The world of Aerth has undergone many a cataclysm and lost multiple civilizations, each leaving behind relics of the world that once was. It was inevitable that various parties would turn to a livelihood centered on the recovery of those items. Antiquarians and scholars have often turned to the relic hunters to undertake the risks, sometimes mistakenly hiring adventuring companies who know little about the best ways to preserve the recovered past.
Some of the more common categories of ancient relics
Ancient Fey (2000 – 4000 years before present)
Scattered across the northern continent, ancient cities have fallen, overgrown by the wilds. Some relics have been little more than abandoned towers long since felled and collections of poetry but from time to time there is something of great worth still to be found. Crys-blades are one of the better known examples, blades formed of a single crystal that sing the ancient songs and appear nigh impervious to mortal forces.
Dragon Lords (2500 – 3500 years before present)
Coming from the east, seldom seen further west than the lands of Merrovin, the Dragonlords were feared and reviled by the other elder races of Elf and Dwarf. Masters of dragons (or according to some, the descendents of) and the arcane arts, they ruled with an iron claw until the unknown disaster came that all but wiped them out, leaving only rumours and relics of this once powerful people.
Arcane armour fashioned in the shape of dragons have been attributed to the Dragon Lords, frequently found alongside mystical items of powerful enough to have withstood the ravages of time.
The Empire of the Leng (3000 – 4000 years before present)
Once located deep in the jungles of the Southern Continent, believed to have been consumed by an unspeakable horror unwittingly unleashed. Their distant descendents are belived to be the lizard folk and bullywugs that are now common to the region.
Legends are more prevelant than actual finds, suggesting great treasures of gold and jewels. Explorers that have dared ventured into the cyclopean temples have more often returned scarred and cursed with madness.
The Mage Kings of Ur (2000 – 4000 years before present)
For a time the Mage Kings of Ur ruled all that they surveyed from the southern coast of the Emerald Sea to the border of Leng to south. Under their watchful eye were the mighty monoliths of Koth constructed and the Necropolis established to house their remains for eternity, though the latter was forever lost beneath the ever shifting sands that now bear their name. From their reign did the great civilizations learn of divination and the tracking of the stars and the names of the forgotten gods. So at least the priests of Koth tell us. Other witnesses to the glory of Ur are hard to find these days.
In the end, the Mage Kings took their treasures with them, perhaps being responsible for the great Ur Desert swallowing up their final resting places. Reportedly their tombs remain guarded by great beasts and spectral remains.
The Underdark (??)
Many an unknown has been buried deep within the bowels of Aerth. The best known are the Drow and the Dwarf, but they are not alone. Legends persist of unspeakable horrors who feast on the minds of sentients, others who have no form but repeat from mishapen mouths the speach of their long dead masters, and offspring cast off from the Primal Ones when Aerth was still fresh.
The First Arkean Empire (1200 to 1800 years previous)
Though more recent than most of the lost elder civilizations, there were many notable achievements discovered by the ancient Arkeans that were then lost during the Vecna Event and the following barbarian invasions.
Among the ancient ruins of the Arkeans there have been arms and armour unreproduced since, arcane formulas, and tomes of lore.