Warlocks were tribes of primitive hunter gatherers for countless years. They had some oral history, legends, and stories but most have been forgotten. Very very few relics of this time still exist. Usually crude stone tools, the occasional arrowhead, or cave painting. From what can be gathered, during this time the warlocks worshipped animal spirits.
At some point, the tribes became aware of destructive spirits causing chaos to their world. This caused a massive shift in the tribes locations and many of them went to war against each other (as evidenced by massive burial sites with the warlock ritual of removing heads from their body). In time however, one tribe became dominant and absorbed, conquered, or defeated the other tribes. The leader of this was Ardo-Nustai Jolaka who preached that the spirits were nightmares of a great Sleeping God. He united the people from many tribes into one great clan and taught them how to hide and underhand the nightmares when they could.
Ending the Nightmare:
Much later, a woman discovered she could master control of the Nightmares themselves and direct them against each other. She was known as Zemya and there are many stories about her rise to leadership and how she discovered the secret. During this time the Warlocks went from a secretive wandering clan of humans to a true kingdom that built fortifications and fought the Nightmare.
The Water Spirits:
During the war against the Nightmare, the Warlocks invented sailing ships and attempted to cross greater bodies of water to reach the realm of the water spirits. When Water Spirits destroyed their frail wooden ships they tried again with wooden ships lined by metal. When these too were destroyed the warlocks discovered only by throwing rocks – pieces of the earth spirit at the beasts, could they frighten them away. So they used the magic of the Nightmares to craft a fleet of stone ships to conquer the water spirits. The ships sailed for some time before they too sank, trapping their sailors with them.
At this time, the Warlocks decided that if even the Earth Spirit could not conquer the Water Spirit – it was not a realm for them.
Golden Era of Warlo-Kai Civilization
Sometime spanning the rise of the Warlock Kingdom and the invention of boats, the Warlo-Kai civilization grew to a point where fortresses, and cities were built amongst the conquered ruins of Nightmare husks. There is evidence they began the very earliest of a written language, much evidence of art and music, and a system of laws.
Curse of the Nightmare:
As the Nightmare war raged on and Warlocks got the upper hand. One Nightmare began to make humans ill. So sick that no one had ever seen such a sickness before. A wandering medicine man fought valiantly to save as many as he could. As the plague devastated civilization, powerful Warlocks tried to hold their cities safe, but when they fell their cities fell soon after. Within a year Warlock civilization had gone from half a million people in luxurious magical cities, to a handful of a few hundred or thousand protected by the medicine man known as Ardo-Nustai Vennis.
The New People:
As the Warlocks were clinging to their struggling tribes, a new people arrived in the land. They were called The Gami by warlocks, which roughly means “Stranger”. Though much of the Nightmare was defeated, the new people were strange and ignorant and knew nothing of the spirits of the land and the importance of rituals. Warlocks numbers were small and they chose to avoid the New People for fear of what they might do. They migrated south to the Golden Coast, Wetlands, and Apple Valley where the bulk of their population remains today.
Sometime Pre 2900BNA:
Warlocks begin using Dark Luminite to continue fueling their magic.
Breaking of the Clan:
Slowly warlock numbers recovered to a few thousand and the wandering clan could no longer hide. Families were beginning to disagree and without a capital city they had no way to organize. The great unified clan elected leaders and travelled in separate directions. There is a landmark in Riverbog marking the Breaking of the Clan into many smaller clans. These clans are known as Blackfoot, Wolfhand, Skybane, Clawrunner, Nightdreamer, and Thornbeard. Named for the 6 dark eyed powerful warlocks who were leading at the time.
First War Against the New People:
As the people of Terrania and Willowpeak migrate south, the Warlock tribes resist and pester the travelers. Their numbers are few enough that they are considered nuisance tribals and are mostly ignored except by the larger migrating caravans. Warlocks reflect back on this period as bloody and glorious, though compared to the numbers of the New People, it was hardly a war. However during this time it was discovered that the Warlocks possessed some form of magic and their shaman, or Zeni had dark eyes and blue hair. Often during raids the New People would seek out and kill these strange dark eyed Warlocks.
Treaty With the New People:
The skirmishes eventually settle down as more new people settle in and build permanent homes. The nomadic lifestyle of the Warlocks helps them realize these permanently settling people aren’t so much a threat. Over time a cease fire is developed, though Warlocks remain in their wilds, separated from the other humans. At this point in time many more Warlocks were showing up with the dark eyes and hair, instead of just the Zeni.
The Five Hundred Year War:
While the New People raged their great war, many Warlocks suffered persecution and their isolation began again. Previous to this it is believed Warlock numbers had reached roughly 50,000 again, but by the end of the Five Hundred Year War, Warlocks had declined back down to around 10,000 and the Skybane clan is utterly eradicated. Many Warlocks migrated to avoid war and establish cease fires, and they spread throughout the world again and reached as far as Willowpeak. Some claim a few tribes even tried to cross the Endless Desert to avoid the war. Some Warlocks begin settling into cities and integrate into the New People to teach them of the Sleeping God and the forbidden Dream Magic. Some Warlocks even become mercenaries or witch doctors for the warring cities. Some warlocks become known as the “Clanless” or the “Orphans” as they forget their tribal ties.
The Dark Eyed:
At some point during the Five Hundred Year War, consumption of Dark Luminite became a very important ritual among the warlocks and went from being a mark of being an elder, to being a common identification of a Warlock. At this time the reason for it was still shrouded in superstition and mythology, but the Warlocks prided themselves in remaining separate from the New People during this confusing era.
Apple Valley Plague:
Warlock clans located in Apple Valley (Thornbeard and Blackfoot) are nearly completely wiped out by a plague in Apple Valley. The handful of survivors are re-integrated into other tribes and the old clan names die off.
Warlocks join the Pathfinders Guild to help with mapping out WayStone Paths. The Warlock Charter is established where Warlocks may join the Pathfinders to earn “equal rights”.
Gathering of the Clans:
As war faded into obscurity and many Warlocks were leaving the tribes to join cities, while others were dying of plagues, a Gathering was called by a new Ardo-Nustai, and Warlocks from all around the world gathered in the ancestral place of Golden Coast. It was a time to re-affirm the tribal roots, rights, and identity. Those who had taken to living as New People were cast out of the clans, and the surviving clans present re-affirmed their devotion to the Sleeping God, the re-initiation of rituals and rights, and the increased use of Dark Luminite to tame and control the Sleeping God’s dream.
This marks a return to their ancient violent ways and a shift in Warlock culture. From the Five Hundred Years War until now, the Warlocks had been a neutral and reclusive people (but occasional mercenaries). An oath was taken that the Warlocks would no longer assist the New People, and that The Dream had been perverted. Wolfhand, Clawrunner, and Nightdreamer are the remaining clans, and contact is severed with any Warlocks assisting the new people.
Sorcerer’s Guild Plot
Warlocks infiltrate and assassinate several members of the Sorcerer’s Guild, and as per warlock custom, sever the heads and burn them, leaving the gruesome bodies where they stood.
Banishment from the Pathfinder’s Guild:
Nearly a generation since the Sorcerer’s Guild Massacre, Warlocks have continued to increase their violence. Culminating in an event that shook the nation. A lone Warlock serving the Pathfinders Guild released a tremendous burst of energy upon a Waystone. The magical reaction left a scar of earth at a 90 degree angle to the Waystone nearly 20 feet deep. While the Waystone and the Warlock were unharmed, the blast massacred a dozen travelers, one of whom was the Nobleman Jessik Beurnesson. The Warlock named Rakimi, was taken to Frodleik to be flayed and put up on display. As the jailers took him to the prison, it was ambushed by more Warlocks and he and his accomplices have escape.
Following this tragedy, all Warlocks were cast out of the Pathfinder’s Guild.
The Warlock Terrors:
During this span of time, Warlock consumption of Dark Luminite increased, worship of Gorimirog was discovered (but only weakly tied to Warlock culture, the true connection was never solid). Warlocks encouraged putting threats of hexes and curses on people, stealing from the cities, burning crops, and desecrating holy sites and homes. They retreated into the wilds and resumed their nomadic primitive lives of being hunter-gatherers.
In 190BNA worship of Gorimirog was outlawed, as was consumption of Dark Luminite. Bounties were placed on many Warlock’s heads. Many people were wrongfully punished during the accusations, and many forests were burned in an attempt to root out the Warlocks. They began yet another period of isolation and avoidance of other humans.
The seceded Sorcerer’s Guild offers rewards for Warlocks who come out of hiding to give them secrets of their magic. Though for many years no one takes them up on their offer, many Warlocks play pranks and try to sabotage the foolish sorcerers.
Following the collapse of the Highland Luminite Mines, Dark Luminite becomes the sole source of magic for Warlocks. In just a few years their eyes change from shadowy to nearly black in appearance. Warlocks are no longer able to hide or pass themselves off in public as anything but what they are. Whether they like it or not, warlock isolation is permanent.
The Gnatfly Plague in the Wetlands and Highlands drastically impact the populations of New People. The Warlocks are surprisingly barely affected. In the Highlands where Warlock populations were already low, their numbers drop lower. Meanwhile in the Wetlands, the Warlocks become a threatening force in the region.
As Terrania is declared capital of the known world, Warlocks declare themselves independent, and continue to undermine and cause problems wherever they can. Many Warlocks are beginning to try to re-integrate into the New People’s civilization, while other Warlocks are as bloodthirsty as ever. In the Wetlands the Wolfhand Clan is declaring the region the New Home of the Warlocks.