War.

In the beginning (where history so very often begins), there was no hierarchy. Life was a vulgar word, and the world was a brutal place. It did not take long for each species, and each individual creature in each species, to realize that, regardless of personal pride, things would never improve unless there was a system to the savagery.

As the fighting wore on, some submitted quickly: The cold-blooded, too easily taken at night, and the small, simply unable to overpower species with single paws larger than their bodies. Some refused to fight at all, and took to the skies and the seas: all but the fiercest birds, and all the animals which could breathe water. Land – that coveted terra firma – was awash with black and red and green and every other colour of blood.

In the end, the hoofed and the horned and the fanged were either forced to forfeit the potential title of ruler, or else simply refused to partake in the carnage any farther, believing that after decades they were no better off than before the war had been conceived.

Only three races remained in the war, and their three-way quarrel was the bitterest of all the battles to be fought yet. They hated each other because they saw themselves reflected in their enemy's eyes… and there is nothing one hates quite like one hates to realize that the enemy they hate does not really any different at all. They also hated each other because they were extremely proud races, and had been fighting for so long, since literally the beginning of time and memory, that they ultimately did not know how not to be at war.

The first faction was the Wolfolore pack. Massive, furred, quadrupedal canines. An inch was considered a laughably small size for a single fang. They considered themselves the oldest species, and this was a view shared by a great many other factions, and one which may very well be true.

The Kaszzhk were, to summarize it in a word, dragons. Great, web-winged, reptilian quadrupeds, adorned with spikes and soft scales. Their empowerments were as many as their colours, just as the Wolfolore's skills were as varied as their furs. One Kaszzhk could often be three times the height and twice the length of a Wolfolore (tails excluded from both).

These two factions were accompanied by was either the most unexpected or most expected enemy that could be fittingly imagined for them, depending on how neatly one believed the universe liked to tie things together. The Athir'kyu completed the triangle of war. Bipedal, the size and outline of a Wolfolore, their bodies were a mixture of scale, horn, and fur, and their structure was a bizarre mingling of the two other rivals as well.

A quick detour in this history is needed here. The Athir'kyu were no mutation or hybrid or genetic experiment or anything but their own unique and wholly separate species. Though the easiest description happens to be to call them a combination of Wolfolore and Kaszzhk, their skeletons, abilities, culture, and so on and so forth were developed distinctly individually. Neither were they considered outcast, or damned, nor considered blessed, or superior. The Athir'kyu were no more, no less, than one more faction in what became known as the original war.

Now, to return to history, which is more or less caught up to present day, these species continued to murder and ravage and massacre and savage their respectful enemies, always just barely managing to restrict the war to their three factions and not involve any of the submitted species. The struggle lasted for so long that the leaders of the other factions declared the end of the original war to have ended the first age, and this three-way-limited brawl would be the herald for the second age.

Sometimes, either by election or by personal decision, entreaties were made by a member or small group of members from one of the factions, calling for even a temporary peace, but no success came from these weak efforts, at least not any success that ever lasted more than what could be measured in mere weeks.

And that is the raw world that Sindarus was born into. A world of might, and magic; deception, and discovery; birth, and betrayal; legend, lies, love, loss…

A world of war.