Story

Zoria. Home. Mother of all her inhabitants. She provides her children with food to grow, shelter to rest in and also, the harsh lessons of life, so her offspring may learn to fight and protect her gifts to them.

It is on Zoria that the first traces of mankind have risen above all other species through intelligence… and violence. Men and women banded together into an unstoppable force as claws turned into swords and fangs into daggers. It is with the very gifts Zoria provided to mankind that they managed to turn against her other creations. Those who could not fight the beasts up close turned to bows and arrows in order to deliver the mortal wound, giving birth to the hunters and the militia arches, but also the occasional adventurers and the unscrupulous rogues.

And so, through aggression and savagery, men rose to the top and they formed an empire: The Veneer.

The Empire was, in its prime years, prosperous and expansive!. While the numbers of those who wielded weapons of steel subsided, so did those who fell upon their blades.

Yet, another class of men emerged: the mages – masters of the elements, intellectuals and scholars… subjugators of wild magic, Zoria’s very spirit. Mages commanded the flames that ravaged and the waters that healed after and in time, even the Mother’s breath would bend to their will.

Yes, the humans were always capable of magical feats – intelligence itself is a form of magic, a projection of ones aspiration into one’s self, birthing the spark of knowledge -, but it was the discovery of zerrium that enabled them to truly manifest their powers and tame the wild currents that traversed the lands. Zerrium – an ocean blue ore, that could be found deep within the mines of Veer. Smaller pockets of zerrium were also discovered on the surface, hidden within the perilous forests and marshes of Zoria, yet not all who spotted these veins returned and even fewer managed to exploit these ore pockets.
Zerrium was the augmenter for the mage’s powers through carefully brewed cocktails and potions. It is this new ore that led to mages overshadowing the warriors and archers of the empire.

And so, as the balance of powers shifted, in the lands of men, they sought a new hierarchy. Mages, in their vast knowledge and power, were favoured as the ones who lead the people of Veneer.

The Council was formed – nine of the strongest mages, wielders of immense and seemingly unchallengeable power, united into one governing body in order to shepherd mankind on its ever-uncertain path to greatness. The Council now commanded the elements and the lands of men, but they were never seen as Gods. While magic was not fully comprehended, veneers never truly sought (although fringe religions came and passed throughout the ages) the need to be governed by any higher, celestial being. What couldn’t be explained through bolts, tools and string, its becoming or existence would find an answer in magical reasoning.

The Empire was a magetocracy in pursuit of knowledge and discovery, but also furthering the goal of accumulating power through might and magic.

But power calls for more power. The history of men is one of wanting, for they can not overcome their conditions if they remain content. And when the call for power goes unanswered for too long, it will beckon other means of obtaining it.

And so, in time, chaos would start to slither underneath the tall walls of the Veneer Empire, scheming in the hearts of the people. Thus, some mages turned to greed and a lust for power. Zerrium was to be acquired at all costs, even at the expense of the lives of brothers and sisters.

Over time, The Council felt more and more unable to contain the dark blossoms of corruption that were now in full bloom across the Empire. Action was to be taken and some would say that through it, The Council showed that it was, too, corrupted by chaos.

The Council sought to starve it out, to cleanse.

They sought genocide.