This Extra Chapter takes place after Chapter 26. Or does it…?
In the infinite darkness, there was only one figure. It wore a burgundy red suit of immaculate trim upon it’s long and lithe form, with a matching tie and a pure black dress shirt. The figure’s face was long and expressive. The features seemed most at home in an expression one could call sardonic, or just plain self-absorbed. The figure’s hair was black as pitch at it’s roots, and slowly grew redder until it looked like burning coals at the tip of his haircut that was molded to flow back and down the shape of the man’s head, like it was highly gelled and combed back.
The figure was leaning back in an E-Z-Boy barcalounger that had obviously seen better days, and spread a grin that could be welcoming if the eyes didn’t seem so predatory. Opening his mouth the figure said, “Hello, students. It’s your friendly Entity of Pure Chaos, Chaz here with you today. And I just wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the real history of Meaorh.”
With a flourish of his hands out to his sides and then onto the arms of his chair, Chaz said, “Now,” before going into his thick exposition. “The bible of The Faith describes the Genesis of the universe much the same way as the one from Earth’s Christianity. This is because all universes are basically created by their respective Deities in the same way. By taking a fat load of energy from the void of pure Chaos, and imposing Order on it. Deities are uniquely capable beings that can take that raw chaotic energy, and turn it into matter. And in doing so, the Deities create a basic world with which to fill with lifeforms to rule over as gently or despotically as they so choose.”
“Chaotic energy on the other hand, is naturally very good at destroying Order, or rather, consuming the world that Deities create. In order for Deities to protect their created worlds, they then create universes around those worlds. Those universes are not for having a pretty night sky, or for extra terrestrials to breed on, but to serve and a barrier to ward off Chaotic energy and sealing the created world off so it can’t be overrun by beings born from that big fat sea of Chaos that I call home.”
Chaz held one hand up to his ear as though straining to listen to a sound while saying in playful sarcasm, “What’s that Lassie? If the sea of Chaotic Energy has no natural order in it, where the fuck did I come from? Well, you stupid dog, I really was born from pure Chaos, because if a thousand chimps at typewriters can reproduce Hamlet, then pure Chaos can sometimes produce entities that transcend Chaos. A creature like myself, that is made from the Chaotic energies that form the underlying fabric of all realities, with a self-aware consciousness. Was I always this dapper and well refined? Nope! But that changed after I consumed my first reality and the Deity that ruled it.”
Chaz rolled his eyes, saying, “And before you ask, yes, Deities taste like chicken. Chicken with a bit of spice like curry, or a splash of nutmeg. Really quite refreshing. Sure, I ended up snuffing out a few billion lives in the process, but that world was kind of a shit hole anyway. I did those people a favor.”
“It took a while for me to get strong enough to consume a reality, mind you, and I did it by consuming other partially self aware entities in the Void. Most of all, though, the Deity of that dimension fucked up royally. Seriously, that Deity had no managerial skills. The multiverse is better off without him, I did everyone a favor ripping the guy apart and savagely consuming his essence and power. But nope, all the other Deities treat me like I’m the asshole, here. Wait, where was I?”
“Oh, yes! Genesis! Seven days, blah blah, sea and sky, blah blah, plants and birds, and so on. The reason why it didn’t take long for world creation is because the Deities have a basic template for worlds they make, including the size and rotation of the worlds in order to keep the laws of physics from having to be reinvented with every universe that’s created. And that goes for animals and plants as well. Sure, some Deities get a wild hair up their holy butts and create things like wheat plants that turn purple when ripe and make people spontaneously combust when ingested, but for the most part it’s just benign stuff. Like the Deity of Earth giving bees tinier wings than they should have had and still be able to fly.”
“So, now that the world of Meaorh’s been created and you now know why it has 24 hour days, 365 days a year, and an environment and animals that mirror Earth’s, let’s get down to humans. The basic human form is similar across all dimensions, because, why fix what ain’t broken? Deities just have an inborn desire to nurture, and observe growth. And they can only do so much with angels. So, they make humans and watch them go about their lives. Unlike Earth’s first humans, though, the first human of Meaohr was a hermaphrodite with two souls in the same body. After a suitable amount of time living that the first human grew bored and lonely, the Goddess split that hermaphrodite into a man and a woman. And of course, they immediately set to fornicating!”
“Seriously, it only took a few minutes before they started doing the nasty.” Chaz rolled his eyes and sighed in light exasperation.
“So, with all the boning, pregnancy soon happened, and low and behold the humans discovered that the Goddess had blessed them with Fertility. Extreme Fertility. She wanted to get the population up right quick and the first two humans had litters of kiddies right away. Well, with all those little tykes running around they needed babysitters. So, the Goddess created dragons to keep the first human safe as they toiled over keeping so many rugrats from falling into ditches or being eaten by the quickly growing population of critters in the world as well. Why did the Goddess need fucking dragons for that? Because she also created the world to have magic in it.”
“Now, complete detour here, Deities can do some customization to their worlds on creation. One of the ways to do it is to have more ambient energy laying around than other worlds in order to allow mortals and nature to tap into it. That energy comes from raw Chaotic energies, just like everything else. In being processed to actually be ambient energy, it turns into magic power, which allows mortals to store, tap into, and just plain ol’ use magic powers. Various settings can be made to apply to it’s use, but the basic thing I want to cover is this; the more ambient magical power a universe is constructed to hold, the less solid it’s barrier against invading chaotic monstrosities – like me – becomes.”
“In fact, that was how I consumed that reality. There was too much magic in the world, everyone started magically nuking each other, and some humans tried to call an extra-dimensional behemoth to destroy their enemies. A true lesson in ‘Be careful what you wish for’ if ever there was one. Now, the Goddess of Meaorh hit the happy mean. Not too much magic, not too little. Unfortunately, she made her magic system itself pliable enough that recently, a human with stolen knowledge was able to pierce the barrier, push through the void of Chaos and start abducting people. But that is getting off topic yet again.”
“So, the Goddess, being a doting and overly protective new mother to humanity, made dragons. She also scrambled the DNA of the offspring of the first humans enough that no one would get inbred, and after enough people were born and mature enough, she sent them forth to populate the world. And so the initial tribes were born. And the first two humans were really fucking old at this point and harried by having had and raised so many children. They were in no condition to go anywhere and just laid down to die. Well, the Goddess felt really guilty about what she’d put them through and blessed the old couple with renewed youth, making them young again, and removed their Fertility in exchange for granting them Longevity. The process also marked the first two humans with pointy ears, thus creating the Elven race. These two former humans settled at the base of a mountain range and slowly started expanding their family again, because the man was still too stupid to pull out!”
“Anyway, man spread in tribes around the world with dragon guardians to watch over them. The tribes founded cities, then small nations, and then people broke off to settle other lands. Things were going so well the eternal Dragons asked the Goddess why mankind still even needed them as babysitters. So, the Goddess released dragons from their duties and allowed them to do whatever The FUCK! They wanted to do; on the condition that they never actively waged war on humankind. Dragons could murder or otherwise brutalize people, of course, but actual war with humans was just a big ol’ plain no, no. Just to make sure Dragons didn’t decide to conquer Meaohr.”
“At some point in the world’s development, one nation by the name of Caruen arose that covered the entire continent of Caruen because of how well they were controlling magic. But not the magic that the Goddess created for the Meaorh universe. You see, the people in power there… got a little greedy. They reached out for another source of power, and they found it. Or rather they made contact,” Chaz’s words hesitate as each one is punctuated with meaning and a predatory smile spread across his lips as he spoke. “With a certain entity.”
“This entity began providing this continent with easy, limitless power from the Chaotic void, dying the occupants of the realm in it’s tainted presence. Their bodies changed and adapted to harness this power, putting them under the thrall of the entity. By this time The Faith was well into existence as an organized body to worship the Goddess, and started spreading the news about just how bad an idea communing with the entity was and tried to get people to take notice. Well, Caruen wasn’t about to have that, so they started attacking all the sane nations on Meaohr in a genocidal wave of madness to prevent the foothold that the chaotic entity had established from being swept away.”
“Entire populations were slain. The Faith took on a more militant persona, and rallied mankind. New species of intelligent life were created to fight, and even the Elves adapted their magic for war. The landscapes around the world were altered by the fighting, and it seemed the armies of Caruen would sweep away the Goddess loving peoples of the world until the Goddess herself intervened. And the entire continent of Caruen was annihilated.”
“I just want to say this. The Goddess made the right decision. In fact, I would have done the deed a lot sooner if I’d have been in her heavenly pumps, but there were reasons as to why the Goddess hesitated. There were a lot of people mostly untainted in Caruen, as the entity responsible for all the madness had been actively corrupting the leaders and the most powerful people in the realm and not Joe-what’s-his-name down the street. There were even a lot of people in Caruen who still secretly worshipped the Goddess, despite being a part of the massive war machine the nation had become. But that didn’t matter in the face of how only the absolute destruction of the nation was the only way to cripple the supply lines and reinforcements of the Caruen armies marching across the face of Meaorh.”
“Well, with their home land destroyed, I’m sure you can appreciate how the Caruen armies morale was decimated, and the war quickly turned against them. The survivors of the Caruen race fled and migrated from the lands they had claimed as the human armies chased them to the blasted wastelands that had been created from the fighting. Eventually the human supply lines became overextended and they could chase the retreating Caruens no further. The leaders of the Caruen peoples had their surviving populace settle those blasted lands. The name of Caruen was quickly lost, and the people who one came from there became known as Demons. And the Demon Realms were thus made.”
“Earlier in this age of strife, the Caruen military had sent a large number of very dedicated and intelligent people of theirs into the lands of the normal humans. These infiltrators mostly survived the war, and went underground when it had ended. They were party to some of the communication, and thus, communing techniques of the Caruen race in order to keep in touch with their masters back in their homeland. After their homeland was destroyed, they re-adapted these techniques to try and commune with their god of Chaos. With limited success. Nothing like their dark priests and archmagus had been able to perform, but it was still enough for them to draw power enough to empower and deform themselves in ways even the native Caruen leaders would never have even contemplated. And these infiltrators became the base for The Disorder heretical cult that survives in Meaorh to this very day.”
“The demon race also survived in the blasted lands, thanks mainly to their leaders, who were extremely powerful and truly tainted by the darkness of the entity their civilization had made contact with. These leaders were the first Demon Kings. Now, just to clarify, the demon race has nobilities, but they are only single generation titles. They are granted through achievements and contributions. Not heredity. And the classification of Demon King is only granted when someone develops the same amount of, and power type as, the original Demon Kings. In other words, when a member of their race is so thoroughly blessed with the power of Chaotic energy that they transcend their previous selves, reaching a new plateau of might. It is often a random evolution, as one might expect of Chaos, and many of those who experience it have their mind twisted. Which leads to demon invasions of the human lands by mad demon kings.”
“The remaining human nations of the world were still rebuilding when the second invasion began, thus being named the Second Demon War. Several nations were on the brink of disaster as their defenses started to buckle under the weight of the assault when The Faith was petitioned to ask the Goddess for a solution to their problems. So, after being harassed like a tech support line, the Goddess created the Hero Summoning Circle for the humans to use, with several restrictions. The primary one being that it can only operate when the Goddess has given it her blessing, because she really didn’t like the idea of random abductions. Also, the only world that people could be summoned from was Earth, because the Deity of Earth is the Divine equivalent of her brother, and their realms are close to one another, spatially speaking.”
“The Goddess and the God of Earth would collaborate at the time of a summoning to select the right person for the job, and someone who would actually want to perform the task they are summoned to fulfill. The first summoned hero was a Greek philosopher who went down in history mainly for revolutionizing the way magic was thought of in Meaohr, splitting it into the four elements of Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind, with ‘Other’ as a separate classification for everything else. This simplified system allowed a far faster turnaround for training magic soldiers and turned the tide of the Second Demon War. In comparison, that hero killing the Demon Kings that were leading the charge is of much lesser importance.”
“However, the establishment of this new magic classification served to limit people’s imaginations towards the abilities of magic in general and their understanding of the world around them. This led to fewer types of magic, and the loss of magical knowledge such as the creation of new intelligent species, like the various Beast Kin races. So, no more new races popped up on Meaohr since then. Or at least that’s what should have happened.”
“With the destruction of Caruen, all the magical power extractors for their civilization were also destroyed. That should have been an end to the presence of Chaotic Energies in Meaorh, rationally speaking. But Chaos is, as always, hard to predict. Instead of being wiped out when the extractors were eliminated, the energies went wild and infected the foundations of Meaorh’s reality. No matter where you go now, there is that little bit of Chaotic Energy present. And there are locations where this energy ends up naturally coalescing. These locations are called Labyrinths, because they distort the earth and their surroundings into living tunnel systems that draw in and propagate Chaotic Energy. The laws of reality become thinner in these locations and creatures that never should have been tend to be created inside them. Most of these creatures just drop dead without the presence of dense Chaotic Energies, but some don’t. And some of these are also self aware. Over thousands of years, there have been many new intelligent races that have either been accidentally made or forcibly propagated by heretics in these labyrinths, and most of them ended up seeking shelter in the demon lands to prevent being hunted to extinction. Thus, the populations of the Demon Lands became more varied as they accepted these refugees into their midst.”
“Why would demons do such a kind thing? There are primarily two reasons. The first is that every new race of ‘demon’ had a new power or ability that set them apart from one another, making them militarily valuable, or just plain looked scary when holding a big ass battle axe. The second that that, as is the nature of Chaos, the occasional sane, rational, and somewhat reasonable Demon King was created who had no interest in conquering the world in the name of their dark master in the Chaotic Void, and simply just took pity on these refugees. Slowly, more and more of these ‘Moderate Demon Kings’ came into being and the Demon Realms began to stabilize. Eventually, these excessively long lived Demon Kings reached a consensus and opened their lands up to trade and diplomacy with The Faith. This set up has been in place for a few centuries, but the stigma that both the demons and the humans have against one another is still rather pronounced. While it is not exactly rare to see the members of one race living or travelling in the other’s lands, it is unusual and discrimination is to be expected. Because even now, the occasional Demon King is born and goes on a mad quest to rid the world of humans.”
“But even so, after a few hundred years of trade, there had been a bit of commingling of the races, because humans are just plain horny. And since most of them are descended from the original humans, after all, they can propagate what are called the Demon Blooded. Humans that show signs of demonhood, without actually being different enough to be called real demons. These people are more common around the trading ports that are open to the Demon Realm ships, but as is the nature of wanderers, they are becoming less rare around the rest of the world. Even so, racism still exists, because every village and town has had ancestors who have fought and died in some Demon Invasion or another, some more recent than most. And old hatreds are the hardest to let go of.”
“So, with all that out of the way, I just wanted to cover what the real truth of what Daphne spoke of as to the origin of Fulchas and the Four Brothers are.”
“Fulchas was one of the original nations that were settled by the tribes born from the first humans, and the ones who lead the tribe there were, indeed, four brothers. But unlike what Daphne said, they were not all great men. Gordok was a warrior, and he formed the militia and then the military of Fulchas to protect the people from beasts and monsters.”
“Gordon was all about logistics, and he formed the taxation and funding systems that became the backbone for all the government’s financial institutions.”
“Gordes was a man who thought about the future and worked hard to create plan the settlements to work towards a bright and orderly future. That mean roads, irrigation, waste disposal, and the founding of the civil engineering and infrastructure that build the nation from the ground up.”
“Gordek was a self important idiot who looked good and made people feel better about themselves when he spoke. He was fond of getting on top of soap boxes and calling attention to himself. But other than that, he was a hopeless idiot. So the other three brothers gave him the role of the leader to keep him occupied while they did all the real work and Gordek became the first King of Fulchas.”
“And thanks to the splitting of labor between the four brothers, four different political factions arose in Fulchas. The Military, Finance, Civic, and Royal Factions. And even now, all of them are working against one another to grab power over each other. And that’s why the territory beyond the Four Brothers mountains were reclaimed in the first place. To build the installation you were summoned into. You see, the reclaimed lands have a higher concentration of ambient magic in it’s atmosphere for whatever reason, and when someone with the knowledge to potentially create a summoning system that was not under the direct control of the Goddess appeared, there were some people who saw their opportunity to grab for power. A chance for an invincible fighting force not just for fighting demons or use against other nations, but to once and for all bring the other factions of Fulchas under their power.”
“The military was rallied, the lands removed of dangerous monsters and beasts, and while tiny settlements were being built, the installation was covertly being created. Conveniently in the middle of nowhere. Daphne was given the run of the place for a long time as the nameless installation was being completed, and when the testing process finally began, a military presence was moved into place. And after some trial and error, that’s where you came into the picture. And a very important entry you are. As to why, I’m not telling just yet. After all, you won’t really remember much or any of my little lesson. I just wanted to lay the groundwork for the future.”
“But there is one last thing I wanted to share with you before I go…”
Chaz swiftly clapped his hands, directly in front of your eyes.
* * * * *
Xander sprung up from his slumber, adrenaline and aggression surging through his body, looking around him desperately for a moment before remembering where he was and flopping back down, his head striking the pillow of his bed wagon. He could remember wisps and phantasms of a dream. A figure, or a shape? Words or conversation? What was it?
But the harder Xander tried to grasp at the dream, the harder it became to remember it. Eventually, he drifted off to sleep to have an uneasy dream, as though there was something important he had failed to remember. After Xander was able to drift off, there was a low mumble from Aase who slept next to him.
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