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Chapter 1: The Stewards of Aluron
A tale of gods and monsters
In the beginning, there was nothing. That’s how it always starts. Empty, dark and lonely. The world of Aluron was just a formless expanse, crafted by the Makers and filled with potential. Your probably asking yourself: “Who are the Makers?”
No one knows.
Well, that’s not strictly true, I suppose. Technically I know since I created them, but now I’m breaking the fourth wall, and I told myself I wouldn’t do that.
Alright, fine. Since you asked, the Makers are celestial beings who exist beyond the realm of reality. True to their name, the Makers create. More specifically, the Makers are responsible for forming an endless array of parallel realities that we’ll refer to as “voids.”
Aluron is one of those voids, and, like every void, the Makers created stewards to watch over it. The stewards of Aluron were Order and Chaos.
If you’ve spent any amount of time wandering the hallowed halls of the fantasy genre, you’ve possibly come to the logical conclusion that this is just another take on good and evil, but that’s not exactly the case—or, rather, it wasn’t the case.
Order and Chaos were neither good nor evil. They just were. Two sides of the same coin. Opposites, sure, but they were meant to be complimentary forces. Order cultivated stability, and Chaos encouraged change.
Order commanded the rising and the setting of the sun and the tides’ natural ebb and flow, but Chaos controlled the storms. From the moment of its inception, the void of Aluron swung back and forth like a pendulum between eras of flux and tranquility with Order and Chaos working in harmony. Everything was perfectly balanced.
Then Order created the elves.
The elves were (and to some extent still are) an earthly manifestation of Order’s pure essence. Because of this connection, though, they came to worship Order as their sole god, and branded Chaos as “sharai” or “demon.”
The elves, who lacked omniscience, saw Chaos as a force of destruction, and not an agent of change. From their point of view, Chaos brought famine, drought, and all manner of disasters upon the elves, and they feared him for it.
Over time, Chaos became jealous of Order and the love that the elves showed her, and that jealousy ultimately turned to hatred. After all, Order was something of an absentee god. She set systems in motion, and simply let them run their course—only intervening when things began to fall out of balance.
She heard all the elves’ prayers, but made no effort to answer them, because she believed doing so would disrupt the natural order. The elves were unable to see the truth, however, and so they continued to pray and worship for nothing.
Enraged by their blind devotion, Chaos lashed out. He created the Droviir—soulless husks crafted to be the antithesis of the elves in every way. The Droviir were beings of pure entropy and malice. They weren’t truly alive, but it would be equally inaccurate to call them dead. They swarmed into the elven lands with an insatiable hunger, and left a plague of death in their wake.
Disease was a new concept to the elves. They had witnessed death in extreme cases such as hunting accidents and storms on fishing vessels, but sickness was unheard of.
The Droviir infection was a terrifying experience. It caused the body to wither away in a manner that would best be described as rapid aging. It quite literally drained the life out of the elves, and if that wasn't bad enough, there was no cure.
The Droviir were meant to be a harsh lesson. As the plague spread, the elves turned to their god, and begged Order to save them, but she didn’t. Instead, it was Chaos who offered them salvation.
The terms were simple. Renounce Order, and worship Chaos. In return, he would call off the Droviir.
Unsurprisingly, the elves resisted, choosing instead to believe that Order would save them, but as time went on, that proved increasingly unlikely. Eventually, it led to a schism in the elven religion as a sizeable portion of their population began to worship Chaos and begged him for an end to the plague.
Those who succumbed to the temptation were labeled as heretics, or Demyx, and exiled from their homes. Those exiles sought refuge on the far side of the known world in the caves of Kirtar and built a civilization of their own beneath the shadow of hatred that corrupted their new god—a shadow that ultimately corrupted them as well. Chaos finally embraced his dark identity and took to calling himself Shar—the demon king.
Unsatisfied with his current status, Shar continued to assault the elves with the Droviir plague in the hopes of either luring them all to his side, or at least killing off any still loyal to Order, but the outpouring of chaos now empowered by the growing Demyx population was slowly tearing the world apart.
Sensing that shift in balance, Order finally stepped in and attempted to seal the Droviir away in a distant land. Though she was successful, this sudden intervention drew the ire of the Demyx, who had only turned to Shar following Order’s apparent neglect.
In their fury, the Demyx invaded the elven kingdoms and ignited a war with their former brethren that sent the void of Aluron hurtling toward collapse.
Building Aluron is just one part of this multi-faceted disaster. There’s plenty to see, and plenty more still to come. If you want to hitch a ride on this chaotic rollercoaster, then subscribe now!