There was a time in the long past when the Ancients ruled the world with their magical and technological might. Their cities stood astride the world, full of marvels, with every need they could possibly have fulfilled.
But the Ancients abused their technology, or there was a war, or they breached another reality, or they froze themselves in stasis, or they simply failed to keep their numbers up and died out naturally; the stories differ. Whatever the reason, the Ancients were gone from Kadyel, and humanity (and demihumanity) were left as its custodians.
Some shunned the ruins of the Ancient world, and instead communed with the Spirits to create their own kind of elemental magic. Some plundered those ruins to reclaim the secrets of science. Still others sought to fuse the two.
Another mistake (the same mistake?) was made again. Today those who follow each discipline are quick to blame the disaster on each other and, again, little is known of what actually took place. Instead of simply destroying themselves, though, this time the culprits devastated the land. The seas rose, and what once were lowlands now became placid, silent lakes.
Kadyel is a world of high places, though, and even though the plateas became islands and caravan routes became sailors’ routes life continued. Many of the Ancient ruins were submerged, their secrets lost. With the loss of many haunts the Spirits that powered magic became ever scarcer, and more and more haunts were claimed by the Youkai.
Three hundred years have passed since the Second Disaster. The waters have begun to recede, and many are descending to cultivate the fertile soil revealed. The structures of not merely the Ancients but also those of pre-Second Disaster humanity are being revealed once more. Both magic and technology have become accepted parts of life, though advancements in both are still jealously guarded.
Perhaps most significantly of all, humanity and Youkai are slowly … VERY slowly … reaching an understanding. (Frequently this understanding is “stay away from us or we’ll kill you,” but at least it sets a defined boundary.) The Kappa, as a natural function of their communications networks, are spreading technological discoveries throughout Kadyel. And the world is changing.
Unfortunately those changes are not always for the better. The mistakes of the past return to haunt the present with great frequency, as some enterprising mage or callous Youkai dabbles in secrets better left untouched. And sometimes the knowledge used is nothing new, but the way it’s being used still threatens to overpower the Melody — the intrinsic flow and ebb of life, nature, and supernature that both comprises all things and is emanated from all things.
Correcting these imbalances and maintaining the flow of the Melody is the duty of the Angels, relatively recent arrivals on Kadyel and seeming avatars of the Melody itself. Worst of all, though, is that many of the worst threats to the Melody come from within the ranks of the Angels themselves.