The following introductory lore elements summarizes what everyone in Mairiga basically knows:
Age of Damnation
Shortly after humanity subjugated the elves, dwarves and halflings (leading to the Time of Servitude), the dark elves (Drow) used their superior technologies to assault Mairiga and attempt to enslave all. Desperate, humanity reconciled with the other three humanoid races and, in turn, the dark elves in their madness released the demonic hellions from the depths below, horrific monsters that were nearly unstoppable (the war escalated into a conflict that nearly wiped-out all the humanoid races and lasted nearly a full millennia). Ultimately, Sisla the Deliverer defeated the hellions and ended the Age of Damnation, destroying them all and banishing the dark elves from civilization to this day.
After the end of the Age of Damnation, Sisla the Deliverer developed and implemented The Code, a series of absolute laws that all civilized beings were expected to accept and live by. To enforce the Code, Sisla also created the Inner Circle, a handful of elderly wizards with the presumed intellect, wisdom and compassion to govern an entire world. Some 1000 years later, the Circle struggles to control the Mairigan continent; 60 countries were originally defined by Sisla, but nearly half have now fallen to some sort of corruption or darkness. The time of the Inner Circle appears to be waning, while the Sislan Way is only growing in power.
Also known as “majika,” magic is the unseen energy that gives life to all living things, and for those capable of wielding it, nearly anything is possible. While this energy is constantly all about, it can be gathered, focused and manipulated by the various wizards of Mairiga, those who have survived a very dangerous ritual and have hence been “reborn.” Magic can also be controlled to a lesser extent by clerics and necromancers, and even by the evil Chegorians through the poison of their nemefruit. Magic can only be harnessed and used by those with very strong hearts, for the process of yielding magic is also an extremely painful one.
A continent of monsters, magic and mystery, Mairiga is ruled by the goodly but extremely rigid Inner Circle, a collection of elderly wizards who supposedly possess the intellect, wisdom and compassion to govern an entire world. The clerics of the Sislan Way govern the population's spiritual needs, while The Code defines the laws and ethical conduct that all human Mairigans are expected to abide by. Mairiga is one of several large continents that comprise the world of Sisalus.
One of the most enchanted places in all of Mairiga, Mount Rebirth is where all would-be wizards go to become “reborn” and seek their fortunes as a true wizard of Mairiga. Accessed via the Temple of Vissar, the inner crater and its “Valley of Destiny” is fraught with danger, as only the most cunning and deserving can hope to pass and be reborn. Sisla the Deliverer was the first to be reborn atop the mountain over 1000 years ago, and since then thousands of both goodly wizards have undergone the deadly ritual.
The vile offspring of the Nemesis Plant, this disgusting fruit allows its consumers to temporarily focus and utilize magic, perhaps matching magical strength with the weaker of reborn Mairigan wizards. However, a natural poison in the fruit destroys the consumer’s ability to judge reason or tell right from wrong, transforming the consumer into an evil and heartless criminal. While everyone knows about the nemefruit, some partake in the wicked drug anyway to wield magic and try to take what they want from the world. The “Ultimates” of Chegoria is one such organization, devoted consumers of the nemefruit who continue to plot the very destruction of the Inner Circle and all who oppose them.
Realm of Nightmares
Legends suggest that somewhere deep within the interior of Sisalus, a magical portal exists to another horrific plane of existence, the birthplace of the hellions that nearly destroyed Mairiga during the Age of Damnation over a millennium ago. The Realm is a mythical location—no Mairigan mortal has ever seen or visited it—but the hellions had to have come from somewhere and its existence persists through legend and lore.
Extremely rare throughout history, revelations are said to be subconscious visions of future events so profound or cataclysmic that a select few can learn of them even before they occur. However, many do not believe the person who experienced the revelation and often the opportunity to act is wasted. Revelations are said to occur only to those with the heart and compassion to one day change the world.
Sisla (the Deliverer)
Now worshipped as a goddess by the faithful of the Sislan Way, Sisla was born as a frail human child near the end of the Age of Damnation. Revered to this day for her incredible determination and inner strength, Sisla was the first to be reborn atop Mount Rebirth, and with her newly-acquired powers helped humanity defeat the hellions and end the Age of Damnation. Afterwards, she designed and implemented The Code—a set of laws established to govern a civilized way of life—and formed the Inner Circle to manage and protect the land she had so faithfully served (although the Circle has failed miserably in that effort according to the Sislans). Many believe that Sisla achieved Attainment and became an immortal goddess at the end of her physical life, and now protects the world she loved so dearly. Indeed, the Sislan Way teaches that Sisla will return on her 999th birthday, destroy the Circle for its wicked ways and lead all Mairiga into a golden new utopia.
By far the dominant religion of the world, the Sislan Way has steadily grown in power and might over the past few centuries and now rivals the authority of the Inner Circle itself. The Sislans believe that Sisla the Deliverer became a goddess upon her mortal death nearly 1000 years ago, that she continues to watch over those who believe in her, and that she will return upon her 999th birthday--which is only a few years away! Naturally, there are those who defy the teachings of the Sislan Way, doing so at their own personal risk.
Also known as “technikky,” technology was blamed for the eradication of the gods leading to The Extinction and was also heavily used by the dark elves during the Age of Damnation. Accordingly, Sisla herself within her Code decreed that technology was the root of all evil and must be shunned whenever possible. The current Mairigan way of life therefore avoids technology almost completely. Instead, Mairigans either make do with what they have or they employ magic to ease their lives and make situations more comfortable.
All significant cultures lay down a series of rules for its people to observe and live by; for humanity within Mairiga, this is known as The Code and was drafted by Sisla the Deliverer herself shortly before her Attainment nearly 900 years ago. The Code defines a series of absolute laws that all civilized beings within Mairiga must live by, such as deep respect for all elders, sacrifice before selfishness and a near-complete ban on anything technological. To protect and enforce The Code, Sisla also created the Inner Circle, a group of elderly wizards presumably possessing the intellect, wisdom and compassion to govern an entire world.
The primary genesis tale for all Sisalus, an evil and decadent race of gods inhabited the world thousands of years in the past. These gods believed they could do anything they wished, but in the end, they were destroyed in a cataclysmic event known today as The Extinction. No one knows for sure what exactly happened, but it’s believed that these gods were mighty through technology, and that the planet itself eradicated them for their unholy decadence. The Extinction is believed to have occurred some 10,000 years ago, but very occasionally a technology-based artifact from that era is discovered.
For the past few decades now, a bizarre phenomenon has begun affecting humans throughout Mairiga; in their mind, they can hear horrific screaming and the experience is accompanied by a tremendous sense of death and despair. While the Sislan Way teaches that the cries are the faint echoes of all those who have been wronged by the Truistics of the Inner Circle over the centuries—and have recently introduced a cure for it—the true nature of the affliction remains unknown. The Sislan Way further teaches that all those still afflicted by The Fear when Sisla returns on her 999th birthday will be considered allies of the Circle and will be destroyed as well when Sisla rebuilds her new utopia.
Time of Servitude
Humanity eventually replaced the gods of the time before The Extinction, and for many centuries dominated the world. But eventually the humanoid elves, dwarves and halflings appeared and the humans made war with them, ultimately subjugating the humanoids for several centuries. After the hellions were introduced by the dark elves at the beginning of the Age of Damnation, however, the humanoids were freed by humanity and joined the humans in their struggle against the hellions.
Those who dare to journey to Mount Rebirth and undergo the deadly ritual of Rebirth can, in some instances, become genuine Truistics, extremely powerful wizards said to be capable of almost anything. The Inner Circle, the governing body of all Mairiga, is actually comprised exclusively of Truistics, those presumably capable of leading an entire world. However, most humans within Mairiga today believe that the Truistics have corrupted themselves over the centuries and now no longer wish to honor or serve them.