Age of Despair
Before the First Age, the gods created the world, and determined the shape of it. Through the Umbrian Empire’s rule and even after the collapse of that state, the gods were there to provide help and guidance for the peoples of the world. But almost three hundred years ago the terrible night known as “the Forsaking” happened and the gods abandoned the world. Darkness and fire were followed by famine and disease that spread rapidly, especially when priests no longer had the power to halt their advance. Cathedrals and temples were looted or destroyed in the fury and panic of this cataclysm.
Now that the devastation of the Forsaking has cleared, people struggle to find guidance in the world. Many sects and cults have sprung up, looking for answers about the gods and the Forsaking. Some search the stars for signs that they have returned, or that new gods have taken their place. Others seek signs in the world for what happened to the gods, and whether they might be brought back. Penitents are found in some places, believing that if they can atone for the sins of mortals, the gods might be recalled. All that is clear is that the gods have not answered yet.
Cilka uncovered some history from the library of Soren at Koshlin.
In the First Age, it seems that demons as well as “the servants of the Gods” could walk the Earth at will. The divine and profane mixed with men and taught them lessons or carried messages back and forth from their masters to the people of Earth.
The war for Ilios and the destruction of that city marked the end of the First Age and seemingly the end of free contact with the Gods and other planes. A gift was given to some of the survivors of Ilios, an artifact known as the Threshold that allowed the faithful to maintain contact with the Gods. The threshold stone was taken by refugees from Ilios who founded a village named Portus. This town became the major port for Umbria, and then became known throughout the world just as Umbria – capital of the Empire. Throughout the Second Age, that stone sat in the doorway of the Great Cathedral of Umbria.