- The Goddess of Creation created the planet Sanctus along with the Divine gateways to allow the descendants of Verra to escape their destruction at the hands of the The Others and The Ancients.
- Very little will be revealed about the Sanctus story arc prior to the betas.
A long long long time ago, everybody lived on a planet called Verra. Something cataclysmic happened that forced people from that world to another world called Sanctus. Verra is a place of really high magic. Sanctus is a place with no magic whatsoever. People escaped through these portals into the world of Sanctus. They had to rediscover technology, because so much of their current technology was based on magic, so they had to figure out how to interact with the world. Thousands and thousands of years go by. A long dark age passes. This history that I just told you falls into myth and legend. After this time passes, these portals reopen and the players are going to take the part of people who are coming through those portals once again back to the world of Verra to rediscover that magic, rediscover their history, and try to figure out what happened to this world to force them out of it. – Jeffrey Bard
Long ago, the world of Verra was besieged by a great calamity (also called the Fall, the Apocalypse, and the Exodus), brought about by the primary antagonists of the world: The Ancients and The Others.
- The apocalypse began with comet-like celestial bodies called Harbingers arriving on Verra. The Ancients flowed out of the conduits that opened at the center of the Harbingers and started conquering the planet.
- Their desire was to pervert the creation of the gods (the Seven) as an affront to their endeavors; and in doing so they created monstrosities by manipulating nature with corruption, which is the negative aspect of The Essence.
- Some unlucky citizens didn't quite make it through the gateways in time and fell back to the planet to fight for survival. This underpinned the lore behind the Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale mode.
Soon after the exodus, the gateways dimmed and became dormant. Centuries turned to millennia, burying them beneath myriad calamities. Over eons, history became legend, then even the great legends were at last forgotten.
Tales of the Homecoming
Written by Kyrie Patrika Arisanna
"Know then that the unforgivable sin of Atrax was his unbridled hubris. In an attempt to unlock the secrets of immortality the Toren king began an obsessive study of ancient artifacts and profane magicks. This drew the attention of the Ancients, a fallen race banished into the Void in ages past. For the first time since their exile, the ancients became aware of the four races created by the Seven to replace them as the Stewards of Creation.
When the ancients saw that these races were growing, multiplying, and conquering the world that had been taken from them, they became envious and spiteful. In a fit of pique they unloosed the Harbingers -- great balls of ice, dust, and corruption from the heavens -- and hurled them upon the face of Verra.
As Verra fell, the Seven activated the divine gateways. These ancient portals transported the four races to safety on the tellurian, non-magical world of Sanctus, to await the day they could safely return to Verra."
-- Minerva Arisanna, Purian Emissary of the Lightpact THE BOOK OF THE VERRAN EXODUS
These words were put to parchment over four thousand years ago by my great,great grandmother, Minerva Arisanna. I know her only through her writing, and through stories told to me by her daughter, Kyrie Esmane Arisanna, my maternal grandmother, for whom I was named.
My name is Kyrie Patrika Arisanna, Chronologist and Scrivener for the Lightpact. I am eight hundred and sixty-three years old. By Elven reckoning, I am rapidly approaching mid-life, yet Sanctus is the only world I have ever known.
The Lightpact was originally an alliance created by the four races of Verra as we fled the Harbinger Apocalypse and settled on the mundane, non-magical world of Sanctus. In the intervening millennia, tales of our exodus and the legends of Verra have slipped into the realm of folklore and mythology for most of the races. Fortunately thanks to the protracted lifespans and long memories of the Elven races, those teachings have not been lost forever. The Lightpact has endured, and its members have been secretly preparing for the day the divine gateways would finally reopen.
That day has arrived. At long last the ancient pylons -- those enigmatic monuments of sculpted stone that pepper the surface of Sanctus have awakened and paved the pathway home. These living conduits of channeled Essence will transport us across the cosmos and return us to Verra, the mystical world of our ancestors.
This collection of essays is one humble scrivener's admittedly idealistic, but well-intentioned attempt to peacefully chronicle that Homecoming. Upon its completion, multiple copies of this manuscript will be created by Lightpact scribes and read aloud at our arrival encampments across Verra. It is our sincere hope that this might foster cooperation and goodwill between our disparate races, for we are one people in the eyes of the Seven, and Verra is our common birthright.
The Alchemist's Apprentice
I met the most astonishing individual today! Initially, I had set out to speak to Krelzenus Vagesh, the renowned Vek alchemist and inventor. I had heard that he had come through the divine gateway some time before, and I desired to pick his prodigious brain in regards to any discoveries oddities, or inspirations that had surfaced since hi arrival on Verra. I met up with Vagesh at his local market, which would be more aptly described as a makeshift campground. This bazaar featured an odd assortment of dead things, live things, and crude things to make live things dead things.
After making a proper greeting and introduction, I began to interview him from the list of questions I had prepared. At once he stopped me and bade me to follow him to his laboratory. He said he had someone there that was far more fascinating than his old self.
He lead me to his workshop at the edge of the settlement. I was somewhat disappointed to find that it was just another large tent given a wide berth by the other inhabitants of the area. Seeing my disheartened face as he lifted the front flap, he assured me that the facility was only temporary until a more suitable structure could be built.
Stepping in, my eyes had to adjust to the very low light of the interior, provided by only a few flickering candles. After a moment I could vaguely make out a shape moving about, here and there, sniffing and what sounded like an occasional licking and tasting of objects in the dark.
"Tish, we have a visitor," Krelzenus said in a gentle, calming voice to the creature.
The figure stopped momentarily, uttering a simple "Hejo" in what sounded like a purr, or perhaps a hiss, and then continuing on with its activity.
"Hejo?" I asked Vagesh curiously.
"Yes, it seems to mean 'hello' in the Tulnar Language. A combination of the Common 'hello' and the old Orcish greeting 'vajo.'"
"Ah yes, 'vajo' meaning 'no harm', correct?"
Krelzenus nodded cheerfully, obviously a little impressed with my limited knowledge of an old Orcish dialect.
Turning back toward the creature in the dark that I no knew as Tish, I called out my own little "Hejo!" I heard a slight wuffle of what I took as positive acceptance.
"Tish seems to have quite a talent for alchemy. Her knack for ingredient selection, measurement, mixing and brewing appears to be highly instinctual and productive! Without any instruction at all she whipped up quite an array of potions, poultices, and powders!"
"Simply marvelous!" I exclaimed. I leaned forward to get a better look through the obscuring darkness. As I wrapped my fingers around one of the two small candlesticks, an appendage shot out of the dark to slap my hand away.
"No touch!" I recoiled instantly from the reprimand, struggling to comprehend what had struck me. I could not deduce through the darkness and with the speed of the strike whether it was a hand, or paw, or claw, but I could tell that it was small, about half the size of my own.
"She doesn't like it when you touch her things while she is experimenting, and for a good reason. Some of the mixtures she has created have reacted quite explosively when touched with flame," Vagesh informed me apologetically.
"How old is she?" I asked, fascinated.
"About five years old, or so. Truly a prodigy," Krelzenus beamed. "Also quite resilient, too. I've seen her ingest holly berry, mistletoe, oh, and nightshade without even the slightest signs of discomfort. She does much of her experimentation by smell and taste."
Still stunned by the revelation of her very young age, I inquired whether her dietary fortitude was part of her phenomenal talent, or a trait of her Tulnar biology.
"I do not have enough evidence to say one way or the other, but I have observed others off her family eating spoiled meat and a wide variety of wild mushrooms without so much as a belch. If not indicative of Tulnar as a species, at least I have theorized it runs in her family."
"Fascinating..." I hummed.
"You talk to much! You go now! Can't make with talking!" Tish hissed at us.
"Apologies, Tish!" Vagesh called as he ushered me out quickly.
"It is well to keep her happy. She can throw quite a tantrum when she's frustrated... or tired," he said as he instructed me outside. "Apart fromt hat, I am highly intrigued with the alchemical possibilities she could uncover, and upsetting her would likely cause her to depart."
"So much potential for the future of this new world," I nodded.
I said my goodbyes to the Vek, assuring him that I would return in the future to see what amazing creations Tish had conceived. He shook my hand enthusiastically and ducked back into the tent without so much as a backward glance.
When the sun sets behind the canopy of the Crystalbough forest, it becomes difficult to tell where the sky ends in the treelines begin. Under the branches, rustling with leaves of orange and yellow despite the seasons, motes of essence-charged pollen flutter through the air like fairies, flickering white. For three days, I rode the path that wove through diamond-white trees between Oleander Reach and Mariam amongst these woods and found myself captivated time and time again.
One unusual evening, while I updated my notes on the banks of an unmarked creek, I spied a peculiar, overlarge stag as it emerged from the golden brush. As it bowed its head to zip from the stream, its conutenance was reflected in the prismatic light from the essence-charged stone bed beneath the surface-- and I saw the face of something else entirely. It was angular, drawn into a point of the nose, with eyes set too far down the sides. A kirin. As it drank, its antlers-- thicker than a buck's and shaped more like branches-- crackled with the raw energy of its sustenance, and I could see the essence arcing between the prongs.
I stood, entranced by its otherworldliness and the grace of its motion. Drawn forward by some inexplicable urge, I'd only taken two steps before an unfortunate footfall cracked a crystalline twig. The beast raised its head, looking directly at me-- and in a blink it shattered into an ephemeral, shimmering mist that retreated across the water.
"Gods be damned!" A voice boomed and sent a flurry of small, white birds into the ochre clouds overhead. The gruffness of tone alerted me to look for a Dünir, and my instincts were true. She pushed through the copse out onto the bank just past where the creature drank, holding her thick arms out wide in a gesture of pure exasperation.
"Why'd you go and do that?" The arch in her brow conveyed her dismay, and as she approached, the water pooled on her eyelids, belied the depth of her frustration. She had golden hair, the color of the leaves of the trees here, though it was wild and in desperate need of a brush and oil. Her beard was neater and woven into short braids at her chin with flowers worked in, and though wayward strands poked out here or there, it seemed more from circumstance than negligence.
I had at first assumed she was a hunter and started to apologize for startling her quarry, but found that notion subverted as she lifted what looked to be a small golden orrery whirring in rapid circles. It shook her arm to the elbow as she held it in the direction that the mist-creature had retreated. The odd device slowed until it stopped, and she fell to her knees in consternation.
She interrupted my apology: "Months wasted. I'll have to start all over again." Carefully she packed the device into a satchel at her hip, and looked over at me with sagging shoulders.
I stood there for a while, unsure of what to say. I felt bad to have startled her prey, but something was strange about this turn of events. While it was true I'd never before seen a kirin, in all my readings of them I'd never encountered anything about them wielding essence with such intention. The hunter seemed to notice my confusion, and as she stood, she concealed the wiping of her eyes in part of the motion of dusting the forest's detritus off her knees.
"You didn't know. I understand." She drew in a long breath, and then exhaled, forcing much of the tension from her posture. "You didn't know, and most importantly, tlegi, you still don't, so i'm going to let you all look here."
I admit I winced at the word, reminded of my early misstep. "Twig"-- a reference to how easily the Empyrean Glitterwall formations broke in early conflict between our peoples during the initial struggles for resources on Sanctus. It's a tale for another time, but our military manuals were worthless after we lost access to magic, needing to be rebuilt from the ground up. This would have been more generations ago than even her eldest relative's great, great, grandparents would recall.
"That's you," I replied, making an effort not to sound so dry. I've readied my pen and notebook, asking if she cared to enlighten me further.
"How could you know? It's clear you're new to these parts, or you'd have come more prepared. You're lucky, in fact, you started the bastard the way you did. It could have killed you with a wink or a sneeze." She straightened herself up, which brought her to approximately half my height, and held out a calloused hand for me to grasp. As I did so, she introduced herself. "Aeri Goldmane. On account of my hair." She ran through it with a quick comb of her fingers.
I wondered how often she'd said that line as I returned my own introduction. "How is it that it takes months for a hunter to track a kirin in their native woods?" I asked perhaps, less kind with my tone here than I should have been, but Aeri seemed too distracted to take offense.
She pulled the device back out of her pouch and held it aloft in nearby pockets of air seemingly at random. "Not just a kirin, tlegi, but the kirin. One of the first ones, older than the apocalypse. A Bodabodaga. Most powerful being in these woods, it's true, though you wouldn't know from how flighty he is."
Never have I heard of it, I wrote it down to verify another time. I confirmed to her, somewhat wryly, that I had not understood the gravity of my mistake until just now. She continued as though I hadn't said a thing.
"The thing is, you can't just hunt a Bodabodaga. They survived by becoming essence itself. They break apart, you saw it. Bringing them back from that requires precise ritual, and I'll be honest, I tried a whole lot of things to make it happen before, and didn't take the best notes, so I have no idea how to recreate the feat."
"You spent months on this and have no idea how to force it back to corporeality?"
She snapped a sharp look at me but sent her braids wobbling. "Well, I'm not scientist or a mage! That's the business of your kind!" And my handwriting is too messy to bother with notes anystone."
"And the device you use?"
She glanced at it, then pulled it to her chest and wrapped her other arm around it. "Ah. I see now." Narrowing her eyes, she slowly backed up to the brush behind her. Though the creek passed between us, she seemed convinced I might lunge for it. "Just stay right there. And don't try to follow me. Now that you know the stakes, I won't be as forgiving if you ruin it again."
In bewilderment, I lowered my book as the dwarf picked her way back into the woods without taking her eyes off me, I returned to my perch beside the stream to record the events of the evening before night had fallen entirely.
- Verra exists in the material plane.
- There are constellations and multiple moons in the night sky of Verra.
- Players start in Verra a few short months after the very first expeditionaries were sent through the divine gateways when they opened from Sanctus.
- Vandagar (Western continent).
- Draakath Bohr.
- Elyrium (Eastern continent).
- The Frostgrave Fells.
The Verdant Keeper
The Verdant Keeper... are a sect of people that keep track of all the things that are necessary to have successful crops and to grow things and to make sure that the cultivation of these things allows a society or civilization to keep growing. So in the transition from Verra to Sanctus these people had to relearn how to grow things without magic. There were druid like people before and now we have to go to this place where there's no magic to support those things. So they spend their time learning about the world and learning about it in sort of a scientific way and keeping track of all of these seasons of the different years, of the decades, of the centuries that go by to sort of create a map for themselves and for the civilizations that they support: Kind of a means to be successful in growing crops and keeping people healthy and happy. – Jeffrey Bard
As the months come and go, and the hand of winter looms over the land, various farmers of Verra take time to celebrate the fortune granted to them by the Verdant Keeper. Hearths are stoked, candles are lit, and fragrant delicacies are prepared. A massive celebration of food and drink takes place, marking the culmination of their hard work and preparation for the harsh, cold months to come. Should the celebrations go well, they say the Keeper will bless the next spring with a brand new harvest, ready to be plucked.
- Divine gateways are where players first arrive in Ashes of Creation.
- Players can choose their starting gateway. This choice is not restricted by their choice of race.
- The divine gateways were created by the Goddess of Creation in response to a warning from the Goddess of Fate that The Ancients and The Others would return from exile and seek retribution for their defeat at the hands of The Seven gods.
Where players start, they enter this portal from another world called Sanctus. Sanctus is a place of no magic, low technology; and players are the first expeditioners that are coming through this portal into the world of Verra. – Jeffrey Bard
- This design may have changed.
- We're gonna keep track of the history of the world so that we can tell people the story up to the current day. A player who's brand new, who's come in at the six-month mark can take a look at each server, what each server has done, how each server has tackled the storyline; and they can decide for themselves what community they want to join; what version of the world that they want to take part in. – Jeffrey Bard
- Scribes may be able to collect and record information about the events of the world as they see it from their point of view.
- Information about the world will be presented directly to players through the world map UI. Previously the Library was used to access information about the world, such as the history of significant narrative events, locations of gatherable resources, dungeons, and POIs.
- In the past we talked about having a library that was capable of facilitating players exchanging information for map data like that, but we've moved a little bit more in a direction of just presenting that information up front to the player, because travel is such a meaningful portion of the game and we don't have fast travel. So, I think that for Alpha-2 what's planned is that we're going to be showcasing the intricate details of services offered at these node locations from just a UI presentation standpoint within the map. – Steven Sharif
Players can use the Library to access information, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-11-08 (0:00:00).
- Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
- Colloquio, 2018-04-20 (5:46).
- Unreal Engine Interview, 23 May 2017.
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-11-08 (9:51).
- Colloquio, 2020-07-19 (50:10).
- Ashes of Creation - A world with consequences.
- Colloquio, 2020-07-20 (13:33).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-09-27 (6:22).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-10-31 (36:59).
- Colloquio, 2020-07-20 (15:18).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-04-08 (23:04).
- Kickstarter $2,500,000 New Player Race Achieved.
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-11-6 (part 1) (0:0).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-11-6 (part 2) (0:0).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-11-6 (part 3) (0:0).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-08-26 (50:40).
- Video, 2017-09-04 (1:16).
- Video, 2022-12-02 (11:11).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-02-25 (1:15:50).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-12-02 (1:16:19).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-12-19 (1:51:28).
- Ashes of Creation Store: Shadeless Tree Tavern.
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2019-10-31 (14:13).
- Blog: Bounties of the Verdant Keeper.
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-19 (29:25).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-10-16 (53:58).
- Kickstarter packages.
- Blog: Know Your Nodes - Scientific Node Type
- Colloquio, 2018-04-20 (9:20).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-09-29 (1:14:29).
- Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-26 (51:37).