The following information is copied from the in-game Codex, "Lore" tab.
Complete Lord of the Dead
|The continent of Aurania is home to Felheim, Cherrystone, the Floran Lands, the Lost Leagues, Heavensong and the island of the Dragon's Cradle. It is the home of our heroes, and of our heroes' foes. Welcome to Aurania - please enjoy the view!|
|The Cherrystone Kingdom|
|Unlocked at start||A peaceful place, where pastoral grasslands give way to lush meadows and cool, emerald forests. While the Cherrystone Kingdom is caught between the harsh snowscapes of Felheim to the west and the hazardous wilds of the Gloomwoods to the east, the kingdom, for the most part, manages to exist in its own tranquil state.
While wary of their eastern neighbours, Cherrystone's citizens are rarely actually troubled by the Floran, provided humans don't accidentally wander into the Gloomwoods. The same cannot be said of their neighbours to the west, where the border with Felheim requires constant vigilance. Occasionally over the centuries, leaderless hordes have stormed the border, intent on pillage and plunder, while every few generations, whoever happens to be the current wielder of the Fell Gauntlet decides to make a foray into Cherrystone in a vicious attempt to expand Felheim's borders. Thus, the Cherrystone army is forced to remain on guard at all times.
|The Felheim Legion|
Complete A Plague of Skeletons
|Splintered fjords and rimy forests; broad, empty tundra and jagged snow-capped mountains. This is Felheim. It's a quiet place, all sound muffled by the fathomless snow. Sometimes the wind will pick up, and howl a mournful, bitter song across the icy plains, but otherwise, silence reigns. Here, the undead walk. The chill can't reach their weathered bones. Perhaps they look frail to you? They're not. They're held together by more than rotting sinew - they exist by sheer force of will.
The living also eke out an existence among the undead, hunting ice boar and blubber seals. Like the land they inhabit, Felheim's living citizens are a quiet people; stoic, no nonsense individuals. If it weren't for the ascension of a new Gauntlet-clad Lord every few decades, they'd happily keep themselves to themselves. But there we go - you can't have everything...
|The Heavensong Empire|
Complete Welcome to Heavensong
|"Heavensong has many territories beyond the seas that circle Aurania, but the heart of the empire beats within these shores. It's a land of shining golden sands striped with fertile valleys of desert flora, of awesome mountain ranges speckled with shimmering diamond mines, of sparkling oases and endless azure coastal waters. It's a country of craftsmen, artisans and inventors. Of beauty, honour and intellect. Heavensong truly is a magnificent nation..." - Eastern Aurania Pocket Travel Guide, 2nd Edition|
|The Floran and Their Lands|
Complete Beyond the Border
|No one knows for sure where the Floran came from - even the Floran themselves are more than a little hazy on the subject. History, it's fair to say, is not their strong point. However, the inquiring mind need not give up hope of discovering their origins. We can, with justified conviction, make an educated guess.
Around 900 years ago, give or take a day, a comet smashed into the north coast of central Aurania. The impact caused a minor tremor, and a great amount of inconvenience to a group of local fishermen, who lost several rods and a tackle box to the burning debris. When humanoid figures emerged from the wreckage, the fishermen thought to give these reckless hooligans a piece of their minds. Unfortunately, they ended up giving the figures much more than that, as three of the fishermen were eaten on the spot. The fourth and final fisherman fled. A scrawny fellow, he was lucky to retain what little flesh he had on him.
Though this is all we know of that fateful day, one need not take a huge mental leap to infer that this was the Floran's genesis in Aurania, especially as shortly after the comet's collision with the fishermen, rumors and reports of 'tree people' began to spread across the continent.
900 years ago, Aurania's population was minuscule, so the Floran had little trouble in carving out their own niche in the peaty woods and muddy deltas of the central continent. They thrived in such a fertile environment, and enjoyed comfortable easy lives, developing a special affection for the Gloomwoods, their favourite and most cherished hunting grounds. Floran, as a general rule, aren't mean or cruel, but they do seem to struggle with the concept of the sentience of other races. As they years passed, they found it easier to stop hunting the native humans and instead keep them at a distance. Boar and deer tasted better anyway, and whenever they hunted down a human, other humans would come, brandishing flaming torches and pitchforks, and start a big fight about it. Eventually, they had to figure, 'Why bother?' So the Floran are peaceable enough when left to their own devices - as long as you leave their hunting grounds alone.
|The Lost Leagues|
Complete Puppy in the Middle
|Before it became known as the Lost Leagues, this land was once the westernmost portion of the nation of Silmor, which bordered the country of Cacophony. The Lost Leagues gained their new name long ago, when they became the epicentre of the devastation reaped during a war known as the Great Dissonance. A cataclysmic battle was fought on the region's central plains, and the destruction that began that day rippled out from that point. The Lost Leagues are also home to the Quagmarsh, where a once-great king met his demise, and the war of the Great Dissonance finally ended. After the war, the Lost Leagues were abandoned. Even today, the place elicits a sense of foreboding, and the land feels cursed. Very few people live there and the Leagues remain unclaimed and ungoverned, making them a perfect refuge for outlaws - as long as they're able to stomach the oppressively ominous atmosphere.|
Complete An Old Friend
|Long ago, the continent of Aurania consisted of just two vast countries, divided roughly along the line that now marks the border between the Floran Lands and the Lost Leagues. In the east was Silmor, a country of plains and marshes, mountain ranges and wide, bright deserts. In the west was Cacophony, wooded and green, its furthest reaches blanketed with thick snow. Not much is known about these two fallen nations, as few survivors were left to tell their stories.|
|Magic and Tech|
Complete The Reckoning
Elemental magics form the cornerstone of sorcery in Aurania. Practised widely by mages of various classes and schools, they are used for everything from medicine to crafting to agriculture.
Complete We Must Stop Meeting Like This
|Not every member of the Cherrystone royal family has borne the Cherryblade, but every few decades, it's put in the hands of an individual considered capable of wielding it. King Mercival II was a sabre fighter - fleet-footed and skilled with a light blade - and although he himself never used the Cherryblade, he saw early on that his daughter had the strength and capacity to wield this important weapon.
The story of the Cherryblade has been passed down from generation to generation through the Cherrystone royal family. To the young Mercival, that's all it was: a story his mother told him by the light of a fire as he sat nestled between his parents. She told him about a proud nation called Cacophony that was reduced to ruins, and a dark weapon that would have brought about the end of everything. Most affecting of all was the story of the young princess who sacrificed herself to save the world. Mercival's mother had planned to reveal the truth of these stories to her son once he reached the age of 21, but her life was tragically cut short when Mercival was still just 19. As a result, he only found out about the true importance of the Cherryblade from a letter that accompanied his mother's will.
|The Fell Gauntlet|
Complete The Fortress
|The Fell Gauntlet will not be wielded by just anyone. Only the most determined and tenacious individuals can access its power without being overcome by it. It allows the bearer to command the undead - to raise them and imbue them with thought and purpose. It's Valder's strong, unyielding will that makes him capable of using the Gauntlet. Despite (or perhaps because of) the Fell Gauntlet's nature, it cannot be wielded by even the most powerful members of the undead.
Lost to memory not long after its creation, it only resurfaced several generations after its disappearance. In the millennium since then, it has passed through the hands of despots, tyrants and autocrats. For the last 16 years it has adorned the hand of Valder. Unlike his predecessors, Valder has sought neither absolute power, nor sanctioned arbitrary destruction. In fact, his ascension has fostered a wary peace both within and without the borders of Felheim.
The Fell Gauntlet was forged by the same hands that created Requiem, but of the two, the Gauntlet is the lesser weapon. While the Gauntlet can command the dead, Requiem holds dominion over all - dead and living alike. The Gauntlet was not used in the war that claimed Cacophony and Silmor, having been lost (or more likely stolen) so soon after its creation.
|Requiem and the Great Dissonance|
Complete The Enemy Within
|Requiem was never alive, and doesn't value life or recognise its sanctity. Neither is it undead, unwilling and unable as it is to revel in the nature of physical existence the way the undead are. Inimical to life and existence, Requiem is more than a mere weapon: it is a conscious embodiment of hate and destruction, a being without pity that craves devastation.
In the minds of its creators, Requiem was made as a weapon to end all conflict. The war known as the Great Dissonance, fought between Cacophony and Silmor, had persisted for a decade when this great weapon was conceived of. Another six years of bloody conflict elapsed before its creation was fully realised. The intention had been to nullify the threat of the enemy - to make further fighting futile and bring about an end to the Great Dissonance. But to inspire a ceasefire, the potency of the weapon had to be demonstrated.
The King of Cacophony took Requiem to battle, and began wielding it against his foes. But unbeknownst to anyone, his mind had already fallen to Requiem's thrall. He began killing indiscriminately. No one could stop him. And he could not stop himself. Requiem warped the minds of soldiers, both ally and enemy, so that they followed its dark bidding unconditionally. Thousands upon thousands died. Even those the king and Requiem converted to their cause were not spared. Requiem slowly consumed the essence of all it conquered. All the warring parties eventually fell. The Queen of Silmor herself was slain, but still the destruction did not end.
The devastation continued for a further two years, until finally a courageous soul managed to reach the King: his daughter, Princess Elodie. She tracked her father to the centre of the Quagmarsh with a small band of soldiers, braving the attacks of Requiem's mindless servants. She found her father emaciated but standing tall, kept upright by Requiem's malice. She reminded him of who he was, and who he had been. With great effort, the King managed to rise through the fog of darkness that clouded his mind, and recognise the horror of what he had done. Eventually, Elodie managed to convince her father to relinquish Requiem, but by now the King had been consumed almost entirely, and the effort of giving up the weapon killed him.
Its first slave now spent and gone, Requiem began to call out for another wielder. Princess Elodie resisted the weapon's thrall with all her might, but knowing her resilience could only last so long, she sent for the aid of every mage that remained on the continent. They all came, from Cacophony and Silmor alike, united by their desperation to destroy Requiem and preserve what little life remained in Aurania. Working together, they made every effort to figure out how to nullify the weapon, having quickly realised that it was beyond their ability to destroy it. After 70 days, they discovered a way to seal Requiem away, inside fortifications both physical and magical. They forged a blade to act as a key - a symbolic act of victory. However, this in itself was not sufficient. A sacrifice had to be made. Someone would need to give up their life, and to forfeit their soul, committing themselves for all eternity to contain Requiem's evil. Princess Elodie put herself forward, accepting this new burden with dignity.
The band of mages and Princess Elodie travelled to the Dragon's Cradle - an isolated volcanic island nestled in the crook of Aurania's southern coast. It was and is a place heavy with the natural protective magic of the earth. There, they performed the ritual that would shackled Requiem to the volcano, and bind Elodie's soul to the weapon. The rites were successful, and Elodie and Requiem were sealed away. The mages left, taking the secret of Requiem's fate with them. Only one remained behind in Aurania - entrusted with keeping the Key close to the lock it governed, in the hope that a way to destroy Requiem once and for all might one day come to light.
This mage settled in the grassy plains of western Aurania. He was a brave but peaceable individual who soon attracted a following of people who wished to build a safe community amid the remnants of the broken continent. He became their leader, and lived a long life among his kin and clan. When he had a family, he passed the knowledge of the Key to his children, and made them promise to do the same (though always in the utmost secrecy). They renamed they Key 'Cherryblade' in order to hide its true nature. This mage's name was Myden Cherrystone, and the community he founded would one day become the Cherrystone Kingdom.
Complete We Meet Again
|There are two types of vampire: the common 'Lesser' Vampire and the rarer 'Greater' or 'High' Vampire. Both are undead.
The 'High Vampire' is indeed the greater species by far. It is an ancient breed, and includes individuals that have monstrous power. High Vampires are not born, but created. When a High Vampire decides the time is ripe, they wait until the dead of night, and then steal into a nearby village to kidnap the most readily available human infant. The process of changing that infant from human to High Vampire takes 13 months, and is done using a kind of magic innate and exclusive to the vampiric races. The resulting youngling is part family, part student and part servant to the High Vampire who created it (known as its Master). Over the course of centuries, the youngling slowly matures into an adult, becoming more willful and rebellious as time passes. After a few hundred years, the Master-youngling relationship (always based on practical need rather than affection) often becomes strained. In the worst cases, one kills the other, in the best, the two High Vampires simply part ways. Very rarely does the relationship between a youngling and their Master last longer than five hundred years. Technically, a High Vampire can make a new youngling whenever they like, but most tend to wait a millennium or so between parting with one and creating another.
The Lesser Vampire - known to specialists as 'vampyro chiroptera' - is commonly referred to simply as 'a vampire'. While it's believed that vampires were first created by High Vampires, the two are nevertheless distinct species, with very little in common besides their natural magics (and bloodlust). Unlike High Vampires, vampyro chiroptera are winged, and more at home in the air than on the ground. Vampyro chiroptera 'reproduce' by felling a living individual, consuming a great deal of their blood and then sharing some of their own blood with the victim. Shortly after, the victim dies. After a period of thirteen days, the corpse reanimates, sprouts wings (if it doesn't already have them) and begins its new 'life' as an instantly mature vampire. It seems this process of reanimation draws on the same kind of magic used by the High Vampires, albeit in a form that is less powerful and much expedited.
Complete Dogged Perseverance
|There are Outlaws everywhere. Really. Just, all over the place. Why are there so many? Is it due to geopolitical issues? There must be some kind of socio-economic cause, surely. Maybe there's some sort of global anarchic political movement going on? ...I don't know, I really don't. All I can say is that they're literally a law unto themselves.|