Discovering Titan V II

Chapter 1: The Era of Prosperity

Under the ambitious instruction of the Gods, the peoples of Titan succeeded in remaking the devastated planet into a beautiful and prosperous world. The Elves of the Immortal Watcher tended the forests and lands of the planet, bringing life to the wounded earth.

The Dwarves, imbued with the senses of their Father, brought steel to the remnants of Chaos that lingered and imposed order that insured the continuing stability of the planet. Fueled by their desire to create, the Dwarves aided their Elvish brothers in rebuilding the damaged planet, building dams, canals, great cities, and extracting resources from the earth.

During this time peace reigned over all of Titan. The unpredictable races of Chaos were subdued, the planet played host to great life, resources flowed freely, and balance was maintained on Titan. None can argue that, if the records are correct, this time was the most prosperous and successful in the history of Titan. However, the Era of Prosperity was not to last forever, for the Gods whose Father-Primes had been imprisoned could never forget the wounds dealt to them eons before.

Chapter 2: The Age of Strife, The War of Shattered Hearts

Slumber

As peace and balance reigned on Titan above, the forces of the long thought powerless Gods of Darkness schemed a return to power. The most eager of the vanquished Gods to usurp his brothers on the surface was Malheur, the dark head of the Pantheon of Darkness. Malheur spent many years searching for a way in which to regain entry to the surface world but the power and defenses of the surface Gods were far to powerful. As the centuries past, however, weaknesses began to appear in the armor of the surface Gods, weaknesses known only to Malheur’s watchful eye.

Although they were devout allies, the Gods of the Claire and Order often clashed. Driven by their strong desire to bring order to their surroundings, the Dwarves wished to expand their borders ever more, hoping to tame a world they saw as still to volatile. The Elves, wishing to uphold the beliefs of their progenitor, constantly reminded their Dwarven brothers of the rules of balance set down ages ago. The Dwarven Kingdoms held their armies in check, albeit reluctantly. Malheur saw this divide between the guardians of Titan for what it was; a weakness to be exploited. But Malheur knew that the bond between Elf and Dwarf was still strong, and drastic action would be required if their alliance was ever to be severed. Thankfully for Malheur, another weakness in the armor of the surface Gods exposed itself in the form of Slyvanus Laethion, wife and consort of Slyvanar Laethion, head of the Pantheon of the Claire and most powerful of all the Gods.

Slyvanus was the Goddess of beauty and love as well as the patron of the Dark Elves. The spies of Malheur noted that the beautiful Goddess was also vain and at times showed small signs of a desire for power greater than her own. Utilizing clever and subtle manipulations of magic, spies, and carefully selected “gifts” to further Slyvanus’s vanity, Malheur was able to secretly manipulate the Goddess of beauty and love. Eventually, the seed of doubt was sown in the mind of Slyvanus and perceived slights against her by her husband, the work of Malheur, lead her to believe that he was no longer fit to rule the Pantheon. Mobilizing contacts provided to her by Malheur, Slyvanus rallied a army of her followers, the Dark Elves, as well as allies from the Pantheons of Chaos, Fire, and Darkness.

Awakening

As Slyvanus gathered her forces, Slyvanar remained blind to the events before him. Never suspecting that his love would betray him, the Lord of the Watch continued to work his dealings in and around Titan. However, not all the Gods were as trusting of Slyvanus as Slyvanar, most especially Ahradia Ilsong, Goddess of the Woodlands. With careful investigation Ahradia learned of the gathering coup that threatened to usurp Sylvanar and moved to quickly warn him. With such news Slyvanar would surely have been able to silence the rebellion swiftly, but Malheur once intervened to stop Ahradia from warning Slyvanar; sending Morkrash, God of Conquest and the Orcs, to intercept Ahradia.

Morkrash intercepted the Elven goddess in the woodlands and a long and hard fought battle ensued. The scares left on the land where the battle took place are still visible within the deepest regions of the Elven Lands, making it a sight of pilgrimage today. Morkrash’s power and fighting prowess was great, and the Goddess soon found it difficult to continue to resist the onslaught of the mighty progenitor of the orcs. As Morkrash was about to deliver a fatal blow to the goddess, an arrow from the wood appeared and stung deep into Morkrash’s right eye, blinding him and forcing back his attack. Seizing the opportunity, Ahradia drove her sword into Morkrash and vanquished him back to his fortress deep in the marshes of the southlands. Looking around to find her savior, Ahradia witnessed Slyvanar step from the shades of the forest. Slyvanar had heard the sounds of the titanic battle and had come to investigate.

Ahradia quickly explained Slyvanus’s treachery, unfortunately, the message came too late. The forest darkened and slowly, servants of the dark powers began to appear from the shadows. Fighting side by side, the two Gods of the Claire fought back the minions of the lower Pantheons for many days, the tides of foul creatures seeming to flow almost endlessly. During this time Slyvanus, delighted that she had managed to trap her husband and Ahradia in the forests (a strategic move rightfully attributed to Sieg, the Red King), ordered her most loyal servants, the Dark Elves, to seize the great cities of the Elven Lands. To her great displeasure, the Dark Elf servants of Slyvanus failed to adequately disguise their treachery, an unnatural occurrence given the dark elves prowess for secrecy and stealth, and were discovered by their brothers, thus ending any hopes of a quick move to take the great Elven strongholds (unbeknownst to Slyvanus, the failure of her servants was the work of Malheur’s careful planning).

Nightmare

Forced to set in for the long siege of the Elven cities, a race began. The forces of the lower Pantheons had to keep Slyvanar engaged for long enough to allow the cities to fall. If Slyvanar should be freed before the fall of the strongholds, the coup would surely end in failure. Eventually, the power of the lower Pantheons began to wane, giving Slyvanus and Ahradia the upper hand in the battle. Sensing their chance, the Watcher and Ahradia fled, escaping the trap set for them and returning to their great fortresses. Expecting to find relief, Slyvanar was surprised and enraged to find the dark elves laying siege to their brethren. At the sight of this betrayal, Slyvanar cursed Slyvanus and forsook her name as his wife. Summoning all of his power and appealing to the Claire, Slyvanar descended upon the Dark Elves and a blood bath of immense proportions ensued before gates of the elves’ mighty fortress.

Quickly realizing that the rebellion had failed, the forces of the dark Gods withdrew their support and left Slyvanus to her own. Understanding that the appearance of Slyvanar and the retreat of her allies was the end of her coup, she surrendered her forces and fell before Slyvanar, begging for forgiveness. Slyvanus, his heart hardened by the treachery vested upon him, cursed Slyvanus, revoking her status as a Goddess of the Pantheon of the Claire, stripping her of her holy name, and banishing her and her servants to the darkness below for all eternity. Slyvanus, hence to be known as Lillith l’Loth, retreated with her servants, now named Drow, to the depths of the Underdark, where she was accepted as a new goddess in the Pantheon of Darkness. To this day it is in the dark depths of the Underdark that Lillith plots her revenge against her former lover, having sworn to seek her vengeance against her hated and despised former husband.

With the departure of Lillith to the Underdark, a hole was left in the Pantheon of Balance. With the blessing of Slyvanar, Ahradia absorbed the powers of the former Slyvanus and was taken up as the new consort to Sylvanar. Unfortunately, the victory of the Elven Gods in the rebellion was almost pyrrhic in scope. The Elven Lands had been ravaged by the invading forces of the lower Pantheons and the power of the Elves was severely weakened. At first it seemed as if this would be of no consequence, that the Elves would rebuild and reform as they had done in the Age of Reformation. Sadly, time would soon show that the scope of Malheur’s malicious plans was not limited to what would come to be called, the War of Shattered Hearts.

The Age of Strife, The War of the Sundered Mount

Change

As the War of the Shattered Hearts drew to a close, the destruction wrought upon the Elven Lands and the Pantheon of the Claire became more and more evident. The forces of the lower Pantheons, especially those of the Gods of Chaos, had dealt a horrid blow to the Elves, one which they had barely survived. Emboldened, the dwarves of the Pantheon of Order were quick to point out that it was the fault of the Elves that such destruction had been brought to them. The Dwarven Kings and Gods claimed the Elves had grown lax in their guardianship, so much so that one of their own had fallen and instigated the near downfall of the servants of Balance.

To the Gods of Order, the ineptness of the Elves fortified their belief that true balance could only be brought with law and order. Emboldened, the Dwarven Gods proclaimed that Order be spread to every corner of Titan and so they directed their servants to expand their territory as far and wide as possible. Still too weak, in both strength and resolve, to resist the claims of the dwarves, the Elves were forced to concede the point, Slyvanar’s retreat from the world leaving the the Elves leaderless and doubting their path.

Law & Order

For several centuries the Dwarven Thanes and Kings, under the direction of their Gods, raised and lead armies on glorious crusades of conquest, the intent to bring peace, order, and law to the lands they took. Moving farther out from their valleys and mountains, the dwarves seized lands from the weak and poorly organized humans, from barbarians in the north, and orcs in the south. Therefor, itt was not long before the majority of Titan came under the heel of the Dwarven Pantheon. Although well intentioned, the brutally efficient and ordered life of the dwarves was not the life that the conquered peoples wished. Many accounts and histories of old describe the Dwarven occupation as harsh and tyrannical, equating the Dwarven conquerors as little more than taskmasters with an obsession for building.

However harsh the Dwarves may or may not have been, the effects of their occupation can be seen to this day. Many mountains, valleys, and rivers still bear the signs of Dwarven architecture in the form of old citadels, irrigation canals, and dams. As technologically beneficial as the Dwarven presence was, the peoples they oversaw would never forget the harsh arm held against them by the Pantheon of Order and so turned to their own Gods for aide.

Still attempting to solve the flaws of humanity , and struggling to keep the race from tearing itself apart, the Gods of Light regarded the law brought by the Dwarves as a blessing that could better allow them to focus on the problems at hand. However, as the years passed, it soon became obvious to the Gods of the Light that the servants of Order were too harsh on those they were meant to guard. At first the Pantheon of the Light appealed to the Dwarves, asking them to reconsider their expansion and return to balance. To this, the Pantheon of Order and its servants balked, outright refusing to end their crusade to bring Titan under complete and total order. Appalled and concerned over the expansion of Order, Light sought out Slyvanar and his Pantheon.

It had been many centuries since the War of Shattered Hearts, when the Pantheon of the Light came to Slyvanar and his fellow Gods. By this time the Elven Lands had mostly healed the damage brought on by the treachery of its former Queen. During this time of healing Slyvanar had retreated inward, disregarding events of the world outside his small home. Although his sorrow was still great, the anguish of Slyvanar could not drown out the calls of the Pantheons of Light, Wind, and Earth along with that of his new consort, Ahradia. Roused from his stupor, Slyvanar heard the pleas of his fellow Gods and acknowledged their grievances, summoning Moradin and the Pantheon of Order.

Moradin and his Pantheon appeared, under the impression that they were to be commended by the Watcher for their work in bringing stability to Titan. The Gods were surprised and shocked when Slyvanar unleashed a tirade upon the unsuspecting Dwarven Gods, scolding them for their blatant disregard for the balance of the world. Insulted and staunch in their belief that Order was what Titan needed, the Pantheon of Order refused to back down and left the summoning with promises of war on their lips. So was born the War of the Sundered Mount.

Alliances Shattered

Little known to the Gods of the upper Pantheon, they were playing into the hands of the Dark Lord Malheur. Centuries before, Malheur realized that should he ever wish for the lower Pantheons to return to the surface, the power of the Pantheons of the Claire and Order would have to be severely weakened. By first weakening the power of the Claire in the War of the Shattered Heart, Malheur had also planted the seeds by which he planned to destroy the power of the Pantheon of Order. Malheur understood that, unhindered by balance, Order would seek its natural course, one that would inevitably lead to conflict with the other Pantheons. The only worry harbored by Malheur would be that, in the end, Order would bow to the demands of its allies.

To ensure that Order would continue on its course towards war, Malheur send out spies, agents, and assassins to create trouble in the lands. By stirring up war and instability in the scattered tribes of barbarians, humans, and orcs, Malheur was painted a Titan far more chaotic than in reality. Such chaos, as manufactured as it was, propelled the Dwarves past the point of caution and into a realm of expansion, a realm held by the Lord of Darkness.

The machinations of Malheur fell with precision, within days of the disastrous summet held by Slyvanar, war erupted between the upper Pantheons. The forces of the Pantheon of Light, Earth, Wind and the Claire united to check the growth of the Pantheon of Order. Although together in their cause, it was the servants of the Claire that bore the biggest burden and soon the war took on the tone of one between that of the Dwarves and Elves of Titan.

The War itself was to last many decades and cost much in the way of blood and sacrifice. The forces of Order were battle hardened and no other race was as well renowned as the Dwarves for its ability to erect defensive fortifications. However, despite the tenacity of the Dwarven defenders and the strength of their mighty citadels, the war began to go against the Dwarves, mile by mile, and inch by inch. It was not until the Dwarves had been pushed entirely from the center and southern regions of Titan and into the cold mountains of the north that the forces aligned against Order proclaimed victory. Realizing that their goals of expansion and order where lost to them, the Pantheon of Order agreed to a peace.

As with many wars, victory may be proclaimed but spoils unseen. Many elves, dwarves, humans, giants, and vistani lost their lives in the conflict, the casualties of the Elves and Dwarves being especially large. In the end, the great victors were not the the Elves, but the Humans of the Light. As the Dwarves retreated from the lands they had conquered, the forces of a renewed and united humanity surged forward to claim what the Dwarves had lost. Mighty Kingdoms were soon forged upon the fertile land created by dwarven engineering and technology left behind. These gains propelled humanity into a new golden age of prosperity.

Titan, Anew

In the end, the War of the Sundered Mount brought to light many flaws in the systems of governance set forth by the Gods of the Pantheons. At a great meeting of the upper Pantheons the Gods came to the conclusion that perhaps their interference, like their Fathers, in the world would inevitably drive it towards strife. By the end of the meeting, the Gods of the upper Pantheons agreed to withdraw from Titan, and give the reigns of command to the leaders of the mortal races. The Gods were still to watch and protect their flocks, but to never again walk amongst the mortals.

So ended the War of the Sundered Mount, and so ended the reign of the immortals over the races and peoples of Titan.

Discovering Titan V II

Tales of Titan Manstein