• Completed • Tacky Thievin' Obe-Rangers: Prologue

16th of Cylus 720

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Tacky Thievin' Obe-Rangers: Prologue

The 16th of Cylus 720

Everything eventually comes to an end, such is the law of the universe. A law the universe itself too must respect. Though it may not be soon yet, the seemingly endless expanse beyond the stars will someday expire. It is an inescapable fate.

Species of animal and monster come into existence and die out. Plants adapt to their surroundings and thrive, but are brought down when the environment changes too quickly. Empires rise and fall. The age of Induk and Dragons shaped the world of Idalos, while it lasted. But it too ended. Gave rise to new eras, to new powers. The originals came and relished in the power of Worship, then shattered inexplicably. Taking up their torch were their children, the Immortals. Creatures called Shay, free of spirit, were replaced by mortals –Humans first, and from them some Immortals created new races. It was the age of Mortals and Immortals, an age neither kind of being could imagine ending.

Yet it did. As all things do.

The date is two-oh-X-X. Many centuries have passed since the glory days of magic and Immortals. Despite their best efforts, the deities saw their grip on mortals weaken slowly. Influence lessened as civilization progressed and technology advanced. Some city-states grew while others shrunk. Conquests and wars were waged for riches, resources, power and influence. Some peoples were united under the same banner, while others were ostracized.

Countries grew where the largest and most powerful cities were, small at first, but larger and larger when tiny villages willingly joined, or were forcibly absorbed. Over time, the need to identify with the original town or smaller city-state was replaced with patriotism. Improvements in quality of life kept people happy, and happy people embraced the new status quo. It took many decades, sometimes even centuries, for the citizens to feel a kinship with the others flying the colors of the new nation, but such sentiments grew nonetheless.

As the Immortals faded from public memory, becoming only footnotes in the history of the mortal races, their power waned. Not forgotten completely, they continued to exist. Barely. Shadows of their former selves, clinging to the last remnants of power. Many tales about the deities of old circulated, myths and legends told of the Great Age of Immortals and Magic. Documented in books about mythology, and taught or discussed in theology and history classes. Rumors of small groups –cults, if you will—still worshipping the old gods swirled and surfaced every so often. Those did indeed exist, preventing the Immortals from falling into an eternal slumber, yet not enough for the beings to influence the world as they once had.

In their place, new religions had risen. Prophets of Great Spirits, kin of benevolent Patriarchs or Matriarchs, princes and princesses that had attained enlightenment popped up and gained a following. Some of those were opportunist Mortalborn, but not all. Some wanted to aid their Immortal parents to regain their lost power, but saw the new faith twisted into something else along the way. Others still might actually have been exactly what they claimed, hearing calls of forces inconceivable and otherworldly.

Wars were inevitably fought between different religions. All preached kindness and a moral code, forgiveness and love, but those values did not always extend to those adhering to another faith than their own. Ideologies clashed, despite not differing that much at all. Not a fault of the religion itself, but an unfortunate byproduct of the people who prescribed to it, usually its top members. Perhaps another inevitability when mortals are given a modicum of power and authority: corruption. Every mortal had a certain degree of selfishness and ambition baked into their genes, after all.

Mortalborn, ironically, neither weakened or grew in power. A stark contrast to their parents’ fate. Saved by their mortal half, they too were recorded into ancient texts and tales. Heroes, villains, demigods or extraordinary figures of legend. Of course, the stories were taken with a grain of salt by historians and the populace, but the general opinion was that they had actually existed at one point or another. Mortal men and women with unusual talents that were greatly exaggerated. Yet, people believed in their existence and legends of their accomplishments spread around the world, awing and inspiring many. It was enough to keep them virtual immortal, and to keep their individual powers operational. Most hadn't relied on worship to sustain themselves anyway.

As was to be expected, a multitude rose to power in one way or another. They proved incredibly able leaders, charismatic speakers, witty politicians, inspiring religious figures, genius generals, legendary pilots, trailblazing physicists, brilliant engineers, revolutionary farmers, mythical cooks, mind-boggling surgeons, elusive spies, amazing artists, … The list goes on. Many of the advancements made can be traced back to the children of the Immortals, but many more were the work of equally talented, pure mortals.

A side effect of the fading of the Immortals, the mortal races connected to a patron deity found their racial abilities gradually weaken and eventually disappear. Ellune could no longer shape ice, Naerikk gained bodies of flesh and blood rather than shadow and darkness, losing their Gift and shadow form. Pollution proved a poison too potent for the Tunawa to endure. They retreated to the wilds, the few areas of nature barely touched by civilization. Mer were already a rare sight on the surface, their bodies unable to stay out of the water for long. Scientists believe they sought refuge in the deepest trenches of the oceans and seas, away from the pollutants dumped in the water by the many factories erected by the advancing civilizations. It is speculated that they either started their own cities on the bottom of the sea, or that they regressed to a more beastly and animalistic form more suited to life in the darkness among the dangers lurking in the deep. Or, it might be due to mutations caused by the pollution of the water. Either way, both races disappeared and were not seen again.

As for the Yludih… Well, their kind suffered at the hands of the Embers during the second Idalosian War. Many died in labor and death camps. It was not the first time the crystal folk had been hunted en masse, but it certainly did serve as a reality check. Unease about their shapeshifting had always been present, and their stubborn belief in their own religion only fueled the fire. After the war, declarations and treaties were written up and enforced, but the Yludih race made an effort to disappear off the face of the planet. Elusive before IW2, they showed themselves even less after. Whether they sequestered themselves like the Tunawa and Mer is unknown. However, it is thought that Yludih live as monks in hard to reach places, focusing on unlocking their True Self, gaining individuality in the mystical Uleuda. While its existence has yet to be scientifically proven, according to the Yludih themselves it is a place where they can live eternally once an individual learns their true nature and embraces it.

Magic all but ceased to exist. Already a rare discipline in its heyday, the dangerous practice was found too limited and unreliable to be the foundation of the new ages. Several sages and practitioners of the art tried, and all failed. Initiations were too volatile and lethal, not to mention prone to drive its users insane, power-hungry, or both. Not to speak of the physical effects it had on the body. Practice was abandoned in favor of the use of magical artefacts, and, a very long stretch of time later, technological marvels.

The disappearance of magic was in part due to the efforts of the Order of the Mantis. Eradicating any and all users of the spark they came across, the Order cleansed the world with ruthless efficiency. Yet, that is not to say they were completely successful. Indeed, many carrying a spark were rounded up and killed in government and religiously approved witch hunts. The majority of those captured and burned were not the dangerous mages, the crazed killers. Several of those escaped the culling and went into hiding. Finding apprentices to initiate became increasingly difficult, and eventually the escaped mages died, as did their spark. The disciplines practiced died out with them.

All but one.

Ellasin, the infamous necromancer, as much a relic of a past age as the Immortals themselves, had already Revealed during the age of Immortals and Magic. As an immortal Lich, the passing of time was meaningless for her. She hid until she was forgotten by the world, and when she emerged the Immortals were already too weak to pose a threat. Not that Vri and Famula had done anything about her before they lost their power and influence, mind. The Order of the Mantis, with their gadgets and magic items specially crafted to combat and nullify Domain Magic, had long since disbanded. No threats remained.

Met with no significant resistance, the Lich laid waste to several towns to stretch her figurative magical muscles. Even with ether no longer as abundant as it used to be, her power was considerable. She created thralls and minions from the corpses she created, twisting life into something else. Obedient and violent, and numerous.

The Immortals, though many felt betrayed by the mortals, rallied. Some out of genuine affection for their own creations, or life in general. Others out of principle, their personality and Domains unable to stomach the existence of the necromancer. A couple joined in for more selfish reasons, hoping to reestablish themselves among the new religions, thus regaining their strength and power. Unfortunately, they were unable to combine their power as one, and individually they were too weak to even slow the necromancer down. When it seemed their efforts would all be for naught, Audrae begrudgingly proposed a solution: her Mortalborn son Oberan, governing the Domain of Larceny, still roamed Idalos.

Once summoned, the Mortalborn was originally going to be tasked with finding and destroying the Lich’s phylactery. Not all agreed that was the best course of action, however. Much time would be lost while searching, time during which Ellasin’s power and forces would only grow. Arguments and discussions ensued about what was the most important. Stopping Ellasin first would minimize the destruction, but would not rid the world of her forever. Destroying the phylactery would make the Lich mortal again, but by that point she would have razed large swaths of Idalos already. Yvithia was the one to decide. Having determined that the Lich had sent her phylactery adrift into the void of space, where nothing could ever reach it, only one option remained. Seal Ellasin away for as long as possible using the combined might of the Immortals.

Oberan considered carefully. Refusal was out of the question, but accepting was effectively committing suicide. He wanted to see more of what the mortals had in store, but such things were impossible with the Lich planning to recreate the world in her image. In the end, he made a deal. Borrowing the leftover strength of the Immortals with his Larceny Domain, he would fight and seal Ellasin, and launch her into space in an effort to delay her inevitable return. As compensation he demanded to not be forgotten.

Preparing for the future, Oberan and the Immortals crafted powerful enchantments onto five copper nel coins. These would be given to chosen champions carrying Oberan’s blood within their veins to combat the Lich and her minions, when she returned. His bloodline would be more compatible with the coins, and thus make for more capable warriors. This also ensured he would be remembered by his descendants.

The enchantment crafted would bestow many boons on the champions when its power was invoked. It would provide them with a special combat suit to withstand harm, and allow the champions to survive and function in especially deadly environments without a problem. Additionally, it granted enhanced strength and speed, as well as reflexes and an inherent understanding and proficiency of martial arts and the use of various weapons. While wearing a suit, the champions could communicate telepathically and access the racial powers of their own corresponding race. To top things off, Oberan infused his own skills into the coins for the champions to rely on, should they need them.

Just to be safe, large automatons were created for each champion to ride into battle. Most taking the shape of a beast or legendary monster, these were meant as a last resort, if Ellasin’s power would prove too much for the champions to fight normally. And in case even that wasn’t enough, the automatons could combine with each other for even more power.

A base was created to serve as their headquarters. A center of operations to use in case Ellasin managed to take over. The champions would need guidance too, the Immortals agreed. Ziell volunteered to be bound to the base and guide the champions in their efforts as their mentor.

Satisfied, Oberan finally challenged Ellasin. Using the borrowed power and abilities of all Immortals in conjunction, he demolished her army of thralls and sealed the Lich into a specialized trashcan-like container (Famula and Vri were quite adamant about it needing to look specifically like a dumpster) and flung her into space. For hundreds of years she would travel the void, until something sent her arcing back towards Idalos. She would crash into one of the moons, but remain sealed for many more years before the seal finally broke.

Oberan did not survive to see the outcome of his actions. His mortal body was unable to withstand the channeled powers of the Immortals. It crumbled into dust not long after he banished the Lich. Not before using the little he had left to tie the champions’ suits and automatons to his own Domain in Emea to strengthen them further. Ellasin had proven more powerful than imagined, and the champions would need every bit of help they could get.

And so, when Ellasin finally did escape her prison at the start of two-oh-X-X, it was up to Ziell to summon five compatible descendants to face the evil Lich, and finish what their ancestor could not all those centuries ago.

word count: 2395
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Re: Tacky Thievin' Obe-Rangers: Prologue


Experience: 10 no magic

Knowledge: none

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Non lucid dream

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: none

Comments: This was a fun bit of speculative fiction. It was really more of a summary crawl of backstory rather than a narrative, but still cool. I wonder if we'll see Oberan's heirs in action? It'll be interesting if so.

God speed rangers.

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