Prologue: The History of Terra Septon
Centuries ago, a world lived at peace with one another. About two hundred people lived at a camp that they named Terra Septon, after the seven terrains surrounding them. Cold wintery mountains to the south, rolling hills southwest of them, and a temperate forest southeast. The north was dominated by cruel deserts that spread to the west coast beaches. The east consisted of connecting rivers, one of which fed the lake in the center. The northeast was primarily unexplored jungle, thick with diverse animal life. This island was inhabited by 14 people who settled the island, then built a community together in the center around a the lake. They prospered on the food from the sea and lake, making everyone complacent and willing to help out.
Once the camp started to grow, people diverged into groups based on what they liked to do. There were a few in charge who made good decisions which benefited all. There were some who protected people from outside dangers. Some found peace worshipping snakes; they were fascinated by glistening scales and forked tongues and devoted their lives to studying them. Some were at one with nature and explored the island, finding any, and all things new. Some tinkered and crafted, while some harnessed fire and dug deep, searching for precious metals. And everyone lived like this, until one day, the protectors failed their duties, and let a tiger slip into the camp. He wreaked havoc, and hunted both the people and snakes in camp. This tiger was known as Thraal. The protectors chased him out, and followed him to his cave. However, upon closer look they found him, skin and bones, starving, feeding off the carcass of a massive snake. They could not bear to kill him, and went back to camp. Upon describing their story, those who worshipped snakes grew angry. They had heard stories from those in camp who traveled about a giant snake, and they obsessed about it, naming it Karnvicta. They believed that the snake carcass Thraal had been eating was that of Karnvicta.
Those who worshipped the snake pleaded with the leaders for someone to kill Thraal, who had slayed their beloved snake. Upon days of pleading one of the leaders stepped forth; his name was Paramore. His brother, Arion pleaded with him not to go, for fear of his death, but Paramore insisted. Arion, however, could not let his brother do this. Under cover of nightfall he went and sought out the beast instead. However, Arion failed and was not able to kill Thraal. In the morning Paramore saw his brother, beaten and injured, crawling to camp. He declared he would go out that instant and slay Thraal for his deeds. To kill the beast his ancestors in the sky forged him a blade to slay Thraal, for they knew they could not stop Paramore from going, and for him to be successful he needed proper weaponry. He returned to camp victorious, but not everyone was pleased with him. The protectors who had failed to kill the beast were angered and spoke to the leaders, declaring that they should have been informed of the decision, given it was their duty to kill him and protect the community. The leaders countered saying that it was not anyone’s decision to make besides their own, especially since they had never failed everyone at camp. This statement angered everyone, as they all thought their opinions should be taken into account first. This drived a rift between people in the camp. After half a decade of fighting (both verbal and nonverbal), it was finally agreed upon that they should split and run their own communities upon what they thought was important.
And that is how it went. The group of leaders started calling themselves the TrueBorn (believing they were superior), the protectors decided on the FangBound (after Thraal), those who worshipped the snake named themselves the Serpent Hunters (so they never forgot the pain of how Karnvicta was hunted down), the travelers called themselves the PathSeekers (this one seemed not to need an explanation), the tinkerers named themselves the Trade Watchers (always crafty these ones, to this day we still do not know why they chose this name), and those who forged the earth were the Flame Wielders (also seemed not to need an explanation). As each group forged out on his own, the island of Terra Septon became too small for all six groups. The ancestors of people passed figured they should create a new world for each group. To ensure that communication between the seemingly new worlds was not diminished, ancient ancestors created six archways. They were placed in a ring in the center of camp, and each archway would be a portal leading to a land ideal for the different groups’ focus for their civilizations. Powering these portals would be arks. Each ark would represent the groups’ strengths and core values. These arks would be placed in a notch in the keystone of the arch. If one were to step through one of the archways then they would be transported to that groups’ specific “world”. The ancestors then told leaders of each of the groups that they would have to meet once every full moon at dusk to ensure peace and to ensure that each group remained healthy and survived. And so, the Six Worlds came together. Each grew and expanded within their own worlds, and trained on what they thought would be most important for their culture. The Worlds kept their promise and met once every full moon.
A few years after the group at Terra Septon split, all the groups were well. They met every full moon, and each group had plenty of room for their civilizations. In the TrueBorn world, Paramore had become the trusted leader of the group, and he was a good, fair ruler. Paramore had set in motion the building of a great town. He wanted everyone to be an equal distance from the portal in which connected them with the other worlds. So, he built the town in a circular shape. Every house was an equal distance from the portal, unless someone wanted otherwise. Everything in the town revolved around this central point of the portal. All the buildings for storage of food and thinkcenters (where people worked) as well as the mines were outside the ring of houses. He thought this would be best for everyone. The people agreed with him and liked the layout, so they were each assigned a portion to build and went to work eagerly. Paramore oversaw the construction and helped wherever he could. He gave his brother the same job, thinking that they could work beside one another to help build a prosperous world. Arion accepted his brother’s request, thinking that this would let him live down the shame of not being able to kill Thraal, which he still felt bad about. When it came down to the manual labor of building the town, Arion was favored by some over his brother. However, when it came down to overseeing and helping people with any questions they had on the blueprints of the town, he could not help. His brother had drawn the plans, and he was not good at deciphering the chicken scratch that was Paramore’s handwriting. As helping people with their questions was his main job, people began to stop asking Arion for help and almost everybody would go to Paramore with their questions. Paramore became overworked, and Arion ended up just helping out a group at the edge of town build a mining shaft. Paramore became angry with his brother for leaving him all the work. They argued for days and eventually is was decided that Arion was best just working to help build the mine, and Paramore would find someone else to help him oversee the project.
The town was finished in four months, at which point Paramore let people decide where they wanted to work. If Paramore took an interest in someone, then he could work by Paramore’s side in ruling the town. However if they weren’t, they could either work in thinkcenters developing new technology, they could work in storage with gathering food and creating new farming, fishing, and hunting methods, or they could work in the mines harvesting raw materials used in building and with the inventions. Most chose to work in thinkcenters, and others took an interest in farming, but there were only a select few who worked in the mines, as that was seen as Flame Wielder interest, and the townspeople were TrueBorns. Arion worked in the mines, and Paramore worked as the TrueBorn’s ruler. Paramore specifically worked in the convention center, where he would invite other Worlds’ members to browse the inventions made by the thinkcenter workers.
Arion worked twelve hours a day in the mines. He loved the job, and often worked for three days straight. If he was not in his home set outside the ring of houses, he would be in the mines. A public appearance from him in town was rare, and he usually spent his time alone. When he was working his mind was occupied. He quickly became the best miner in the town, and loved to teach his fellow miners new tactics. Arion built himself a house closer to the mines and eventually never came within twenty feet of the town. He expanded the mine into the core of the mountain Zicron and discovered a new mineral. It was a deep black with hints of red and it shone like no other during the dusk hour. He named the mineral Zicron and never shared his discovery with Paramore and the rest of the town. He did share his find with the other miners, but made them swear on their lives not to tell a soul about it. There was one man who was close with Paramore and secretly planned to tell him, thinking he could get rich if Paramore gave him some of the sales commissions. However, Arion found out and killed him as the man was on his way to tell Paramore. The man’s death was attributed to bad fall in the mines. Arion never had a problem with people going behind his back again.
As Paramore grew more popular with the townsfolk, Arion became more and more distant. He mined the Zicron and learned to cut it. He would shape it into gems, tools, and even weapons. He grew adept at mining and cutting, and spoke to no one expect the miners. Arion however, became lonely. He blames his solitude to an atrocious, ungrateful brother. Arion had tried to kill Thraal, and what did he even get for his attempts? Nothing. He had tried his best to help with the plans for the town, but he was instead cast aside as a poor miner. He even tried to help Paramore by giving him some metals from the mine, but Paramore never showed up to get them. Arion was by himself. He grew angry. He grew bitter. He became malicious.
Arion spent weeks in the mine, finding more Zicron until he had exhausted the source and found no more. However, he refused to believe that there was no more. He made the workers mine the mountain day and night in hopes of finding more. Arion became mad. He lost sight of what was important and stopped eating. He practically lived in the mines. Naturally, the workers grew tired, and some decided to go to Paramore. They explained how Arion had gone mad with power but did not tell him about the Zicron, in light of what happened with the other man who did. Paramore traveled down to the mines to talk with his brother. He told Arion that he had to stop, that all this mining wasn’t good for him, that he was just hiding from a world he felt he didn’t belong in. Paramore told Arion that he could help him, that there was hope, that if Arion would just come back to the main town with him that he could still be a part of the community. Arion however retaliated saying that Paramore was just trying to take this away from him like he always did. Arion described how first Paramore beat Thraal for him, then he kicked him out of the building of the town, and now, Paramore was trying to take the mines away from him. Paramore of course replied that he would never do such a thing, but Arion’s mindset was that of a madman. At this point, Arion argued against everything Paramore told him. Late into the evening, Paramore gave up on his brother and left. Arion stood silent for a few minutes. He had a plan.
Arion gathered all the miners and explained to them the events of his evening. He preached to them, expressing his own pain through words. His emotions filled the workers. Their eyes were crimson with rage. Arion gave out all the weapons and armory he had made out of the Zicron, and explained to them that because tonight was the meeting of the Seven Leaders, it was the perfect opportunity for revenge. The miners were instructed to wait in the bushes by the portal, and as soon at the meeting ended and Paramore came out of the portal, Arion would go in. He told them to wait until he came out again, and then he told them that there would be something extraordinary waiting on the inside.
That dusk, just as planned, Arion and the miners waited in the bushes as Paramore stepped through the milky portal, and into their world. As soon as the sound of Paramore’s footsteps faded out of earshot, Arion emerged with a burlap bag slung on his broad shoulders and stepped through the portal. He had only ever been through the portal once and was left with a distasteful feeling of nausea in the pit of his stomach. As he stepped through the portal he was greeted by the arches of each World. He drew the gladius sword made of a Zicron blade from its sheath. He gazed at the TrueBorn arch, and as he prepared to strike it down, all he felt was raw resentment. Towards his brother, towards the eagle ark that powered its portal, and towards himself, for allowing his brother to beat his pride into the earth. He struck with blood red hatred. The red zicron blade clashed with the grey-blue eagle ark, and the whole arch came crashing to the ground as red and blue sparks flew from the area and the portal disappeared. Arion’s eyes blazed. His gaze was fixed on that eagle ark. It sat there shining up at him, resilient as ever. Suddenly, as he stood before the wreckage of the TrueBorn arch, all he could see were his brother’s eyes gazing down on him as he lie in the dirt, beaten, broken by Thraal. The wreckage of the arch was strewn about, and he felt his heart rate settle. He then cleared his mind and set about to do what he meant to do.
Arion started by collecting all the giant moss-covered stones in a pile, then taking out the stones from his bag, along with another keystone, and placing them with the others. He then delicately took the eagle ark from the ground, and placed it in his bag. He then proceeded to lift the stones and rebuild the arch. However, instead of building one ark, he split the space into two. Once all the stones were in place, including the two keystones, he took an ark from his bag. This was not the eagle ark however, it was a new ark with a back made of platinum and with an intricate design of Zicron on the front. Arion had made this only two days before. He melted the last of his Zicron and drizzled it in an elaborate pattern. The predominate symbol was a seven. This would be the seventh world. The first world of the TrueBorn would exist no longer, and his seventh would replace it. He held the priceless item in his hand, and turned it over. On the back he had inscribed, “For all.” He Arion closed his eyes. He could not yet forgive his brother. He took his sword and placed it at the start of the phrase. With two hands on his sword and a foot on the ark, he scratched out the phrase. This land would not be for everyone.
With that, he placed the ark into the custom notch in the keystone of the arch on the right. The space however would not light. No portal filled the area. A feeling of dread came over Arion. If the arch on the left would not light, he may not be able to get back to the TrueBorn world, and if only the TrueBorn arch would light, then he would certainly be slain for his crimes once Paramore found out. He took a deep breath, then took the eagle ark from his bag. There was only one more chance that the arch would light. He placed the eagle ark in its original keystone. There was a familiar blue glow from the TrueBorn arch, but the arch he had built for himself remained inactive. However, as he waited for the original portal to become complete, a faint red glow began to emanate from the portal on the right. His heart skipped a beat. And there, before his own eyes, both portals grew bright under the fading dusk sky. Arion’s heart filled with warmth – this was all he as ever wanted, now, he could start his own World, and anyone who had ever dared to defy him would be crushed with his power, just as Arion had been by his dear brother. He poked his head out of the blue TrueBorn portal and saw his comrades staring at it in disbelief. He welcomed them inside with him. Once everyone was gathered in the clearing, he gazed at each of their wondering eyes, then back at the new red portal. He spoke: “TrueBorns, welcome to the world of the DuskBorn.” And with that, he stepped through the gleaming red portal, and disappeared into his own world.