Hey all. Got some new maps. Figured you might want to see ’em. Enjoy.
Hey all. Got some new maps. Figured you might want to see ’em. Enjoy.
And now it was that Devla, daughter of Light and Shadow, she of the Eternal Cycle and source of life, looked down upon the creation of her husband, Evmir. “I see your mountains,” said she. “I see your lakes, your rivers, your storms and snow. But your creation is not yet whole.”
She hummed first a lullaby, for the world was a babe in the Void. Devla passed the world thrice through the flame, warming it with the Light of her father. As her song was hummed to the world, it began to awaken from it’s barren slumber. All things green and growing rose from the dirt, awakening to her song.
She then went down amongst the mountains, lakes, rivers, and the sea, and everywhere she went, she danced to her wild song. She swam through the ocean, and all the fish sprang forth from her, to swim alongside. From there she went to the land, and danced among the fields and forests, giving birth to the beasts of the hunt. So mad was she with ecstasy for the dance that she rose into the sky, and birds came tumbling from her hair.
She danced for a thousand ages, until all of Eldath was seeded. It is the reason Devla is called Mistress of Beasts, Lady of the Hunt, the Eternal Mother. The world was no longer a babe, but had bloomed as the rose in spring. Now the other gods saw her beauty, and came to give their blessings.
~From The Epic of Creation, stanzas 12-15
And his brother Eindor, the Wise God, he who won the Staff of Secrets by giving up his eye, the source of wisdom and Father of Magic, saw what Evmir was doing. Eindor looked out over the world, at what his brother had wrought, and knew that it was incomplete.
“Brother, let me add to your grand creation, for nothing so beautiful should be without secrets.” And so Eindor went down among the valleys, he walked over the barren rock and stood atop the highest mountains. There, he whispered secrets to the world. He told tales to the stone. He sang songs to the sea, and storms grew in his wake.
So it was that the world was imbued with magic, and the stars all turned to see.
It is for this reason that Eindor is called the Father of Magic, because all magic comes from him. It is for this reason that Eindor is also called the Whisperer, the Wise God, the Patron of Secrets.
And now the world had magic, but still it was incomplete.
~From The Epic of Creation, stanzas 7-11
Before the world was, the aether was formless, without sight or sound. There was only the Void–black, deep, and unknowable. For cycle upon cycle, infinite in number, the darkness remained.
There came a time, though, that the great god Light grew restless, and called his wife Shadow to his side. They danced through the emptiness, and Light took her out in the great expanse. He filled her with uncountable children, and Shadow gave birth to the stars, each one a child of their union, each with its own name. The stars were many, and unknowable.
When the two came to the end of their dance, Shadow asked her husband to grant her a child that she may love for her own, instead of scattering them to the corners of the Void. Light so loved Shadow that he granted her wish, and gathered her close. Their dance was so vigorous that Light gave Shadow not one child, but five.
These are the five older gods–Evmir, Eindor, Devla, Neesa, and Aeglar.
Evmir was first to come forth, with a battle cry that shook the aether, and a storm of lightning. So it was that Evmir was called the oldest, and the kingship of the aether fell to him. For his father and mother–Light and Shadow–wished to sleep, so to better hear the dreams of all their many children throughout the Void. Light forged for Evmir a great hammer, a parting gift from father to eldest son, and took Shadow into the vastness of the Void.
So it was that Evmir looked out across the vastness of the black, and knew that something must be done. He took up the Hammer of Light–the gift from his father–and smote it down upon the aether. He did this many times, over and over, until the world began to take shape beneath the blows of his great hammer. It was in this way that Evmir forged the world.
~From The Epic of Creation, stanzas 1-6
A Treatise on the Cult of Aeglar
“During the birthing years of the world, the Gods bestowed their gifts upon their new creation. Evmir forged the world, and his brother Eindor gave it magic. Devla formed the wild forests and the beasts within, while Neesa handed down art, love, beauty, and music. Bast made the laws and forms to govern the world, and Aastinor instilled war and revenge to drive humanity to enforce it. Even Saarnok had his place, tending to the souls of those who lived a foul and evil life, holding them in the Six Hells and bringing pain and suffering to the world so those living there would appreciate life.
One God, however, did not partake in the making of the world. This God grew jealous of his immortal kin, of the gifts they handed out freely to this new creation. Aeglar knew of magic and of forging, like the brothers Evmir and Eindor. He would rule mankind with these abilities rather than grant them freely. The more the world grew, the more his jealousy festered in him. As humanity built itself up in power and knowledge, Aeglar sat and watched. He saw that in people there was great strength and purpose, but there was also fault. Humans had within them greed and lust, the need to aspire to something greater than what they were.
So Aeglar went into the world and walked among its people. He whispered in the ears of men and women that shared his envy, telling them of the arrogance of the Gods. He spoke of power that the Gods hid from them still, that humankind was destined to be so much more. He taught them secrets that he had kept through the forging of the world, giving them to a select few in exchange for their worship and obedience.”
~From “The Gods Among Us,” written before the Second Great War.
I think it worth mentioning, curator, that no one this scholar has been able to find has any written records of the Cult’s true origins. These passages, and others like them, are the first appearance of the Cult in history, though we cannot be completely sure. This account is taken from a religious text. The Cult itself denied any requests to view a written history, and interviews with members yielded only mythological answers to questions about their origins. The leaders of the Cult of Aeglar are a secretive group, and declined any request to meet personally.
What this scholar has been able to gather from reading historical accounts throughout Alderak is that the Cult of Aeglar most likely formed in Lesmira after the Treaty of Duadan of was signed with the Sevenlands. The Cult is a widely known anti-sorcery organization, and there exists no mention of it in the historical record until Lesmira signed the Treaty. There has always been an undercurrent in Eastern society that is fiercely anti-magic, and it seems most likely that the Cult arose from various groups of political dissidents that banded together in order to put pressure on the Lesmiran monarchy. It was two years after the signature, the year 501, that the Cult attempted to assassinate the King and Queen, and were summarily banished from the Lesmira forever.
The Cult has been known to openly protest policies it regards as “pro-sorcery” all over Alderak, but at its core the Cult of Aeglar is a military organization. It has used its might for political bullying before, and it is suspected of much worse. Stories abound about the Cult abducting those born with the spark of magic in their blood and carrying them off to meet some grim fate, though these allegations have never even been officially investigated. This scholar has personally interviewed wizards from the Lesmiran School of Magical Arts that insist the Cult has attempted to abduct them, and many wizards report incidents of being followed and harassed when traveling outside of the country.
The Cult operates openly in every country on the Eastern Continent except for Lesmira. They have a particularly strong presence in Dannon, but are widely regarded as religious zealots in the lands south of the Moravian grasslands. There are rumors that some members of royalty and other world leaders may be secret members, or supporters of the Cult, though no proof currently exists.
Many scholars throughout the years have attempted to discern exactly what magic is and where it came from. Its effects have been studied by the School of Magical Arts, the Conclave in the Sevenlands, and even the Minsdurim Academy, upon occasion. There are multiple books on the subject, the foremost among them being Garland’s Song of the Fabric of Creation. Still, at the time that this report is being written, this scholar has found no invention, scientific method, or even a magical device that can test the essence of magic and tell us what it really is and where it came from.
The accepted view by most laymen is that magic is the “fabric of creation” or the “material of creation” left over from when the Gods forged the world. Such a simplistic explanation can be credited to the Epics of the Gods and the mythology that most religious texts perpetuate. The general idea, explained by a Devlan Devotee, is that Evmir shaped the world and everything we see from a magical base material. The phrase so often repeated is that he “commanded the world come forth from the ether”. When asked exactly what magic is, or what the “ether” is, most religious explanations fail to satisfy, as they so often do. If one wants to learn of magic, one must go to a wizard.
According to representatives of the Conclave of Wizards, children who are born with an inherent connection to magic, referred to as “Blessed”, begin to show signs of the power between the ages of seven and fourteen years. This range is not as accurate as it could be; the Conclave admits that some children may go for years using magic undiscovered by their scouts or their parents. The manifestation seems to correlate directly with the children aging into sexual maturity, though there have been cases which seem to show no correlation. Sometimes trauma has been shown to be a direct factor as well, though those cases are rare. Findings from the School of Magical Arts directly support the information from the Conclave.
Magic is described by wizards as having an empathetic nature. It apparently responds to emotions felt by magic users, and those emotions can either intensify, confuse, or entirely null the effects of their intended spells and evocative castings. By their own admission, the use of magic can be a very dangerous undertaking. Wizards have been known to lose control of their powers and kill themselves–or others–because of the emotional factors at play, though the Conclave assures me that such things are rare and easily controlled and prevented through proper training. Strenuous mental discipline is the best deterrent, according to those who traffic in the use of magic.
Magic apparently responds to outside stimuli as well. It has been shown to resonate differently with different materials, such as brass, stone, various gems, and even water. Mathematical and geometrical formulas seem to evoke a response from magic, as do certain shapes in nature, the most common of which is the circle. This scholar had heard rumors of a great circle constructed in the bowels of the Conclave called the Crux, but any reference to it, or request to see it, was met with denial.
The most interesting magical reaction seems to be with music. Apparently musical tones have an intense effect on magic, and the Conclave has studied the phenomenon for a long period of time. They have found that the most interesting reactions seem to come from entire compositions of music rather than individual tones, as if the music produces an emotional response from magic, as ridiculous as that sounds. The theory seems to hold water when compared with the earlier knowledge that magic responds to emotions from those who use it. The two phenomenon seem to be intertwined somehow, though sufficient time and effort would be needed to study it further.
Magic seems to be able to perform almost any action the wizard can imagine, though the boundaries of such power are blurry and undefined at best. Most wizards seem to operate on their own preconceived notions about nature, and such a thing can be a serious deterrent to studying magic’s full potential. Some of the more mundane uses for magic, such as moving large objects or producing a small light from nothing, can be as simple or as complicated as the mind of the wizard wielding the power.
This scholar personally listened to two different explanations on how one would move a rock with magic. One wizard preferred to simply seize the rock with his “Kai”, as he put it, and move the thing a small distance. He explained that in his mind, he pictured carrying the stone in a large, invisible hand. The second spoke of an invisible force holding the rock to the ground already, and he simply pictured himself coaxing the force to let go for a small amount of time while he moved the rock. The results were the same, though the methods were clearly different.
Wizards do seem to have a limited amount of endurance for using magic. Each person would appear to have a different threshold for holding a certain amount of power, and it has been determined by the Conclave that every wizard grows slowly stronger over time. Exposure to the power also seems to lengthen the lifespans of all wizards, though it is said that most older magic users retreat from society in order to better commune with the strange energy. It is also said that wizards heal faster than normal people, and are more resistant to disease, though the factor by which this happens is minimal. It has been demonstrated to this scholar that magic also cannot heal any ailment with reliable results. The two things may be connected, and that subject may warrant further study in the future.
It is possible for those born without the ability to touch magic to gain it through careful study and training. In the Sevenlands they call those wizards the “Learned”. The differences between Learned and Blessed magic users stop at the method by which they gained use of the power. There appears to be no correlation between the method of training and the final ability and strength of any wizard in question. This would suggest that physical properties and breeding do have some effect on these phenomenon, though those effects have yet to be studied.
From A Treatise on Magic and its Effects, by the Magister Sir Umril Genhardt, of the Tauravon Archive. Written in the year 1066, archived in 1067.
Hope you guys enjoyed that little tidbit about the setting. I’ll be uploading little blogs like this to help flesh out the story for you guys, as the World of Eldath will be an ongoing setting for stories long after the Seven Signs is finished. More news on this to follow, and I’ll talk to you guys soon.