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Elysium

A Brief History of the World

Elysium is a land of old myths, new faith, and a struggling empire. In the distant past it is said that gods lived on Elysium, creating mortal life to suit their capricious and sadistic whims. But after living for hundreds of years under this tyranny, the people of Elysium discovered they could trap the gods in song, art, and dance, and used these newly found powers to war against their makers. The few Gods that were not killed fled back from whence they came, never to be heard from again.

Then came The Dawn, a renaissance where new magic and inventions extended lifespans and enriched lives. Elves and dwarves left their secluded homes for the first time in years, finally free of their divine masters. Minotuars and gnolls were free to leave the fighting pits and stadiums of the cities and make their own lives. Several Kingdoms were formed in just a few years, but all these eventually bowed to the Elysian Empire of Humanity, who ruled with absolute authority, and extended the borders of their Empire beyond Elysium to new lands that only the Gods had walked before.

But the Elysian Empire stretched itself too thin: discovering and settling new continents and ruling several different races and cultures still distrustful of each other after the reign of the Thirteen, and all this under the guidance of Emperors too proud to see dissent. Civil war broke the Empire into different independent states once more, just as a new threat approached from the northern borders: The Brood. A race of serpentine mortals with armies of undead at their control. Kingdoms and clans that had only just fought for their liberty fell one by one under this relentless hoard until they reunited once more under the Empire’s banner, and committed what few resources they had left to pushing the naga back, reclaiming much of Elysium and creating an uneasy cease-fire with the Brood.

The Elysian Empire was a shadow of its former glory. Tenuous alliances existed with its past subjects: regents happy to enjoy independence once more, but fearful of the new dangers of the world. Beasts bred and thrived in the wilderness, products of the Tyranny when the gods made monsters to hunt Elysians for sport. Large nomadic clans rode across the Great Plains, raiding and pillaging and disrupting the Empire’s fortress-sized trade caravans. The Dusk had begun, a dark age of remoteness and fear.

But then came the prophet Sabbati Sevi. This charismatic man preached a message of repentance and the revival of worship of the old gods by new names that had been revealed to him through prayer. Abraxas, the god of the sun and first among the Gods became Pelor, god of the harvest and new life. Nahaliel, cruel god of the wilderness and the beasts within became Avandra, God of trade and travel, and so on through the entire pantheon. The religion spread through the smaller towns and villages of the Empire, and eventually Sabbati Sevi was arrested for encouraging dissent against empire, and refusing to worship its paragons and heroes. Unwilling to repent, or do anything but mock and chastise his accusers, Sabbati was sentenced to death by exposure, and died tied to a stake under the hot Elysian sun.

In the years after his death the new Revivalist religion began to gain strength throughout Elysium, especially in the capital of Sophos, and after the conversion of Emperor Michael Eli Demophon I, Revivalism became the official religion of the Elysian Empire. Now Revivalist priests and clerics spread the new faith across Elysium, challenging the accepted history and tabboos of the past. Revivalist elves have crossed back into their ancestral forests, and the dwarves are reclaiming their ancient underground cities, now unafraid of their history with the Tyranny of the Thirteen.

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