The Gods forged the world many moons ago, the planet was created as a blazing ball of fire... which cooled down over time.
In the times before human existence the planet is said to have been infected by a kind of darkness only referred to as "the Tainted". They corrupted the life-stream energy of the planet and abused it to gain unspeakable powers, until the lands were barren and no sunlight would reach through the dark clouds.
The Gods themselves could no longer let this evil roam from afar, and in a grand effort Valefor the God of Justice came down to the planet wielding a sword of unspeakable power, the Dawn Bringer. The fight lasted for ages, until Valefor finally used the weapon's true power- and absorbed all tainted into the weapon.
To this day a dark glow can be seen from this unbreakable sword.
Priestking - Konrad the Just
The Zealan empire of Gosta, faithful servants of the gods of Zeal. Chosen to live in the light, they prospered through the ages through the wise and enlightened rule of the Priestkings. Yet for the first time in his twenty six years on the throne, Priestking Konrad II felt a mixture of emotions- unease and excitement at once. Many thoughts raced through his mind, sitting solemnly in the royal cart.
He had just left the Council meeting, and he was well on his way towards the grand Cathedral. It was the biggest building in the entire kingdom, and the holiest place as well. Nowhere else could even the common man feel the presence of the gods. Nowhere else were priests trained to communicate with the gods, and to interpret their divine messages. It was a symbol of community. It was a symbol of the peace that had lasted since the first of the Priestkings ascended to the throne, over 500 years ago. It was a symbol of the power of the gods in all their glory. Konrad thought of all the sermons he had personally held there, both before and after his Ascension.
This night however, Konrad had been there on a quite unusual occasion. The meeting between the Priestking and the City Council was not an unusual thing, indeed Konrad had already met with the Council that week. Tonight the meeting had been short however, and the subject had been utmost unusual. It defied the teachings of the gods themselves. The discovery of new lands. The very thought drove the blood from Konrads face.
A short while later, his driver announced the arrival at the Cathedral. Walking slowly through the Cathedral, feeling the eyes of some of the priests following him as he walked by. Konrad soon found himself alone in his innermost sanctum. He looked at the white walls, the comfortable chair and the altar. Pondering how long it had been since he first set foot here, he slowly sat down. It had been together with the previous Priestking, already the day after his Ascension. Calmly he sat down, letting all the thoughts and information sink in as he slowly doses off into a deep sleep. And then...
"Zeal guard you Konrad.... You seem troubled, and your thoughts are a mess." said an angelically soft female voice. Konrad flinched as he saw he was no longer in the inner-sanctum and found himself surrounded by white clouds and three unspeakably bright lights hanging in front of him. Only once earlier had he experienced a dream like this.
Konrad slowly spoke out.. "Vanguards of our safety, guardians of our dreams, I seek your knowledge."
"It would seem that new lands lie beyond the horizon." Said a different darker male voice seeming to come from the center of the three bright lights.
"With your permission, I would like to clear my thoughts by putting them into words." Konrad replied, making a simple respectful gesture. He heard no reply, taking this as a sign of confirmation.
"The Pilgrimage of an outcast produced the impossible. The discovery of a new continent. How is that possible? Or rather, how will I go about announcing it? The teachings we have followed since the Ascension of the first Priestking taught us that this world consists only of our kingdoms and the vast endless sea beyond. It will create unrest as much as interest. Though people might question the teachings, or could even...."
"No need to speak further Konrad" said a different voice.
"Relax Konrad. I am not displeased with your questions. As even we cannot see beyond our own domain, we do not know what lies across the great sea." Said the third voice again. "There is no harm in doubt Konrad, discovery is in your nature and ours, there is no harm in reaching out and sharing our teachings. We will offer guidance should you choose to take this journey."
As Konrad opened his mouth to speak, but suddenly he experienced a falling sensation- and dropped down through the cloudy platform on which he stood.
Then in a flash he safely appeared in the quiet inner sanctum again, sitting on the altar where he dozed off. There was no doubt in Konrad's heart that he did actually meet with the gods.. Miveah, Valefor and Tahilin had spoken to him. Keeping his eyes closed just a little longer, secretly hoping for more advise... but Konrad knew that the choice would be his.
Upon opening his eyes again he saw a tome lying on the floor in front of him. It had a golden cover that sparkled brightly as the fire on the torches slowly danced in a breeze that entered the room. As Konrad stood up and walked towards it, he could see a word on the cover. It read.. Asgard. When he picked it up and started to browse through the pages he quickly noticed that all of them were empty.
"Asgard..." said Konrad as he was thinking out loud...
He grabbed the tome and walked back through the cathedral towards the exit, where his servant waited.
"Let's go back to the palace." Konrad said with a slight grin on his face.
The year 553 since the Ascension of the first Priestking was also the beginning of the Era known as The Settling. At this time, the newly discovered continent of Asgard became the expansion target of the human empire of Gosta.
The Priestking Konrad II preached the teachings of the same gods that he represented, by announcing that there indeed was land across the sea. Many were amazed by this news, as it defied the teaching themselves. For over 500 years, people had lived true to the teachings preached by their wise Priestkings and the clergy. But now a young priestking had the audacity, to claim the gods had gone against their own commandments?
The harvests just a month later, however, were as bountiful as the last three years together. This convinced people that the gods indeed wanted this settling of the new continent. Slowly true effort was put into this majestic project. Ship upon ship were built, the so called "Colonist Seed Ships", each fitted with supplies to make a beginning settlement in the new continent. Faithful people volunteered for the settling in the name of the gods.
As the first host of ships sailed towards the unknown, early summer of 554 A.P., the unrest in Gosta picked up again. Many doubted the Priestkings wisdom once again, questioned the gods intentions, and whether Priestking Konrad II were doing this for his own benefit only.
The ships arrived a month later, on the western coast of Asgard. Each ship hitting a different spot, readily started to make their settlement. The continent were, as far as they could see, totally overgrown with trees. This made easy access to lumber, and the settlements quickly built up.
Early Fall came, and the human settlements in Asgard learned that there indeed did live other species on this continent. Tall green skinned bulky humanoids that lived in caves near the eastern mountain ranges, violent savages that seemed to have little regard for their environment or anyone who walked through it.They weren't the only other inhabitants, or so the settlers quickly discovered, because throughout the northeastern part of the lands they discovered creatures they came to know as elves.
There have been few encounters over the years, the encounters that did take place usually ended badly, humans using violence as their diplomacy.
A cluster of settlements close to each other organized a defense, under the leadership of Sir Avenar, a loyal paladin of the Gods of Zeal. A few other settlements, with the time to set up proper palisades and defenses, held their ground as well. Incoming ships however, were sometimes raided and entire crews were slain, barely before they made their way to shore.
Winter passed with few new arrivals, and come spring, it was instead decided that the existing cluster of settlements should be expanded to found the first city. Sir Avenar was given the honor of naming the town, due to his heroic acts in combat. Thereby the first human city on Asgard was founded, named Celios after Avenars late wife Celio, who died in an elven raid.
Further settlements were also given up, and instead all arriving ships from Gosta were instead bound for Celios, which grew rapidly. As human scouts found roamed the lands more encounters with the orgres and elves occurd. Though only a few actual skirmishes took place, the elves seemed to retreat up to the northern woods. Humans considered themselves victors against this dangerous race of intelligent creatures.
Year 556 AP, or year 0 of The Settling as it would later be called, came, as The Settling ended. No more settlers from Gosta were sent to Asgard. The city of Celios, in light of its size required management, as it was unanimously selected as the center of administration in Asgard. Varn Veneth, a hopeful youth, was chosen as Grand Magistrate of the new province of Asgard.
The election was not coincidental though. Varn Veneth had proven himself on several occasions. He had presented the needed skills and wit to lead his own settling ship. He had proven his courage in The Skirmishes. And as if those qualities were not enough, Varn had been in the upstart group of the Merchantile, a group trying to arrange large-scale trade with Gosta.
As Grand Magistrate in Asgard, Varn had to face many administrative tasks, and saw himself forced to abandon the Merchantile. Without his presence, an old priest named Geren Farl quickly usurped the untitled leadership of the Merchantile. A change of ways not entirely for the worse, as changes were implemented. Geren, as a devout follower of Valefor rather than all three gods, preached craft and handiwork. He believed that despite Asgard's vast wooden resources, there should not be sold more than what Asgard could spare. This made the trade less prominent, but Celios grew rapidly in size, as craftsmen had free hands to build and improve as they pleased.
To somewhat counter this development, Varn requests the Merchantile to lead the building of a cathedral, a true copy of the Cathedral in Zealan. This both to honor the gods for leading people to Asgard, but also in the hope that this would force the start of trade with the Zealan after all.
Over the next few years, trade is indeed increased many fold. Varn and Geren stand in open opposition to each others ideals, and a balance is maintained between all out trading, and preserving the crafters as free users of Asgard's resources.
In 558 AP, Celios gets overcrowded and people are encouraged to move to other livable areas. The earlier mining camp northeast of Celios expands rapidly, and is known as the mining town of Goldrim. Likewise the forestry south and east of Celios grew into the cities of Motan and Tuga. Many unnamed settlements sprung to life further east as well. The Merchantile grew slowly, as they became caretakers of "distribution of goods between the cities of Asgard". In other words the monopoly on internal trade.
The years pass, as Asgard grows into a strong settlement, and in 561, the replica of the Cathedral of Zeal stands completed in Celios.
In Gosta, trading with Asgard has been questioned. Many holy objects, symbols of Zeal and even artifacts blessed by the gods, are shipped out, and only raw materials and processed goods are received in payment. Whispers of greed amongst the old Houses of Trade run through the population. Priestking Konrad II has fallen mysteriously ill, and despite many public statements from the priesthood, a dark atmosphere expanded over Gosta.
With some years passing with the Priest king ill, with no heir to the throne the mood in amongst its people was grim. Slowly but surely more reports of strange and random disappearances started happening. People were vanishing, no trace left of them. The military that remained in Gosta was unable to offer any protections outside of the main cities, and as a result the main cities got flooded. Many people seeking to abandon the old kingdom in hope of better luck in Asgard. The country could not let itself be abandoned in its time of need. Grand priest Kaluk (though not officially claiming the throne) ordered Elder Mage Mesep to encage the old grand cities in a magic cage, encasing all it's citizens. Yet the local Zealean churches disagreed and launched refugee ships that would take the journey to Asgard and back.
This is where your journey begins, leaving all possessions behind to start a better life, however during your journey you apparently have lost your memory, you arrive with a clean slate owing the church you life for the ride on their boat and curious in finding your memory.