From Ex illis wiki
...a world completely different from the one we know, altered by the Flael, a strange fog that spread over the lands of Europe in 1246. Each passage of the fog has brought great upheaval: unexpected disappearances, monstrous metamorphoses and the arrival of creatures of legend. Former rulers and mythic heroes have blurred Europe’s borders, causing endless political strife inside the different kingdoms of Europe. Now, mythological beings share everyday life with ordinary people. It’s quite a common thing to see ogres travelling with pedlars, fairies fighting with pitiless outlaws for every inch of woods and angels charging alongside men-at-arms.
If commoners strive as best as they can to protect themselves from numerous gangs of brigands that regularly pillage remote villages, they receive little help from their lords too occupied with their wars against each other for estates torn apart by all these battles. Opportunistic traders make a mint of money with wealthy nobles seeking for glory and prestige in a world where everything can happen.
Meanwhile peasants defend day after day their meagre harvests against marching armies and hungry creatures. Starvation slowly becomes the norm; fear chases travellers from road and foreigners from cities. Many turn to the mercenary life or become outlaws, finding it easier to fall back on brigandage than to protect a family in this dangerous world.
Sometimes at a bend in the path or behind a closed door, a smile skims over the lips of a man returning home after war and seeing his wife waiting in front of their house; sometimes, laughter resonate around a fire after a victorious battle. But happiness is rare in these difficult times: everyday life is a landscape stained with blood, fire, tears and dread. The last pieces of faith that still cling to the hearts of brave men slowly wither.
Every being must constantly fight against its ever more numerous enemies. All must learn to kill to protect their own life. City streets are populated with orphans thrown into a cruel and violent world where their only chance to make it through another day depends on their will to survive.
This is a dark age where only the brave, the strong and the ambitious will succeed. This is an age where true warriors will shine. This is the age of Ex illis.
The last 65 years
The Flael and the Inquisition
See also: Timeline 1244-1256
In 1246, an odd fog starts to appear all over Europe and regularly covers valleys and plains. It puts fear in people’s hearts as it passes and causes the misfortune of many, according to the quirks of fate. The Church establishes the permanent Tribunal of the Inquisition, and grants inquisitors the right to burn every fleaudian, the 'heretical' creatures spawned by the Flael. Communities across Europe, filled with a feeling of oppression and seeking the culprit for their misery, start to turn on the foreigners in their midst, on their neighbours, even their closest relatives. No-one is safe from accusations of heresy.
Mongol invasion (1257-1270)
See also: Timeline 1257-1270
Mongol hordes take advantage of the turmoil in Christendom to march on Germany. Pitilessly, they destroy cities and slaughter people in a bloody quest for power; the German people suffer greatly during this war. The inhabitants of the occupied territory bear with heads bowed the terrible yoke of the invaders’ rule. Their bodies tortured and their bellies empty, the Germans begin to lose hope and their faith weakens. For too many years, they are abandoned by the other Christian nations, left to their own devices in the cruel hands of Mongol warlords.
At the behest of Charlemagne, the recently resurrected former Emperor of the West, the Catholic kingdoms join forces to conduct a massive war against the Mongols and rescue the German people from their suffering. Men ally with dwarves and angels share the command of armies with mythic rulers in an enormous campaign to reconquer the Mongol-occupied territories. The forces of Christendom win the Battle of Wien in 1270, ending Mongol rule in Germany.
Captura Grandis (1272-1281)
See also: Timeline 1271-1290
At the height of its glory after the victory against the Mongols and with the help of Charlemagne’s unshakable faith, the Church launches a demon hunt to eliminate all fleaudians still roaming in Catholic countries. The Tribunal of the Inquisition condemns thousands of people suspected of heresy to burn at the stake. The inquisitors’ angels become figures of destruction and terror; city-dwellers and villagers hide in their houses and silently observe as their neighbours are slaughtered without good reason by these unjust butchers. People bury as best as they can their resentment toward the Church, the supposed protector that has become their executioner.
Crozada Coeli (1283-1290)
Disagreements between the recently-elected Pope and several kings cause a war that engulfs Europe and paralyses the whole continent. For many years, Christians are divided between those who support the Church and those who seek revenge for their relatives murdered at the stake of the Inquisition. This exhausting conflict ends with the fall of Roma in 1290. The city is devastated by hordes of furious fleaudians; the Pope is murdered on his holy throne.
See also: Timeline 1291-1309
The Crozada Coeli weakened the defences of Europe’s kingdoms and emptied their coffers. Wealthy and influential lords take advantage of this situation and of the rumbling social discontent to revolt and overthrow the reigning monarchs. The old kingdoms are shattered and in their place new, independent estates arise.
King Edward I of England never hid his ambitions over Cymru (Wales), but when the legendary King Arthur comes back to life in 1260, things get seriously more complicated for the English Crown. The fabled hero is told that the ‘Saxons’ have invaded almost all of Britannia since the time of Camelot, and takes the current Anglo-Norman rulers for his former enemies. The Welsh Marcher Lords, powerful English barons owning lands in Cymru, are quickly expulsed from the territory and cause serious trouble to Edward and his father, Henry III.
After a bloody English civil war between the crown and baronial forces (including the Welsh Marcher Lords), things settle down for Edward. But the moderate policies of the King, which clash against the recommendations of the Church, give an excuse to the Welsh Marcher Lords to pressure Edward into sending an expedition to conquer Cymru once and for all. Instead of risking another civil war against his feudal lords, Edward accepts to launch an attack and uses it as a pretext to raise a large army from the lands of his troublesome vassals. War is coming.
One of history’s outstanding events is, without a doubt, the apparition of the Flael, which changed the face of the world for good. This fog has disastrous consequences and affects the lives of all men and women, nobles or commoners, peasants or knights. Despite the sturdy city walls and the comforting safety of houses, there is no escaping it. No one knows when and where it will strike. Everyone is vulnerable in the face of this phenomenon which reaches enormous proportions. All people constantly live in the fear of being attacked by this powerful and incomprehensible force that chooses its victims randomly.
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