THE BOOK OF LORE
World of the Aetherion
The Six Sisters and the Great Sacrifice
No one knows what predates the Six Sisters but a vast, empty darkness. From somewhere in this yawning abyss emerged a single point of light: a newborn Pearl, shining and delicate. In a moment none have witnessed, magic took its first breath, and Six Sisters emerged on this untouched land. Left to shape it however they pleased, the great crystaline dragons commanded the six elements of creation:
Agna, Sister of Fire, bore scales of crimson and gold, holding within her a spirit of wild determination.
Omia, Sister of Water, bore scales of shimmering blue and retained a quiet and calm wisdom.
Aria, Sister of Air, bore scales of silver and emerald and an imaginative and graceful demeanor.
Tiorra, Sister of Earth, bore scales of patinaed bronze and a stoic, firm nature.
Gaia, Sister of Aether, the youngest, bore scales of pink and white, and held within her a joyful spirit.
Nihila, Sister of Void and the eldest, bore scales of black and violet, always mysterious, clever, and watchful.
The newborn land became a battleground as the sisters of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air staked claim to their own territories, bickered over the blending of elements and debating the direction of creation. Gaia, wishing only for peace and cooperation, cried out but went unheard by all but Nihila. Approaching Her dear sister, Nihila said that it seemed peace would never be accomplished in their lifetimes, then bade Her a final farewell, disappearing forever into the darkness below.
Gaia watched alone as the First Pearl shattered beneath her feet and the Four Elements battled in the skies above. Aria, Agna, Omia, and Tiorra consumed each other in their pride, until nothing remained but their beating hearts. The hearts bled torrential magics, threatening to destroy what little remained.
Gaia realized that she alone could create the harmony that was destined to them, and so She made the ultimate Sacrifice. Her body became the anchor from which the four elements could come together to build the realms. Her spirit shattered into a thousand, thousand shimmering fragments - a delicate web of stardust - to shield the realms from the darkness Above. Lastly, Her Heart, pulsing with unending aether, gathered what remained of the First Pearl to become the center of all worlds, Cor Gaias. With Gaia's final wish, She birthed immortal beings to accomplish what the Sisters could not: the Primals, stewards of the elements, and the Ascendants, stewards of the realms and the life they would come to hold.
The dusts of the tempests settled, and slowly a Sky was formed. One by one, the Pearls blossomed from Gaia’s remains, woven together by the elements, the hearts of newborn creatures beating with Her life-giving aether. In time, under the watchful eyes of the gods created to protect them, life would flourish and come to give the Sky a name to call home: the Aetherion.
The Aetherion is the expanse of the known universe, encompassing a sphere in which all life resides. Three levels divide this sphere: the Sky Within, the Verge Above, and the Verge Below. Beyond these Verges lies an unending darkness known only as the Void Beyond.
The Sky Within
Known also as the Aethersky, this elementally-rich, nourishing region is the home of all life. A dense atmosphere of shimmering, cloudy aether fills this space, centered at a mythical realm called Cor Gaias from which all aether originates. This aether combines with the four elements to create uncounted colorful points of light called Pearls.
Pearls are the worlds upon which most life resides. They are drifting islands in a vast sky, shielded by barriers of light called the Atmos that are bound by the Pearls' suns and moons. Pearls range from the size of small nations to nearly the size of our Earth, with climates that vary based on proximity to Cor Gaias, the Verges, and the Elemental Hearts.
The closer a Pearl is to Cor Gaias, the center of the Aethersky, the more stable it is. High stability creates a milder, more Earth-like climate, and predictable but weaker magical influences. Stable realms are located in the Gaion.
The closer a Pearl is to the Void, or the farther from the center, the more unstable it is. Unstable pearls have chaotic, often very strange climates and natural features, as well as magics that behave in odd and often very dangerous ways, lashing out at above their normal power. These are located in the Wildersky.
The closer a Pearl is to the Elemental Hearts, the more elemental the Pearl is. This can vary from extremely hot, cold, windy, or dusty realms, to ones that become completely inhospitable to all but highly-specialized life forms. These Pearls are located in the four Elemental Regions.
The Elemental Regions
The Elemental Hearts, called Cor Arias, Cor Omias, Cor Tiorras, and Cor Agnas, are realms located at four equidistant points midway between Cor Gaias and the Void Beyond. These four Hearts are realms made entirely of elemental crystal, guarded by giant, crystalline beasts known as Titans, which the Primals created to serve as the Hearts’ sentinels. Travel to these realms is impossible to all but the most powerful of elemental beings or those permitted access by the spirits of the Sisters. These realms are the cores of four elemental regions that split the Aethersky into quadrants called the Arion, Omion, Tiorron, and Agnon. Cor Gaias creates its own region in the center called the Gaion.
Making up the inner third of the Aethersky, the Gaion is the brightly-shimmering, nourishing region surrounding Cor Gaias. The Great Veins course through here, making travel easier and providing for the dense concentration of Pearls that call this place home. Most civilizations of mortalkind were born within the Gaion, and it’s where most of the population lives.
Unique to the Gaion are large structures of white, marble-like rock that drift near Cor Gaias. They are called Corallosts and are said to have once been the bones of Gaia.
The cities of Cor Ionas, Novalassa, Skygate, Ornimy, and the Cardinal Citadel are located here.
Roaring with storms of rogue fire and smoke, the Agnon’s intensity is matched by its hot-climate Pearls that range from realms of drifting deserts to fiery, molten wastelands. Travelers should beware of the waves of pure fire that sometimes pulse outward from Cor Agnon, as well as the jagged, drifting islands of obsidian and volcanic stone. It meets the Arion in a dry, windy region called the Kamasiin, and meets the Tierron in a molten expanse called the Cradle.
The cities of Mazaara and Kalkaroras are located here.
Turbulent winds, dense white aetherclouds, and twisting, crackling storms define the Arion. The cloudy, stormy Pearls drift among these dense cloud formations and wind-blasted islands of jade-like air crystal. The winds can be unpredictable, ranging from blistering hot near the Agnon at the border called the Kamasiin, or as frigid downpours or blizzards near the Maelstrom, the region between it and the Omion.
The realms of Zefylhalis and Skygate are located here.
Swathes of cool blue and teal-green aetherclouds shelter the oceanic realms of the Omion, and drifting oases and floating orbs of pure water drift among the aethercurrents here. These aquatic orbs can house their own ecosystems of creatures unique to the Aethersky. Near the Arion, the Maelstrom fills the sky with frigid storms and icy waters, and near the Tierron, the muggy, misty expanses of the Skymire hide tropical realms of hidden treasure and beauty.
The realms of Anontai and Ironharbour are located here.
Fields of earthen drifters scatter across skies of dust and sand, driven by the aethercurrents surrounding the Tierron’s rocky and forested realms. Ancient flora spread their roots across these drifting isles, some the size of Pearls themselves. Ranging from deep jungles near the Skymire to dry, dusty realms of canyons and crystal caverns near the Kamasiin, the Tiorron’s earth hides many secrets.
The realms of Fable, Heartwood Forest, and Inverse are located here.
Beyond the reach of the Elemental Regions is an expanse of dim, sparse energy where wild and lost Pearls glimmer like faint beacons in the dark. This is the Wildersky - the final frontier of adventurers and a place where magic and elemental forces run amok. Rogue elemental tempests or patches of cold, airless emptiness are frequent here, and an ever-so-slight seeping of Voidal energy from beyond can sometimes leave its corrupting traces upon the realms. But a wealth of untold treasures exists here, as well as the ruins of those who once dared to call the Wildersky home. No one can say what secrets it still holds…
The cities of Pari, Last Bastion, and Medeas are located here.
The Verge Above
Also known as the Zenitha, the shimmering lattice of Stars that lies above the skies and winds is thought to be the final destination for the spirits of the dead. It is reached via the Crossing: a heavenly spear of light that emanates upward from Cor Gaias. No realms exist here, and most creatures cannot survive in the cold, empty aether, except for the mysterious spirits known as Stars. They are thought to be ascended souls who reach the end of their reincarnation cycles, working under Gaia’s blessing to guide the deceased into their next lives and watch over the realms from above. Each Star is connected by a thin, arcing thread, which turns the Zenitha into a protective shield from which the threats of the Void Beyond can be kept at bay.
The Verge Below
It is taboo to speak of what lies below the comforting blanket of the aetherclouds. Many who travel the aether see glimpses of the dark crevices that occasionally peek out, crackling with dark lightning and hissing with burning rain and blinding wind - but few speak of the experience, and none are known to have entered it and returned. This is the Nadira, realm of woe, where some believe that Nihila still does her dark bidding, snatching unworthy souls from the lower half of the Crossing to make them her own. It is said that yawning holes into the Void Beyond spill out from under this dark dome, and unspeakable monsters spill out from the other side, intent on destroying all that life cherishes. Whether Nihila and her minions serve as protectors or allies of these dark forces is unknown.
The Void Beyond
Nothingness is all that is understood to exist beyond the liminal reaches of the aether. The very concept invokes terror, and the thought of what horrors might call the unending dark their home is an even worse thought. At times in history, one such creature attempts to worm its way into the Aetherion, risking annihilation to all of life. These are called the Elderborn, and they feel nothing but unending hunger.
One such creature has appeared in recent decades, heralding dark times ahead. It is known as the Mirrored God.