The Age of Prosperity is the 5th age and a time of unrest following a period of rebuilding.
The Age[edit | edit source]
Vowing to never let Voraci or any other force overwhelm the Solum again, the free people (elves, humans, dwarves, halflings and gnomes) of Solum created a network of alliances to preserve the peace. The people thrived. Populations boomed for all but the elves as peace ruled for more than a quarter millenia.
As generations of humans came and went, the lessons from the Vale War were slowly forgotten. Empires that had expanded to swallow their neighbors found themselves with only big fish left in the pond. Tensions rose. The elven population was only just starting it’s recovery, with most elves alive remembering the horrors of the Vale War first hand. They pleaded with the humans. They begged. They turned to the dwarves for help. Elf and Dwarf together sent envoys to the great powers in the Solum in hopes humanity would see the path they were on. Wise kings and emperors listened, but not all men are wise, and after 300 years of peace, war broke out again.
The war was small and lasted for only a few months and when it ended, it was with dignity and surprisingly few civilian casualties, other kings and nobles took interest. Bit by bit small conflicts popped up. Alliances were selectively broken or allowed to expire. Elves and Dwarves stuck together, cautioning humanity against their greed, but with no enemy to fight and nobody to remember the suffering of the Vale War, humanity wouldn’t be slowed. Wise kings eventually die and brash new leaders took their places.
The ensuing war was terrible. It lasted only 3 short years, but the destruction was on a whole new scale. Any evidence of how the war began was lost, but the treachery of elves and dwarves was burned into human memory. Solum was divided into 7 great human empires before the war, which formed three great alliances. A last alliance of dwarves and elves covered the continent and was used to great skill.
The first year of the war saw humanity decimated. Great empires created great wizards who rained fires down on cities from hundreds of miles away. People died in great numbers; one in ten did not make it to see the second year.
The second year was worse. Dragons who had formerly made alliances with various empires denounced the slaughter and refused to help. Emperors who were great only in name began to demand the heads of dragons. Armies clashed. Dragons rebelled. Cities crumbled. Divine Magic fought Arcane Magic. Elves and Dwarves refused to honor ancient alliances and instead joined the war on a 5th side in the third year.
The third year of the war was the worst. So terrible was the damage that few records survived. By the end of the war, fully 2/3rds of humanity lay dead. Elves and Dwarves sacked the cities of man for all they were worth. Dragons, metallic and chromatic alike, laid claim to lands once ruled by mighty empires.