Created: 16 February 2022, 10:49:56 PST
Last updated: 25 February 2022, 16:45:07 PST

Long ago Kebanzu lived in a different world, a different plane of existence far beyond the world of Terramesia. This place was imbued with magic, which allowed life to flourish. Many rare creatures now thought only to exist in myth also lived here alongside Kebanzu.

One of the many amazing features of this plane were the magic-infused crystals and stones that grew in abundance. Over time the Kebanzu learned how to utilize the magic of the enchanted crystals to fuel their powers and create wondrous inventions and technology. Their cities prospered and their societies expanded. Each new improvement demanded more and more of their precious resources. The advancement of their civilization came at a cost; one they were not prepared to pay.

The Kebanzu realized that they had overharvested the crystals and now their plane had begun to crumble and decay. It was then they understood that the crystals' magic was what stabilized their world. Without the crystals’ power being used to hold the world together, parts of it collided with the Terramesian plane. As the two planes merged without warning both suffered devastation, destruction, and chaos.

At this point, the Kebanzu scrambled to find the best and the brightest of their kind. Their hope was to devise some way to stall the looming disaster.

Through many sleepless nights came their small salvation: the hub generators. These machines amplified the power of a central crystal to keep a small pocket of the old dimension intact above the new one. These hubs were placed around the more heavily populated areas to keep them from falling. As the rest of the Old World turned to dust, these hubs were one of its few remains.  The areas the hub generators stabilized were safe, but no new enchanted crystals or stones grew within them.

In another part of the Old World, the most powerful druids had gathered to attempt a ritual that had only been mused about. This was their project of desperation. A ritual to transfer the Old World’s remaining magical energy into the form of a single kebanzu. 

The ritual was a surprising success. Though their goal had been one magical being, they ended up with two. Light Song and Oil Slick. They were beings of pure magic born from the final shreds of magic from the Old World. With their removal, the last tattered pieces of the old dimension that weren’t held aloft by the hub generators fell across the land in scattered disarray. 

The Hubs were like pockets of an altered realm, layered on top of Terramesia. They were able to occupy the same space on the new plane, but stay separated through magic. Unknown to kebanzu, the ritual which brought forth Light Song and Oil Slick, also brought magic to Terramesia. Deep within the planet, enchanted crystals began to slowly grow and spread. The one place the crystals did not grow was within the hubs themselves. Kebs could use their remaining magical ability to traverse between the realms with ease. However, they did so hesitantly as they did not yet trust the beings who resided on this new plane. 

Though initially tentative, some Kebanzu were curious and began to reach out. They came in contact with a few distinct races, each with their own cultures and mores.

They met the humans, who were adept in agriculture, invention, and knowledge. 

The Sahir, who were as connected to the earth spiritually as they were disconnected physically, with the ability to fly about like a bird without a care in the world. 

The Taenin, who worked in fire and metal, crafting swords and armor that could be found nowhere else. 

Finally, a new race landed on the world, aliens from a far off planet. They called themselves Ren Fairs and possessed a strange technology that only they could control.

The races were able to work together in peace for a while, sharing tools and ideas to help their respective societies grow. Though the Ren Fair  were a peaceful species they mostly kept to themselves.

Little by little the Kebanzu revealed themselves to the other races. The one thing that Kebanzu would not share was their magic unless given a good reason. The druids had realized that their overzealous yearning for power had destroyed their home, and didn't want the same fate to befall this world as well. Little by little they noticed their allies began to display signs of magic. There were those who were sensitive to the power and began to manifest new strange uncanny abilities.

Upon reaching a mutual understanding with the Ren Fair as two displaced races, the Kebanzu began to help the Ren Fair understand their magic. Though such power was not common amongst the Ren Fair, those who possessed it spent a good deal of time learning and perfecting their craft.

Time passed and each civilization advanced in its own ways. Humans developed more complex technologies. Taenin forged incredible and powerful machines. The Sahir crafted vast intricate and breathtaking temples. Kebanzu society thrived as well, creating new, marvelous magitech. Though they moved forward, they still clung to the memory of the Old World and came to worship its remnants, Light Song and Oil Slick, as immortal deities. As the societies grew, so did tensions between them. 

The humans and taenin were noticeably in competition with each other. They would do anything they could to get a leg up on the other. Over time this escalated until the two entered an arms race.

One Keb, through his selfish ambitions, decided to take advantage of this situation. He convinced each of the leaders that he was on their side. By selling them powerful enchanted stones and crystals, he earned their trust so he could profit off of their greed. From this point, the wheels of destruction were put into motion. With a new hunger for power, these races began a constantly escalating battle for control. The humans and taenin sought to take from kebanzu what they had bought from the traitor.  

Then, calamity struck. Humans used magic to destroy a kebanzu hub generator. The hub’s fall scarred the world. Countless lives were lost as the piece of the Old World was shattered.

Eventually, the traitor was tracked down and cursed. He was stripped of his magical ability and cast out of Kebanzu society.

As the dust began to settle, the kebanzu could see that all-out war was on the horizon. They turned to the oldest and most wise of their kind. Yet, Light Song and Oil Slick could only suggest a hibernation, a retreat from the world to wait for the war times to pass.

Hub leaders agreed, and soon every keb took up their plant form in an effort to save themselves. Silence fell over the hubs, the gentle hum of the hub generators were the only sign of what once was. Every few years, the Leaders would awaken to assess the state of the warring world. Time and time again, they were met with worse destruction than the years before. 

When their Kebanzu allies went into hibernation, so did the Ren Fair. The Rens took a leave of absence, choosing to wait out the conflict rather than get involved. They retreated to their ships to wait and observe.

Tensions between humans and taenin continued to escalate. Quickly they went from taking land to taking lives. Their leaders poured countless resources into their ongoing arms race. The taenin built giant machines, while the humans developed chemical weapons and explosives. When the two sides clashed, cities were left in ruin, leveled by hatred that could not be quenched.

For over two and a half centuries the wars raged. The leaders passed their conflict onto their children, then their children's children until finally the resources and expendable lives dried up. The war finally came to a grizzly end as the last two grandchildren of the human and taenin leaders assured each other’s demise.

There was much destruction left in the conflict's wake. Countless ruins, giant long-dead mechanical beasts, destroyed cities, ruined temples, and fractured societies. The cost of life was immeasurable. Many were left injured, weary, and hoping for a better future.

The humans and taenin were not the only ones harmed by the fighting. While the Sahir did their best to avoid the bloodshed, they lost both many lives and temples. Their temples were abandoned across the world before they were often reduced to rubble.

Slowly the survivors began to rebuild. 

The remaining humans and taenin, tired of the bloodshed, agreed to trade with one another for survival. Humans provided crops and what little technology they still possessed. The taenin, in turn, offered ores and fuel.

Confident that the conflict had come to a true end, Light Song and Oil Slick called the Kebanzu from their slumber. Finally, the kebanzu awoke to peace.

They discovered that humans had retreated mostly to Central Strand, the least destroyed of all their cities. Taenin had also returned to being mostly present on Scorched Iron Island. Both races had suffered great losses of lives in the war and were no longer present across the world in the numbers they once had. All that was left were scant survivors and nomads, making their homes in the ruins. 

Sahir had retreated to the Skystone Expanse. They had chosen it for the terrain, which was difficult to navigate without flight, thus sparing it from the worst of the fighting.

Much to the Kebanzu’s relief, the hubs were still intact. Their generators kept them safe from what occurred on Terrimesia. The kebanzu were able to return to their homes but did so quietly. They were understandably wary of humans and taenin. The kebs could no longer trust them, not after their greed had spiraled out of control. Thankfully, the war had one unexpected boon to the Kebanzu.

Many things were lost in the great war, and one of those things was the memory of the reality of Kebanzu. Their existence was twisted into nothing more than folklore. The idea of a magical race that had come from beyond the vale, who could shapeshift and wield magical crystals was too fantastical. 

Only the Sahir and Ren Fair still recalled their former allies. The former had saved enough from their temples to know that kebanzu had existed. While the latter had personal recollections from before their own hibernation. 

It was only after the fighting had stopped and the Kebanzu reawakened that the Ren Fair slowly began to return to the planet. They once again built their elaborate tapestry tree houses in the Floating Islands territory. They chose to watch events from afar, to avoid causing concern in the other races.

Determined to keep their presence hidden from the humans and taenin, the Kebanzu began to use their shapeshifting to blend in when needed. When it came to the Sahir and Ren Fair, they gradually revealed their presence to rebuild trust.

Though peace has settled on Terramesia, the world never stays still. The Kebanzu’s magic has slowly gotten stronger in the nearly half a century since their hibernation ended. They can hold forms longer and craft more stable spells. This new magic has also begun to affect the other races. Those who are sensitive to it are once again noticing new uncanny abilities… but only time will tell how far those will go.