This is the start of what I hope will be a fun series of sneak peeks regarding the lore for the initial setting of RAIDS.
These topics were picked by two Amino communities that I post to (Tabletop and Dungeons & Dragons), and were posted to their respective communities first as thanks.
Now the time has come to share it with everyone who doesn’t have the Amino app. I do plan to release more exclusive information through various channels, but I will always upload that information here on the official RAIDS website.
So without further ado:
A Creation Myth
The Great Flame burnt solitary in the universe. Along its flames danced images of beauty and mirth. It was the spark of life. The potential that this life held filled The Great Flame with joy, and a desire to see these things play out. And so, he sculpted the world, with its crashing waves, tall mountain peaks, lush forests and dazzling planes. He formed each piece of his world with the care and skill of an artisan. And then he breathed life into the world.
Small creatures began to frolic across the countryside, others explored the waters, and some even travelled on the winds themselves. One particular type of creature though was more bizarre than most. Not content with merely experiencing the world, they attempted to understand it.
These humans developed tools, built homes, created language, art and music. The Great Flame was overjoyed. This was the beauty he had seen. Though he held the spark of their life, these achievements were their own design. He was enthralled to see what they would create next.
In the darkness, something stirred. It had watched silently as The Great Flame created the world, jealous of his abilities, but respectful of his power. But when the humans too began to create, The Shadow flew into a rage. Why could they create things of their own design when he could not?
The Shadow descended upon the world. As he stretched across the land, his touch scarred all that he came into contact with. If he could not create, he would corrupt. And so he did: forests died, rivers dried up, crops withered, birds picked at the carrion that was left. The Shadow brought pain and death.
Savage shadow tainted creatures attacked the villages. They resembled their faithful hounds, but with a ferocity unseen before. As they dragged away their victims, screaming into the darkness, the humans called out for aid.
The Great Flame felt the pain and sorrow from each of the humans as if it were his own. He wanted desperately to help them but he was in too much agony. He tried to focus his efforts, to shake off the sounds of screaming, and purge the darkness from his world. Through all of the suffering, he could hear the prayers of the humans. They still believed in him. Their faith lent him strength and he burned brighter than ever, casting The Shadow from the human settlements.
The Shadow tried but could not extinguish the light of The Great Flame. He retreated, content with the pain he had caused for now.
The Great Flame took some of his fire and created beacons for each of the settlements. With these beacons, he promised to cast out The Shadow from their homes, so that they would never again suffer at his hands. Every year, the humans pay tribute to the beacon and The Great Flame at the Festival of Promise.
Creatures of Novathe:
When The Shadow first came to Novathe, many towns were torn apart. In the chaos, the humans prayed for The Great Flame to save them. In time, he would, but until then the humans had to fend for themselves.
Seeing their homes and families torn apart, some of these humans took refuge in the caves and mountains, hiding from The Shadow and denouncing The Great Flame.
These people made their homes underground. They carved out a new life for themselves, and even learnt how to fight back the shadows. Their new home provided everything for them, and they had no desire to return to the surface, or the wars of the gods.
Over time, the surface world believed these people had been wiped out when The Shadow attacked. If they had been seen though, they would not have been recognised.
The men of the ground were shorter than the surface dwellers. They were athletic, since their homes required fitness to safely navigate. Their time underground had gifted them with better eyesight in low light, but sensitivity in sun light. They were pale and smooth skinned, often without even eyebrows.
Recent events and mining expeditions have led to the surface world’s discovery of these “dwarves”, but just because the world is aware of their existence, does not mean that they wish to be part of it.
Shadows are an extension of The Shadow. They are his eyes and ears wherever they dwell. In their most basic form they can be deterred with light, but if they attach themselves onto a host, they can be difficult to remove.
When a shadow bonds with another living being, they become shadow-touched: a distorted and nightmarish version of what it once was. The host is tormented and subjected to such immense pain that they forget all that they were, and any bonds that they had.
They are completely under the control of The Shadow, acting as his weapons, infecting everyone that they come into contact with.
Fierce beasts exist without the aid of The Shadow, and one of these is the blood dragon.
A blood dragon is a carnivorous winged creature who gets stronger by drinking blood. As it absorbs the life essence of its prey, it grows in size and its life is prolonged. However, if the blood dragon doesn’t feed enough and expends too much energy, it will turn to stone.
Some blood dragons will pick off sustainable livestock from farmers, to ensure they remain active. But some of the more ancient blood dragons will make a nest beneath the plains outside cities, waiting, fossilised, for the bloodshed of war to reanimate them.