This reality is not one which is bound to a single timeline. A fact known most certainly by those who have settled in the Walkways, where tales of mysterious, spiriting alleyways are often told. Those who journey through these alleyways will end up in a different version of reality, likely to never return to their original. Those who try are certain to become lost in the infinite lattice of the multiverse or unknowingly find themselves in an exceedingly similar version of their home. The most dangerous thing one can find wandering the multiverse, however, are the dark alleyways. These alleyways lead to timelines wherein the Dragon of Thelasi has achieved its goal and all has been brought into darkness.
Regrettably, this is not the only doomsday scenario that this reality can face. There are timelines which have been brought to ruin by monsters of Almaar which got out of hand, others where an Altum Demon devoured the souls of countless to become a superior being and rule over all. Those who have gained knowledge of the multiverse are aware of these unsavory possibilities and as a result a faction has been formed. One which is consistent throughout all versions of reality; the Meilgears. Their aim is to travel the various timelines before their days of judgement and ensure that the most tragic of ends never come to pass. Particularly powerful Meilgears will even hazard doomed timelines and attempt to salvage them from the depths of their ruination. They care not what enemy they find themselves facing on the other side, these selfless elites resolve to give everything if it might give an entire timeline another chance.
Though, as one could expect, not all who attain knowledge of the multiverse act with well intentions. There are those who look at the entities who have conquered their individual timelines and scoff; they stop at one not knowing that there are an infinity more. These rogue sorts are referred to by the Meilgears as Varsti, villains who could threaten all realities. Some act as the direct antithesis to the Meilgears and attempt to ensure the timelines they visit reach their ends. Others act on a greater scope, their goal to directly draw the destruction of a doomed timeline over to others. Some Varsti are simply petty and selfish, acting more as aimless agents of chaos just to see how their actions alter the paths of their chosen realities.
Apart from using the paths in the alleyways, there are two other methods through which one can enter an alternate timeline. The first is to be sent back in time, a situation wherein a new timeline is constructed to compensate for the chronological displacement. The second is to see the future, which births a new timeline regardless of if the vision is acted upon as the knowledge gained travelled backwards in time. Timelines are shockingly sensitive with new ones being born any time that even the possibility of them changing exists.
Clava Serpen is the name of a warrior who has entered alternate timelines through backwards time travel, though not of her own volition. Born on Aztarna, Clava’s first life saw her become a revered adventurer as she and her party became among the most successful of a guild named ‘the reclaimers’. This was the guild dedicated to clearing out the warped life and corruption in the world so that the world could be taken back after the age of Demons. Despite not being a superhero, Clava stood alongside her allies and proved she was as heroic as anyone with powers. The turning point was when two dragons of shadow appeared and began to engulf all things in darkness.
Given the reputation that they had built, it was no surprise that Clava’s party was elected to face one of them down. With confidence in their abilities they engaged their enemy in battle but could find no way to strike the dragon down permanently. It was as a shadow, and shadows and reform quite easily. Even if its body fell, the dark would simply coalesce and reconstruct a new form for it. After hours of battle Clava’s allies fell around her, unable to outlast their tenacious target. The only hope for Clava as she was left the last one standing was the fact that the dragon’s attacks were getting weaker. The magic from which it constructed its form was running out and it seemed another ‘death’ would be more than it could revive from. She summoned up all of her energy and aimed for a death blow, the next moment she found herself a baby in her mother’s arms again.
Clava is currently on her sixth lifetime. She realized at some point what the dragon was doing to her; it had the ability to send her back to any shadow she had made contact with in her lifetime. Truthfully, the method didn’t really matter, all that did was that it happened. On her second life she was naive enough to think this a blessing, with her knowledge she believed it would be trivial to prepare for the apocalypse she knew was coming. The first step would be to reconnect with the party who she now had a chance to save. Yet, although she met with those friends again, it was impossible to reforge those bonds a second time.
Her knowledge of the future proved a curse, she already knew everything about them and they knew nothing of her. The option to naturally bond with these people no longer existed and even if she tried to hide her insight it just felt like she was manipulating them. It could never be a friendship this time around, at best it would be a tasteless theatre show. One can only imagine the heartbreak in trying to share those moments and hear those heartfelt conversations again without being able to feel anything. To make matters worse, no one was willing to believe her claims of another apocalypse coming. Those who did accept that she could see the future only flocked to her in an attempt to abuse her knowledge for their own means.
Clava became distraught and, before she knew it, she had barely any time left before the time of reckoning. This was no longer about finding a way to truly defeat the dragon, the best she could hope for would be to become strong enough to force it to send her back again. When the two dragons came in this lifetime, a different party was sent after her target. She didn’t know who they were but she fought alongside them nonetheless and, through honestly little more than luck, she managed to corner it and was brought back to a newborn state once more.
Clava understood in her third life that she was alone in her task. She was the only one with her knowledge and she had to use that to make herself the strongest she could possibly be. At the very least, she had to become powerful enough to force it to use its time reset. If she could reach that level on her own then she could try over and over, as many times as it takes. The dragon didn’t recognize her in her second lifetime so she found solace in the fact that it wouldn’t adapt and become more difficult with each try. From that lifetime onward, she took to learning as much as possible about the world in hopes of finding something which could give her the decisive edge.
Now, in her sixth, she knows every major event which happens in the world in her lifetime. Anything new is something to savor, something to keep her sane throughout all the repetition. She no longer has the resolve to make friends, the pain of permanently losing those bonds is too much for her. Throughout the cycles the thought of what if she could prevent the dragons from coming at all came to her. A long shot but it’s the possibility that she’s spending this life exploring. It worked for the dark lord when she ended the age of demons so who knows, perhaps Clava will have the same luck.