|Please note: Many of these tales are only in-character beliefs. The Continent itself exists, but much information here can not be confirmed.|
Aeldin is a documented continent thought to be the largest continent ever to exist in history. At an estimated 19km2 including adjacent islands, it covers the largest landmass compared to Athera.The continent itself is surrounded by the at least five seas to west, and the shattered sea to the southeast. Aeldin includes the Golden Shore and various archipelago which mainly occur in the south-east. Over the historical period there have been many events that have divided or reunified the continent, for example the Imperial Age or the Third Era. Many events for Humans, Elves and Orcs have been told to occurred in Aeldin, but despite most of the population of the continent being mainly Human, there are other races scattered across the land, some including Orcs and Elves. The same applies for other races, such as Dwarves which are rare due to their civilization being closed in. Over time when the Exodus occurred, it sparked more damage towards the non-human races of Aeldin as many racist and large scaled military campaigns came, with land destroyed and annexed by the more predominant Empire of the time, the Imperium. Even before the Exodus, Humans from Anthos traveled to Aeldin via boat to fight in conflicts that erupted between races and nations, as it regularly did. Notable events include the closing of the Dwarven mountain, or the genocide of the Orcish War parties in the steppes which saw over five thousand non-orcish citizen casualties, with ten and a half thousand non-orcish troops also slaughtered. Unlike Human dominance in other continents, Aeldin faced many years under Elven oppression over the other races.
The majority of Aeldin is ruled over by the emperors of the Horosid dynasty, who have dubbed their realm the Aeldinic Empire. The borders of the continent have remained relatively unchanged ever since. See below for a full-scale map.
'The Tribal Era
The races of Aeldin are a primitive people, barely able to fashion tools made of copper. At this time, kingdoms and government were hardly even thoughts in the uncivilized lifestyles of the races. Primitive villages or roaming nomads ruled; discoveries like irrigation and animal husbandry are new in the eyes of the tribal races, and any form of recorded history is passed on orally, making the Era a time of myth and mystery. Evidence of structures such as causewayed enclosures, castles and megalithic tombs suggest that a sense of culture was developing, but no literature of scripture has been found that would date to this Era, pondering the minds of modern day histrorians of Aeldin.
The First Era
The nomadic lifestyles that had once been commonplace in Aeldin were dwindling now. The humans were the first to abandon it, settling upon rivers and creating walled-off towns with a governing body capable of a communal survival. Some Humans started to form what would be an early grasp of feudalism, but it would take many years to perfect. The elves preferred the freer lifestyle of the nomad, and kept to the forests and great plains where foraging materials were easily accessible. They also developed their own Elvish language, called Aeldinic Elf, which would be the main language for elves in Aeldin for many generations to come. The dwarves, who even in the Tribal Era had b een viewed as advanced, had begun to become more and more reclusive, preferring the quiet solitude of their mountains and refusing the other racial merchants into their carved grandeur halls and cities. Having long dwelled in their mountain and underground cities, the dwarves of Aeldin decided finally to close their stone doors for the first and last time, shutting themselves off from the outside world. Expanding their cities to support their new isolation, the dwarves soon discovered other tunnelways and halls, as archaic as the mountains themselves. Dwarven expeditions into these seemingly endless carved paths and tunnels lead to the discovery of ancient creatures, or the Aelmons. These creatures, who looked more like demons and monsters rather than sentient beings, awakened and began the millennia long war with the dwarves of the mountains. These underground wars are almost entirely forgotten, barely a trace remaining of the millions lost fighting against these foul creatures. The frequent wars between the humans and elves of Aeldin came to a peak as the elven conglomeration of tribes, known as the Goya’tael, besieged the city of Sareilla-upon-Galxos. The technological differences of the two sides showed itself when the normally nomadic tribes of the elves attempted to assault the walls. The numbers were well on the elves’ side, but the primitive way in which they lived left little room for intellectual thought and advancement. As a result, the primitive siege ladders and other engines were highly ineffective, the human defenders showing their technological superiority and routing the Goya’tael from the city. The retreating elves left behind their attempts at siege engines, which can still be see today sunken at the bottom of the river Galxos.
The Second Era
The First Era closes with the beginning dominance of the Varendozian Empire, an elven dominion that would claim hegemony over all the western kingdoms, both man and elf. Refugees flee across the Divide to escape their oppressive elven rulers, creating some of the first recognized eastern Aeldinic nations. The Second Era is almost completely lost to time, though, the histories of it burned by the later rebelling humankind in the Liberation campaigns, whom destroyed books and literature that would suggest Elven dominance over humanity. The numerous elven kingdoms and principalities are united under one elven king, who quickly takes to styling himself as emperor. Pouring down onto the human kingdoms, the surge of Varendozian force crumbled the human kingdoms as if they were only castles made of sand. The Kingdoms retaliate quickly, pouring troops of men into the oppressive occupied land, but quickly are defeated in a decisive victory for the Vardendoz. By the second year of their conquests, many human lords defected entirely to Varendoz’s side, preferring to live with their overlords and not suffer any wrath by defying them. Many Humans were taken as slaves or prisoners of war, forced to live in inhumane conditions until their untimely deaths would come, causing fears of genocide for the Human populous to quickly run rapid as many died. The elven dominion of Varendoz would last for over 200 years, with an oppressive attitude towards their human subjects.An assortment of fifty scholars, members of the Cult of Minos in defiance of the elven dominion, depart from the North and head south to barbaric Moesia, where they settle in a great ruined tower and establish the Learned Elders of Tor Minos. They eventually become the sole magical authority in the world and establish their hegemony over the local tribes, known to the rest of the world as Hebushites.
An immense exodus of refugees weary of living under the nonhuman oppression of Varendoz discover the fabled Pass of Orzulbur and enter it, following the passageway miles under the Great Divide and deep into eastern Aeldin, becoming the first and to this date the only people to successfully do so. They settle east of the mountain range and establish a handful of their own realms, known as the Banardian princedoms or as a whole Magna Banardia, the Eastern Realms of Aeldin. Here they drive off the savages residing in the highlands and develop their own language and culture, cut off almost entirely from the west. A massive human rebellion occurs in the Elven Dominion of Varendoz, led by the upstart noble Edemer of Arkent. Capturing ancient regions long recognized as primarily human in history, the rebellion gained a tremendous amount of support, and were a significant force to combat the Varendozian military, who were already preoccupied with their Orcish neighbors in the east. But the decadent Elves underestimated this human rebellion, and soon enough the entire southern portion of Varendoz was occupied by Edemer and his forces.As the Vardendozian military falls due to the collapse, the Orcish warlords advance around the coast and into the steppe mountains, causing mass pillages and destruction that would disrupt commerce with petty villages and establishments near the Heartlands. They soon become occupied by small quantity of Orcs who construct camps and build mines to fuel their armies.
The Third Era
The Liberation Campaigns would continue for another two years, collapsing the Elven Dominion of Varendoz entirely, forcing the elves into their ancient homes of the woods and securing a human realm that would last for nearly the entire era. A foreign invasion would force many hard decisions to be made, and the rising republics of Couentre would garner attention to the eastern side of Aeldin. The Liberation Campaigns come to a close as the Varendozian Empire collapses almost entirely. The capture and sacking of the elven capital, Dol Varen, solidified the Kingdom of the Heartlands as the new dominant power in western Aeldin. Edemer would be crowned in Arkent as Edemer the Liberator, King of the Heartlands, and the kingdom would enjoy a series of relative peace as the people stabilized to these new overlords. The Serpent King of Setring invades from the far off continent of Aelryth. Landing with a force once native to Aeldin itself, the Serpent King lands on the large island of Artesi, establishing himself as Protector of Humankind in Aeldin. The newly styled Kingdom of Setring defied the Heartlands for nearly a decade, with the Serpent suffering his final defeat on the fields of Nastin by the Heartlander King Saralev. The former mercenaries under the Serpent King had settled on the island of Artesi, spreading their foreign culture and integrating the local villages under the new culture styled as Lundic. Constructing their new city of Lunde, the foreigners began to rise in prominence in Artesi, serving as experienced statesmen and diplomats for their Heartlander lieges. Lunde became a prominent nation with several mainland colonies, even receiving a grant of independence from the Kingdom of the Heartlands due to the craftiness of the Lundic diplomats.
The arrival of the Drakkmar. Coming from the Eastern Mar, a small host of longships sailed along the coast of northeastern Aeldin, landing on the island of Brunhylde. Believed to be refugees from far away islands, the people known as the Drakkmar brought a new danger to the east. The secret, sorcerous cult following a pagan religion dedicated to Iblees, muster their power to invoke the Shattering: a terrible voidbomb on the island of Moesia. Once situated on the southern portion of Aeldin, Moesia was split into hundreds of smaller islands, spreading across the Shattered Sea. As a result, the Hebushite people of the far south fade into obscurity, rarely if ever seen by the locals of more civilised lands. The remnants of Moesia would become the region collectively known as The Pieces.The Heartlands and a majority of western Aeldin experience Radec’s Revenge, a devastating plague carried from the genetically altered and twisted creatures, mainly rats and insects, that came from the Shattering. Spreading to almost every major city and settlement, across the Divide, the Wasted Steppe begins to stir. Once only home to orcish tribes, humans too had begun to settle in the steppes as early as the Second Era, resorting to archaic nomadic lifestyles to survive in the barren landscape. The several steppe tribes had united under one king, a “Khagan” known as Sauros, whose horde waged a long war with their orcish opponents throughout the region. Nearly driving the orcs to extinction, the tribesmen secured their dominance over the Wasted Steppe. The First Khagan, Sauros, lived only a few years after his horde’s victory, and his death split the once united tribes back into squabbling nomads, but this time with significantly more power and security with the scourge of the orcs driven back to the highest reaches of the Great Divide. A group of elves fleeing from human persecution, aiming to colonise the Great Divide set off into the grandiose peaks, never to return. On the southeastern coast of Aeldin, a series of cities had begun to sprout, revolving around their ports and harbors that brought in rich luxuries and commodities. The many cities of the Golden Shore would form into several merchant republics, trading their goods all across eastern Aeldin and spreading their mercantile guilds and trade posts to nearly every city. Even the Pieces had their share of Couentran influence, as the rare and exotic oddities that came from the shattered island demanded much interest from the mainlanders. Rising conflicts between the Drakkmar and their Banardian neighbors boil over in open warfare. What was once simple border skirmishes and coastal raiding by the Drakkmar transformed into the first coalition of the Banardian Princes, whose collective strength quadrupled any of the eastern Aeldinic nations, and quickly swept over the Drakkmar, driving them off the mainland completely and back to their original landing site on the island of Novngarde. Vowing revenge, the Drakkmar declared a blood feud against the Banardians, and would reclaim their lost land throughout the course of the Last Era.
The Last Era
The Last Era started with the Banardian dominance of the northeastern regions of Aeldin; an increased influence of Couentran trade as they expanded to unknown lands; and a natural disaster that would shake the stability of the western kingdoms. The Last Era then closed with the arrival of the Imperials, whose genius strategy and technology subdued the Heartlands and expanded rapidly into the Imperial Ages.An earthquake occurs north-west of the yurt-city of Ulkhan. The earth is sundered, revealing ancient caverns carved by the Tribal Era races and from these openings spill orcs and other monsters which balk at the sunlight. It is concluded that the orcs of Aeldin had not, in fact, been driven to extinction but instead were pressured into the dark places of the world such as subterranean caverns and mountain ranges.The first coalition of Banardian princes successfully extends its reach to include all mainland north of the Jarenthal River, subjugating any hill-men dissidents and evicting what few Drakkmar remained on the eastern coast, declaring every patch of land unaccounted for a suzerainty of the collective princes.The various city-states of the Golden Shore unify and become the Trade Republic of Couentre, aligned under one Trade Prince elected from the autonomous masters of each city-state. This new unification puts Couentre into a much greater position to expand, and the maritime republic establishes several colonies in the Pieces, all based on the trade of exotic spices. A breakdown in communication and respective infighting amongst the Banardian princes spells the death of the First Coalition, the unified realm fracturing into its old princedoms. In response, Drakkem declares war against all of Banard and directs naval forces to assail the Iron Fjords, capturing once again the coastal Northman strongholds. In utter disarray and unable to recover these territorial losses, the Banardian princes unanimously sue for peace. An immense earthquake of the same nature of the one near Ulkhan strikes the centre of the Heartlander capital, swallowing up almost all of the once vast metropolis. This cripples the Heartlands utterly, sending the proud nation from a political zenith into utter ruin. The bordering realms attempt to take advantage of this despair and send troops into the Heartlands, ostensibly to assist the victims but in reality serving as a form of passive occupation. In the wake of such devastation, a charismatic lord amongst the Heartlands by the name of Mathus Adelbern gains a powerful following amongst the homeless refugees. Preaching to the masses that their salvation lies in the far east instead of in the untrustworthy neighbouring realms, Adelbern gathers his followers and marches towards the Great Divide with hopes of claiming a new colony for the dispossessed Heartlanders on the other side of the mountains. His expedition passes through the forests of Old Varendoz and is believed to have ascended into the foothills of the Divide, but was never heard from again.
The Imperial Age
The Imperial Age is ushered in by the arrival of the mysterious and innovative Imperials in the west, their ships landing in Heartlander territory. Quickly subjugating the already weakened Heartlanders, the Empire firmly establishes itself on mainland Aeldin and begins the construction of their Imperial Capital: Nova Horos. The Blathanna Campaign begins after the Massacre at Yaevyr. The town of Yaevyr was a simple town of simple people; self-sufficient and profitable from its small salt mine at the base of the mountain, the inhabitants lived a dull and modest life of repetition. Word of the Empire had not reached them, and only the emissary escort that arrived in the morning gave them any notice of these foreigners to Aeldin. Declaring Empire’s intentions of peace and prosperity, the emissaries were given the rights of diplomatic hospitality to rest and recuperate from their journey. It was during these few days of rest that the Daeynn'tael sprung onto the town, lead by the vicious and vile Cirynith, whose band of elves had been known to terrorize the area. It was in Yaevyr that the Daeynn'tael captured the emissaries, rounding them up with the natives as if they were another band of travelers. Brought out to the commons of the town like cattle driven to a pasture, the inhabitants were given a long speech in a dour tongue by the elven commander Cirynith, and afterwards put to the sword, massacring the entire populace without care, killing every man, woman, child and babe at the breast. The town itself was put to the torch, and at the doors of every home and on the slain bodies of the children were placed the mark of the elven raiding units: a white rose. By nightfall the town had been reduced to a smouldering ash of ruin and corpses. Prince Robert Chivay leads the Exercitus Imperium into the region of Varendoz and towards the city of Daeynn, burning the ancient forest in the process and destroying all formal presence of Elven power in West Aeldin. The flames burned in the forest for three months, darkening the sky with clouds of grey and black. Following behind the wildfire, the Exercitus Imperium marched, cutting down any stray trees that may have been spared from the flames. The elves could put up no resistance to the advance of the Imperials, and the harassment that so bothered the Oberst-Marshal was gone, replaced by the odd shouts of elves on the edge of the flames, desperately trying to fight the fires that were destroying their defenses, their hearts, and their homes.
The Elves exodus across the divide, now as nomadic as they were in the first era. The magnificent power of the Imperials sweeps through all of western Aeldin, subjugating and conquering every nation west of the Divide and earning the complete loyalty of the Heartlander people, who would serve as the Empire’s chief subjects and citizens. Reaching the Divide, the Empire establishes a number of mountain fortresses, constructed from the ancient Dwarven tunnels, that allow them access through the mountains and into the east. The Age of Gloom is a dark age of isolation in the west and petty squabbles in the east. The Oberst-Marshal, along with the Exercitus Imperium, returns from their long campaigns to hold a grand triumph in Nova Horos. Meanwhile, the border forces of the Empire cut off all contact to eastern Aeldin, isolating the west under the Imperium’s banner. The Imperium continued for many months, pillaging and conquering. It is known that they successfully became the most powerful sovereignty in Aeldin's history.
The location of Aeldin is unknown, as it is said to be a tale by some, but a reality by others. From interesting rumors, it is speculated that it resides in its own world, none of which has a connection to Aegis or Anthos. Such mysteries are easily denied as they carry little evidence, as many whom claim to go to Aeldin might of actually went to a small island off the coast of Athera or Anthos. But in tale, Aeldin is a large and vast landmass, colossal compared to Asulon. Aeldin's largest theorized sovereignty is the Horosid Empire, an Empire which is said to originated from the Holy Oren Empire's exodus to the landmass. The Imperium is said to have conquered much of the land, with much of the North under their influence. The map of Aeldin shows many features of the landmass, including mountains and sovereignty's of the realm.
The climate of Aeldin ranges from dry to arctic on its highest apex. It's south is dry and maroon in color, with it containing large sand deserts that span far, whilst its northern southern areas are a grassy plain with tropical and subtropical regions. In the middle of Aeldin are dense forests and very large and green plains of grass, which also contain various mountain ranges and steppes, predominantly in the west. There is also a large system of rivers that run through the continents southern, western and eastern regions, which cause a large boom for vegetation in these areas. However, the southern northern climate is subarctic and primarily snowy, with a large section of dense spruce wildernesses located at its entrance. More north, the climate turns into a full arctic desolated region, with deserts of snow and ice covering most of its land.
The seasons in Aeldin are recorded to be long and very changing on the continent. As an example, it is said that winter lasts more then three years, where as summer can last up to five years. This also comes the same with weather, as there have been known storms to have lasted five days, with constant rain and thunder booming from the clouds. Aeldin is quite irregular due to that, and because of that it has both large negative and positive impacts. The negative is that winter lasts longer, which means crop yield and agriculture needs to halt until summer, and that longer storms and weather can cause ships to wreck and many other disasters to occur. The more positive side is that Aeldin, in prosperous seasons, can boom in industry, agriculture and overall population.
Fauna and Flora
Aeldin contains a large array of fauna and flora due to its size and climate. Most of its' fauna are known to be common animals found in Athera (Such as deer, rabbits, cow, sheep, etc.), with it also having minorities of beastly and rather dangerous monsters as recorded by the Marked Men, whom claimed to have fought beasts on Aeldin. Such things include deformed deer, larger then average, aggressive birds, and colossal species of octopuses. Most of its' species are located in the east and west, with a large density of arctic creatures (White bears, seals and penguin species) located in the region. Aeldin's flora is rather common to that of Athera's as well. Spruce, oak, pine, dark oak and savanna trees are all found on this continent. The same applies with flowers, bushes and plants, with a minority of unique recorded plants known. Aeldin also is home to many colossal trees, but due to human action against them, many have either been burnt or chopped down, mainly in the Varendoz region.
Aeldin's culture can be described as a series of overlapping cultures; cultural mixes exist across the continent. There is no right answer for a 'common culture' within the realm, as it does not exist at all. It is shattered due to man's actions against it, with culture being a reason for war in the past. Many writings however have been allegedly brought back to Athera, some of which tale the journeys of the Imperium, or just a timeline of Aeldin's history itself. The landmass has also been claimed to be the homeland for many cultures that influenced the Holy Oren Empire during Anthos, such as Kaedrini for example. Wherever or not this is true remains a mystery, as the true routs of Aeldin sourced cultures died alongside many of the old Empire.
The religion of Aeldin is supposedly the one Truth Faith due to the Imperium's impacts upon society following their campaigns across the land. But beforehand there was a handful of religions, pagan and some reformed which Kingdom's followed by their own will. Historically, religion has however influenced some of the many great works of the people. From ancient era shrines, to Cathedrals and massive places of worship, to even art and writings.