The Great Tree only blooms during a Grand Conjunction, a short period when all the rotating continents properly align (and marking the only time that the Monolith can be reached by land). The Monolith itself was built during a much earlier epoch (much of its purpose and history has been lost through the ages).
Duelysts are preselected from birth as "Bloodborn" by their city-states to embark on a dangerous journey and pilgrimage to reach the Monolith to battle and earn Cores to bring back home.
The story starts during the Age of Disjunction (Sixth Age) when the world is splitting and spiraling apart from increased levels of entropy. With very limited resources, each city-state gradually transitions their entire focus to hoarding as many Cores as possible to power their continents' anti-entropic fields.
To avoid cataclysmic war (and the downward spiral associated with the tragedy of the commons), each nation agrees to a rigorous and standardized set of Trials, Rules, and Tournaments to properly earn and distribute Cores.
But such a balance of power is tenuous at best...
- 1 World Map
- 2 The Codex
- 2.1 Chapter One: The Age of Disjunction
- 2.2 Chapter Two: The Great tree of Eyos
- 2.3 Chapter Three: The Rise of the Magmar Aspects
- 2.4 Chapter Four: The Aestari Spark
- 2.5 Chapter Five: The Emergence of the Inxikrah
- 2.6 Chapter Six: The First Empire
- 2.7 Chapter Seven: The Darkness Gnaws Below
- 2.8 Chapter Eight: The Prophetic Paradox
- 2.9 Chapter Nine: The First Senerai
- 2.10 Chapter Ten: The Great Tree Aperion
- 2.11 Chapter Eleven: The Protectors of Mythron's Secret
- 2.12 Chapter Twelve: The Trinity Mandates and the Great Diaspora
- 2.13 Chapter Thirteen: The Dawn of the Vetruvians
- 2.14 Chapter Fourteen: The Star Crystals of Akram
- 2.15 Chapter Fifteen: The Twin Empires
World Map[edit | edit source]
The World of Duelyst. A Vast Land of six continents, five claimed by various factions and kingdoms with Aestaria, the island of the Monolith, nestled between. This island features locations such as The Amber Pass, Alcuin Library, the Obsidian Woods and the Vermilion Forest.
To the North-West is Celandine, home to the Lyonar Kingdoms. They control the largest landmass, through their capital city of Windcliffe. In North-Eastern Lyonar you'll find the Crystal Caverns, situated beside the Ageonor's Pass. The Lyonar army is led by the Bloodborn General, Argeon Highmayne.
To the West is Magaari, home to the Magmar Aspects.
To the South-West is Styxus, the plains of The Abyssian Host and the smallest of the landmasses. Their capital city is Shar, City of Malephar. They are led by Lilithe Blightchaser as their Bloodborn General. The Abyssian bear some relation to the Vetruvian, as they both share a common ancestor, Emperor Rasha, the King-of-Kings of the vast Akramshan Empire, the first human Bloodborn. Although many of the Abyssian's units seem demonic or twisted in some way, there are several distinctly human figures, all of whom are female. The Bloodmoon Ruins are a location situated near the Capital city.
The Codex[edit | edit source]
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 it's inhabitants. Mythron’s single supercontinent shattered into seven new ones, each torn into a new terrain of jagged mountains, crystalline lakes and storm swept islands.
The vast temperate continent of Celandine would become home of the Lyonar Kingdoms. The lush, perilous continent of Xenkai would become home of the Songhai Empire. The arid, desolate continent of Akram would become 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 Aesteria, the central continent, was now marked by two concentric rings of colossal mountains thrust up by the cataclysmic impact. At its very centre, 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 lifeforms 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 spied out countless species, it ushered in a new one as well. At the centre of the impact crater, the star seed sent it's 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sheltered from danger in the central crater of God's Heel, the Aestari lived for centuries in peace and harmony. With no competition for resources, their population thrived and prospered. Small isolated villages became towns interconnected across the Sanctuary Plains.
During this Age of Wonder, creativity in the arts and knowledge of magic flourished, spawning myriad specializations and schools of thought. The Aestari established the Seventh Sanctum, their primary center for learning. It was comprised of seven branched disciplines:
-School of Knowledge: The Alcuin Order, first Line of the Loremasters, was established to further a deeper understanding of the world.
-School of Harmony: The Swords of Akrane and the Twin Crescents both refined various forms of swordsmanship., harmoniously blending magic with bodily motion, incorporating the fluid duality of the visible and invisible, the physical and non-physical.
-School of Timelessness: After years of intense meditation, the Chakri Avatars learned to commune with The Great Tree. They could heighten their state of power almost indefinitely, and even see visions of the past and future.
-School of Selflessness: The first Shieldmasters, protectors and defenders of the people, were focused on piety, integrity, honor, and mutual respect.
-School of Power: Artificers and Songweavers learned to concentrate the power of crystals and imbue inanimate objects with their energy, creating powerful Artifacts and magic items.
-School of Dreams: Aestari Mistwalkers and Aethermasters developed the ability to astral phase through alternate micro-dimensions, cast illusions, and summon creatures.
-School of order: The Arcanysts harnessed the power contained within magical components and scripts, discovering spells that enhanced one's natural abilities, and inventing mixtures such as the highly sought after Sundrop Elixer and Aurora's Tears.
During this Age of Wonder, the first Aestari Chroniclers explored the mountains beyond their central continent, recording all they discovered. This Age of Wonder also saw the Magmar grow into their rightful role as Mythron's protectors, to meditate, interpret, and guide the Aestari leaders.
While the Aestari Age of Wonder was flowering in the surface of Mythron, a more sinister development was unfolding beneath it. The Inxikrah had embraced with great enthusiasm their role as the apex predator of the underworld. And as their supremacy became unquestioned, their thirst to exercise it became unquenchable.
Powered by the magic of crystals of the Black Amethysts, the Krah'Zul transformation that followed each act of predation not only conferred on the Inxikrah the strengths and abilities of their prey - it flooded the predators with physical pleasure that bordered on ecstasy.
Over time this magnified and exaggerated their primal, predatory instincts. The male Inxikrah and female Inxykree both came to be driven by an insatiable, all-consuming hunger for the feeling of youthful rejuvenation that came from killing. The gnawing addictive power of the crystals, and their growing scarcity, caused infighting among the Inxikrah. A system of rigid castes was established to create order, to preserve the crystals, and to help the Inxikrah survive and remain preeminent in a world fraught with danger and dwindling resources.
The elation and the rush of killing and transformation became a ritual, taking on a sacred significance that made the Inxikrah even more rapacious. The male Inxikrah became increasingly defined by an ethos of cruelty. Lesser sentient creatures and captured enemies from raids became slaves or playthings, including the Inxikrah's less evolved cousins, the Serpenti, which the Inxikrah often tranformed into tortured Darkspine Elementals and familiar-like wraithlings.
Meanwhile, the female Inxykree grew more social and increasingly repulsed by the Inxikrah's random brutality. Over generations, the differences became so pronounced they were like two separate species, the male Inxikrah and the female Inxykree, whose only contact was to perpetuate their species.
22,300 - 22,400 AE
As the Age of Wonders drew to a close, the Aestari Matron-Magus, Kaon Deladriss, having mastered all seven Schools of the Seventh Sanctum, retreated to the top of Ivory Peake to meditate. After a decade, she had gained the ability to commune with the Great Tree of Eyos, and the Great Tree observed her thoughts and actions as well. It deemed her virtuous, worthy by deed, mind, and spirit. Kaon returned to the Seventh Sanctum by teleportation, becoming Mythron's first Horizon Walker.
Years later, as Kaon Deladriss was dreamweaving at the White Mantle, she received from the Great Tree a devastating Prophecy of Ages. It foretold the destruction of the Aestari civilization in a coming Age of Decay, a time of chaos and unfathomable suffering that would last a millennia. But while the Age of Decay was inevitable, the tapestry of Kaon's dream contained a single thread of hope, a way that the Age of Decay could be shortened to a single century, to be followed by an even greater civilization built atop the foundation of the First Empire. But the price for this would be terrible, indeed.
It would mean forsaking forever her harmonious meditation and near immortality. It would cost her ongoing ascension, her connection with the Great Tree, and even her ability to Horizon Walk. More importantly, she wondered if her actions to spare the world such suffering - to save nine centuries of unborn lives - could bring about something unimaginably worse. Kaon struggled with the paradox of the Prophecy.
In the end, she decided that the chance to prevent such suffering was the only path forward, even though the task it demanded was too horrific to speak of. The demand of the Prophecy was that the Heart of the Great Tree of Eyos must be removed - cut out - and placed as far away as possible, never to return to Aestari soil again.
22,300 - 22,400 AE
The Prophecy of Ages foretold Seven Seeds that would change the course of history, seven heroes to complete the task at hand. To find them, Kaon Deladriss established the first Trial of Champions, a six- week contest of strength and endurance, intelligence and honor. The winners would be called the Senerai, “The Seven Stars.”
The Trial of Champions revealed the finest warriors in all of Aestaria, head and shoulders above all others. Many Aestari distinguished themselves as ‘Vanar’, or legendary elite. Yet, only a select few displayed the heroic excellence necessary to earn the title of Senerai. They represented the best in each of their respective disciplines. Their unquestioned leader was Songweaver Eurielle. Joining her was Loremaster Lumina, Swordmaster Zwei, Avatar Saari, Arcanyst Graye, and Shieldmaster Koreldyre. But to Kaon’s consternation, they numbered only six.
Kaon held one more week of trials, but no one else proved worthy. She wondered if there could be only six. But if she was wrong about that, what else had she misinterpreted?
She began to question the entire prophecy...until a towering silhouette entered the arena carrying a twin-bladed sword: A Magmar.
Kaon greeted him respectfully, but said, “You must go. You are not Aestari.”
He didn’t move. “I am Starhorn,” he said, “The Seventh Star foretold by the prophecy.”
Kaon turned to the Vanar elites and said, “Whoever defeats this Magmar shall join the Senerai.”
The Magmar was monstrously massive, but when the warriors came at him, he maneuvered with blinding speed and subtle grace. He touched no one but let none touch him. After a full day, as the last Vanar finally collapsed in exhaustion, Kaon said, “Enough. Starhorn, most honored Magmar, you are indeed the Seed of Dreams, the Seventh Star.”
Advancing in years and rapidly losing her powers, Kaon Deladriss traveled with the Senerai to The Great Tree of Eyos, to fulfill the prophecy. In anguish, she extracted its Heartwood, a perfectly brilliant prismatic seed the size of a small fist. Immediately, The Great Tree shrank and withered. Its starry leaves turned crimson red. Stricken with grief, Kaon gave the Heartwood to the Senerai so they could fulfill the rest of the prophecy. She remained with The Great Tree, mourning, until her dying days.
For many years, the Senerai journeyed across the vast world of Mythron seeking the perfect sanctuary for the Heartwood. Amid the lush beauty of Xenkai they befriended the Four Winds and tasted the rejuvenating waters of the Twilight Spring. Among the Islands of Pyrae, they rediscovered the lost arts of fireweaving. Hidden in the Sea of Fog, they found the exotic islands of Y'Kir, where master inventors and artificers worked in solitude crafting the first magical devices that their descendants would prize as ancient artifacts. They landed on the desolate surface of Styxus, naming it the Blighted Lands.
They were the first Aestari invited to Magaari, the Magmar homeland, to behold the Golden Chrysalis containing the remains of the last Queen Mother. They travelled along the Yquem River, allying themselves with the Silverbeaks near Raithline Lake against a horde of Mirkblood Devourers. They witnessed Azurite Lions hunting across the Alluvial Plains. And after many years of encountering strange creatures, discovering countless locales, and witnessing mysterious cultures, the Senerai finally arrived at Halcyar: the Northern-most realm — far past the frost-carved Whyte Mountains, and more importantly, far beyond the prying reach of Aestaria.
They found a distant peak enveloped by the magical Northern Aurora, hidden and shielded on all sides by hundreds of identical mountains. They named it Deladriss Peake, in honor of Kaon, and there they planted the Heartwood. A sapling immediately sprouted from the ground, its young leaves drawing in the crisp starlight. They named the new tree Aperion. At that exact moment, Kaon dematerialized from the living world. All Aestaria was plunged into mourning. The once great tree, now withered and weak, released red droplets of crimson sap, the Tears of Eyos, and forever after was known as The Weeping Tree.
The dangers faced by the Senerai on their quest were not all external. Songweaver Eurielle saw that some of her comrades were internally tempted by the Heartwood’s endless power, especially Arcanyst Graye. As they journeyed back to Aestaria, she convinced the Senerai that for The Great Tree Aperion to remain truly safe, its location must remain forever secret.
That night, they joined in casting a Globe of Disrememberance, erasing all memories of the tree’s location. When the Senerai parted ways, though, instead of returning home, Eurielle shadowed Arcanyst Graye. She saw him head back toward Deladriss Peake and discovered that he had drawn a secret map before the Disrememberance, so he could return to steal Aperion.
Eurielle confiscated the map and banished Arcanyst Graye from the Senerai. She realized Aperion must be protected, but decided Aestaria’s men were too covetous of its power to be trusted. She established the female-only Seidir — the Hearth-Sisters — who swore an undying oath to protect Aperion and the secret of its location.
Starhorn disagreed, and he wove the location of Deladriss Peake into the Magmar’s sacred song, the Dance of Dreams, so that anyone deemed worthy by The Thirteen Aspects could learn of Aperion’s whereabouts. Kaon Deladriss had also disagreed with Songweaver Eurielle’s decision and imbued the secret within Swordmaster Zwei’s dual-wielding blades, Solstice and Winterblade. Before mysteriously vanishing, she had secretly dispatched the female Vanar to help guard Aperion’s clandestine location.
At Deladriss Peake, young Aperion dropped its first potent petals, transforming the morning mist into the first of the mana-rich Crystal Wisps, which allowed the Seidir to access to the Voices of Winds, including the ability to morph into various animal aspects. Thus they protected the Great Tree of Aperion, fulfilling the Prophecy of Ages in solitude until the unexpected arrival of the Vanar reinforcements.
22,402 - 22,610 AE
Returning to Aestaria, Songweaver Eurielle was welcomed as a hero. In the void left by the death of Kaon Deladriss, she was universally acclaimed as Aestaria’s new leader. But Eurielle was a warrior at heart — she was not well-suited to governing an increasingly complex, growing empire.
Hardened by travel and spartan in her ways, she was impatient with the nuances of politics and with the Aestari people. They were soft and inwardly focused. The rich and entitled had become lazy and overly dependent on the crystals, frivolously wasting the precious — and rapidly depleting — resource. Eurielle became bitter, angry that her teacher Kaon and the Senerai had sacrificed so much for a selfish and ungrateful people who cared only for themselves — and their precious crystals.
Eventually, Eurielle deemed it necessary to restrict the use of crystals. She established the Trinity Mandates: The First Mandate, which declared that under penalty of imprisonment, any Aestari citizen who used a crystal must refrain from practicing magic for a set period of time, to balance the debt of use.
The Second Mandate established an elaborate set of permissions and rules governing appropriate crystal usage. The Third Mandate outlined specific priorities, strictly forbidding the use of crystals for simple entertainment or pleasure.
The Aestari people were furious. Many felt they were being oppressed, that the mandates violated their rights and fundamental Aestari beliefs. Some had grown so dependent on the crystals that they became physically ill without them. Aestaris hoarded, smuggled, and stole crystals from neighboring towns.
Some scoured the surrounding Sundrop Mountains, desperately seeking more crystals to satiate their unceasing hunger. Other groups simply left Aestaria, crossing the treacherous mountains in pursuit of their own destinies, and new sources of crystals.
22,610 - 22,640 AE
Among the disparate groups who fled the Aestari Mandates was a band of pilgrims, visionaries, and explorers who travelled directly east. They discovered the lush and stunning coastlines of the continent of Akram.
They established the city of Kaero, which one day would become the capital of their new nation. The interior of the country was mostly arid desert, but moving down the coast they encountered the calmer waters of the reef-sheltered bays, and discovered vast nodes of copper, tin, iron, and other metals.
Amid the Dunes of Ma'or, they discovered subterranean sources of pristine water, erecting massive Pyramid Towers to extract the pure water from deep underground. They established cities like Tyvia, which became home to the finest weaponsmiths, as well as Pyrae and nearby Murani, which became home to the finest artisans and craftsmen.
Most of the Alcuin Loremasters moved to Kaero, setting up The Ostracon, a sister institution to the Seventh Sanctum. In time, the Ostracon became a prominent University and bastion of learning, the epicenter of academic and arcane knowledge on Mythron where the best and brightest scholars would learn from peerless Aestari sages -- respectful of the finite supply of crystal energy, but unfettered by the Aestari Mandates.
Despite the scarcity of water, Akram’s plentiful metals attracted the best Aestari craftsmen. The metallurgic arts flourished, producing advances that soon outstripped Aestari technologies. From among this new breed of craftsmen emerged one particularly brilliant Aestari: Atar.
With unparalleled speed, he swiftly ascended the Ostracon’s ranks, earning the titles of Grand Loremaster, High Artificer, and Prime Arcanyst. He was also a tireless explorer who would one day learn that Akram had as-of-yet undiscovered resources more precious than anyone could have previously imagined.
22,640 - 22,670 AE
While exploring the Aymara Canyons, Atar came upon something no Aestari had ever seen. Sparkling brighter than the setting sun were hundreds of Star Crystals created by the original petals of the First Great Blooming, bursting with concentrated magical energy — pure and crisp, unlike any other.
They were untouched by Aestari hands and undepleted by Aestari magic, but that alone didn’t explain their intensity. Atar realized that not only was the energy of these Star Crystals’ undiminished, but for the millennia they had sat there, undisturbed, sheltered within Aymara Canyon’s protective walls, they had been absorbing starlight — and growing stronger.
Atar established the Order of Staar and named himself Atar Starstrider. He became rich and influential, but remained a renaissance man and inventor at heart, never obsessed with power or wealth. To make the waterless interior of the continent more habitable, Atar invented the Sand Shield, a mechanized suit of star-powered armor that minimized water loss. Atar coined the term Vetruvian — “The Remade Man” — which the people themselves quickly adopted.
Atar continually refined his Sand Shields, making them lighter and stronger. Some were even biologically integrated into the body, all-but eliminating water loss, granting the wearer superhuman abilities and opening new aesthetic possibilities. Water was shared freely with the young, but at adolescence, integration with one’s suit through the solemn Rite of Melding became a civic obligation — and an essential step toward Vetruvian adulthood.
Using Star Crystals, Atar sparked life into mechanical objects, creating the first sentient Golems and increasingly sophisticated mechanical beings that would one day become the Mechanysts. In Kaero and Pyrae, the Order of Staar learned to manipulate heat, electricity, and wind to shape metal into customizable armor and floating platforms.
Years later they would join the star crystals with the sand silica to open portals to other micro-dimensions, forge the first Portal Obelysks, and summon the ephemeral Wind Dervishes, silica-based races of the Silhouette Tracers from the Sea of Dust, and the legendary Jax. Atar's final creations were the flying Wind Shrikes and Mirror Masters, which could organically replicate anything before them.
But his most important legacy was that the Vetruvians, rather than searching for power solely from the Great Tree, discovered that the true source of power came from the stars themselves.
22,640 - 22,700 AE
Many who had left Aestaria returned with exaggerated tales of fertile soil and giant crystals the size of boulders. But not all who left Aestaria seeking fortune actually found what they were looking for.
Some headed north to Celandine pursuing stories of previously unknown gold-shimmering crystals — Sun Crystals — that could absorb sunlight, as well as rumors of a second Great Tree nourished by the sun. They discovered neither, but they did carve out a life for themselves.
The Highmayne clan called their newly established home Windcliffe, while those who called themselves the Order of the Second Suns and the Lightchasers established the towering city of Sun Forge on the highest peak in Celandine. In time, the continent became home to the Lyonar Kingdoms.
Another hardy group of Aestari explorers chased similar tales northeast, to the exotic and mysterious continent of Xenkai. They found a harsh and dangerous land of wet jungles, frigid mountains, arid deserts, and ghostly predators at every turn. But they conquered the land, taming and riding many of these creatures, hunting and killing with deadly precision many others. These agile and lethal warriors were the forefathers of the Songhai Empire, and founders of the cities of Xaan and Kaido.
Travelling inland, they discovered the Twilight Spring, where dusk and dawn mixed together, blurring light and dark, life and death, blood and earth, animal and human. It was a place where boundaries merged, an aetherial vortex that allowed the Songhai to commune with their ancestors and spirit essence animals with mystical Twilight Seals, establishing the Ancestral Spirits and Zodiac Masks.
Although they could not transform into the animals themselves — like the Vanar — they could inherit the abilities and traits of their representative spirit animal. Some Songhai rulers later came to believe they were the physical descendants of their patron animal, including Kaleos the Ghost Tiger, Gen-Bo the Sable Tortoise, and Taegon the Citrine Dragon.
But these were not the only emigrants to Xenkai. Foreseeing the destruction of Aestaria and the birth of a future hero on the continent of Xenkai, the Chakri Avatars journeyed to the isolated Saberspine Mountains. Hidden on its steepest slopes, they built the Chakri Monastery, where they stayed, meditating in solitude, honing their skills, ready to return in Mythron's time of need.