The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 39 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 14:56
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
The River of Time is a metaphor used to describe history for it is like a mighty river moving ever forward.  By decree of the gods, the timeline cannot be altered without tremendous power being expended (and they guard the timestream almost more than anything else).  Thus, if one picks up a stone from within the river and throws it upstream, the stone will land within and create slight ripples but soon its effects are gone and the river continues to move forward.  In all the history of Aeden, time has never been altered in any meaningful way.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 40 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 14:57
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Dreams (20+ billion years ago)

The Age of Dreams refers to the time before even the gods existed.  During this time it is believed that there was naught but the Void (the absence of all things) and yet, something did exist.  Points of Chaos (creative yet unpredictable energy) existed within the great Void.  At some point during this age, these points of Chaos began to merge and formed a great cacophony of roiling energy (note, however, that this cluster of energy was still little more than a pinprick in comparison to the great Void).

But with Chaos all things are possible.  Within this primordial existence an infinite number of things were created and destroyed from one instant to another.  An emergent intelligence struggled to form, but Chaos resisted as this intelligence was anathema to it.  Note here that Chaos was not an intelligent, operative being...it was simply Chaos, nothing more.  But each time this intelligence attempted to exert itself, Chaos too became self-aware and fought to impede it's development (for Chaos cannot abide being anything other than what it is).

Then suddenly, the emergent intelligence managed to break through.  Understand that Chaos cannot exist without some semblance of Order (for even in the seemingly random creation and destruction that was Chaos, Order dwelt in the forms creation took on and the manner in which such forms were destroyed).  Balance existed between the two opposing, yet symbiotic, forces and from this realization was born a being of infinite power, knowledge and presence.  The cosmic awareness delighted in itself and all things and set about His Great Work.

His name is given to us as Aelvaunyr (The One).  Balance, Order and Chaos are the first ordials of the multiverse.  Thus they are the Primordials.  Their sentience exists in the form of Aelvaunyr but they are each distinct ordials that cannot exist or act without each other.  Thus they are a single being in the form of Aelvaunyr (who is actually without form or, perhaps, is the form of all things).  Aelvaunyr decreed the Law of All Things and the other ordials (Fate, Time, Thought, Matter, Energy, Good, Evil, Creation and Entropy) were birthed.

Note that the Ordials simply are and cannot think/act.  Aelvaunyr does this for them (one could say He is 'The Ordial').
Dungeon Master
 GM, 41 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:02
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Starbirth (10 billion to 20 billion years ago)

During the Age of Starbith Aelvaunyr sang the Aunyr ('First Ones') into existence (this was before Creation).  They were each privy to certain portions of His knowledge (and thus had an imperfect...though still unfathomably vast...knowledge).  They sang the Song of Creation with Him and Aea (the World That Is-i.e. the Universe) was formed.  Aea was an infinite world consisting of the Land called Gaea, the Firmament above called Raea and the Land Below called Taraea.  Part of the Land existed in tandem with Ocaea (the Deeps).

During the Song of Creation the Aunyr were given visions by the Braehma (a term referring to Aelvaunyr and meaning both the All-Father and the Great Mother).  Through His visions they were able to form Aea (note, however, that the Aunyr created according to the themes of the Great Vision rather than copied it literally).  One of the Aunyr, however, sang discordant notes into the Song and laid the foundation for the two All-Saints Wars that would follow in time to come.  This traitor was Morgothoth.

The Aunyr were 14 in number, seven each of which fell primarily to the masculine and feminine aspects of Creation.  Two of them were created from aspects of Aelvaunyr's mind associated with rulership, while two of them are fallen and no longer counted among the Aunyr (take note that the All-Father is aware of the Fate of Creation and that these two would, by necessity, fall).  They are listed below along with their primary ordial of concern in the Great Work and their gender aspects:

NameOrdialGenderNameOrdialGender
AiniorNAMasculineVentariNAFeminine
MaanyrOrderMasculineAvanyaBalanceFeminine
AldarnyrTimeMasculineIshanyaFateFeminine
KamanyrMatterMasculineSannyaEnergyFeminine
ThanyrEntropyMasculineWairnyaCreationFeminine
MuronyrGoodMasculineInnanyaThoughtFeminine
MorgothothEvilMasculineNierrthysChaosFeminine

Dungeon Master
 GM, 42 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:04
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
The Age of Might (1 billion to 10 billion years ago)

As the Aunyr sang, the universe was formed according to Aelvaunyr's Vision who sang with them but in subtle tones that his first children could not hear.  When they were finished, the All-Father proclaimed their work more beautiful than anything that would ever follow.  "Behold," He said, "I have Sang with you and sent the Anaear into Aea."  (Anaear is translated to mean the Unquenchable Fire, the Deep Magick, and the Life Secret among many other things).  And the Aunyr were amazed at what was wrought by His Great Work.

During this time the Aunyr watched as the world formed and were allowed to add to the Song as their heart's lead them (though the Braehma, ever watchful, approved or disapproved [or altered] things according to His judgment).  It was also during this time that the first of the Vala were created.  These powerful beings (called the Elder Gods by some sages) were beings of singular aspect born from the minds of the Aunyr (and, ultimately, from the mind of Aelvaunyr).  They were incarnations of Love, Hate, Joy, Depression, Anger, Peace, etc.

Despite their singular aspects, they were Wise and understood many things about the Great Work.  The Vala would, in turn, sing the Vaiar into Creation (what are called the High Gods today) and the Eanr (the gods known of today).  All of Creation began to fill with these mighty entities and their Children (those spirits who existed in physical form).  But the discordant notes sang by Morgothoth and Nierrthys began to take root in Aea and disaster would soon follow in the form of the All-Saints War and the sundering of the Universe into the Omniverse.

A great war was fought between the various gods and many perished (though none of the Aunyr or Vala died).  The Vaiar and Eanr, on the other hand, died by the thousands and soon there were very few left (few in the grand scheme of things when one considers that Aea was infinite).  The traitors Morgothoth and Nierrthys were imprisoned in the deepest recesses of Taraea where they languished for eons until Morgothoth consumed Nierrthys in his anger and despair.  But he was sly and a master of manipulation and eventually prevailed upon Ainior to free him.

Aea was sundered into the Omniverse though no mortal at the time would have been able to tell the difference.  What are now called the various planes of existence were formed in Aea but they appeared to be one world to the naked (mortal) eye.  However, the divine perceive far more dimensions and were able to see the separation between these varying aspects of Creation.  When Morgothoth was freed, he waged war against his brethren once again...this time bringing Chaos into Creation (and upsetting the Balance in violation of the Law of All Things).

While he was imprisoned, Morgothoth consumed Nierrthys (the embodiment of Chaos) and his power grew exponentially (he was already the most powerful of the Aunyr, consuming Nierrthys made him vastly more powerful than the rest of his brethren).  The other Aunyr could do but one thing to defeat him...unhinge the Omniverse and (more or less) isolate the planes altogether (thus was the Multiverse born).  The energy gained from this allowed them to defeat and cast out their great Enemy into the roiling Chaos beyond (that is, into the Far Realm).

During this war Morgothoth went mad (though he was likely already insane long before this...it simply manifested itself openly at this time) and, in his desperation, created the morgoroth (spawn of Morgothoth).  These entities were easily as powerful as the Eanr and some could match the Vaiar in power as well.  These beings of madness and chaos were also imprisoned wherever the gods could achieve the task.  Some semblance of peace followed (though the Song is forever corrupted and these wars are still fought from time to time).

In the end, Aelvaunyr had to mitigate the damage by restructuring Creation.  What was once a single infinite universe was sundered into constituent parts to keep all of Creation from being destroyed (though ultimately it must end, to be reborn again as only Aelvaunyr understands... this is the Fate of Creation, to be born, experienced, destroyed and reborn again in an endless cycle).  Only Aelvaunyr truly understands this process though many of His children perceive it well enough.  Even mortals (perhaps even especially mortals) understand this Fate.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 43 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:05
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
The Age of Despair (100 million to 1 billion years ago)

A modicum of peace ensued but the gods despaired as they looked upon Creation and saw what they had wrought.  Though still beautiful in many places, not even the most dazzling plane in the Multiverse came close to the beauty that was once Aea.  Coupled with the fact that many planes were terrible places to behold and the gods knew true despair.  Aelvaunyr decreed the High Laws that would henceforth govern the Multiverse (which he had further reformed to spare some of the damage of the Second All-Saints War).

Many of the gods that had sided with Morgothoth were spared extreme punishment and were instead appointed stewards of places like the Hells, the Abyss, and Tartarus.  Among one of the greatest losses of the All-Saints Wars was the loss of the Progenitor Wyrms.  The First Dragons were Ka (later called the Preserver) and his mate Io who created Sybyrys the Starwyrm, Ebyrys the Greywyrm, and Kybyrys the Shadewyrm.  Sybyrys and Kybyrys did battle during the All-Saints Wars.

Kybyrys was victorious and slew his brother, but after seeing what he had done their sister Ebyrys sacrificed herself by enveloping the severely weakened Kybyrys and, using much of the divine energy exsanguinating from Sybyrys with her own, imprisoned their traitorous brother within the world that would one day come to be called Aeden.  Ka would eventually reform Aeden as a testament to his children and begin preserving life here amidst the world where he lost them.

Two other deities warred during this time after the formation of Aeden.  They were Selune (Highgoddess of Light and Magic) and Shar (a Highgoddess of Darkness and Antimagic).  Twins born of a union between two of the Vala, they were polar opposites in their natures.  They battled for eons with both losing power in their struggles until they became normal gods worshipped by mortals.  During one of their great battles, Selune was mortally wounded and quickly coalesced her power to create a new goddess:  Mystryl, the Maiden of Magic.

Shar was also wounded and attempted to do something similar but her creation was lifeless (for Shar's power did not lie in the ability to grant life).  Mystryl took the power Shar sacrificed in the attempt and formed two other deities:  Azuth the Greymage and Nihil, the Blackmage.  She was also able to save her mother, who became Selune the Whitemage.  To this day, the three report to Mystryl in matters of magic and fight Shar's attempts to usurp their power (though she has an uneasy alliance with Nihil, whom she considers a son, of sorts).

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:34, Wed 13 July 2016.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 44 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:07
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Demons (10 million to 100 million years ago)

Kybyrys still possessed a great deal of power and managed to open portals to the lower planes.  Demons would run amok on the planet and (hopefully) manage to destroy it or otherwise free their dark master from his confines.  Ka observed his son's actions and determined that gaining his freedom would cost Kybyrys his life at the hands of other deities.  He decided to nurture life as best he could and again mated with Io to create the First Clutch of dragon eggs that rained down on the planet until such time as their progeny could be born.

When the time came, twelve High Dragons (all deities in their own right) were born into the world.  They in turn had multiple clutches of eggs that would eventually hatch into the First Brood and spread across the world.  The High Dragons carved out a region of Aeden (on the continent of Ebyrys) for their own and drove back all attempts the demons and their dark master made to dominate them.  It would take millions of years to complete, but eventually the dragons waged war against the demons, defeated them, and sealed most of the demongates.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 45 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:07
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Monsters (1 million to 10 million years ago)

The dragons were driven nearly to extinction and it would be millions of years before the dragons would awake from their slumbers and new clutches of eggs would hatch.  In the interim, Kybyrys managed to spawn many dark and evil things in the subterranean depths of the world.  While the dragons slept and regained their strength, a new power arose in the world in the form of many creatures great and small.  The greatest of these creatures managed to find and slay more of the dragons...until they began to awaken to the new threat.

The High Dragons awoke and stirred their children into action.  More clutches were laid and more dragons birthed until there were enough to fight the Kybyrspawn (some were actually spawned by Morgothoth, though the dragons did not initially know this).  The dragons would win this war as well, this time rather decisively, and establish the only world-spanning empire Aeden has ever known.  With the defeat of these monsters (many now referred to as ancient evils...some of which still exist today), the dragons flourished.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 46 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:08
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Dragons (500,000 to 1 million years ago)

The High Dragons each took a region of the world and ruled as emperors over their respective lands.  Other dragons would be given kingdoms and rule over the others.  Eventually, aelves, giants, dwarves, men and other intelligent life would rise in the world.  The giants became the aristocracy while the dragons remained as royals.  All other beings were subjects of theirs (though the aelves were accorded a high position within the caste structure that was formed).  Dwarves and men were little more than commoners or slaves (depending on their homeland).

In time the dragons would begin to wage war against one another despite the best efforts of the High Dragons to prevent it.  The Dragon Wars lead to a serious decimation of their kind and Ka decreed certain laws that all dragons must abide by (even in the current age).  The chief draconic gods were Paladine, Chronepsis and Takhisis.  They spoke the commands of Ka to their charges and enacted terrible penalties for violating his laws.  The concept of Xor'vin'taal has its genesis from these decrees.

The greatest loss of this time was that of the twelve High Dragons.  These dragons were all of identical appearance (other than their genders, 6 each male and female).  The nature of dragons is inscrutable and they are sometimes moved to cast magic by some deep instinct within them and such was the case with the High Dragons.  They were a distinctive blue-green hue (a color unique to them) and, one day, they simply went to the summit of Mount Ka, sang, and vanished in a blue-green dispersal of energy.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 47 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:08
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Giants (100,000 to 500,000 years ago)

Because of their decimated numbers the dragons were forced to pull most of their holdings back to Ebyrys.  This left the giants in charge (who paid tribute to their dragon kings) and their empire would span at least half of the planet at its height.  Like the dragons, they were fair and just rulers at first.  But they eventually gave way to decadence and enslaved all lesser creatures (which was anything other than a giant or a dragon...and in some cases even they and other giants were enslaved).

Then, about 100,000 years ago, the giants overreached and unleashed a terrible magic that tore heavenly bodies from their orbits and caused massive damage to Aeden.  The dragons, now in stronger numbers, moved against their former subjects and utterly destroyed their empire.  The remnants of the giants would never fully recover (though the dragons never did either).  They were assisted by the aelves (having suffered the most during their enslavement to the giants) who had learned great magicks themselves.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 48 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:09
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Aelves (50,000 to 100,000 years ago)

Most of the dragons retreated to Ebyrys, but some remained to establish kingdoms again.  The aelves balked at this, however, and eventually went to war against the dragons (who were now actively preventing the aelves from using magick).  They called upon their gods to assist them and were quietly taught the secrets of High Magic (a form of the Art that the aelves were particularly well-suited too).  They drove away their dragon masters and established their own great realm.  This was the War of Wands and Wings.

The aelvan people would hold sway over the vast forests of the world for many millennia.  They would eventually suffer the encroachment of humans, the depredations of monsters and, worst of all...the Corona Wars (the collective name for a series of civil wars).  Beginning with the rebellion of aelves who came to worship demons, the Corona Wars would destroy much of their influence in the world and pave the way for other races to rise to prominence.  The aelves would retreat further into their forested homelands and largely shut themselves away.

The first of these conflicts is known as the War of Outcasts.  This conflict began with the practice of banishing evil aelves from their homelands.  These outcasts took up residence in the Blightwood and were collectively called drow (meaning dark/evil aelves or outcasts).  Their depredations against their kin, trafficking with demons and the destruction of vast swathes of forest lead to the use of High Magic to alter their connection to the Weave, change their skin ink-black and drive them underground.

The second of the Corona Wars occurred when it was discovered that certain Solar aelvan families had manipulated the outcasts into fighting their kin in a bid to gain control of the aelvan people.  These families were also trafficking with demons and had secretly bred with demons to increase their own power.  These became fae'ri and were able to mask their presence from their kin.  The worst part about this conflict (called the War of Vipers) were the large number of Solar aelvan sympathizers.  This lead to the next Corona War.

Having largely been ruled by the Solar aelves for many millenia and being betrayed by them, many Lunar and Forest aelves decided to leave their ancestral forests and find new woods in which to dwell.  This final conflict was called the War of Betrayals (both sides considering the other the betrayers) and ultimately lead to the formation of the three primary aelven nations still in existence today.  This conflict was the worst of them all as the others clearly had evil enemies that needed to be dealt with.  More blood was shed in this war than any of the others combined.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 49 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:09
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Dawnings (3,000 to 50,000 years ago)

The years that followed saw a great deal of decline throughout the world and several horrendous events shook the world to its core.  A great empire called Istar rose up and conquered a large portion of Illyria.  It ended when the Kingpriest, in his hubris, thought to bind himself to the god Paladine.  The gods struck down Istar with a 'mountain of fire' and created the Bloodsea where the Shining City once existed.  A large portion of Illyria was also separated from the mainland because of the Cataclysm.  The gods went silent for over 300 years.

The creation of the Wailing Land occurred during this period as well.  Once the powerful Illyrian Empire existed in this region.  They too destroyed themselves in a cataclysmic event (the cause of which is still unknown).  The entire region spans over 3 million square miles and is now more akin to another plane of existence than part of the Prime.  The Illyrian people had strange technologies that were combined with their great magicks.  Sages conjecture that some grand project went awry and destroyed them.

One of the most recent events took place when Malcraea fell.  This large island located in the Amaranthine Ocean was known for its floating cities and skyships, dragon mounted knights, powerful magicks (including the invention of spelljamming), strange technologies...and their wickedness (in this they rivaled the drow).  Some unknown event caused all of their cities to fall to the ground along with the cessation of all of their magic.  Their dragons turned on them and razed their islands before taking them for themselves.  Their empire fell within days.

The Godswar also took place during this period.  Seven former Highgods walked among mortals (they had lost much of their power during the All-Saints Wars) as one of Morgothoth's brood entered the world in an attempt to free Kybyrys.  The other six came to Aeden to stop him and a war lasting 77 years took place.  It culminated with their vast armies meeting on Imladrys while the gods did battle amidst the Star Peaks.  At first it looked as if Azrai the Serpent would be victorious.

However, the Solar aelves who had initially sided with Azyrys realized their mistake and turned on his armies.  This allowed the soldiers of the other six deities to turn the tide.  Meanwhile, their gods realized the only way to truly stop their enemy was to sacrifice themselves because his power was too great (for he was still a Highgod).  They poured their collective divine power into a final assault on him, destroying him in the process, but destroying themselves as well.  A massive wave of energy covered the world of Aeden and part of the Star Peaks exploded.

This conflict involved Andurais, Basaia, Voryn, Massella, Reynir and Braenna against Azrai and lead to the first of the Blooded Scions.  Also during this time (about 1,000 years later) the first dragonmarks began to surface in the world.  These two manifestations of power lead to many wars but also lead to a measure of stability as well.  The blooded became the rulers of the land because their power was tied to it and its inhabitants while the dragonmarked acquired commercial power (both sides worked in collusion to establish their authority).

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:49, Wed 13 July 2016.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 50 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2016
at 15:11
The River of Time: The Ages of Aeden
Age of Mortals (current to 3,000 years ago)

Just over 1,000 years ago saw the rise of the Empire of Imladrys and a time of relative peace for much of the Known World (at least as compared to the past).  That is, until the Great War began and ravaged much of the Twelve Kingdoms region that pulled many other lands into the conflict.  The warforged were created during this time and other lands saw civil wars fought within their kingdoms or the rise of dark powers.  The continent of Illyria has become a place of intrigue and scheming...and the threat of war seems ever present.