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The History of Azela

History has faded to legend, legend has morphed into myth, important things have been forgotten and the simple has become things of unimaginable stories. On the continent now known in legend as the Lost World, several of the larger cities of men had made alliances with several cities of dwarves, declaring war on the other higher species. These wars had ripped the world to shreds, covering it with fire and death as their lust for power continued to grow. Those of the peace-loving men were soon threatened and enslaved by their power-hungry brethren, being forced to fight or die in labor camps.

They had heard of a land that was free of magical beasts and other species of higher beings, but they had refused to believe it. They had many other hopes during that time, heroes of great prowess that had fallen or plots that had only made their situation worse. That was until the first prophet of Ruion, the one god of men, had spoken of a world free from oppression and the nations that oppressed.

Many of the scattered cities along the eastern shores had kept the religion of their fathers, serving only Ruion, while the warring cities had turned to other gods, some worshiping dragons or the gods of the other high species. The cities that held to their faith became known as the Holy Cities, becoming a target for their devotion. As the pressure from the outside world grew and several of the Holy Cities were destroyed by the armies of the five species, the remaining seventeen cities sent explorers out to these distant lands across the vast sea, to prepare the way for the rest of their people.

The first to launch were the people of the eastern isles, the home of the prophet. This ship had landed on the large island of Vedal, a massive God’s Oak waited for them atop the highest peak of the hills that crested over the sea. After this tree had fed the first people of Vedal for the first few days with its massive spiny fruit, it had been declared to be the manifestation of God’s love for his people. From that day forward, this tree and its seed had held religious significance and graced the banners and shields of the men of Vedal.

Other men had arrived in other parts of the land, building cities and praising Ruion for their freedom from the oppression of the Lost World. Over the waning centuries, the tales of the old world were soon welcomed as fairytales and the kingdoms rose and grew in strength, pressing their borders ever further. This pattern continued, and all contact was lost with those who had been left behind, leaving only the land of Azela to lust after.

Many kings rose and fell as each kingdom flourished in peace until the kingdom of Gereth and Olhur had met in strife on the fields that lay between the two nations. With a single bloody battle, war had sparked, causing every kingdom to raise arms against each other and fight for every inch of ground that they controlled. Only the kingdom of Vedal had been spared the sword, due to its religious standing.

For well over a century, wars came and went, weak peace terms were reached and only to be broken again by the whims of jealous kings. When these vain kings began to take on the mythical gods of the past, another prophet of Ruion rose, speaking both as the high priest and the mouthpiece of God. He had proposed a plan that would bring peace to all of the lands, by establishing a high king over the kingdoms that were so drawn to war, uniting these six kingdoms under the banner of Laral, who had stayed true to their god despite the nations around them. The Kingdoms of Tedia, Zeazera, and Maldavid were to remain free from this as well since they had fought beside Laral to drive out those who would corrupt and destroy the people of Azela.

For many a year, this peace had held, leaving the next generations with peace and plenty. But as the scars of war faded the greed and lust crept back, leading to another bloody conflict that left the northern neck, between Laral and a united front from Zeazera and Maldavid ravaged. When peace was finally reached again, it was agreed that the barren lands that had once been Zeazera would be given only to the wicked among them, leaving a wilderness buffer between Tedia and the other six kingdoms that now shared claim to a large part of the southern reaches of Maldavid.

This had been the status now for many a year, the peace was only broken by the arrival of the first ships from the kingdom of Zandita, a small continent where the men of the Lost world had fled to escape the wrath of the other four species. At first, they had only been a few trading ships moving from port to port, trying to find the best place to sell their wares. As trade increased with the nations of Laral and Gereth, the empire of Zanditan became interested in this mysterious fertile land to their west.

Not much is known still of the world across the sea, but the Zanditan Armies and Navies quickly made their intentions clear and the strongest known, cutting a large swath out of the eastern lands of Laral. They had also seen the death of the king of kings and his son who had sat on his throne for only five years before his death. Now the world unites to the Isle of Vedal to mourn the loss of another king as well as his ruined line, all rumored to perish in the fight for the Valley of Steel or currently under siege at the capital.

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