Day 3: Past is Prologue

As mentioned in the Part 1 of the All-Encompassing, Unabridged, Totally Radical Evenfell Primer, our podcast takes place in a new era of history. So young, in fact, it’s indistinguishable from the previous era to the characters inhabiting our world.

With the closing of the World Gates to Dawnhome and the Night of Blueflame, The Athalan Age came to a close, at least from a Gods’ Eye View. The events of the Athalan Age, the collaborative history built by the cast of Evenfell, are essentially, the know history of the world and thus, deeply impact current events. While these events are felt throughout the system, our focus remains on Bastion. In summary form, I will now present the distinct eras and notable happenings of The Athalan Age.

The Awakening Era

After an age of isolation and struggle, an ancient magic reawakens

The preceding Age ended when the the World Gates across the Tempest System suddenly and unceremoniously closed. Economies based on trade were shattered and each of the Sisters was left to fend for itself. Enough time passed for the World Gates to become little more than myth.

After untold lifetimes of isolation, the dormant World Gates reawakened as though someone had flipped a switch. Thirteen moons of the Tempest system, were suddenly reunited by near-instantaneous travel and unfettered access to a wealth of resources.

The gates appeared in new locations with unknown destinations, but the thrill of rebirth rushed one person to person and place to place. Bastion persevered throughout the Dark Era, though much knowledge was lost. Gate travelers are welcome on Bastion, however, conflict marred the Awakening in some places.

Notable Events

  • Gates reopen

  • Rise of the Drük and Qiron

The Wellspring Era

In the second era of the Athalan Age, many denizens of the Tempest system, emboldened by the sudden influx of knowledge, grew hungry for magic, and ultimately for power. Most people lived simply, though more comfortably, as trade eased the hardship they’d long faced in gathering resources; however, those who sought power, those who sought the wellspring itself, brought folly down on them all.

Notable Events

  • Library of the Gods: Long-lost outpost found by adventurers

  • Aasimar Arrival: A meteor strike harkens their arrival

  • Eventide Founded: Later becomes Evenfell

  • Ancient City Discovered: Massive magical engine discovered

  • The Rent: Mis-use of the magical engine creates catastrophic eruption, tearing apart a moon, which after becomes known as “The Rent

  • Fallout: Millions die in the eruption, magical monstrosities take refuge

The Pantheonic Era

After the folly experienced in the previous era, the Pantheonic Era marks a time of correction, wherein minds turn toward the Gods as people seek protection and peace. The Pantheonic Council, with representatives from each of the continents and powers on Bastion, meets in Eventide to create a unified pantheon.

Each council member was then assigned to serve as the mortal avatar of a God and asked to serve as the God’s voice in mortal affairs. In some cases, the Gods took interest in these mortal affairs and manipulated events to their own pleasure.

Notable Events

  • Athala I: A mongrel tiefling-goliath is plucked from obscurity at the behest of the Pantheonic Council

  • Athala Rising: The charismatic leader is more than the council bargained, turning their Holy Army in a weapon against discrimination of the minority races

  • Tabaxi Arrival: Party of Tabaxi mages arrive from their unknown homeward

The Era of Regression

The rise and expansion of the Athalan Empire, coupled with mis-trust of the newly arrived Tabaxi mark this short and brutal age of suspicion and racial animus.

Notable Events

  • Circle of Chaos: Mindflayers assume dominion over the dark druidic circles of The Rent

  • Eventide’s Dagger: A covert unit created to protect the interests of the city’s ruling class without limit

  • Aasimar Tragedy: Alchemical process discovered to extract magical energy from Aasimar, leading to genocide

  • Safe Haven: Ultimately, Eventide opens its doors to everyone, proclaiming the city as a neutral ground and safe haven for all people

The Alliance Era

After the horrors of the Regression, a new era of hope rose on Bastion. Athala I won a final victory against the Army of Purity, rendering the Human Supremacist Movement obsolete. Meanwhile, former foes across the Tempest system joined together in works of progress rather than waging war.

Notable Events

  • The Battle of Moontower: Athala I smashes the Army of Purity decisively

  • Innovation: Tabaxi inventors create first airships with the support of Eventide’s mercantile lords

  • Mercantile Moves: Tabaxi mages open portal to the Plane of Fire and dry out the bay surrounding Eventide, making airships the only mode of transportation to the city

  • Evenfell: The city of Eventide formally changes its name

  • The Aristocrat Murder: Tabaxi used as scapegoat for assassination of well-loved aristocrat, furthering racial animus

The Elvish Incursion

While the Alliance Era fostered hope across Bastion, the new-found solidarity would be tested mightily with the arrival of warring Elves. The Elfwars destroyed large swaths of territory in the Athalan Empire on Orus, the Kingdoms of Geskar and Tonia as well as the Kingdom of Oboland. The war also slowed the march of the Athalan Empire, and led to untold suffering.

Notable Events

  • Hello, Elves: Unknown race arrives through new portals, ready to make war

  • The End of a Reign: Athala I steps through the gate to Tempest, ascending to godhood (presumably)

  • Athala II: Assassinated at Festivities of Opening

  • Athala III: Ascends to Empress Throne

The Age of Wonders

As the Elfwar rages, occupying the Athalan Empire and several other kingdoms, the impact of chaos magic is felt far and wide. The moons of Tempest undergo wild shifts, the gates begin shifting unpredictably, and innovation in magic soars.

Notable Events

  • Shufflegate: Following massive chaos storms, many World Gates reconfigure

  • Behrdoo Rediscovered: The abandoned gnome homeward found centuries after it had been sealed away due to mimic infestation

  • Dragon Priest: A charismatic, dragonborn (the first and only of their kind) priest of The Gatekeeper Divine performs miracles and amasses enthusiastic followers in Qiron

  • The Drifting Moon: Previously unknown celestial body enters orbit around Tempest, occasionally opening a single, massive eye

  • Ancient Ruins: Qiron settlement discovers a major city is built on the ruins of an ancient civilization and unearth treasure-laden tomb of royals, and begin amassing arcane knowledge

  • The Darken: A massive shard of The Rent breaks away and collides with another moon

The Era of Closing

The Gates to Dawnhome close, ushering in an era of suspicion and renewed isolation for off-world humans. Changes in the Athalan Empire are felt across Bastion, and the Athalan Age ends with the Night of Blueflame.

Notable Events

  • Dawnhome: With the gate closure, Elves redouble their defenses as their primary ally has been greatly weakened

  • The Elfwar Ends: A legion of the Athalan Army, commanded by Major Tabo, leads a successful defense of Evenfell against the last of the Elven armies.

  • Tabo Waxing: With the aid of a bastard from Athala’s lineage, Tabo stages a coup, then murders his collaborators and the heir to the throne; claiming the Emperorship for himself

Putting It All Together

All in all, those are a lot of things to throw at you as a reader. Some of it surely feels random and possibly even conflicting or redundant. That’s ok. These are world events as understood by PCs and NPCs of Evenfell. Some things are misunderstood, or ill-defined, and that’s just the way we like it.

Eventually, these stories will be told in a more formal manner, or maybe not, but like history in our own world, it evolves over time.

Tomorrow! Come back for a closer look at the people and places of Bastion.

Other Blog Posts In This Series:

Day 1: Setting the Stage by Brenden Scott

Day 2: The Sisters of Tempest and Other Cosmic Geographies by Kenneth Clark

Day 4: Bastion by Kenneth Clark

Day 5: Bastion Today by Brenden Scott