Article published on Saturday, May 1st, 2010
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What once thrived as a small community in the midwestern parts of the land of Elterra has evolved into several major powers. Their history includes millennia of achievements in culture, linguistics, faith, and the arts. Sadly, darkness resides in the deepest hollows of the human heart, and acts of war, plunder, and slaughter soon ensued. Greed drove the nations to wage wars in which mindless killings were permitted to continue day after day in the name of accumulating more territory.

Years of continued strife gradually gave birth to three great factions: Ashland, Zan Korrel, and Evdar. Ashland took control over most of the land, with Evdar claiming the northwestern territories and the Zan Korrel controlling the shores. This was the situation for many years, until the arrival of new settlers.

When the new settlers arrived, they brought with them new fashions and languages. During a time of peace, the people of Elterra learned new technologies for crafting armor, as well as the mysterious powers of alchemy. Having brought new knowledge to Elterra, the newcomers quickly earned their place among the native peoples.

Thirty years passed quickly, and as the saying goes, good times do not last forever. Religious and cultural clashes with the newcomers became more frequent. Accordingly, tolerance levels were gradually wearing thin. What finally set a fateful chain of events into motion was a drastic increase in taxes on the newcomers. Unable to tolerate their treatment any longer, the Kirin-worshipping newcomers staged a rebellion and usurped the throne, putting their leader, Fusu, in power and declaring the beginning of the Kirin Era.

A massive war erupted as a result. With technologically superior weapons and alchemy, the Kirin Empire in the East held the upper hand in all battles. Nevertheless, the Evdar and the Zan Korrel, with their mysterious magiks, were forces to be reckoned with. In the midst of all these conflicts, a divine artifact in the east known as the Dimensional Gate was somehow damaged. Strange beings began to appear in Elterra.

The demise of the Kirin Empire was inevitable and irreversible, as various feudal lords with lofty ambitions started to eye the seat of power, waiting for the most opportune moment to strike. With the passing of the last ruler of Fusu's lineage, all chaos broke loose.

The saints of the land could not bear to see innocent civilians caught in this mindless war, forced to live with the hardships that would ensue from the blind greed of those who held power. They led the homeless, soldiers tired of all the fighting, and even a few of the former ruling class, who did not wish to be part of the violence anymore. All of them traveled through the Dimensional Gate into the unknown. "At the very least," they thought, "things cannot be worse than in our war-ravaged homeland."

The world they found was a utopia compared to the chaos they had left behind. It was a land where everything was beautiful and whole. There was no war, no hate, and no conflict in their new land. Through unity and goodwill, these refugees quickly built up a whole new civilization for themselves there, with their own army and culture. It was a place they could call home. All of this was accomplished in a brief 30 years.

Continued explorations into the mysteries of their new land have started to reveal bad tidings for all those living there - very bad tidings indeed.