Welcome to the Runeam Great Library Pre-cataclysm Wing.

Most pre-cataclysm literature was not designed to survive such extreme events such as the 20-year Winter. Because of the fragility, scarcity, and historical taboos, much of this information has been lost or is subject to interpretation. Below are our best approximations based upon oral traditions, archaeological evidence, recovered material from the Tower period, and first-hand accounts.


 

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Historic name has been lost to official sources, but oral tradition dictates that this severed spirit of an ancient man named Nyle appeared in the Fortunan Valley in the 3rd century Before Winter. However, tectonic analysis contradict this date and place the period between the 5th and 8th century BW.

This phantom played a pivotal role in the End of Isolation of the Fortunan Valley tribal federation. His existence has been condemned as heretical mysticism by the Brateni High Pardoner, but Information-Aether Theorist suggest such a being may be in alignment with modern hypotheses, but reproducing such an event is unethical and extremely unlikely. The phantom was a skilled observer of aether and could replicate manipulations with ease.

 

 

 


cast2A comprehensive guide of Tribal naming conventions has not been compiled despite a surprising abundance of first-hand sources. The rules of thumb varied wildly with origin, sex, profession, and age of bloodline. Arlia Janet (the Third) is our best translation and approximation of what would have been used at this time. Arlia was a powerful geomancer- one who had formed a Covenant with the material Earth- who could manipulate powerful natural forces. The power, while strong, was often unwieldy due to an extremely high reliance of conservation of matter and energy as opposed to aether. However, a highly skilled geomancer (or one with a Covenant plus aether-sensitivity) could summon sudden and highly localized manifestations.

Arlia Janet, by all accounts available, was an extremely sensitive, if unfocused, geomancer. Her role in the End of Isolation is extensively documented in accounts located in this library.

 


cast3The Fortunan Tribes had a surprisingly robust military infrastructure despite their near millennium of isolation. There is no pattern of massive tribal infighting as is often seen in other similar examples in history; however, the succession of one chief to the next was often contentious. The candidates would typically muster armies to various camps outside the capitol while the succession votes were cast by representatives within the walls. Fighting between the armies was rare and considered bad form, but exhibition skirmishing was encouraged. The size, competency, and equipment of the mustered armies (mostly consisting of militiamen) was used as a barometer for a candidate’s viability as leader. The obvious exception is the Fortunan Civil War shortly before the End of Isolation.

Mathis Bleu was a  commander of the regular, professional soldiers stationed in the capital and Fort Sparrowvale. Their official responsibilities were to secure the highways, patrol the outer boundaries of the Badlands, and deter coup attempts by militia armies.

 


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Cole Mariano was a prominent professional militiaman. His official capacity was to serve as a permanent liaison for joint operations between the Fortunan capitol regulars (see Mathis Bleu) and the local militia. During times of peace, the Fortunan permanent militia served as the local police force. During times of crisis, they would be absorbed into the command structure of the military.

Diaries have been recovered from Ward, Riddle, and the capitol which independently suspect that Cole was being groomed to serve as Fortunan Chief. However, most of these sources express doubts about his capability due to the moderate strength of his bloodline, the low prestige of his position, and a failed courting of the Chief’s daughter.

 

 


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Karen Blail has been the cause of much frustration and fascination in Runeam’s attempts to trace genetic drift in human history. Events such as the 20-year Winter were sources of “bottlenecks” for human phenotypes. While some expressed genes are now exceedingly rare- such as Heterochromia (3 in 1,000) or violet-eyes (1 in 9,000)- genetic evidence has suggested that the genes for coral hair color went extinct approximately 1,500 years ago. There are several doctoral theses addressing Karen Blail’s existence in Runeam’s Human Biology wing.

Karen Blail is believed to be one of the first, if not the first, outsiders to penetrate the Fortunan Valley since isolation. She was a powerful aether-sensitive mage who excelled at manipulating the flow of time.

 

 

 


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Because many of the ancient gods were corporeal beings, the study of pre-cataclysm religions has proven to be a reliable source of verifiable information when fact-checked compared with contemporary sources and geographic dating. While these gods may not be comparable to the modern idea of God as derived from Brateni-tradition, all evidence suggests that the gods of ancient world were powerful but not divine beings that existed in the world. The etymology of modern terms such as Pardoner and Habitué can be traced back to the ancient Witnesses.

Blen Frey was a Witness- a holy order or brotherhood of zealots- at the End of Isolation. Some evidence suggest that Witnesses had enhanced strength and aether resistance, but the mechanism for this ability, if true, is unknown or has been lost since this universe’s direct connection to the aether was severed.

 


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There is no evidence of Lucian before his prominent rise into the inner-circle of the Tower. Most of the evidence we have of his early years is derived from a cult-of-personality that formed around his image, but no corroborating evidence has been found by the Library. Lucian was a powerful minister during the Tower period. In addition to the ability to manipulate a tremendous amount of aether, Lucian controlled several key political, economic, and punitive arms of the Tower. Archaeological evidence suggests that he lead a vast army in constant campaigns from ice cap to ice cap.

Lucian was the driving sponsor to end the Fortuna isolation, and post-isolation migrants described him as the “Contaminator.”

 

 


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[Please see Poems, Superstitions, and Fairytales for Children- Pre & Post Tower Traditions by Professor Sofianne Holm for additional information.]

 

 


 

cast9Pre-Tower attempts to instill aether sensitivity in humans resulted in thousands of experiments on human subjects. Ashlyn Ever was one of such unwilling participants in these trials. While modern attempts of these trials is obviously impossible, verifiable source evidence suggests a near 100% failure rate for the procedure. Symptoms of the few survivors included severe nerve damage, developmental issues, brain death, paranoia, and phantom-limb syndrome. While a few successes were recorded, Ashlyn was considered a failure. She did develop some aether sensitivity but lacked the ability to draw from the aether plane. Oral tradition suggests she escaped capacity, but it is unclear how she was recruited to be a Tower operative.

 

 

 

 


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“The Hunter” is a folkloric caricature that originated in Fortunan tribal traditions at or about the time of the End of Islation. The Hunter, according to the legend, was a Fortunan citizen who took no side during the incursions from the outside world. Some songs say he fought for one side and other songs contradict this. This allegorical character refers to failures of the various tribes to support the effort once the outsider invasion was halted and became a rigid, deadly front. Other tales speak of a guerrilla warrior who fought a losing battle but always kept a step ahead of the Tower. Migrant tribal mothers would often warn misbehaving children that the Hunter might come for them in the dead of night.

 

 

 

 


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Dante Lann was the younger brother of Arlia Janet (the Third). He served as a member of an extremely isolationist sect of geomancers that focused on egocentric views of the Covenant. Dante’s skill set was based upon drawing natural forces to enhance the components of the physical self or to use the human body as a conduit for aether manipulation. Despite surface-level parallels with components of Aether-Information Theory such as biocouples, it is unclear if this ability is possible with the current alignment of the material and aether planes. Dante was considered a moderate of his order and was the only one recorded to have fought against the invasion.