History of Aspera Edit
In the beginning there was the Land, the Sea, and the Sky. A bright star called Simia ruled the day, a moon named Thea kept guard at night, and ultimately Aspera was at peace. As the millennia passed, though, the Land became lonely. Longing for the companionship of life, the Land prayed to Simia, and before long his wish was answered. Calling upon Thea for aide, Simia conjured all the magic in the world and gave birth to life. Fish for the Sea, Birds for the Sky, and for the Land who had made the wish, all other forms of creatures to keep him company.
It was also during this Mystical birthing that Simia created three advanced forms of life as a consequence to the Land’s unnatural desire to break the Harmony of the World. Faeries came first, the immortal nurturers of the World’s remaining Magic, then came Man to whom Simia granted rule over the Land, and finally Dwarves who were given the keys to the Afterlife. Aspera was alive, and while her fate was yet unknown, things seemed well.
And so life prevailed. Centuries passed by as Aspera was slowly populated. Kingdoms rose and fell, and while the Land was pleased to no longer feel alone, he was forced to watch how hideous the wrath of his people could be. Men, Dwarves, and Faeries found quickly that mixed societies could not ever succeed, and so they spread out across Aspera to keep their own ideas of peace intact. Of course, as the World was Magical, so held true the fact that exceptions exist for every proven rule. In time, Aspera bore witness to two new races: Elves, the children of Men and Faeries, and Halflings, the offspring of Men and Dwarves. And even when Aspera seemed to be as alive as it could be, these new races of beings set up their own societies, and life became even more complicated.
Man-kind, ever jealous of the gifts that Simia had blessed all other races with, quickly found itself splitting in all different directions; each fledgling society moving across Aspera to find a new home where they could deal with their problems in their own ways. And even though men kept a lower life expectancy than any other being on Aspera, they grew in numbers and forced the other Races into remission, never truly allowing any other culture to bloom into the beautiful society that they could become. Greatly out-numbered, no race could make a stand, so instead accepted the World for what it was, and went about life as best they could.
Several more centuries passed, Kings of human cities rose and fell by the swords with which they ruled. Battles were waged regularly for all manner of reason, and in time, Man-kind began to dwindle.
-2000 Years Ago-
There was a time when the Land seemed more abundant than the Sky or the Sea. It was not greater in size, but it was teeming with life in ways that the Sky and the Sea could not. Before we continue, it is important to note that the Land, at one point, was a full mile larger in diameter. There were no islands, there were no lakes or rivers… the Land was one, solid, combined land mass set in the center of the Sea, aligned perfectly between Simia and Thea.
So, the Land, seemingly perfect, unknowingly made the Sky and Sea jealous. The Sky and the Sea, while perfect in their own ways, had less to show for their troubles than the land. And so a mighty battle ensued, unbeknownst to the beings of Aspera. Great tremors rocked the land, huge Tidal waves crashed upon the shores, and tornados and hurricanes destroyed much of that which the people of Aspera had come to love. But reaking havoc was not enough. After six months of this, the Land finally surrendered, unable to watch his people continue to suffer. The Sea was given half a mile of land from every side of the island country. Five huge kingdoms were stolen into the Sea to a fate unknown to this day. And in a similar manner, a large piece of the Land was taken from what is now the Lake of Tears. Up, into the Sky, where this mass of earth remains to this day, its fate also a mystery.
-19 Years Ago-
The Great War of Men
The Forces of Avindale and Ravenpoint combined to attack the greater, better trained, and more organized army of Whitehaven. The secondary goals were to wipe King Reddrick of Whitehaven off the face of the map, to capture his city, and to redistribute the wealth of Whitehaven to their own Kingdoms. The primary goal was to rid Aspera of the sole, human force that could and would help the Elves in defending their Woods. Lord Cace of Avindale and King Dorien of Ravenpoint both coveted the lands that the Elves made their homes, but couldn’t make a move with Reddrick vowing to send aid to the Elves, based on a pact that he had made with Qellin Northwind.
The Great War went on for a full year before the Avindalean and Ravenpoint soldiers were whittled down to nothing. The Whitehaven numbers had also receded a great deal, but it had become such that no Kingdom would be attacking another Kingdom with any real force for a long time. In the following months, the Elves of Crimsonwood took advantage of Avindale’s weakness. Weekly raids into the city limits greatly diminished the Kingdom’s goods, and resulted in a great depression. Were it not for Cace’s thrifty mind, Avindale would have fallen to despair.
-15 Years and 9 Months Ago-
The Dark Winter
A devious, double-sided plot was moved into action by Lord Cace, instituting a two-tier plan that would distract Reddrick by kidnapping Flynn, his First Knight… thereby stealing his attention from an attempted assassination on Sidra Moonsong, leader of the Crimsonwood Elves. The ploy was successful in a way… Reddrick didn’t lift a finger to assist the Elves—he didn’t even know what was happening—but in the end, Flynn was rescued by Sands and a party of volunteer saviors, and Sidra survived the attack of Rogue Elves and Avindalean Soldiers.
-15 Years and 3 Months-
The Dawn of Peril
It had been warm and humid, that afternoon; the day that the armies of Avindale and Whitehaven had finally come together in an exchange of blood, sweat, and pain. Though fairly outnumbered, the Avindalean forces fought with unexpected confidence, bringing to an end so many good lives, for what? No one even really knows. For a time, the forces seemed evenly matched. It was not until the First Knights, Flynn and Isaian, met in combat on the field that the tides seemed to change for one side or the other.
Isaian was a brave Knight, but he had put down many of Flynn’s men in their sleep at the Peace Conference in Avindale only two weeks before, and vengeance was a powerful weapon. Too powerful, it seemed. And as Flynn drove his sword into the heart of his enemy, confidence turned to fear, and Avindaleans all over the battlefield lost heart. It would only be a matter of time.
Many had felt that fighting a battle close enough to the Sea so that the waves could be heard was a poetic idea. That is, until Death marched out of the water and swept over the battlefield like a tidal wave of gore. It was so unexpected… so random… that many men died before they even realized what was happening. A horde of unimaginable beasts and monsters—the things nightmares were made off—came up from the coast and began mindlessly slaughtering humans with no concern of color or country seal. Down from the sky, winged myths tore soldiers out of combat, ripping limbs and tossing them about the field as though they were helping to prepare a stew of blood and body parts.
Half of both forces were swiftly annihilated before the order to retreat was finally delivered. Half of those left were slain before the order had made it to every ear that could listen. Survival had become an afterthought. Death, at least if by blade, could be thought of as honorable. But no man could bear the idea of being ripped apart, mauled to death, or eaten alive. Escape from agony was the sole motivator that day, and motivate it did.
But even then, no man should have survived. An unlikely savior came in the form of a people unfamiliar to the land dwelling humans. A people who grew up in a far harsher environment, who found battle with men to be easy compared to the creatures that threatened their lives every day. The Merfolk, who had listened to the Sea and foreseen the coming war… who knew what the loss of all men would have eventually meant to their own future. Following in the wake of the Horde, the tides began to change again. One merman warrior was as good as ten knights. Death befell death, and in order to avoid extinction themselves, the forces of evil turned away from their prey, and began to defend against the new combatants. Then strategically, the Merfolk fell back, led by their Warrior Queen Opall, and as they set foot into the water, they dove out of sight, having supplied enough distraction for the surviving soldiers of Whitehaven and Avindale to escape.
The brave men and women of Whitehaven fled home, leaving tents and supplies to rot on the fields just north of Arrowport. They could have considered themselves lucky, though they did not know it, for the lives of the Avindaleans was about to change.
You see, that day had actually been far from random. For years, in fact, Lord Cace of Avindale had been answering to a higher power. The Great War of Men, and every single act of war since had been small steps toward a much larger plan, one of which even Cace did not fully understand. If he had, the next step in Olavenya’s plan might have been easier to accept. You see, the Sorceress Olavenya, who had been pulling Cace’s strings for so many years, had not brought her entire army from Gefarr to Aspera so that they could turn around and go back home afterward. No, that wasn’t her plan at all. For centuries, she had longed to take control of the Land that the God’s had cast her from. She had been patient, studied every magic she could by capturing every Wizard in the Land and enslaving them for their Books, only to have killed them after retaining everything she could from them over thirty years prior to leaving Gefarr… and this was the fruition of her hard work and dedication.
And what better place to name her new home but Avindale, which she already controlled from the inside out. Her horde set up camp on that bloody battlefield while she and her personal guard took their place at the throne of Avindale. Lord Cace was made an example of in front of the entire city, which she had called to gather in the main courtyard of her new Castle. Not even the dirtiest, lowliest Bard is willing to retell that gruesome event.
Olavenya moved her armies into their new home, enslaving the Avindaleans, then spread her army across the Avindale highlands, allowing her captains to take whatever homes they wished, in and outside of the city, for themselves. She secured the coast against any future meddling from the Merfolk, and in a month began laying siege to Crimsonwood Forest... only to find it empty. From there, half of the horde amry was sent to the north west toward Whitehaven, but the rest were brought back to Avindale where they boarded their ships and started off toward Avindale.
Within a month, Whitehaven was under heavy attack and Ravenpoint was burned to the ground. but even as mighty as the monster horde was, the human and elven defenses would prove much more troublesome than Olavenya was prepared for.
-2 Years Ago-
May Simia's Light Shine Upon You After over thirteen years of war and bloodshed, an unexpected solution presented itself in the form of a servant of the Gods. Long thought to have been wiped out, a Witch came forward and offered to lead a force of the bravest men and women into the heart of the horde army so that they could cut the head from the serpent. Having only been named King three months earlier after Reddrick was murdered in his bed, Flynn hand picked his best men and followed the Witch to Avindale.
It had been a difficult journey, every step of the way, but the final result was one of success. King Flynn’s blade dealt the final blow on the Sorceress Olavenya, and a chain of events was immediately set into effect. Without the Sorceress’s control, the trolls, giants, titans, golems, and goblins that made of the evil horde immediately became confused. Many of them began to fight each other, being that they were fierce enemies of each other. Some simply laid down arms and returned to their homeland, not having the will to fight any longer. Most, in the confused frenzy, were cut down by elves and men alike. In Avindale, an underground resistance that had been in place for years finally rose up to take back their home.
In one months time, Aspera was as close to peace as it had been in nearly two decades. In Avindale, the leader of the slave resistance, Gallan, was named King. In Ravenpoint, a man named Reston from Ashwarren had begun to finance the rebuilding of a once great city. And in Whitehaven, though many refugees still lingered, a Flynn returned home to a city that was at last in peace. And just as humans migrated back to the south, to their homes long lost, the Elves of Crimsonwood who had fought side-by-side with their Ashlin brethren, also got to return to their homes in the east.
For the past two years, all the peoples of Aspera have been rebuilding their homes, their villages, their towns, and their cities. And though the rebuilding process is hardly finished, many people have hope for the future that they could have never dreamed of hoping for in the last twenty years. And though things are looking up, one cannot help but wonder if it isn’t just a matter of time until something… someone brings and end to the peace.
© Dream Quest / Ian Jones 2006-2014