The Aftermath 7

Aeromina Does It Best

Original History
- The Age of the Titans lasted for almost two thousand years. It was a time when massive monsters roamed the world, and humanity was into a serious decline. Even though the tide of monsters was repelled by the growing number of professional Titanslayers, there simply wasn't enough humans around to make a real difference. People were spread thin, farming was bloody dangerous at best, and large groups of people concentrated in single areas tended to attract larger groups of monsters.
- The Age of the Wizards lasted for almost a thousand years. When humans suddenly, and unexpectedly, gained the ability to manipulate the invisible energies around them, it became the doom for the Titans. The devastation a single wizard could do was so astonishing that it brought humanity back to becoming the dominant species of the planet. Well, the wizards anyway.
- The Age of the Growth lasted for the next thousand years. The wizards may have fallen, but the magic remained. But now humanity was no longer alone. Other humanoid beings of similar intellect rose and challenged for resources and territory. Goblin, trolls, elves, and whatever else you could name. In the end there were two-sided wars between those of white color and those of green color, though that distinction could get a bit inaccurate.
- The Age of the Divided lasted for only seven hundred years. Previously the skirmishes between the whiteskins and the greenskins had been mostly small, but that all changed when the orcs appeared. A massive conflict that started between the elves and these mysterious orcs soon enveloped all of the species, and the Race Wars became the bloodiest centuries of recorded history.
- The Age of the Species lasted barely for three hundred years. Many people fled from Aeromina and Hydroena to settle down on the northern continents, Pyroica and Geomania. The Race Wars had been utterly devastating, but it finally all ended after a massive mutual massacre blamed on the half-orc Zordon.
- And then came The Shattering.

- - -


Crimson Demagogue
Most of the Race Wars actually took place on the Continent of Hydroena, where the orcs and elves resided. The humans and dwarves, however, lived on the Continent of Aeromina, but they backed the elves up by sending ships with massive loads of soldiers. While originally there had been greenskin races living on Aeromina, they had early in the Race Wars been forced to flee any way they could over to hydroena. The humans hadn't really been able to tell the difference between those involved and not, and they didn't really care.

Aeromina was actually divided into many small human kingdoms, and each kingdom mostly only had a few farms and villages. Some kingdoms were actually huge, large cities, but the vast majority wasn't. Most of the kings and queens weren't actually involved in the Race Wars, but those who were managed to use propaganda and talk of patriotic duty towards humanity to persuade people to join up and fight the green guys. Very few people ever came back.

But there was one man who could make a difference. One man who could do something. One man! And that man was Master Red! No one is quite sure when he came into the picture, but he made some kind of difference. Clothed in a plain, red hooded robe, this one man became increasingly popular among all the human classes. He offered sympathy and opportunity to the poor. He offered wonderous deals and benefits to the powerful. No one had anything bad to say about him. He was the Saint that told orphans amazing stories! He was the Merchant Prince who made trade flow! He was like a God!

Then one day Master Red suddenly just disappeared. Rumor has it that he had been slain by the Raider, or maybe gone down with a ship. People waited for some news detailing Master Red's fate, but it never came. Eventually a proper, mutual investigation was conducted to discover Master Red's last location and actions, and the truth collapsed the world!

Master Red was a fraud! A bandit! A schemer! A monster! He had given with one hand, and backstabbed with the other hand to put things into the first hand in the first place. Master Red had used and shared a lot of money, and naturally people had believed him to be rich, but all that money had belonged to other people. Blackmail, bribery, threats, theft, smuggling, assassinations, and the list goes on. At times Master Red had borrowed money from villains whom no one would ever have had dealings with, and that money had been invested in honorable people who had been unaware where the fruits of their labour would end up. Master Red had even forged false coinage if he couldn't somehow get his hands on any real money.

All trust in the use of money disappeared. All trade collapsed. All travel ceased. Everything SHATTERED!

- - -


Fallen Kingdoms
After the Shattering everything stopped. Kingdoms became isolated. News became rare. And some people ended up taking advantage of this. Evil people. Villains. Monsters. Other kingdoms!

Aeromina was still a continent full of small kingdoms. Some would end up invading each other, and not always because they were desperate for resources. Some kingdoms fell into heavy decline and became depopulated. Some kingdoms became bandit territory. Some kingdoms didn't even have a king. And some kingdoms fell into the wrong hands...

Guildia was the city of the guilds. A harbour city complete with fortified walls and a massive university for the most powerful wizards in the world, Guildia had long been a center of attention. While the city was technically ruled by a royal family, the real power lay with the guilds. The joke, which was actually true, was that half the buildings in the city functioned as a guild headquarter. The fact was that Guildia had become the center for ambassadorial negotiations, of a sort. Just about every trade, profession, kingdom or hobby would have a representative located in Guildia, which was actually considered to be neutral territory. Most people living in Guildia wasn't really a citizen of Guildia, the city was merely a very convenient meeting place.

The Shattering did not affect Guildia quite as hard as the rest of the world, but they still felt it hard. And then SHE came! The Devastator! She settled down in a nice house, together with her husband, raised some nice and wonderful children, and brought terror, destruction and doom on a regular random basis. She was power absolute! She was evil incarnate! And she was here to stay! For the next two hundred years no one stood a chance against her. No one, no group, no mob, could stand up to Rodericia Raider!

But there was another evil force at large! Lord Nightmare, the Lich! Living mostly alone inside a modified castle atop a small, single mountain., this evil entity of evil intentions and evil power was a being of evil magic doing evil things of evil nature. His evil could be felt for miles! His evil castle, consumed by evil, could make all bypassers tremble from the evil cold of its evil presence. Those who went to try and defeat this evil never came back, having been consumed by the evil. An evil so evil it attracted other evils! A growing evil! Evil! Eviiiiil!!! Funny how the evil people inside never came out to do any real evil.

Eventually trade did resume between the kingdoms. Thanks to a man named Martin Bluewind, and his family, the continents Aeromina and Hydroena would once more bustle with activity. Bluewind Industries became a stable company of transportation that would stick to a honorable and ethical code, inspiring people everywhere. The shadows of Master Red was starting to fade away...

- - -


The Magic of Belief
With the rise in trade the importance of Guildia once again became a fact. Since the death (by old age) of the Devastator, the Kings of Guildia had increased their hold of power over the city. While Guildia still remained a neutral territory for all the other kingdoms, the Kings of Guildia were able to reap much more benefit from all the dealings that were made.

Then arose the Grand Church of William. The wizards of Guildia came to encourage the spreading of this new religion from the Hydroena Continent, and it soon quickly spread across all of Aeromina as well. Because of the increasing popularity among the commonors, many of the kings of Aeromina converted. While the kings themselves may not actually have believed in it, their sons and daughters would be raised according to whatever the Grand Church decreed, and thus they would believe. Eventually even the King of Guildia converted.

The Evil Lord Nightmare had for some time now taken on apprentices, and these had become necromancers themselves, and some had even been transformed into additional Liches. Eventually they left their Master behind to settle down for themselves, further spreading out their evil presence. This abomination could be tolerated no longer! The Grand Church sees this necromantic power as a threat to the balance of life! The Liches must be stopped! Kings, gather your armies! Destroy those unholy beings of evilness!

Having just inherited the throne, the new King of Guildia saw no choice but to follow the decree of his faith. The Grand Church called in all of the monarch raised in the True Faith, and a strategy of attack was formed. During the armament the different monarchs argued greatly as to who should lead the armies. Eventually they came to an agreement, and the neutral King of Guildia (thanks to the manipulations of his eldest son) would be the man to lead them to victory against the evil necromancers.

With swords and bows and spears and horses, the armies of Guildia fell before the onslaught of the undead. The wizards of Guildia tried to turn the tide with their magic, but they ran into an obvious, but unexpected, problem: There were several wizards, necromancers and Liches who had a yellow charging light when they drew in the magical energies, and when two of more in close proximity to each other cast a spell at the same time, the result was over-the-top explosive! Massice areas became uninhabitable and unlivable in the blink of an eye. The armies of Guildia had to retreat. The Liches had won.

The Liches had won!

- - -


For King And Country
The Continent of Aeromina had been split in two. There had been kingdoms that had remained neutral, and there had also been some kingdoms who sided with the Liches, but during the war these had all fallen. One way, or another. The northern part of the continent now belonged to the Liches. While before all that land had been divided into small kingdoms, just like it had in the south, this was no longer the case.

The southern kingdoms worried. What if the Liches took over their kingdoms as well? How could they possibly stand a chance? If they split back up into seperate forces, then they could not possibly hope to withstand a real undead invasion. In an almost unanimous vote, together with the Grand Church, the kingdom monarchs declared the King of Guildia as their own King. In other words, the entire southern part of the continent became one under the banner of Guildia, and all the royal kings and queens took on lesser titles of nobility instead. It wasn't what any of them really wanted, but they figured they didn't have much of a choice.

Meanwhile, by default, the Lich Lord Nightmare became Emperor of Lich'Moor. The invading armies from the kingdoms had already called them the Lich'Moor Empire before the war, and lord Nightmare wasn't able to come up with something better. Naturally some form of border patrol was established, but there wasn't really much going on around the place. But it would still take some time, some generations, before the common people would identify themselves as Moorians.

The King of Guildia had never wanted to gain as much power as he now had, and he wasn't all that good at handling it. Luckily his eldest and most able son was able to guide him through all the tough decisions. Commanding an army had been easy compared to commanding a bunch of backstabbing, poltical, former royalty turned nobility. When Lich'Moor offered a simple peace treaty, which went "You'll keep off our lands, we'll keep off your lands," the son urged the King to sign it. At first the King of Guildia refused out of distrust, but some unrecorded divine inspiration apparently came over him, and the next day he surprised even his own son when he demanded to sign the treaty after all.

Eventually the King of Guildia, thanks to his loyal son, solidified his rule. There had been some issues with some of the monarchs who had refused the union, but an invasion or two of their lands had taken care of that. There had also been some issues with Bluewind Industries, but whatever they were disappeared when the King suddenly and unexpectedly died still at a young age. When the eldest son took the throne, making unreasonable demands about a transportation company not to trade with Lich'Moor apparently seemed unimportant. Establishing a dictatorial rule with an iron fist, on the other hand...

- - -


Reign of the Damned
The Lich'Moor Empire was not much of an empire. There were wast areas of uninhabited moorlands, not including the areas devastated by the recent war, and famine and poverty was an established fact. While the necromancers and the Liches were keeping themselves locked up inside their castles and towers, the commonors had to fend for themselves. There were no kingdoms, there were no borders, there was no law, and there wasn't anyone trying to fix things.

There was still some farming, and trade was starting to return, but there just wasn't enough food. Even what amounts that Bluewind Industries generously provided simply wasn't enough to hold off the famine. Too much farmland was still damaged. Too many corpses littered the landscape. Even plague started to set in. And then there were the occasional border clashes. And the hidious experiments conducted by some of the necromancers and Liches. The people of Lich'Moor felt they were doomed...

Generations passed, and people got used to it. They learned to come together. They learned to find new solutions. While they weren't getting much help from the empire, they weren't exactly being repressed either. Some even got the idea to go and become apprentices to Emperor Nightmare himself, and when they became fully fledged necromancers, or even Liches, they had their heads full of ideas on how to help their people. Only a very few of them actually became tyrants. Some probably had very misguided ideas. Would using zombies to plant crops in magically corrupted areas be considered misguided? How about having death knights as the local police?

More generations passed, and the influence of the Emperor became more and more apparent in the attitude of the common people. The way they spoke, the way they dressed, the way they decorated, the way they raised their children...

Some of the Guildian nobility who lived close to the border also changed over the generations, and border clashes sort of changed in style with it. Certain noble sons, and sometimes even daughters, would sometimes suit up in heroic armor and head across the border to righteously right the wrongs of the Lich'Moor villains. Like the heroes of old they would singlehandedly seek out one of the lairs of these dreaded Liches and challenge them to a honorable duel to the death. Afterwards they would free the prisoners, usually a whole bunch of local unmarried maidens, and return triumphant home and brag about their righteous deeds. Sometimes they would even bring along with them a sweetheart to marry, usually a specific prisoner they had felt a spark for. It became quite a common phenomenen that manny of the mothers, and sometimes fathers, of the Guildian nobles living close to the border would be of Moorian origin. The strange part is how there'd be a new identical villain holding lots of prisoners again the next time some noble son, or daughter, came to right some wrongs. The really strange part is how all the unmarried women, and men, who wanted a rich, noble spouse would all run inside the villain's tower or castle, and lock themselves up in the dungeon.

The Black Widow incident kind of put a damper to the whole scheme for a while...

Agnar Idsøe
20. July 2014

End

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