“Never has such a landscape on Mundus held the importance of Lothien. So glorious and bountiful, the Archangels themselves were said to have crafted it from a piece of the Worldstone. Peaks of crystal white that guard the High Heavens itself, and chasms and gulches so low that they tempt even the most dreaded of usurpers from the Nine Hells.”
– Loremaster Urvell
The first settlers of Lothien were thought to be the angels themselves, charged with the protection of a place so close to the High Heavens as to be a danger to its safety. Indeed, the idyllic crystal peaks of the Skywall dominated the landscape and reached up to the clouds like a gauntlet of pure silver. Certain that calamity would end the cosmic reign of peace, the lightborne Archangels sent forth angels of four denominations to colonize the fragment of the Worldstone that they had crafted and named “Lothien” – “Heaven’s Gate” in their celestial tongue.
These angels arrived from the Skywall mountains and went their separate ways, spreading their watchful eyes to all corners of Lothien. They cast their gaze to where the light could not touch, starting settlements in order to protect their land – their charge. From these divine beginnings, the four kingdoms of Lothien were born.
To the south-east, amongst the lush glades and forests of Lothien, the angels of fate spread their touch. Despite the thick canopies and dense foliage, the light shone brightly upon what would come to be known as Thalassar. These beings, to their astonishment, discovered that they were not alone. Deities of all woodlands creatures from wolves to owls pledged their allegiance to these benevolent beings. Adapting the celestial language of the High Heavens, it is said from that same tongue that Thalassian was born. So too were the Elves of Thalassar.
Holding tight on the eastern front, venturing only a short distance from the comforts of Skywall, were the angels of justice. Powerful warriors and protectors, these angels sought to recreate the great Archforges of the High Heavens themselves. Digging through the lower areas of Skywall, these hardy warriors followed the warmth to the lava that coursed beneath the mountain. This lifeblood of the land – revered by the angels – became the catalyst for forges and settlements deep beneath the skies. Their descent from their comrades did little to dull their reverence for the light itself, instead believing that the lava brought them a connection with the High Heavens that their brothers and sisters above would never achieve.
To the northeast, the scholars of the High Heavens traveled with the scrolls and tenets of their kind. These archangels of wisdom were the keepers of lore and the most innately gifted in the arts of magic. While all angels possess ways to manipulate the light, angels of wisdom were far more proficient and experimental. Unlocking gateways to the elemental and arcane in their research, they used these skills to beseech the land for guidance and shelter. The air answered with winds that guided them on their trek, the water giving them ample ways in which to harvest their food. The fire adopted their reverence of the light and worked in harmony to spread its virtue. The earth itself opened up and constructed a city to the angels’ design – said to be a recreation of the High Heavens itself. Thus, the first city of Lothien was born – Korenstradt.
Not all who wandered were so lucky, however. The angels of fate followed their own path, choosing to head west from Skywall. The lands were a beautiful emerald green, stretching from the foot of the mountain to the shores of the sea. It was along this path that the angels followed – never shirking their reverence of the light, but instead hoping to find it a bastion in a place where it was needed. The last of the kingdoms to be founded, but the province that would grow to become the most glorious in the realm – Stromgarde was settled on the westernmost fringes of Lothien. Pleased at the dedication of these angels, the Archangels themselves unleashed but a drop of the Well of Eternity from the sky – said to be the source of all light – to the north of the settlement. Soon after, a surging river cut a blue streak through the plains and forests of Lothien. The Lifewell was a blazing sapphire jewel in a crown of gold and emerald, and its life-giving water gave way to creatures and animals, land-walkers and water-dwellers alike.
And so began the first era.
But despite the valiant efforts of the envoys of the High Heavens, the glory of the light did not extend to all reaches of Lothien. The cliffs and mountains high to the northwest – a cluster of pebbles when compared to the glory of Skywall – lay untouched. The shadow laid heavy on these mountain ranges like decay, the Lifewell too far from its touch to kickstart the wonders of life. It did not take long for the shadows to take form…