Life and Times

Cobrin'Seil is a world that operates around two conflicting forces; the active few - those adventurers and villains brave enough and ambitious to change the world around them - and the passive many, whose only true wish in life is that tomorrow resembles, in more ways than not, today. Cobrin'Seil has been driven by incidents of great political and social upheaval, so much so that the many historians the world over have adopted the notion of Cobrin'Seil's recorded history having been forged in four great Ages, known to the scholars as the Ages of Man.

Cobrin'Seil is a world forged by struggle and defined by conflict. Far in the ancient mists of time, titanic forces warred with weapons and magics vast and terrible in their power and scope. Mountain ranges were forged, oceans carved out, and the land still bears scars of some of these great wars. Even today, mages drink from forbidden cups of knowledge, seeking ancient scripts in ruined temples, all seeking that power that eludes them.

Historians have noted that the end of each age was a period defined by hubris, each time claiming a different aspect of life and changing it, even though the world did teeter, briefly, on the brink of utter chaos. But of course - it's never going to happen to us.

Time

Cobrin'Seil is a world that spins on a pattern of godly balance. There is an undeniable order in Cobrin'Seil, a rhythm that dictates the flow and passage of the stars, moons, and allows the entire world to twirl on an axis too simple, too refined - too perfectly even - to be entirely accidental.

Clerics of St. Baldwin have claimed on many occasion that all the gods did this, by accident, and are just as astonished as we are that they failed to screw something up.

The months of Cobrin'Seil fit a simple, regulated pattern; six days in a week, four weeks in a month. There are thirteen months in a year, and, spread across them, four seasons, each lasting thirteen weeks each, or seventy-eight days.

Marking the years

The common calendar, known as the Ravidan Calendar marks years from the day known in history as God's Day. This calendar orients itself around the year in the Second Age where, for the first (and only) time in Cobrin'Seil's history, one of the Greater Pantheon was slain, and not by the acts of gods or conspiracy of powers greater still - God's Day was a god falling prey to his own hubris. Therefore, dates are tracked as After Godsday (AG) and Before Godsday (BG).

The First Age of Cobrin'Seil began in 9,800 BG, and ended 1443 BG. The Second Age of Cobrin'Seil began in the year 1444 BG and ended in year 1457 AG.

The Third Age began in the year 1458 AG, and the campaign begins in 1499 AG.

History

Cobrin'Seil is a very old setting, with a recorded history that stretches back across several cultures. Even 'human' history still stretches back several thousand years, and has been decently recorded (although the revisionist nature of some cultures has made attaining a truly accurate perspective on history difficult). With this in mind, any general education tends to feature knowledge of the following events, and chances are your character knows about them. They may even have some impact on your character's history or family!

The Reign of the Sorceror-Kings

A shadowy myth that has more life on the continent of Arnea, the Sorceror-Kings were the supposed individual rulers of vast city-states in the distant past. The Sorceror-Kings were excruciatingly powerful individuals, using very primal magic, who enslaved and captured whole races at a time to work at their glorious cities.

Most tales are somewhat blank on the race of the Sorceror-Kings. Most humans who know of the story through myth (such as the Nbyanan peoples, the remnants of the slave race), accord that the Sorceror-Kings were Savahlynes or some other race or culture that deserves ire.

The sorceror-kings left a wide legacy across Arnea. Ancient artefacts and exquisite architecture litter the wastes of the savannahs and the deserts, and it is said that Horandi and Savahlyne are both built on the ruins of destroyed Sorceror-King cities.

Godsday

The actual events of Godsday, as a more distant point in the past than most, have been subject to a lot of retelling. Much like any reproduction, it loses some of what it had, and the imperfections are starting to show.

The details that are most telling, however, are that at one point in the past - year Zero BG/AG - that Edih, the then-god of slaughter and murder, came down to the prime as a mortal, in order to enact some kind of plan that would give him even more power than the other greater gods of Cobrin'Seil.

The actual details of how he'd do it are lost to time, but the retellings hold one detail in common. Edih could not, while in this mortal frame, take action as a god of murder, and therefore, could not harm another individual. He also had to pass through an archway - some say of a church, others say of an orphanage - in order to achieve his goal, and he had to do so before some point in time - most stories say sunset.

The plan was therefore foiled when a resolute young boy, no more than fourteen years old, stood in the archway and refused to give him passage. This boy, known to history as Ravid Godslayer, stood resolutely. In some retellings, he was bold and taunted the god, provoking him; in others, he was fearful and serious, holding his place purely because he knew what must be done. In all retellings, Ravid's actions prevented Edih from attaining his ascension within the time limit.

This enraged and infuriated Edih, obviously, and most stories include some form of revenge from Edih upon Ravid. Some say that a god or gods swooped in to rescue Ravid and others say that they did not, leaving Edih to suffer wholesale, depending on the disposition of the storyteller.

Edih, once sated or avenged, stalked away in a rage, seeking a new way to reattain his godhood, now that his initial plan had backfired. The entire affair ended embarrassingly however, when a street thief - a half-elf woman - used a cosh to kill him, seeing Edih as just another mark she could steal from.

The woman, known now as Khei'Szeiya, ascended to godhood as she slew Edih, and the affair was an amazing, dizzying high. Arrogant and self-assured, Khei'Szeiya demanded a place on the Greater Inner Gods' councils, just as Edih had had. The Greater Inner Gods, by and large, regarded her arrogance poorly, and in a rare moment of solidarity, united to bind Khei'Szeiya under the mountain Grimspire until she learned some humility.

The Prophecies of Ummin-Teth

Ummin-Teth was a half-rate con man from Kyngdom. Like many such rogues and ne'er-do-wells, he frequently posed as a soothsayer or a prophet, seeking to make some money off gullible locals. Unlike many half-rate con men, his prophecies came true.

Ummin-Teth at first didn't really think much of the odd coincidences, and instead made it his business to exploit the openings they provided. Then, given to some experimentation, he decided to see just how prophetic he could be - and found that when he prophesied, most of what he said came true, with some provisos.

At first, Ummin-Teth became convinced he was imbued with deific power, until he found his prophecies were getting him in trouble. Rather than try and exploit the gift, he decided to get it out of him - and so, he sat down and wrote Teth's Almanack, a book that contained a history of Kyngdom for the next a hundred and forty years, working up to what he described as 'The Second Godsday' and the 'Lost Heir' of Kyngdom who would appear at that point. The Almanack was marketed to a publisher as a comedic piece, and it went down well and was published.

Ummin-Teth did not prophesy ever again: he lived off the profits of the book, instead, and found to his amazement that his initial prophecies (which were of weather patterns and odd appearances of nobility) were spot-on accurate. As the almanack wound on, the prophesied events became more and more ridiculous, and Ummin-Teth figured that the prophecies would be 'broken'. When he was seventy years old and his prophecies had not yet failed, he quietly threw himself off a bridge, hoping to end the mystery that was his life1.

The prophecies, however, did break. All events in the Almanack that led up to the death of Kurtulmak were correct - but after that point, the prophecies failed. No heir rose to save Kyngdom from the civil war that threatened, and the king refused to die for another forty years after his seventieth birthday.

The Kobold Damnation

The most recent event of major significance, the Kobold Damnation was the first time a Greater God was killed by a direct action on the behalf of his worshipers. Edih's end had been the result of his hubris, of annoying a large group of gods and pitting himself against the moral strength and courage of one small human boy. The Kobold deity, on the other hand, found in the most awkward of fashions that his followers were not happy with him.

The deity in question was a very structured god; he believed in an absolute sense in the perfect design of all kobolds, templated after himself. For this reason, any deviation from that design was discouraged, and any evolution or development was often quashed. Kobolds under this regime were very traditional, even while their mining and trapsmithing encouraged them to be exploratory and inquisitive. The upshot was a disaffected people: On the one hand, there was an obvious lure to breaking with tradition and designing and trying new things. On the other hand, their deity himself had put magical strictures on his people's blood to keep them from ever evolving, and these were strong lures.

As the Second Age wore on, the gods became more and more distant. Even Schwarzstrom, a normally gregarious and active god, was spending her time off in rowdy bars away from the majority of civilization, off on the outlands. Palescai had withdrawn to study the coming war with his sister and the Lord, and the evil gods steadily withdrew from mortal influence as they sought some edge in their conflicts with one another. The gods simply grew passive towards their worshippers. The worship continued regardless, but responses to prayer and miracles became rarer and rarer, clerics less and less common, with favoured souls even rare.

It was during this time that sciences made their most startling leaps and bounds - with the discovery of gunpowder proving a turning point.

The Kobolds of Tattered Ear Mountain banded together and formed the Council of the Godless - a secret society of kobolds who felt that no longer did they need their god, but who also felt that he would not offer them any freedom unless they could demand it. They then set their grand plan in motion.

The actual device used is subject to some rumour and discrepancy, but once it was constructed - and made to look quite benign - the kobolds performed a great number of rituals and sacrifices, engineered to summon their god, hoping that they could parley with him once for their freedom. The nature of Kobolds was deeply ingrained, however; they refused to bargain without first knowing they had an ace up their sleeves.

The god appeared before his people, a towering figure of seven or eight feet compared to their two to three. He spoke in a booming voice, issued commands, and denounced the explorations of science. The kobolds nodded, listening, and the god felt that sharp pain few gods ever do experience - that sensation of no longer being feared, no longer being worshipped, and no longer being respected.

Then the Kobolds shot him, the first recorded incident of a gun murder in Cobrin'Seil.

Since that point, the Kobolds have blazed new grounds in sciences, and the past forty years have been a period of amazing development for kobold pieces, with new subraces springing up almost overnight, as the restrained force of evolution is unbound and given rise in generation to generation. It's suggested that the magic their now ex-deity used to hold this back has turned around now, without him to feed it, it instead feeds the kobold's development, prompting the Seven Great Clans.

The effect this incident had on the gods was profound. Suddenly, they realised, a mortal race had stood up, marshalled its wits and its cunning, and had killed their own god. The gods came back, seeking with fervour a way to connect to their worshippers, seeking to bring the will of their people and their own will in line. The gods know they need their followers to some extent, and now the knowledge that their followers had in their purview the means to kill a god, their own god, terrified many of them. As some gods flocked back out of fear, so the more staid ones returned to counterbalance their foes - and so, the old enmities started up once more.

One might wonder what the name of the kobold deity was - but one had best not ask a kobold. The name of their god was ripped from their memories in a communal ritual, a rite that spread through the culture as one by one, they threw off even the memory of their god. Let him die, they say, let him be forgotten forever; let there be nothing where there once was something, and may that be his damnation. In theory, there are scholars and experts who exist, travelling across the lands, who have neglected the rite, or who do not find the name blotted out in their memories… but they are few and far between. Cobrin'Seil had lost a god, a god so iconic as to have been known from corner to corner of the world.

And so the Third Age of Cobrin'Seil began.


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