Our world shattered.
In a few short minutes of horrendous cacophony and magma-colored glare, our once thriving sphere ripped apart and many pieces hurled into the depths of space. One might believe this to be the end of the story wondering why any historian began here at the end. Yet if this were the end, how could they now be reading this very history? This is not the end, but a new beginning.
None now live who witnessed the events that led to the world’s end. Some believe the sphere shattered because gods left us. Others believe an ancient evil, defeated by the forces of good, destroyed all that those brave souls had fought for out of spite. However, it is the official declaration of the Council of Wind, supported by no small number of fragments of information from before the Sundering, that ‘technology’ destroyed our beloved world. Technology. An alien concept of machines and complex tools that appeared to make life easier, but instead, corrupted the hearts of all who used it.
Before the Sundering, the sorcerers learned of the coming destruction. It is not for this author to speculate whether this warning came as a last parting gift of the gods, or through the sorcerers’ own scrying. None now live who knows for sure. However they obtained the information, it saved us, even through the destruction of an entire world. Sorcerers, called Hydromancers, who commanded water in all its forms, gathered twenty large pools of fresh water from around the world. As the forces that ripped our world apart unleashed, those who had command of rocks and metal, the Geomancers, preserved twenty massive portions centered round the new seas. The Hydromancers then used their powers to preserve every living thing on these pieces of land from the extreme forces of motion generated during the cataclysm by using the very water in our bodies. Powerful sorcerers of the air, the Aeromancers, drew in the four winds to surround these twenty refuges giving us the air we breathe even today. Lastly, the Pyromancers, the wielders of the long lost, and forbidden art of fire, channeled the mighty energies of the world’s destruction, great roaring waves of liquid heat, around these island refuges.
It was over then, or so it seemed. All that remained of the world consisted of twenty large masses of earth holding a pitiful remnant of life and a few scattered chunks, now our moons, floating in the same path around our star. Yet the work of the sorcerers, exhausted from their efforts in preserving these islands, did not end there. They began preparing the islands for survival in the hostile Void. For without the field of energy that drew everything towards the center of the world the air refused to remain near the islands. In fact neither did anything else not rooted to the ground.
A second cadre of Geomancers began casting new spells that simulated this energy field, that which wizards call ‘gravity’, within the center of each island. It kept the people, the animals, and the larger things on the ground, but the air still escaped into the Void. As the Geomancers worked, so, too, did their air-shaping counterparts. The Aeromancers continually drew in the venting atmosphere from the Void and pushed it back down to the surface of the landmasses. Water also began leaving the seas in rivers and flowed towards the edge of the islands. Combining their efforts, the Hydromancers and Geomancers caused the water to run down the outside of our new homes and spring back up through the center into the seas again. This purified the water by passing it through the rock instead of spilling off into the Void, useless.
The Void is cold, even with the local star blazing through it. The Pyromancers worked with the Geomancers casting spells of heat within the islands to keep us warm all year round. Lastly, the Geomancers drew the islands in to their current positions and began the Dance of the Moons. After this, they fashioned the palons, by which we travel from island to island. The Aeromancers continually spent their lives, channeling day after day all day long to keep the air around us, unable to tie their sorcery to the earth as the other elemancers.
Then a band of heroes seeking to end the chaos rampant throughout the islands discovered the World Shards. These gems carry with them the ability to amplify the natural magic of the sorcerers. The Geomancers quickly fashion twenty Atmosphere Resonance Crystals, or ARCs, from the largest World Shards. For the first time, the sorcerers could anchor aeromancy. This saved the Aeromancers from extinction. Now only one individual must channel each first day of the month in the Ritual of Breath to keep the air we breathe from floating off into the Void. Unlike the other sorceries and geomancy, air and earth are opposing elements and do not work well together. They require a greater magnitude of power to work in harmony.
In addition, many believed the Geomancers did not trust their opposites, those brave beings who had sacrificed countless lives to keep us all from death, and so would not allow them to tie their spells to the crystals as they had allowed the other elementalists to tie their spells to the land. Instead, they bound them to the Ritual to keep them from being as completely free as the others of their kind. Their mistrust backfired. Because of their initial and continual sacrifice, the Aeromancers proved their devotion to the lives of those they had saved. We, the people, offered them leadership over the islands. Gladly they accepted this honor. They now rule us with a firm but fair hand.
By their rule, there is peace in the islands of Loar.
~ Introduction to: History of the Islands by Verithwein Netherbreeze,
Council Historian, 1695 H.E.