Pre-IC History

Below is a summary of Pre-IC History.

Pre-History: The Age of the Walking Gods

According to ancient stories, gods once walked the world alongside the mortals. It was a simpler time, where the will of the gods was undisputed and their power was unchallenged. It was with their guidance that the Compass Towers were built, and also the Tower of the Gods. They banished monsters and evil spirits. Society flourished in an enlightened age of peace.

Most major cities and monuments are said to have been built and erected during these days, or at least have some root in them, and most myths take place while the gods walk the world.

Ancient History: The Great Silence (2015 A.S.–0 A.E.)

After countless generations of peace, there was a great war of the spiritual realm. History says that the five walking gods of Calliden warred with the newly born and immensely powerful goddess Noira in an attempt to contain her reign of death and famine until, at last, the First God intervened. His involvement tipped the cosmic balance, resulting in an epic earthquake that sent the northwest corner of Calliden crumbling into the sea. The souls of those who died still haunt the cliffs and waters there.

Noira was sent to rule the netherworld, and the rest of the gods retreated from the mortal plain.

In the new void left by the gods, men rose up to establish order. Calliden slowly divided itself into political territories with lines marked in blood, and the Great Houses found their birth in this age as families convinced others to swear fealty. This was a time of great conflict as men fought over land and resources, and numerous alliances and blood feuds were birthed in those days.

The temples still held great sway over the populace, but began to fall into the shadow of influence of the Great Houses of Calliden.

The First Oracle and the Rise of the Eidai (0 A.E.–712 A.E.)

The Eidai, as the highest priests of the temples were called for their dominion over the eidola, were raised up by their peers.

In those chaotic feudal days, the first meeting of the holy temples since the beginning of the Great Silence took place. It was a meeting called by a priest of Oneirod who had in his care a young blind woman who could see the present and foresee the future with a startling clarity. An oracle. Calliden's first.

It was under the direction of the priest of Oneirod and his charge that the six priesthoods raised members from their ranks to act as direct representatives for the six Walking Gods and lead the temples. Those representatives led the effort to bind together a greater network of the faithful temples scattered across the continent and began acquiring greater influence amongst the people through their cooperation. Common festivals and observances began to unify the continent.

Within the priesthoods, they called this dedication to the new purpose the New Dawn and began keeping a calendar to commemorate the council, separate from the various secular calendars kept by the nobility of Calliden. It was the first calendar shared universally across Calliden, although it was only truly used within the priesthoods.

The temples dedicated to Oneirod, in addition to their other duties, began writing detailed histories. The temples dedicated to the Sisters became repositories for information and centers of learning and education.

Years passed and, with each passing year, the temples only seemed to gain more strength. The Eidai only grew more powerful. Eventually, their influence among the people rivaled the Great Houses of Calliden themselves.

And then the trouble began.

The War of Holy Ascendance (712–786 A.E.)

As the Eidai grew more powerful and more respected by the people of Calliden, the more disliked they were by the nobility. Offerings to the gods — and to sustain the growing network of temples and the priests — began to cut more sharply into the taxes that were collected. What began as a murmur of discontent and belief that the authority of the Eidai would wane became something that sounded far more like the putting down of a rebellion. There were meetings held in secret, and together they conspired to eradicate the whole of the priesthoods from the face of the continent.

Unfortunately, the conspirators could not keep such a secret from the gods. Oneirod — through his oracle — gave a vision of the coming massacre so that the priests and priestesses might avert it. The Eidai went to the Great Houses of Calliden and warned them of the folly of crossing the gods.

Then, while in the temple of Oneirod, the oracle Resa was murdered. Word spread quickly through the network of temples across Calliden and there was a roar of outrage. The Great Houses of Calliden soon fell into one of two camps: those who condoned or supported the overt strike against the holy temples and those who stood with the gods.

Of the whole continent, there were only nine houses who stood with the temples. The people, however, were not willing to cross the men of the gods. Over the remaining four years of the conflict, the war was decided and the last of the rebellious houses were deposed, marked as traitors, and stripped of their ancestral lands. The heads of the households — husbands and wives together — were executed for their treachery. Those noble houses who had stood with the Eidai were thanked for their loyalty and named the Fidelii and promised — so long as they proved to be faithful to the gods and the Eidai — that they would retain their territories. The Fidelii, to this day, are the only hereditary magistrates in Calliden.

The Lady of the Veil and the First Imperatore (786 A.E.)

In the year 786, after the world had begun to truly heal after the War of Holy Ascendance, a new oracle was presented to the people. While there were several other oracles, this woman was marked as truly extraordinary even among her peers. While in public, she would swath herself in veils, earning her the title of 'Lady of the Veil.'

But there was — as there always seems to be, even among holymen — a disagreement about policies and the direction of Calliden. The six Eidai were evenly split as to whether or not the wall that surrounded Malik — sealed since the beginning of the Age of Silence — should be breached in order to return the people into it. It was an argument of enough significance that it threatened to rend the Sacred Council in two.

But the Lady of the Veil spoke.

It was she who named the first Imperatore, and the Eidai swiftly accepted her words as those of the gods.

It was with his appointment, after all, that the Sacred Council found a holy number and represented all seven gods. In those early days, the Imperatore Johar rarely traveled without his oracle companion and it was together that they traveled to Malik. The Eidai followed them, surrounded by the soldiers and priests of Tet, in a great march from the north.

The Restoration of the Capital (786–993 A.E.)

And so it was that the holy entourage, the newly minted Imperatore with the Lady of the Veil, the six Eidai of the Temples, and the elite guard trained by the Temple of War and the whole of Tet's priesthood ventured south to the heart of Calliden.

It was there that they found the sealed Sacred City of Malik, the relic left by the gods. With all seven of the Eidai in attendance, however, they were able to conduct a ritual that opened the gates. What they found there on that first day, the first mortals to have set foot in the city in over 1,000 years, is a mystery.

For nearly half a century, the city was guarded and occupied only by the holymen of the Temples and the oracles. Shipments of supplies entered, stone and all manner of other building material.

Then, in 834, the word spread across the continent, the Sacred City was open for settlement by the common men of Calliden. It promised peace and prosperity, a holy city under the protection of the gods themselves. They came in droves, laborers and wealthy alike, to see what the great city of Malik was. What it could become.

Unfortunately, those are questions that only time can answer.

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