Category: Tertia Worldbuilding

The Factions of Tertia – The Sea of Dreams

The Singing Starfall that brought the Akora to Tertia is an event that sparked fear, confusion and not least of all curiosity. The Akora were curious as to the world they had landed upon and the Tertians were curious in return. Each Akora was a blank slate, waiting to be led towards some manner of purpose on their new world of residency. Then, one by one, there appeared Akora who were quite certain in their purpose. Beginning with a single, tremendous Akora by the name Aquamarine, these Akora spread the word of the great creature who saved them. The people of the surface were surprised to find that these Akora were ones who landed in Tertia’s waters during the Starfall and fell down to the most crushing depths. Many had permanently cracked bodies, yet they happily maintained their loyalty to the creature who saved them.

As the word spread, the most curious started to find connections between this supposed creature and myths written in the past. Tales written by the people of Crobayoris’ south and south-western countries of a mountainous leviathan who would rise to the surface and do naught but gaze at the stars. One Elinvar researcher in particular named Aiona Abbott actually managed to uncover a document from the lost continent that told of a sighting of this creature. It seemed the people of the lost continent had various tribes who feared the creature and even gave it a name; Bagrysh.

STARGAZING LEVIATHAN – BAGRYSH

Bagrysh is a creature of the deepest deep who dreams of the farthest stars. Once thought of as a mythical being by the people of Tertia, Bagrysh has made the transition to a being of legend with his recent appearances. Bagrysh is an ancient creature who pre-dates the current history of the world, born only shortly after the age of ice. Originally, he was one of an eel-like species known as Eridanus Anguilla, who live exclusively in the ravines of ocean floors. The water at the bottom of these ravines boils as they come as close as they can to the core of the world, Eridanus Anguilla are among the handful of creatures that are adapted to such conditions.

Bagrysh started to become as he is during the time when the world gave birth to Sandalphon. All of the magic that was concentrated to the world’s center at that time effected Bagrysh, sparking his growth into a magical creature. Over centuries, he drew from the mass of magic and became bigger, more powerful, more intelligent. He found that he could adapt to the cooler waters and changes in pressure, allowing him to explore and see plants and sealife he’d never even imagined could exist. Eventually, he grew too much and could no longer return to the ravine that was his home. Not a major concern for Bagrysh, now that he had all of the world’s waters to adventure through.

One day, his adventures took him to the surface. He emerged off the shores of a continent called Falme, though his towering form could be seen from tens of miles into the horizon. The sensation of leaving the water was so new, his whole body was shocked by the experience. He froze up as he tried to take in all of the surface world that he could see, there was so much for his senses to explore. Then, he looked up. Up to the night sky, full of stars. He was enamored by the sight, the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Yet, it was something out of reach, he could swim up no further to touch these lights in the sky. So he stared, for hours upon hours until the stars disappeared and a single, bright mass took their place.

In this time, countless people on Falme’s shores had gathered to see the mysterious, titanic sea creature. At first, the people were fearful as they saw a monster more than capable of destroying towns with just its size alone. Though, upon seeing its apparently placid nature, their fear slowly turned to awe. They tentatively gathered around and tried to make out what Bagrysh was; if he was a monster, or an omen of some kind, perhaps a pet of the old gods? As dawn broke, Desti herself took notice and came to see the gargantuan Bagrysh. As an old god, she could sense the unbelievable amount of magic within Bagrysh’s body and feared what such a creature could do. She convinced those who had gathered that the leviathan was indeed an omen, one who would flood their continent and drag it down into the waters if left unchecked. The people were terrified at this image, yet Desti posed herself as the hero as she stepped up and attacked the benign beast. The left side of Bagrysh’s body suffered a heavy wound from Desti’s attack, causing Bagrysh to quickly retreat as his thick blood stained the Falme shores.

From then on, Bagrysh became wary of the surface world. He was convinced of the terrifying power that the surface’s predators held and did not want to risk becoming their next meal. He kept his journeys close to the ocean and sea floors for a time, yet he could not suppress his yearning to see the stars again. Every few decades, he would give in to his urges and emerge to the surface once more to look at the beautiful night sky. On one occasion the stars did not shine, and he wondered why. He feared that maybe the stars had gone, thus he would never be able to reach them. He waited, lurking near the surface and staying alert in case a predator came. The sky rumbled and was covered with a dark mass, then Bagrysh saw one. A surface dweller, though this one was not on land as the others were. This one was drifting in the waters, unmoving. Dead? Bagrysh tentatively moved to find out.

He determined that the surface-dweller was alive. This one was much larger than the ones he’d remembered seeing, though he was not unacquainted to growths in size. He pondered and decided that it would be best to try and earn the favor of the powerful surface dwellers, so he rescued the drifter and brought them to shore. At the shore there were none others, as there were the time he was attacked. Good, Bagrysh thought, if there were more then he had a higher chance of being attacked. He waited with the giant humanoid, syncing the magic in his body with that of the surface-dweller. The flow of magic between them helped to heal the giant’s wounds and after some time he awoke.

As the giant’s eyes shot open the sky cracked and boomed once more. Energy crackled through the giant as he rose to his full height and took in the surroundings unknown to him. As his eyes came into focus, he registered the majesty of the creature that had rescued him. Even at his full height, the giant was minuscule compared to the beast before him. Something flashed in the eyes of the giant, he gathered up energy in his arm as if to attack. Bagrysh felt this intent, the feeling of a predator baring its teeth, and prepared himself to fight back. Oddly, the giant did not attack. Instead, he fell to one knee and bowed to the leviathan. Bagrysh did not understand the gesture but inferred that the giant did not want to fight. Unsure of what to do, Bagrysh bowed his own head in return and returned to the waters before any other surface dwellers could gather.

Bagrysh was not at the surface to witness the Starfall, but he would have been hard pressed to miss the odd gem-like entities that had made their way to the ocean floors. They were completely still, inactive, as if attempting to preserve themselves under the great pressure. One of them had landed near to the ravine that Bagrysh first emerged from and, as if parallel to his own evolution, absorbed the magic that gathered in the deep and grew as if the gemstone were in some way organic. The Akora emitted a peaceful glow as magic flowed through it, it reminded Bagrysh of the stars he so coveted. He watched over the Akora for a time, until an occurrence where the magic in his body and the magic in the gem being connected. For a moment, Bagrysh could feel what the Akora was feeling; the crushing weight of the deep that it could not seem to adapt to. It was in pain, Bagrysh understood, so he took the Akora and brought it to the surface.

The Akora, freed from the burden of the deep, communicated with Bagrysh by connecting with his mind. Neither understood language but they could share feelings, Bagrysh understood the deep gratitude that the Akora conveyed. Without words they exchanged trust, a promise to meet with each other once more. Bagrysh returned to the waters, though life had gotten tough in the deep over the years. In the abyssal depths, there were more creatures that had started to grow due to the high density of magic. Great beasts that sought to challenge Bagrysh at the top of the food chain. The depths were slowly becoming a warzone but Bagrysh, oldest and most powerful of them all, would not easily give up his throne. Through battle, he learned the nuances of how to wield magic and became an accomplished caster on top of his awing physical size.

In-between his battles, Bagrysh would scour the ocean and sea floors to collect and rescue as many Akora as he could. Each of them revered him as a savior, just as the first did, and soon he had collected a small army of followers in his name. On one trip to the surface he met once more with the first Akora, who had been given the name Aquamarine during his time on the surface. Aquamarine had grown, earned a name and learned language. Bagrysh felt an alien feeling towards the Akora; he was proud of Aquamarine. Aquamarine was not alone, however, with him was a large group of surface dwellers who had come to meet with Bagrysh. While he would normally have been wary, he trusted Aquamarine and allowed those he had brought to meet with him.

Thanks to Aquamarine, Bagrysh started to feel safer above the surface. He stayed above the waters long enough to pick up on the language that his apparent followers spoke. He became well-spoken enough to ask why his followers would gather in their name, they replied that it was because of his power and kindness. He was a strong entity, strong enough to enforce and strong enough to protect. Many of them were the Akora who he had saved, though others simply found comfort in his existence. A creature that would be seen as a monster, yet is kinder than most people; Bagrysh represented the good that still existed in the world. Such metaphorical things went over Bagrysh’s head but he read their feelings and got the gist.

From then on, Bagrysh’s trips to the surface have been far more frequent. Since he felt safe enough to explore what there was on the surface, he has summoned the bravery to go near land and analyze the things surface-dwellers have built and how they live. He has terrified more than a couple of coastal towns with his sudden emergences but over time he has become known as a benevolent figure. On one night, when his followers gathered and saw him gaze upon the stars, they asked him what he thought of them. Having picked up on such concepts, he referred to the stars as his ‘dream’. Even though he is tied to the water, he dreams of finding a way to leave it behind and reach the stars. In a later gathering, Bagrysh’s followers told him of the gods and how they were to hold a contest for a being of Tertia to rise up and join them. Bagrysh was ecstatic to hear this, with such power he would be able to see not only the reaches of the stars but even beyond that. The following that believes Bagrysh to be a prime contender to take the position is by no means small, an odd faction indeed but Bagrysh’s allies intend to do all they can to take the leviathan to the stars.

‘STORM RULER’ SITHUS

Iaxus was once a land ruled by giant humanoids known as Heads. Powerful Magia who had taken magic into their bodies too quickly and in too vast of quantity, their minds were torn apart and their bodies were warped by unstable evolution. The hierarchy of the Heads was determined simply by their strength, and once that hierarchy was set they shifted their focus to other lands. They constantly provoked battles with domains of the other continents just to prove their strength. In the area now known as the volcanic border, where once there pristine hills and sparkling rivers, stood Alcazar Derecho, the castle in which the most powerful of the Heads resided. He who ruled over even storms, Sithus.

Before the people of Iaxus were warped into the vicious Heads, Sithus was a shaman in the derecho tribe. This was a tribe with a way of life dictated by rain and storm, they dedicated themselves wholly to studying and understanding changes in weather and how best to respond to them. They often roamed the lands and warned the other Iaxiot tribes when a storm was nearing, though while the others retreated into their shelter the derecho immersed themselves in it. They believed that the boom of thunder was the voice of Perjalanan calling out, and the rain was the essence of life that he gifted to the lands. To them, the rain of a storm contained fresh, new energies that would be soaked into the land and into their skin.

Sithus could predict the oncoming weather with such accuracy that some believed he could see into the future. Dubbed the ‘Storm Prophet’ at the time, the tribe turned to Sithus at time when their knowledge proved fruitless. They would have crowned him the head of the tribe, though Sithus was quite odd in his disposition. He happily traveled with the tribe and acted under their name but always seemed distant from them. When confronted after being lost in a daze, he would apologize and claim that he could not hear over the voice of nature. At one point, Sithus even broke off from the tribe to go on a personal, spiritual journey in an attempt to come closer to the essence of the storm. He gathered up a bulk of resources and climbed a mountain, up thousands of meters until he was immersed among the clouds. He had witnessed tribes of the forest with bark skin and tribes of the lakes with fins and gills, he wondered what change his body could undergo within the clouds.

He meditated in the thin air of his high perch, using up his resources only when absolutely necessary. The concept of time slipped away from him, the closest thing he had to measure it was the thinning of his supplies. When they eventually ran dry and no change was in sight, Sithus decided to resign himself to the will of Perjalanan. If he would die in the mountain then he would let it be so, but if the gift of life came to him then everything the tribe stood for would be proven. He felt his body weaken as the magic within him struggled to help him survive just a little bit longer. As the end neared and his dry throat begged for water, a miracle occurred. A loud boom echoed in Sithus’ ears as a storm rolled in and he was surrounded in dark clouds. He could hear as the clouds turned to rain and fell upon the world below, yet something unusual also took place. The moisture of the clouds immediately around him did not become rain, instead it was drawn into Sithus’ body and re-hydrated his gasping form.

The storm passed and Sithus rose from his meditating position. He was completely rejuvenated and his skin had turned a light-blue. Exhilarated, he quickly descended the mountain and returned to the derecho. He bore the news that he had affirmed their ways and that he had been blessed with Perjalanan’s gift of life directly. Upon the next rainfall, he proved it to the other tribesmen by drawing the rain into himself, manipulating the essence of life to his whim. The tribe no longer saw him as needing such a small title as chieftain, he was a figure chosen by Perjalanan himself! The tribe treated Sithus almost as if he was the old god himself and Sithus was utterly swept up in his new role.

Then came the start of the warping. It began with rumors, of tribesmen going mad and trying to slaughter all of those around them. There were even tales of these mad folk imploding into a mess of magical energies, taking entire villages with them. The people of Iaxus, who had known only peace, were not quick to believe the truth of such stories. Until they saw it themselves, until one of their own tribesmen fell to the mysterious plague of madness. It started to happen more frequently and the effects became even more absurd. To avoid implosion, the bodies of Iaxiots rapidly grew to be capable of containing such energies. Before the continent knew it, slaughter had become the statue quo.

Sithus was high off of his position of life-giver. He believed himself something glorious, a walking miracle-worker, thus when the stories of mad Iaxiots reached his ears he was confident in his ability to fix them. He was brought to a mad tribesman that had been tied down after killing her entire family. She struggled as hard as she could, screaming in pain as her entire body pulsed. It looked as if something was trying to get out, she was being assailed from the inside. No problem, thought Sithus, something is merely disrupting her life essence. He produced a vial of rainwater that he kept on his person and managed to keep the tribesman still long enough to administer it. Life would flow through her, thus the quality of her life would return to her.

This was not the case.

Her body no longer able to contain the magic that writhed inside of her, rapid evolution began to take place. The sound of her bones snapping, fixing themselves and snapping again echoed throughout the settlement. Her flesh merged with the wood and rope that had been used to tie her down and most importantly, her body grew. Larger and larger, no longer contained by any binding. When the transformation was complete and her screaming finally stopped, her form was akin to that of a hideous wooden construct. Sithus was confused, this was not the reaction that he had anticipated. Her life flow was meant to return to how it was before, how could-

And he was slammed down into the dirt, hard. His body, that had survived his pilgrimage to the clouds, was broken in an instant. As the warped tribesman rampaged through the settlement, Sithus could feel his life essence leave him. Again, he felt his end come, though this time he was not so willing to accept it. He was meant to be an avatar of life, he was meant to be chosen by Perjalanan himself, how could he die? He refused. Then, the sky screamed and the storm came.

Fighting against unconsciousness, Sithus used all of his power to draw the rain into his body. He channeled it into his coveted essence of life to heal his wounds, and then kept absorbing it. More than he had ever drawn in before, rain and lightning alike, he called the entire storm into his body. Just as the warped tribesman had, Sithus’ body warped and grew, though his transformation was not as unclean as the other. Sithus’ transformation was controlled, fueled by purpose, and he became a dark-blue titan cloaked in storm clouds. The wooden Head turned to her new opposition and mindlessly lashed out at Sithus once again, only to be reduced to firewood in an instant. A flash of lighting had struck her body, collapsing the wooden flesh and setting it alight all in one moment.

Sithus’ mind was clouded with anger from then on. He had been betrayed by his own beliefs, he realized that he had never been the avatar of life he believed he was. As he looked upon the burning heap of what was once a fellow Iaxiot, Sithus figured out what his power was truly for. It was not for him to be the chosen one or some life-giver, it was meant to destroy. So, destroy he did, he destroyed all opposition he faced until he proved himself the strongest on Iaxus. Even the other insatiably battle-hungry Heads bowed under him and built Alcazar Derecho, the stronghold in which the throne of the champion was placed.

Even outside of Iaxus, Sithus’ name became notorious due to his use of the storms. During Sithus’ rule, any storm that rolled in carried the potential threat of war as he used them as method of declaration. His dark clouds blocked out the light and all the hope of the people he would soon crush. Sithus’ crusades would not end until he found an army brave enough to face him. If none came then he would sequentially destroy all of the villages, towns and cities he came across until his challenge was met. Once a battle was won, he would mark his victory by deeply scorching the earth with a bolt of energy.

The fall of Iaxus is when everything the Heads deserved came back at them. They, along with the lands they ruled, were wiped out entirely by the relentless uprising of nature. Still, carrying his penchant for survival, Sithus managed to be one of the few to emerge alive. He used all of his feared strength to push back against the calamity but even with that, simply living was all he could muster. For the first and only time the ruler of Alcazar Derecho had been dethroned, his position seized by wild beasts. Sithus’ mind snapped back to just before he became a Head, in that moment when he feared death most. He ran and barely made it to the ocean in time to drift off, at death’s door for a third time.

His fortune would win out again as this event just so happened to align with one of Bagrysh’s then-rare trips to the surface. The leviathan shared his magic with Sithus and the Head was restored to health. When he awoke and faced the beast, his first instinct was to ready himself to fight. War was what his body knew but something felt different. Sithus’ was not overcome with the anger that had taken him since his transformation into a Head, for the first time in a long time his mind felt clear. Unsure if the beast would understand his words, Sithus simply bowed to the great creature. Such a gesture meant two things in the Head-ruled Iaxus; the first meaning was an admittance that the one before you is stronger than you. The second was a signing of loyalty, the being before you has proven themselves above you in the hierarchy and you shall serve them until you surpass them. The leviathan seemed to nod at the gesture and then disappeared into the waters, leaving Sithus to find a way to go on.

Sithus had been utterly defeated. He realized how reprehensible his actions as a Head had been and his illusion of power had been completely dispelled. He flaunted his power as the strongest on Iaxus, yet he was struck by the revelation of just how small he was. He was no life-giver, nor did he have the right to choose when life should end. He was just an abomination with no place in the world. All things considered, that’s where his luck should have ran out, however he had not fallen out of fate’s favor just yet. He had washed up on the northern shore of Chwalu, a country that prided itself on taking in stray creatures. The one country in the world that was able to build a friendly relationship with dragons. Given Sithus’ notoriety, it was the only place in the world that would ever give him the chance at redemption.

Sithus knew these shores. He had invaded Chwalu before and scarred its soil with his mark of victory. He had heard of their connection with the dragons and how powerful their military was supposed to be because of them. Sithus came to test the might of the dragons himself and he came out victorious. He killed Chwalu’s people and the creatures they were proud to be friends with. The idea of the connection between the Chwalan people and the dragons being ‘friendship’ was not one that had ever passed Sithus’ mind before the calamity. Kind as they were, Sithus was not expecting any kind of mercy from them.

He waited by the shore, looking off into the horizon uselessly as if he would be able to see his homeland if he stared long enough. He was eventually discovered by a group of fisherman, whose immediate reaction was what one would expect from a regular person spotting a Head. Fear, panic, the dragons that were with them quickly jumped between the men and Sithus in a protective manner. Sithus remained still, he knew that every move he made would be seen as threatening. Heads were embodiments of violence and danger, not least of all those who could wield magic. He wondered, would his idleness make them think he hadn’t noticed them? Would they use the opportunity to attack him from behind?

They fled. A smart move, Sithus thought, they sought to increase their chances of winning by increasing their number. As Sithus predicted, they came back with a crowd of people and dragons, most of them armed and armored. Sithus’ next prediction was a call to attack, an all-out assault before he had the chance to react. Though, it seemed that his predictive abilities had waned during his time as a Head as instead the Chwalans called out to him. Even among the Heads, Sithus’ appearance was a unique one, yet they still found it pertinent to ask if he was who they thought he was. Sithus confirmed their suspicions and discussion erupted. He braced himself for attack. Wrong again. They asked why he was there.

The exchange continued, Sithus told the Chwalans everything that had happened in Iaxus. The calamity that had taken place, though Sithus expected no sympathy. He hadn’t even noticed that the Chwalans had tentatively come closer to him. They asked if there were others of his kind around. Sithus conveyed his doubt that any others had even survived. They asked if he had anywhere to go. Sithus asked what kind of place would take him after everything he had done. The Chwalans had moved right next to him. Sithus was shocked when he noticed and suddenly filled with worry. He was a person trying not to crush a small insect, he tensed up just to make sure he didn’t accidentally do so. The Chwalans had heard something in his voice, sadness and regret that Sithus did not even catch he was conveying. They asked if he would repent for the things he did. Sithus stated that he did not believe he could ever do enough to do so.

Contrary to his statement, the Chwalans offered him the chance to make up for what he had done. They gave him the conditions; that he would build instead of destroy, protect lives instead of seeking war and that he would use his regret to teach others to not make the same mistakes the Iaxiots had made. Sithus was struck with disbelief, he could not even form the words to accept so he simply nodded instead. From then on, Sithus became a great protector of Chwalu. At first, he was met with anger and distrust, Sithus did not think that he could ever be hated enough for the damage he and the Heads had done. Over time, though, he became a trusted guardian and even went on to raise a few of his own dragons. He somewhat returned to the shamanic role he was once proud of, using his knowledge of the weather to help the Chwalans prepare for it.

He fought tooth-and-nail to protect the Chwalans that had given him another chance during the war on alignment and he has sought reconciliation with fellow Iaxiots Vamenor and Luxalim. When word of Bagrysh’s appearances reached Sithus’ ears, he remembered the loyalty that he silently vowed to the leviathan on the day he was rescued. Having spoken with other followers of Bagrysh, Sithus has been made aware of the leviathan’s interest in the battle for godhood. While unwilling to use his power for the sake of war ever again, Sithus has vowed to do everything in his power to support Bagrysh in the contest to come.

‘STAR STREAM’ AQUAMARINE

Left hanging on the edge of a ravine that led to deepest deep. Pressure intense, crushing force constant on his gemstone body. A body which could survive a fall from the stars without a scratch slowly being worn down by crushing darkness. What kept him strong was the strong flow of magic that came from the ravine. His body absorbed the magic and fortified itself, though he was immobile he remained safe and shone a bright glow. He knew nothing of the creatures of the world, in fact he did not even know anything about himself. It was a pre-programmed instinct to survive that guided him to become his own beacon in hopes that he would be rescued.

Then came a creature, one that the sunken Akora could feel but not see. Something massive and powerful, the Akora sensed that the magical creature was far greater than himself. Though the creature bore no ill intent, it merely looked upon the Akora curiously for hours on end. All the Akora could feel was the magic within his own body and that within the beast, so he focused his energies and connected the two together. He did not know words, all of could communicate with this connection were what he felt. The crushing weight, the constant strain and the pain of being unable to move. He was lucky to have contacted a kind and empathetic creature such as this, the leviathan took the Akora in its mouth and brought him to the surface.

The Akora felt the weight ease, compared to the time he spent stuck it took no time at all to reach the surface. Once on land, he took a moment to get used to his sudden mobility. His gemstone body felt weightless to him, within his relief he felt happiness for the first time. He shared these feelings with the leviathan and the two forged a bond and a promise to meet with each other again. The leviathan went back underwater and the Akora was left with an entire world of possibilities.

The Akora had been brought to an island south of Casc. The island was small in population and was odd in the sense that it was used for Cascan people to make ‘beta cities’. The people of Casc prided themselves on their masonry and craftsmanship, refining their skills through hard and active practice. Masons-in-learning would be sent to this island to perfect their skills, building and deconstructing entire homes just to improve. Such practices were necessary for them, they could not disgrace the mainland by building imperfect structures there. Only once they have become proud and skilled will they allow themselves to contribute to the mainland and join in the many celebrations of Casc.

The Akora found his first home among the young masons of this island, it was here that he was given the name Aquamarine. He told the masons of the leviathan that had rescued him but they did not believe the existence of such a creature. Aquamarine was confused to find that such a kind and powerful figure as the leviathan was unknown by the people of the surface. It was something as simple as this that made Aquamarine certain of what he had to do, he had to spread the knowledge of the kind beast. He believed that the leviathan was a creature to be appreciated and revered, it was the one who had brought Aquamarine the gift of happiness after all. Perhaps, Aquamarine thought, if he could gather together a band of people willing to meet with the creature they could be brought happiness as well.

He set out to the mainland and quickly found that his tale fell on deaf ears. The people of the surface only saw the leviathan as a myth and either way nothing worth revering. The frustration he felt when he was stuck under the water emerged once more, he felt that the task he set out to accomplish was impossible. After further journeying, Aquamarine found out about the concept of adventurers. Parties of strong people who would go around building names for themselves through helping people. Aquamarine put the pieces together in his mind, if he actively helped people as the leviathan had helped him then would the people be more accepting of his story?

It became quickly apparent to the people of the surface that Aquamarine was far more powerful than the average Akora. The magic that built up in his body during his time in the depths served him well, when he set out to his adventuring journeys he proved his proficiency by tirelessly protecting and rescuing people and settlements all throughout Crobayoris. He told the tale of the leviathan to all who would hear him and, paired with the fact that other Akora had appeared with similar stories, the world became more open to belief.

After becoming somewhat famous for his feats, Aquamarine was met by an Elinvar researcher from Vasara called Aiona Abbott. Aiona had caught wind of Aquamarine’s story and took a keen interest. She had researched the matter on her own and had managed to find a name for the creature; Bagrysh. Everything she had found was proof of the creature’s existence and she had decided that she wanted to meet with Bagrysh herself. After having spent years adventuring, Aquamarine thought it would be nice to meet with the leviathan again as they had promised.

He gathered as many people who believed in the existence of Bagrysh as he possibly could and brought them back to the island where it all started. During his trip through Casc he was met with one of the masons who was there when he first came to the surface. The mason apologized for not believing in the leviathan back then, not too long after Aquamarine left Bagrysh came to the surface again with another Akora in tow. The mason told Aquamarine that Bagrysh had been sighted multiple times and that the island was full of Cascans who wanted to see him with their own eyes.

On the island was indeed a great gathering of people waiting to spot the leviathan. It was said that the leviathan never stayed for long, especially when it knew there were people who would see it. The wait lasted a couple of months before Bagrysh finally appeared with a newly rescued Akora. Aquamarine connected with Bagrysh and a feeling of excitement bounces between them as their promise was honored. Knowing that Bagrysh did not know language, Aquamarine conveyed with feelings the adventures he had been on and also shared the awe felt by the mass of people who had come to see him. He could feel discomfort within Bagrysh at first but the feeling quickly eased and the leviathan did his best to communicate with the people.

Aquamarine and Aiona spent a long time attempting to teach Bagrysh language so that he could better connect with his less magic-sensitive followers. Once Bagrysh had become good enough to speak with Aiona one-on-one, Aquamarine set out to continue with the purpose he gave himself. Many had come to know of and respect Bagrysh but there were still many in the world that needed convincing. Furthermore, during his time adventuring Aquamarine came to understand that there were many people in need of rescue. When word reached him of the contest for godhood and Bagrysh’s interest in it, Aquamarine’s resolve was bolstered even further. To make Bagrysh a deity would undoubtedly lead to his global reverence, thus it is the ultimate goal in Aquamarine’s adventure.

‘MONSTROLOGIST’ AIONA ABBOTT

Aiona Abbott was born to an Elinvar tribe in southern Vasara who specialized in ‘fixing’ monsters. They refused to kill monsters or hire adventurers even when their tribe was attacked, instead they practiced magic that allowed them to quell the magic that made the creatures how they were. Wild beasts were much more susceptible to having their instincts thrown wild from excessive magic intake and this tribe did not believe they deserved to be hunted because of that. They sought to rescue the creatures that had been warped by extracting the rampant magic in their bodies. Over time, this allowed their senses to return to them and they could return to the wild without destroying the ecosystem. Because of this, the tribe’s village is surrounded by relatively docile monsters, which scientists from other places in Vasara have attempted to take advantage of on more than one occasion.

Unfortunately, the methods of the tribe have not been adopted by the greater world. Their cleansing process requires for the monster to be captured and a specific ritual performed, a ritual that takes time to learn. It is much simpler to instead have a band of adventurers go out and slay problematic beasts, regardless of the more humane possibility.

Aiona grew up as a part of the tribe, learned the rituals, aided in the rescue of some monsters; though her true interests lay in the tales of mythological beasts. Most of all, the story of a gigantic sea serpent that was once spotted in the waters near to the village. She theorized, if wild creatures were so easily warped by magic then how could such grand creatures as in the stories come to be? She wanted to find out the answer but she was too weak to leave the tribe on her own and she had no one to leave with. To gain the strength she needed, she altered the monster purification ritual so that it would feed the extracted magic from the creature into her own body. When the tribe found out about this practice, she was exiled immediately. It was their way to return the magic taken to nature, Aiona going against that was seen as an insult to the tribe.

She was cast out into the wilderness, unsure of which beasts were purified and which would attack without hesitation. She was fortunate enough that before any wild monsters she found a group of trespassing scientists who had captured a creature made docile by the tribe. Without any better options, she revealed herself to the group and asked if she could join them in exchange for what she knew about the monsters. Aiona was quite knowledgeable and was able to impress the scientists enough for them to accept her offer.

Leaving the tribe proved to be fruitful for her, she managed to find a place in one of Vasara’s universities and gained access to many books full of magical and mythological beings. She made a lot of friends with her ability to ‘tame’ monsters, though they did not understand why she continued her fasting as an Elinvar despite leaving her tribe. She learned the biology of many creatures she had never seen before but was still not satiated. That was when she came across a myth originating from Vasara’s northern coast that described a beast oddly similar to the sea serpent. This sparked a journey where she found out about more and more myths of the same creature. She even caught wind that there were Akora that were supposedly rescued from the ocean floor by it.

She had found information that suggested the old gods had knowledge of the sea serpent. The same rumor implied that the sea serpent had a hand in the destruction of a lost continent. The mystery had deepened and Aiona knew she had to get to the bottom of it. Infiltrating Cersei to try and get into the records of the old government would have been impossible, so instead Aiona looked towards Nelaime’s old territory in Kjerne. Her old personal castle still stood and remained preserved over the years, many of its secrets still locked to those who had tried to uncover them. Aiona used her status as a qualified researcher to personally explore the castle and quickly discovered the powerful magical seals that protected everything of interest.

This is the moment when the magic of her tribe came proved its most useful. She found herself able to draw out and absorb the protective magic until the spells were weak enough for her to break. In a greater sense this was a massive feat, if the world knew that she could uncover all of Nelaime’s secrets then she would become one of the most famous casters in Pradas. This is not what she wanted, though, Aiona’s only interest lay in her own personal journey. So, she kept her findings secret. She went through Nelaime’s documents until she came across one that detailed the goings on of the lost continent. She read about the forgotten old god, about the cultures that were lost in that age, about the horrendous creature that devoured it without warning.

Aiona was absolutely enamored with all the findings. She thought that they were something the entire world should know about but she was still unwilling to reveal that it was her who found them. There was only one page she wanted, which regarded Desti’s meeting a great magical creature with the power to possibly threaten the old gods. She made it out to be a terrifying beast who sought to drag Falme down into the depths. The fearful people of those lands gave a name to this omen of destruction; Bagrysh. She tore that page out and left the rest of the book where she found it. Without its seals it would only be a matter of time before someone else uncovered it.

After leaving Kjerne, Aiona sought out Akora to confirm that the beast was a kind savior and not the destructive being the old gods had people believe. The most prevalent of the Akora who had been saved by Bagrysh was Aquamarine, an Akora adventurer in Crobayoris. Aiona was able to find the large, blue Akora quite easily and shared the information that she had. She asked if it would be possible to meet with Bagrysh personally, to which Aquamarine easily accepted. In fact, he gathered up as many people as possible to set out to this meeting. He brought them all to an island south of Casc and waited, eventually the creature did in fact appear.

At first, it was only capable of communicating with Aquamarine, though simply observing it was enough for Aiona to confirm its nature. True to the Akora’s claims, Bagrysh was a kind creature who even patiently attempted to learn how to communicate with those who had come to meet with him. Aiona, technically a qualified teacher, did everything she could to help with this process. After Aquamarine left to continue adventuring, Aiona stayed with Bagrysh for some time longer until the leviathan decided to return to the waters for a while. In this time, Aiona built up a personal connection with the creature. Completely caught up in the tutoring, she totally forgot to ask Bagrysh how he came to be so magnificent.

Aiona remained on the island until she could meet with Bagrysh again and immersed herself in the Cascan culture. She was never the strongest physically but she made some attempts at masonry to eventually passable results. She was frequently visited by people who wanted to know more about Bagrysh and eventually became known as an ambassador of sorts for the leviathan. Sometimes Bagrysh’s Akora followers would return to the island and information would come in. Aiona found out about Bagrysh’s more frequent trips to the surface and his building curiosity of the workings of the surface world. Also within this time, one Akora came bearing the news that there would be a contest that would choose a new true deity.

Aiona was present when Bagrysh was told this news. This event took precedence in her mind, for much of her life even through her exile she was driven by the story of Bagrysh. She felt like she owed something to the leviathan, so she concluded that she would fight in Bagrysh’s name to bring him ascension. She may not be the strongest physically but her latent magical ability is legendary, especially after absorbing magic from Nelaime’s tomes. She intends to use it in full force to defeat those who would challenge the leviathan who guided her life.