Another--non-linear?--view of the history of Spiritus Mundi
In the beginning the world was dreamed by the three demons that dream reality, Rize Shane, dreamer of stone; Tindo Shane, dreamer of life; and Amenu Shane, dreamer of seas. Rize created the world itself, Amenu shaped it and constrained it, and Tindo populated it. Tindo dreamed the thinkers in two forms — the lizardfolk who are enslaved in spirit but not action and the humans who are enslaved in action but not spirit. These three demons are served by humanity for thousands of years.
2000 BK - Lizardfolk discover ironworking, though possibly not for the first time.
1473 BK - Since his battle with Phael Zar in 85 AK, Banukal has been aging backwards, battling demons in dreams for 1500 years. He has come to believe that he can destroy the power of demons over the sea and free the future from its constraints there and so he seeks the three demons that dream reality in order to destroy either them or to redream their dream. The child dreams of ironworking and this dream manifests as the sword Inevitable as built by Gar Mac Nuk, a human who melts things and who becomes the first human to realise his slavery and as a result the first human to hate.
Raised stories of the great hero Soer Daek, Banukal dreams Gar Mac Nuk as a great hero and the sword is forged and blessed by God (God's most recent overt act).
The demon Phael Zar supports the dream warrior as he sees an opportunity to increase his dominion. Zera Hath, sensing an opportunity to establish his own domain, also lends his aid to the dream warrior. When the battle ends Rize Shane and Tindo Shane are destroyed, ending Banukal von Drikk's quest to destroy the three ancients, having slain the first in 500 BK.
The net result is that demons lose significant power over the earth. Banukal , as a direct result of his exposure to the one God, is forgotten, his name being obliterated in the glory of the deity.
500 BK - the last Ancient, Amenu Shane, dies ending an epoch of human slavery. He was murdered in the city of Clavius. The lizardfolk are a constant pressure on humanity, striving to dominate the surrounding fertile land. Humans split into clans: the Clavian Clans who stay to occupy and defend Clavius and the Exploratory Clans who leave the region to find more fertile (and uncontested) land. Those that leave the region establish the city of Stonard which is immediately beset by the strangely vicious local wildlife. They are victorious but at great cost — the region around Stonard is protected forever afterwards by a great wall that is carefully patrolled.
Clavius develops ironworking.
400 BK - the First King Khelezzar is born.
200 BK - the First King Khelezzar of the Architects, one of the Exploratory Clans abandons his kingdom in Stonard and returns to Clavius. He wields great magical power that (among other effects) keeps him unnaturally young and uses this power to steal the written language of the Lizardfolk.
A group of Exploratory Clan humans leaves Stonard to find more hospitable lands further north. They pass safely through Blackwood Forest by exercising their capacity for spirit magic. They establish the northern city of Callista.
30 BK - Lizardfolk attack Clavius in an effort to steal the holy sword Inevitable. The First King Khelezzar successfully wards off the attack in a 30 year war that terminates with his death and the establishment of a new defensive city at Three Ways which guards the Shield Wall, a geographical feature that defines the boundary between man and lizard.
0 - The death of Khelezzar is the point from which years are reckoned forever afterwards by both species.
50 AK - Travel between Clavius and Callista increases though is never substantial due to the intervening Blackwood Forest. Nonetheless, news gets through. Callista makes attempts to colonise the northern regions but these colonies are inevitably failures with the exception of Mere, another coastal city. Soer Daek, a teenager now (born in 35 AK), emerges as a powerful and charismatic hero who opposes all truck with demons even though commerce with sea spirits is the sole reason for the success of coastal cities. In particular, the Callista town council actively seeks trade with demons to ensure its safety and prosperity. He is supported (some say created) by Thorizon the Wild, a powerful magician devoted to raising the power of individuals.
Callista and Mere develop ironworking.
Piracy emerges as a serious problem for the first time, with groups of pirates establishing trade with their own sea spirits to enable their raids on regular human sea trade. This rapidly escalates into a full war which lasts for 20 years, drawing in heroes from all over, including Soer Daek and his mentor. When the battle ends, Thorizon and Soer Daek find themselves discredited but at once more and less powerful than before. The pirates lose their demonic support and turn instead to technology. The city of Mere find itself elevated as its patron demon, Zera Hath, gains dominion over many of the defeated demons.
70 AK - Soer Daek establishes the Horse Kingdoms, a series of ownerless island kingdoms owing fealty to no one. They are powerfully individualistic and honourable. They take what land they desire and are successful in doing so at least in part due to their unexplained mastery over the local wildlife. They are immediately opposed by the Knights, an order of warriors based in Callista that sees them as nothing more than land based pirates.
80 AK - The pirates establish the twin cities of Kalen and Blum which become famous for technological wonders.
85 AK - Thorizon the Wild consults with Thalasia, a dream seeress from Huxley, to help resolve an enmity he has developed. It seems he has dreamed a dream that has offended Phael Zar, a powerful demon with domain over dreams. Thalasia tells him after casting the bones that he must sacrifice his hero, the dream warrior Banukal von Drikk or lose all his power in the waking world. Thorizon cannot bring himself to lead a child of 7 to slaughter and so instead he and the seeres concoct a scheme to trick Phael Zar into believing that the Knight Kendra, who rides a steed gifted with the capacity to traverse dreams, is his dream warrior. When Kendra and Phael Zar come into contact, however, Banukal exerts his own force and drags the conflict into yet another level of dream, destroying Thorizons Dream and trapping himself forever in the dream world. The horse, Wonder, is destroyed in the conflict, perhaps satisfying the need for sacrifice.
110 AK - Kalen and Blum develop gunpowder, machining, and steam power in quick succession.
135 AK - Stonard breaks its silence of 285 years and sends an embassy to Clavius begging for help with a plague of giant ants that have emerged and are ravaging the state's meagre crops. Clavius, having improved relations with the lizardfolk on its souther borders, sends two legions of lizardfolk mercenaries to assist. Stonard takes this as either a grave insult or an outright attempt to annex the state and attacks the legions. Clavius seeing an opportunity now to annex its wayward colony, declares war on Stonard and sends reinforcements. The small strange down of Huxley, which lies right at the edge of the Blackwood Forest, sides against Stonard by blocking access to the fray by land from any assitance that might come from the north. Regardless of the land embargo, Callista and Mere both draw on their vast wealth to reinforce Stonard by sea, purchasing weapons and other materiel from agents in Kalen and Blum. Both cities are gravely taxed by the effort and their great status as economic wonders becomes a thing of the past. Huxley establishes an alliance with the Lizardfolk, the ants are almost incidentally destroyed, and the remainder of the lizardfolk mercenaries take up residence in Stonard, making it the first truly multi-racial city. The war lasts 12 years.
Stonard acquires ironworking from the lizardfolk sometime during or shortly after this war.
Callista and Mere acquire the secret of gunpowder.
Cities and Nomad Clans as of 150 AK
See the map of the known world for locations.
System Rule Extensions
Credits and Copyright
Primary authors: Toph Marshall, Tim Dyke, Byron Kerr, and Brad Murray.
Game Systems: Universalis for world creation and Burning Wheel for the game proper (both available from Drexoll Games if you happen to be in Vancouver, BC).
This work is copyright 2006, 2007 by the primary authors listed above. Permission is granted for any non-commercial use or for commercial use solely as an endorsement or illustration of play (that is, not for direct resale).
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