The Age of Tragedy
It is an assumption throughout the universe that once a species evolves past their primal state and becomes intelligent life they will inevitably become the dominant species of their world. Such is the case on even the most derelict and scarred of worlds, for with intelligence comes the tenacity to survive and build. Yet, it is also a gateway for deeper, more complex forms of suffering. The concept of ‘tragedy’ does not exist in the wild, for anything comparable is perceived as the law of nature, the circle of life, the survival of the fittest. The exception is the ability of intelligent life’s tragedy to infect the world around them as their clarity of mind curses them with the potential to bring their worlds to ruination. Instinct is the guiding hand of balance, it makes one wonder whether casting it away is truly a good thing.
Eynides was a notable world in that the intelligent life which bloomed there failed to become dominant. The species which had become ‘human’ was weak, low on the food chain, and remained a prey species on a world ruled by gargantuan apex beasts. This was their tragedy, to be merely part of a food chain with the minds to viscerally understand and mourn such an existence. No matter what they built, what innovations they made, their lives were those of animals with a higher capacity to suffer. Even once magic came to the world, the creatures which benefited most from it were the apex beasts who were further empowered by its presence in their forms. Initially, the humans of Eynides believed that the apex creatures were the source of the world’s magic and consigned themselves to hailing the beasts as gods.
The law of nature would have seen the humans of Eynides suffer in the circle of life indefinitely. Thus, what freed them from this fate was something rare, anomalous and unnatural. Something which began as mere folk tale, a shadow which a certain tribe kept spotting in their peripheral vision among the shadows of trees. As rumor spread the shadow became a god, one of human form instead of beast. Of the scattered, suffering human tribes, any who heard the tales clutched to them as the idea of a human on the level of the apexes granted them a rare moment of hope. This hope was affirmed as they all began to spot the shadow as well, the details of its form becoming clearer. It was given the name ‘Aphosene’, the father of miracles.
It felt no coincidence that the lives of the humans started to improve vastly after belief in Aphosene settled in. Predators began to inexplicably avoid human settlements which made expanding, scavenging and hunting far easier. With room to breathe, the humans were able to actually use their intelligence to build up a society and gain a leg up against the world around them. They were able to study and utilize magic more effectively so they could use it to defeat the odd predator who did come along and at last, their rise to becoming the world’s dominant species began. All thanks to Aphosene, the one who had replaced the apex creatures as the source of all magic in the minds of humans.
The Lighting of Stars
The forming of human society marked the birth of Eynides’ defining religion, Gelschism. Belief of the Shagehl, the first of which being Aphosene. With safe walls around them and time to focus on things other than just survival, the humans and newly blooming Magia built upon their tales and understanding of Aphosene, including defining the type of creature they were as Shagehl. Divine beings who brought justice and miracles to the world, soothing the ails of those who knew the deepest suffering. Merciful spirits of healing who came from an unknowable realm of pure and permanent peace. Those capable of wielding magic crafted spells based on the developing Gelschist lore, leading them to become the paladins and clerics of the religion.
The Lighting of Stars refers to a particular chapter of the Gelschist Book of Divinity which details other Shagehl coming to Eynides, following Aphosene’s lead. This chapter is special in that it is ever changing, updated whenever the people believe a new Shagehl has come to the world. Though it is difficult for them to tell as the Shagehl never directly appear before them, choosing to stay in shadows as Aphosene always had, those who have miracles granted to them always get an inexplicable feeling as to which Shagehl it was who graced them. If the feeling is one they do not recognize, which they cannot place even after looking at the Lighting of Stars, that is the sign that a new Shagehl has blessed the world.
The True Age
Thusly, the practice of Gelschism leads to Eynides as it currently is, as yet another world where intelligent life reigns supreme. Though, they have not become foolish enough to purposely challenge the apex beasts who still roam the lands. Nor is that where their focus lies, for not all is peaceful in the society which has been built. The Gelschism which has been deeply rooted into its core has made crime and sin synonymous, thus any who break laws are sent to correctional asylums to relearn the ways of the religion from the start. Yet, in having sinned, a criminal is seen as being no longer worthy of living in the world of miracles which has been bestowed by the Shagehl, therefore release from the asylums is rare.
Tension and conflict are rife as the world’s regions ever argue in attempt to interpret the true will of the enigmatic Shagehl. They only have their feelings to go off of and it should be known that feelings are frail things indeed. Friction within the Gelschist belief leads to dispute, leads to war, and unity remains only a dream. The religion is fragmented, conformity to it becomes more stifling and the flaws of this society are laid bare. Yet, Gelschism is absolute, a cornerstone which cannot be removed. Any who bear such revolutionary thoughts would swiftly be rounded up and silenced by paladins or clerics or some manner of secret order. Suddenly, it seems the world is on the path to tragedy once more, yet this time it will be up to humanity to save itself.