Khalgun is a broken world.
The Old Gods fought one another to mutual destruction, obliterating magic and swallowing much of the planet in a permanent Worldstorm. The Five Kingdoms that remain live by an uneasy truce born out of necessity, a peace which is tested when the New Gods begin to arise.
Our story follows several of the arisen gods as they come to terms with their divine power and begin to shape the shattered remains of the world left to them. Our core players are:
- Dorro Knott (played by Doug Horn) the halfling God of Travel
- Xion Praeten (played by Michael Key) the human God of Force
- Phryane Tinueth (Played by Kay L.) the elven God of Emotion
- Torrvic Wildtongue (Played by Stephen Hardos) the dwarven God of Beasts
- Pera Rivers (played by Carlos Luna) the human God of the Sun
- Haldir Loran (played by Joe Hasley) the elven lord of Rylend
- Rina Falaval (played by Kelly Shaw) the elven God of Luck
- Eriska Taine (played by Allyson Robinson) the human God of Chaos
Let’s start at the beginning.
At first, there was nothing. A moment later, there was everything. In the great cataclysms of creation, the First Four were born: Ytar, God of Fire. Ather, God of Air. Emitaf, God of Water. And Ogun, God of the Earth. For a thousand years, they would dance across the universe, creating all the cosmic beauty and desolation within.
As they danced with each other, they birthed more deities. Ytar and Ather had Siforr (God of the Sun), while Ogun and Emitaf brought forth the trickster Ius (God of the Moon). It was under the spell of the Moon that Emitaf and Ather did meet, creating Yala (God of Life) and Mordukai (God of Death). This infidelity shattered their divine House, and sent the First Four into the corners of the universe, as far from each other as they each could manage. It was there they would remain, agreeing that there were to be no more Gods.
Mordukai, the God of Death, was more than happy to oblige this decree – but his sister Life would not be so restrained.
She danced with Siforr and summoned the sisters Ova (God of Beasts), Radia (God of Will), and Wodea (God of Plants). She danced with the Moon and conjured the brothers Ocarus (God of Dreams), Etos (God of Peace), and Pelios (God of Emotion). Because she was Life, she loved the lives of her children. Because she was their mother, she taught them to love and to dance.
Wodea and Ocarus grew trees so tall that their skin turned hard as iron and divinity was trapped within their branches. The trees filtered this power into their roots, creating Xunos (God of the Wild), who in turn brought forth the elves to tend her new garden. Radia was seduced by Etos and Pelios, calling forth Lordros (God of Fate) and Voara (God of Force), respectively. Ova and Ocarus brought forth Vistrix (God of Chaos), Shakti (God of Illusion), and Epona (God of Knowledge).
The trickster Moon lay with many of his grandchildren. Voara bore him Rapel (God of Magnetism), while his union with Epona summoned Kalos (God of Invention). The gods of magnetism and invention would later combine their power and forge dwarves from stone and magic. Vistrix was Ius’s favorite, and their millennia-long tryst gave birth to Ceato (God of the Sea), Atuna (God of Magic) and Jodar (God of Luck).
Ova was wild, as beasts often are, and the sons of Ius were seduced by her life made flesh. Ova and Etos allowed for Tir (God of Travel), Sah (God of the Astral Plane) and Mivia (God of Time). Ova and Pelios shook the heavens with their love, and called forth seven children: Gaidir (God of Sport), Valhena (God of Strength), Cenos (God of Speed), Udea (God of Vitality), Aurras (God of Sound), Vodon (God of War) and Hilo (God of Flight).
Radia and Etos recoiled in horror at the disorder wrought by their siblings’ children and lay together to bring about Barros (God of Order).
The families squabbled, as families are wont to do, but the gods maintained a delicate balance by agreeing to return to the First Law: no more gods. And for ten thousand years, there were none.
BIRTH OF KHALGUN
Siforr was the first of the children to claim his domain. His ambition shone white and hot, forcing even Ytar to veil her eyes. He used that distraction to steal a single flame from his mother and gave birth to the Sun.
Ogun was enraged by both the petty theft and arrogance of the young god and drew together every spec of dust that cast a shadow. He combined this mass to form the first planet and mocked Siforr from where his light could not reach.
Weary of her brother’s conceit, Emitaf wove a net of clouds and lighting around the planet, summoning a year of storms that drowned rock and stone beneath miles of ocean.
Ather was delighted by these waters but missed singing along the peaks of his brother’s mountains. He raced along the sea with arms spread wide, parting the water and dredging the seabed so Ogun might once again see the stars. Shaken from his watery slumber, the God of Earth grew his lands ever taller until they towered above ocean once more.
Most of the planet remained water, and Ius danced on these oceans, his ivory skin gleaming in the sun’s brilliance. His dancing was nearly as beautiful as himself, and he entranced the gods long enough for him to siphon off a bit of each of their divinity.
He used this stolen power to draw an alien body, dense and obscure, far from beyond the sun’s watchful light. Ius choked the skies with clouds, concealing the meteor’s approach, and sent the twisted mass of ore and rock crashing into the planet. The catastrophic impact evaporated the oceans and toppled mountains as the meteor carried straight through the earth, exploding from the opposite side in a raging mass as white and hot as the sun. When this ball cooled, it formed the moon.
As the moon settled and storms returned oceans to the earth, Yala brought life to the planet in wild, reckless abundance.
Every kind of flower, plant, and tree took root. Every type of fish, whale, and serpent splashed into the sea. Every creature that walked upon and flew above the land now poured over it. Yala saw all this and gave no pause. Instead, the God of Life set about combining what she had made. Owls that were also bears, horses that took flight upon feathered wings, and great dragons who could assume any form and weather any height or depth.
The gods paused their bickering as they marveled upon the chaotic wonder Yala wrought. Then they too forged life from this new world.
The elves came first, emerging from the roots of the vast Ironwood as their massive canopies captured divinity from the Weave and birthed the first wild elves as their eternal defender. They were born under the light of the moon and were thus claimed by Ius. The God of the Moon was delighted by the elves and danced with them, gifting them divine beauty and long life.
The grandsons of Ogun (God of Earth), Kalos (God of Invention) and Rapel (God of Magnetism), sought to replicate this divine birth. They combined magic with their divinities and forged the first dwarves out of rock and stone. The other gods saw these new beings as crude and ugly compared to the elves and chased them back into the mountains of their birth. This rejection made the dwarves bitter towards the other races of mortals and set them on a path for centuries of conflict.
When the first tribe of elves stole magic from the dwarves to counter their constant warring, the gods were shocked by the brazen theft. They cursed the elves, drained their skin of pigment and cast them into the blasted desert. Ius fooled the gods, hiding his elves under moonlight and guiding them to the protection of the limestone cliffs they still call home.
Other races followed, but none were as prolific as the humans, hyper-evolved from apes through a century of divine meddling. The elves called these creatures “Khalkhi (KAL-key) Ogun,” or “Children of Ogun” as a mockery to their crude birth.
Over the millennia this became “Khalgun (KAL-gun),” and the first planet found her name.
ZAVAN, GOD OF ASPIRATION
Dwarves were the first race to be given magic, as they were jealous of the elves and their millennia of life. They became fierce guardians of this new power, which they used to create great feats of architecture and technology. Once their towering dwarven halls could be made no more magnificent, they set about shaping the world.
Centuries of dominance made many of the dwarves as selfish and petty as the gods. The elves eventually grew tired of their constant warring and stole the secrets of magic from them, teaching the knowledge to the others races to restore balance. Enraged, the dwarves declared themselves the enemy of all races of people, and the Hundred Years War began.
As death and turmoil spread across the land without intervention, humanity grew distant from the gods. The great human city of Ani rapidly expanded as more and more people fled behind the walls of the capital to seek reprieve from constant violence. The city prospered, a shining light in the darkness that threatened to consume all. People began to idolize human creations over the divinity of the gods.
When the millionth person was born inside Ani’s sprawling slums, humanity also birthed its first god; a brave and noble human warrior known as Zavan. Now an omnipotent being blessed with the practicality and impatience of a mortal, Zavan immediately set about improving Ani, raising towering walls that carried magically purified water along the tops of its ivory embattlements. He dug a great canal that brought this water into the heart of the city, blessing its inhabitants with good health and bountiful crops.
With the capital in order, Zavan set about ending the Hundred Years War and unifying the five kingdoms under his rule. In just over a decade he brought the races and cities under a single banner, forging the most powerful empire the world had ever seen.
The speed at which the God of Inspiration worked, combined with the ease at which he wielded his new divinities within his realm, terrified the old gods and goaded them into swift action (swift for immortal beings, at any rate). A pact formed from an unlikely cabal of Siforr, Xunos, Vodon, Vistrix, Voara, and Barros. On the first day of the sixteenth year of Zavan, they attacked at once, intent on killing the God of Inspiration with a single strike.
What they had not planned on was the God of Death finally taking a lover. They had certainly not expected how fiercely he would fight to protect him. The titanic conflict that ensued quickly spilled across the entire pantheon as each deity was forced to chose a side.
The Great Godswar had begun. It would barely last an hour.
BREAKING OF THE WORLD
As the gods battled for control over the mortal realm, they tore the planet asunder. Millions of creatures perished within minutes as divine energies not seen since the creation of the universe were harnessed as sword and shield.
In the final moments of the hour-long war, Zavan gave his life defending the five nations. Siforr struck at him again and again, sundering the land with earthquakes and volcanos. To save the city of Ani, Zavan sacrificed a third of Kadar and much of the countryside surrounding the capital city as it sank beneath of the waters of a new inland sea. In his dying moments, Zavan flooded the Bridge and linked with every citizen of his empire, desperately searching for an heir. He found Jakub Kladivo, a simple farmer from southern Kadar. Zavan willed his waning divinity into his arms, armor, and equipment and then bestowed these artifacts to Jakub, anointing him as the Godking of the Five Kingdoms.
As the storm that had engulfed the entire world bore down on the Five Kingdoms, Zavan gathered the raging magical forces and used them to form a permanent barrier, shielding the ravaged nations from total annihilation. The staggered survivors set about extinguishing fires, clearing sodden fields and rebuilding what they could of their former lives.
The five kingdoms sent explorers to every edge of the Worldstorm on land and sea. Those that returned reported a swirling, impassable wall of wind and lighting over a mile high, and so dense with dirt and debris that vision stopped soon after the storm’s edge. Others reported enormous, winged beasts darting in and out of the tops of the storm clouds. After a decade of search and scholarly debate, the leaders of the new world came to a grim conclusion: the Godswar had destroyed the entire world, save for a broken, scorched, drowned continent shielded from oblivion by the dying oath of the last god.
With a sea now separating the Five Kingdoms and a demigod unwilling to use his new powers to force compliance, the union of nations quickly broke apart. The capital city of Ani remains fiercely loyal to their Godking, safe within their unassailable walls. The South was split in two with the rocky, forested East returning to ancient royal bloodlines, and the fertile West breaking into a dozen fiefdoms loosely united under an elected council.
The largest and most northern of the five kingdoms fell into decades of anarchy as famine and disease ran rampant. Out of this chaos a priesthood arose whose acolytes preached mortal solidarity; foolish, petty gods destroyed this world, so man should reject all things godly.
This order sent inquisitors to every corner of their broken nation, bringing relief in the form of food, supplies, and labor. Their priests carried gems mined from deep within the dwarven capital of Gal-Hadir that glowed in reaction to the presence of magic. They used these stones to collect and destroy items infused with magic and repurposed enchanted weapons to forge anti-magic baneswords.
Imbuing the last of his Divinity into his possessions and arms, Zavan passed on tremendous power to Jakub Kladivo. Zavan’s anointed sword, armor, cloak, rings, boots, helmet, gauntlets, crown, belt and tabard were artifact-level items, instantly transforming Jakub into the world’s last demigod.
After a period of adjustment to near-godhood, Jakub set about putting the great city of Ani in order. He established a ruling council staffed half by public vote and half by royal bloodline. The throne secure, he turned his attention to the shattered remains of his once proud kingdom.
Though hunger would claim many over the next decade, Jakub was able to organize a fleet of relief vessels in an attempt to stem the starvation. While their most fertile lands had been lost to the scorching rays of the sun, ash from the Burning Eye caused areas in the north to flourish.
An island chain formed by lava in the Godswar became a haven for the root vegetable staples of the north. Admiral Yosef Kadar claimed these islands for the people and turned what was left of his navy into a national farming relief effort. To foster peace, Jakub gifted a hundred ships to Admiral Kadar, allowing him to suppress the various warlords that had carved up the North and spread humanitarian aid to all in need.
In the 33rd year after the Breaking of the World, the Empire of Kadar was officially chartered. Twenty-two years later, the empire would declare war on the Godking. Backed by the technology of the northern dwarves, a powerful navy, and gold from Ryzan, Kadar invaded the south.
Their superior numbers and technology allowed Kadarian troops to overwhelm the Republic of Wessle, followed quickly by much of eastern Brenus. The dwarves of the east stood in opposition to their world-conquering brethren and forged an alliance with the elves of the Ironwood and the humans of the Highgrass Plains, holding the invading army at the Voiceless Peaks.
Desperate to break the stalemate, Kadar agreed to begin transferring the magical items, armor, and equipment they gathered during the Southern Campaign to Gal-Hadir. Weapons were still reserved for the crafting of new banesword, but all other items were turned over to the dwarves. They broke them down in massive lava forges and used the raw magical elements to create horrific stone and metal constructs that feed Kadar’s war machine.
Though pressed hard, the Eastern front held due in no small part to the clans of treants and trolls that lumbered out of their forests and marshes to meet these inhuman giants eye-to-eye. The battle was turned, and within a year royal forces loyal to Ani would take the Kadarian Highlands and establish their will over the banks of Ryzan. Without gold to fund the war, Kadar had no choice but to agree to a peace accord in the 48th year since the Breaking of the World.
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