Origin story

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The story of creation tells us of a race of beings known as The Ancients. Created in the likeness of what was once The Ten. The Ten imbued all of their qualities into one race to have stewardship over all of creation. The power of the Ancients grew and a rift divided the Ten in how to accommodate their new creation. Three of the Ten separated from the others and began to teach the Ancients the Secrets of the Essence. When the Seven learned of this, a great celestial battle ensued. Eons passed and you watched as the fight continued within the celestial kingdom. Some say it was the fight that created the stars and heaven we see today. With every blow between the Ten a star was born. When the battle was complete, the others and the Ancients were banished by the Seven into the Void. The Seven found the error of their ways and decided to split their qualities into four races instead of one; and this is how the Humans, Elves, Orcs and Dwarves came to be. You watch as the Seven created Verra and placed each of the races within their respective locations. As the story came to an end, a dark figure at a distance grew closer to you. Until all you could see was the darkness. And you wake up in a sweat after a nightmare.[1]Steven Sharif

The essence is a stream that exists across all planes of existence, but it exists at different levels of strength essentially at different levels that can be utilized; and the void is the furthest... There is a very minute amount of essence that can be found within the void. However the planes of existence that are in Ashes of Creation- they are connected across bridges created by the essence. So these ley-lines in a sense that exist within the different planes provide conduits of access and on Verra, which was a planet that was made after the ancient- the celestial battle.[2]Steven Sharif

The Essence is a metaphysical energy or life-force (Chi) that can be manipulated to create what could be viewed as magic. There are different planes of existence (realms) with varying degrees of strength (of magic), determined by their proximity to the Essence. The planes of existence in Ashes of Creation are connected across bridges created by the Essence.[3][2]

  • The Gods exist on the plane of the gods, which is the most connected to the Essence.[2]
  • The material plane is not the highest in terms of proximity to the Essence. Verra exists in the material plane.[2]
  • The Void is the plane that is the furthest from being connected to the Essence. Only a minute amount of essence can be found within the Void.[2]
  • There hasn't been a definitive understanding of how many planes of existence there are.[3]

Souls acting as conduits is a very integral component of some broader features in the storyline. If you think about souls being a conduit for Essence and you think of the gods as masters of the Essence: If you think of the Essence being separate from the Gods- let's say they're parallel to eachother- one didn't create the other, but they coexist in this almost symbiotic form with one another; almost to the point where their manipulation of the Essence is perfection: They can perfectly manipulate it and lesser beings; and I say 'lesser' in a sense of their alignment or closeness to Essence. They're still perfecting that manipulation and some never achieve perfection almost to the degree of ascendency or enlightenment- Essence being that sort of Chi that exists. In that regard, when a perfect being such as the gods- and I'm not saying 'perfect' as the correlation between sin and not sin, I'm thinking perfect in the sense of how you can control and manipulate the Essence: That control is perfection for them.[3]Steven Sharif

When you think about souls being a conduit, what are conduits used for? Conduits are passages; they're methods by which Essence can travel between realms, between planes. And there hasn't been any definitive understanding of just how many planes exist. We understand that there is a disparity between the planes when it comes to their connection to the Essence, and because Essence is so powerful; and it flows through these planes almost like a river. You can think that conduits help to maintain that flow and/or even exaggerate the flow; and there might be something at play, that I don't wanna touch necessarily, as to why one would want to create these types of conduits, these souls, this creation on the material plane: Something of significance.[3]Steven Sharif

Souls are the conduits for the Essence to travel between the different planes of existence. This idea is an integral component of the broader features in the storyline.[3]

  • The gods are masters of the Essence, but they are separate from it. One didn't create the other, but they exist together in a symbiotic form; where the gods have achieved an almost perfect manipulation of the Essence and of "lesser beings" who exist further from the Essence.[3]
  • The Essence is so powerful it flows through the planes almost like a river. Soul conduits help to maintain or even exaggerate this flow. Detail surrounding this has not yet been revealed but is said to have some significance in the story.[3]
  • King Atrax was the first ruler of Verra to discover the purpose of The Essence, allowing the manipulation of matter and exploitation of magic for any means.[4]
  • The Tulnar have souls and these souls act as conduits for the Essence.[5]

During the Apocalypse, The Ancients created monstrosities and perverted nature with corruption, which is the negative aspect of The Essence.[6]

  • Shape-shifting (changeling) is done so through the Essence by focusing on that specific type of magic.[7]
Any form of changeling or shape shifting that's capable is done so through the Essence. There’s a few ways that a soul can become attuned to a specific type of magic in manipulating the Essence; and overtime as you manipulate the Essence in the same way, your soul can start to develop a tendency to gravitate towards that type of magic. So in that sense- those shape shifters and/or changelings that are capable of changing their form- they do so because they have mastered to a degree that type of magic; and their souls have become attuned to that type of magic.[7]Steven Sharif
  • The Ancients themselves are more sedentary in their physical form and less capable of instantaneous shapeshifting. Their physical manifestations as Lieutenants, captains, generals, and raid bosses were honed over time due to their perversion of the Essence through corruption.[7]
They are literally bred into a role and that role has perfected over time because through the delineation of specific subsects of the soul of the conduit that this race has, those different castes become attuned to different roles. That's why they are traditionally in a caste society.[7]Steven Sharif

Pantheon of gods

"Planetarium" concept art by Ryan Richmond.[8]

The beginning of the creation of the universe that exists within Ashes of Creation was a result of a group of god beings. There were ten of them and there was a celestial struggle in this universe that resulted in a fraction of those gods. And there exists within this story two components of good and evil.[9]Steven Sharif

The ten deities within Ashes of Creation formed a pantheon of gods that existed in a realm outside of the material plane.[2][10] There was a celestial struggle among the gods that fractured them into good and evil.[2][9] Some gods influence the corrupt side of beings that exist in the Universe.[11][2] It is possible through questing and player decision to join or worship those gods.[12][13]

  • The Others are three of the ten gods who embraced teaching all facets of The Essence (both good and evil) to The Ancients, and elevating them to the plane of the gods.[2]
  • The Seven gods' opposition to the Others resulted in a great celestial battle. The Seven were able to defeat the Others, banishing them and the Ancients to The Void. They went on to create four divine races and split their qualities between them.[2][9]

The Gods are beings of The Essence, which is a metaphysical energy or life-force of sorts that can be manipulated to create what could be viewed as magic.[2]

  • The Gods are capable of reaching into the material plane through the souls of their divine beings. In the case of The Seven these are the four great races and their descendants.[4]

There were these pantheon of gods that existed in a realm outside of the material plane that Verra exists in and they were really beings of what's called The essence. The essence is essentially this almost metaphysical energy or life-force that can be manipulated to create magic and/or what we would we would view as magic; and different planes have different degrees of strength when it comes to their proximity to the essence. The material plane is not the highest on that on that scale of being close to to the essence; and the gods exist on a plane that is the most connected to the essence.[2]Steven Sharif

The Gods in Ashes of Creation represent different aspects of the Universe, and feelings as well.[14]

Each god... has a specific realm that they relate to in the world and its creation.[9]Steven Sharif

We have a very rich lore on the pantheon of gods, but it's something that I want to make sure players discover in-game, not told about.[14]Steven Sharif

The Ancients

A Lieutenant of The Ancients 3D render.[11]

This is one of the lieutenants that exists of the Ancients; and you can see they have an almost alien look to them and that is because they have deviated over such a long period of time from their original creation, which looked something very very different: more akin to the Elven and Human races that we have now. But over time through their manipulation of the Essence and the corruption that has ensued within their race, they have taken the form that you can see.[21]Steven Sharif

A Lieutenant of The Ancients 3D render.[11]

You're going to see really kind of a dark, more insidious creature that's present as the primary antagonist within the storyline of Ashes of Creation. You know they don't have the typical physical attributes you come to expect from a bipedal species like eyes and a mouth, but more you know something alien- that exists something that is just not natural in its appearance.[22]Steven Sharif

The Ancients (the original creations of the Ten gods) and The Others (the banished gods) are the primary antagonists in the lore who defiled and perverted all of creation.[11][2][23]

  • The Ancients learned from The Others how to use The Essence to achieve immortality. This was a pure form of immortality, more akin to the godhood that exists among the Pantheon. This immortality prohibited them from encompassing undeath in the manner of King Atrax.[24]

If the Verran races were combined they’d be the ancients.[27]Steven Sharif

  • The Ancients arrived at Verra through the Harbingers, which are comet-like celestial bodies powered by a very strong source of magic that essentially acts as a bridge between The Void and the Material plane where Verra exists.[11][2]

You're going to see lieutenants, captains, generals, and raid bosses and they're all going to take different forms because their whole perversion of Essence through the corruption is to take creation on the material realm, that the Pantheon of good Gods did, and twist and bend it to the corruption that exists within the Essence, because they view that as a more powerful form, a more raw and arcane form of what magic is meant to be used for. There's no point in these false constructs of morality when utilizing and harnessing the power that comes from the Essence. That is a social construct that was created by inferior gods, according to the Others; and it limits the ability of their creation to really capitalize on what the Essence is to be used for in its pure, innate nature.[7]Steven Sharif

  • The Ancients' race exists in a cast-oriented system because the Essence has a profound effect biologically, physically, and visually on the appearance of the creatures that are manipulating it and are corrupted by it.[28][7]
    • Grunts are the peons or soldiers on the front lines who are specifically geared toward combat, or magic utilization, or specific environments or climates.[28][7]
    • Lieutenants have wing structures and more asymmetrical appearances.[28][7]
    • Captains and generals are also ranks in the caste system.[7]
    • Large raid bosses and/or world bosses are monolithic in their appearance and unlike what standard creatures look like. These are huge, imposing creatures.[28][7]

The gods... wanted to represent their qualities, their characteristics, their attributes within creation with the creation of something, so they started with a race that are now known as The Ancients; and they imbued them with all of their qualities. Essentially now that that turned out to be a mistake because with those types of qualities all in one species there was a a pride that happened- a desire to become more; and that led a little bit of conflict between the Ancients; and actually there was a partition created between some of the the gods within the pantheon that embraced the idea of introducing the Ancients as part of essentially their plane of existence and teaching them the ways of the Essence, in all of its facets: not just what can be used for good, but also what could be used for evil as well. And three of the gods kind of split off and went against the quorum that was established about not interfering with the Ancients after they started this down this road of learning more of the essence and how to manipulate it; and these three gods are known as The Others. So the others really kind of embraced teaching the Ancients knowledge of the essence that they had learned through their eternal existence; and this caused a celestial battle to occur; and the pantheon of the Seven were able to defeat the others; and they banished the Ancients and the Others from the material plane and from the plane of the gods to the void which is the furthest from being connected to the essence.[2]Steven Sharif

Religion

Religious temple in a Metropolis node.[29]

We're talking about a pantheon here, not necessarily separate religions. They're all kind of offshoots of who is the better god, or who is the god who identifies best with you.[9]Jeffrey Bard

There are six primary religions as well as a Tulnar/Underrealm religion.[30][31][32]

  • Religion is intended to be a motivator, not an aesthetic.[33]
  • Choosing a religion enables players to walk a light or a dark path through their choice of questlines and other actions.[12][13][9]

There will be questlines. There will be certain actions that players are capable of taking to perhaps pursue the darker side of this metaverse so to speak.[12]Steven Sharif

Sometimes games in the past have tried to shy away from heavy emphasis on religion because of the parallels that can occur between what is in the real world and this fantasy realm. I don't really subscribe to that theory. I think that religion plays a very significant role in the story of what Ashes of Creation is about and it is very much this almost monolithic idea of good vs. evil; so that is really at the crux of what the overarching narrative will be in the game; and I'm not trying to pigeonhole players into "everyone has to be good", like I said earlier there will be opportunities for players to deviate from that, should they so choose to roleplay in that regard.[30]Steven Sharif

The Tulnar religion is a combination of religious beliefs of the major races as well as pagan beliefs of the minor races over time as they coexisted together in the Underrealm.[34]

The progression of the Tulnar- while they are still the staples of what were once the primary deities of the good pantheon remained for the Tulnar, over the time they existed and evolved into the society that they are at the return to Verra. It's much more similar... to the way the Creole religions advanced, with using components of Christianity as well as Voodoo and other smaller, more "paganesque" religions; and incorporated them into one. To that degree, you can correlate the way that society around the Tulnar has this almost combination of what were pagan beliefs from the minor races as well as the introductions of the major beliefs and religions from the major races, because they all came together in the Underrealm and survived in that regard. So you’re gonna see naturally a combination of those two things.[34]Steven Sharif

Orders of the Seven

The orders of the seven are religious organizations corresponding to the seven grand temples of Verra.[19]

  1. The Order of hope is an Aelan human order based in the capital city of Aela. The patron deity is Resna.[19]
  2. The Order of fate is a Kaivek orc order headquartered in the capital city of Ren. Patron deity is Norlan.[18]
  3. The Order of truth is a Pyrian elven order headquartered in the capital city of Amera. Patron deity is Shol.[20]

Within the temples of the seven there exist different levels of organizations that call on only the most devout followers to serve. Depending on the follower's skills, services could mean many things. For those among the followers who hold a certain set of skills, there are the orders of the seven. Each of the orders answers to a different hierarchy within the various grand temples of the seven that are found throughout Verra.[19]Steven Sharif

Races

Eight of the nine races in Ashes of Creation.[36]

Ashes of Creation offers nine playable races.[37][38]

Parent race Races
Aela Humans Kaelar.[39] Vaelune.[39]
Dünzenkell Dwarves Dünir.[39] Niküa.[39]
Kaivek Orcs Ren'Kai.[39] Vek.[39]
Pyrian Elves Empyrean.[39] Py'Rai.[39]
Tulnar.[40]

Verra is a world with rich and diverse cultures. Much of its important history has been dominated by the major races. Humans of the coast and plains, Orcs within the hills and the marshes, Elves in the forest and the riverlands, and the esteemed Dwarves of the mountains. The major races have held dominance through countless wars and skirmishes between the lesser races of Verra. Decades may pass between these flareups of violence. There are many minor races on Verra. Some of the minor races exist in makeshift villages or tribes if you will. Some of the major villages among the minor races are comprised primarily of the Giants, less reputable sects of Human, Gnomes, and Halflings. The Halflings are not Halflings in a traditional sense but actually half-bloods of different races.[41]Steven Sharif

Wandering the darker places in the world lie truly sinister abominations of creation. The great churches of civilization often dispatch heroes of the state to eliminate these threats to mortals. There currently exist four great nations on Verra. This is 25 years roughly before the fall: The Aelan Empire, Pyrian Kingdom, the Kaivek Protectorate, and the nation of the Dünzenkell. There was not always only four great nations. Long ago the races were more divided into many nations and city states.[42]Steven Sharif

In the 7,000 years of recorded history, wars upon wars were fought. Some for land, others for resources, many for beliefs. Royal houses stood and fell over the years. Some now long bereft of lordship. Many city states exist in Verra. Some self-governed bastions of democracy and republics alike. Others are vassal states at the behest of their benefactors.[43]Steven Sharif

Aela humans

Aela Humans are split into two races: Kaelar and Vaelune.[45]

The Aelan empire is the most recent successor of the once great house of Lyneth. For over one thousand years the house of Lyneth ruled over the Aela. A golden age endured for most of their reign. It was only during the dawn of [the last century before the fall], during the Great War of the Undying that the house fell. With no suitable heir to the Lyneth throne the country fell into chaos. What arose is the fragile republic we see today. Overseen by the Emperor elected through the Council of Five: The five who govern the greatest cities on the Empire. The Aelan empire is by far the largest nation in all of Verra, with over eight million souls among its inhabitants. Aelans also represent the single largest population on Verra. Their borders touch upon every other nation; and with their interests of expansion on the seas of Verra, they are able to deploy their widely feared armies to any shore. The Empire uses this fear to bully many city states, bending them to their will. Those who deny the will of the Empire often find themselves at the end of a sword.[46]Steven Sharif

The predecessor of both the Aelan and Pyrian races were the Torens, which were essentially half-elves.[4]

Doren Greyshore

Hundreds of years before the first Harbinger appeared in the Verran sky, under the rule of King Fentis Lyneth VIII, there lived a great Aelan explorer named Doren Greyshore. Doren sailed the first ships to the shores of Eranthia, where he established one of the wealthiest guilds the 10 seas had ever seen: The Greyshore Company. Their motto - to this day - still holds true: "The sails of diplomacy are driven by the winds of trade, within the seas of opportunity."[47]

Dünzenkell dwarves

Dünzenkell Dwarves are split into two races: Dünir and Niküa.[49]

Deep in the mountains of Verra legend tells of a forge created by the gods, from whence all Dwarves are originated. Fabled to be the first created of the major races, the Dwarves are said to have arrived on the continents with ships made of stone and steel. Dwarven smiths and craftsmen are found far and wide across Verra. The center of the Dwarven race is the nation of Dünzenkell, found deep in the northern mountains. Dwarven society tends to be heavily matriarchal and their clans existing under the oftentimes eldest matriarch. Dwarves are closely connected to one-another by alliances forged between family guilds. The Dwarven child is marked at a young age with his or her guild sigil. Some dwarves banished from Dünzenkell or having chose to walk a path alone will often have their sigls burned from their skin.[50]Steven Sharif

The Dünzenkell nation, deep within the mountains of Verra exists the oldest nation in the world. The Dünzenkell have been known as many names over the ages, but only one name has graced the highest mountain, within which their capital has stood since the beginning of recorded history: Dün. The Dwarves of the Dünzenkell rule through a council of guilds. A royal family is chosen once every 200 years by this council to rule. Currently the right to rule falls on the shoulders of King Grimlay. It has been nearly 400 years since a king has lead the Dünzenkell. Traditionally this role falls to the matriarchs of the family. Expeditions are often sent into the Underrealm from Dün; and there many believe lies the source of secrets among the Dwarves and their success with mastering artisanship. Untold magic lies deep within Verra. It's source not known to many. Dünzenkell has long benefited from this source though. It has fueled the expansion of the Dwarven kingdoms throughout the northern mountains.[51]Steven Sharif

Dünheim

Dünheim is an open-world dungeon in the Alpha-0 zone that was once a Dünir dwarven city.[56]

Dünheim history

During the great calamity that befell Verra, the inhabitants of Dünheim elected to remain in their mountain keep. This didn't work out well for them. In the wake of the destruction many artifacts and treasures were left behind.[56]

Dillia's diary

Dillia's diary.[55]

I was a child when they first appeared in the night’s sky. At first there were three distinct lights. Not quite the brightest in the sky, but they were bright enough. My mother told me that they were a sign from the Gods, that the world was about to change. She had a sense for these types of things. A long line of women in my mother’s family were Oracles. Written on one of the many tablets in the Great Halls of King Grimlaey, is the story of my Great-Grandmother, the Royal Court’s Regent Oracle, and how she foretold the rise of the Undying during the Great War.

As the days grew to months, and months into years, the lights in the night’s sky grew in number. The priests in the temples began to refer to the lights as Harbingers. Upon my graduation from the Master Stonecutters University, the lights numbered 16. Each passing month, the lights grew in brightness and size.

It didn’t take long for things to change in Dünheim. Families that I had grown up with, began to move away from the city in the heart of the Mountain. Travelers became less common, and temple services were filled every day with new converts seeking answers about the Harbingers and what they meant. My mother wanted to leave the city as well, but my father wouldn’t hear it. His auction house is what kept food on the table, and my brothers were both in the Council Guard. There was no way my father was going to be seen leaving the mountain. Honor and respect meant more than life itself, and my father had great pride in my brothers. Despite my mother’s persistence to leave the city, we stayed.

Life went on, as normal as it could. Day by day, the Harbingers loomed overhead, eventually visible in the day’s sky. A constant reminder of the future that would befall Verra. The greatest scribes of our time could not find any references to this phenomena in our ancient manuscripts. The High Priests and Oracles of all the major temples across the Dünzenkell kingdom were summoned to the great Capital City, Dünthol.

Days before the Great Council meeting was set to begin, King Brühnir was stricken with a mysterious illness. My mother, who was a part of the delegation from Dünheim, wrote to me describing the King’s haggard appearance. King Brühnir stood to deliver his address to the delegates and collapsed at the start of the blessing ceremony. What was meant to be a meeting of the Great Council, became a coronation ceremony. At the pronouncement of his death, King Brühnir’s eldest daughter Vilga became the Queen of the Dünzenkell Kingdom, and protector of the Dwarven people.

My mother returned a different woman from Dünthol, with a sort of terror in her eyes. My father and her stayed in their room the entire night. The next morning was the first time I saw my father paralyzed with fear, as if he had seen a ghost. We began to pack immediately, planning to head to my uncle’s mine inside the Aelan Empire. My brothers were told that our Uncle Godin had died from a cave-in, and we were to attend his funeral. It was the only time my parents had told my brothers and I a lie. We spent the next day preparing for the 3-day journey. Once packed, we began to follow the road out of the mountain.

The road into Dünheim was a long tunnel that begins at the Great Gates of the mountain. Several miles in length, it was the only entrance into the mountain. Normally, this passage was filled with traders and travelers from across Verra. But in the recent years, the world had changed, and with it so had the lifeline into Dünheim.

We were just an hour or so from the Grand Gates of the mountain when it happened. A loud boom reverberated across the ground, and along the walls. It sounded as if the mountain itself had been split apart. Followed several seconds later by a shaking that nearly caused the rams carrying our supplies to fall to the ground. I could see my father’s mouth moving as he screamed at me. But I couldn’t hear anything other than the loud ringing that filled my head. It was at this moment I felt something wet falling down my neck. I lifted my hand to feel what it was… I guess the shock of the whole thing, prevented me from understanding what had just happened. My fingers were covered in blood. The shaking stopped almost as soon as it began, behind the sight of my father calling to me I saw my brothers struggling to lift the cart which had collapsed. It was then that I noticed a hand from beneath the collapsed axel of the wooden cart. I immediately ran to the cart and began to push with all my might.

The frame of the wooden vehicle collapsed into itself, revealing my mother’s mangled body. She laid lifeless amidst the debris, as my brothers and I stood in shock. Our father frantically searched through my mother’s bags, while we watched for the slightest hint of movement.

“Where is it?” my father asked, as he tore through books and clothing in the various bags that were thrown to the road when the cart collapsed.

“Where’s what?” I said to him, despite his complete attention devoted to his searching.

My mind began to fill with memories of my mother. I saw both my brothers were already overcome with emotion, and just as despair began to take its grasp I heard my father shout out. “Got it!”

He rushed to my mother and standing over her recited a phrase I did not understand. A blinding flash of white light erupted from my father’s hand. A curled and tangled wand fell from his hands. I then watched as my mother began coughing, tightly in my father’s arms. My brothers and I rushed to them both.

“We need to get out of the mountain, Bron” She said to my father as he held her.

“Helgun, Thargud, quickly! Help me grab the food and supplies.” He told my brothers. Looking at me he asked “Dillia, watch your mother while I help your brothers.”

As I sat with my mother, watching my father and brothers tie what supplies they could recover to the ram’s saddle, she turned to me.

“Dillia, there is something you must know.” She said.

“I love you, more than life itself… my only daughter. You are the light of my life and I would do anything to keep you safe.” Her eyes began to flutter.

“But the darkness has come.”

Kaivek orcs

Kaivek Orcs are split into two races: Ren'Kai and Vek.[58]

The Kaivek have always adhered to a strict code of tribal loyalty... Roughly thirteen centuries [before the fall], a leader named Ran'Kal united the clans into a nation called the Kaivek Protectorate. Kal taught that all Orcs answer to the protection of the divine order. This teaching expressed the belief that it was the will of the gods that all Orc kind should have superiority over the nations of Verra. For it was only through the unity of the clans that the people of Verra would be lead to enlightenment. It was the teachings of Kal that lead the Kaivek to pursue campaigns of conquest across the lands of Verra. Where the Orcs were once nomadic and divided before Kal, through his leadership they became a powerful nation united in conquest. Trophies of each city conquered is found in the capital city of Ren. [Just before the fall] the Kaivek Protectorate have adopted a policy of peaceful coexistence with their neighbors. Having endured centuries of conflict, leaders rose among them echoing the teachings of peace. These recent reformations have once again begun to lead to a fracturing of the Protectorate. Some unrest among the clans have called for a culling of those who are unworthy of the protection from the divine order.[59]Steven Sharif

Pyrian elves

Pyrian Elves are split into two races: Empyrean and Py'Rai.[62] Pyrian are the parent Elven race from long ago:[63] The ancient elves.[64]

For over 4,000 years the Pyrian royal family of Eradal has endured. The kingdom has seen its share of wars. The kingdom's borders encompass the great forest of Eranthia. The capital of Amera is among the oldest and most beautiful cities in the world. Its royal families can trace their lines back to the days of the Dark Fires. The Pyrian universities of magic and martial studies are unparalleled in the lands of Verra. Many of the citizens of the Kingdom venture out into the lands of Verra wishing to spread their knowledge of art and science to their fellow Verrans. These ventures are often subsidized by the royal households of Pyria for hopes it will foster a better relationship with their Human neighbors. Once a close ally of Aela and the house of Lyneth, the Pyrian Kingdom and Aelean Empire ended one of the bloodiest wars in Verran history. Eighty years have passed since the last bloodshed; and although tensions have subsided among the citizens of the two nations, there remains a heightened level of distrust among the Empire's new rulers and the royal family of Pyria.[20]Steven Sharif

The Elven race is generally a secretive one and exists within the Pyrian kingdom. Primarily a patriarchal society, Elves tend to keep within the natural borders of their forests. It has only been over the past millennia that the Riverlands have begun to see colonies of Elves exist. Elven scholars, dignitaries and pioneers can often be found in many of the human cities: Though their presence is rarely seen in sites other than archaeological, academic or diplomatic. Rumors do abound throughout the darker circles of Verra that there lies a particular lineage of Elves that exist within the Underrealm of Verra.[65]Steven Sharif

The predecessor of both the Aelan and Pyrian races were the Torens, which were essentially half-elves.[4]

Toren empire

The Toren empire, it's kind of equitable to what the Roman empire was on Earth in the sense that this was one of the first major civilizations; and partially the reason why the area you're in currently is kind of considered the badlands or the frontier and is riddled with ruins during this time in Verra before the actual Apocalypse.[66]Steven Sharif

The ancient capital city of Torall... was the center of one of the greatest and first civilizations of Verra. This was actually a very rare civilization known as the Toren empire. The Torens were essentially half elves. They were a mixture of what was once the predecessor to the Aelan kingdom- the humans, and the Pyrian elves.[4]Steven Sharif

The Toren empire was the greatest and first civilizations of Verra. Its capital city was Torall.[4]

  • The Torens were half-elves: A mixture of what was once the predecessor to the Aelan kingdom- the humans, and the Pyrian elves.[4]
  • King Atrax was the last and longest serving ruler of the Toren empire.[4]

King Atrax

The last ruling house of the Toren empire, which oversaw its downfall was the house of Atrax. King Atrax was actually its longest ruler, also its last ruler, and he was a very powerful and advanced wizard for his time. He dedicated the vast majority of his early rule to seeking out artifacts, knowledge, the focal points of essence; and he discovered its purpose as it becomes kind of the manipulating matter behind exploiting magic for any means. He became obsessed with the pursuit of that knowledge as a very accomplished wizard and one of the ways he pursued that ever-longing learning was to try and achieve immortality; and in his pursuit of immortality he discovered that manipulating the life-force of a soul essentially is to greater increase your ability to focus the essence, because each person's soul acts as, in some way shape or form, a conduit of the essence across the plains. So that's essentially how the gods are capable of reaching into the material plane- one of the ways- is through the souls of their divine beings, which are the four great races and their descendants. In his pursuit of immortality he came across some more dark applications of the essence and in doing so- discovering these artifacts along the ley lines that are in Verra- he came into contact with forces that existed outside of the material plane in the void itself. Now these were unbeknownst to him The Ancients as well The Others and manipulating that kind of contact.[4]Steven Sharif

King Atrax began to manipulate the essence in a way that was trying to capitalize on everlasting life, on immortality. So in doing so he came into contact with the ancients; and the Ancients took advantage of this- was their first contact with any of the divine races actually- and this is what led the Ancients to begin their pursuit of Verra: to start that process of the Harbingers eventually finding Verra and coming to the planet to pervert what the gods- the seven gods- had created through their second creation. Now the Ancients kind of created this contact with Atrax through summoning rituals that Atrax had learned through manipulating the essence; and it was through these contact rituals that Atrax learned how to achieve immortality. But the Ancients were deceptive in actually not informing Atrax how this would deform his conduit, his soul essentially that exists with the Essence. So he underwent a process of essentially lichdom where he was the first lich and the first undead on Verra; and it was from him and his pursuit of immortality that undeath became a reality on Verra; and it was his subjects that suffered as a result of his desire to become immortal. So he began different rituals on his subjects, which allowed the undeath to propagate across the world in his population over time. So he would- before he became a lich he experimented on his citizens; and that's what really was the origin of the undead and this undead the Ancients- one of the unique things about the Ancients was in their first discovery of how they could use the Essence and what the Others taught them was they became immortal themselves. But they became immortal in a more pure form, essentially kind of akin to the godhood that exists among the Pantheon; and that kind of prohibited them from encompassing this undeath component. But they did not teach that to King Atrax. So that kind of talks a little bit about the origins of the undeath on Verra and undeath in general.[24]Steven Sharif

King Atrax was the last and longest serving ruler of the ancient Toren empire, which was one of the greatest and first civilizations of Verra.[4]

  • King Atrax was a powerful and advanced wizard for his time who dedicated the majority of his rule to seeking out artifacts, knowledge, the focal points of The Essence. He discovered its purpose, manipulating matter and exploiting magic for any means.[4]
  • His goal was to achieve immortality; and in this pursuit he discovered that manipulating the life-force of a soul essentially increases one's ability to focus the Essence, as each person's soul acts as a conduit of the essence across the planes of existence.[4][24]
  • In his pursuit of immortality he came across other dark applications of the Essence and in doing so he came into contact with forces that existed outside of the material plane: in The Void itself. Unbeknownst to him these were The Ancients and The Others who began manipulating that contact through summoning rituals that Atrax had learned in his studies of the Essence.[24][4]
    • This contact prompted the Ancients to begin their pursuit of Verra, which started the process of the Harbingers eventually finding Verra and coming to the planet to pervert what The Seven gods had created (in their second creation).[24]
  • Through his summoning rituals Atrax finally learned how to achieve immortality. But the Ancients were deceptive in actually not informing him how this would deform his conduit (his soul) that exists with the Essence. Atrax eventually underwent a process of becoming first Lich and first undead on Verra.[24]
    • It was from this pursuit of immortality that undeath became a reality on Verra: Atrax had begun different rituals on his subjects, which allowed the undeath to propagate across the world, causing suffering amongst his subjects.[24]
    • The Ancients had previously learned from The Others how to use the Essence to achieve immortality themselves. Unlike Atrax, they became immortal in a pure form, more akin to the godhood that exists among the Pantheon, which prohibited them from encompassing this undeath component themselves. This pure form of immortality was not taught to King Atrax.[24]
  • After his lichdom was achieved Atrax continued to enslave his undead subjects, having them procure ancient artifacts from around the world so that he could further pursue his manipulation of the Essence and magic.[67]

Fallow's Hold

The ancient civilization of the Torren empire and their capital city of Torall, which houses one of the great dungeons of Ashes of Creation; which is the Fallow's Hold. Fallow's Hold is essentially where many of the artifacts that had a close alignment to the Essence on Verra because of their proximity to these ley lines and these kind of sites that exist throughout the world: They were all brought here to King Atrax even after his lichdom was achieved, because he continued to enslave his subjects, the undead essentially, to procure these artifacts from around the world so that he can continue even in his immortality to learn about the use of Essence and magic and manipulation of it; and he constructed a great vault here through his affiliation with the master builders essentially of the Dünzenkell dwarves to create a massive complex underground from the city of the capital of Torall. Now Fallows hold is a very dangerous dungeon and there are constantly changing traps that exist.[67]Steven Sharif

Fallow's Hold is one of the great dungeons of Ashes of Creation located near the capital city of the ancient Toren empire, Torall.[67]

  • Fallow's Hold was commissioned by King Atrax and built by the master builders of the Dünzenkell dwarves with whom he was affiliated.[67]
  • Fallow's Hold was originally built as a great vault to house powerful ancient artifacts that were procured from around the world by Atrax's undead slaves so that he can could further pursue his manipulation of The Essence and magic.[67]
  • Fallow's hold is a very dangerous dungeon with many constantly changing traps.[67]

Ancient artifacts (Relics)

A staff of the Ancients 3D render.[68]

This is not the Staff of the Ancients per-se, it's a staff... Here in the curvature and design of this staff you'll see that it has a very specific and unique looking type of mold so-to-speak. So there could be some relationship between these designs of the staves and/or weapons that you'll see, which are used to harness or focus the use of the Essence, or magic; and how perhaps those structures relate to the types of magic that those creatures are using.[68]Steven Sharif

Reliquary concept art.[69]

Each city has what's called a reliquary and the reliquary begins to spawn unique items for the citizens to take advantage of based on the performance, progression and achievements that those citizens have within the world. So if your citizens are part of downing a world boss or completing a dungeon in a record time or crafting a legendary item or whatever: all of these different types of progression paths for the cities could result in the production of a relic that exists within the reliquary.[70]Steven Sharif

Relics are achievements for a node that unlock over time. They allow node citizens to craft certain legendary items and progress in certain legendary quest lines.[71]

  • Relics include the four ancient artifacts of Verra that were originally discovered by King Atrax in his pursuit of the power of The Essence.[72][4] These artifacts were in close alignment to the Essence on Verra due to their proximity to the ley lines of Essence spread across the world.[67] These artifacts were originally housed in the vault of Fallow's Hold, which is one of the great dungeons of Ashes of Creation, located near the capital city of the ancient Toren empire, Torall.[67]
    • The Golden Chalice was believed to bring everlasting life but was actually allowing the corruption of manipulating The Essence to enter the soul through the physical representation of drinking something.[72]
    • The Crown represented a direct link The Ancients had into the thought process of King Atrax that the Ancients were able to manipulate.[72]
    • The Sword brought unusual power through manipulation of the evil side of the Essence, which is how Atrax maintained his dominance over his people: through physical might, essentially striking down any foe that opposed him among his administration.[72]
    • The Staff enabled Atrax to project his magic across great distances, which enabled him to extend his power and manipulation throughout the lands of Verra and allowed him to maintain vigilance over his realm.[72]
  • Relics are placed in a node's reliquary.[70]
  • Limited access to the relics stored in a node's reliquary are granted to registered attackers after successfully destroying that node in a node siege.[70]

See also

References

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