Aiolian Historical Summary
Disclaimer: Aiolian knowledge of events prior to the First Comet is naught but legends and hearsay.
Long before the first comet traversed the skies above Aiolia, the Colossi roamed the plains to the east of the peninsula. Giants of stone took the forms of the animals below, shifting and grinding. The humans there, the Ripari, lived in the shadows, avoiding settling anywhere permanently for fear of the trembling earth. The plants and animals that dared to share the shivering grassland with the granite forms were hardy, using the magic in the land. Magic was plentiful then- it ran off the Colossi in rivers. Flora and fauna were able to directly use the runoff, weaving wards into their scales, strength into their muscles, and power into their breath.
It was not the same for the Ripari.
Man did not possess the ability to access the power of the land, the power of the Colossi. They were stuck with their spears of flint and shields of hide battling the creatures of the land for survival. Some abandoned the homeland of the plain and settled on the peninsula to the west, the place called Chersónisos. There they were able to forge through the forests, constructing cabins and farms in the unforgiving soil. They were shunned by the rest of the Ripari but from them would come the inheritors of the land.
After the beginning of civilization in the Chersónisos, the magic of alchemy was not far long to follow. What the witch doctors of the Ripari had suspected was true. By using the pieces of living things man was able to perform magic. The witch doctors knew little of the true potential of their ingredients, but their successors, the alchemists, would begin the world anew.
Great feats of magic were performed by the alchemists, enchantments laid into the foundations of the structures of the Chersónisos. The Ripari tribes saw this as sacrilage, crimes against nature and the spirits. They united against the people of the Chersónisos but the alchemists had already become too strong. The Ripari were driven back to the plains, and to defy them and defy the Colossi even further, the alchemists constructed the city of Lipari. A veritable fortress, it defended the rest of the Chersónisos from attack.
The alchemists continued to delve into their studies of magic. They discovered wells, sinks of the magic that flowed off of the Colossi. At these sinks they began their experiments, siphoning the magic off of greater creatures into their control. These creatures would die painfully, dropping dead as their life was ripped from them to be put into the well, at the whim of the alchemists.
A group of fourteen alchemists came together on the large island to the north of the Chersónisos. A greater well of power lay there, and a great castle was constructed around it. By binding their souls to one another, they were able to harness the magic within. It was from here the Council of Fourteen began the greatest act of magic the region had every seen.
They anchored the well to a Colossus, draining the massive source. Countless Ripari died as the Colossus fell on the plains, but only the slightest tremble was felt in the Chersónisos. The well was filled to bursting and the Fourteen felt like demigods. Great feats of power were accomplished, the city of Salina being completed by their magic.
But it wasn’t enough.
With the taste of power came the urge to have more. So the Fourteen set out, now to the city of Lipari to be closer to their prey. After all, if the power of one Colossus made them demigods, surely the power of all Colossi would elevate them to the truly divine.
So they created a well, one where none existed. A gaping void in the magic of the region, this Well was entirely empty. It would have to be, to hold all the magic they were going to be pouring into it. So, as the comet passed through the sky, the alchemists commemorated the auspicious occasion by beginning the ritual.
The ritual worked, the life was drawn from the Colossi and into the Well, making them effectively immortal and powerful beyond all imagining. But what had been a small tremble before was now the breaking of the world.
The earth cracked apart, bleeding forth hot magma as the simultaneous collapse of the Colossi destroyed the integrity of the world. Everyone in the tunnels of Lipari died, sealed in a tomb of their own making. Lipari itself was mostly destroyed, leaving only a few buildings to survive the magma that came after the quakes. The Ripari tribes died in the fire and flame of the screaming plains. The Chersónisos did not escape this time. Many small towns and villages fell into the sea, sinking with the shifting earth. Salina was one such city, the ruins before the Great Fall (Megáli ptósi) can still be seen in its harbor.
The plains that had once stretched to the east of the Chersónisos had become a mountain range, the earth rent and broken, littered with the corpses of the Colossi.
The Council of Fourteen’s fate was unknown to the remnants of humanity as they attempted to piece the world back together. The magic of the land, once abundant, had evaporated. Even the remaining alchemists could do nothing to bring it back.
The Chersónisos split, the civilization becoming isolated in two locations. The people who settled in the east, near the still active mountain range were known as the Cudans, a people who delved deep into the rock to harvest the precious minerals. The others settled in the west towards the end of the peninsula, becoming known as the Salinians.
The city of Salina had survived, slowing becoming prosperous once more. The Cudans expanded their influence, creating a small colony at the middle of the peninsula. Their original home they dubbed Filicudi and the new colony as Alicudi.
Soon, the city-states became inundated with raids from the southern field of icebergs. These people called themselves Basiluzzites. They had been members of small fishing villages at the southern coast of the plains and when the Colossi fell they escaped in the frigid waters. Unable to make landfall, they settled on the ice, relying on fish and seal meat for their meals. This place they named Basiluzzo. Once the peninsula to the north became known, the Basiluzzites began to raid their relatively wealthy neighbors.
This continued for several hundred years before the Salinians and Cudans allied and warred against the Basiluzzites. Eventually, the Oberjarl Osias sued for peace, promising a tribute and protection from pirates in exchange for food and finished goods. The others agreed, creating a lasting peace between the cities.
It was then that Eternal was expelled from the Order of Shapers. Banished from Sucia for delving into forbidden arts, he and a small group of his followers fled to the ruins of Lipari. There they sought the magic that had once been the lifeblood of the region. Some say they found it, some say they died fruitlessly, but what is known is that the only one who left those ruins was Eternal.
Peace persisted for quite a few years between the city-states. The leaders would gather at the winter and summer solstices to discuss their realms and renew their treaty. It was during one of these gatherings of the four leaders Eternal arrived. He approached them and demanded their allegiance. When they laughed and ordered him out, as he was clearly insane and had no weapon, he incinerated the guards and bound the four leaders to their chairs. He trapped the onlookers in a wall of force and began executing them one after the other until the leaders swore their allegiance. Three of the leaders had gave up by the fiftieth person killed, but the fourth, Osias of Basiluzzo, refused to surrender. Eternal executed him. Eternal freed the other three and took Osias's wife as his own, thus completing his rule over the Chersónisos and the southern ice field.
The banners of the region were bound to the chair of the Vasilias, lord Eternal, Aiolia. None dared defy his rule. He made his home in Salina, though he often abandoned his seat for trips to the mountains that would occasionally last years. Osias became a martyr, whispered in the homes of the commoners, while the other lords were reviled. They were seen as Eternal’s lackeys, little more.
The first revolutionary innovation of golems occured when Eternal brough back seven for use in building up the port of Salina. These incredible powerful automatons lifted stone and brick with ease, demonstrating their worth. Many still distanced themselves due to the magic, but the usefulness of the creatures could not be denied. Basiluzzo hated the golems, seeing them as symbols of Eternal’s magic. The commoners hated the golems, seeing them as symbols of the upper class, creatures that were replacing them at their jobs.
Alicudi and Filicudi soon took up the task of producing golem bodies for Eternal to animate. To ease this process, Eternal began construction on the single largest road Aiolia had ever seen. Two-hundred and fifty kilometers long, it ran from the western tip of the Chersónisos to where the peninsula’s base met the mountains. Grooves were carved into the track so that many wagons could pass on its surface easily. Thus, it was called the Diolkos.
When Aiolia began to suffer from overpopulation and a lack of food, Eternal extracted a trade agreement from Sucia to supply the realm with food.
Anemos, the canal city that separated the Northern and Southern Candarion Seas, gained a massive amount of Aiolian influence as Eternal maintained the economic power of the realm.
Basiluzzo and Alicudi provided strong navies to escort the tradeships through the canal to the realms beyond.
With trade cemented, Eternal sat back, rarely getting involved in the affairs of the realm. If a threat was large enough to present itself, he took charge. All the while, he continued his experiments on golems in his mountain laboratory.
Sown Seed, Spring of 1 SC
The second comet passed, with some hoping for some drastic shift in the tight hold the Vasilias maintained. It was not to be.
Searching ever further to strengthen his golem production in Aiolia, Eternal invited the Myrmidon Queen to make her home on the uninhabited island to the north of the Chersónisos. Nought was left there but the ruins of the once impressive hold of the Fourteen.
The Myrmidons grew their power and influence, even as the city of Secunda grew fat off of trade with the colony. Conflicts between the two kept tensions high, but war was unlikely to break out. Eternal granted the Myrmidons the ability to bring golems to life, ensuring production would continue while he was away.
New Life, Spring of 29 SC
When the pirates of the Black Fog poured through Anemos into the Southern Sea, Eternal personally made his way to Anemos to help the city recover and drive out the pirates that occupied it. Cudan and Basiluzzite ships patrolled the waters, hunting down the magical ships they could find. After this, Eternal returned to his laboratory to complete his magnum opus.
Warmth’s Reign, Summer of 29 SC
With Eternal gone, Basiluzzo sprang its trap. A revolution of commoners and Basiluzzites attacked Salina, Filicudi, and Alicudi. The nobles of the cities struggled to hold out against the tide, and though it seemed all was lost, Eternal arrived and ended the war, cursing the southern ice field.
Rain’s Time, Spring of 42 SC
Eternal left the nobles to sort out the realm, once more returning to his pet project, from which he would never return.