Humans arrived on the continent of Edar approximately 20,000 years ago. Legend states that humans came in massive naval fleets from a far-off land, known simply as The Old World. It is said that a cataclysmic event happened in the Old World, causing the inhabitants of this land to create an immense fleet that carried humans across the sea to Edar. This fleet was led by a man named Tanathil Mazrim, and it landed off the coast of Salidar, modernly called Cape Mazrim. When the human refugees landed, they discovered that this new land was inhabited by Elves and Dwarves, both of which existed in the Old World, as well as an unknown race called Gnomes. These races had mixed reactions to the arrival of humans, with Elves and Dwarves being particularly suspicious of the newcomers and the Gnomes (as is standard with their friendly nature) welcoming humans with open arms.

History records that, for nearly 10,000 years after humans set foot on Edar, civilization developed at an extremely rapid pace. Humans are said to have brought with them an extremely advanced level of technical knowledge, and some legends even say that humans arrived on boats made of steel and propelled by fire. Eventually the four races joined together in a single unified government which spanned all of modern Edar as well as the Scoutsbane Wastes (which, at the time, was said to be an extremely verdant and fertile land called Gnossia). This ancient empire is modernly referred to as The Grand Imperium, and it was ruled by a large council composed of representatives from each race. For nearly 10,000 years civilization flourished, with war and poverty being almost non-existent. Technologies existed that would seem inconceivable to modern humans, and countless artifacts and relics from this era have been found that served an utterly indecipherable function.

However, after 10,000 years of peace and prosperity, The Grand Imperium came crashing down. Historians believe that the fall began with the spread of a seemingly incurable disease throughout the Imperium. Millions died as a result of this disease, and their deaths led to an ensuing famine and widespread civil disorder. This strife was then compounded by an invasion of the Imperium by an unknown faction. History records that an immense army began invading Edar from the south, through Gnossia. Nothing is known about this army, historically referred to as The Southlanders, except that their numbers seemed to be limitless and their sole goal was the destruction of the Imperium and the death of its citizenry.

Very little about the progression of the war is known, and it is unknown whether the appearance of the Southlanders was linked to the spread of the plague. However, what is known is that in order to stop the invasion of the Southlanders, the Imperium completely destroyed Gnossia. History records that the Imperium, through an unknown method (either technological or magical), engulfed the entirety of Gnossia in fire, burning the entire region and killing both its denizens and its invaders. After such a decimation of its territory and reduction of its populace, The Grand Imperium was dissolved and Edar fell into a period known as the Dark Ages.
During the Dark Ages, which began around the year 10,500 with the official fall of the Council of the Imperium, Edar fell into a perpetual state of warfare as warlords attempted to establish claim over land, resources, and people. The technology of the Grand Imperium still existed, which allowed these despots to use highly advanced weapons to aid in their warfare. Over hundred years following the fall of The Grand Imperium, the population of Edar was reduced in half by civil war and rampant starvation. By 10,600, Edar had been reduced to a fragmented collection of feudal states, few of which had any contact with the outside world beyond the occasional raid or minor skirmish over resources. Most of the surviving Dwarven population retreated to their mountain kingdoms in the Spine of the World, and most of the surviving Gnomes either went with them or setup their own towns at the base of the mountains. The Elves followed suit, largely leaving human society to create their own civilizations in the wilderness. After approximately 100 years, no one remained living that knew how to operate and use Imperium weaponry or technology, and much of this knowledge was simply lost to history, leaving humanity to rebuild itself from a near-medieval level of technology.

The Dark Ages persisted for nearly 3,500 years as nations began forming into competing feudal nations. A societal cycle of violence repeated itself over and over throughout the Dark Ages, ensuring that society could not evolve beyond the feudal era. One nation would grow its power to such an extent that it would invade and conquer a series of its neighbors. Soon after doing so, in its weakened post-invasion state, the aggressor nation would be invaded by one of its other neighbors and its government would be dissolved. This would cause the entire region to descend into chaos as it was plundered and pillaged over and over by foreign invaders, never allowing civilization to focus on anything but simple survival. Furthermore, the feudal system itself prevented any semblance of strong centralized government from forming, as each level of feudal society (from the peasantry to the high nobles) was constantly trying to usurp their superiors.

The Dark Ages finally came to an end around the year 14,000 upon the emergence and spread of the Collective of Divinity. After the Fall of the Imperium, religious worship was fractured throughout Edar. The Imperium had an established list of deities that were worshiped by its populace, many of which were representations of varying aspects of nature and society (the god of justice, the goddess of fertility, the god of war, etc). As the feudal kingdoms of Edar became more and more isolated, these Imperium deities became bastardized over time. Their names were changed to match the regional languages, their lore was altered in minor ways, and their depictions became more and more representative of the regional populace. Because international trade was extremely limited and diplomacy was nonexistent, each kingdom believed that their gods were unique and true, and that any deities worshipped by their neighbor kingdoms were simply false gods worshipped by heretics.
This was the case until an Elf named Uthander Valon took 100 of his followers, called the 100 Zealots, and began preaching throughout Edar. He and his Zealots had spent much of their lives travelling throughout Edar as traders, which was an extremely rare profession, especially for an Elf. In their travels, Uthander and his Zealots spent considerable time learning about the pantheons of each kingdom they entered. Uthander discovered that every kingdom worshipped almost the exact same Gods, and he believed that if this became common knowledge, the permanent cycle of violence between kingdoms would come to an end. Uthander returned to his home city of Thyrr’ia, modernly called Tar Valon (City of Valon) in his name, and began composing a book entitled The Collective of Divinity.

In the Collective of Divinity, Uthander compiled the most common beliefs about each God that he encountered throughout Edar. He merged and meshed the lore of these Gods into a single entry reflecting the beliefs and doctrines most commonly associated with them, then gave each of the Gods new names so as to differentiate them from any one regional pronunciation or association. One he had created his conglomeration of deities, he and his 100 Zealots spread throughout all of Edar. They began preaching to the common folk of the feudal kingdoms, convincing them that they worshipped the same Gods as the neighboring kingdoms with whom they had often warred for centuries. Initially these Zealots were viewed as enemies and heretics by most monarchs, as this belief ruined the will of the commoners to go to war with their neighboring kingdoms. Many of the Zealots were crucified or burned as heretics, however their teachings and dissemination of the Collective of Divinity spread like wildfire throughout the commoners of Edar. However, by the 14,200s, many kingdoms had officially recognized Uthander’s deities, and wars had even been fought to spread the preaching of Uthander to neighboring nations. By the year 14,500, every kingdom on Edar followed Uthander’s teachings. With each kingdom worshipping the exact same gods, war became far more infrequent, and civilization was allowed to focus its attention on more than simple survival. Uthander died in the year 14,550, having achieved his goal of stopping Edar’s perpetual feudal wars. The Collective of Divinity modernly references both Edar’s primary international religious institution as well as its holy text.

Over the next three thousand years, Edar’s civilization saw an enormous period of development in culture, technology, magic, and overall progress in a period known as The Resurgence. Once it became known via the Collective of Divinity that most kingdoms worshipped a bastardized version of the Imperium’s Gods, Edar became obsessed with reviving the ideas and achievements of the ancient Empire. Societal leaders began pouring immense resources into researching The Grand Imperium, from the Empire’s relics to its surviving texts and cities, attempting to extract any knowledge that could be found from the dead Empire.

Through this research, society began adopting a semblance of modernity. The first universities and institutions of magic were established, an intrinsic value of human life was acknowledged, philosophies on governance, commerce, and scientific inquiry became widespread and debated in every court, and nations began engaging in conquest via political and economic machinations rather than outright warfare. While war still occurred regularly throughout Edar, the number and scale of these conflicts was drastically lower than it had been before the 14,500s. It was during this time that Dwarves, Elves, and Gnomes also began reingratiating themselves into human cities, intrigued by humanity’s development and research into the past.

By the year 17,000, the age of feudal kingdoms had largely come to an end. Through conquest and political alliances, most of the small feudal kingdoms merged into larger nations. Many of these were still ruled by an absolute monarch, however many of these monarchs had laws in place to limit their power to some degree. Some nations, such as Murandy, had even abandoned their monarchy in favor of a form of republican governance. Almost all of the modern 11 nations existed in some form, although their borders were substantially different than they currently are. Much of the surviving knowledge of The Grand Imperium had been extensively researched, however since the destruction of the Empire was so thorough, very little ancient technology could be replicated. Society has not changed very much since the year 17,000. Technology has advanced very little, societal norms have remained similar, and the progress of society has largely stagnated. Because of this, historians call the era from 17,000 into modern times the Age of Stagnation.

Very soon however, everything will change.