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Elyden is an old land. Imperial records alone are over 4,000 years old. The Fifth-Age of life retreats back a further fifteen hundred years. Beyond that is the incalculable span that is the Fourth-Age, and the three ages preceding it, in which gods are said to have walked and races unimaginable today walked beside them; their children, their followers.

It is unsurprising then, that in a world so ancient, its every waterway and every ruined settlement a window into a past that cannot now be seen, that Elyden is not as she once was. Skies once blue have tarnished over time to a dull grey that persists throughout all of Kharkharadontis and most of central Llachatul, and one must travel to Tethysia or Khitai to see the sun shine as brightly as she once did across all of Elyden. Soil that was once guardian to roots and plants of myriad form lays now mostly barren, loosened by the death around it, carried by inimical winds to distant shores where it lays, a reminder to all of the life that once flourished throughout this plane we call home. Life itself, once so abundant, now clings to niches where the wanton darkness that seeks to envelop our land fails to seep, the memory of numberless herds and bright metropoli contained in graveyards and ruins that proliferate the world so.

Elyden is the giver and taker of life.

Elyden is a world living out the autumn of her days. Hers is a realm that dwells in the dwindling shadow of creation, where entropy and decay seem to outweigh creation. Like a man reaching his twilight years, her domains are slowly crumbling, forsaken by her creators. Left to rot in the primordial void around which she was crafted, she lays now in the thrall of a slowly dying sun, of lands that have fallen so far into decay that the natural order seems to be unravelling, as the nightmares of maddened gods render the world in grotesqueries. Seemingly ensnared by her own decadence and decay, Elyden has become a world far removed from the grandiose beauty she once evoked. There is no way to deny it; Elyden is a dying world, in every sense of the word.

Her wardens, the god-like Demiurges; Two-and-Twenty creator-deities who were once entrusted with the Shaping and conservation of Elyden have, like the world they helped form, fallen into decay and instability. Once proud beings and great artisans of the natural world, they were the leaders of the mortal races, taking them from darkness, bestowing upon them the gifts of civilisation, language and art. But such glories lie now in the past, faint echoes of a perfect world that never was. Instead, the Demiurges have become bitter creatures, their dreams transformed through a timeless rancour and spite into tangible nightmares that are felt across the world in same way a tremor or a wave affects the landscape. Once fortified by their subjects, the Two-and-Twenty mortal tribes, the Demiurges have grown weak in the wake of true belief. Many of the mortal tribes have disappeared, or mingled with others in such a way as to render their roots – their ancient divine lineage – obscure, where it is hidden beneath the weight of history and eons, or forgotten altogether – a death-knell to a Demiurge. Without followers, many of the Demiurges have fallen dormant, their once-divine powers of creation latent, their bodies rotting blights upon he landscape polluting the world with their inert presence, infecting those who sleep in their shadow with depraved and twisted dreams. Dreams that continue to mar the world with their despair as their once-followers continue in their path to oblivion, self-indulgence and other material pursuits blinding them to the horror they have consigned themselves to. Others, their followers all but destroyed – wiped out in ancient genocides or whittled by phyrric wars of belief – have died, fallen into a reverie from which there can be no end other than decay and corruption, their fossilised bodies rendered indistinct form the place they chose to call tomb and oblivion. Yet even in this state, their whims and desires cannot be buried; for the land ebbs and flows as distant echoes of thoughts flicker, mutate from dream to nightmare, each painting Elyden’s skin in different subtle emotive tints. Those of the Demiurges who remain alive do so at the whim of their followers. Bitter at their own fall, shackled by their followers who by all rights should have no power over the divine Demiurges, they survive in a greatly diminished form to their once-divine-selves, decrepit and rotting. Above them all, unchallenged throughout the latter millennia of the Fifth-Age has reigned a single Demiurge, sundering his siblings beneath his reign; Rachanael the Hungry, Seventh of the Demiurges, and so-called Undying Machine. Under his dark reign was Elyden allowed to rot, the cities of the Korachani empire spreading like a disease around the Inner Sea, raping the land, leaving it in ruins, hastening the decay of Elyden yet further.

Elyden is now a place corrupted not solely by the penumbra but also by their nightmares and bitterness, these artisan-deities’ festering memories, where demesnes and realms unravel like rotten dreamscapes; their corpses lying heavily on the material realm, blights upon sanity and normalcy.

Those Demiurges granted the luxury of sentience and strength-enough to manipulate the world, have come to withhold what knowledge they possess that has not become corrupted by their festering insanity, leaving the mortal races to their own devices. Bitter in the knowledge that the mortal races were granted luxuries that they themselves squandered, most have come to detest the mortals, grudgingly seeking them out due to the restorative effects of their deference. Some Demiurges reward those noble and hard-working mortals with secrets of their knowledge, though such secrets are rarely disseminated readily as they once were in Elyden’s infancy.

As though in mirror of the Demiurges’ decay, is the decline of Elyden, her slow wretched descent into oblivion. For every year that passes is a year farther from the love and intent of the act of creation, a year further spent in the vacuum of purposelessness, where a sun that grows ever-weaker gives rise to disease and decay. Entropy emerges as a new force to be reckoned with, flooding into the void left in the Demiurge’s wake, its touch corrupting everything. Seas retreat as the suns’ diminishing urges wastes of ice to form. Deserts expand, taking with them what life has managed to cling this far along Elyden’s descent into what can only be described as madness. With this unravelling of the natural world comes the waxing of the planes known as the Firmament or the Penumbra. Their purpose is thought to have originally been as little more than a framework against which the mortal realm could be created, their planes have strengthened as the material world decays, their influence becoming more blatant, the laws of the natural world seemingly discarded in favour of incongruity and landscapes that should not be. Under the bleaching gaze of the Firmament, plains crumble and shatter, the very earth’s grip loosening upon itself, leaving boulders floating freely, challenging the instincts of those who happen upon them. In places where the Firmament is truly dominant, its light can manifest from the ground itself, erupting in fonts of searing light that renders the immediate earth sterile, anything close by dessicated. Worse is the Penumbra, its sickening effects changing the land in ways that only the most disturbed of artists could imagine: plains of fleshy outcrops that pulse underfoot, stiff hair-like flora growing erect at the slightest of tremors; places where the boundary between flora and fauna is blurred, one merging indistinctly into another. Yet even where their effects are not so blatant, both planes can, rather more dangerously, give more subtle indications of their waxing – flora and fauna that grow too close to such areas can exhibit signs of Atramental mutation or Firmamental ossification, both planes affecting Elyden’s skin differently in different area.

And amid this corruption do the remnants of the mortal races – the races descended from the original immortals , man dominant above all others – struggle to survive over the ruin of ancient empires and extant decay of Elyden. Some seek solace in ignorance, wanting only to survive their ephemeral stay in the world, the woes of the future concerns that they need not worry about. Others seek answers to questions unasked, searching cyclopean ruins of distant ages revealed by the rot of the world, hoping to find in their catacombs and foundations hints as to where they came from, what their purpose is. Perhaps in such ruins might they find the answer to their survival…

This is the world of Elyden, a tomb in the making, its entropic end within sight yet still, out of reach.

On a more pragmatic note, Elyden remains our home; the land of our birth and vessel to our bodies once death finally claims us. Despite the slow decay of things, the world remains a place of various climes and weathers, terrains and features, though with every passing day the differenes are slowly leeched in favour of the rotting landscapes that emerge like fetid sores that cannot be negated.

The known lands of Elyden stretch laterally for over 15,000-miles from Ophiussa in the far west of the continent of Llachatul to the vast heathen Kingdom of Tethysia in the east; and ranges over 10,000-miles between the frozen wastelands of the north, where the earth is buried beneath miles of ice, and the south to the strange tomb-lands of Amanthula. Between exist dozens of nations and realms, seas and mountains, most blatant of them all, existing as a blight on the skin of Elyden, perhaps precipitating the decline of the natural world; the Korachani empire. Beyond are lands unexplored or unassailable, too distant for first-hand accounts, with the esoteric farsight of those cursed by such gifts too indistinct or unreliable to reveal to us their secrets.

Nevertheless, this leaves us with two continents – Llachatul in the north and Sammaea in the south, both covering an estimated total of over 100,000,000 square-miles, within which can be found all manner of terrain and climates, ranging from the aforementioned polar landscapes of the white Sheet, to the uncharted virgin woodlands of the Nameless Forest, or the wetland and plains of Ahrishen, and farther south the savannah’s of Char Mâthi, and the deserts of the arid Triptych and Kharkharadontis. Some are natural, a result of the march of years and the consequence of the ever-changing topography, climate, terrain and temperature, whilst others can be attributed to the proliferation of the Atramental or Firmamental terrain, each afflicting the land in a myriad different ways.

Elyden is an old land. Imperial records alone are over 4,000 years old. The Fifth-Age of life retreats back a further fifteen hundred years. Beyond that is the incalculable span that is the Fourth-Age, and the three ages preceeding it, in which gods are said to have walked and races unimaginable today walked beside them; their children, their followers.

It is unsurprising then, that in a world so ancient, its every waterway and every ruined settlement a window into a past that cannot now be seen, that Elyden is not as she once was. Skies once blue have tarnished over time to a dull grey that persists throughout all of Kharkharadontis and most of central Llachatul, and one must travel to Tethysia or Khitai to see the sun shine as brightly as she once did across all of Elyden. Soil that was once guardian to roots and plants of myriad form lays now mostly barren, loosened by the death around it, carried by inimical winds to distant shores where it lays, a reminder to all of the life that once flourished throughout this plane we call home. Life itself, once so abundant, now clings to niches where the wanton darkness that seeks to envelop our land fails to seep, the memory of numberless herds and bright metropoli contained in graveyards and ruins that proliferate the world so.

Elyden is the giver and taker of life

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Elyden Vorropohaiah