Greetings! Take a seat, you look puzzled. Slightly bewildered by reading that Timeline thing were you? I am not surprised. See there are many references to people, and creatures that you have never met, and many you don't want to meet. But who are they all, and what is their place, I hear you ask? Good question, and let me explain. My name is Pavane BlackHeart, and knowledge about the history of this world is my speciality, so have a read below of some of the notes I have compiled during my travels, and educate yourself.
Dark Prince - This character could fill a book (or indeed a small library of them!), but these journal's do not come cheap, so I will have to condense my notes. The Dark Prince (real name was struck from all records by the order of his father King Crofut 1st of Santamatara in the Year 72), is the main evil Archmage of Austin (though he is more powerful than most Demigods!). He is the first born son of the original King of Santamatara, who discovered his practice & research of black magics, and disowned him. Since then he has waged war on many fronts against the forces of good, and is the person responsible for the total destruction of 2 whole cities (Santamatara & Harikbad). He is contained in a wraithlike form within the walls of the Dark Castle by Rodby (the former Toris Castle), but he has the power to project an avatar form to other parts of the world. He created the 12 Goltari to serve him as his hands during his initial imprisonment (before he could project his avatar form), and although at least 5 betrayed him, it is believed that he still commands 7 of them. This character is the primary mover & shaker behind the scenes, the one who pulls the strings, and manipulates matters to create events decades from now. He is beyond any doubt, the most dangerous person on Austin.
Demon Lord - Ahhh, now this character makes the Dark Prince look like an amateur by comparison. See Demon Lord is a greater God, on a power level equal to that of the old entities themselves, from the days of the wars, prior to the last battle which took place in the year -1, and resulted in the defeat of the demon legions & Unbeing. The pact that was signed forbade Demon Lord, from interfering with the World of Austin, but he has broken that on several occasions, most notably bestowing immortality on the Dark Prince, seeding deposits of warpstone underground (which created the Skaven race), and making many other dire creatures such as Trolls & Orcs. He does not fear retribution from the current Pantheon, and only the threat of the entities themselves would be enough to subdue him once more, however they have long since left Austin.
The Geomancers - A group of nine extremely powerful wizard/priests who specialised in earthen magic. They served the Demon Lord as generals, fighting in the south of the continent, until their defeat. Eight of the Nine were slain, the Ninth and most powerful is Tisan Balshareska, who was frozen in time. The bodies of the slain were burned, and their ashes sealed in magical urns, and taken to remote parts of the continent, there to be buried in unmarked graves. Each of the Geomancers has a title which precedes their actual name, thus Khlams is Phila's title on the council. The Geomancers are directly responsible for the creation of the modern desert and also the Rainwall Mountains, and the deaths of thousands. Put together it took the combined force of Perial and Saggi, two of the most powerful of the Entities to eventually defeat them, should they ever somehow rise again to endanger Austin, there is no force capable of stopping them, thus it is imperative that the freed Tisan be prevented from restoring her council at all costs. The Geomancers were:
Tisan Balshareska - The Ninth of Nine: Leader of the Geomancer Council.
Thimaanya Nibali - The Eighth of Nine
Sab' Zihayr - The Seventh of Nine
Sitta Saad - The Sixth of Nine
Khlams Phila - The Fifth of Nine
Arba' Samira - The Fourth of Nine
Thalath Abir - The Third of Nine
Ithnayn Rey - The Second of Nine
Wihda Jamsheed - The First of Nine
Goltari - Now there's a term you may be vaguely familiar with, but do you know what they are? Well simply put, the Goltari are greater demons. There are 12 of these creatures in existence, and they were created by the Dark Prince, to be agents of his will (see Dark Prince notes for the reason why he made these monsters). This would be bad enough, only seeing that their creator was imprisoned, several of the Goltari rebelled, and set out to seek power for themselves, and to coin a phrase all hell has broken lose since (literally!). Below is a list of Traitor & Loyalist Goltari, that I have been able to work out thus far, (Note: This list is incomplete, must find details on missing Goltari someday):
Graz'zt the Demonlord - Ruler of the Tanar'ri Fiends, and a Traitor
Gol'recht - Ruler of the Dark Monastery, and a Traitor
Thrakish - Better known as the Horned Rat, Demigod of the Skaven, and a Traitor
Zeth - Demigod of Snakes, and a Traitor
Lehesa - Demigod of the Dark Elves, and a Traitor
Pazrael - Favours the use of devastating curses (Ghost city was caused by one of these!), a Loyalist
Death - One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a Loyalist
War - One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a Loyalist
Famine - One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a Loyalist
Pestilence - One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a Loyalist
Well thats 10 of them, that my researches have been able to track down, and identify. I have no idea what the other two are up to, or where their allegiance lies, but whatever it is they are doing, you can bet it is not going to be pleasant for you and I.
Morathi - This lady is the chief contender for all time greatest bitch of Austin. Luckily for us, she is dead now (she was poisoned by her own daughter Derala, in the year 548). She started out life as a human, and became one of the Dark Prince's apprentices, and a very competent one at that. When the elven civil war broke out, she was magically altered to look like an elven lady of unsurpassing beauty, and sent to whisper dark thoughts into the ear of the rebel elven leader - Malagant. She succeeded quite impressively in escalating what was then a series of minor skirmishes, into full blown war, and drove the loyalist elves to the brink of defeat, causing them to invoke the power of Loi, the God of Elves. This gave the loyalists great power (some became the first Alfar's), and they hammered the rebels. Morathi offered to make the rebels as powerful as the Alfar's, and they agreed. She treacherously channeled the souls of some of the Dark Princes evil minions into their bodies, and thus created the Dark Elves. She then betrayed Malagant, by kissing him (and thus touching him with a powerful, delayed action contact poison), and led the rest of the drow to the valley where Nengtaroth stands today. Here she became the first of their queens, starting the matriarchal government which rules even to this day.
Tisan Balshareska - This woman is an enigma, both the most recent, and yet one of the most ancient of these threats to appear. From what few scraps of info I have been able to piece together I have learned the following, disturbing facts about her. She is a Geomancer, a soreceress/priestess who has an exceptional knowledge over earthen magics, but it would seem that she also knows fire & necromantic magics. She is also over 2 thousand years old, making her older than Toris & the Dark Prince. In her day, she was the best general of the Demon Lord, when the War of the Gods was still being fought, she is the Ninth of Nine, leader of a 9 strong Qabal of Geomancers, or at least she was until the other 8 were hunted down and killed. She however took precautions to ensure that she could not be killed, so her foes instead imprisoned her in stasis, and now over two millenia later, it would seem that someone has freed her. She has awoken to a world that has forgotten her and the horrors of the Godswar, and that makes her all the more deadly. It is my firm belief that she will attempt to raise her slain council from their ancient graves, and with the backing of a full Geomancer council, lay waste to the kingdoms of this world.
Redin - This one is the most recent of these various threats to appear. See Redin was born in 1185 (along with his twin sister Maia), and he was the rightful heir to the throne of Amaranth. He was kidnapped by his father Alvan, and along with his sister, taken to the Dark Prince where he was taught powerful magic by the Goltari, and he excelled at necromancy. In 1255, he & his sister re-appeared, and took control of a leaderless Riversy. Initially, they were welcomed by the people, but their evil nature was soon made apparent as Skaven & Gnoll soldiers, were brought in to keep control over the city. Several groups fled the oppressive regime, one founded Miramor, the others fled to a massive cavern in the southern Underdark which they called Deep Home, here they built a small community named Grit Town. When Redin found out about this, he sent Skaven to deal with the town, they were slaughtered. Then he sent Pazrael. The Goltari cursed the entire area with undeath, and the town became known as Ghost City, ruled over by a crazed, despotic vampire called Pyros. Redin, ordered the construction of a secret crypt fortress, to the south of Ghost City, in case anything should ever happen in Riversy that would force him to flee. In 1295, Redin died of old age, but his story does not end there. He had long prepared for this, and several contingency magics began their work on his corpse, resulting in him awakening as a lich in the year 1299. This was not what he had planned, he had always enjoyed the pleasures of flesh (rumour has it he kept a sizable harem, of girls dragged off the streets!) He retired to his fortress, and began plotting how best to regain his kingdom. Redin is still there, deep underground, waiting for the right moment to strike. Given that he has had almost two centuries to devise new undead minions, and necromantic spells, when he does decide to strike, it will take a miracle to stop him.
Chandler - Now this fellow should be familiar to you, given that you can actually meet him. He lives in a big mansion, on a small island, in a mountain lake, near Miramor. Chandler is the twin brother of the mage Gwydion (although the two look nothing alike!), and is one heck of a traveller, venturing off into other worlds & realities at times. He was born in Rodby, but stolen from his natural parents (along with his brother) that very night, by mages from Sorceror's Isle, who had detected the magical ripple they generated, and wanted to give the brothers a chance to use their immense potential for magic for good. Chandler, unlike his brother eventually grew tired of the Island's confines, and left to explore the world. He spent several decades walking and exploring, never aging, until finally building his mansion. Here, along with his two apprentices Fala & Illinar, he worked on various researches, and eventually he & Fala fell in love. However, during his studies, he realised that Redin was not dead, and tried to cast a powerful spell to destroy him while he was recovering. The spell backfired, as Chandler had underestimated the magical defenses of Redin's crypt fortress, and as a result the Dragonwolf went beserk, ripping Fala to pieces. Knowing that he was no match at this time for Redin, Chandler fled the World of Austin, and went wandering amongst many other planes of existence. After over 150 years, he finally returned, much stronger than before, and ready to deal with his enemy at last. These days he spends his time deep in research for ways to break the seven seals that ward the entrance to Redin's crypt, so that he can finally reckon with the lich, for the death of his beloved Fala.
The Entities - These powerful beings arrived from somewhere we will never know. Possessed of immense power, they were still not omniscient or omnipotent, a lesson they learned when they answered the prayers of mortals across Austin, who were being conquered, enslaved and massacred by the forces of the Demon Lord. Shocked to find a world so utterly under seige, they agreed amongst themselves to help these people, and their power helped to turn the tide. By allowing mortals to draw power from them in the form of clerical magic, the mortals gained the ability to massively reduce their losses to injury, as well as developing powerful defensive magics, to counter the superior numbers of the Demon Lord's legions. While they did not make Austin, they made the Austin that we know today possible, by forcing a final battle in the year 0, at which the truce was decreed that ended the Godswar. The Entities then made several mortals into Gods to watch over the world, and departed to continue their explorations of the universe. The eight Entities were:
Rodgrim - Lord of the Gods: General of the Entities.
Perial - The Inventor: Created Weapons, Artifacts and Creatures to fight on the mortal side.
Saggi - The Builder: Battled the Geomancers in the south.
Gnort - The Hunter: Worked to ensure that the mortal armies could not be flanked, and did not starve.
Kafka - The Druid: Worked to restore nature to areas that the war had devastated.
Mixli - The Reaper: Taught necromantic and also healing magics to the mortals.
Legolas - The Assassin: Worked behind enemy lines to cut lines of command and stop communications.
Haji - The Wizard: Taught powerful battle magic to the mortal wizards.
Gwydion - Gwydion is the twin brother of Chandler, however unlike his brother, he is not vain about his appearance, and so he stopped his ageing much later. He looks like a very old man, and given that he was born in 1118, that is an accurate statement. Gwydion lives in a cave on Sorceror's Isle. Here he spends his time watching a beam of light, in which he (and only he), can see thousands of images of people and places on Austin. The beam is a very powerful form of crystal ball, to put it in layman's terms. It also alerts him to anyone breaching the planar boundaries of Austin, thus giving warning to the mages of Sorceror's Isle, against attacks by other planar lifeforms, such as the Tanar'ri. Gwydion very rarely takes direct action, as to do so would take him away from the light. Still he did assist the adventurers in 1427, when he assembled the five element stones they brought him, and thus created the key, which they used to open the portal in the ruined tower of the former Hidden Cabal, and re-activate the gateway to the Abyss, allowing their small, elite army to enter the Abyss, and challenge Graz'zt himself.
Sophia - Sophia is the Angel of Perception, and she has appeared on a rare few occasions to warn the people of Austin of impending disaster, most notably when she provided the clues to the locations of the 5 element stones, during the great demon invasion of 1427, having been cursed by Graz'zt to not be able to tell the mortals directly where they were, she cleverly bypassed this by using riddles. Although one of the kindest and most well-meaning of the outer planar creatures who visit Austin, Sophia's arrival generally heralds some great struggle of good vs evil.
Toris - Toris is one of the eldest and most powerful Archmages on Austin. He is almost never seen, as he lives deep underground, in a hidden laboratory, far below the level of most of the Underdark tunnels. Toris was born around the year 170 (no accurate records that I have been able to find from Ancient Santamatara contain his actual birthdate, the search continues). The current version of Toris is not the original, it would appear that an experiment in summoning went drastically wrong, and he opened a portal to the homeworld of the Illithid's, who attacked him. Unprepared to fight Psionic's, he was killed. However, a clone immediatly activated in his hidden laboratory and has continued his work to this day, as though nothing ever happened to him. He is neutral aligned, and while he has fought the Dark Prince in the past (he was the one who destroyed the Prince's physical body, and bound his spirit into Toris Castle, after the destruction of Santamatara), these days he tends to leave such matters to mages like Chandler & Gwydion.
Toris is the architect responsible for the construction of the Underdark, as the "T" brand on the foreheads of the Umber Hulk diggers attests to. Quite why he is constructing this vast labyrinth is unknown to all save himself, and he is not telling. The current Toris is not the original, as that one was killed by the Mindflayers when Toris made the mistake of summoning them, thinking he could bind them to his commands. They slew him in his weakened state with their psionic powers which at the time he had little to no defense against (Though he has surely done something about that since). His "death" had little effect, as a clone of the orginal woke from stasis, possessing all of Toris's memories and abilities, and continued his work. To the best of my knowledge, this is the Toris that exists today, though since no-one has seen Toris in a very long time, it is impossible to be sure.
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