Time in Vesaria:
Days are based off the gods' names and each one is considered good luck for a particular activity.
Abadus: 1st day, day of work
Sheylus: 2nd day, day of love
Erastus: 3rd day, day of family
Saraenus: 4th day, day of worship
Gozrus: 5th day, day of nature
Desnus: 6th day, day of travel
Pharus: 7th day, day of rest
Months are 28 days long (7 days, 4 weeks)
The year begins at the Winter Solstice, the season of fall is seen as the end of the year.
7: Sunsheight (Summer Solstice)
Current Date: Saraenus, 11th of Harvest, 251 AS
Map of Zahvroma
Map of Valwick
Map of Valwick Key
The First Age (1004 years):
An age that saw the dominion of the Predecessor's, a race of giant folk who had mastery over the powers of magic. It is said that Nethys found out their secrets after the fall of their society and ascended to godhood. The gods had destroyed their civilization, burying it beneath the island of Zahvroma and bringing an end to the First Age. It is unknown when Malfeliax, the great dragon of Zahvroma, appeared, but sightings had been recorded in the late part of the First Age.
The Second Age (876 years):
Also called the 'Age of Conquest'. A series of cataclysms cause a shift in the ecology of Vesaria. The once-whole continent is split into various continents and islands. It is at this time that the gods take a more direct approach in their dealings with humanity. These gods are called the First Pantheon. War breaks out in several places as displaced peoples try to lay claim to the new lands.
Zahvroma is exempt from this, as the Anizari maintain the power gained after the downfall of the Predecessors. Anakhelm becomes the patron god of Zahvroma. Massive rebuilding takes place on the island. The First Pantheon departs for unknown reasons from Vesaria. Nethys ascends to godhood. Further evidence of Malfeliax is found.
War in Vesaria subsides as lands are claimed and the Second Pantheon of gods emerges, among them Aroden, Nethys and Irori. The Age of Conquest ends as foreigners emigrate to Zahvroma, displacing the once-dominant Anizari.
The Third Age (527 years):
Also called the 'Age of Necromancers'. The god, Aroden, creates the Starstone, an artifact capable of bestowing divinity upon those deemed worthy. This gives rise to the gods, Cayden Cailean and Norgorber. Aroden receives visions of an imminent cataclysm and prepares the Zahvromans for the upcoming invasion. Aroden mysteriously dies a few years before the cataclysm. The Shard of the Sky lands on Zahvroma where the White Tower once stood, providing a planar gateway for a multitude of invaders. Malfeliax's existence is confirmed as he takes part in the war.
Once the Shard is shattered into several pieces by the dragon, the fighting subsides, though a lingering evil remains on the island. Survivors flee for Icathia and other regions. Iomedae ascends to take Aroden's place. Shortly after, a rebellion of wizards take place on the Magi Islands. The majority of the wizards are revealed to be necromancers. Fighting spreads across Vesaria until the instigators are put to death, further causing a rift between radical spellcasters and various governments. These radicals depart for Zahvroma. The first expedition to Zahvroma by the Iomedean church is lost.
The Fourth Age (presently 251 years):
Also called the Age of Separation. The kingdom of Alarion descends into civil war between the two heirs of King Veros of Alarion, dragging all the other countries of the continent into the bloody campaign. A great wall is built on the site of King Veros' castle, splitting Alarion into two separate countries. Horace the Red overthrows the kingdom of Brannum and establishes his own rule. Icathia, in near poverty after the war, is beset by the elven kingdom of Talathel, the orc territory to the north and Horace's kingdom. Two more Iomedean expeditions to Zahvroma are made; the first lost, the second's fate unknown.
1 - Chalandra Skorzeny, Mistress of Sorrows (departed, mask destroyed)
2 - Solomon, the Worm that Walks
3 - Vencious Ivengar, Master of Tortures (deceased, mask destroyed)
4 - Straub Aduain, the Clockwork King (deceased, mask destroyed)
5 - Alexandros, the Debauched Heir (deceased, mask destroyed)
6 - Jahlrem, Servant of the Rough Beast (deceased, mask destroyed)
7 - Ju'ok Kalokh, ?
8 - Ethan Poulton, Lord of Time (deceased, mask destroyed)
9 - Wyvaire, Mistress of Winter
10 - Tichran, the Fleshcrafter
11 - Dillon Nivous, Threader of Fate (converted, mask destroyed)
12 - Mirrin, Eater of Magic (converted, mask destroyed)
13 - Nkosi, the Last King of Lakarra
Orc = Norwegian
Elven = Welsh
Celestial = Irish
Abyssal = Arabic
Infernal = Telugu
Goblin = Afrikaans
Giant = Icelandic
Draconic = Urdu
Dwarven = Russian
Halfling = Dutch
Undercommon = Basque
Vishkanya = Hindi
Jinzhi = Japanese
Valanian = French
Dark Folk = Spanish
Gnome = Cebuano
Anizari = Corsican
The Five Houses of Blackcrown: Zakharov, Bok, Sokolov, Akulov, and Volkov
Elena: 3rd of Starsbright
Hadrinn: 8th of Starsbright
Priya: 11th of Starsbright
Sādhanā: 12th of Starsbright
Amareth: 25th of Starsbright
Sienna: 26th of Starsbright
Jelks: 9th of Frostfall
Elsa: 12th of Frostfall
Malyoxa: 25th of Frostfall
Clara: 28th of Frostfall
Amélie: 20th of Frostend
Ylrhea: 22nd of Frostend
Konstantyná: 10th of Sowings
Drago: 7th of Blossoming
Jin: 8th of Blossoming
Michael: 12th of Blossoming
Tesia: 16th of Blossoming
Hitome: 19th of Blossoming
Asha: 2nd of Warming
Gerard: 2nd of Sunsheight
Kaplan: 6th of Sunsheight
Alethiro: 11th of Sunsheight
Rhadaya: 14th of Sunsheight
Rajni: 18th of Sunsheight
Celine: 7th of Wandering
Yulia: 11th of Wandering
Cyna: 13th of Wandering
Dillon: 22nd of Wandering
Toni: 17th of Forgefire
Aliethia: 22nd of Forgefire
Arista: 28th of Forgefire
Esmerelda: 18th of Cooling
Divitia: 27th of Cooling
Cynafae: 12th of Harvest
Gwen: 23rd of Harvest
Ashram: 27th of Harvest
Kāma: 27th of Harvest
Arista and Alethiro: daughter, expected in Warming
Yulia and Drago: daughter, expected in Sunsheight
Elena and Kāma: son, expected in Sunsheight
Jelks and Michael: intersex, expected in Sunsheight
Amélie and Gerard: son (natural werewolf), expected in Sunsheight
Aliethia and Divitia: son (half-elf), expected in Sunsdown
"A Summoner brooks no tyranny
A Summoner is a slave to none
A Summoner breaks the shackles
Upon himself and upon others
In the darkest of nights,
A Summoner is a beacon of hope
A Summoner is the shepherd of the Lost
A Summoner is the virtue others lack
There is no obstacle a Summoner cannot face
There is no opponent who is stronger
There is no utterance of surrender
Or the hopelessness of despair
A Summoner takes his strength from others
He does not stand alone
Whether it is in the company of others
Or in the sole company of a Traveler
A Summoner's destiny is to build
To unearth that which has been buried
To create a world where the past lives with the present
To always acknowledge what came before but strive for more
A Summoner is the future
A Summoner is the past
A Summoner is the present
A Summoner is all things"
After the fall of the Predecessors, Styrkur lived among the giants, the name he bore granted by them. While many clamored for the power left behind, Styrkur sought his own path, speaking to the stones of Zahvroma. To his surprise, they spoke back to him. They told him of countless worlds and countless realities, revealing to him that his path was not a static one or one confined to Zahvroma alone. Styrkur journeyed the length and breadth of the land, searching but not finding his answer. It was then he came to a land far to the north, where the voices of the stones seemed loudest. In the snow of the north, he found a blackened coronet of the savage tribes, which had been decimated by the Predecessors. He named the land Blackcrown and listened to the spirits of the stones and the spirits of the barbarians gone before him. Styrkur learned of a magic circle deep underground that led to other places and he searched beneath the earth for seven years before finding the circle. It shone like amber in firelight and called to him with many words. Styrkur spoke the strange tongue granted to him by his commune with the spirits and a door opened before him. What happened next, no record exists. But Styrkur emerged from the door two years later, a strange creature in tow. A winged serpent followed Styrkur back to Zahvroma, its name was Hyggindi. Styrkur built the realm of Blackcrown with Hyggindi's help, a haven for those who were lost and sought their own path. Many came to Styrkur and many grew in power equal to the First Summoner. Styrkur founded the Five Houses and ruled with those who showed the same strength and wisdom as he. Styrkur took up his second name then: Bok. As the ages passed, Styrkur and Hyggindi were forgotten, but the wisdom of House Bok always lived up to his legacy.
What is the worth of goodness if there is no evil to oppose it? Through the guidance of Styrkur and his allies, Blackcrown was a stronghold of good, but it was not to last. Long after Styrkur departed the world, the Summoners became prideful and indolent. The Houses were passed down by lineage and were no longer a testament of their Summoners' worthiness. Their gathered knowledge rotted in grand libraries and their strength wasted away. It was then that the firstborn of Tiamat the Destroyer came upon Blackcrown.
The demigod demanded tribute, but arrogance tinged with past recollections of courage would not allow the Summoners to cede a mote to evil. Great was Malfeliax's anger and his children descended upon Blackcrown. The Houses fought with diluted might and held off the chromatic dragons for many years. The fighting was fierce and casualties began to mount on the Summoners' side.
However, cowardice filled the heart of Akulov's Summoner and their House betrayed the others for survival. They gave the dragons forbidden knowledges and fled into the night. The dragons, now able to assume human guise, infiltrated Blackcrown and destroyed it from within. The Summoners' libraries burned and blood covered the streets.
In the end, Garvanin Bok disbanded the Houses, declaring that their true heirs would be ones of worth. The spirits would find the worthy and bring them back to Blackcrown when the time was right. Garvanin himself vanished from Vesaria, taking his heritage to places unknown. The strength and the wisdom of the Summoners was scattered to the winds and the dragons claimed Blackcrown as their own.
When Blackcrown fell, the link to the world of the eidolons was severed. Yet, in the years that passed after the fall, heirs to Houses would appear in the company of legendary eidolons. In lands where the spirits remained revered, did these heirs arise. And so too did their counselors. Men and women who raised these heirs, the Ushers, spoke of a being called "The Keeper". None could say who or what "The Keeper" was, but that it imparted all the knowledge of Blackcrown's Summoners to them to teach those who would reclaim their 'homeland'.
Many were the Ushers who taught Summoner and Midwife alike. The ways of yore were passed on whenever a new heir arose. At first, Ushers told the heirs of their grand destiny and they succumbed to pride and foolish deaths. Then the Keeper decreed that heirs would not know of their significance and that fate would decree whether the heirs would come into their 'inheritance'.
Summoners and Midwives came together, but very few ever reached Zahvroma's shores. The Five Houses did not come together, Bok and the eidolon, Hyggindi, always conspicuously absent. House Akulov had become slaves, overcome by those more cunning than them and even their own eidolons. Knowing no shame, they became Synthesists, joined to their eidolons, but only puppets to whims other than theirs.
Many awaited for the day the Five Houses would be joined as prophesised by Garvanin, but news of Bok's return was nonexistent and none knew how Akulov would be redeemed of their sins. Zahvroma was forgotten and cursed, Blackcrown a myth among the civilized nations. Yet, hope lived on...
Except for House Bok, the Houses are equal in peerage. In honor of Styrkur's leadership, the Summoner of House Bok is called the 'Szef', recognized as the final authority of the Summoners. The Szef is blessed with secret gifts, each different from their predecessor. In contentious matters, the Szef is the moderator of arguments and the breaker of deadlocks. The Szef's word is law, but not absolute. The other four Houses can oppose the Szef but only in unison.
In ages past, new Summoners and Midwives would come to the Szef for their blessing in order to take on their new responsibilities. Feasts would be held in the Shining Hall and the Szef would grant the neophytes their blessing after three days. As time wore on, the Szef would merely acknowledge the newcomer and this was sufficient. After the Fall of Blackcrown, new Summoners and Midwives would feel an undeniable pull once their sigil had presented itself. Until recognized by the Szef, a Summoner or Midwife had no authority.
After the departure of House Bok from Vesaria, the title of Szef would be granted to one of the Houses, seemingly at random. However, none knew who would be declared Szef, lest their appetites for power and prestige be stirred. It was only by the Keeper that a Summoner be declared Szef.
At the end of the Third Age and dawn of the Fourth Age, a period referred to as "The Reformation", three Houses were joined and present on Zahvroma. They brought hope to a troubled land and many pledged themselves to their cause. The Summoners decided to attempt an assault on Blackcrown, to pry it from the taloned grip of the chromatic dragons. They conscripted skilled warriors from the villages bordering Blackcrown, dubbing them the Inquisitors. Their mission was simple enough: to exterminate the draconic threat by any means necessary.
The Inquisitors fancied themselves heroes, like the ones in fairy tales. Yet, their bravado proved futile against the dragons who had grown in might and number since the Summoners' absence. Though they had slain a good number of dragons, the Inquisitors were ill-equipped for a prolonged war. In an ill-fated assault, most of the Inquisitors and the three Houses were slaughtered. Though the Summoners' venture had ended in failure, many in the villages continued to recruit members for the Inquisition, hoping for the return of one or more of the Houses to lead them in battle.
Unlike a common summoner's eidolon, a Summoner's eidolon can have a very different outlook on life and their place in the world. There have been tales of eidolons betraying cruel masters or satisfying their own whims. Eidolons rightly fear becoming unfettered, but they have a strong sense of self and following their hearts. There are only a few eidolons which follow a House for more than a generation or two, many neophyte Summoners bonding with an eidolon that has just proven its worthiness. Thus, most eidolons do not care for maintaining the honor of the Houses. Rather, they seem to follow an agenda that solely concerns them and their kind.