WAYFARER: A Brief History of Asora

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Pointing to the sky Leta tugged at her mother's day robes, "Mama wa's that?"

Busy at market, Maeve did not spare a moment to break from her haggling. Her attention was lost in the daily hustle of prices and counter offers. At her back she could hear her daughter Leta clap playfully, "Fly castle, sky castle, archangels up above."

In a final push to broker a favorable exchange Maeve sneered, "You shrewd little man, I'll only give you two gold thetas for the lot and nothing more!" Her hopes of victory fell short however, the merchant's eyes wandering upward, jaw trailing off into a voiceless answer. 

Turning round toward Leta's game, Maeve saw something black and unnatural in the sky beyond her daughter. At a distance, it shimmered, reflecting the dalylight of the sky-sear not unlike that of Carthak's ivory walls. This foreign thing; unidentifiable and strange, descended steadily as if an invisible string lowered it from above. Every unspoken second brought it closer toward her home, the imperial capital of Nikaia where the old emperor sat in his White Tower.

With all eyes fixated on the miraculous event, the marketplace's usual hum fell to a silent electricity. Among the onlookers and their inaudible questioning, young Leta's voice rang clearly, "Fly castle, sky castle, on wings like a dove."

In their waiting, the object, alien against the blue backdrop, came into focus. In her native tongue the thing would seem to be an impenetrable fortress made in the like of those sand-choked ziggurats bound to the Broken Wastes. In an attempt to find the words, the object crept over the city walls on a silent wind, its ventral point just barely displacing the rooftops of Carthak's tallest buildings. In a whisper, Maeve heard the merchant behind her, his realization failing to register in her mind. It's going to hit the White Tower! 

Skipping in frantic circles, little Leta clapped furiously, a childish giggle in her throat: "Fly castle, sky castle, giving holy crowns!"

"Let-," Maeve's voice broke into a dry crack. Bravely trying to hold back unknown fears, she pleaded at her daughter, "Leta please- come to mama!" Unaware that the ziggurat inched ever closer,  little Leta continued her prancing crescendo, her girlish squeals drowning out her mother's desperate call.

"Fly castle! Sky castle! Don't crash down!"

The ziggurat careened into the White Tower. Unabated, it toppled the spire, casting its stone blocks thundering onto the common-folk below. Cries rang out from those around her, and Leta broke from her childish games, running back toward her mother.

Before anyone could recover from the shock, the ziggurat, looming silently for but a moment above the ruins of the imperial throne, began to fall. Unfettered, the enormous structure fell from it perch in the heavens, its pyramid like point crashing into the palace, utterly destroying its royal foundations to their very roots.

Leta's tears fell moistly on Maeve's arms, her fears a flood of fear-choked waling. Holding her daughter's eyes with a firm but gentle stare, Maeve hushed little Leta calmly, "Shhhh my love, look at me. Everything will be just fine." Rushing at them, Maeve  could see the the enveloping wave of darkness soon to assault the marketplace. Maeve cradled her daughter, whispering in her ear,  "Close your eyes," before delivering a final kiss to Leta's forehead.

In that last instant before the oncoming wall of debris and dust smothered their fragile lungs, Maeve understood that her reality had forever changed. Her home would never be the same again

At least her daughter would not be alive to see the horror to follow.

 
 

For over a thousand years, tyranny was the rule  under which the majority of Asora lived under throughout the reign of the Belkhanid Kaliphate. The unhindered march of their legionsconquered all those outside their territory, their leaders emboldened by pacts made between them and the demons they worshiped.

Overtime, Belkhanid reliance on unholy forces stoked the flames of rebellion among those slave tribes who grew to hate all forms of magic practice. Seeing the opportunity to ally themselves with the slave tribes, the elisians led by their mythic hero, the warrior-cleric of Aurion, slew the Belkhan Priest-King, throwing their empire into chaos. 

Those that rebelled against their masters broke the Belkhanid Kaliphate's long reign over Asora. With their collapse, the ensuing power vacuum led to the ascension of opportunists, break-away Belkhanid satraps and the once downtrodden slaves. These rising powers eventually coalesced to form the realms of the Jeweled North, the independent tribes of the Shadelands and the broken Belkhanid remnant in the Broken Wastes. For centuries these news states coexisted, ignorant of the fact that they were not alone in the cosmos. Unbeknownst to those of Asora, dark and exotic forces tread the void between world-shards.

The stagnant balance of power was shattered however when the Narcossak Imperium descended onto Asora from an unknown place beyond the sky. Aboard their flying World-Breaker ziggurats, the Narcossaks introduced shard-craft technology to the ignorant masses of Asora with prompt and destructive displays of power. In quick order, the Narcossacks brought ruin to the capitals of the Jeweled North and subjugated their helpless people.

Restless under the yoke of the new order, a resistance movement  rallied under the banner of the deposed Nikaian princesses. Together in an uneasy alliance, the Jeweled North honored the memory of their slave tribe ancestors, expelling the Narcossaks and reasserting their independence. Wary that the Narcossaks might one day return to claim Asora, the Jeweled North recognized the need to strengthen themselves against future invasion. In agreement, these states bound themselves into a defensive pact known as the Decron League. Soon after, the Ergosi Guild was established and shard-craft technology was reverse engineered from Narcossak wrecks and made available to none but the most wealthy. Armed with a growing fleet of shard-craft, the member states of the Decron League begin the Wayfarer Age navigating the intricacies of their fragile alliance in order to explore the Sundered Realms and colonize the mysterious world-shards therein.

 

Hunter FoxComment