A New Dawn
Welcome to the Seventh Age.
The Coming of the Sixth Cataclysm
Much of the world’s history was lost in the conflict, an apocalyptic clash between the God-like beings known only as The Forgotten Kings. As these powerful beings came to the real world, each claimed it as their own — bringing about a catastrophic war of attrition in which the mortal races of Arras were only playing pieces.
More than 90% of the mortal souls of Arras perished during these horrific times. As the Forgotten Kings clashed in the skies, so too did the killing fields below become choked with the corpses of the mortal races, each eager to fall in honored service to these deities. The mortal races had come to folly however, for the Forgotten Kings cared not for them. Mistaken as the creators and gods of many of the mortal societies, the Kings took advantage and brought vast armies of blindly loyal mortals to bear in pursuit of their own otherworldly goals.
Millions upon millions died as the conflict escalated to obscene levels. Soon, people slew as part of bloodthirsty frenzy — the favor to their supposed Gods led them to the battlefield over and over again. Their numbers dwindled as they fought like insects beneath the towering Forgotten Kings.
It is not known what happened to the Forgotten Kings. Some legends tell of the last of them destroying one another while the few remaining mortals hid underground, re-emerging afterward. Still others believe the mortal races, dwindled to a handful and seeing the error of their blind fealty, struck down their all-powerful masters. Still others think that perhaps the Forgotten Kings still exist, but lay dormant in the farthest corners of Arras. And some particularly ignorant folk believe that perhaps the Forgotten Kings did not exist at all, and that the tales are merely legend and hyperbole, explaining away the vagaries of a horrific, but mortal, conflict (though, given the newfound propensity for strange creatures and otherworldly occurrences, it is perhaps these last folk who are least likely to be correct).
None can say what happened with full certainty, as each mortal race was reduced to a handful during this time and virtually all recorded history and knowledge was lost. Their collected knowledge and history was all but lost during this time, as countless grand kingdoms were razed to the ground. Their collected works were rendered ash on the winds, and their societies were too collectively swathed in bloodlust to bother with their traditions.
The Rebirth, and the Reclamation
The only thing that is known for certain is that the Forgotten Kings are no more, and their existence (or destruction) has left irreversible change in the world of Arras. In some places, old kingdoms have begun to rise again, but in other parts of the world the Sixth Cataclysm has left a legacy of its own. Everything from climate to local flora and fauna to the landscape itself was rearranged by this immense conflict.
It is a time of turbulence, yes, but it is also a time of hope. The mortal races have returned to the fore, now slowly ascending back to mastery of their domains. It is a time of turbulence, but it is also a time of growth and potential. The beginning of the Seventh Age was the Rebirth, but now, society is entering the Reclamation, taking the world back from the destructive forces which had previously cleared it of life and legacy. Laws are forged, treaties signed, and society is renewing itself with each step.
There are those who would aid in this process. The growing world of the recovered mortal civilizations have created great openings for those who wish to aspire to greatness. All over, leaders and heroes emerge to lead the Reclamation as colonies seek to grow and return the empires they descended from back to the waking world.
There are those who would hinder it, as well. In the chaotic but valiant struggle to return the world to its idyllic state, it has become all the more common for a head of house to become corrupt, egomaniacal, or simply mad with the power and responsibility of shaping local societies. Some believe that perhaps corruption is as dangerous as any of the Forgotten Kings were.
Adventure and Discovery: When Old is New Again
In this world the most prized of things is the rediscovery of old knowledge is of paramount importance, as all was lost during the Forgotten Kings’ war. Everything was lost, and each nation has returned to prominence in their own time. Archaeology, deep mining, and exploration are all common occupations in this time.
There are large-scale differences between the various nations and states as a result of this quest for lost knowledge. One may have had to re-learn basic societal needs like metallurgy or construction entirely, while another may have had access to old records or knowledge which allowed them to retain the skills of their forebears in these regards. In this regard some races returned to prominence more than others, but all have made their way in some form.
Perhaps the most telling signs of the Forgotten Kings are the powerful shifts in the magical realm. Weakened dramatically by the Cataclysm, the Five Magics have grown along with society and seem to be more powerful than ever — particularly the mana-based magic of The Ether. Some fear this power may have ties to the Forgotten Kings and embrace its more natural counterparts (like Shamanistic or Druidic magics), while others have cultivated it to the point that their society helplessly depends on it. Practitioners of magic are not uncommon, and there are numerous higher learning institutions which seek to understand these powers better.
In some lands, magic has been used to further technology uncovered from the age prior to the War of the Forgotten Kings. In some regions steam-based creations with arcane power sources are rare but not out of the ordinary, and industry rules these folk like lore rules those who study the Five Magics.
And in the midst of all of this lies you — a person seeking adventure in this brave new world, looking to break beyond their boundaries become a part of the Reclamation.
Welcome to the Seventh Age. What will your story be?