1. The Birth of the Gods
Little is known as fact about the birth of the gods, but Insularii historians have formed theories for the time by analyzing the geography of the continent. Based on a close analysis, they have concluded that the continent of Khaeros was not always a single body of land, and archeological studies at Tserjicanth appear to support that thesis.
Tserjicanth, an ancient and long destroyed city structure, is thought to have been the seat of authority for a society of powerful beings. The land seethes with magical potential, to a level totally unseen throughout the rest of the continent, which some Insularii scholars agree is evidence that the city is foreign to the natural habitats around it. Given its unique qualities, and the well-formed natural borders that make up the city’s region, Tserjicanth was either inserted onto the continent, or existed long prior to the rest of Khaeros.
A critical study of the city’s relics tell a story of powerful beings, who engaged in an internal struggle pitting groups against one another to possess an artifact referred to as “The Remnant.” Many Insularii scholars have spent the twilight of their lives trying to determine what exactly this artifact was, theorizing that it had the power to create natural life. In what is only ever described as “the cataclysm,” evidence seems to suggest that a rival group dubbed "The Nameless" shattered the Remnant into six pieces before vanishing during the event—all record of "The Nameless" ceases to exist from that point on. The remaining six beings each possessed one fragment of the Remnant. They activated the artifact and the effects of the shards of the artifact appears to have given birth to what are now known as the gods.
2. The Birth of Mankind
The world of Khaeros is a land full of seething conflict, ancient wonders, and untold mysteries. How the age of man began is often debated, but one fact is certain: Every race of man to exist in Khaeros despite being so culturally distinct shares the same genesis. Insularii scholars theorize that prior to "the cataclysm" the surrounding landmass around Tserjicanth did not exist, instead coming into being when the six ascended to godhood. Life it would appear, arrived shortly after that and through a natural evolution and otherworldly tinkering of the gods, mankind came into existance.
As to be expected, the outcome of such evolution resulted in very distinctly different societies. As each race tamed the wilderness, formed their own governments, and cultivated their own lands to suit their needs, they felt existentially threatened by others. The threat to their individual sovereignty spawned decades of border conflicts—battles raged between the races over religion, resources, and expansion.
Three major events define what is casually referred to as human history: The Imperial Era, the Mhordul Conquest, and The Era of Commons.
3. The Imperial Era (950 - 1050)
The Vhalurians are widely considered the most recent society to form on the main continent of Khaeros. Their arrival marked a technological boom that echoed like a sound-wave across the other races. The advanced construction of buildings, the breeding of war horses, a fully armored cavalry, and the advent of modern agricultural techniques arrived at around the same time as the earliest records of Vhalurian society begin.
Remarkably, a spike in the religious following of Elysia and Ohlm also occurred. Relics of the two deities dot the continent, all dated within a decade of one another, which suggests the first diplomatic alliance between two different races—the Vhalurians and the Tyreans. Moreover, the expanse of the combined religious iconography and technology paints a vivid picture for their allied conquest.
Remaining historical records of this early alliance define a King, named Christoff Caliborne—son of Brandon Caliborne of Vhaluran and a Tyrean royal, Ingrid Ormardottir—who led a massive campaign against the other races. The combined Tyrean and Vhalurian forces, as some evidence from literature collected from the other races, is presumed to have numbered in the tens of thousands. One Alyrian record states, “the trees seemed to disappear, replaced by the flesh statues of men with white faces,” indicating the vast numbers of the armies.
The Imperial advance is estimated to have occurred for at least a century, before coming to a sudden halt. Records of the Empire’s demise indicate internal strife, a civil war called the Vhalurian Castigation, as the primary culprit for its fall. The crowning of King James Falcourt divided Vhalurian society, splintering into allegiances between elite and non-elite members of Vhalurian society. The Vhalurians lost the confidence of the Tyrean people who broke away and consolidated on their own.
4. The Mhordul Conquest (1050 - 1150)
As any great power dissolves, there rises opportunists to claim power for their own. While the Mhordul are classically a tribal race, segregated enough to encourage conflict among themselves to build strength, but united enough to dissuade invaders, the Imperial assault taught the Mhordul one thing: strength through unity. While very little evidence is available from primary sources from the Mhordul, Insularii scholars have discovered a spike in literacy among the Mhordul soon after the Vhalurian Castigation.
According to the bone fragments such history is written upon, and the shared evidence from other races, the Mhordul tribes united behind a matriarch and set out to conquer the continent. While the Imperial Era illustrated an advance of common culture between Vhalurians and Tyreans, the Mhordul were wholly uninterested in spreading their culture. Instead, they spread their seed through rape and pillage, mistakenly believing that generations of Mhordul children would see a congruent advance for their own ways of life.
The Mhordul made a crucial mistake, according to folklore in their own society, they attempted their conquest too soon from the Imperial Era. While Mhordul tribes saw massive migration into the other races, their culture was absorbed rather than replicated. The other races were already acclimated to resist a common threat, and while the Mhordul Conquest ultimately failed, scholars believe that it is primarily responsible for the Era of Commons.
5. The Era of Commons (1150 - 1250)
Almost a century after the Mhordul Conquest, the Alyrian race expanded its diplomatic influence. Alyrians, notorious for their independence and presumably lackadaisical sense of law and order, placed them in a category of their own. Common sense ruled the Alyrians, no Alyrian ever needed to be told the difference between good and evil, lawful and unlawful.
These innate abilities to reason were hard taught, though, as evidence suggests. The Alyrian people were among the most frequently conquered during both the Imperial Era and the Mhordul Conquest. Alyrians were the most pillaged, the most influenced, the most resistant, and the most consistent race of all other races. As such, their literature best represents how the tide of power shifted between the races, and Alyrians best respect what a collected culture might look like if consensus and compromise could be reached on the continent.
While their fluid nature on the continent had catastrophic meaning for the sovereignty of their own race, the Alyrians turned history on itself. Their subjugation over the centuries meant that they had access to multiple cultures at once, and they easily detected similarities in the language of the races. Historians estimate that the Great Council created what is known as the Common Language, which spurred diplomatic relations between the races for the oncoming century.
For the first time all of the races could communicate in one language, and trade exploded on the continent. Suddenly, a group of peoples could finally understand one another, exchanging goods for the benefit of their own. Politics was born, where those who could not have strength in arms managed to have strength in intellect. An international market was established, the price of goods being determined by an objective body of likeminded individuals called The Sandrauga, a brainchild organization from the Khemetar.
For the next hundred years, the Alyrian people carefully orchestrated a peace between the races, giving rise to an intelligentsia known as the Insularii, a group of monster hunters known as the Dyrhall, and a group of entrepreneurs known as the Sandrauga. The common era had arrived, and society thrived.
6. The Current Era (1250 - 1286)
As the Mhordul conquest fizzled, in the throes of the Common Era, and with the assassination of the Mhordul matriarch by the Azhurans, the Mhordul failed to adapt to a shifting political and military landscape. Their failure resulted in a catastrophe for the Mhordul people, famine struck the larger tribes and dwindled the once powerful race to a shadow of its former glory.
Nearly an entire generation was lost combatting the Mhordul Conquest. The last fibers of the older generations wished to leave something behind for their children and grandchildren to build upon other than the ashes of the dead. If society was going to thrive again, the Common Era had to be protected.
A very fragile peace survives among the five other races, a contract for the common good called The Treaty at the Highway was formed and holds together on loose terms; trepidation and anxiety is rampant across the continent.