Cities of glass history
 The Great Darkness
The Unknown time of the great Cataclysm, where the lost cities of the Ancients, and few records survive. All inquiries made to man, spirit, shadow and Mirror Fishers have are contradicting, and only fragments and pieces of a time of great wealth and understanding. What is agreed upon is that Fall was due to Hubris, and the lack of vigilance or piety led to the towers of stone and temples of half dream and spirit to fall into the sea. Some of the Spirits claim it was the great Glaciers weeping over the abandonment of the old ways of the hunt before man claimed the earth, who drowned the old ones cities. Others say it was the folly of man alone, or not at all, and that the world willed a cleaning for a new age to enter the world, for the age of wandering on the snow and blood on the stones, to the age of settled philosophy we have today. Regardless, the oldest of the Seven Sisters claim that the Lines of the Looms of fate spin from the birth of the Two Sisters, and that the before that, the only visions are of the seasons, the great Hunt, and shadows of the dead, speaking languages long lost to the mist of time, and the madness of the ancients. The Fragment we have we study and decipher, seeking clues to the fall, and secrets that lie hidden.
 Foundation of the Twin Cities
 Year 300 Post-Darkness
The City of Diaphane and Narcissus are formed by the Twin Sisters, the last of the Old Ones, who would not speak of their origins or their ancestors for the pain, and claiming a new world was to form. The Sisters spoke of Reflection and Introspection, truth and illusion. The Sisters could never agree, and formed separate Cities. Their secret Wisdom and guided those who gathered, and slowly the cities built themselves on the secret arts, and skills of planting. Tribute flowed from the wandering people who came to consult the oracles, and to hear whispered secrets from the gods, the Groves of the Crystal Trees, and the relics of the lost Cities. It was here that the Secret lore was preserved and nurtured. The earliest records, on Crystal Tree sap cylinders speaks of the founding of the earliest magic paths, Cultivation and harvesting of crops, and the earliest Mirror-Fishers in shields of polished copper, and slabs of reflective stone. The largest were frozen pools of the clearest glacier Ice.
 Year 500 Post-Darkness
Rise of the Blinded Cults, the earliest tribute systems to the smaller communities for protection from the wandering peoples and predators, and the formation of the Invisible College. Establishment of the Sacrifice system, and codification of laws, and the first Flower Wars. Strengthening of trade links with the wandering tribes and the Twin Cities. Expansion of larger Mirror Fisheries, and the earliest glass works. The Agricultural revolution occurs and expands along the river valleys south and east, increasing wealth and status disparity in the Twin Cities versus surrounding tribes and city-states. Settlements made to the West and South.
 The First Shattering
 Year 600 Post-Darkness
Rise of the Hollow Men cults, first mirror-wraiths, expansion of Crystal Tree Gardens, seedlings and feeding for desired characteristics or artistic expression. Formation of the Sandstone Empire in the Spice Kingdoms to the South due to a charismatic leader from the Western Desert leading his people to conquer the settled lands. A series of climactic changes leads to crop failures, a rebound of the large herds south, and the first major epidemics sweep through the trade routes, causing huge loss of life, and abandonment of outer settlements. Eventual rebuilding and resurgence from the Twin Cities occurs around unifying philosophy.
 Year 150 Post-Shattering
Rise of larger scale glass making, reestablishment of the tributary system and Alliance of the Twin Cities. The development of wider ranging annual Flower Wars with less ceremony and more bloodshed, and prisoners to fuel the increasing needs of the expanding Cities fuels resentment of surrounding states. The First Renaissance as the Literary and Philosophical flowering occurs. Formation of the Seven Sisters and the Silent Brothers. The Trade system is expanded to further markets North and South, and the Twin Cities act as middlemen for products of the herdsman and wandering tribes to the North and West, and the River Kingdoms and crumbling Sandstone Empire to the southwest. Second Agricultural revolution as more species domesticated and trait selection instituted by the Twin Cities. Astronomy imported from the South, Astrology a popular diversion. Helot System developed for the settlements surrounding the Twin Cities and its environs, establishment of sapling cities radiating out along the trade routes.
 The Second Shattering
 Year 200 Post-Shattering
The Foundation of Iridos from schismatics and apostates of Diaphane on a large Island to the South of the Two Cities, in an area famous for its wild flowers and natural rainbows. The Second shattering is known as the Night of Broken Glass, and caused the Great Schism, where the Twin Cites began to compete, and Iridos aligned with Narcissus to outmaneuver Diaphane’s hold on the growing power of the middle kingdoms between the Crystal Cities and burgeoning lands of the south. The Second Conquest period, where the Flower Wars became wars of outright conquest, and the establishment of the First Crusade against the Hollow Ones. Rise of the Inquisitional arm of the Silent Brothers, and the Founding of the Albino system. Iridos becomes the home of refugees, free-thinkers and radicals, and forms the Wanderers of the Waste as a method of assertion and winning the hearts and minds of surrounding kingdoms helots and farmers.
 The Third Shattering
 Year 278 Post-Shattering
Limited proxy war by the Twin Cities, sacking and looting of the outer cities and towns by the Wandering Tribes united under a charismatic leader called Shadowdancer. Civil War and the bloody Helot Revolts.
 Year 300 Post-Shattering
First documented use of the Mirror Towers, creation of the Glass Golems, heavy salvaging of Artifacts from the First Age, and the Formation of a Alliance by The Twin Cities of Glass and Iridos. Second Great Crusade launched against the Hollow Men. Purging of Mirror-Wraiths and darker magic’s from ruins and settlements. Use of Total war tactics to defeat the Hordes of Shadowdancer, leading to the creation of the glass Storms as crystal trees are fed corrupted anger and pain wraiths to create shard storms lead to a costly victory. Heavy use of conscripts and levies to fuel crusade and expansion. The Collapse of the second Sandstone Empire in the South Leads to the formation of the great game in the spice lands with the resulting three factions. Overseas contact for trade made. Construction of the Mirror and Sun Towers, and the Crystal Globe. Overextension and Hubris lead to costly wars in the outer regions of Bachariko.
 The Great Purge
 Year 343 Post-Shattering
Patterns of behavior are codified into teaching and paths, establishment of the Glass Watchers in the City of Diaphane, expansion of the list of Capital crimes, and a codex of behavior and unified law formed for the City-State and its Client States. However, due to expansion of the Wandering people North and over the Grasslands to the West, Expansion ceased. The Herdsman and settles of the Northern Mountains and Highlands throw off the shackles of the Helot system, and a general loosening of the grip on the client states leads due to weak rulers and political maneuvers. Hollow Man cults found and expunged by the Silent Brotherhood, expansion of Monasteries and membership in Bachariko and among the Regents and Liege-kings of the Cities of Glass.
 Time of Clarity
 Year 409 Post-Shattering
One-Hundred Year Golden Age of rebuilding, philosophical flowering and a second Renaissance of Art and literature, Music and physical and Mental discipline. The Refinement and Codification of the Magic systems by the Invisible College, and flowering of understanding of the physical and Spiritual World. Many public works projects, canals and wonders completed. An increase of tribute and a reaffirmation of the Helot System, conquest of the border regions that had slipped away, aside from the Northern Hills, whose people waged a generations long campaign of attrition and blood-feud to keep there own gods, and independence. Reestablishment of the Albino Cult, and building of the Great Aquarium, and the signaling towers to communicate through-out the Lands of the Twin Cities. Lottery System implemented for wandering tribes as tribute for smaller areas, in exchange for freedom to move and trade with-in the Lands of the Twin Cities.
 The Slowly Falling Mirror, The Fog of Hubris
 Year 500 Post-Shattering
50 Year Period of a decline of Culture, the Establishment of the Rule of Ninety Kings in Bachariko, and the further fragmentation of brittle alliances of the Middle Kingdoms leads to nearly perpetual war. The Great Herds move North as the Glaciers retreat, and with them the Wandering Peoples who still follow the old ways, the Three Cities fall to decadence and corruption. Flowering and Expanse of Iridos from a large town to a fledging City as it swells with settlers escaping the drying plains of the West, and the attacks of Hunters turned bandits as the herbs dwindled. Hollow Men cults infiltrated into several outlying city-states.
 Year 525 Post-Shattering
The Current Age.
 Prophecies of the Future
Q: Is there any way to avoid such a horrific fate?
A: No, my son. The final shattering will happen. But if we are pious, and humble, we can convince the rider to stay his hammer for another season. Avert your eyes from the black birds when they come through on the sixth month and again on the ninth, do not share your secrets like those transparent fools, and do not wallow in your image like those reflective wretches. And every day pray to whatever gods you can that they may stay the rider's journey for another day.
The Black Rider
And on the seventh day of the seventh month from the setting sun will come the rider in black.
And he will be clad in a black robe, which billows and blows and obscures all the places he has ridden
And he will have black skin which smears and obscures all he touches
And he will have black eyes in which once light falls it can never return
And he will stop at the gates of the city of glass
And he will touch it, and the inhabitants will be blind to all the secrets once in the open
And he will stop at the gates of the city of mirrors
And he will touch it, and the inhabitants will be forced to see the things which are not themselves
And as the cities wallow in the black, he will turn around and look at the sun, and its light will cease to shine
And as the cities moan the loss of their light he will raise his black hammer
And he will shatter the world.
(Writings of the Mad Prophet Jalzad, The Final Shattering.)
-- by Maltodextrin
The Black Steed
An old one eyed Mammoth, meaner and larger than any seen in this age
last survivor of a mighty great herds, wandering in search of a bloody feast
Jet Black fur and footsteps that freeze the earth and crackle the air, full of rage
with the sound of frost, he announces he is coming, screams of beast His grunts and rage signal the end of the time, wars to wage
-- by stephen_dean