The City of Kings is the name given to both the universe which all our games are designed in, and the first game we released.
With a timeline spanning 13,755 years, the City of Kings is made up of three ages and countless stories which we will explore in the years to come.
It used to be peaceful here, once. This world used to be a garden, bursting into life – but that was before Vesh came.
The world had known it’s fair share of wars, of course, for many long aeons the different races of the world; the flying Vadorans and the tunnelling Dwarves, the Sakura cat-people, the Elvish, and the human folk all struggled against each other in their own ways. They were all hungry for territory, or scornful of their neighbours. Only the stony golem people; the Risen stayed away from their strife and politicking.
For the Risen knew the true story of the world, and they knew that everyone here was a descendant of the first occupants. One amongst the Risen, Calamis Earthshaker, had even heard the last words fall from the lips of that first race as it died. Ever since that day in the morning of the world, the Risen Chief has sword itself to secrecy about what it heard – but there are many who would kill for such knowledge.
The Risen are fashioned from rock and stone, branch and leaf, formed from the bones of the world in the First Age: the Age of Beginnings. They were fashioned by the drops of blood from that elder race they called the Fallen (its own name for itself is lost to myth and history). The Fallen, or so it is said, arrived in this world from portals and gates that led to another plane, another realm far removed from this one. Whether they were fleeing or conquering, no one now knows. Whether they were true gods or not, no one now knows.
Whatever their own origins, when the mysterious race known as the Fallen arrived in the world, everywhere they went, they brought forth changes. Their blood drew forth the Risen, and, much later the first of the younger races; the Vadoran and the Dwarvish, then the Sakura, the Elves, and finally the bickering Humans.
But the Fallen’s finest creation perhaps, was the gigantic labyrinth-citadel, occupying a plateau and fashioned from the whitest of rock called the City of Kings. Whatever motive they had for it, no one can say for sure – but when they succumbed to the sickness that defeated them; they left it for the Risen to watch over.
In the next era of the world after the Fallen, the juvenile races grew in numbers and strength, spreading into the furthest corners of the four directions. This is known as the Age of Prosperity, as it was a time of deep joy for the races. First to fly where the winged Vadoran’s, the devout messengers and devotees of the Fallen race. Nearly at the same time delved the Dwarfish folk; building tunnels and underground strongholds, following the rich seams of gemstones.
The Elvish emerged, and delighted in their kinship with the deep forests of the world, until they became more then part tree themselves! The secretive cat-people, the Sakura ran across the hot desert lands of the south, moving ceaselessly.
And last of all to the Second Age came the humans, who brought with them troubles and woe. They split almost immediately into noble Houses, each warring against the other for the coveted title of High King. That war spread to the other races too – the dwarves assaulting the forests of the elves for ever more valuable heart-woods for their fuel, and the Vadoran’s fought against any who they deemed heretical.
As the wars spread like a disease, there developed a canker in the heart of the world – and that was called Vesh. Once a human chief, he gave himself over to studying the darkest of arts; the magic that bridged life and death, and the lost sciences of the Fallen. Rumours of necromancy and foul cults spread, but it was only Calamis Earthshaker, the first Risen who had looked upon and heard the original Fallen who understood the danger. Earthshaker travelled to put an end to Vesh, but was captured instead, and spent a year and a day in the laboratory-dungeons and slave-pits of the dark lord.
Lord Vesh sought to understand what it was that the Fallen had done to make ignorant rock stand and speak, and think, and feel. He experimented on the Risen Chief with both magic and chisel, until he had what he wanted: a drop of the essence that coursed through Calamis, still as powerful as the day that it had fallen to the ground millennia ago. Lord Vesh injected himself with the foul substance, becoming something other than human.
In the pandemonium that ensued, before Vesh could control the powers that coursed through him, Calamis escaped, rallying the humans and the elder races to attack the evil sorcerer. In his weakened and confused state, the human chiefs, the elvish Queen, and the dwarfish soldiers managed to defeat the necromantic cult of fiends and mercenaries, and peace returned once more to the Age of Prosperity.
But it was a short-lived peace, for when a sickness has started, it must be rooted and burned out before the healing can begin.
The Third Age of the world dawned, known as the Age of Strife. The races which had come together to defeat a shared enemy now knew how powerful the blood of the Fallen were. They sought control over the City of Kings, and the Risen under Calamis Earthshaker refused them. Wars broke out. Brother turned against brother, faction against faction. It was in this darkness that no one noticed the tide of evil and fell creatures multiply in the world once more. They were the creatures of Vesh, cruel and twisted experiments that hated all of the original creations of the Fallen. The scorpion-folk, the ogres, the orcs, trolls, and goblins.
Vesh had returned – but he was no man no more. He was a dark lord, and, along with Hoodrah Kelraz, his Trollish General, he laid waste to the world.