|Aether: The Arbiter's Tears
Author: freakofTheMesa PM
In the world the Raven left behind, a teenage boy must sacrifice his life to save the planet he loves. But amid this tale of tragedy, there are uncomfortable questions about to be answered... Rated T for occasional cursing, and controversial themes.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 46,467 - Reviews: 3 - Updated: 04-03-12 - Published: 08-22-11 - id: 7313576
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
QUICK DISCLAIMER: I known nothing to do with Raven. That stuff all belongs to the British Broadcasting Corporation, and I acknowledge that.
It is a strange area - history. What happened ten seconds ago, no matter how relevant it may have been to a person's life, is an area that many people are too fearful of to approach. Their only desired direction of thought is to what is either in front of them or ahead, and even when it is the natural answer to look backwards to observe a situation: it is still distorted by what their mind wanted to remember and what it didn't want to remember.
On the planet where the kingdoms of Alaunus and Linveria were situated - this was definitely the case. Despite everyone having an equal opportunity for education - there were still the majority of people who would want to blindly follow the words that people higher up in their self-proclaimed 'hierarchy' would tell them: press publications, royal speeches, even town elders... believing it was their purpose as human beings to pass down the information of those above them who offered that information. Yet that was a line that continued prior to the existence of their inspirations. But there were a select few who did not have that perceived luxury. They were natural-born thinkers who could not stop observing the world around them, wondering why they existed, observing every last little detail in the hope that all their thoughts and abstract dreams would click into place. And there were the even fewer few, who would look beyond the boundaries of what was around them: look at the areas that could not be seen, but yet must have been there; mathematical thinking applied to the world seen in front of their eyes. And it was through these few that an answer to the ultimate philosophical question: "why are we here?" was answered.
Of course, that is not to say that the field of history is perfect. Competition exists even among those who only seek truth, not intending to be competitive. But it is of the human nature for people to make choices of which extraordinary, historically-derived theory they follow: and it is the voice of the majority that speaks the loudest from a distance. And the most widely-accepted theory in this case was that of the Arnolan philosopher Samsa, put forward in the year 557 S.A.
Almost 1000 years before the time we are about to explore, a cluster of rocks existed in semi-orbital positions around a particular position in a particular galaxy. Through the mysterious ways of the cosmos, there was enough of a mixture of gravity and antigravity to allow these pieces of rock to remain in a position at ease with each other; almost just waiting to be formed. And somehow, and at some point, a strange phenomenon, now known as the First Power, crashed into the rock that was nearest the centre of the orbit: and through this enormous power, the planet that we now live on was formed.
And once this was done: the role of The Deity began to take shape. The Deity was the singular being, the Supreme, the One, the Grandfather and Grandmother of the universe where the Sun and Moon are Its children, the guardian and Ultimate Protector of the planet on which we live. To those of a later day, He was omniscient, omnipresent - but always immaterial. Some historians and philosophers even suspect that it was The Deity Themselves who had been the one to generate the First Power: creating our world.
But through His Judgement, the Deity knew he had to create six sorcerers - upholders of law that could walk the young crafted lands of terra, flora and fauna; to ensure the true safety of the world: Servants of the Deity. However: according to historians who hold cynical knives of analysis - He could not contemplate the form of his own powers, and created many more than the five originally intended. According to Samsa, it was eighteen who had emerged from the craft of what is now known to theologians as the 0th World, but He was not to let his judgement be beaten: and decided that the eighteen had to be narrowed down to one single champion - one worthy of being able to walk the land as a Sorcerer: so the Deity also created an anthropomorphic, skilled warrior now known as The Great Raven, to help guide these fellow 'warriors' as they competed for the title of champion. Through a four-week period of tough competition - a first champion, Lamar, was found, and he became the first Servant of the Deity; and such was the success of the method that The Deity guided the Raven to declare six more champions, each with skills different to the last.
However - we should consider that The Deity Himself was but still young at this point: and He had forgotten a critical aspect of the planet. Owing to the Being's construction of the planet, there existed five different layers that formed the life of the planet. There was the material worlds of Alaunus, Linveria and the Merchant Islands, that ordinary humans lived on. Then, beneath that, although thought to human beings as being heaven, - there was Lunaris - the divine world where the Servants Of The Deity trained and exercised their authority on the world. Then beneath that, there was the third layer, and the one that the Deity had forgotten about - Equilibrium. Ultimately, because of the methodology in which the planet was constructed - the existence of the world depended on volatile meta-particle physics kept in balance by Light and Dark Aether: with Aether being a constructed 'algorement' - an algorithmic element, one with pre-determined reactions tied to rules and contexts, almost like a computer, that ultimately influenced genetic coding: helping to create new life, as well as to influence and destroy it. It was also not a natural element, it was crafted from many, many, years of research... yet this fact eluded ordinary planetary citizens - who merely saw it as the governing force of the world around them: providing balances of positive and negative emotions.
But what exactly is Aether? A complex question, but, in my opinion, Aether is a radioactive element, that depending on its denomination, has the power to influence people's minds in so far as human tendency - good and bad behaviours, positive and negative emotions. It is almost directly linked to the sentient being held in the centre of it. If the sentient collapses, the Aether will disperse, and the world ends. If Equilibrium is broken to too much of an extent, the Sentient is not able to control it, and the world ends.
But going back to the original point: because the Deity had spent so much time focusing on bringing law and order into the world, that the world's equilibrium was starting to fade: light Aether was existing more than dark Aether within Equilibrium - and neither could rule dominantly over the other, without question. Therefore - the Deity realised He had to act. After Lamar's victory, He created a darker being known as Nevar from the same Aether material as the Great Raven had been; to walk the ground, now controlling the formerly-static demon army. The tournaments and worlds consequently grew darker. Over the course of the next four and five years of the 0th Age, six new champions were found: Grema, Jaddo, Linma, Arnor, Kenat and Versad. And soon after the seventh tournament was finished, the seven champions were summoned to Lunaris and The Deity provided each one with a distinct duty.
LAMAR- God of industry, creator of Lamarou
GREMA- Goddess of nature, creator of Gremii
JADDO- God of strength, creator of Jaddarus
LINMA & VERSAD- Gods of courage, creators of Linveria
ARNOR- Goddess of water, creator of Arnola
KENAT- Goddess of sky, creator of Kenatria
Soon after this, the kingdoms of Alaunus and Linveria properly came into fruition: and the First Age truly began. After their triumph, the Seven Gods vanished deep into the Earth - and theologians and historians alike do not know where they had gone to. Some believe that they had disappeared into an imaginary fourth layer that mathematicians call the 'epicentrum'. with only their spirits left to watch the kingdom; while others say the Deity simply deleted their existence as they were no longer needed, whilst leaving the magical auras of their Servant powers floating in Equilibrium to maintain their influence of justice and right on the kingdoms that they had created. But now, as a result of further geographical intervention by the Deity, Alaunus and Linveria co-existed as kingdoms parallel to one another, and The Deity soon spawned many of his 'children' to walk these new earths: becoming the citizens that walked the planet in the First Age. But as well as this, in order, according to historians to reinforce His power, he created a unique identification system for citizens that he could use to differentiate every single person from another: to identify those more clearly who were going to encourage disequilibrium. First, He used the symbols of the tournaments: sun, tree, mountain, wave, moon and cloud, as a birthmark to immediately create a political and social division, though not in an adversarial sense. A child's name would then be derived from the letters of both his parents' names, names chosen by The Deity and then channelled through a priest at childbirth so he could inform the parents of their names. Whichever parent they got the most letters from, their symbol would be that child's Primary Symbol, with their other being Secondary.
At first, the gift of inquisitiveness, an important aspect of equilibrium, had made citizens worry that the chosen system was proving too complex, but eventually it became an accepted, and sometimes tolerated, norm. 5-letter names were, and even now, remain the most common, while 4-letter and 6-letter are much rarer, and it is only about fifty times every century on average that a 7-letter or 3-letter warrior is formed. A pattern that was noticed by First and Second age historians was that those rare finds were and are somehow destined to shake the world in some way, whether it be in a good or bad way - which we shall see, although not so much as we would probably predict, later on. A side note to mention is that when a mother is pregnant, instead of giving birth naturally, they head to a birthing temple, and through His power, a priest uses divine magic to make the mother spawn from one to three children, with six births in ten resulting in one child being born, three in ten for two and just one in ten for three - with each married couple only being allowed one chance at pregnancy. Only heterosexual couples who were married could have children, and it is entirely luck that decides whether the child is a boy or a girl. The system, according to theorists, was to prevent problems that would stem from overpopulation, with the population always remaining at 1.5 million through this method - an ideally large amount according to His belief. After all, it was a small planet.
And so, over the next 200 years, life across the kingdoms of Alaunus and Linveria continued to grow and grow, and as population rates increased, technology progressed and communities grew. The world was entering an unrivalled stage of happiness. However, that was all about to change. One day, a mysterious citizen called Moyjo, who had always adventured off beaten paths to get away from the noises of society, entered the Mountains of Divinity and through his continual search for new phenomena - he found himself at an area known as the Border Lines, a geographical jagged line that presented the ways in which the geographical landmasses of Alaunus and Linveria were tied together. It is important to remember here that Moyjo was truly different among other created citizens, and many gave them the cruel label of someone suffering from mental retardation - giving him a cold emotional reception as a result of his sheer difference and undefinable nature: which was probably what lead to him to exploring the locations that he did so. But I digress.
Unfortunately, for the entire world, and for Moyjo, the young man happened to be carrying artefacts known as Fire Stones, whose origin and purpose were very much explained by their names. He somehow managed to drop them onto the border lines by accident - and what followed was a spectacular, exothermic reaction between the particle elements used to maintain the binding of the landmasses and the energy within the fire stones, causing irreparable damage to the landmasses and killing all of the citizens that walked the planet, including Moyjo himself. The worst casualty of the disaster however was Equilibrium itself - the deaths of all of the planet's citizens had allowed Equilibrium to imbalance itself again, this time more in the favour of Dark Aether. But The Deity would not be beaten, owing to his omnipotence, and so, before further environmental disaster occurred, with some areas of land still relatively volatile, and prone to aftershocks, He flooded all the planet with an ocean of white magic - erasing all that had existed up to that moment in time, and restoring the worlds, simply, to what they looked like at the formal beginning of the First Age; massaging Equilibrium.
And so, the First Age ended and the Second Age started.
Yet shortly before, deep within the ground, the forces of the god Kenat were about to come into play. Through her personal conviction or her spirits that roamed Equilibrium (that is a matter of theological debate), she did not hold any grievance towards what Moyjo had done, and sympathised with his personality (as opposed to the other Gods). And through permission of The Deity, she was allowed to create a new race for the Second Age based around the individual differences circulated in people like Moyjo. They were named the Citsituans - and Kenat's intention was to have them with her personal race, the Kenatrians, within their kingdom: and yet the Citsituans would begin their new lives, being directed and coaxed out of their own worlds and disconnection into the living breathing land around them through the careful direction of Kenatrians. But from the moment of their creation, Citsituans made their mark on the world through their truly unbelievable minds: through combining whatever islets of ability they had, they helped to reconstruct Kenatria City in a way never thought possible: a downward, sloping metropolis against a curved cliff-face that stood majestically against the canyon. And it was for this city that the Kenatrians and Citsituans would find the deepest war-like instincts in their minds to train and ultimately fight at any cost to protect their livelihood, until every last drop of blood was squeezed from their defeated enemies.
Yet Kenatria was not the only land to be built from scratch. Indeed, numerous sources of Second Age historical evidence chronicle the 'rebirth' of the Alaunian kingdoms in particular. The Deity was not about to allow a repeat for Moyjo's Mistake, and He himself, according to those cynical theologians again, had learnt from His own mistakes too. Towns and cities grew in size, structure and technology: with Lamarou becoming the centre-fold town for Alaunus - with the Royal Castle being built to dominate the town with its supreme stature and design; its overall central nature in trade and commerce made living citizen numbers grow there every year, for we must take into account that some citizens created to live in other lands chose to move to Lamarou at their own free will - the Deity did not restrict them. All other kingdoms grew too in concordance: with Gremii, Jaddarus and Arnola capitalising on the original art and knowledge that the Deity and Gods allowed them to retain from The First Age, to shape their own societies. And, unknown to a few, contemporary Alaunian historians life grew in Linveria too, and as we may see later: it can be argued to be almost technologically and efficiently better as a landmass than Alaunus. But alas, both Alaunus and Linveria now refused, after the Treaty of Sotos, to actually engage with each other in any policies of any kind. People from Alaunus could enter Linveria. People from Linveria could enter Alaunus. But all political factors intertwining the two lands on either side of the Merchant Islands were removed. In fact, there were many citizens in both kingdoms who refused to recognise each other's existence: it was what made the prospect of becoming a historian appear less attractive in recent years: difficult issues would have to be addressed, and some people are not prepared to accept the truth.
But how, despite life being rewound at the First Age, did the Second Age historians know about its existence? Archaeology. Life was only rewound above ground. Many telltale factors of First Age life were still buried beneath the feet of the modern citizens.
And that concludes your personal introduction to the planet in question, and we will begin the story. To us, we will discover how contrary to what all citizens believe, the Deity Himself was not an invincible being: and that His true origins went beyond all contemplation of what citizens saw in Him. And this arguably is what shaped what is to come. It is 651 years into the Second Age: and we start to describe how a certain select group of citizens, young and old, bound by blood and motive, became unknown heroes in the lands they called home as the planet faced its biggest threat to have faced it since its original creation. Not all will immediately feel the fires of this war - but there will be a few who are young, that will, before anyone else, stumble into their life-changing positions; and those who casually side-step it now will not be able to escape so easily later on. It is around this time that the first crack in His armour appears.
It is time to tell the story of the world that never was.
I'm still in the process of writing the concluding chapters of this story, so please be patient before the next upload. Rate & review!