The Eternal Library

3.5 OGL/Pathfinder RPG Material

The Story of Maarin

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Untold eons ago, reality was called forth from nothingness and the ruling Principles gave rise to the gods. The gods shaped reality in their images and brought forth their first servants. These servants were beings of pure spirit and were untainted by matter.

While these beings served their divine masters well, the gods desired more. They shaped the primal matter of reality and created planets and stars. Some of the gods chose to focus their attentions on a promising world, that of Aerth. They shaped the lands and called up mountains. They filled the empty plains with water, thus creating the oceans. Then they decided to create beings to dwell in this world.

The first race they called forth was created in contrast to their spiritual servants. These beings were created out of matter. The gods shaped them as perfectly as matter could be shaped and gave them great powers and vitality. These beings were called Dersatti and were placed on a great island, Karatharth, on Aerth. The Dersatti decided upon a republic and set about creating a civilization of great art, learning, culture and wisdom.

While these beings pleased the gods, they found that their desires were still unfulfilled. Driven by some innate need, the gods shaped new races by mixing matter and spirit. The gods shaped these beings in their own images, thus giving rise to a diversity of races. It is said that the true dragons were the first race created and then other beings of great power. The gods then turned to creating the lesser beings.

Legend says that the elves were the first of the new races to be created and they were given great vitality and insights into the power of magic. They were placed within the vast forests of the world and developed a love of beauty and nature.

Next, it is said, the dwarfs and their kin the gnomes were created. The bodies of the first dwarfs were created from matter taken from the very bones of the greatest mountains. As such, these beings inherited the strength of stone and feel at home in the depths of stone.

Man, some say, was created third. His span of years was not as great as the elves and he lacked the strength of the races of stone. Man was, however, the most adaptable and ambitious of the races.

At first, the legends say, the ancient Dersatti gladly mentored the new races and showed them the path towards civilization. Relatively few in number and reproducing slowly, the Dersatti sent forth a handful of ambassadors and guides to the new races and invited the best and the brightest of these races to their island.

For many years, the world enjoyed a great golden age. The noble Dersatti spread their culture and teachings and the new races thrived.

But this golden age did not endure. In their greatness, the Dersatti had one great flaw. Though they were beings of the most noble matter, they lacked spirit. So, the death of the body was the end of a Dersatti. Given their great lifespans and incredible toughness, the Dersatti did not worry much about this at first. But, as the centuries went by, some of the Dersatti began to worry greatly about death and turned their attention towards developing a solution. At first, their attempts were noble and yielded many medical arts and powerful healing magic.

As time went on and the eldest Dersatti began to feel death approaching, some of them turned to more desperate measures. It is said that some of them developed necromancy and their experiments created the first undead to plague Aerth.

These Dersatti also began to develop a taste for power and dominion. The once gentle guiding hand of the Dersatti turned to a pushing hand and then, after many years, to a crushing grip. It is written that the Dersatti brought war to the world as they began to construct an empire. At first they trained the new races in the art of battle and then the worst of them changed the new races to create more militant and brutal races. This, the ancient tales say, is the origin of the Moraks, Ur-Moraks, Orcs and other races that are but twisted mockeries of the true races.

The fallen Dersatti waged war through their mortal armies and thus soaked Aerth with blood. Some of the Dersatti remained true to their noble origins and strove against their fallen brethren and thus the wars of dominion turned into a brutal civil war.

This war brought horror and devastation to the world. The civilizations that the Dersatti had uplifted were brought down in ruin and their people were enslaved. The noble Dersatti that survived were forced into hiding and wept at their failure.

Although the Dersatti had enslaved most of the world, they still had not conquered death. Having lost all scruples and decency the fallen Dersatti renewed their necromantic researches with a demonic intensity. In their desperation, they did unspeakable things and earned the ire of many powerful beings, including the true dragons. These vile researches paid terrible dividends. It is said that the fallen Dersatti transformed themselves into necromantic horrors beyond the reach of death. Or so they believed.

Though the power of the fallen Dersatti, now known as Necrosatti, was great, they were not invincible. Though they crushed most of those who opposed them, they could not crush them all. Some free lands remained beyond their power. It is to some of those lands that the few surviving noble Dersatti journeyed. In those lands they continued their true path-teaching the new races and encouraging civilization.

The Necrosatti continued to fall even deeper into evil. The few living Dersatti who remained to serve them grew weaker and more decadent. It is said that the actions of the Necrosatti offended even some of the evil gods. The gods met and, after much debate, decided that the Dersatti would be purged from Aerth.

It is written that the gods sent a sign to Maarin, a noble Dersatti, of their intent to destroy Karathath and plunge it and the Necrosatti into the depths of the ocean. Maarin saw that the gods were willing to grant mercy to the mortals that had been enslaved by the Necrosatti and he was determined to be the instrument of that mercy.

As the island shook under the coming wrath of the gods, Maarin, his sister Laarin and their loyal friends arrived with a fleet of ships. They offered the slaves a chance at freedom and many of them were moved by Maarin’s words and elected to abandon their masters. Maarin and his sister led them to the ships and they fled the island as fast as they could. Maarin, moved by mercy, had rescued not only men, elves and dwarfs but also members of the monstrous races. Knowing that the survivors might turn to fighting among themselves Maarin had them swear the oath of peace: for the duration of the journey no one would raise a hand against anyone else. Such was the power of Maarin’s personality that his oath was taken and obeyed without exception.

The ships sailed for three days and finally arrived on the shores of a land that had not known the dominion of the Dersatti. The survivors decided they would go their own ways with each race taking a portion of land. Maarin and Laarin guided each race and offered them what help they could. These people set out to build kingdoms of their own and this effort kept them busy for many generations.

The hatred of the Necrosatti and the fallen Dersatti was burned into the souls of the once enslaved races. Legend has it that the few surviving fallen Dersatti used magic to change their very nature-they became creatures capable of shifting their forms so as to hide from the wrath of their former slaves. It is said that the mortal races would slaughter the fallen Dersatti on sight, should they recognize them.

Some of the enslaved races had become permanently changed by their experience and tainted by the evil of their masters. Some legends hold that this is the origin of many monstrous beings that trouble the world even now.

Maarin and Laarin provided guidance to the new kingdoms until their time came to an end. In an ironic turn of fate, the gods granted Maarin and Laarin immortality by elevating them into the ranks of the divine.

In gratitude for all the aid given them by Maarin and his sister, the people of the kingdoms agreed that each year there would be three days set aside to honor them. During this time the Truce of Maarin would be honored and no hand would be raised in violence.

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Written by Michael LaBossiere

December 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Sourcebook Material (Old)

Tagged with ,

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