There are a lot of origin stories of our world out there. Most say it was created by the gods. Not my realm of expertise nor the concern of this book. But what we need to cover is the Ancients.
They were a race of superior intelligence, magic, and technology. They created what is known as Mystical Technology, or MysTek – an amalgamation of magic and technology. The secrets of their creation have been lost to the ages, sadly. But we do know this – they are insanely powerful. One can blow away a target with ease with just a bit of magical power. Golems can be constructed in mere seconds. Wounds healed in an instant. Death can be prevented if applied correctly.
This is why everyone is interested in the Ancient Ruins. They hold the secrets of MysTek. Or at least the various Artifacts that were left behind by the Ancients.
So what happened to the Ancients? If they created such a great power, how did they disappear?
There are a handful of stories of what exactly happened, but nothing is certain. Many say the Gods punished them for their arrogance. I say they blew themselves up.
What we do know for certain is this – all of the mana (the stuff that magic is made of) was drawn from the Leylines (the near invisible paths of mana that cover the world) and focused on the southern polar cap. All this magic in one place caused the polar cap to melt insanely quickly and flooded the world. While the Ancients could deal with this disaster, they could not cope without the power of magic. With the Leylines drained of all their mana, there was no way to recharge the Ancients' mighty MysTek Artifacts. And the mana didn't return to the Leylines until 500 years ago...
You can imagine what happened after the Leylines were bled dry – War over what mana was left. This 50 year war is called the Mana Wars, and what was left after that was the dark age of magic and technology – the Age of Darkness. Eventually, this gave birth the the various races that make up the world today: the Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and Beastmen.
During this thousand year dark age, the dragons made their move. They took over the world and quietly ruled over all. This was called the Age of Dragons. Towards the end of this age, the mighty Imperial Dragon appeared and forcefully rose to power. He took the Crimson Moon as his throne to rule over all from above.
At some point, the power of magic returned to the Leylines, quietly and subtly. Nobody knows exactly when everyone realized that magic had resurfaced... But we know it changed everything when that realization hit. Especially when they realized that MysTek Artifacts were usable again.
Eventually the races began to chafe under the rule of the Imperial Dragon. Heroes started to gather, armed with the power of magic and Mystek Artifacts. The First Emperor of Humanity and the Black Witch gathered an army, aided by the Lance of the Elves and the Anvil of the Dwarves. These heroes fought the Imperial Dragon until it was weakened. Some say it was slain, others say it was sealed within the Crimson Moon.
After the Great Dragon Wars, the Heroes went their separate ways and created the Nations and Factions we are familiar with today. The First Emperor of Humanity formed the Tannishian Empire and ruled well until he was slain by his former lover and general, the Black Witch. The Guardian Lance of the Elves still protects the Kingdom of Altza, her spear still striking true against the foes that threaten her homelands. The Anvil of the Dwarves forged the Dwarven Merchant Guilds and then vanished from the world. From the ashes of the dragon's servants rose two other factions – the Dragon Knights, sworn to protect the world from both the dragons and the darkness; and the Council of the Undying – a group of undead who quietly watch over the world and making subtle effects upon it.
Today, the search for the Truth of MysTek is one of the main goals of the Mage's Association. We seek the answers that nobody knows of the Ancients and of their Artifacts. We're also the only ones crazy enough to delve into these ruins that are full of traps and dangerous golems...
[/ exerpt from Isaac's book ]
Isaac Forland is the world's renowned archaeological expert in the field of the Ancient Ruins. His knowledge would be second to very few. He has written a handful of books on the topic, and continues exploring the Ruins of the Ancients to this day, and usually does it alone...
[It's about bloody time I added to the Arcanus campaign info... I have more coming soon! Again.]