"Truly, if there is a god of destiny... he is fond of plot twists."
The information below provides background information that can be assumed to be known by anyone who was born on Lunar. Its purpose is to provide players with common background to facilitate RP; if you want your character to not know this stuff, hey, fill your boots -- it’s not like there’s a medieval high school for it.
Lunar’s calendar begins with the Goddess’s Day, in which the world celebrates their salvation at the hands of Althena. The rest of it is based on four seasons, one for each of the Dragons -- White (Winter), Blue (Spring), Red (Summer), and Black (Fall). Each season is 91 days long; three 30-day phases, named after the degree to which the Blue Star is visible within the sky -- Rising, Full, and Fading - with a single day of celebration marking the transition between each. Dates are read as follows:
Rising Red 6 -- The sixth day of the first phase of summer. Fading Black 12 -- The twelfth day of the third phase of fall. Slumbering White -- The festival day marking the transition between winter and spring.
No one knows exactly how long it has been since Althena brought humans to Lunar; she was evidently not big on record-keeping in the first few years on the planet. The first day of the modern calendar -- measured in Goddess Years -- was therefore selected more or less arbitrarily.
- 6301 Star Date (SD) = 1 Goddess Year (GY)
- 10366 SD = 4066 GY = 499 Post-Collapse (PC) = MUSH launch
In antiquity, life thrived upon the Blue Star. It was a golden age for humanity... but man grew proud, and disaster struck. As the people of the Blue Star made war upon each other, cracking the very foundation of their world, the faithful cried out for a saviour, knowing it to be fruitless.
But Althena answered.
The Goddess lifted the faithful up from the Blue Star, and carried them to the lifeless world of Lunar. There, she used her powers to grant life to the barren lands, creating in a single moment a verdant paradise. But calamity followed. Her people were endangered.
But Althena was undaunted.
The Goddess called on her power a second time, and created the Boundary -- a spiritual barrier that would keep the demons and monsters of the old world at bay. The Boundary spread across most of the continent now known as Meribus... but the effort required to sustain it taxed even the might of the Goddess. In her wisdom, she created beings of great power -- Four Dragons -- and bestowed upon them a fragment of her power, such that they could aid her in sustaining the Boundary. And so the barrier was sustained. Calamity was held at bay.
But Althena was troubled.
The Goddess had saved her people in an act of mercy, but had no desire to rule over them. And she knew that the tragedy that befell the Blue Star could make its way to Lunar as well, were she not vigilant. The troubled Goddess consulted with the Dragons, who proposed a solution: they would test the humans Althena had brought to the world to determine which of them was the most worthy. And to that human, the Dragons would bestow their blessing, and the ability to call upon their power in times of great need. And this mortal champion would be tasked with the protection of the Goddess, and the world she had worked so hard to create.
The men and women of Lunar gathered, under the watchful eye of their goddess. And the Dragons devised great Trials to plumb the depths of their minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits. Of them all, only one passed all four Trials; and so Red, Black, White and Blue bowed their heads to him as he climbed the steps to the Goddess Tower, to take his place at the side of the divine.
Thus was born the first Dragonmaster, Louie. And Althena was content.
But some among the Goddess’s chosen were left unsettled; in spite of the dangers, they struck out beyond the Boundary, sailing to the continent later known as Glenwood, where they began to make their home. Bereft of Althena’s protection, life for them was hard. But in times of true peril, the Dragonmaster was there, even for such as they.
1 GY - The residents of Lunar mark roughly three centuries since their arrival from the Blue Star. In recognition of Althena’s mercy, the modern calendar system is formalized; it establishes the current year as Goddess Year 1. All agree that peace and prosperity will forever grace Lunar.
4 GY - A wave of monsters and unknown demihumans, referred to as the Vile Tribe by the commons, emerges from the lands beyond the Boundary. They swarm through Glenwood and quickly spread to the Meribus continent. Dragonmaster Bartz repels the assault nearly single-handedly, wielding devastating draconic magics against the invaders, who withdraw to the north.
In the wake of the invasion, Althena determines the residents of Glenwood can no longer live outside the safety of her Boundary. Working with the Dragons, the Goddess creates the Seraphim: a group of spirits capable of channelling her Blessing. Led by the first Seraphim, they create a smaller version of Althena's Boundary by collectively extending their blessing over the continent of Glenwood, which slowly begins to recover.
The Heresy War
3020 GY - The Premier of the Magic Guild of Vane, the half-elf Ghaleon, resigns his office following a half-century of leadership. He departs on a journey to see the wonders of Lunar for himself. Sometime over the next decade, he encounters a young swordsman named Dyne, from the backwater village of Burg. The two become fast friends, and travel together for many years.
3030 GY - As Dyne and Ghaleon wander toward Vane, they stumble onto a crisis; an airship containing several high-ranking Guild members -- including the Premier, Niea Ausa -- is attacked by aerial monsters, and crashes into a cliff. Dyne and Ghaleon, joined by the Premier’s daughter, Lemia, beat back the assault and return the ship to the safety of the city. Following the resolution of the crisis, Lemia Ausa requests permission to join the two wanderers on their journey; her mother allows it, given the presence of her old teacher in the party.
As the group sets sail to the city of Meribia, they cross paths with the notorious Beastfolk pirate Mel de Alkirk, otherwise known as Hell Mel. Accounts of the duel between Mel and Dyne vary based on how drunk the teller is, but most agree the two battled back and forth for a week before finally collapsing to the deck. Afterward, Hell Mel surrendered to Dyne, who agreed to take his parole provided Mel give up on piracy. Mel agreed, completing the group that would later be called the Four Heroes; stories of their adventures are told to this day on Lunar.
3032 GY - As Dragonmaster Anno is visiting the border town of Nanza, he is captured and executed by a group of fanatics. Calling themselves the Sons of Zophar, they proclaim Althena a false goddess, and declare their intent to convert the world of Lunar to the worship of an unknown god named Zophar by the sword. Their army begins making its way across the borderlands toward Vane.
According to the legends, the Four Heroes met in council and decided that this threat could only be overcome with the power of a new Dragonmaster. While Mel and Lemia rallied Lunar’s defenders, Ghaleon and Dyne undertook the Trials together, completing all four in a matter of weeks. But the Dragons were unable to choose between them, and asked the Goddess to decide. Both men presented themselves to the Goddess, who chose Dyne as her champion, though it is said none was happier at the selection than Ghaleon himself.
Empowered with the abilities of the Four Dragons, Dyne and Ghaleon rushed to rejoin the battle. The Dragonmaster and former Magic Guild Premier arrived at a crucial moment; riding astride the White Dragon, Quark, they unleashed their powers upon the the Sons of Zophar, routing them totally. The histories would later mark this as the end of the Heresy War, though the Four Heroes journeyed for nearly a decade dealing with the after-effects.
3049 GY - The remnants of the Sons of Zophar launch a last-ditch attack under the command of the sorcerer Eiphel, who attempts to slay one of the Four Dragons, in the hopes of disrupting the Boundary. Eiphel’s magic devastates the Black Dragon, but the Dragonmaster arrives in time to forestall a finishing blow. With the assistance of Ghaleon, Dyne holds the line against Eiphel and his men, the two battling alone until Lemia and Mel arrive and end the sorcerer's attack, finishing the Sons of Zophar for good.
Shortly after the battle, Lemia Ausa succeeds her mother as Premier of the Magic Guild, and ceases journeying to return to Vane. Mel de Alkirk is offered the post of mayor of Meribia, the city he preyed upon as a pirate; amused beyond reckoning by the irony, he accepts without question. The age of the Four Heroes ends; Dyne and Ghaleon return to the Goddess Tower.
3050 GY - Dragonmaster Dyne disappears without a trace; his closest friend, Ghaleon, spends a day in seclusion before departing to begin a furious search. A year goes by, and no sign of either man is reported, nor has anyone stepped forth to attempt the Trials. For the first time in recorded history, Lunar is left without a Dragonmaster.
The Year of Darkness
3066 GY - The Vile Tribe emerges from the Boundary, led by a powerful sorcerer in black armour known as the Magic Emperor. While the whole of Lunar scrambles to respond, a massive construct -- a moving spire of shimmering ebon steel -- begins moving its way toward the heart of Meribus, destroying all under its feet. The Magic City of Vane moves to confront this so-called Grindery, but the Magic Emperor deploys a brilliant beam of power against the city -- a beam fuelled by the Four Dragons, held hostage by the Magic Emperor’s spells -- blasting it out of the skies to shatter on the ground below. The Grindery approaches the Goddess Tower, and all seems lost.
It is then that Alex Noah, a young swordsman from Dyne’s home village of Burg, emerges from nowhere, bearing the raiments of the Dragonmaster. Accompanied by diverse companions -- including the daughters of Lemia Ausa and Hell Mel -- he assaults the Grindery, stopping its advance and cutting down the Vile Tribe’s leaders. The battle culminates in a ferocious duel atop the Goddess Tower, in which the Dragonmaster stands firm against the Magic Emperor’s foul sorceries. Just when Alex appears beaten, Althena emerges, singing a song of pure light that breaks the Emperor’s spell. Empowered by the Goddess’s blessing, the Dragonmaster drives his blade into the Magic Emperor’s chest, killing him and ending the invasion.
Glenwood, meanwhile, descends into a bloody war. Rumors abound that the rebels employed dark sorceries, which served as proof of their heresies against Althena. With the Dragonmaster occupied defending the Goddess Althena, the Seraphim intervene directly, aiding the opposing forces and putting down the belligerents, though embers of strife still burn.
By Fading Black of this year, the people of Lunar are weary and battered. The Goddess withdraws once more into her Tower, and Dragonmaster Alex returns to his home village, where he settles down with his young wife, Luna.
The First Age of Chaos
3100 GY - The Asgard Empire fragments apart in a succession disputeh, with numerous provinces breaking away. The Church of Althena is unable to stop this dissolution from occurring, and the Goddess herself remains sequestered in her Tower. Over the next century, monsters begin appearing in greater numbers, particularly in Glenwood.
3150 GY - Luna Noah dies shortly after her hundredth birthday in their home of Burg. Her husband Alex survives long enough to attend the funeral, but passes away at the foot of her grave. Once again, no successor rises to replace him, and questors presenting themselves to the Dragons are rebuffed. As the years pass, stories of Alex’s battle against the Vile Tribe grant him an additional title: The Last Dragonmaster.
3244 GY - The warlord Ghaios, who has claimed one of the breakaway provinces of the Empire, begins waging war that spreads quickly across Glenwood. His army wreaks havoc upon the entire continent; stories speak of hellacious crimes committed by his leaders, of soldiers who seem driven mad with rage, wielding hellish powers. Ghaios proclaims himself the Lord of Calamity, and challenges the Goddess to bring forth a Dragonmaster to confront him. But no Dragonmaster comes forward, and Althena is silent.
3245 GY - Realizing that they can turn to no Dragonmaster for help, the Seraphim grant their blessings to a lone human, who wield powers terrible and fearsome. This person becomes known as the Shepherd in the dogma of the Church of Althena, they are those who tend the flock until the Dragonmaster comes.
3246-3260 GY - Working with the Seraphim, the Shepherd rallies Glenwood’s defenders and confront the Lord of Calamity. The campaign is brutal, and lasts almost fifteen years before the city of Meribia sends the entirety of its local forces to Glenwood, helping to turn the tide. With the powers of the Seraphim at their call, the Shepherd eventually confronts and defeats Ghaios, bringing an end to the First Age of Chaos.
The Second Age of Chaos
3270 GY - Glenwood slowly recovers from the destruction created by the first Lord of Calamity. The Kingdom of Hyland and the Rolance Empire are founded by the survivors of the royal line of Asgard. The Church of Althena reestablishes itself as the reigning theology there, but also incorporates the Lord of Calamity as a figure in its teachings. The cities of Meribus contribute a great deal of support to this rebuilding effort, but this later proves costly to some of them.
3300-3400 GY - Vane begins to decline. The city's fall resulted in a slow loss of prestige and talent, and funds that were desperately needed to restore the Guild and its environs were funnelled to Glenwood. Slow trickles of departure quickly turn into a mass emigration, and by the end of the century the city is one fourth its former size. The city falls slowly into ruin and disrepair.
3450 GY - Reports begin to emerge throughout Glenwood of individuals resembling the soldiers of Ghaios’s army -- otherwise ordinary people suddenly driven mad with rage, wielding fell powers against their fellow citizens. Tensions grow in Rolance and Hyland, and calls for aid from Althena’s priesthood are met with words of comfort... but few answers. In the absence of guidance, Seraphim begin to move openly throughout the continent, seeking out and destroying these men turned monster.
3492 GY - The last living Shepherd dies in the Hyland capital of Ladylake. The site of her passing is sanctified by the Church, and becomes a cathedral in that city. After this, Seraphim sightings become far rarer. The leader of the Five Lords, Maotelus, no longer appears to humans. Within a generation, some begin to claim the Seraphim are only myth.
3862 GY - In the village of Wellwood in Rolance, Anitia, a priestess of Althena, begins to speak out against the Goddess. With the people of the village infuriated by the Church’s seeming indifference to the suffering of the Glenwood continent -- and by the Goddess’s refusal to emerge from her Tower to tend her people -- she begins to attract support. This is made far, far worse when a plague spreads across Glenwood and brings incredible death and suffering.
3864 GY - Concerned by the rising tensions in the area, the Church dispatches a Cardinal to Wellwood to speak with and reassure the local population. The decision proves unwise, as Anitia stokes the villagers into a fury; they strip the Cardinal naked and drive him out of town with stones. Rolance dispatches a platoon of troops to the village to restore order, but they are attacked as well; they return in company strength and put down the riot, capturing Anitia. Concerned that her execution would spark open rebellion, Rolance exiles her instead. She resurfaces in a village in Hyland territory, and begins re-establishing support, with a new target in mind -- revenge on the country that drove her from her home.
3866 GY - Having spent the past two years stirring villages into a frenzy over the supposed sins of Rolance, Anitia leads a mob across the border. She is -- to the astonishment of nearly everyone -- backed up in this by several platoons’ worth of defected soldiers from Rolance, whose presence leads Hyland to believe they are being invaded. Hyland retaliates, and the continent is soon plunged into war.
After months of fighting, agents on both sides convince the two nations to attend a peace conference, where the depths of Anitia’s manipulations are laid bare. As Hyland and Rolance unite to turn on her followers, Anitia unleashes a creature unlike anything Glenwood has seen before: a Dragon, corrupted by the dark magics of the Lord of Calamity.
The Fell Dragon proves to be more than a match for both armies, and all appears lost. But a single soldier emerges from the ranks of Hyland’s armies, and becomes the next Shepherd. The unnamed Shepherd engages the Dragon and the Lord of Calamity, slaying both at the cost of his life.
The war's aftermath greatly weakens both Hyland and Rolance, and the revelation that a priestess of Althena was secretly a Lord of Calamity sends the Church’s standing in Glenwood into steep decline. This becomes known as the Second Age of Chaos.
3967 GY - Over the last century, veneration and respect for the Goddess and Seraphim have waned in Glenwood. Humans and animals both begin to go mad with disturbing regularity. Hyland and Rolance, which had experienced considerable tension following the Second Age of Chaos, begin to have more frequent skirmishes along their borders.
4036 GY - Georg Heldalf rises to the rank of General in the Rolance Army. A knight of some fame, Heldalf proves himself as a taciturn but effective commander. He earns respect not only in his native Rolance, but also the Church of Althena. Over the next decade he trains disciples in the art of the sword: these include the twin brothers, Sergei and Boris Strelka, and the Beastfolk Leo.
4043 GY - Another war between Hyland and Rolance breaks out, as is tradition. The war comes nearly at the same time of another outbreak of madness among humans and animals both. Rumors claim that this leads to the emergence of a Shepherd. He wanders across Glenwood, preaching of peace and hope, and of the need to restore balance to the world by beseeching its source: the Goddess Althena. Shepherd Michael vows to bring her back to the world by constructing a place of justice to which the Goddess can return. While beloved by the common people, Michael is largely seen by the powers that be as an annoyance. He is remembered more in folk tales and stories than in official histories.
4044 GY - The Second Battle of Glaivend Basin erupts between the Rolance Empire and Kingdom of Hyland. This battle is enormously destructive; thousands are killed in a four-day bloodbath. Georg Heldalf distinguishes himself by knowing when to retreat, but is left concerned. Rolance is also supported by a mercenary group known as the Windriders; their valor in battle earns them a commission from the Rolance imperial family. Maltran, a Hyland soldier, distinguishes herself by singlehandedly killing a full enemy squad. She becomes known as the Blue Valkyrie.
4046 GY - Shepherd Michael vanishes, feared dead by some. Shortly after he vanishes, refugees from the war found the village of Camlann on the border of Rolance and Hyland, near the ruin of Artorius's Throne.
4047 GY - Georg Heldalf comes to the realization that Camlann is the key to winning the war between Rolance and Hyland. He occupies the village; Hyland comes to the same realization and launches a brutal counterattack. The battle is bloody, and both the attacking and defending forces are wiped out, along with the villagers. Georg Heldalf is the only survivor.
With the earlier disappearance of the Shepherd and the war continuing, the people of Glenwood begin to wonder if they have been beset by a Third Age of Chaos.
4049 GY - A fire consumes the home of Georg Heldalf and he perished in the fire. His former students -- the Beastfolk Leo and the Strelka brothers - reunite briefly for the funeral.
4050 GY - A book known as the Celestial Record begins to circulate, printed in both Pendrago and Ladylake. It recounts travels across Glenwood, identifying both landmarks and descriptions of Glenwood's history. It is especially popular with children and the adventuresome. Publications spread as far as Meribus.
4053 GY - The leader of the city of Meribia is killed by a group of dark assassins known as the Shadow Dragon Cult. The Cult runs rampant for weeks until a wandering martial artist named Lunn arrives in the city. He is attacked by cult soldiers, but beats them back with ease. The attacks escalate until the Cult’s leader, a masked warrior, duels Lunn in the heart of the city. Lunn’s technique proves superior, and he kills the Shadow Dragon and scatters his cult to the winds.
Now leaderless, the people of Meribia offer rule of their city to their saviour; Lunn declines, but requests permission to open a school of the martial arts to help teach the people to defend themselves. Over time, his dojo becomes the most prestigious martial arts school on Lunar.
4058 GY - The Windriders are exiled from Rolance following a night of confusion, wherein their number were blamed for an attack on the royal palace and the death of a prince of the blood, third in line for the throne. The mercenary group flees the country, and their members are sentenced to death in absentia.
4059 GY - The Goddess Althena emerges from seclusion in her tower for the first time in a millennium. She begs forgiveness from her people for her long absence, explaining she had entered into a state of deep slumber to recover from her battle against the Vile Tribe. The initial reaction is skeptical, particularly in Glenwood, but then the Goddess manifests in the middle of a battlefield and demands both Rolance and Hyland lay down their weapons. Their generals, stunned by what is quite literally divine intervention, agree to cease hostilities.
Speaking to all of Lunar through magical visions appearing in bodies of water, Althena promises to lead her people into a new golden age; after two Lords of Calamity, her people are eager and willing to hear more. The faithful begin flowing to the island where the Goddess Tower resides, and over the next few years, a city begins to form.
4062 GY - With the city of Pentagulia now taking shape, Althena names the first Dragonmaster in a thousand years -- Ghaleon of the Four Heroes, restored to life by her power. Ghaleon makes a tour of both Meribus and Glenwood on the back of the Black Dragon, in a none-too-subtle demonstration of the authenticity of the Goddess’s proclamation. Emboldened by the newly-active Goddess, the High Bishop of Pendrago begins to regain some of the Church’s lost standing in both Hyland and Rolance.
4063 GY - Changes continue in rapid succession. First, a wizard named Borgan emerges from seclusion, creating the city of Neo-Vane overnight. Using ancient technology said to come from the Seraphim, Borgan lifts the city into the skies, much to the chagrin of the Vane of old. In recognition of the feat, Althena announces she has named Borgan to a special place in her service, assisting the Dragonmaster; she also names three other champions, styling them after the Four Heroes of old. They are White Knight Leo, head of Althena’s Guard, Blue Master Lunn of Meribia, Black Wizard Borgan, and Red Priestess Mauri.
Althena continues to take a more active role in Lunarian life; under Leo’s leadership, the Guard fans out from Pentagulia, putting down the bandits, pirates and monsters that have been plaguing the countryside. Accompanied by a handful of students, Lunn performs similar feats in Meribia. Borgan and Mauri, meanwhile, are charged with raising a new generation of black and white magicians to serve and protect the people of Lunar, who are feeling more safe and secure than they have in generations.
4064 GY - The Goddess Althena regretfully announces she has outlawed music and dancing, stating that this immoral behaviour is contributing to the rise of dark feelings, which in turn empower the Lords of Calamity. Later in the same month, she outlaws alcohol. These edicts are largely respected, although there is considerable grumbling in Raculi and most of Glenwood.
The High Bishop of Pendrago vanishes; Runette Forton is elevated to Cardinal and struggles to maintain the Church’s relations with the continent’s powers. A short few months later, the Emperor of Rolance dies, and his heir is a minor. The Church officials in Pendrago and the Imperial Knights come into conflict over who will be regent.
4065 GY - With the High Bishop of Pendrago nowhere to be found, the influence of the Church begins to wane. Cardinal Forton struggles to retain the respect of the rulers of Hyland. Remarkably, the Church's offices in Hyland begin to ignore the Cardinal's edicts in favor of Hyland's council and edicts directly from Pentagulia. Tensions between the nations only increase.
The Current Year
In the present day, Lunar is experiencing a mix of hope and despair. The Goddess Althena has proclaimed the emergence of a new Lord of Calamity -- Lucia the Destroyer -- and has ordered Lunar’s champions to find and destroy her before she can bring disaster to the world. The White Knight Leo is leading the mission personally, and the Dragonship Destiny has been seen moving across the deserts toward the Blue Spire.
In Glenwood, rumours abound that a new Shepherd has appeared in the town of Ladylake; some report the Shepherd has joined the hunt for The Destroyer, while others suggest there was never one to begin with. All the while, the flames of war are being fanned once more between the Kingdom of Hyland and the Rolance Empire.