Methods and Mysteries
Brief History of Aurineas
The Country of Aurineas (AH-REN-AY-US); A Brief History
The country of Aurineas has existed almost since history began being written. For the most part, its history is relatively peaceful. But, as is typically the case, it was not to last. The peace throughout Aurineas was broken, possibly forever, and it is this period of time on which we now focus. Aurineas, for the greater part of its history, was governed over by a group of archbishops in the Church of God Awaiting, known as the Group of Four. Nominees to the Group of Four were elected from the ranks of the archbishopric for life. With very few exceptions, the Group ruled Aurineas well for hundreds of years, although the doctrine of the church caused some strife among those residing in the country. According to the Church of God Awaiting, both magical and scientific advancement, without the strictest regulations and restrictions purportedly set out by God himself, was an unforgivable sin. These restrictions put a choke-hold on the advancement of society, festering a constantly growing resentment among those who felt that their innovations could be used for the greater good of the country. Eventually, that resentment reached a boiling point, roughly 400 years ago. Two people rose up against the strictures of the church, a woman named Inazra Cole and a man named Joseph Bell. Both believed that the restrictions of the church oppressed their soceity, but each presented a radically different solution. Inazra, an incredibly powerful spellcaster, believed that if society were allowed to grow through science and technology, that the world’s connection to magic would eventually fade out of existence. Joseph Bell, a brilliant scientist and doctor, believed that the advancement of society through magic would eventually lead to an elite ruling class of spellcasters, since the majority of the population couldn’t wield magic. Both quickly realized that their only option was to split from the Church of God Awaiting, and to strike out on their own. Upon leaving, Inazra created a framework from which she could foster the growth of new spellcasters, regardless of the source of their power. Eventually, her followers would become known as the Disciples of Inazra. Joseph, on the other hand, founded a school for the education of those born without the gift of magic, which he gave the rather lengthy name of The College of Scientific Innovation and Exploration. For almost 100 years, the Disciples, the College, and the Church existed in a shaky equilibrium, in which the Church grew stronger in its faith, and the two factions began to shed theirs. But as was mentioned before, the peace did not last. Due to the fact that no one with the desire to speak about it still lives from that time, and the fact that so much of the country was ravaged by it, very little is known about the war which followed. Somehow, the Church managed to avoid the conflict, seeing fit to leave the sinners to their “little war”. It is generally agreed upon by historians that the war started with a riot in the streets of the capital which had escalated from what is rumored to be a simple argument between the proponents of each side. It isn’t known who threw the first punch, or fired the first shot, but by the end of the riot, thousands were dead and the battle lines were drawn. By the standards of such things, it was short war, lasting only 20 years, due in part to the mutual destruction both sides seemed bent on moving towards. Again, little is known about the war, but it is known that the warforged were originally created by the Disciples, forced to fight constantly, usually against their will, wreaking havoc on the Disciples’ enemies. As a countermeasure, the war machines created by the College were far worse; mindless killing machines tearing a swath of death through those around them, friend in foe alike. Thankfully, reason eventually prevailed, and the two factions came to a mutual cease-fire, and eventually a treaty of, well, if not peace, then at least not war. In the intervening years, the power struggle between the two factions and the Church evolved into a political one, with each faction racing to outdo the other in terms of the advancement of their fields, and the Church using every means available to slow their progress. But the church’s great means accomplished little, and Aurineas now finds itself in the middle of a simultaneous cultural, industrial, and magical revolution. The younger generations have even begun using science and magic together, much to the disdain of their elders. But not all is sunshine. While the war machines created by the College were simply found and shut down, the warforged had no off switch, and even though they had little control over their predecessor’s actions during the war, warforged both old and new have had to live with the stigma of being dealers of death and destruction. Most warforged now live under the capital, in the catacombs and sewers, treated as secondary citizens and persecuted regularly, something their self-imposed exile to the catacombs does very little to assuage. In addition to that, the capital has become a sort of melting pot for the country, and each new arrival brings with it the chance for fresh new crime. For a group of private detectives such as yourselves, this could be good news for your coffers. For the rest of the city, will it even survive?