form sacking the Frelhalian cities, and fielding legions of conscript soldiers, Sen Ahreal picked off several other smaller kingdoms in the region, and controlled most of the Northern Continent. Sen Ahreal continued to expand, and became the most feared nation on Etheria.
Fueled by dreams of world conquest, Sen Ahreal launched a war of global conquest, and found itself fighting a coalition of the remaining independent powers. To further their grasp on power, Sen Ahreal mages hatched a plan to summon the Elemental Lords once again, this time to fight alongside them for true domination. When this was discovered, the remaining Free Nations recruited ten of their most powerful archmages, and charged them stopping Sen Ahreal. The archmages combined their powers, true V'Tar and artifacts from the Golden Age to create a powerful spell that ripped Sen Ahreal apart from the inside out. Parts of the land were thrown high into the sky, creating the Sen Ahreal Drift, a belt of skyborne islands that still circle Etheria. In less than a day, Sen Arheal and its wonders were naught but a memory. The massive devastation caused by the actions of this war, tempered attitudes towards magic for a time, and Etheria was relatively peaceful.
Following the destruction of Sen Ahreal, Etheria slipped into a relatively peaceful time. The Gods had had their fill of war, and worked alongside their followers to rebuild. During the Pax Etheria, which lasted nearly 700 years, there was only one major conflict, the Leaf Cutter War, in which the Grug races, led by an Orc Chieftain, attacked the somewhat disconnected Elven races simultaneously — in the north (where the Frost Elves held sway in the Rimemark), in the Straywood, and on the shores of Sortilege. The Elves were able to beat back the Blood Wave invasion, and as a result of their victory, normalize relationships with each other.
The Modern Age
The Modern Age begins with the creation of the Pellian Empire. The Pellian Empire was founded by Arrax the First, who claimed to be the last surviving descendant of Sen Ahreal. He established an Imperial Line, and made the Arraxian Crown, a powerful artifact that he claimed had been passed down from the Sen Ahreal empire, the symbol of his reign.
The Empire grew, and his descendants continued to rule and expand, eventually conquering the bulk of the civilized lands of Etheria, from the ancient Elven nation of Sortilege, to the deserts of Dsjer-Tet. At its height, the Pellian Empire consisted of 5 provinces: Westlock, Lupertra, the Pellian City States also called the Shaggazora, Ivarium, Lacemonia, and Palamea (an island in the Viridian Sea).
For scholars of Etheria, no civilization has expanded as far as the Pellian Empire, nor has shown as brightly. The arts, learning, law, commerce, language and magic were all protected during its heyday, and many of the Schools of Magic that exist throughout Etheria today were instituted by, or inspired by it.
Unfortunately, the Pellian Empire was doomed from the start. The Arraxian Crown, the symbol of its authority, and central artifact of its power was no Sen Ahreal artifact at all, but was instead created by the devious Demon Lords of Infernia. The magic of the artifact twisted the minds of the rulers it crowned, slowly compelling them to greater and greater bouts of cruelty, and to engineer a massive way to allow the Demons to exit their Realm of Infernia, and enter into the Realm of Etheria.
Such was the compulsion that the rulers of the Pellian Empire commissioned their capital, Pellia City, to be built in such a way that the city streets became a massive pentagram, and with the power of the artifact, a Gate to Infernia was opened. Once the gate was open, the Demon Lord Adremelech marched his forces through and into Etheria, and thus was started the beginning of the Demon Wars, usually referred to as the Infernal Interregnum.
The Infernian forces tore across Etheria, and all but destroyed the once-great Pellian Empire. Except for the bravery, diplomacy and ingenuity of an Ivarium General named Terius Meravaran, Etheria may have become a new lake of burning fire, and a new home for the demon hordes.
Through guile and tenacity, Meravaran was able to reunite the shattered fragments of the Pellian Empire, to gain support from the Dwarves and the Elves, and even enlist the help of Celestian angels. With his strategy in place, his Grand Alliance struck back at the Demons, ultimately beating them back to Pellia City. Finally, in 1021 PE, Adremelech fought the arch angel Malaked, Warlord of the Angelic Multitudes in a titanic deul, in which the angel ultimately defeated the Demon Lord and slammed shut the Gate to Infernia (though at the cost of Malaked's life).
In the wake of the chaos, the former provinces of the Pellian Empire became new independent nations, of which Westlock, Ivarium, and Sortilege were core. In order to give the nations of Etheria time to recover, General Meravaran resurrected an idea that had been discussed after the destruction of Sen Ahreal, the creation of method whereby Mages could battle each other without causing massive destruction to the environment or innocent by standers. These Mage Wars would be duels fought by the mages, but confined to arenas, and would serve as an alternative to war for the settling or disputes.
For the next 500 years, Etheria experience a neo-Pax Etheria, until once more the lands of the Blood Wave spawned the Warlord Trokoth. As his predecessor had once done during the Leaf Cutter War, Trokoth unified the Grug races, though this time he led his assault on Westlock, the bread basket of Etheria.
As the Westlock forces deployed to stop the Bloodwave threat, Ivarium took the opportunity to send its legions west to take back much of Salenia, what was previously the the Shaggazora/Pellian City States. The area is now a hive of unrest, with refugees fleeing west to Westlock, or north to the Straywood or the Anvil Throne.
Westlock forces captured Trokoth in 1524 PE, and he is set to stand trial by combat in Victoria, the Westlock capital. That same year, a multinational group of Warlocks defended the western Westlock city of Elsbereth, laying waste to the Blood Wave army there, and in reward, was able to establish a temple to Taranis in that city.
The remaining Blood Wave forces remain in the eastern plains of Westlock, and near the Darkfenne, where they appear to have joined forces with the necromantic armies of the Bog Queen.
There are three known continents, a northern, frozen continent, separated from the north of the Anvil Throne and Blood Wave lands by a narrow sea, the main continent on which all the nations you are familiar with are located, and then a southern continent which can be accessed along a curved stretch land southward, starting along the southeastern Ivarium coast. The southern continent contains the lands of Kumanjaro in the north west, and the desert kingdoms of Dsjer-Tet in the northeast.
The Central Heartlands occupies the region bordered by The Diamond Sea to the north, the Great Etherian Ocean and the Terevian Bight (where the Blood Wave is) to the West, the Stellaran Massif to the east, and the Veridian Sea to the south.