The Wizard Wars
No event has ever been more important in the history of Lapiria, or the whole world, than the beginning of the Wizard Wars. By the time they were over, civilization was a tattered ruin, and humanity was hanging on by its fingernails in many places around the globe.
The Mage Lords
Beginning approximately 1500 years ago, the known world fell under the rule of a handful of immensely powerful Mage Lords. They wielded magic the likes of which is never seen in today’s world, and commanded cabals of lesser wizards, witches and thaumaturgists of every kind. The Mage Lords were legendary figures in their own times, and no record has been found of their true identities. They are referred to in story, song, and history by pseudonyms which described their powers or temperaments.
In some places, their rule was benevolent, and ushered in an era of prosperity and progress. In others it was a nightmare where mundane men and women were simply playthings for their mage-gifted overlords. This state of affairs persisted for more than 1000 years, until a web of alliances and deceits cast the entire world into war.
The Wizard Wars Begin
The borders of the Mage Lords’ demesnes changed very little during their time of ascendancy. From time to time border territories would change hands as lesser lords and wizards died, changed allegiances, or were destroyed. This all fell to pieces when an assassination attempt on one of the Lapirian lords, the Beastmaster, nearly succeeded. The suicide squad, armed with a powerful artifact and enchanted weapons, was traced back to a minority faction in the territory of the Lord of Fire.
The Beastmaster declared war upon these separatists, and called upon the Lord of Fire to aid him in their extermination. That Lord’s desire to remain neutral and merely to protect the rest of his citizenry and allies enraged the Beastlord, and those two great mages were on the brink of open war. At the same time, sympathetic forces in other kingdoms had formed alliances with the upstart Lord of the separatists, and came to their defense. In a matter of months, the world was thrown into chaos and war.
War Machines and Armies
At first the war was waged mostly between mundane soldiers and lesser wizards. The territories of the Mage Lords were vast, and their armies were similarly impressive. In addition to their troops, whom we know to have been armed with weapons more advanced than those made today, the mages brought many creations of alchemy and magic to bear. As his name suggests, the Beastlord knew the ways of creatures natural and arcane. His army brought with it terrible dire wolves, gigantic bears, poisonous wyverns, and strange mixtures of man and animal. The Fire Lord’s armies harnessed the power of flames to drive destructive engines and weapons. Though these two Mage Lords are most clearly remembered in Lapiria, it is known that at least two more Mage Lords sent armies into the lands around the Soul Sea. The Rotting Prince’s armies were already dead, and fallen foes rose again to join their ranks. Angel’s armies road the air on giant eagles, and stranger creatures.
The conflict of these vast armies spread death and destruction over most of the globe. Only the most remote and impassible regions were spared. The cost in terms of human life and suffering was staggering, but it was only the beginning.
The Final Solution
After nearly five years of warfare without any faction gaining a decisive advantage, the Mage Lords decided to take a direct hand in the conduct of the war. No one knows which of the wizards was first to act directly, but once it happened, all restraint was put aside. Legend tells of meteors falling from the sky, pillars of fire that advanced across the countryside, and howling winds that carried death to thousands at a time. Entire regions were laid completely to waste, and in some of them the affects still linger.
Reports are confusing and contradictory, but after a short time using these terrors against their opponents’ armies and peoples, it seems the Mage Lords decided to attack one another. In short order it seems that all of the Mage Lords were dead. Their palaces and towers were the sites of craters, volcanoes, forbidding new forests, and other cataclysmic damage. It’s hard to say for sure, but most historians believe that the final strikes of Mage against Mage took less than a week to unfold.
Leaderless, the empires of the Mage Lords descended into chaos. In some places parts of the government continued to function and attempted to restore order, but very few were successful. Humanity was cast into a Dark Age.
Emerging from the Rubble
The Dark Age is still going on in parts of the world, but in others a new time of peace and prosperity has come. The dark ages were a time of warlords and the rule of the sword. In Lapiria, though, a few charismatic and successful warlords managed to forge alliances and bring stability to their lands.
Your own homeland, known as the Empire of Lapiria (though it does not yet encompass the entire region of Lapiria), is one of the most successful. A resurgence of progress and prosperity followed the unification of the lands around the Lord of Fire’s old capital by Krisha the Magnificent. The old capital, now known as Krishtana, became a center for learning and trade. Krisha and his heirs spread the empire through trade and conquest, and now they rule one of the most powerful nations in the world.
The Purging of the Gifted
In almost every corner of the world, the fall of the Mage Lords was accompanied by similar destruction among the ranks of lesser wizards. Once the immediate concerns of food and safety were addressed, the new warlords turned their attention to the surviving magic users. In some places they were exterminated. In others they were censured but allowed to live freely. In Lapiria, they were enslaved, and their tamed powers were an important force behind Krisha’s rise to the seat of Emperor. They are known as the Servants, and remain in bondage to this day.