The History of Ethos: Part 7 – Twilight

“There is no greater prize for a mortal. For one moment, they, themselves, are the Gods of old!” – General Resha, First Twilight War (5E373)

There is no place darker or more haunted than the continent of Twilight. Sitting between the four factions in the Grand Sea, the land of Twilight is a place of torment, victory, hope, and darkness. To some, it was the last gift from the Gods before they departed at the end of the Fourth Era. For others, it was the greatest curse of them all.

Records of what Twilight was before the Age of Darkness is still unknown as the continent wasn’t formally discovered until the mid-way point of the Fifth Era. On an expedition to map out the large super-continent of Ayasha, several members of the Chaos Order met a mighty hurricane that spiraled the group far to the east. The hurricane, according to first-hand accounts, seemingly disappeared over this large, unknown continent in the middle of the Grand Sea: Twilight. Surrounding the land was vast, powerful whirlpools that would sink any ship that dared enter.

Immediately, the expedition returned to Zalzabar–the capital of the faction–to report their findings. Rumors soon spread to the North Star Alliance, the eternal enemy of the Order, and they too began to research what the land of Twilight was.

For over one-hundred years, no one knew what was in the land of Twilight. That is, until a prophecy was discovered by the lost civilization known as the Majic:  “For when the three-hundredth-and-seventy-third year approaches, the land of bleak, eternal light shall awaken and those who sook it shall be granted power as eternal.”

One of the captains of the North Star Alliance brought together the finest of spellcasters and scientists in hopes they could crack the code… But were instead met with an even grander gift. Below is a recollection from his journal:

Day 419:

At long last! The seas have turned! As the crew and I were celebrating the dawn of another year, with ale and beer o’course, a ray of light shot from the sky to remote land of Twilight. A massive wave pushed back our ships several clicks to the north, but, when we returned, the whirlpools were gone!

As we returned our gaze above, we saw the many world within our realm–the Great Moons, Tiam, Resharock, and Kalaman–aligned perfectly! Could this be the key? I must tell our Lord at once!

Within months, the Chaos Order and North Star Alliance converged on the land of Twilight, and, thus, the First Twilight War began. It was a long-drawn war of attrition, as it is speculated more lives were lost to the terrain of Twilight than to the countless battles. Both sides fought to the center of Twilight where a large, heavens-piercing mountain laid. Surrounding the mountain was a grand staircase that only one could ascend to claim the greatest reward.

In the last battle of the First Twilight War, the North Star Alliance was ultimately defeated and forced to withdraw from Twilight. The general of the Chaos Order ascended the stairs, taking many hours to do so. When he reached the cold mountaintop, there sat the throne prophesied by the Seer only twenty years earlier. As they took a seat, it was a said a loud, booming voice could be heard from around the continent: “Mortal! You have done well! Claim your prize; what is your wish?”

With their Wish, the Chaos Order wished for the niyans–the very race they swore to destroy–to be cursed for eternity. The niyans fell ill to a terrible plague that wiped out tens of thousands in mere moments. Those who survived what became known as the Curse could no longer discovered that it was nearly impossible to create children of their own, leaving the race to drop dramatically within ten years.

After the end of the First Twilight War, historians decided to separate each of the eras within the Age of Darkness by the Twilight Wars. Thus, after the First Twilight War, the Sixth Era began.

In the Second Twilight War, the North Star Alliance was able to defeat the Order and claim the throne… Only to be betrayed by their own leader. With the Wish, the king of the alliance wished for eternal life. Upon his return to the alliance, they were branded as a traitor and forced into exile for the rest of time.

In the Third Twilight War, the Order reclaimed the throne. However, interestingly enough, it was discovered that one could “hold” their Wish, which they opted to do. As of writing, it is still unknown if the Chaos Order ever used the Wish or if they are holding it still.

With the Fourth Twilight War, and the end of the Eighth Era, approaching, only time will tell who will win… And what grand wish or terrible curse will be cast upon the bleak world of Ethos…

The Illiad Chronicles Beta Copy!

With the lead up to The Illiad Chronicles on June 2nd, 2018, I decided to go ahead and purchase a “beta” copy from Amazon to test their services. In the video below, you will see the book and its fantastic glory; Amazon did a tremendous job with it, and I am confident everyone will think the same!

Here are some details about the release:

eBook Pre-Order Price: From now until the release of the book on June 2nd, The Illiad Chronicles will be $2.99 (or regional equivalent). After it does release, the book will return to its $3.99 sale price.

Paperback Matchbook: Amazon–for now–will be the sole provider of the paperback release. The book will go on sale on May 31st for $11.99. Owners of the paperback version will also be able to get the eBook version for $.99 on June 2nd!


Hope everyone enjoys the book once it releases! <3

The History of Ethos: Part 6 – The Xul

“How can one race be so powerful, but, yet, so blinded by hatred towards themselves?” – High Swordsman Karo, 6E368

The Xul are the newest species to show up on Ethos. Formerly of Ethos’ Great Moon of Xul, the Xul have since called Ethos their home. In 6E212, a cataclysm occurred on their moon that wiped out over ninety percent of their population, with those surviving being of importance to the Xul Empire.

The Xul have often been described as “worshipers of Sato” or even “Sato’s chosen few” during their time on Ethos. In legends, Sato’s followers were depicted as beings of immense magical ability that could flatten cities in mere moments. His followers and the Xul race share many similarities in appearance. Both are depicted as celestial beings manifested through Energy, thus having no mortal body. The Xul, just like Sato’s followers, also possess two twisted horns on their heads, with both serving as an element of “expertise” the Xul has chosen to take.

Initially, the Xul landed on what is now known as Hian, building an alliance with the local Zichan and Human races. Together, they built up the Xul and protected them from the Chaos Order and North Star Alliance, who showed much fascination in the new race. Within fifty years, the First Xul Empire was rebuilt on Hian.

From the rise of the First Xul Empire to the current year of 8E368, there have been eight Xul Empires. Each of the empires has fallen for various reasons, each of which is documented below:

First Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Ana from 6E260 to 6E300. They were assassinated by the next emperor in a ploy to build the Empire towards the Second Twilight War.

Second Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Zantha from 6E300 to 7E10. They were removed from power by many Xul Lords due to their inability to win the Second Twilight War.

Third Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Ola from 7E10 to 7E210. The longest reigning Xul Emperor, Xul’Ola was assassinated by their offspring.

Fourth Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Croa from 7E210 to 7E220. The shortest reigning Xul Emperor, Xul’Croa demonstrated cruelty and hatred towards their people. They were removed from power by the Xul Lords when multiple assassination attempts failed.

Fifth Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Loa from 7E220 to 7E373. Xul’Loa is considered the most powerful, most infulential, and most successful Emperor to date. They were able to return peace to the Xul during a time of chaos. As well, they were able to successfully lead the Maoan Civil War and aligned with East Mao. They, however, were defeated during the Third Twilight War.

Sixth Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Ayla from 8E1 to 8E125. Not much is known about Xul’Ayla besides their attempts to recover the race after their failure in the Third Twilight War. They gave up the throne to the next emperor upon the end of their reign.

Seventh Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Ka from 8E125 to 8E300. Xul’Ka took over from Xul’Ayla left off and led the Xul Empire into a small era of prosperity. They were able to build relations with the other races and factions of Ethos. As well, they were able to learn more about their future enemies through espionage and spying.

Eighth Xul Empire: Ruled by Emperor Xul’Cron from 8E300 to 8E368 (current year). Not much is known about Xul’Cron. Ever since they were accepted as the newest emperor, they went into hiding. There have only been a handful of times through their reign where they spoke with the other factions.

As noted, the Xul do not have a specific gender. All Xul have the ability of Recreate, which allows them to create their “offspring.” To Recreate, a Xul must sacrifice a substantial part of their Energy-enough that it would take months to years to fully recover.

The Xul are one of the most powerful races on Ethos-rivaling the Zichans and Eternals in sheer power. However, not much else is known about them and their past. To date, no Xul has spoken about the Cataclysm that consumed their race, leaving many scholars fearing that a similar Cataclysm could occur on Ethos in the not-too-distant future.

The History of Ethos: Part 5 – The Thorans

“If you dare call a Thoran short, having a bloody nose will be the least of your problems.” – Unknown

Ah, the mighty Thoran race; a race so mighty, they would’ve once conquered the known world. Out of the primary races, the Thorans are the strongest by a large margin – with tales and Psalms of mighty Thoran heroes lifting mountains in the face of danger possibly exaggerating what they can achieve.

The Thorans, unfortunately, have had a troubled history that predates to the dawn of the Age of Darkness with the start of the Fifth Era. Formerly the slaves to the Chaos Order, the Thorans were able to wrestle away independence, along with their close friends the Niyans, before the start of the First Twilight War in 5372, interrupting the Order’s plans in the process. They were often used in large mines on both Ethos and Ula, the mining moon.

However, most frightening of all, the Thorans were used as test subjects by the Zichans in the early days of the Fifth Era. Scientists within the Order speculated that the strength of the Thorans could be extracted and implanted into a Zichan, reinforcing the Zichan’s nimble frame to become a stronger threat on the battlefield. These plans were, fortunately, halted with the Thoran liberation. Untold numbers of Thorans were sacrificed to these tests, with no recorded evidence suggesting the Zichans were close to solving the puzzle.

Ever since their liberation, the Thorans have since, as an entire race, declared allegiance to the North Star Alliance. Interestingly enough, the Thorans do not show hatred to the Zichan race, save for the leaders of the Chaos Order and those associated with them. It is not abnormal to see Zichans and Thorans have friendships, both home and on the battlefield.

As a whole, the Thoran race is not known for their magical prowess. In fact, in recorded history, there have been a total of four Thorans who achieved the rank of Spellcaster – comparatively the Zichans have over ten-thousand, the Humans have over four-thousand, and the Niyans have over six-thousand. Still, the Thorans do not own a reliable Energy reserve, objectively worse than the Humans. And the race is susceptible to a phenomena known as Spell Decay – where casting the same spell twice in an unspecified amount of time will result in the second spell being less potent.

However, the Thorans make up for it in strength. Their small frame allows for them to pick up larger objects, even giving them the ability to hurl them at unsuspecting enemies. They are also able to own large weapons, such as warhammers or even large maces, with relative ease.

Additionally, with their herculean strength, the Thorans know a special power known only as Berserk. As the name implies, Thorans can become stronger and faster, but only for a limited time. A consequence of the power is that the user, if untrained, loses total control of their body, succumbing to rage, and is left severely weakened upon completion. Still, the power has tipped the scales of war multiple times through history.

The Thorans are a race never to be trifled with unless you have a death wish. They are a proud and strong race also known for their large stomachs and iron wills. However, when you befriend one, you can always expect them by your side when the going gets tough.

The History of Ethos: Part 4 – The Niyans

“I will end the Niyans, even if it brings my Order death.” – Chaos Order High King Zalzafar, First Twilight War (5E373)

Not much is known of how, exactly, the Niyans came to be. Many myths from within the Order speak that the Niyans were an impure species, one of which born out of experimentation by Humans; Others even speak that the Niyans are not of Ethonian descent. Still, what the Niyans are and the many atrocities that species has suffered since the dawn of the Age of Darkness are well documented.

The Niyans are a unique species in that they are Thorans, the Zichans, and even the Humans. However, upon their forehead, they bear the symbol of a creature of whom they share a bond. This bond is also called the person spirit animal which, for a short time, that Niyan can transform into. It is not known what dictates what spirit animal a Niyan obtains at birth, or if it is possible for Niyans to change.

The circumstances for a Niyan birth is unclear. Throughout history, reports showed that pure-blooded Zichans, Humans, and Thorans could give birth to a Niyan, albeit rare. Upon the child’s birth, they would be classified as Niyan and not of their parent’s species. If two Niyans were to give birth to a child, the child would always be a Niyan, even if both parents are Children of Sin and, thus, impure.

Due to this, the Niyans have been scrutinized and scorned, serving as the primary reason the Chaos Order came to be. According to multiple defectors from the Order, Atanaism, their primary religion, states that “beings of impurity are to be unborn.” After the Gods disappeared at the dawn of the Fifth Era, the Order began their crusade to eliminate the Niyans from Ethos completely.

In 5E1, High King Xalen decreed that all Niyans born within the Order are to be killed, along with their parents, even if the Niyan is of royalty; Sympathizers to the Niyans, if found, were to be stoned; And those who harbored Niyans were to be tortured to death, along with their immediate family. Upon signing of what was to be known as the Manifest of Order, several opposing nations joined forces to become the North Star alliance and declared war, of which has lasted four eras.

The Niyans became an ally to the North Star alliance, who promised continuous protection while vowing to eradicate the Order.

According to ancient prophecies left by the Majic, with each three-hundred and seventy-three years that passed, “the land of bleak, eternal light shall awaken and those who sook it shall be granted power as eternal.” The alliances heeded this prophecy and arrived at the land of Twilight in 5E373. They fought towards the epicenter of the continent, where the Twilight Throne sat and a six-month war, the First Twilight War, began. In the end, the Chaos Order won and commanded that “Niyans to be destroyed from within.”

Once the wish was granted, the entire Niyan race fell ill to a plague that wiped out tens of thousands in mere moments. Those who survived the illness discovered that their chances of reproduction dropped dramatically. As well, pure-blooded species no longer gave birth to new Niyans. In only ten years, the Niyan population fell by half, and the decline has continued into the Eighth Era with the near extinction of the Niyan race.

With the dawn of the Fourth Twilight War fast approaching, the fate of the Niyans is on the line. Knowing this, all able-bodied Niyans, as young as seventeen, has joined the North Star war efforts.

The question remains, however: Can they stop the bleeding?

The History of Ethos: Part 3 – The Zichans

“They are old as the Gods themselves; Their intelligence may even surpass them.” – General Xul’Croan, Second Twilight War (6E373)

The Zichans are one of the most prolific and powerful races on Ethos, if not the entire realm. Multiple stories, myths, and legends exist, often told to our young, about how the first Zichan came to be. Some say they were the first race created by Ontario, and the closest he ever got to making his “perfect” species, while others speak of how they were born with the Gods in the Genesis. Regardless, the Zichans are a formidable race.

Their body-type is reminiscent of that of a human, save for markings on their body and several key changes. Upon birth, a Zichans, on their stomach, are marked depending on the House, or clan, they belong to; This mark is to always covered when in public, as it is said to bring bad luck to those who do. Additionally, a pure-blooded Zichan will only have platinum-white or grey hair that will, usually, extend a few feet. Their pointy ears also allow them to hear more distant noises and distinguish them easier.

The Zichan’s supreme intelligence can be credited to their powerful, unusual, and mysterious power called Soul Joining. The normal Zichan can live around four hundred years before they begin to become too weak to continue living. When a Zichan finally passes, a ritual begins that will combine their spirit and intelligence with that of another, usually a newborn. The new host’s spirit and mind will stay their own as the abilities and intelligence of the previous will merge. Due to this, a Zichan never “dies” and, instead, ensures their species continues to become more and more intelligent, and thus more powerful, with each Era.

Ever since the late days of the Majic, mortals were able to “harness the power of the Gods” and cast spells of various varieties. However, to use Majic, one must use their power, simply called Energy, to cast spells. If one were to use spells often, their Energy would slowly increase over time, a skill that can be passed by Soul Joining. Zichans, naturally, are potent spellcasters and are the only ones who can create portals.

The Zichans are not without fault; Their intelligence is both a blessing and a curse. While some of the greatest mortals on Ethos are Zichans, some of the worst also belong to them. The Zichans are credited with the creation of the Chaos Order alliance, an alliance hell-bent on eliminating the Niyans, and later the Children of Sin, from existence, but have also been credited with stopping Sato’s summoning in 6E232.

In present-day Ethos, 8E368, the Zichans are a race divided. Over half of the race has pledged their allegiance to the Order, either from tradition or their prejudices, with the rest pledging their loyalty to the North Star or Dragonean alliances. During the Third Twilight War in 7E373, it is estimated that over one million Zichans, about a third of the species, died on the battlefield – the consequence of this way is that a ritual for Soul Joining rarely occurs.

Only time will tell if the Zichans can be ever, truly, be reunited.

The History of Ethos: Part 2 – The Darkening

“Beware, beware, for when the sun goes dark, for the Nightmares of the Abyss will roam our world eternal.” – Book of Beginnings, pg. 34

Years had passed, and the Gods of Ethos and the realm had all but vanished. For many, it was believed that the Gods left them when they were needed most, while others thought something terrible happened to the ones they worshipped.

Even so, ever since their disappearance, the world of Ethos slowly plummeted into chaos. No longer bound by the Gods, the factions began to fight over religion, land, food, and even their ideals – the once peaceful planet was now ruled by war.

War, yet, was only the beginning.

During the Dark Wars in the mid-months of 5E12, the first occurrence of what became known as the “Darkening of Sacrilege” was recorded. In the ten year long war, the Chaos Order – the prideful and racist alliance of nations to the west – was on the verge of victory over Uneva (modern day Leo, Arcanus, and Etheros). However, the war quickly turned when the sun, suddenly, went dark.

No one, not even the Zichans, is still around to speak about the first occurrence of the Darkening, forcing us to rely upon journals and diaries written by the countless lives lost. Here is an excerpt from Chaos Order General Roa:

“The sun disappeared!”
Those were the unbelievable words spoken by Reya, and no one believed her. Awestruck and appalled by her sudden outburst in the middle of our victory meeting, we ran outside… And everything changed forever.

It was a dark as night – no, even darker. We could not see one another, and we were unable to see our hands in the darkness. It was not long until we heard it – a scream unlike any ever heard before. They screamed a murderous, blood-thirsty scream that echoed and pounded against the wind.

We ran inside, boarding up the door. In our haste, we had but forgotten Reya, who pounded against the door asking to let her in, that she heard them approaching – the poor girl. She screamed in terror as they came for her. She screamed as her body was torn limb from limb. She screamed as her blood seeped through the door. She screamed till she couldn’t scream further. Then, there was silence.

Other journals during this time spoke of similar stories. From what can be gathered, the Darkening lasted about seventeen days, ending three days before the end of the Dark Wars. In the end, the Order withdrew from Uneva for over one hundred years. Countless fatalities were reported on both sides, with countless more wounded.

After the first Darkening, scientists and researchers came to Ethos in search of answers. In the beginning, it was thought a terrible, dark ritual was performed, but no evidence could be found. During the research, a second Darkening occurred and ended quickly. Then a third happened. Then a fourth. With each Darkening, research stalled further and further.

This is an excerpt from their paper, the Truth and Findings on our Cursed Sun:

We, the conglomeration of seven hundred researchers, have concluded that our sun, Sacrilege, is cursed – the extent of which unknown.

In this twenty-seven year period (from 5E13 to 5E40), we experienced four events known as the “Darkening.” Each of the Darkenings had several differences from the others, including time of day, time of year, length, and reported deaths. It is of our belief – no, our knowledge – that a ritual could have been conducted, but little evidence supports this theory.

During this time, as well, research was done on the creatures, these Nightmares, that appear. There are, as of this report, six different species that appear – wolves, abominations, knights, snakes, anacondas, shadows, and giants – each possessing a different ability the other species do not own. The most troubling of these are the shadows, a creature bearing no physical form. Several beings have perished as they force their victims into a shadowy void, never to return.

It is currently unknown how the Nightmares appear, however, it is hypothesized that, like the Mortal realm we dwell in, there is a realm for these beasts. Currently, as of writing, there is no known spell that will allow us to cross realms. One day, when a spell is developed, we can further look into this.

This is not the end of our research. In due time, we expect to discover the meaning behind this Darkening and how we can prevent it in the future. May Herra be with us all.

Research, however, has gotten no further in the Eras since. The consistency of the Darkenings continues to vary, as does the amount of time they last. If one were lucky, they could be born in a time where there were none, with those unlucky experiencing almost a dozen.

It is with great hope that the mystery is solved soon, for it is unknown how much longer we can hold out. With each Era, the Nightmares grow in strength. There will come a day when we can no longer fight, and the Nightmares destroy us all. And, it could be tomorrow.

The History of Ethos: Part 1 – The Beginning

“I hope that you get this document, as things are never as they seem.” – Book of Beginnings, pg. 3
 
The world of Ethos is but a young world, created at the end of a terrible, terrible battle. Countless lives were forever lost in this feud that crossed space and time. Some even speculate that the echoes of this terrible war can still be felt. Others believe that the chaos is what brought about the Darkening of Sacrilege at the beginning of the Fifth Era.
 
It is often said in old texts that the very Gods themselves walked among us, helping us, and leading us into a brighter future. However, like many tales, it soon became a legend told to our children and our children’s children and so on – it has been over one thousand years since they left us. And, ever since, Ethos has only known war. And war, just like how it destroyed us countless eons ago, may end us once more.
In the Book of Beginnings, it’s said that Herra, the goddess of life, was born to the realm by some greater being we know not. As intelligent as she is beautiful, Herra saw that the realm, destroyed by the “Great Evil,” was bleeding and dying. With only a thought, Herra created the worlds we know today. This time, far before our own written history, was the “Genesis.”
 
During the Genesis, Herra gave birth to six powerful children. They would govern the laws of reality, show what was right and what was wrong, create the purity and innocence of civilizations, and even give them free will – the Disciples.
 
Bastion, the eldest of the six, was thought to be the original spell caster and, with his power, he created the laws of time itself. The realm, before his existence, stayed forever frozen in place, never moving. But, with a flick of his hand, he could move the realm to his will, forever moving.
 
But, the realm was empty, devoid of life. Ontario, upon his creation, brought with him the many species that dwell on every world. Long days and nights were said to be spent in the search for the “perfect” species but to no avail; Our races – the Humans, Zichan, Thorans, and even the Niyans – were but byproducts in the hopes of achieving his goal.
 
Anovas, the eldest daughter, studied the various civilizations that her brother created. She watched from the heavens how one being could interact with another and was mortified. Civilizations would collapse under the constant strain of war and battle. It was with her heart that she brought love and tranquility to the realm and, thus, bringing peace.
 
Along with Anovas was her twin, Karmei and, like his sister, the god of fairness and righteousness saw great evil in the mortals they created. Fearing that they, too, may be corrupted further, Karmei willed the mortals to understand his laws and bring further peace to the realm.
 
However, it wasn’t until the twins of Cynthei and Mica would forge the future. Cynthei brought happiness to the worlds she loved by giving them the gift of purity, showing that no race should ever corrupt to the dark. The Gods would watch their creations from high above, showing them the way through the worlds they dwelled on, but they could never think on their own. Mica, for better or for worse, brought free will, promising the Gods would no longer intervene in our own lives.
 
There is, yet, one more God. Not much is known about him, and no texts can support the theory that he dwelled among us lifetimes ago. Other texts of his existence are scarce, but his influence can still be felt through the realm. He is often associated with the “Great Evil” that plagued the realm eons ago – Sato, the God of Darkness.
 
May Fate, itself, ensure he never returns.