The Uplift

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[4000 DA – 0 AT]: The Dragon Age
[0 AT – ~500 AT]: The Age of Man
[422 AT – 620 AT]: The Uplift
[538 AT – 901 AT]: The Unification
[650 AT – 700 AT]: The Orcish Exile
[699 AT – 800 AT]: The Iron Rebellion
[800 AT – 1209 AT]: The Golden Age
[1209 AT – 1212 AT]: The Neverwar
[1212 AT – Present]: Aftermath of the Neverwar

[422 AT – 620 AT]

While the Sultanate south of the inhospitable Neck had consolidated its territories, the north continued to remain barbaric, violent, and highly individualistic. In the fifth and sixth centuries this changed in two different places, and for about as opposite reasons as can be found. The first place was deep in the mountains of the Far North, a region populated entirely by a thin, pale-skinned and dark-haired people call the Elves.

They lived a largely tribal existence, as the scarcity of arable land and the dangerous terrain made the construction of cities impractical. However, they did have one advantage their human cousins in the south lacked: magic. During the Dragon Age, the Dragons of this region had elected to teach their slaves a large number of useful crafts, such as weaving, bronze smithing, and magic. Magic changed a lot of things for the elves: they could hunt more easily, cook their food so it was safe to eat, keep fires going so that they didn’t die of cold quite so often. And fight each other in a much more spectacular fashion, which is probably what drove the initial settlers of the city of Gora to set up camp at the peak of the tallest bloody mountain they could find.

In 422 AT, it exploded.

The Uplift

The explosion was massive, visible for miles, shaking the earth. There was a gargantuan crater left behind, with a strange anomaly at its center that would become the foundation for the nation that would be built there: a hovering stone, thousands of feet to a side, pouring water endlessly from its top. Somehow, this didn’t turn out to be the most interesting thing to result from that explosion: as it turned out, there were six Dragon Barrows located in the surrounding mountains, and the explosion was enough to awaken their inhabitants.

Normally the resurgence of the Dragons is cause for alarm, but for whatever reason, these six Dragons were not like the ones who had left the world cowed during The Dragon Age. They decided to impart their knowledge onto the elves of the Vokayagora, beginning with the survivors from Gora. This began the technological and philosophical renaissance that the Vokayans refer to as The Uplift.

The six Dragons became known as the Metal Dragons, for the color and nature of their skin, and because the elves felt that they should somehow separate these wise benefactors from the cruel tyrants of the Dragon Age. The Metal Dragons helped to rebuild Gora, right on the floating magic river stone where the old city once stood. Every elven tribe in the area came to this fantastical edifice, either for the Dragons or for the possibility at living in comfort at last. The new city was called Cascade, and it was to become an unassailable stronghold, as well as the center of the Uplift’s revolution of civilization. By 453 AT, Cascade was a city of 4,000, and the Dragons drafted the first version of the Compact of Service and Wisdom. This document would officially mark the beginning of the Vokayagora Zemla, the High Mountain Kingdom, and their domination of their mountainous home began less than a year later.

The Iron Dominion

They weren’t the only things to awaken in the wake of the explosion that destroyed Gora. Far to the west, in a section of mountains called the Valley of Rust (renamed the Krov Doline, or Valley of Blood, quite recently) was a powerful city-state that began to quietly conquer its neighbors. The King of the Valley of Rust had been discovered as a boy by a dragon, Malleus. Malleus was opposed to the objectives of the Metal Dragons, and he chose the King of Rust to be his tool. The King of Rust became the Dragon King, and from the capital of the Red City in the Valley of Rust, he would build an empire across the western reaches of the Far North. It was known as the Iron Dominion.

It was inevitable that the Iron Dominion and the fledgling Vokayagora Zemla would clash, and clash they did. The two empires battled for twenty years all across the Far North, claiming territory and fighting battles as far north as the Frozen Wastes, and as far south as the Steppelands. With the assassination of the Dragon King in 482 AT at the hands of some of the earliest members of Vokaya’s Dragon’s Teeth network, the Far North saw years of peace between the two empires. However, the remains of the Iron Dominion refused to join Vokaya, and it was inevitable that conflict would return.

In the years of peace, Vokaya finalized the construction of Northhold and Everlight, two more grand floating cities. With their completion, Vokaya firmly held nearly all of the eastern mountains, including the fertile Everwinter Crest. In addition, with Everlight’s completion, Vokaya also had the military power to start taking land overseas. Long harassed by raiders from the island of Ekkis, the people of Everlight were eager to take the fight to their ancient enemy. They began claiming several islands in the eastern archipelago, but before they could get far, true war returned to Vokaya.

Fall of the Dominion

In 501 AT, Malleus chose a successor, and a new Dragon King was born; with him at the lead, the remaining provinces of the Iron Dominion united once again, and immediately began a coordinated invasion of Vokaya. By 508 AT, they had pushed the kingdom all the way back to Cascade Fortress itself, but the defenders were ready for them. As the siege lines were assembled, Vokaya moved their armies recalled from the wars in Ekkis in behind the attackers, and the Dominion soldiers found themselves pinned between Cascade’s defenders and Everlight’s forces. The invasion force was crushed, and the second Dragon King was unable to muster another army as great. Refusing to surrender, over the next seventeen years of war the Iron Dominion lost province after province, and it seemed clear that soon they would be joining Vokaya whether they liked it or not.

In one last defiant stand, the Dragon King himself rallied his beleaguered forces and led an assault on Vokaya’s largest army, camped on the far side of the Brittlestone Loch. At first he appeared to be winning, as the Vokayan forces retreated in the face of his onslaught. But, too late, he discovered it was a trap: they had retreated into the Mistwood Gap, and the Vokayan army was staffed by guides from the local tribes in order to aid in coordination. With his armies lost and confused, they were easy prey to the Vokayan hunting teams. It was a massacre. The second Dragon King never emerged from the dark woods, though the details of his fate are lost to history.

With his death, the end of the Iron Dominion was signed. Upon the Vokayan conquest of the Red City the following year, the Metal Dragons of Vokaya flew to the Valley of Rust and held council with Malleus, compelling him to give up his conflict. Apparently he did, as there has never been another true Dragon King. However, the loss to Vokaya was great: three of the six Metal Dragons returned to their barrows and succumbed to the Torpor once again, much earlier than they had warned.

End of the Uplift

The territories of the Iron Dominion were eventually fully integrated into Vokaya, though, unlike the tribes that had voluntarily joined, there was a certain degree of resentment from the population that still saw itself as members of the Dominion. Construction of other flying cities began all across Vokaya, beginning with Riverheart south of Cascade, and one of the largest ever atop the ruins of the Red City, which was eventually called Obsidian.

By 620 AT, the last of the Metal Dragons finally sought out his Barrow and drifted off to sleep. By this time many laws had been drafted and governing bodies put into place in order to operate this new and complicated kingdom, including the election of Vokaya’s first Rex. This new lord’s trials were many, as he was forced to try and emulate the enlightened rule of a Dragon for a country founded by immortals. The order was tall, and it was made no easier by a new enemy coming from the south.

The Empire.

The Uplift

Alsara: Requiem and Revolution Serathen Serathen