History of Aetaltis: Part II

In this installment we'll cover The Age of Enaros and The Age of Dawn, the earliest ages in Aetaltis' history. You'll witness the birth of the Enaros, see the creation of the world, and discover the strange story behind the origins of Aetaltan magic.

A scribe copies the Adventure's Guide to Aetaltis for an aspiring hero. (Art by Mitchell Malloy)

Click here learn about the different historical records used to compile this history of Aetaltis .

The Age of the Enaros

Since the beginning of time, a battle has raged between the protectors of Light and the forces of Darkness. The prophecies agree that this conflict will culminate in a terrible battle that ends the universe as we know it. Whichever side stands victorious when the final blow falls shall rule a new universe that will rise from the ashes of the old.

Chief among the protectors of Light are Endros and Aros. Ancient beings of unimaginable power, Endros and Aros fought long and hard against the Darkness. After uncounted eons of conflict, they realized that to ensure victory, the protectors of Light needed to bolster their spiritual forces.

Endros and Aros can create new spiritual beings to aid them in their fight, but newborn spirits are too weak to stand against true Darkness. A spirit must sharpen its ethereal blade through the experiences of a mortal life. Only after passing through the crucible of life will a spirit have the strength needed to face the Darkness.

But the spirits of mortals require care and guidance. If left to their own devices, these spirits may fall prey to Dark temptations and be lost to the Light before they reach their full potential. But with the battle against the Darkness raging about them, Endros and Aros had no time to guide young spirits to the Light. There was, however, an alternative.

The Creation of the Enaros

Endros and Aros summoned twelve powerful spirits who had already passed successfully through the crucible of life. They named these spirits the Enaros and taught them all that they knew. From the secrets of time to the mysteries of creation, they gifted the Enaros with the skills and abilities necessary to manipulate the fabric of reality.

Each of the Enaros was drawn to different aspects of what Endros and Aros taught. These predilections determined the elements of the universe over which each of the Enaros reign to this day. Their aptitude in their chosen realms grew, and by the end of their education each of the Enaros was a master of his or her domains.

The Enaros were ready for the next step in their destiny. Endros and Aros explained that the forces of Light needed new spirits to join the fight against the Darkness. The Enaros must create a world that would give birth to these spirits and nurture them to maturity. They should guide the inhabitants down the path of Light and ensure that the young spirits did not go astray.

As a final gift, Endros and Aros created a golden hall for the Enaros that they called Lensae. This citadel of light would shine down upon the world the Enaros created and shower it with warmth. Lensae would also serve as a home for the Enaros, where they could perform their divine work and watch over the world and its inhabitants.

The Creation of Aetaltis

The Enaros did as commanded. Combining their newfound powers, they drew celestial dust from the depths of the cosmos. With loving care, they shaped this clay of the universe into a sphere and infused it with a portion of their own Essence. When the work was completed the Enaros were pleased, and they called their new world Aetaltis.

THE NAME OF THE WORLD

Aetaltis is actually the Atlan name for the world. Each of the races of Aetaltis have different names for the planet, but again, Aetaltis is the name used in the Codex Historica so we’ll use it here as well.

The Age of Dawn

The time had come for the Enaros to create life to populate their newborn world. They began with plants. From the tiniest flower to the mightiest oak, they shaped each plant individually and set it in place. Of all the Enaros, Grethken demonstrated the greatest ability in the understanding of plants, so the Enaros declared that he should be the keeper of all green and growing things.

Next, the Enaros created insects and animals. They filled the world with these, setting them free onto the land and into the sea and the air. They even made creatures to live in the deep, hollow places of the world, the subterranean caverns that today we call the Deeplands. The Enaros Vale showed a natural affinity for these beasts, and the Enaros declared her to be the mistress of all the wild creatures.

It was time for the most important task of all: the creation of beings that would serve as physical vessels to carry new souls through their mortal lives.

THE ELDERS

To create the first plants and animals the Enaros summoned ancient souls from the Essential Plane and placed them in mortal bodies. The sages of Winterkeep refer to these first creatures and plants as the Elders. It is possible to kill an Elder by violence, but the plagues of old age and disease can never touch them. Sadly most, if not all, of the Elders are thought to have been killed. Many met their end during the Age of Darkness when Endroren had them hunted down. Now and then, however, a rumor surfaces in which someone claims to have encountered a living Elder. While the veracity of these stories is unknown, the very possibility that some of the Elders still live poses a tantalizing possibility for scholars and wizards.

The Creation of the Lensari

The first entities the Enaros created to host mortal souls were the lensari. The lensari were creatures of such incredible power and beauty, that they nearly matched the Enaros in their potential. The lensari had many forms, and the Enarosian Scrolls that describe them were lost, but two types of lensari are known to the people of the Amethyst Sea today: the Giant Lords and the Great Dragons.

When Endros and Aros inspected the lensari they were pleased with the Enaros’ skill but would not allow the lensari to inherit the world. The lensari were far too powerful. It was important that spirits find their own strength and not have it given to them. The lensari were allowed to live on Aetaltis, but they were forbidden from procreation.

THE CHILDREN OF THE LENSARI

Although it is impossible for the lensari to reproduce with others of their own kind, they can procreate with other creatures. From these unions a variety of powerful beings have emerged, including the lesser dragons such as wyverns and hydras, and the lesser giants such as the cyclops and the common giants. While these lesser creatures are sometimes intelligent, their unnatural origins typically leave them maddened. Most are dangerous and some even joined with Endroren during the Age of Darkness. Fortunately, while the children of the lensari are still very powerful, they are not as strong as their lensari parents. A skilled, well-armed, and determined mortal can best them.

The Creation of the Enari

The Enaros set to work once more, tempering their enthusiasm to ensure that the demands of Endros and Aros were met. This time, when the Enaros finished, Endros and Aros approved of the new children without hesitation. These new beings, known collectively as the enari, included the elori, drothmals, tsvergaals, and scythaas.

The Enaros bequeathed each of the enari with a portion of Aetaltis to call home. In those days the enari lived simple lives and took what they needed from the land. To the civilized, modern-day inhabitant of the Amethyst Sea basin, their lives would seem primitive at best, but it was a happy existence.

In those early days the enari could not manipulate Essence. Essence is the energy that makes all life possible, and when wielded properly, it can be used to create magical effects. Aetaltis, however, is rich in Essence, and even when not wielded consciously, it had an impact on the enari. The most notable example is how its presence changed the elori (or the fey as they are commonly referred to in the Altan tongue.)

The fey are tightly bound to Essence, and over time this connection altered the fey’s physical form. The results are the myriad shapes and appearances that the fey have today, including the three types of fey most familiar to modern Aetaltans: the elliya (elves), faelariya (fairies), and loriya (sprites). The tsvergaals, on the other hand, were changed not by Essence but by their inclinations. Some tsvergaals chose to reside in the caverns of the Deeplands. Others preferred to make their homes on the surface or at least nearer to it. Those who chose the Deeplands for their homes called themselves tsverg (dwarves) while those who stayed on the surface went by the name of tsaal (halflings). As the years passed, physical differences emerged and in time the dwarves and halflings became distinct races.

THE NAMES OF THE ENARI AND ENDRORI

The college at Winterkeep was founded by survivors of the Atlan Alliance. As a result, they use the atlan names (dwarf, halfling, elf, sprite, fairy, drothmal, and scythaa) for the enari. To avoid confusion, the same conventions will be observed throughout this account. It is important to note, however, that not everyone is comfortable with this. There are those, especially among the dwarves, who will that people refer to them by their “true names.” In the most extreme cases, use of the atlan naming is considered an insult.

The Enaros watched with pleasure as the enari multiplied. They wanted to teach their children all they knew, just as Endros and Aros had done for them, but Endros and Aros had forbidden it. They reminded the Enaros that the souls of the enari needed to find their own strength. Endros and Aros did, however, agree to one concession; they permitted each of the Enaros to give the enari one gift.

Endros and Aros Depart

As the Enaros prepared their gifts, Endros and Aros made an unexpected announcement. They declared that the Enaros’ training was complete. From that day forward, the Enaros must forge their own path. They reminded the Enaros to tend to the world with loving care and to remain ever vigilant against interference by the forces of Darkness. Endros and Aros then bade their twelve beloved children farewell and returned to fight the eternal struggle.

The Enaros had little time to mourn the departure of their mentors, for the time of giving had arrived.

The Gifts of the Enaros

One by one the Enaros descended from Lensae to present their gifts to the enari.

  • Alantra gave the warmth of family. Her gift created an unbreakable bond between parent and child that would give the enari strength in their darkest hours.
  • Modren gave the art of construction. Now the enari could build houses, tools, and all the things they desired to improve their lives.
  • Phensral gave knowledge of boats and ships. Water would be no longer stand as a barrier to the enari.
  • Grethken gave the gift of farming. While the enari would never have complete control of the wild lands, now they could grow food near their homes instead of always searching for their next meal.
  • Vale gave dominion over some of Aetaltis’ beasts. These chosen animals would serve the enari by providing food, clothing, companionship, and transport.
  • Toletren gave the ability to read and write. Truth could be recorded now, and each new generation would not have to start the search for knowledge anew.
  • Elendra gave artistic inspiration. Music, painting, sculpture, poetry, and more opened to them, and now the Enari could add to the beauty of the world.
  • Zevas gave the art of trade. A person who could not farm, but still had useful abilities, would not die, for they could exchange their work in other areas for the things they needed to survive.
  • When the first of the enari died, Aelos saw that their souls had difficulty crossing the vast gulf between Aetaltis and Lensae. Her gift was a great hall of starlight that she called Numos, the moon. It is a place where the dead can rest until Aelos and her avatars can guide their souls to Lensae.
  • Larayil taught the enari to harness the wind. Now their ships raced across the waves, and mills were turned by the power of the wind alone.
  • Droth disapproved of these gifts. How were the souls of the enari to grow strong with so much handed to them? For this reason he gave the enari trial. Disaster, heartache, sorrow, and pain were his gifts. At first these seemed a terrible thing, but when the Enaros saw how  much stronger their children were after passing through trial, they realized the wisdom of Droth’s gift.

The Gift of Magic

Endroren came last. As the master of magic, he intended to teach the enari to manipulate the Essence of the world to create magic of their own.

Before he could grant his gift, Zevas stopped him, declaring that Endros and Aros had forbidden the Enaros from granting a gift of such power. He insisted that to allow such a powerful gift would disrupt their goals and make waste of all their work. Although Endroren was the most powerful of the Enaros, Zevas was the most clever. Eventually, Zevas’ arguments won his siblings over. All except Endroren agreed that magic was too powerful for the enari. A dark and terrible fury consumed Endroren, and he stormed from the Golden Hall.

The Enaros were displeased by how the confrontation played, but even Toletren, always a skeptic and seeker of deep truths, reasoned that Zevas’ arguments were sound. With nothing to be done for it and exhausted from their efforts, the Enaros rested.

Endroren, however, was not content to accept their denial. While his siblings lay down to sleep, he went down to Aetaltis and secretly gave the enari his gift. When he finished, he crept back into the Golden Hall, and lay quietly down beside his brothers and sisters.

THE LANDS BEYOND THE AMETHYST SEA

The events described in the Enarosian Scrolls impacted all of Aetaltis, but the people of the Amethyst Sea know little about the lands beyond the Amethyst Sea basin. With only a few exceptions, the remainder of this account focuses on the Amethyst Sea and lands that surround it.

 

Holy Symbol of Toletron, Enaros of Knowledge (Art by Ashley MacKenzie)

 

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