Prophecy of the Seals
Long ago, the world was not as we know it today. The Elemental Chaos raged unchecked. Flames burned, winds surged, waters roiled, and the earth quaked. Elder elemental princes ruled their own domains, waging constant war with each other.
But the Shapers sought to end the chaos and bring the world to order. They exerted their will to tame the Elemental Chaos, using their potent magic to bind the elder elementals.
They protected Artesia from the planes of the Elemental Chaos, warding it from the rampages of elementals and demons. To do this, the Shapers trapped the bound power of the elder elemental princes into powerful magical artifacts, known as the Fragments of Chaos.
The Shapers used the power of the Fragments. They raised mountains, whispered forests into existence, and flattened plains and grasslands. They created the seas and the oceans, the skies, the sun, and the moons. They shaped the world we now know Artesia.
After the Shapers departed Artesia, the gods looked down upon their creation from their high planes and saw fit to descend upon it. They took the work of the Shapers and made their own mark upon it. Bahamut created the dragons in his image, the firstborn of Artesia. From the efforts of the other gods, races and creatures of all kinds came into existence and spread out across the land.
The gods and their followers eventually came into conflict with each other and war broke out between deities. With their own divine power pitted against each other, the gods discovered that they needed an edge if they wanted victory. It was Bane who was first to find a Fragment of Chaos left behind by the Shapers, the Fragment of Fire.
He used the Fragment to devastate his foes and almost gained complete dominance over the other gods until Erathis found the Fragment of Earth. With it, she began to fight Bane to a standstill.
The other Fragments were soon found and they all changed hands often, usually taken by force, sometimes by deception. In the hands of the gods, the Fragments wrought destruction upon the lands of Artesia.
Finally, tiring of the endless strife, Bahamut summoned his brothers and sisters to a council to discuss bringing an end to their great conflict. All of the gods recognized that the power of the Fragments were too great, even for them, and that if the conflict was allowed to continue, the chaos would spread to other planes.
The gods agreed to destroy the Fragments of Chaos so that none of them would ever be tempted to use them ever again. On Moradin’s great forge, after working tirelessly for many days, the Fragments were unmade. Then, the gods followed through with the second part of their agreement.
They bid farewell to their followers and disciples, then departed Artesia. They understood that they had wrought too much damage upon the young world and knew that unless they left, it would never heal.
But though the Fragments were unmade, their power survived. It had dispersed into the land itself and into its inhabitants. After the destruction of the Fragments, mortals began to manifest markings upon their bodies that allowed them to carry out incredible feats.
Scholars began to understand that the power of the Fragments had been broken down into smaller, weaker forces. These markings, which became known as Markings of the Seals, could manifest in mortals and marked them forever for a special destiny.
Galbados Cid, the famed sage of Val Varanais, theorized that the Fragments’ full power could manifest in a single individual, and that this individual would then be armed with the might of an elder elemental prince. But he warned that the repercussions of a mortal armed with that power would be apocalyptic.
Galbados Cid’s warning came to be known as the Prophecy of the Seals.