Chapter 12: The Trinity Mandates and the Great Diaspora

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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.