Enjoy an except from the history section of Khem!
From the Chronicles of Lyconidus.
In this the 146 year since the New Dawn and the landing of the Thakir upon Khem. By the power of wisdom granted to me by Sal Al Ibn, the Lens of Knowledge granted by Murgo, and the grace of Seneth it is my wish and duty to chronicle the history of Khem as passed down through the ages to today so that others may learn from the mistakes of the past.
Much of this history is filled with rumor, and facts may be clouded by superstition, but I have traveled, listened, done my utmost to thresh the chaff from the grain, and present you with the clearest picture of the most remote days of Khem. Extending back a thousand years The land of Khem is just one small part of this world. Travel for 30 days in any direction, by land or by swift ship, and you will pass into lands spoken of in rumor and legend. These places are filled with mystery, and whispers of strange civilizations and stranger creatures abound.
Isspera is a wide world with many gods, and peoples. But the legends which I have heard in the oldest parts of the world all speak of the ancient Titans. Those who wielded power over creation itself before the coming of the gods. The legends say that one goal consumed each Titan, to become omnipotent over all of Isppera. They fought each other, sent foul creatures to hunt the mortal races, and feasted upon the flesh of the fallen growing in strength and power. That is until the people prayed for salvation, and the gods made themselves known beyond the veil, and granted their people safety in return for worship. The battles that the gods fought with the Titans shaped the world of Isppera here and beyond the veil. In Khem the victory of the gods over the Titans allowed two great people to rise to power and splendor, the Sirith and the Chel.
The Sirith Antiquity
The Sirith are an ancient serpentine people. Divided by caste, their empire was smote down and they now live on the fringes of society or have returned to their nomadic roots. In the dim darkness of their legendary past, the Sirith were expelled from the south by an angry god who punished them to an age of strife and misery. The Sirith wandered for uncounted years following the tenets of their dual gods Malros, and Ahmoss, until they reached the vast and wide forest which they named Essith. The many rivers flowing into the Chelian Sea through Essith made the wanderers pause. For they had heard the whispers of the goddess Kufu who spoke to them from the rivers and imparted knowledge of great things. In those days the Sirith settled and built the great cities of stone Namass and Isith along the rivers Samas and Tish. They built great ziggurats, Statues of obsidian, grew grain from the seasonal floods, and they grew in strength, pride, and rigidity. As the Sirith flourished they encountered other cultures, but the first were the Chel.
The Chel, now long dead, arose from the sea and inhabited the rivers and coastlines of Khem. They are a people apart from those we know today, for they were creatures of the sea. Ancient paintings I have seen suggest there were two types of the crablike Chel. Those that lived upon the shoreline and in the rivers, standing on two of their six legs, with two pairs of pincers, one small and one large, used as hands. They are depicted as both wise and plentiful. Then those who grew to colossal sizes, standing like the crabs we are familiar with, and covering themselves with enormous shells from an unknown source. A truly strange people, their history and gods are forgotten until their contact with the flourishing Sirith.
These paintings speak of a time of conflict between the two people, one which ended with a stalemate and the signing of a treaty. Under the terms of the treaty the Chel forced themselves into Sirith life as advisors and bodyguards to the kings of the cities, and disallowed all river traffic except by the large Chel as living ferries. The Chel occupied the mouths of the rivers, and under the waves while the Sirith were forced to content themselves with the upper banks. While the Chel lived in harmony with the waves and water, the Sirith and their gods chafed under the treaty which kept them from plying the waters, and taking the riches of the sea.
A secret desire grew within the hearts of the Sirith gods, one of superiority, and ultimate domination. Here the Sirith paintings and writings speak of Mati, the lord of secrets, summoned by the gods and the Sirith to find the weakness of the Chel. Mati disguised himself as a spider and his adventures took him to the root of the Arache mountains along the Enos river. There he faced many trials and returned changed, but he discovered a way that Malros and Ahmoss could combat the Chel along the floors of the rivers and seas. The ancient carvings show Mati’s offering, the blessedly lost secret of making Sirith guardians, obsidian statues which were carved by the priests of Malros, and powered by the essence of a Sirith sacrificed to Ahmoss.
In secret the Sirith worked to build their obsidian army. Those sacrificed to power the guardians died singing the hymns of Ahmoss, while those who looked upon the army spoke with awe of Malros, but all whispered the praises of Mati, and none spoke to Kufu who had become enamored with the Chel.
On the dawn of the first day of the new year the Sirith and their obsidian army struck the Chel. The war lasted years. The Obsidian army finally drove the smaller chell from the Rivers until they reached the sea where they were halted. The great Chel rose from the sea to protect the smaller ones who fled from the Rivers, but hearing the words of a weakened Kufu, who had many followers amongst the Chel, they retreated into the Western Sea, forsaking the land.
The Sirith Empire
The Sirith flush with their new-found power, erupted from the depths of Essith, filled with the knowledge that they were the chosen ones, they flourished along the rivers of Essith and grew hard as a people. Destined to conquer and cover the earth, they expanded north and east through the hills and mountains of Essith. They encountered the spider folk of the Arache mountains. The war with the arachnids was a long bitter costly affair, that brought the burgeoning empire to the brink of disaster. Here the wall carvings show the sacrifice of the spider folk, and it can only be assumed that the ancient Sirith discovered a way to use the essence of others to keep their guardians in repair. It is plain to see the path of the Sirith’s conquests after their discovery. Straight into the Mata mountains to enslave the Kah people. Who could have foretold of the disaster and ruin that the new Sirith empire would put in motion by subjugating this noble people?