In the Beginning, Idalos was a world free from the intervention of the Originals. Idalos, the newborn world, developed an Induk spirit that served as caretaker and guardian of the blossoming existence. The Induk was of the world itself, Idalos, and from the wilds came others who pledged themselves to Idalos in pursuit of its continued evolution.
The Dragons came first, physical envoys of the Spirits to regally command the physical world the spirits stood in command over. Many of the Dragons were granted the gift of sentience, the ability to choose and learn. But the dragons proved resilient to change and maintained the purpose they were created for with a worrying fervor. The Induk soon saw that the Dragons would keep things locked in the primordial chaos Idalos had been born from.
So the Induk created the Shay. The Shay, like the dragons, were granted sentience and minds that craved growth and development. They were spurred by inventive purpose and compensated for their lack of physical grandeur with their keen and clever minds. While the Dragons maintained their dominion over the untamed and wild elements of Idalos, the Induk sought creation and invention from their new children, the Shay. The Shay, like the Dragons, were connected to Emea. By the connection of their souls, they generated the primordial creative powers of the untamed realm beyond that strengthened the Spirits and Dragons they chose to worship.
Archeological records of the Shay are few. Most of their ancient structures and abandoned cities are considered to be early human settlements instead. Before the Originals came, the Shay worshipped the Dragons and Induk as their gods, constantly striving to better themselves and their civilization across Idalos.
Then came the Originals.
The Originals came from within Emea, never speaking of their origin to any. Eight in number, the Originals were inspired by what they found. The fledgling world of Idalos was young and still developing. Sentient life blossomed as did the potential for creation. The Originals were beings glutted on the powers of Emea and set to work quickly claiming portions of the world as their own to develop, grow, and build. The Shay, knowing nothing of the Emean origins, worshipped the Originals as gods easily enough. The Originals became smitten with the Shay and their industrious spirit, accepting their place at the head of their pantheon, and finding in them strange power that arose from their devotion.
The Induk, under Idalos, did not welcome the invaders. Rather, they called upon the Dragons and their own might to exterminate or banish these aberrant creators from their lands. But the Originals were intelligent, already learning from the inventiveness of the Shay and held their ground against the attack. They began creating copies of themselves to serve as proxies and guardians to specific domains in order to stretch their influence. The Dragons were not strong enough to stand against the raw power of the Originals and the Shay had long since turned their worship to the Originals as the pinnacles of their pantheon, abandoning the Dragons and the Induk in the process.
It was Anox, most brutal and war-hungry of the Originals, that struck a fatal blow to the Induk Idalos in one such battle, forcing the ancient spirit to retreat into the planet and relinquish its hold over the world itself. The remaining Induk generals met their own ends or banishment at the hands of the Originals, who felt as though the Shay needed protection from uncaring creators...care that the Originals were all too happy to provide.
More Immortals were created, the Originals showed the Fractures of their strain. The Shay thrived, but only for a small time after the Induk and dragons had been forced away from the Original’s tapestry.
No one understands what caused the Shattering, although many theories exist. Some say that the Originals were betrayed from within, that one of their number avidly deplored their subjugation of Idalos from the powers that held it before. Others say that the injured Induk lashed out through Idalos in one final, decisive blow. Still others say the Originals overstepped their powers, were too arrogant and paid the price for that hubris. Some suggest a fate altogether worse. The truth of the matter was that the Originals were destroyed, one by one, within moments of each other. The Immortals, children they left behind that were more of Idalos than Emea, are ignorant of the true cause.
The destruction of the Originals washed across Idalos and the Shay all died with their gods. Having connected the race to themselves, the complete destruction of the Originals supposedly wiped the Shay from the face of Idalos. In mourning, the Immortals turned back to the care of the world that had been left behind. The Dragons remained in their floating islands, the last bastion of Induk worship and the Immortals did not feel compelled to chase them. All they had known was lost to them, including the guidance the Originals provided. Many Immortals had been created to service aspects of mortal society and without examples of that domain to fuel their interest or warrant their protection, many Immortals fell into a period of deep depression.
What the Immortals failed to see beneath them as they searched for answers beyond were the humans that spawned from the places the Originals had perished. Beneath the radiance of the Grand Fractures created by their Shattering, humans were born into reality. The connection the Emean creators had to the Shay fomented the desire to perpetuate that inventiveness, that ingenuity, that resilience the Originals had come to admire so completely. The Shay and the Human both inherited the will to create and the freedom to choose. Their connection to Emea made their belief and faith power to the Originals and those of their ilk, just as the Shay’s belief had powered the Originals ages before. Although the humans were only a little like the Shay in appearance, they better resembled the Immortals and the Originals themselves, born from the remnants of the Shay and remade in the images of the Originals now lost from Idalos.
When the Immortals finally became aware of them, the people had begun to build civilizations, like the Shay had done long before, and were building their own legends, ideas, stories.
The Immortals once more had purpose, and the history of New Idalos began.
The Age of the Immortals
The mists of sorrow enveloped the Immortals, each affected by the loss of their creators with little resistance to the bitterness of death. The Immortals had known death came to the residents of Idalos, yes. But their creators were of Emea and their passing was as sudden as it was inexplicable. Their passing overwhelmed the Immortals, crippling most. However, what they did not know, was that the fall of the Originals created the rise of humanity. The Shay were long gone but from the bones of their ruined society came Man, born of dirt and Original power.
Many years had past in the world of Idalos before any of the Immortals took notice of mankind, but when they did, fear drove tensions high as they observed the mortal beings. Some of the Deities were fascinated by the humans; they were thankful for the mortals' existence and for providing purpose to the Immortals. But other Deities were far from pleased, as mankind had introduced a dangerous new element to their society once more. To some, the memory of the Shay was still fresh and the ways the worship and power it gave had divided even their creators from each other. Some even viewed the mortal scum as the sole reason why their creators shattered. With no clues to understand the Great Shattering, only the creation of these mortals seemed to coincide with the event. For centuries the Immortals remained divided on the fate of humans, but never enough so that they came to blows. An uneasy peace had settled on Idalos as the mortals began to build their society, but the peace was fragile and did not hold.
It was only when the Immortal, Daia, was slain at the hands of humans did the Immortals reach physical conflict. Rather than just her physical body, her Emean self was attacked as well. Immortals could not fathom how it happened, what had permitted this dangerous power to slay them, even in the world beyond Idalos. Faldrun was among the first of the Deities to threaten them into submission, commanding his brothers and sisters to rid the human scum from Idalos lest the other Immortals wanted to meet the same fate as Daia. Out of fear, some of them succumbed to his will. Out of noncompliance, others left, choosing to remain silent but observant to the rest. And out of moral obligation and love of the mortals, others rose up against Faldrun. It was then, when wrath and righteousness collided, that their heavenly world began to crumble along with the lands of Idalos and the humans that resided within it.
War was unleashed. Immortal against Immortal, fighting for the existence of a race that provided power and purpose for the Deities. As they fought, the Immortals quickly realized that no matter how they tried, they could not kill one another. Their creators had made them to support the world they ruled, not to tear it apart. Together they only made each other stronger. Only through pulling out the heart of their brother or sister could an Immortal incapacitate their brethren. As their war entered a stalemate, some Immortals returned to the mortals in order to recruit or coerce their aid. But the long Immortal war had scarred the face of Idalos, which raged, boiled, and withered without the Immortal attention. Without the Great Spirits who once held order, the Immortals maintained the balance of the world. Among the wreckage of the home they had been tasked to protect lay the shattered bones of countless humans, sown into the soil by the wrath of their battle.
Chamadaarst was recruited to facilitate a ceasefire between the Immortal sides. Faldrun stood to represent himself and those who followed while a small collection of other Immortals came to represent those opposed. Moseke, U’Frek, Pier, Pre, Ralaith, Vhalar, and Ziell. Faldrun allowed himself to be talked into a truce, as even he had no wish to watch the world Fei so loved turned into an inhospitable wasteland. The Immortals Oathed, with the help of Vhalar, to never again come to open arms against each other in the force they had. Surely, the next time such a war would occur would tear Idalos in two. Instead they would react through proxies, careful to mitigate possible confrontations with each other in the mutual goal of keeping the world intact. Cassion and Aelig were not present when the accord was struck with the rest of the Immortals and it is not clear whether they chose to enter that vow when they arrived back on the scene. Even the more wild Kata and Syroa agreed that the complete destruction of their only home would lead only to a ruin neither would enjoy long.
Faldrun suggested that humanity be dominated by Immortal rule, subjugated and monitored so that they might never rise up to destroy one of the Immortals again. The fiery king had only adjusted his goals slightly and made it clear no amount of diplomacy would change that. He was granted an area in Northern Idalos to call his own, to build his palace. No Immortal would visit there without making their presence known or risk his breaking of the treaty. While a few Immortals remained loyal to the cause of the Immortal, many others saw the long term control of humanity’s remainder distasteful and ultimately pointless. With free will and intent, humanity would evolve and change beyond what even the Immortals could imagine. They could not possibly be predicted, not completely, and their freedom would shape Idalos in ways their creators would have wanted, in ways they allowed the Shay to grow. No Immortal wanted to repeat the same mistakes of the past. The first term of the Oath was to turn each Immortal to the task of rebuilding Idalos, reviving the world they had nearly destroyed with their infighting. Once the world was restored, they could turn to their own schemes and plans...and many did. During the restoration of the world, some Immortals came upon the places where humans had died in great number and gave them life, learning with the glowing scars that crossed their bodies the measures of their limitations. Accepting it as a risk worth taking, the Immortals who chose to revive the fallen humans found that they came back different, touched uniquely by the power they wielded. So the races of Idalos came to be, grew, and thrived.
Many years have passed since the world’s restoration but still the tensions between Immortals remain in schism. In commemoration of the renewal, Ralaith named the day of the Oath their Greatest Trial, and began the Idalos calendar. Ziell warned his siblings quietly that the Truce would be threatened after the 700th Arc of the new calendar, that Idalos would see the most change since the renewal in the Arcs to follow. Faldrun rules his humans with a totalitarian fist and proudly preaches his doctrine of control and subjugation to any who will listen, slowly growing his allies. Many believe Faldrun will one day shatter the truth, pushed to fury by the conviction of his beliefs, and grimly prepare themselves. The war never ended, only came to a truce, and by that Oath Vhalar maintains...an uneasy peace and a war of shadows and mortal servants has taken its place.
The Time of Change has arrived. Seventeen years into the century of change Ziell prophesied. The agents of Immortals roam every corner of Idalos. Their children, the elusive Mortalborn, seek power in greater number than any have existed in history before. Magic, the stolen fragments of the Originals bring new threats to the face of the land, uncontrollable deific power in the hands of mere mortals. Leaders, Heroes, and Villains will be born these Arcs, people who will change the course of Idalos and finally test the limits of Oath, and the future of all.
Welcome to Idalos. Welcome to our Trials...