Story — The Second Era (410)

From the writings of Lead Historian of Ancient Affairs, Toreshide, 52.4E

 

With the birth of the Autlan Empire came a swift and steady decline in the Al’Tari population. Nearly two thousand years of suffering wrought by the hands of the Al’Tari left a ruthless and vengeful people. Autlan was always seen as a wise and benevolent ruler, but he had only contempt for our kind’s former captors. For the next two hundred years, the Al’Tari were hunted and systematically destroyed, and though some opposition rose, it fell upon deaf ears, and they were completely wiped off the face of Torreth.

The extinction of the Al’Tari people is considered the golden age of the Autlan Empire. This is the only time in known history that humanity has ever been unified under one banner, and while civil disputes inevitably rose, they were small and trivial. It is also, perhaps coincidentally, the period of slowest advancement. Very little was achieved during this time, and many scholars among the Preservers claim that it is precisely due to humanity’s unification that few scientific improvements were made.

Eventually, however, the population grew to a critical mass. Very little was being done to control birth rates, and feeding the Autlan Empire’s entire populace became a serious logistics issue. Several rebellions occurred, but little headway was made under the organized might of a formal military. The High Council was established in order to reduce the power of the King, but little was changed.

About one hundred years later, circa 850.2E, the Warstorm was established to combat a great many of the people’s grievances. This was a public tournament at which people could both compete and spectate, and nearly all of them were battles to the death, leading in blood baths with casualties in the thousands. This helped with both overpopulation and the national food supply.

Over time, people grew disillusioned as to the Warstorm’s true purpose. The popularity of the Autlan Empire’s rulers declined rapidly over several generations, until finally one king, Keranus Tyrenin, formed a team of researchers called the ‘Archons’. This primary goal of this team was to investigate the Al’Tarin curse that inhibited the use of magic, and if possible, break it. This was met with enormous success, and the Archons reinvented magic by dividing it’s use into the seven ‘Sources’. It is for this reason that the Al’Tarin curse is suspected never to have broken, but rather, the Archons discovered a way to utilize magic anyway. Unfortunately, how they came about this discovery, and what occurred before the Archons rediscovered magic is lost to history. It is very likely that Keht, one of the seven Archons, destroyed their research just prior to the Archon War.

Because of how the Fide Torru use magic and their aptitude towards individual use, the Archons gained immense power. Each became the sole user of their own individual stars, and their vast store of magic allowed them to bend the very land to their will. If the historical documents of the time are to be believed, each of the seven Archons were capable of taking on the entire might of the Autlan Empire’s military. The King saw this as a wonderful opportunity to seize the entire world under human control, but the Archons had other plans. Indeed, mere months after the Archons tapped into this new power, Keht declared a formal war on the entire Empire.

Within days, the other Archons joined him, and the entire continent of Torreth was split into factions fighting for succession of the throne. Before much bloodshed could occur, however, King Keranus surrendered to the Archons, and they signed Treaty of Eight. The southern half of the continent would remain under Empire control, while the northern half would be freely given to the Archons for them to claim, and the Empire would not intervene in any way.

The signing of the Treaty of Eight (so named because of the eight nations involved), is seen as both the beginning of the Archon War, and the end of the Second Era.

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