There was a time when The Imperium and The Keepers one united people.
Back then, the vast Laphite Empire stretched from coast to coast, and was home to all people. The three heads of the mighty dragon gazed down from the Imperial crest, symbolizing the three fully autonomous provinces united in a single, powerful state. Even then, the climactic differences between the three lands led them to not only choose different paths of development, but also different ways of life.
Although it seemed sudden, hindsight shows that the change was inevitable. First, the weather turned strange and harsh. The rain hammered down more and more often, and when the sunlight finally broke through, there was no escape from the scorching heat. But that was only the beginning: hail, snowstorms in summer, acrid smog, hurricanes... it seemed nature itself had lost control. Finally, on a day like any other, it happened - the event that changed the world forever.
The heavens opened up, the earth gaped wide open, and gushing out on to every living thing came a previously unknown substance - a thick, cyan-colored liquid. It quickly became apparent that it had extremely powerful properties; properties that enabled it to transform matter beyond recognition. In high concentrations, it was lethally poisonous for all living organisms. The new substance turned out to be the decisive force that shaped the new world order. People named it “Prime,” and started to learn how to live in their changed habitat - each province in its own way.
The southern territory, located on a peninsula, came under bombardment from all sides by the elements. Massive waves of seawater and Prime flooded these lands. With a thundering groan, a rift opened across the earth, and the southern province split off from the mainland. Nothing more was heard of the south, and for a long time it was thought that it had been swallowed by the sea.
In the North, for the first days of the cataclysm, the population rushed to the mountains, further away from the Prime-saturated areas and fumes. A scientific observatory became the temporary provincial center, a hardened fortress high up in the mountains. Naturally, the observatory was used to carry out experiments to study the new substance. Soon it became clear that, despite the danger it posed to living organisms, it contained the key to previously unimaginable technological advances. Scientists developed a system that protected people from Prime-effects, and methodically went about stockpiling Prime as a new resource. The scientific and technological exploitation of Prime formed the backbone of a new society, and later, a new state.
In the Southeast, people’s first encounter with Prime was quite different. The province was located in the lowlands, and the moist, marshy environment soaked up the Prime like a sponge. There was no way of avoiding contact with the new substance, and the first days of the new age were dark indeed, with a heavy death toll. The Prime entered the bodies of the area’s inhabitants, and as it metabolized they felt a great power over the material world. The “New People” were able to create and transform material objects using their imagination and emotions. It was a new, intuitive magic, powered by inspiration - and Prime. The people of the South went about honing their new skill.
Life didn’t return to its former rhythm, but instead found a new one.
The Prime didn’t just become a part of everyday life, it became a crucial resource for survival. People adapted to this new world any way they could, but with the unknown comes great fear and suspicion. Some of the inhabitants of the Laphite Empire treated Prime with overzealous caution, and used it only to power their technological advances. To their horror, they saw others using Prime as an organic matter, physically interacting with it to achieve a an unheard of level of pure creative magic. These opposing views began to tear the empire apart, and the Laphite Emperor fell victim to the cataclysm. Shortly after, the governors of the provinces declared sovereign states: The Dokht Imperium in the North, and The Keepers of Adornia in the South. The Prime Zone, the region on the mainland which was most heavily affected by the cataclysm, formed a natural border between the two new countries. In this bizarre, desolate region, the Chud are often encountered - strange beings, so heavily affected by the Prime that it is unclear who they were before the Cataclysm: people, beasts, or something more terrifying. Now, both sides visit the Prime Zone, but they don’t go to gawk at monsters. Although the initial fallout caused people to flee from Prime, now in present day, everyone is looking for new Prime deposits to exploit and bring home.
Over the decades that have passed since the cataclysm, the flood of Prime has gradually dissipated into the earth, air, and water. Its concentration changes depending on various conditions. Now, it isn’t highly concentrated. However, in certain places, due to the relief of the land, pockets of Prime remain at its original concentration. On the hunt for this new resource, the inhabitants of the new world learned to find and exploit these deposits. The Imperium builds mines, while the Keepers use special trees to harvest it from the land.
Prime deposits quickly became national treasure in both states. It didn’t take long for all the extraction points for this new resource to be discovered, and divided up among the aristocracy of this new world. These are the Lords and Ladies, and their control over the Prime deposits extends to the territory upon which their property lies.
Since Prime has become an integral a part of life in both countries, they carry out constant searches for new sources of the resource. More and more, both the Imperium and the Keepers steel themselves to enter the depths of the Prime Zone, a place that hides the secrets of the past, the mysteries of the present, and the hopes of the future.
Prime is the past, the present, and the future. It is the source of everything: strength and might, miracles and magic, danger and power in this new world, and no one will survive without it.