Sunday, January 11, 2015

An introduction to the history and peoples of Zark

     The world of Zark is shrinking. Magic fuels the growth of great nations, and they divide the lesser countries between themselves like prizes. Perhaps more importantly, interplanar travel has opened whole new worlds for exploration and exploitation. During this ear of great change, war and unrest threaten to spill out of Zark unto the entire multiverse.


     To understand this period of history, it is best to begin with the arrival of the directors some thousand years ago. Before that time, the people of Zark were organized into small tribes and city states, with little knowledge of magic. The Directors were huge figures, clad from head to toe in thick armour. To the native people, it seemed as though they appeared out of thin air, and their knowledge of magic made them seem like gods. They set about conquering and empire-building. Soon, they had united the whole world under a single directorate. But the directors were a troubled people. Records from that time indicate that they were blessed with long life but cursed with infertility. History never recorded the birth of new director. While directors didn't seem to age, they could still be killed by normal means. At first, the worst threat to a director was another director. As infighting and factionism dwindled their numbers, they began to delegate more and more leadership positions and magical tasks to the natives. Rebellions became more frequent, and the directorate expanded more resources putting them down. They began to cede territory to Zarkian tribes, and Zarkian governors started to ignore the high director. Finally, the last director died around three hundred years ago, but the directorate had been dead in all but name for two hundred years at that point. The end of director rule ushered in a dark age.
     Out of the dark age three world powers emerged. In the center of the continent, the Sinrerall empire holds sway. The Sinrerall crown rules over three countries, and most small nations nearby acknowledge Sinrerall supremacy. Sinrerall is currently the world leader in the study and practice of elementalism. The elemental artifacts they mass produce have put unprecedented amounts of magical power in non-wizards. Not only have they reverse engineered Director dimension travel magic, they've invented massive wooden vessels that can transport huge loads of goods or troops across the void. Their skill in alchemy is modest compared to other nations, and the've banned the study and practice of summoning magic due to a myriad of reasons.
     To the north are the dark forests of  the Free Natural Republic Czaga. Consisting of lands formerly held by the Crown of Sinrerall, the republic was founded by during the Druid Rebellion. In theory, every citizen is free and equal in the eyes of Mother Nature. In practice, the High Druid rules with a bronze fist. Official doctrine places supreme importance on the natural order. Citizens are supposed to lead primitive, natural lives. The crown jewel of the Republic is Cza-dun, the great city-tree. Its creation was made possible by the druids' mastery of summoning magic. They have a decent command of the other two schools, but they refuse to use elemental artifacts. They have however begun using the Directors old dimensional portals, as they see spreading their ideology more important than preserving their taboos.
     By the shores of the captive seas is the last remnant of the Directorate, know as the Cephrix Directorate. The ruling "Director" is really a human, albet an unnaturally long lived one. He assumed the role after the death of the last true Director, and has been ruling ever since with the help of the elixir of life, the secret of which he alone posses. Alchemically enhanced monks roam the Captive Continent, collecting tithes of reagents, as the Directorate uses complicated alchemical compounds in day to day life. Some even travel between dimensions in search of rare materials. To do so they use internal alchemy, an art that is unheard of in the rest of the world.

2 comments:

  1. Which one does New Gameran belong to?

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    1. New Gameran is on a different plane than Zark, and has yet to be discovered by them.

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