Rh’Tea – The Eternal Heart of the Multiverse [D&D 4.0]
A History of Rh'Tea by the Stone Dwarf Gendan
A History of Rh’Tea
From the Journal of Gendan,
Chief Skaald of Lord Katan,
of the Granite Clan Stone Dwarves
Written in the Year of Awakened Magic,
1427 years since the Founding
There is no beginning to this tale that we can understand; there is only the tale itself. I am no historian and these words do not comprise a Sacred Truth. There are merely a truth; a story.
I am Gendan, humble servant of Katan, the Lord of Granite, and I am a Stone Dwarf. My people have long memories, so credence may be given to what I have to say. I am well-travelled and centuries old and I have gathered tales from other lands and other races. I am versed in the arts of historical divination and have reached back to glimpse into the past firsthand.
Despite these things, I warn you again and not for the last time that my words are mine alone and I am no great Sage.
There was a beginning to Rh’Tea and it included gods of immeasurable power, Titans and Primordial beings beyond all comprehension, and a fatal war of unimaginable scope. It seems that even at the start, the first art learned, the first science practiced, was murder, death, and war.
No mortal, alive or dead, can be said to understand the ways of those first millennia, but we know this: Rh’Tea means The Heart in a language so old that only those words remain.
The Heart of what, you may ask? Some guessed that Rh’Tea was the Heart of all magic, others that it is or was the Heart of all life. Many more consider the matter rhetorical and not to be laid bare so easily. The Sages and “experts” of my own time, the current time, believe that some ancient power dubbed this world the Heart because we reside so close to the center of the known Multiverse.
How do we know we are the center? How do we know that we are not merely on some far flung edge of the cosmos? Are we so arrogant that we can truly know our relation to the rest of everything ever known?
In short, yes.
For whatever other meaning Rh’Tea may have, it is known to the inhabitants of this world that we DO reside at the Center of the Multiverse. We know this because of the great Conn.
For eons after the beginning of the universe and all existence, wars occurred and powers battled and this world solidified out of the dust of the Great Aether Storm. It was prized as a jewel above all others. Rh’Tea was the Shaper World. Rh’Tea was the place upon which all thought could become reality with but the merest of efforts by the First Pantheons. It was not long before it became a weapon; THE weapon.
As we understand it, the Aether is a slippery thing and not willing to lie still for the taking. Upon Rh’Tea, however, the physical form of magic, of thought, came to rest in material form and the gods reached out to pluck the very power from nothing and Shaped it to their Will.
The Multiverse could not stand such power for long. It reacted harshly to those who dared warp the Aether for their own purposes, light or dark. Archons and Angels, giants and more rose up, formed whole from the Aetheric Storm. This Army sprang into existence for one purpose: the defense of the Heart of the Multiverse.
Some say that the Multiverse required the physical planet to be untouched by the hands of greedy gods and titans and other beings. Others say that a powerful god took on the form of the Aether itself and rose as the greatest of all Gods. Whatever the purpose, whatever the cause, the Aether fought and won.
What happened next can only be understood in theory.
Time passed. How much is unknown. A long enough time for the Heart to become Unknown to most of the Powers That Be. Few managed to reach out a hand towards Rh’Tea upon occasion, but each drew back a painful nub as the Aether burned in furious response. Eventually, either the Aether grew tired of its defense, or the man who would become the High King chose of his own volition to end the Eternal Struggle.
In either case, the Pyramid appeared.
Rise of the Empire
Conn, the King. Conn of the Hundred Battles. Conn the Destroyer; the Benevolent; the Emperor; the Mortal God; the First Living God; the Defender of the Heart.
From out of nothing came the Pyramid of Shadows and from out of that shattered prison came the High King Conn.
The year, as we reckon, was 0. There are races who proclaim time in a different way, but all recognize the authority of the High King’s Calendar and consider it alongside their own.
None living know from whence Conn came, but all know that the cataclysm that occurred upon his arrival must have been ordained by Fate or the Will of the Aether itself. We of the Stone Dwarves know that the Pyramid was an Astral Prison because we harvested its stone and the Pyramid Dwarves were corrupted by delving into its depths.
The Pyramid of Shadows was a magical prison which transported itself across the Multiverse as set forth by a great intellect at the Dawn. The Pyramid’s purpose was to travel to realms where gods and beings of comparable power were wreaking havoc and destroying their universes, their people, and the power of the Aether. The Pyramid took in these individuals and imprisoned them for all eternity. It was capable of drawing the pure essence of power directly from its prisoners to fuel its impenetrable barriers and walls. Individuals, once trapped within, would never be released.
Why the Great Conn was within the walls of this Aetheric Prison may never be known, but I believe it was his will to enter willingly. I believe that he forced the Pyramid to his Plane and entered with his band knowing Fate and Purpose would bring him here.
To Rh’Tea; to The Heart.
When the Pyramid appeared everything changed. A great Cataclysm erupted forth from the site. From the rubble walked the Emperor Conn into a world weakened by the wars of gods and the touch of Primordial power. With Conn came other powers: the soon-to-be Living Goddess Zadra, Lady of the Mind; Kavat’na, the Undead Plague; Mogesh, the Violent Death; and others.
Those early days are well documented in other places, but this I will say: Conn, alone at first, ventured out upon the land of Rh’Tea and forced, coerced, convinced, and manipulated all he came across under his banner. The Empire was founded. There is no other recorded name necessary to identify it because none is needed. When any refer to the kingdom founded by the High King, it is simply referred to as the Founding of the Empire.
The days surrounding the Founding are beyond my meager abilities as a Skaald to encompass in detail, but I will try with what I know.
Conn of the Hundred Battles led an army and marched forth to what is now the Ruins of Connen. There he established the First Kingdom. Conn engaged in years of bitter war with the Blooded Queen, called by most the Bloody Queen until he was able by sheer force of will to convince her to marry. This alliance of powers shifted the balance of warfare and solidified the Imperial Rise.
The Blooded Queen was so-called because of the long-held tradition in the North to sacrifice your enemies. The Bloody Queen grew in ability as she defeated and offered up to the Aether chieftain after chieftain until she married Conn. Her followers became the first of the Great Legions and formed the core of Conn’s Army.
Not so many years later, Conn was approached by a powerful sorceress from the Southern lands. The Shadowmistress offered magic, subtle, yet powerful, that would eventually enable the High King to subdue with less violence. She became the Royal Consort and shared his bed alongside the Red Queen.
The Legions grew, branching out into specific fields. The Reds formed the Core and expanded the Empire. The Black Legion formed the heart of the Imperial Guard and served as liaisons in contract to Conn’s allies, not yet under his banner. A Gold Legion was established to form the first Treasury and Merchant Class. The White Legion grew out of the rising power of psionics, believed separate from the magics of the Aether and held apart. Many others rose in prominence, too many to mention, but what is known is this: Conn granted to each Captain an artifact forged from the Multiverse itself. The Banners, they were called, and each is rumored to have barely contained the tiniest essence from the High King’s very soul within it. When the Banners were seen upon the field of battle, enemies threw down their armies and surrendered before the battle could begin.
I will note here, for the sake of history, that another being of power was collected by Conn. Before the arrival of the Shadowmistress, the lands directly to the South of Connen was greatly troubled by an ancient Great Red Wyrm. Conn and his armies battled this beast to defeat, cutting out its heart and sending it to the depths of the Nine Hells, but this was not the end. The Beast rose once again out of the fires of Hell. Having slain a Demonic Lord, the Red took its heart for its own and became the Great Chaos, Ashardalon.
There are Sages who believe that the Shadowmistress held the key to Ashardalon’s fall, but from what I have read within the Annals of the Black Company, I believe it more likely that Conn alone drew down the Beast and subdued him. However it occurred, Ashardalon did not long stand apart from the Empire. Within a decade the Beast took on the shape of a man and swore allegiance and personal service to the High King. Conn appointed him as his Marshall General and placed him in charge of all his armies. Ashardalon forged a singular shock force to serve him directly and dubbed them the Hellsworn Legion. They are the only Legion never to have received a Banner.
As I stated, during the Founding other creatures rose to prominence. Mogesh, an ally of Conn’s from within the Pyramid of Shadows, found a way to drink directly from Nature’s source of Aether. He swallowed up power from ley lines upon an island in the West and clawed his way up to the limits of possibility. He became the first Living God and he used his authority with benevolence. The Troll Kingdoms shrugged off the shackles of ignorance and began to forge a real kingdom under his rule, no longer mindless slaves to their primal desires. The Trolls, under Mogesh, the Violent Death, were the first among friends to Conn the Great.
I will note here a discrepancy, or, I should say, a lapse in my abilities as an historian. The Barrier has existed for so long that I forgot that others may not be aware of its origins or even its existence. The Barrier is why Mogesh did not rise further; why the Violent Death did not become Rh’Tea’s first real god; and why no other gods have been able to re-establish connection with The Heart.
The first act performed by Conn after walking forth from the broken remains of the Pyramid of Shadows was to use the magic of its Warden, Karavakos, to expand the Pyramid’s barrier. The physical remnants remained in the crater until my cousins of the Pyramid Dwarves carted them away and the individuals within the Pyramid walked, ran, and flew away, but the magic…the magic was something else. Conn twisted the magic of the Pyramid outwards for he recognized The Heart for what it was and he knew that as long as the Center of the Multiverse went unprotected greedy gods would seek to take it for themselves.
None know how Conn was able to tame the power of the Pyramid, but I believe that he was an agent of the Multiverse itself. Conn was an avatar, a tool, a prophet and a savior. He wrenched forth the magic from the prison and threw a protective blanket around the world, this world, Rh’Tea. The Barrier was formed and no god, no power approaching the status of a god, could ever reach a hand in again. Rh’Tea was blocked from True Divinity.
That is not to say that Gods have not touched this land. As I mentioned, Mogesh rose as the first of several Living Gods. The difference is minute, but important. The Living Gods are immortal, but not omnipotent and far from omniscient. They attain the power to branch themselves out and offer their divinity to followers. They feed from followers like other gods, but they are not beholden entirely to the will of their people.
Mogesh, the Violent Death, can be killed. If he disappears, as we believe in these days that he has, his people, the Trolls, revert from their intellect to their primal ways.
And there are others…
The Established Living Gods
Zadra, a being crafted from the minds of an imprisoned Star Elven Queen and a psion whose power rivaled the Old Gods, is the true first Living God; we were simply unaware of her power until far later.
Zadra, the Lady of the Mind, took residence near what would become the Great Ice Floes and the Kingdom of the White Death. None were aware that she was secretly stealing the minds of some of the most prominent nobles and heroes of the time. Fewer still knew that her purpose, far from malicious, was to establish an army capable of holding back the coming tide. Now, Zadra has a kingdom, Dromman, formerly known as Drom’s Wall. She has established her power and bestows both psionic knowledge and divine authority to her followers. First among her loyal subjects are the Children of the Mind, a group of Inquisitors feared the world over.
Zadra, despite her totalitarian ways, is the only thing that stood between the rest of the world and the Great White Plague for centuries.
Farther South, in the land that grew over mere decades from a temperate forest and fertile terrain into the wastelands known as the Ice Floes, arrived Kavat’na.
We now know that Kavat’na was already a god thrown down by her failures and imprisoned. She was the White Dragon Aspect of the Goddess Tiamat, Queen of all Chromatic Dragons and one of the most terrible creatures in all the Planes.
Kavat’na died within the Pyramid of Shadows, but death did not stop her. She absorbed the powers of a lich and when the Pyramid broke she became the White Plague, a dracolich capable of shaping the lands around her. Her territory became a wasteland of ice and undeath. She reached out with her powers to lure in a clan of Frost Giants and corrupted an entire line of Wood elves into the dark ways of Blight. Kavat’na ‘s only nemesis was Zadra and the two battled for years through proxy armies and servants for the White was canny and hid well and Zadra had the Orb.
Lady Zadra held the Orb of White Dragonkind and keyed it to specifically ward off Kavat’na so that the Dragon dared not come close. Later, Zadra established the Ghost Legion, but…I get ahead of myself.
The last of the established and known First Living Gods to walk forth from the Pyramid is also the least well known: Maelstratus, the Mechanus.
The Mechanus was formerly a Warforged Wizard trained in the great arts of Transmutation. He was brother to 7 others, all 8 forged together by a demigod from another Plane who sought to use them for terrible purpose. When the Pyramid came for him, the wizard hid inside his own creations, unable to be forced out. So, the Pyramid took each of them instead.
Within the Pyramid, Maelstratus learned the art of Artifice and was able to forge himself a new body from adamantine, Aether, and other magical metals. He became the only known Mechanical Dragon and he imprisoned my people.
The Mechanus took up residence in what is now the Barrowlands and made the great volcano that resides there his home. Gondradel was the home to the Stone Dwarf King and for what the Mechanus did there can be no forgiveness.
The Mechanical Beast reshaped the Original Stone Dwarf using the physical remnants from the Pyramid of Shadows and turned him into the first Pyramid Dwarf. More importantly, he took from the collective memory of all Stone Dwarves the knowledge of WHO the original King even was and to this day…to this day not one of my kind can remember even the type of material from which he was fashioned.
Be that as it may…his story continues later and I will press on. First, I must rest. I shall return to this task later after I have had time to clear my heart of this shadow.
The Shadowfell Rift and the Fall
I must apologize for my breach of professionalism to my readers. Speaking of the Atrocity causes my calm to break, but I am better now. I will continue on with my history. Our history.
Centuries followed from the Founding and, of course, the High King remained alive. As I have stated, we of the Stone Dwarves believe him to have been an Avatar of Aether incarnate, so it is not surprising that age cannot kill him. Others believe that the combined magical might of the Blooded Queen and the Shadowmistress maintained his living form.
Whatever the cause, the High King lashed together an Empire and Alliance of countries that was never before seen and, it is my fear, a task that will never be repeated.
However, as with all great things, even the Empire could not remain forever. Perhaps it was Conn’s desire that his followers spread out bereft of his leadership or perhaps it was the evil will of some foul force, but whatever the purpose, the Shadowfell Rift arose.
This portion of my history will be the cloudiest, the most lacking in detail because the horrors that rose out of the Shadowfell not only destroyed much of the historical knowledge of the time it also wiped memories clean. Something, perhaps a malicious God, clawed its way forth from a tear in the Barrier and walked out of the Shadowfell in full glory and terrifying rage. The ensuing wars ripped asunder the Empire, killed both the Blooded Queen and the Shadowmistress and caused the Great Sacrifice of Conn.
In order to defeat this nemesis, Conn threw every power, every magical might against it. He even temporarily subdued the war between Mind and Undeath (Zadra and Kavat’na) and forced them to distract the beast while he worked his trickery.
The High King snuck past the defenses of the Enemy with only the core leadership of the Black Legion following him. They left behind their banner knowing that they were going to their deaths and that they would likely never return.
From within the darkness of the Shadowfell, Conn, our Savior, closed the Rift and severed the Enemy from his Godlike power. The combined armies fell upon him and destroyed his corporeal form in the fertile lands that are now the Barrowlands and only the portal remained.
Conn never returned. At least, not in a true form.
The High King established a Watch upon the sight of the Rift determined never again to allow a creature of such magnitude to crawl forth. The Vigil was set and the Watch begun and to this day, Conn, the Living Protector, serves as the first line of defense against the Will of Other Gods.
It is funny to me that I was forced to pause again. It is best that I did so for I am certain that I could have rambled on and on about the great sacrifice that Conn made. He is the only being I have ever known that causes such emotional distraught within me that I have not even met.
Centuries passed, as they do, and time moved on. The Old Legions fell apart as the Captains fought and squabbled over who would rule in the High King’s absence. Many of the Legions lost their Banners in skirmishes against one another. The Crimson Legion prevailed over the city of Connen, but the battles there caused so much destruction that they won nothing but Ruins.
The Black Legion, bereft of leadership, but still holding their Banner, became the first and greatest mercenary company. They renamed themselves the Black Company and established a system of Contracts similar to the Order of Law that the High King had created in his Empire.
The Gold Legion followed a Prophetess, one of the 8 Warforged from the Pyramid and a Diviner. They established tribes around the Portal to the Shadowfell and held watch on the Material Plane.
The White Legion’s leadership fell under the sway of Zadra and her Children of the Mind. She forged them into the greatest fighting force of her kingdom and set their Captain-General as the martial protector of Drom’s Wall. Later, as time passed, they became known as the Ghost Legion for their continuing war against the power of Undeath.
As for Ashardalon, First among Generals…without the brotherhood established between him and the High King, Ashardalon fell to his own evil ways. Ashardalon convinced the noble Moon Elven King, Jorus-del, to ally with him and pronounce him the second Emperor, rightful ruler of Conn’s Empire. War erupted, of course, as it is wont to do in a vacuum of power and the Captains stood against Ashardalon and his armies. The Lord of Chaos drew upon his old power and corrupted his forces, twisting the Moon elves into something unrecognizable.
It was not the combined might of the Captains that brought low the Great General, but treachery from within. The seneschal of the High King saw the corruption of his People, the Luna’rhem, and could not stand to watch. The Traitor reached out to a power within the Shadowfell and a deal was made. The remaining uncorrupted Moon elves would bind themselves in service to this power and he would aid in the banishment of the Chaos Dragon.
The Tower of the Night was forged and the Triumvirate of Luna’rhem called thieves, mystics, monks and assassins to their cause in an effort to bring low the mighty Ashardalon. The General and his people were banished through a portal out beyond the Great Barrier and into the Primordial Chaos itself.
Of these Moon Elves, only one managed to escape untouched by the Chaos or the Tower.
The Age of Heroes, Part I
The darkness of the Scattering persisted for many years until, finally, the gateway created by the Pyramid’s arrival spewed forth the remainder of Conn’s band. The last remaining echoes of power from the Pyramid vanished, but three great heroes arose into the ashes of Conn’s fallen Empire and took up the mantle of power.
Over 200 years ago, three heroes known later as the Godslayers would go on to revitalize an entire forgotten race, found the Kingdom of Aricia, and establish the Way of the Swaying Leaf – a curiously effective martial path responsible for holding back the Shadow King.
Sway, also known as Lucian Nailo, a half-elf drunken monk master of his own style.
Vazaeryn, one of the 8 Warforged siblings of the Mechanus; master of fire and artifice.
Yarice, the Phoenix Lord, the Scion of Rebirth, and the Founder of Aricia.
The Chronicles of these men could fill volumes, but I shall be brief. Through their combined efforts they defended the town of Khymer’s Rest when it was naught but a tiny hamlet thriving on the berry of the Avor plant. They forged an alliance with the Keladr’rhem, a mysterious race of Wild Elves living in the Rennish Wylds (The Riven Woods). They defeated or aligned themselves with each of the 8 Warforged and destroyed a millennia old traitor from the High King’s original court.
In the finals days of the height of their power, the trio ventured forth and engaged in open battle with the Mechanus himself and brought him low. Vazaeryn re-established the power and knowledge of the creation of the Warforged and banded a tribe of Stone Dwarves known as the Onyx Clan under his authority in Gondradel. The Warforged Race was reborn. Alas, nothing is known of the loss of Vazaeryn himself, though it is believed that he fell to the Shadow King in later years.
Sway, the Mad Monk, established a Path of Martial Arts nearly impossible for any to follow to this day.
Yarice created the art of Crystal-Keeping, a practice that allows the stored memories of an individual to be kept within a psionic “book” of sorts for all eternity. It is from these Crystals that I have been able to understand most of what I know about the personality of the High King.
The Godslayers rose up in defense of Khymer’s Rest when the Shadow Portal opened and the agents of the Shadow King spewed forth into the world. They battled and destroyed the great Tarrasque, later identified as an agent of the Shadow King’s armies. Yarice himself bound the Eye of the Tarrasque beneath Khymer’s Rest and used its power to fuel great psionic feats.
Finally, they defeated the false king claiming to be Conn reborn. The Godslayers gathered together the remnants of the Black Company and established an army to hold off the dark armies that spilled forth from the Shadow Portal. They ventured within believing that their former friend, the High King Conn, had been corrupted by some dark god or another and they revealed the trickery and deception of the remnants of an Old God.
The Godslayers banished the Shadow King and left the Black Company with Conn to hold back the psychic backlash of a thousand gods trying to breach the Barrier. It is known only that Yarice returned of the three, for certain, for he established the Rule of Law in Aricia and scattered the Items of the Black Company to the Winds.
My own clan, the Clan of Granite, agreed to house the Annals of the Company and the stored history of this age and I have read of them nearly every day since.
Yarice, the Phoenix Lord, is rumored to remain within the bounds of Aricia to this day. He is immortal, of a sorts, constantly rebirthing himself from bodies cloned out of his own mind. Able to take on the form of any creature, Yarice wanders the land of Rh’Tea as an agent and ally of the High King making certain that no dark power arises from this side of the Aether.
The Jeweled Cities, five great merchant regions along the southwestern coast, banded together in a Council and rose as the pre-eminent traders upon Rh’Tea. Each is named after a jeweled crown that their Elector, the chosen leader of their city, wears: Beryl, Onyx, Opal, Ruby, and Malachite.
As a final note, it should be written that it was during these years that the great metropolis of Nexus was created and the Godslayers had a significant hand in its creation. Nexus was and is the central city upon this Plane and is home to ambassadors from every great nation and power upon Rh’Tea. Nexus itself was originally founded by three dragons, a Crystal, a Copper, and a Bronze, who would later give up their lives and essences to forge three Dragon Cores.
The Dragon Cores, like the Eye of the Tarrasque, were used to fuel powerful magic. In specific, each was linked to a great ship capable of flying upon the clouds as easily as it could sail upon the seas. The departure of the great dragons left a power vacuum that was filled by a Council within Nexus itself. Each Ambassador from other nations and powers has a seat on the Council and every decade a vote by all the people of the City is held to determine who upon that Council will renounce his former home and take on the Mantle of Regent. The Regent serves as a guiding hand in all matters dealing with the city. The current Regent of Nexus is Xanadel, former Merchant Lord of the Jeweled City of Beryl.
The Age of Heroes, Part II
Not long after the defeat of the Shadow King, a second group of heroes arose to defend The Heart from terrible tragedy.
The White Plague, Kavat’na, increased her power by setting into motion a chain of events that would enable her to obtain the Red Orb of Dragonkind. Kavat’na believed that she would be able to summon forth the Great General, Ashardalon, and his Hellsworn Legion from their imprisonment within the Primordial Chaos. She was right. She also believed that she could control Ashardalon with the same power.
In that, she was horribly mistaken.
The Chosen of Chaos started off as a simple adventuring band seeking to free the lands around Drom’s Wall and the White Plague’s realm from tyranny. They consisted of four great allies as different as the seasons.
Arius Damodred, was a monk of order and law who had forgotten his name, but would eventually uncover the secret to destroying Gods and become one himself.
Grey, the Wanderer, was the sole Moon Elf who escaped the Primordial Chaos without being unduly harmed by the twisting touch of that realm.
Elora, druid of the Riven Woods, was a servant of the Verdant Council who, in time, would become the Queen of the Keladr’rhem.
And Kael Tyran, who unbeknownst to even himself, was a dragonborn descendant of the great Ashardalon himself, would eventually become the Avatar of the General.
This band fought bravely against the White Plague and held back her expansion into the land that would become Aricia. They discovered the plot to unleash the Chaos Dragon and they were the first to encounter the twisted Luna’rhem who had become something different, something…chaotic. The Kaovish’rhem, the People Out of Chaos, strode forth and opened the way for the Great General who was maddened by grief and pain.
The Chosen of Chaos managed to convince the Chaos Elves that their true enemy was none other than the White Plague herself. It was not long and it was not a great battle, but Ashardalon destroyed utterly that dracolich and ended her reign. By the time he had returned he had calmed and these heroes were capable of convincing him to end his reign of terror.
And then the Barrier split.
The entire war between Dragons was a ruse by an Old God called Mendax, the Assassin, the Treacherous, and the Canny. He bypassed the High King’s defense within the Shadow Portal and entered the world as a simple peasant. By the time the distraction of the Dragons’ War was finished, he had managed to destroy enough of the barrier that some of the power of the Old Gods strode through.
Before I continue on into that dangerous phase, I shall mention the fate and other happenings of this period:
In the far North, a descendant of the High King and his true wife, the Blooded Queen, rose to power. Lord Aldorel Grissom has the lifespan of an elf and took command of the ruins of Connen with a great army. He subdued the barbarian tribes around the Ruins and recovered the Crimson Banner. He rules, even know, in Connen as the Red King Risen and true descendant of the High King.
General Sartorius of the Ghost Legion, formerly the White Legion, attempted a coup against his consort, Zadra. He had secretly allied with his great enemy, the White Plague, and took the Red Orb from her before her battle with Ashardalon. Afterwards, he confronted Zadra and thought to use the Red Orb to summon the Great General to destroy her. Much to his dismay, the Red Orb would not work upon Ashardalon as the Primordial Chaos had changed him into something far greater than a mere Red. Zadra slew him and the Ghost Legion disbanded, their Banner destroyed. The remnants of that Legion reside as Paladins and holy warriors, agents against Undeath and the Arcane and serve as the military might under the Children of the Mind.
The Godswar and the Weakening Barrier
The Godswar was the only time during the history of Rh’Tea wherein which an actual pantheon of Gods was able to claim authority of m mortals.
Mendax weakened the Barrier preventing the Old Gods power coming through, but did not count on the ingenuity of heroism. The Chosen of Chaos allied with Ashardalon and managed to force the initial surge of divine power into their own bodies. Ashardalon himself rose to prominence as the God of All Dragons and Kael Tyran became his avatar upon the Material Plane. This prevented Tiamat or another dark god from reaching into the realm.
Elora rose to power as the Queen of the Keladr’rhem (the Wild Elves) when she aligned with an aspect of Ehlonna, Goddess of the Wood and bound the Aspect of Nature into the Heart of the People, a great Tree at the center of their Kingdom.
Grey became the mortal Avatar of Ehlonna began wandering the Material Plane on the Hunt for other gods.
Arius Damodred allied with the monk Sway and the two shared their knowledge of the Soulbreaker Technique to engage rogue gods and kill them. Arius became the God of Protection and Order upon the realm.
And Conn, the High King himself, took on the Mantle of War within the Shadowfell before any other could do so.
Yarice, the Phoenix Lord, cloned himself and sent his second self into the Shadowfell to ally with his former companion. Between them they were able to identify the breach in the Barrier and Mendax’s hidden location. Elora and Grey foiled a plot by the Murder God to unleash Kavat’na as the new God of Undeath and took from him the Stake of Dydd – a binding weapon capable of imprisoning any being of power.
Vazaeryn sent his armies to aid against the Gods, but was himself never seen; to this day none are certain as to his fate.
The Godswar ended when Conn and his allies and the Chosen of Chaos managed to trap Mendax with Dydd’s Stake and banish him from the realm. The group agreed to give up their divine authority in order to revitalize the Barrier and prevent the breach of the Old Gods from being repeated. All of the New Gods lost their power, though a few managed to survive in mortal form and continue to roam Rh’Tea to this day.
Conn, the High King, remains within the Shadowfell staring into the Abyss of the Barrier and waiting patiently for a single breach, a single aspect of the Old Ones to reach into this world.
The Current Day
Many are the events of the current day, but I shall speak only of those that touch upon my history. I hope I that my humble words have aided future Sages and Historians in their efforts to piece together the past and I direct each to the Libraries of Yarice within the Vault of Katan for more information.
Rh’Tea is home to no true god and the Barrier remains strong. Many Living Gods remain in power, but each is truly mortal and can be slain.
The Red King Risen has solidified the North into something like an Empire and uses the Crimson Banner and the City of New Connen to establish what may become a second Empire.
Aetheric Technology has been discovered by a few enterprising souls at a magical academy in the north. The Atwood Academy and its arcane practitioners maintain a rule of law different from any seen elsewhere in the world.
Zadra, Living Goddess, Queen of Dromman, and her Church of the Mind have reestablished their military under a new banner and an old name. The Ghost Legion and the Children of the Mind (an Inquisition under another name), roam the lands around Dromman and seem bent on the destruction of Undeath and, more suspiciously, all Arcane power.
Elora, Queen of the Rennish Wyld and the Keladr’rhem, has stepped down for her daughter, the Flameheart. I believe that an agent and hero that I have met personally to be responsible, but more will come.
A Shadow City has risen over the Barrowlands. It floats like an island and I have just learned in these past days that it is, in fact, the former top of Gondradel. Some being of power has ripped the apex of the volcano clear from its root and turned it upside down.
Aricia is in Civil War. A lord, Duke Aramakis, has unified an army of Gnolls, Goblins, and Slaadi alongside certain nobles in the kingdom and threatens to take control. He has armies in the south at Khymer’s Rest and is laying siege to Phoenix Hold. The Phoenix Lord, Yarice, is nowhere to be found.
It is widely believed that the High King, Conn the Undefeated, may have attracted a group of mortals within the Shadowfell to his side. Appearances of creatures known as the Shadar-Kai have been popping up across Rh’Tea and they claim to serve the High King.