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.