History: Story Premise

Our world's history is long, but below, one can find a general overview of what has come before, and what events have shaped our setting to become what it is. Messiah is set in an alternate earth-like planet, on a single continent called Azaleon; while there are other continents on our planet, these other continents are not yet available for play. They will be available at another time.

Early Azaleon

At one time, there were no humes, and no weres, only the ilim, who lived in harmony with the land. The ilim were the land, and the lands were the ilim, the two ever in balance. As they were born of the lands they lived from, the ilim could hear the pulse of the world, the constant thrum of life, and the pangs of death, that signalled the life-death cycle continued on. The ilim built their civilisations from what the land provided them, constructing their homes and cities in the boughs of large trees, or carving them into natural mountainsides and cliffs.

The ilim never wanted for anything the earth could not give them, and their tales and histories were passed on from generation to generation in song, and story told in firelight. Their gods, it is said, were once living beings much like the ilim themselves, and lived alongside them, guiding their people, and teaching them the arts of magic.

However, one day, humes appeared on the shores of what became called Azaleon. The ilim were very kind and welcomed them to their land, freely sharing what they had with the strange creatures. Humes, however, ever desire more than they have, and in time, began establishing territories, felling great forests and mining stones from the earth as they did. The ilim were weakened as the land was damaged, and were pushed further and further north, as the humes created their tribes, which became villages, cities, and soon, nations.

The ilim knew, from the humes, war, and nothing was more terrible than war.

Some hume nations and territories never fully turned on the ilim, and some remain allies and friends of the children of Azaleon, even now. Some groups of humes help defend Galace, the last stronghold of the ilim, from invaders, and the ilim know that not all humes are bad. In time, they even helped create, by chance, the weres, seemingly a hybrid of ilim and hume, fluidly changing between one and the other when the moon is high. The weres, stronger and better than either humes or ilim, longer lived, more durable, acted, for a time, as a front-line defence against encroaching invaders, but even the weres began to fail, in time.

Dalmascan Expansion

One by one, the hume nations and kingdoms were conquered; empires rose and fell, and soon there were only three: Dalmasca, Jihon, and Macenia. Dozens of smaller city-states cropped up, scattered across western Azaleon, free of the nations' troubles. Dalmasca and Jihon, however, would someday see to it that Macenia and Galace fall, and sought to expand into their lands. Galace, as it happens, is home to many natural resources that the humes of Dalmasca and Jihon covet. Macenia, standing between Galace, and Dalmasca and Jihon, have chosen to stand in their way, and act as a buffer barrier between the two other nations and the home of the ilim.

Still, however, both Macenians and Galacese oft find themselves trapped in Dalmasca and Jihon's slave trades. Dalmasca and Jihon continue to pressure both, and while Macenia has not fallen, and neither has Galace, both stand on the brink of annihilation.

And then, the gods gave humes magic.

The Gift of Magic

Running strong in both ilim and weres, even the dragons, magic gave the ilim quite the upper hand. Humes, eventually, began to randomly manifest the ability to use it. Empathy and prescience abilities run only in hume bloodlines, now, and sorcery is now within their reach, as well. For a short time, when magic arose some thirty years ago, humes forgot about their fighting, and began to try learning to control their sorcery. The gift, however, came with a curse; those with the ability to use sorcery have, time and again, without fail, one day gone mad.

The people became fearful of magic, and those that could use it, as none knew when they'd reach their breaking point. Chaos fell on the hume nations, thousands of magi rounded up and killed in effort to curb such propensity toward madness. The hume magi went into hiding, and those that do survive do so carefully, as they, too, can still be executed for their powers in some parts of Azaleon.

Not all turned against the magi, however; the western Free Cities began research in earnest, learning about aura and how it interacts with the physical plane. This eventually led to the creation of auratech, man-made machinery infused with magic. The Free Cities became a power unlike the hume nations had ever seen, more of a threat than they had ever believed possible, calming the warring to some extent. But, all things end. Dalmasca and Jihon went back to trying to break Macenia and Galace. While they have, thus far, left the Free Cities alone, who knows how long it will be until they change their mind.

Rise of the Messiah

Twenty years ago came a seer's prophecy, from the sands of the Free City of Saqqara, which told of a mage called the Messiah, destined to 'rid' Azaleon of all humes incapable of magic, and usher in a new era. The anti-mage fervour began again in earnest, bans on magic use strengthened anew, and the peoples' fear reignited. If all humes that could not use magic were destroyed by this Messiah, the vast majority of the hume race would abruptly end. Some say that magic, and the Messiah, are divine punishments, sent from the gods to make humes answer for the many mistakes they have made, and plenty of anti-expansion movements have begun, as well as many different religious sects and cults across Dalmasca and Galace.

Azaleon has become embroiled in a physical, and a political, war. But prophecies are fickle things, and the true meaning of the prophecy has long been lost, as it has been told and retold, each time a little less accurate than the last.

Macenia clings to the last vestiges of its defence line. Galace seeks diplomatic ways of ending the wars with Dalmasca and Jihon. The Jihonese fight one another for control of their island, and Dalmasca has no leader and has turned on itself. Whether all of Azaleon will burn in the flames of war is yet to be seen.

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