History of Fosforos
A Brief Background To The World
The history of Fosforos is a long story that no-one on the planet, even amongst the elven Loremasters, knows fully. It is a tale of war amongst and against Gods, of grand passion and heroism, of dark betrayal and evil. In short, it is epic fantasy.
Arrival of Mortalkind.
The important history of Fosforos begins almost eight thousand years ago, when the first group of elven explorers arrived on the planet’s western continent. Which world they came from is not recorded or remembered, even by the elves, but it is known that they predated the transplantation of citizens from Oerth by some two thousand years. It was still over four hundred years before travellers such as these created a permanent colony on the planet and even when this did occur it is not known whether the colonists came from the same world as the original explorers, or even from the same time. One elven legend claims that Fosforos was colonised by elves fleeing from a calamitous disaster in the planet’s own future. Another thing that is unclear is how the Gods of Oerth found out about Fosforos, but however that came about it was those Deities who brought the majority of the races to the world, depositing them on the central continent. The Gods of the D&D Pantheon, in their petty squabbles, chose Fosforos as a battle ground in order that Oerth might be spared from destruction and began to transport followers there†. By that time the elves of Fosforos, having had more than a thousand years to explore their world, had founded several cities on all three continents and as time passed they revealed themselves to their newly arrived pseudo-kin. More and more, as the influence of the original colonists came to them, the transplanted elves turned away from their own Gods and adopted the naturalistic ways of their predecessors. These betrayer-elves turned from the wars that their Gods intended to be their only purpose and spread their doctrine of disobedience across the continent, on the eastern continent elves fleeing the wars even used magic to hide themselves beneath the waters of the Inland Sea. Concerned at the loss of their soldiers the Gods began to import yet more followers from the other worlds that they influenced.
The Rise and Fall of The Shon’Tar Empire.
In the region now knows as Amarant Bay, elves from the original colonies met and welcomed humans seeking a peaceful place to escape the wars of the central continent. Impressed by these simple, peaceful, primitive folk the elves shared their knowledge of culture, magic and technology and a great civilisation arose on the shores of the Inland Sea. The Shon’Tar Empire became a mixture of human and elven civilisation and their scholars learned much of the nature of the world and of the cosmos.
It was this scholarly activity that ultimately led to the Empire’s downfall. Even though the elves had not shared their meagre knowledge of planar travel the humans of Shon’Tar soon learned it’s secrets for themselves and began to explore the cosmos. Six centuries afetr the rise of the Empire, Shon’Tar made contact with the plane of Coil, home to the Yuan’Ti, and while their assault was not swift the snake-men secretly built their own city over the next three hundred years, hiding it in the forest bordering the waters.
Over the course of two centuries the Yuan’Ti of Amon’Shola secretly infiltrated and corrupted the Empire and eventually their actions brought about civil war and the fall of the empire. As the humans of the region reverted to primitive warfare and barbarism the surviving elves split off their former countrymen, some slipping away to hide in the forests and mountains while other took to the water and a nomadic lifestyle.
How the One God came to be.
The Deity now known as the One God was once a mortal man of Fosforos, though his name is now known to none and it is doubtful that even he remembers it aright. As wars of mortal and God alike scoured the world a great many heroes arose, but one was greater than the rest. This man was a Paladin, devoted not to a given deity (for he had little time for the so-called “higher beings” who were desecrating his home) but to the principles of Law and Good. As time progressed he rose to Epic Levels, (becoming a 30th level Paladin) before turning his hand against the Gods themselves. Becoming a Sacred Exorcist with Outsiders as his Chosen Foe he struggled to remove the Gods from his world and the forces of Nature, Law, Goodness and Magic conspired to let him. Without realising it had even happened he achieved Divine status and rapidly progressed through the Divine Ranks even as he had through the Class Levels of his mortal existence. Even as the Shon’Tar Empire was falling in the east, he began to drive the Gods from Fosforos, starting with those most opposed to his own beliefs, and ultimately the remaining deities chose, instead of banding together to destroy him, to accede to his wishes and remove themselves from the world† leaving him as the only remaining Fosforan Deity. Creating for himself a plane coterminous with Fosforos in which to dwell he placed himself apart from the world he had saved, hoping to prevent the very worship that now dominates Fosforos. In time though he realised his responsibility to his worshippers and is far from an absentee Deity.
The Rise of the Pharoahs.
Percieving that the Empire was doomed a group of Shon’Tari scolars had gathered up their scrolls and set forth to find a new place to create a centre of learning to replace that which had been lost. After decades of searching they cam to a hot dusty land on the northern shore of the sea and found a semi-nomadic people who had already made some progress in the study of astrology. After demonstrating their own knowledge they were welcomed enthusiatically and soon the small tribes of the region were gathered into a loose, unnamed, affiliation. The young nation thrived in it’s secularism for almost two hundred years before their magical and astrological researches attracted the attention of the God Thoth. Over the next eight decades the worship of the Pharaonic pantheon grew from an obscure cult into the national religion and eventually the priests of Re-Horakty, working on the instructions of their God, crowned the first Pharoah of Nahr.
The Elven Exodus.
After the other races, especially humankind, began to prosper and fill the world, the elven nations held a council to discuss the growing rift between them. The Aquatic Elves of the Inland Sea had not been heard from in centuries and many others were becoming more and more secretive and isolationist. Eventually a decision was made to withdraw from contact with the “younger” races and the Nations begin to quietly disassemble, spiriting away members of a populace that was never large to begin with. In the area that later became the Spring Kingdom one break-away faction choose to transport their entire city to a sub-plane and lose contact with the remaining Fosforan elves after a few years, while in the Inland Sea region many hidden or nomadic elves shun contact even with their own kind and fail to join the exodus.
As the exodus progresses a number of High Elves chose to remain and watch over their reluctant brethren. They rebuilt a long-abandoned Shon’Tari university and observatory standing high in the mountains overlooking the Inland Sea. Hiding it with craft and magic they vanished from the sight of their neighbours, quickly becoming no more than a myth.
The Rise and Fall of the Merithian Empire.
Six thousand years after the coming of the elves, and over six centuries after the One True God ascended to his Godly status, the newly free peoples of Central Fosforos made the first significant steps in forging their own destiny. The City of Derimos, which had arisen in a area known to it’s inhabitants as the Merith Plain, rose to become the capital of a continent-spanning empire. The Merithian people brought peace and civilisation to thousands as they spread across the continent and all civilised races were welcome and equal within their society. In time Merithia fell to internal bickering and barbarian invasion by the Cymraeg but their legacy is still stamped across the face of Central Fosforos to this very day. More detail on the Merithian Empire and it’s remnants is depicted in the Eden Games supplement “Wonders Out Of Time”.
The Return of the Gods.
As the One God settled into his role as protector and deity of Central Fosforos his attention to the other realms began to lessen. In the west the priesthood of Corellon Larethian prospered and in the east the worship received by the Pharoanic pantheon attracted the attention of another group of Outsiders. Around the coast from Nahr there stood a primitive realm of rolling hills and grasslands inhabited by a simple folk who, while not warlike, possessed a highly competitive nature. When they came to the attention of the Gods of Olympus it was immediately obvious that they were a people well suited to the worship of Zeus and his fellows.
The church of Zeus had no trouble in finding a foothold in Gohal for the God himself chose to put in an appearance, wrestling with Gohali champions and bedding Gohali princesses. In a short time the Gohali were devout followers of the Olympion Pantheon and under the personal attention of the Gods their civilisation rapidly advanced.
The Creation of the Keepers and the rise of the Lich-Lord MorCuhlaine.
The keepers were an ancient order of magic-users who delved deep into the mysteries of Art in order that the world may benefit from the knowledge. Originally formed during the Godswars they guarded their secrets jealously, fearing that the powers they commanded would fall into the wrong hands, but for all their caution they never expected betrayal from within. MorCuhlaine, a member of the order from a tribe predating the Cymraeg, found traces of a magic unlike any seen on Fosforos before and began to covet it for his own. The further he delved into the mystery the more it obsessed him until eventually he crossed the line and became a renegade. Seeing that a fellow keeper had discovered truths relating to his search he ambushed his brother, striking him down with Keepfire in an act of betrayal like none before it. Fleeing with the magics, he sought to unlock the secret of a life-in-death called Lich-hood. Learning of his crime the order sent Keepers to recover the magics and bring MorCuhlaine to trial but he fought them off, using skills they had never encountered. More came against him and again he fought them, but a Keeper named Emmanel found the source of his new power and turned it against him. MorCuhlaine was defeated but he escaped, fleeing into the icy wastes to recuperate. Decades later he returned, disguised as a novice Keeper he entered their keep at Galvestar and began to sow the seeds of dissent with the order. In time he was able to steal away the books he had lost to Emmanel and he fled again to seek Lich-hood. This time, with the Keepers’ order so weakened, he succeeded and the war to destroy him raged for years. The Keepers sided with the Odinsffolk and their forces assaulted MorCuhlaine’s castle at Jikssberg for more than three years before the Keepers, led by Hered Olaffsson, broke his defences and the Lich-Lord was defeated. But even though his physical form was destroyed, MorCuhlaine lives on and may yet return to plague the world of men, while the Keepers fell into disrepute and the order dwindled until now hardly any trace of it remains. Only myths and rumours of the Keep at Galvestar, protected in legend by a mighty wall of flame known as the Keepfire, still wander the world, centuries after the last Keeper was seen abroad.
Rise of the Empire.
A group of survivors from the break-up of the Merithian Empire, after forty years of wandering, formed the city of Neoderminus at the southern tip of the eastern continent. They drew together a number of extended families into this city, thus creating the Clannish government of the Empire. Originally calling themselves the Second Merithian Empire they fairly quickly dropped the “Merithian” in practice and eventually forget that it was ever there. While sometimes called the Second Empire in official pronouncements the nation is usually simply called the Empire. In fact the Empire never has been an empire, having been created as a republic and continuing to be so now.
The Departure of The Gods.
After six hundred years of petty squabbling, gamesmanship and general indifference to the well-being of their followers the Olympian Gods were rather surprised to find themselves being visited by a human warrior who seemed unconcerned by their status as Gods. When they laughed at his request that they remove themselves from the world and tend to their followers from their own home planes the stranger surprised them yet further by striking Zeus, knocking him from his throne and smashing one wall of the hall in which they stood. As the Gods angrily assaulted the man he stood stoically, deflecting swords and thunderbolts alike with a shining silver shield. Finally the man began to weaken, but even as Zeus prepared to finish the interloper he was thrown back a second time. The perpetrator on this occasion stood before them in all the glory of a God and delivered an ultimatum. Depart from Gohal in physical form, or be driven entirely from Fosforos. Once again the One God had driven a pantheon from the surface of “his” world.
Formation of the Young Kingdom.
In the lands south of the Inland Sea humanoid tribes and barbarian human clans vied for resources and control of the limited arable hill-land. Exactly when or how the knowledge of the D&D pantheon returned to the region is unsure, perhaps it was travellers from another world who brought the knowledge or perhaps it spread from the remaining worship of Corellon Larethian and Gruumsh, but as the clans began to band together and seek alliances with the Dwarfs and Gnomes of the region they brought with them the old religions. In time the bonds between settlements grew and a small number of warlords began to dominate the scene. It was inevitable that war would break out and in a few short years one such warlord, Vered of Loren’s Tor had deposed his rivals and become the undisputed ruler of a small kingdom. Known simply as Vered’s Kingdom, though sometimes referred to by the other civilisations of the Inland Sea as the Young Kingdom, the Kingdom of Vered still stands today and is the heartland of worship of the Old Gods on Fosforos.
The Fall of the Pharaohs and the Foundation of The Three Cities.
In Narh the political strength of the Church of Re-Horakhty had always fluctuated according the strength of the Pharoah and in the twenty-seventh century of the Pharaohs’ rule the priesthood was a again ascendant. The Pharaoh, Ramtisa, had lived longer than he should and his son was a weak man with little skill and no experience in rulership. As Ramtisa’s life finally came to an end the Priests acted, deposing and excommunicating the new Pharaoh after only five years of rule and announcing that they would take his place “in the name of the Gods”. For many of the populace this situation was unacceptable, for the worship of other Gods had crept into the Narhish way of life and these “heretics” were hunted and sacrificed by the Priest-Kings. Many fled to the recent Gohali city of Gashahl on the far side of the Sea and in time these exiles formed their own settlement of Timara, travelling far to the west in order to find suitable land that was not too close either Gashahl itself or the burgeoning Veredian colony of Dansat. Contact between these settlements was often and varied and they formed links to each other that were closer than those to their parent countries. Thus was born the Three Cities of Amarant Bay.
Creation of the Spring Kingdom.
“Dwell not upon the thoughts unspoken, or upon the deeds undone. Dwell neither upon the dreams unfulfilled, nor upon the dreams waiting to be dreamed. This is a day of fire, a day of blood, a day of swords ringing and of shields splintering. This is the day where we dedicate our lives to God. On this day, with his blessing, we forge a kingdom!”
- Richarde of Saladosh, First King of The Spring Kindom
Before the battle of Jurasis, 990IY
Over one thousand years after the fall of the Merithian Empire most of the world had forgotten their existence entirely, while even their inheritors in the Second Empire had forgotten that Merithia was actually found on the central continent and not closer to the site of Neodermius. With the richness of it’s forests and the wealth of half the Merithian Empire buried underneath the lands of that continent the area had already become the melting pot and fighting pit of the new nations of Fosforos. Odinssfolk from the north, Imperials from the east, Noblesse from the west, even Cydraeg from the south of the continent squabbled over the central region. Eventually, after many generations of frontier existence, the region’s new “nations” began to form in their own rights and the posturing of nations about to go to war began. From the petty warlords, princes and governors of the region four contenders for rule arose : Richarde of Saladosh, a third generation local boy; Herminus Rex, the renegade Imperial Governor of Jurasis; Hurga Olaffdotter of Hara’s Bay, leader of the largest Odinssfolk faction in the area; and Paere DaMasque of Frequoise, a minor Noblesse Princeling seeking to form a new realm for himself and his family. Once the battle-lines had officially been drawn these four leaders made war on one another for three years, their fortunes rising and falling as regularly as the tides. Eventually Richarde of Saladosh defeated and slew DaMasque, driving his family, including his young son, back to Terre Noblesse. At the same time the once-Imperial Legions of Herminus Rex surrounded and slaughtered Olaffdotter and her closest personal guards after a diversionary tactic lured off the bulk of the army. The final battle of the wars that formed the Spring Kingdom took place on the field outside Jurasis. Saldoshe had lured Herminus’ Legions into a frontal battle by splitting his forces, sending half his army to pacify the local populace. Herminus personally led his forces against the outnumbered Saladoshites and at first all seemed to be going well for him, then Richarde unveiled his secret weapon. From the woods near the city the remains of Olaffdotter’s Odinssfolk poured down upon the unprotected flank of the legions. In a short and brutal battle the combined forces of the Saladoshites and the Odinssfolk decimated the legion and Richarde became the main power in the region. Less than a year later Richarde was crowned the Spring King of Saladosh and within a few years the common name of Spring Kingdom had officially replaced the original title of Kingdom of Saladosh.