By about one million years ago, the Tleski inhabited much of the area later known as the Triad, but they left very few remains. Bharánia-Tsaeghé, in the centre of the Triad, was afterwards thought of as the ruins of a vast city, but the Tleski did not build dwelling places. Instead, it seems to have been a huge temple complex or shrine. Very little of it was left standing after the catastrophe of the Shard, which crashed down onto it about eight hundred thousand years ago. In the terrible years which followed the fall of the Shard, most of the Tleski died out, and their race went into irretrievable decline.
Before they vanished altogether (but see The Last of the Tleski below), they had a brief, final flourishing during the so-called Age of the Tleski Sorcerors when, with their innate sorcerous abilities enhanced by the influence of the Shard, the few remaining Tleski dominated much of Medísca. Undermined by the disaster that had befallen their race, the survivors became corrupt, arrogant, and cynical, and spent much of their remaining time at war with one another.
They shared the world with a race of hominids, the distance ancestors of those who were eventually to became the main intelligent races of the world of Medísca, though at this time they were mostly under the rule of the last Tleski, and with the decline of the Tleski they too declined, having become utterly dependant upon their tyrannical lords and unable to survive without them.
Around 100 000 years ago, at the start of the last Ice Age, the temperate plains south-east of the Vorgrad Mountains were home to thriving tribes of hominids. However, the gradually cooling temperature brought herds of Bolphosauri (large, six-legged dinosaurs) into the region. These placid, lumbering creatures gradually took over the area, and the hominids slowly and reluctantly migrated south into the jungles of the Triad.
Forced to become jungle dwellers, the hominids struggled to adapt to their new environment, but gradually succombed to disease, and to the unaccustomed climate. At the same time, as they migrated nearer to the Shard, magical abilities slowly became enhanced, with the result that the tribal shaman acquired more power and influence, and in many cases became the true leaders of their tribes.
The hominids were in gradual decline, their numbers diminishing year by year, and would probably have died out altogether after a few thousands of years, were it not for two circumstances. The first was the encroaching Ice Age. Although a minor one (the ice sheets barely advanced as far as the northern tip of the lands later known as Alquedante), the climate of the Triad changed to become increasingly temperate, and the jungles began to retreat. The second, and probably more significant, was the discovery of the Shard and the ruins of Bharániá-Tsaeghé. Under the influence of the Shard the hominids became hardier, and more able to endure the climate which they found themselves in. They became more intelligent. In time the influence of the Shard on the differing tribes resulted in three different species: the Medícae (thought of as 'humans' in the rest of this history), the Saeru -- a tall, elegant, and philosophic species -- and the dwarfish Khoradni.
They were all preceded, however, by the Skletikst reptiles, who had discovered and been changed by the Shard several millenia previous, and whose civilisation already covered much of the southern Triad. They watched the hominids with curiousity and what seems to have been a kind of parental interest (though it is always difficult to know the thoughts and motives of the Skletikst, whose mental processes are so alien). Seeing the three species evolve, they slowly and gently encouraged them to migrate away from the immediate environs of the Shard.
The Saeru went north, back to lands where their distant ancestors had come from. The Bolphosauri had long since become extinct, defeated at last by the encroaching cold, but the gradual ending of the ice age was bringing warmth back to these lands, and the Saeru settled in an increasingly temperate realm of forests and lush grass.
The Khoradni spread in several directions, but always towards mountainous or highland areas, except for the few who established the underground civilisation that was to be a crucial element in the future history of the Khoradni.
The tribes of the Medícae spread throughout Medísca over the next few thousand years, until there were very few parts of the world that did not boast at least two or three tribes, or even a nascent kingdom.
About the Shard
The Shard was a fragment of the original Jewel of Romoenae, the shattering of which was the birth of Romoene, the Universe. By nature it was powerfully magical, and enhanced the attributes and qualities of any living thing, whether plant or animal, that came within its influence.
Over time the Shard has gradually disintegrated, and there is now almost nothing left of it. Splinters from the Shard have sometimes been used as the power source for magical items. Like the Shard, these splinters tend to dissipate over time. Some of them have been encased in amber, which preserves the fragments for longer, at the cost of lowering their efficacy.
The Last of the Tleski
There is a legend that a few of the Tleski survived, and even thrived under the influence of the Shard, becoming even more magically adept than before. As a result, they ultimately became totally dependant on the Shard, and unable to stray far from it. As the Shard dissolved, so they faded, until only one remained, seated like a statue beside the last fragments of the Shard, only stirring to raise a haunting cry at the rising of Míra, the moon, the sacred symbol of their ancient race.