The Ophidian culture started in the Lands of Danger and Despair shortly after the sundering of the continents after Mondain's defeat at the hands of the Hero. One of the kings of the land, Shamino, was stranded in the Lands of Lord British, and the other, the King of the White Dragon, went insane and killed himself and his subjects.
It was at this time that the Great Serpents contacted the remaining people from the Void. They told the people that if they followed the Great Serpents, they would prosper. The newly named Ophidians quickly built their culture around the Great Serpents and their virtues. They established cities and shrines throughout the renamed Serpent Isle, most of them beneath the huge mountain ranges of Skullcrusher and Spinebreaker, though some were built upon the existing cities. Blackrock was a small, but important part of the Ophidian culture, as it was used in many of the holy items made for use in the shrines, and were imbued with certain magical properties.
The Ophidians were split into three factions, one following the tenets of the Serpent of Order, another following the Serpent of Chaos, and the third following the Great Earth Serpent of Balance. This last group was but few, yet they managed to keep the two opposing philosophies of Chaos and Order at peace with one another, ruled by their respective Hierophants, or leaders, but all being subject to the Great Hierophant of Balance, who in turn communicated the will of the Serpent of Balance.
The Ophidians lived in peace for many years, though the exact length is unknown because of time differences between our Britannia and the Serpent Isle. They had many accomplishments, one being the Serpent Gates, or Dark Path as it was later called. The Serpent Gates allowed instantaneous travel between many of the Ophidian holy places and cities. Another, perhaps the most spectacular of them all, was the Wall of Lights. Three of these magical Walls were made, and they allowed the Hierophants of Chaos, Order, and Balance to enter the Void and commune with their benefactors the Great Serpents.
All of this peace and prosperity was not to last, however, as the Hell-Spawn Exodus, during the Third Age of Darkness, pulled the Great Earth Serpent from the Void in order to protect his castle from assault. The Great Earth Serpent was eventually freed by the Hero, but when he returned he found the Ophidian culture and cities destroyed. During the Great Earth Serpent's long absence, the rival Serpents of Chaos and Order used their followers to wage war against each other in what became the War of Imbalance. During this war, the cities were destroyed and most of the people killed, and eventually Order prevailed. The Chaos Serpent was split into the three Banes, and entrapped by the servants of Order. Having nowhere to live, the remaining servants of Order fled through the Wall of Lights. To where they fled is a mystery, and none but the Order Serpent itself may know. But the Order Serpent's victory was short-lived, as he was alone in the Void, without followers, he went slowly insane. This is what greeted the Serpent of Balance upon his return. The ruins of the Ophidians lay forgotten until the arrival of the settlers, led by Erstam the mage, that fled from Britannia and the rule of Lord British. Yet these people did little to study or preserve the remains of the ancient culture. Upon the arrival of the Avatar, the Hero from Another World, the Ophidian cities and shrines were once again discovered by the Avatar and his Companions. Through the efforts of the Hero from Another World, the Serpents were restored to their place in the Void, yet the Ophidians still lay in their mountain tombs, but their souls now rested in the Void.
Orb Of The Moons
An extremely old and powerful type of transportation device, an Orb of the Moons can create red moongates that lead almost anywhere. Red moongates have been documented leading from world to world, place to place within a world, and from time to time within a world. There is little that can block the formation of a red moongate: even the mightiest magical prison known proved unable to prevent Lord British from using his Orb of the Moons to open a gate to escape once it was brought to him. There were three Orbs of the Moons known to exist. One was in the possession of Lord British, normally kept in his private chambers. The second was sent by the Gargoyles to Earth in an almost sucessful attempt to trap the Avatar for sacrifice, and the third was in the possession of Lord Draxinusom of the Gargoyle people. The Orbs opened destinations dependant on placement relative to their user. By placing or throwing the Orb to a spot and concentrating, the Orb would create a red Moongate to a specific place. No matter where in the world the user was standing, if the Orb was placed at the same distance and bearing from him, the resulting moongate created would lead to the same location. During the time of the Fellowship, the Orbs belonging to Lord British and Lord Draxinusom were disrupted by the Sphere Generator inside the dungeon Despise. They were exceedingly unreliable, even potentially lethal to use, with one fatality reported by Lord British himself. When the Sphere was destroyed, the two Orbs of the Moons also appeared to lose their powers. The Orb belonging to the Avatar, apparently left behind on Earth, would not have been affected by the Sphere's destruction. By the time of the Guardian's final attempt to destroy Britannia, mages had found a way to partially restore function to the Orbs. By taking one to the site of a Moongate and using it there, it was possible to create a purplish hued moongate to another moongate location. However this was much less useful than the previous almost infinite destinations from any location offered before the destruction of the Guardian's Sphere Generator.
One of the three Serpents of the Ethereal Void, the Order Serpent was the living embodiment of the Forces of Order, part of what made up the Principles of Balance. Following the Great Earth Serpent's disappearance from the Void, the Order Serpent began to fight with the Chaos Serpent. This action precipitated the War of Imbalance, in which most of the Ophidians were killed. Secretly responsible for the death of the Great Hierophant of Balance, the forces of Order began work on their ultimate warrior, the Lords of Discipline. These warriors, automatons filled with the spirits of slain Order warriors, became the High Command of the forces of Order, based out of the Temple of Discipline. Near the end of the War, the followers of Order, killed the Hierophant of Chaos at the Temple of Enthusiasm, and laid waste to the Chaos city of Skullcrusher killing all within. Pleased with their victory over Chaos, the Hierophant of Order opened the Wall of Lights within the Grand Shrine of Order, deep within the city of Spinebreaker, and led the followers of Order into the Ethereal Void. Without its followers, the Serpent of Order went mad within the Void. This state lasted until the sage Batlin, under orders from the Guardian, attempted to reopen the Wall of Lights, in hopes of gaining power from the trapped Banes of Chaos. Although Batlin was killed in his attempt, the action reawakened the Order Serpent to the happenings of Serpent Isle. When the Avatar recreated the Chaos Serpent at the Grand Shrine of Chaos, the Order Serpent became enraged and began to fight with Chaos again. Hoping to prevent the Avatar from recreating the Balance, the Order Serpent commanded its remaining followers to attack the Avatar within the Grand Shrine of Balance on Sunrise Isle. Fortunately for the lands, the Avatar survived the attack and was able to restore the Balance to the land of Serpent Isle. The Order Serpent remains held in Balance within the Ethereal Void, entwined between the Serpents of Balance, and Chaos.