The Unknowing & the Unbroken
History of the Lands of Sartoum
It is said that the world as we know it was brought forth by the gods from a great alchemist’s fire. After the world cooled sufficiently, the gods created beings in their image to tend the earth in their absence. See: Mythology
For nearly 10,000 years, the peoples of the earth lived in small, agrarian communities and eventually kingdoms all over the continents of Dethos and Enthos. Life was slow, and technological progress was slower, but life in all it’s forms marched on. Nothing was like to change until the day when the first Chaos Engine came into being.
The Chaos Engine & the Founding
Some say it was a circle of alchemists in a guildhall, some claim it was a madman in his hovel, but all agree that the invention of the Chaos Engine took place in the then-insignificant city of Sartoum located on a small subcontinent off of the northwestern coast of Enthos. Created by summoning a rift in the fabric of the Material Plane, this technology provided an unlimited amount of mechanical energy. The king of Sartoum was implored by his advisers to neglect this radical piece of engineering, but he instead decided to embrace it. Though it filled practical roles in the beginning, it was only a matter of time before the new technology was used to create machines of war, culminating in great amphibious landships commonly known as Behemoths. With this new found means of conquest the kingdom became a superpower, dubbing itself The Eternal Empire of Sartoum.
The Conquest & the Confrontation
Newly discovered military technology in hand, the Emperor began his conquest by annexing the nearby Aelley Vale and Niraban Desert. As tails of the metal abominations and legions of soldiers spread, nations and kingdoms fell by the month. Even the reclusive elves of the northern forests and the peaceful republics of the Golden Coast succumbed to the Empire’s pressure. After 500 years of war and conquest, the Empire had conquered all of Enthos.
A period of peace followed for the next 600 years. The emperor ruled his new territories with an even hand, eventually expanding his council to include representatives from the eight realms of Enthos. This did much to please the newly claimed territories, though the aristocrats of Old Sartoum were not satisfied. Their economic success relied upon constant expansion and acquisition of new resources. As a result, the Empire turned its eyes upon the neighboring continent of Dethos, home to the Freehold of Farldan. Suspecting that this distant political power had technology akin to that of the kingdoms of Enthos, the Emperor’s advisers convinced the Emperor to send his Behemoths across the ocean to conquer a new land.
The advisers were extremely wrong. The reason that the Freehold had achieved control over Dethos was not military strategy or diplomacy, but the discovery of a Chaos Engine of their own. The only advantage the Empire held was gone, and a millennium of war and destruction followed. The Behemoths and the Airships clashed and the world wept blood.
After nearly 900 years of war, the Empire and the Freehold had beaten each other into an effective stalemate. The rival superpowers set up impregnable defenses along their respective coasts, and the fervor of the aristocrats on both sides extinguished any talk of peace. The grain stores were empty, and the common man lived in a world of fear and starvation.
Agitated by the state of affairs, a group of craftsmen, laborers, enchanters, and local politicians hailing from northwestern Enthos began to meet in secret. Their sole goal was to tear down the current world and build a new one in its stead. They deemed themselves the Masons, and in the shadows they plotted and schemed to bring about he end of the Empire. Two decades after their creation, they put their gland plan into action.
There are no records of specifically what happened on Midsummer’s Day, 2001 C.I. (cum imperio), but the effects were felt around the world. Initially, the supernatural power source of the world’s Chaos Engines failed, causing every Engine to violently deconstruct simultaneously. This rendered the Behemoths and the Airships useless, and utterly destroyed the infrastructure of the city of Sartoum. Thousands died, and over a million more where driven from their homes. The influx of chaotic energy was enough to destroy the subcontinent Sartoum resided on, and everything it stood for. After similar reports from the Freehold, the Masons declared a victory, and set about building a new world.
After the fall of the superpowers and the loss of the Chaos engine, the continent of Enthos returned to a patchwork of monarchies and merchant republics. With new establishments came new rivalries: The Aelley Vale came under attack from the people of the northern Isle of Durlan; the dwarven kingdoms of the Grey Peaks entered the lucrative gem and mineral trade with the Golden Coast republics; and the desert kingdoms of Niraban began to invest in religious and arcane projects to find a new means of transportation.
Now the year is 232 S.I. (secundum imperium). You are a group of adventurers in the great City of Greywald. Fear of the Durlars is at an all time high, a local cult has began a reign of terror over the poorer neighborhoods, and the Duke’s legitimacy as the rightful ruler has come into question. The world is yours for the shaping, but remember: In the end, the only left standing are the unknowing and the unbroken.