Timeline of the Cunaerai
The ‘true’ history of humanity in the Cunaerai is typically divided into five Ages: the rise and fall of the ancient races, the enslavement of humanity and dominion of the Icuriana in Cunai, the War of Shepherds and the death of the gods on the Fields of Sengt, the unleashing of Shadow at what is now Malapheme, the Rise and Fall of the Holy Empire. The following is a summary of the ages… a paragraph distilling hundreds of years of kingdoms and nobles rising and falling, of sorrows and triumphs, of births, wars, and deaths (some peaceful, some violent). Only the broadest of tales are touched upon in this timeline. Furthermore, like veins coursing madness through a living body, so the god of Time has occasionally stirred restlessly during the Ages. From each of these moments – lives, events, even ages have been forgotten and lost to the dark. Adventurers never know what inexplicable artifacts, ruins, or adversaries may be stumbled upon during their wanderings.
The Briefest of Tellings Touching Upon the Five Ages of the Cunaerai:
Where life truly came from none know. On the primordial past and their moment of moment of self-awareness the gods are both silent and wary. What is known: in the dim past humanity was savage and primitive, while the long-lived ancient races ruled and battled one another across the Cunaerai for power and dominance. Before the true history of humanity began, these races sealed the Three Lands against the outer dark and the unnameable wickedness that ever seeks to breach the black veil and devour all that is living and natural. At some moment in the far gone histories, the star of the ancient races brightened and then dimmed, and civilizations that flourished for millennia slowly crumbled and faded into the gray. Thus the First Age ended in sorrow.
One of the darker and more selfish races that walked the Three Lands, the Icuriana or Cunai, had enslaved a great host of humanity and forced them to build great palaces, till vast fields of grain and tend orchards of fine fruit, and serve and die impressed in the great armies sent against the enemies of the Cunai – elves, dwarves, giants, and others. It is told that under the yoke of the Cunai humanity matured, learning the ways of agriculture, writing, and the trappings of civilization. In their hubris, the Icuriana turned their eyes from the worship of the living deities of the Cunaerai, choosing only to revere the goddess Fate to the exclusion of all other divinities. Angered and spurned, the great ancient gods of the Manifold Lands gifted the primitive humans with understanding of the voice, and while the Cunai were blinded by their own arrogance, the Seeress raised a cold hand and spurned their worship. The great host of humanity rose up against their oppressors and cast them down. Thus the great empire of the Icuriana was laid low and the Cunai hunted to near extinction, and the Second Age ended in bloodshed.
Humanity spread with the guidance of the gods, both young and old, and great kingdoms such as Neruthlar, Sengt, and Quelos rose and flourished in the Cunaerai. Some ruled with benevolence, others with cruelty, but each were influenced and supported by the living deities who had sworn to protect the newly chosen race of the goddess of Fate. Over time, the wicked and powerful Adversary embraced his intricate plan to rule the gods of Night and tie the Fate of humanity to himself. As the gods of Day rose in righteous fury to challenge the Adversary, the whole of the Three Lands trembled and cracked under the divine violence unleashed by god against god. Even the black veil began to tear, and the outer dark gathered there for its opportunity to taste freedom and light – its chance to feast and devour. At great cost, the Adversary and his depraved host were cast down and defeated on the fields of Sengt. Many ancient kingdoms were destroyed by the fall of the Adversary, and the great and once-fertile lands of Sengt and Neruthlar were cast into ruin where godsblood ran like rivers and gathered in great fetid pools. The very heavens trembled from the death of gods and blazing starfall scoured and laid low the once-proud and aloof empires of the South in an instant. To forestall the end of all things and the unhinging of the world, the Seeress and the mad god of Time united and castigated the gods, hurling them from the Cunaerai, the Realm, and forcing them to gaze upon and influence the unfurling of history and the unwinding of time from afar, unimpeded by their direct power. The Cunaerai was spared. Those who had threatened it were imprisoned in the Pit and denied its light, while those who fought to defend it were set beyond the light of the Cunaerai but illuminated by it. The outer dark cursed and frothed in hatred and hungry ecstasy, but could not touch it. Thus the Third Age ended in confusion and loss.
The black veil had held, but was weakened… compromised. Over time, a tear in the veil appeared near the devious lands of Wiir. Those of the outer dark that gathered by the veil began to whisper madness to those eager to know the secrets of the misty black. It is known the people of Wiir learned blasphemous utterances of the voice and even darker summonings to call forth the unnameable and insatiable to do their bidding. Thus, the veil weakened even further. The Wiir became twisted and bleak. They began to defile and enslave even as they themselves were consumed by the hungering dark which ever whispered to them. At the summit of Wiiran power and dominance over the Cunaerai, even as the Three Lands trembled in fear witnessing the power and wickedness of Wiirish sorceries before them, the black veil tore in earnest. Shadow and madness vomited forth from the rent known now as Malapheme. Thus humanity united, and bolstered by aid from the ancient races that still lingered in the Three Lands drove back the shadow and screaming madness into the outer dark. The black veil was rewoven and sealed again. Wiir and the lands of Malapheme were forever stained by the outer dark – a curse which taints the sons and daughters of Wiir to this day and marks them for their wickedness and love of all things shadow. Thus the Fourth Age ended in horror.
After witnessing the frightening dark of the Fourth Age a great number of men and women sought direction, purpose, and meaning. It was at this time the Solitary God rose to power in what is now the Holy Kingdom, and many fell to worship the god and made war against his enemies. A great number of gods and spirits were lost as the Solitary God conquered and devoured them; their worshippers and priests butchered or enslaved, their temples and sacred places razed for blasphemy against the god of the West and his material Kingdom. A great peace settled upon the Three Lands while the god maintained his power and control over the Holy Empire. When the Solitary God could no longer contain all he had devoured, neither his essence nor his empire could hold together. The Cunaerai once again was thrown into violence and upheaval as the Holy Empire cracked and crumbled from within and those long-oppressed, denied, or marginalized rose to visit revenge and misery upon the faithful. The once-Solitary god splintered into many faces and many voices. Once again the pantheon of the Cunaerai rose, both old gods and new, to re-stake their claim upon the Three Lands and its people. The ancient races, long aloof from the affairs of men and women, again claim stewardship of the Three Lands and those who dwell within it, even as darkling and shadow grow and fester both the West and the East. Darkling lands steeped in evil and wickedness rise and unify in bitter mockeries of human kingdoms. Thus the Fifth Age ends in turmoil…
Other events lost to Time:
- The rise of the great Khan, the sacking of Ja’Shien and the great wars of the dusky East.
- The great southern empire and the destruction of the south by Starfall.
- The rise and decline of the Esaran empire. The Sorcerous Wars, the coming of the Snake worshippers in the West of Esar.