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The Third Age: The Rise of Nations
In the weeks following the fall of Autochthon, nations reeled. With no clear successor to the throne, it quickly became apparant that numerous power centres were developing.
In the South, the tide turned rapidly against the Autochthonian nations. Yugash, denied their front, found soldiers from Chiaroscuro on every side. In an astonishing display of force, Chiaroscuro deployed some of the last of their First Age weapons, annihilating the main fortresses established in the South and wiping Yugash out as a military presence. Their forces then turned against Nurad, wiping them out wholesale, rounding up the few civilians that had survived for slavery and capturing their technology for study. Chiaroscuro quickly threatened small prefactures in the South, establishing their King as the new Shogun and daring anyone to challenge them. Few did, and those were quickly defeated.
In the West, the independant island lords had long been waiting for this oppurtunity. As the Shogunate's remaining forces moved against the new Shadowland and the Autochtonian nation of Jarish, the island kings rose up, organizing under the nation of Wavecrest to overthrow the Shogunate and establish their own nation, the Western League. The island lords integrated a few tattered remnants of the surviving Autochthonians, driving the Shogunate from their waters.
In the East, Autochthonians found themselves hounded and fleeing. Remnants of Gulak, cut off and without any machine-cities left not in Shadowlands, made their way to Rathess, with the armies of Delehensen hot on their heels. The Dragon Kings, working on an 'enemy of my enemy' plan, allowed the refugees to remain in their nation, and found ways to combine their technology with their own organic thaumaturgies, standing against the legions of Delehensen. Rathess held fast, and the former Shogunate armies were forced to withdraw. Further north, however, the legions destroyed Kamak's forces and captured their shattered technology, studying it to integrate it into their own.
In the North, Estasia had had the foresight to build two more machine-cities away from their gate, in case the Shogunate managed to capture it, and had a fortified position to fall back on. Moving quickly, they accepted volunteers from minor nations that were willing to do almost anything to remove the Shogunate, and destroyed most of the Shogunate's forces in the region, forcing the rest to retreat. Capturing a great swath of the North, New Estasia began to rise from the destruction of their older realm.
On the Blessed Isle, the Shogunate successfully captured the Autochthonian camps from Claslat and Sova. Arguments and shouting matches erupted between the northern cities, who wished to destroy the intruders, and the southern ones, who thought that they could be integrated and worked with, instead of against - especially in this new age. Words moved to blows, and civil war split the Blessed Isle. Eventually, the two sides were forced to declare truce, and divided into the nations of Pangu, holding firm the Immaculate Philosophy and the days of the old purges, and the Balmori Republic, named after its founded, who believed in a much more integrationist approach.
Seven nations were rising across the world, and no one was quite sure what to do about it. The Sidereals, accustomed to working in the Realm, found themselves divided into numerous factions, few having more than ten members. The factions were able to work together, but all started working to advance their own cause, disrupting the workings of Heaven.
For over one hundred and fifty years, these seven nations reinforced, skirmished and warred, and their divisions grew rather than shrinking. Meanwhile, the Deathlords were not idle, gathering millions of ghosts and zombies trained to obediance to them and fortifying their positions. Finally, they made their next move. Using knowledge gained from the mysterious Yozi, they sent an expedition into Creation to breach the Jade Prison and gather Solar Essence shards to themselves. The expedition was not quite a failure; a hundred and fifty shards were gathered, but the rest were scattered across the world. In the current Age, it is easier than ever for a young Solar to hide, and the world begins once again to change...