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Chris Blauwkamp

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Session 54: Escape from the Sky
Goliaths being the largest of the common races in the world, we have our perspectives of the peoples that inhabit it. We even have our friends, allies, associations and enemies. I sometimes wonder if the Giant races feel the same about the world or if they ...
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Session 33: Flint's Report, or What the Hell is Up With This Masonry?
After our last run in with the fire giant, we were a bit wary and more than a little thankful that Ghal'Alkr still had his instant fortress to protect us. Volodemir tells us the rod is beckoning him towards the castle in the clouds in the distance. Even tho...
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Session 53: The Cloud Giant's Castle
The dwarves have reason to dislike giants. Giants are mean. Having rested from felling the fire giant that attacked our fortress, we climbed further into the mountains in search of the rumored cloud giant castle, hoping to secure another section of the Rod....
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Session 52: The Rod of Seven Parts: Part III
After defeating the vile and otherworldly Aboleth our heroes spent some well earned downtime recovering in town and preparing to retrieve the next piece of the rod. Upon connecting the first two sections of the rod the Bard found his personality shifting in...
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Ma'at, the Raven Queen
Ma'at is good and her worth is lasting. She has not transgressed since the day of her creation, whereas he who transgresses her ordinances is punished. She lies a path in front even of those who know nothing. Wrongdoing has never yet brought its venture to ...
Ma'at, the Raven Queen
Ma'at, the Raven Queen
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Poking around looking for some names, I came across this timeline which might be of interest. It is not canon, but a lot of it maps on to the actual history.

++Age of Immortality
There are no known dates for this age, as no written records exist. Nevertheless, a rough chronology is known.

-Kairos writes "The Nature of the God," a treatise on the nature of Deus.
-Kairos discovers the true name of Deus.
-Covellia discovers magic. She lives with a tribe known as the Emiri, and with the aid of the arcane arts, they quickly prosper.
-Covellia writes the first poltical treatise, arguing for the divinely ordained nature of government
-Ersten starts a war, the Dawn War, with the Emiri, seeking knowledge of magic to dominate the world. He finds some knowledge, but is corrupted by the darker aspects. He casts the 'diabolous mortem' chant, turning three primordials into the first demons. The war continues.
-Deus, tired of the constant warfare, ends the age. He establishes natural lifespans for all races involved in the wars, which leaves the elves as the only immortal race. To watch over the world, he makes Covellia and Kairos Valharim.

++Age of Glory
Also known as the Age of Empires. All dates are from the founding of Thyrania, known as 'Thyranian Reckoning'.

-1500 Following the end of the Age of Immortality, the different races leave the now desolated southern continent and settle the northern continent. During the warfare of the previous age, settlers had already come north, but the later more organized settlers pushed the earlier even further to the north of the new continent.
-1262 The church of Deus is founded by Isidore. The church has one archbishop as its head and seven bishops. One over the city-states of Milesia, one over the Sulin Emirates, one over Tharkun, one over Etrusca, one over Glantri, one travelling bishop, and one bishop that served as an aide to the archbishop.
-1178 The University of Olinia, one of the chief cities of Glantri, is founded. Olinia quickly becomes a center for magical research and Glantri becomes known as the kingdom of the mages.
-74 Fayon is born in the northern plains of Tharkun, the Akkad Plains
-72 Hadeth is born in Etrusca.
-50 Fayon and Hadeth meet for the first time.
-39 Fayon becomes the youngest bishop in church history at the age of 35.
-37 Fayon and Hadeth find the Skull of Elentri, becoming partially divine.
-32 Fayon becomes the last archbishop of the church.
-15 As a reward for saving them from a rampaging dragon, the people of the Akkad Plains make Fayon their king.
-12 Hadeth finishes her conquest of Etrusca, founding Hadethia.
-11 In response to invasions by Hadeth, Tharkun and Sulin become protectorates of Akkad.
-10 Fayon and Hadeth sign a permanent peace treaty.
-8 The City-States of Milesia unite to invade Akkad to break up this threatening nation to their east. The other two extant major
kingdoms, Hadethia and Glantri, remain strenuously neutral. In -1, Akkad finally conquers Milesia.
0 Fayon declares the Thyranian Empire. For the next 5 years, Fayon wars with Glantri, resulting in a draw. Impressed, Ither
joins Fayon's court.
5 Hadeth becomes Valharim. After Fayon pacifies the northern barbarians, Thyrania reaches its greatest height under him.
7 Plotinus writes "The Role of the State," arguing contra Covellia that, while having a government is good, that government must
govern in the interest of the governed, and not merely in the interest of the state or the head of state.
8 Fayon becomes Valharim. Christine suceeds him as mage-queen of Thyrania. The bishops meet to choose a successor to head the
Church of Deus, but they are split between Sudduth, bishop of Etrusca, and Samot, bishop of Tharkun. Angered by their inability to
choose an archbishop, Christine declares as Fayon's heir that she has the authority to break ties. She declares Samot to be the
archbishop. Sudduth announces in response that the church must not be in the hands of a puppet of a Thyrania. Cuthbert
argues strongely in support of Sudduth.
10 Adreham, chief of Fayon's prefects, becomes Valharim.
34 The collected writings of Fayon are published.
150 Christine finally accomplishes the conquest of Glantri
638 Christine dies, leaving no heir. This kicks off the Wars of Succession between various factions seeking control of Thyrania
639 As the Wars of Succession rage, the Milesian church splits from the Akkadian church, ostensibly over the nature of the Valharim.
654 The end of the Wars of Succession. There is no clear victor, and many losers, as increasing raids of orcs and dragonborn force the
humans to look to the elves for aid.

++Third Age
Also called the age of elves. The few records still extant from this time use Thyranian reckoning.
655 The former lands of Thyrania, devastated by the Wars of Succession and by barbarian raids ask Hadethia for help
defending against the raids. When Hadethia refuses, they put themselves under the protection of the elves.
662 Akkad, the last of the former Thyranian lands to remain independant, finally submits to the protectorship of the elves.
722 The elves take full political control over the humans, in order to better present a united front against the barbarians.
756 The orcs are finally defeated in the battle of Parthus.
800 The elven leadership, which had been in place since the time of Fayon, steps down to allow younger elves a chance to rule. Over the
next 200 years, the elven view of humans continually worsens, until they are viewed as little more than a slave race. The elves who
object leave to found a colony at Avalon.
1056 The First Demon War begins when the elves invade Hadethia, now the last independant human kingdom. These wars end with
Hadeth being cast into the Abyss. In punishment, the elves are made mortal, though still with an exceptionally long lifespan.

++Dark Ages
During this time, the humans are still recovering from the previous age, and the elves hide themselves. Orcs and other barbarous races control the countryside, only gradually being pushed back by growing human kingdoms. In the turmoil, no records are kept until the beginning of the fourth age, roughly 300 years after the end of the First Demon War.

++Fourth Age
0 Nithus, conquering many petty kingdoms, founds the empire of Solaria. All dates in the Fourth Age are given in Solarian Reckoning, which dates from the founding of the empire. The descendants of Nithus expand west and north, until the empire
encompasses the western two-thirds of the continent.
256 The first university of the new age is founded in Parthus. Parthus becomes a center of learning.
352 Abelard, a Magister at the university of Parthus, writes the book "On the Valharim". In it her argues that the Valharim
are closer in essence to Deus than to mortals, and so should be worshipped.
512 Ferrin rediscovers the art of magic, lost since the First Demon War.
525 Ferrin's apprentices, including Ambrosius, spread the knowledge of magic across the continent.
568 Ferrin starts the Second Demon War.
614 The Second Demon War ends.

++Fifth Age
620 Geoffrey Tardis eventually gains enough support to be crowned emperor of Solaria. He renames himself Haradon II and since
this time all rulers of Solaria are named Haradon.
812 Charles the Mane, one of the more powerful barons in the North, forms an alliance with the Wemics and begins to conquer more
814 Charles proclaims himself king of Lyonia. Combining brilliant military leadership with excellent diplomacy,
Charles is able to defeat the invasion of Haradon VII and conclusively establish his independance.
854 Lyonia reaches its present extent. Charles attempts to expand north into what is now Fogelon.
856 Charles is turned back at the battle of Bremen by Arthur.
1015 Bismark unites many of the free baronies into Fogelon.
1100s The inhabitants of the western isles are at the height of their raiding. Under this pressure, many of the western lords of Solaria
make their own agreements with the pirates, leading to a greater sense of independence from Solarium.
1112 Valery d'Allain writes a highly fictionalized version of the exploits of Charles the Lion and his knights, the Knights of the Chalice. This remains highly popular in Lyonia
1136 Under pressure from the pirates of the western isles, the remaining independent baronies join Fogelon.
1172 Fogelon's campaigns against the eastern barbarians go nowhere.
1198 Clemens Brentano writes "The Adventures of Bilbur". Bilbur is a member of a fictional race called 'halflings', clearly modeled on
the Fogelish peasantry. This book forms a great deal of the Fogelish identity.
1202 The thirteen year Solarian civil war begins. Following this war, the Solarian Empire is divided into two nations, the Eastern and
Western empires. The Eastern Empire is led by an Emperor Haradon (at this time, Haradon XVII) and the Western by a steward
elected by the noble houses.
1255 The northern church splits from the western church. This starts a long war between the two pieces of the Solarian Empire and
Lyonia, with various other parties raiding and otherwise taking advantage of the chaos. Eventually Fogelon and Hartland
come to Lyonia's aid, turning the tide of the war.
1316 Hannah of Arendt writes a treatise arguing that the power of a sovereign stems from the consent of the governed.
1354 Aurelius of Tyre writes a book arguing that human perfection is attained not by worship of the Valharim, but by a life of
stoicism. It is very influential in the Western Solarian Empire.
1357 Influenced by the work of Hannah of Arendt, the Duchy of Wesnar seceds from Fogelon. Lyonia takes advantage of this to
invade Fogelon itself. The resulting war is largely a draw, though Wesnar does gain independence.

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The Old Faith
In the beginning was chaos and void, and the spirit of chaos moved among the waters. God came to the chaos, and raised his hand, and lo! there was order. The waters split into the waters above, and the waters below. And the spirits of chaos too were divided...
The Old Faith
The Old Faith
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There are a number of beings that are worshipped by the denizens of Ardenest; Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon; Eos Dawnsister; or Pan, First of the Woods. In fact, their worship was common in the days before the Thyranian Empire. Fayon himself was a cleric of Bahamut in his aspect as Paladine. But once he had his apotheosis, his daughter Christine made the worship of the Valharim the official religion of the Empire, and founded the New Church. It quickly schismed, and now, each nation has its own sect of the New Church. The different sects generally interact peacefully, but religious warfare is not unknown. In addition, their relation to the old faiths varies from open hostility to disdain and condescension. In the present day, nearly everyone you meet is a member of the New Church, and adherents of the old faiths tend not to advertise that fact, even in lands where they are allowed to practice their religion openly.

Most of the Church is organized geographically, with the head cleric of each nation being titled "Primate". When the national churches are getting along with each other, the primates sometimes will convene a council to discuss theological and administrative matters. After the Second Council of Selenium went astray due to a fight over precedence between the primates of Western and Eastern Solaria, the Church decided that a chair would be chosen by vote of the Council. Those clerics who have chaired a Council are titled "High Priest". Clerics serve at a temple, tending to the needs of the congregation. The most important temples are generally called cathedrals, and are headed by a bishop.

Every cleric serves the Valharim as a whole, but each is dedicated to a specific member of the Eight. With the exception of the Sage, Covellia, and Ryanna, two months out of the year are dedicated to each god, and the clerics dedicated to that god lead the weekend services. Fayon's clerics lead the services for the festivals of Sol Invictus and Heaven's Day, while the Sage's clerics lead the services on Spring Awakening and Autumn Falling. Ryanna's clerics are not attached to a church at all; they are found traveling between communities too small to have a church with dedicated clergy, or in the wild.

In addition to the churches, there are several monastic communities, especially in the south of Ardenest. These are dedicated to a specific Valharim, and are generally dedicated to serving a purpose associated with that god. For example, monasteries of Vassa are often near rocky seashores so they can rescue sailors whose ships have foundered. The abbot of prominent monasteries are often nearly as powerful as the primates, if not more so.

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The New Church
Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas There are a number of beings that are worshipped by the denizens of Ardenest; Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon; Zeus, Lord of the Azure Sky; or Pan, First of the Woods. In fact, their worship was common in the days before the Thyran...
The New Church
The New Church
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In educated circles, there is a lot of debate about the gods and their nature. For your purposes, this doesn't matter. There are a number of divine beings, but only one referred to as 'God'. He came to the primordial chaos and created order. The other gods were once mortal, and earned their immortality; it is these gods from whom clerics received their spells.

The gods are as follows: The Sage, patron of knowledge and secrets; Covellia, patroness of magic; Fayon, patron of justice, hope, barbers, and the sun; Vassa, patroness of the sea; Kilmar, patron of elves and archers; Soren, patron of dwarves and free; Adreham, patron of civilization and polymaths; Alexander, patron of explorers, rangers, and adventuring; Ryanna, lady of love and war, heaven's general, and dark Hadeth, the fallen one, patroness of armies, war, xenophobia, and madness.

The Sage is the oldest of the Valharim. He discovered God's true name untold ages ago. He is patron of hidden knowledge, but is not much worshipped. His domains are Knowledge and Death.
Covellia is the next oldest. She discovered wizardry, and led the armies of light in the Dawn Wars. She is patron of magic. Her domains are Light and Knowledge.
Fayon is the head of the Valharim. He founded the Thyranian empire and ruled it wisely for centuries. He is patron of justice, paladins, and barbers. His domains are Light and War.
Adreham was the chief advisor to Fayon in life, viceroy over half the empire. He is well known as a great polymath, and is the patron of democracy, civilization, and cities. His domains are Life and Knowledge.
Vassa was a pirate captain who, along with Soren, was instrumental in saving civilization during the First Demon War. She is the patron of the sea and those who make their living from the sea, as well as cyclops. Her domains are Tempest and Nature.
Soren was a dwarven prince who opened his domain to people fleeing the destruction of the First Demon War. He is the patron of dwarves, miners, and those seeking to escape slavery. His domains are War and Knowledge.
Kilmar was the partner of Alexander. They brought the Elvish Gift into the chaoslands, and it was his skill with the bow that fended off the demons while Alexander placed it to close the hellgate to end the Second Demon War. He is patron of sanity, elves, and archers. His domains are War and Nature.
Alexander was a legendary ranger during the Second Demon War. It was his supernatural skill at tracking that led them through the chaoslands, a task thought impossible. He is patron of dragonslayers, rangers, and tracking. His domains are War and Nature.
Ryanna was the wife of Haradon, last emperor of the Solarian Empire during the Second Demon war. She led Ryanna's Wolves, a group of guerilla fighters who harried the demons without ceasing during the war. She is consort of Fayon, general of heaven's armies, and patron of love and war. Her domains are War and Trickery.

There are also a number of saints, people who one way or another gained quasi-immortality, but are not as powerful as the gods. Some well-known saints are St. Cuthbert, patron of vengeance, St. Carino, patron of assassins, and St. Gwynnyth, patroness of just wars.
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