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Volume IV: Shifting Ways (-888 to -574)

By A Learned Sage


Asheron creates the first portal between worlds linking Auberean to its moon, Rez'arel. Attempts to link to Alb'arel are unsuccessful. To protect against opening portals to inhospitable or dangerous worlds, shielding wards are integrated into the summoning rituals.


The portal to Tuu, home world of the Lugians, is opened. Empyrean researchers, concerned about the size and aggressiveness of the world's inhabitants, use spells to disguise themselves.


The portal to Ezheret, moon of the gas giant Hazahtu and home world of the Tumeroks, is opened. Empyrean researchers travel openly among the Tumeroks.


The portal to Ispar is opened. This portal appears exclusively in the Aluvian lands and the Empyreans do not travel openly among the Isparians.


Isparian: Aluvian
Isparian Year: 704
Alfric, Overlord of Viamont, invades Aluvian lands and overthrows the Aluvian King Pwyll II.


While the average life span of an Empyrean is 1,000 years, Asheron is now over 1,700 years old and shows little signs of aging. Since his long life is the result of Falatacot rituals which are similar in some respects to those used to create the undead, Asheron has hidden his long life for over 700 years, living under a pseudonym. But inasmuch as the Master of the Knorr Lyceum seems to possess knowledge and information far beyond his years, many are suspicious of him, although no one suspects him of being Asheron. But after overhearing a conversation between Asheron and Delacim, Gaerlan realizes who Asheron really is.

At a royal gathering held in honor of Asheron, Gaerlan reveals Asheron's identity to the Emperor. Asheron's early explorations of other worlds had been purely to study and gain information, but Emperor Kellin is able to use his knowledge of Asheron's identity to force him to explore more dangerous worlds which may yield information that may be used to help expand the Empire. The Emperor also appoints Gaerlan to watch over Asheron, acting as a representative of the court at the Knorr Lyceum.


Those loyal to the Matriarchs make the first discoveries of magic and alchemy using rare elements found in the mountains of Daegot.


Asheron discovers the home world of the Olthoi. During the initial explorations of the world two members of the research party are killed, one of whom is Delacim. Asheron will be haunted by feelings of guilt over this death for hundreds of years. But it is the deaths which intrigue the Emperor, since it is extremely rare that any Empyrean can even be injured exploring another world, let alone that two can be killed. Asheron warns the Emperor that the Olthoi are far too dangerous and strenuously advises that the Empire have no further dealings with them. The Emperor ignores these warnings and sends Gaerlan to retrieve specimens for study.


Isparian: Aluvian
Isparian Year: 765
The "Winter Queen" of Aluvia, Alfrega the Mad, takes the throne. She is a paranoid ruler who has imagined "spies" executed weekly while her army scours the hills looking for those who fled the Viamont invasion.

A young Empyrean, disgusted by the excesses of Queen Alfrega, joins a research group travelling to Ispar and decides to remain behind when the party returns to Auberean.

Olthoi who are undergoing experimentation at the Knorr Lyceum manage to escape and overrun the facility. This coincides with an Olthoi specimen-recovery mission. The Empyreans evacuate the facility with such haste that the portal linking Auberean to the Olthoi home world is left open; when Asheron observes that the Olthoi are using the portal system to spread throughout the planet, he collapses the worldwide network of portals.


Empyrean forces are able to regain control of the Knorr Lyceum long enough to close the portal linking the two worlds. By this time, sufficient numbers of Olthoi have poured through that it is far too late to stop the onslaught. For the next century the Olthoi fight a guerilla war against the Empyreans.

Whether due to memories of their captivity in Knorr or just to something that is part of their nature, the Olthoi are drawn to magic users, whom they seek out and kill. The Empyreans try to counter by killing Queens, but the Olthoi breed far too quickly for this to be effective. The Empyrean efforts are also hampered by the fact that their physical skills have fallen into disuse over the thousands of years they've been mastering their magical abilities.


Isparian: Aluvian
Isparian Year: 779
King Osric the Wise takes the throne of Aluvia, which he establishes as a kingdom for the Aluvian people rather than as a puppet government of the Viamont lords.


Loyalists to the Matriarchs declare war on the clans still holding Tukal.


There seems no end in sight for the war that rages between the Matriarchs and the clans until a Lugian general, Gholl, responsible for one-quarter of the clan forces is captured by the Matriarchs. As tired of the war as they are, Gholl reaches an agreement with them: In exchange for the hand of the next Supreme Mother, and equal seats for men in a new Grand Assembly, he will join his forces with them.


The clans holding Tukal are finally defeated.


With the fall of the Imperial capital of Tentael and the entire world nearly overrun by the Olthoi, the remaining Empyreans retreat to Dereth. A magical fog is cast to protect the island and it is hoped that this, combined with Dereth's remote location, will give them enough time to find a means to defeat the Olthoi.


Attracted to both the concentration of magic users on Dereth and the very nature of the island itself, Olthoi flyers penetrate the island's defenses. They bring a single larval Queen to the island, who quickly reaches maturity and establishes a hive northeast of Dereth. Although there is always one Queen on the Olthoi home world to whom other Queens are submissive, their arrival on Auberean has effectively disrupted this hierarchy and the Queen on Dereth soon grows to be the One Queen of the world.


Hopes grow dim that the Empyreans will find a way to defeat the Olthoi before they are completely destroyed. Most Empyreans are convinced that Dereth represents the last vestige of civilization on the planet. Asheron proposes sending the survivors "elsewhere" so they can continue to work on finding a means to overcome the Olthoi; he does not tell them that he must remain behind or that this may cause enormous instabilities in portalspace.

Moriqui Eipoth - "Age of Shifting"
Asheron, the last remaining Empyrean on Auberean, declares a new age.


Asheron finally reaches his tower and begins to keep watch on the Olthoi. The instabilities created by "The Sundering," the name Asheron has given to his evacuation spell, give rise to portals to Dereth appearing on worlds once visited by the Empyreans. The Olthoi quickly slaughter the few creatures that accidentally fall through the portals. Due to The Sundering, Asheron is unable to navigate the paths of portalspace.

To continue on to the Fifth Volume, click below:

Volume V: New Arrivals (-540 to 13)
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