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Vishteer History

Page history last edited by Gillian 3 months, 1 week ago

A History of Vishteer


from Creation to the Present

Vishteer was created when the gods appeared. No one knows where they came from, nor why, but it is understood that they came from outside. Vishteer was rolled from the clay of the "Dark before the world" and each god or goddess had a hand in its creation. There were battles between some of these gods, as they disputed who had the right to create what, and who could destroy what had been created by another. At least one of these gods was overthrown and cast down to die upon the earth. Some were dispersed upon the winds, while others sank into the world, creating divine winds, pockets of power, and other unique features. Later, the gods chose Godsisles as their private domain, an isolated chain of islands distantly placed in the Western Ocean, rich with plant and animal life, tropical in climate and stunningly beautiful. Here is the only place on Vishteer where they may walk in freedom, without damaging the fragile worlds of mortal beings. It is said that they still wander there at times even in the present age, when they have long since ceased to dabble in the day to day lives of their creations. It is also fairly clear that the gods of today are much changed from the gods of the Era of Creation - whether they are simply grown less powerful over time, have hidden away much of their power, have turned to other places/worlds/universes and thus do not pay attention to Vishteer any longer, or whether, as some speculate, those beings called Gods today are not even the same beings who created the world so many aeons ago.

 

Elves were the first created race of humanoids. Several gods had a hand in their creation, but Aragh was first among them, or so it is said. Some say the dragons came before them, but since dragons also claim they were created by no god, this is uncertain. The Elves lived in what is now a growing desert of a continent far to the east of Mistland. It was then rich good forestland. Elves were immortal, with no vision of death. But they grew bored and began making powerful magic, heedless of the harm they did, for they knew not what it meant to die. Things inevitably went wrong, and their magic recoiled on them. Aragh, their teacher, was blamed by the other gods, and cast out of Godsisle. He took up residence where his 'castle' now lies; far to the south in the permanently frozen wastelands. The other gods still fear that his presence outside the Godsisles is dangerous to all demihumankind.

 

Many thousands of Elves died, and others were badly Changed in the cataclysm. From those Changed have come the goblin-kind which still plague Vishteer. The Elves lost their immortality through their foolishness. They fled northward, east and west. They became a wandering race, always searching for that which equals the legendary country of their birth.

 

At some time after Aragh claimed the elves as his pupils and appointed himself their sole teacher, the lesser god Mikarathlan attempted his own creation. Wishing to maintain control over his people, he created the dwarves as a genderless people, who required his personal attention to reproduce. The first several generations of dwarves had life breathed into them by the god himself, and were  known as god-born to later generations. As gods are wont to do, however, he eventually grew bored with this intimate level of supervision. Not long before the fall of the elves, Mikarathlan taught his priests how to breath life into new generations of dwarves without his personal attention. Thus the generations of god-born passed, and the generations of the priest-born began. Even as the elves grew mighty in their magic, the dwarves delved deep. They learned to shape stone, to work metal and to cut precious gems. Many clans of dwarves came into existence, and each clan became convinced of its own strength and worthiness. Granite dwarves of infinite strength rivaled clans of handsome marble dwarves, fiery-tempered lava dwarves and those of cold obsidian. Many feuds and even wars were fought before the dwarves learned bitter lessons; though the stone a dwarf is carved from is important, the fact that each is a dwarf is more important still. It was the great Orc wars that taught this lesson to many clans, and it is these same Orc wars that began the rift between the elves and the dwarves; as the orcs are fallen elves, the dwarves blame the elves for the existence of their worst enemy. One of the worst insults a dwarf can utter is in reference to "the pride of the elves".

 

After the ruination of the elves, the Gods created men. Legend says that they were created as mortals so that never again could a race attempt to rival the gods. Aragh, who was still angry with the other gods, was insulted by this new creation, so much less than his own, and even then desired to do it no good.

Deep in the Southern Grasslands, Elves met Men. At first, elves, dwarves and men met in friendship, but as men realized how long elves lived, they grew afraid, then jealously angry. Dwarves and elves, having little grounds for competition or even trade, remained friendly (at least until the Orcs found the dwarves, and the Dwarves saw their resemblance to elves, so much clearer in that age, and learned of their origin). But as they resented the elves for their long lives, men came to believe that the genderless dwarves were too alien to comprehend. For generations of man, there was distrust, then open warfare. Men drove elves westward, across the water. Elves first settled Mistland, then Miraboria and eventually Narbada. Some elves also arrived in Narbada from the west, across a land-bridge which no longer exists. The dwarves moved into and under their beloved mountains. Within the stone that created them, they found their perfect dwelling places.

 

Each new place that men, dwarves and elves visited, they met with new races. Orcs and other goblinkind spread from the original homeland, and the gods populated the earth with other intelligent races, including hobyts, the faerie races, giants and centaurs. These races were each created by one or more of the gods working in conjunction, each trying to find the perfect balance between mortal, immortal, magic and unmagic, blending their own characteristics into their creations.

 

Everywhere each of the three prime races went, however, the goblinkind followed. Orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, ogres and gnolls all spread as fast or faster than the prime races. They invaded the elvish forests, and the elves battled them with magic. They infiltrated the dwarves' tunnels, and a war that has not ended to this day began.

 

At some time in these early ages of Vishteer was a dimly remembered time known as the Interregnum. Magic ceased to function; all divine knowledge failed. For perhaps a generation, maybe a thousand years, there is no clear record; only technology worked. Man and hobbyts survived well, as did the goblinkind. Dwarves and elves and other races were badly weakened during this time period. However, gradually, without any clear reason, magic returned to the world. The gods turned their faces back to Vishteer, and slowly life returned to normal. What caused the Interregnum is unknown, and what healed it is equally unclear. After the Interregnum, however, contact between the two continents of Mistland & Miraboria and the rest of the world, had ceased. Barriers of fog, forgetfulness and magical confusion had been erected, perhaps by the gods, or possibly by some great cabal of wizards for reasons of their own. 

 

By the end of the Interregnum Elves had become much more rare; during this era they began to retreat into the Etherial plane to escape the goblinkind who had once been their own kith. Men grew ever more populous. The outright enmity faded. However, many elves still distrust humans, calling them 'the Slayers'. Civilizations rose and fell across Vishteer in the next thousands of years. Dwarves became very populous in the central mountain regions between Narbada and Miraboria, as well as in the much more substantial mountain ranges of the other continents. In this era a time that deeply shames the dwarves came to pass. In the pride of their strength, and not wishing to spend their own "pure" priest-born numbers in war against the crude goblinkind, the dwarves learned to create those whom they call "half-born". These creatures, not quite fully dwarvish in their nature, were made hastily and in large numbers. They were used as foot-soldiers in the bloody goblin-wars. Thousands were made and thousands died as the goblins were eventually beaten back. They were nearly mindless, but perhaps not so mindless nor soul-less as their creators imagined. Eventually some of the half-born revolted. They fled from their creators, and learned to survive, even to reproduce, on their own. Some took dwarf priests prisoner, and on other occasions the priests, feeling the burden of their creations on their own souls, fled with them. Offshoot races were born, including those known now as duergar and derro. Eventually the open warfare between the dwarves and the goblinkind declined into a low simmering hatred that has held for generations. In this era, Ryssa, a dark and fearsome dwarvish ruler, came to power in the heartland of what is now known as Tallowsland. Ryssa has come down in history to non-dwarves as "Queen Ryssa", one of a very few times when dwarvish gender has come into question.

 

The Miraborian Continent:

 

First Miraborian Empire

Long after the time of the Slaying, there arose an empire on Miraboria. It was led by powerful wizardly rulers and survived more than 800 years. Man-history dates from the supposed founding of this empire, called the First Miraborian. At its height, all of Miraboria, Mistland and Narbada were claimed as part of its domain. Even the legendary Cloudlands were ruled by the First Empire. But the Cloudlands were not populated by humans, but rather the races of dragons, cloud giants, and other beings who preferred to dwell in the sky. These races resented being ruled by earthbound men. Eventually Civil War broke out, and the Cloudlands were destroyed. The blow to the Empire was great, and must have contributed to the Empire's later collapse.

 

When the Empire collapsed after its 800 year sway, chaos ruled (the collapse took approximately 200 years, dating from the fall of the cloudlands until the end of the Rock Plague). The fall of the Empire could be held up to many factors, but one of the most critical was the mass dying of the Giants. In those days they were a civilized race, and many lived within the Empire. They lived mainly in the Thaaluni mountains between Narbada and 'Boria, and few ever went to Mistland. When the 'Rock Plague' struck, it killed more than half the giantish people. Most survivors retreated from Narbada and Miraboria, abandoning their ancient homes in the Thaaluni mountains, and migrating into Mistland's mountains ranges where the plague was not so severe. Those giants in Miraboria became barbarous fragments of a once-great people. Dwarves too were affected by the 'Rock Plague', though to a lesser degree. Where the "Rock Plague" originated, no one could say for certain, but some blamed the terrible magics that were used during the war with the Cloudlands a hundred fifty years earlier. With the decimation of the dwarves, and the near-total elimination of giants, the Miraborian Empire could not withstand assaults from without or rebellions from within. The empire died slowly but surely. Eventually deep-folk, goblins and their kin came back in strength from deep below the Thaaluni mountains and the empire, already fragmenting, was overwhelmed.

 

Valossan Empire

The Valossan Empire was a small empire, covering a geographic area from the southern tip of what is now the Miran peninsula, south and east down the the current island chains that are the Southern Isles, Pirate Isles and Eor. It stretched west as far as the Haven peninsula, and as far south as Hadraith's coast. Here the Serpent-folk ruled supreme, dominating the humans and other races who dwelt there; they were the enemies of the locathah and sahuagin who lived within what was a nearly land-locked sea known as the Mir. The Mir Sea today is known as the Sunken Sea. The Valossan Empire rose in the -300's, approximately, and fell in 700 when evil cultists summoned the Unspeakable One. Much of the Valossan Empire sunk beneath the waves, leaving only mountainous islands in the region.

 

After the fall of the first Empire, the passes to Narbada slipped from the ken of men in the East. The Thaaluni mountains were rendered impassable, held by orcs and goblins in the thousands. The magics which controlled the great channel across the central isthmus failed, and the sea routes were abandoned. In the 400 years of chaos that followed, Narbada's existence slid into legend and rumor.

 

For centuries, there was no central civilization. Petty kingdoms such as Uthelmar rose and fell across Miraboria, and similarly in Narbada. It is during this time that the marchat and the grippli races first come into the known record of Miraboria. Almost certainly, both were born of wizardly experimentation rather than from the hands of the gods.

 

Shalehun Empire

On Mistland, however, after about 200 years, the city of Shalehun, once merely a provincial capital, became the new center of leadership for a lesser Empire. It rose to control Mistland, and Southern Isle, which were once part of the Mirabori Empire. 400 years passed (until about year 1,400). The people of Shalehun became arrogant, particularly their ruling Mages. Finally they began to disdain the very gods, deeming them petty and powerless. The gods cursed Shalehun, and fifty years later (year 1453), the city was dust. Magic became greatly feared in Mistland, the work of evil. Another hundred years passed (year 1550) in turmoil.

 

The Southern Islands were nearly abandoned, and became wild. Mistland sunk back into near barbarity. This time it was on Miraboria, the ancient heart of Empire, that civilization began to rebuild. During the time of the Shalan Empire, Miraboria had been a land without leadership, torn into tiny fragments of civilization struggling to survive among growing threats of goblinkind, petty warlords seeking power, and the remnants of Imperial warfare.

 

Second Miraborian Empire

But in the year 1463, Khur Habbal began his conquest. A petty king and warlord, he claimed to be descended from previous rulers of the First Miraborian Empire. He declared himself Emperor and, aided by St. Stephen the destroyer, began to conquer the continent. Within 30 years, Miraboria was nominally under one rule. However, the grasslands of the west and the Thaaluni mountains beyond them stopped his westward expansion. He was never able to conquer the orcish tribes who dwelled there. During the first empire, demi-humans had lived alongside men. However, in the days of the second Empire, things were far more humanocentric. The area now called Avenvole, always an elven strongholt, became their only dwelling place within the Empire's bounds. It was possibly during this time that many of the magics which make it so unusual were created. Men were refused entry, and legends of its faery nature spread wide. Hobytlan survived by living in small communities and 'blending in' with the human population. Dwarves retreated underground or high into the mountains. Contact with the great dwarven kingdom in the Canyons of the far west was forbidden. Koruzd was established as a dwarven refuge at this time. Other races survived by stealth and cunning. In Mistland non-humans fared better, and lived more openly.

 

Under Habbal's sons the empire spread south. By 1580 Mistland was part of the Empire. Haven, a small city centrally located on the Dorlan River, was settled and grew rapidly. Another 100 years saw Southern Isle reclaimed. 300 years passed in near peace as the Second Mirabori Empire grew settled, then old (St Luana 1750-1806). It was in this time period that mages of the second empire first created the race known as Szathair. They were bred from a mixture of human and kobold, among other creatures. At first the szathair were bred as slaves, then as soldiers in the Empire's never-ending wars of conquest and the suppression of rebellions. There were even rumors at this time of a secret expedition across the seas to the East, where a colony was established on the shores of a strange, new land, rich with forests and resources. It was held in close secret by the Emperor's own right hand, and few beyond those who were drawn into traveling there were ever told it existed.

 

The Second Miraborian Empire grew, then reached its limits. Economic and social stagnation set in. Three hundred years of essentially peaceful Imperial rule passed. By the year 1931, the Empire had again begun to collapse (St Crotofiros 1803-1931). Orcs from the Opel and Thaaluni mountains began raiding Mistland and Miraboria. Over the course of nearly 60 years Mirabori Emperors slowly withdrew their troops from Mistland, to support their foundering home rule. Mistland was left to its own fate. By 1992 civil unrest and massive problems with its own evils had caused complete withdrawal of Imperial troops from Mistland and the Southern Isles, and even from the western flanks of the Empire.

 

In Mistland 300 years passed in turmoil. Various Kingdoms rose and fell. Times became very hard. The details of the past became confused. Many people came to believe that the Shalan Empire's fall had caused their current desperate state. Magic, feared for centuries, eventually became completely forbidden. The church of Elanora especially came to be a major foe of all things magical. At this time the Shalani folk were first noted in historical chronicles. Some scholars now believe that these nomadic, sorcerous people may have their origins in the fall of the Shalan Empire. Indeed, perhaps they are direct descendants of the proud and secretive ruling clan of that era, but how they survived un-noticed between 1453 and 1900 is unclear.

 

Mistland in the 2nd Empire Era

In the year 2219 orc raiders from the Opel Mountains descended on the Havenplain. The cleric Ellemarha of Elanora, also a proscribed magic user, led a small band of priests and warriors against them. She nearly single handedly defeated more than 150 orcs, and her troop stopped an army of over 1,000. She died in 2220 at the hands of the church, who twisted her acts to evil and distorted events to reflect their hatred of magic. They refused to accept her sainthood until 2531, over 300 years later. She became known as St Ellemarha the Martyr. For that 300 year period the church of Elanora was severely fractured in Mistland, and there were several factions of the order, some who opposed and some who supported Ellemarha's sainthood. The people of Mistland were gradually won over by the gradual occurrences of miracles at the hands of her followers. Acceptance of magic began to resurge.

 

In the years between 1992 and 2324 the R'kassan Horseplains, the Saffrin forest and other lands came under the rule of the Golden Sword Kings. In the north of Mistland the Kings of the Hills ruled. Southern Isle was ruled by the Kings of Eor, and in the deep jungle heartlands of Mistland a tiny elvish land called Mirkheim was established.

 

In 2324 disaster struck. Aelor, king of the Hills, was struck down by magic and laid to rest in Evflen Aelor, 'the tomb of Aelor' , and in the same year the King of the Golden Sword, Elfearic, was also slain. Aelor had no son, and was thus succeeded by a distant cousin, the Duke of Haven. King Elfearic, however, had an infant son, Leefric. Leefric returned home from Southern in 2345 where he had been raised (his mother was a Princess of the Southern Isles folk). With the help of Lord Godwin he regained his throne from usurping nobles. He claimed only those lands now part of Vanhark, along the southern end of Mistland. In 2374, some 29 years later, Leefric died. By treachery his younger son rather than his elder followed him on the throne. Within 10 years the line of the Golden Kings failed, and the rule passed to the present Princes of Vanhark.

In 2342, before Leefric regained his throne, another great event occurred. Orcs from the Opel Mountains descended into Mirkheim. They at once wiped out a small village. Fleeing from it was a youthful priest of Kehret named Gwydion. He sought out a temple to Kehret and as the orcs advanced on the unsuspecting cities of Mirkheim and Murile, began to recruit an army of elves and men. This unusual alliance defeated the orcs resoundingly, and the Grey Kingdom was formed. It is ruled equally by two humans, two elves and a half elf, each with the title of Prince. The human princes are still descendants of St Gwydion the Savior.

 

In 2376 Throgar, a priest of Aragh, was born, somewhere in Mistland's northern reaches. Before he died in 2410 he slew 5 good dragons, including Induhira the Silver, mate of Duranda, a vastly old and powerful being. For this act in particular, Throgar was Sainted. He is called St Throgar the Dragonslayer, and good dragons are ever his and Aragh's foes.

 

Most recently, Justin, a priest of Elanora was sainted, as he became the companion of Duranda. They performed many acts of Valor, in Elanora's name and as revenge for the death of Induhira. In 2475 Justin died and became St Justin of Dragonsisle.

 

When the last Hill-King, Aelor, died in 2324 (or as legend sometimes hints, was trapped in magical sleep), his kingdom dissolved into three fragments, which have formed the present-day Free Duchy of Haven, the nation of Hadraith, and the Principality of Daintali.

 

The Havenite faction centered on Aelor's cousin, his closest male kinsman, the Duke of Haven. He claimed rulership under that title. Reasons for claiming this title rather than that of King hint at Aelor's possible 'undeath'.

 

The Daintali faction centered on his queen and daughter. His wife, a princess of Eor (part of Southern Isle), claimed her daughter as Queen of the Hills, but political realities reduced her to claiming the cities of Daintall and T'balu, plus the lands between.

 

Finally, Hadraith, long a semi-independent country, ruled by Hadraith Hammerfist as warlord, declared itself separate. He became Lord Hadraith I. Each ruler of Hadraith has traditionally sworn allegiance to "the King of the Hills, may he arise in our hour of need". Aelor's legendary sleep is commonly known here, used as a motif in many folk tales and legends.

 

Decline and Fall of the 2nd Miraborian Empire

 

In Miraboria, Khur Habbal's Empire endured from 1463 until 1931 without visible sign of weakening. It was a patrilineal autocracy, with the Emperor ruling over many small kingdoms, each some 100-200 miles in diameter. Note that the kingdoms of Mistland were larger, but they were considered barbarian states and only nominally kingdoms at all. Such was the arrogance of those who lived in Miraboria. The Emperor's family controlled the island of Haluun as their personal holdings. The empire was a wealthy, corrupt state, slavery was predominant, bureaucracy intense, taxes high, greed, graft and treachery commonplace. The predominant alignment of the population was neutral. Aragh, Mikar, and Kehret were the major deities. Elanora's worship was limited to slaves and peasants. Sithlar was believed to be the most powerful female deity.

 

In 1900 the current Emperor, Habbal Hanni was a senile old man. His second son was High Priest of Aragh. Then the Emperor and his elder son both died in a strange plague, which killed hundreds of people in Mirabor and then spread across the countryside. The High Priest, Enfiros, took the throne. Thus began the open rise of evil in Miraboria. Slavery, always part of life, became rampant. Aragh's worship became dominant. By 1931 a dismal fate overhung Miraboria. Constant small slave revolts, frequently led by priests of Elanora, caused daily trouble. Emperor Enfiros began to withdraw his troops from all foreign lands to reinforce his own rebellious armies. By 1992 this action was complete. Problems were intensified by incursions by orcs from the Thaaluni Mountains. In 1931 St. Crotofiros from Mistland led a band of followers against Miraborian slavers raiding the Mistland coast. He was remarkably successful, though he died of wounds received, and was drawn into the ranks of Sainthood. Slaves all over Miraboria took this as a sign that their cause was just, and rose in revolt. But for 50 more years things remained in balance. Then, in 1987, a priest of Mikar, rival to Aragh's power, assasinated the current Priest-Emperor Haaklun, the son of Enfiros. During the following years chaos reigned as one short-lived ruler after another seized power. Across the empire, individual cities broke away to form their own defensive boundaries.

 

Attempted Third Miraborian Empire

But slowly, by the year 2013, Aragh's priests once again dominated the others. An emperor by the name of Herudiband took the throne, calling himself the founder of the Third Miraborian Empire. At first his rule seemed secure, his strength well-founded. He and his followers turned their attention to pacifying the unruly slaves who ran loose in the countryside, and reuniting the semi-independent cities. Over the next sixty years they struggled to destroy the tenuous new lives these slaves had built. But the overlords had stretched themselves too thin, and were too strongly hated, ever to triumph again. During these troubled decades, many cities were besieged, destroyed and looted. Much of Miraboria became savagely dangerous, as mages blasted mages, fell monsters were created to do battle, small kingdoms were carved out by greedy knights and petty lordlings, and bandits stalked the roads and towns freely. Herudiband and his armies could not maintain their fragile control. Saint Ilyria was born in 2040, and by 2056 had begun her lifelong quest to destroy Aragh's forces across Miraboria. She had great success raising armies of one-time peasants, slaves, and terrified townsfolk who wanted only to restore peace to go on with their lives.

 

The Destruction at Kahakor

In the year 2075, after sixty-two years of struggle, and seeing defeat draw near at the hands of the priestess Ilyria of Elanora and her army, the Emperor Herudiband's High Priest of Aragh, Umade, cast a mighty ritual of desecration and destruction. The result was the laying to waste of a major portion of the richest lands of 'Boria, centered on the city of Kahakor. Thus were Umade's Barrens created. Only the sacrifice of her life in a powerful counterspell by Ilyria stopped total devastation of the whole east coast.

 

The rebellion was nearly destroyed, though many escaped with Elanora's aid. But there was worse yet to come. The desecration ritual caused horrible plagues to spread across the land. More than 80% of the population, entire cities and peoples, died. Men fled to the countryside, leaving the plague-nest cities behind them. In 2076 Mirabor, the empire's capital, was abandoned when more than half the population died in a single week of a rotting plague. The city has remained a place of legendary death ever since.

 

In 2081 the Port city of Adelf was abandoned and much of it burned after a bout of plague was followed by the horrible rising up of many of the victims into undead. Little did any of the city's residents know that this was caused by Umade the high priest, who chose to settle in the city's necropolis after becoming a lich during the Devastation.

 

The few people who survived lived in isolated groups, which grew only slowly. Wilderness claimed much of the land. Armies and even whole towns gradually became barbarous tribes, and the other races, as for example the elves, returned to the now-wild forests to dwell. It was at this time that many hobbyt tribes became wanderers, and the Shalani arrived, migrating from the Southern Lands. Small pockets of civilization are now growing to reclaim Miraboria. But evil is not entirely gone. In the year 2488 the lich Umade, once high priest of Aragh, and long believed to be dead, raised an army of undead and other foul creatures to attack Greenvale, the largest and fastest growing of the new settlements. His attack failed only due to the valiant efforts of several bands of adventurers, and the great Prince Elox, who himself slew the leaders of the Liche's army. No sign of the Lich was ever found. Prince Elox ruled Greenvale for the next 38 years. His descendants are still the rulers today. 
 

 

Much has come to pass since Prince Elox died. His grandson Prince Starbow ruled for many years, and then Starbow's son. There was a war, during which the lich Umade took control of one of the twin Princes of Greenvale, and nearly destroyed the Kingdom. Prince Jhoram now rules his people as they recover from that near-disaster.

 

Page 2 Calendar Timetable

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