The History of Norrath
History of Norrath
In the void that existed before the first dawn, there was the Nameless. The Nameless was the creator of all. From the mists of chaos, it forged law. Legends state that it made all worlds, all the planes, and all that which one can see in the night sky. The Nameless created the gods, and each god takes on an aspect of its semblance to show tribute to it. After crafting its godly children, who were also the heavens, the Nameless ceased creation, and the gods began their work.
The Age of Scale
The first of the gods to notice Norrath and cast her shadow upon the world was Veeshan, the Crystalline Dragon, who is also known as the ruler of the Plane of Sky. She struck the world with her talons and claimed it as her own. Her claws raked upon what would eventually become known as Velious, forming the Cobalt Scar. Then the Wurmqueen deposited her brood upon the fledgling world, and dragonkind ruled the lands for as far as the eye could see.
The Elder Age
Veeshan was not the only god who turned his or her attentions to the new world of the all-creator. Brell Serilis, the Duke of the Below, took note of Veeshan’s handiwork and began his own works in the Plane of Underfoot. In secret, he crafted a gateway to an open chasm deep within the belly of Norrath. He made many creatures and sent them through the mystical gateway into the twisting tunnels and passages under Norrath. The Duke of Below then sealed the entry to his plane within a labyrinthine chamber of Living Stone.
Once finished, Brell Serilis gathered other gods and showed them the world of Norrath and what Veeshan had already wrought. With choice words befitting the King of Thieves, Brell proposed a pact among Tunare, Prexus, Rallos Zek and himself that would allow them to discuss the fate of the world. They would divide the lands of the new world among themselves, with each creating races to watch over their lands and keep the Wurmqueen and her children in check.
All agreed except the Warlord, Rallos Zek, who declared no alliance with any of the other gods. Rallos Zek held considerable distrust of them and their influences. Despite this, Brell first created the dwarves, stout and strong, and placed them within the mountains and their cavernous depths. In the water, Prexus birthed the aquatic kedge, who are hearty aquatic beings of great mental prowess and stamina. On the surface, Tunare made the elves, who are the embodiment of grace and beauty. Last, but not least, Rallos Zek produced the giants, who are fierce beings of great power who make the world shudder in their wake. These elder races did just as the gods had planned. They fought the dragons and helped subdue the world, ending the rule of dragon.
The Age of Monuments
Legend does not state whether Innoruuk knew about Norrath before the other gods made their pact. Regardless, the Prince of Hate burned with anger against the other gods for failing to include him in their pact. His anger drew him to snatch the elven king and queen of the great ruling house of Thex from the palace of the elven capital of Takish-Hiz. The wrathful Innoruuk tortured and tore them apart both in mind and body for hundreds of years. He then took the shattered remains and crafted into them a great deal of his spite until the two beings became a part of his very shadow. Thus the first dark elves came into existence. Innoruuk cast these Teir’Dal out from the heavens and into the underworld of Norrath to sow the seeds of his revenge.
During this age, Brell sought for ways to further his influence in the new world that had begun to take shape. When Fizzlethorpe Bristlebane and the dreaded Cazic-Thule entered the world, Brell saw yet another opportunity for an alliance. Still distrustful, but perhaps taking a page from Brell’s own book, Rallos Zek agreed to the new pact. Again, the gods of this pact created races to represent them on the new world. Brell fashioned the gnomes, who are gnarled cousins of the dwarves with a fascination for strange machinations. Bristlebane made halflings, who are a short, stubby, agile folk with a tendency to meddle. He placed them on the land away from elves and giants. Cazic-Thule and Rallos Zek, perhaps in a show of power, created two races each. Cazic-Thule, who is also known as the Faceless, created the reptilian iksar and the brutish trolls in the swamps and jungles of Norrath. Rallos Zek, mindful of conquest, made the ogres and the orcs to spread his values — by force if necessary.
The Rise and Fall of Rallos Zek’s Children
Following the maelstrom of flurry that was creation, the many races of Norrath began to develop their scattered cities and outposts into larger empires. Some races also developed an eye toward expansion and conquest, but none so well as the ogres. Their strength and mastery of magic grew with their boundaries until they controlled most of the continent of Tunaria.
When they felt they had mastered Norrath, the ogres sought new conquest. They eventually learned of other planes and mounted an invasion upon the Plane of Earth, waging war on the denizens found therein until turned back by the Rathe, who are the gods that dwelt within. Rallos Zek swelled with pride at their achievement, and when the ogres were turned back, the Warlord personally led a second assault into the Plane of Earth. The heavens trembled and the gods themselves allied against the Warlord and his creations, sending the defeated armies back into the world of Norrath.
As punishment, the Rathe scattered all Rallos Zek’s children across the world. The ogres were slain instantly by the thousands, and their empire crumbled to ruin. The Rathe also cursed the giants and ogres with dim-wittedness so that they could no longer grasp the magic that had brought them to such heights of glory and conquest. Cold and ice pummeled the once-lush homelands of the giants. Some say that the goblins were also cursed, and that their curse was so terrible and thorough that no one knows what it was to this day. It is as if an angry and petty god erased the lore from the scrolls and texts of sages. Having crippled their greatest threat, the Rathe then erected a barrier to the Planes of Power (the Planes of Air, Water, Fire and Earth) so that mortals and lesser gods could not access them again. Though imprisoned within the Planes of Power he sought to conquer, Rallos Zek waits and remains ever watchful upon fair Norrath, plotting his revenge against the gods that imprisoned him.
The Age of Blood
Perhaps drawn by the furor of the battle and resulting punishment, the twin gods, Erollisi and Mithaniel Marr, found themselves drawn to Norrath. Asking no permission and forming no pacts, the twins created the barbarians in the frozen north of Tunaria near one of the bands of giants. The barbarians fought with anything they came in contact with, including each other. Wherever they spread, they brought conflict and the embrace of war.
The Lost Age
The last of the old races to decline was the empire of the elves. The Elddar Forest spread across the entire southeastern quarter of Tunaria. However, Solusek Ro, Lord of Flame, arched the spine of the Serpent Mountains, causing the heat of the sun to burn the lands of the anc ient wood. The rivers ran dry, and it rained less and less each year. Not even the elven druids could stop the destruction of their forest as it wasted away into a vast desert wasteland. The great city of Takish-Hiz crumbled, and the elves abandoned Tunaria.
Then, in what some call the last act of divine intervention, some barbarians were molded from the fiery forge of conflict into a new race that was more thoughtful and kind. Humans at long last took their place in Norrath amid the elder races. Faster than anyone would have thought possible, humans spread throughout Norrath and created the Combine Empire. They built and lost this great empire so quickly that almost no known records of it exist. To this day, relics and ruins of the Combine Empire are found scattered throughout Norrath.
The Age of Enlightenment
Though their empire lay behind them, the humans still possessed power. They settled two great cities on Tunaria and renamed the continent “Antonica” after one of their great leaders, Antonius Bayle III, the king of Qeynos. As humans from other continents streamed to the newly established human cities of Qeynos and Freeport, they brought magic and new learning back from their many homes.
The knowledge and stories of faraway lands and magic inspired a malcontented minority of humans. Wanting this magical knowledge only for themselves, these humans followed their leader, Erud, across the sea on a pilgrimage to found an enlightened society. Landing on what they named Odus, they succeeded in developing their own society based on magic and knowledge.
The Age of Turmoil
The followers of Erud, who had dubbed themselves Erudinites, focused their society on the ways of the arcane arts. However, the quest for power of one Erudinite, named Miragul, led him to rediscover the dark path of necromancy. Miragul led more of his kin to this dark art, but those who studied necromancy were shunned and branded heretics by the High Council of the city of Erudin. A civil war erupted between Miragul’s faction and those who opposed his studies, and it was fought with the most terrible of magic. Practitioners of the arts on both sides were slain in droves. Then, in one final battle, the combatants unleashed great mystical energies that translocated the Vah Shir city of Shar Vahl off Norrath itself and left behind a great crater that descended into the depths of Odus. Within this chasm, the heretics retreated and built the city of Paineel inside the confines of its darkness.
The Age of Legend
Now all Norrath has entered an age of wonder and adventure. A host of nations and races seek to assert their will over the lands of Norrath. From the high elves of Felwithe seeking to reclaim the grandeur of their lost Tunaria, to the iksar of Kunark rebuilding their own shattered empire, to the brutal assaults of the ever warlike ogres on the lands of humankind, to the ongoing civil war between Erudinites on Odus, to a myriad of other conflicts across Norrath — from these conflicts the legends of a new age will emerge.
The fate of Norrath hangs in a precarious balance. It will be the deeds of extraordinary men and women that determine its fate.