Category: Tertia Worldbuilding

Tertia Lore – Twylth & Elma

TWYLTH ROZKA

The creator and ruler of the Expanse and known as a walking calamity in her own right. Born to a Dendron tribe in Haust, Twylth was a gifted and extremely spoiled child. She displayed an incredibly high proficiency in wielding magic that brought fear to her tribe, not of her but of what she could do to the nature around them. She held such power that she could wipe out entire acres of trees and slaughter any animals unlucky enough to be in the area. Not allowed to hunt, Twylth was given a comfortable home in her tribe’s tallest tree and brought anything she could have ever wanted. She was only able venture around a limited area and only while closely monitored. It was then they she developed her abnormal viewpoint of nature; that it was only as beautiful as those who handled it. She took to molding the groves around her tribe’s territory and arranging it in a way that she considered beautiful. Her tribe thought this was acceptable, she was happy and it was a way for her to get used to controlling her magic. Then she turned her eyes to their treeline city.

Twylth saw the city as having been made by weak hands and that she, who held power far greater than they, could create a much more appealing home for herself and her tribe. She warped the city as she saw fit with no concern for the people that were hurt and the things that were destroyed. Twylth had been shut away from things like death and consequences, so when the tribe rejected her image and called her a monster she did not understand. The tribe gathered, realizing that Twylth could be harbored no longer. They concluded that Twylth needed to learn about the world and about the significance of her power. She was sent to Vasara to enter one of their esteemed schools.

Age 7

She could have gotten her education just about anywhere with her abilities and she was approached frequently with offers from schools in Cersai. Despite this, Twlyth refused to spend her days in the walls of a big city. She ended up going to an out of the way school in Dicentra, a town in northern Vasara where the studies focused on how magic flows through and interacts with non-living entities and nature. She struggled socially, spending her free time out in the wilderness instead of interacting with people. Over the years of her education she ended up creating a massive garden that spanned miles, which is to this day known as the grandest garden in Vasara.

Age 16

Problems arose again at the time of her graduation, when Twylth’s confidence had returned and she decided to try and bring her vision to the people around her once more. She was careful not to hurt anyone this time as the garden she had crafted for years reached into Dicentra. She wished to present the excellence of her vision to prove to everyone how much she had grown but once again her vision was rejected. The people of Dicentra called her a witch and scolded her, telling her to turn everything back to normal. It was then that she realised, why she was always an arm’s reach away from people and why she was born more powerful than them. It was because she was the only one who understood the true beauty of the world, the wonder of a garden crafted by the will of the chosen.

Twylth did not undo her magic, instead she held Dicentra under siege and drove the others and their imperfect visions away. She shut herself in isolation and challenged anyone to match the perfection of her craft. She performed a magic that the people of Pradas did not think possible; she turned the plants and trees of her garden into Natyr and used them as minions. The next few years of her life were spent battling adventurers that came into her domain, her bounty rising as she easily dealt with them. Then, Elma came into her domain.

Age 23

Elma did not come looking to fight, despite also being a tremendously powerful caster she was a pacifist and only wished to converse with Twylth. She lulled the Natyr into inactivity and tried to convince Twylth that her vision did not have to involve harming people. The two talked about their histories and their hopes and in the end, Twylth decided to leave her established domain and go with Elma. Elma told her that she was researching a way to connect people’s dreams into a realm of sorts and that it could be possible for Twylth to make a realm of her own too. Until then, Elma was able to control dreams and could lull Twylth into dreams of her perfect domain of nature. Twylth saw Elma’s dream as something interesting, like she wanted to arrange people in the way that she arranged nature. She also believed that, even if no one else could, she could surely make a realm of her own.

Twlyth was still a wanted criminal, so she and Elma concocted a spell to temporarily alter her appearance so they could live together. Twylth joined Elma in her research and actually spent some time in Vasara’s cities, just to sate a looming curiosity. Even though Elma told her not to, Twylth also participated in magic combat sports in her leisure under the name Runda Amani. Under her alias, she joined the Guild of Pursuit and joined them on expeditions to Ebusika and to Iaxus. Some questioned her identity, but Twylth was protected behind the people’s trust in Elma.

Age 30

Nevertheless, there were some who Twylth could not hide her identity from. The old gods, who approached both she and Elma when they needed more power to fight against Gonel. Twylth was monstrous as just a regular mortal, with the rituals of the old gods stacked on top of her already huge power she became something unfathomable. Her strength was so immense that Nelaime and Karye feared what she would do after the battle was over. She was paramount to the victory against the Demon and the reason why there was only one casualty in the battle.

Age 53

After the battle was won, she and Elma returned to Pradas to complete their research on realm creation. Able to freely study the fragile space between planes where Gonel emerged, their studies were highly successful.

Age 112

However, the two had different ideas for how a new plane could come into being. Twylth essentially wanted to force a new plane into existence using a raw amount of magic power, a feat only she could accomplish given her abnormal magical abilities. Elma disagreed, citing that there were other methods that could be tested and that Twylth’s methods could harm a lot of people and even the world itself. Twylth, with the dream of her perfect realm of nature within her reach, no longer cared for what she had to give up to achieve it. After one final argument, Twylth and Elma broke away from each other and Twylth went on to cause the calamity on Iaxus. She didn’t care for the tragedy she left behind, she finally had the canvas she needed to make her vision. The Expanse.

She took plants, trees, water, rocks and even dirt from Tertia and used it to act as the base for what the Expanse would become. She fed her magic into the tiny pieces of nature she took and it grew and multiplied, reaching out into an infinite horizon. She made portals from the Expanse to places all around Tertia so she could take some of every plant, tree and gemstone in the world and add them to her realm. She crafted it so that the Expanse would be separated into four segments, each of them representing a different season. Within each of the segments, there are aspects of every single imaginable environment; forests, rainforests, tundra, taigas, deserts, grasslands and even mountains and underground cave systems. Then, to make the Expanse truly alive, Twylth brought Natyr and Fae beasts to life to roam her masterpiece.

Yet, the realm is still missing one thing. It has the appearance of having a sky, changing between day and night and having moons and stars. However, this is merely an illusory projection of Twylth’s own design. She has recently succeeded in the feat of crafting a genuine moon in her realm but the creation of a star eludes her. She still needs a vast amount of power to bring a true star to the Expanse, which is why she became a pact dealer. She brings people into their realm and offers to give them what they wish for using her magic. In return, they accrue strength that feeds back into her so she can gather the energy she needs to put the finishing touch on her perfect work. Past that, she seeks worlds past Tertia so that she can implement the nature of the entire universe into her plane so that her image can be perfect on even a cosmic scale.

ELMA AMANI

The creator of Sleeper’s Parley and an indomitable advocate for peace. Elma was born into a cult in Vasara who experimented on unborn babies, still in the womb, in hopes of increasing their potential post-birth. Elma’s mother was the matriarch of this particular group, so the hopes for her being a success were high. She was indeed born with a high magic proficiency, but it came at the cost of one glaring condition. Her body was too small to bear the burden of her bloated magic power, so all of the stress went into her mind instead. This meant that Elma had to sleep at least twice as much as any other person, which limited her use within the cult. She was abused throughout her childhood, forced to stay awake despite feeling like needles were being pushed into her skull. The cult experimented on her in hopes that they could fix the condition, or that it would become less prominent as she grew. When the condition showed no signs of receding, Elma’s mother cast her off to be raised by her father instead.

Age 8

Her father was no more sympathetic of Elma’s condition. He was a sad and lonely man who let his life fall into chaos after Elma’s mother left him behind and then he had the child dumped on him too. He was the stereotypical image of a drunken, useless man who let all his potential go to waste and he took that out on Elma. The abuse she received from him was almost as bad as the experimentation from the cult. With her condition she couldn’t make friends either, since she spent so much time asleep she couldn’t meet with them often. They thought she didn’t like them, or they just got bored of her and stopped even trying.

Elma’s only escape was in her lucid dreams, where her parents were good to her and she was able to make friends and connections. She created an entire other life in her dreams to escape from what was in reality. Then, over time, her magical abilities manifested. She no longer wanted to fear every step her father took, to feel every bruise and broken bone when she saw something move too fast at the corner of her eye. This culminated with Elma using her magic on her father, sending him into a sleep where he couldn’t hurt her any more. Every time he showed signs of waking, Elma cast her magic again to keep him unconscious. She kept this up for days and her father died of dehydration, though it took Elma some time to realize this.

Elma was too scared to go outside, she had killed her father and she feared the punishment the world held for her. She didn’t want to hurt anyone and she didn’t want to be hurt any more. She just wanted a safe place to be. The one who ended up finding her and the body of her father was the barmaid of a nearby tavern, who was there to collect a debt that Elma’s father owed. The barmaid calmed Elma down and heard out what happened, afterwards she decided to take the little girl in. Her father was buried without any fanfare.

Age 12

Elma was taken to the tavern, the Swimming Butterfly, where she learned the name of the woman who found her; Sela Amani. Sela was a tough and confident woman, not afraid to kick out any patrons who were rude or who overstayed their welcome. Many people found her spiny, hard to approach, but for Elma she was the first person who accepted her even with her condition. Sela talked the tavern owner into letting Elma stay and even got her a job in the place. Elma would use her magic to help the people staying at the tavern rest well at night and as she developed her abilities further she could even invoke good dreams within them. If she was awake, then she would also help Sela to serve patrons and to calm them down when things got rowdy. Elma felt safe for the first time in her life, like she had a place where she could live and be comfortable. She decided that her life began there, with Sela and with the swimming butterfly, so she took on Sela’s last name so the world would know who her true family was.

Age 15

Elma’s life took another turn when a member of the guild of ingenuity spent a night at the swimming butterfly. Elma’s sleep magic caught his notice, on its own it was impressive that such a young girl could cast it so effortlessly but what made it exceptional was her ability to control dreams. Affecting the mind on such a deep level without causing any damage to the brain was an amazing feat, so the man invited Elma to join the guild of ingenuity. Elma was unsure, she had finally found a place of safety in the world, but Sela assured her that the swimming butterfly would always be there for her. It was a big opportunity and one that could prove to Elma that there were many wonderful things in the world. Elma ended up accepting the offer and went off to a bigger city where she got a real education while also developing her magic as a guild member.

Her magic turned out to be even more exceptional than initially thought, Elma was able to pull off practically impossible feats like capturing and affecting the concept of someone’s consciousness. She could do things like pulling someone’s mind away from their body, looking into people’s thoughts and even manifesting their dreams with enough time. Elma’s peers couldn’t even emulate her magic, which led people to think that it was somehow unique to her. At this time Elma was more concerned with developing her own goal, she wanted to find a way to bring people’s dreams together so that they could interact through them. Like a visceral form of telepathy where people can understand each other on a more intimate level. It would also allow people to have conflict and release stress in a platform where no one would be hurt.

Age 19

Elma grew more popular and iconic within the guild but she wasn’t satisfied with her status. She felt like she had gone back to struggling to connect with people, she couldn’t make friends like she did at the swimming butterfly. On top of that, as she became more high-profile her mother caught ear of how Elma had developed. She started trying to contact Elma again, which turned into emotional manipulation when Elma said she wanted nothing to do with her. Her mother tried to guilt her by talking about the regrets she carried ever since she sent Elma to her father. She said that Elma wouldn’t want her poor mother to die just like her father did. When Elma stood her ground, her mother started threatening to hurt herself and the people of the swimming butterfly. Elma could allow this to go on no longer, so she went back to her mother’s cult to tie up that loose end.

The cult tried to forcibly capture Elma the moment she appeared but not a hand was laid upon her. They were lulled into rest before they could harm her again. Elma confronted her mother, not with anger or violence. She had experienced enough of that, she empathised with others too much to inflict pain. Despite everything, she wanted her mother to redeem herself. She stayed with her
mother for a few days, talking with her in both consciousness and unconsciousness. She showed her mother the lucid dreams she had as a child, of the life she wanted to have with her family. She made her mother realize what her life was, that of a mad cultist who has harmed too many people. Her mother disbanded the cult and turned herself in.

Elma got more involved with peacekeeping after that. She would join adventurers on their quests to confront cults and made an effort to resolve the conflicts without violence. The next major event of her life was when she caught word of the witch of Dicentra, a terrifying mage so powerful that no one had been able to defeat her. Unwilling to risk others getting harmed in her venture, Elma went out to confront the witch alone.

Age 24

Elma entered the witch’s domain and confronted her, a beautiful woman about her age named Twylth. Elma did as she always did, she talked with Twylth and tried to bring things to a peaceful conclusion. Yet, something was different this time. It was something about Twylth’s powerful personality, her superiority, that drew Elma in. In the end, she ended up divulging just as much as she was told. Elma didn’t understand it at first but she soon pieced it together, she had fallen in love with Twylth. She offered to take Twylth in while they researched the development of their realms, to which Twylth agreed.

Twylth hid her appearance with magic and Elma used her social sway to keep suspicion off of her. Elma eventually summoned the courage to tell Twylth how she felt and the two got together, Elma had managed to re-capture the happiness she felt when she worked at the swimming butterfly. Her research benefited greatly from her happiness and even though Twylth did a lot of things that Elma didn’t agree with, she loved her more than she had ever loved anyone. There was only one thing that got in the way of total bliss for Elma at this time; the emergence of Gonel.

Age 31

A few years after the Demon’s name became known the world over, Elma and Twylth were approached by the old gods regarding how to deal with him. They wanted Elma and Twylth to join them in battle, which Elma was hesitant to participate in due to her innate pacifism. However, she realised that this was a force that could not be stopped simply by talking it out. When Twylth accepted, Elma did as well. She knew that she would be safe with Twylth there, and in return she could keep Twylth safe as well.

Age 56

After the battle was won, she and Twylth returned to their studies on realm creation.

Age 113

The relationship between Twylth and Elma suffered greatly as their research neared its conclusion. Over the years, Elma allowed Twylth to get away with a lot of things but as a result her mentality hadn’t changed. For the sake of her realm, she was going to do something that would potentially kill countless people. Elma pleaded Twylth to reconsider this method and attempted to show her a different way but Twylth was too stubborn. Her dream that she had since childhood was within her grasp and she wasn’t going to let anything stop her. The two broke up and Twylth proceeded to cause the calamity on Iaxus, something that Elma would regret for the rest of her days.

Elma’s method of planar creation was much safer, instead of using raw power she used just a tiny piece of energy collected from the minds of everyone on Tertia. Using this energy, she created a realm of dreams that could draw in the unconscious minds of anyone in the world. This dream hub could be entered with a thoughtless choice, people who knew subconsciously that they wanted or had to be there were collected together in Sleeper’s Parley. It was a realm where the world could continue in the night, only no one could be hurt or suffer. It was a place to settle disputes and release stress, just as Elma had envisioned. Nevertheless, even though she had achieved what she had hoped for, it somehow felt empty.

A side effect of Sleeper’s Parley is that dreams would often manifest into living beings, similar to aberrations. As the number of dream folk grew, Elma realized that she would have to stay within Sleeper’s Parley to keep things orderly. She created a society for the dream folk but issues arose when beings of nightmare started to manifest as well. Elma wasn’t able to hold back these entities, they preyed on all of the fears and regrets she experienced in her past. The abuse she felt as a child, the regrets over killing her father, that she didn’t do more to change Twylth’s mind while she had the chance. And, that she never got a chance to say goodbye to the people at the swimming butterfly. She was sealed deep in her own despair and in the despair of everyone else on Tertia while the nightmares worked to undo the last good she managed to do.