Coldforged: A Brief History of Tysis 9 – The Fourth Age Part 1

Each Thursday this year, I focus on a different aspect of the world I’ve created and played D&D in for over 20 years, in the hopes of honing the ideas and cementing enough in place to settle the world in my own mind. This week I’ll pull all the histories together and walk us up to the current time, starting at the dawn of the 4th Age, the current time.

The Fourth Age

The historians of Tysis believe that the world of Kasan has gone through three previous ages – The Divine Age, the Age of Might and the Age of Kings. Recently, they believe a new age has begun, with the great kingdoms having been felled and a shattering of what was once just a few nations.

There are arguments about exactly when to set the start of the Fourth Age, but the exact date really makes no difference, as the event that set it all in motion is agreed upon. That event is Moduru’s First War, as this single war is agreed to be the catalyst that brought about the downfall of each of the Kingdoms that have since fallen.

Moduru’s First War

A vengeful and powerful lich who was once a powerful champion who stood against the evils of the world, Moduru planned the invasion and destruction of the Kingdoms of Tysis for years. He created a golem of clay and flesh and imbued it with a soul, sending it off to infiltrate the Kingdoms and locate subordinates with similar desires. Gu’Thag, a disaffected Thraxian Clan Chieftain. Kuthru, a descendant of long fallen Xian wishing for the return to its glory days. Tetravin, an exiled Tyndarian Noble. Together with Vagabond, the demi-golem, these warlords gathered their armies in near secret for years, watching Killbar and Tyrndall war against themselves.

Then, in 610 AR, Moduru set his plans in motion. Tetravin opened the offensives up with a series of short wars against Tyrndall from outside of the kingdom in the north. While Tetravin kept Tyrndall distracted, the other generals gathered their respective forces and attempted to convene Killbar to march to war alongside them.

The wars continued were sporadic until, in 623, Gu’Thag’s horde descended into Tysis and began razing unprepared cities as Killbar marched in from the West, forcing the Tyndarian army to fight on two fronts as they armies closed in on the clear target, Tyrndall.

At the Siege of Tyrndall in 625, the Tyndarian forces held out for close to four months before High Marshall Boris Soulshammer arrived with Reinforcements gathered from the south. The relief army was able to coordinate with the Tyndarian defenders to launch a surprise sortie from the City that distracted the besieging army long enough for the relief to arrive unopposed. That battle routed Modurus army, with special forces seeking out and defeating two of the besieging generals, Kuthru and Gu’Thag.

With the Killbarans routed, and the army broken, the Tyndarians, through divination magic and a bit of research, located Modurus fortress on the Isle of Nilimon, and prepared an expedition of war. The forces that landed on Nilimon attacked the city and were repelled by numerous undead and other monstrosities. A strike force of champions made directly for the Lich’s fortress, defeating his bodyguard Ravin and finally engaging Moduru directly. Having planned for this possibility, they were navigated into a trap to siphon out their essences, distilling and consuming them to become a new and artificial god of undeath and destruction.

Through guile and force of will, one of the champions was able to reverse the flow of the siphon and prevent Moduru from devouring the essences and was, himself devoured, birthing the demigod Drakken.

Returning victorious and suffering from rampaging madness of the mind plague, Killbar quickly refrained from pursuing any further hostilities and arranged a treaty between the two Kingdoms to allow it to deal with the mad mages destroying its internal structure. The war that had lasted the past four years came to an end.

Between Wars

Following the defeat of Moduru and the Gevrin Treaty with Killbar, Tyndaria prospered for but a short time before King Tor Banefiend was assassinated. The assassins were slain or took their own lives, and to this day there is no understood reason for the attack. Many blamed King Tor’s appointed heir, Wanderer, for the attack, accusing him of usurping the rightful method of noble succession.

House Blackblade were the first to rebel, instigating two other houses to follow their example. Wanderer led his personal troops, the Blades, in the field, first against House Nightwing, and then Spiritshifter. Both houses fell, their titles stripped and their leaders executed. Blackblade held on, however, for three years, until they too were brutally destroyed, but not without inflicting great losses on the Blades and Wanderers armies. Tyndaria, for a time, would hold together under their new King Wanderer. The war for the crown, however, scarred him deeply, and he never really was the same again, a darker, more brooding figure for the experience.

Killbar, after its initial decline, was eventually returned to its glory under the Dictatorial power of General Scipicus Maltinilis. Having executed thousands of mages on his order that were even suspected of having the Mind Plague, he now held an iron grip on the rule of the country. He proceeded to expand his power, maneuvering the legions first against Jeslith, leveling it and conquering it, and then pushed them towards the Levishans.

The General was in the midst of negotiations with the Levishans to annex them and protect them from external threats when, surprising the continent, multiple armies simply appeared, fully formed, throughout the continent.

Modurus Second War

Appearing across the continent, from Thrax to Tyndaria to Killbar, multiple armies simply began existing. They quickly took a number of cities, including Tyndaria, and set about devastating all that engaged them. Levisha suffered greatly, with an enormous army in its midst and a defense focused on the borders.

These mysterious armies were quickly found to be the soldiers of Moduru, who had returned once again to threaten the Tysis. Quickly, they besieged Killbar City, destroyed a quickly mustered Levishan force, and held Tyndaria. In Thrax they met a much less pleasant fate, being completely unprepared for power that the newly organized confederacy of Tribes could bring to bear, led by the zealous and powerful paladin of Takannas, Terina, The Boar Queen. Though she died in the battle against the invaders, her forces emerged victorious.

Killbar withstood a siege for a year, but ultimately fell and was razed to the ground and the ground salted. The Drimmen were assaulted by a force of Giants, also under the influence of Moduru, and were unable to assist the beleaguered Tyndarians. Tyndaria would stand or fall on its own.

Thankfully, a group of heroes was able to track down Moduru where he was hiding in the past and slew him which also destroyed time-traveling armies. Hopefully, this is the last time he needs to be defeated.

Though Moduru was finally vanquished, the damage he had done has sent repercussions to the present. Killbar was destroyed, shattered as a power, the Republic broke into city-states, each ruled by a warlord. Drimm lost half their territory to the advancing giant armies. The Levishans declare the Great Return and close their borders. Tyndaria, scared by its occupation, simmered with revolt at Wanderer, who had been unable to protect against so much death.

Moduru’s arrival and final defeat upended the continent’s status quo. Though he never, actually, set foot on Tysis, he did more to destroy what the continent had built than they ever had.

Well, that covers most of 622-637AR, the start of the 4th age, and the set up for the current setting. Next time, we’ll move deeper along the timeline and explore the further repercussions of Modurus wars.