Summary of the Lore of Shadowbane
This article will cover the lore of Shadowbane in a Cliff's notes-esque manner. Changes from the official lore include more modern wording, chronological order, and exclusion of some of the less important names and details. The original articles are linked-to throughout.
Creation of Aerynth
This age is known as "The Age Before". In the beginning, all matter was a mist floating around in space, and time did not exist. The All-Father and his companions Malog, Thurin, and Kenaryn, came upon the three orbs inside the dust: Aerynth and two moons, one silver, one gold. The four of them claimed these orbs by beating back overwelming forces of chaos. The All-Father decided he wanted there to be life and order these orbs and declared them to be worlds. His first act was to create servants, called the Archons. The Archons worked at his command to balance the nothingness around the orbs into the forces we now know as chaos, law, light, and void.
Durin this event, which we now call the shaping, the gods discovered beings similar to themselves sleeping or imprisioned within the orbs. On Aerynth, they found Braialla; on the silver moon they found Saedron; and on the golden moon, they found Volliandra. Once freed, these new friends helped them in their quest. Soon, they grew to love one another. Braialla married the All-Father, Saedron married Kenaryn, and Volliandra married Malog. Thurin did not take a wife. These seven beings are known as The True Gods.
Thurin went under the planet's crust to make it tectonically sound; to help him do this, Thurin shaped the first race of Aerynth, Dwarves, from the Aerynth itself.
Kenaryn and Saedron followed in the All-Father's footsteps and created the first Centaurs, called the Paragons.
This age is known as the Age of Twilight. Time still did not exist, and the Elves and Centaurs lived peacefully on the planet; the Dwarves lived under it and did not interact with the others.
Without warning, an enormous Dragon burst from under the planet. It would seem that this Dragon was asleep there long before the All-Father ever began to change the world into Aerynth. The Dragon caused much destruction when He woke, and destroyed the Elvish kingdom. The All-Father and his Champions defended the world at once. During this battle, the Dragon's fire burned the Golden Moon, home of Volliandra, possibly killing her. Volliandra's painful cries drove her twin sister Saedron insane, while him consort Malog was maimed in the holocaust. Eventually, Kenaryn shoved a spear into the Dragons's eye and It retreated in defeat, but the bad times were long from over.
The Golden Moon stayed aflame and became what we know today as the Sun. The Sun burned the land, and most of the Elves that inhabited it were forced to move away where it was not so hot and sunny. A few of the Elves stayed; their skin turned black or red and they eventually became the Irekei.
The Elves were traumatized by this horrific event. They had never before experienced death and destruction, and a calamity like this pushed many of them to distrust the All-Father; some even blamed him for the tragedy. To help normalize the situation, Thurin used His godly forge to create an extremely powerful sword (Shadowbane) to give the Elves in case the Dragon returned; He also created a mask for Malog's ruined Face. Despite this, the Elvish kingdom was divided, becoming much less organized than before. Many of the Elves began to worship The Beast Lords as a result.
Malog was not himself anymore. The Dragon had both maimed His Face and killed His Wife, Volliandra, during the conflict. Griefstricken, he vanished for the world for a time.
The Centaurs could not sit by while the Elves worshiped the Beast Lords and not their true Creator, the All-Father, and so they waged war upon them. The Elves appeared to be winning with the help of the Beast Lords when the All-Father intervened. The All-Father defeated each Beast Lord in turn, and at the end, the king of Elves attempted to kill the All-Father using the sword Shadowbane but was stopped by Thurin. Thurin then took Shadowbane to his Dwarves for safekeeping. The Elves for their treachery were disowned by the All-Father.
Notes: Sentient creatures were found to have existed long before the All-Father's children. The Lizardmen seem to have been one of these races. It is rumored that these Lizardmen may be the creations of the Dragon, but this is not clear. It is evident that the world we now know as Aerynth was inhabited before, by civilizations long-since dead. Among the ruins of these past civilizations were the rune gates.
The All-Father realized the new Sun was destroying the planet and decided to create time so that the Sun would move across the skies and not burn one area so badly. After gaining some additional powers from the wisest Beast Lord (The Snake), the All-Father traveled north and created his second race, the Giants. The All-Father used the Giants to make great rune stones of power that would eventually begin the passage of time. The damage the Sun was doing was stopped, but the desert that the Sun had created originally remained a desolate wasteland. With the creation of time came age, and all beings born after time began would eventually die due to old age. The Elves and Giants hated him for this.
When the All-Father created time, the newly-created Sun began to revolve around Aerynth, thus creating a day/night cycle. Thus the beginning of time was called the Age of Days.
The All-Father decided that it was time to make a third race, the Humans. The first Humans were very large and were called The Titans. He set out to create seven men and seven women, but was disturbed while creating the last man, who was never finished. This is now known as The Nameless One.
The advent of time had created another problem. The souls of the dead were trapped in the world, so the All-Father began work on the gates of Heaven and Hell so that these souls could stop troubling the living.
The Titans created their own kingdoms, but since they were favored by the All-Father, the Elves hated them and went to war with them. The Elves imprisoned the Titans, enslaved the Humans, and ruled as their masters for centuries. Slowly, the Humans regained their former strength and broke free of the Elves. The Elves would have fought yet another war with the Humans, but they could not because the Irekei had opened a gate into the land of Chaos, and the forces of Chaos were attacking them. The forces of Chaos were so strong and so terrible that the Elves, Humans, and Centaurs were persuaded to work cooperatively even though they hated one another. A Human man stole the Shadowbane from the Dwarves to use it against the forces of Chaos, but was betrayed by an Elf queen, who stole the sword. The forces of Chaos rallied and destroyed the Elf queen's kingdom and sent her to the land of the dead, also called the Void.
Finally, after the Gods had completed Their work on the gates of Heaven and Hell, him came to stop the forces of Chaos. They fought very hard for many years and finally pushed the forces of Chaos back through the gate. Malog, however, had become corrupted by them and tried to trick the All-Father into a trap set up by the Lords of Chaos; He did not fall for it. Malog and the rest of Chaos were sealed away.
Age of Kings
The All-Father scolded the Elves, and made sure they knew that the Humans were his true children. Life continued peacefully for a while. The Humans had many kingdoms, and thus this time is referred to as the Age of Kings. The Humans with their short life spans eventually forgot all of the hatred they had for Elves and merged their holy Church with them. The Amazons also established their queendom around this time.
After many years, an unknown Wizard became corrupted and opened the Chaos Gate once again. This time it was not the forces of Chaos that came through, but instead what was left of Malog. He was twisted by the land of Chaos and had been transformed into Morloch the Destroyer, who invaded the world with the help of the Grobolds, Orcs, and many other chaotic races. It took the alliance of Elves, Men, and Centaurs once again to drive these forces back, but it took Kenaryn and Torvald to drive Morloch back through the gate.
The peoples of the world celebrated their alliance, but it was broken when a Human king said something that offended the Elves. At once, the Elves waged war again on the Humans. Finally after much fighting a Human High-King named Cambruin was crowned, uniting the Human kingdoms. The Humans were about to be defeated when a hero named Caeric Blackhammer retrieved the sword Shadowbane and gave it to Cambruin, who then used it to to kill the king of the Elves.
Around 100 years before the present, the war finally ended. Cambruin, with the help of the legendary sword, was committing a genocide of Elves.
On a hunt near the city of Kierhaven, one of King Cambruin's trusted knights betrayed him by taking the sword of legend and stabbing it through him, pinning him to a tree. It is unknown if it was a mistake or not, but the tree that was stabbed was the World Tree from which Braialla awoke. Apparently, this act was what caused the world to break apart with great earthquakes, storms, and hurricanes. We call this the Turning. The continents of Aerynth were broken into many different fragments (represented by our servers!), losing communication with each other. The Gods were not heard from after this. The Gates of Heaven and Hell were closed, trapping the souls of the dead in this realm. Soon after this, the Shades began being born from Humans as part of an Elvish curse.
Around sixty years ago, the Aracoix came through the runegates as invaders, but were quickly defeated by the people of the world because they had no access to magic. Nevertheless, the Aracoix have promised that more of them will come to conquer.
And here we are, in the age of Strife: a terrible time without Gods, and with malevolent forces everywhere, bringing the world to decay.