Upon the plain you stumbled, lost, tired, confused. But it's not the end, or even a begining! It's a world lost in the void, a reality that defies every law. And now, it's under siege by an otherworldly armata.
Blessed with powers to repell these forces from this world, you join with others in this bizzare universe!
That's what they named this realm, this state of living. They being the philosiphers of the Cult of Allvision. A sect of the holy order in Actorial, the vibrant shimmering city. This place is what most think of when the name Aethian comes up. We lie in the farthest reaches of the echo-zone. An area that extends for thousands of miles across the edge of the known world. The land encircling us is so dark that night is only distinuishable by the stars. Canyons split the land like cracks in plaster. Rock spires dart the horizon, one of the few things to stick up from this ground. As you aproach Actorial your sight shall be hid by a massive blue form. This is the wall, it protects us from any wild life that exists beyond. Made purely from an ocean blue stone that compises most of Actorial, it emits a radiant glow so pure and crisp that some mistake it for another sun.
The nights here last very long, the day only being a third of the night. So of course, we pride ourself in being a beacon when there is nothing but darkness. This is most evident as you pass over the wall and find below an unstopping raidant turquoise civillization. You are now in the actual urban center. Triangular buildings are the most frequent architectural design, with plenty of archways being enployed on the streets, usually bridging the complex block sections together. What isn't a shade of blue is black, obsidian topped towers and dark pillars support the larger buildings. The closer you get to the epicenter, the more varied are the heights of buildings, some reaching up like slender pyramids that dwarf all previous sights, but they themselves are dwarfed by the crown jewel of our city:The pinicale. It's height immeasuarble to onlookers, as it's luminous appearance and stunning size overloads the sences, rendering the observer incapable of perceiving it. The base builds up, each story marked by a short pause before going into a slightly smaller section, that from a base area of almost a kilometer dwindles to only a few meters at the top. Airship docks appear about midway up the structure, with a constant flow of traders and supply ships.
Here lay the peacekeeping forces along with the ruling faction and religion in Actorial. All of which are tied together is some way or form. Religion incorporating magika, which in turn is used by the combat forces. Of course the juristiction over all of that is controlled by the dominante policical party.
I was born upon a roming Air-Rider(an areial vessel surpasses even human design). My mother was a cartogripher. She mapped out much of the echo-zone in detail that could be unparelleled. Every canyon, every pathway, every civillization. I lived on this flyer for most of my childhood. I had been to the four major cities that exist within these black planes more times than I care to remember. I learned much on my journeys, educated by only what books we could afford. One crisp evening on the deck of our ship, my mother told me in all her years she had seen no sight that rivalled the beauty of a developing species. I had always regarded the tribal civillizations as filth. And to a degree, I still do, but now at least I can appriciate ones that try to advance themselves.
When I became old enough to support myself, I left my vagabond self in my childhood home that still voyages those cloudless skies. My first objective was to use the elusive power that was the subject of gossip across the zone. This of course, was Magika. I joined a monestary that taught control and restraint over this power. Many that joined found themselves stuck in training they could not keep up with, so dropout rates were high. Through shear luck I managed to pass my classes. I didn't even realize it at first, but I was beginning to get ahead of the rest. I started to use the combat techniques that soldiers learned.
I earned my mark at the youngest age recorded. When they drew it into my skin, I thought that death was close at hand. The pain still haunts me everytime I use my powers. Blue skin mixed with the tattoos that they gave me. The eye was placed on my back. I should never forget it watches my actions.
It was only a matter of days after before my congregation was sent to war. The targets were beastmen, a forsaken race as we call them. These savages cared only for tranversion, or sending as many of the "witches and demons", or other races, to the void. It was a slaughter, we killed all of them in a single night, striking their camp in our hooded cloaks. We looked like the reaper himself, come to claim their ignorant souls. Blood flows well with magika, I don't know why that is. But even death has a natural flow to it when preformed correctly.
I fought in many battles after that, losing many who grew up near me. Soon I was all that was left of our order. The priests had faded away, the students all in graves. And me, slowly digging a hole for my own coffin. Little did I know I had been watched though, a glimmar of salvation that was being extinguished each day.
I had been watching the sunrise from my monestary roof one day when I heard the unmistakable click of boots rising up from the stairs. A string of words wandered past my pointed ears.
"Your name is Ziyous correct." Came a smooth aristocratic voice from behind.
My eyes slid to the corners of their sockets. Their stood an Aethian clad in a finely polished silver armor. His blond hair stretched back in a pony tail.
"That's true. It's my name. Ziyous." It rolled off my tongue like a curse. So long had that name layed in disuse.
"Ziyous, why do you persist in what you do." He asked.
"Because I want to protect our culture."
"But you survived Ziyous. Why not stop where you are and return to that culture."
I turned to face him, the sun cast my shadow to his feet and left it to hover.
"I do not know if you are a halucination, or just some messanger. But my story is no fable, it is written across the bodies of all I've slain. You may not know this, but some must bare the sins of an entire race. I don't want others to experience what I have had to do. Ever."
He grinned at this, stepping twoards me with a refined grace that my teachers had once had. His hand desended to my chest, the palm beckoning me to rise.
"I have watched you Ziyous. For a long time now. And I have chosen you to become the direct deliverance of our ruler's will."
My eyes lit up, at first it was rage that someone would produce such a distastfull lie. But then I switched to shear disbelief when I realized he was not playing with me. His eyes gave a feeling of truth.
"My name is Adius, I am our people's Warmaster, under orders dictated straight from our ruler's mouth." He said gripping my hand and pulling me up.
Warmaster! How I had forgotten I did not know. The man who supervised every battle, who ran every operation. Me being thrilled was an understatment of the highest degree.
I was facinated by everything within Actorial, which was where he brought me. Multiple times I was sent to fight against the wretched forsken species. Orders passed straight from the highest power. Soon I found Adius taking me to the goverment meetings. Asking my input as a soldier on the front lines. This is what my life became for the next ten years. Then the true test of my power began.
I followed Adius down the halls of the pinicale. The top story was where the ruling party held all meetings, in a large room with a window big enough to see half the city. Adius held the door for me as I quietly made my way in.
"They have abandoned us! Curse their hearts to the void!" Yelled one member of parliament as he sunk into his seat with a deafeated look on his face.
"Calm yourself! We must not give up hope now, we must pray it's only a scouting mission."
I was distressed by the tone of their voices.
"May I ask who has abandoned us?" Adius said calmly as we took out seats.
"The Razeth to the east! They're leaving us to die!" Groaned the parliament member yet again.
"We've never needed help in the past." I said looking over to the Overwatchman. Leader of the Cult of Allvision.
"The situation is dire. We need assistance for this battle." He replyed solemly.
"I'm still waiting for this problem's nature to surface." Adius said leaning back in his chair.
The Overwatchman and several others exchanged concerened looks.
"I'll tell them. Crossworlders have landed in the north."
"They've what!" I hissed, pounding my fists into the table.
"They decended in through fold in reality." Overwatchmen said.
"Why were we not alerted to this shift!" I yelled.
"It was subtle. This was the first time they've got through in this small a time period." Came a booming voice from the oposite end.
The Ruler of the House Evis Day-Meit leaned forward, his grim expression hidden by his white facial hair that grew wildly down his chin. He placed his hands together and looked up at me, his gaze silencing my outburst and sending my back into my chair.
"If others will not help us then we must fight them here, on our soil." He muttered, tossing a scroll out on the table,"this is what we know about them. They are shrouded in myth and stories. But we do know that they can be driven back. Even though the last encounter that our world has had with them was brutal upon it's close."
The warmaster pulled over the scroll and unwound it. As he read, a puzzled look came upon his face.
"Are we sure these figures are really factual? They seem like a fairytale to me." He said.
"Do you doubt me Adius!"
"No. Of course not. But if this is true, then we really have no hope without reinforcements from other cities."
The Overwatchman used telekenetics to swipe the scroll from Adius and into his outstretched hand.
"I do have a theory. If I might."
The ruler waved him to proceed.
"Last time something like this happened, our own world built up a safeguard."
"You are referring to the Blessing of Androma. Correct?" The ruler said.
"Yes. And we know they exist."
"A second blessing? Unto who?" He asked.
The Overwatchman looked over at me. I knew this was not a good sign.
"I'm sorry, but none of my soldiers match up to the Blessed's powers."
"Oh but I think a man should know himself very well."
I thought about this for a second. Then it hit me harder than a mason's hammer.
"No! I mean, no. You are mistaken. I'm sorry."
"No I'm sorry Ziyous. There was a reason I showed your strength to our Warmaster." He said bending his head, in what almost looked like shame.
"Wait, you mean you wanted me to bring him here?" Adius growled looking like he had been used.
"Yes. I'm sorry but I had to prove that he was what we thought he was."
I nearly collapsed at the thought. Overwatchmen never spoke such things unless they had irrefutable proof. But I knew that this was just another revelation in my life. And if it was true, then it still meant I had to protect Actorial and the Aethians within it.
"What is your will Ruler of the House. Shall I go to war?" I said without thinking.
"My will is not to waste a chance of victory! There lie many other people farther than the Echo-zone! Find others who will fight, blessed or not! Take the fastest ship you can find! We must stop these Crossworlders from establishing a grip on the zone! Go forth!"