Horrors of Haalasholm
Ages of History
The History of Halaasholm is split into ages, each lasting four thousand years. The Dating system was brought into place when Hargren granted humans rapid evolution of sentience and rational thought. Before this occurred, only two races had sentience, Dwarves and Elves. It is unknown where Gnomes, Halflings and humanoid creatures obtained their sentience, but they have an origination date of 2000 years before the first age.
The First age
The Northern nation of Choredan has a very wide span of history dating back to 200 years after the origination of the current species of Human in Northern Genovesa. The exact details of the history have been lost to all but the oldest of races, and the most aged of Chroniclers.
It is known that Choredan was originally discovered and colonized by a sub-species of elf, the Maadoshi’i. Some ancient ruins created by them still stand today, in remote corners of the continent. It has been found in ancient writings that the ancestors of the sub-species of elf were, at birth, exposed to an enormous vortex of energy from a plane known as the Far reaches. It was determined that in the 4th century of the first age another race appeared, springing from the Vortex itself, apparently the result of meddling on the account of the Maadoshi’i. The new race, the Ael, quickly gained power over the nation and an epic war ensued. The war is known commonly as ‘The war of a Thousand Years’. It seems that in the last years of the war, a foolhardy group of the Maadoshi’i tried open a link to the Void to strengthen their powers, resulting in an upheaval of the natural order, confined to Choredan by the quick thinking Ael, but at the cost of most of their race. The main effects of the release of cataclysmic amounts of energy are the creation of the mountain range The Sorrowspires, a rising of temperature (Choredan being an almost inhospitable at the time, bordering on arctic tundra levels), and a huge release of arcane energy which wiped out those elves currently on the continent. In the end of the first age and the early second age, Dwarves, Gnomes and Humans began to colonize the south-eastern edges of Choredan, slowly adapting to the harsh climate brought on by the radical energies.
The Third age
In the first half of the third age, writings of mysterious, large, and godly powerful beings came from the south-west of Choredan. Writings of the 7th century indicate that three titans had inhabited there, and begun to raise an army. Unfortunately for the relatively inestablished inhabitants, the three titans were the titans of Sorrow, Despair and Sadism. The Titans gained the support of several Liches and used them to raise an army of Ghouls and undead creatures, also gaining the support of the primitive lizardmen, and began to march on the clans of the Western lowlands. The war was a long drawn out one, with no real hope for the inhabitants, the only reason for the length of the war being that the titans of Sorrow and Sadism wanted to cause as much pain and anguish as possible. There are still untouched torture chambers of the titan of Sadism, left as reminders of the pain the nation underwent, the titans not discriminating between the different races or levels of brutality. The titans grew bored as many inhabitants of Choredan committed suicide before the titans got hold of them, preferring dishonorable death to the fate the titans intended. The titans then cast an enchantment that would accelerate the speed at which the remaining inhabitants would forget the events that occurred whilst also speeding the population growth rate. After doing this, the Titans slept for 2000 years, bringing the time to the 3491st year of the age. The Titans, after slumbering and leaving the liches to grow and refine their army, exploded into Choredan once more, causing previously untold levels of wanton destruction, torture, sadism, anguish, despair and sorrow. The total dead was estimated at six hundred thousand, all of which died in some of the most painful ways imaginable. It was in the 3617th year of the titan’s era that the High elven emperor decided that this had become too out of hand, and the High elves descended onto Choredan to fight a brutal war with the titans. The High elves almost lost were it not for the help given to them by the Ael. After the high elves beat back the titan’s army, they returned to their respective countries, not knowing that a few had been exposed to the arcane energies at the site of the Maadishi’i’s great blunder.
The exposed High elves, after returning, slowly began to desire arcane energies more and more until their entire being was focused on draining those energies. Most died as the energy they drained atomized their bodies but a select five managed to withstand larger and larger amounts of energy.
The Fourth Age
The five surviving Broken went largely unchecked until the 722nd year of the fourth age. At this point one of the Broken, Ma’le’loth, tried to distill the arcane metal silent gold, causing the explosion of Dalaran and the formation of the floating land masses, vanishing mysteriously in the process. The Ael realized the danger the Broken posed and led a campaign to imprison them in a matrix made of their own beings underneath the earth. These campaigns took until the 2300th year of the fourth age, and the world finally relaxed under peace, the Ael, or what was left of them, faded back into Choredan, and the events forgotten.
Over the following 600 years, beneath the veneer of peace, turmoil rose in the southern nation of Sjelka, a Dracocracy ruled by and home to the dragons of Haalasholm. Aethryal, a white Wyrm, made a bargain with a corrupted Ael called Tulkhadrrik to steal the power of other dragons, in exchange for the creation of a magic spear of leadership. Overpowering a young Green allowed its strength to snowball until it grew to almost twice the size of the largest of Reds, gaining unrivaled power in the process.
In the 2925th year Aethryal finished consolidating its power over Sjelka and began a campaign against the wealthy island nation of Selaste. This first offensive proved disastrous for the Great White Wyrm, as the collective nations mobilized to protect their trade interests in Selaste, hub of the planet, and after 10 years its forces were beaten back at the famous ‘Battle of the Southern Bay’. Aethryal returned to Tulkhadrrik and forcefully offered a new exchange.
Tulkhadrrik gathered the 12 remaining corrupted Ael and the Great White Wyrm bestowed upon them great magical weapons, along with a new title. Soulsworn. The weapons, mighty artifacts created with significant portions of Aethryal’s power, served the dual purpose of strengthening his new generals and binding them to service. In the year 2950 the Soulsworn were unleashed at the head of Sjelka’s military, wreaking havoc not only upon Selaste but also the western nation of Iberia and the eastern nation of Ilnyarion, home of the high elves. Over the following 9 centuries they conquered Iberia, installing one of the Soulsworn as monarch.
Using Iberia as a staging platform, a campaign was launched on Choredan in the 3862nd year. This was halted swiftly as the Soulsworn came into contact with ancient barriers placed around Choredan by the original Ael to keep their kind out. What began as a strategic withdrawal became a definitive rout when the Pirate Leagues, the waterborne city of Armada and even several Dalaran Skystones at last joined the war, laying waste to the collected forces of Aethryal. In this terrible battle, three of the Soulsworn were killed, their weapons claimed by the Pirate Lord of the Wooden Court, the Black Lanterns of Choredan and the Thief Lord of Armada respectively.
Aethryal withdrew its forces to avoid further defeat and has been gathering strength ever since, biding its time and trying to regain the weapons that represent such a significant portion of its military strength.