The Time Of Amethyst

This world grows from the soil of the Earth we once knew. To understand the present, one must remember a time wiped from history. Before man, during the time only partially recorded in fossil records, a creature emerged from the lizards, conscious of his own mortality. This astounding gift of intelligence stemmed from a newly formed star in the night sky. Brighter than all the others, this light illuminated the thoughts of the lizard. Many believed a greater consciousness possessed the form. That secret lay buried deep inside the first dragon, rippling in the light reflecting off his purple scales.

Amethyst took in his first breath.

Soon after, he shepherded more dragons into existence. First, he found his mate, Jahada, then a brother in Lazarus. Dozens more followed into the first few millennia. They understood their power and intelligence fell from the star above. A gate of life, it broke laws of science written in stone by a creator long silent. It permitted the dragon’s virtually unlimited power and absolute immortality.

The first species after the dragons blessed with similar power walked from a forest on a cold dawn. They called themselves the fey. These tall, slender humanoids stood far shorter than the monstrous dragons but offset that disadvantage with population. The fey quickly filled the corners of the one big continent of Terros. Peaceful and wise, they respected the guidance of their elder allies.

What flowed from the gate knew no rules. Those created from its influence fell subject to its whim. Although dragons possessed a great mastery of magic and the flow from Attricana, the fey often found themselves slaves. They could alter terrain, create wondrous concepts from thin air, but failed to stop the flow's influence over them. Wherever they existed, magic altered them to suit demands. Lack of light, food, water, or an overabundance of any of them, affected the fey greater than evolution could. Quickly, the original fey numbered less and less, replaced by branching species. Descendant raves grew in the dozens. Although most still partially resembled their ancestors, some became unrecognizable. Although all proper words fall into their own tongue, modern times refer to these descendant races as dwarves, gnomes,
elves, and so forth. Each of these species broke off into even more subgroups.

Magic's influence continued. Even though impossible creatures grew from the soil every day, none matched the power of the dragons or the fey. Although not totally at peace, the world remained nestled under the blanket of protection methyst and the dragons offered. A few of the fey races took to mistrust but it seldom migrated to war. With little to stop their growth, the potential of Terros' residents seemed limitless.

Then Mengus arrived.

The last day of peace passed eventless as the day prior. The various races of the planet closed their eyes for the last time, content with the simple lives they chose. That night, no one noticed the black form streaking across the sky. It drifted over the land, over the ocean, finally slamming into a mountain, cracking it in two. Where the star of Attricana offered life, the star of Ixindar stole it.

It started as a whisper in an ear, begging one to leave his home and make the trek to forbidden lands. Soon another heard the call, then another. A mate departed from their betrothed's side. Children awakened to find their parents missing. Parents found their offspring absent. During that single night, a million fey walked away from everything they believed, corrupted by the wake of the dark star later known as
Ixindar. Like Attricana, Ixindar influenced them. From the black sun, an obsidian glass grew from the soil. Eventually, darker creations emerged from Ixindar's influence. Even dragons failed to fight off this corruption and many defected.

Barely exposed in rock, Ixindar waited for its army. Amethyst forbade his still pure brothers from approaching. Where one gate creates, the other destroys. Little did anyone know that a consciousness existed inside, waiting for a moment to strike.

Where Attricana stood personified in the image of the great Amethyst, the corruption of Ixindar lay iconified with the intelligence of Mengus. Mengus joyed in breaking down the powers of creation. No one claimed to see a physical body of Mengus, though many insisted he must have one, hiding inside the black gate. Too long the world bathed in the purity of one energy, now malevolence spread like a disease from
Ixindar. The land of Kakodomania birthed from this gate of evil. Even though the corrupted arrived to create a civilization, the gate began spontaneously crafting rulers from this new land. Demons emerged powerful and wicked in all ways. Their task was simple: Destroy all life birthed from Attricana.

Wars soon broke out. Blood stained the peaceful Terros for the first time. Mengus and Amethyst, avatars from these gates of power, rallied their people to fight for their world. Internal politics prevented a sizable force from assaulting Kakodomania. Even Amethyst admitted that he used up all his power before anyone else joined him on this world and remains weakened to this day. He could not close Ixindar on his own without it costing his life.

All lived on borrowed time. A great stone a thousand times larger than Amethyst himself barreled towards the surface. The disaster would create such a schism in the flow of magic, Attricana would surely close. Without the power of these gates, all magic would float away. Everything dependent on that energy would fall to dust, leaving the skeletons of dumb giant lizards. Word passed down to flee. Many theorized heaven existed inside the gate, and people escaping to it would find a marvelous landscape of frozen time. Others believed only souls existed over the horizon, and beyond the gate existed a formless void of thoughts and dreams.

Everyone capable of the trip fled. Millions vanished. Many failed to take the journey. Whole species found themselves facing extinction. If the gates closed, how would they reopen? Amethyst decided to remain outside. Only he could reopen the gate. No one knew how Amethyst could survive when no other creatures could. They all held faith absolute of his power.

Obviously, Mengus and the armies of Kakodomania would not allow Amethyst to reopen the gate after the calamity sure to rain down with the Hammer. Before the Hammer of God struck down, Mengus assaulted Amethyst. He ordered thousands to lay in ambush. A grotesque melding of flesh and steel led them, a monstrosity known as Gebermach. With weapons forged by Mengus himself, Gebermach mortally wounded the great dragon.

In a burst of life and courage unseen, Amethyst not only destroyed Gebermach but also encased the black gate in a stone so powerful, no magic could penetrate. One of the last creatures through the gate, Lazarus, witnessed Amethyst die.

The Hammer of God struck, and Attricana closed. With magic out of the way, science resumed following its ironclad book of law. Evolution continued unabated and created Intelligence on its own. Mankind knew nothing of the struggle in the past and the absence of magic wiped all evidence of the prior civilization and the great sacrifice Amethyst made to keep the world from darkness.

Oblivious and ignorant, Mankind continued evolving. He discovered fire, electricity, and nuclear power. He developed industry, computerization, and indoor plumbing. Man felt powerful and in control…for a while. At some point, a great war broke out. The sides in the conflict and the subject of the disagreement became forgotten to modern historians. Nuclear weapons were used. Mankind failed the last test. When the second Hammer finally struck, it may have occurred before. Perhaps it finally ended the war. Maybe the impact occurred later, far after man crushed his own dreams. The rock drove into Ixindar, cracking open the absolute stone, and freeing the influence of Mengus. He sent out his people, his armies, to decimate what remained of the world of science. Humanity witnessed the beginning of its extinction. They found themselves unprepared for the onslaught of creatures obeying no laws of nature. Sometime later, just around the moon, Attricana opened.

Like a dam, the floodgates burst. Light rained upon the Earth. It stopped the encroaching shadow instantly. Moments later, all those formless found themselves on solid ground. After 65 million years, magic returned to Earth. Mammals replaced the long dead giant lizards. The continents had broken up, creating new oceans. Flowers replaced ferns. Amidst all the changes, the creatures from Attricana found the world, now called Earth, already populated.

Mankind survived. The millions that remained after the war fled and coalesced into large communities. Those with useful skills banded to form the first new cities of man. Those without useful skills wandered the new world, looking for a safe home.

Meanwhile, the fey descendants rediscovered their world. They rebuilt their communities from memory. Humanity continued to rebuild. The small towns of technology grew to cities. The largest ones became bastions, the last remnants of mankind's science locked away inside. Soon the bastions grew walls. Many forbad entry to outsiders. The people lived in fear and distrust of the world of magic outside; the two worlds refused to mix. In fact, the realm of magic openly disrupted the working science. When scientific dogma broke down, technology followed soon after. The energy of magic shorted through technology like an electromagnetic pulse. Further, certain expectations of science simply did not occur. Only where science replaced magic could technology flourish. Outside the walls of bastions, people turned to the enchanted or stepped aside for those who did.

Many dreamed of a world where magic and technology coexisted. The dream vanished quickly. Science fails in the face of magic, unable to fight back. Bastions struggled for existence, the only remaining vestiges of old man. Since these cities could not communicate with each other, they
developed independently. Their own cultures distinguished themselves. Some bastions grew proud and bright, gleaming with peace and scientific discovery. Others fell into the void of hatred and envy, powered by greed and military conquest. Others opened dialogues with their magical neighbors, while others walled themselves in with their xenophobia.

Outside the walls, the battle between the forces of Attricana and Ixindar continued. A thousand years after Attricana reopened, the world reached a stalemate. Many go through their lives, never knowing of war. They all know it exists around the corner.

Few believe the truth. Attricana slowly closes each day. Everyone waits for when the gate will close, delivering the world back to Ixindar. If Ixindar closes as well by some act of faith or science, the world would return to men with technology.

In a dark room, a book holds a secret. On its final pages, an entry recounts that a single object fell to Earth upon Amethyst's slaying. His heart shattered upon striking the ground. The shards scattered, lost to obscurity, and buried.

Who gains control of the world, magic or technology, light or darkness? Only time will tell.

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