Continent of Tion
Continent of Ksaren
Despite a variety of government and cultures, Femon has large areas of land that are unclaimed and uncivilized. Those small towns, villages, and hamlets that reside within these regions have only the defense of their own citizens, and the abandoned ruins that dot the landscape attest to the difficult life outside the protection of one of the governments of Femon. In Femon, there are more disturbing ruins to be found. During the uprisings that shattered the Alyrian Empire back into its constituent parts, several vassal kingdoms of northern Femon were utterly destroyed. History states that at the height of its psionic might, Alyrian psionic engineers fashioned a psionic item of such immense power that it could literally pulverize an entire city. The Lost Nations of Femon, formerly the neighbors to the Barony of Soleil and the city-state of Luxor, were demolished by Alyria for their insubordination and failed attempts to pacify. It is believed that this heavy-handed, extremist approach is what led to the coalition that overthrew the Alyrian Empire. Rumors say that within the sites of these Lost Nations, belongings of the citizens can still be found in basements and cellars that were not destroyed in the assault, fueling countless explorers, adventurers, and treasure-seekers to journey to the Lost Kingdoms.
History of Ksaren
Few records exist intact from before the Impact.
Those that have been discovered have been inevitably brought to the Great Library of Hastpor, where large sums of money are given for such works. During the height of the Alyrian Empire, the payment for these works was elevation to a national of Alyria, but that title has lost much of its value since the shattering of the Alyrian Empire. Those texts discovered about pre shattering Tion indicate that the power of psionics, now common, was unknown. It is not known if this power arrived with the Impact, or if the effect of the Impact resulted in the population discovering a power that already existed. What is documented in the texts indicates that the Ancient World had access to easy, reliable magic, as well as free communication with the deities of mankind. The exact date of Impact has been lost, merely referred to as “The Impact” which ended The Age of the Ancients, The Age of Mage-Kings, or a variety of other terms to refer to Ksaren before the cataclysmic Impact. The destruction of civilized areas, the wholesale loss of life, and the time spent simply trying to survive resulted in no one knowing for sure just how long ago it happened. What is known of The Impact from records discovered and enough oral tradition is that a thousand of years ago, something, likely a comet or large meteor, landed on Tion. The devastation wrought by this collision decimated a society built upon the use of arcane and divine magic to such an extent that these forms of power ceased to function. The only remnant of the nations of Tion before The Impact are in historical records, as it is believed
the shifting land, and climate resulted in destabilized governments and societies.
Pieces of maps recovered from ancient ruins suggest that the continents of Ksaren today are vastly different from before The Impact, lending weight to the idea that the destabilization of Ksaren nations came about in part from the massive geological changes of The Impact.
The discovery of psionics led to major research into using the new form of energy, with entire governments devoting their time to the new science. After the initial fallout of the Impact had died down, and with the social order of the known world shattered, emerging societies sought to use this new energy as a way to gain control and power. In the centuries following the Impact, countless experiments with psionic power were performed, and while many of the experiments
were failures, some had remarkable effects. The most remarkable experiments are believed to have
resulted in the psionic races of Ksaren, particularly the dromites, elans, maenads, and xephs. The lore of the Ancient World points to a vastly different mixture of races on Ksaren, where the races not only did not possess psionic ability, but where the races with inherent psionic power did not exist at all. It is believed that due to the lack of psionic power in the ancient world, the psionic races on and under Ksaren today were created after The Impact, a belief that is shared across virtually all cultures.
Beyond the emergence of psionic races, new psionic techniques were developed to replace the technology and magic of the ancient world. Where before the Sorcerer-Kings of the ancient nations wielded the ability to call down lightning, stop a man’s heart, or instantly travel to a
far-away location through the use of strange arcane rituals and processes, wielders of psionic power began to learn to shatter bones with mental force, heal a body’s wounds, or traverse great distances drawing upon an inner fountain of energy.
Over time, philosophies were developed to explain where this energy came from and how it could affect the world as it did. Today no-one quite remembers who the first philosophers were or how they came to their conclusions, but those very conclusions have spread far and wide, forming the basis for all understanding of psionic power and the world itself.
The philosophy is called Flow, referring to the flow of energy that exists within everything in the world, from the little rock to the majestic bear, from the mineral to the animal – everything contains Flow. Flow is the potential of all, the very lifeblood of existence and as it fows through the world, it enters into Patterns. All separate things have their general and their individual Pattern – all rocks share a general pattern, but since each individual rock is different from all others, it also has miniscule changes within that general pattern that defnes just that rock. As long as something exists, its pattern is flled with flow and thus it exists.
Flow explains many things, from how a wound is healed – the psion simply restores the original pattern and flow, seeking to fill every niche of the pattern, restores health – to how an individual can teleport across great distances – he recreates his individual pattern in another location, forcing the flow that exists within him to relocate, since there can not be two exact duplicate individual patterns.
Flow also represents a more general philosophy and outlook on life, for most people do not believe in a metaphysical heaven, instead striving to do as much as they can with the life they have so that they create new patterns that Flow can fill. They do this because they know that
when they die, they will return to the Flow and find a new form, a new individual pattern which they then become.
Most current philosophers in Ksaren mean that one always moves into more and more complex patterns, starting out as a rock to progress through mineral and animal life forms into the humanoid form. These philosophers mean that there are other stages of life, perhaps that of the godmind, that comes after the humanoid stage.
Unification of Femon
-87 AC marked a major shift in the history of Femon, for it was in this year that the nation of Alyria was founded, led by an ambitious ruler seeking to unite the continent under one rule. Over the following decades, Alyria would nearly accomplish this goal, conquering the southern half of the continent, as well as major portions of the north, with only the tribes of the Plains of Ventrad successfully rebuffng the advances of Alyria.
Before this historical year, almost all of Femon had been at most a wide spread of villages, towns and city-states that were in constant warfare with each other over resources. Individual demagogues could unite smaller areas under their charismatic rule, only to foment rebellion amongst those that chafed under their rule. Alyria, however, was different.
The Alyrian king, ambitious and uniquely intelligent realized that the mistake others had made as to replace existing structures with their own and forcing beliefs and languages upon those conquered or allied. This was a mistake he was not going to repeat and as he wielded his first armies as great spears, he learned how to manipulate and strike fear into the smaller city-states that existed around Araneia. Instead of direct invasion, he threatened as well as offering benefts to those who would join him. He funded rebels and traitors amongst his enemies, promising them the position of Madaya, in essence retaining the existing pyramids of power, only adding himself as a layer on top. In succession his sons continued this practice, slowly conquering and uniting every tribe, nation and city-state in southern Tion in one way or another. The Alyrians
took but a small proportion of the taxes and asked only two things from their Madayan vassals – to contribute men in case of war and the bend their knee to the superiority of the Alyrian King.
For centuries, Alyria stood astride southern Tion like some unconquerable giant, rivers of gold, slaves and trade fowing into and out of Araneia, the very heart of the Empire. It wasn’t until the Alyrians were rebuffed at Luxor that the frst cracks in the great Empire began to show.
Although fshing vessels and coastal cutters were re-developed early in Ksaren’s history, large, ocean-faring ships were not developed until the emergence of the maenad race. Born as an entire race about 150 years ago, during psionic experiments, the population of the maenads was a single village, transported psionically to a chain of islands in the Shattered Sea. Displaying their preference of psionic ingenuity to technical advancement, the Alyrians in charge of the experiment used psionic arts to move to and from the islands, rather than using a more mundane form of transportation.
The experiments, designed to make stronger humans with increased psionic ability, worked to an extent, creating the maenad race. Unfortunately, the kineticist in charge of the experiments underestimated the psychological impact of her experiments, and was killed when the maenads sought their freedom, using their newfound psionic ability against those imprisoning them. Stranded on an unknown island with no way of knowing how to get home, the maenads were forced to survive by learning to harvest from the sea. Crude fishing boats gave way to larger cutters, which in turn gave way to barges and caravels for exploration. Over decades of need and innovation, the maenads discovered the techniques to build more advanced ships, allowing them to travel farther from their island homes in search of resources such as fish for food, and whales and other animals for blubber, and kelp for a variety of uses, including medicinal, and fermentation into alcohol.
Lacking other civilizations with which to trade or interact, the maenad culture became convoluted in its own internal interactions. Stranded, the society became close-knit and self-reliant, with the sharing of new ideas, information, and resources common for the continuation of the society as a whole. Yet, personal ambition and rivalries were not absent, and a complex social order was established where individual rivalries were even encouraged, so long as the end result was for the betterment of the Fleet as a whole. The rationalization of this was that stronger captains would therefore have better crews, which could then bring in more from the sea, therefore improving the quality of life for everyone. And with few exceptions, this social structure worked.
The Maquorans, the title the maenads have taken in reverence of the godmind Maquora, who appeared to the race shortly after they gained independence, view all outsiders with distrust and as enemies. The sole exception to this is the city of Luxor, whose guild leaders have honorably traded with the Maquorans over the past centuries. This relationship initially began after the Maquoran Fleet discovered the route back to Femon from their islands, around the Impact Sea.
Tired and low on supplies, the captain in control of the ships was willing to negotiate with the outsiders, rather than risk his men and possibly not return back to bring word of the route. The Luxans traded honestly with the Maquorans and, over time, the naval society offered Luxor exclusive trade concessions with the Maquoran Fleet. Exceptionally protective of their island home, the maenads attack on site any ships capable of more than coastal travel. The Luxans agreed early in their arrangement with the Maquorans that ocean travel would be through the Maquorans exclusively, and have yet to seek a way to circumvent that restriction.
Emergence of The Elans
Although the existence of the elan race is known to predate the current nations of Ksaren, it is unknown when exactly the frst elan was created. Elan lore hints that their creation was closer to the Impact than present day, but with so few civilized lands and virtually no governments, the race’s growth was extremely limited until the past century. Some claim that the elan are really the Saurok, a community of enslaved but highly powerful psionic individuals from another existence. Others say that it was elan advisors standing at the side of the Alyrians, allowing the elan a fertile ground for recruitment. But, with so few ever knowing about their existence, these rumors are only whispered amongst the halls of the most learned.
Additionally, the elans have worked over the decades to erase any records of their race ever having existed, seeking to keep knowledge of their race and nation hidden from the rest of the world. In large part, they have been successful, as the elans have been willing to invest not only days or weeks, but years and decades, to ensure the knowledge of the race does not leave the bounds of Lumien, their nation. As the only society that must pull from other races to expand, the elans work endlessly to infiltrate the other societies of Ksaren, although they have yet to establish any bases on the other continents.
Over the past decades, the elans have begun to expand their ranks faster than ever. This expansion is still carefully planned, despite the increased speed, and it seems like there is some underlying plan that is coming close to fruition. With the increase in recruitment and the larger number of elans in existence, it also means that more and more people are learning of them. Some even find elan not to expose their conspiracies, but to ask to be inducted into their community.
The Trials of The Dromites
The slaves of Femon, the dromite race has suffered for centuries as forced labor, their independence seemingly a dream and nothing more. For as long as most can remember or records indicate, the dromites have always served as slave labor for the other races of Femon. With the appearance of the psionic races after the Impact, some theorize the dromites were actually created to be slave labor, rather than having once been free and then enslaved. Whichever scenario is the truth, the dromites on Femon today are an enslaved people, toiling underground for the nations above.
It was not until the past 40 years that there existed free dromites. Two colonies of dromites toiling under the rule of Soleil made a play for freedom, banding together in a coordinated effort of thousands. It is believed that this was a result of dromites in Soleil discovering new techniques to link minds, but in more advanced ways which the Solars did not expect. For decades, there had been little to no problem controlling the dromites, so guards watching the slaves were light. In the coup, the dromites escaped the control of the minimal oversight of the Solars, killing their slavers, with many fleeing to the port city of Luxor.
Some of the escaped dromites, however, wished to help free others of the race, those of the other enslaved hives whom they viewed as needing to be saved. Unfortunately, in this attempt, many of the freed dromites were captured or killed, with few enslaved dromites gaining freedom. Hundreds of dromites were slaughtered as the rulers of Tion reacted to the uprising of slaves. The remaining dromites, witnessing this horror, fed to Luxor in hope of fnding safety.
Upon reaching Luxor, the dromites reached an accord with the Maquorans, the details of which have never been shared outside of the two races, and left Femon for safer lands, eventually reaching the Tion, where no dromites had ever visited. With Tion being relatively low in population and civilized areas, the dromites quickly formed a new hive away from the other known settlements, taking to the underground of the new land as they had previously in the south.
The dromites of Ksaren today are fractured into two distinct segments: those who have managed to maintain their freedom and those who still bear the yoke of bondage. The failed attempt to free more dromites has left the northern dromites unwilling to make another attempt at liberating their fellow dromites, while those still residing in the south view their freed cousins with envy and bitterness, feeling left behind to fend for themselves.
The Splintered Nations
The reign of the Alyrian Empire over Femon was virtually uncontested until approximately 100 years ago, with only the tribes in the Plains of Ventrad maintaining complete freedom. However, in their excessive expansion, which used psionic artifacts to keep two geographically distant areas under one rule, the resources of the empire were eventually spread too thin, and the sometimes harsh laws of Alyria gave rise to discontent in the vassal nations.
This climaxed with the city of Luxor throwing down the rule of Alyria, with rebels destroying both psionic artifacts used to bridge the distance between the northern half of the Alyrian Empire and the southern section. Without an easy way to return, and with mundane travel blocked or severely hindered by the Plains of Ventrad and Crystalshard Mountains, Alyria eventually had no choice but to allow the northern half of the empire to secede.
Even with such a huge blow to the dominance of Alyria, over the next two decades, they continued to rule the remainder of the empire, putting down those rebellions that occurred. To account for the lack of resources from the northern half of Femon, taxes in Alyria were raised, mercenary units were recruited to swell the military ranks, and further rebellions were put down with extreme prejudice. However, rather than stabilizing the empire, the Alyrian emperor simply further divided the populace against Alyria and 20 years later, Feria, the duchy of Rel, the city-states of Janrol, Saraven, Paren, and Saraad banded together, led by Thorsten el`Drendier, in a play to gain independence from Alyria.
The city of Saraven, originally founded under Alyrian rule, took the lead and publicly declared independence from Alyrian rule, stating it was now a sovereign nation unto itself. Having put down several other such claims, the Alyrian army was sent to restore order to Saraven and ensure Alyrian control, and, to try to quell further rebellions, nearly the entire Alyrian army marched on Saraven. The rebel nations, however, had expected such a reaction, and in expectation, sent their own armies to Araneia, the empire’s capital.
With the seven Great Legions of the Alyrian army on the move, the armies of the rebel nations swarmed the capital, and Emperor Arithen is killed, as is the heir Derdrun. Simultaneously, the leaders of the rebel nations utilized the psionic arts to call home all their citizens in the Great Legions of the Alyrian Army. Fully two-thirds of the army heeded the call, and in one stroke, the military might of Alyria was decimated, the leadership eliminated, and the rebels fortified with experienced troops. Mahradjan V became the new ruler of Alyria, and was forced to acquiesce to the claims of the rebel nations to independence. This event set off a chain reaction of rebellions that Alyria was not able to manage, eventually ending with Alyria reduced to its original five cities.
The nations of Tion now exist as independent entities, such as Liburia, a loose association of city-states and duchies, with only a few true nations, such as the Barony of Soleil in the north and Feria in the south. In times of crisis, unions of the cities or nations may join together,
but mostly, the continent of Femon is limited in central governance. Alyria has shifted its focus from military control and is now working on controlling the continent via economics, having intentionally established the major trade routes through its cities, and therefore under its rule.
Plots continue to spring up of one ruler or another seeking to expand their infuence and control over Femon, such as the Barony of Soleil seeking to absorb the city of Luxor into its borders, and the Duchy of Rel seeking to unify the cities of Liburia, but at the present day, most of the cities of Femon enjoy autonomy.