The Unlife of Kulthea

This is for reference only. It is unsupported lore and has been replaced by the Undead Wars and the Age of Chaos in official documentation. The Tale of Despana and Despana, Unraveling the Mysteries in our Lore section are recommended reading as follow-up beyond this and official documentation.

Authors Note: The following is first in a series of articles dedicated to educating the populace of Kelfours Landing about the Unlife. Explanations, a brief history, theorizations, and ancient legends are all forthcoming. The information here and soon to come is the result of extensive research through the Tomes of Kulthea and is dedicated to Lady Wisraith Winterwind, founder of the House of the Rising Phoenix.

Knowledge is power - it awaits for those who seek it. I offer you all this knowledge, so when the night has ended, and the darkness recedes, you may awake all the more wise and with the dawn perceive our world in a different Light.

Lord Maruko Ashimine
Warden of the Keys
House of the Rising Phoenix

With the help of the Loremasters, many civilizations arose on a firm footing, settling the wide lands and exploring all about them. The world seemed a peaceful place until the coming of the Unlife and the return of Shadow to the world.

The Unlife feeds on destruction, upon the deaths of individuals and societies with equal fervor. It is a thirst unquenched and unslackable. Indeed, the more it consumes, the more it seems to require. It has no source, but it is everywhere, and waiting for a tool to open the door and allow it to enter. Through the surviving followers of Kadaena, who for long years licked their wounds in hidden places, the Unlife found its instruments. These souls, who are desperate for power - for even a shadow of the strength they had once had - eagerly accepted the offers of the energy from the Unlife and grew strong gathering to themselves minions of many types and creating others to suit their needs. Cults and Orders of varied origins and membership took form, but their purposes were dark and evil. It was also during this time that the Great Demons were first fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords.

Soon the young mannish peoples were presented with choices: they were offered great knowledge by these new Cults, more so than the Loremasters were willing to impart with. Some servants of the Unlife impersonated the Loremasters, gaining the trust and confidence of the naive cultures in this way. The teachings of the false sages were different, however. They spoke of the ways of warfare and whispered many tales of hostile peoples - imagined enemies who were readying to attack. Thus were the seeds of suspicion sown. The Loremasters attempted to rectify those misdeeds, but they seemed too few and were unable (or unwilling) to assault the minions of the Unlife with force. Some of the many peoples responded to their warnings, however and the battle lines were drawn for the conflict which would soon end the era.

Almost as a unit, the creatures and peoples under the sway of the Unlife arose and attacked those people who remained free of dark domination. Great Demons and hosts of creatures, led by Priests, Essence Masters and the elite servants of the Unlife, lashed out and attempted to utterly destroy what the Loremasters had nurtured for so long.

The wars nearly lasted for close to three hundred years, and though the powers unleashed during the conflict were as nothing compared to those used in the battle of the Lords of Essence, much was destroyed that had taken long years to build.

There were many valiant leaders in the wars, and many had fallen before the chill Shadow of the Unlife. Many terrors unnumbered and unspeakable walked the lands and flew in the high airs. In desperation, some of the Loremasters turned from their unspoken creed of refusing to act directly and matched their strength against the minions of the Unlight. Most perished in this effort, though without this aid the Peoples would almost certainly have fallen. In the end the Loremasters and the Peoples of Light were victorious and had defeated the forces of the Unlife, taken long years to build.

The victory of the Free Peoples had a high price: entire cultures and entire species had been wiped out, Ilmaris Terisonen and Tethior the Smith were killed (along with many other valiant Loremasters and Sages) and Andraax was driven insane. The Lords of Orhan had returned home to their Moon.

Greatly-weakened survivors retreated once again into themselves, concentrating only on the necessities of survival. This marked the end of the Second Era.