Truth is such a simple thing, and yet, it so often eludes us. Sometimes the truth is beyond our reach, beyond our ken; sometimes, we simply refuse to acknowledge it, preferring to cloak ourselves in lies. Simple truths, such as the recipe to my mother’s famous pecan pie, are effortless in their acquisition. Complicated truths, such as where the Gods and Wyrms went – and why – when they abandoned the world thousands of years ago, are not so easily attained. The most complex Truth, the Truth of Being, the true history of the world of Volarus, is out of reach of even the oldest, wisest beings.
Knowledge is fickle; the more Truth you know, the more you lose yourself to the greatest enlightenment. There is always a price. This is the purpose of this book: to help you avoid paying this price – to help you maintain your sanity.
Forgive me – I failed to introduce myself. It has been so very long since I’ve had the need to do so. I am called Élo Galestar, though you may know me as the Weavespeaker, or the Sage of the Outer Realms. Or perhaps you know me not at all. I was apprentice to the greatest magus to ever exist. I have seen more things in one morning than most will see in their lifetime.
I hope, in saying such, you understand the weight of the knowledge I bear, of the truths I harbor. I seek to educate you on the history of Volarus, in the hope that you will not repeat my mistakes.
When the Sun rises high above the lands, women bake and tend their children; men haul lumber and forge steel. This is not to suggest all men, women, and children are equal. On the contrary, in the sprawling, holy city of Dartruth, the men and women pray to the Gods and live in stone houses as tall as trees. In the East, Dragonborn live in tribal longhouses and pray to their mighty Wyrms to lead their hunts each day. Very few could attest as to what the Westernland Dwarves are plotting, isolated as they are within their mountains. The magical tower-city of Bel’rinn looms high atop an earthen spire, those within intent on hoarding magical treasures and knowledge few can even dream of.
And yet, despite their differences, those who are wise fear the night.
Dark times bring darker creatures, and the night brings forth that most foul of beings: the dead walk the world of Volarus in the dark of night, seeking to extinguish the light inherent in all living creatures. Though newly-deceased bodies are now ritualistically burned to prevent the Rising, the numbers of those cursed with Undeath continue to grow. Hundreds of thousands appear every night. While I sometimes wonder if the clergymen of old could have possessed the power to vanquish the hordes, the deities have since abandoned Volarus. With only the echoes of their magic to draw on, clergymen today are beginning to realize they have already lost this battle.
Were this the only threat upon Volarus, she would count herself lucky. Demons spew forth from the wicked Abyss, wrecking chaos and havoc, and often leaving insanity in their wake. Abominations, horrors unknown to most of Volarus, cross over from the twisted Far Realm.
I believe Volarus would still have hope, if the worst threat of all wasn’t the people themselves. Blame is a burden that someone must bear, and yet Volarus has no volunteers. The world stands divided, whether by race, religion, or region, and everyone else is to blame.
But if you are reading this, perhaps hope remains. I trust that any who read this wish to fight against the darkness. Volarus needs champions, and perhaps you are one such. The road is not easy, and likely your only reward will be an early death. But each step taken paves the way for more to follow in your path.
I am not so naive as to think Volarus will one day reach an eternal peace. Sentient beings tend to be too foolish to trust peace. They are too quick to arm themselves against its eventual shattering, and thus they assure its eventual end.
Volarus is a world of long-forgotten truths. I am one of them. I am also proof that truths once forgotten are not always lost forever…