The history of the world of Erdent is often widely disputed amongst people. Occasionally, some people will refer to the entirety of the world by The ‘New World’ in order to distinguish it from The ‘Old World,’ a time from before what is known as the ‘Long Dark.’ While many dispute the existence of the Old World and claim that there was nothing before the Long Dark, some older books show that the existence of the Old World was widely taught at one point but fell out of favour. Remnants of the Old World are scattered around Erdent, but these can be lies and fabrications.
We were not the first ones here. The Beasts were. The Outlands have always been on Erdent, and it is all their domain. All of it. We came after. We built our homes in the Outlands, but the beasts could tear them down like it were only mud. We lived in fear for so long, hiding from what was out there. But one day we decided we would build walls to protect ourselves from the Beasts. On that day, the first Haven was built.
Beasts are aptly named so due to their bestial nature. Beasts call the outlands their domain. They are primal creatures of nature, but they should not be mistaken for unintelligent. Instead, they are cruelly intelligent beings, capable of adaptation and destruction to maintain a foothold in their domains. Humans had built Havens – sanctuaries and cities from which they could establish their own domain and fend off these Beasts and survive in the world.
But this did not last for long. At first, the Beasts – they feared us, stopped chasing us. But it wasn’t a generation before they grew fierce again. They had adapted to us, they were strong again. We couldn’t survive. We needed to fight back, not just build walls and cower behind them. Some of us volunteered to go out there and fight the Beasts. And not just fight them, kill them – scare them away so that we could live in peace. They called themselves the Hunters.
Havens are where a majority of the Humans lived. As they ventured out, many would be killed if they didn’t have the strength to drive back any Beasts that they encountered. More often than not, they didn’t. The Beasts were exceptional at adaptation and could easily find weaknesses in Humans as quickly as Humans had invented new weapons. This cycle of invention and adaptation quickly grew the necessity for more and more powerful weapons. Eventually, people in the Havens decided that there needed to be a dedicated force to fight these Beasts. Many volunteered, desperate to protect their families.
It was as if the whole of Erdent itself had simultaneously created the idea of the Hunter. They were known by different names – defenders, rangers, watchers. Though, one name had prevailed above them all because it inspired hope for the people – the Hunters – who hunted and killed the Beasts. They made their own organisation so that Hunters in all of Erdent could work together and overcome Beasts together. They had called this organisation ‘The Guild.’
The idea of the Guild was agreed by many to be necessary, but conflicts between the Havens meant that it was much harder to start than conceive. Not only was it difficult to travel through the Outlands to communicate, it was also impossible for those from different Havens to set aside their differences and agree on a universal philosophy. It was the work of the Original Four who were ultimately able to create the Guild. Their names were Caimme, Yorles, Vethra and Resmun, and they each bore flags from their own Havens. Combined, they created the Guild banner, a union and friendship between each of them to organise Hunters. Together, they created the universal philosophy of Hunters in Erdent: “Protect. Defend. Hunt.”
With the rise of the Guild, soon Hunters from different Havens learnt to cooperate and help each other when they needed. This was the Golden Dawn of Humanity. Havens quickly grew in size, and our foothold was many times stronger. A few generations later, those who lived in the middle of Havens had never seen a live beast in their life. The role of the Guild had quickly changed. The resources from dead Beasts were many times stronger than metals from mined ore and skins from domestic animals. The demand for them grew as a material, its uses seemed universal.
The role of the Guild had quickly changed. They were not only defenders and protectors, but they also hunted for resources that many sought. They would get paid in large sums for their risky and dangerous effort. Soon, being a Hunter meant less about wanting to protect those you loved, and more about the glory and money that it provided. But this was not for the worse. Being a Hunter was extremely risky, about one in four die in their first year. Many quickly replaced the diminishing supply of Hunters, and the Guild had attained new roles. The Guild now worked towards facilitating Hunting, promoting it and advertising it as a way of life and an opportunity for success. They also organised the meeting of Hunters and Buyers who wanted resources from the Outlands. It was the Golden Dawn for both Humanity and Hunters alike.
When people were safe, they were free to do much more than just survive. We didn’t just farm all day, we invented new and amazing things. We discovered new things too. The most important was Phora. It was almost like a miracle. Before then, we’d use dried logs which weren’t hot enough for the forge. Phora…it was like a lump of coal darker than any black you’ve seen. It seemed like the most ordinary rock you could find. But when you lit it up, it glowed a brilliant blue and could melt even the strongest metal with ease.
Phora was the most revolutionary substance that Humans had found. It could be found almost anywhere and lasted a long time as a fuel. They quickly adopted it throughout Erdent and it became a staple in many households. Technologies that exploited its power quickly came into existence. Aerial travel through skyships powered by phora engines became extremely popular and widespread. People could travel from Haven to Haven with minimal risk of danger. People had new devices that could be powered with phora – machinery that made their lives easier.
Phora was also an amazing discovery for Hunters. You see, when Phora finished burning, it didn’t disappear but it instead turned red. If you heated it up any more, it would explode with a deafening shout and terrifying glow. Hunters had created weapons that used Phora and could shoot projectiles. It was death from afar. They called it a firearm.
Soon, Hunters adopted the use of firearms in everyday hunting. As it evolved over time, firearms eventually merged with their standard melee weapons. They became hybrid weapons capable of fighting at both close quarters and from far away. All Hunters adopted these and it soon became the new trend.
With these newfound discoveries also came hubris. We believed that we could conquer the rest of the world, destroy the Outlands and claim the lands. Phora was a powerful boon and a great menace. We built a weapon deep inside the mountains using this mysterious resource. It was believed that we could use it to kill all of the Beasts in a single strike. But we were wrong – so, very wrong.
The Humans had called their weapon ‘The Hammer’ whose strength was so great that a single strike would completely destroy all of the beasts. They were only half right. It had killed a great number of beasts, but at the same time it had killed many humans. It was a mistake realised too late.
And as the Sol set on that fated day, and the moons of the night rose into the sky, we unlucky ones had not knew that our Star would not rise again. Not again for a thousand days and a thousand nights. The sky was cluttered with a cloud drenched with hatred. We saw a glimpse of Sol, for perhaps a second, but it was impossible to tell if it was true or just an illusion. And so passed the Long Dark.
The Long Dark was a period of prolonged darkness in the world. Many Havens had fell, the great civilisation of Humanity had fell with a single strike delivered by themselves. In the Long Dark, they had struggled again. Crumbling Havens and failing societies broke what they called a united Humanity apart. Worse, Beasts were not weakened by this. Many had died, many of the weaker ones. The stronger ones grew in number, and the world without Havens nor Hunters was dangerous again.
From the ashes of the Old World, the New World grew. We built our way up from the ground again, this time we knew what we did wrong. The beasts challenged us, in greater strength than before, but we stood our ground, we had the ruins from the Old World to work from. We built our Havens again, stronger than before, we recovered what was lost. But it was not done without cooperation. From the Old World, a single fragment of hope had survived. The unity of the Hunters and their Guild, sole protectors of Humanity at its core worked for many years, rebuilding what we had so foolishly destroyed.
From the beginning of the New World, Humanity rebuilt itself, stronger than ever. This time with the assistance of the Guild. It had become a powerful organisation in the world, influencing many decisions of political leaders. But most importantly, the role of the Hunters was more important than ever. With the increased strength of the Beasts, Hunters were no longer many times stronger, but instead evenly matched.
But they won’t tell you the truth. They hide it – scared. Those who swung the Hammer and torn the world apart. They tell you that The Hammer is just a story, a fable, a lie. But it exists! The truth is out there, lost amongst the world, waiting for someone to put it together again.
Today, the existence of the Hammer prior to the Long Dark are ascribed to fables and legends – stories told to young children only to bear a moral. The Outlands and the Beasts within are terrifying creatures, but Humanity should not attempt to conquer them. Instead, they should be respected for the great power that they wield. And that Humanity unbounded by Beasts is not a wish to be made.