Age Of Silence

The millennium had finally come to and end and the Children were still spreading the Word of the gods all around Awlidan, with force if necessary. The other lands were strong enough to fight off the main forces of the Children so they decided to remain home and strengthen their own borders. At the same time they would spread the Word through colonies set up around the different lands of the world. This gave them a small foothold into each country throughout the continents of Awlidan. The land of the Children was the self proclaimed Land of the Gods and it was flourishing through the last 1,000 years. Their arrogance and ego was about to get a major boost.

Within the land of the gods prayer was a priority and a mandate, everyone must attend a weekly mass in addition to personal prayer. The high priests around the land of the Children continued to attempt prayers in the name of the gods but only succeeded in spreading the Word through fear. They read from the holy books, they lead their parishioners in prayers to the gods, and attempted to heal their people with simple herbs and remedies. On the dawn of the New Age, with a single event, everything changed. During a routine herbal healing a minor cleric said a quick prayer over the bandage of a wounded farmer. The wound healed instantly and was gone, the prayer was answered.

News of the miracle began to spread. The Church elders demanded proof of the deed, they demanded it be done a second time. The elders brought in a man broken by disease and decay and wanted the cleric to heal him and make him whole again. The cleric prayed as hard as he might, he tried until he was soaked with sweat but to no avail. The priest was put to death for his blaspheme.

The word of the priest’s failure was spreading faster than the miracle he was able to perform. The people were starting to believe that everything the church was saying thus far had been fraudulent and misleading. The Children were starting to lose control.

Just when the nonbelievers thought the truth would finally surface and they would finally be free form persecution, a cold reality had sprung forth. Clerics from small denominations, wisdoms from small villages, and even the occasional healer, were starting to show signs of divine power. Stories of these individuals performing healing prayers and other miracles were starting to spread like wildfire. The truth in the Word the Children had been speaking all these years was finally being proven through the deeds of the faithful. The Children were looking at a rebellion that would end their hold on the self-proclaimed holy land; instead their grip was cemented with but a few miracles and prayers.

More and more clerics and priests throughout the land of the gods were showing their divine power. Where before only simple healing prayers could be performed, now those more experienced priests could remove deadly power, end debilitating diseases, and eventually even raise the recently deceased. The power of the Children was growing exponentially. With all these miracles happening and prayers being answered, why then couldn’t the elders speak to their patron deity? The elders of the churches were supposed to have the divine power to speak to the gods themselves. They were said to be their god’s receptacle and voice on Awlidan. Even with so many prayers being answered and miracles being performed, the true voice of the gods remained silent.

Clerics were now being seen all over Awlidan, in all forms of civilizations. With the help they brought, they were actually welcomed with open arms. Most, of course, spread the word of the Children for they were already established in these other lands. Others proved to have the power of the gods but did not believe in the Word of the Children. This confused the simple public and created conflict with some political parties. These wondering clerics or traveling priests proved that the Children were not the only ones that could harness the power of the gods.

The elders of the Church declared all unsanctioned practitioners of divine prayers to be false prophets spreading lies and confusion to the people. At first the Church started rumors that these other priests could not perform true miracles and their prayers were only temporary. This in turn nearly caused a panic among the people, especially those that were healed of serious illnesses. As time went on the Children continued to spread their propaganda against the outsider clerics in hopes of rallying the people against them. Unfortunately there was no proof in their rumors and warnings, the cures from the other clerics held and the Children were left trying to fix yet another blunder. The elders decided more drastic measures had to be taken.

The elders of the Church of the Children declared any cleric, priest, or wisdom not sanctioned by the Children to be Black Priests spreading the word of the Dark gods and the lies of the Hellspawn. These false priests were to be hunted and burned alive for their heresy and evil ways. It was declared that the fires of the Heavens be used to cleanse the soul of these wicked necromancers in hopes that they will be redeemed or spend eternity suffering for their evil ways. The Children renewed their vigorous fight against the nonbelievers and heretics and included the black priests in their cleansing of Awlidan. Thus began the second Holy Crusade.

While the Children were spreading their Word even more fervently across the globe, something was about to happen to add credibility to their preaching. The divine powers of the gods were no limited to the priests dedicated to the Children of the Light. There were dark gods as well, and these dark gods had followers and among these followers were clerics devoted to their cause. These truly dark priests worked from the shadows bringing about famine, disease, and even death in the name of their masters. This in turn gave even more credibility to the Word of the Children. Maybe the Children were telling the truth all along.

During the second Holy War now spreading across Awlidan, something else happened that shook the foundation of all that was holy. Two new traveling priests were spotted wondering the wilderness, their number spreading with each year. They eventually became known as Advocates and Mercykillers. The Advocates always were found wearing white robes with simple markings and usually no decorations. They bore a staff only, showing they were less than a combative priest. The Mercykillers were completely different. They wore heavy armor and weapons like they were always ready for battle. Their armor was black and decorated with skulls throughout the suit.

These strange clerics wore what looked to be a similar holy symbols that could announce their allegiance to Bane, God of Evil and Destruction; but the symbols were different and no exactly that of the evil lord. Each wore a symbol of a silver skull with a half circle background. The Advocate’s half circle was white and was angled downward while the Mercykiller’s symbol had a black background angled upward. Their passing usually meant death so they were not met with friendly smiles and common hospitality; even though it was never proven that they were the cause of the deaths around them.

As time passed these clerics that travel in pairs became known around the lands and what they represent. Eventually their true nature was revealed; albeit feared still, it was learned that these strange death clerics brought peace to the ill and mercy to the dying. It was true, they spread the Word of Bane but not the way the common folk had expected. Everyone knew the Lord of Evil and the Harbinger of Destruction, but that was not what these Advocates and Mercykillers were spreading. These new clerics of Bane sought out death and all of its forms in hopes of understanding the way of their new Lord. Everything must die; this is the way or mortality. Bane is the God of Death, neutral in all things for he is the Aspect of what must be. He represents the end of all things so there will be a new beginning.

The Crusade of the Children continued while more and more clerics, healers, and priests of all faiths were showing signs of divine powers. The Children could not control the spread of this news about clerics performing divine miracles outside the teachings of the Word. They declared any priests not dedicated to the spreading of the Word to be seen as renegade charlatans. They could not control the laws in other lands but they had followers all over the world teaching the Word in many different countries. Those clerics devoted to the Children and the Word began a hunt for any order of clerics practicing outside their influence. The Holy War turned into a Civil War among the divine clergy.

The nations around Awlidan were still small, recovering from the Cataclysm or simply new countries from its aftermath. None were as powerful or as influential as the Empire of the Children. It seemed everything the Children had been teaching about the gods were coming true. Their power was growing, the Empire was spreading. With more and more nations giving over to the Word, those that did not believe in the teachings were finding it difficult to survive. Those that did not succumb to the will of the Children had to pack up and leave, or be overwhelmed by the power of the Empire. These people trying to cling to their own beliefs began to gather in small groups. They banded together as traveling nomads, enemies to the gods.

The Children and their Empire were slowly moving across the world. In the lands they did not control they had temples dedicated to the Word, sanctuaries for those wanting to learn about the True Faith. The True Faith was the fact that the gods would not truly return until all heretics and nonbelievers were vanquished and sent to Hell or the Abyss where they belong. The Children finally had a fleet of ships strong enough to bare them across the Great Sea and wage their Holy Crusade in the lands of the East. They set out from their homeland, the birthplace of the Empire, and sailed for many months to get to their final quarry. This would be their final triumph. Once they had a foothold on the Eastern lands it would only be a matter of time before the gods returned and brought about the new Age, the greatest Age of Awlidan’s history.

The Imperial Fleet sailed across the Great Sea through calm waters and stormy weather, but no one could prepare them for what they had found. A calm, clear sky quickly turned into a thick, milky fog. The strange fog was so thick; those standing on the quarterdeck couldn’t see the foc’s’le of the ship. The Flee found what is now called the Great Oceanic Barrier. Those few that escaped the Barrier said they were set upon by large black ships coming out of the fog. These black ships had no trouble navigating the ghostly mist and it gave them a significant advantage over them. The Imperial Fleet was crushed under the power of the Black Ships, the survivors returned to the land of the Children.

The destruction of the Imperial Fleet was a major blow to the forces of the Children. Seeing this as a new threat, a new enemy far more powerful than any they have faced, the Crusade was abruptly ended. The Children receded to their homeland recuperating from their loss. The war grew cold; the Children were as silent as a sleeping predator. Though they had their temples throughout the lands of Awlidan, all became quiet and peaceful. Without a word, the Children ended their open hostility towards the other lands of the world.

With the ending of the Crusade it was as if the world itself breathed a sigh of relief. City states were slowing growing into large governments. Without the interference of the Children, these governments began to prosper and form large countries. Mankind had survived and was finally starting to prosper. The deadly lion that was the Children were not heard from for decades, even centuries. That was when the writings were found, a new set of Words that would bring peace crashing down around mankind’s head.

Prophecies are rarely given much thought or merit. They are difficult to follow, rarely contain solid information, and are usually ambiguous at best. Most prophesies have so many possible outcomes, having one come true is extremely rare and normally considered a coincidence. Some prophecies are impossible to ignore.

A series of prophecies were uncovered during the quiet period of the Age of Silence. These predictions foretold the arrival of a powerful new god born of man. This new deity would shake the foundations of the Heavens and Awlidan alike. The Celestial Modonna will send mankind on a collision course with the Heavens themselves and the outcome will change the world forever. It is hard to give prophecies any merit for they hold very little truth, but what if all the great prophets of old foreseen the same vision?

At the eve of the Age of Silence, within the last decade before a new era… a child was born.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License