Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v1 -- Summation

Heed now the words of Eidolon, the Immortal, the Legacy of the Av'nen. Our world we call Hearthstone is not our own; it is the rightful property of our predecessors, whose name in legend has come down to us as the Legions of Almanor. It is through their genius that this world was made habitable; it was by their hand also that the Portals were opened and the Perversity came to dwell in their lands. For this reason were they decimated from this world; for though they contained the Perversity and the rebellion it caused, so few survived the cleansing that M'kai saw fit to begin the world anew with our peoples. Beware yourselves; for you have been grafted as a cultivated tree unto a wild one; and if the cultivated tree can so be grafted, how much more so the branches of the original wild tree?

The age of our world since the remaking is forty-five thousand revolutions of the Sky-fire. I know this, having seen all but a few of these revolutions; disbelieve this at your own peril. I am Eidolon the Immortal, and I bear the scars of the circuit of time upon my soul.

It was I who, after four thousand, six hundred and thirty-two revolutions, broke the restraining powers left by the Legions as our protection; through me evil again entered this world, and I reaped in my body the price of immortality. Were it not for She of Infinite Heart, the Perversity would have itself been loosed again, and Hearthstone and its peoples brutally enslaved; but by means of an engine brought through another portal by the Heroine, the gate was broken and the Perversity trapped in everlasting limbo, until such time as another could release him.

Many were the helpers I had in this age; at the time of the shattering of the Northwest, one of my helpers was He Who Spanned the Kingdoms of Life, and who would later set free the captives. It was at the conclusion of this age that the continent of the Northwest was fractured from the eruption in the sky, breaking the power of the Hegemony of the Elkisi; and so for the next nine thousand revolutions did a curtain of darkness descend upon our world, and it was through its death that its life was saved.

At the end of this age of darkness emerged the Empire of the Prycenes. It is to these great and warlike peoples that the other peoples of Hearthstone owe their existence. For they, through their strength, kept the peace; and allowed once more the promise of civilization to come to fruition. At this time and over the next fifteen thousand revolutions were returned one by one certain rebellious minions of the Perversity to their place in the limbo, and in those revolutions and thereafter, were destroyed the machines left by the Legions, save those barred me by the still-dominating power of the Perversity.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v2 -- Our Precursors

Such is the sum of our history to this day, and I return now to offer greater details upon each stage in our history. For as this era closes, and as the destinies of the Prophesied Ones intersect and the prophecies about them come to fruition, so it is that it is meet that more should be said of the past which has influenced the course of our future.

I begin with our predecessors upon this globe, whose name has come down to us as The Legions of Almanor. The history of their origins is not known to me; only of the story of their demise may I speak with any authority, and this from what little has been handed down to me by the gift of prophecy, and elsewise, what I have been able to glean from the remains of their civilization, their inscriptions, their artifacts, and their subtle engines...as well as other sources of which I am constrained to remain silent.

The Legions created the Portals as a means to ease travel upon this world, and to enable travel to other worlds. To travel upon this world, they designed and infused certain Portals with the energies of Pr'skon, the Seraph of the Gates, whose cooperation they enlisted. To this day, I use these gates frequently in my own travels, though they are severely limited in usage. None may call upon them for use save those in whom M'kai's Sacred Fire dwells, for Pr'skon serves M'kai alone, even as he and the other Seraphs now sleep until such time as the Consummation of the Ages can be fulfilled. Moreover, the within-world Portals offer only certain of destinations upon this planet; it is possible to open a Portal of this sort at any place desired, but once opened, there remain approximately a dozen destinations that are able to be chosen. For the protection of Hearthstone, I have, in the past, with others, destroyed some destination Portals; the others I have subtly concealed. One such Portal lies upon the southern coast of the continent called Nullabor, where to this day I have a place I have called my Shelter.

To use Portals to travel to other worlds, however, the Legions knew required the cooperation of the denizens of those worlds, and their own Seraphs, if indeed there were any. To this end, the Legions probed for other worlds using their instruments, and the first that they happened upon was inhabited by a race calling themselves the Trelanians.

The Trelanians were beings of pure spirit able to assume various material forms at will. They had within them the natural ability to manipulate matter; yet there were limits to these powers, such that each possessed the ability to manipulate only a certain volume of matter. The least among them could do no less than constitute a tabernacle for themselves.

At the beginning the Trelanians pledged peace to the Legions, and for a time there was trade between the two worlds. But at length the insiduous nature of the Trelanians became apparent, and all at once, through their machinations, they conspired to assemble themselves as an army, passing through the dimensional Portals around the globe all at once, seeking to conquer and dominate the Legions. It was at the head of the Trelanians that came the one called M'l'strom -- he whom I call the Perversity. At this time as well was revealed the true name of the Trelanians, who were called the K'rek'skran -- in their language, the Enslavers. They had hidden their origins from the Legions: That indeed, they had been cast out, by their fellows, from yet another world they had once wished to dominate. And, that the world they called Trelania, was, in fact, a prison into which they had been sent as punishment by their fellows. So it is that the Legions had unwittingly freed them, and given them new license to conquest.

For many revolutions the war raged, with great losses by the Legions, for the K'rek'skran-- being able to transform their natures at will -- proved impervious to the Legions' weapons; while the Legions, being of great strength in their forms and in greater numbers, resisted the K'rek'skran's attempts to dominate them, but could not in the end win any war with them that involved direct force. Yet before all was lost, Legion technologists devised a way to force the K'rek'skran back behind the Portals and into their prison world, and in the end, victory belonged not to the K'rek'skran, but to our precursors of Almanor. Even so it was a victory obtained at a high price. So few of the Legions survived the cleansing that M'kai saw fit to begin the world anew with our peoples. Of the fate of those remaining of the Legions, I am not permitted to speak. Only know: A time shall come when they will make themselves known, and claim once again their stake in our planet.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v3 -- My Offense

The technology which restrained the K'rek'skran behind the Portals drew upon the elemental powers of the Seraphs for their energies. It was I, who, in desperate foolishness, undid this technology, when I drew the energies of the Seraphs away from their proper use and channelled them into my mortal frame, thus setting in motion the events which undid what the Legions had wrought; thus it was because of my selfishness that evil again entered into our world. The K'rek'skran almost at once perceived that a gateway was slowly opening, and rushed to invade our world yet again and enslave whom they would. Had they succeeded, none of our races would have had the power or the will to resist them; for as yet our technology was unformed, and our physical strength and numbers far below that of the K'rek'skran.

Yet M'kai saw to it that the greatest evil would not come of my deed: For He had foreordained that at this time, through a different sort of Portal not designed by the Legions, would also arrive She of the Infinite Heart to fulfill her destiny. Before more than a handful of the K'rek'skran could travel through the gates, and before the Perversity himself could escape, the Heroine, by means of an engine in her possession, drove back the Perversity and scattered his minions, then destroyed the device which had once kept the K'rek'skran at bay behind the closed gates; and she destroyed the device at such a time in its mode of functioning that the greater number of the K'rek'skran, who had rushed into the limbo between the worlds as one in order to pursue their dreams of conquest, remained trapped in the limbo between their own world and ours. For the destruction of the device by She of Infinite Heart had closed off not only the gates to our world, but also those that returned to Trelania as well. The K'rek'skran had, by their own eagerness to conquer, left themselves stranded in the limbo between the worlds, trapped by themselves and with what little of their technology they had been able to gather.

My offense began the age when darkness would descend upon our land. The few K'rek'skran now within our world set about their machinations, desiring that the engine which drove the Portals should be rebuilt, thus allowing the whole of their wicked people to infest our world. But it would be many revolutions before the technology of our peoples would be sufficient to restore the other-world Portals to their normal function, allowing the K'rek'skran to make use of them; and they had none among their small number with the wisdom or counsel to revitalize the Portals, and their own technologists trapped behind the gates labored in vain to open them with what scraps of technology they had carried with them. However, the insiduous genius of the K'rek'skran had devised other means of influence upon our peoples which required immediate attention from myself and those who aided me, and thus for many revolutions did many of the artifacts of the Legions remain undisturbed. It was not until after the shattering of the Northwest, and the lifting of the curtain of darkness that ensued, that I was able to once again turn my attention to the Portals, and work to return those few K'rek'skran to the limbo where also their comrades were imprisoned.

I will now speak briefly of the secular history of this age before the shattering. In this early age our world was greatly at peace. The many races cooperated, each with their own special talent that contributed to the harmony of the whole. It was not until the Hegemony of the Elkisi was established that the first seeds of discontent and malice were sown; and I harbor suspicions that some significant portion of this discontent was inspired by the K'rek'skran.

The Elkisi, a race of the Northwest, were wiser in counsel than the other races of that land, and persuaded many other races -- by reason, not by force -- to join them in the Hegemony of which they were administrators. Their influence extended even unto the Northeastern Continent, at its height. But it came to pass that some of the races of their land that declined membership cast their evil eye upon the successes of the Hegemony, and coveted their lands and possessions, such that war ensued. The Elkisi, with their allies, easily overcame these incursions, but among them a division occurred, some wishing to make peace with the hostile races, others wishing to destroy them by force to prevent further incursions. It is this conflict that compelled the judgment that would be the shattering, and plunged our world into centuries of darkness.

Of events concerning that further, I leave to another to tell at a later date.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v4 -- The Age of Anarchy

Of this period in our history, even I, who have witnessed much suffering, find difficult to speak. In less than a fortnight, the shattering of the Northwest brought upon the whole of our world degrees of destruction unknown before, or since. Sky-fire did not give its light, and the green things of our world died. The waters became bitter and often poisonous. The creatures of the seas, upon which most of us satisfy our hunger, became scarce. Many of our races became extinct in this age, and many more were altered in their appearance and nature. More yet were so decimated that their extinction would become inevitable later in our history. It is even to be said that some among us resorted to the most wicked of all abominations forbidden by M'kai -- the consumption of the flesh of a fellow sentient. Even the handful of escaped K'rek'skran could barely survive in the barren wastelands.

In this age of darkness, I and others strove to bring order. But the darkness upon our lands and cultures would not be lifted until the emergence of the Empire of the Prycenes. The founding of this Empire restored again the spirit of cooperation between the races, and the tale of how this is so deserves telling.

In the midst of the age of darkness, the Prycenes survived as a race because they were learned in the art of war and possessed of a spirit of determination unknown among many races. Thus they were utterly able to defend themselves from those who would have taken their resources; and likewise able to discover and cultivate resources to ensure their survival. From the beginning, they were loyal to M'kai's Covenant, and were a people who, by nature, were both fearless and kind-hearted. By the principles of the Covenant they sought to restore peace to our broken world; but in their numbers, they had no advantage over any other race, and few other races were willing to adhere as strictly and as widely to the Covenant; and so their efforts were most often in vain.

It was one of their tribal leaders, Pr'tann the Indomitable, who changed the course of our history. Possessed of unusual wisdom of administration, Pr'tann sought among the other races a means of advantage by alliance. He searched to and fro in the land, and found the Tilkrig -- the race of ours specially gifted in the production and use of technology. He found this people in his own lands as part of a remnant that had departed from the Northwest seeking sustenance and comfort. But of sustenance they found little, and comfort, none; for their smaller size, and unusual coloration, and their ability to create new things, made them objects of ridicule and scorn among the other races; further, rumors went with them of a deep assocation with the now-despised Elkisi, who were widely regarded as the reason our world had been subjected to judgment, and further, that their very skin was poison, and that contact with them was deadly. So it is that the Tilkrig found themselves shunned and harrassed from every quarter, and driven to live in the wilderness.

Pr'tann came among these people and recognized in them a genius that, properly cultivated, might aid in the salvation of our world. He befriended them, and spoke kindly to them, and in return they gave him their favor. With their aid were designed weapons of war that no other race could match; and so it was that in time the Prycenes were able to make and keep peace through their strength, and allow once more the promise of civilization to come to fruition. Pr'tann himself took the name of Prycus, and declared himself the first Emperor of the Prycenes; and he, with his Tilkrig advisors, the married couple J'ron and L'Nai, come down to us as the visionaries whose foresight and cooperation ended the age of darkness. I conclude this portion of my account with a select reading from the Third Decree of Prycus, which cemented a friendship between the Prycene and Tilkrig races, such that a close association between them lasts even unto our own day:

It is my determination that these tiny people should be cherished, not abused; that they should be encouraged, not persecuted; that they should be welcomed, not scorned. For they are M'kai's gift to our world: In them lies a greatness of knowledge and a humility of spirit, such that those who befriend them will be blessed beyond imagination. Do not harm the Tilkrig, nor humiliate them; I decree this upon pain of death for those who offend.

And so it is that to this day, a proverb remains with our peoples, that the peace and prosperity of Hearthstone comes of a Prycene that has a Tilkrig perched on their shoulders.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v5 -- The Prycene-Elapine Peace

At this juncture I would summarize the state of our world as it was upon each continent.

Nullabor, the continent of the Southwest, remained undiscovered and would be so for many revolutions yet. However, I established at this time my Shelter there, finding the solitude conducive to well-being for retreat.

The Northwestern continent, today called the Cartel Axis, had been abandoned by all but a few of our races, having become inhospitable to the greater number. Yet even now it recovered, slowly yet certainly.

The Northeastern land mass, now called the Traditional Allies, began to be dominated by the Prycenes and their Tilkrig allies. Some of the other peoples, seeing that they were outmatched by the new alliance, reached an accord with and became members of the Prycene Empire. Among these were the Allethenes, who were not as numerous as they are today; their ancestral homeland, C'lun Mai, was one of the first Empire acquisitions. Other races resisted the Prycenes, and remained stubborn in their adherence to lawlessness and predation upon weaker peoples. These the Prycenes eventually brought under control.

Finally, the Southereastern land mass -- today called the Egalitarian Confederacy -- was dominated by our other warlike people, the Elapines. The Elapines at this time, however, were a barbaric race; they were neither exceptionally cruel nor predatory, as some of this time were, but many among them were given over to carnality, and they ruled not by wisdom, but by shows of brute force. There were many tribes and divisions among them, but chiefly two administrations prevailed: The Eastern and the Western Elapines.

With my counsel, the Emperor and leaders of the Prycenes determined that the greatest peace could be reached not by war with these peoples, but by accord. The Prycene Empire would therefore not be extended into the Southeast, but an effort would be made to secure the Elapines as allies and equals. The Eastern Elapines agreed almost at once to peace and cooperation, being the more civilized of the two administrations. The Western Elapines, however -- encouraged by false prophets among them and also deceived unknowingly by the K'rek'skran -- refused any peace, and the threat of civil war among the Elapines became imminent. At that time I and those who aided me took the required steps to suppress the false prophets among the Western Elapines. The full story of this, I leave for another to tell at a later date; it is enough to sum the matter. The Prycenes reached accord with the Western Elapines, and according to their custom, the gift of covenant partners was exchanged. The Western Elapines selected from among themselves the barbarian princess Ilia, to be wed to the Prycene prince of defense, the Lord Paracene; whilst the Prycenes sent their princess Rylene to be wed to the Elapine tribal chieftain Serion. In this time, the two races were still interfertile, as they are now not; and while the second couple remained childless, the pairing of Ilia and the Lord Paracene began the line of the Paracene family in modern times, who to this day are ministers of defense for the nation of the Prycenes. The two warriors, despute their vastly different origins, found in their pairing a deep kinship, and to this day as well, the concord they achieved -- both between themselves and their nations -- is legendary.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v6 -- The Age of Civilization

With the two great warrior races having settled upon peace with one another, there remained no barrier to the general civilizing of our world. Over the next many centuries, the Prycenes set about building their Empire in the northeast, bringing an enforced peace to that region; the Elapines, who had no interest in an empire of their own, permitted the races of the southeast their own ways, and so it was that the southeast became a place of many and varied kingdoms, who were oft at war with one another over this period. However, in part due to the influence of myself and other servants of the One, no conflict grew to such an extent that more than three nations were involved at any single time; and such wars were swiftly brought to a conclusion.

In the northwest, only a handful of races remained; in due course, only three -- the Sk'lan, the Tilkrig, and the Sanslorian -- would continue to live there. The civilization there remained pastoral, up until the modern age, and there was no conflict to speak of. The southwestern continent would remain unsettled still, save for my Shelter.

There is little else to say of this period until the time when my own people, the Av'nen, were exterminated. The telling of that tale in detail, I leave for another volume; but I will speak of what occurred in sum. A prominent Celandine king of the southeast, Gr'roth, fancied himself to be the most clever of speakers; he would hold public audiences for the sake of his own flattery, delivering riposte (often cruel) upon his subjects. In this he was reckoned to be quite mad; but because he held sway over his subjects by threat of force, none dared do ought but pretend that he was found amusing. It happened one day that three of my own people -- merchants -- visited his kingdom, and settled down to observe one of his performances; in due course he noticed that they, unlike his fearful subjects, did not display mirth at his wit; for by nature, we the Av'nen were a people most dour, and in any event, Gr'roth's humor was, in reality, astonishingly bad. Gravely insulted, Gr'roth inquired of them; and they confessed that as Av'nen, they were little subject to mirth, and at all accounts did not find his performances humorous. Immediately Gr'roth had them slain; he then declared war upon my people, and within seven seasons, had delivered all but three (including myself) to their graves. I, having been engaged in the pursuit of Almanorian artifacts in the Northwest, was not aware of this great evil until I returned to my homeland to find our villages decimated. Thus it was that I formed the Avengers of Av'nen, to deliver justice unto Gr'roth and his minions; and the telling of those tales, I likewise leave to another time.

The tragic destruction of my people was the last time, until the modern era, that any attempt was made by ruling powers to completely exterminate another race. The extinction of my people shamed those who had participated, and also those who had stood by doing nought to prevent it, so that by the end of this age, genocide came to be regarded as a deep sin, to be never again pursued. By the end of this age also, our world saw great spiritual reform; previously, though the Covenant remained the dominant faith, there had been any number of other gods worshipped, many of them associated with violence, wanton brutality, licentiousness, and war. The worship of these came slowly to die out, or else be reformed, so that by the end of this age, all traces of the former faiths had vanished, replaced in some nations by the Covenant, or else some faith derivative of it, or some entirely new faith without inclinations towards license or violence. One of these, the faith of Pasin, endures to this day as our second most popular faith, and so it is worthwhile to expound briefly upon the nature of this religious tradition.

Pasin was a gentle Allethene philosopher who lived near the end of this age. I, myself, never met him; but was made to understand later that he was of a mystical bent, and claimed to have achieved special moral insights from the One -- whom he described in terms of a pervasive, unconscious force that inhabited the universe as a spirit inhabits a body. He expressed tender concern for the poor, and ministered to them selflessly. After his death, certain of his disciples (not all of them) claimed to have seen his spirit rise from the ashes of his funereal pyre; and so it was that it came to be said that he had achieved apotheosis, and now acted from the realms of the heavenlies, interceding for his followers. Others among his followers rejected this story as apocryphal, and to this day, the faith of Pasin remains divided on the occurrence of this event, though both parties remain adamant that the moral and philosophical principles espoused by Pasin are of greater importance than this reported event.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v7 -- The Age of Enlightenment

And so it came to pass that a great peace settled upon our world for a time. As this age dawned, the Spirit of Prophecy came to me, and it was commanded that I should change the way I interacted with our world. Before, I was an itinerant teacher who publicly challenged the enemies of the Covenant, tearing down their altars and challenging their gods with signs and wonders; but now, all such altars had disappeared, and the new gods, as formulated by the gentle spiritualities such as the faith of Pasin, did not presume to challenge the supremacy of the One with their own wonders, but rather presented themselves as equally valid, alternative routes. The new faiths were moral and philosophical, rather than confrontational; and so the Spirit commanded that I was no longer to be a person of public prominence, but was to settle into mundane roles, from which I was to work on behalf of the One's Domain, more often using argument and persuasion than signs and wonders.

The wisdom of this command became all too apparent as the age progressed: As knowledge and science increased, one such as myself would become an oddity and a stumbling-block; such, for example, that I might be probed and tested to see if my immortality could be transferred to others. For as the materialism of the age -- even among those of the Covenant -- became more pronounced, it was certain that ways would be sought to cheat death. It was a time of great hope, but also of great conceit; such that even I fell for a misplaced confidence in my personal affairs, and took a mortal as a bride. But of such things, I cannot speak further here, lest my heart be rent from sorrow.

So it was that I submerged myself, over the many centuries of this age, into other identities; some of these were widely known, others were obscure. My true identity was to remain known to but a few, who were pledged (or otherwise disposed) to maintain secrecy. These were, among others: The race of the Sanslorian; the royal family of the Prycenes, and their chief retainers; and certain of those whom I had identified as ancestors of ones prophecied to come: She of Infinite Heart, and He Who Spanned the Kingdoms of Life. The families of these two, whom I knew would come to aid in the closing of the circle, I maintained confidence with over the revolutions, in anticipation of the time when their descendants would fulfill all that had been foretold.

Politically, the shape of our modern world began to form. The Prycene Disbursement began, and within a few thousand revolutions, all nations formerly under the Empire's control became free and independent, though a formal alliance of economy and defense remained in place. In the Southeast, several nations began to form what was then called the Confederation of Allied States; this would later evolve into the modern Egalitarian Confederacy. Even in the Northwest, there was some effort to organize political states; but the Sk'lan, who had become the primary race of the Northwest, cared little for such things, and the three states that emerged were merely a convenience.

Eidolon's History of Hearthstone, v8 -- The Age of Technology

Our world has changed much in this current age; moreso than it has in all prior ages. The element polarium was developed, and it was this, more than any other discovery, which fueled the progress of our society. Our explorers circumnavigated the globe for the first time; the continent of Nullabor was discovered, and there remains a promise of further discovery when the thirst for new and unexplored land revives.

I have found it difficult, at times, to adjust to this age. I have done as much as I can to remain informed and practiced in the workings of technology, with admittedly mixed results. My role as prophet and priest has changed; not only for the sake of the command of the Spirit of Prophecy, but for the host of new challenges presented to me to bring the message of the Covenant to our peoples.

I spend my days, now, mostly occupied in menial employments here and there across the nations. The Prycene governing bodies often secure places for me to live and work; I in turn serve them as an advisor on many and varied things, ranging from governance of world affairs to the content of media productions promoting Covenant spirituality. And I maintain a regular schedule of contact with the two prophecied ones....they with whom the circle shall be closed, finally paving the way for the final consummation of our history.

I, Eidolon, have been priest and prophet to many peoples and ages. Heed my words and know our history.

  • 4028 - year of my birth.
  • 4632 - the year in which my sin released certain of the K'rek'skran.
  • 5521 - the year of the beginning of the Elkisi Empire.
  • 8777 - shattering of the Northwest by the eruption of the sky. Age of Anarchy begins.
  • 12301 - the year of the beginning of the Prycene Empire. This year also I began the destruction of the remaining Portals and other artifacts from the Legions.
  • 14770 -- Prycene accord reached with the Elapines.
  • 32121 - Seven Seasons' War, concluding with the extermination of my people, the Av'nen.
  • 36333 - Prycene Disbursement begins; nations of the East under Prycene control are gradually given their independence.
  • 39700 - the first application of magnetic technologies.
  • 43998 - circumnavigation of Hearthstone performed by explorers. Land of Nullabor discovered.
  • 44770 -- 30,000-revolution celebration of the Prycene-Elapine accord
  • 44797 - the present year.