The Scarred Lands
The Scarred Lands were not always so. Less than two centuries ago, the world of Scarn was healthy – its forests were green, its seas pure, and its very heart pulsed with magic. The mortal races toiled the land and hunted the beasts, building entire civilizations, stone by stone. It was no paradise, but it was a prosperous world.
Of all Scarn’s beings, both magical and mundane, the most awesome were the titans. The titans were entities of monstrous power, and their strength was derived from Scarn itself. The elements of the world and the skies above nourished them, granting them near-limitless abilities. Given sufficient time and patience, a titan could sculpt islands and mountain ranges, cut rivers, and breathe life into entirely new species of creatures. If they combined their powers, they could create entire continents. Even so, they were entities of raw fury, forces of nature that lacked the vital spark that would make them into something more.
Mighty though the titans were, they were not yet gods. But their children…
Although philosophers have difficulty explaining just why and how it could have happened, the children of the titans were not truly titans themselves. Like their progenitors, they drew some power from the world of Scarn, but the remainder of their potency derived from another source. They drew the greatest portion of their strength from the world’s mortal races, feeding on the intensity of belief and on the vibrant mortal condition. The power these children called from the mortal races made them something new, something better. It made them gods.
The gods’ enviable connection to the mortals of Scarn was destined to set them against their parents. For although the titans were at one with the essential elements of heaven and earth, they cared little for the world in their charge. If a titan was disappointed with how a coastline developed, he thought nothing of reducing it to sand with a series of tidal waves, cleaning the slate. If a titan grew bored with the thriving mortal races in her domain, she might give birth to horrific monsters to make things more “interesting.”
The gods, who felt the suffering of the mortal races to their very souls, decided that the titans’ reign had to end. Even the cruelest of the gods realized that if the titans were to cleanse the world of mortals on a whim – a very real possibility – loss of the mortals’ faith and vitality would cripple the gods. So these celestial lords met in secret and plotted rebellion. When Denev, the titan of the earth itself, spoke out against her brethren, the gods took it as a sign – and the Titanswar erupted.
Eight gods and one titan went to war against a dozen other titans. The revolution shook the heavens’ pillars, shattered the blazing iron streets of hell, and raged across the face of the world. Under the force of combatants’ blows, mountains split into rubble-strewn plains. Islands sank as warriors used them as stepping stones. Gods and titans alike spawned races of monsters and humanoids as foot soldiers in their feud. And divine blood spilled across Scarn, warping the very land.
Terrible though the war was, it finally came to an end. With the help of Denev, the gods were victorious. They could not kill the titans, once and for all, however – not even they possessed such power. Each titan had to be restrained or imprisoned, prevented from regaining his strength and seeking revenge. The gods pulled the teeth from Gaurak the Glutton before burying the Ravenous One beneath the earth, ensuring that he could not chew his way out. They cut Mormo the Serpent Mother into pieces, scattering the parts far and wide so the Queen of Witches could not reform. And so the gods dealt with each titan in turn, stripping them of their power and sealing them away.
Now, Scarn is no longer the world it once was. The land bears horrible scars where gods felled titans. The Kelder Mountains are split with chasms left by a heavenly axe. The Hornsaw Forest has grown gnarled and twisted after feeding on the spilled blood of Mormo. Great deserts and badlands linger where verdant fields once lay. An entire sea runs red with the blood of a titan who lies chained at its depths. The world has twisted and changed wherever the titans or their dismembered remains lie. Many of the monstrous races created by the titans and gods during the war still survive in the gouged reaches of the land. Those races favored by the gods prosper. The titans’ chosen are less fortunate, watching and waiting from their wilderness exile, plotting to restore their fallen patrons.
Scarn is no longer. To many of its inhabitants, it is now simply the Scarred Lands – a wounded world that has yet to heal. The Age of the Titans and their individual epochs has now faded, giving way to the Age of the Gods, though many call this the Age of Struggle as both civilization, Denev herself, and the very planet strive to recover their past glory and health.
But there is hope. Cities begin to prosper once again under the watchful eye of their patron deities. Mortals sharpen their skills of war and magic, the better to hunt the monstrous beasts that prey upon the weak and injured. The followers of the gods are ever vigilant, careful that the titans’ scattered minions do not succeed in restoring their heartless lords. The Scarred Lands are a place of fierce barbarism and intense struggle – and yet, the mortal races aspire to something much greater. With good fortune, bravery, sorcery and skill – and no small amount of providence – perhaps the Scarred Lands can be rebuilt. Perhaps Scarn can be restored.
However, even as hope blossoms and begins to bear fruit in this new age, there is a darkness gathering that threatens all the gains that have been made. As the gods of the Scarred Lands pay attention to other events in the mortal realms, a threat emerges, writhing just under the skin of society, consuming flesh and slowly growing powerful. Just as the age of the gods has came, there are whispers in the dark corners of the world that a new age is coming…an Age of Worms. This age of darkness, of decay, and of writhing doom has been mentioned increasingly by wrathful preachers and witty bards, weaving the mythic era of destruction into the peripheries of their passion plays. Sages and Astrologers have begun to notice portents indicating that the age may be coming soon; the canniest amongst them fear that the Age of Worms has already begun.