Ages Of Creation

The realms of Erd are not constant. They shift and fade from each other in complex ways that scribes and scholars only have the barest understanding of. The two central realms, the Mortal Realm and the Fey Realm, seem linked to each other like twins and their connection waxes and wanes regularly even if the reasons why are a complete mystery. In a single cycle of the twin realms there are four stages, called gyres by mortals and treimhse by the fey, each taking 96 years:

  • Distant Gyre / Teimhse Imithe: During this stage, the realms are metaphysically "distant" and unapproachable. Magic rites to travel between the realms fail and even details of each realm fade for the inhabitants of the other. It is said that there are still indirect routes through other planes, but these are barely known and certainly not mapped by any mortal or fey explorer.
  • Waxing Gyre / Teimhse Fais: As the connections between the realms grow, magical travel from one to the other becomes possible once more. Over the course of this stage of the cycle, magical transportation becomes easier to achieve as "resistance" between the realms (an effect known as the Gauntlet) lessens. At the same time, memories and details of one realm begin to return to the other but they are warped and twisted by the Grey Madness.
  • Full Gyre / Teimhse Lain: When the realms are fully "facing" each other, in the incomplete language of planar metaphysics, they function almost as one land. Magical travel between realms is no more difficult than travel within one of the realms, and the intrepid can even pass from one to the other on foot through eldritch pathways called trods. Because the Grey Madness no longer weighs on the realms' inhabitants, full gyres are generally periods of healing misunderstandings and coming together. Some, however, have been bloody and dangerous times, such as the last full gyre called the Time of Blood.
  • Waning Gyre / Teimhse Ceimhnithe: After being intimately linked, the realms start to metaphysically "separate" and travel between them becomes increasingly harder. The trods close and magical travel is more and more difficult thanks to the "thickening" Gauntlet. Knowledge of the other realm becomes more difficult as well due to the return of the Grey Madness, though it is not the nightmarish twistings of the Waxing Gyre. Instead, Waning Gyres are generally periods of loss as each realm loses the understanding it has gained over the last near-century and ignorance spreads once more.

The symmetry of this process was made famous by the poetic description of a nameless scribe of past centuries. "Two realmes of foure gyres / for eight spannes of a dozaen years spinning / embracing and quar'ling like lovers / but ne'er breaking the dance." Of course, the history of the Mortal and Fey Realms has not always been as beautiful as this poet's words make it seem, and in fact there has been more violence started with each reuniting of mortals and fey than happy embracing of the new. In the current age, with the twin realms just beginning a new Full Gyre, relations between the realms has already proven to be bloody.

The Gauntlet

The Grey Madness

Time of Blood

This particularly blood full gyre was a near century of almost constant warfare. It saw the creation of the Stone Empire as a result and the unification of the Seven Tribes, as well as the construction of the Bloodwall during the subsequent waning gyre. This horrible conflict, hoped by many to be the "peak" of the Earthchild Wars, shaped the paranoia during the next cycle's Grey Madness and the damage still keeps the realms apart even with the trods open once more.

Time of Fire

Sages call the current age the Time of Fire, due to the spread of paranoia and panic that raced through the realms like a brushfire. Though war has been averted, tensions remain and battle may still be on the horizon.

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