Age of Despair
In the First Age of Mortals (sometimes called the Age of Waking), mortals first walked the earth and made homes, settlements and cities. Families became clans, clans became tribes, tribes grew into city states and kingdoms. At the end of the First Age, a great war was fought between men and a demonic army summoned by mages, at the legendary city of Ilios. When the war was over, both armies were destroyed and the city was razed.
In the Second Age, the Umbrian Empire rose to be the great power of the world, an Empire of Humans and Dwarves that stretched around the Internum Sea (the largest navigable body of water in the world). The empire collapsed due to internal strife and attacks from outside, leaving behind abandoned communities and ruins throughout the world. During the balance of the age, new kingdoms formed to take the old Umbrian lands, and many small wars were fought over territory and resources formerly claimed by the empire.
“The Forsaking” happened almost three hundred years ago, marking the start of the Third Age – known to some as the Age of Despair. This event marked the disappearance of the Gods and brought great destruction with it – the skies were blackened so that the Sun and the moons were almost invisible, the Umbrian lands were savaged by fire, earthquakes and panicked war by the survivors. Elsewhere, cold summers and blighted crops caused famine and disease which took decades to recover from. Churches, burned or collapsed as the faithful scrambled and fought over the loss of the Gods.
Three centuries later, the world appears to have healed itself – the skies are clearer than ever, and the east wind no longer stinks of Umbria’s destruction. The crops are never overabundant, but there is often enough food now. The world may be clawing out from under its great loss.