For 40,000 years The Wolfwood covered all the lands of Talekia. Great predators roamed freely through the trees, fearing no mortal. The knowledge and magic of the age of wonder had all but faded to oblivion. The fey – from the indifferent seelie to the cruel unseelie – lorded over all, their fickle whims visited upon the mortals as a plague.

A constant struggle between mortal and nature existed. Mortal would build civilization and natural world would tear it down. This continued perpetually, but each successive civilization would be a little weaker than the last. A little smaller. A little less grand. It was clear that in the long run, the mortals of world would eventually be cast down into the depths of savagery and would forever be at the mercy of the natural world.

However, once 40,000 years has passed, a miracle occurred. The mighty gods returned to the world after 40 millennia and with their mighty power they warred against nature and the fey. Eventually, the wolfwood shrunk it only covered a portion of a single continent, at which point the gods raised a mighty mountain range that separated the fertile coast lands from the Wolfwood. This was the Gods’ Shield. The Great Wolves could not cross them, nature could not extend its influence past them, and only the weakest of the fey could dwell in the lands beyond them. These lands henceforth became known as the Shieldlands.

At long last, the mortals could build. They could thrive and prosper and grow and so they did. For nearly 1,000 years.

Then Anaxadar came. (continued)

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