THE AGE OF DRAGONS
Danathan Confederate & the Beginning of Recorded Time
Coinciding with the victories of humans, dwarves and elves over the giants, the elves and dwarves of Danatha formed and signed the Danathan Confederate. The high elves that had instigated this, ruled over a vast magical empire of relative peace and tranquillity on the northern Frontier, while the neighbouring dwarves had established themselves in several large and prosperous strongholds. The Danathan Confederate was merely a pact between the two races to remain stalwart allies in the fight against evil. It also had the dual purpose of marking the passage time, and elves and dwarves of today still use the DC calendar. The signing of the Confederate therefore marked the beginning of recorded history.
The Secret of Magic
From the beginning of time elves had wielded magical power. To them it was known as the Secret of Magic. It is not sure exactly what ‘The Secret of Magic’ refers to, but it did have a physical ‘presence’. It is believed that the elves learnt magic from the chessan duar (or in some myths the chessan duar became the elves). But the ability to access magic was not inherent in the elves and they needed a focus to channel the arcane energies. Thus, the first elven arcane spellcasters were magisters and used their staves, much as they do today.
Soon this arcane training was combined with their dexterous fighting styles and mage blades appeared, using their athames as foci. The inherent sorcery of their chessan duar forbears has largely vanished from the world today, though traces still linger in the blood of dragons.
Shortly after the signing of the Danathan Confederate a significant portion of the light elves resented the newfound friendship with the dwarves – they simply found them too crude to be called allies. It was decided that the light elves would flee Larefian and take the Secret of Magic with them. They disliked that the high elves had become too open with their treatment of these once dragon-servants and feared that the high elves may share the Secret of Magic with the dwarves, repeating the mistake of the chessan duar when they awoke the dragons. Not knowing that the dwarves were actually quite ‘non-magical’, a group of well-accomplished light elves took the Secret of Magic and fled the forests of their brethren.
Later, once the Secret of Magic was recovered (see Battle of Il Khoelshe below) the high elves developed a means of recording the arcane intricacies of the Secret of Magic, so that it could never be stolen away again. The arcane writings led to the beginning of wizardry, where spells could be written, learnt and cast by anyone.
Battle of Il Khoelshe
The search for the missing light elves and the Secret of Magic took some time as the celenir’rin and sylvanir’rin searched Cellworld by sea and land, far and wide. The searching elves sailed most seas and discovered many new lands. After several years a group of elves that had taken to the sea came close to finding the self-exiled light elves.
The light elves had taken the Secret of magic with them and created a magical, hidden isle, not far from their homeland of Larefian. The sailing high and wood elves had penetrated the magical mists of the Hidden Isle (Il Khoelshe) and in a rash decision the light elves decided to destroy the ships of their seekers. But instead of dying in the magical onslaught or drowning in the sunken ships, many of the elves found that they could breathe the water into which they fell. It is unsure exactly how this occurred (and a deity-like being or elemental lords could well have interfered) but it was simply attributed to the magical nature of the elves.
These elves (the first aquatic elves) returned to Larefian beneath the waves and alerted the elves at home to where the light elves had gone. With many ships manned and a large fleet advancing on the Hidden Isle war amongst the elves looked certain to be repeated. Though there was some conflict, the action known as the Battle of Il Khoelshe was not really a physical fight at all. Most of the war took place in words, with the high and wood elves convincing the light elves to return to Larefian with the Secret of Magic assuring them that they had no intentions of sharing it with their dwarven allies – who they informed the light elves, were not interested in arcane arts due to both their resistance to it and the fact that it was the weapon of their orok enemies.
When the Secret of Magic was taken back to Larefian, the mists surrounding the Hidden Isle apparently dispersed. But they did not merely disperse; they grew and soon enveloped all of the waters between the continents of Danatha and Cardan where they remained, making travel across the waters treacherous and giving the sea the name “Sea of Mists”.
So ended the time with the elves united not only in Larefian and the many forests of Danatha, but with new elven subraces in lands far away from their Danathan home (see The Fractioning below).
The act of stealing away the Secret of Magic by the light elves began a time, known to the elves, as the Fractioning.
High and wood elves had searched the world over for the light elves and many stayed on in their new environments. Being a magical race with strong ties to the land, elves began to adapt to their new homes (leading to several new surfaces). Not all were created out of slow evolution, some magically changed in response to disasters, such as the azur’rin (aquatic elves) whose creation is told above and the arvorellor’rin, which were shipwrecked by a maelstrom when rounding southwest Cardan. These elves were not granted the ability to breath water, but sprouted wings (apparently by entering a pact with air elemental lords) and flew to the cliffs of the nearby Landsend Peninsula, where their aeries still exist.
Some went north into the cold recesses of the Devil’s Arm and became the islindir’rin; others went below the earth, initially to see whether the dark elves had involvement in the stealing of the Secret of Magic. These elves soon developed a dark skin, similar to that of their evil drowarthir’rin cousins, but their hair remained dark and these black elves became the subrace called the mordathir’rin. Elves that went west to the lands of the Kazari to check the possibility that the humans there had some part in the stealing of the Secret of Magic (for it was well known that humans coveted magic) came across the twisted Wilderwood and many stayed on to fight the taint there. The elves that settled the Wilderwood became the grygarthir’rin (or wild elves) and others in the east continued to wander the vast plains, adopted a nomadic lifestyle and become the rylarthir’rin (or wanderer elves). Others who sailed far to the south settled the great jungle of Djana and became the wakyambi’rin, whilst more settled the primordial forests of eastern and southern Cardan, some of which became known as Chandalar’rin, named after the large forest where elven culture dominated.
Finally, many of the elves that had taken to the seas could not imagine abandoning such a lifestyle. Over time they decreased in size, to better balance themselves on the rolling decks, and became the most distinctive subrace of helflings.
The Great Dragon Wars & Forging of the Dragon Artifacts
Tensions heightened as the humanoid races became more numerous and spread to new lands. Battles with dragons and giants were becoming commonplace again. In preparation, around 10 DC, the elves and dwarves began forging the dragon artifacts. These weapons of great power were forged using the high magic of the elves and the divine smithing power of the dwarves. Most of these artifacts were weapons, especially spears and swords, made of or tipped with gems and precious metals: the very substances that were the souls of dragon kind.
The preparations of the dwarves and elves proved to be fruitful for the Great Wyrm War (really a series of wars the likes that Cellworld has not seen since) had begun. There were few places on Kage where the war did not have an effect, as it raged for the next 1,500 years! Great magics were used and all beings were required to fight for their very existence.
Alliances changed many times throughout the War, but the goblinoids emerged as the dragons’ greatest allies. The giants too fought on the dragons’ side again. The races of good; dwarves, elves and humans bolstered their friendships and the elves shared the Secret of Magic with the humans – an act that helped win the war. The orcs mostly fought for themselves, picking off the scraps from battles and taking advantage of and adding to the anarchy.
The guardian races, that appeared during the war (see below), mostly concerned themselves with protecting the earth and its animals, though some did fight on either side of the war.
Despite the success of the Dragon Artifacts and the spread of magic use amongst humans, there was a more powerful force that turned the tide in favor of the races of good. After retreating from the war in its early stages, the metallic dragons returned in full fury. But this time they fought against their gem dragon brethren, helping the forces of good. With so many allied against them, the gem dragons and their allies were defeated. The gem dragons were forced into the unwanted and isolated regions of the world. The races of good were uncertain on how to deal with the metallic dragons, but it mattered not for they too returned to their isolated lairs and hid themselves away from the world once more. (A great number of them found refuge in the isles between Gar-Sanya & Cardan giving the islands their name).
The Guardian Races
After nearly five centuries of destruction, Aris created her children in the midst of the Great Wyrm Wars. Sometime in 14th DC Aris gave intelligence and consciousness to some of the animals that walked her surface. So that they could better interact with the races of Cellworld, she created the guardian races as upright beings combining the best aspects of humanoids and the animals they were awakened from.
Although some fought in the Great Wyrm Wars, on the side of good and evil, their primary duty was to protect the earth and their animal ward. This direct bond with the land and animals meant that most guardian races developed a tribal culture. Many of these cultures still exist today, some adapted to the more ‘civilised’ realms of other races, and still many others have disappeared entirely, leaving their chosen animal with no guardian. It is also said that there are a handful of guardian races in existence that failed to protect the animals they were chosen to protect. These races become insane with rage, loathing life more than any goblin or orc.
The Dawning Time
The time around the end of the Great Wyrm War was known as the dawning time. The races of good had triumphed and at the end of the war were numerous enough to begin forging their own empires, and the Secret of Magic was now widely known.
In 24 DC the humans, elves and dwarves of Djana rose up against the orok and defeated them. Some orcs escaped to other lands; those that remained on Djana were hunted down and slain (though some interbred with other races and even animals). (AA p19). The orok golden age had come to an end. From this time the orcs rapidly descended from the magical sorcerers the dragon gods had created, into barbaric savages, lusting war and destruction.