Chapter 41: The Birth of the Duelysts

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AE 23,401

Countless throngs of anxious Mythronians waited in silence for an hour until the Senerei finally emerged and descended to the surface. Each carried a crystal orb. They shone with different colors and intensities, but all were brighter than any known crystal. The Senerei delivered the orbs to the Council of Mythron and described the fantastic tableau inside the Monolith – the Weeping Tree ablaze with luminous crimson leaves, lit from above by the Star Lenses and from below by the crystal globes that carpeted the ground like snow, shining with an otherworldly light.

The council's scholars determined that the Weeping Tree's petals, unable to disperse, had piled onto each other instead, amplifying each other as they fused together to create the superlative crystal spheres – which they called Cores. The different depths and configurations led to different colors and power intensities, but even the weakest Core was thousands of times more powerful than the most powerful crystals. Each Core contained enough power to meet any nation's basic needs for a year or more. But with the finite number of Cores, the Council needed to decide how they would be allocated among the nations. The variety of strength made a simple distribution impossible.

As the question of allocation dragged on, some in each nation clamored for military solutions. The Council members lamented how the good-natured rivalry of the Trial of Champions seemed like a distant memory. Then they realized there lay the answer − a contest. Once a year, each nation, or faction, would put forth a Duelyst − their Bloodbound − to compete for the energy-rich Cores. Each Duelyst would win for his nation a Core, but a Grandmaster Duelyst would bring home a Prismatic Core, the most powerful kind. The runner-up would win legendary orange, the second-most powerful. Third place would win indigo purple, fourth place cerulean blue, and fifth place emerald green. Sixth place would win crimson red, the least powerful Core, but still charged with more energy than any nation had seen in years. The past would be honored, the Bloodbound celebrated, and the peace preserved as the contest defused any lingering bellicosity.

And so was born the Duelyst Grandmasters and The Trial of the Cores.