There is a place on the world of Porphyra called the Theater of Arrival, though no plays are found there. What is found there is a ring of twenty-seven stones, all an odd maroon color. The stones lie on a field of glass, as if some great heat, light or pressure had been brought to bear on it. Though no play is performed here, there is art, of a sort. Each of the stones bears several images, three, in fact, two of which are the same on every stone, and one different. The similar images bookend the different on each stone, and appear as the engraving of a tall, thin humanoid with pointed ears, and a muscular humanoid with tusk-like fangs and fierce demeanor.

It is said that if you look at the images long enough, in that wind-swept place, they start to look more and more like each other. The central image of each stone is unique. Sometimes they are abstract, such as the stone with swirls and swatches of random color incorporated into the stone, or more direct, such as the smooth stone with the plain image of a hammer striking an anvil, wreathed by shackles. The meadowlarks, the rooted crag, the pierced woman, the collar and sun, those with the knowledge of what they mean will wonder at what force made these images, and what connection they have to those they represent. Sometimes the wind in the stone seems almost to hold words, the words of those whose images are borne on the stones, each with its own story. This story is, in some cases, quite new; in others, it is older than time itself.

From the Chronicles of Alakh of the Zendiqi, Year of Red Storm Raven 116

Oh my Sheikh, Ruler of the Sands, Caller of the Winds, Wisest of the Wise, it is this humble servant’s duty to inscribe and relate the events of the world as told by the many spies and hands that serve thee. Know that the Hybrids, the mixed-blood children of the Elven apostates and the Dark Ones, the Orcs, have secured the power of The One Word, by means unknown. The One Word, rumored in legends to be stronger that the strongest wish granted by the Djinn, the Efreeti, or even the Marid, has the power to change the fabric of The Great Beyond, or bring changes upon Porphyra not even imagined. What disturbs the College of the Zendiq more, however, is that they follow what is called ‘God’ or ‘Gods’, a concept akin to the most powerful of elemental lords, one would assume. It is for your vast and innumerable wisdom to interpret this morsel of knowledge, insignificant though it may be…

From The Divine Record, Volume LVXXI, Canticle LVII, After the Calling (AC) 55

Hail to Gerana, The True Arbitress, Lady Recompense, The Hammer and the Anvil, Forgemistress, and protector of all Porphyra and realms unknown. Oh upholder of Justice, Truth, Chivalry, Valor, Keeper of Oaths, Teacher of the Ways of Metalcraft, help and honor the upright of spirit and heart, peasants, rulers, all those that are good and love the law. Even now as the spectre of war, that war spoken of by the common people as the NewGod War, gutters out as a torch in a cave gutters out, even now we turn away from You, we are confused, we yearn. We hear so many voices, we do not know who to trust. Seductive songs from a beautiful stranger—we fear those who bear The Feather. The dance of seduction, so tempting to join and lose control, dancing as with the storm—we do not know who to trust. And the Dance of the Death, the Dance of Death itself, we fear, we are afraid, help us, O Gerana, the Old and Wise. In Your wisdom You have given us to trust The Light of Truth, Yolana, though Her path is solitary and wild.

We are nonetheless confused. You have given us to trust Aleria, the Love of Life, and we try, we try to follow the way of peace, of life, but our blood sings for war. Advise us in Your Divine Record, Your divine words, we pray, O Gerana, The True Arbitress, Lady Recompense…

From the Book of Secrets, Blackmail Notes 4, verses 10 to 17

Plan well, and bide your time, mind to know the enemy. Alerians, mind to note the actions of lovers’ trysts, to hold them accountable to dire parents. Plan well, and bide. Chiutans, sow seeds among the reptile-men, and the swamp-dwellers will be bound to die in a flash of teeth. Plan well—know the enemy. The Ferrakans, offer gold, and bound fire, greed and destruction to ruin the bearded ones. Plan, and bide. Geranites, hated ones, hated above others. Reach the young, the hot of blood, fill the ‘justice-halls’ with their sneers of anarchy. Plan well, and bide your time, to know the enemy. Ithreians, simple folk of the north, slay the birds of the field, the beasts of the sea, cast doubt on the ‘faithful’ and the zealots will kill one another. Plan well, and bide. Nerians, cast lies of dreams, manipulate fate, lie and moan of misfortune to come. Mind, to know the enemy. And Nisians, weepers, weaklings, warriors and yet weak, promise them love, promise them trust, promise, lie and betray, let them take out their rage on the sheep that follow them. Plan well, and bide your time.

Porphyra is a strange world, and a young world, as the eternal cosmos judges things. By all accounts, life began here without divine spur or interference, or what divine intervention there was had long vanished. Some say otherwise and hunt for the ‘Old Gods’ in whatever form they may have taken. In any case, divine worship did not exist on Porphyra until roughly a thousand years before the present, when an event known as The Calling took place. The Calling was engineered by the unification of elven and orcish forces. This alliance, seeing the strife and selfishness around them, and despairing of the future, combined the arcane power of the elves and the passion of the orcs, and saw past the Great Beyond, to threads of reality where divine beings, known as gods, existed. They used powerful magic, known only as The One Word, and brought the Gods to Porphyra. Divinity enabled many things not known to the residents of Porphyra. Afterlife. Religious devotion. Depravity and piety in levels unheard of on their small, insular world. However, several events transpired afterwards that the alliance did not anticipate.

First, that those Called would bring their favorite places, lands, and people to Porphyra, and those people and places would be forcibly merged with the world. Arcane crystal called porphyrite forms the borders of these places, which restrict the unsanctioned movement of beings, traffic, and even weather. Secondly, supernatural subservience to the elemental lords was rocked by the intrusion of the deities brought to Porphyra during The Calling. The clashing cosmologies of deist and elementalist philosophies led to world-spanning war. The so-called NewGod Wars between these two factions, the wizard-led Porphyran elementalists and the faithful and converted Porphyrans rained the blood of all races over the land for ten generations, before a deist final victory brought about the imprisonment of the elemental lords, and a new era of piety and peace. But the changes wrought by the alliance of the elves and orcs and The Calling are not over yet, not even after a thousand years.