17 Jan 2010:
In the beginning, all was Chaos. From the Chaos, necessarily without purpose cause or order, arose four entities: Xendra, Atragus, Fayan, and Thronden. Formed by nothing from nothing, these beings were gods: powerful as they were, however, they knew they would be consumed once more by the Chaos around them. They joined together for the sake of their own preservation.
Succombing to atrophy while immersed in Chaos, but also unable to control it, they strove instead to break away a fragment of existence on which to build their own reality–a stand as a bastion against the sea of Chaos surrounding. Concentrating the Chaos around them into a network of nodes, the gods contained the energy of chaos in a web that would sustain their new reality and ensure their future. Chaos so contained and separated by the nodes and the lines of power that ran between them, Xendra, Atragus, Fayan and Thronden hung their new world, Geona, upon them. Geona was designed to hold the Chaos-nodes apart, lest too much Chaos gather together and revert all of this universe back the roiling nothing from whence it came. On their universe the Gods imposed natural order, regularity, time and space.
Now separate from Chaos, the Gods sought also to separate themselves from Geona, the bar in their figurative door against the Chaos outside, lest they inadvertently undo their own creation. They created their own homes apart from Geona, and from these they watch over their creation.
Geona remained a network of fully-powered nodes of Chaos, dangerous and unstable, barely contained. To dilute the power of the nodes (in the physical world manifested as giant and unbreakable crystals), the gods broke their power by creating the physical world. Into the soul of every plant and every animal, the gods locked a small portion of chaos. Into certain minerals, buried deep and spread thin, they infused whatever else they could. The Chaos Crystals gradually died and the remaining chaotic energy seeped slowly into the world, now diluted and harmless.
Though material was created to contain Chaos, the gods sought to amuse themselves by creating life. Thus, the men, elves, giants, dwarves, genii and gnomes were created. Atragus gave the natural world its life and spirit, its animal nature and natural functions. Thronden gave to the world ambition and industry, productivity, strength, and endurance. Fayan gave to life souls, and to some special favorites of the gods, intelligence and caring. And Xendra gave to the world social order.
No one god exerted more control than any other. The creatures partook of all their gifts (though some naturally favored one god over the other, and were thus favored in turn) and lived in harmony, occassional squabbles aside. And everything was perfectly normal. Without Chaos, little magic existed and dark forests were feared only by those unprepared for their natural inhabitants. The Crystals were revered as sites holy to the gods and shrines and temples from all times have been built around them.
The city of Nexus was built long ago as the center of power, a city-state in and of itself. The three unusually large Crystals make the city a very holy site and a favored location for many temples and holy universities (mostly affiliated with churches, but also room for others as necessary). In one of the holy universities dedicated to Atragus (specifically, to the study of the natural world), a scholar discovered some unusual properties in a certain metal brought from a distant mountain.
In the course of his studies, the scholar requested the help of his priests to perform a certain ritual he had devised to request aid from his god in his studies. The ritual was performed, as was proper for such important matters, in the high temple of Atragus, located (with the other three high temples) in at the center point of the city, equidistant between the three Crystals.
Unknown to him, the metal was one that had been infused by the gods with the energy of Chaos, called Genite. As the ritual progressed, the genite in the metal was brought out and the genite in the souls of the participants was unlocked to commune with their god. The high concentration of genite around Nexus’s three super-Crystals, the weakest point in the fabric of the world, caused a tear in the fabric of the universe and opened a small door to Chaos. The gods, stunned and dismayed, slammed the gateway shut–but not before it was too late: the force of Chaos caused a cataclysmic rippling of the world’s fabric which destroyed most of Nexus and set off natural disasters, devastating all of Geona. The citizens of Nexus were all, without exception, absorbed into Chaos. From this center point genite raced back through the long-dead ley lines, revitalizing locally the network that had lain dormant since Creation. The disaster was of such a scale to crack the fabric of reality everywhere, and everywhere released a little more Chaos, bringing the universe a little closer to destruction.
From these cracks in reality the Chaos tainted the world the gods had wrought, twisting life and logic, creating monstrous creatures and unnatural auras, killing the living and bringing the dead to life, animating fire and water and merging beasts with men to create hideous hybrids. These monsters are undeniably the creatures of chaos, and set about slaughtering all that did not share their taint.
Anarchy engulfed the world. Kingdoms crumbled, cities fell, and every man cursed the day of his birth.
Although the gods repaired the fabric of the universe, the damage had been done. Now the ley lines once more hummed with life, and anywhere where several large lines intersected on a Crystal became an unpredictable and dangerous area, a place where there truly did be dragons, and more.
Time passed. A semblance of order has been restored, but nothing is stable. Chaos was at first terrifying and dangerous and none dared stand near, but as time passed, some have found ways of harnessing the Chaos for their own ends. They have prepared their own rituals for releasing the genite innate in an object and using the weak points in reality to accomplish strange, wonderful, and terrifying things. Magic has entered the world. Factions seek to control Crystals to use their properties for their own gain. They break all the laws of the universe for their own ends, but there is always the risk of going too far and loosing chaos on the world.
In an attempt to right the world, the gods have opened the gates of the celestial realms to allow the most minor of gods to manifest bodies for themselves near the crystals and act by proxy in the world. But the gods are no longer united. They do not trust each other, and the whole world is suffering from escalation: each faction that tries to use the Crystals for gain, so is unwilling to give up their power for the good of all. And those who try quickly find themselves conquered or killed by others who are less concerned. Although the ley lines and Crystals eventually diffuse their genite charge back into the world and the gods’ construction holds, the arms race has the network flowing pretty constantly, kept going by sacrifice and ritual to pump back into the Crystals genite from materials or items that hold a particular charge. What is done cannot be undone. The mutual distrust breaks out into fighting occasionally, but none dare fight near Nexus for fear of another cataclysm or the utter destruction of the universe. The broken city was reclaimed, but is nothing like its former glory. It is the weakest point in the universe and also the easiest for avatars to travel to/from the celestial planes. Sites of Crystals are hotly contested, and what were temples are more often than not transformed into holy fortresses for whichever god claims the crystal as his own.
And still the world is ravaged by the monsters. A twisted cult of Chaos-worship has sprung up, one that seeks to undermine the efforts to maintain order and whose goal is to dissolve the universe back into Chaos. These men are strange and mad, often with bizarre mutations from their contact with Chaos, and implacable in their pursuit.
It is said that in the first breaking, several entities of Chaos entered into the world, manifested as powerful and at least three nearly indestructable living entities of chaos–creatures so powerful that if their physical bodies are destroyed, their chaotic spirits will eventually pull together enough energy at a Crystal to reconstitute and set out again on destruction.
Some unlucky enough to travel by the ruins of Nexus tell tales of the spirits of those lost again walking the world; these legendary Evidyon were trapped in the closing of Chaos, but the most powerful are strong enough to reemerge at Geona’s closest connection to that plane. How they make themselves known in a world torn, only time will tell.