The Krosven Steppe
This is a brief and simple compiling of the vast history of Iro for those who aren’t familiar. – Eved
Pre-Era: The World Forms
(Old Gods Creation Myth)
In this time, the Titans give rise to the world, forming it out of the Void, which is not nothing, but actually tiny particles known as Torets. Torets are part of everything, but in the beginning they were spread across the Universe, so far that it was impossible for them to interact. The Titans were once part of this Void, and something made their torets coalesce into beings of energy. Through their energy, the World of Iro was created. There are only three known Titans (though hundreds existed): Covoran, the Builder; Atren, the Shaper; and Gamavër, the Destroyer. (These names are titles; there were many more Builders, Shapers, and Destroyers.)
The Titans shaped Iro and created life. They also created the Humanoid, the form which became the Lifebearer. The Titans enjoyed the Humanoid form and used it as an avatar, though their forms were enormous compared to their creation; a single Titan hand could hold the world in its palm.
Over time the Titans thrived as immortal beings untouched by age or disease. The Humanoid lived alone on Iro, a proto-being with no sex or gender. As the Titans worked they failed to notice one aspect of the Humanoid that differed from them—the Humanoid was aging. It grew old, and one day it died, and the Titans felt its death as the breath left its body. They mourned its death deeply and in doing so shrunk in size as their tears filled the vast oceans of Iro, eventually becoming only as large as the mountains.
Covoran the Builder attempted to resurrect the Humanoid using ancient arcane magics, despite the danger. The magic backfired, however, and split the Humanoid into many pieces, which became the races of the world. The other Titans, angered with what Covoran did, exiled him to the stars, where he dwelled for thousands of years before returning with the Old Gods.
The races of the world lived for many hundreds of years in primitive dwellings and tribal units, before the first King, Atu the Wise, united over 1,000 tribes to become the first nation, called Iro, or “earth” in the old tongue.
(Padoran Creation Myth)
Briefly: Padora breathed in and her lungs were filled and the world was born. Padora has always existed, and each breath she takes is the birth of the Universe (or “a” Universe, depending on interpretation). All creatures—even so-called “gods,” titans, etc—are beings brought to life by Padora’s Breath. I don’t believe this could possibly be true myself, especially after the death of Gamavër, but anything is possible in the realm of gods and titans, I suppose.
First Era: The Birth of The Elves
1: The first recorded historical event—Atu “signs” the Irolean Peace Treaty, a declaration on clay tablets of peace between the Thousand Tribes.
c. 343: First sightings of the Elves.
345: The Elves march into Kokator, the Great City. They wear advanced armor and carry weapons unseen by the Thousand Tribes until now. They take over Kokator and the surrounding cities with ease. Weyslynd, the leader of the Elves, announces the First Empire and crowns himself Emperor of Iro.
345-370: A tumultuous time, during which the Elves conquer all of Iro and enslave most of the Tribes. Having never had to go to war before, the Tribes are slaughtered and the Elves reign supreme for over a thousand years.
1082: The Child visits the Prophet and announces the return of Covoran the Builder, who is bringing the Old Gods with him. (See “Who Are The Old Gods?”)
1098: Covoran descends from the sky with the Father, the Mother, and the Trickster, taking refuge behind the Spine (west of Iro, in other words). The journey has greatly weakened Covoran, and he is thought to have died shortly after arriving.
1098-1106: The Old Gods, through various messengers, establish contact with the Old Tribes. Worship of the Old Gods blossoms quickly.
1106-1113: The Great War. Armed with divine magic and new knowledge of weapons, armor, and war tactics, the remnants of the Old Tribes band together and battle the Elves. The war is bloody and difficult, and the Tribes nearly lose until the Father Himself descends from Heaven to help guide the battle. The Elves are routed and surrender at Ironrock. (Note: Covoran is often said to be the Father, but that doesn’t fit with the legends and the weird descriptions of the Old Gods. If he is not the Father, then he never returned; only the Old Gods did.)
1114: The Child takes the Throne at Kokator (now known as the Godsthrone) and imbues it with divine power. “Whoever sits in this throne shall reign as our Right Hand,” they say, before departing for Heaven. The Prophet, Salo the Great, takes the throne, and the Divine Lineage is created.
Second Era: The Old Gods Rise
1: The Treaty of Ironrock. The Elves basically prostrate themselves to Salo and beg forgiveness. Salo agrees but banishes them to the dense forests of the south, saying that they can return when they’ve “atoned” for their sins.
1-5: The land of Iro is split into two large countries: Eora to the north, and Valden to the south. Valden is the land of the Elves and special sanctions are given to Elves to traverse into Eora. However, the treaty essentially makes Valden a “pseudo-province” of Eora, stripping the country of many rights that it would have, were it its own sovereign nation. (It’s kind of like Ireland to the UK, I guess.) This works briefly, but eventually causes a lot of turmoil. Many many many many many civil wars and battles are fought in both countries in the 2,400 years before Gamavër returns, which further defines the boundaries and the provinces within. It’s all very fascinating but unnecessary for your knowledge. Just know: very, very tumultuous time. Another important thing to note here is that Valden essentially was a kleptocracy for the majority of the second era; it was governed largely by criminal forces and the entire country descended into crime and vice and fought constantly (obviously, in 2,400 years it wasn’t always 100% a kleptocracy, but the elven “mafia” or whatever you want to call it was born out of the elves’ hatred for the treaty, and the mafia state became a default of sorts for a very long time. This is important because it was essentially the mafia that forged the alliance with the demons, as described below.)
854: First contact with the Dragonborn, who sail into Alweyandyian in the south of Valden on a crude ship. They seek a peaceful relationship with the elves of Valden and claim to worship the Old Gods. They say that they were born from the scales of the Humanoid, but since the Humanoid doesn’t have scaled, the elves believe the Trickster created them. The elves, still keenly aware of how they set upon and enslaved the other races centuries ago, decide to welcome the Dragonborn and offer trade with them. Thus begins the alliance between the Elves and the Dragonborn, which survives into modern day.
2,406: Gamavër the Destroyer arrives from the Cold Depths with an army of 100,000 demons. He ascends to Heaven and attacks the Old Gods. The battle rages on as a giant storm over the Spine for nearly a century.
2,498: Gamavër falls to Iro, crashing into the Spine with an enormous explosion. He becomes embedded into the mountains but still wreaks havoc upon the countryside, sending demons across Iro and secretly goading the Elves of Valden to enter into Eora and attempt to overthrow the country.
2,498-2,503: The World War. The elves form an unholy alliance with Gamavër’s demon army and march on Eora (this is how tieflings came about, by the way). The Eorans receive support from a family of metallic dragons who had been pushed out of their mountain homes by Gamavër’s body. The war is short and extremely bloody; historians estimate at least 1/3rd of the population of Iro died in the chaos and carnage.
2,503: A band of adventurers manages to kill Gamavër and stop the outpouring of monsters and creatures into Iro.
Third Era: The Republic is Born
1: The end of the World War; Gamavër, the Titan, is finally slain. The demons retreat to whatever hell they came from, and the political turmoil Gamavër created between the two warring countries of Eora and Valden is ended. Eora “wins” and King Hegret II is crowned in Violet Hall of Ironrock. Hegret is a half-elf and an elven sympathizer of sorts, and so Valden is given full sovereign independence in exchange for giving up its military—it essentially becomes the largest province of Eora, but independent as well. (Kind of like Canada to the UK?) The elven “mafia” is dissolved until it can barely function.
3: Hegret II appoints a Council of Lords, 100 men and women from across Eora and Valden, to serve as adjudicators in law and justice. These men and women are voted on by the public. Thus The Great Republic is born. The Republic becomes the foundation of politics in Iro for thousands of years.
8: The Padoran prophet Datorya receives the Vision.
14: Datorya’s prophecy comes true: a winged Messenger named Tavot descends and speaks the Wisdom of Padora to a small group in Avedenshire, forming the basis of the Padoran faith in Iro.
16-21: Prince Locane visits Avedenshire and spends the next five years studying Padorism. When he returns to Ironrock he is a devout follower.
21-140: Padorism spreads through Eora like wildfire. Meanwhile, in Valden the opposite is true—the elves begin to worship the Old Gods more than they ever have before (perhaps as thanks for not killing them when they sided with Gamavër). (Also, despite Prince Locane’s switch to Padorism, the Royal Family still mainly worship the Old Gods—until Savosa’s Vision).
141: Queen Savosa, meditating underneath her favorite tree, receives her own Vision, of a united Eora under Padora’s Breath.
143: Queen Savosa adopts Padorism as the dominant religion of Eora. Worshipers of the Old Gods are exiled to Valden for about six months before the Republic overrides her for the first time in history. Those exiled are not allowed to return, but those who remain in Eora are given authority to practice their religion freely.
438: Krosven ascends to the top of The Knob, the tallest mountain in the Spine, and spies the land to the west. It is colloquially, and then officially, known as the Krosven Steppe.
440: Queen Isobel funds the creation of a pass through a narrow part of the Spine.
446: Xaletex the White Dragon is roused during construction of Krosven Pass. Hundreds of workers are killed. The Serpent Shadows, an adventuring guild from the far south of Valden, manage to kill the dragon. (Lawrence Iturnak, the human fighter, is the father of Henry Iturnak, the paladin of the Lost Four.)
448: Krosven Pass is finished.
449: Fort Harador is founded, the first Eoran civilization west of the Spine.
450: The three exploring teams are sent out to discover more about the Steppe.
451: The incident at the gnoll camp.
452: Caravan stops at the spring; the Lost Four head south investigating bad shit. They are gone for six weeks. Springvale is all but founded.