THE COMING OF THE MORNING STAR - Achaea Online Help

16.8 THE COMING OF THE MORNING STAR

On the 13th of Lupar, 208 years after the fall of the Empire, the single
greatest catastrophe in the history of our world took place. It was an event
that was to have far-reaching consequences for Achaea, and one whose effect
lingers on even today.

It was a day in late summer much like any other. The sun was shining brightly
and the birds were twittering their songs of love. But there was a note of
unrest, and perhaps the first tastes of fear in the air. For during the
previous night, Averroes, the Prophet of Shallam, had dreamed a dream of cosmic
destruction; of an event so catastrophic that it would alter the balance of
power in the heavens themselves. His warnings were largely ignored, however,
and he was mocked by some of the more foolish in the land. When the flash of
light came, however, trickles of belief broke through the walls of ignorance in
the minds of the populace.

"We looked to the sky, and there was a star shining so brightly it could be
seen in the full of the afternoon sunlight! Just about all I could see was the
sun and that star, because that first flash of light nearly blinded me."
--An unnamed citizen of Ashtan

"Horribly, the beautiful star began to, well, LEAK, like it was going down some
sort of drain. There was a lot of panic, and the pixies were running about in
sheer terror, screaming something about the Morning Star."
--Vellis, the butterfly collector of Minia

Then came the second flash, and pain, and death. All the plant life on the
planet died, and much of the animal life, when Aeon, God of Time intervened.
Though a strange God with stranger motivations, he apparently sought to prevent
the countless deaths that were about to occur. Stopping, and then reversing
time, he turned events backwards. But to his horror, he found that he was
unable to prevent events from proceeding just as they had the first time.

This is the story of the Coming of the Morning Star.

Far away, though not far enough, there was a sun, but not like the sun that
illuminates Sapience and provides succour to the cold, and that is the source
of all life. No, this sun was far larger than your own, and far more powerful.
But the heavens have their celestial dance, and as this sun danced its slow,
stately dance across the palette upon which I have painted, it encountered a
bottomless pit, called Abbadon, destroyer of worlds. Not sentient, it
nevertheless was compelled by its very nature to attack and absorb all into
itself. Like a mindless, sightless behemoth, it lumbered and sloughed,
consuming all within its path.

Until it met with this sun, this shining epitome of light. Then it had met its
match. Attacking it, it began to gorge itself as never before, but the sun was
too much. After some of its energy had been eaten away, the sun exploded, as it
lacked the energy to hold itself together.

Abbadon, the pit, tried to consume this massive outpouring of energy, but
failed. It had gorged itself past its limit, and it too exploded, carrying with
it energy that was to the first explosion as an ocean is to a drop of water.

The energy from this explosion, the winds of the stars, streaked across the
heavens, instantly obliterating all in its path. But like all things aside from
the Logos, this wind of the stars was finite, and its power began to dim. The
world that Sapience is on, however, lay too close. While the world itself was
not destroyed, the intense energy killed nearly everything alive on the
continent, which happened to be the side of the planet facing the explosion
when the star winds arrived. The forests were scourged, the seas purged of
life, and the cities became heaped with dead rats and people.

The sole survivors were the Mhun who live and work in the lower levels of
Moghedu, including the Great Mhunna and his bodyguards. They were deep enough
within the earth to survive, while those in Azdun, such as Lachesis, did not
fare so well. Strangely, one mortal man, with a strange, foreign-sounding name
survived. It is unknown why, but Averroes has theorised that this man was so
pure of spirit that somehow the same protections that exist for Gods protected
him too. This is, of course, just a theory.

Sarapis, the Logos, explained:

"To understand this event, mortals, you must first try to grasp the magnitude
of it. This was an event of such power that one of the Elder Gods, Aeon, was
not able to prevent it. Such a thing has not been seen since the days of the
Chaos Wars. The unnamed sun was one of the largest and most powerful in
existence, but even its power was dwarfed by the amount of energy contained in
Abbadon. When the sun exploded, causing Abbadon to explode, the power was such
that the fabric of reality was wrinkled, twisted, torn, and eventually it found
its outlet in the creation of two new sentient beings who embody the forces
contained in these explosions: Aurora, Goddess of Light, and Apollyon, the
Malefactor."

After the apocalyptic wave of deaths that followed in the wake of the star
winds, a God not seen since the Chaos Wars appeared, apparently awakened from
His slumber by the great energies unleashed in the explosions. He, Vastar, the
Skylord, saw his realm polluted by lingering killing energy. Drawing it out of
the atmosphere in the same way that water condenses, he drew it all into a
shimmering ball of energy high above the continent.

"Oh child, 'twas like nothin' these ole eyes have ever seen. I saw the hand of
God! I did! It reached out, and it snuffed that deadly energy right out, like
it was just slappin' a firefly."
--A wandering gypsy woman.

Soon after this, Oneiros, God of Peace, and an Elder God, in an effort that
must surely have been a sacrifice even for one of his power, restored life to
the forests, and grasslands of Achaea. The mortals were, of course, resurrected
by Sarapis, after praying extensively to him for succour.

What are the lasting results of this, you ask? We are, as of yet, unsure.
Perhaps the Logos and the other Divinities have a plan, or perhaps not. We do
not and cannot know, unless the Gods choose to tell us, or unless we are
blessed with prophetic visions, if the remains of Abbadon and the unnamed sun
will plague us in the future.

Yet, this historian cannot help but feeling that though our world was blasted
and death enveloped her as never before, it is yet a day to be celebrated. For
today, we have experienced new communion with the Divine. Though in the future,
there is no doubt that some of us will suffer as a result of Aurora or
Apollyon's actions and decisions, such is our lot as mortals. We must find joy
in the Divine, for it is only through the eyes of God that we can truly see
ourselves. Whether our souls sing in harmony with Aurora's goodness, or
resonate darkly with the sombre strains of Apollyon's music, we are richer for
knowing them.

We must also celebrate the return of one who has seen and done so much, Vastar,
the Skylord. God of old, he was one of the first created by Ayar-now-Sarapis,
and his return is an occasion for celebration by itself. With the new
Divinities, and His return, we cannot help but be joyous, and forget about the
suffering that our world sustained today. Blessed are we and glory be to the
Dwellers of the Garden!