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Far across the universe there was a great fusion of matter, and a unique world came into being. Atys, the green planet, was born. The Life Giver then heaved the planet's crust in spasms until the first breath was wrenched from her bosom in a throbbing burst of energy. Seeds of existence were sown on the wind. The primeval roots were soon sprouting green tendrils into the sky, fowl were soaring on the wing, and beasts romping in the frenetic miracle of Life.
And still the green planet's tendrils thrived in an inexorable outward surge towards the sun forming many thousands of meters of organic strata. The surface of Atys soon revealed a prodigious variety of vibrant ecosystems as the swelling vegetal matter emerged from an ocean of mist into continents.
Beneath the surface of each new layer of ligneous crust, a parallel bionetwork was also evolving, intricately weaved together with the mathematical grace that Nature only knows. This never-ending labyrinth of verdant caverns and underground galleries hosted a world of its own which came to be known as the Prime Roots.
And reaching high up into the sky above the Bark, like a tree extending its branches towards the sun, the tendrils entwined into an immense network of interwoven Canopies. And there too, Atys supported life superbly.
Atys came to be inhabited by humanoid beings known as Homins : the Matis, the Trykers, the Fyros and the Zoraïs. These four homin peoples evolved independently into four intricate cultures which in turn developed into civilizations. Each civilization had an innate predilection for a distinct environment.
The Matis settled in the forests of Atys where they soon laid down the foundations of a monarchy. In their craving for power, these regal lords quickly extended their dominions to the outer limits of the forest lands. Over time, their natural penchant for the powerful and the lordly led them to build up a very strong relationship with the Karavan.
Nobody knew who the Karavan really were. They were Jena's faithful disciples, that was reason enough to want to gain their favor! For Jena was the supreme goddess, the Life Giver of Atys, and the Karavan were invested with a mission to uphold homin faith in her. To steer homins on the path to salvation they wielded weird technology capable of taking life or resurrecting it at the lift of a finger; and offered great rewards for "favors" done.
The eccentric and spirited Trykers made their home in the lake lands. These wily hedonists were smaller in stature than the other homins and their nimbleness and sleight of hand gave them a reputation for thieving. But really they were good-hearted homins who simply harbored a love for play and trickery and a passion for adventure. To escape the overbearing regard of their Matis neighbors, they sought alliance with the Fyros. Trykers would convey water supplies to Fyros cities in exchange for Fyros protection.
The great Fyros people formed settled communities in the hostile deserts where not even the Matis would be tempted to challenge their resources and livelihood. In due course, the Fyros built up a respected if not feared Empire, whose scholars were ever eager to find out the truth behind the Dragon of the Myth.
The mysterious Zoraïs were very tall, their skin was blue, and the mask they wore was genetically sown into their faces. They soon took root in the dense jungles, well away from the barbarity of the other civilizations. It is written that they were led there in response to a spiritual calling and swiftly became friends with creatures known as the Kamis.
The Kamis were elusive magical entities able to take on manifold shapes and sizes. They could be mighty and wrathful one minute and play as cheery as children the next. For many an Atysian it was a job to decide whether they were good or evil - except for the Karavan who could not abide them and whose technology could not tame them... For others they were the very epitome of the spirit of Atys. The way they stood vigil over the plant kingdom, and the way not a living soul could escape their perception suggested an intimate bond with the Living Planet. The Kamis showed great benevolence towards the homins who clearly roused the creatures' curiosity. Indeed, they would follow a homin for days on end, and then suddenly vanish in a flourish of color and laughter that could induce slumber and dreams for several days thereon! At times they were liken to children of another kind, which some say is why they first appeared to the Trykers!
Despite the many crises that came to blight interhomin relations, each of the civilizations thrived and prospered… until the day the Kitins came.
Kitins were huge insects that inhabited the Prime Roots. One day, in their interminable quest for the Dragon, Fyros excavators uncovered a nest of the creatures. Fraught with fear and horror, their immediate reflex was to destroy the first giant insects they came across. But alerted by the slaughter, legions of soldier kitins suddenly surged forth from underground galleries to eradicate what they considered as their natural enemy. And so the Great Swarming began... Homin cities were decimated after epic battles, entire populations were massacred and precious knowledge lost. And still the kitins spread over the Bark like wildfire and one after the other the great civilizations crumbled to dust.
Many homins were able to escape through mysterious teleportation 'rainbows' leading to safe haven until these too were destroyed by kitins. Homins remaining in the infested lands could but flee into the wilds where they were forced to live nomadic lives in constant fear of kitin attack...
Then one day heroic travelers, bold as they were unexpected, came from afar in search of the surviving homin communities with a message: homin civilizations were being rebuilt in new lands of promise!
Young refugees in their droves have since been urged by their elders to risk the long and perilous journey to join the newly flourishing civilizations in the newfound lands. For great need there is for guilds, and homins eager to improve their skills and talents to help forge the destiny of their people. All hands are welcome, there is still much to do, and many a danger to overcome: kitins still patrol in the wilds, invasions still all too often occur; and many areas are beset by the pestilent Goo, a dreaded disease that ravages habitats and makes the wildlife rabid.
The last fifty years have given a fair share of laughter and tears, trial and tribulation to each of the four civilizations. For the time being homin relations are fair, though it would take little more than a crafter's hammer to break the peace. For there are many ways to drive a civilization on… and increasing tension between the Kamis and the Karavan can only fuel the fire of distrust...
Certainly, there are many questions yet to be answered. What is the origin of hominkind ? No proof of homin evolution on Atys has yet been found. Is Jena really the almighty creator of Atys that the Karavan claim her to be ? Does Jena really exist ? Doubt is growing in homin hearts. And who are the Karavan really ? Why do they keep themselves locked up in their strange suits ? Why do they hate the Kamis so much ? What is behind the bond between the Kamis and Atys ? What is Atys ?
Behind these mysteries the key to the destiny of Atys resides, and the fate of hominkind lies. While rebuilding their civilizations, homins will soon have to look deeper into these questions to grasp the true Nature of Atys. For time is already running short. The destiny of Atys is about to change hands. Someone, or something already has their sights on the Green Planet, looking for the Ryzom.
First Appearance of Homins on Atys
To this day, nobody has managed to shed light on the mystery surrounding the arrival of homins on the planet of Atys. A legend nonetheless has been passed on through the ages and this legend is the key to discovering the secret behind the origins of Atys.
Homins lived on an impoverished planet until the Great Dragon, the prince of darkness, came and seduced them with visions of crystal waters and a land of plenty. After leading them to Atys, the Dragon endeavored to extinguish the sunlight there and in the cold and dark reduce the homins to slavery.
Jena, Goddess of the sun, creator of Atys, got wind of the Dragon's treachery and filled his body with eternal fire to prevent him breathing coldness and extinguishing the living light. The Goddess then conjured the light anew so provoking the Green Rising so that the homins could live again in harmony in a bountiful world.
The planet evolved into a beautiful world, where plant life reigned supreme. Jena sent in her disciples, the Karavan Guardians, to establish the homins in different parts of the planet so that each race would have a role in its conservation. Ever since, faithful homins have learnt to express their gratitude in worship to Jena and with offerings via her disciples, who continue to travel the length and breadth of Atys wielding strange, unknown technology.
As for the Dragon, he took refuge in the dark bowels of Atys where he now slumbers. Homins are forbidden by Jena's Law to descend underground in the Prime Roots in quest of the Dragon's lair for fear of stirring his wrath. A prophecy holds that before the Great Dragon dies he will rise again to expulse all the fire from his body so causing the end of Atys. Those remaining faithful to the teachings of Jena and residing on the surface of Atys shall be rescued and shepherded to a new world of plenty.
The Fire of Coriolis (2435)
In 2435, under the Emperor Abylus the Learned, Fyros miners hit upon a vein of acid which set light to the surrounding parched wastelands. The fire quickly spread across homin territories ravaging the town of Coriolis and blazing a trail as far as the great forests of the Matis.
The Great Swarming (2481)
In their interminable quest for the dragon, in 2481 Fyros miners uncovered a nest of kitins in the Prime Roots. Fraught with fear and horror, their first reflex was to destroy the first giant insects they came across. But alerted by the slaughter, legions of soldiers kitins suddenly surged forth from underground galleries to eradicate what they considered as their natural ennemy. Homin cities are decimated, entire population perished, and the great civilizations crumbled in a matter of days.
The Kitin War (2481 - 2483)
In the year 2481, the kitins set out on a crusade to obliterate all traces of hominkind. Many homins were able to escape through the teleportation "rainbows" leading to safe haven in the Prime Roots of far away lands. Kami and Karavan forces did their best to give homins safe conduct to the rainbows until these too were destroyed by kitins. Remaining homins could do nothing but flee into the wilds where they were forced to live nomadic lives in constant fear of kitin attacks. A Karavan task force was eventually sent in to counter the arachnid onslaughts. War ravaged in the ancient lands for many years until at last the kitins were forced to retreat back into the depths of Atys.
Related historical stories : My Karavan Guardian
With the destruction of the teleportation pods during the Kitin Wars, the ways to the sanctuary of the Prime Roots of the faraway lands was closed. Many homins were forced to live precarious nomadic lives until a route was established in 2485 from the ancient to the newfound lands, opening the way for the Exodus. Refugees in their droves were at last able to rejoin the newly flourishing civilizations that had resurfaced from their Prime Roots sanctuary in the new lands of promise.
The New Beginning (2483 - 2525)
Up until the dark days of the exile, the homin peoples had always lived separately. The collapse brought them together. The refugees of the Prime Roots had no other choice but to learn to tolerate one another and live together. They made ready their return to the surface and declared the Edict of the Four Peoples. This agreement foresaw a sharing of the new lands according to the territorial preference of each race. In 2483, when they finally returned to the surface, the Zoraïs regained possession of the jungle, whilst the Matis took the forests, the Fyros took the deserts and the Trykers took the lakes.
The exile lasted two years, this being the time it took for the Kamis and the Karavan to push the Kitins back down to the depths of Atys. The Guardians of the Karavan remained in close contact with the homins during this period. As soon as the four races had completed their ascent to the surface, the Karavan took great care to seal the passageways that lead to the Prime Roots and prevented anyone else from using them.
For the civilizations, everything had to be rebuilt from scratch. They spent the next three generations laying the foundations of new Homin empires. The Fyros, under the command of Leanon, sister of the late emperor Cerakos II, the Zoraïs guided by Hoï-Cho, the Trykers under the leadership of Rigan Mac'Darrell, and the Matis lead by Yasson, all began the arduous task. They took over and secured new territories, built towns and began to re-establish trade routes.
According to the legend, the Matis capital was built on the exact spot where the arrow of King Yasson landed, in Majestic Garden. The capital bears the name of his son, Yrkanis, born in the Prime Roots in 2482. The Zoraïs built Zora in memory of those who fell during the kitin attack. The Trykers explored the continent of Aeden Aqueous and laid the first foundations of Fairhaven in an area particularly rich in resources. The city of Pyr, capital city of the Fyros people, was constructed behind the site where the embalmed body of Cerakos II was burned. The funeral pyre thus became the great door to the city.
Very quickly, the refugees began to throng the ancient lands, swelling the ranks of the survivors. Training camps were set up to welcome them and provide training. Great warriors of all races came together under the banner of the Guild of the Force of Fraternity. They too had taken the route of the exodus to rejoin their people and teach them new methods of combat. Each race cherishes the names of these heroes: Kalus Hym the Fyros, Leng Cheng-Ho the Zoraï, Matini Roqvini the Matis and Bremmen Dingle the Tryker. All died gloriously, sacrificing their lives for their people and their leader.
When word came in 2490 that the Kitins had begun to re-appear on homin lands, the Guild of the Force of Fraternity set off to meet them head on. A Pact of Mutual Assistance was signed by Hoï-Cho, Rigan Mac'Darell, Leanon and Yasson.
But the homin alliance proved to be short-lived. The lines of discord began to multiply, beginning when each race allied itself with the Kamis and the Karavan and when the ambitions of the leaders began to diverge. The Matis, and to a lesser extent the Trykers, took a resolute stance and joined the Karavan, whilst the Fyros turned towards the Kamis. The Zoraïs had escaped the influence of the Karavan as soon as they resurfaced from the Prime Roots and it was during this time that the Kamis arranged a meeting between the leader Hoï-Cho and Ma-Duk, whom they revered as the veritable Lord of the Kamis. At this time, the Guild of Elias appeared. It was a secret society made up of individuals from many races, whose stated goal was to spread the name of Elias Tryton. Its methods and group ethos are still rather unclear. Considered as a sect by the Karavan, the Guild continued nevertheless to win widespread support.
Once again, trade exchanges between the races proved to be the factor that unleashed further wars. The Fyros and the Trykers signed a trade agreement which lead the Matis to revoke the Edict of Four Peoples. The following year (2499), the Matis invaded Tryker lands - it was the beginning of the Autumn War in Lagoons of Loria.
The Tryker resistance took the form of a guerilla movement lead by Still Wyler. He was soon joined by the Fyros, who joined their allies by passing through Zoraïs lands. The Fyros were lead by Dexton, son of the deceased emperor, Cerakos II. Dexton showed great bravery in battle, but was eventually captured by the Matis. Mabreka Cheng-Ho, son of the great Zoraï warrior Leng Cheng-Ho, who gave his life to save the Matis prince Yrkanis from the Kitins, negotiated Dexton's freedom for a sum of 1,000,000 dappers. King Yasson accepted the offer against the advice of his younger half-brother Jinovitch and a contingent of the royal court. Jinovitch saw only weakness in the moderation shown by the king. Despite these tensions, the leaders of the four peoples signed a new peace agreement in 2501 and the Lagoons of Loria were thereafter considered neutral territory.
Over the course of the two years following the signing of the treaty, the leadership of all four peoples changed hands. Dexton succeeded Leanon as king, while Beadley Nimby emerged as the head of the Trykers in a struggle with Still Wyler. Hoï-Cho died heirless, thus ending the Cho dynasty. Despite the widespread popularity of Mabreka, the old and wise Fung-Tun took over the leadership of the Zoraïs and banished his opponent to exile. Mabreka took refuge among the Fyros in the city of Pyr. Fung-Tun reinstated the worship of Jena and, under the pretext of fighting the Goo, reintroduced slavery.
Unrest was most felt among the Matis, the most ambitious and scheming people of Atys. Jinovitch poisoned the king, took the crown, pursued the multiracial guilds and tracked down anyone who opposed the Karavan. The new dictator also renamed the capital Yrkanis, calling it Jino instead. From then on, Matis interests would be defended with arrogance.
With this tyrant seizing power, trade routes once again became a major source of tension. A surcharge was imposed on any Fyros goods traveling through Matis territories. The Fyros decided to travel through Zoraï territory instead in order to continue trading, but some of the traders provoked a fire, which lead the Zoraïs to close the trade route.
The lessons of the past taught Jinovitch that, even with the support of the Karavan, the Matis would find it difficult to oppose a Tryker/Fyros alliance. Jinovitch hatched a plan therefore to drive a wedge between the two sides. He proposed a lowering of taxes on goods to the Trykers, who in return would agree to follow the teachings of the Karavan more closely. The offer was accepted immediately by Beadley Nimby. To the heretic Fyros however, he would offer only war.
This campaign would prove fatal to the ambitions of Jinovitch however, who lost an entire battalion in the attack on Sawdust Mines. The Fyros were able to count on a formidable ally among their ranks - Mabreka. He fought alongside Dexton and then returned to a hero's welcome in his home country. He became leader of his people following the deposing of Fung-Tun, who had been struck down by the Goo. The New Zoraï leader revived the former Cho dynasty and reinstated the worship of Ma-Duk. As soon as he came to power, under the name of Mabreka-Cho, he signed a pact of alliance with the Fyros in case of Matis attack. The pact also authorized the Fyros to once again make use of the trade routes that pass through the jungle lands.
For his part, prince Yrkanis took advantage of the defeat inflicted on the Matis to attempt to topple the throne, but without success. Yrkanis was then arrested and put in prison. He barely escaped an assassination attempt and fled with his cohorts through the Prime Roots. While Jinovitch passed him off as dead, Yrkanis found safe asylum with the Trykers and then the Zoraïs until 2512.
In the same year, Jinovitch launched a campaign against Lagoons of Loria, which were immediately renamed Jino Waters. Prince Yrkanis and his followers then allied themselves to the newly elected Tryker leader, Still Wyler. Many Matis soldiers rallied to their cause. On the way to Tryker front, King Jinovitch died horrible death in the jaws of kitin scouts which his soldiers left him to charge alone. .
Yrkanis took over from him and Lagoons of Loria were retroceded to the Trykers. A peace treaty was signed between the homin peoples, followed by a free trade agreement and the ratification of the Homin Rights Act, an anti-slavery text introduced by the Trykers. A new era of peace had begun.
Parallel to this, the Zoraïs and the Fyros launched themselves in an all-out offensive against the Kitins, who had reappeared in Knot of Dementia and Dunes of Exile. Another enemy soon proved to be more and more of a threat - 2519 was the year of the Goo. The diseased sap was spreading, infecting beast and soil alike. It seemed that the destructive fire might be capable of bringing an end to the scourge for good. It was then that another ghost emerged - the discovery of ruins in the Prime Roots, which threatened to rouse the curiosity of the Fyros.
In the year 2525, the four homin civilizations were continuing their efforts to reconquer Atys and recover the glories of the past. The earlier upheavals in history had shown how fragile and dangerous alliances among Homins truly were. It remains to be seen whether the refugees will be able to display enough courage to meet the challenges that will decide the future of their people. Are they capable of putting their differences aside and wipe out the Goo for good? Can they defeat the Kitins? Can they unearth the lost secrets of the great homin empires of the past and discover the reasons that might explain the differences between the Kamis and the Karavan? The history of Atys is at the dawn of a new era.