The Age of Drowning
Among the scholars and historians of the world, it is widely said that the story of the human species is a story of greatness, unparalleled achievement, and the tragic consequences of unchecked hubris. In the ages following The Retreat, when the gods fled to the Outer Realms in the wake of the Dragon War, they left behind the vast multitudes of their mortal creations to fend for themselves. Humans, being one of the earliest creations and most widespread due to their roles as laborers and soldiers, wasted little time in forging for themselves sovereign dominions which later grew to become the grand human empires which dominated most of the world during The Age of Empires. However, after millenia of this existence, the greatness of humans came crashing down when the theocratic Amurian Empire grew to such stupendous power as to summon the gods they worshiped to fight for them in one of their many crusades of holy conquest. This event triggered what is now referred to as The Final Godwar. Ancient rivalries between deities were once again ignited into a fire that nearly tore the world asunder as the majority of mortal races and gods were inevitably pulled into the conflict. The war finally ended with the cataclysmic Worldflood which brought all the world to its knees.
Being in the center of war’s godly crossfire, the human empires were far too devastated to react in time, and were demolished beneath tsunami waves and drowned beneath monsoon rains. Though what many agree is the human’s greatest strength, sheer numbers, once again proved to be an asset that ensured the survival of their race. While the Gith used their vast knowledge of magic to lift their cities from the earth and escape the carnage, the Dwemer hid in their glacial homes as they were battered by waves, and various other races escaped the devastation, human refugees were only able to cling desperately to higher and higher ground to flee the rising tides. Eventually, what were once lofty mountaintops became the islands and archipelagos that would prove to be the salvation and new homes of the survivors.
In the five hundred years since the torrential rains and storms of the Worldflood finally ceased, humanity has been unable to recapture even the dimmest spark of their ancient glory. Despite a handful of human ruled city-states which have sprung up and enjoy some small measure of success, the majority of humanity persist in small villages, primitive maritime tribal cultures, among the floating cities of the Githzerei, and scattered across the Outer Realms. Though they still hold their place as the most numerous of the surface races, their existence is often far from prosperous, and they are widely regarded by other species as little more then a source of cheap, expendable labor. However, though crushed and battered as a race, the persistent fire of human ambition still blazes within many. And some insist that it is only a matter of time before humanity once again rises up to claim the birthright of their ancestors.