Prologue: The Immortal Artisan
The cataclysm of a thousand years ago had turned mountain ranges into vast plains. It turned the seas into endless deserts. Earth’s environment was irreparably changed.
In one part of the southern hemisphere, mountains snaked around each other in irregular patterns. It was one of the most complex topographical areas of the world following the planet’s destruction. Here, the climate was uncharacteristically mild. Among the deep gullies, clouds had gathered that rumbled with thunder reverberating off the mountain sides. This constant cacophony earned it a name – the Growling Range.
Over twenty five million people called the Range home. They lived in the Elysian realm of Stormford, established a thousand years ago by the gods. It was not the most powerful of the five Elysian realms, but it was the most peaceful. By comparison, Skycloud had been established in the plains where the Great War had been waged. It had the largest distribution of relics, but was also where wastelanders skittered among the ruins like cockroaches.
Stormford was established as a refuge after the war. Survivors gathered here to rebuild. The stories claimed that before the war, these mountains and plateaus were at the bottom of a great sea. For this reason there was no trace of the ancient society that once called earth home. Sprawling mountains and labyrinthine ravines helped the realm remain hidden. Generations of isolation have produced a population of humble and straightforward folk.
Byzantium was the second largest city in Stormford.