Yrmellyn Cole, mage and painter gone letter student, looked around in the library of The Institute of Innovation. It wasn't always easy to find a place to sit and work on the studies in Immortal history. But, there was one free chair at a table where a young woman sat reading a big book. Yrmellyn decided to approach the girl and ask if she could share the workplace.
“Yes, of course. Please have a seat. I’m Norah.” The girl smiled.
“What are you studying?”
“Me too! I’m reading about fractures today.”
“I’m going to read about Yvithia”. She had to begin somewhere and she could as well being here, couldn’t she?
Yrmellyn opened the book. Browed it. Took in a few facts. First, Immortals had a family. This was something Yrmellyn never had paid attention to before. But, Yvithia had siblings and soon the name Ati’el turned up in the text. Who were they?
Yrmellyn began reading to find out. The story about Ati’el was more exciting than expected. Ati’el was an original, whatever that meant. She was Yvithias parent and had six Immortal children. An interesting context, although the text said that Yvithia had little contact with Ati’el. Yrmellyn decided to research the whole family and wrote a list in her notebook.
- Ati’el, of selfishness and strategy
- Chamardast of Neutrality, Commerce, Isolation, Glass
- Ilaren of Sound, Brawling, Alcohol
- Vhalar of Fall, Festivals, Guardian of Oaths, Art
- Ziell of Winter, Peace, Prophecies
- Saoire of Gifts, Gateways, Mentorship, Turtles
- Yvithia of Communication, Language, Intelligence
A surprise. The list included her favourite Immortals. Yrmellyn had grown up in Rharne. Ilaren had always been the city’s protector and the people there were her people. A good Immortal. So was Vhalar. She had worshipped him on and off as he was the immortal of Art.
She moved on to reading up a bit about Yvithia’s family members. First, Ati’el. An original? Yrmellyn looked up The Originals and found that Ati’el was dead. Well. That much for the information about Yvithias “limited contact with her parent”. Some historian must have been more wordy than clear there. Anyway, she continued reading about The Originals. There had been eight of them but seven were deceased. The fate of the eighth one, Delana the Ambitious Sorceress, was unknown. Yrmellyn, being a mage and an artist with a penchant for the quirky paid attention to weird facts. The sole survivor (if she lived) of the group was a mage. An ambitious mage. It was the kind of mysterious fact that tended to intrigue Yrmellyn. And amuse her. Fun facts. She made a note about it.
Delana, the ambitious sorceress, a mythical being of the old, an original, fate unknown.
Hmmm, what had happened to all those originals ... but, she couldn’t delve into all of those dead ancient beings. Later, yes, but not right now. Her scope was Yvithia. She was only looking at the originals to get a rough understanding of Ati’el, Yvithia’s mother. Now, she read the very oldest information. Was it truth or was it myth and legend? The story offered many things to speculate about. But, she would research it later. For now, it was enough to know that there were tales about eras of spirits, dragons, something named shay before the originals appeared. According to the text they had come from the realm of dreams. Emea. They had taken over the world, created all the Immortal and caused an enormous disaster that destroyed the world, the Shattering.
My. Yrmellyn made notes about it. But, back to Ati’el.
She had been the leader of the Originals on their way to Idalos through the chaotic Emea. She had been a snarky person. The kind that imagines that they are better than others. The kind that thinks looking down on others proves their “superior standards”. Yrmellyn’s mouth twitched a bit when she read this. Well, well, well. A self-overestimating being, just like the immortals often were. A mysterious fact was that Ati’el hadn’t told the others where they came from. Why? It struck Yrmellyn as odd. And why didn’t the others know where they came from? Even odder. But, she was dealing with history so old that it might very well be legends full of made-up misinformation. Anyways, Ati’el had been a master of organization and strategy. That was a major reason for the successful takeover of Idalos. As a person, she seemed to have been a calculating loner looking for power and withholding information. A coldblooded, secretive schemer aiming to be the sole dominator of the world.
In other words, Yvithia’s parent had been one power-crazed being. But, she had died or shattered. This was one more mystery. Nothing was known about it but according to the text she had turned into something called a grand fracture, a dangerous and psychological phenomenon. Psychological? What did they mean? The old history was full of vague statements. It might be a misunderstanding somebody had written at some point. Yrmellyn didn’t know what to think of it. The dangerous fracture was located northeast of the city Uthaldria. Could that be one of the places professor Griffith-Clarke had marked on his maps?
The text included a lot of mysterious things Yrmellyn didn’t understand but read nonetheless. A black tower was involved but it wasn’t clear how or why. A black tower. Phantoms. Illusions. Wild energy. Corrupted minds. Weird construct-beings with unknown purposes. Chaos. Traps and horrors were suspected. The text looked like it had been written in a madhouse. It was easy to believe that most explorers who had gone there had never come back. It was harder to believe that any sane survivor had come back to tell the things she was reading about. A tale told by fools, signifying nothing?
“Excuse me, Norah, you said you are reading about fractures? Can you explain what they are? ”
“Fractures? I’m trying to understand them...”
“It’s crazy. Look at this.” Yrmellyn showed Norah the text about Ati’el’s fraction.
“I hadn’t seen that one! But, fractures appear in places where immortals die...they leave a kind of rift in the world...as I understand it, a hole in the barrier between reality and dreams, between order and chaos.”
Yrmellyn thought of the lucid dreams she had experienced for a while. Emea. The fractures might be a kind of gateways into Emea. Or gaps into insanity. It was maybe the same thing. Ouch. She felt done with Yvithia’s parent, for this time. She made notes about the content and her thoughts about it and then she focused on Yvithia.
Yvithia had little in common with Ati’el. Yvithia’s main personality trait was her thirst for knowledge. This was something Yrmellyn could sympathize with. Yvithia wasn’t abrasive but relatively mild-tempered. Due to all her knowledge, she was also way more understanding and reasonable than her parent had been. She wasn’t flawless though. Yvithia was proud and she didn’t like to share knowledge without getting knowledge in return. Yvithia had much in common with Treid, the love of her life, and Aeva. Later, also with her brother Ziell. After the disaster named the grand shattering Yvithia began suspecting that the new beings, the humans had something to do with the destruction of the seven out of eight originals. She decided to experiment on them to find out their origins and began bringing humans to a northern fortress city she created, Viden. By accident, her experiments created the Eídisi, a race that are the descendants of her tormented research subjects.
Yrmellyn shuddered. For a while, she had sympathized with Yvithia. She had even felt sorry for her due to her terrible parent and the loss of her beloved Treid. But, not anymore. Yvithia must have killed countless people in her horrible experiments as it had led to the creation of a whole race. By accident. It was gross. The desire or knowledge was understandable. Yvithia’s means to gain it was not.
Reading through the research notes she had made, it struck Yrmellyn that Yvithia might have overlooked one mysterious fact. It wasn’t only the demise of seven original that had coincided with the appearance of the humans. The disappearance of the eight original, Delana, the ambitious sorceress had also coincided with the appearance of the humans. So ... Yrmellyn looked at the notes and wild thoughts and ideas flew through her mind. The curiosity of the attunement spark in her fused with the creativity of the artist and the newfound facts she had researched. Pattern after pattern whirled through her mental mutation - the enriched impressions - combining facts, thoughts, feelings and ideas into a mental storm of guesses and hypotheses.
The research had left her tired. She read up about the methodology again and organized the notes for future use, with neat references to where she had found the information. Then she put the notebook and pen into her backpack and closed the book.
“I’m done for today,” she said. “See you, Norah.”
“See you.” Norah
Yrmellyn returned those she wasn’t allowed to borrow. Not that she wanted to do homework. No way. She wasn’t looking to study night and day. It had been a lot to take in and it would be best to mull over it a bit before she would take the next step.