The World of Delagraad
“Fools! The Gods do not control magick. It is born within us; a part of us that we can learn to control freely, bending it as we see fit to our will. But this power is great and not for all. That is why we must train those who possess the Craft. Let the Gods have their divinity; I will rely on myself.”
~Hareen Zenithe, Order of the Violet, 178
The Time of Magick
For five hundred years, during the Time of Magick, peace reigned over the world of Delagraad. Practitioners of the craft traveled freely between the five towers, studying under the tutelage of their Masters. Astyr, home of the red robes in the tower in the east, provided a safe-haven for the Dwarves to fuse magick with their stonework and became the source of unimaginable creations. Wintral, the western tower, oversaw the blue robes who harnessed the powers of the sky and ocean to work their magick. Their numbers consisted of numerous Humans (large Humans are Goliaths, small ones are Halflings), drawing people from all of the nomadic tribes of the Fire Plains. To the north, in the Elven land of Tanstilanestyr, stood the tower of Rystavansti, where the Elementalists and the green robes gathered to study the primal nuances of magick. Upon the southern peninsula of Jüstaria was built the tower of Kalien, where many claimed to be able to see the edge of the world. Those who donned the violet robes believed that if one leapt from the ramparts of the tower they would find themselves in the Forbidden. Their magicks oft dealt with illusions and deception, and were spoken ill of in all mage circles. The last tower, Paladöor, known as the Floating Tower, is propelled across land and sea by magick. It is said the highest of the orders convene here to guide the peace of Delagraad. Once a mage is appointed to Paladöor, they shed their old robes for those of the yellow. The Floating Tower is revered as a sacred place of study. The overseers of magick, knowing how great their power is, vowed never to interfere directly with Delagraad, lest the balance of power between the towers be unsettled. Thusly, they have no prejudice as long as one employs a knack for the Craft.
This did not stop the Elven Prince, Brienalas Riverwood, from seeking to eradicate the Humans from Delagraad. In the year 492, he stole the crown from his father, Ferenilas, slitting his throat in the night, and thus beginning the Reign of the Blood King. Seeking a way to extinguish the race from the world permanently, the Blood King sought out the towers and the magick within. His first action was to control the tower in his homelands and he drove the green robes from their perch without a fight. The new king then took the Elves and marched south, through the Plains of Fire, slaughtering countless Humans along the way. The tower of the blue robes fell in 493, during the sacking of Torin. Those of the blue robes, as the green had done before them, fled the towers as they were put to siege, removing themselves from the conflict, and retreated to the Floating Tower. The Blood King harnessed the powers of Rystavansti and Wintral, studying their magick and lore, obtaining insurmountable power. Brienalas doomed the races of Delagraad as he unleashed unfathomable evil from the towers he conquered, an evil that streamed forth from the Elven homeland and the west shores of Torin, across the entire continent.
Those that fled the Blood King’s wrath, or escaped his agents, begged the Dwarven Degan, Gerrinflax Ironroot, to come to their aid. In 494, from the bowels of the Kaliois, the Underraces emerged, combining with the might of the Paladins of Gimlora. People oppressed by the war took to the Dwarven banners, uniting the Humans and the Underraces in a formidable army. Brienalas moved to squash the threat and his agents raced forth from the Elven lands to clash with the newly risen armies. The races waged war upon Delagraad for seven continuous years during what simply became known as the Calm.
The Calm ended in the year 500, when things darker and more terrifying than war stirred in the shadows. Seeming to rise from the tormented land itself, shadow creatures were seen tearing friend and foe apart, relentless in their thirst for destruction. These monstrosities became collectively known as the Horde. Most believed the Horde to be perverse creatures created from the foul magical arts the Blood King unleashed. Brienalas, seeing an opportunity to strengthen his armies, began bending these shadow creatures to his will. This move divided his Elven kinsmen and most flew to the side of the Dwarves, forming uneasy, yet welcomed, alliances.
As his newfound shadow beasts ravaged Delagraad, Brienalas retreated to the Elven lands, finally believing he had achieved what was necessary to eradicate the Humans. He delved into the vast magicks locked away within the tower of Rystavansti, letting his armies run unchecked in his search for greater and greater power.
As the Hordes swept from the northern continent of Vermirth and throughout the Elven lands, they crashed against the gates of Gimlora. The mighty wall of the Paladin fortress was nestled between the Elien Sea and the majestic peaks of the Kaliois mountains and had existed for hundreds of years. The Paladins held fast, turning the Horde and its path of decimation to the south, to the Lower Continent of Jüstaria, saving Vermirth from obliteration. The Dwarven realms of Nosatral praise the heroes of Gimlora to this day for their valiant efforts during the Reckoning.
The Horde did not cease however, and swept south, through the plains of Cestrian, destroying the last remaining free tribes of Humans of the Fire Plains. By then, it was too late to mount an adequate stand against the Horde, despite the cooperation of the races. In their desperation, the races of Delagraad called to their gods in their time of need, asking for forgiveness and help, but none came.
“I see what must be done in the wake of inaction, Jared. I shall rise where others have fallen. I will be the fiercest fury the land has witnessed and I shall fight for all. Don’t you see, Jared? There is no answer but me.”
~Zolostran, The Prism Mage, 522
In the twenty-second year of the Purge a young magi named Zolostran, one of all orders and of none, and a worshipper of all gods, favoring none, emerged. From the city of Torin he came, driving back the Purge with indescribable power. He reclaimed the tower of Wintral, which shone as a bastion of hope, and continued east through the Fire Plains to the city of Ravenguard. The Bards still sing of that battle, where legions of vile beasts and aberrations fell to the power of the magi. He then turned north to the city of Ilian, and broke through the cursed Elven lands of Tanstilanestyr. It was at the tower of Rystavansti that the magi sacrificed himself to stop the Blood King and end the Purge. He would become known as the Prism Mage.
With the Purge extinguished, the people of Delagraad vowed to never let such power threaten the realm. In the anger and bitterness that followed, the Humans of Delagraad turned on the mages whom they blamed for the evils the Blood King had unleashed upon the lands. The reluctance of the magi to rise against the Purge sealed their fate, and their places of worship suffered for their negligence. The northern tower of magick in the land of the Elves was destroyed first, crumbling to ruins in its once majestic home. The Elves, who were against the destruction of the towers, especially their own, took this as a breaking of their treaty, and thus fractured the already tentative alliance. The western tower fell next, and those of the blue robes who were caught were slaughtered, for many thought them cursed. Spouses killed spouses as children and siblings slit one another’s throats in the mayhem and destruction of the tower of Wintral. The armies of men then marched on the Tower of Kalien, but the magi there thwarted their advance, sacrificing the land and turning the southern peninsula into a miserable, wretched swampland. Few dared to tread into the wastelands, and those that did never returned. The tower of Astyr, nestled in the Dwarven lands of Nosatral, lay untouched by decree of the Paladins of Gimlora, who vowed to see no senseless harm threaten any under their watch. The gallantry of their efforts during the Purge earned them as much and their wishes were respected. The floating tower of Paladöor took to the air above the western sea of Karanicantra, the Sea of Lost Souls.
But magick still resonates throughout the land. Some whisper that it still courses through the body of the dead Blood King, Brienalas. And rumors of unknown evils are beginning to whisper in willing ears.