The History of Urgo
Being a tale of creation and empire, including the Tale of the Treachery of Judas, the Fall of the Eladrin, the Deva, and the Gith, the invention of the Goblins and Gnomes, the Great Peace of the Wilden, the Hidden Secrets of the Humans, and Sundry.
As told by:
The First Age
In the first age, when the world was still being created, the gods shaped the land. Avandra created a great floating island in the sky. Melora froze the far north, as well as creating the three great icebergs, Thelchteria, Algaope, and Peisince, and the acid Lake Oleander. Zehir brought forth volcanoes and shattered the landscape. Vecna built a great mountain, Mt. Bai, and poisoned the sky nearby, creating the Barrens. Erathis shielded the other side of Mt. Bai, creating the Necati plateau, and also made broad deserts.
Ioun, who had been biding her time, brought forth a race of Eladrin that she had been fostering in the Feywild. She commanded them to form the great ancient city of Hebron, and guided the birth of Judas, the eternal general of the Eladrin.
Meanwhile, Avandra placed her essence in one thousand mortal shells, which she named Deva and placed on her floating island. With the presence of these two races, so close to each other, the second age began: an age of growth and conflict.
The Second Age
Erathis brought forth the goblins, a dedicated and numerous race, and bade them to found their capital city of Theris. Zehir created humans, the first nation of which was called the Jurn. Meanwhile, the Deva despaired for the children they could not have, and created beings of crystal called the Shardminds. In the process, they learned great skill in architecture and built their own city of Haven high in the sky. Avandra then created her second race on another continent: a hardy group called the Goliaths. Melora created the Wilden race, which call themselves Kaczie. Vecna aided the illithid race, allowing them to break into the world between the fungal Doi Jungle and Thrallmarsh Swamp.
Judas led the Eladrin to another land and founded the city of Jericho. Erathis taught the goblins to build machines, and they in turn created a tall, hardworking race of clockwork men that later became known as Warforged. Zehir brought forth a race of Orcs called Kurden in what was later named Ostian Desert to care for the oasis of Refuge, and commanded the Jurn to found the city of Wylgarde. Avandra crafted a great fae dragon, named Azzah, who in turn created a race of Shifters on the southern continent.
The Wilden learned the medicinal and recreational uses of plants, and founded the city of Cannabis. Judas founded the city of Ramallah, then turned a jealous eye on the lands of the Deva and created the first great Eladrin army in Hebron. The Illithids shaped some of their number into a lesser race called the Gith, who were forced to build the tall city of Dominion.
Erathis saw Zehir’s creation of humans, and took a select few to form societies of her own. The nomadic Kadar were placed in what became known as the Kadarian Desert, and the Ostians were placed in the desert that became known as their home. The Jurn, meanwhile, discovered the technology of sailing the sea, and created the great port city of Esgarde, which became known as the most just of the Jurn cities.
Avandra, fearing for the rights of all beings, spoke to select Eladrin of peace, and to select Gith of freedom while the great dragon Azzah turned the Gith’s hearts from evil. However, Judas grew ever more envious of the Deva’s knowledge and power, and he created a second army. With the help of Ioun’s training in war magic, Judas marched on the Deva living by the sea and wiped them out mercilessly. The souls of eight hundred Deva were scattered to the winds, leaving their only stable society at Haven, safe among the clouds.
Vecna took the tainted essence of the Mara Jungle and created the terrible Beholders. Meanwhile, Erathis guided the Goblins to construct a masterpiece: the transforming dragon Onkar, who traveled to the Jovian Archipelago. Onkar took the fae badgers there into his great internal reaction chamber and produced the Gnome race. Zehir, determined to rule the waters, commanded Wylgarde and Esgarde to build two marauding navies.
The great fae dragon Azzah feared for the Shardminds, and instructed them to build two cities, Schism and Shatter, and to create an army for defense. Meanwhile, the Wilden city of Cannabis created an army under the guidance of their newly-born naiad mother, Tetra.
Judas built the great city Stronghold upon the tombs of the Deva, and built high walls around it. Stronghold raised a third Eladrin army as Ioun taught the race more secrets of magic. At the same time, across the world, Vecna taught the Beholders the horrible secrets of necromancy. Their studies resulted in the rise of the supreme archlich Orun, who traveled to the Barrens and began raising a horde of undead.
The clockwork dragon Onkar built the Gnomes a city with his massive creation engines, and Erathis taught them to defend themselves with advanced skills in weaponcrafting. The Gnomes took these gifts to heart, and invented great airships to watch over their civilization.
Zehir corrupted select Ostians with infernal blood, and created the Daemites, a mighty Tiefling society, which eventually created the Daemite empire along Lake Obsidian below the volcano Pyrokles. He also taught the Jorn the dark secret of alchemy and poisoncraft, and founded the city of Volrun to serve as a testament to that art.
Azzah could no longer stand the aggression of Judas, and attacked him in his city of Stronghold, but Judas proved too strong and drove Azzah away. Avandra, her mind more clear, guided the Order of Peaceful Movement within Eladrin society to ally the Eladrin with the Shardminds. At the same time, she guided the Gith Order of Freedom to rise up in an army to overthrow the Illithid. Tragically, the Illithid proved too powerful, and they devastated the Gith. The Gith that survived were banished to the inhospitable volcanic island of Hyperion.
At the end of the second age, Judas led the Eladrin to rule all of the western islands. The Shardminds, cautious of Judas’s lust for control, created great crystal fortresses around their cities, and were safe from the Eladrin armies. Judas returned to the city of Stronghold, and dug deeper and deeper into the earth for resources and space to strengthen his armies and protect his city.
But something terrible happened. A great sickness emerged in Stronghold, which spread over the Eladrin in only a single season. Few Eladrin survived: those who fled to the forests of the continents lost much of their magic and became Elves. Those who fled into great underground bunkers stayed there and became Drow. The only pureblooded Eladrin left in this world were those who shut themselves up in the marble spire cities of Hebron, Jericho, and Ramallah, where they stayed for centuries in fear of the plague. Judas himself fell to the plague; his god-given strength served only to prolong his suffering. It is said that the empty, dead streets of Stronghold echoed with his cries of pain for a year and a day before he finally and suddenly fell silent.
The Third Age
The third age is a time of empire and collapse. Following the fall of the Eladrin, there was no great power in the world. New societies rose to claim their place.
The Ostians built great cities of stone in the desert, with pyramids and temples to Erathis, but they also never forgot that their race was originally created by Zehir, and deep inside the monuments were secret shrines to the snake god.
The Beholders terrorized the dark-skinned humans that lived to the south, enslaving those who could not hide or fight back. Meanwhile, the Beholder archlich Orun raided cities across the world, taking riches and creating new bodies to add to his army of the undead.
The Gnomes and the Goblins, ancient allies, made advances in transportation and travel. The Gnomish airships ruled the skies, while Goblin steam made smaller, swifter aircraft ideal for long-distance transportation.
The Jurn created great sea empires. Pirates and raiders sailed from Wylgarde to harry travelers and ports, while the Esgarde independent naval companies made great fortunes as mercenaries and founded a colony on the northern end of the southern continent. Rumors began to spread of the Apothecareum, a secret society from the dark city of Volrun which could kill anyone for the right price and secretly ruled the Jurn people. The only check to Jorn naval supremacy was the eventual development of Goblin submarines errant, who battled pirates from beneath the waves.
Twin empires of the east arose on either side of the peaceful Wilden. The cruel Tiefling Daemite empire ruled a portion of the southern continent from their capital of Daeris, while the proud Dragonborn Arkhosian empire ruled much of the northern continent from their home in Silverfount. Their escalating war with each other proved to be their undoing, however. Through a series of horrible coincidences, the bulk of their armies attacked each opposing empire’s capitol at the same time. Each city was destroyed, and the empires crumbled. Legend has it that the freelance Wilden healers on each side grew tired of the war threatening the peace of Cannabis and their forest, the Holt, and used their strange herbs to manipulate the generals on each side. No proof was ever found for this, however.
The Gith struggled to make a life for themselves. They soon began to split into two camps. The Githzerai advocated focus and inner strength, and formed monasteries on the rocky side of Hyperion for intensive study. The Githyanki advocated action and chaos, and eventually traveled back to Dominion, where they wage a guerrilla war against the Illithids, not worrying about how many innocent members of other races they kill. The final blow was struck to Gith unity when a civil war drove the last of the Githyanki away from Hyperion. Rumors state that the Githyanki stole one of the Illithids’ ancient portal devices, and now strike from bases in the Astral Sea. The Illithids, as always, abide in their spires in the swamps.
The Shifters of the southern continent never built large cities, but they made an extensive series of roads in their travels around the world. Wherever the Shifters traveled, they built roads that lasted centuries, and left behind magical waystations that somehow never need refilling. With the Shifters came the Rakshasa. Few in number, the Rakshasa served as courtesans and expert performers. The story is told that each Rakshasa was once a Deva, its soul twisted by the horror and wickedness of Judas’s armies.
The Deva left alive created a great city out of Haven, one that plays host to all races of the world. Few of the outsiders ever see a Deva, however; they stay hidden away, still cautious of their small numbers. From their cloister, they manage a vast shipping empire that uses Gnomish and Goblin technology and Jurn expertise to transfer goods across the seas.
New races arose in the third age. The halflings appeared as if from nowhere, perhaps created by Avandra to make up for the near-loss of the Deva. They travel along the Shifter roads and via Goblin aircraft, exploring the still unmapped parts of the world. Minotaurs emerged from the frozen north, where they have constructed labyrinthine fortresses in the ice.
The dwarves came from across the ocean in huge drillships, held aloft by the same mineral found in Haven bedrock. They dropped upon mountains and burrowed into them, creating great mines rarely seen by outside eyes. Elsewhere the yuan-ti, the latest creations of Zehir, writhe in the caves below the Algid Fjords.