THE AGE OF DISCOVERY
The Fall of the Golden Valley
In the 38th year of 53 DC (238CY) massive gnoll hordes and armies of demon-worshipping humans on chariots swept through Nyaat from the north. The swarthy skinned humans were southern Kazari who referred to themselves as Ketharites.
The great wemic adventurers (Wind Chaser and Vision Seeker), as some had prophesied, did not return from the western wastes to save the kingdom (as they had done in the years before when they stopped a plot of powerful wizards from releasing the taint of the Dark God). But their one time companion, the wingless harkrinn Stormclaw, helped to lead the armies of Pharaoh against the enemy and enlisted the help of many fellow harkrinns that turned the tide of the battle for a while.
But it was to no avail; within a year, the Pharaoh’s army was defeated and a new, foreign emperor was crowned. The fact that Nyaatans had not fully adopted the iron weapons that had become widely used in Djana since the fall of Necromancer Kings did not help their cause. Stormclaw died along with many others, but was raised to become one of Horus’ lieutenants and granted wings of fire. The evil humans of the north and gnolls routinely slaughtered all wemics or felisians in Nyaat and ruled the land for almost 150 years. This time is simply referred to as the Time of Darkness by most Nyaatans, though is more widely known by the same title as the epic story written by the ibisil Arken-thomat-enshi, “The Fall of the Golden Valley”.
The Coming of the Fiends
Having not made a statement in the land of Cardan regarding their growing magical might, the Brymori of the west, known as Asheni, decided upon a great show of eldritch power in 58 DC (CY 707). Always obsessing about winning out against all of their neighbours, the magic-wielders of central Ashville, known as the Mages of Mirath, opened a gate to the Abyss in the hope of striking a bargain with the demon lord Graz’zt. The agreement failed, but not before a horde of demons swept through the gate and unleashed a wave of chaos and destruction on the lands of the Asheni.
So began a time of total chaos, havoc and debauchery now known as the First Coming of the Fiends. The Mages of Mirath were blamed and killed on sight. Many fled to the high plateau of Bador where they have once again become a power as the Bloodmages of Bador.
Meanwhile, much of Ashville was destroyed and overrun by powerful and blood-hungry demons. After four years of total destruction at the hands of the demons, the ruling house Arax entered into a pact with a Devil duke known as Bael, or as it became known in Ashville, Lord Araxus. Following this pact, which was actually set out and signed before the devils arrived, another gate was opened - this time to the third layer of Baator, and organised armies of devils were gated in to deal with the demons, which were their eternal enemies in the Blood War, and the devils were only too happy to continue this war on a new plane…and thus, the Second Coming of the Fiends was enacted.
This pact stated that most devils were to return to Baator after the contract expired. Only a few were to remain and stayed in the Ashville Empire as elite guards, soldiers and bounty hunters. Since this time, temples and shrines devoted to the ‘Saviour of Ashville’, Lord Araxus (Bael) and his superior, Mammon, have arisen in numbers. At the same time, temples to Graz’zt have appeared in the region of Blackfell Bay. Many of the people there actually preferred the anarchy and power of the demons and some have helped such fiendish fugitives hide.
Today, demons still hide in the lands south of which they were summoned, a few lone devils still hunt them and some ruling houses of Ashville still have devil servitors or generals. Since these times, the blood of fiends has mixed with mortals and tieflings are increasingly found in western Cardan.
The Scaled Tide
Around 790 CY the Lacertilian’s had created the foundations for their Empire in the Great Lakes region in central western Danatha, led by the large, aggressive lizardfolk resembling crocodile folk. They enslaved two other types of lacertilians and their armies soon spread from the lakes. Their dark, stone temples featuring massive cisterns and twisting pillars were soon found along waterways across much of what was to eventually become known as the Frontier. The spiked and serrated weapons of the lacertilians became the symbols of fear and suffering for all those under the power of the empire.
In 805 CY the Lacertilian Empire reached its most northern point. The ‘Scaled Tide’ swept aside all enemies and plunged into the sacred homeland of the elves hoping to take the Free City by surprise by sending its largest force to attack from the north-east, as the rest of the horde swept in from the south. But when passing through a forest pass (now Dead Valley) in the Aldelwinawar region, the faen (a coalition of fey including gnomes) made their presence known and helped to save the elven people.
The New Frontier
In 820 CY the perpetual and magical clouds that had obscured the Sea of Mists suddenly vanished. Chandalayans were the first to make the long journey across the Sea of Mists, crossing from Cardan to Danatha. Many elves made the journey with them, wanting to see their ancient homeland. Upon arriving, they found the local elven and guardian race populations under the sway of the retreating Lacertilian Empire. The humans helped to fight the Lacertilians and crushed their empire, confining any remnants to the eastern-most lakes (where they remain to this day). In doing so, the Chandalayans made many allies, including; elves, centaurs, some canisaran tribes and the skorrac – a repressed type of lizardman who were forced to serve their more powerful masters during the time of the empire. The skorrac gladly joined the humans and helped defeat their oppressors. These small, agile Lacertilians now live amongst the people of the Banakas and make quite good sailors and flashy swashbucklers.
Two years after the Chandalayans settled on Danatha the Brymorians set sail for the great ‘Danathan Wilderness’. Upon landing south of the Larefian Forest their first mission was to ‘civilize’ the local ‘savages’. This involved killing many Lacertilians in the area, which pleased the elves, but when these new humans began to upset the local canisarans’ way of life the elves felt compelled to intervene. The Brymorians had to weaken their position and were forced into an agreement that marked out sacred lands for the native elves, canisarans and other races, that the humans were not to expand into. Trade then flourished between the elves and Brymorians for a while, but their very different views on life ensured they remained separate.
As humans are known to do, once numbers had increased, the Brymorians later took more lands and relations with the elves and other locals continued to be tense.
With humans becoming well established upon the lands of the elves, it was no longer a vast wilderness and soon the west coast lands of Danatha became known as the Frontier.
War broke out on a large scale in CY 830. The Brymorian – Canisaran Wars marked the time when things really came to a head and many of the Delgonquin tribes allied to fight the human invaders. Fortunately, the elves were able to intervene and prevent a massive war, although skirmishes between the two occurred on and ff for many years and often still flair up when a particular tribe has the whim.
The Crescent Isles and the New World
After the ‘discovery’ of Danatha by the Chandalayans and Brymorians, many kingdoms put vast amounts of resources into building up their navies. Much advancement was made in ship design and cogs got bigger until they were well-armed galleys. However, instead of following the earlier sailors across the Sea of Mists most expeditions were to the richer lands to the south and east – the Crescent Isles.
Although Chandalayans settled Aquitania around 730 CY (in 58 DC) and the Avalins had been colonising various isles throughout the ages, it was during the late 59th DC and 60th DC that great waves of humans swept into the Crescent Isles. Relvoors settled Valaca around CY 884 and the Brymorians founded Ellesland a few years later. Discoveries and settlement continued through the 60th century DC with the establishment of Dascony in CY 926. The Mangars were established in their islands around CY 937, with the Chandalayans settling Chamarel Sound just north of them 10 years later thanks to the heroics of the famous sailor, Zacharie Dans.
In CY 951 Voorans sacked many independent ports and established La Mancha, following several naval battles with Aquitania. In CY 984 many more Avalins made the move to the Deloetian Islands, fearing they may lose them to the aggressive Voorans. In CY 993 Chandalaya founded the first westerner post on the continent of Djana. Dreu Fallard (a protégé of Dans) navigated part of the coast of Matusuland and selected the place for Fort Thunder.
The turn of the century (61st century DC, 10th century CY) saw many new independent ports being established by a mixture of newcomers from several different lands and those who had grown up in the isles. This high rate of settlement and declarations of independence still continue today, though there are few people from the lands of Brymoria coming to the isles since the Chandalayan navy smashed the Brymorian navy in a massive sea-battle off the coast of the Heartlands in CY 1015.
The Crescent Isles are seen as the ‘new lands’. A place where one lives and dies by the sword and their sailing skills. Explorers map new islands and discover hidden resources, of which the islands are abundant. Wood, ivory, stone, and most importantly of all, gold and spices, are all treasures that fill the cargo hold of ships of merchants hoping to get rich quick. The settling of the Crescent Isles and western Danatha typified the times of central Cellworld and gave the age its name.