With the series “Tales of the Shattered World” I’ve been embarking on, I thought I’d introduce a side series that clarifies some of the things I talk about in this new world, as some of the terms, names, slang, and locations I use are a bit confusing. To begin, I’d like to talk about the Shattered World itself, officially known as “Lore.”
Lore is a world comparable to that of Middle Earth, a land of fantasy, magic, and fantastic creatures. In the early years, known in Loran history as “the Dark Times,” Lore was very much like your stereotypical fantasy world, until the coming of an empire known colloquially as the Elder. These people were fascinated with alchemy, technology, and forbidden magic, and were obsessed with horrible experiments such as raising the dead as undead soldiers. It wasn’t until this point that the peoples of Lore, both human and non-human, realized that the Elder were a serious threat to the entire world, and united together in a massive war that culminated in the entire Elder people being banished into the empty, chaotic realm known as the Void.
From that point, as Lore tried to rebuild from the planet-spanning war, a group of warlocks known as the Fell Eight took advantage of the situation to rise up and take over the world. Using notes stolen from the Elder before their annihilation, they subjugated the fledgling industrial nation of Kurg and transformed the people into green-skinned hybrids of goblins and men known as orcs. Now with a massive army at their disposal, the Fell Eight attacked the other nations of Lore in a second conflict that would be come to known as the Green War. Many lives were lost, and the Fell Eight themselves were finally killed, but the ruling High Kings of Lore were left with the realization that unless the knowledge and practice of magic were tightly controlled, Lore was at risk of utter destruction. This led to a joint effort with the Colleges of Magic to establish the Museum of Dangerous Books and Papers, a repository for all of the arcane and mysterious works the Elder left behind, in order to prevent another magic war and to study the texts more carefully. This marked the beginning of a period of relative peace in Loran history, and the beginning of an industrial revolution. With their energy now directed towards inventing, a slew of new inventions such as steam engines, magic radios, trains, firearms, and massive steam-driven automatons. This was the beginning of what would come to be known as the “Age of Trade,” as the previously closed-off kingdoms and territories became more connected through communication and trade. However, underneath the facade of progress and innovation, a secret war was being waged, as the Order of the Illuminated sought to weed out and eliminate anyone supposedly dabbling in the ways of magic.
Unfortunately, with new technologies, especially weapons, comes a thirst for power and control. At the time, the greatest of the city-states that had arisen from the old kingdoms was Valther, the shining kingdom in the east that sought to bring all of Lore under its control and usher in a golden age of prosperity and enlightenment. Some of the colonies under their control, such as Vara to the West and Midway to the South, didn’t like being controlled by a larger city-state and fought back in an event that would come to be known as the Mandrake Rebellion, named after the Varan rebel leader, Nicholas Mandrake. This event, after much bloody conflict, led to Vara and Midway splitting off into their own independent city-states in other parts of Lore, and eventually becoming two more of the major world powers. As Lore tried once again to return to a state of peace, the existing city-states tried to establish a new age of trade and open up new trade routes between their lands. This eventually led to the beginning of the Great War, after an emissary from Vara to Morgul was assassinated by a terrorist cell, kicking off a series of alliances between nations, as each sought to use the spark of the conflict as an excuse to settle old scores. The war was the bloodiest conflict in the world’s history, and would only get worse as time progressed. There were a few decades of relative peace, but the conflict reignited when in a bid for more power, the struggling Morgul united with the nations of Oslar and Kira in an attempt to wrest control of the world from the other nations, leading the remaining nations to ally together in order to stop them. This was probably the biggest problem that led to Lore becoming the Shattered World. Tests with many experimental weapons during this time led to the barrier between the Void and Lore being weakened, and the Elder were able to escape to wreak havoc once again.The Allies and Axis were forced into an uneasy alliance to destroy their undying enemies and banish them back into the Void from whence they came, and while they ultimately succeeded, Lore was left in a pitiable condition.
The nations retreated back into their borders to lick their wounds, but they would not be silent while the threat of Elder incursions and worse from the Void still loomed. Combining their resources, Valther, Oslar, Vara, and many other nations worked together to form the Last Legion, a global peacekeeping organization for protecting Lore from further outside threats, as well as maintaining the peace of the world itself. There were of course some dissenters. In the East, an ancient vampire warlord long forgotten by the world has returned to the world, and saw the ruined Morgul as the means to rebuild his long-lost kingdom. So the Iron Reich was formed, led by the vampire lord claiming to be the nation’s savior. Their armies were even more ruthless than the Morgul of old, and in time occupied Ragnar to the north and Ceya to the south, slowly wresting control of the entire northern continent. In the nation of Berck, an enterprising warlock businessman known as Mr. Jacob Lynch who had profited greatly from the past and current conflicts, began to worry that the ruling powers of Lore would view his ever-growing corporation as a threat to their power and security, and so using his vast wealth established and armed a private army, making the Imperial Corporation yet another power in the increasingly crowded world. While all of these powers and many others frequently set against each other, they are all somewhat united by the Crusaders, the militant branch of the Church of Morrow who seek to save the souls of all Lorans from the threats that lurk beyond the borders of their world. In these troubled times, Lore is a chaotic and dangerous place, and it is unknown what fate will befall it should another threat arise from the shadows to threaten its people.
As for the inspiration, if you note the names on the map, Lore is a mixture of Warhammer Fantasy and Warmachine, sharing many nation names and locations, while mixing with our own world. So if you ever notice any similarities between the two and my own work, I mean it not as an infringement of their IP, but as an homage to two of the greatest fantasy worlds in my opinion, outside of Middle Earth. If anyone from PP is reading this, guys, I love your work, please keep it up, and I hope you aren’t upset by my little homage to your amazing creations.
The nations themselves and their inspirations are:
-Afrein- Mix of Africa and Egypt
-Caspia- Canada with British elements
-Corvis- Unknown, elements of Creole and American culture
-Idria- Middle East
-Ios,- Ireland, home of the elves
-Ka’zyn- Unknown, swampy nation with bits of Creole inspiration
-Kurg- Mix of Germany and Great Britain, home of the orcs.
-Midway- Unknown, based on the Wild West
-Rhul- Norway, home of the dwarves
-Valther- Great Britain
Next time, we’ll take a look at some of the races populating this strange world.