The Time of Gold Long ago, before the thinking races had tamed the horse or built the first cities, the rune-guardians of Ashen Empires mastered the magic of the runes, learned to control animals and plants and perhaps even weather... and then vanished. Centuries later, the peace they had fashioned still endured. Food was plentiful, customs were calm, and people had no ancient hatreds to blind them. The thinking races — humans, night elves, orcs, and other folk — did not wage war upon one another. Wise rule, hard work, and brisk trade ensured prosperity. Knowledge was shared, dangerous beasts kept outside the frontiers, and all the land was a single nation.