With Free Realms launching soon, we've been digging to bring our community the best Free Realms coverage around. Our shovel hit a metaphorical treasure chest today and we're happy to bring you a plethora of new Free Realms lore. After the jump, feast your eyes on a treasure that contains the most complete compilation of Free Realms lore to date. Enjoy, and stay tuned for our preview of Free Realms tomorrow afternoon.
The story begins long ago, with the Age of Harmony. The dwarves, elves, humans and pixies lived in peace, led by the Gleam Council. The Gleam Council had many clever and powerful members. Some of the Council members were too old, too impatient, or too inexperienced, but all were concerned with the happiness and safety of our world.
Some leaders believed people were happiest when they were free. Others believed the sacrifice of freedom was important to preserve peace and order. These leaders were especially worried about the uncontrolled use of magic. Fierce arguments over the use of magic began to disrupt many Council meetings. Only a few people noticed when certain Council members stopped attending meetings altogether. They had formed the Gloam Council.
Most of what happened is lost to history now. The Gloam Council was secretive, hidden in shadow. They believed that our world and people are infused with magic. By controlling magic, they believed they could control people, ensuring good behavior to keep the world safe. Magic exists in everything around us, and we are all partly magical creatures. The Gloam figured out that they could control everyone by making an Artifact that controls magic.
The Gloam Council started building a powerful Artifact that would control magic... and thus control every person in the world. A few brave Gloam Council members believed this was going too far. They sent coded messages to their former colleagues on the Gleam Council to warn them. The Gleam Council helped every race seek shelter, to avoid being controlled by the Artifact.
The humans sailed away. The dwarves ventured deep into their mountains. The pixies went underground, into what is now Memorial Caverns. The elves fled north after raising a magic crystal barrier, that is still standing near Snowhill. Although some dwarves and humans have returned to Sacred Grove, no elves have been seen in many, many years.
Not everyone took shelter, though. A few people of every race simply couldn't get out in time. Others wanted to stay and defend their homes. And a small group of heroes came together to destroy the Artifact. It takes tremendous power to create a device to control all of the magic. The heroes knew the destroying the Artifact might release that power into the world. There was a long and difficult battle against the Gloam forces, but the Gleam heroes prevailed.
The heroes destroyed the Artifact in an act now called The Unbinding. A massive wave of pure power washed over the land, decimating everything in its path. The races who fled or went underground were safe.
The pixies lived in the caverns for a long time. Every few years, a few adventurers would head up to the surface to check, but the world was barren and lifeless. One day, a strange new kind of pixie came into the caverns. He had lost his wings, and it looked like he had somehow merged with other creatures. He told a tale of heartache and loss, and the life he and others of his kind lived on the barren wastes above.
The great pixie Queen Ayani met with this strange pixie. She discovered that pixies who did not take shelter were forever changed by the Unbinding. These are what we now call Changelings.
Queen Ayani was a child during the Cataclysm. She still remembered how beautiful the world was before the Unbinding. The plight of the Changelings, and the destruction of her world, broke Ayani's heart.
Against the wishes of her companions, Queen Ayani went to the surface to see for herself what had become of her world. When she saw the devastation, she began to cry. As Ayani cried, her tears began to form rivers. Where the rivers touched, new life began to form and our world began to heal. The pixies gradually returned to the surface to rebuild.
Ayani never again left that place. It was the founding of our current capital city, which she named Sanctuary in memory of the sheltering caverns below. When Ayani eventually passed on, they buried her at that spot, at the center of what is now called The Lake of Tears.
A few days after they buried Ayani, the pixies noticed a tree sprouting from her grave. It grew larger and larger, forming the Heartseed in the caverns below, and the World Tree up above.
Together, the Heartseed and World Tree form the centerpiece of pixie culture. They are a reminder of the sacrifices made by great pixies in the past to preserve freedom and life for everyone in these lands. The current pixie queen, Valerian, is the royal protector of the Heartseed.
Briarwood was always a frightening and forbidding wilderness area between Lavender Coast and Sacred Grove. Travelers between the two countries would go far out of their way to avoid having to venture close to Briarwood. Tales of mushroom zombies and man-eating plants was enough to leave Briarwood mostly undisturbed. There are rumors than a pixie leader is living somewhere in Briarwood, amassing an army. What is she planning?
Seaside has become a commercial vacation spot for all of Sacred Glade. Its once quiet and peaceful land has become polluted and restless.
Shrouded Glade has always been a home for Druids, though the Elder Council wasn't officially formed until after the Unbinding. Located on fertile land to the northeast, the Glade is nestled at the base of Misty Mountain; enveloped in a thick and mysterious mist, giving Shrouded Glade its name. It was from within this mist that the Druids gleaned their power.
Unwilling to let their ancient knowledge stay buried within the rubble of ancient ruins, the remaining Druids banded together and forged an Academy that would not only continue to expand on their existing knowledge, but also instruct those who were worthy on how to evoke that power to become a Druid of nature as well. Within its walls they constructed a library filled with what they could salvage from the ruined Athenaeum.
The land where Merry Vale now sits was once barren, mountainous, and unexplored. One day (and no one can truly pinpoint which day), the mountains erupted, and a bright rainbow sprang forth. Curious travelers and adventurers went to investigate, and found the settlement of Merry Vale - home of the fairies. It was as though the place had been around for ages, but was hidden by magic. The fairies welcome all travelers to celebrate with them in an endless party... but is there something darker lurking at the heart of Merry Vale?
Long before the Unbinding, the area now known as Blackspore Swamp was a beautiful rolling landscape, full of lush forests, fertile fields, and sparkling springs. Now Blackspore is a vast, seething swamp that seems to be sinking further and further into the mire. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- this decline, Blackspore is a refuge for thieves and other shady characters who take shelter in its shadows.