Wyrmshadow: The Duskreign Prophecy
History from the Age of the Creation is vague, but what is known (by very few) is that approximately one million years ago, the Legendary Wyrm created the world that would come to be known as Wyrmshadow.
The Wyrm awakened on a desolate planet, a place stripped of all life, unable to recall who it was or from where it had come. The planet that would soon be made into Wyrmshadow had relics from previous civilizations, ruins of cultures torn asunder, the whole of the world stripped bare of all vestiges of whatever lives once thrived there.
In its search for answers, the Legendary Wyrm felt within itself a great destiny, a yearning to create a new world in its shadow using this dead planet as its vast canvas. The Wyrm cried for the lost souls of the World Before, its tears forming the oceans. It breathed its intense breath upon these oceans, rendering it into mists, creating a new atmosphere, causing the rains to wash down upon the stark crags of the world. The Wyrm gathered the relics of the World Before and set about dividing these relics up, placing them around the globe and planting them like seeds, willing them to sprout into the first beings of its creation, the Ancients.
Like the relics from which these beings sprung forth, the Ancients were reminders of the World Before, acting as muses to the Legendary Wyrm as it sculpted Wyrmshadow into a living world once more. For 500,000 years the Wyrm toiled upon its creation until it was satisfied in its efforts. The Wyrm felt an urge even stronger than the one to create this new world: an urge to seek out other worlds than this. One of the Ancients, a creature named Asmous, volunteered to begin searching for more worlds upon which the Legendary Wyrm could create its beautiful tapestries of life. The Wyrm accepted Asmous’ offer, laying its three heads down to rest for the first time in 500 millenia and allowing its children, the Ancients, to continue its great works in its name.
Asmous disappeared in his search for new worlds and, so it was thought, was lost forever. However, it would be millenia later when his true fate would be revealed.
The Age of the Ancients
During the Legendary Wyrm’s 200,000 year rest, the Ancients set about to continue the works of their creator. Three of these Ancients, Aos, Nus, and Phi, collaborated with one another to build a temple in honor of the Legendary Wyrm on the northern continent amid the highest of the mountains. Each of the Ancients took upon themselves certain responsibilities, as their powers were but a shadow of the Wyrm, and they all wished their creator to be pleased with their efforts when it awoke from its rest.
Some Ancients devoted themselves to carving out rivers and lakes, creating fresh waters from which future civilizations could stretch out and thrive. However, in their zeal to accomplish this task, they went too far, ripping the southern continent in half, a raging fresh-water river dividing the land completely. This happened again in the north, as other Ancients went too far in their search for more relics from the World Before, their digging causing a fracture in the northern continent that would tear the land apart and send it crashing into the waves beneath, never to see the light of day again. The northern continent was now the only one left on Wyrmshadow. To make matters worse, the massive quakes left the temple in ruins and the sleeping Wyrm trapped beneath the tallest of the icy northern mountains.
In the chaos of this time, several Ancients were killed, a wholly unexpected consequence of their abuse of power. One of the dead, Phoenix, resurrected itself from its ashes, inspiring Nus to take the initiative to oversee the fallen Ancients and, if possible, facilitate their own return to life. The Ancient Phi argued that only those not directly responsible for the destruction should be allowed to return to life, effectively creating the primordial concepts of justice. Aware that their powers were too great to be handled without regard, Aos created The Balance to divide their powers evenly and prevent any one Ancient from becoming too powerful for its own good.
By the time the Legendary Wyrm awakened, Aos had carved a rift in the mountains above its body, allowing it to rise from its slumber. This rift would come to be known as the Wyrmscar Caverns. As the Wyrm rose from these caverns, it gazed upon the world, saw the damage caused by its children, the Ancients, and wept for the fallen who died because it left them unprepared to contend with the power they possessed. Those tears would form a second great river, the force of which roiled the ocean at its exit with such ferocity that it generated intense storms on the coast that would never cease to be in all of history. Thus was created the Wyrmtear River and the Storm Coast, a cradle for future civilizations to come.
In its sadness and regret, the Legendary Wyrm decided to leave Wyrmshadow for the stars, taking Aos, Nus, and Phi with it to commune on how to properly handle the task of building a stable, thriving world. The Legendary Wyrm stripped all but three of the Ancients of their power, calling upon them to learn how to survive in this chaotic world they had created through sheer force of their will and cunning. The three who it allowed to maintain their power, Aos, Nus, and Phi, would accompany the Legendary Wyrm on a very special, extraordinary journey.
The Wyrm revealed to its chosen three Ancients the existence of the cosmos. Existing long before the Wyrm’s awakening eons past, the cosmos was a series of dimensions, or cosmic planes, eternally linked to one another with the planet of Wyrmshadow as its axis. In fact, the world of Wyrmshadow itself was merely one of these cosmic planes (albeit the largest and most cosmically important of them all), Materia.
Aos, Nus, and Phi were taken from Materia through a plane called the Gates to a place the Legendary Wyrm designated as “The Perch”, a tiny area positioned beyond the other planes and the only place in all of existence that could give one a perspective on the whole of reality. From The Perch, the Legendary Wyrm and the three Ancients that accompanied him, henceforth known as The Elders (and later as The Elder Gods) would watch history unfold and determine how best to fulfill The Legendary Wyrm’s legacy.
What they saw during those first moments on The Perch were among the most tumultuous and difficult events they had to watch: the plunging of their former-Ancient brethren into the Age of the Lost.
The Age of the Lost
The former Ancients were reduced in their loss of power to savage existences. Many died in the ensuing centuries, unable to come to terms with the chaos and turmoil they had created in the world during the Wyrm’s rest. Some, however, grew to adapt and evolve to survive and take advantage of the few advantages left them. The first of the Elves, Dwarves, and Men were born, the first generations of the races that would one day inherit the world of Wyrmshadow itself. Other races, the Gnomes, Halflings, Weren, and Nasnoi, would also come to populate this world, the remnants of the Ancients all but disappearing after a hundred millenia of evolution.
Over the course of 200,000 years, these fledgling races found ways to cope with the harsh realities of the world. Some, most notably the Elves, began to find ways to tap into an alternative source of power, magic, by drawing mana from the cosmic realm of Etheria. Mana, a potent universal fuel for all manner of powerful magics, paved the way for Elves to build and thrive to a greater extent than their Dwarf and Human cousins. Eventually, these descendants of the Ancients began to forget their connections to one another, either by natural lapse of memory or an intentional discard of familiarity with the other races.
The Saurians, reptilian offshoots of the animalistic Weren, formed a barbaric society in the ruins of the Ancients’ Temple of the Wyrm, within striking distance of the Elven state of Quae. Before long, the two societies began to clash, the ides of war were on the winds, and all races chose sides in the bitter conflict, the First War of Wyrmshadow.
Though the Elves, allied with the Humans and Nasnoi, had the power of magic on their side, the Saurians had overwhelming numbers and made use of brutal, terrifying tactics in their long and costly war. The Saurians had all but conquered the southern continent in a war that lasted nearly 200 years and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Then, a hero, a human, rose to the challenge of the Sau Empire, amassing a small but formidable force and mounting an impressive campaign to retake the conquered lands of the people of Wyrmshadow one acre at a time. This human was possessed of a power far greater than any mere mortal, the power of a true Ancient, though memory of those times had by then been all but lost to the passage of time. From The Perch, The Legendary Wyrm spoke the name of this Ancient reborn in human skin, Phoenix, and the Wyrm smiled upon the Phoenix’s awakening as a hero to the innocent, a champion of creation.
The Saurians were routed before long, as their numbers dwindled, their allies switched allegiances to follow the human, Idrahl, the reborn Phoenix, and as the new age dawned, the last of the savage Saurian race was extinguished from history. The bonds created between Elves and Men during this time, at the end of the Age of the Lost, would not perish from Wyrmshadow in all of history, strained though these bonds might be.
From The Perch, Aos believed that the Saurians who had fallen in combat did so out of their very nature and, as such, their extinction at the hands of an Ancient was counter to the balance. Phi argued that their savagery merited their expulsion from Wyrmshadow, as they were too disruptive of the growth of the peoples of the world. Nus claimed that Phi was being too shortsighted, that the Elves, if not given the perspective of this war to ally and rely upon the other races would have dominated and stagnated the growth of all the others anyway. The Legendary Wyrm stated that all of the Elders were correct, that war seemed to have forced old, unhealthy habits to disappear, the balance to be regained through heroics. The hero Idrahl, whose name would be immortalized in the human island nation of Idrahaal, had proven that conflict, specifically the overcoming of conflict, was perhaps the greatest force of evolution the world had yet seen.
With that, the Wyrm decided that the Saurians had yet to fulfill their role in the world. Thus, the Saurians would be granted life anew, this time in the image of their creator, the Legendary Wyrm itself. With the permission of the Wyrm, Nus took the souls of the fallen Saurians and created the world’s first Dragons: Bahamut and Tiamat.
The Age of the Dragons had begun.