Tales from the Frontier
Age of Discovery
0 VR ~ 100 VR
Following the discovery of Valeria in 1614 ER (Empire Reckoning), later known as 0 VR (Valerian Reckoning), by Aurelian explorer Julius D’voire, the empires of the world raced to lay claim to the mysterious, unclaimed land. From the Aurelian Emperor, to the desert dwelling Priest-Kings of Sur, and the Imperial Council of Nagi, all wanted to be the first to make their mark upon this new land.
Landing in a small, pristine harbour on the south eastern side of the continent, the Aurelians were first to make landfall. Shortly thereafter the first foundations were laid for the settlement that would later become the grand city of Romulus. Other nations soon followed, with colonies springing up all along the southern coastline.
It did not take long before the new settlers encountered the strange, ephemeral spirits that inhabited the land. Whilst stories of such entities were known to the settlers back in their homelands, spirits had long since vanished in the Old World as the empires expanded and their populations grew. These creatures were come to be viewed with caution and reverence, both for their powers, and their unpredictable behaviours.
As the colonies continued to grow, able men and women were sent out to explore and discover new land for fresh settlements. It was during this time the first encounters with the winged Icari and northern Kodan and Fenrir were recorded.
Notable Period Events
XXX. The Icari
XXX. The Northern Tribes
XXX. The Frontier Wars
As territory grows, so do the numbers of Brigands and Raiders that attack unprotected settlements and homesteads closer to the Frontier
XXX. The Altrisker Exodus
During this time, a small group of Aslani slaves, tired of their treatment by their captors, broke free of their bonds and fled inland. The group, lead by an old Aslani prophet, was made up of a mix of Mau, black furred Aslani that were considered cursed by their gods, and Human and Nagazi that had been captured through Aslani conquest of their lands and forced into hard labour. Now free, they called themselves the ‘Altrisker’, a word made from a mix of their languages meaning ‘the outcast or exiled’, a name they proudly accepted.
However the Altrisker were unprepared for the severity of the Valeria’s Winter, and were caught in a severe blizzard that almost wiped out the handful of their number that remained. It was then that the Prophet saw a vision, granted by a mysterious spirit, of a series of caves that could offer them shelter from the storm. Reinvigorated, the group pushed on, eventually coming across the caves, and the hot springs within, just as promised. Seeing it as a sign, the group decides to make the caves their new home, calling it (XXX). The spirit that lead them to the caves is seen as a manifestation of the Moon Goddess, (XXX), the patron goddess of the tribe.
In time (XXX) flourishes, becoming a safe haven for those seeking reprieve from the dangerous frontier.
Age of Invention
112 VR ~ 176 VR
- With the growing and perceptively unstoppable nature of human technology and industry, it was an inevitable situation where it would meet with the spirit influence on the planet. This brought on mixed results and changes to both sides.
- The Altrisker Tribe flourishes as their salt trade booms.
- 5 Numerous cities amongst all tribes experience spikes in racial diversity and exotic market expansions as trade between them creates vast imports, exports and immigration.
- The rise of monstrous spirits leads to a matching production in machines and methods of handling, communicating or destroying these spirits. This led to increased tension and devastation.
- Baron Kardos orders his men to begin discretely rounding up the down-trodden and destitute for his experiments.
- Many nations adapt technology into their existing practices, infusing spiritual energy with steam and electricity. They soon discovered the incompatibility of the two, and poured their resources into one or the other.
- 5 Kaissha Gazu, Nagazi, becomes known as the first person to ever infuse spirit energy with industrial inventions together. Legends tell that her village was raided one night, and she gunned down thirteen attackers to death. The next day, her wounds healed fast as she found healing spiritual energy. Her marksmanship has improved considerably with uncanny aim.
- The first ‘servitors’, amalgams of machine and flesh, are developed as a solution for the growing issue of prison overcrowding. An issue spurred on by growing unemployment and unrest.
- 10 Animated films, called maevas, are created through a combination of industrial technology and spiritual magic. They react to the audience and environment in which they are watched. As such, no two maeva viewings will be the same.
Age of Darkness
The Great War
178 VR ~ 210 VR
- As industry begins to encroach further into the isolated wilderness, the spirits that preside over those places push back. This starts a conflict between the various competing nations and the wilds, starting what will eventually become known as the ‘Great War’ (~5% Death Rate).
- 9 A Great Spirit, whom ‘stood in the way of progress’, is hunted down and toppled. Its death disrupts the natural order, causing the land to quickly deteriorate and become a dangerous wasteland.
- 10 The war spurs on the development of advancements in military technology, resulting in everything from power armour, to quadraped mechanised walkers.
- A new religion emerges following the technology, led by Baron Kardos, a zealot. Some people are convinced that spirits are in the machines, and worship them, calling them the ‘New Gods’. This enraged the devout of the ‘Old Gods’ and violence has broken out in tiny horrors at places of worship for both parties.
- Industrial communities where spirits were forced out completely begin to experience hallucinations and extreme anxiety. This was brought on through an airborne pathogenic made by specific spirits and many believe there is a cure based on the tears of an Altrisker tribe member.
- 9: Some of those affected by the spirit plague begin to feel a heat build up deep within them; an energy. Beginning as an almost-pleasant warmth, it soon increases in heat, building and building until it feels as if the searing heat will burn them to ashes from the inside out. Soon afterwards, they explode in a violent flash of light and energy, causing a chain reaction with all those who are infected, to the point of levelling entire towns, leaving behind spiritual fallout.
- 10 Controversy spreads in some of the major capitals as radical sects of the Old Gods are found to be using what is considered brutal and excessive new machines and technology to interrogate, torture and attempt to convert followers of Baron Kardos. This sends parties on both sides of the war to new extreme acts of industrial and magical carnage.
- Baron Kardos, a Religious Leader, kidnaps members of the Altrisker tribe and experiment on them. Members of the new religion do not question their leader, believing in the ‘greater good’ of potentially curing the spirit plague. (He is in fact researching weapons to destroy nonbelievers.)
209 VR ~ 226 VR
- A new and dangerous weapon is created, breaking the stalemate in the ongoing war. Large cities and towns on all sides are wiped out by this weapon, turning all those effected into creatures with only one goal: Devouring all life. Kills 50% of the population on the continent.
- The Atrisker was one of the initial, targeted testing grounds for this terrible weapon. This caused a heavy casualty to their number, more than half dead and even more injured, and almost wiped out the tribe.
- 8: The Canidirus Tribe (A tribe of very large half dire wolf/half human) is completely wiped out after they kindly gave shelter to a stranger who wandered into town, looking to be starving and confused. The story of the strong warrior tribe’s obliteration spreads across the lands like wildfire. Fear gripping the world after seeing such a powerful race removed from the face of the planet almost seeming to be in punishment for their kindness to a stranger in need.
Creatures from Atrisker made their way across the country, and attacked without reservation. This caused the other tribes to retaliate.
- 9 With the epidemic at the Altrisker tribe, and the subsequent death of many Altrisker, the spirits become restless and angry, lashing out at all life. The only way to soothe these spirit’s spirits is by fulfilling their desire for modern music.
- They brought the Atrisker tribe to their knees, leaving nearly nobody alive with the tribe’s name.
- The remaining creatures roam the world, devouring and infecting others as they roam. The creatures are simply dubbed: Atrisker (The Strix?).
- 8 In an attempt to isolate themselves from the plague, the Kodan close their borders to outsiders, killing all those that attempt to cross into their lands.
- Baron Kardos, with new cybernetic modifications was bitten by an Altrisker he was experimenting on and became afflicted with the illness himself. He managed to maintain his mind through prayer, gaining a stronger hold on the minds and devotion of his followers. He is seemingly immortal, replacing any part that fails him with cybernetics while his illness seemingly keeps him from death.
- A gigantic statue is raised of Baron Kardos in the center of the capital of human civilisation; further cementing his legacy as the father of human’s fight against both ‘Old God’ spirits and Altriskers.
- As cities are ravaged by the wars, raids, and the plague people are found to have no where else to turn. People wander with no home until Michael Cisco arrives, gathering people under him to head the militia group of “The Homeless”. They begin to spread as they take on to raiding as well. Giving in to the philosophy of “Take all you can, give nothing back.” believing that the weak do not deserve what they have. While some might judge them as bad, they are no longer willing to be anyone’s victim. Oddly, people who are raided and sacked by them often join their numbers.
- 5: Because of the Altrisker outbreak people have become a bit over zealous in the destruction of the dead. Making it nearly a witch-hunt as people claim someone to be one of the afflicted, and then a mob forms to “put them out of their misery and protect civilization.”
- 6 Altrisker have a cold aura, which makes the ground arid. As a result the areas surrounding large hordes of Altrisker become dead, unable to sustain life.
- 6 People discover that Altriskers do not come back if their bodies are burned (regardless if they were sick, that wasn’t the concern), and so a practice of burning dead bodies begun.
The Endless Winter
223 VR ~ 275 VR
- 6 <volcanic> erupts, sending ash high into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun and dropping regional temperatures by several degrees for several years. This 12 Year Winter causes millions to die (kills 25% of the remaining population on the continent) of hypothermia and starvation. Crop failure is widespread and unrelenting. Large parts of the world become uninhabitable and long distant travel all but impossible, leaving those in the new world cut off from their homelands. Starvation riots break out in major population centres, leading to further political instability and civil violence.
- 9 Baron Kardos, An insane spiritual healer, has found a way to “cure” those affected by the spirit plague by augmenting their bodies with technology has managed to stop them from exploding by joining them on a deeper level with the infected spirits by augmenting more of their limbs with technology. Many of those noticing the beginnings of the spirit plague seek him out to save their life.
- 7 The changing climate and struggle against the Altrisker forces. Those who wish to survive to build structures that pierce the ash clouds. Many races turn to towering spires and fortresses, while the Icari focus on raising their floating cities about the toxic atmosphere.
- 6 Many towns become abandoned as people either perish in the harsh winter, or move further South in seek of shelter.
- 7 Whilst their plans are grand, the massive spires are only half completed, leaving skeletal structures jutting from the mountains like blacked spines.
- 7: A mysterious sect of spirits and humans inhabit the spires. Very little is known of them, as they keep to themselves and magical barriers block any access to the spires.
- 8: The sect, known as the “Uzai”, are incredibly wary of outsiders. Using a magical scrying pool atop one of the spires, a council of elders carefully observes anyone who they believe has the potential to join the sect. When the time is right, and they are certain that the individual is pure, they approach them through a vision, leading them to the spire.
- 7 In light of the caution surrounding the mysterious sects, Baron Kardos, the leader with legacy, orders the preservation of his key artefacts by storing them within the scattered spires upon ridiculous layers of protection and traps.
- 6 The Forge City of Ghurn is established, built in an area of active magma streams which the city uses for heat and power.
- 8: Very few people left their cities when the great winter came. The outside world was full of possible crimes and certain death. Your home was full of people you have known your whole life that you could trust and count on. The extreme isolation that occurred because of this disaster made many a village very unwelcoming to new people. New people are the unknown, and the unknown is almost always dangerous and bad.
- [Legacy] Ghurn becomes the first city to utilise the molten lava of the volcano. Modifications were made to machines and augments that, when given even a small sample of the fuel, were able to operate with ten-fold efficiency for as long as the lava remained in it’s molten state. This naturally made the resource highly sought after and even more costly.
Age of Shadows
- The diminishing, smaller nations and tribes escaped into the wilderness to survive. They recognise one common codex in order to survive. In the wilderness, strangers are allies.
- 5 The Icari made major contact with other races as the great winter drove them out of their homes, now frozen and uninhabitable, into warmer climates. They maintained many historical skills and traits, which proved to be invaluable to other villages for survival. In return, they adopted lighter technologies for use in flight.
- 8 Spirit communities residing in the wilderness became acutely paranoid of the growing numbers of people venturing through their territories and sacred grounds; in many cases resulting in entire groups of people disappearing without warning.
- Whispers of Atrisker spread throughout the wilderness: They trick and devour fellow strangers and are not to be trusted.
- 7 Rumors spread of a nomadic group in the wilderness that have been blessed by the spirits. Their homes are on lands hidden above the clouds, floating over the world in secret. These few tribes have been granted the gift of flight as well, making it impossible for those tainted by technology to follow and learn their real secrets. Supposedly their sacred lands are as nomadic as the people were themselves while they resided on land.
- 7 The first aircraft was created in collaboration with the Icari and Ghurn. With unprecedented wisdom, they gave the blueprints away to everyone else, creating a first intercontinental trading company.
- 8 Nations divided among the wilderness, claiming resources while they remained plentiful. War was at stake but survival proved to be more important, and their instincts kicked in. Battlefields ceased, and the next battle was fought in resources gathering.
A Tenuous Peace
- After large-scale war devastates all those involved in the ‘Great Spirit War’, a fragile peace treaty is declared. Now, instead of open war, an intense cold-war brews. Acts of espionage and sabotage are rife, with no one side claiming responsibility as the Frontier becomes the battleground for a war of shadows.
- 9 Trade networks are established in the wake of the peace treaty. However, this also becomes an oblivious carrier of the spirit plague which spreads upon inhalation near items previously exposed to the plague; leading to beliefs of some imports intentionally introducing the spirit plague to once hostile cities.
- Many cities have been pillaged by gangs of criminals, with more than a few being actually leveled from the fighting. It is hard to say who is doing more damage, the criminals or the people fighting them. Either way you look at it, the ‘innocent’ people are the ones being preyed upon by both sides. Intentionally or not.
- Refugees of various conflicts establish resettle the former township of “Newhome” (home of the altrisker), renaming it ‘Haven’.
- Baron Kardos, Insane Religious Leader, survives an attempted assassination by powerful vengeful spirits retaliating against his taking from their power with his ‘New Gods’. He has ordered all his followers to be on the watch for hyper conservatives and stop their disruptive actions. This news has swept across the entire realm, putting tremendous strain on the tenuous peace, with a few riots/battles breaking out in extremely divided cities as the two groups begin to spill blood even within cities to prove the power of their respective gods.
- 8: Bodies have began to pile up, putting a large strain on the peace as more and more traitors and spies have been caught, “convicted”, and executed by all three of the major factions ruling groups. Accusing someone found guilty has become a rather profitable profession as all the ruling groups have offered rewards for snitching on spies or treasonous people.
- 7 The Baron, with his immense power and mass of followers, develops a space rocket that can pierce the clouds. It is suspected that the Baron planned to use this rocket to explore beyond the known realm.
- [Legacy] Baron Kardos’ Rocket is known only in legend, as most of Baron’s trusted followers died with him, carrying the secret to their graves. It lies dormant, contained within its bowels many of the Baron’s finest crafts and an immense power source.
- 6: A faction of humans insurgents, who worship the Old Gods, join forces with a number of spirit communities, in order to combat the Baron. The spirits focus their energy into the <volcanic>, rendering it into a weapon of immense power. They launch an unstoppable barrage of spiritual energy against the Baron, eradicating him, the majority of his followers and anyone within the immediate area, with no hope of survival.
- 6: Out of the fire of the <volcanic> comes a new leader promising to lead them to the return of Baron Kardos. Swearing that they know the secrets needed to bring him back from the fire. Dravin Bankshire, a psychotic extremist, calls for all the true followers of the blessed Baron to exterminate the followers of the old gods. Demanding justice be served to the non-believers. Treatments of the spirit plague are only given to those who swear allegiance to Dravin and The Blessed Baron. The rest are considered to be heretics and are left to their fiery fate.
- [Legacy] After the routing of a faction of human insurgents on the anniversary of Baron Kardos’ death, one of his relics was found, and a frenzy of expeditions begin to find the rest of his hidden artifacts and relics.
- 9 The return of the Baron necessitates a giant spirit growth. The imbalance created by the possession also caused a bias in energy transfer in the spiritual realm, suddenly boosting certain spirits to great power.
- [Legacy] Having planned for his eventual death, Baron Kardos had secured one of his relics that, once activated, would restore him. Thus, when one expedition discovered this relic and accidentally activated it, the Baron was restored (killing the entire expedition team in the process). The religion becomes split, with many following to resurrected Baron (now herald as an Avatar of the Gods), whilst others continue to follow Dravin.
- [Legacy] The Uzai, wary of the return of Baron Kardos, and the inevitable chaos soon to follow, send out a number of highly trained individuals to gather intelligence from the shadows. Experts in the art of stealth and deception, these individuals are able to use spirit magic to make themselves practically undetectable. While they prefer to avoid violence, they will kill if necessary in order to avoid detection.
- 10: Rumors have began to circulate that a new machine has been created by the technology extremist group lead by Raph ‘The Spiritbane’ that completely destroys all trace of a spirit, removing it from all existence. Even the rumor of such a thing has brought on outright attacks from some of the groups following the old gods. More and more people are starting to panic that their stable world is fracturing violently.
- [Current Campaign Start]