History

The Ankaykari say they have existed forever, but they do not remember the distant past. All they have are the legends that they tell about themselves and the countless forgotten texts that moulder in the Palace of Time.

The immortals believe that history cycles through The Age of Fire, The Age of Water and The Age of Stone. The character of these Ages is determined by the ebb and flow of magic – The Age of Fire is a time of high magic and turmoil, The Age of Water is a time of balance between Askamar and Udaris, while The Age of Stone is a time of low magic and lethargy.

The Order of Ektanstar has re-interpreted the ‘Legend of the Ages’ to produce a linear history of the world. To them, The Age of Fire describes the beginning of the world, The Age of Water is the time in which people live now, and The Age of Stone predicts the end of time.

Parts of the history below are based on the Ektanstaran Annals, which are themselves based on various legends told by Ankaykari, humans and yuyarni. The Ankaykari do not believe it to be a true history, for they say that the world is much older than the mortals realize.

The Dawn of Time

According to The Infinite Cycles, there was once nothing but dark sky and empty water. Then the Sun began to burn and lands rose from the sea. The world was divided into the magical realm and the mundane lands. The stars and the Dimensions formed from what was left over.

At first the Ankaykari swam mindlessly through the seas of Askamar, the only life in a barren world. Then they emerged onto the land and began to build their Citadels. It was a time of high magic, when the immortals were wild and chaotic, and assumed many fantastical guises. Creatures emerged from the mundane world and settled in Askamar, where they were reshaped.

The immortals lived in anarchy until the founding of the first Sovereignty, Xanuratheris. No one knows who ruled Xanuratheris or how long it lasted, but it was during this period that the Pillar of Ages was raised upon Maroth. Some claim that the unknown Sovereign of Xanuratheris also carved out Garashent, but others believe that the labyrinth is even older than the Citadels.

Eventually Xanuratheris crumbled. For millennia afterwards, Esu rulers rose and fell, wars were fought and truces were established. These events are recorded in lengthy tomes that gather dust in the Palace of Time, but the ancient histories of the Ankaykari make only passing reference to Udaris. The immortals believe that, for a long time, there were no people aside from themselves.

The most intriguing Ankaykari history of Udaris is The Lost Lands, which is composed of mortal legends and the vague ‘recollections’ of the immortals. It includes maps of unfamiliar continents and pictures of strange creatures, but no one can be sure how much truth it contains.

The Age of Myth

The yuyarni claim that they were the first mortal people to dwell in Udaris. They ranged across the whole mundane world, establishing chiefdoms and hunting on the plains. However, a series of cataclysms caused many of them to migrate to Askamar. Those who remained were eventually slaughtered or driven away by humans.

Over the millennia, the humans had learned to make fire, use tools and domesticate animals. By 18,000 E.A they began to build settlements. Until then, the yuyarni had lived in peace with human-kind, but they resented the loss of their herd-lands to the farmers. A war broke out between the two peoples that lasted for generations.

This conflict is known in yuyarni legend as the War of Claw and Flame. At first it seemed the humans would be destroyed, but then they learned to forge bronze weapons. The Ankaykari taught them how to weave magic. As human civilizations spread across Udaris, more yuyarni were forced to take refuge in Askamar. However, a few remained to fight as mercenaries for human kings.

The Lost Lands claims that, sometime around 23,000 E.A., the battles of human wizards unbalanced the world. The Keradarissans darkened the sun and caused ice to cover the seas. The Juramens caused wildfires and droughts. Zuruphe sank into the sea, leaving nothing but the tips of its mountains.

The remaining human kingdoms crumbled, as their people starved and their laws broke down. Flocks of yuyarni feasted on the dead until they were driven back to Askamar by the surviving humans.

The Present Age

The Age of Myth was now at an end. Magic was ebbing from the world. There were no more great wizards or fabulous cities, and the Ankaykari were unable to visit Udaris as freely as they once had.

By 25,000 E.A the humans began to rebuild their civilizations. The Ankaykari established the Laws of Nenathal, which concern the rights of mortals and the way mundane territories should be governed.

By the end of the Ceyth-Natharisan Wars, the world appeared settled, with many human lands paying homage to the Ankaykari. However, the mortals were dissatisfied with Ankaykari rule, and the Ankaykari were beginning to question the values of their own society.

During the Sovereignty of Amanis, Yazelern attempted to bring about some changes, but he was overthrown by Naskremari, who founded the Sovereignty of Janzaris. It was around this time that Liralian composed the first few volumes of her History of the Ankaykari.

The Fall of Janzaris was followed by over a thousand years of brutal conflict between the immortals – the infamous Ceyth-Janzarian Wars. These ended with the Truce of Elanthar, which lasted three hundred years until it was broken by Ruzenathra, who founded the Sovereignty of Shekruvaris.

During Ruzenathra’s reign, humans discovered the Dimension of Taron-Amgoth and the powerful jewels called ghaztarites which they could use to fight the Ankaykari. The blood-thirsty Vanotaquan empire broke free of Ankaykari rule, while the Tuyaz-Oan Empire collapsed in revolt and civil war.

After the Fall of Shekruvaris, the Ankaykari established the Truce of Olradath. Some felt that it was wrong to ‘meddle’ in the mundane world, but others still argued that it was their duty to impose civilization upon the ‘ignorant’ and ‘barbaric’ mortals. They were thrown into panic when the most despotic of their kind, Daskesurul, was devoured by Zougra.

Having gained strange new powers, Zougra changed his name to Zakrusepi and founded a kingdom in Askamar. His mortal followers founded their own kingdoms in Udaris and waged war against those still loyal to the Ankaykari. Their aim was to free the world from ‘the tyranny of the immortals’.

In the end Zakrusepi and his followers were defeated by the Kaniyari, but the Ankaykari resolved to allow the mortals to govern themselves. The Ektanstarans believe they will become less and less involved with the mundane world, and humans will eventually forget them.

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An epic fantasy saga