Era 1: Murder in Heaven
The earliest stories from the long-lived Elves tell of a time when all races and creeds worshipped Olandar above all else - the god who sculpted the world and created all who walk upon it. His children stood together beneath his throne, foremost amongst them Barnabas, the first born, the keeper of Traditions and Rulership. To Barnabas? right stood Angelique, the maker of Laws for a world that had none, and to his left, Leto - the bringer of Freedom for those without voice. The world was at peace, and civilisation flourished.
This golden age ended abruptly when the Heavens were shaken by Olandar's death.
The creator god was found slumped against his throne, discovered by Barnabas who let out an almighty cry of anguish which drew his siblings to the throne. Angelique was quick to accuse Barnabas of patricide, for he held the weapon when she came upon the scene. Leto, sensing opportunity, echoed her accusation. Barnabas attempted to proclaim his innocence, but the combined power of his equals was too great. Disfigured and blinded by his siblings, he was cast from Heaven to the Earth below. Freed from their brother?s balance, the remaining two fell upon each other like wolves and all the heavens and all the waters and the entire firmament shuddered with the force of their conflict; a war which found its way to the mortal realms, where huge armies raised the banner of their gods and entire civilisations fell under the sword.
But even with Barnabas banished, there is no peace. Angelique, Goddess of Justice, is unwilling to share her authority with Leto, God of Chaos. Their distrust of each other poisons the gardens. Soon rumours arise linking both of them to Olandar's murder.
When the dust settled in heaven and in the mortal realm, each of Olandar's children found that he or she was not strong enough to defeat the others - though their pride, arrogance and jealousy dictated that no stand off could be negotiated. Instead, their mortal followers ground themselves into a bitter stalemate on battlefield after battlefield with nothing of any permanence gained. And so the Seat of Heaven stood vacant, with none of the triumvirate able to claim their father's throne. The death of wise Olandar in heaven brought centuries of senseless slaughter to his world of Tonan, and the war continues to this day - a war into which you yourself will shortly be plunged under your chosen banner.
Era 2: Goddess Ascendant
So it came to pass, that a Saint of Angelique and a Saint of Leto remembered why Barnabas was first cast from heaven. During this period of hostility came the rise of Oleana. Known to her people as the Gypsy Queen, she helped steer them to greatness, before being killed by an unnamed man using poison and stealth.
In the aftermath of Oleana's death, something occurred that had never happened before. Her death was not death, and the love of her people sustained and uplifted her, transforming her into something completely new. A spark of divinity ignited into a great flame, and a Goddess was born to Tonan.
Some were quick to claim her as pretender or an usurper, some that she was no deity at all, while still others claimed her to be Olandar reborn. Her followers call her the Mother of Earth, the bringer of peace and the one that will end the wars. But her arrival brings with it a new storm of war, for none of the three siblings could accept her place among them.
Records of the sudden end of this era are vague, and hard to come by. Those that have been found seem do differ wildly in their facts, but all contain a single element of truth. The old gods were gone. Some rumours told of Oleana sacrificing herself to destroy the other gods. Others spoke of Olandar returning to punish his wayward children for his death. Another story taught that in their eternal struggle the gods had finally destroyed each other.
Interim: Prophecy of Redemption
Whatever the truth, Priests started to question their devotion to gods who were no longer there. The desire to continue the eternal fight to kill in the name of religion, faded. For the first time since Olandars death, peace reigned over Tonan.
However, like all things good, this peace could not last forever. In the vacuum left by the disappearance of Tonan's gods, the people soon turned to three prophets who had claimed visions of a new trinity of powerful Gods emerging from the void.
Diman, the Aristocrat, argued that soon a god would arise and judge those who did not fall in line behind the nobility. Mina, the General, claimed that the Goddess of War would soon show herself and slaughter the unbelievers. Solas, the boy sorceror prophesised the birth of a nuturing god who would fix the woes plaguing Tonan.
Quickly they gained followers and worshippers for the Gods they prophesised.
Era 4: The New Trinity
Foret was born with a smile. His eyes gleaming with the goodness that was his making, and his hands held the mighty staff of justice. Next evolved Isonia. Beautiful Isonia. Her gentle hands grasped the handle of a double-sided battle-axe. Darden the clever one was born with a bowl in his hand. The bowl was hidden from view and many a legend were concocted of its contents. The truth, known to few, the bowl was full of despair.
At first the emergence of the new trinity brought centuries of peace from the fighting instigated by the prophets. But this was also destined not to last. Foret had begun to notice that the people were so used to peace, so used to love, and so used to tranquillity and contentment that they no longer knew what life without it was. They had never seen evil, or its more gentle signs, lies and greed. He could feel his power slowly draining into the void again, the need that had created it had been used and now he was no longer needed.
He was not alone, for both Isonia and Darden were experiencing the same in their own ways. Each of them became uneasy, as this discovery became the truth; their power was waning. Unbeknownst to the others, each of them began the plans for a growth in power. Each of them was finding ways to survive this certain death.
The first death, what is now called the Simple Sin, occurred when a follower of Foret was manipulated into murdering a follower of Darden over a woman. The rage spread through the realms as the gods fed the fuel for their own selfish needs. The Last Sin was the true breaking of the gods' unity. It is the first clash known to us and involved all three. They were seen directly battling over the skies of Tismad.
War once again erupted in heaven, and on Tonan below. Ages passed, and for those who were neither long lived nor scholar of history, all that had come before was forgotten.
Era 5: The War in Heaven.
Small groups remained, scattered throughout the lands of Tonan. The prayers of those who had not forgotten, who still prayed to the old gods, went unanswered by these new gods. In the void, Barnabas, Angelique and Leto bided their time, gaining strength slowly from generations of prayers from the few faithful. Finally they were able to break free, undiscovered by the new gods, back into Tonan.
Angered that new gods had taken their place in the minds of the people, the three united to find and destroy these pretenders. On Tonan below, the lands of Maxim took the burden of this first colossal battle. For the people it started as just a feeling of unease, but soon came the drought, the earthquakes and the plagues. When the battle had ended, maxim burned.
The destruction of Maxim had not destroyed the new trinity. Although weakened by the loss of so many worshippers, Foret, Isonia and Darden endured. Not strong enough to overpower the combined might of the new gods, Olandar's children turned to hunting them one by one.
The wars below raged on. None knew of the goings on in heaven, banners of grey, purple and orange were still held high above the castles proclaiming allegiance to Foret, Isonia and Darden. When Foret fell empires on the continent of Valid were obliterated in an instant. Next to be destroyed were the guildlands, which burned in the fires of Isonia's demise.
Finally just Darden remained, cleverest of the younger gods. He fled Olandar's children and hid, but he was unable to hide forever. Wherever he went they found him, forcing him to flee again and again, until he was finally cornered. In a final act of desperation, he smashed his bowl.
Heaven flooded with despair, washing over the elder gods, driving them backwards... downwards... to Tonan, to be born again.
Era 6: The Mortal King.
And this is where we find ourselves. The wheel has almost turned full circle; three born with names of old have grown to power. It is time to pick a side and for that you must know of the three mortals who hold power over these lands.
Angelique, the self-proclaimed Queen of Islan, rules her land with a steady grip. The rule of law permeated every aspect of her method. On occasion, the rumours would speak of harsh responses, oppression and deft cruelty. But with those rumours also came the ringing endorsements of those who believed in the compassion of blind justice.
Raised in an older House of the Empire, a quiet dignity hangs on the shoulders of young Barnabas. Each action taken, each stance held with forethought and a preponderance of the effects on all his subjects. Only a few close advisors have his ear, and with this come opinions of arrogance, untested wisdom, and the impression of being manipulated. On the battlefield however, this grace and steady deliberation is revered, by enemies and soldiers alike.
Leto, the smartest of three, rose to fame in circles not mentioned in polite conversation. An ear to the ground, a man of the people, his following has grown with a deep personal commitment to those around him. The name Leto has a dual edged meaning to many, wild, chaotic, and unpredictable while at the same time conjuring images of a generous, charismatic leader with a penchant for caring for the poor.
The throne of Heaven is empty, and the first to reach it will rule all. As Oleana once did, now each mortal-incarnation must struggle to reclaim their immortality, with the first to do so likely to gain supreme power over heaven and earth.