[Approximately 300 Years Pre-ME]
A continuous incline in civilization is what most people expect. However, civilizations in aggregate do not always develop, but instead eb and flow along the axis of time. Moments of drought and moments of prosperity, in all things; production, wisdom, culture. Smaller fluctuations are common, overlooked; books lost to disaster, nations crumbling, populations dying. Alathra follows the same fluctuations constantly.
The last major drought in civilization Alathra experienced has been wiped clean from most minds. Sheltering the population in hopes of allowing their steady return to grace. Very few entities roam Alathra with the knowledge of the events that transpired on that faithful day. The Orkni civilization, cultivators of innovation doomed the population within the span of a single day.
The Orkni had ships and cities not unlike what we can see today in Alathra. What was unique about the Orkni was their ability to create what we call artifacts. Their methods were unknown, able to imbue great amounts of power into a single tool or weapon. Their artifacts were a replacement to our enchantment, more difficult to obtain, but substantially more elaborate and effective.
The Orkni were working on a new artifact, the ability to separate a body from the mind. It would make it simple to reach eternal life, unbound by natural animalistic desires, aging flesh, and scarcity of resources. The artifact instead grew unstable, spreading it’s influence across Alathra, indiscriminately removing both body and mind without a place to put them. Very few survived and the sudden shift in population quickly plunged the world into a dark age.
Books were burnt for fuel, farms could no longer be managed, and cities crumbled under the lack of maintenance. The paranoia that spread hindered any form of civilization from being able to sprout from the ashes. An observer watched this and decided the best course of action was the wipe the history of the Orkni and those lost to the unstable artifact from ever individual’s mind.
Most of civilization grew back, unaware of the events that occurred on the singular day. The ability to create artifacts had been lost to the cataclysm, their existence now sparse and mostly hidden. And now only a few entities roam Alathra still knowing of the plight that the Orkni caused.