The Third Kingdom – Prologue

There was a time, not so long ago, when daemons freely roamed the earth. The origin of the Schism is still unknown, even three thousand years later. All that is known for sure is The Schism, and the outpouring that followed, broke the world.

In the first years of the Rising, billions of humans lay dead; and the race of great craftsmen, engineers and scientists, was near-extinct. Their great armies were shattered and their cities were sundered. It took time, but they adapted to fight instead of think. Never in aeons had humanity fought with such ferocity and coordination. A race used to thinking and building in peace and harmony was destroyed, and from their ashes a dangerous military hunger was born. They have since reclaimed much of their lost heritage, but the bloodlust lies beneath a thin veil of patience and science. Some splinters of the humans have since detached and formed their own societies. Emperor Lianor keeps the Military Barons at bay, attempting to reclaim a semblance of their former glory.

The Alverii, long descendants of the mythical Elvenkin, emerged from their years of hiding. Their masteries of the Three Arts made them formidable warriors against the daemon horde. Humanoid creatures, standing at little over eight feet tall and moving with feline grace made their perfection of all-things martial seem almost natural. The speed at which they retaliated and the skills with which they fought the daemon onslaught made it seem as though they were prepared for the war. Immortal until killed, the humans suspected these creatures had some foresight of the invasion and had prepared for centuries. They have since vanished back into hiding, most likely in the Ven-dahr forest. Although there has never been any conflict between the two races, the humans and the Alverii studiously avoid each other. The humans are mistrustful of magics they have never comprehended and the Alverii fear the speed at which the human technology is advancing.

Deep from under the ground came the Gorken. Next to nothing is known about these dark-dwellers, save they tunnel deep for resources. Legends tell of a network so vast you can enter a tunnel below the ground and emerge on the other side of the world. Dealings with these creatures face-to-face is highly uncommon, but trade roots have been established using mutual trade posts. Selected human Travelers from the Merchants Guild are chosen to visit these locations on a weekly basis. Materials, such as rare metals, precious stones and building goods are traded for raw materials, food and tools. A mutual trust has been built over thousands of years, some of the best guildsmen have met with the Gorken on rare occasions. Most often described as a conglomeration of human with Elvenkin, no two look alike. Never have they been involved in conflict, with each other, human or Alverii but the daemons never came close to conquering their territory, which may be why the fighting was reported to be most ferocious in these areas.

Even with the impending doom of the world and the survival of all things at stake, the three races of the world never fought united against the waves of daemons pouring forth from the Schism. The war waged across the world for three thousand years, but the daemon horde seems to be dissipating. The armies of humanity push toward the Schism, driving the daemon storm before them, re-conquering cities and Bastions as they go. The Alverii have disappeared, their movements and goals unknown to the outside world. The Gorken have become even more secluded, moving the trade from weekly to monthly or longer with less goods.

Each race is on-edge, waiting for the next wave of daemons to finally obliterate the world. Many ask their gods for guidance, receiving only silence in return.

Humanity pushes their science and engineering beyond anything they have attempted before.

The Alverii commune with the powerful magics of the Three Arts and meditate on the possible future.

The Gorken mine deeper than ever before, hoarding much of the raw materials. Smoke spews from great gouts in the earth from deep foundries.

The daemons retreat toward the Schism but they do not go through the great crack in the earth. No one knows what will possibly happen now, but each race is ready for anything. Including, it would seem, war with each other.

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