Eos: the New Age
Respected and feared, proud and cunning, the tieflings are the undisputed masters of the continent of Tazarin and holders of the single-largest and oldest nation in the known world: the empire of Dzolgat. It is difficult to tell the history of the tiefling people without also telling the history of their mighty nation, as the two are virtually inseparable. The old tieflings first arose on Tazarin at roughly the same time as humans did on Galotte, and many scholars speculate that the two races were closely related or even two branches of the same core race. Physically the ancient tieflings largely resembled humans, lacking the great horns and tails of their contemporaries.
In the early centuries of their development, the tieflings formed city-states much like humans did on Galotte, though they were much faster at developing these small nations and at developing early kingdoms and empires. The earliest tiefling writings describe a kingdom called Stygeria which is thought to have reigned from around -3500 to -3350 in the land surrounding Felgate Ridge. Several kingdoms rose and fell over the passage of time, and much of Tazarin became occupied by the tieflings. Elves had since relocated from the Feywild into Eos, and many forests of Tazarin were occupied with them, though the interactions between tieflings and elves was very limited. The tieflings still had no knowledge of the presence of goliaths in the fjords to the southwest, and as such they rightly presumed their dominance of the land.
In -1994 IC the development of the tiefling race took a sharp turn, leading them down a path that would lead to both greatness and damnation. A war among several tiefling kingdoms erupted across Tazarin, with each seeking to dominate all the others through the creation of an empire. A small kingdom known as Teufel was unfortunate enough to be surrounded on all sides by hostile forces and would not be capable of maintaining independence for any real length of time. In an act of desperation, King Dzolga of Tuefel called on the powers of a dark, powerful entity called Ubilaz of the Lost Book to aid them in winning the War of Ascension. With this single act, Dzolga allowed his small kingdom to rise to terrible strength and crush all the other kingdoms into subjugation. Thus, in the year -1984 IC the empire of Dzolgat was born from its dark womb.
With the aid of fiendish allies, the fledgling empire was able to rapidly expand its borders and rise to extreme power in a relatively short period of time. This assistance was not without consequences, however. The people of Dzolgat began to be warped in both mind and flesh from these fiends’ whispers and suggestions. The tieflings began to more and more resemble the fiendish companions, their forms physically altered and their tastes and desires growing ever more hedonistic and sadistic. They conquered the vast majority of the continent, devouring any rival kingdoms and enslaving the people. The elves that had for so long remained hidden among the trees were discovered and likewise descended upon with a bloodthirsty and uncaring rancor, becoming slaves to the empire.
During the rapid expansion and conquests of Dzolgat, the Doctor Luvik Destrov rose to prominence in the empire by suggesting his radical ideas concerning selective breeding of certain strains of certain races to create truly masterful works of biology. The emperor was impressed with Destrov’s suggestions, and the infamous Dzolgati breeding programs were started in -1634 IC. Over the centuries of blending selective breeding, dark magic, and twisted science, many failures occurred. Two noteworthy successes did originate from these programs however: the shifters and the half-orcs. The histories of these two races are detailed more in their respective sections.
About two centuries following the beginning of Dr. Destrov’s depraved science experiments, the two empires of Dzolgat and Naqarut had their first meeting. While first contact for the radically different races and nations suggested the possibility of mutually beneficial interactions, the tides quickly changed with fiend-fueled tiefling greed. In early -1487 IC, tiefling warships landed on the southern shore of Karoa, triggering the first intercontinental war. The Shattering War was devastating to both sides. The dragonborn possessed the power of great wyrms and a fearless devotion to their empire, while the tieflings were driven by the overwhelming desire to expand their borders and fueled by fel power. For ninety years the war raged, only ending when the Dzolgati forces in a last act of desperation released the demon lord Hogathyz’mbir on the dragonborn army. This final attempt was still not enough to topple Naqarut, and the demon was imprisoned within Devilcurse Crater while the tieflings were routed and forced to return to Dzolgat. Naqarut suffered a devastating blow due to the war, however, and fell soon afterwards.
Dzolgat, while greatly injured from the struggle, ultimately survived intact. The tieflings had roughly five hundred years to rebuild their might and begin engaging in international trade – meeting humans on Galotte in -1243 IC – before a new war and a new threat would engage them. This new enemy was one that was unforeseen by the tieflings: Ubilaz, their protector and teacher. The fiend sought to claim his payment from the thousand-year-old bargain he struck with Dzolga by claiming the empire and all souls within as his own. It is here that a large gap in the history of Dzolgat occurs, as the year -984 is the beginning of the Centuries of Mist. No writings from this three-hundred year period are available to any but the highest ranking scholars within Dzolgat, and as such very few individuals know anything of this time. What is known is that in -676, when the first Dzolgati trade vessels arrived on Galottion shores in over three centuries, the tieflings were considerably less disdainful and seemed both weary and liberated in a way.
It is suspected that Ubilaz was either defeated or at least pushed back somehow, and that the tieflings managed to overthrow their fiendish overlords. The empire of Dzolgat stands to this day, and the people of the nation are considerably more willing to engage in world affairs than in the past. Even if they have removed themselves from the influence of such a powerful fiend, the scars of a millennium under his thumb remain in the skin and bitter souls of the tiefling people.