Zeitgeist: The Gears of Revolution
The Great Malice
FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, a desperate army of fey and elves stood aside the goddess Srasama to reclaim lands taken from Elfaivar by the human crusaders of what is now Crisillyir. It was the first and final time in recorded history that such a being had physically manifested to aid its followers. The result was an unmitigated disaster.
Not to be underestimated, the Clergy’s heroes brought epic magic and legendary paladins to the field of battle, and in the end Srasama fell to the smiting cuts and apocalyptic spells of her foes. In what came to be called the Second Victory, humans had done the impossible—they had slain a god. Srasama was a goddess of womanhood, among other things, and in the aftermath, every elf woman within thousands of miles died, which quickly led to the collapse of the Elfaivar Empire. Those females who remained were considered trophy mates and consigned to slavery by elf and human alike. The warriors on both sides of the conflict closest to Srasama were annihilated when she exploded into a holocaust of holy fire, but those who survived and were near enough to witness the death of a god were marked by the experience. These became the ever-reincarnating Deva. The leaders of the Clergy, based thousands of miles away in Danor, were cursed by the goddess’s dying breath and became Tieflings. Their kingdom was stripped of its magic and collapsed into chaos. The Malice Lands were formed to incubate creatures that rival the denizens of the Bleak Gate as the fuel of nightmares.
The Second Victory/Great Malice in many ways begat the modern age. The current calendar, in use throughout Lanjyr reflects this by designating the event as its year zero. The surviving Clergy relocated to the fort of Alais Primos where they had decisively crushed the elves. From there, they forged the theocratic realm of Crisillyir. The accursed tieflings, under the guidance of House Jierre, found alternatives to faith and magic and built a formidable nation based on reason and industry. The dwarves of Drakr reclaimed their homeland from the humans who had subjugated them, but the races would unite against the monsters of the Malice Lands. Today they are a truly integrated society. Finally, an age of exploration was launched in earnest and the developed nations began colonizing the shattered remnants of Elfalvar.
Most tragically, the elven racial identity remains closely bound to the event that brought about the Great Malice, their people’s decimation, and their empire’s collapse. Every elf, even those born centuries after the fact, is defined in some way by his or her connection to the Great Malice. Some elves seethe for vengeance, others try to heal and hope for a return to prominence, while many simply feel lost and forsaken in a world that has moved on without them. These choose to abandon their heritage or leave the world of men for the Dreaming.