Ways of Darkness - English version

Be part of a Fantasy RPG which you have never seen before. It unites High Fantasy (magic, elves, orcs, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, dragons) and Dark Fantasy (vampires, werewolves, undead) in a very interesting form.
 
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 The Ancient Age

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Stephanus Tavilrond
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Join date : 2010-10-25
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Location : Budapest, Hungary

PostSubject: The Ancient Age   Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:22 am

We do not know anything about the creation of the world. But we know much more about the indigenous peoples of Atrograch.
The first recorded civilization was founded by "the ancients".

They lived in a caste system. Who was born to the "warrior caste", served as a soldier until death, and their descedants would be soldiers as well. Anyone who was born a slave, died a slave, and their descedants would be slaves as well. The case was the same with priests.

Their caste system also had racial roots. Each race had it's own duty.
1. Maessepreost Despotanfras - The priests. They had the highest rank and were total masters. Racially, they were smilar to lizardmen, but had bigger eyes, were much taller and physically stronger. They also had talents in magic, and only they were permitted to use magic during the caste system.
2. Sceotan Fras - The warriors, guards and taskmasters. They are the ancestors of lizardmen.
3. Micel Ceorl - The slaves. Always opressed, forced to work until death. They were from goblins, ogres and trolls.

They lived in city-states. They built big pyramid-like buildings, which were huge. That building was the whole city. The upper parts were the temple and residence of the priests, the lower parts were the place of prayer.
They also digged underground. They built streets and "sub-cities" into the underground tunnels, which served as residence for soldiers and slaves.
When they had overpopulation, they didn't built new cities - they simply expanded the exsistent.
They ate mushrooms, built only from stone and used copper and bronze weapons.
The priests were also nobles, they had absolute power over their cities. They were also military leaders.

However, once a warrior named Abednago Forstrang Zarek began to spy on the priests. He saw how they used magic and learned it. He also taught it to his comrades. They started to organize their rebellion againts the religious ruling class and started to do the planning on how to overthrow them.
The people already had enough of the tyranny of the priests, and religion was the only thing which bid them to the ruling class.
Using the opportunity, Abednago started a rebellion. He lead the soldiers and managed to exterminate the Maessepreost Despotanfras race from his city. This meant the end of the caste system.
But this was just their city. Abednago was determined to spread the flames of freedom to the rest of the city-states, and did so. He began spreading propaganda, and convinced many other soldiers to revolt agains their masters. He also personally aided many revolts, and with clever planning, he managed to subordinate every other city-state to his rule. This marked the beginning of the Ancient Lizardman Empire.
The Maessepreost Despotanfras race went extinct, completely terminated. Legends say that some of them are still alive and live a life of exiles. Their descedants are still planning their revenge, according to the legends.
But nobody knew about Abednago Forstrang Zarek's true deeds.
Zarek proclaimed the end of the pyramid-cities, and ordered everyone to live in the surface in seperate houses.

The empire began as a small one. Due to the pyramid-houses, the city-states didn't expand. After the empire's establishment, expansion began. They ended up conquering much of Etrand.
They also managed to colonize an island which is not on the maps anymore.

The empire exsisted for more than 15 000 years as the greatest empire ever.

After a while (approx. 15 000 years after the empire's establishment) things started to change. Expansion was halted, the number of slaves started to decline. The life on the island started to detoriate. The emperors began to exploit the people in more cruel ways.

The lizardmen of Atrograch couldn't support the descedants of those lizardmen who colonized the island. The Empire was split in two pieces: the Continental Empire in Atrograch, and the Insular Empire in the island.
This marked the beginning of the Decline of ancient pre-migration Atrograchian civilization. Climate shift caused the reducement of fertile farmlands which caused famines and population decline.
300 years later, dwarves coming out of underground started to make raids on lizardman areas, plundering and pillaging.
As the empire was already extended to the greatest extent - it even grew too large to support itself - there was nowhere to find slaves. The few remaining slaves were forced to work under worse and worse inhumane conditions which resulted in slave revolts, in other places, free lizardmen were forced to work themselves. Life became hard. Slavery ended. The emperor also started to lose his influence. The nobles and generals gained more and more power. Shortly before the fall of the empire, the emperor was nothing but a puppet.

As slavery was replaced by feudalism, the church gained more and more influence again. While the first emperor promoted secularism, under the new leadership, the emperor became much more theocratic and despotic. But not even the church could escape the poverty caused by the end of slavery. The church and the empire weaked each other gradually.

Originally, the army was composed of lizardmen only. Now as the population declined and poverty hit the people, the demand for mercenaries grew higher. Theese mercenaries were mainly ogres, goblins and centaurs, who didn't feel the empire their home - they fought for money only.
Mercenaries needed money, so they emperor increased taxes (which was already too high anyway) which caused even more unrest and peasant revolts.
As revolts erupted, dwarves started to move closer and closer towards the heart of the empire.
The last emperor, Shad Daegraed Zarek failed to supress the revolts and simply couldn't muster enough forces to even halt the invaders. Financial problems were only icing on the cake. More and more territories had to be given up. Finally, even the capital city was assaulted, and the dwarven invaders killed off the last emperor and his family
This meant the end of the Continental Empire.
But rebellions became even stronger. With the absence of a ruler and a proper organized force to supress them, the rebels took advantage of their situation and started to sucesfully fight back againts the dwarves. The lizardmen managed to send them back to the mountains they came from.
As the dwarven invasion came to an end, the former invaders and the lizardmen finally managed to conclude a peace.
But the lizardmen were now an empire without an emperor.
The priests temporally took the power, and anounced the end of the empire. They sent the people away to find a new place to live and abondon the cities.
This is how the once great architects and builders became simple nomads.

As for the Insular Empire... no one knows what happened to them...

1000 years later...

During theese times lived the Ancient Elves / Proto-Elves. They lived in an island which is not on the map anymore. According to legends, they lived a life of happiness, they ate fruits, lived in forests and lived in harmony with nature rather than exploiting it. Then once one of the began to hunt animals, and their island started to slowly sink.
They were forced to leave. They built ships and went to colonize Artograch. They arrived.

But they were in surprise: Artograch was not empty. The newcomers had to fight to settle and take their new homelands from the natives by force. The lizardmen, gnomes and halflings - altrough all of them still exant - were greatly reduced in numbers and limited to isolated places. They didn't have enough power to show too much resistance to the new invaders. The dwarves on the other hand managed to easily fight off the invaders and prevent the mountains of Northern Etrand from becoming Elvish.

1000 years later, a new process started. The Ancient Elves / Proto-Elves started to evolve regionally.
The Ancient Elves / Proto-Elves settled in Dragoc evolved into Wood Elves
The Ancient Elves / Proto-Elves settled in Froturn evolved into High Elves
The Ancient Elves / Proto-Elves settled in Etrand and Hulra (now Etrancoast) evolved into Humans.
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