On the Age of Seclusion
For over 400 years this era endured, with each of the three cultures learning to thrive largely reliant upon their own merits. While there is certainly much to say about the Ogres, Elves and Dwarves in this early hour of their histories, they are not the race that holds center stage in this epoch of Terminus. Aside from a moment with the Dwarves that reveals a quandary affecting all races, it is perhaps best to condense those accounts down to one or two notes each: In an acute void of leadership and direction, the Ogres reeled in successive defeats during the Third and Fourth Wos Che Wars; The Elves cultivated the heartseed of their fabled Lucent Tree before the foot of the Roans and bound with magic and spell the first three seals of the eventual Seven Locked Door; The Dwarves fractured from the failed underground kingdom of Amberfaet, but the rule of Khadassa itself remained stable under Khazas’ noble hand. Yet all told, the Age of Seclusion was quite secluded, though a universal mystery for each race was the emerging strangeness of their gods’ behavior.
There seemed an ethereal seclusion, more deeply felt than the physical one. At this time, the first half of a stipulation believed to be enshrined within the Dragon Accord began to show evidence, hereafter called the Celestial Boundary (though it has as many names as there are races who’ve encountered it). During The Imprisonment of Rhazik immediately after their arrival, the Dwarven godhead of Lockehnhammur was able to exchange the immortality of the vile god Rhazik the Rageful for a lesser power — the ‘High Mortal’ form — by an ethereal transfiguration known as “Descension”. Rhazik had sought to finally devour the Dwarven race, realizing himself free of the ancient mandate of balance on Oldassa, which forbade him destroy the people created by his noble rival, Khazas. Of this liberation he discerned correctly, but the liberation equally applied to Lockehnhammur, who took the opportunity to change Rhazik’s divine form to that of a High Mortal as punishment for his crime. As well, Rhazik was imprisoned for a thousand years in the furious winter of Tenebrous Tundra. Yet Khazas in turn took the chance of Descension upon himself, wanting to rule and abide intimately his Dwarves as a High Mortal king. This has worked famously, as even the reduced capabilities of these descended gods are such that Khazas still leads his people today, over 900 years later.
Khazas understood the second half of the Celestial Boundary — namely, the boundary. When Rok’Nhilthamos brokered the Dragon Accord, he may have feared that his own power might, in some manner, be threatened by the new inhabitants of immortal persuasion. (That is my own theory, for even the King of all Dragonkind must know the paranoia of a tyrant). While he may not have been able to forbid they enter his realm, perhaps he bartered for a reduced ability for deities to engage with their devotees. Was this intended to eliminate the chance of a new god gaining enough influence in the mortal realm to threaten significant elements of Dragonkind, chiefly Rok’Nhilthamos himself? I consider such, but have no evidence. While accounts suggest this first iteration of the Boundary was more relaxed than that of today, engagement by a divine being with a mortal was limited and at times ineffectual. Yet this well-intended barrier would become the doorway through which the Ravaging Lord himself would walk soon enough.
In 450 IH, the Third Era of Collisions began, critically starting with the aforementioned Ginto. At the time of the arrival, their Infinite Union was already crippled. The Husband King of the Union, Ittero, had been exposed to a vast force of destructive power beyond even his control, and according to Semina’s complete ‘Confession’ the immortal god began to suffer from his ethereal wounds like any common creature riddled with disease. Coupled with their sudden transference to Terminus, the Bride Queen of the Union, Ginavi, chose to Descend her husband’s body to that of a High Mortal, in hopes that this would stay the supernatural death inside of him — knowing fully it would sever her from the touch of her beloved. Yet while his condition seemed to deteriorate even further, the once glorious and benevolent captain of the Infinite Union became a gross and twisted half god, full of violent darkness. His gift of creation melded with the powers afforded to him by his encounter with Semina’s “Eyeless face of an eclipse”. While feigning a deepening of the illness, he began to raise an army of warriors twisted in his own malevolent form — from members of the plentiful Ginto race he had so long loved and prospered.
Yet Ittero could not keep his nefariousness in the dark for long. With growing and broken hearted dread, Ginavi observed a corruption that could not be accounted for rippling through her people. The longer they were on Terminus, the deeper they were descending into depravity. A craven, vicious people, uncharacteristically violent, senseless and wild. When Ginavi confronted Ittero, the eternal groom revealed himself as the author of this fateful chapter of their reign, prophesying to her a war of Endless Night that would consume all realms. He declared his new creation the Revenant, and himself their Ravaging Lord. In a subversion of their once holy Union, Ittero begged Ginavi to wed him in the chaos, to which she replied —
“Permit me, beloved, to hold the face of day once more. Permit I take a final drink of sunlight in the morn, before we embrace in the night approaching.”
Ginavi resolved a desperate plan: she would seed herself within the remaining Ginto with a portion of her power and undiminished holiness, hoping to preserve them. (This act was similarly undertaken by the Dark Myr Goddess of Bounty, Syronai, though to less fortunate effect). In the warmth of the next morning, Ginavi sacrificed herself to imbue the few remaining undefiled Ginto with her power, transforming them into a second new race, immune to the effects of the Ravaging Lord and his Revenant. These are known as the Remnant: zealous, pious warriors of exceptional abilities, with an unyielding appetite to exterminate the Revenant.
When Ittiro glimpsed the light of Ginavi’s passing, said to be manifested in a bright array of swirling, prismatic auroras that swelled across the skies and sent forth a sound that stretched across the entire planet, his howling shriek shook the land. Legend says a lone flicker of Ginavi’s sacrifice flew true and buried itself into the chest of the Ravaging Lord, his defenses stunned amidst his loss. But no evidence of this effort has endured. In a few dark days the Revenant fell upon the Remnant, and the preamble of the Deicide War was underway.
The virtues of Ginavi within the Remnant granted them great victory in this early stage. For the Ravaging Lord had not yet recovered fully from his legitimate wounds, and was little of what he would become. His army was ferocious but reckless without constant leadership, while the Remnant fought with one mind, no matter the rank. With small recourse, the Lord withdrew his forces from the region in 455, settling in a land far East, beneath Mount Hulthrr in the realm of Greater Sathe.
On nearby Olem’s Hill the Ginto set a careful watch, though they could not observe the works of the Revenant in the depths.