Ancient History of the World
In the ancient days of the world, when the division between sea, sky, and air was all muddied and and mingled, there lived monsters. Before the Gods defined the proper form of beasts, fowl, and fish, all manner of squamous and rugose creatures stumbled, slithered, and shuffled through the murk and mire. No one was there to write down the number of eons these being cavorted in their blasphemous and obscene existence, but it was surely many ages. Then the eldests came. From where, no one has recorded. Their names were Annam and Othea. Annam wielded fire and Water, while Othea held the secrets of Metal and Earth. They fought for an ages. They cut the unnatural beings down and smote their impure forms, and laid down the boundaries between earth, water, and sky. They then worked the land, and created places for green growing things to flourish. Annam filled the skies with fowl and the oceans with fish, while Othea filled the land with plants and animals to hunt and work with. And they were fruitful, and bore many children. After their children filled the world, the eldest retired to a home high in the sky, and left stewardship of their land to their children, who to this day still honor the pact between fire, water, metal, earth, and wood above all.
Many years passed, although none remain who remember the time spoke about in the oldest of the legends of the elder folk. However, all legends agree that the Children of Annam grew proud and haughty, and sought to improve upon the works of their forebears. From what stock is not know, but they created beings to serve them. called them the Dwerrow, stout folk suited to working their mines and building their castles the size of cities. They created the Alfar, mutable by magic and adept with the arcane arts to aid them with their experiments. And for ages they relied on the Alfar and Dwerrow to do their work while they continued to gaze outward, towards the stars and the depths of the planet itself. Legend has it that in their hubris, the children of Annam delved too deep. They were wrought asunder by secrets they couldn’t control, and the Alfar and Dwerrow fought a war for their freedom. the songs written in those days are still known today, the generals and leaders of the freed beings being honored and worshipped to this very day. The children of Annam were broken forever, and have never recovered.
The elder races ruled as siblings for many thousands of years; long even by the standards of those races. The Alfar built great cities in the sky of metal and glass to hear the sky, while the dwerrow dug into the bones of the earth learning secrets from the voice of stone. However, the races quickly grew apart, and soon developed hostilities leading to open warfare. No one is sure who unleashed the final weapon that nearly wrought the world asunder. While the Alfar and Dwerro blame each other, it is likely that the fault lies with both sides. Their hatred causing them to launch a massive attack at the same time as the opposition. The populations of the Alfar and Dwerrow have never recovered; both races have been declining since the Forgotten Night.
Thus, we enter the current era of the world. The younger races – humans, pwca, gnomes, halflings – have always been around, but now they had the world. Humans had yet to discover metal, and pwca were vaguely malignant forces of nature. Yet still, gnomes and halflings were so good at hiding that no one noticed them until after the Elder War had ended and they came out. They did flourish. Although many secrets to each age are a mystery, even today, we have surpassed many of the accomplishments of old. However I urge you to restrain your pride, dear students! Remember the legend of the orcs. How they were wiped off the world for meddling in the affairs of the gods! It is true, the gods are weaker these days and haven’t had a hand in our world for a long time, but they still possess enough power to obliterate you if you become too arrogant.
That is the end of the lecture for today. There will be a quiz next sunday on the fifty best bars in the city. Off you go!
-From a lecture by Grotak the Great, first of the Magnae Alumni Bardic College, 4275 CE