The Shattered Lands
The history of Kaltain is one of fragmentation. No matter how hard the people of Kaltain work to unify, in the end, like their land, they fragment and bicker over the smallest of points. Kaltain has never known a long period of piece in the surviving histories, though there have been periods of prosperity and relatively little conflict.
With so little information before the Cataclysm surviving, the mythic past of Kaltain is virtually unknown. Different races have different tales about the creation of the world and her people. The main commonality is that they all mention the old Gods, Renim the god of light, Amunett the goddess of darkness and the others that make up the Old Gods. They are the ones said to have created the world, and the Wyrm Gods to watch over it. By the time the fiends arrived belief in any of the gods was thin, even though the people knew the gods existed.
A few of the stories mention creatures sometimes called the Old Ones or the Elder Gods. These creatures seem to be connected to the Far Realm and aberrations like the Illithid and the Beholders, but little is known about them, and the Illithid do not talk about their origins.
Before the Arrival
Little information on what Kaltain was like before the arrival of the fiends survives. What does comes from elves and dwarves who were alive before the Arrival and survived the Shattering.
It seems Kaltain was a world of powerful magic. Along with airships, people could ride in other forms of magic transportation on the ground, both on water and under it, and even, if some rumors are to be believed, out into the Black and beyond.
The bulk of the races as we know them existed, though there were differences. All races had to adapt to the Shattering. Some races did not survive, such as the halflings, the gnomes, and the kobolds. These races exist now only in books and a few old songs.
Technology was also advanced. The dwarves had advanced metallurgy knowledge allowing them to forge what is now called Wyrmsteel. In fact there are several types of Wyrmsteel including one that does not rust or tarnish, and others that are much stronger and lighter than the steel the dwarves produce now. Wyrmsteel now fetches a high price, even rusted and old. The dwarves can still work with Wyrmsteel, they simply cannot make it.
Gunpowder was also commonplace, as the materials to make it were easy to come by. Reliance on swords and armors in battle had given way to muskets and canons on the battlefield.
Travel to and from the many other planes of existence was normal. There were portals all over Kaltain allowing adventurers to seek out their fortunes on distant and alien plans. Some even talk of portals to the Far Realm. Kaltain was something of an oddity, a world with such powerful magic, and so open to the planes. Undoubtedly it was the many open portals that lead the fiends to Kaltain.
The Arrival: O PC (Post Cataclysm)
The known history of Kaltain begins with the Cataclysm, when the demons of the Abyss poured out of the portals onto Kaltain. This moment caused severe changes to Kaltain. Mountains toppled, new one rose up. Lakes boiled and seas froze. The demons instantly began killing off all powerful creatures they could find and subjugating the land.
It was not long, perhaps a year at most, before the devils of the Nine Hells came through the still gaping portals to challenge the demons. At the time no one on Kaltain knew what these fiends were after. With the arrival of the devils the eternal Blood War between the fiends had spilled out on to the surface of Kaltain, and as the races of Kaltain would later learn, under it.
Gorboko 142-162 PC
The fiends waged war across Kaltain, scaring the land. As belief in the gods had waned, they were not able to step in and protect Kaltain from the fiends. A century passed while the demons and devils ravaged the land, killing many of Kaltain’s people while they attempted to gain the upper hand. It is during this time that the tiefling race came to be a native race of Kaltain. Though they were aware of tieflings from their dealings with the Planes, they were an oddity. With so many fiends on Kaltain it was inevitable that they would create offspring. Soon tieflings themselves discovered they could breed true as well.
Those wizards that remained tried to reach out to the powers of the Upper Plains for help against the scourge of evil, only to discover that they were powerless to intervene. They discovered that the leader of the demonic forces, Gorboko, had created some kind of hex that barred the celestials form interceding.
Gorboko, the demon god of pain, was the one who had lead the demons through the portal. He was after something on Kaltain, but only he and his closest advisors knew what. 142 years after he opened the portals, Gorboko defeated the devils that had come to challenge him on Kaltain becoming the de facto ruler of the planet. He soon had a massive army of slaves working on some project, digging deep into Kaltain.
The Wrym Gods
Though the Old Gods were still powerless, the Wyrm Gods had been charged with protecting the world of Kaltain, even the evil Wyrm Gods were driven to protect the planet. They could not, yet, manifest of Kaltain, so they sent the Wrym Lords to rally the dragons that remained. The Wyrm Lords, under the command of the Wyrm Gods, created a new race, the Dragonborn to be emissaries between the Wyrm Lords and the humanoid races. The dragonborn moved out onto the land and began rallying the many races of Kaltain. Gorboko and his agents were so focused on their task that they did not pay attention to the dealings of the native races.
The Dragonborn were able to rally all the remaining sentient races of Kaltain, good and evil, to drive back the demons. Only a few orcs, in the service of the demons, refused. The bauchan races are a result of this unification. As hobgoblin, goblin, and bugbears fought to protect their land some of them began to see a better way of life than the one their brethren were accustom to. These goblinoids would evolve overtime to become the bauchans.
The Shattering: 150 PC
The true motives of Gorboko became clear when the world itself shattered in the year 150 Post Cataclysm (PC). In one massive earthquake the planet itself broke up into many smaller fragments. Only the powerful magic of the Wyrm Gods kept those fragments from drifting off into the Black where all the living creatures on Kaltain would die.
Gorboko was after the World Stone, a giant crystal in the center of Kaltain. The World Stone was the source of all magic on the planet, and he hoped to find a way to take it back to the Abyss and use it to win the Blood War once and for all.
Unfortunately for Gorboko getting the World Stone to the Abyss proved more challenging than he had anticipated. Even freed from Kaltain, the stone was massive. It also was anchored to the Prime Material plane, refusing to move no matter what Gorboko tried.
Still, the Demon god refused to admit defeat. Instead he built a tower on the World Stone and began to plot how to strike out against the devils from there.
The Coalition: 152-162 PC
While Gorboko sought for a way to move the World Stone, the Wyrm Lords and their humanoid allies had formed The Coalition, led by a united and equal counsel of dragons and humanoids. In 152 PC they began to strike back against the demons, taking fragment after fragment as they drove toward the World Stone. The dragons, being the only creatures that could move between the fragments, moved entire armies in large barges suspended between two dragons.
Goboko was to intent on his plans in the Blood War that he was unprepared for the ferocity of the Coalition’s attacks against his strongholds. It still took the Coalition a decade to drive out the remaining demons. In the Final battle Bahamut and Scultone manifested on the World Stone. As a demon god, he could not be killed, but the Wyrm Gods had a plan. They trapped Gorboko in an iron vessel, sealing him away. The intent was for the Wyrm Lords to guard the iron vessel, but one of Gorboko’s lieutenants stole the vessel and fled through a portal to the Abyss. To protect the Remnants from Gorboko’s wrath should he be freed, the Wrym Gods sealed all portals to and from Kaltain.
The Council of Wyrms: 162-1276 PC
The Coalition soon dissolved after Gorkobo’s defeat. The many humanoid races began to bicker over land and resources. Though the Wyrm Lords were not a unified bunch, they saw the need to impose order of the humanoid races in order to rebuild civilization on the Remnants of Kaltain.
As such they established the Counsel of Wyrms populated by one each of the twenty-five dragon types allowing for a balance of alignments. For over a millennium the Council ruled the Remnants helping the humanoids to rebuild and create new civilizations.
Because dragons were the only creature who could travel in the Maelstrom that the fragments of Kaltain floated in, they created both the drakes and the dragonettes to help speed communication and transportation between the many fragments. The Dragon Knights, warriors who bonded with drake mounts, first formed at this time. The system was not perfect, but it did allow for travel.
The Golden Council: 1276-1297 PC
Though in the original creation of the Council of Wyrms the plan was to return control of the land back to the humanoids the evil dragons enjoyed power too much. They blocked all motions to return control. This lead to the formation of the Golden Council, and the disbanding of the Council of Wyrms. The Golden Council had only dragons who were interested in handing power back to the humanoids. They began the process of drafting a new global government with the humanoids. The evil dragons had other ideas.
The Wyrm War: 1280-1309 PC
Glaurung the Red lead the evil dragons to attack the Golden Council to stop the other dragons for relinquishing power back to the humanoids. The resulting war was devastating for most humanoids who could not flee the individual fragments without the help of the dragons. In 1297 Glaurung and his forces defeated the Golden Council, and installed himself as ruler.
The Dragon Blades: 1280-1300 PC
Though created by the dragons, the dragonborn felt the pull of humanity. Crull, a particularly charismatic and forceful leader decided to reform the Coalition this time against the dragons to end the Wyrm War and establish a humanoid empire. Turning to the, self-proclaimed, Witch Sycorax, along with Torquil, a dwarf Forge Master, they began to create twenty-five blades, one for each kind of dragon in the Remnants. The task took them nearly twenty years. Each blade has the spirit of a great wyrm dragon bound within it. Some of the dragons volunteered, others did not. The spirits are bound by powerful magic that keeps them from overpowering their wielders, though they can still communicate with them.
Coalition Reborn: 1300-1309 PC
With these in hand, Sycorax reformed the Coalition of humanoids, giving each leader one of the Dragon Blades as a badge of office, and a potent weapon to use against the dragons. Using a heard of drakes, the Coalition soon struck out against the dragons and won a battle. Taking notice of this, the Golden Council called a meeting. After a day of discussion the Coalition and the Golden Council formed an alliance and together pushed back the evil dragons. Crull himself, wielding the gold sword dealt Glaurung a killing blow.
Interim Council of Wyrms: 1309-1310 PC
Though Crull and his coalition were successful, the Golden Council would not let them rule until they created a system of government that would keep the peace between the humanoids, and allow the civilians to rebuild. The result was the Dragon Emperor and the Parliament of Blades. Once the system was drafted the dragons retreated to distant fragments, save for those who reformed the Council of Wyrms, this time as a government for dragons only, on the Wyrmland fragment.
The First Peace: 1310-1453 PC
Crull became the first emperor, and the first leader of house Crull, the house of the Dragonborn. As the first Dragon Emperor Crull oversaw the rebuilding of the humanoid kingdoms, now unified under his rule. Three of Crull’s descendants followed him as Dragon Emperor until Crull III died with no heir. The Parliament of Blades elected Ecard of house Dunnkara to follow Crull III.
Discovery of the Shard Engine: 1429 PC
Shards are the name for pieces of the World Stone. With things quieted down sorcerers and wizards spent time trying to figure out the World Stone. This proved difficult as the World Stone has no atmosphere like the other fragments. This meant that anyone on its surface was exposed to the strange effects of the Maelstrom.
The task of mining shards for experiments was made easier by the existence of a surviving subrace of gnomes, once called the Svirfenblin. These shard gnomes lived underground before the Shattering. They were forced to work for Gorboko to dig down to the World Stone. When the world shattered they remained on the World Stone and have become immune to the draining effects of the Maelstrom.
They wizards also demonstrated that the World Stone grows. As shards are removed new ones slowly grow back. The prevailing theory is that, as the World Stone is a magic battery that any use of Magic releases the energy into the Maelstrom where it eventually is absorbed by the World Stone.
Magic users discovered early that the shards were like magic batteries and could help them to either cast more spells, or empower their existing spells.
An ambitious your dwarf named Duri discovered a way to use the shards to power an engine that converted the stored magic into an energy that allowed anything attached to the engine to move through the shells around the fragments. This was a momentous discovery, as it meant ships could now travel between the fragments without the aid of dragons or drakes. Duri began working with allies to create a fleet of ships. Within two years the Airship Syndicate was operating transports from all the known inhabited fragments.
Duri only told the secret of the shard engines to those she trusted ensuring that the Airship Syndicate was the only organization to be able to use the shards to power travel. When the inevitable happened and the Syndicate was brought before the Dragon Emperor instead of yielding to his demands for a free trade system they instead offered him a substantial stake in the organization bringing in a large amount of wealth for the Emperor.
Though the Syndicate controlled use of the shards for transportation, they did not control the mining of the shards. Early on a number of houses laid claim to sections of the World Stone to mine shards for the Syndicate.
First War of the Houses: 1453-1482 PC
The chaos of shard mining soon began to cause issues. Two of the Great Houses came out as the major minors of the Shards, the Fasika and the Kadmos. Alliances soon formed between the houses as the Fasika and the Kadmos grew rich. The Emperor, Ecard III, began to grow concerned that his own authority would be threatened and so called the Dragon Knights to the Imperial City.
Tensions between the Kadmos and the Fasika grew until a Kadmos shipment of shards disappeared between the World Stone and Birnam. The Fasika denied any involvement, but a week later the ship was discovered intact, the crew dead and the shards missing, near a Fasika controlled fragment near the World Stone. This sparked the First War of the Houses. The war itself was brutal as the Shard engines allowed ships to deliver troops quickly.
The war raged for some time, neither side gaining any foothold. Even with the Dragon Knights, the Emperor could not find a way to stop the warring houses. When the Fasika slaughtered every living soul on a small fragment controlled by House Kadmos the Wyrm Lords themselves stepped in to stop the war. With the consent of Ecard III, they razed Opipua. The dragon blade was recovered and handed over to the Parliament to be awarded to a new house. The commoners of house Fasika were relocated to other houses and Opipua became a dead fragment.
With the help of the Wyrm lords, the Dragon Emperor and the parliament of Blades drafted the Great Charter which outlined the rules of warfare between houses. Houses were relegated to a war of assassins designed to keep the commoners safe from attack during conflicts between the houses. It also implemented a fief system where the Emperor controlled who could mine Shards. Finally they created an incorporated business called Orbuculum which distributed the profits of Shard mining through a shareholders system. Any shareholder was paid a percentage of prophets.
The First Long Peace: 1482-1911 PC
Ecard III ordered house Kadmos to mine the Shards, and thus began the first Long Peace of nearly 500 years where only small skirmishes between the houses happened. The Charter’s rules seemed to be working to keep the peace. During this time the first dwarven emperors ruled, as did the first Bauchan and the first tabaxi. It was the tabaxi who would ultimately destroy the Long Peace.
The First Feline War: 1911-1966 PC
Corald I of House Taguan was the first tabaxi to be elected as Dragon Emperor. This system was a part of tabaxi culture from before the Cataclysm itself. After the Shattering tabaxi from different castes were isolated and had to learn to survive on their own. During the Coalition all the castes took up arms leading many tabaxi of the lower castes to abandon the caste tradition. House Banther in fact was ruled by the tabaxi puma and House Oncilla by tabaxi pardos. Still, to the Taguan this was unnatural.
After Corald II died with no heir the Parliament elected Ocel I of house Banther to rule. The Taguan were the loudest opposing voice due to the fact Ocel I was a puma. Three years into Ocel I’s reign the Taguan launched an attack in a bid to take back the crown. The other Great Houses sided with the two feline houses, some secretly, some openly. The Wyrm Lords, fearful of another massacre, banned house Banther from using the Dragon Knights in the war. Though it did lessen the brutality of the war, it also lengthened it.
The war had several lulls, notably during the reign of Serval I and Serval II after the Taguan had succeeded in wresting the crown away from the Banther.
The Banther regained the crown in 1928 and the war heated up again. When Ocel III died the rule shifted to Pallus of house Oncilla. Pallus was Ocel III’s grandson as his father was Ocel III’s second son. Ocel’s oldest son died in the war, and Ocel argued, effectively, to the Parliament that he, Pallus, was the heir. The Taguan still fought to try and reclaim the crown, but with the added support of house Oncilla, who had remained neutral for the bulk of the war, the Taguan could not win. The war officially ended in 1966.
The Dark Times: 2018-2081 PC
After the death of Heskan II of House Crull, Graham I of House Vendel was elected as the new Dragon Emperor. The Parliament soon came to regret that vote. After Graham I’s death his son, Vulcan I, came into power. Vulcan was a cruel and sadistic ruler who found a number of loopholes in the Charter that allowed him more control. He implemented legal slavery and the terrifying feline purges. Vulcan I believed the tabaxi race was a scourge on the Remnants and so targeted them with the Dragon Knights. The three feline houses, Taguan, Banther and Oncilla soon joined forces to fight against Vulcan’s knights. Vulcan I’s son, Vulcan II, and grandson, Vulcan III, continued the reign of terror he began.
The War of Emperors: 2081-2086 PC
After a particularly brutal raid on a Kreon fragment harboring feline refugees, Archduke Richard I of House Kreon gathered support and attacked the Vendol home fragment of Torin. This began the War of Emperors. Recognizing that Vulcan III was bent on dismantling the balance between the Parliament and the Crown, the Parliament of Blades dethroned Vulcan instilling Richard as Emperor in 2082. Vulcan still controlled the Imperial City, and the bulk of the Dragon Knights, so he refused to relinquish control leading to two emperors.
The Year of Three Emperors: 2084 PC
The bulk of the houses fought against house Vendol, including normally neutral Elven Houses. One group of Houses, Jadod, Urau’auk, Turok, and Urghash, known as the Savage Houses, chose instead to enter into the war as a third faction, proclaiming Bolmog a hobgoblin from House Jadod as emperor. This move only lasted for about a year, but for that time three emperors rule the Remnants.
Vulcan III soon arrived at a treaty with the Savage Houses; Bolmog would relinquish his claim on the throne and the houses would help the Vendol in return for mining rights on the World Stone. The addition of the Savage Houses to Vulcan III’s army set Richard’s alliance back.
Dual Empires: 2084-2086 PC
Though facing a more potent opposition Richard and his alliance were able to keep the Vendel at bay maintaining two Emperors. Unfortunately for the Vendel fighting against the alliance meant they could not manage the mining of the shards as tightly as they had been. This allowed smugglers to ship shards to the Kreon alliance, and began to undercut profits for all houses and the Airship Syndicate.
In an unprecedented move the Dark Houses, the illithid controlled House Huum and the Drow controlled house Shamzadan sided with the Kreon alliance in an attempt to restore Shard mining, as well as they recognized Vulcan III’s goal was absolute rule. The addition of the Dark Houses gave the Kreon alliance the edge it needed to defeat Vulcan III and his legions. Still, Vulcan III held on to power. Finally in 2086 an unnamed assassin killed Vulcan III and his son Gorgon ending the war. Neither the assassin, nor whoever hired him, were discovered. There is still a global holiday celebrating the assassination called the Day of the Assassin.
Reconciliation: 2086 PC
After the defeat of Vulcan III Richard began working on rebuilding the Dragon Empire which included reestablishing the many laws that checked the Emperor’s power. He also ended slavery, and made restitutions to the Feline Houses. His son, Duncan worked to close the loopholes that Vulcan I had used to begin his reign of terror.
The Second Long Peace: 2086-2732 PC
The Kreon emperor’s efforts created the longest period of global peace in the Remnant’s history. A few small house wars did crop up, but nothing on the scale of previous wars.
Shard mining expanded, as did the territory of many houses. Exploration became the norm and many new fragments were uncovered. The first tiefling emperors ruled, as did the first wood elf and drow.
Many people were worried about a drow in power, but Ilma’s reign was relatively event-less. Many still wonder by the drow wanted to rule, and why they were so benign.
The Second War of the Houses: 2732-2745 PC
During the reign of Heskan II the Savage Houses banded together in the Parliament to try and maneuver for a bigger number of shares in Orbuculum. The move gathered a number of other sympathetic houses who had fewer shares of Orbuculum as well. This spurred a move in the Parliament to redistribute shares. Houses with more shares attempted to block the equalizing movements. After months of political bickering the Savage Houses launched a join attack against House Vendel, the most vocal opponent of equalization. The attack sparked the Second War of the Houses.
Though the Savage Houses and their allies were poorer houses, the military might made them a formidable opponent to the more wealthy houses. The war itself lasted over twenty years as power swung back and forth between the factions.
The Orc Emperor: 2742-2745 PC
Molok, the leader of house Ughash and the de facto leader of the Savage Houses, targeted the Emperor himself in 2742. The Emperor had remained neutral in the war, though he was vocal about his support to the wealthy houses. Molok and a small force of orcs, hobgoblins, bugbears, gnolls, and minotaur struck the Imperial palace late one evening, dropping down from a hovering airship. The quickly dispatched Heskan’s guards and then killed the Emperor. Molok declared himself Emperor. With the support of the Savage Houses the Parliament could not remove him from the throne. For three years the war raged while Molok sat on the throne. He used the dragon knights as best he could, though many of them deserted him.
Molok was eventually brought down by his own lust for power. As he gained power he began to covet it. The other Savage Houses felt betrayed. This coupled with numerous victories against the Savage Houses lead a hobgoblin to kill Molok in the throne room. The war lasted a few more months as the remains of house Ughash were eliminated. The house is now considered a dead house, though a distant cousin of Molok, Kor, claims to be leader of house Urghash.
Rise of the Wyrm Tyrant: 2975-3000 PC
The evil dragons never forgot their defeat in the Wyrm War. One in particular, Koryinth the Red wanted to rule all the Remnants as his father, Glaurung did before the Dragon Emperors.
At the time the Empire was under the rule Quasthisine the illithid. No one is quite sure how an illithid won the vote to become emperor, but the choice instantly became an issue. As an illithid Quasthisine needed brains to survive, and enjoyed finding the choicest individuals to devour. Its rule was not overly oppressive, just dark and degrading for the rest of the houses.
When Koryinth and his forces attacked there was not a lot of resistance from the other houses, as they all longed to remove the illithid emperor. Soon, though, it became apparent Koryinth’s goal was total domination of the Remnants including the dissolution of the Empire. The houses banded together for the first time since the Wyrm War and fought against the evil dragons. Good dragons also joined in the fight.
The Rule of the Wyrm Tyrant: 3000-3428 PC
The alliance was not powerful enough at the time to stop Koryinth’s take over. Koryinth had promised power and riches to a number of houses, most notable the Dark Houses, and the Savage Houses. These houses did not directly side with Koryinth, but did pull back on the fighting allowing the dragon to finally take the Imperial City and enthrone himself as the Wyrm Tyrant.
Amazingly, Koryinth made good on his word to the Dark Houses and the Savage Houses and allowed them to mine the Shards and amass power through trade. The other houses suffered, but were not disbanded. Koryinth needed them to maintain control of the people, while he dominated the nobles of the houses.
Prosperity did not last for the Dark and Savage Houses. Over time Koryinth took away their power and wealth as well, consolidating his own rule. All through his rule the alliance continued to wage a guerrilla war against the Wyrm Tyrant. When the Dark and Savage Houses turned from the Wyrm Tyrant they finally had enough strength to defeat the dragon. History records that a Gnoll of the house of Urau’auk delivered the killing blow to Koryinth.
Restoration of the Dragon Emperor: 3428 PC
After the Wyrm Tyrant was killed, a new Dragon Emperor was named in Cymbir, the High Elf. Though the Dark and Savage Houses were worried about a swift reprisal. Cymbir took a different approach. He had the houses pay restitution out of the wealth they had amassed to the other houses, but over enough time that the houses would not be severely crippled. He also changed the fief on the World Stone regularly giving all houses a chance to increase their cash flow and rebuild.
The Great Collision: 3707 PC
Normally the Remnants of Kaltain move and drift in the Maelstrom, but the large inhabited ones always seem to avoid colliding. Some smaller ones do causing a rare strike of rubble, much like a small meteor, on larger fragments. Late in the year 3707 a large unknown fragment collided with the Dilluz fragment, home of the minor house Thebias. The collision tore apart both fragments sending rubble out that slammed into many other fragments. Buildings and sometimes even entire cities were destroyed all over the known Fragments.
Only two fragments of Dilluz remained, now known as Dilluz Major and Dilluz Minor. The collision crippled house Thebias beyond the ability to rebuild. They are now a vassal state of house Kreon.
Though many have investigated the remains of the two fragments, no one knows exactly why these fragments collided, nor where the unknown fragment came from.
The Arcane Wars: 4262-4506 PC
Not a great deal is known about these wars. They were a set of secret wars fought between a number of mage guilds and two of the Elven Houses, House Dasyra and House Shamzadan. The battles were rarely large affairs, being mostly between groups of arcane magic users.
During the war both house Dasyra and House Shamzadan sat in the Wyrm Throne. Even in such power the war remained secretive and obscure from the bulk of the people on the Remnants.
Even today the cause of these wars, the casualties, and even the outcome are mysteries. What is known is that during the reign of Jezzara of House Shamzadan, House Dasyra suffered some kind of blow that effectively killed the house. Members of the house, and some of the mage guilds, continued to fight for some time. The wars ended suddenly in 4506.
The Cult of Life: 4790-4806 PC
The Cult of Life was one of the players in the Arcane Wars, and disappeared shortly after the war ended. This ironically named cult is controlled by a lich that believes undeath is a higher form of life, and strives to bring this “life” to all humanoids. After the Arcane Wars they disappeared. They resurfaces in 4709 attacking a number of mage guild strongholds with effect.
Had the Cult stuck to attacking mage guilds the Emperor would not have got involved, but the cult raided several villages looking for fresh recruits. Both house Dunkarra and House Xerxes lost people to these attacks. They pressured Emperor Elrad VI of House Kadmos to intercede. With the help of the mage guilds, the dragon knights systematically eliminated the undead and the Cult of Life. They are believed to have even killed the lich who ran the organization. Unfortunately his phylactery was never discovered leading some to believe he will return.
The Second Feline Wars: 5105-5144 PC
During the reign of Lynxis II of House Banther, house Taguan attacked the Imperial City killing the Emperor and proclaiming Corald III Emperor. This attack came without warning or provocation. The Banther and their allies instantly reacted with an attack on The Jungle, the Taguan home fragment. The Second Feline War was shorter than the first, but far more brutal.
Seven years after they claimed the Throne, house Banther, led by Lynxis’ son Lynxis, reclaimed the Imperial City and the throne. Lynxix III was able to retain the throne for twenty-one years while fighting off Taguan attacks. In 5133 The Taguan lead an attack on Ilynxal killing all four of Lynxix III’s children and leading to a fierce battle that left the Taguan again in the Wyrm Throne.
Serval IV believed the war to be over as the Banther had no heirs, and Lynxis seemed to be crushed by the deaths of his children. After ten years House Taguan had eased up on security. Lynxis chose this moment to attack the Imperial City, killing Serval and her heir Corald along with a number of noble Taguan. He claimed the throne again. Though the war was effectively over at that point, house Taguan continued raids until Lynxis III died three years after regaining the crown.
After Lynxis III’s death House Banther left the Parliament of Blade and has since disappeared. Those loyal to the house still live on Ilynxal and the fragment is considered Banther territory, but no Banther representative sits on the Parliament. The house is considered dead. Only recent rumors of a Cougarin, the name of Lynxis III’s eldest son, keep House Banther from fading like the other dead houses.
Fall of the Bojan: 5153 PC
Houses change status all the time. Sometimes they lose power and drop out of the Parliament to be replaced by another house. Other times they are attacked and lose power.
House Bojan was a minor house when Ecard V succeeded his father Elrad VII. His first action was to disband House Bojan, sending Dragon Knights to claim their blade and effectively stripping them of House status. This marked the first time an emperor simply disbanded a house. He claimed that he had evidence the house was dabbling in demon summoning, a serious crime on a world shattered by a demon. Ecard’s evidence was thin at best. The House itself was not known for any subversive actions; they were in fact a vassal house of the Kreon at one time, and well respected. Still with the support of his allies and others willing to be swayed, the Parliament upheld Ecard’s move and disbanded house Bojan. Technically their fragment, Serin, now belongs to the Dunkarra, but he has had difficulty due to the loyalty of the Bojan people to their house.
Rise of the Tarresque Claw: 5158 PC
Sometime in 3172 a group of rebel explorers discovered a large fragment that contained a single large mountain. In that mountain they discovered the sleeping Tarresque. Even with the Wyrm Tyrant in power, the fragment was marked as dangerous, and quickly forgotten. In 5150 rumors began circulating that not only had a group of adventurers rediscovered the fragment, but they had also succeeded in killing the Tarresque. These rumors were around for a few years then quieted down.
Other rumors, mostly pertaining to the many thieves’ guilds, and assassin guilds, circulated. Some talked about a new theives’ guild, others were concerned with new shard smugglers. Others were wild and far reaching, talking about a unifying the thieves’ guilds. The one constant with all of these rumors were rogues carrying swords carved from the claws of the Tarresque.
Finally in 5158 the Shard Miners Guild began making demands of house Vendel, the World Stone fief holders. When Vendel sent in troops to put the miners back to work they discovered the miners were well armed, and had a large mercenary force willing to die for the miners. The Vendel were forced to appeal to the Emperor for assistance. During the inquest the name Tarresque Claw came up. This organization had hired the mercenaries to protect the minors. The minors themselves had made some kind of agreement with the Tarresque Claw in exchange for their help. The inquest could not discover the nature of the arrangement, but the situation forced them to give into the miners demands for a larger share of the shard trade.
Over the last two years the Tarresque Claw has popped up a few times, including some connection to the realization that the Black Arrow Assassin was not responsible for the death of Patrician Hyde IV of house Xerxes, and in relation to Marquises Elizabeth de Bojan who has recently taken the reigns of her rogue house now that her father has died.
The Present: 5161 PC
The unending Shadow War between the Houses continues. Even with the emergence of the Tarresque Claw in the machinations of the government, the maneuvering continues.
House Vendel still holds the World Stone Fief, mining the Shards as fast and as cheaply as they can. House Kreon sees the actions of House Vendel as an issue, but the Emperor chooses to let them mine. Expeditions have gone out recently in order to try and map more fragments, as the total mass of the original planet is still unaccounted for by half.
Rumors of a new faction, The Red Shadow, also have begun to spread. While little is known about this group, they seem to be in opposition to the Tarresque Claw, but until a clearer picture of what the Claw itself is, no one can discover the nature of the Red Shadow.