Amenthia

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Amenthia is a large island off the eastern coast of Valordyn. It is notable for being the location of the Afterlife Gate, through which the souls of the dead pass, and as a result the island holds sizable spectral and undead communities drawn by this force.

Since its creation by Thanatia, Amenthia has been home to a long series of mortal cultures, starting from hunter-gatherers who spread east from Valordyn. Ruins have been left behind from various large civilisations that have been wiped out by various disasters, from the Gate-kin to the Hitokage. Smaller polities have also called the isle of Amenthia home, such as the Coven and the Pirate Faction.


History

Creation

Before Amenthia was created the goddess Thanatia wandered the world of Erudite. All over she found that the souls of the dead were listless, drifting aimlessly despite the gods having created the planes of the afterlife. Soon she discovered the cause: the ghosts of the dead were not aware of any afterlife beyond their own current situation - no path was found in front of them. Having pity, Thanatia tried to rectify the perceived mistake and raised the isle of Amenthia off of the eastern coast of Valordyn. There, she placed a beacon that would call to all the dead of the world and lead them to the next - the Afterlife Gate. After making sure that the Gate functioned properly, Thanatia journeyed across the world attempting to spread the message of what to do after death occurs - these journeys were met sometimes with shrines and temples, but also hostility as other groups believed the Gate to be a distrustful myth. Despite these misgivings, Thanatia and Amenthia have been recorded in the myths of many societies around Erudite.

Dragons

Soon after the myths of Amenthia had been established, Thanatia seemed to disappear from the isle - however before leaving she enlisted the help of a group of dragons to act as a council of watchers and guardians of the gate: the Grave Dragons.

Their task was to protect the Gate from harm and to help guide the souls drawn there to wherever they needed to go. The council kept up this task for many eons, until the time of the great dragon civilisations ended in revolt and chaos. It is unclear what happened to the Grave Dragons in particular, but most accounts are split between four major theories: the dragons were caught up in the final wars of their time and died in battle, they left for other parts of the world once the mortal races started to expand, they lay hidden under the isle of Amenthia itself waiting for a true disaster to defend it again, and finally that the Grave Dragons felt that their own time was up and they willingly went through the Gate themselves to whatever lies beyond. Each of these theories has groups of believers in historical tradition, though a true consensus cannot be reached. All that is truly known is that dragon skeletons can always be found in the eastern desert of the island.

Gate-kin

Among the first of the mortal races who ventured to Amenthia were Elves, in particular this subgroup would go on to develop into both the Moon Elf and Abyssal Elf populations.

Many arrived from tribal migrations that explored further and further out from their original living grounds on other continents. Upon the discovery of the Afterlife Gate a number of traditions emerged from the research on the inscriptions bound to the design of the Gate. A figure known as the Puzzle Solver emerged as the one who knew most about the mysteries found within the Gate - many of which allowed their society to become much more advanced than their contemporaries (including the beginning of Soulscribe traditions). Becoming known as the 'Gate-kin' or 'Gatekin', the elves found a way to balance themselves in a place of domination over the ecosystem of Amenthia. Stories tell of the tribes being able to control the animals and plants around them - possibly explaining the lack of stone structures from this time. Despite this lack, however, many totems and artifacts are found hailing from this culture. It is clear the Gate-kin spread across the whole island, often building structures reminiscent of the Gate to be a centre of small towns and villages.

Through generation after generation, their faith in the Puzzle Solver built up to worship, though at a certain point in time this diverted from worship of the Puzzle Solver as a leader to seeing the Puzzle Solver as a messiah of the Gate itself, and later the gods described within. Unfortunately this would spell doom for the Gatekin as worship of the Missing Gods of the First Pantheon was abhorred by the Arbiters, who rose to the surface and smited almost the entire population of Elves living on Amenthia - even those outside of the Gatekin communities.

The Arbiters buried the Gate for a time, leaving the secrets to be forgotten. However due to this blocking the path set up by Thanatia, the Goddess returned and banished the Arbiters from the land, freeing the Gate from the burial pit it was once found in. Though by this time the surviving elves had mostly forgotten about their traditions. Only small nomadic monastic communities survived, some developing the traditions of the Moon Elves, and others hiding in the mountains and beneath the ground, becoming the Abyssal Elves.

Fujosphi

Attempting to learn from the myths of destruction brought on their predecessors, the next civilisation emerged as an atheistic state which banned holy worship. Mainly populated by humans, though other races appeared as minorities in this time, the new state attempted to appease the Arbiters with ritualistic sacrifice and an active defiance of any known gods and goddesses. Attempting to secure this pure-mortal stance on the world they chopped down large swathes of forests in order to transport materials from the mountains so that monuments could be built in their own names.

Ruled by an elite democratic council, the state of antiquity named itself the Fujosphi, after a portmanteau of their founding leaders' names'. The nation had secured a rule of much of the lowlands of Amenthia, with an express quarantine surrounding the Gate itself. They harvested minerals and riches from mountainous regions in order to trade with the polities located on Valordyn at the time - most of whom were very intrigued by the myths of the Gate. Time and time again, groups of soulscribes originally taught by the Gatekin would try to infiltrate the Fujosphi in an attempt to further their knowledge. In certain parts of their history the Fujosphi tightened restrictions on trading with foreign states to stop these groups, although the civilisation never outright became isolationist in it's policies.

However, when the pressure from outside groups attempting to infiltrate the Fujosphi became too much an expedition was set out to destroy the Gate, as a way of removing the source of intrigue from Amenthia. Unfortunately for the Fujosphi, when the first strike of an axe came down on the Gate Thanatia was alerted. The goddess came down and slaughtered the people of this civilisation, letting out a wave of destruction that killed any mere mortals on the land. There were survivors however, as anyone out at sea or protected by soulscribing practices remained untouched. Over night the civilisation of the Fujosphi was left barren and deserted.

Unanimatis

After the disastrous event caused by Thanathia the goddess once again left the island, although left new inscriptions of warnings and secrets on the Gate. Having survived the ordeal, the remaining mortals banded together under seafaring and soulscribing cultures that they now considered to be 'rightful' and 'pious' due to being spared. Over generations many fiefdoms would develop from these cultures that took control of strategic locations around the island, and after many minor wars and battles took place an agreement was brought forward to unite the majority of the practices of these various fiefdoms. Each fiefdom would become a 'noble house' under the civilisation of the 'Unanimatis', acting together when faced with forces from the outside, and respecting the independent regions controlled by the other houses.

After this agreement, many houses still sought power over the others and specialised their crafts and traditions. Some honed in on soulscribes, others on magic, warfare, foreign assistance, or the loyalty of their own people. For generations a peaceful arms race brewed with a face of outward respect and honour. Although each developed a nuanced culture, similarities could be seen throughout the civilisation in their use of temples, a strict social heirarchy, and their control over life and death.

Eventually, after several centuries, the desire for control overpowered the agreement the houses had made and war was declared. Several houses were overtaken by revolts and rebellions, if they were not outright invaded, and it was considered the bloodiest time in Amenthia's history. By the end of the war all of the major houses were either dead, had fled from Amenthia, or were cursed to live out an existence below that of living. Myths spread to the rest of the world that Amenthia was a cursed land that no-one should ever set foot on, with tales of unending battles and bloodshed being heard far and wide.

Hitokage

In the wake of the wars, the lich king Odeous took power over the undead and founded the Hitokage. It is thought that he originally manifested this 'civilisation' out of madness for what he witnessed in the wars, and the undead citizens are said to be only shadows of their former selves when met by wary traders and explorers from other kingdoms.

During this time, the Lich King of the Hitokage mimicked the cultural traditions expected of a civilisation, and to the untrained eye it would appear that the Hitokage had all the major functions and requirements of a nation - however the citizens were almost philosophical zombies, with no true life inside of them, and an eeriness that only exaggerated the myths of curses to the island.

Later on, various settlers would attempt to claim the land, in opposition to the Lich King. Odeous grew obsessed with protecting his people and the island from outside forces who would wish to defeat them. Included in these factions were the republic of Mirannas and the Coven of witches who both gained footholds on the isle, but it was the latter of these that finally pushed the Lich King away from Amenthia. A small scale war was fought between Odeous and the Coven, which eventually resulted in Odeous being overthrown and his civilisation collapsing. It is told that the Lich King took the last of his forces under the waves with him as he retreated into the eastern ocean, warning that one day he would return.

Coven

In the early days of the Coven, the witches' goal was primarily to ensure the passage of souls to the afterlife. What this meant in practice was vicious purges against the undead, whose bodies would be destroyed in order to force souls to pass through the Afterlife Gate. This practice continued for many years.

Things only changed after one witch, Baba San, died and became an undead. From the perspective of an undead, she was able to realize the unfairness of the Coven's practices, and she managed to convince her fellow witches to undergo a paradigm shift. Preaching of tolerance for the undead and respect for the autonomy of souls, she revolutionized the Coven and changed their mission from one of forcing people into the afterlife to helping them find their own path. Eventually, she herself decided to pass through the Afterlife Gate. The Coven would go on to enshrine her as a quasi-messianic figure and carry her ideas into the future.

As a result of their new, less controlling policies, the Coven no longer had complete political control over the island. Other factions, such as the Necropolis and the Scholars' Circle, cropped up. The Coven would supervise their activities to ensure they didn't disrupt the balance of the island, but their ability to influence these other factions was limited. A delicate balance of power emerged.

Geography

TBE Amenthia silhouette.png

Landscape

TBE Amenthia biome.png

Points of Interest

TBE

Departed Bay

Afterlife Gate

Ecosystem

TBE

List of creatures

TBE

  • Spirit Mammoth -A dark, ghostly mammoth that charges around the island after other creatures. their tusks grow larger and they become carnivorous.
  • Skeleton Snake -The skeleton snakes are very annoying. Natural magic inside of them adds the souls of those it killed to itself, making the snake a lot bigger in the afterlife.
  • Dark horse -A Dark-horse is the afterlife version of a horse, they are usually spiritual but can still attack people with an undead magic that riders can give them.
  • Sirens -Sirens are large undead fish that join with dead souls of deceit that can't make it to the island. Their vocals can be heard as the most beautiful singing, making sailors want to join them.
  • Zwask -A Zwask is a large spiritual bird that hides in the mountain tops. It preys on other spirits and the talons can even grab bone & sink through flesh to catch it's prey.
  • Dhelk -A Dhelk is a large zombified spider in the mountains. They are small but have a deadly poison that can take the lifeforce from its victim and take it for itself.
  • Versken -A Versken is a very large mass of bones that is alive. They are often enchanted to be alive by necromancers and are used to make an unexpected attack on trespassers.
  • Rethell -A Rethell is a small demon which can pass between Brunikor and Erudite. They are often used as spies for the demons, they are commonly seen and many just don't notice them. They look like a beetle with a very large eye on the back.
  • Selk -A Selk is a creature made from the rock when un-natural lightning hits the mountain tops. They are large, bear-like creatures made from rock that try to destroy everything in their path from an instinctive insanity and madness.

Polities

Civilisations

Gatekin

Fujosphi

Unanimatis

Hitokage

Necropolis

Communities

Grave Dragons

Coven

Scholar's Circle

Maharamia

Hall of Poltergeists

Thargama

Thanatia's Cult

Inhabitants

Thanatia

Puzzle Solver

Odeous

Seraphina

Talarus Oskin