A Brief overview of the elemental wars by Veneficus of Dark Ages
It is said, "history is written by the victors". What of those battles, those conflict, those wars in which there exists no victor? Those struggles which bring only heartache, destruction and doom to all who have the misfortune to be embroiled in them…who bears the sad burden of "celebrating" these feats of arms? For it is the doom of man that they forget the errors of their forefathers and revel only in the successes of their heritage.
Hast ye the courage to look upon the misdeeds of the past? Have ye the fortitude to discern the horrid evil that persons visit upon eachother and the world? If ye wouldst hear a tale to shake your soul then read on gentle aisling…read on.
It was the Seventh Aeon of Temuair, that Aeon known as "Chaos" and with good cause. Hy-brasyl had split, priests prayed toward the dark north of Kadath and their sanity was shredded into tattered webs of madness. All these misfortunes notwithstanding one final horror was to assault the peace of the world. The kings of the new civilizations of Finach, Sarnath and Niara held their lands securely, but as oft is the case, greed and avarice surface upon the hearts of leaders. The kings, not satisfied with their own demesne, coveted their neighbors’ lands and wars began. Soldiers took the fields in mighty battles of arms to gain ground for the glory of their nation. As was customary, the formalities of "peaceful" negotiation were oft a prelude to these battles. It was during one such session that the final chaos began.
The "King High Protector" of Finach and the "Lord Defender of the Righteous" of Niara faced eachother in open debate on a grassy hill. Each claimed lands by right of divine succession that the other held sway over. As the day rolled on no accord could be reached and tempers flared. Without warning the delicate peace of the negotiations was shattered. A general in the service of Niara tired of the "arrogant prattle" of the King High Protector of Finach and in an unexpected move drew a dagger from his belt and lunged. A young wizard attached to the retinue of Finach, fearing for the safety of his lord, stretched forth his hands and in an instant the aggressor was reduced to a smoking pile of ash at the feet of the King of Finach. All were struck with wonder by the sudden finality of this act…and ideas were born.
It was not long before each army had attached wizards to its ranks. Each regiment of soldiers had one in its numbers to provide "support" to the troops. The generals watched in satisfaction as destruction was rained upon the heads of their foes from a distance, thus preventing expensive loss of soldiers and weaponry in frontal battle. Gradually, the wizards gained much favor in the courts of the kings. Riches and titles were heaped upon them for their "martial feats". Never had wizards hoped to gain such favor, for it had previously been reserved for those great war heroes who wore their battle scars proudly and swaggered through the city taverns. Many spoke out against such misuse of the arts of the elements, including the most prominent of wizard schools the "Acadamie Arcanus" but to no avail…such was the draw of riches and honors that young wizards flocked to the armies in hopes of fortune and glory.
The wars drug on and on, reducing the coffers of the kings to a desperate volume. Young men were conscripted to serve in the armies and taxes were insufferable. Niara had marched its armies almost to the borders of Finach. The Lord Defender of the Faith decided it was high time to strike a decisive blow upon his most ardent adversary of Finach. Gathering his armies he marched upon Finach in force. This battle however would be like no other. In a daring stratagem the forces of Niara had pulled all the wizards from their regiments and formed entire companies of them, it was decided that they would strike mercilessly from afar until the enemy was weakened and then the soldiers would move in for the decisive blow.
The final battle was enjoined not far from the very heart of Finach. Oh ‘twas a grand sight to see, armor glittered and battle pennants fluttered majestically in the breeze. Then the struggle began in earnest. Great balls of fire pounded the field, storms of rain and wind swept the topsoil form the ground and huge chasms opened in the earth swallowing entire regiments. The tumult was inhuman. Smoke choked the air, and confusion reigned supreme. Great cries of horror and pain rang out, deafening and piteous. The battle grew to epic proportion, peasants and villagers fled in fear. For days the battle raged raising great clouds of dust and steam…never was a sight beheld so dreadful or so foul.
On the fourth day all was still. Slowly the citizens of Finach furtively gathered to see the outcome. In small groups they crept to the battle sight to satisfy their curiosity of the victor. These groups wandered back into the village dumbstruck and shaken, unable to voice anything of what they had seen. Their eyes held haunted looks and their hands trembled upon their wineglasses. News of these events reached the leaders of the wizard’s schools and they journeyed forth with their fellows to survey what caused such alarm in the hearts of the populace. As they walked through Finach they were assaulted with curses from the villagers and pelted with rocks, curious at such a strong reception they hurried to the battlefield. In silence they stood and surveyed the obscenity of the wreckage. What was once a fertile and beautiful glade now stood as silent and desolate as the very pits of purgatory. The wizards walked heavily among the destruction. Not one soldier had survived the onslaught, not one wizard remained alive. It was foul and vulgar to the senses. Young men in their prime lay half buried in the earth where they had met their doom…mangled unrecognizable bodies lay strewn about, some scorched to charcoal, some with the very flesh ripped from their bones. The mages fell to their knees and wept piteously. Grieving for the loss of so many so foolishly. The land was scarred horridly, huge chasms and ravines rent the once gentle rolling fields, all vegetation had been scorched or torn from the ground by mighty winds, and the ground was a mire of blood and water vile and infertile. To this very day nothing grows in what we now know as "The Wastelands of East Woodlands" perhaps in sad testimony to the travesty which occurred there.
Following the "Battle of East Woodlands" the wisest mentors of wizardry gathered together and took council with one another. In almost record time a meeting of the minds had been reached and each withdrew their students from the armies of the kings. Emissaries were sent unto each court to proclaim that wizards would no longer be puppets or tools of avarice for the greed of kings. Thus ended the elemental wars, but at what great cost.
So…what relevance does this have upon the present one may ask. What does a war lost in the gloomy depths of time involving kingdoms long since forgotten have to do with us? It is also written "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it". It is for this reason which I have inscribed these woe-ridden accounts. For never again should the elements be used for selfish aims. Never again should those arts which derive their very power from the building blocks of creation be mercenary to the avarice of political machinations….for therein shall lie the seeds of final destruction and decay. So read ye well again this account of the affronts of the elemental wars and be ever vigilant ye of the wizards path….be ye not duped by riches or glory or political influence to pervert your arts for material gain. For these arts are a gift for the greater good of Temuair.
Veneficus Adeptus "The Wee Wompin Wimpy Wizzy"