The Red Comet
Blazing across the sky, a blood red comet with wings appears suddenly and the commonfolk are sent into a panic. Rumors swirl that it heralds the coming of a new age, the death of kings, the demise of holy gods, or the coming apocalypse.
Weeks pass and life continues as before, the comet still painting patches of the sky red on clear days and some evenings. The rabble settle down and become used to the sight, carrying on as if the past months with the comet have been just like any day in their uneventful lives. Beneath the surface of normality, however, tension brews…
The Dawning of a New Race
For years Chellar has been at peace. Minor border skirmishes prove the extent of war any of the civilized nations have known with one another in the past two and a half decades. Life may be hard for some, but not so coarse and unenjoyable as in ages past wherein entire towns were raised and troops of men on foot and on horse trampled homes, crops and stole away wives and daughters.
The relative peace and ease of life have caused an increased camaraderie in the people of communities, though not without small sacrifices. Faith and reliance on the gods for favor or service has waned as faith in humanity has waned. Taking advantage of the downtrodden, cults to the dark gods have arisen and promise riches, power and more to those who would serve them, all in a plot to weaken and undermine the wholesome gods who provide for the sentient races and to empower the gods who would sow destruction and discord.
Even still, some grow restless at the state of things and believe that the races of Denar do not need the gods, that they do not need guidance or help and have grown beyond the requirement of such shepherding. These men preach quietly in taverns and bars, city streets and broken-down back alleys, trying to gain the ear of any who would listen without turning the heads of those who would put them down. These men seek to create something greater than mortal man by augmenting mankind’s natural state with newly birthed magics. These men seek to turn mankind into being known as Theos: stronger, faster, smarter and better than the beings created by the gods.
The Mount of the Herald
Across a tumultuous sea on the continent of Cientia, the Mount of the Herald erupts soon after the arrival of the comet and magma floods into the sea. Once cooled, the molten earth crust forms a land bridge between Her’za, a large island northwest of the continent proper, and the mainland. Herds of Her’zai, the native people of the northern island, swarm the more civilized lands of the south, believing the eruption of the long-dormant volcano and the comet to be a sign to their people that it is their time to unite and conquer the frail men of the Alchemists’ Guild, marking the beginning of a brutal war.
During the confrontation, the alchemists discover their magics do not function properly against the barbaric heralds and their powers are easily quelled by the Owls of the Her’za.