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Over one hundred years ago, back when it was known as Jon, the city was wide and prosperous, with plenty of fresh water and plenty of food growing in fields for miles outside the city walls. Although it was situated in a desert, with over two months’ travel to its neighbours, its citizens had want for nothing they could not get. The city was on a trade route that connected the coastal town of Montrose, in the north, with the capitol of the nation, Blaze, in the south. This had made the city wealthy. But the wizards of Jon, as part of the guild Vialoc, had become reckless and they strove for ever greater power. It is not known if they caused the disaster, or if they simply brought about the wrath of the gods, but it was known to be Vialoc’s fault. What everyone felt afterwards was the effect of the disaster they had created. It is said that at that time the sky turned black, in the height of summer. It is said that the very sky cracked open and fell on the heads of people below. It is said that unspeakable monsters and demons were let loose on that day, many of which still ravage the land, making the world a darker and more evil place. At that time, people offered their prayers to the gods, and begged forgiveness for the folly of relying on personal, learned magic. Many people died during the disaster itself, and many more perished at the attacks of the creatures that were released, but the humanoid races are cunning and many yet survived, albeit in a ruined city, thrown into disorder and chaos.

In the next few years churches to many different gods were built, and faith became a large part of everyday life for all of the citizens of Jon. Belonging to a church meant protection from the monsters that still were not ridden from Jon. Around this time, there was heated debate between the wizards and clerics over the name of the city. The wizards felt keeping the name Jon, meaning god-like, would give people hope for the day when the city returned to its former wealthy and powerful status. The clerics saw the name as blasphemous and arrogant and claimed the best way to regain a wealthy and powerful status was through divine intervention, which would not happen until humanoids gained some humility. They suggested the name Johannes Cidade, which translates as “the city god allows to come to be”.
    It wasn't until about 10 years after the initial disaster that the real conflict occurred between the clerics and the wizards of the city. Vialoc still at this time claimed ruler-ship over the city. They cast themselves as the cities protectors and providers due to their spell-casting ability, and because they had been its guardians since it was founded. Yet the crops had been consistently failing and producing smaller harvests every year as the ground became more salty and the water became more scarce. It had been they who had caused the disaster that had ruined the city, and they did little to counter the attacks by monsters in the city. It was becoming increasingly apparent to the citizens that Vialoc were failing in both of the tasks that they claimed to do. When it was discovered that members of Vialoc still had plenty of food and water themselves while their people starved there was a citywide revolt, led by the clerics of the many differing religions and their followers, which was by now most of the people in the city. Vialoc members were either killed or driven out from the city, and their buildings were burnt to the ground.                                                                                                                  After Vialoc were disbanded the many factions of the gods all tried to claim power and omnipotent guidance over the growth of the city. In their one and only council meeting the only thing they decided before negotiations broke down was the new name of the city, Johannes Cidade, but they could not decide which god. Amongst a city where the most powerful men all worship rival gods there can be no peace.

As you come of age you long to escape the harsh reality of life in a once great city, where food and water are now rare commodities. Where law and order vary greatly across the different areas controlled by different religious leaders; leaders who resemble tribal warlords more than they do divine vessels. Where anyone with personal magical ability is at best shunned, and often put to death if they do not leave. You are one of very few people with the courage and the ability to make a better life for yourselves. Anything you gain you will have to fight for to get, and fight even harder in order to keep it.

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Johannes Sythos