Solarean Adventures LARP Lore
By Lane "Fenix" Carter
Part 1: The Past
The Age of Creation
In the beginning, there were the Elder Gods; beings of mysterious origin, immense power, and unknowable intelligence, who created the world, set its molten blood flowing through the depths, and populated its surface with all forms of life.
To guide the evolution of this nascent world, the Elders imbued the planet with a great spiritual force. In time, this force would come to be known as the Aspects, and many philosophers and mages would devote their lives to its study throughout history.
Capable of exerting pressure on the hearts, minds, and souls of mortals, this force could inspire some of them to greatness of intelligence or deed. Still, these early mortal races could not understand the minds of the Elder Gods, and so the Elder Gods created divine children, the lofty Sennu, to act as a bridge between the desires of the gods and mortals, and for a while, it was good.
The mortal races prospered, and spread to cover the world. But as they gained firmer purchase, they began to desire deities who worked for the good of the people who worshipped them, and not for the agendas of the Elder Gods. Through a confluence of prayer, belief, and their souls’ connection to the planet’s Aspects, the mortal races began to bring a new type of gods, the Dathlid, into existence.
Dathlid deities, created by mortal faith and the Aspects, were the first truly native divine forces of the world. Their minds were able to instinctively understand the thoughts and desires of the mortals who created them, and their forms were often far more similar to those races as well. The Dathlid grew in popularity naturally, and as the generations of mortals passed, the world was populated with many pantheons of new gods.
The Age of Legends
Kingdoms rose and fell, and the mortal races formed complex relationships with one another as they explored their world and themselves. In this time, great cities and civilizations thrived, producing complex systems of government, deep and nuanced cultures, and a growing grasp of the physical mechanics which governed the world.
Though the vast majority of knowledge of this period was lost in the destruction and zealotry of the war and oppression to follow, surviving records bestow a rich mythological history to this Age, speaking of towering machines of fire and clockwork, early forays into theoretical spellcraft, and of course, the frequent interruptions of the gods.
The actual length of the Age of Legends is unknown. Early records (rare as they are) do not agree on much, and it is difficult for scholars of this age to know which of them are fiction and which are non-fiction. Each time a new text from the Age of Legends is discovered, it is at first thought to be story and myth, but often enough, the account is confirmed through a later discovery in a distant location. Indeed, it seems as if anything could have happened in this Age, and this blurred line adds a mystique that has fed the imaginations of generations of storytellers.
There are tales of Cycleath the Automated City, whose people sought to live without need of the gods, and were struck down for the hubris of their mechanical creations. There are tales of the kingdom of Dul’dan’pherra which existed in tenuous harmony with a race of demons and maintained portals between the realms atop dark ziggurats. And of course, there are tales of great individuals whose deeds, real or imagined, still inspire the thoughts of people today.
But as the mortals grew in number, so too did their gods.
And so it came to pass, that in heaven, there was a great famine of worship. The gods had grown numerous beyond counting, and many were forced to share dominion over the same areas of prayer and worship. Some tried to specialize, working with other gods to split contested worship so that none would go without. Others refused, choosing to fight for exclusive control of their spheres of belief.
As tensions increased, the gods began to draw their followers into the conflict, and the fires in heaven caught all of the earth up in their blaze. The faithful of each pantheon from every tribe and kingdom responded to the divine call to arms. Entire kingdoms were slaughtered in the carnage of that time, as some strong gods could only be felled by first erasing their worshippers. Some gods died doing battle with each other, in increasingly spectacular displays of power that burned down cities, shattered mountains, and reshaped the face of the world forever.
Gods who were killed while on earth caused further disruptions to the order of things. At these Godfall Sites, a slain deity’s divine essences poured into the planet and dispersed into the skies in every direction, permanently marking the land in a way which reflected the fallen deity’s nature. To this day, the laws of nature are often suspended at a Godfall Site, as the world twists upon itself in somber memorial.
As more of these Sites came into being, the outpouring of energies triggered the intervention of the planet’s original system of balance, the Aspects. Acting according to the unknowable designs of the Elder Gods, the mindless Aspects sorted the flood of divine energies into a network of intersecting lines of magical power spread across the world. In time, this planetary web of accessible, seemingly endless magic would come to be known as Godfall Seams.
The Imperial Age
The mountain elven kingdom of Karlanaar had long been known for its studies of magic. The halls of learning there often echoed with feverish debate into the nature and potential of magic, and the elves had on occasion dabbled into theories involving power that far exceeded what was available in the world. To these scholars, the Godfall Seams came as the answer to their most audacious prayers.
With access to nearly limitless magic, rituals of great power could finally be achieved, and Karlanaar turned this windfall towards the purpose of ending the destruction of the Godswar. A decade later, great floating fortresses began to appear above the world’s battlefields, stopping mortal and deity alike with weapons of peerless lethality. These flying castles proved unassailable by the nations of the world, and left unchecked they drove the remaining gods, war-torn and depleted, into the shadows.
Victorious, showered in gratitude, and militarily unopposable, the kingdom of Karlanaar turned their forces towards keeping the peace in the power gap left over after the war. Their floating castles moved into the skies above the great cities of the world, offering food, medicine, and protection, under the rising banner of the Karlanaarian Empire.
The Empire rebuilt the world, to an extent. Regulating power to keep themselves on top, the elven empire provided structure and security in a world which could no longer trust the gods. Imperial spiritualism eschewed traditional god worship for a system that was more philosophical (and State-based). The Empire taught that the gods had betrayed the mortal races, and that only the Aspects, which had no agenda and sought no worship, could be trusted. The Aspects, and the Emperor of course, who had saved the world.
The Empire solidified their hold by creating a network of heavily enchanted unmanned stations, and positioning them in the skies around the globe. These “Lesser Stars” relayed information at the speed of light between one another, allowing unprecedented communications (and military coordination) for Imperial forces.
And thus it was, for 1500 years.
As the generations passed, the original vision of unity gave way to pride and arrogance. Oppression was quick to follow, and soon, the people of many regions began to speak of rebellion. A return to the old ways became popular, and religious cults that had long been pushed into the shadows began to gain strength once more. It is to this world that the gods reappeared - stepping out of the pages of history with remarkable contrition, and offering a deal.
Part 2: The Present
The Divine Accord
Representatives of the mortal races of the world, including elves who had also been oppressed by their Karlanaarian kin, met with twelve gods in a great amphitheater. These deities understood that trust in their kind would not be immediate, but that if they were ever to rise again, they must sacrifice part of their power.
First, as an act of good will, they taught the mortal races the spells of unweaving which would nullify the floatation fields used by the Empire to keep their fortresses and the Lesser Stars aloft.
Then, they swore to abide by this Divine Accord - that in exchange for mortal acknowledgement as the true new pantheon of the world, the Twelve would never again manifest on the face of the world to exert their power. They would work through servants (angels/demons) or mortal agents and priesthoods, or not at all.
With hope for the future blossoming, the mortal representatives accepted the deal. The Divine Accord has been upheld to this day, assured by the involvement of the Sennu deity Mionn, the architect of the Accord, who holds power over binding oaths.
The countermagics which the Twelve had taught the mortals worked just as promised. Everywhere, kingdoms tore the Empire out of their skies, destroying Karlanaar’s stranglehold on the world. The castles and the Lesser Stars plummeted to the ground; sometimes destroyed, sometimes partly intact, but always compromised, and easily overrun.
The city of Karlanaar itself, which was never lifted into the sky, remained where it always had been, though its walls were immediately sealed, and remain so to this day. A quiet, dark, and threatening shadow in the mountains of the continent of Lithia.
A new age had begun for the world and its people, who were free to live exactly as they wished for the first time in history.
The Age of Freedom, In Which We Live
The Lesser Stars, materially little more than clumps of stone and metal, were nonetheless nexus points of great enchantment. When their floatation spells were dispelled, many shattered into pieces, flinging their pieces across miles of land to be found by scavengers. Others fell like meteors, plunging deep into the world. Not all of them were completely destroyed, and active cores began to pour out great amounts of magical energy into the surrounding land.
This served to attract monsters and beings of magic, which came to populate the caverns which were punched by the Stars’ fall. Soon, mortals learned that pieces of enchanted Karlanaarian stone and metal were salvageable from these caverns, if they were strong enough to brave the beasts which had been drawn to make their homes there. These Instances became known by many names; Stellar Caverns, Imperial Graveyards, or the one most popular amongst adventurers, Grand Dungeons. The successful infiltration of one of these sites, and the recovery of usable artifacts, became the ambition of adventurers seeking to make their mark on the world. On the rare occasion that an intact core could be retrieved from the center of one, the recovery party’s fame was all but assured.The removal of a Grand Dungeon’s core from the area will cause the land to eventually return to normal, and powerful monsters will no longer be drawn there. Kingdoms will pay well for their removal.
In other places, the changes caused were not so simple. When Lesser Stars fell in the proximity of a Godfall Seam (or to a much greater extent, a Godfall Site), the explosion of magical energies was often enough to forever change the environment. The wild magic released from this collision of forces might divert rivers, or cause mountains to grow. It might infuse an area with magic and create an enchanted forest or a cursed lava field. It might tear open the fabric of dimensions and allow extra-planer beings access to the world. Folk who lived too close to an impact site such as this began to manifest odd mutations and changes. New hybrid races of beast and man began to appear, and over time filter out into the world.
Though less frequent now, odd effects still occur. And a Godfall Seam which still contains active bits of Lesser Star enchantments will still occasionally pulse with wild magic. Travelers might find themselves transported along the Seams to another place, miles, or even hundreds of miles, from where they began. Perhaps once in a generation, word is heard of someone arriving from the past. It can be guessed that some have also vanished into the future, though no cases of reverse travel have been documented. The Signatorium attributes this last bit to the control of the deity Oxo, who is said to cement the past in place. The subject remains hotly debated among theological and arcane scholars.
The fallen Imperial castles reshaped the world in still other ways. Though often destroyed, there remain a few fallen castles intact enough to inhabit. Rarely, surviving residents were able to fend off invasion, and now live in a state of wounded Karlanaarian pride, cut off from their homeland and forced to ask for help from their surrounding neighbors.
Far more often, the elves were killed off. Either from the fall, or by the angry blades of those they once oppressed. Such is the case in the modern country of Solarea, which also benefited from enough remaining Karlanaarian magical texts to establish a magic school of its own.
Our world now exists in the Year of the Accord 1022, but even the passing of a millennium has failed to erase the influences of Karlanaarian rule, especially among the long-lived races. Elves of all kinds still encounter a stigma as oppressors in some places, while lingering pro-imperial nostalgia lifts them up in others.