Age of Demigods
The Age of Demigods was an active and dynamic, though often dangerous and chaotic, period between the ascension of the Demi-Pantheon and the beginning of the Prophet's War. This period was characterized in the earliest part by the two-century Cleansing War, when the survivors of the mortal goodly races and their newly elevated pantheon fought against the huge number of remaining, but now leaderless, servitors and driving them into the wild and barren places of the world. The final years of the Cleansing War saw the foundation of the first cities, which typically developed from fortification complexes and such. When the Demi-Pantheon removed themselves from the world, leaving behind their influence but abrogating their ability to directly intervene, those cities - often filled with highly skilled men- and women-at-arms - became engines for conquest and dynastic domains, leading - in time - to the rise and decline of the First Empire. Despite the long, chaotic, and bloody decline of the First Empire, the size of their empire, the scope of their culture, and the reach of their power means that almost all accounts from this period come from Ubrekti written sources, although the Dwarven Halls of Account also give a great number of (rather dry) accounts of the period. Elven sources, except for those few that survive in University libraries from Ubrekti transliterations, have been entirely lost, while the Halfling and Gnome accounts of the period come from Oral histories that were only written down near the end of the period.
In the final centuries of the period, as the last of the post-Ubrekti equilibrium began to unravel, it witnessed the political and cultural formation of most of the Human Nations of the modern period carved from the body of the Ubrekti Empire. It is often seen as having ended either with the birth of Alexandria or with her Usurpation with the opening of the Black Obelisk.
Sages of the Age of Demigods, like those of the Alexandrian Church, often divide their subject up into a number of periods.
1. Cleansing War Period
- After banishment beyond the Veil (thought at the time to be destruction) of the Dark Fiend, the success of the remaining Goodly Races was far from assured. The assault on the Demi-Plane of Shadow released a many of monstrous creatures into the world, the losses suffered in the Battle of Sacrifice were catastrophic, and the new scions of divine power were far more numerous and fractious than the Eight, with the added detriment of singularly and collectively being far weaker than their predecessors.
- During this period, the Demi-Pantheon worked to master and learn the extent of their new powers. As some of the most powerful beings remaining in the world, refugees flocked to their banners and pledged loyalty for protection. It was during this period the Demi-Pantheon learned to access the Tapestry of Divinity and channel divine power to their followers, although in a much more limited fashion than in the days of the Eight. It was also in this period where the first non-Dwarven permanent structures were laid down in the form of great citadels and fortresses from which the Demi-Pantheon launched assaults and worked to win back the Mainland from the Servitor Races, fell beasts, and other remnant forces.
- During this time, the Demi-Pantheon walked the earth with their followers. Perhaps as a consequence, they appear to have been far more fractious, meddlesome and quarrelsome than their predecessors, although it must be admitted that the past 1,400 years of Alexandrian scholarship has made very little effort to view their stewardship as anything other than bumbling, short-sighted, and generally shabby. In addition, many of the Demi-Pantheon got down to the sort of romantic and interpersonal mischief that often characterizes Pantheism with many of the similar results. For example, the Odessan monarchs trace their bloodline to Tennyson Half-Elven, the Flannari and Ubrekti royals claim descent from the offspring of human gods, and most of the Great Clans of Celestia and Fresian Prince and Dukes also claim some sort of divine origins with varying degrees of legitimacy.
- As the tide turned in the Cleansing Wars, and the Goodly Races began to spread across the land, their interests increasing came into conflict with each other - sometimes violently or even militarily - until the Wars fizzled out under their own success rather than ending with the decisive end envisioned by the Demi-Pantheon.
- The period ended when the Demi-Pantheon came together at the Great Convocation where they unanimously agreed they needed to retreat beyond the Veil. They gathered at the Black Obelisk, the central monument in a mysterious, continent wide Henge left behind by the Eight before the Battle of Sacrifice. They retreated to the Outer Planes and their ability to directly influence the world was greatly diminished, although (intentionally or unintentionally) the Tapestry of Divinity tied the Demi-Pantheon to their earthly followers, who were still able to access a portion of that divine power for themselves. It is around these first high priests and other close followers of the Demi-Pantheon that the organized churches of the Demi-Pantheon formed. The Demi-Pantheon's influence through the rest of the period would be felt indirectly: through gifting great power on those favored and withholding it to those who earned disfavor. The wishes of the Demi-Pantheon were transmitted to their followers through the enigmatic visions and dreams of the child Oracles around whom great cults arose, controlled or contested by those claiming some form of high priesthood, analogous perhaps to the Oracle/Cleric tensions that still exist in Orthodoxy.
- From the Prologue to the Testimonal of Steros: "Thirty kings gave the world to a thousand tyrants. Darkness and corruption reigned." There is, perhaps, some degree of bias in this assessment.
2. Period of Urbanization
- In the wake of the Demi-Pantheon's retreat from the world, the rising churches of the land wrestled with, overcame, or were subsumed by the bellicose warlords beginning to operate out of the great fortresses of the Cleansing Wars around the Heartlands. Pastoral Tribes of Halfing Dogrider clans dominated the fertle Plains of Wrath in what is now Flannary, northern Ubrect, and southern Alexia, which would lead to the wars of expansion that would come to characterize Ubrekti/Halfling relations in the years after the Ponic Wars. Also during this time, the elven people settled and established dominion over the great tropical and subtropical woodlands of the Northwestern mainland on the eastern side of the .... Mountains where the fractious clans that would one day become the Odessan nation quarreled among themselves in relative isolation. The cold forests of what is now Fresia were the home of human tribes isolated from the dynamic ancient economy of the Stormchalice by the Halfling tribes, and instead floruished thanks to commerce with the rising economy of the Overclans, who traded Fresian agricultural goods to the various, independent Deep Dwarven polities of the Underhill Kingdoms, freeing the later up to concentrate entirely on crafting and digging too deeply. In what is today Celestia, as well as the hilly floodlands of what is now Wydmoor, the lowlands were dominated by human and lizard man settlements both reliant on wetland use that existed in various states of trade, isolationism, and war, the unity of the Goodly Races by now completely fractured. In the highlands, rambunctious clans clashed with one another over territory. In what is now Hakan, the ancient Gnomes lived in tight nit communities made of up dozens of burrows and cleverly and tenaciously attacked any who dare try to move into the maintained woodlands and gentle hills above them.
3. Dynastic Period
- The period characterized by the expansion of the Ubrekti Empire and other ancient states. Historiography, is is characterized by the preponderance of Ubrekti sources and the paucity of others. See Ubrekt.
4. Ubrekti Period
The period of relative long term stability provided by the economic integration provided by the velvety iron glove of the Ubrekti state. It is during this time that most of the weights and measures that make up the common system were established, and the polyglot trade language generally known as "Ubrekti" developed. A series of political and legitimacy crises eventually shattered the superstate, in a series of civil wars that more or less established the great Human nations of the 15th century.
4a. Ubrekti Rising
4b. Ubrekti Dominant
4c. Ubrekti Descendant
5. Revolutionary Period
The period of civil wars that divided the so-called successor states to the Ubrekti Empire formed during the Wars of Fracture beginning around 500 years after the final War of Fracture, beginning with the Half-Elf Revolts (called the Half-Blood Revolts in Sidhe sources) in the 5th century BI and the retreat of the Sidhe from the mainland to Sidhe-Praxen, an uninhabited sacred treaty ground where the Eight would come together and parlay and hunt among the divine flora and fauna. A war divided the Odessan successor kingdom in the third and fourth centuries BI, and the Hakani Successor kingdom fell to succession crisis and the Usurptation of Antioch, generally seen as the beginning of the Alexandrian Age