The Azure Flames not only destroyed the Old World, it unleashed long-quenched wells of power and let them flood the world once more. Creatures of might, terrible things of old, which relied on this flow of power stirred from slumbers ageless in their length and arose into the ruined remnants of what once was Man’s civilization. This is the Age of Monsters, the time of the Wars of the Damned, and it is the age when much of what endured from the end of the Old World fell in struggles with the inhuman things returning from Elsewhere.
After the fall of the Necromancer, the Dominion of the Sky-Blue Republic rose from its ashes. The Society took the lead, using its increasing mastery of science and sorcery to scour the corruption from the land and build the center of the City-State—the Tower Pinnacle—where the Ziggurat of the Necromancer once dominated the land. During this time, the Society encountered a returning race from the time before the Old World, now known only as “The Bugs” after their resemblance to natural insects as well as similar tales from the Old World of such beings.
The Bugs are an inhuman thing, demons in word and deed. From whence they came none knew for some time, for they are intelligent as a whole and cunning in their ways. However, typifying the Bug way was a mastering of biology far beyond—initially—that which Man possessed in the form of the Society; Bugs, as one would expect from things mocking Creation’s perfection, are specialized creatures acting under the control of a hive mind. Specific types of Bugs would come and go as the Hive Mind saw fit, depending upon what the Society did, keeping the Society and the Republic on its toes.
The Sky-Blue Republic could not endure against the Bugs were it not for the Society and its mastery of magic and science, employed as technology and techniques, and in the 5th year of this war our story’s hero completed his studies at the Hidden College of the Inner City and joined the war full time as one of the Society’s many warrior-savants. His name of birth is lost now, but we know that he did not take the name of “Nala” until he became an Initiate at the Hidden College of the Inner City and thus committed himself to the Society.
Nala learned as an apprentice to the First Founder, Roger M. Ire, the sole surviving founder of the Society and the Sky-Blue Republic at the time of the Bug War. From him Nala learned more than the principles of energy and matter, more than the mastery of number and mythology. Nala learned music, poetry and athletics- always relating back to the mastery of principles of natural law. The practice of the many martial arts taught him how to comprehend flows of energy that study of physics and chemistry never could, the recital of monologues and soloist pieces taught him more about anatomy and sonics than medical studies ever did. This mixture of arts and sciences produced superior development of Nala’s capabilities than any alternative regime could allow.
So, despite Nala’s youth he was a well-rounded and highly-experienced man when he left the Hidden College. At the age of 21, Nala possessed a quality that many of the people of the Republic envied- and that the Bugs would soon come to fear and despise.