Introduction to OrkfiologyEdit
A small introduction to recent OrkfiologyEdit
Written by: Martel
For years the historians studying Orkfiology have tried explaining the world we know as Orkfia, and until this very point in time all attempts have been futile. Writings from the first of ages have revealed very little, in fact, almost nothing at all.
As our next age within Orkfia draw closer, we will realise it's an age unlike others. Only the creatures of Orkfia themselves know less than we do, because in their world the creation has just recently taken place. It was only in their most recent memories that wars were invented, races found their current forms and strategies used for mystics, thievery and invasions were first improvised.
In the last hours of our most recent age, the one that history tells spawned from 'Yesterday' - trickles of thoughts formed in the minds of some Orkfians. Slowly, these thoughts matured into a relentless sensation of deja vu. The creatures making up all known tribes seemed unaffected, but their leaders knew something was not right.
Like a river seeking new paths down the same mountainside, memories of their many futures began to trickle into these leaders' minds. Faded memories of... Death.
Orkfia: The Eternal RecurrenceEdit
This is a section of the guide where your memories of what is still future will be retold and kept archived. Will you remain forgotten in our future, or join us in our past?
These stories are based on events during Age 1 (Year 10 - 93 OE) by our Orkfian scribe Sado. I am happy to present you with his first piece, written exclusively for Orkfia II: Alliances At War:
Prologue: The EmpyreonsEdit
In times long past, Orkfia used to be a peaceful world of unimaginable beauty and outstreched forests running into infinity. The world was ruled over by the immortal Elves, who existed in a state of bliss together with all that nature had created to live alongside them. This period was known as the Utopic Age, and under the reign of the Elves, civilization grew strong and a long period of serenity made life easy for all inhabitants of Orkfia.
But Orkfia's true genesis was completed when its ataraxis was invaded by muses that had a disastrous effect on the forces that had up until then controlled the minds of the people. A volatile group of thieves known as the Empyrean Thieves had unwillingly disrupted the natural flow of energy by opening a portal that lead to forbidden worlds. Serving as a cradle, from this pandora's gate were born a many powers that cancelled each other out until two emerged to rule: a will representing creation and a will representing destruction. Influenced by their seductive force, the Orkfians began experimenting with the dark sides of life. Death made its entry, and the Elves learned of other races that were born from the wills, enslaving them and using them as they saw fit. The Humans were the product of creation's will, and the Orcs were born from destruction's will.
Rapid progress took root, and many evils began spreading throughout the minds of all Orkfians. Unknowingly, a mighty force was slumbering in the cradle, and one day, a Comet appeared on the night sky, predicting doom for all Orkfians, including those who had come to understand themselves as being immortal. The Empyrean Thieves disbanded, and its leader disappeared. Afterwards, a new organisation, the Empyrean Mages, was founded by two persons that, although they appeared to be friends, were each other's complete opposites. As the Comet drew closer, they began experimenting with a mysterious force brought about by its deadly radiation: Magic.
In a desperate bid to deflect the Comet, a group of mortal Elves that had seperated themselves from the immortal High Elves, the Dark Elves, deployed a weapon that would bring even more disaster to the ill-fated planet. Failing to have its intended effect, radiation swallowed all of the Orkfian universe, and many new races came about. Bringing an odd kind of salvation to the Orkfians, the Empyrean Mages cast a spell that would change the Orkfian way of life for the worst. A time spell shifted Orkfia back in time a hundred years, granting the Orkfians more time to come up with a plan to destroy the Comet. A new era, the Eternal Recurrence, began.
Time had not, however, succesfully shifted back. The High Elven empire was still destroyed, the many races were still there, and most importantly, the Empyrean Mages were nowhere to be seen. When the Comet again drew close, all Orkfians were sure they would face their inevitable destiny. As a surprise, suddenly, Time again was shifted back, and the cycle repeated itself. These periods of the Comet colliding with the planet and time shifting back became known as the Ages. The time spell had become a trap for the Orkfian souls, who could not depart to the afterlife and were resurrected every new Age.
The Eternal Recurrence, however, is not everlasting. Unknown to the Orkfians, they are being controlled by even greater forces that appeared together with the Comet. These forces preside over the destinies of the Orkfians, and what will become of their world. Of these forces, there is always one that is watching over your tribe. There is always one that will try to lead your tribe to greatness. This force, if it grows strong enough, will dominate all of Orkfia and dictate its future. That force is you.
The Utopic AgeEdit
Welcome to the end of eternity, scourer. When you are reading this, I gather that you have acquainted yourself a bit with the history of the Orkfian world. However, you have probably not grasped much of what has been said, for the subject matter at hand is complex. If you do understand what is the matter with these cursed parts, then you most likely have been around for quite a while, but for the sake of those confused, we will discuss the problem step by step. I shall begin with the way the Ages have forced themselves upon us, for this is the heart of Orkfia's recent history, one which is, if I am not gravely mistaken, about to come to an end.
What is most important to understand is that Orkfia has not always been in the perilous state it is in right now. There used to be a stabile and peaceful period, that none of us could have possibly experienced, except for maybe the very eldest among us. This era is now referred to as the Utopic Age, in which, as mentioned before, the High Elves ruled over all of Orkfia. During this time, Orkfia also looked very different topographically. The High Elves were content with only a small portion of Orkfia's surface, and built their four major cities very close to each other. As a result, for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of years, the world of Orkfia was inhabited for only two percent; the other 98 percent consisted of forest. The underground lakes were even more abundant back then than they are today, and even now they contain unimaginable amounts of water.
Architecturally very advanced, sophisticated by nature, the High Elves ran cities of unparalleled grandeur. Judgmant was the city concerned with politics, law and economics. Crystallion was the magical city, where Mages invented most of the spells we still use today. Affluenca was the city of production, and provided all of the elven empire with goods and services. One of the most remarkable cities, however, was Elendian, the city of administration, primarily concerned with birth control. As you might know, the High Elves are immortal by nature. You might wonder what happened to the entire High Elven population, but we shall deal with this later. What you need to know here is that in the Utopic Age, only a select number of High Elves were allowed to reproduce. The High Elves had an affectionate bond with nature, and feared that the planet would suffer were they to recklessly create offspring. Their efforts, as we see in today's world, were in vain.
The force that had up till then governed the entire Orkfian universe suddenly split up into two parts under the pressure of an outside influence. As the powers took shape, eventually forming a force of creation, and a force of destruction, the first of our own kind entered. Rearranging the Orkfian universe as they saw fit, they took enjoyment in their godlike powers, and began controlling the fates of the Orkfian people. The Humans and the Orcs appeared from the newly formed forces. They waged war against the high elven empire, but were defeated with swift efficiency. Many more attempts of overthrowing the High Elves were taken, but their immortality was too great an advantage to be easily dealt with.
Full disaster struck when the first of our kind, the Empyreons, came in contact with the personifications of the two forces. Though they were perfectly in balance at first, their own loyalty to the Human and Orc alliance resulted in their corruption by the influences from outside. The three forces came together to form the first celestial body, which slowly began its descend towards the Orkfian planet. And thus, the war with the great High Elven empire was about to reach its final conclusion that would scar the Orkfia for eras to come...
The Great Elven WarEdit
With the Comet in the skies, causing terror from afar, the High Elf legions were severely weakened. Their drained strength, however, was not the result of physical fatigue, but rather of psychological madness: among the Comet's effects was the sudden and immediate removal of immortality, were one hit by its invisible radiation. Many Elves could not handle this, and the once great society that had lasted for as long as anyone remembered crippled in a matter of days. Banning mortal Elves from their cities, the High Elves called upon themselves the rage of those who were expelled, and civil war ensued. The Elves broke up in three factions, which we still distinguish today: The immortal High Elves, the Dark Elves and the Wood Elves.
As the Humans, under the command of Lumina, the arch mage of light, channeller and personification of the will of creation, and the Orcs, under the command of Asmodeus, the arch mage of darkness, channeller and personification of the will of destruction took arms and fought their ways into the four cities, the High Elves were forced to invent new means of waging war. Manipulating the force of Magic the way Lumina and Asmodeus did, they quickly learned the true nature of the Comet's radiation: it was the source of all mana. Constructing guilds to store mana in the city of Crystallion, the mages trained there became awesomely powerful. We refer to them today as the Empyrean Mages; who learned the trade by two mysterious persons that aided them in their studies, and taught them nearly all spells we still know of today. Before the appearance of the Comet, Crystallion had been the city of thieves: its main purpose was to keep peace within the empire. Most of those thieves, when the war was at its fiercest, eventually gave up their profession to become mages. As such, slowly, the Empyrean Thieves became the Empyrean Mages, and their iron grip over the empire made them more feared with their own people, than with the enemy.
While legion after legion was slaughtered, the Elves that had fled the cities concerned themselves with the path they had calculated the Comet to make: straight for the High Elven cities. Their sense of righteousness prevailed over the differences between them, and the Dark Elves, Wood Elves, Humans and Orcs collaborated to construct the most powerful weapon Orkfia had ever seen or will see: the Babel Cannon. Designed specifically to destroy the Comet, it was the only hope the Orkfians had of securing their future. The weapon, however, did not have its intended effect; rather, it made things far worse. Radiation engulfed all of the Orkfian universe, and the forces were thrown off balance. Many new races were created, and many obsolete things destroyed.
With the races thrown into a state of utter confusion, the High Elves attempted one final assault to suppress the uprising, now that they had discovered the supposed deaths of the two arch mages, Lumina and Asmodeus. With their disappearance, the Humans and Orcs lost the greatest deal of their firepower, and they were quickly overrun by the High Elf legions. The Dark Elves, blinded by fear of death, fuelled by their frustration and anger, assumed command of the alliance that had been formed between the races prior to the Babel Cannon disaster, and marched straight for Cystallion. The battle was won only because of a spell the Humans had invented, one that instilled weapons with the effects of the Comet' radiation. After the conquest of the city, the Dark Elves noticed that the three cities were preparing to march their armies to overpower the alliance in a final, decisive battle.
Battle of CrystallionEdit
With the Dark Elves severly overpowered by the immortality of the High Elves, the formation of an alliance with the Humans came as a blessing. The Humans offered a new spell capable of enchanting a weapon with the effects of the radiation, enabling it to even kill those who claim to be immortal. Even though the armies of the coalition were no match for those stationed at Crystallion, the fact that the enemy greatly feared the stunning effects of mortality reduced their willpower and endurance. The High Elven capital of Magic fell quickly to the coalition, who planned to use the magical powers stored at its Guilds to provide power to a premier weapon, the Babel Cannon.
Fall of JudgmantEdit
After the conquest of Crystallion, the Dark Elves had installed their Babel Cannon on top of the Crystal Palace. Drawing magic power from the Guilds of Crystallion, the Babel Cannon was provided with enough energy to fire a relatively weak pulse at the city of Judgmant. This pulse, however, resulted in the swift destruction of the entire capital city, which was the home of almost ten million High Elves.
Stunned and filled with guilt, the Dark Elves then decided to discard the Babel Cannon. When the Comet first struck Orkfia, the Babel Cannon was crushed under its great mass. After the reset, the Babel Cannon was not reproduced and its specifications were destroyed.
The Babel ProjectEdit
The Babel Project was one of the first attempts at destroying the Comet. Developed by the Dark Elves, it aimed at reversing the Comet's trajectory, sending it back to the 13th hour.
The only thing Orkfiologists know about this project comes from ancient scriptures the Elves left behind. It appears the Elves split up once the Comet's radiation affected their immortality. Those that became mortal declared themselves independent from the immortal High Elves. In an attempt to stop the Comet from harming their people any further, they devised a daring strategy to thwart the Comet. The Babel Cannon combined strong Magic with the neutralizing effects of the Calvin Barrier's force. The resulting pulse propelled itself at lightning speed and collided with the Comet, causing a shockwave that engulfed the entire Universe in mutating radiation. This is assumed to be the cause of Orkfia's wide variety of races.
The Comet itself was merely thrown off its path, and did not at all reverse course. The High Elves would finally provide the 'final' solution by casting the Time spell. The Babel Project, because it was such a monumental failure, eventually triggered the great Elven war, which seperated the Elven race into three factions: the Dark Elves, the Wood Elves and the High Elves.
The nature of the Comet has puzzled Orkfiologists for many ages. At first, it was assumed that the Comet triggered the universal event known as a reset, but now it appears that resets work far more subtly than that. Resets are caused by Time Magic that is cast each time the Comet collides with the surface of Orkfia. The huge amounts of energy released during this disastrous occurrence is used by the spell to reset all of the Orkfian universe back to an indefinite point in time, usually between 84 and 112 Orkfian years in the past.
In Astronomy, it has been discovered that the Comet starts off in the center of our Universe, a point known as the 13th hour, where Time as we know it does not seem to exist and where there is nothing but pure Evil. Orkfiologists assume that if we could cast a Vision spell on the 13th hour exactly at the moment a Reset occurs, we could see the Comet be born, the 13th hour functioning as a cradle that gives birth to this weapon of Evil. The Comet then begins orbiting the 13th hour, circling around it counterclockwise, as it slowly draws towards the surface of the Orkfian world. On avarage, assuming the age in progress has a duration of 6 weeks, the Comet takes about 5 weeks before it passes through the Calvin Barrier, thus entering Orkfia's atmosphere. Violently burning through our sky, the Comet revolves one more time around the 13th hour (which, in our scenario, takes about one week to complete) before crashing onto the surface, releasing the energy required for the Time spell to cause a reset.
The Comet has been identified as the source of Magic. Guilds utilize the Comet's radiation by storing it, which then convert the radiation to Mana Points for the Mage to use. In this respect, Magic is a tool of Evil and is rumoured to be the cause of the hostile attitudes of most Orkfians. However, this has not been experimentally confirmed.
Over time, there have been numerous attempts at destroying the Comet, or at least neutralizing its powers. One of the most disastrous attempts at this is now known to us only as the Babel Project mentioned in ancient scriptures. Furthermore, Accruement Theory proposes that at some point in the future, all the leftover energy from the countless impacts of the Comet may accumulate to a point where it can be used to annihilate the Comet, using its own power against itself.
Epilogue: Memories of DeathEdit
Written by: Martel.
The comet was drawing closer to Orkfia, each day the prominent feature growing in the sky, resembling more than anything a second sun but furiously red, competing to outshine its equivalent. It made nights hard to separate from days, wasn't it for the red tint it gave objects under its influence. Each day larger than the day before, it kept causing panic amongst the elders of many tribes. Most Empyreons controlling them could remember their own pasts by now, and knew that whatever the comet would do - it wouldn't destroy them. It wouldn't restore peace or still the wars either though, that was not the nature of Orkfians. Pressed on by the threat of complete annihilation, they kept on warring, like so many times before.
The Empyreons could remember enough now not to panic themselves, but it was barely that. What the memories also brought with them was death. And rather than being brought back 100 years ago, to a world where the forests still grew almost untouched, they would likely be summoned in a future just years after their deaths, and maybe not until after the comet would hit the planet's surface. They knew for sure that the tribes over which they were ruling would not last the time between their own physical death and being brought back by the summoning mages. Of course mages would, and as they always did, stand by ready to bring an Empyreon back to Orkfian life, but the time this took would surely lay waste to their tribes. They could only hope that their allegiances with other Empyreons, and theirs in return, would lessen the damage.
During this age, the awakening as some of them would already refer to it as, it had become clear that some abstract force had lost influence over them, else their memories of the past shouldn't have been as clear as this. Some Empyreons even claimed they remembered how to stop the comet now, knowledge dating back to its first appearance 26 ages ago. The only problem was that many Empyreons had already died. Not just from battle - as the memories revealed was the natural process of Orkfian life - but from aging. No memories would give any clue as to what caused their death, or why. Empyreons had, for as long back as their memories would stretch, always been granted never-ending life. Death was not a concept that they feared, but maybe they should now?
Old memories revealed earlier struggles against the comet, or rather the mechanics behind it. Empyreons had tried many different ways before, the Babel Cannon only one of these attempts and it being aimed directly at the comet. New ideas were already in their last phases, but the race against time was now more apparent than anytime before. Most knew they would not live to see the comet, but they knew also this time that if nothing was done it might be the final end of Orkfia. Their memories told them that the last recurrence Orkfia saw - also saw the end of the time spell. And nothing would provide truth of the opposite, not even the most powerful mages could feel even a trace of it. What worse was, even with combined forces they would be too few or too weak to recast anything like it. As it looked, their world was about to be destroyed and they could do nothing against it.
Trying to explore the memories of their pasts gave no comfort, because what laid beyond the impact of the comet nobody had yet seen or could predict. What would it feel like, waking up to a world that could very well be completely barren? With only charred remnants of the Orkfian forests, the inner lakes of Orkfia dried out or the clear air carrying dust from crushed mountains, slowly suffocating them. The outlooks over even the least pessimistic forecasts were disturbing at best. Preoccupying themselves with these thoughts had already drove several Empyreons mad, trying to bring others with them as they themselves erased their lands in fear of what would follow the comet. It stood clear, however, that the comet would hit Orkfia and likely bring with it a second age. An age of death, or renewed life, all depending on how the two powers that be would balance out.
Orkfia Infinity / Orkfia II: Alliances At WarEdit
This was the final chapter of the Empyreons, a collection of stories accompanying the first age of the new "infinity" version of the online strategy game Orkfia. If you wish to be one of those to discover this new world, without the boundaries of an impending comet impact, feel free to sign up for an account within the game. And who knows? Maybe the next story will be based on you, or your alliance's actions, during an age to come.
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