Western Sunrise by J.E. Zarnofsky

Long before the United Federation of People, the Kingdoms of Elves, Man, and Renlins existed separate. They worked individually on the eastern coast waging wars against each other, establishing peace, finding prosperity, and surviving famine. Magic was rampant; sorcery was common. Adventurers, with more power than sense, would travel west to fight dragons, basilisks, trolls, and the unknown to gain power and treasure. Society held steady as kings and queens ruled, knights held tourneys, and adventurers explored.

Then Panavor came into power. This charming half human, half elf man wielded the magic inherent in the elements to new extremes. He extended his lifespan beyond that of his elven mother, became a leader in the Sorcerer’s halls, and had his name spread across the land. Soon he became feared. Centuries later, hope spread that Panavor was nearing the end of his long life, but he would not pass so easy. He had uncovered the secret to eternal life. While the sorcerers of his order knew what he had found, he refused to divulge the process before performing the ritual. Had the sorcerers acted only seconds sooner, Panavor would have failed. If they had not acted at all, perhaps he would not have flown into a rage.

Panavor the Lich was born. His war proved devastating from the moment it began. The Lich wielded elemental powers better than anyone before as he razed battlefields with fire, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Elves and humans died by the hundreds.

Soon, the Renlins, a tribal people not often welcome in the cities of the east, came out from the west. They were warriors, strong and fierce from years of battling monsters and they were sorcerers, wielding magic in a different manner. They offered assistance, joining together with the remaining armies of elves and humans. They all fought for their lives as the sorcerers searched for a solution, a way to rob the lich of his access to the ambient magic. Thousands died in the week it took for them to succeed.  The solution was called “The Pull” and it shattered the bond between magic and its elemental sources. But there were consequences.

First, the war was won. Panavor, without constant access to magic, transformed into an old and mortal man. He died on the battlefield moments after. His forces fled with what remained of his corpse and entombed his bones. Renlins, humanoids, and elves formed The Unified People in celebration.

Second, the sources of strong elemental magic dissolved into sentient beings. They named themselves the Djain and their history is a story to be told, full of struggle and strife. They remembered their past as forces of mystical power and gradually changed the world around them to accept them, until they were welcomed as one of the “Unified People.”

Finally, magic disappeared from the world. Sorcerers could not call upon their former strength or even cast the most basic cantrips. The magic, previously stored in elves, artifacts, and other items remained, the only energy left.. The economy, political systems and societal structures adjusted, but none were affected more than the elves. Those born after The Pull aged quicker than ever before, unable to take in the vanished magic that would have granted them an extended life. Their mothers and fathers dubbed these new elves “Nethedel,” meaning “young lived elf.” The disappearance of magic also inspired the interest in and development of technology. Inventors worked to recreate the magic of old, developing rails and firearms and enabling the people to push westward.

The discovery of Lunite changed everything yet again. It held magic. Word spread it could be used in spells, in rituals. It returned magic to the world. The wild magic of sorcery was lost with The Pull, but Lunite brought the study of wizardy. With it, the mild trickle of westward expansion became a rush.

Here, in the town of Lunite Springs, surveyors recently located a large reserve of Lunite underground and built a mine nearby. Interested parties can find themselves lucky and sometimes earn a fortune in Lunite from panning in the Santiago River. Lunite Springs may still be a tent town, but it is ever growing larger. Not all is quiet on this wild front, however. Gangs ravage the town and a local sheriff has yet to be appointed to deal with them. The undertaker sees plenty of business as the dangers of the west are ever present. Only a dusty road leads into this town with nothing but a saloon, a general store, a brand-new jail, some tents, and an oversized graveyard.

Welcome to Lunite Springs.

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