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The Story of the Creation of Aschendal

The Exodus

 

Our story starts in an ancient world, long torn apart by war and disaster. The powerful Old Gods of Calabria cared only for their ancient wars, seeking to destroy each other with no concern for their subjects. Their fury had battered the world for centuries, but now their crusade was coming to an end, and with it, their world. The people’s pleas for mercy went unheeded as the Gods assembled for their final standoff. In this ultimate, cataclysmic battle, the Gods tore down the sky and destroyed all they had created.

Or so they thought. But their people had studied the portals, these strange pathways that had existed long before god or man set foot on their world, and they used their hard won knowledge to find a way to escape.

As the stars went out they left their world, stepping into the unknown together.

*****

Far away, another group of war-torn exiles sought shelter, but they could not be more different from the fleeing refugees of Calabria. They were powerful creatures, cast out of the distant realm of Elysia, where their power had corrupted them and made them greedy. Driven from their ancient world for their crimes, they wandered through the darkness, looking for a new world to conquer and new slaves to command. With them came the monsters that served them, creeping into the nether to serve their dark masters once more.

*****

Fortune favoured the people of Calabria, and as they made their way out of the portals they found themselves in a new world. This fertile, uninhabited land became their home, and they spread themselves among its many continents to start new lives. They called this land Aschendal, and, for a while, all was good.

*****

Meanwhile, the banished Gods of Elysia trudged on, bickering amongst themselves, staying together only because any company in the netherworld is better than silence. As they travelled they searched for a crack in the fabric of reality that would let them pass through. Their demonic companions sniffed the air for the scent of life, searching the grey for a way out. Finally they found it, a fissure in the universe, a tiny crack in space and time. Together they tore at it, shoving and squeezing and fighting to reach the light.

*****

Homecoming

 

In the skies above Aschendal, thunderheads gathered. The people turned their gaze to the heavens, old fears resurfacing as strangely coloured lightning pounded the land. At the height of the storm a screeching laugh split the air, sending shivers down the spines of everyone below. The clouds broke apart in a burst of brilliant light.

From the sky poured thousands of creatures, some flocking to the seas, others to the mountains, forests and open hillsides. The air was filled with with dark, misshapen beings seeking warmth and prey. As they descended the people ran for cover, fleeing in terror from the monsters that had found their world.

*****

Far above them, the Gods of Aschendal looked down upon their new world. This was a realm they could thrive in, full of people to serve them and rich lands to exploit. They created a palace high up in the heavens, where they could look down upon the land below and meddle in the affairs of men. The people of Aschendal were wise enough to appease them with offerings, shrines and servants, and for a little while they were placated.

Unfortunately, Gods get bored rather easily, and soon they were back to their old ways. They caused chaos wherever their influence was felt, cultivating religions that worshipped them and pitting nations against each other. Before a year had passed Aschendal was in a state of all-out war...

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