1: The Age of Disjunction
Thousands of years before the dawn of the modern age, a stellar alignment sent a star seed from the depths of space colliding into the planet Mythron, forever transforming the world and its inhabitants. Mythron’s single supercontinent shattered into seven new ones, each twisted and torn into a new terrain of jagged mountains, crystalline lakes, and storm-swept islands.
The vast, temperate continent of Celandine would become the home of the Lyonar Kingdoms. The lush, perilous continent of Xenkai would become the home of the Songhai Empire.
The arid, desolate continent of Akram would become the home of the Vetruvian Imperium. The shattered, broken chasms of Styxus would become the home of the Abyssian Host.
The primordial, volcanic continent of Magaari would become the home of the Magmar Aspects. In the far reaches beyond the Whyte Mountains, Halcyar would become the home of the Vanar Kindred.
And Aestaria, the central continent, was now marked by two concentric rings of colossal mountains thrust up by the cataclysmic impact. At its very center, a thousand miles across, was God’s Heel, the star seed’s impact crater.
The collision transformed Mythron’s climate as well. Vast storms swept across the reshaped planet, unleashing torrents of acid rain and devastating lightning. Maelstroms hundreds of miles wide churned the oceans. Temperatures fluctuated wildly between blistering heat and frigid cold, causing most of Mythron’s myriad life forms to perish.
Those few resilient creatures that survived found sanctuary underground or adapted to the unforgiving hellscapes of Mythron’s volcanic pits. But while the cataclysm wiped out countless species, it ushered in a new one as well. At the center of the impact crater, the star seed sent its cosmic roots into the very core of the planet, drawing on the magical energies it found there and transforming into the Great Tree of Eyos.
And that would bring changes of an even greater magnitude.
2: The Great Tree of Eyos
Over thousands of years, Mythron steadily recovered from the cataclysm of the star seed’s arrival. Creatures adapted and multiplied until the planet once again teemed with life.
The Great Tree of Eyos grew as well, drawing magical energies from the planet’s core and sprouting prismatic leaves that scintillated in the starlight they absorbed for nourishment. Ten thousand years after the birth of the Great Tree, it bloomed, producing a burst of arcane energy that bathed the planet in a radiant glow. A stunning Harmonic Aurora permanently painted the skies and the Great Tree exploded with spectacular mana blossoms, launching iridescent petals into the air to journey the world upon Mythron’s winds.
Each petal carried a direct connection to the Great Tree. Not only did the creatures they touched gain the ability to channel the planet’s arcane energy, but the Great Tree itself gained the power to see through their eyes. Objects that were touched turned into crystallized nodes of magical energy, with brilliant colors reflecting the metals and minerals they contained. The petals nurtured and accelerated a multitude of creatures and plants, both sentient and not.
In the Northern Whyte Mountains along Halcyar, they created ancient races like the elusive Snow Chasers and the fierce Draugar Giants. To the East, in Xenkai, they transformed the interconnected network of sentient bamboo into the Whistling Blades and the graceful orange cranes in the Ang’Mar Glades into the life-giving Zurael.
At the end of that first Great Blooming, the Great Tree of Eyos returned to a state of rest, to rebuild its magical energy, but not before thirteen perfect petals drifted to the volcanic region of Magaari. They landed on the exposed metallic chrysalises of the males of a rare species of sentient drake-like creatures protected by iridium exoskeletons. Deep within the volcanic mountain, untouched and untransformed, their Queen Mother would die alone, forever removed from the rest of her species. But on the surface, these thirteen males would become the immortal Magmar.
3: The Rise of the Magmar Aspects
After the Touch of Eyos, the Magmar lived for hundreds of years. They also gained the ability to return to the chrysalis and be reborn anew, making them virtually immortal. Without their Queen Mother, they could not reproduce, but they were not leaderless — over time, a Magmar named Valknu became their alpha.
Valknu, as their Prime Focii, discovered a way to save the Magmars’ deepest memories as a gift to their future selves. Each cycle required them to re-experience and reinterpret their memories in a process known as the The Dance of Dreams. In order to preserve their memories through time, the Magmar developed a magical song-like script that contained their collective experiences in a group consciousness known as The Thirteen Aspects.
Over the millennia, the Magmar developed a balanced philosophy of the world, a reflection of their own harmonious path to constant rebirth. They were solitary yet spontaneous, focused on simplicity and the wonders of nature, and detached from personal desires. They mostly kept to themselves, but sometimes travelled great distances to interact with other sentient beings.
Unlike other races, the Magmar learned to be still and commune with the Great Tree of Eyos, sometimes spending several kalpas — hundreds of years — to achieve dialogue with it. Thus they learned about the Great Blooming and began to worship and celebrate Eyos as the ultimate bringer of birth, growth, and rebirth.
When meditating together and bonding with the Great Tree, the Thirteen Aspects could see out in the world and even glimpse the ephemeral tapestry of time, but doing so cost them their individual identity, their sense of self. Ultimately, they were unable to achieve complete ascension or see more than a hint of the future. Thus, they were cursed to forever repeat their lives, never fully controlling their own destinies.
4: The Aestari Spark
During the Second Great Blooming, The Great Tree of Eyos once again released its magical petals into the winds. Some of the enchanted petals made their way to the Vermillion Forest, where they touched an intelligent race of humanoid creatures with crimson orange hair. They called themselves the Aestari, or Children of the Ineffable Flame. Within a few generations, the powers conferred upon those touched by the petals spread throughout the entire species.
The Aestari had a natural proclivity for wielding and channeling arcane energies, but it manifested differently in the males and the females. Aestari females were better able to focus and channel magic in a continuous sustained stream called The Binding. They could concentrate and move objects far longer than the males. Conversely, the males could amplify the intensity of magic, but only in shorter bursts, called The Surging. This gave them a natural ability to phase and summon objects rather than slowly move them. But The Surging consumed magical power rapidly, requiring them to either extract more energy from crystals or recover naturally by refraining from using magic until they had regained their strength.
For some Aestari males, however, The Surging fed an innate, insatiable desire for more — to reach higher highs, to achieve greater feats, to rise above the world. But the highest levels of arcane mastery were only attainable through the power of the crystals, which enabled them to achieve both great intensity and endurance. Most became dependent on the energy of the crystals, unable to accept their natural limitations and return to their mundane lives. The insatiable hunger for more magical power eventually consumed their everyday thoughts.
5: The Emergence of the Inxikrah
While most of Mythron’s creatures dwelt on the surface, some that sought refuge underground during the cataclysm of the star seed’s impact simply never returned. Nevertheless, the magic petals of The Great Tree of Eyos found their stygian world as well, drifting down into the dark crevasses and shattered chasms of the continent Styxus. There, they transformed a subterranean world of stone into a wondrous nexus of luminous crystals that extended throughout the vast network of caverns.
The iridescent petals also found a pale, snake-like race of sentient creatures called the Inxikrah, or the Formless Faces. Adapted over the millennia to their underground world, these scaly, albino predators released clouds of psychoactive toxins that paralyzed and controlled their prey. The Inxikrah had become extremely sensitive to daylight – they would desiccate and burn if exposed to the sun for more than a few hours. They explored the surface only at night and showed no desire to cross the vast, swirling oceans separating them from Mythron’s other developing civilizations.
The underworld was deadly and treacherous, and the creatures that adapted to it were equally so. But the Echoing Depths offered immense treasures as well — ancient crystals formed during the first bloom of the Great Tree of Eyos: smoky purple gems that formed alongside the plant-like Inkhorn, black Amethysts that accompanied Dark Creep Moss, and even the rare Ghost Azaleas and their potent, concentrated magical energies. The Inxikrah had learned that these crystals would imbue them with properties of their prey through a transformative ritual they called Krah’Zul.
During each shedding cycle, the Inxikrah created ever deadlier forms of themselves, incorporating the most lethal elements of their previously consumed prey. Over time, as the Inxikrah continued to absorb their prey, the species began to diverge. The males sought as quarry the most dangerous predators, and grew more and more vicious with each generation. The females hunted not for sport, but to feed themselves and their young. While they could be devastatingly violent in defense of their brood, they never developed the Krah’Zul- heightened malevolence of the males.