The Precursors were the ancient inhabitants of Karath-din, also known as the Lost City, and the surrounding areas. Their culture existed long before The City was established, and ended with the disaster that buried Karath-din underground. During Garrett's time, the Keepers, the Hand Brotherhood, and high-ranking members of the Mechanist Order were for the most part the only ones who knew of its location, though many citizens are familiar with the legends of the Precursor civilization. Some members of the nobility, Gervaisius in particular, are willing to pay extravagantly for Precursor relics.
Tales and ancient writings described the Precursors as a prosperous and opulent civilization of no small technical and magical ability. Karath-din was the pearl of the Precursor empire. The presence of a library, a colosseum and a Classical Greek-style theater stood as a sign of the cultural development of their civilization.
The Precursors, who valued their parchments highly, moved the contents of the library to the archives below the temple-palace to protect them from the disaster, but these have never been recovered. What little remains of their maps and signs are written in a type of pseudo-Egyptian Hieroglyph, whereas informal texts use a language that can be understood, at least by Keeper initiates.
The Precursors were led by a patriarchal line of divine emperors. The emperor and his attendants were distanced from the people, which lead to the rise of a bureaucracy. A group known as the Guild of Enlightenment also had a significant influence in the lives of the Precursors, although possibly in secret.
Their religious affiliations are not well understood, but it is clear that they personified the four elements as deities and performed ritual sacrifice in times of hardship to appease them. The Earth goddess, in particular, received such offerings as four "hallowed geldings", but was not to be appeased.
The interment of Va-Taraq sheds light on their belief in an afterlife in which the body is entombed with treasures "to serve him in his nether days". Although both sarcophagi in his tomb are empty, the presence of a Canopic Jar signifies the great emphasis on the preservation of the body.
As 'Precursor' means something that comes before (latin 'praecursor', meaning Forerunner) and it often given to the names of races or earlier items, it most likely isn't the name of the culture but a name people refer to them as, as they are the culture before there one started.
- ↑ The_Lost_City:_In-game_text#M9BENIIR
- ↑ The_Lost_City:_In-game_text#M9RUITAN
- ↑ The_Lost_City:_In-game_text#M9RAIN
- ↑ The_Lost_City:_In-game_text#M9TOMB
The following is a list of all identified precursors (except N'Lahotep, who is known only to have a temple dedicated to him):