The Crusade of Two Suns

The prehistory of Midera is ephemeral; no scholar is able to determine for certain the true origins of life on the planet. There are those who believe in life as a gift from the twin suns, the merciful blue Iadora and green Spekkros the cruel, that dance above Midera’s sky; there are those who believe that life simply emerged, an inevitable eventuality; and still, there are those who believe that the creatures of Midera are simply an extension of some unifying force, some primordial will that connects all facets of living beings. 

Regardless of these zealous arguments, what is known to be true is that, in the earliest days of Mideran civilization, there existed four great races, whose societies acted as a shining beacon against an empty universe.

The Teno’avum, winged and proud, built shining towers that glistened in the sunlight, monuments to their goddess Iadora.

The Mother, ever-magical, whose matriarchy ruled over a massive empire, and whose necromancy all but eliminated death and disease.

The Gozrak, prime warriors who mastered deserts and beasts that others saw as insurmountable.

The Maulik, whose chaotic prowess and labyrinthian magics resembled the primordial forces of old, and struck fear into those who witnessed them.

For a time, these races lived in tentative harmony. Yet, this would change with the rise of a new force on Midera. Beginning only as a heretical sect of Spekkros worshiping Teno, what would simply become known as the Cult would soon draw outliers from each ruling race of the planet.

Their clashes with the Teno’avum were legendary — with every battle, the wicked Cult stole away more and more followers of Iadora. In their desperation, the Teno sought to unite all the races in their crusade against the worshippers of the evil sun; yet, the maulik, in their obsession with primordial traditions, withdrew deeper into their mountains rather than align themselves to either god; the gozrak, whose desert lands were isolated from the root of the cult’s evils, were forced to abandon the teno in order to deal with their own struggles as the sudden influx of dark energy had caused the monsters of the Prezak desert to grow even more horrible and aggressive.

They were sure that the Mother, as the largest neighboring empire who stood to lose lands from the cult’s zealotry, would be willing to aid their battle against these heretics; yet, when sending ambassadors to the Mother’s lands, they found the vast cities deserted, as if the entire civilization had disappeared, without a trace.

On the eve of the winter solstice, the cult enacted their ultimate intention. Through a dark and ancient magic, the cult began channelling their very essences into Spekkros, feeding their own souls to their god and causing the sun to grow larger and blacken in the sky, transforming from sun to black-hole. They lunged towards the great cities of the Teno’avum, their bodies taking on forms of amorphous shadow and tar. Within a matter of hours, the sky above the teno’avum had turned blood-red, almost black with the vile sorceries of the Cult.

With no allies and no other options, the Teno’avum launched one final attack on the bastions of the cult in their desperation to preserve their sun. Led by their leader, Draco the Eternal, the teno cut through leagues of cultists until they reached the black core of their magic, which lay atop the grand Spire of Solus that had once stood as a proud monument to the divine Iadora. With but moments before their goddess-sun would be consumed, Draco and his most loyal followers flung themselves into that abyss, hoping beyond hope that their devotion to Iadora would be enough to prevent the twisted magic from achieving its goal. Within that dark void, Draco found the embodiment of that evil — the dark amalgamation of the cult’s vile malice, having taken form in the Cult’s leader, Elgan the Unending. Their battle was furious, darkness and light clashing against one another, streaking the sky for all to see. Then, bloodied and exhausted,  Draco channelled all that remained of his power into one divine strike, slicing through Elgan, killing the demonic beast. The black realm that the cult’s magic had conjured began to collapse on itself.

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Through Draco’s efforts, Elgan had been slain; having lost the main focal point of their demonic energy, the remaining cult began to wither and die beneath the weight of their own possession. Despite this victory, hope indeed seemed lost. As the races of Midera gazed up in dread, Spekross consumed Iadora. The world went dark.

Then, there was light once more. The black hole that Spekross had become suddenly burst in a dazzling display of illumination, and as their eyes adjusted, the peoples of Midera saw a sun in the sky once more. A new sun, white and pale, flew against the backdrop of infinity.

The gozrak remained the lords of the desert, slaying impossible beasts as they always had.

The maulik ruminated, the cataclysmic event having frozen much of their population. They turned their resentment towards the gods, spiteful of their loss.

The remaining teno’avum attempted to piece their civilization back together from the ruins. Though Draco was victorious, he had not emerged from his final battle. The remnants of the teno took this new sun to be his new form, a reincarnation earned through his divine sacrifice.

Eight millennia passed, and new life emerged on Midera, beneath the single sun. At the peaks of mighty mountains, a race known as the Fjell emerged, practicing elemental arts through the veneration of their ancestors.

At the bases of these mountains, their cousins, the humans, gathered. Settling into large towns and cities, they began to raze the resources around them to craft peculiar technologies and devices, the likes of which had never been seen on the face of Midera.

In response to the vast expansion of humankind, the creatures and plants of the Mystique forest began to evolve with a strange acceleration, gaining sentience and extending their borders to protect the wildlands around them from destruction.

Though serious efforts were made by the elder races to suppress these new forms of life, eventually each formed their own proud civilizations. The planet of Midera, that had achieved a tentative peace with four dominant races, was now becoming crowded.

As the races grew and expanded an archaeological expedition was sent into ancient Mother territory by humanity. Expecting to find only artifacts and trinkets to sell to the highest bidder, they instead found something much more sinister; deep below the Mother’s territory was a contraption, the likes of which had never been seen; surrounding it, countless figures of stone, standing vigil over a vast, buried city.

The intrepid academics activated the contraption, which hummed to life with a massive display of light — it grew into a massive, labyrinthine monument; and through it, it almost seemed as though one could peer into realms never before seen.   

With the awakening of the first, countless amounts of these gargantuan monuments soon began appearing across the planet, rising from the seas and bellowing up from the earth. Upon discovering them, the races soon realized that they could be utilized to create new colonies, new shining bastion of their ideals — the opportunity to escape the oppression of their foes and to conquer new, unseen lands was finally given to the civilizations, thanks to these newly emerged “gates”.

In response to the awakening of the gates, the pale sun split in two once more — this time taking on forms of brilliant gold and gruesome red. The teno’avum saw this crimson sun to be a reemergence of Elgan the Unending, and took to expanding their governance across the stars to ensure that the cult that had ravaged Midera so long ago would never get a similar chance, and that Draco’s new golden form would shine for an eternity.

The humble humans who had started this chain of events never had the chance to see the consequences of their actions; the intense magical influx caused the statues awake, wielding necromancy not seen since the height of the Mother’s empire. Possessing the bodies of those who had disturbed them, the statues revealed themselves to be the mother, trapped in inanimate forms through an effort to survive the cataclysm that struck so long ago. The now revived dynasty launched an attack against the surface world, eager to reclaim what was once theirs.

Desperate for more land, more resources and more presence throughout the universe, the civilizations of Midera began gearing themselves for a new war, a new crusade.

As more gates were discovered, a new form of life began to make itself known to the factions vying for universal control. A race occupying the space between realms known as the mirror dimension began meddling in the affairs of the Mideran races — even more alarming, their ability to use the gates freely allowed them to occupy almost any corner of the universe they wished. Having the uncanny ability to see possible futures, these “mirror men” believed themselves to be manifestations of new gods, stewards of the new age of universal conquest. With this belief in mind, they fight to ensure balance across all races and factions who utilize the gates, seeking to enforce stability into a universe that had so suddenly been thrown into chaos.

As the races of Midera expand across the universe, clashing and competing, it is acknowledged as bizarre that no other sentient lifeforms have been discovered across the various planets. Strange creatures and plants litter these worlds, but no civilizations, no cultures, no societies or legends. Initially, this meant a comforting lack of competition meant that new lands to colonize were even more accessible.

Yet, as the battles stretch across the galaxy, something alien has been seeping through the gates. A particular madness affecting the minds of all thinking creatures, known only as “Deivox” has slowly gathered subsects of Miderans into its thrall, and has been mutating their thoughts and bodies in order to complete some unknowable purpose. The existence of new worlds to settle, a fact which once promised so much life, may very well lead to the societies of Midera ripping themselves apart.

Though the races of Midera are beset by foes both strange and familiar, the limitless worlds to explore and populate have launched a new golden age for the various peoples who live on it. Magnificent landscapes, resources never before seen, and new opportunities to extend the desires and wills of their people have inspired the races of Midera to extend beyond their limits and conquer those who stand in their way.

Not only is Midera ripe for the taking; endless worlds, galaxies even, are prime opening themselves to the civilizations who seemed so trapped on their planet not too long ago. Nations, as likely as they are to crumble against the scope of these universal changes, are equally likely to launch dynasties and societies that will last for millions of years, stretching across countless lands. There is but one choice for all those who wish to gain this eternal prize: join the Crusade of Two Suns.