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The First Age: Atlantis

Thousands of years ago, before recorded history, humanity was still in tune with the great powers of creation, and the Balance remained untainted. Evil did exist, in the form of Outsider Things seething with hate for the children of the gods, and the more immediate poisons of jealousy and greed. But it was still a golden age of wonder and hope. It was a world of Eternal champions. It was a time when will-workers could alter reality unafraid of the lash of ignorance, children of the Dreaming mingled freely with men, and those Exalted by the gods worked in unison to preserve harmony. It was the First Age.

Into this world came the Destroyer. His father intended him as a sacrifice to the evil Ebon Dragon, in the hope of gaining godlike power. The boy who would become Destroyer outwitted everyone, and became the embodiment of the cosmic force known as the Gate Key. Ever brilliant, he became the foremost power in the world, though he was content for most of the Age to control a "mere" quarter of the Earth. Only the mighty Solar Realm, and its greatest hero Atlan, stood against him.

Atlan, realizing that only someone with power like Destroyer's could truly oppose him, quested for and won the power of the second Gate Key. From there, Atlan took the initiative, and created an alliance of the most powerful and skilled heroes of the Realm. He called them the Champions.

For his victories against the Destroyer, the allied nations united and named the resulting alliance Atlantis. Their battles continued for centuries, punctuated only by an all-too-brief period of bliss when Atlan convinced the Destroyer to give humanity a chance. Alas, the scheming of the Ebon Dragon brought this true Golden Age crashing down. Indeed, even the Destroyer met his match, for after another century of conflict, the Silhouette (the Ebon Dragon's avatar in that Age) tricked Destroyer and possessed him.

The final battle between the Champions of Atlan and the armies of the Silhouette/Destroyer creature (which became known as Malice) shattered the First Age. Millions died, vast knowledge was lost, the flow of Essence itself was tainted, and the island home of the Atlantean nation was destroyed. Those savants who knew what truth remained believed that this terrible war was how the embodiment of balance was corrupted, becoming the Wyrm.

Ages have come and gone since, but the unity of the First Age has never even been dreamt of since...until now.

Next: The Old Order Changeth

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