The Ages of Orden
The Black Age or the Age of Tyranny
The Black Age or the Age of Tyranny
685 BW – 0 AW (After War)
Through the clash of steel and the stench of sulfur, the Third Age began. The Age of Tyranny, an Age of Chaos.
During the revolution of his wheel, Tyryinax’s Tapestry of time was marred by three great Rendings. The first of which scars the end of the Age of Gods, it is the disappearance of dozens of gods and thousands of demigods. What happened to them is mere speculation but all can agree; they failed the world when they were needed most. The second slashes through the beginning of the Black Age. It was the great Invasion of Orden, when countless ingresses to the Planes of Baator and the Abyss were opened by the Archduchess. The last Is a long gash throughout the Age of Tyranny, when ruin and devastation poured down from the heavens and Death came to Orden.
The Church of Soun in Rolkea, Riesa
The First Great Rending
During the First Rending, it is unclear the extent to which the gods departed Orden, All felt the sorrow of Pessius’ death and Nitum crushed the city of Sangre when he fell from the heavens, but the others are unclear. They may have died or simply walked away, turning their backs on the people of Orden.
The whole of Orden fundamentally changed during the Black Age. With the God of Death struck low; people ceased to die, they simply wasted away. When Soun was gone the whole world fell under shadow as the sun turned black. The stars in the night sky disappeared, leaving only the twin moons of Lo and Diamus to form the entire Heavenly Host. It was a time of great woe, when despair was highest and hope at it’s lowest. As the aspects of the Droden fled the world, so too did their children. The Elves returned back through the planes, seeking refuge in the Feywild. The Dwarves returned to their great stone slumber, finding refuge in the deep, dark places of the world.
Only Coeus’ children, the Droden’s first born and most loved, Humans, had the resolve to stand before their doom, and laugh in the many faces of death.
The Second Great Rending
The Second Rending lasted centuries, the Archduchess Taramiir had allied herself with numerous Demon Princes and commanded her own malignant host of Devils. The first line of defense fell upon the shoulders of High King Mirathis, like the Dragon Crusade before this one. The Crusade was bloody and hard fought, it continued all the way to the end of the Age of Tyranny, eventually becoming synonymous with the Siege of Heaven.
The Archduchess leading her fiendish host
The Third Great Rending
And the Third Rending, where death strode upon the earth and struck down the people, like grass before the scythe.
Death fell upon the world, personified in this case, by twelve tyrannical monsters.
- The Destroyer, greatest of calamities; took the form of a gargantuan dragon, leaving fire and death in its wake.
- The Fury, great Khan and slaver, manipulated the anger felt by mortals, driving them far into a berserk rage. None were strong enough to resist this Mad Descent.
- The Shadow, feared by all that lived in Soun’s light, The Shadow lurked in every area of shade and pool of darkness, dragging people away into the night, never to be seen again.
- The Plagued, twisted and mad, The Plagued caused disease and plagues, all eventually succumb to the Rot.
- The Insect, vast and numberless, The Insect laid waste to the forests and crops of the world with great swarms of locusts.
- The Faceless, appearing in people’s dreams as a tall faceless man, The Faceless was the cause of all nightmares.
- The Serpent, the never ending snake is a symbol that many still fear, The Serpent could be found on battlefields eating the dead and dying. The Serpent’s Curse caused even the most minor wounds to rot and kill.
- The Puppeteer, though never seen, its presence was felt throughout Orden, forming great schemes and plots that drove the world to ruin.
- The Coward, bane of fighting men everywhere, The Coward sowed dissent and cowardice among the people of Orden.
- The Torturer, when all you heard was a scream and found no body for it to belong too, you knew The Torturer had claimed another of its victims.
- The Deceiver, single-handedly making the entire world paranoid, The Deceiver could turn friend against friend and mother against son with a well placed whisper.
- The Outsider, the only one of these monsters whose name was ever learnt, it was said that simply gazing upon The Outsider’s visage was enough to turn the bravest man mad.
These twelve cataclysms descended upon the world, and the world broke under their weight.
The Insect, Left; The Destroyer, Centre; and The Fury, Right
The third rending saw the fall of High King Mirathis and the rise of his adopted son, Prince Maar. Mirathis was struck down by the Serpent, after the long defence of Fort Traxia, he suffered for months before succumbing to the terrible curse placed upon him by the Serpent.
Prince Maar – who was appointed heir to the throne of Greatblight after his company of heroes, the Gilded Hand, took over protection of the southern border – was thrust into leading a nation. Few could have done well under such pressure but Prince Maar thrived on it.
Maar rallied to himself every pocket of resistance on Orden. From the Great Horde and the Khali’s Fist on Imaren to the Illuminated Divides of Parnosia; Prince Maar gathered everyone he could. He reached out to his biggest rival, Mene Khan, the Doombringer. He sought out the great wizard Martem Gwydion who could bring down almighty storms from the skies and monsters from the oceans. He rallied the Fabricator-General Djau Kane and Maar’s life-long friend, Bale Blackheart. Soon High King Maar become the focus of all resistance on Orden. He carved out his section of Orden and he refused to leave. After around thirty years of hard fighting and bitter losing an oracle came to the High King, Tae Sibylla brought the great king a prophecy:
On the peaks of Laputa when the hearts and minds of Droden fail,
A great king of men shall strike low what others could barely curtail.
Where the Sun’s light could not pierce, so pierces the blades of Men.
Where Winter’s ice could not grasp, so takes hold the might of Men.
Where Night came crashing to the earth, so rises the armies of Man.
At the last second to midnight the world shall be spared.
The message was clear to Maar, with the aid of each of his great generals he would ascend to the mythical floating islands of Laputa, where the gods sat on pearly thrones of blood and he would slay them. He would strike down these false gods so that his children wouldn’t have to live in fear like his fathers before him.
This was the resistance’s last hope. It was do or die. They either laid down to die like babes, or they brought down their every ounce of strength onto the heads of those that were trying to crush them. Maar knew which he preferred. He shouted his plans from the imperial capital and his words traveled to every corner of the world. Anyone able to lift a spear was called, from men to women and children. Using the knowledge of their wizards they made deals with every scheming fiend and conniving Fey they could. He made deals and secured his power.
- Sir Bale Blackheart was joined with the Archduke Isuroc, the Archduchess’ rival. In exchange they received an army of warriors, the Tieflings.
- Nerikay of Valdaheim set his spiritual followers on the warpath and became linked with the remaining spirit of the Lady Winter.
- Djau Kane turned his every forge to the outputting of weapons, every shipyard to creating a fleet revolutionary flying ships. Both Djau and Benerif Titania secured the Summer and Winter courts of the Fey, leading a revolution that saw the Seelie and Unseelie courts merged into the new Silver Courts and the Silver King and Queen rewarded them with their blessings.
- Seti Brightlance sought strength and guidance from what remained of Terimus.
- Queen Kiya Almithica, the Mindblight rallied her followers and the followers of Lo. Queen Kiya made a pact with Lo for knowledge and power.
- Inarus Immarius, the Minister Primus for the Illuminated Divides joined High King Maar and his resistance, he solidified a Pact with Iyarta, a prankster god and brought his veteran warriors into the fold.
- Danith Marx brought a small legion of Dwarven troops who refused to sleep any longer, unwilling to wake when the world had stopped spinning like so many of their kin.
Together they rose to the mythical isles of Laputa and began their Siege of Heaven.