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Twisted Confessional | Settings

Haztory

A Brief History Of Time

Before Time moved, the elements were separate and alone. Night over Air over Water over Earth over Fire. In the beginning, the cosmos was unchanging. And then there was motion.

Fire immediately reacted, surging and churning and burning, digging into the flesh of Earth. Earth quaked, trying to snuff Fire with its dust, tossing Water into Air. But Fire was stubborn, and not easily quenched. Eventually, Fire erupted from the other side of Earth, and met Water.

Stirred by Earth's quaking, Water poured through the tunnels Fire had excavated, a battle of steam and ashes. Earth quaked harder as Water rushed downwards, crashing in waves, tearing Earth apart as assuredly as Fire had done. Steam rose upwards and mixed with Air, becoming clouds, and there were the first rains. Yet Fire was tenacious - its sparks caught the winds of Air, stirred into motion and as it rose above the clouds it burned hotter and brighter, until it found its way into Night, and nothing was left sacred.

Soon, the elements were in pieces, and cosmos became chaos. For an age, a storm raged as large as Creation, tearing apart the elements and consuming them, mixing them together in new and different ways. And from the eye of that storm came the gods of the gods, islands of stability. These first beings, the Great Old Ones, were all but formless - having nothing but shape, and coherence. Yet they carried within them the spark of creation - and that was the most important part of all.

It is said that these Great Old Ones separated the Elements, and were the architects of the stars and planets, and forged the cosmos into the form we know today. These primordials, these Celestials, took the chaos and gave it order - they took the circular cosmos and gave it direction - they took the destruction and turned it into creation. Yet they were not omnipotent, and out of the stuff of creation itself, they molded the gods, to maintain and to create where they could not. And the gods enjoyed their roles, creating life and maintaining order.

Eventually, one of the Celestials looked around and decided It wanted to create life that could experience the cosmos that Its Kin had wrought. And so It created Man, fashioning Man after Its own image. And It took Its creation to the elements, and bound one element after another to the mold.

Where Men took to Earth, there came the Darrow, sculptors of stone, masters of crafts, adept wielders of the center of magic, hard and steady as the rocks in which they thrive. Where Men took to Water, there came the Vanai, eternals, explorers, philosophers, who take to the Essence like a fish to the ocean, connected to life and forced to feed on it to stay young. Where Men took to Air, there came the Avalir, the frail flyers whose internal magic is unsurpassed, their minds are as sharp as steel, and their ingenuity is hard to beat. Where Men took to Fire, there came the Emir, bodies like a sword tempered by fire, even the most cultured are wild, quick and potentially devastating. And where Men took to Night, there came the pale Rakshasa, the strangest of the Old Races, subtle, swift and deadly, they wield little magic yet still do miraculous things. And thus were the Old Races born.

And so The Five Races were scattered throughout the cosmos, brought to every sun and left in the care of the gods therein. Some gods grew jealous while others embraced the new responsibilities. And in some places, the Old Races met each other, and the original mold of Man was brought forth into the world again. For, barring the intervention of magic or the divine, whenever two Old Races mix, their elements are lost in the scourge of conception, and their children are Man. And whenever Man and one of the Old Races mixes, the native element of the Old Race shines forth in the children born.

Meanwhile, the Great Old Ones have turned to slumber, or perhaps still labor in other, distant parts of the cosmos. But they have gone, leaving the gods themselves behind to tend to their own devices.

Prehistory

When the Celestials left, they gave each stella* five gods to act as their stewards. Each god was given the responsibility of one of the elements. On the shores of each stella, beyond the planets, is the Opik, a cloud of frozen creation. It is in these etheric foams that comets are born, and occasionally gods.

In our home stella, Hazaril, the first gods were set. Nyx was given the night; Rhayn the air; Vond the waters; Daregar the earth; and Kelytos the fire - and the responsibility for stoking the sun. Five siblings, each inseparable, they created life on all the planets. Vond's masterpieces were the seas; Daregar the land; and Rhayn the beasts that fly. The others dabbled in life (Nyx created the insects), but their true talents laid elsewhere.

They claimed the largest planet, Irenon, as their home. Each god took one of its moons, and in its core, they built a citadel full of glory and wonder.

An age passed, and the Five Races were brought to Hazaril. Kelytos embraced these new charges, choosing to become their champion. Vond remained uncertain, dis** moods changing like the tides. Rhayn was merely curious, watching them intently. Daregar was unconcerned, and went about business as usual. Only Nyx was displeased by these new arrivals - de grew cold and distant from the others. And soon they began to fight over the paths that these people would take - they fought until they grew weary of fighting, and still the people chose their own paths.

Eventually, Nyx stumbled across a new god - one born in the ethereal foam. This god said dis name was Beleth. De was a slippery deity, feral and wild, tempestuous. Beleth learned the wonders and joy that come from nightmares, and the things that go bump in the night, and fell in love with storms. Beleth discovered how to have children with The Five Races, and bred the Great Spiders.

Refugees

In another stella, a war was raging between its gods. Where the gods of Hazaril grew weary of fighting, the gods of Nonlemor continued their struggles. One of theirs, the newest, Zareth, was a vengeful and jealous deity - feeling that all should worship dei. Eventually, one of their number, Phelan, their deity of Air, grew weary of the war, and came through the strands, for some reason choosing Hazaril as a destination.

Away from the battle, Phelan started founding universities on the inhabited planets of Hazaril, encouraging the pursuit of knowledge. Phelan had always been intrigued in the creation of life, but wanted to know more about its mechanics. So, de claimed the Twenty-three Realms (the moons of the second-largest planet), to perform experiments. Since then, dis planet has been known by dis name.

The next refugee from the war of Nonlemor was Lasia, their deity of Water, following Phelan. Kelytos was immediately smitten when Lasia arrived, and almost immediately, they coupled. Their children are the Dragons.

Sadly, while civilization started to grow in Hazaril, the war continued in Nonlemor. The next god seeking refuge was Charisha, their deity of Night. Much like Kelytos and Lasia, de found a soulmate in Rhayn. Their children are the Urgo.

The war in Nonlemor ended decisively: their god of Fire, Thakanae, caused the star of Nonlemor to explode. De brought dis lover, Arista (of Earth), through the strands, along with a handful of Nonlemorean loyalists (Kaanans). The god responsible for the war, a 'new god' like Beleth, was named Zareth, and believed to be destroyed in the nova. Zareth's loyalists, the Zarenes, similarly were believed destroyed.

The last straw, what caused Thakanae to abandon Nonlemor, was the rape of Arista by Zareth. Zareth wanted Thakanae to bear dis heir, but in the end settled for Arista. After coming through to Hazaril, Arista left Thakanae's side to the more comforting arms of Daregar. This left Thakanae burning with jealousy and resentment; Phelan was there with calming winds. Soon, this pairing parted.

In Hazaril, at the time, the nations of the world of Logrim had broken into the ether, and had discovered the icy world of Taros. Thakanae further distracted disself by encouraging the conquest of the Tarosi by Logrim. Egged on by Thakanae and dis Kaanan followers, the Logrim carved out huge swaths of territory of primitive Taros, in the name of the Circle of Nations. The Logrim colonies grew prosperous, at the expense of the natives of Taros, who were not nearly as advanced as the Logrim. It was a great time for gods and the Races alike - even conquered, the people of Taros provided many ideas to the Logrim, and contributed much to their combined advancement.

But the Golden Age was not to last. For Thakanae was working behind the scenes, having grown bored with the imbalanced conquest. So, de broke the Circle of Nations, and began the Two Heavens War. As the nations of the Circle battled, the colonies on Taros were drawn into the conflict, declaring alliances or independences or falling to war within themselves. The war devastated both worlds - the first and last of its kind, fought with magic and technology that was lost with Logrim. From all descriptions, the battles were devastating.

And throughout the war, Thakanae and Kelytos manipulated and battled, their followers opposing each other, the Nations of the Circle bound in twisted alliances. This feud is probably the greatest reason the battle had stretched on into the next year, and the year after, despite the meat grinder the battlefields had become. As the death toll rose, Thakanae cackled in glee, and Kelytos looked in vain for some way out of the nightmare.

After six years of war, an armistice was finally signed in Mahuatl, ending the most deadly war in recorded history. Neither side was triumphant, but Kelytos had sued for peace, and Thakanae's warriors knew they would not hold for much longer. Many of the veterans were given land on Taros, put out of sight in hopes that the memories of the war would fade from the Circle of Nations. Those nations who fought for Thakanae were punished severely. Everyone thought it was over.

Deicide

The fastest thing in the cosmos is light. The only way to travel any faster is to apport, or travel through the strands that connect the stars. So, when the light from the explosion of Nonlemor arrived, more than a hundred years after its destruction, Thakanae snapped.

Thakanae attacked Kelytos directly. The two struggled between Magmal and the Skystone (the first two planets). The struggle finally ended when Beleth blinded Kelytos with a flash of lightning, allowing Thakanae to throw den into the sun.

The death cry of Kelytos was heard across Hazaril. The sun itself flared hotter, blazing much brighter than ever before. Having just watched dis soulmate perish, Lasia felt consumed with grief, and in anger cracked the world of Logrim, shattering it into a million shards (these pieces can still be seen in the sky around the sun, known as Lasia's Tears). The screams of uncounted hordes of innocents dying smothered the love Lasia once carried with guilt and death; Lasia fled to the Skystone, and took refuge there, inhabiting its moon, tending to the masses of dead.

At that point, even Thakanae realized things had gone too far. With remorse, Thakanae took over the responsibility of stoking Hazaril's star. The ice of Taros began melting under the newly hotter sun. Two new deities showed themselves as Kelytos perished. One was Lilith, a former scholar and devotee of Phelan - seemingly, one of her experiments bestowed divinity onto her. To this day, she is continuing to search for that secret, working in laboratories in the planet of the gods - Irenon.

The other deity was Mahuatl, formerly the spirit of the greatest city of Logrim. Somehow, Mahuatl managed to survive, consuming enough scattered city spirits, as well as some of the divine spark of Kelytos. Mahuatl and Lilith found themselves in a strange alliance; both unwelcome, unexpected newcomers. Though they never loved each other, they came together; their children are the Outsiders.

The stress of seeing Thakanae go mad caused Arista to release the seed of Zareth, bringing the savage Trolls into the world. Since then, Arista has been barren, unable to create children - and so Arista and Daregar have adopted the children of the world, becoming gods of the hearth. As the progenitor of the Trolls, Arista has been attempting to soften them, but the mad savageness of Zareth remains evident.

It was also during this time that Vond and Nyx came together. Their children are the Dolphins.

From the Ashes

The loss of Logrim, and the tumult of the godwar, threw Hazaril into darkness. Between natural disasters and the loss of civilization, the old colonies on Taros lost track of each other. Much of the knowledge that built the Golden Age was lost as Taros slipped into barbarism.

During this age of barbarism, Lasia realized that there were survivors from Logrim, mostly people from the inhabited moon of Eris - all living in Tears. Seeing their struggle, Lasia dismantled the planet Arrulant and brought its air to the Tears, and scattered its moons among the Tears. Contact between the Tears and Taros has been slim to none, but there is word that the Tears have inherited the strange wilderness of Arrulant.

Since Taros is where the story lives, it was a short time later that nations there began to rise, most seeded by the garrisons of Logrim colonies, or the universities supported by Phelan, but some rising from the native populations. Each was shaped by one of the children of the gods:

  • Vidon - This imperial nation rules the eastern half of the main continental landmass of Taros. They are allies to the Dragons, and the Naga. (plains people)
  • Ravanesh - This somewhat warlike nation has attempted to tame the Trolls, and rules the western half of the main continental landmass (mountain people)
  • Naxela - This isolationist monarchy nation rules the coldest southern reaches of the main continental landmass; they consider themselves unconquerable thanks to their alliance with the Urgoi (tundra people)
  • Sahwan - Occupying the south-eastern part of the crescent-shaped continent of Taros, this nation tries to coexist with the Giant Spiders (coastal people)
  • Jotunn - Occupying the northernmost part of the lesser continent of Taros, this nation is ruled by the twin children of Thakanae, the Takan

There are also the Hezars, a wandering, gypsy-like folk. They embraced the Outsiders.

Only the Dolphins do not have an established nation to support them - but the sea is much larger than the land. There are people who live beneath the sea, calling themselves the nation of Umenestra. They rarely care about actions on the land, unless those actions affect the sea.

There are also the Changelings, the children of Phelan and The Five Races; as they do not have much in the way of identities, these have adopted all of the nations.

Trek

The world of Nonlemor, Kaan, had a moon (Unwyn), like Logrim once did (Eris) - (Hazaril is ringed). And like Eris, Unwyn was inhabited - mostly by the followers of Zareth. And when Thakanae caused Nonlemor's star to explode, Zareth shielded the moon from the brunt of the explosion.

What happened next is somewhat perplexing, but apparently Unwyn was hurtled in the direction of Hazaril, possibly at the machinations of Zareth, who knew where the gods were escaping. And Zareth shielded Unwyn from the brunt of the star's explosion - which pushed Zareth's essence into the core of the moon. Even now, Zareth is trapped in the moon, and dis influence does not extend much beyond it.

Since souls need to go somewhere upon death, Zareth extended dis protection to all who lived on the moon. Souls beholden to Zareth are 'saved' - allowed to stay in the core of the moon, in dis protective embrace. Even now, this arrangement continues - many Zarenes consider the hot world of Vax to be a punishment.

The explosion of Nonlemor also birthed a new deity - Soren, born as the fires of the exploding sun washed over its Opik. The nature of Soren is almost unknown to us now, though de was known as The Golden Calf, and the Shepherd, for de carried the moon on its trek to Hazaril. Those beholden to Soren were also allowed into the welcoming arms of Zareth.

Soren and Zareth eventually came together, and their children were the Sarapim, beings reminiscent of snakes.

Unfortunately, when crossing the Opik of Hazaril, Soren split, becoming Unwyn and Ilyskn. The people of Unwyn had lived with only two deities for so long they felt abandoned with the disappearance of Soren, although Unwyn and Iyskn shared Soren's memories. The church was still divided.

Collision

So, it was the followers of Zareth (Zarenes), along with the devastated church of Soren, that arrived in Hazaril. At first, the people Unwyn began their conquest, many bringing "the sword" instead of peace, as the old holy book of Zareth demanded. The church of Soren (the Scarabae) was a more peaceful institution, but the loss of Soren left them voiceless and fractured (and bewildered, as the replacements for Soren had broken from Zareth).

Unfortunately for the Zarenes, they quickly learned that Zareth's divine power does not reach beyond Unwyn, as he still inhabited the moon - this crippled their plans for conquest. Even with the support of Thakanae, who had regained his taste for war, they knew it was hopeless. Soon, they withdrew.

Now, Unwyn looms beyond the rings of Taros. The Zarene church rules Unwyn, and the lunar nation has made a grudging peace with the five land nations of Taros. Much like the other Five Nations, the nation of Unwyn has its own Godspawn: the Sarap.


  *stella: 'star system'
  **the language of Hazaril has a separate gender for deities; I am trying to keep to that, as (most) deities have no gender

Deities

Original

  • Beleth (opik)
  • Nyx (night)
  • Rhayne (air)
  • Vond (water)
  • Daregar (earth)
  • Kelytos (fire)

Nonlemor

  • Zareth (opik)
  • Charisha (night)
  • Phelan (air)
  • Lasia (water)
  • Arista (earth)
  • Thakanae (fire)

Other

  • Mahuatl
  • Lilith
  • Soren
    • Jayeward
    • Ilyskn

Also see God Spawn


Hazaril Stella

  1. Magmal
  2. Vax (the Skystone)
    • Most of the dead come here when they die
  3. Lasia's Tears
    • an asteroid belt
    • Formerly Logrim
    • Inhabited by survivors from Eris, its once moon
  4. Taros
    • The otherworldly moon Unwyn now sits above Taros
  5. Phelan
  • a large gas giant, 2nd largest in the stella
  1. Irenon - a supergiant
  • the 'castle' of the gods
  1. Arrulant
    • Formerly a gas giant
    • Now a part of Lasia's Tears
  2. Qalak (the Unblinking Eye)
    • fire planet
  3. The Opik

Dwellings of the Gods

Irenon

  1. Moon #1: Nyx -> Nyx/Vond
    • When these two paired, they chose a single dwelling.
  2. Moon #2: Rhayne -> Rhayne/Charisha
  3. Moon #3: Vond -> Mahuatl/Lilith
    • when Vond left this moon, Mahuatl was given leave to inhabit it
  4. Moon #4: Daregar -> Daregar/Arista
  5. Moon #5: Kelytos -> Kelytos/Lasia -> Lasia -> Lilith
    • Kelytos left the moon mostly empty, until Lasia; then time was spent between Lasia and the Sun; once Kelytos died, Lasia left the moon abandoned while tending Vax; eventually, Lilith needed a place to rest, and felt too estranged from Mahuatl, so Lasia gave her leave to stay there.

Of course, some gods don't have dwellings orbiting Irenon

Other

  • Lasia - the moon of Vax, which bears her name
    • Lasia now dwells the moon of Vax, tending the life of the dead
  • Phelan - Phelan
    • Phelan dwells in the center of the planet that bears dis name
  • Thakanae - Sun
    • Thakane, having no reason to go anywhere else, dwells in the old quarters of Kelytos in the Sun
  • Beleth - Lasia's Tears
    • Beleth loves the Tears - life there is such a struggle, it showcases the extremes of The Five Races.
  • Ilyskn and Jayward - Qalak
    • As parts of Soren, they live together.
  • Zareth - Unwyn
    • Zareth's being is intimately entwined with that moon

How It Works

In this world, the laws of physics act differently than in our own.

Obviously, magic exists, as do deities. Evolution might occur, but sentience cannot be the result. Sentience requires the intervention of the divine.

Then there's gravity. Gravity always pulls towards the most massive object, and always has the same pull (there is a threshold of distance). So when skyships move into space, once they've passed out of the atmosphere, the ships decks become the focus of all gravity.

Tides are elemental, and so do not interact with gravity. They are affected by the sun - that much fire causes the waters to recede, especially at noon. At midnight, the waters come back. This makes tides a daily thing, rather than a twice-daily thing. Moons (when they exist) have no effect on tides.

Forces

  • Gravity: Earth (based on size, but only of earth, not of all mass)
  • Magnetism: Fire (also effects orbital mechanics: sun + burning cores)
  • Magic: Night
  • Electricity: Air (hence both lightning and dry lightning)
  • Life: Water

notes on orbital mechanics:

Stars are full of fire, this gives them a strong magnetism. Planets have burning cores smothered by Earth - this gives them a magnetic bubble. The bubble keeps the atmosphere from leaving. (air is electric)

Planets are drawn towards the sun, but due to the distance and interference of the ether, they simply move in circles. Their size means they leave quite a furrow in the ether that pervades the stellas.

(note: does ether only exist within the bounds of the Opik? I think so!).

Moons also tend to have burning cores. Since they are smaller, their magnetic bubbles are also smaller: this pushes the air close to the surface, and often beneath it. They also orbit the sun, but given their proximity to a planet's magnetic bubble, they are influenced by the planet and the wake it leaves in the ether, as well.

The remains of the planet Logrim, also known as Lasia's Tears, are a tragic special case. Having been broken apart, they have lost their fire. Logrim's orbit was a long-standing one, and left quite a deep furrow. The fragments of Logrim inhabit that furrow, which is filled with a very thin veneer of air, smoke, and mist, the remnants of Logrim's atmosphere, waters, and burning core - along with the air from the planet of Arrulant, which Lasia dismantled.

Sadly, the furrow is fluctuating. It is trying to close, thanks to the absence of Logrim. Keeping the press to close at bay are the moons - Eris, and the moons from Arrulant, each with burning cores, each keeping the furrow deep. As this happens, the air escapes, and the Tears are squeezed towards the sun... and a fiery death.

So, what about gas giants? Like Arrulant, Irenon, and Phelan? Well, Gas giants are filled with mist and smoke - products of air and water, and air and fire (see below). Because they do not have pure fire, they need to be much larger to accumulate the amount of fire needed to have the properties necessry to have an orbit.

Since they're larger, the effects and range of their magnetic bubble is more potent. They tend to attract a lot of moons.

Fire planets are different from stars. Stars burn with the fires of creation, they are almost the equivalent of deities, and thus require a god to attend to them. Since they are only comprised of elemental fire, Fire planets are much weaker than stars, in both heat and brightness. Most stellae have one fire planet on its outer edge, before the Opik, whose magnetism helps corral the rest of the stella, and acts as a shield for some of the creations of the Opik.

What about the other elements?

  • Water planets? Unlikely - they have no magnetism. Unless there's some sort of water/fire materia. Oil planets? Acid planets?
  • Night planets? As the most insubstantial of the elements, it probably never congeals.

---

Alchemy

Because there are only five true elements, chemistry is rather different. Superficially, it acts similar to our universe, but alchemists are able to determine the underlying laws.

Known materia:

  • Soil?
  • Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lead, Tin, Mercury, Sulfur, Carbon
  • Arsenic, Antimony, Phosphorous, Zinc
  • Platinum, Nickel
  • Air, Smoke, Mist
  • Fire, Acid
  • Ether

That is a list of materials that were pretty much known by the 1700s. Materia are combinations of motes of elements (effectively 'atoms'). Mercury is probably an equal combination of earth and water. More motes = greater density.

Once I've created the 'periodic table' (TO-DO) I can start finding holes to fill in, like chemists in our world actually did.

Known alloys:

  • Electrum (gold, silver)
  • Bronze (copper, tin)
  • Brass (copper, zinc)
  • Steel (iron, carbon)
  • Skymetal (iron, nickel)