Views on the Sundering

The current campaign, as mentioned previously is set in a world that is only beginning to crawl out of a terrible Apocalypse.

Just one of many former cities...

Civilization, such as it is, was nearly wiped out, and what remains is mostly scattered pockets, clinging to the decaying carcass of a once great empire.

Chaos, once hidden from view, now freely stalks the land.

Their champions came among us, baring swords of fire, and they spoke in the tongue of dust and ruin, saying "All your works are ended, all your struggles in vain, for the end is upon you.".

Cities built of wondrous magic collapsed in an instant as magic changed over the entire world.

What wonders they built, we shall never build again.

But, for all that is known of what once was, the one thing that isn’t know is what caused the Sundering.  There are many guesses and theories, and many believe they have ‘solved’ the riddle, but everyone has conflicting evidence that points to their truth.

And the gods remain oddly silent on the matter.

Here is a smattering of different views on what, or who, caused the Sundering.  Which is true?  Are any of them?

“Chaos caused the Sundering.  Listen not to the lies of the aelves and the so-called ‘sages’.  It was Chaos that tore the heart from the Empire of man and cast down our great works.  The weak and wicked turned their hearts from the true Lords of Law and, like a bloated worm in the heart of a beautiful fruit, they worked their evil behind the façade of righteousness and opened the Empire to perdition.  Only the Lords themselves staved off our destruction, but we must bear the cost for our weakness and inequity.  Stay vigilant my brothers, for if we fail again, it will be the end of us all.”

Hierophant Arkay, preaching at the burning of several heretics in the pyres at Old Valas

“The Sundering?  It was a purely natural occurrence.  Well, as natural as the power of magic ever is.  We know that the potency of magic ebbs and flows over time.  The so called ‘Age of Magic’ was probably simply one of many and will come again.  The old Empire relied heavily on magic and when it dried up, most of the great works fell to naught.  Oh, what about the wars?  That was the natural result of a loss of resources and the stricken Empire’s inability to defend itself from the forces it once subjugated. Still, I wish I’d been alive when magic was as simple as speech.  And how glorious would it have been to see the Floating Cities before they fell?”

Malathaz the Black, speaking to the assembled College of Magic in Old Valas

“Bah, they speak of it as though it were a disaster, a fall from grace.  The Empire got what it had coming to it.  It gobbled up everything it saw, a corpulent, decadent whore that made men weak and feeble.  Only the outland tribes remained strong.  Only those dedicated to survival, to conflict, were ready to survive the Firefall and the Earthshakers who tore the walls of the Empire down.  When the skies burned, we were ready.  The Lords of Misrule heard our pleas and saw our strength.  The most devoted were given the strength of the animal totems and became like the beasts they venerated. Now, the bitch whimpers because she knows her death is near.  Soon, we’ll kill what remains of the Empire and cast down the ivory towers forever.”

Kharesh-Gar, Khan of the Kholack tribe, speaking at a moot of human and beastmen tribes

“These were not always statues, my son.  What the Craft-Priests say is true.  We did not just live within the Stone, but once we were Stone.  The true children of Mother Mountain.  No realm was stronger than ours, no people more blessed.  But we gave into hubris.  The Flaw worked its way into the heart our Underking, and we turned from the Golden Lord and Diamond Wife.  So great was our pride we venerated ourselves before our Makers.  Mother Mountain rejected us.  Whole cities were lost as the tunnels collapse.  Through it all, we were cursed with flesh, separated from Mother Mountain. Only a few of the righteous remained true, but so great was their horror at our sin, they have become one with the stone.  It’s said that when we earn the Golden Lord’s grace, we will return to the stone that is our birthright.  Oh, what’s that?  Yes, I understand the surfacers had some trouble thanks to Mother Mountain’s spasms, but it’s nothing compared to what we suffered.”

Asgerd Stone-Hammer, Lorekeeper, speaking to his son in the Vault of the Ancestors.     

“They did this to us.  First, they bound us with their iron and enslaved us.  Then, their wizards stole our power to prop up their dreams of conquest.  The Great Gods did not abandon us, however.  Long did we dance and sing and wear their Masques, till the gods rode us and saw what had been done.  Their wrath tore the world apart and cast the empire low.  Our power is not what it once was, the gods could not repair that wound, but they have spared us iron’s bite and never again will man bind us with that hateful metal.  We are but shadows of what we once were; I suppose that this, at least, we have in common with the humans.”

Sylvath-an, Tryshallan Wardancer, preparing for the Dance of the Mother’s Harrowing   

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9 thoughts on “Views on the Sundering

  1. Travis Miller says:

    Good stuff.

  2. Adam Skipper says:

    Great stuff and good use of the art.

  3. Great lore thought well through once again. Let me know when you get closer to an actual book and I’ll plug you. I love the art, espiecally the post-apocalypic piece. Is the art from your world?

    • Wow, thanks a lot for that! I really appreciate that. And I’ll be happy to plug you as well. 🙂 Sadly the art is stuff that I found via google, so nothing specifically my own. I wish…

  4. D. says:

    This is the sort of post I love – the wierd little bits of lore and insight into somebody else’s game world.

    D.

    • Thanks, I’m glad that you enjoyed it. It was a blast to write and I thought it would be easier to take in by my background adverse group than simply writing a page of history and hoping they’d read it!

      • D. says:

        Exactly! I tend to think that expository writing works so much better. I’ve done some in my fantasy game, some in the “CyberTraveller” game I’ve run, and some in the mage game we played/ran. Great fun for me and a good way to get some information out there.

        D.

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