View Full Version : The History of Gaia In Brief: Presented by Cashel

June 1st, 2012, 04:22 AM
No one knows how we came to the land of Gaia: a place of magic, of lives fought for tooth and nail. No one knows who was here first, and who came across the seas. No one knows, and no one cares. Today is what matters, and today is dangerous and cruel. Thinking about yesterday are for the people who want to get killed. Thinking about tomorrow is for people who will get killed.

But perhaps I'm just biased. I'm no scholar, to sit in the halls of colleges and monasteries to think on the histories and the prophecies. I follow the roads where they lead, make choices based on whim and instinct. What happened before has its influences, I suppose.

As I said, no one knows who came to Gaia first, but there are several people who inhabit this vast and ancient land. The humans, the elves, the orcs. Dwarves used to be, but all that's left of them are vast ruins running on steam and light and magic. Some brave fools delve into those ruins, but few return. Those that do, rare as they are, bring up things those colleges would give their left feet to have. I've considered going down a few times, but I've always decided I'd rather die with the sky above me. Never liked being below ground.

Anyway, the humans don't have enough numbers to be split up. We had one kingdom. The Kingdom. We carved out an existence in the northern places. It gets cold, but it's more than just snowy mountains (though there are those in abundance). There's beauty here, vast and rugged. Enduring. Bit like us, I suppose. There are ruins here, and the people at the colleges aren't certain whether we made them or someone else. I've passed them a few times. Standing stones and barrows and the like. They make for nice scenery, though some are a bit creepy, and some villages suffer misfortunes if they're so close to the darker ones. The ones that are stained with things a bit too dark for comfort.

We had wolves and dragons as companions, stout castles as homes, and a wild kind of magic that the Elves could only dream of.

We share the land with the orcs, who live in tribes with their mammoths. Sometimes the orcs come and fight with us in our armies, and a few human families get Orcish weapons. The orcs have a special way of smithing, but they also have a special metal that they won't share for anything. They'll make you something, if they like you enough. Their swords and axes hold an edge like nothing else, and their bows shoot farther and hit harder. A few human families have a sword or a bow. Some are old noble families, but there are a few hermits and even a few farmers who have impressed the orcs enough to earn something. I spent enough time with one clan to earn a sword. I'll never need another one again for as long as I live, I guarantee it.

We had our gods and our traditions. Still do, but it's different when it feels like you're graciously being allowed to have them.

The elves lived to the south. Two branches: the Wood Elves and the City Elves. The Wood Elves skulk around in their Forests, shooting their little bows and gnawing on their leaves and living in their treehouses. And they have the nerve to call orcs primitive. I'm surprised they've lasted this long next to their City cousins. The Elves in general have their own gods; weird, deranged gods that seem half-mad on the best of days. Gods of shadows and madness and dreams and pleasure. Doesn't surprise me that the Elves would worship half-mad gods. They're half-mad themselves.

Maybe it's sentimentality on the City Elves part, but they've never attacked the Forests. It's not like they're scared of the "Woodsies", as those crazy Wood Elves call themselves. The City Elves live up to their name. They don't have towns or villages. Every settlement is a vast metropolis, bigger and shinier than anything the humans have to offer. I've heard some are so huge, they had to start digging, and their poor live under ground.

There are a lot of reasons I'm glad I'm not an Elf, but the fact that I don't have to live underground because I'm poor definitely tops the list.

But the thing about Elves is that they multiply. They don't have just one child with some twins or triplets thrown in to mix things up every once in awhile. Having one child is unheard of, and a sign of their gods' displeasure. Twins are the norm, triplets are a blessing. They have restrictions on how many times an Elf woman can get pregnant, since just one pregnancy is ridiculously dangerous for everyone involved, but they still multiply.

They were running out of land and resources. So they turned their heads north.

The war lasted three years. In three years, our king was killed, his eldest son died, and the next died in a siege. Desperate to save her remaining children, the queen sued for peace.

The Steel-Gold Accord was written up, and it's been in place for about a decade. The princesses were wed off to Elven nobility who came up north, and the last remaining prince has been a "ward" of the High Overseer for several years.

Under the Steel-Gold Accord, all the human nobles were made directly subordinate to Elven "Overseers". This means more in some places than it does in others. In Stormsend, for instance, the Overseer and Lord Gideon are good friends. They work together to try and calm racial tensions, and Fergus has retained a great deal of his power. But in places like High Mountain, the once proud noble has no power, and humans are second class citizens. It's a problem the High Overseer, who is supposed to moderate all the Overseers in the north, has yet to address.

One of the hardest blows to northern pride was the disestablishment of the dragonriders. They were our army's backbone, able to fly over and rain fire and blood upon enemy lines. Decades of breeding and training made Riding Dragons intelligent, fierce, and loyal. But one of the conditions the City Elves put forward was that the dragonriders disband, and that any attempt on their part to regroup was to be deemed treasonous.

The dragons were slaughtered. The wild dragons are still being slaughtered to this day. A high point of summer for Elven nobility in the north is to go up to eyries and hunt down dragons, smash eggs, and leave noble corpses to rot.

The Elves haven't tried to tangle with the Orcs yet. Every half-brained Elf I've talked to insists it's because "those barbaric Orcs are beneath them". Whatever lets them sleep at night.

They let us keep our colleges, our monasteries and our gods. The fact that we're "allowed" these things smarts. Yet there are rumblings. Little things; quiet things. Talk of rebellions and dragons.

Normally I don't put much stock in rumors and things whispered across a bar, but this is... different.

Among the rumors is one of a prophecy. Hidden from the Elves by brave souls in the monasteries and preserved to this day. No one can say for sure what it says, but the gist is spoken as if it was gospel. Uprisings. Freedom. Dragons.

If there's one thing I know about the prophecies that have come true in the past, it's that it never hinged on just one person. They were like puzzles, with hundreds of pieces: people and events and places and meetings. If there is a prophecy like this, it'll be the same way.

And honestly? I wouldn't mind being a part of it.

--The History of Gaia In Brief; Brought to You by Ser Cashel, Walker of the Roads, Blood-Brother of the Sword-Arm Tribe, and former Guild member

Later: A Guide to the People of Gaia, as explained by Lady Eleanor of Stormsend, daughter of Lord Gideon of Stormsend, Dragonrider, Blood-Sister of the Sword-Arm Tribe, and Charge of Ser Cashel

June 3rd, 2012, 06:47 AM
Intersesting style. I like the idea of Elves being the bad guys, rulers over all mankind. Turns the stereotypical, rare but powerful elf that loves peace and pretty little flowers , on its head. Good luck with the rest :) or if you have already finished i look forward to reading the rest! :D