The Story of Jamuraa
Welcome to Jamuraa, a land steeped in magical traditions that have existed for millennia. The northwest of the huge continent of Jamuraa is occupied by three nations: the militaristic kingdom of the Zhalfirins, the religious state of Femeref, and the trading province of the Suq'Ata empire.
Centuries ago, when the land was ruled entirely by the kingdom of Zhalfir, an internal religious dispute led the church to secede. Though the incident was resolved peacefully, the church created its own province called Femeref--"Judgment," in their tongue. In time, Femeref grew apart from Zhalfir, aided by the discovery of rich gold deposits that helped establish it as an independent state.
Eventually, tales of mineral wealth within Femeref's deep mountains spread to the Suq'Ata empire. The empire annexed the lands bordering Zhalfir and began to mine the mountains, pushing the dwarven residents into Femeref. The leaders of Femeref happily accepted the new refugees, as their skills would increase Femeref's gold yield substantially. The Zhalfirin nobility were angered by the king's unwillingness to respond to the Suq'Ata invasion of the north reaches, and this bickering splintered Zhalfir into several independent states. Only the intervention of the returning planeswalker Teferi restored Zhalfir to a state of calm. Teferi was an ancient court mage of Zhalfir and his name still commanded respect centuries after his departure for other planes. Sadly, Teferi was no diplomat, and after a few decades he resolved to leave the kingdom to its machinations whilst he took up residence on a small secluded island to begin a series of magical experiments.
Teferi was attempting to manipulate time so that he might overcome the difficulties of magical summoning. He theorized that he could drop creatures in and out of the time stream, causing them to appear and disappear at will--"phasing," as he labeled it. But his experiments met with limited success: after years of trial and error, Teferi concluded the process was inherently unstable. Random effects constantly occurred; worse still, Teferi discovered that his early, clumsy experiments had damaged the time stream and threatened to unravel that stream across Dominaria if left unattended. Hardened by the knowledge of his culpability, Teferi prepared to fix the time stream with a colossal energy burst, a dangerous maneuver at best but his only real hope of repairing the damage.
What happened next was truly unexpected. The energy unleashed caused every plant, animal, and building on Teferi's isle to phase out of existence. All that remained was the barren rocky foundation of the isle.
The Coming of Harmony
The nations of Jamuraa knew nothing of this . . . but three mages powerful enough to perceive the subtle ripple in the time stream took notice. First was Mangara of Corondor, a mage versed in politics and a great ally of the Quirion elves of the White Woods. Second was Jolrael, who lived in a series of palaces erected in her name at the heart of the Mwonvuli Jungle's delta. Her influence spread through the animal kingdom and beyond to the sentient lizard people, the Viashino, and through them to the mighty dragons. It was rumored that Jolrael was once a great Zhalfirin mage who turned her back on that society to build her own empire of beasts. Third was Kaervek of the Burning Isles, a mage known for his allegiances with many malign spirits and their allies throughout Urborg and Bogardan, chiefly the Nightstalkers and the easily manipulated Panther Warriors.
The three mages met on the barren rock that had once been Teferi's Isle. No one could explain the mysterious residual temporal energy, but the three's curiosity was piqued and they agreed to settle in Jamuraa and keep a close eye on the isle.
Mangara immediately dealt with the rival nations: if he was to settle in this place for any length of time, he refused to have any wars disturbing his new home. Mangara's gifts for diplomacy and intimidation encouraged peace agreements within a few short years. When Femeref and Zhalfir could not agree on a border, Mangara created a buffer zone near the Unyaro jungle. To police this zone, he summoned a large contingent of Quirion elves. The elves had always had a good relationship with Mangara and happily populated this new land. The agreement with the Suq'Ata was trickier but eventually a trade agreement (the Suq'Ata's favorite kind) was created.
Within a century "Mangara's Harmony" created a new age of enlightenment as the nations began to trust one another. They exchanged ideas and shared their strengths-even the dwarves and elves were welcome within the cities.
The Serpent in Paradise
But Kaervek was horrified. Kaervek had always had dreams of ruling a nation, but the powerful entities of the Burning Isles had ensured that his dreams might never come to fruition. Frustrated by Mangara's success and incapable of believing that Mangara would control Zhalfir for any purpose rather than aggression, Kaervek began to work on Jolrael's fears and her inability to understand the ambitions of humans ( at this point, she had lived with animals for several hundred years). Slowly, as Mangara's rule took shape, Kaervek was able to draw the reclusive Jolrael into the politics of the region. In time, the two mages built covert armies of animals and spirits throughout Jamuraa.
Kaervek waited, occasionally instigating border disputes between Zhalfir and its neighbors and infighting among the Zhalfirin nobility. Eventually the disputes flared and blood accidentally spilled. Within days, civil war seemed imminent. This disruption was all that Kaervek needed--he sent dozens of evil spirits into the lands, fanning the flames of old hatred to spark across the borders. Mangara was at a loss, unable to control the steadily worsening situation. It was then than Kaervek sent a message to Mangara, an offer of "assistance" in dealing with the troubles. Mangara agreed to meet with Kaervek in the Mwonvuli Delta.
Mangara never returned from that encounter. Kaervek and Jolrael ambushed him, capturing him within an Amber Prison that now sits in the throne room of one of Jolrael's palaces. Many of the Zhalfirins believed that Mangara had fled the land, leaving it to civil war; others believed he died in the Mwonvuli.
So began the dark days for Jamuraa. Reports increased of people mauled by wild cats, of citizens dying in their sleep with expressions of horror the only clue to the cause of their demise. Farmers began to mysteriously vanish from their fields.
The three nations met at a great council. They shared their tales, and the greatest of the storytellers, Hakim Loreweaver, presented myriad reports from across Jamuraa. Indeed, something was afoot, and they would have to find a way to put aside their own territorial squabbles if they were to deal with these mysterious terrors. It was then that Kaervek chose to make his appearance, demanding the surrender of the three nations. Kaervek's love of making a grand appearance had blinded him to the fact that he had now given the nations a look at their enemy. United against a common foe, the nations of Jamuraa flatly defied Kaervek, stating they would pay him no fealty.
War in Jamuraa
Over the coming months, attacks were infrequent. The occasional Zhalfirin village was scorched from the map by dragonfire. The trail through the Uuserk marshes was closed after the deaths of a troupe of scouts. The entire Femeref grand assembly was slaughtered by a terrifying entity known as the Spirit of the Night. The attacks began to increase in intensity and reports reached Zhalfir of armies of the dead rising from the land. But among all of this activity one major event had been overlooked by everyone . . .
. . . Teferi's isle had returned. Almost two hundred years after its disappearance, the isle returned to its verdant origins. The people of the isle were unaware that any time had passed, and their first realization that something was wrong came when one of Jolrael's dragons, drawn by the scent of people, attacked the isle. Teferi slew the dragon and immediately set out to discover what was happening-- and when! He was horrified to discover foreign wizards warring within Jamuraa, and he began to consider how to remove these urchins without dragging anyone else into the war.
As we reach the present, the human nations are once again united by fragile agreements. Kaervek has taken command of most of Jolrael's forces, and the human nations find themselves under attack by spirits, animals, orcs, goblins, cat warriors, Viashino, and dragons! Teferi has refrained from entering the conflict, choosing to tend his experiments lest they run out of control. But be assured, he is watching.
This is a time of heroes: both royalty and commoner alike have risen to defend their home, throwing aside political boundaries to fight the forces of Kaervek. They are not only battling to survive, but to ensure the new Golden Age endures. If they can free Mangara, they have a fighting chance.
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