By Grant Smuts
Long ago, in an old city, a covenant was struck between men and those elder beings we call the Aions, establishing an Order of warriors and priests well-versed in cosmic magic. They sought the blood of gods, seeking to transcend the wars and conflicts of their time.
No one knows the location of this pact, though it is said that the mages of cursed Rensmouth Academy attempted to emulate the sages of old, and thus give new form to Chaos.
There is little to support this claim, though rumours abound that the Rensmouth Mages, in raising Circea to the night sky, managed to awaken the sea of primordial chaos, which they then attempted to shelter and eventually harness. Unfortunately, the primordial chaos gave birth to atrocities, and wreaked havoc on Valharrow. The Archmage, seeing that the sea of chaos would eventually destroy all of Valharrow if left unchecked, decided to imprison it beneath the city.
However, lacking the power of Four Paths, he used an unknown branch of magic, never before seen and never again replicated, in which he channeled his own soul into his magic, enacting a binding spell of terrible power that destroyed the tower of Rensmouth and bent the laws of reality. Rensmouth’s ruin existed on two planes, temporarily, and, understanding that he was at the heart of the spell, leapt into the center of the sea of chaos. A vast crater appeared in the center of Valharrow – which, in an alternate plane, did not exist – and the Archmage took the crater’s reality and bound himself to the chaos in that one, simultaneously writing himself out of the reality that was kept safe. He knew that he could never fully destroy or isolate the primordial chaos entirely, but he could, at the very least, quiet the waking sea and save his homeland.
So passed the Archmage of Rensmouth Academy, a man who, in removing himself from time, lost his name to the ages that passed, though those who knew him and understood him recorded his sacrifice. Lacking a name, they called him The Hero of Rensmouth, and honoured him as best they could.
Though many of the monstrous entities produced by the event were eventually destroyed, it is thought that this catastrophe was what led to Rensmouth Academy’s dissolution and the eventual outlawing of magic in Valharrow.
That said, the nameless archmage is honoured by the Order of Saint Audren, despite them being feared by mages everywhere.
The sea of chaos is still present in Valharrow, though it is subdued for a time. It is said that those sensitive to magical energy can detect its presence in the undercurrents of the city.
In addition to hunting dark mages and deadly beasts, the Order of Saint Audren studies the legend of the sea of chaos.