In the Era of Myth, there existed a civilization called Neruvia, the capital of which was built
upon the top of the Spire at the center of the known world. This civilization embodied the very best and worst of mankind—from here some of the more powerful Paragons reigned over all below them, controlling the weather, the seasons, the forces of nature, and the people of the world. Their edicts were those of gods, though in truth they were not omnipotent as gods should be.
Long before the Residuum, the Paragons predicted the end of their world. Envisioning the imminent Cataclysm, the ancient nation of Neruvia began its most desperate and ambitious project—a monolithic Ark, built by dwarves and titan men, fusing clockworks, steam power, electricity and magical mythworks. At the center of the Ark was an all-knowing mechanical Oracle, with all the wisdom of the Paragons but without the emotions of a living being. The Ark would ferry millions of citizens to the Great Rim, a land they believed would survive the Cataclysm. They named it Neru Ulithia Aksus, which translates roughly as the Neruvian Great Ark.
However, the Cataclysm struck before the Ark was finished and Neruvia found itself struggling with wars and massive upheaval within the inner mechanisms of the World Machine—earthquakes, brood creatures, dissonance wells and astral squalls ravaged the lands. Though they toiled night and day to complete the Ark, the enemies of Neruvia soon brought war to their doorstep, destroying their empire from the outside inward. As the capital was breached by invaders, they made one final act of desperation.
The Ark, incomplete, powered up and millions boarded. It took to the air and rose magnificently over the city, decimated the enemy forces with its mythical armaments, then gracefully sailed down from the spire and through the clouds to the skies below. However, the maiden voyage of the Neru Ulithia Aksus was to end in tragedy.
Having only made it as far as the coastline, the Ark’s flight wavered. Something deep in the bowels of this machine ruptured, causing an explosion of such magnitude that it brightly lit foreign shores hundreds of miles away. Then it fell—a great moaning, screeching, thundering sound, accompanied by the mechanical wails of the Oracle within and the cries of a million passengers whose lives flashed before their eyes.
As the Ark smashed into the ground, hundreds of thousands perished instantly. The landscape below them was torn apart beyond recognition. For months the Neru Ulithia Aksus vented steam, hissed, groaned, bled rivers of oil and belched smoke. And then it died, enveloping the land in complete silence.
Years later, the survivors of the Ark began to run out of food. They were divided: some stayed because the Ark was so defensible; others left to seek out surviving civilizations; many founded small settlements nearby. And throughout this time, the people of the Ark called themselves Neruvians, using their fallen city as the name for their homeland, but shortened to Neru-Aksus. For hundreds of years, the city expanded out from the Ark and began to establish itself around the coast. Eventually, the influence of other languages changed the city’s name to Neksus.
The year 0 NE commemorates the day when the last survivors of the Ark finally abandoned its wreckage, and the city officially became the City State of Nexus. They cast off the years of suffering and the ways of the Paragons in order to found a new world. The only link Nexus maintains to the Era of Myth is through contact with the Oracle, who still resides deep in the wreckage of the Ark.
Knowledge of the Oracle is restricted, classified, off the charts. Even the political bodies of the city are forbidden access. While the Oracle works in the best interests of the city, communication must go through a dedicated order known as The Neruvites, who are indoctrinated by the Oracle itself. All that can be said is that the Oracle has never answered a question incorrectly, but is crippled or broken somehow, with only enough strength to answer questions over months or years.