Gather children, hear the words of your elders as we tell you the stories of our people…
Once upon a time, there was a world called Thislan. Dark and mysterious, full of magic and wonder, Thislan thrived under the gentle rule of benevolent royals and the elven Council of Keepers. The last of the dread lords had fallen with the previous generation and the dragons had once again withdrawn from the world, content to count their hoards. It was not a land free of strife, for where two or more gather, there are always going to be conflicts, but it was a peaceful time.
150 years, 2 months, and 3 days ago, this world was known as Janeth Prime. A technologically advanced world bereft of the horrors of the superstitious and unnatural. Our governments managed to find valid methods to obtain lasting peace. Our scientists came up with proven ways to feed the populous and created medicines to eradicate most diseases. War was not unknown to us, and our technology lent itself to such endeavors, but it was a peaceful time.
It was an age of discovery. Those blessed by the Divine were able to reach deeper, see further, than those who had come before. Mages trained in the Mystery Arcana were formulating new ways to weave the mystical energies, and had theorized that they would soon be able to find the Font from which all magic flowed. We knew that there was no miracle beyond our reach. In our hubris, we broke the world.
It was a new Renaissance. Our scientists pushed at the boundaries of what was possible. Old theories were discarded in favor of new insights and approaches. Ideas for sustainable systems ran the gamut from natural resources to consumer products. Transportation was created and implemented en masse. A new source of power was found that would revolutionize everything. We knew that a true Utopia was within our reach. In our hubris, we broke the world.
Deep within the Wylds, the mages gathered for the ritual to tap into the Font of all magic. The Council of Keepers argued against this course of action and, for the first time in recent memory, responded with violence to keep the mages away, but the arcane masters were having none of it. As gently as they could, the mages removed the elves from the ritual site and began their Great Work. For seven days and nights, they carved their runes and chanted their formulas as the magic gathered. For several heartbeats, they thought the ritual had failed, for only a small flickering light appeared over the ritual site. If only they had failed. The light expanded upward into a blinding column of energy and the world shook.
Two miles underground, the scientists had gathered to witness their machine tap into the new power source. Years of research and development went into this moment and, while many had voiced concerns about potential fall out, none had thought that the risks were high enough to delay the project’s completion any further. The machine would do its job and the containment fields would hold. The added precaution of building the machine so far underground would be an extra buffer on the off chance that some of the calculations were wrong. Turning the machine on brought a few minutes of disappointment. The power generated by the machine was barely enough to turn on one of the indicators. As numbers and controls were being checked, a strange humming began in the depths of the machine. Panic barely had time to register before the machine exploded, sending a column of light to the surface, through two miles of concrete, rock, and dirt, and into the sky above as the world shook.
The world as we knew it had changed. Sacred sites had been covered up by monoliths of stone and glass reaching for the heavens. Human-shaped creatures with chitinous armor roamed the woods, yelling in some language unknown to us. Sometimes they ran in fear from us. Sometimes they pointed their great metal rods in our direction and called forth a wave of destruction that mowed down all in their path. Had new dread lords risen? The elves were driven mad and dying, their connection to the Wylds had been severed. The few dwarves above ground before the change, now unable to find passage back to their kingdom below, were not faring much better. Only one thing was certain, war had returned.
At first, we thought the devastation was caused when the machine exploded, but that couldn’t account for entire cities vanishing and being replaced by ancient and apparently untouched forests. Nor could it explain the exotic and often aggressive animals that had been previously unknown. Our technology was rapidly failing and our scientists first believed it to be caused by electromagnetic pulses. It would later be attributed to an unknown energy source. Our first contact with humans not of Janeth Prime was disastrous. Attempts at communication failed and they started to attack us with primitive weapons and some form of energy manipulation. Only one thing was certain, war had returned.
The next generation of children knew nothing but war, as the invaders continued to encroach upon our world. Worse than the invaders was the way the world seemed to turn on us as well. Magic was withering, the faithful’s miracles weakening, and you could never be certain that the piece of land you stood on today would still be there tomorrow. The last of the elves had passed. The dwarves, stranded above ground, started dying of what could only be called homesickness. The Doom was upon us. Something needed to give.
Twenty years passed in a blaze as the invaders continued to assault us with things born of our nightmares. Their people are able to command the elements in ways we thought impossible. Our technology was failing: anything requiring a computer or satellite to function ceased almost immediately, not that the maps for global positioning meant anything. The bizarre storm activity kept worsening. The world was tearing itself apart. Something needed to give.
It is often overlooked that, by the end of the war, actual natives of the lost worlds were starting to be outnumbered by those who were born on this world, though both sides claimed to be the one that first brokered the cease fire. Even by this point, the Unification had already truly been underway. Only one certainty came from this time: if they were to stop the new world from destroying itself, they needed to come together. The cease fire had slowed the storms, but there was no end to them in sight.
A conclave of the greatest minds both sides had to offer was called. For the first time, people of science worked side by side with miracle workers and mages. Theory after theory was brought forth on how the slippage rending the planet could be halted, and each was disregarded as insufficient or impossible to achieve with the tools at hand. When the first whispers of the word Technomancy were uttered, a solution presented itself. It took the creation of an entirely new school of magic based on gravity and physical properties –and the lives of the founders of it– but the Planar Anchors were forged and set. The new world had stabilized and the real work could begin.
There are versions of our history that deny things nearly fell apart once the world had settled. The apologists would have you believe the Unification that started with the conclave held and we were one people from that point on. The truth, though, is that the fires of war did rekindle. Militant factions on both sides felt they had the right and moral imperative to eradicate the other and take control of this world. Thankfully the generation born during the collapse had enough of war, and the sense to stand up and say, “Enough.”
Over a century has passed since the Anchors were placed. In that time the Tamed Lands have been rebuilt and sections of the Wylds have been populated. New kingdoms and principalities have come and gone, while others endured. Although the Wastelands show no signs of healing, those hardy enough have learned to survive there as well, and while we have found methods using magic and technology to enhance each other, true Technomancy still eludes us.
We no longer struggle to survive. We thrive, for now is a time of peace.