The Continent of Kartazia

The History of Kartazia[]

Valonian Age[]

The farthest that our history can go dates back to the great Valonian Empire of old, which supposedly lasted for tens of thousands of years. Great were the accomplishments of the valonians, and if the legends are to be taken seriously, the smallest of them outshines even our greatest achievements. It is said the Valonians rules over land, sea and air, in a time much before the appearance of the Avernon stones. It is believed that they created all mystical beats of the world. They are depicted as being able to transport instantly through space, and sometimes through time, to travel to other worlds, and it is even said that they once lived on the moon.

It is also believed that the Valonians were responsible for the creation of the other intelligent races. To what purpose, no one knows. Sometimes, the so-called “lesser races” are shown as serving them, as if they were created to be laborers for their masters, but on occasion, they are also presented as being in-par or even socially above the Valonians. Historical research dates the creation of mankind at about 5000 B.D.

Around 3000 B.D., all traces of Valonian culture and history simply vanish. No newer cities were ever found, no new communications were exchanged, and no records were kept from that point on. So far, no one knows what really happened at that time, only that the entire Valonian people seem to disappear at the same time, with no warning whatsoever.

2786 BD to 1943 BD – The Zenar Empire[]

Following the mysterious fall of the Valonian civilization, there came a period of turmoil and complete lack of order. Valonian cities and outposts were overrun by packs of magical creatures which made their lair in such places. The other species: Humans, Maenars, Orksen and Sharians, spread through the world, lost contact with each other and almost nearly disappeared.

It took 300 years for human villages to band together around a unified leadership which then moved on to reclaim some of their lost land. A pocket of order was created amidst all that chaos, and on 2786 B.D., the great city of Zenon was founded, establishing the year 0 of the great Zenar Empire.

The Zenar Empire was ruled and maintained through magic. Even after 300 years without their masters, there were many mages who kept the tradition of old Valonian rituals and were able to display some limited magical powers. Though these powers were but a fraction of what is described at the height of the Valonian Empire, still they were enough to give a measure of security and protection to the people, and to help their armies in overcoming the hordes of magical beasts which ravaged the land.

From fighting beasts, the Zenar forces took to fighting other human settlements, and soon there were no one who could stand against the might of Zenar. At 2000 B.D., the Zenar Empire encompassed most of the Kartazian continent.

1943 BD to 39 AD – The Eternal Council[]

The Zenar Empire began as a military dictatorship and on 2543 B.D., after a popular revolt, became the first republic in history, ruled by senate of elected officials which then controlled the army. On 1943 B.D., after a series of political manipulations (which at the time meant serial murders), six magician councilors came to power, and there they stayed for over 19 centuries. Using the strongest of magical powers of their time, each found a way to cheat death and share unlimited power among themselves. They became known as the “Eternal Council”.

0 AD to 39 AD – Eyon Dawren, Herald of the Heavens[]

The single, most important personality in the history of Kartazia is, undoubtedly, Eyon Dawren, also called the Herald of Heavens.

After 19 centuries of dominion, the Zenar Empire had degenerated into a pit of corrupt officials and unscrupulous mages who would stop at nothing to satisfy their every, darkest desire. For centuries the Zenar Empire had been living in fear of their masters, and not only the Eternal Council, but almost all high-ranking officials of the government were both blindly loyal to the Council, and also utterly callous.

Eyon Dawren was born as the son of the northern governor of Zenar, in what today is known as Zaitsan. At a very early age, disgusted by his family’s depraved behavior, he renounced all ties and privileges, and set out to roam the world. His peregrination was well recorded by the “Diary of Kalindra”, one of his first travel companions, and also his one great love.

Twenty years have Dawren travelled, and wherever he passed, more and more people would join him. Popular discontent was unbearable, and Dawren offered another way to the masses: to travel and renounce all ties with government or nation, to live being accountable only to one’s consciousness and one’s innate sense of righteousness.

Eventually, though, Eyon Dawren’s travels took him to the city of Zenon, at the peak of mount Avernon, the seat of Power of the Eternal Council.

It is written that Eyon arrived at the base of mount Avernon with three times more people following him than the whole of Zenon’s population. Considering that Zenon’s population at the time was around 1.2 million, that’s highly unlikely, but even then, it was probably a frightening sight, to see thousands of people following that one man.

The Eternal Council sent a small army to arrest him, with no other reason other than wanting to get rid of that nuisance. Their army, after talking to Eyon Dawren for a few moments, defected to their side and sent a messenger to the Council with the famous “Words of The Passage”: “Council of the Dead, allow us to pass through your land. Let no harm come to me, for if that is ever to happen, no speck of dust will be left of your city.”

The Council, understandably, considered that a threat, and sent an even greater army to arrest Dawren and slaughter all of his followers. That army, too, defected to his side.

So the six Eternals took matters into their own hands and descended, themselves, in the middle of Dawren’s camp. Took him by surprise, and spirited him away to their fortress.

Eyon’s brother, Kartaz Dawren, who was living in Zenon at the time, went to him in prison and offered to release him. What Eyon Dawren said to him were his last known words: “Yes, Brother, save me. I send you to my people, to warn them of the danger to this land. The Eternals will not witness another sunrise, and all who stand at the shadow of mount Averna will perish. Save me, but not the body, which is bound to die by the laws of the Sun, save my legacy, which is proper of the spirit. Unto you I give this land, who shall bear your, not my name.”

Thus Kartaz went into Dawren’s camp and warned his followers. All moved away from mount Avernon. At the twilight, a great beam of light was seen coming from the Council’s fortress. The whole of the keep was engulfed in bright white flames. Earth shook, and people saw, for the first time, a mountain top being torn from its base, lifted up in the sky, and turned upside down.

The city of Zeon was toppled and all of is population fell hundreds of meters into cold, jagged rocks. Never again the world saw the members of the Eternal Council, or Eyon Dawren.

39 AD to 49 AD – Kartazia and the establishing of the Church[]

Mount Avernon remained floating and started to drift at random. The leaders of the just-fallen Zenar Empire soon recognized the right of Eyon’s followers to rule, and accepted Kartaz Dawren as the new emperor. Only Kartaz had any real management and leadership training, and because of that, and because he had been with the Herald of Heavens on his last moments, he was chosen to succeed the Eternal Council. His first pronouncement changed the name of the empire from Zenar to Kartazia, “as his brother wanted”.

Eyon Dawren’s wife and chronicler, Kalindra Dawren, soon came at odds with Kartaz. Their differences grew too strong too fast, and she chose to leave the Capital of Kartazia and establish a home at the floating mountain of Averna, where her husband had died. The closest of Eyon’s followers went with her. There they founded the first chapter house for the pilgrims of Heaven, and began spreading the word of Eyon throughout the continent.

Kartaz met great resistance to his new rule. Several of Zenar’s previous governors were not willing to part with many of their debauched privileges, and soon organized a resistance from within. Kartaz, fearing that he would lose control over what little order there was left in the Empire, banded together the greatest wizards of his time that were not already corrupted by the previous government’s system, and created a personal guard of powerful mages for himself and all other high-ranking governors. This was, in essence, a means to spy over all of the empire’s internal enemies. This was the beginning of the Scarlet Guard.

49 AD – The division of Kartazia and the fall of the Empire.[]

The following 10 years were among the most tumultuous of the Empire’s. A series of assassinations of rulers and their retinue completely destabilized the power structure and brought an already fragile order to crack. Kartaz’ idea of removing opposition through death brought about unforeseen consequences, and his Empire’s basis crumbled beneath his feet.

On 49 A.D., Kartaz issued the famous “proclamation of divine right”, in which he acknowledge that he was not fit to rule, because even though he shared his brother’s last words, and is one with his ideal of Truth, he lacked Eyon’s wisdom, and was thus incapable of true leadership. He then proceeded to invite all of Eyon’s sons and daughters to rule with him in a council of equals, which would succeed him in a few years.

Eyon and Kalindra had eight sons. Kalindra’s wish was that they rejected Kartaz’ offer, but seven of them accepted. The one who chose to remain on mount Averna: Lexis, the youngest of them all, became the first ruler of the unified church after Kalindra passed away.

The joint government of Kartaz and Eyon’s sons never took place. While the seven would-be regents were travelling to the Imperial capital, Kartaz was murdered by a faction of discontent mages. When the seven heirs of Eyon Dawren arrived at the capital, they found it in complete disarray. To try and save what they could, they decided to divide Kartazia among themselves and rule each one a different region, and decide upon the most general policies in a council among themselves. This new council, however, was to never occur, and from that moment on, the Empire of Kartazia was no more.

Since that time, only the descendants of the seven heirs of Eyon have been considered to have the right to rule, and thus the concept of “royal blood” came to be.

The Avernon Stones[]

Seven years after the fall of Zenar, news came of another mountain, not far from Avernon, who was also torn from its base and started to float into the sky. Ten years after that, another mountain rose, and two years after, another still.

Soon it became apparent that what had happened in Avernon was not an isolated event, but the very structure of the world had been rocked by the death of Eyon Dawren. The mountains themselves were imitating mount Avernon, and took to the sky for no apparent reason other that wanting to be close to the Herald of Heraven.

Since the death of Eyon Dawren, occasionally, great chunks of stone will start to float. These may be only pebbles, or as big as mountains. They all receive the same name: Avernon stones. When big enough, they are able to carry people, houses and even entire fortresses over them. The church has a special fondness for these stones, but they are also much sought for practical purposes. Sails have been mounted on those stones, and aerial ships have been created around them. It’s always been hard to control where an Avernon stone floats to, but for centuries they have been used as a means of communication, transportation and sometimes housing.

95 AD – The Church of the Herald[]

The heirs of Eyon ruled the continent of Kartazia in his name, and deferred to the authority of the Church, in the person of Kalindra, their mother. On 95 A.D., Kalindra passed away and her authority was bestowed upon her son, Lexis. The Church has a profound impact on the lives of the people of Kartazia, and was the single unifying force that prevented further chaos throughout the land.

Since the beginning, the church have used mages in their ranks. It was them, after all, who managed to take Kalindra and her followers to the top of the floating mountain of Avernon. However, a difference soon became apparent between the mages that were integrated within the church and those who were living outside of it. Without the church’s moral compass to guide them, it seemed that most of the other mages were only interested in repeating the errors of their ancestors, and focused on power and nothing else.

A proclamation by Lexis Dawren on 105 A.D. established the concept of the Magician’s Hubris, and explained that only the church of the Herald could provide the correct guidance to mages and wizards. Those who chose to live outside of virtue were bound to become victims of Hubris and lose their way entirely.

On 124 A.D., Lexis Dawren was at his deathbed and it was past time he chose a successor for the head of the church. Instead, he proclaimed that no one man should have power over the spiritual live of the people, but the church should be ruled by a group of 5 archdeacons, “just as the hand has five fingers”. Also, he declared that wisdom itself was not hereditary, so it was not necessary for the new archdeacons to be the blood descendants of the old ones.

51 AD – The tower of Karatur[]

On the newly created seven kingdoms of Kartazia, the Crimson Guard became a source of constant suspicion. A unified group of mages who suddenly owed allegiance to no one but themselves, and who had been working as private assassins for Emperor Kartaz… it was too powerful an organization to be ignored.

The Crimson Guard itself realized this, and so on 51 A.D. the members of the guard approached the seven kings of Kartazia and offered to swear that none of their members were to ever own land or rule over other men. Also, they would offer their services to the seven kings and to them alone. In exchange, they would be allowed to continue their magical studies uninterrupted, and would be subjected to their own laws, if one of their members were to commit a crime.

The kings found that offer very much acceptable, and as a proof of this agreement, they conceded a small stretch of land in the middle of Kartazia – the shire of Karatur – where the mages were to build their tower.

A further edict signed by the seven kings, dating from 135 A.D. allowed (and commanded) the tower to hunt and exterminate all mages outside of the church who were not to accept this vow. This established the tower as the single, central source for magical learning in the continent.

The tower of Karatur became Kartazia’s center for magical learning for many centuries, and at least for 900 years, the mages were true to their word, and served the kings of Kartazia impartially.

956 AD to 962 AD – The Zaitsan Revolution[]

By 956 A.D., social pressure in the kingdom of Zaitsan became unbearable. The people, lead by a political philosopher called Arix Zaharion, dethroned nobility and put all of the ruling class to death. A new government was installed, a republic, and Arix Zaharion was elected its first minister.

The other nations ceased their in-fight and all turned towards Zaitsan. Soon, the newly established republic faced enemies on all sides. To defend against these threats, Arix himself took to arms and went to the battlefield, winning several key battles.

This period, however, was also marked by great internal turmoil in Zaitsan. The new government was not up to the expectations of the people, and to quell the fires of a new rebellion, the number of executions increased drastically. More importantly, several attempts on the life of Arix were covertly being made by mages, because Arix himself had been a tower-trained mage, and if anyone else were to ever suspect of his magical heritage, the whole magical society in Kartazia would be at risk: the other kings would never forgive such a breach in the code.

On 962, against all odds, Arix was elected first Emperor of Zaitsan. The republican ideals had, at last, been toppled by a new absolutist government. Before anyone had a chance to further oppose him, however, the unthinkable happened.

962 AD to 1001 AD – The Dark Empire of the tenth century[]

Overnight, all population of the city of Dransberg, capital of Zaitsan, perished. Before the sun could rise, though, they all came back: undead. News of this event could not travel to neighboring cities before this undead army began marching, and slaughtering. One by one, all cities of Zaitsan fell, and from the blood of the carnage, the mass of undead grew again and again.

Now all Kartazia knew that Arix Zaharion was a mage, a necromancer, and the scourge of mankind.

All other nations pooled their resources. Fighting was fierce in all fronts, but every soldier who fell came back as one of Zaharion’s minions. The borders of Zaitsan expanded, engulfed the other kingdoms, and threatened to destroy all of civilization.

For fourty years the war raged on. Heroes came and went, armies were banded and defeated. On 975, all nations created a unified Kartazian army in hopes of ending the Zaharion threat, only to be utterly defeated two years later. On 1000 A.D., all seemed lost.

The mages of the tower were blamed for Zaharion’s crimes. The code that bound them to the kings was forgotten, and magic was outright banned. All magicians became outlaws, and anyone with an aptitude for magic was viewed with suspicion.

It was a mage, however, who was responsible for defeating Zaharion. His name: Keynan Morden, and he was none other than Arix Zaharion’s father.

Keynan tried for forty years to oppose his son, but at every turn he was bested. On 998, he decided to form a group of people who would work to fulfill his endeavors, while he would divert Zaharion’s attention to yet another of his attempts at defeating him.

The group became known as “The Five Dragons”. Their names were Alesia Duran, Rydion Eridrian, Lorn Tressel, Faeryn Gainar and Kyllion Rander. Their task was simple: to find the body of Eyon Dawren. According to Keynan, when Eyon fought the Eternal Council, he used some sort of artifice to become immune to their magic. Traces of this power must still linger in his ashes, and Zaharion, strong as he might be, was not up to even one of the Eternals.

The Church of the Herald, surprisingly enough, supported the efforts of the Five and gave them all possible backup. For two years the Five Dragons travelled the world, visited distant lands and odd races, met with sages and wizards of other traditions. At the end, it was on a remote island, with little more than a fishing village, that the Five Dragons encountered the remains of Eyon Dawren.

In the middle of all of Zaharion’s destruction, a surge of faith like none before spread through the land at the news of the recovery of Eyon’s body. However, the church wizards analyzed his remains for a long time, but could not come up with a way to replicate whatever Dawren had done to become immune to the Eternal’s magic. There was only one way to pass that power on to someone else: grinding Eyon’s bones into ash, and infusing the ashes into someone.

The plan was for the Five Dragons to drink of this mixture and face Zaharion in battle. On that night, though, Rydion Eridrian, one of the Five, mixed the ashes of Dawren in the castle’s water. On breakfast of the following day, as every single person in the fortress drank of this water, they all became immune to Zaharion – or anyone’s – magic. They became the first of the Eridrians, a group of people who is naturally resistant to magic, and who can pass this resistance on to their descendants.

On the final battle against Arix Zaharion, most of the remaining Kartazian mages, the majority of the church’s high-ranking sorcerers, and the bulk of the resistance’s knights perished. Arix himself was defeated only after a ruthless battle against the Five. His body could not be destroyed, though, and was given to the church for safekeeping. Kartazia had been ravaged, but on 1001, it was at last free.

1001 AD to 1205 AD – The thousand wars.[]

At the beginning of the second millennium, the leaders of the remaining nations of Kartazia reunited and signed a treaty to redistribute the continent among themselves, and tear apart the old kingdom of Zaistan. These new boundaries were never enforced, though. A new rush of migration and a race for land took hold of the survivors of Zaharion’s purge, and the face of Kartazia was to be determined only decades later, by the colonization efforts of the survivors.

Several small kingdoms arose and fell. The period between 1001 and 1200 was known as “the period of the thousand wars”, although in practice it was much more than a thousand wars that have been fought at this time.

Some of the old kingdoms managed to take hold of their territory and expand it. New powers arose as well, and through a careful manipulation of records, these new monarchs managed to position themselves as true descendants of Dawren, and thus rulers by right.

The fall of Arix and his empire of darkness caused the number of magical beasts to increase drastically, so the thousand wars were not only of kingdom against kingdom, but often of humans against monster hordes. Several old cities became infested with monsters and were never reclaimed.

On 1205, the city-states that formed up the old kingdom of Zaitsan rebelled against their forced occupation and founded a new republic. This time, not a single government had strength enough to oppose them, and so the new state of Zaitsan was created.

The creation of the state of Zaitsan is the historical mark which sets the end of the age of the thousand wars.

Magic in the second millennium[]

Arix Zaharion set a new standard for destruction and horror, and after his wars, all mages were eyed with much suspicion, especially by the common folk, who did not know that Zaharion was only defeated by the efforts of another mage.

However, the potential use of mages in battle forced many of them to take part in the thousand wars, and throughout this period, several mage-kings came to power, and several more were dethroned.

By 1200 most of the remaining spellcasters who had not defected to the church were in the employ of one or another noble house. Great political pressure caused existing noble-mages to renounce their rights in order to preserve the lives and title of their family. Nevertheless, magic was still widespread, and its existence was a great boon to the nobility of the greater kingdoms. In many cases, it was due to the actions of these mages that such kingdoms were prevented from falling apart.

The Eridrians[]

Throughout the thousand wars, the descendants of those who fought Arix face to face and survived became known as “The Eridrians”. For many years they were a mere oddity in the world: people who magic could not touch, at least not easily. In time, it became apparent that the eridrians were also less likely to incur in the wrath of magical monsters, so most found employment as scouts and rangers on lands infested with mythical beasts.

Some eridrians remained loyal to the church, and received the fortress of durengard as a reward for their efforts against Arix. There they honed battle skills and created a new order of eridrian warriors within the church. They were called simply: “Knights of the Fortress”, which later became the “Fortian Knights”, a discreet and recluse force at first, but one which was to take a central role in the politics of the millennium to come.

1205 AD to 1332 AD – The age of the three nations[]

When Zaitsan declared independence and formed its second republic, Kartazia became divided into three major powers: Zaitsan, Tergovia and Lionar. The later were the only two kingdoms whose nobility survived since time of the seven kingdoms.

Many lesser states and nations still existed throughout Kartazia, but these were of no concern to these three great ones, who considered the lesser kingdoms to be, for all practical purposes, their protectorates.

War broke out between Zaitsan and the two other countries on 1213, but soon after, on 1215, Tergovia declared war against Lionar. The whole of the continent became divided against these three banners, and even the Church, ever so active in kingdom politics, had to withdraw some of its influence from these nations to avoid creating an internal rift in its ranks.

Some notable events took place during this centuries-long war:

On 1236, the small kingdom of Torksar shifted its allegiance from Lionar to Tergovia. Lionar responded by slaughtering all of Torksar’s population, even down to its pet animals. Torksar’s lands were salted and never populated again. The enraged spirits of Torksar population could not rest and are said to roam its dead country, slaying all who pass, but with special cruelty to Lionarians.
On 1247, to defend against an attack from both Lionar and Tergovia at the same time, a group of magicians from Zaitsan brought three undead dragons to their control. The beasts devastated the attacking armies, and right afterward Zaitsan’s very forces. They ravaged the land for over five years until a group of heroes led by a Fortian Eridrian managed to defeat all three. These three skeletons are on display on Zaitsan’s capital.
On 1259, the army of Lionar occupied Dargosta, capital city of Tergovia. They would have then moved on to destroy Tergovia completely, but had to pull back their armies and give Dargosta back to the Tergovians to defend their own capital of Calenar: Zaitsan had surrounded that city, beginning the “Vintage Siege”, which would last for twenty one years.
On 1271, a rogue group assassinated the prime minister of Zaitsan, on allegation that he was actually an evil mage and had caused the war to begin in the first place because he was serving a demon who fed on death. None of these claims were never proven. These criminals, however, escaped justice with anonymous help – though many believe the Church was involved – and were never seen again.
On 1275, the leaders of all three nations agreed to meet on neutral ground to discuss the terms of a three-sided ceasefire and end the war. What happened at that meeting nobody exactly knew, but it is common knowledge that all three leaders – and their entire retinues – were killed. This brought a definite stop to any possibility of a peaceful solution to the war, and from that moment on, it became increasingly violent.
The most disputed region of this war became the Luksenar states. On 1291, a group of Tergovian mages managed to summon one of the greatest lords of the Abyss in hopes of controlling it and using it as a weapon. The demon not only escaped control, but ravaged the entire region of Luksenar for 10 years before being finally banished back. After this incident, the fight came to an almost complete stop, as all three nations had a lot of rebuilding to do. The Luksenar states, for a long time, remained uninhabited.
Deeply worried about the devastating effects that this war had been having for over one hundred years, great church officials attempt a series of negotiations towards a three-way ceasefire on 1328. Seven meetings were held in which the leaders of the three nations were present. Everything seemed to be in vain, but the Eridrian Fortians unveiled a secret plot by a small group of mages who were secretly controlling the minds of the nation’s leaders. On an epic battle witnessed by the greatest rulers of Kartazia, these mages were defeated, their control subsided, and a ceasefire was soon signed. However, one hundred years of hatred and enmity ran too deep in the citizens of the three kingdoms, and several skirmishes were still fought. A great number of rebellious generals also refused to accept the end of the war. Months after the signing of the end of the war, the ministers of Zaitsan were removed in a coup d’etat, and the war was forced to go on.

On 1332, the population of the central states of Luksenar, incapable of withstanding any more punishment from the three nations, declared independence and formed the kingdom of Luksenar. The church, seeing in this an opportunity to create a central state which would alleviate the war’s tension, immediately recognized the new leaders of Luksenar as descendants from Dawren, and legitimized their claim of nobility. The war that Luksenar had to fight for its independence was brief: most of its nobles, having defected from one of the three nations, carried great political secrets. The price that the nations had to pay for their silence was acknowledging Luksenar as a new kingdom. Thus began the history of the central Kingdom, and its notoriety for being home of the most competent of spies.

1343 AD – The founding of Velusia[]

The hundred year war brought many changes to the continent, and also a renewed distrust towards magic. Even the greatest defenders of magic in society had trouble accepting magical help, after the actions of mages during the war.

On 1343, a group of mages who believed that they could do better decided that they would not stand up to any more mistrust and prejudice. They found a large number of Avernon isles and moved their homes to their top. Immense chains were fashioned to keep these Avernon from drifting apart, and an equally great anchor was also made to prevent their movement altogether when it wasn’t desired.

This was the beginning of Velusia: the sky kingdom. At first, the concentration of so many mages at the same place left all rulers on edge. However, being so far above, and being able to provide for themselves, soon interest in Velusia drifted away. The Velusian isles became more of an oddity than nothing else, as contact with the world below dwindled ever more.

However, it was there for any spellcaster to see: a place where they could go for learning and support. At last, a place they could call “home”.

1347 AD to 1372 AD – The travels of Loren Venar[]

On 1347, a wealthy merchant called Loren Venar decided upon embarking on an impossible journey: to travel east until he would find the end of Kartazia, and return with the most comprehensive map of the world to date. Up until that time, Avernon stones were sporadically used as a means of travelling, but due to the unpredictability of its movement, it was unfeasible to rely on them to follow any path. Loren solved that problem for the first time. With the aid of renowned inventor Garok Trix, he managed to build a ship’s hull around an Avernon, and place a complex system of sails which would compensate for the Avernon’s movement by using wind. This was “Beyonder”, the first Kartazian airship.

1347, the date in which Beyonder was built, marks the very beginning of the great age of discoveries.

Loren’s journeys took 25 years to complete, and when he returned he brought with him more than riches and exotic items, he brought a map, and routes that would take merchants to the far east of the continent. He brought news of the lands of Tamshara and Hokaiko. He became Kartazia’s first and greatest ambassador.

The Beyonder, upon returning, was disassembled, and the techniques used in its making were replicated throughout Kartazia. A few years later, many airships had been built. Although there was still several difficulties in using them, that one invention changed the face of the world forever.

The birth land of Loren Venar became known as Venara, and the economical prosperity that his airships brought would pave the way for that to become a completely new, independent state.

1404 AD – The Arden Lockdown[]

Throughout the fourteenth century, very few wars were fought among Kartazian nations, who were mainly focused on rebuilding their life. In this age, several philosophers and thinkers came to be, and this was, in the overall, an age teeming with new theories and ideas.

The apex of these ideals came on 1404, on the Arden region of Zaitsan: a place to the east of Zaitsan which had little contact with the rest of the republic. Also, a place with little economic importance.

Arden never formally declared independence. They simply stopped communicating with Zaitsan government. It took some years for Zaitsan to realize that. By the time they managed to send an army to deal with the insurgence, Arden’s own armies were too big for any confrontation to be lucrative for Zaitsan. Thus, the nation of Arden was allowed to exist.

Arden, however, only intensified its lockdown over the years. It never established diplomatic relations with any other nation, it never accepted any foreign ship in its ports, never signed any commercial treaty, and, in fact, never allowed any merchant to cross its borders.

It became the most mysterious of Kartazian’s nations. Not surprisingly, also the most studied. What little information is known about Arden, which came through travelers that clandestinely crossed its borders and came back, is staggering: news tell of a place where there is no money, where every citizen is a soldier, an artist and a craftsman. A kingdom without kings, ruled by a very loose coalition of elders who are forbidden to even look upon gold! A place where everybody knows how to read and write from an early age. It is not unexpected that they are not accepting visitors!

1483 AD – The discovery of Adara[]

On 1483, a Lionaran merchant by the name of Daeren Corenon, and a great cartographer called Adar Veronnis proposed to the crown of Lionar a journey that would take them through a new route into the exotic lands of Hokaiko and Tamshara: around the globe.

The plan was to use the world’s circumference to find a new trade route, considering that there should be open sea from Kartazia to Hokaiko. The crown, after much deliberation, decided to finance his trip, and gave him seven airships with which to make their journey.

What they actually found out was that the world was far greater than they had anticipated, and there was not open sea from there to Hokaiko. There was a new, undiscovered land at the other side of the globe. One that was to be called “Adara”.

The discovery of Adara took Kartazia by storm. Not only because of the potential of the land itself, but also because its indigenous population, a race known as “the Sharians”, were surprisingly primitive.

And then, there was the gold. Everywhere there was gold. The greatest of Sharian temples shone like a second sun in midday. There were streets where you could not walk on daylight without going blind.

The first of Corenon’s journeys doubled the wealth of Lionar. The others which followed posed the kingdom as the wealthiest, most powerful nation of Kartazia.

The other nations tried to make up for losing this momentum. Tergovia and Zaitsan soon followed, but it was the islands of Yorglen who had the best chance of taking a slice of the new found lands. All of them, however, paled in comparison to Lionar’s conquests.

A race took place on Kartazia, for new colonies, for new land, and for Adaran gold. Soldiers poured over the new continent. The sharian population, though nothing short of violent itself, was massacred.

It was a time of adventure, it was a time of conquest, it was a time of new legends. It was also a time of brutality and slaughter, a bloodbath for all who ventured in that wild, uncaring land.

1547 AD and 1553 AD – The Clockworks of Erezgath[]

Kryss Erezgath was one of the most famous inventors in history, mainly because of his two inventions which revolutionized Kartazia. On 1547, at the court of Lionar, he presented the first model of an economically viable clockwork pocket watch. Before that, the closest thing that there was to measuring time precisely were huge clepsydras. Kryss’ invention was a great leap in clockworking technology in which he labored secretly for many years, and one which set him as a genius right away. Money from all of his orders also made him one of the richest man alive.

But he didn’t stopped there. On 1550 he started working on another secret project and delegated production of his watches to his family. On 1553, he would write his name in the pages of history once more, as he presented a working model of a car that ran without horses, moved by the power of compressed steam.

Kryss’ applications to steam power were numerous, but on 1553, they were still a distant promise. Sure, his house had heated water and a device which could produce ice without magic, but installing these on other places took just too many time, its maintenance was beyond ordinary engineers.

Regardless of that, Kryss’ mansion soon became a center for the gathering of the greatest scientific minds. A few years after his death in 1568, it was turned into the first, and to date the greatest kartazian university of science.

1483 AD to 1564 AD – The century of storms.[]

New trade posts and a new supply of gold brought about new enmities. The air and sea flowed red with ship and airship battles between nations. Throughout the sixteenth century, no nation was at peace.

The floating nation of Velusia raised its anchors and drifted until it reached Adaran skies. It became the second richest nation on Kartazia, and the greatest threat to Lionar’s expansion. The kingdom of Yorglen, whose navy was far weaker than Lionar’s, began to covertly stimulating piracy throughout ocean and skies.

Zaitsan and Tergovia had no means of opposing Lionar directly, so instead they decided to weaken it from within, and began to stimulate nationalist ideals in the region of Venara. Their efforts paid out in 1564.

1564 AD – The Independence of Venara[]

Venara has always had the best traders of Kartazia. Plus, it was a region annexed by the Lionar empire very recently (in less than 50 years), and was never fully integrated into Lionaran culture. Moreover, after the travels of Loren Venar, it’s always had the best airships. Opposing Lionar came naturally to them.

When it declared independence, though, nobody really expected it to last. The plan from Zaitsan and Tergovia was to only weaken Lionar, but never had they thought that Venara could actually put up a fight.

The Venara revolutionists planned their independence carefully. Prior to declaring their separation, they deftly manipulated Lionaran politics to move their key shipyards to Venaran land. Venaran loyalists were placed on strategic positions within Lionar army. On the months before their planned independence, they sent out a number of false orders telling all Lionaran ships transporting gold to move to their ports instead.

On the same night in which Venara declared independence, they simultaneously staged a coup d’etat on Lionar. Cut off from its gold and a good part of its soldiers, Lionar had no power to oppose the Venaran plot. In order to set right their internal politics, their southern insurgence had to be allowed to continue. When they finally reorganized their military, it was far too late.

Plus, Venaran government disclosed to Lionar the actual extent of the influence which Tergovia and Zaitsan had on their independence. The result was Lionar declaring war not only on Venara, but also on Tergovia and Zaitsan.

1575 AD – The Magical Exodus[]

While war was raging through Kartazia once again, not all things were right in the floating kingdom of Velusia. On 1575, discontent with the government’s excessive control and all political manipulations which plagued Velusian government (and which decided to whom magical resources were assigned), a large group of archmages tried to overthrow their government and impose a new order.

They failed, and with that failure came executions and persecution. Most of them managed to avoid certain death by descending into Kartazia and asking for asylum.

However, they were great masters of magic, and Velusia was not about to let its magical secrets slip away. In order to prevent their knowledge, it declared that if a nation were to aid these fugitives, it would be considered an act of war.

In a time of open war, though, magical help such as that was priceless. All of Velusia’s insurgents found safe haven on other countries, and Velusia itself was left with no choice but to make good on its threat. War was declared.

1581 AD – Roads of Steel[]

On 1581, following a series of attempts at improving the latest of Kryss Erezgath’s designs, a company called Hoygan Ironworks connected two of Tergovia’s cities with a line of two steel bars placed side by side, over which a contraption were to move powered by steam. The first kartazian train.

In a few years Hoygan Ironworks changed its name to Hoygan Railroads. Several other companies replicated the feat and began connecting the distances in their own kingdoms, and before 1590, Kartazia itself was breathing steam.

1583 AD – The Uron-Tashra[]

1583 saw the development of the one invention which redefined warfare: the Uron Tashra.

Named such for the couple of inventors which fathered it: Mykan Uron and Eleya Tashra, The Uron-Tashra (usually referred simply as “Uron”) are great mechanical creatures with humanoid form, inside of which a pilot rides. The first Uron, called “Mahontes”, was 8m tall and 3m wide, and had a huge area in its back where a series of magical pumps were attached to create continuous air pressure.

The Uron-Tashra were invented by the kingdom of Zaitsan, and mixed the best of Kryss Science with the magic expertise they gained after the magical Exodus.

In combat, they were fearsome. Huge metallic monsters which decimated armies as they stepped over them. The Uron-Tashra were first deployed against Lionar forces to lift the siege of Falastar. It is said that at the first sight of these mechanical monstrosities, armies from both sides simply stopped, and stood aghast as they poured over Lionaran forces, stepping and crushing their enemies.

The secret of creating the Uron-Tashra did not took long to fall in the hands of other kingdoms. By 1595, all nations were able to produce their own version of them. However, the 12 years in which Zaitsan held the secret were enough to assure a crushing defeat for Lionar.

1602 AD – The Fall of Lionar[]

As mighty as it may have become with all of its conquests, Lionar could not stand the concentrated effort of all other Kartazian nations, Velusia, and the devastating Uron-Tashra. On 1602, after a series of crushing defeats, Lionar was forced to surrender to the alliance formed by Zaitsan, Tergovia and Venara.

Most of its colonies had to be given to one of these kingdoms, and an immense sum in gold had to be paid as war reparation.

Lionar, however, managed to cleverly manipulate these negotiations, and disposed of its colonies in such a way as to only increase the tensions between the victorious nations. Defeated though they had been, they were already crafting a plan to recover some of its land.

1610 AD – The Velusian Imperium[]

Though the war against Lionar was over, and kartazian nations had divided its colonies equally among them, there was still the issue of the war against Velusia, a country of mages which never really declared that its own war was over. In the aftermath of the Lionaran war, with all tensions that arose among the other nations due to control of the colonies, and with little attacks from Velusia, the battle against the flying nation was somewhat relegated as a minor priority.

They should have learned by then not to underestimate mages.

On 1610, Velusia issued a decree to all nations stating that it was going to establish a unified imperium over kartazia, and all other monarchs should defer to their authority.

No one believed, though, when all nations but the church states actually accepted that decree without so much as a skirmish in resistance. The only exception was the nation of Arden, which received no decree, and took no part in it.

Therefore, in 1611, Velusia effectively took control of Kartazia, initiating the Velusian Imperium.

The only opposition it faced was from the Church of the Herald, and that wasn’t enough to amount to anything practical. Most rulers seemed to ignore the church’s appeals to resist this Imperium. Those who did paid mind to it found no support in their own countries to execute their resistance.

1611 AD to 1636 AD – The Magical Puge[]

Velusia declared that all mages not under its direct control should be branded anathema, hunted down and killed. The great wizards that were at the head of magical research on the other kingdoms had to go into exile or become outlaws if they expected to survive. During that time, most of Kartazia’s scientific discoveries were halted.

Current magical schools were closed, magical artifacts were confiscated. All Uron-Tashras were taken to Velusian lands.

However, that was also a time of great economic development. Kartazian nations, being forced to cooperate with each other, actually found it easier to reap the benefits of their colonies without having to spend so much of their budget in the military. The overall wellbeing of the population increased, and many social advancements, such as sanitation, actually came on that time.

1625 AD to 1636 AD – War against Arden[]

On 1625, the Velusian Imperium struck at Arden without notice. Unlike the other nations, whose obedience was enough, it seemed that nothing would sate the Imperium but the complete extinction of Arden nation and population.

Arden, however, was not without its defenses, and the first battles fought by the Imperium met with surprising defeats. It was clear that Arden could not stand the might of all Kartazian nations, but then, nobody expected that little northern nation to display so many military advances when it came to defending their own country – with special mention of “Daerenus”, its flying Uron.

The actions of the Imperium during that war, which included the extermination of entire villages, down to small children, bought the discontentment of many generals. This ever-increasingly low morale was a fertile ground for the church agents to spread the seeds of a revolution.

Attempts were made to overthrow the Velusian government. All failed. On the year of 1631, the entire chain of command of Tergovian military was changed three times.

As Arden lost territory to the Velusian genocide, discontentment with the Imperium grew to incredible heights. One of the key items in Velusian defeat came on 1635: printed press. By 1637, the bulk of the population had been made aware, through clandestine presses, of the actions of Velusian government.

And still the nation’s rulers followed the Imperium almost blindly. That was more than enough clue for anyone to suspect that Velusian mages were actually mind-controlling the nations of Kartazia.

1636 AD – The Doppler revolution[]

The truth came out on 1636, due to the efforts of Arden spies with help from the church Fortians. The leaders were not being mind-controlled; instead, they had been replaced by magical copies, called dopplers.

The dopplers had been a secret project of Velusia for many decades, and even then they were not complete, because Velusia was unable to create dopplers that could mimic someone so perfectly without also giving them free will. Therefore, all dopplers were enslaved by means of an artifact called “staff of souls”. If the staff were to be destroyed, all dopplers would be released from Velusian control.

And so it was that on a single night, the Velusian Imperium fell. After a group of elite agents from the church and the kingdom of Arden infiltrated the Velusian capital and destroyed the staff of souls, all kartazian dopplers, which included most of the individuals in places of command, turned their entire might towards the flying nation.

The battle was bitter, but as the day dawned, Velusia’s control over kartazia was shattered. Its leaders were killed, its chain of command was shattered, and the remaining dopplers held the country hostage. A new government was installed in Velusia, and forced to give back each nation’s sovereignty.

1636 AD – The antithaumatocratic pact[]

At the time of the fall of Velusia on 1636, all nations got together and signed what was known as the antithaumatocratic pact, a treaty among all nations which would issue death sentence to any mage who were to assume a position of temporal power. This pact was elaborated by the dopplers who survived from the Doppler revolution, and all kartazian nations agreed to it.

1636 AD – Doppler redemption[]

Right after the fall of Velusia, all of the dopplers which still maintained a position of command renounced to their right to rule. As romantic as that may seem when the storytellers put it in their ballads, this was done with a much more practical goal in mind: their own survival. If they were not to prove that they were the victims of Velusian magic, they would certainly face distrust and persecution, as the mages so often did in the past. The best way to prove that was to renounce all that Velusia had given them.

In fact, one of the dopplers, called Gorandas Grimm, who was impersonating the prime minister of Zaitsan, was re-elected to the position he had just renounced, becoming, days after the fall of Velusia, the first doppler to assume a position of command.

1675 AD to 1683 AD – The Independence wars of Adara[]

It was 1675, and Kartazia had enjoyed over fourty years of relative peace with no more than skirmishes between nations while trying to rebuild from the war against Arden. The news took all nations by storm: A group of 14 Yorglen colonies on Adara, dissatisfied with a series of taxations that had to be made in order to rebuild the islands, declared its independence from the main govern and formed the “Confederation of Free Adaran Provinces”, also known as “The Adaran Confederacy”.

All nations, save Arden, suffered some sort of impact. Yorglen, obviously, was losing its most lucrative of colonies. Lionar also, because this rebellion had been funded with their gold, in hopes of gaining back those colonies, but found themselves with a new contestant to deal with. Luksenar sided with the Confederacy and gained new and exclusive advantages over Adaran trade routes. Zaitsan, Tergovia and Venara suddenly saw a drop in their colonial income, as the war against Yorglen and the Confederacy affected most known trade routes.

The key battles of the independency of the Confederacy were fought in sea and air, and were mostly battles for the control of trade routes. The first attacks from Yorglen were massive, but the Confederate people knew their territory, and fought back with exceptional ingenuity. The Luskenar involvement was decisive, as they mainly kept Lionar forces at bay, which allowed the Confederacy to fight Yorglen in their own terms. By 1683, they were firmly established as a new nation, and Yorglen had no choice but to acknowledge their sovereignty – for now.

Wave of Independences[]

Yorglen, Luksenar and Lionar came out of the Confederacy wars with huge debts. These were also the nations with the greatest number of colonies. Driven by need, they began pressing their territories for greater taxes. Driven by oppression, these territories saw in the Confederacy a model to be followed, and soon other independencies began to sprout.

Tergovia, Zaitsan and Venara, however, were not idle, and in the wake of the independence movements, their forces swept over the span of the ocean, capturing and conquering other nation’s colonies for themselves.

On 1695, the nations of Yorglen, Luksenar and Lionar had no choice but to declare war on Tergovia, Zaitsan and Venara. Once again the Kartazian map was pained in blood.

The game begins at 1701.