(Estimated Timeline -250,000 to -5000 RA)
Rise of the Elder Kingdoms
In the Mortal Realm, new life sprung up in the wake of the destruction wrought by the War. The Fae live a life circling around their Great Tree hidden in the center of the Golden Woods, the Dragons sought out place wild and desolate and beautiful to contemplate Creation and the nature of the Thirteen Great Gods. But new life also arose, echoes of dead Gods, influenced by the memory writ upon the world by what had happened. So there came forth the Serpent Kings, the Weavers of Spells, the Dragonborn, the Consanguinity, the Bringers of Fate, the Gatekeepers, the Ichneumon Vorre, the Wind Giants, the Deep Ones, and many more besides.
The First City
It is the Serpent Kings, the Serpathians, who truly dominate the Mortal Realms in the Antediluvian Era. They create the First City, living what was at first a deeply contemplative life in the warm sun. A wondrous edifice that sprawled across leagues of land and sea, the First City was the first hub of mortal civilization. But with the cycles of light and darkness, the Serpathian’s began to delve into matters better left untouched, uncontemplated, and unexplored. Slowly as the Serpathians gave themselves over to longer and deeper periods of hibernation and sleep, aided by sorceries and alchemy, ever-seeking more truth and more power they inevitably begin to become infected with the Dearth, the dream-taint of the memory of the unmade Great Old Ones.
The War in Heaven and the Fall of Angels
Ever vigilant, the Celestials experiment in the Vale of ‘Aden, and create new life in Their own image, Humans, trying to find a new tool, a new weapon in case some new threat emerges that threatens Creation. There grows to be discontent in the Eternal City and greatest among the Celestials, the Morningstar, argues about the role of the Sarim in the Mortal Realms. The Lightbringer, as the Morningstar is also known, seeing what is occurring amongst the newly born races advocates for active engagement and even rulership among the mortals. The opposing side, does not wish to get involved in affairs of mortals and instead advocates for a continuation of passive guardianship. Stealing into the Vale, the Morningstar convinces the First Man and the First Woman to leave, setting them loose upon the Mortal Reams after teaching them much lore, more, it must be said, than he intended. This is the start of the War in Heaven and the Fall of the Angels. The Lightbringer and his angels take up residence opposite the Eternal City in the great Abyss maintaining watch over the great gate of the Void. The Celestials decided to spread the children of the First Humans across the Mortal Realms to see how if they survive and if they will thrive despite adversity.
The Rise of Man
Spread across the Mortal Realms by design, they wander freely curious and free of fear due to their birth in ’Aden, but eventually come together. To the great sorrow of the Celestials they also war amongst themselves and several tribes establish themselves, some say thirteen to match the Great Gods, but they found what was soon known as the Second City – an edifice that rivals the now lost First City of the Serpent Kings. Watching their pain and suffering, the Celestials take mercy upon them and some, known as the Grigori, come down to the Mortal Realms to teach and aid them. Unfortunately these Celestials are not suited for Mortal Realm and end up ensnared in their lusts of the flesh, not quite Falling, but still being cast out from Heaven. Out of their liaisons with humanity come the inhuman Nephalim who are still feared to this day.
The Decline of the Elder Kingdoms
Elsewhere, after millennia of exploration, contemplation, and growth, the Weavers of Spells destroyed themselves in a spectacular magical display, with only a few survivors now existing and trying to regain their lost glory. The Serpathians became lost in their hibernation and dreams and their slave-races and servants rose up to usurp their place and power until now only degenerate remnants of the once proud race exist, eking out a primitive existence in jungles and swamps across Creation. The other Elder Races see similar declines, some greater, some lesser, and many find their fates irrevocably linked to end of the Antediluvian Era.
The Thrice-Blessed and Thrice-Cursed
The Fae also meet the humanity for the first time as humanity matures and the Second City grows in power and influence. Ilhiedrin, the Thrice-Blessed, the first half-elf, is born to the King of all the Fae from his mortal lover. While this love child is a marvel, there are some within the Fae who are uneasy about the commingling of the blood of the two races. Ilhiedrin rises to be the greatest mage that the world has seen at this point but jealousy grows in his heart and he makes a great mistake as he descends into madness. Passing beyond the Veils, Ilhiedrin becomes the Thrice-Cursed when he breaks the great seal at the bottom of the Abyss and uncovers the truth of the Great Old Ones in his search for power.
Where there is memory, there is imagination;
where there is imagination, there is Essence;
where there is Essence, there is Form.
The War Without End
When Ilhiedrin unleashed the Great Old Ones upon creation again it was not complete, and what was able to manifest has become known as the Five Demon Emperors. They found Themselves greatly restricted by a multiverse that is far less fluid and They are barred from true entry. Even so, Their baleful influence spreads and the War Without End is rekindled as the Shadaoin are created and walk free within the Mortal Realms. Whole civilizations rise and fall during this time, shaped and wracked by the conflict. The Sorcerer-Kings of Engis-Erkrath rise up almost overnight and are destroyed from within, their own people rebelling against their domineering and tyrannical ways – and stand to this day as guards against such a thing occurring again, witnesses to the madness that is the War Without End.
Sundering of the Fae
After the loss of the Queen of Elvendome and her heir, the decision is made by the Fae to work a great enchantment and raise the Twilight Mists between the realm of the Fae and the Mortal Realm, creating a safe haven that can remain uncorrupted by the Dearth. This in turn is greatly contested by others among the Fae and causes the Sundering as the Sha’Achtar leave their brethren to pursue the War Without End in their own way, carving out their own Shadowlands on the edge of Death and Destruction so as to find and meet the Great Old Ones and the Lords of Dearth before they can corrupt reality even more than they already have. The effort is not entirely successful, and even in Faerie the Dearth has a foothold while the Shadowlands remain the first battleground against the Lords of Dearth as the Sha’Achtar intended even if the Realm itself is a darker and more dangerous place than was intended.
The Invoked Devastation
After the Twilight Mists rise and the Shadowlands expand, the War Without End continues to raze the Mortal Realm without mercy or hope as the Dearth taints it and Creation rebels against itself. The Primordial Gods, finally roused from their contemplation, bring about the Invoked Devastation, destroying the Second City in Fire and Flood. Its status as a seat of goetic perversion in the wake of Ilhiedrin’s crimes a cancer on the face of Creation. While the Celestial Fires are specific, raising Thalath in a Great Flood is far from specific and much of the Mortal Realms affected, and the effects are felt even into Faerie and the Shadowlands.