As many already know, our world was not always as it is now; quite the contrary, the world used to me a much different place. There was a time when magic was commonplace, wizards were accepted members of society and all manner of fanciful and strange creatures swam though the oceans, flew through the skies, and walked on the land; or so I have learned in my many travels. It was my wish to not only learn what caused the great upheaval that so drastically changed our world, but to learn about what the world was like before the event happened. I have learned a great many things since I set out with that goal, and I say things because they can hardly be called facts. So much knowledge has been lost to time it is hard to tell where the boundaries between history and myth truly are.
And so I started where any man seeking such mysteries started, at the very beginning. In retrospect this may not have been the wisest decision on my part, starting at a point even further back than the already heavily unknown timeframe that I was interested in, but it seemed like the most logical thing to do at the time. The general theory that most subscribe to, is that the World was once a tumultuous and chaotic place, where raw magic energies ebbed and flowed across a blasted hellscape, forcing our ancestors to subside in small pockets of relative calmness, forced to always be on the move. It is said that the Gods eventually took pity on man and that with one brush of his hand, Abadar swept aside the magic storms and left the land green and fertile. Many lifetimes of peace and prosperity are said to have followed, and the mortals gave much praise and tribute to the Gods who had saved them. Over time, however; it is said that man forgot the Gods and began to experiment with magic of their own. Eventually mastering the forces which had once been their bane, man grew jealous of the Gods.
It is at this point where my research stalled, as I could find no reliable record of what took place in the world for the next several hundred years. Now this was not surprising, as the events said to have occurred during that time would have made recording what was happening for future generations not all that important. Whatever did happen, however; we know the result of; what we call the Great Schism, or the Great Upheaval. When our world was blasted and scared by great magical forces that destroyed the great nations of man and left many dead. Some say that we mortals attempted to ascend to godhood, ad that the energies we tried to master turned on us with cataclysmic consequences. Others say that it was the Gods themselves who sought to limit our power, and that it was the result of a great battle between man and immortal that caused the Schism. And yet others would tell us that it was purely the folly of man; that we grew vain and wicked and turned our magic on each other seeking to be more powerful than others.
Many of these theories carry credence, and in the following pages I shall detail all that I have learned these past few years of traveling and postulate my own theories as that what I think happened.
-Excerpt from The Origin of Now, by the scholar Benthir Honorgrove, who in 536A.S. was found guilty of heresy after consorting with Wizards, and he along with all of his works were ordered put to the flame.