THE WORLD OF NEW CRONOA
History and details of the four ages of New Cronoa, the times leading to the great transformation.
Note: This section will continue to be under expansion for some time to come. Visit often or contact me to sign up to receive emails when I've completed major changes.
BONDS AND BONDING
Sometime during their seventeenth year, every person receives the Calling, and is driven to go on a trek to find their life-long animal bond. Everyone, without exception, receives the Calling. Once bonded, the human and animal spend their lives together. If a human and his/her bond are separated for a long period of time, or if the bond dies, the human experiences the Yearning.
A bonding is a psychic connection between a person and an animal (mammal, bird, or reptile). Bonds share an emotional link. One may sense what their bond is feeling, but do not share the other’s physical pain nor can they communicate intellectually.
In New Cronoan societies, having an animal bond signifies reaching adulthood. The journey a teen takes to find his/her bond is considered a coming-of-age event, an essential part of assuming responsibilities in their community once the youth has returned.
Dragonbonded is the name given to those who have bonded with dragons.
The original band of Dragonbonded lived during the Advanced Age and are remembered as being the ones who brought about the end of the Anarchic War.
Five hundred years have passed since the first band of Dragonbonded lived. Nearly everything ever known about those enigmatic youths has been lost. The Dragonbonded Return series describes how the Dragonbonded came back to New Cronoa and the events leading to the final transformation.
THE FOUR ELEMENTALS
The Physical Plane is held in place, and kept separate from the other planes of existence, by four powerful forces of energy—Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. When Cronoans first arrived in the lands occupied by the nomadic tribes of the Modei, the nomads taught the new arrivals how to manipulate these elemental forces through incantations.
Cronoans began to organize into groups called guilds. Each guild focused on studying and advancing their individual and collective abilities in using one of the elementals.
During the Progressive Age that followed, Cronoans discovered that they could combine two elementals to create more powerful spells. To distinguish themselves from their less powerful guildsmen brethren, those capable of simultaneously manipulating two elementals formed orders to research and progress their specialized knowledge. In time, ordermen became very powerful.
ORDERS AND ORDERMEN
As the orders continued to develop their powers, those in the orders soon eclipsed the might of the seven realms’ standing armies. When the rulers of the seven realms learned of a conspiracy by several of the greater orders to break free from realm influence, the crowns assembled a great army. The Army of the Seven Realms was sent forth to ensure that all the orders would remain subjugated to their rule. The war, later called the War of the Orders, lasted nearly twenty years and ended when the orders surrendered. Under the Armistice of the Orders ending the war, the crowns mandated that the existing twenty-three orders be restructured into six new orders, based on the following combinations of the four elementals:
Mystics: Fire and Air
Warriors: Air and Water
Paladins: Water and Earth
Shamans: Earth and Fire
Rangers: Air and Earth
Sorcerers: Fire and Water
Each order was to be governed by a council of nine to thirteen grandmasters, selected by the seven crowns to guarantee that the orders stayed faithful subjects of the realms. With the exclusion of the Shamans Order, advancements in the orders’ elemental abilities shifted to focusing on improved combat skills. All non-combat skills were simplified and relegated to the guilds.
HARMONICS AND ANARCHISTS
Late in the Advanced Age, rifts within the six orders began to form over disagreements about the use of newly learned, powerful elemental spells. In the year that followed, fights among ordermen escalating into duels to the death became commonplace. Unable to control the worsening situation, the seven crowns were ultimately forced to choose sides.
In a decisive move, a group of high-ranking ordermen spanning the six orders declared secession and formed six new orders more consistent with their Anarchic interests.
Conjurers seceded from the Mystics
Barbarians seceded from the Warriors
Black Knights seceded from the Paladins
Necromancers seceded from the Shamans
Assassins seceded from the Rangers
Warlocks seceded from the Sorcerers
The next year, war broke out, and what started as a conflict within the orders soon drew in the crowns, the guilds, and even the citizens of the seven realms.
Many years later, the long and bloody Anarchic War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Alignment, establishing a formal separation of the seven realms into two social factions—the Harmonics in the west and the Anarchists in the east. The treaty also defined a twenty-mile ribbon of land called The Borderlands, designated by both sides as a neutral territory, effectively severing all ties between the two regions. Thus began the Age of Breaking.
Except for the occasional skirmish between forces near the Borderlands, the three intact realms (known as the Harmonic Realms) have held to the belief that, one day, there would be a reunification of the once great Seven Realms of New Cronoa.
HARMONIC CASTE SYSTEM
The Harmonic Realms (what remains of the original Seven Realms of New Cronoa) have maintained the social class structure from the days before the Anarchic War. This caste system establishes the following hierarchy of authority:
Royalty (kings, queens, princes, princesses)
Nobility (relatives and extended families of royalty: dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, barons and baronesses)
Ordermen (members of the six orders)
Guildsmen (members of the many guilds)
Tradesmen and Townsmen (those who work at a trade)
Freemen (those not living under noble rule)
Yeomen and Serfs (those indebted to members of nobility, who are working off their debt)
Upward mobility is very rare, except that anyone with adequate abilities to manipulate two elementals can enter into an order. It is even more exceptional for guilds to accept someone from lower classes into their fraternity.
The Griffinrock Realm
Griffinrock is the largest of the three Harmonic Realms.
THE ANARCHIC LANDS
Little is known to date about those who live in the lands once ruled by four of the seven original crowns, or of the six “dark orders” that seceded. Rumors are that the six dark orders rule those living in the Anarchic Lands through the use of force and intimidation.
The Modei were an ancient nomadic society that lived in the lands known as New Cronoa. The Modei taught the Cronoan arrivals their ways, their beliefs, an understanding of bonding, and how to use the four elementals. After the Modei were gone, Cronoans learned that the Modei knew a great deal more about the universe than they had divulged. The great Modeic city Shan-Grail was discovered later, and through the efforts of Tatem Creeg and his Bremenn disciples, the hieroglyphs in the city were deciphered. The result became known as the Four Books of the Modei—one for each of the elementals. The Books of the Modei had a significant influence on those in the Seven Realms, including being the foundation of one of the six orders—the Paladins.
THE COSMIC STAR
The Cosmic Star is a central theme to both Modeic history and to the Cronoan culture which adopted many of the religious aspects of the Modeic people. It represents the Cosmos, that which created the universe, and the four Djinn who control the elemental forces of the Physical plane.
It is such a key symbol of the religious components of Harmonic life that the Paladins Order, guardians of all knowledge and artifacts of the Modeic people, and their guilds (e.g., clergymen, monks, nuns), have the symbol tattooed on their bald scalp and refuse to even speak the word, "Cosmos."