Titans Grave: The Ashes of Valkana
Welcome to Valkana!
Eons before Valkana heard her own name, she bore witness to beings not of this realm. These ancients planted the seeds of life on Valkana and as that life grew and civilizations formed, the thirst for supremacy blossomed into war. Gifted with an unmatched intellect the Saurian Empire built mighty war machines and claimed dominion on Valkana until the heavens themselves fell upon them.
Valkana was plunged into darkness and a thousand years of war. In this crucible great heroes were forged and together they extinguished the flames of battle. A new civilisation was built on the ruins of the old, a peaceful world of magic and science, but the forces of chaos are patient and not easily contained, left to fester, ancient evils threaten to emerge and unleash mayhem upon the world. And so to face them new heroes must arise from the Ashes of Valkana
The Ancient World
Uncounted millennia ago an alien civilization visited the world of Valkana, which was a lifeless orb at the time. They terraformed the planet, seeding it with various forms of life. Once this was in motion, they moved on, never to return. Valkana has developed in isolation ever since. In time, intelligent life thrived on Valkana. The dominant races of the ancient world were the elves, beautiful, longlived people with close connection tothe natural world, and the saurians , a race of cunning and adaptable reptilian humanoids. The ancient empires of these two races fought a long and bitter war. The saurians eventually won the war by advancing their technology faster. Their cities and war machines were powered by mighty engines. They also dominated two servitor races: dwarves and orcs. The dwarves tended the great machines, while the orcs marched to war. The elves could not withstand this onslaught. They retreated to distant, hidden sanctuaries and let the saurians seize their old lands. Meanwhile the saurian empire flourished. They built new cities filled with luxurious towers on foundations drenched with orcish and elven blood. In this new era, the orcs grew restless. They had no enemies to fight and were tasked with menial labor. The orcs chafed at their servitude and soon rebelled against their enslavers. The saurians responded by arming the dwarves, who had remained loyal to their cause. The flames of war engulfed the saurian empire, two servitor races pitted against one another in a vicious civil war. The saurians seemed untouchable in their fortified towers, but one night there was a fire in the sky….
No one knows the true nature of the Cataclysm that befell Valkana. What is remembered is that fire filled the sky, night turned to day, the earth shook, and the face of the world changed in a matter of moments. Cities were destroyed, mountain ranges leveled, and lands flooded. The saurian empire ceased to exist and everywhere there was death and turmoil. Those who lived fought to survive. In the wake of the Cataclysm, Valkana was covered with dark, dense clouds that blocked out the sun. The Endless Night, as the era came to be known, was a time of starvation and desperate struggle. Some dwarves and saurians found safety in their underground cities. The elves that could, remained in their hidden sanctuaries, but many of these were destroyed and their survivors forced to roam. The orcs fought for dominance in the new landscape, against the other races and themselves. Rebirth At last, the sun came out again and Valkana was reborn. Cities were built and trade routes established. The old races also discovered they were not alone. Humans, beastfolk, gnomes, and halflings all appeared during the Endless Night, their origin a mystery. The humans were the most aggressive. They bred quickly and soon founded their own city-states. Technology, too, recovered. Great advances were made, recovering and improving upon the science of the saurian empire. A new force was also discovered that did not correspond to existing scientific theories. The elves were first to embrace it. They called it magic and its practitioners mages. Once the elves demonstrated what magic could do, other races were quick to follow. Some dedicated themselves purely to science, others purely to magic, but a group of iconoclasts thought both forces could be made to work together.
The Rise of The Prophet
For centuries Valkana thrived. There were wars, certainly, and nations and city-states rose and fell, but in general it was a world moving ahead, a world of progress. That all changed with the rise of the Prophet Dhawan. She was a charismatic saurian who preached that the melding of science and magic was an abomination, a blasphemy. She declared that providence commanded all true users of magic to rise up and purify their societies. Only when magic and science were
permanently separated, would all the gods be mollified. If they did not, there would be a second Cataclysm, and this one would destroy the world and everyone in it. The Prophet and her followers were determined to spread her message across all of Valkana, first with open arms, and then with closed fists. Few took the Prophet seriously at first, but that changed quickly when the first settlements were consumed by flames. Almost immediately, uprisings began throughout every major nation. All over the continent the cult took root and soon the nations
were tearing themselves apart. The Prophet’s armies grew and her enemies soon realized they had to unite to end the threat she and her followers posed. So began The Chaos Wars.
The Chaos Wars
It took over a century of strife, thousands of desperate battles, and uncounted lives, but the Prophet was ultimately defeated, and her armies dismantled and scattered. Key to this were a
group of heroes of all the races that banded together to fight for freedom. By the end of the Chaos Wars, the world had been re-shaped. Many cities that had been rebuilt were destroyed.
Whole populations dispersed. New alliances formed and borders redrawn. The new map was quite different from the old. But, despite the formation of new countries, cities, and empires, many remained in hiding, clinging to the old ways in fear of a continuing instability. Only the oldest remaining elves can recall the days of the Chaos Wars, but the wars left their mark on all the peoples of Valkana. While small pockets of cultists remain, the Prophet Dhawan is widely considered to be a force of evil who brought suffering and destruction to all she touched, and the great heroes who defeated her are revered.
What follows is a rough timeline of Valkana. Most nations use Solar Reckoning (SR) to mark the passage of years. This dates the years from when the sun came out again after the Endless Night. Any dates before that are speculative, since records from before the Cataclysm are spotty at best.
Date Event Pre-history An alien civilization terraforms Valkana.
-1200 SR The rise of the elven and saurian empires.
-500 SR The empires begin a life and death struggle.
-350 SR The saurians and their servitor races defeat the elves. The elves retreat to hidden sanctuaries. -275 SR The orcs rebel against the saurians, tearing the empire apart in a civil war.
-200 SR The Cataclysm. The Endless Night begins.
1 SR The sun comes out, ending the Endless Night.
990 SR The Prophet Dhawan begins to preach.
999 SR The Chaos Wars begin.
1115 SR The Prophet is defeated and the Chaos Wars end.