Non Nocent Reddentes
The Rise of Man
At the dawn of the race of man, many had hopes for their potential. While they did not specialize in any particular thing, and their lifespan was far shorter than other races, they were extremely adaptable and persistent. Because they did not have a natural inclination towards magic, they started to develop crafting, engineering, and alchemy to compensate.
Mankind advanced quickly, spreading through the unclaimed woods of the world, changing the landscape to suit them. Large cities and castles would spring up almost over night, as mighty forests were stripped clean and left barren. The wealth of the human kingdoms grew as they stripped everything of value, leaving only waste and desolation in their wake.
Other races, concerned for the well being of the environment, and the fragile balance of magic in the world, tried in vain to halt the advance of mankind. When politics failed, most retreated to their home cities and sealed the gates, hoping to wait out the shorter lifespans of this new race. Little did they know, mankind could spread without limit, reproducing rapidly, and pushing outward to sustain itself.
The Fall of Man
Eventually, once the whole of the world had been scraped clean, mankind turned on itself, drawing out territories in the sand, and warring over them relentlessly. Each wanted the wealth and resources of the other, and extended no mercy, even to their own kind. Often referred to as the Dark Ages by historians, mankind built massive war machines, augmented by magic, which shook the very foundations of the earth.
In order to fuel their war machines, mankind broke several of their peace treaties, leveling the cities of other races who had remained neutral, demanding they pay tribute, and taking their citizens as slaves. It was not uncommon for the skies to be painted black by the smoke of the war machines, and the world was littered with the fallen bodes of all races and monsters alike.
Fearing for their own safety, the higher races of Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes formed an alliance, and hatched a plan to end the war. It would be the first time in history that the collective magic of these races would be combined in its full fury, and the results were even more devastating than anyone could have imagined; Magical fission.
Historians were only able to speak to a few survivors of the following onslaught. It was described as a sudden drop in pressure, and a feeling like static crawling over your skin, followed by a blast of brilliant light, disintegrating everything it touched, a whirlwind of energy that shredded the body and the soul, leaving nothing but ash and glassed earth behind.
Humans felt the first real trickle of terror as their largest cities were wiped from the map, as if they had never existed. There was no discussion of peace or mercy, as they were hunted down and slaughtered en masse. Most fled into the mountains to hide underground, but it was to no avail, as new and even more devastating spell bombs ripped through the earth and flattened the landscape. Had this continued for much longer, the human race would have been entirely wiped out. There is no telling how many other breeds of creature were eradicated in this time.
The Scars of Gaea
There was no celebration, no sense of victory. As the last of mankind was hunted down, the other races looked around at the world they were left with. Where there had once been mountains, there was now rubble. The forests of the world were barren desserts. Even the lakes and rivers had dried up. Life had failed in all but the few places that had been safe from their assaults.
This marks the end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of The Scarring. The use of these devastating spells had been littering the world with large pockets of residual energy from the shattered souls of their victims. These areas of high magical density were visible across the planes, and made for easy targets to rip open portals, allowing demon kind to spill out into the world.
Known as The Scarred, most were driven mad by the journey between planes, while others came because of the abundance of magical energy. Regardless, they posed a threat, and the use of Magical Fission to fight them only resulted in more scarring, and even more extra-planar beings entering the world.
It was during this time that the use of wide scale magics was outlawed, and all knowledge of Magical Fission was destroyed. The mages that were responsible for the bombings were executed for their crimes against the world, and the alliance between the three races was ended.
While each race retreated to their homelands and fought to survive the onslaught of The Scarred, mankind quietly rebuilt. They were nearly broken, but there were enough of them that they safely made it to the four corners of the country, forming the cities of Northgate, Eastgate, Southgate, and Westgate. Each city was originally built as a refuge for the races that had been scattered in the bombings, and constructed massive gates facing The Scars, each in the direction of the cities namesake.
The four human cities quietly built their walls and armed their forces, slowly spreading their walls in a wide ring that enclosed the area of the scarring, and closing the rest of the country inside. The other races were falling, and very quickly The Dragonborn, The Tieflings, and the Half-Races joined mankind, forming treaties at great cost to themselves to be able to live within the safety of the walls.
Safely away from The Scars, mankind began to study magic with the help of their new allies. This marks the creation of modern Artificing, and the beginning of The Reclamation Era.
Mankind’s war machines grew far more powerful than before, augmenting the user’s physical and magical abilities, and granting them resistance to the power of the demon kind that roamed the country side. Westgate was the first city to push outward and fight the demons head on. There was much bloodshed, but they were victorious in several battles, and managed to kill one of the Demon Lords.
Ultimately though, they were not able to heal any of the scars, and the City of Westgate was destroyed out of retaliation. Over the coming century, the City of Southgate would fall to plague and starvation. The City of Eastgate was abandoned shortly after, its denizens sealing the entrances and fleeing to the neighboring country as refugees.
Unable to flee with their backs to the water, the City of Northgate stood firm, demanding total obedience from its citizenship, and sealing them in, so that they could not abandon their king. The city withstood countless waves of demon assaults, using their artifacts and war machines to defend their massive walls.
Tired and unable to continue fighting, the remaining races finally joined Northgate, bending the knee and accepting whatever treaties were offered to them. The city spread, and more and more walls were built to handle the influx of people. New arrivals were forced to live outside the walls, and could only move inwards once they had special approval granted by the crown.
Northgate did not have any outward ventures for nearly two centuries after the fall of Eastgate, opting only to defend. During this time, many of the citizens of the city forgot that a war was even going on. The problems of daily life were more real and immediate than the idea of a demon army lurking outside the city walls.
Towards the end of the Reclamation, Northgate finally mobilized its army, lead by Admiral Casca. A small strike team went to the nearest Scar to deploy The Spire, an artifact which siphons and seals away energy. This was the first of several scars that would be closed by the army of Northgate.
The Modern Era
Finally able to fight back against The Scarred, the races of Northgate entered an era of prosperity. The war moved farther and farther away, and the power that was sealed within The Spire was used to bring power to heart of the city, pushing the development of magic and engineering forward at an alarming rate.
Things finally seem to be getting back to normal.