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The Foreworld Ages > About the Ages Folder

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message 1: by C.B. Matson (last edited Feb 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new)

C.B. Matson This is the place to discuss stories, history, ideas and books relating to the Foreworld Saga. As of right now, we have four initial ages plus an exciting new fifth age encompassing the Edwardian era Suffragists’ movement. The Foreworld Ages as they are currently envisioned:
Age of Myth and Mist
Medieval Era
Renaissance Era
Age of Discovery
Edwardian Era



message 2: by Mark, Canon Nerd (new)

Mark Teppo (markteppo) | 12 comments Mod
CLASSICAL AGE [400 BC – 100 AD]
Spartan and Athenian combat veterans, exiled from their home city-states but inspired by the ideas of their drinking buddy—a wrestler by the name of Plato—strike out into the north to explore the hinterlands of the classical world. In the mountains north and west of the Black Sea they found a new city-state called Petraathen (Athena’s Rock), topped by a towering acropolis dedicated to Athena Promachos (“Athena who fights in the front line,”) an avatar of the Goddess of Wisdom dressed in a helmet and carrying a shield and spear. Conceiving of their duty as primarily defensive in nature, they dub themselves the Shield-Brethren and dedicate themselves to using their martial prowess to defend the ideals of democracy and wisdom personified by Athena and put into practice (albeit very imperfectly) in Athens.

AGE OF MYTH & MIST [300-1100 AD]
The classical Greek world has long since been absorbed by the Roman empire, now in decline and turning Christian. Cut off from its cultural wellsprings and trading partners in the Mediterranean world, Petraathen has dwindled from a self-sufficient city-state to a chilly fortress on top of a rock, making a living by supplying crack mercenaries to local warlords and training their sons in the martial arts. Rome gets farther and farther away, and its new religion brands the Shield-Brethren as heretics. The Shield-Brethren look to the north and forge a deep and fateful alliance with a coalition of pagan priests, druids, and sorcerers banding together in preparation for a long and bitter struggle against the people of the Holy Book. Embroiled amongst warring Goths, Geats, and Huns, the leaders of Petraathen send a team of their best warriors into the far north. Athena Promachos, viewed through a Gothic cultural lens, looks very similar to Nordic myths and archetypes of Shield-maidens, Valkyries, etc. and so the Shield-Brethren find an unexpectedly warm welcome. With local help, they found a new citadel on an island in the Baltic, named Týrshammar. The result: Vikings, who fight with weapons (large round shield, lance, and short sword) remarkably similar to those used by ancient Greeks.

Centuries later, the slow and inexorable spread of Christianity into the north causes a group of Shield-maidens to leave Týrshammar and follow Viking trade routes into the deep east, where they found a third citadel on the site of what will eventually become the city of Kiev.

MEDIEVAL AGE [1100-1350 AD]
Bowing to the inevitable, the Shield-Brethren and the Shield-Maidens have become Christian monks and nuns. Petraathen and Týrshammar are now outposts of a Catholic military order called the Ordo Militum Vindicis Intactae, the Knights of the Virgin Defender, where the Virgin Defender is simply Athena with the overtly pagan insignia scraped off and relabeled Mary. Along with other military orders such as the Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights, they have sent contingents to Crusades in the Holy Land and in the north. They are the smallest but the most accomplished of the military orders; as a consequence they have become enmeshed in intrigues and rivalries emanating from the Vatican.

While in the Levant, they befriend Richard the Lion-Hearted; in him, they see an opportunity to create a place that lives up to some of the philosophical precepts of their founding brothers. They conspire to assist in the creation of the Magna Carta, a document meant for the nobility of England, but one they hope can be applied to all men.

The Pope and his cardinals fear the OMVI's martial power while mistrusting their piety, seeing them, with some justification, as barely concealed pagan throwbacks. Their efforts in England, followed by the stories and rumors that rise out of the unsuccessful Mongol invasion, lead the Church to begin actively plotted the destruction of the Order. Pope Innocent IV—a man once known as Cardinal Sinibaldo Fieschi—makes it his life’s work to destroy the OMVI. Following the death of the Order’s last great advocate—Frederick II—Innocent IV is finally able to bring about his long-standing desire.

During the last decades of the medieval era, the surviving members of the OMVI slowly pass into obscurity. The Order is no more.

RENAISSANCE [1400-1550 AD]
The OMVI has been disbanded by Papal decree, and its martial lore has been scattered to the ends of Christendom and beyond. The remnants of the order become a diaspora--a secret society of awesomely capable warrior monks, living in the shadows and passing their secrets on to a select few recruits. It is an era of intrigue and vendetta in the city-states and courts of Renaissance Italy, France, and Spain. The medieval tackle of longsword and armor is replaced by new weapons and styles better suited to the dueling field and street combat. Crips vs. Bloods with four-foot-long rapiers.

AGE OF DISCOVERY [1550-1800 AD]
Already splintered and driven underground, the remnants of the order now divide into Protestant and Catholic factions, sometimes warring and sometimes maintaining an uneasy truce through the belle epoque of musketeer-style swashbuckling. Many find themselves in the front rank of European cultures' expansion into other parts of the world, where they compare and contrast their martial arts traditions with those of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

EDWARDIAN AGE [1800-1914 AD]
The Protestant and Catholic factions have become secret societies within the clubby bourgeois cultures of the Victorian age. Only vaguely aware of the deep secrets of their past, they hunt through musty libraries and dilapidated castles seeking clues as to their heritage. Driven by a need to survive in wars at the edge of Empire, the heirs of the OMVI rediscover and revive ancient martial practices. Faced with the ever-present threat of street crime in teeming cities, they bend the same traditions into practical self-defense arts while combining them with "exotic" imports such as jiu-jitsu. This has the unexpected side effect of drawing in women seeking a way to defend themselves against bigger and stronger opponents, rebalancing the gender equation in the twilight of pre-Great War European civilization.


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