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Before the shattering it is said that our world was one of peace. That the four elements were in balance and a great empire spread across all of the world's lands and people. It is unknown if this is true, or simply an embellishment of the surely easier times that existed before the shattering.
Regardless of the truth any peace this world had was surely ended when a race of warriors from beyond our realm invaded. These infernal creatures were bound to chaos and a great host of their kind poured forth from the nether to lay siege to the Four Temples.
It is said that our world raised four massive armies unlike any seen before or since. Each army dedicated to protecting one of the four temples and the elemental foci within. Our ancestors knew that these creatures sought to destroy the elemental foci and plunge our world into chaos. Each of these great forces was ten time ten thousand warriors strong and entire villages and cities were emptied to their formation. The very young and the very old were brought to the great cities where the huddled behind walls of stone.
At each of the temples our armies clashed with the hosts of the outsiders. For over a month our armies slew beasts and creatures not of our world and never gave an inch that was not paid for by the outsider hosts in blood and death. Though losses were great on both sides the hosts of the invaders were not driven to defend their lands and their loved ones. One by one the Temples were saved; fire, then water, and with time air.
The last and greatest of the hosts seized the Temple of Earth. Here the forces of chaos were led by their greatest general, a demon imbued with the powers of chaos, known as Nerhauk. The battle here lasted over a month with never a stop to the carnage and fighting. Men would fall back from their positions to eat and sleep all with the sound of continuous battle in their ears before they once more joined the fight.
When at last it seemed that the armies of the land were finally poised to push back the invading host the great demon, Nerhauk took to the field himself. The creature was like a warmachine, wielding a great mace in one hand and a massive axe in the other it carved a swath of death and blood through the army that none were able to stop. At last, Nerhauk stormed through the temple gates themsleves and confronted the the disciples within.
These monks were not helpless in the face of the demon however. Having been charged with the guardianship of the temple's most precious treasure, the Earthstone, they were masters of the magic and martial arts of elemental earth.
Nerhauk met the monks in combat where the powers of chaos and fundamental earth clashed. Step by corrupting step Nerhauk invaded the temple and its sanctuary, and though the monks slowed the creature greatly they were no match for it and the demon slew them to the last. Victorious at last the demon took up the Earthstone and bent his infernal energies to rending the stone.
When at last the leader of the army and his retinue entered the temple they saw Nerhauk succeed at his task. With an explosion like a mountain being split the demon shattered the Earthstone. It was but a pyrrhic victory that the destruction of the stone also slew the beast.
With the focus for all power of elemental earth destroyed the lands began to shudder and quake tearing themselves apart until at last the world that was was gone and the world that is was born. The elements found a new balance with air gaining an unequal dominance while the powers of earth magic waned almost to the point of cessation.
Excerpted from "A History of Our World" by Arcturus Raptick in the year 386 A.S. (After the Shattering)