Prior to the Great War, religion had a very large place in most humanoids life. Attending church, temple, shrine, or whatever their religion demanded was often a daily occurrence for the vast majority of people.
Then the Great War started as skirmishes between baronies, fiefdoms, and kingdoms over trade routes, land borders, and trade. As the skirmishes intensified, more groups became involved. Larger clashes ensued, and soon racial groups began choosing sides. Over a period of 13 years, various groups chose sides.
The first large battle and ensuing atrocities occurred during the 14th year of the war, the battle of Hasford Shire. Human forces, along with orcish and dwarven allies, clashed with human forces, allied with dwarven and golaith troops. The three day battle saw no clear winner, no side for “light” and over 50,000 dead. During the battle, fighting spilled over into the Hasford Shire, home of the halflings, who had stayed neutral. When the battle ended the Shire had been razed, with only a handful of halflings escaping into the Wild Lands,the others having been killed or taken in as slaves.
The church had stayed neutral to this point, not outwardly choosing sides and condemning the fighting. In reality, the church was playing both sides against each other, using the conflict to increase the influence of the church across the continent, and thereby increasing the church’s land holdings and wealth. Individual leaders in the church, and even low level clergy in remote areas, expanded their holdings and wealth. Often, atrocities were overlooked as commanders committing the atrocities payed a “tithe” to the local church.
After the Battle of Hasford Shire, things changed. Both sides payed “tithes” in land and wealth to the church to atone for their armies atrocities. The next day, clerics lost their spells. Clerics were heavily used on the battlefield to heal wounds, give buffs to special troops, and to keep their leaders alive. All of that went away. Bards, Rangers, Druids and any other spell casters capable of healing lost their ability to heal humanoids, but could still try to repair the widespread damage done to the land and its non humanoid denizens. Instead of sending the message to end the war, it had the opposite effect. Both armies saw it as an opportunity to eradicate the other side, as no longer could healing change the tide of battle. More atrocities ensued, and more and more races and factions were pulled into the war. After 17 years of fighting, virtually every square foot of the continent had suffered the devastation of war. After 22 years of war, Firbolg, Lizard Folk, Kobolds, Aarakocra , Gnomes and Halflings were on the verge of extinction. The population of Galismar had been cut by more than half. The land wept, and stopped producing. Numerous plant species were also on the verge of extinction.
In the meantime, many people abandoned the church. Church hierarchy were seen living in luxury, their holdings being protected by both armies, well fed and dressed, while a million starved. Eventually, the peoples attacked these “representatives” of Eldar, burning them at the stake, beheading them, hanging them, or just slitting their throats. The amount of wealth these “godly” men had obtained was staggering.
But the some of the common folk did not abandon their Gods, just the man made institutions that were purportedly the word of Eldar on Elisar. While many abandoned the Gods, not all did. Some folks did what they did best, prayed and worshiped in private, or in cellars, barns, and groves in small groups.
During the 23rd year of the war, a Knight came from across the sea. A former Knight’s Templar, now leading a handful of Knights called the Knights of Delaria. Six knights, who landed in the south and began preaching ending the war, forgiveness, loving thy brother, taking care of nature, and treating others the way you wanted to be treated. The Knights of Delaria were comprised of two humans, a half elf, and aquatic elf, a halfling, and an aarakocra.
Humanoids began flocking to them. The Knights, often called the Six, cured the diseased and wounded, healed the land, and fed the hungry.
Both commanders of the opposing forces sent “hit squads” to eliminate the Delarian Order, as the commanders were concerned that these “upstarts” may take control of some of the lesser populations. The hit squads were never heard from again.
As the war raged in the middle and northern part of the continent, more and more of the south was pacified by the Delarians. Humanoids began to rush south, to join the Delarians. The land in the south was renewed, plants began to thrive. Eventually, the Army of Neck, one of the two factions at war, marched south to deal with the Delarians.
The Army of the Neck arrived on the field of battle, the Battle of the Arbor, 55 years ago, the 24th year of the war, expecting to find a rag tag army, underfed, under equipped, and few in number. The Army of the Neck boasted 27,000 troops, including 1000 of the Elite White Knights, who had never been beaten on the battlefield.
While the Delarian’s allies were not as well equipped as the Army of the Neck, they were better fed and well trained, numbering 22,000. The armies clashed, but soon it was seen that the Delarian’s allies, known as the Army of Common, had healers! Hundreds of healers, running among the fighting healing the Common. Soon the White Knights were ordered to charge the flank of the Common. The White Knights charged, but cavalry the Brunswick Uhlans, known as the Black Brunswickers, along with the Scots Greys, slammed into the White Knights. After a few minutes of vicious fighting, the White Knights broke. When the White Knights broke and fled the field, the remainder of the Army of the Neck routed.
While thi fighting was going on, the Delarian Knights sought out the Neck Army’s command group. Finding it, the Delarian Knights, outnumbered 4 to 1, slammed into the King of the Neck’s personal body guard. Again, terrifying fighting ensued, and the bodyguards were defeated. The King of the Neck, a huge golaith barbarian, refused to surrender and kept fighting. The King lost his head to Leodawnas, paladin and leader of the Knights of Delaria. After the fighting, two of the Delarian Knights were down. Witnesses to the fight and its end claim to have seen a female Angel, in shimmering golden samite armor descend from the heavens. The Angel gathered the Delarian Order around their two fallen. The Angel touched each of the four remaining standing knights and an orange glow engulfed each knight. Then the four knights knelt, one each at the head of a fallen comrade, one each at the foot of the fallen comrade. The Knights and the Angel sang a song and touched the two fallen knights. Both knights had orange light flash thru them, and they arose. The six knights knelt, holding hands, praying. The Angel again touched a knight, and shimmering green and yellow light engulfed the six. They six stood, turned, the six in unison shouted Elisar! A green and yellow shock wave radiated out in every direction for 100 miles. All of the fallen from either side were consumed by the wave, and where ever a body lay, a bush, tree, flower or plant sprang up.
The Knights of Delaria and the Army of Common rested at the field at Arbor. The Knights and many of the Army of Common spent a day and a night praying for salvation for the land, redemption of the folk, and for the dead of both sides.. On the third day after the battle ended, the Knights formed a circle, holding hands with a representative of the Halflings, Lizardfolk, Firbolg, Aarakocra, Kobold and Gnome races dispersed between them. The 12 sang a song, which started quietly, and expanded quickly to be heard by every folk across Galismar. The song, Love Train, drove tens of thousands of folk to the Arbor, where they were welcomed with open arms, any sins forgiven. The population of the Arbor soon grew to over 150,000, and the Army of Common grew to 30,000.
Constantine Fireking, a human wizard, self proclaimed King of the North, Ruler of the Great Galismar Mountains, and Protector of the Peoples of Galismar, and General of the Army of the Grey, was not impressed. His Army of 37,000 controlled the North and the Neck. Initially, Constantine dammed the Falspar River at the Neck, cutting off much of the freshwater supply to the south, and especially to the Arbor Forest and the Breadbasket, the most fertile land in Galismar. The land in the south began to suffer once again. The Army of Common and the Knights of Delaria marched north, to break the dam. In the Neck, the Battle of the Adams Apple Bog ensued 54 years ago, the 25th year of the war. The Army of Common attacked and quickly units in the Army of the Grey, starving and shivering from the winter, began to break, many surrendering without swinging a sword or loosing an arrow. In three hours, the Battle of the Adams Apple Bog was over. The dam was taken down, and the Falspar River flowed south once again.
Constantine and 1500 of his fanatics, known as the Immortals, retreated north. Constantine hatched a plan to reactivate the four inactive volcanoes in the north. Constantine had his fanatics capture tribes in the north, and began sacrificing them in the volcanoes, attempting to summon Aldolphus Franciscian Hitleren, Arch Demon, known as Hitler, Representative of Set on Elisar. Constantine’s plan was to have Hitler cause the four great volcanoes in the north erupt simultaneously, melting the ice and snow in the north, including the Great Sliver Glacier. The ensuing flood, rushing down the Neck, would destroy the Army of Common, the Delarian Knights, and the defiant folks in the south, providing millions of souls for Hitler to feast on.
Leodawnas, when made aware of this news by defectors from the Army of the North, gathered the Knights of Delaria and raced ahead of the Army of Common, marching north up the Neck. The Six arrived at the first volcano and dawn, and were attacked by a quarter of Constantine’s Immortals. Armed with heretofore unknown martial skills and the power of Light, the Six cut down the Immortals with blade, arrow and magic. The warhorses of the five of the Six, were touched by magic, their hooves not touching the ground, rode through the Immortals, with their riders cutting the Immortals down like wheat. Raclaw, the Aarakocra, flew ahead, her magic bow humming, as she obliterated any spell caster foolish enough to cast. Once again, the power of the Grey forces was unable to stand before the Champions of Light.
Entering the caldera of the first volcano, the six interrupted the ritual executions. Enough of the summoning ritual had been completed though, and the demon known as Hitler, although in a weakened form, for the ritual was not complete, stepped out of the summoning circle. He screamed in triumph, having arrived on Elisar for the first time in centuries. The Six launched their most devastating attacks, all casting Sunburst on the Demon, doing massive damage to him and temporarily stunning the giant beast from the Abyss. Lewdawnas, Leader of the Six and a paladin, along with Yort Sho Jr. Human samurai, charged Hitler, cutting into his putrid body. Ichor, the essence of souls Hitler consumed, spewing out, burning the two heroes, killing both of their chargers. Yonathan, halfling rogue, worked around the flank and plunged his two short swords into the demons lower back, covering him in spewing ichor, killing his horse. Bey, aquatic elf arcane archer, and Rayclaw, the Aarakocra ranger, pummled the demon with Holy Arrows of Light from their magic bows, searing great tunnels into the demon’s flesh. Orsiville, Half Elven warlock, used the power from his patron, the Arch Angel Delaria, to pound the demon with sunbeams. The demon Hitler struck back, sensing that Leodawnas and Yort Sho Jr. were severly injured, struck at both. Yort took two claws to the chest, the second blow tearing off his breast plate. Hitler then sent two vampiric blasts at Leodawnas, but Yort stepped in front of the blast, absorbing the necrotic damage. Black tendrils of life sapping energy wrapped Yort, extinguishing the spark of life that was Yort Sho Jr. Orsiville, upon seeing his half brother killed, called upon his patron for the power of Light. A blinding light shot out of Orisivlle’s finger tips and eyes, striking Hitler in the chest, a flash and a clap of thunder found Hitler writhing on the ground, howling and writhing in pain, wrapped in a glowing cocoon of silver blue light. Rawclaw and Bey calmly put 3 holy arrows each in Hitler’s eyes, his head crumpling, again howling as he was sucked back to the Abyss.
Constantine, standing on the lip of the volcano watching, turned and ran. Constantine gathered his personal body guard and teleported to a waiting ship at Borealis, fleeing in to the Ocean of Ice. The remaining Immortals fled north, and were eventually destroyed by the Army of the Common. The Immortals asking for and giving no quarter.
The remaining Six attempted to bring back Yort Sho Jr. to no avail. The remaining five prayed, asking for salvation for Yort and thanking the Entities of Light for defeating the demon Hitler. As they prayed, Delaria once again descended from the heavens, and touched each of the remaining Six, healing them. She then went to Yort’s body, and prayed. The remaining Six stood in a circle around Yort’s body, holding hands with Delaria. Yort’s body twitched, and a ghostly image of Yort, shimmering in blue robes, arose, hugging each of the Six. The soul of Yort Sho Jr took Delaria’s hand and ascended to the clouds and disappeared.
The war was over. The remaining Six, with Yort’s body, returned to the shambles that was Agincourt. In a proclamation heard by all folks on Galismar through divine magic, Leodawnas announced the abolishment of feudalism, royal titles, and outlawed racism. Land would be redistributed. Wealth would be redistributed. Leodawanas supported worship of your chosen religion, but warned about the power of the earthly church.
Over the nest 3 years, The Knights of Delaria, with representatives of all races that cared to participate, created the government as it stands today, The Commonwealth of Galismar. A Commonwealth wide election was held, electing the Prime Minister, the Senate, the Representatives, along with city, town and village elections.
The newly elected Prime Minister, a gnome, Fagen Stonebreaker, named the Knights of Delaria Heroes and Protector of the Realm.
After the formation of the government, Orisiville and Bey left to search for Constintine. It is not known if they have been successful. Leodawnas, Raclaw, and Yonothan passed on, and are laid to rest next to their comrade in arms, Yort Sho Jr.,in the crypt next to the Monastery of Light in the Great Walled City of Agincourt.