Far across the universe there was a great fusion of matter, and a unique world came into being.
Atys, the green planet, was born. The Life Giver then heaved the planet's crust in spasms until the first breath was wrenched from her bosom in a throbbing burst of energy. Seeds of existence were sown on the wind. The primeval roots were soon sprouting green tendrils into the sky, fowl were soaring on the wing, and beasts romping in the frenetic miracle of Life.
And still the green planet's tendrils thrived in an inexorable outward surge towards the sun forming many thousands of meters of organic strata. The surface of Atys soon revealed a prodigious variety of vibrant ecosystems as the swelling vegetal matter emerged from an ocean of mist into continents.
Beneath the surface of each new layer of ligneous crust, a parallel bionetwork was also evolving, intricately weaved together with the mathematical grace that Nature only knows. This never-ending labyrinth of verdant caverns and underground galleries hosted a world of its own which came to be known as the Prime Roots.
And reaching high up into the sky above the Bark, like a tree extending its branches towards the sun, the tendrils entwined into an immense network of interwoven Canopies. And there too, Atys supported life superbly.
Atys came to be inhabited by humanoid beings known as Homins : the Matis, the Trykers, the Fyros and the Zoraïs. These four homin peoples evolved independently into four intricate cultures which in turn developed into civilizations. Each civilization had an innate predilection for a distinct environment.
The Matis settled in the forests of Atys where they soon laid down the foundations of a monarchy. In their craving for power, these regal lords quickly extended their dominions to the outer limits of the forest lands. Over time, their natural penchant for the powerful and the lordly led them to build up a very strong relationship with the Karavan.
Nobody knew who the Karavan really were. They were Jena's faithful disciples, that was reason enough to want to gain their favor! For Jena was the supreme goddess, the Life Giver of Atys, and the Karavan were invested with a mission to uphold homin faith in her. To steer homins on the path to salvation they wielded weird technology capable of taking life or resurrecting it at the lift of a finger; and offered great rewards for "favors" done.
The eccentric and spirited Trykers made their home in the lake lands. These wily hedonists were smaller in stature than the other homins and their nimbleness and sleight of hand gave them a reputation for thieving. But really they were good-hearted homins who simply harbored a love for play and trickery and a passion for adventure. To escape the overbearing regard of their Matis neighbors, they sought alliance with the Fyros. Trykers would convey water supplies to Fyros cities in exchange for Fyros protection.
The great Fyros people formed settled communities in the hostile deserts where not even the Matis would be tempted to challenge their resources and livelihood. In due course, the Fyros built up a respected if not feared Empire, whose scholars were ever eager to find out the truth behind the Dragon of Atys.
The mysterious Zoraïs were very tall, their skin was blue, and the mask they wore was genetically sown into their faces. They soon took root in the dense jungles, well away from the barbarity of the other civilizations. It is written that they were led there in response to a spiritual calling and swiftly became friends with creatures known as the Kamis.
The Kamis were elusive magical entities able to take on manifold shapes and sizes. They could be mighty and wrathful one minute and play as cheery as children the next. For many an Atysian it was a job to decide whether they were good or evil - except for the Karavan who could not abide them and whose technology could not tame them... For others they were the very epitome of the spirit of Atys. The way they stood vigil over the plant kingdom, and the way not a living soul could escape their perception suggested an intimate bond with the Living Planet. The Kamis showed great benevolence towards the homins who clearly roused the creatures' curiosity. Indeed, they would follow a homin for days on end, and then suddenly vanish in a flourish of color and laughter that could induce slumber and dreams for several days thereon! At times they were liken to children of another kind, which some say is why they first appeared to the Trykers!
Despite the many crises that came to blight interhomin relations, each of the civilizations thrived and prospered… until the day the Kitins came.
Kitins were huge insects that inhabited the Prime Roots. One day, in their interminable quest for the Dragon, Fyros excavators uncovered a nest of the creatures. Fraught with fear and horror, their immediate reflex was to destroy the first giant insects they came across. But alerted by the slaughter, legions of soldier kitins suddenly surged forth from underground galleries to eradicate what they considered as their natural enemy. And so the Great Swarming began... Homin cities were decimated after epic battles, entire populations were massacred and precious knowledge lost. And still the kitins spread over the Bark like wildfire and one after the other the great civilizations crumbled to dust.
Many homins were able to escape through mysterious teleportation 'rainbows' leading to safe haven until these too were destroyed by kitins. Homins remaining in the infested lands could but flee into the wilds where they were forced to live nomadic lives in constant fear of kitin attack...
Then one day heroic travelers, bold as they were unexpected, came from afar in search of the surviving homin communities with a message : homin civilizations were being rebuilt in new lands of promise!
Young refugees in their droves have since been urged by their elders to risk the long and perilous journey to join the newly flourishing civilizations in the newfound lands. For great need there is for guilds, and homins eager to improve their skills and talents to help forge the destiny of their people. All hands are welcome, there is still much to do, and many a danger to overcome: kitins still patrol in the wilds, invasions still all too often occur; and many areas are beset by the pestilent Goo, a dreaded disease that ravages habitats and makes the wildlife rabid.
The last fifty years have given a fair share of laughter and tears, trial and tribulation to each of the four civilizations. For the time being homin relations are fair, though it would take little more than a crafter's hammer to break the peace. For there are many ways to drive a civilization on… and increasing tension between the Kamis and the Karavan can only fuel the fire of distrust...
Certainly, there are many questions yet to be answered. What is the origin of hominkind ? No proof of homin evolution on Atys has yet been found. Is Jena really the almighty creator of Atys that the Karavan claim her to be ? Does Jena really exist ? Doubt is growing in homin hearts. And who are the Karavan really ? Why do they keep themselves locked up in their strange suits ? Why do they hate the Kamis so much ? What is behind the bond between the Kamis and Atys ? What is Atys ?
Behind these mysteries the key to the destiny of Atys resides, and the fate of hominkind lies. While rebuilding their civilizations, homins will soon have to look deeper into these questions to grasp the true Nature of Atys. For time is already running short. The destiny of Atys is about to change hands. Someone, or something already has their sights on the Green Planet, looking for the Ryzom.