Law & Liberty
Letter from Graya Foxyard
3rd Moon, Year of Law 9813
For those who seek the truth amongst the blind.
May this document survive long enough for someone with some sense and matching power to find it. Although most denizens of this world are not likely to ever see the truth in my words, maybe a brave soul will rise or enter this cursed place who’s eyes are not yet obscured. That is my last hope, for even though I did not come here out of my own free will and I am now trapped, my heart has embraced this plane called Artha. I see the magic in the Island people who gave me shelter, so full of will yet too few and too weak to make a difference. I see the pain in their souls, for they know what is bound to happen to their world. And I wish to help them with all my heart, but I am old and my days are counting. I can feel the lifeforce slipping through my hands, even when I’m writing this. Although I am not a native to this plane, through divination I have learned much about its history. I will dispence this knowledge in the hope it will reach someone before all is lost.
Like most Material Planes, Artha used to have a variety of Gods who watched over it. Because Artha is a rather young world (approximetly 50.000 years old), most of these Gods were somehow linked to the existing ones of other planes. Although they bore different names, they had the characteristics and essence of these well-known deities. And the people of this land were faithfull, and there faith was rewarded in return.
About 20.000 years ago, Imix discovered Artha and planted one of his cults to search for potential sacred places which could be turned into Elemental Nodes. And because this world was still so young, it was full of potential and the elements were strong here. But it didn’t take long for the other Princes of Elemental Evil to find out about Imix’s discovery, and they too sent their own cults with the same mission. Of course this did not bode well for the population, for soon a war broke out amongst the cults. And because the people were young and rather naive they could not grasp the powers which were wielded by them, yet they did see how violent and verosious their world became. Earthquakes, tornados, tidle waves and erupting volcanoes became part of their daily lives, and they had much trouble surviving. With nobody else to blame for their misfortune, they turned their anger to the Gods themselves. At first the Gods tried to enlighten their followers, and they sent them visions about the true nature of the change in their world. But the cults had so much experience in hiding for the populace that soon these visions were dispatched of as illusions sent by the Gods to confuse the people. And so faith declined over the years, and one by one the denizens renounced the deities they worshipped.
So this is how the Gods abandoned Artha, and some did so with pain in their hearts. But they knew they could do nothing for the people if the people didn’t believe in them anymore. Yet there were evil dieties who left as well, wrathfull because the people had forsaken them and taken away a part of their power. With the strength of their blackened hearts combined they put a curse on the world when they departed, making it nearly impossible to travel from this plane to another, or the other way around. Because of this, the Princes of Elemental Evil were cut off from Artha as well, and their cults soon crumbled. Peace fell over the land again, and the people were now absolutely sure that the Gods indeed were to blame. How could they not be? For since they left, everything was well again.
Right before the Gods made their departure and the curse was put on Artha, a being from Mechanus sensed that something was going awefully wrong on this plane. TheVarakhut arrived here just in time to see it being sealed off from all the other planes, and as a defender of the Gods he knew that his quest had failed before it even had begun. Although a strong and resilient Inevitable, his power was not great enough to lift the curse, and he soon found out that there was too little faith left in the populace to bring the Gods back. And worst of all, he was trapped here and could not send out for help. Thinking that the world would fall into chaos without deities present, he took up a new quest for himself. He would bring law and order to the people in such a way that they could sustain a peacefull and flourishing society, even without help from the Gods. After many years, he managed to become their ruler and brought the mainland together in one big nation. However, without knowing it he had just made matters worse.
Artha has no binding to any other plane, including the Elemental Planes and the Plane of Chaos. Therefore true elements do not exist here anymore, and what is left are empty reflections of their power. The force of chaos that still lingered here was able to fuel the elements for a while, but this force is declining as well because of the rigid law the Varakhut has brought upon the world. And so by trying to safe Artha, he has doomed it instead. Without chaos there can be no creation, and without creation all life is at peril. Unfortunately, the Varakhut refuses to see the error in his ways, and he has shielded himself off from all who try to put some sense into his mind. He made sure that all records from history were destroyed, and nobody really knows what has transpired on Artha before his arrival. His people are blind, and his isolation and lonelyness have both literally and figuratively built a wall around him. Yet he thinks that what he is doing will save this world from destruction. He is wrong.
Maybe the Gods of Good know what has happened here and maybe that is why my spell went wrong when I tried to travel through the Astral Plane. Or maybe one of the Princes found a crack in the seal and pushed me trough, hoping I would be able to restore the connection so they could continue their search for the nodes. Whatever exactly happened I do not know, and I am surely not to find out before it is too late. Yet I do know that in this lies the key to the survival of Artha.
Archmage & Planetraveler