How TERA Began
The world of TERA began millennia ago when two titans of unimaginable power, Arun and Shara, met in a formless void. For reasons we can only guess, they fell asleep. And as they slept, Tera took shape around them. If you look at a map of the world today, you can see Arun and Shara—their sleeping bodies became the two continents that bear their names. Centuries passed, and deserts, mountains, rivers, and forests grew upon Arun and Shara. Yet still they slept.
Even for an omnipotent titan, every sleep is a chance to dream. As Arun and Shara slept, their dreams came to life—life in the literal sense. Arun’s and Shara’s dreams coalesced into the first living beings to call Tera home. These first creatures, twelve in all, had godlike power. Yet it wasn’t long before schemes and rivalries emerged and the gods were at each other’s throats.
All the while, Arun and Shara continued to dream, and their new dreams took shapes familiar to the gods. These new creatures—the mortals—were far more numerous, but far less powerful.
Arun dreamed of ambitious Elves, clever Humans, honorbound Amani, powerful Giants, scheming Devas, and mischievous Poporis. Shara dreamed of sly Sikandari, dark Gulas and Vampirs, fierce Wendigos, strange Faeries, and serpentine Nagas.
In time, the twelve gods would go to war—first against each other directly, and then drawing the mortal races into their battles. These divine wars left most of the gods dead, imprisoned, or otherwise diminished.
The mortal races didn’t escape unscathed. Some—like the Sikandari, and most of the Giants—were wiped out. Others—like the Baraka and the Castanics—emerged from the conflict itself. And as TERA begins, the Humans, High elves, Amani, Castanics, Baraka, and Poporis have banded together…
…and together they’ll fight a menace from beyond their world: the Argons, a metallic race from the Underworld. Unless stopped, they’ll destroy Arun and Shara, and then the dream will end for everyone.
When the Island of Dawn rose from the sea, the entire world stopped and took notice. Located off the coast of Arcania Province, the island is home to mysterious ruins, lush plant life, and abundant and hostile fauna. No one knows what secrets the island holds, but that hasn't stopped everyone from trying to find out.
An enormous gap isolates the island from the coast—a great ring of waterfalls where the hulks of ships jut out like great skeletons. Mysterious beams lance into the sky, and an enormous floating tree dominates the landscape. Clues and hints abound, but the ruins offer few answers.
The Valkyon Federation called upon Elleon, a skilled soldier and prefect, to lead a mission to explore the Island of Dawn and uncover its mysteries. The finest minds and the bravest troops were dispatched to the island. They encountered swarms of guardian spirits, strange cultists, and terrifying demons. Twisted by Karascha’s will and power, the island's denizens turned on the Federation expedition and slaughtered them.
Now the Federation is in a race. Who will be the first to claim the island's secrets, and its power? Orcan warlords gather their forces, cultists scheme to reach their own dark ends, and the demons bring their infernal might to bear. As the Federation reinforcements arrive, will their skill and strength be enough to snatch victory away or will they, too, face their doom?
You are among those chosen. When the call came to return to the Island of Dawn, you didn't hesitate. The days of training are done, but the battle for TERA has just begun!
The heart of the Valkyon Federation, Southern Arun is separated from Northern Arun by the Great Rift, the massive scar dating to the death of Balder. With vast deserts, sweltering jungles, and verdant woodlands, Arun is as varied in landscape as in inhabitants: Humans, Poporis, and Castanics all call the continent home. A great deal of hard work went into creating a new future for all, and it's finally paying off.
Or is it?
With the Argon invasion of Shara, the bulk of the Federation's military is fighting valiantly to hold the front line. Velika, the seat of the Federation, stands alone as foes both old and new draw closer. Orcans and Kulkari drive farmers from their lands and threaten the city’s food supply. The Popori struggle against mercenaries, cultists, and rogue Vampirs while watching many of their own descend into madness. To the east, amidst steaming jungles and fiery mountains, the Castanics remain cryptic and inscrutable, forging their own path when it suits them.
The great Human city of Velika is the jewel of Southern Arun. Built by Humans in collaboration with the goddess Velik, the city is the capital of the Federation and the nexus of trade and diplomacy, as well as being the center of the struggle for Southern Arun. The landscape is dominated by the Great Machine, which not only powers the city but helps protect it.
Southeast of Velika lies Poporia, the kingdom of forest spirits made flesh, where the Popori struggle to cure the Vampirs of an ailment that drives them mad with bloodlust. Even more troubling are the droves of Poporis who follow a cult with an ominous agenda. With castles full of dark witches and vampiric aristocrats, the darkness infecting Poporia is deeper than anyone suspects, and may threaten the very foundation of the Federation.
Northeast of Velika, shrouded by dark clouds, is Castanica. Named for the clan of renegade Devas who turned their back on all gods after Ishara’s betrayal, Castanica's an open city filled with those struggling or scheming to make their fortunes. Battling slavers to the south and demons to the north, Castanica abounds with the tough and brash, a city where nearly anything goes.
Northern Shara is a land cleft by war, where the implacable Argons rose from the underworld to invade the surface world. Using immense, crawling drillers and terraforming machinery, the Argons aren’t trying to conquer Shara. Their exact purpose is unknown, but it’s clear they want to expunge all life and transform the land, not rule it.
Shara has its stalwart defenders, though. They’ve gathered at the Amani fortress-city of Kaiator, the largest city in Northern Shara. Kaiator has survived thirty years of incessant attacks from the Argons. Even as the Argons ruin the surrounding lands and amass armies at Kaiator’s steel walls, the city hasn’t fallen.
Northern Shara is a vast battlefield dominated by a brutal war between the Argon invaders and the defenders of the Valkyon Federation. The continent’s largest city, Kaiator, is an oasis of safety and an engine of industry, its massive magma-fueled factories churning out arms and armor to aid the war effort. Within Kaiator’s walls, the forces of the Valkyon Federation plan counterattacks against the Argon menace in northern Shara, sending column after column of fresh troops northward to do battle against the creatures from the underworld.
When those armies march north of Kaiator, they see lands under active Argon terraforming. The invasion began with a great tear in the earth where the first swarms of Argons emerged—an area now known as the Black Cave. The Argons patrol there to this day, guarding the entrance to their mysterious underworld while sending out armies to darken more of Tera.
Further south are the massive terraforming machines, which brave soldiers from Kaiator attempt to sabotage or destroy. So far the machines crawl forward unabated, but they remain a prime target for Valkyon Federation forces. The only respite in Northern Shara is the arctic plain that surrounds Kaiator itself—and even it isn’t totally safe. Rumors abound that fierce wendigos ambush unwary travelers and sometimes entire patrols.
The great rift that marks the barrier between northern and southern Shara shelters a more temperate clime, where giant frond-trees can blot out the sky at times—and hide the mad cultists, hostile nature spirits, and native tribes that existed in this place long before the Valkyon Federation’s armies marched here to stop the Argon armies.
Southern Shara is a land of ancient mysteries, where countless feet—not all of them human—have trod on the dust of ancient civilizations. Many empires have called southern Shara home: the nagas, the giants, the fey...and today the High Elves rule here. But are they just the latest in a series of civilizations to lose themselves amid this land’s many perils? Allemantheia, fabled city of the High Elves, is the brightest jewel in Shara’s crown. A literal oasis in the desert, Allemantheia’s many waterfalls and canals make it seem worlds apart from the parched landscape that surrounds it. The schemes of the High Elves take them many places, but their plans often begin with whispered conversations in these halls of power.
The High Elves have turned the central regions of southern Shara into a desiccated husk—for Allemantheia needs its water, and the surrounding lands must provide. But just because the countryside is a sandy wasteland doesn’t mean it’s unoccupied…or uncontested. The Sienna Canyon and the Labyrinth of Solitude in particular are home to bandits, ancient warriors from bygone campaigns, and spirits inimical to all life.
In Westonia is icy Mount Tyrannas, as cold as the tyrant’s heart it was named after and home to spirits who seek to steal the warmth of the living. The Federation town of Acarum clings to life, but for how long?
The climate is more temperate—though the hazards just as severe—to the southeast, where the town of Frontera engages in bustling trade despite strange apparitions to the south and sinister rumblings from the forbidden Temple of Dagon to the north.
To the north is Essenia, a province once coveted by the elves…and it took a coalition of armies to stop their northward advance. Today the Valkyon Federation claims Essenia, though its actual power doesn’t reach far beyond the town of Tralion, jumping-off point for many pilgrimages to the Fountain of Life, where the faithful can walk atop the water in the fountain basin and hope for a powerful blessing. Demons lurk in the nearby forests, however, and rumors abound of a mysterious “Siege Perilous” of demonic manufacture, somewhere deep in the woods.
Sources of Lore
There are actually two possibly conflicting versions of TERA lore. Part of lore was penned in En Masse by their creative team.
David Noonan worked as Lead Writer and Writing Team Manager at En Masse Entertainment 2009–2013. Some other TERA writers working at En Masse were Scott James Magner and Brian Campbell. En Masse also hired content writer R. K. MacPherson who wrote some short stories.
Other sources of lore are dev interviews, which are more questionable and answers may be more or less ad hoc. (Example of this is question about Elin lifespan).
There is other version of TERA lore originally written for Taiwanese version of TERA. Taiwanese version is more complete and forms a single logical story. However, it has several differences compared to En Masse published lore.
This lore was translated from Chinese to English by Asclei and posted to TERA Today forums. When TERA Today was closed, this text has been copied to En Masse and Gameforge forums.
- TERA unveils race and class series, world lore, engadget, 2010
- Massively exclusive: The lore of TERA's Castanics by R. K. MacPherson, engadget, 2010
- Massively exclusive: The lore of TERA's Castanics, Part II by R. K. MacPherson, engadget, 2010
- En Masse shares new TERA argon lore, screens, engadget, 2012
- Massively exclusive: TERA lore dev blog, engadget, 2012
- dev interviews
- Taiwanese (Chinese) version of lore, translated