THE LEGEND OF AEA UNIVERSE
Born a slave and orphaned within the streets of Hengal, Genza has only known loss throughout his life. Forced to turn to stealing and scavenging to survive, he eventually banded together with fellow street rats. Together they formed their own gang, making a life for themselves. These people in turn became the family he would do anything to protect. Despite all setbacks, a fire continue to burn in his eyes, as if his true destiny looms on the horizon.
Genza’s childhood has only been marked by sorrow and loss. His father was slain in the Battle of Bloody Tears before his birth. Following the invasion of Ashihara, the forces of Bazillius disposed of the ruling castes and took captives back to Hengal. It was there that Genza’s mother went into labor and died shortly after childbirth. While servants loyal to his family did their best to care for the young lord, one by one they either died or were taken away to the labor camps until a young Genza was left to fend for himself.
Taking to the streets to beg, desperation eventually led to scavenging, before escalating into outright thievery. He soon joined a group of orphans and street rats to survive. Though life remained harsh, the group managed to make a home for themselves amongst such conditions, all while procuring valuables from refugees and recent captives. Despite this, Genza yearned for a different life, often climbing the great pillars of the dungeon city to look up at the sky beyond his prison.
Genza’s nimbleness was unparalleled, save the one instance he was caught and released by an old man that lived in the Pit, a section where the more dangerous prisoners inhabited. This man was known as Kalev, and none dared approach him out of pure dread, for his reputation preceded him as a pale phantom that haunted the deeper parts of Hengal. Yet Genza was fearless and within the moment of their face-off, the fate of the two became intertwined, and Kalev merely smirked before releasing the boy, knowing somehow that they would meet again.
To be continued...
An incarcerated thief within the Bazillian dungeons as well as Genza’s comrade-in-arms. As his people, the Sharites, were deemed unfit for Manon’s new order, Zanthus’ homeland was destroyed and many were brought to the labor camps during the southern campaigns. Though originally meant as fodder for the coliseum, his friendship with Genza placed him under the care of Kalev. Agile in mind and body, he has since learned to move as a phantom unseen. An introvert by nature, he quietly observes and calculates every move before acting.
It is unknown when exactly Zanthus came to Bazillius, save that it was during Manon’s campaign against the surrounding territories. Among the first conquered was the land of Toran, a remote territory where several of the Sharite tribes settled in scattered villages. Though the inhabitants were of little consequence, the land was rich in precious resources needed to further the empire’s development. The assault was exceedingly brutal as the soldiers razed any settlements that did not submit before the imperial banner. Even those spared became refugees that were forced to survive off Hengal’s resources after the land was carved up. Many relocated to the capital with little more than what they wore.
His natural instincts towards slight-of-hand tricks and nimble movements progressed to a rash of thievery against the nobility throughout the capital, until he was finally caught and imprisoned.
Even within the dungeon depths he moves like a shadow, garnering a reputation among prisoners as a phantom.
As a Sharite, he has the innate ability to fade his physical body into the spirit world, concealing his existence for short periods of time. Like many victims that have seen too much in their life, Zanthus is a quiet, guarded individual, never sharing more than necessary.
To be continued...
KALEV OF LANTHERIN
A former commander of the Grand Alliance against Bazillius in the Great War, he was defeated and willingly captured at the conclusion of the Battle of Bloody Tears. Foresighted and incredibly powerful, even the Emperor dares not lay a hand on him. Yet despite his ability to easily win the coliseum games to secure his freedom, it remains a mystery as to why he chooses to remain within Hengal.
Kalev was born in the Nerem province of Lantherin, where the mouths of the rivers Ebo and Cern met the Inner Lake of Aiu’ril. His birth coincided with loss of the Elda Tree, when the first nightfall entered the world. It is said that radiance in his face was like that of the old forgotten world, and thus he was titled in the old Elliyan tongue kah-levar meaning “to bear light”.
In a time when the three great empires continued to grow in power, his martial prowess and wisdom earned him renown from the Lords of Lantherin, and later Emperor Braega of Valhinfor. By the time he had reached adulthood he was an honored guest and advisor within the emperor’s court. A man of fair-mindedness, he was known as a just and merciful lord that prized the well being of his vassals above all else. Titled as the "Unifier" and "Peace-Maker", he strongly advocated cooperation to bring peace to the fractured northern lands, ushering his homeland of Lantherin, alongside Ketica, Baul, Golhinfor, and Illinya into a mutual partnership with Valhinfor. Together they formed the Northern Pact against an increasingly armed Bazillius.
An accomplished warrior in his own right, Kalev was virtually peerless in sword and channeling, save perhaps Emperor Braega. Working the flow of astra with such finesse, the duels between the two would be some of the most spectacular fights in the west. Yet in the end Kalev took little pride in martial victories, choosing to focus his energies on the empowerment of those under him. Among his greatest pupils stood Kel’danan, who would rise to become the High Lord of the Palatines.
20 years later Bazillius began an aggressive campaign to subjugate the East, first by enslaving the neighboring Relfian and Sharite territories before pushing onto the southern borders of Ashihara. With refugees flowing in from far off lands, recounting tales of horrific slaughter, the threat of Manon could no longer be overlooked. So began the Great War.
The chancellor and main adviser to the emperor, Hierofar commands a great deal power throughout the empire. Cunning as he is cutthroat, he has been the mind behind many of Manon’s most successful campaigns. In spite of his long tenure, Hierofar has seemingly never aged giving him a bit of an otherworldly air. An unsettling air pervades his surroundings, and many are too afraid to gaze into his frigid eyes.
Little is known about Hierofar’s past, save that he is a northerner that one day appeared in Manon’s court, bringing a profound knowledge in craft that surpassed Relfia’s most revered sages. With his counsel Bazillius was became a center of technological wonder, rapidly developing from a backwater kingdom into one of the great Relfian territories of the East until it achieved prosperity matching the grandeur of Valhinfor and Elderalth. At the height of its splendor it was renown as the land where astra was channelled from the earth and powered all manner of contraptions.
Despite such prosperity, the Aeiur, the divine Powers of the World, observed these developments and sent their emissaries to caution Manon of his rapid expansion, noting that the land had become increasingly arid and unsalvageable. Though Hierophar tempered Manon’s outrage, in truth he secretly whispered lies of the Aeiur’s jealousy towards the mortal races of the Elliya. And this served only increased Manon’s desire to empower his realm further. None know why the chancellor portrayed the Hallowed in such ill view, for it seemed to only escalate tension between the two.
Hierofar’s influence continued to feed Manon’s insatiable lust for power. As resentment against the Aeiur grew towards feelings oppression, Manon’s halls shifted from once holdings of intrigue to armories geared towards warfare, with the chancellor at the forefront of horrific new developments. At this the Aeiur attempted to quell this seeming rebellion to little effect, until at last the Siege of Aiu’ril came to pass and blood spilled the earth.
To be continued
The Emperor of Bazillius and the wielder of the god-like Zohar. Tactile, brilliant, yet overwhelmingly cruel, his sovereignty has brought untold prosperity to his subjects, making his realm one of the great super powers. Yet his ambition is unmatched, ever hungering for greater power as he continues to subjugate neighboring nations and instate his new world order at an alarming rate.
None have seen his true face since the Zohar first came into his possession.
Manon was the young ruler of Bazillius, once a small offshoot province of the great eastern land of Relfia. Like many of his people, the Relfians, he possessed a profound attunement to knowledge and craft. In his early days he was a fair ruler that continuously sought to improve the well being of his subjects through technological advancement. Yet great ambition also drove his desire to stand upon equal footing with the great lords of the West or the blessed lands of Elderalth where Lord Salimo reigned eternal. Like all the Elliya, he gazed upon the radiance of the ancient Elda Tree, where the mighty Zohar slept atop its boughs and ever guided the flow of the world. Yet the light of its bliss never filled his heart, for the shadow of jealousy towards the West was ever present.
One day a man named Hierofar came to court seeking an audience, and he offered his services as an advisor. None knew his true origin, save that he possessed a profound knowledge pertaining to smith craft and lore. And this Manon welcomed whole heartedly, for Hierofar’s knowledge was beyond anything he had seen previously. Within a short time span Bazillius came to flourish, raising it to such renown amongst his people that he was eventually crowned King of the Relfians. As word spread to the other kingdoms of the Elliya, many were inspired to make the long journey to view the Hall of Wonders at Manon’s court, and witness the intrigues . Indeed, the young king at last stood at a level equal to the great rulers Salimo and Braega.
Yet this prosperity also brought about both a change to both the land and the demeanor of its ruler. With the coming of Hierofar, Manon became increasingly aggressive in his displays of power. Even his countenance became harsh and rigid, with his skin turning an unearthly pale, and it seemed at times that there was a glint of cold light reflected in his eyes. Yet the young lord’s ambitions only grew with his people's desire to delved deeper, and the hall of furnaces throughout the Relfian territories were alit day and night in tribute to their ruler. These actions drew the attention of the Aeiur themselves, and they sent their emissaries to caution the overuse of the earth, noting that the excessiveness was causing further deterioration of the surrounding environment before it could wholly recover.
Though Manon was inwardly enraged by this rebuke, he merely concealed his anger while allowing it to simmer further against what he perceived as divine overreach. For the Gods were the ones that first guided the Elliya in their infancy, yet now that the Elliya had established their domains, there was a general sense that they had begun to control or even hinder further development of mortal races in attempt to keep the greatest treasure at bay.
For the Aeiur were the keepers of the all-powerful Zohar, the greatest power and radiance in the universe said to grant any wish to one that possessed it. Yet this radiance answered only to mortal-kind, and was thus thought to belong in the hands of the Elliya themselves to forge their own destiny. Though the Aeiur held regular audiences for the mortal lords of Aea to bask within the Zohar's presence, receiving greater insight in turn, none were permitted to lay a hand upon it. In truth, the Aeiur guarded the Zohar in accordance to cosmic law, waiting for the day when those chosen amongst the mortal races would ascend and make claim, and thus shift the fabric of the cosmos into the next world. Yet when Manon peered into its light he saw his glorious future; and a deep lust consumed him with the thought of breaking free of the Aeiur’s bindings. And thus the first seeds of Rebellion were planted, though for now he returned his thoughts back to expanding his realm and its influence, until much of the East was now dependent on Bazillius.
Manon’s continual rise to power did not go unnoticed by other rulers, in particular Lord Salimo and Lord Braega, who were considered the greatest among the Elliyah. In response they began expanding their own influence throughout the surrounding regions, creating three spheres between Valhinfor, Elderalth, and Bazillius. With Hierofar’s talents Manon secretly began assembling weapons of war, creating great mechanical monstrosities that could channel astra of the earth into destructive light. And this light seared the earth, bringing about utter ruination to the underground it where it was tested. With this new arsenal at his disposal, he was allowed to conceive his final plan to liberate the Zohar and relinquish the reins of power from the Gods.
Though Manon was able to conceal his intents from the Aeiur, the tensions amongst the great lords was now all too apparent, and a great conclave was summoned to pacify what was an increasingly dire situation. Yet within the Ring of Fates upon Aiu’ril, the Land of the Aeiur and the Elda Tree, the appeals for calm were ignored as the growing desires were laid bare by the Elliyan rulers, save Lord Salimo. In that moment Manon's passions betrayed his secret intent, and for the first time Salimo and Braega peered into his soul and saw the true hunger within. And before the Zohar all others collectively swore they would defend the Zohar’s providence against his ambitions, denying him entrance to the holy Radiance. Thus did Manon take his leave, and it was the last time the Lord of Bazillius would step upon hallowed ground before the Darkest Day.
To be continued...