Category:Archive

Name Description
Alice in Wonderland Frey's favorite story book tells the tale of a young woman transported to a fantastical realm—something she has often wished would happen to her.

She knows that she loves it as much as she does because someone special used to read it to her, but she can't remember when that was, or who it might have been.

Frey's Escape Plan - Get enough cash

- Take care of Giggin (?) shit ONE LAST TIME

- Food and carrier for Homer

- Buy ticket Penn Station

12/23 - LEAVE

Frey's Sneakers Frey is it normally one for fashion, but she does love a fresh pair of Kicks.

These are her favorites, made by a brand that's currently all the rage in New York. According to reviews by enthusiastic sneakerheads, they're so light that they "almost feel like magic."

Frey's Penlight The pen light Frey gave to Olevia.

She originally bought it for playing games with Homer, but it was with her when she came to Athia, and wound up becoming a potent symbol of her friendship with the young orphan.

After Sila's raid on Cipal and Olevia's untimely death, Frey kept it as a memento of their all-too-brief time together, and a reminder of a young life needlessly lost.

Frey's Phone The phone Frey uses to stay in touch with the world.

At least that's what it's supposed to be for—it's mostly filled with pictures of the adorable Homer. Unfortunately, Athia doesn't seem to get cell phone coverage, so she can only use the camera.

High School Diploma and Old Photograph A diploma certifying that Frey graduated from Hudson Pier High School, accompanied by a photograph from her file supplied by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

An old report from her file reads: "While Alfrey has been placed in six foster homes to date, most of these placements have been terminated for a variety of caregiver-related reasons. It should be noted that she has maintained excellent academic performance despite these frequent upheavals. Her current caregivers do not believe she will choose to remain in their care upon completing her high school education."

Music Box A music box Frey found in Junoon Castle.

Turning the handle attached to the side causes Brahms's Lullaby to play, and inscribed inside the lid is a message:

"To my dearest Alfre. Know that wherever you may be, I am always with you. Your Loving Mother."

New York City A bustling metropolis dominated by a dazzling sea of skyscrapers. But danger lurks in the shadows cast by the bright city Lights.

Those lights shine even brighter at Christmas, as decorations are strong and families gather for the holiday season. Sadly, for the lonely Frey, these sites bring no holiday joy at all...

Newspaper Clipping and Baby Photo Newborn Found Near Holland Tunnel

A newborn abandoned near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel was recovered by the FDNY late last night after a tip-off from a passerby.

The baby girl is currently under observation at the Midtown Medical Center, and is reported to be in good health. Her family has yet to be located, but first responders believe the word "Alfre," embroidered on the blanket in which the child was wrapped, May hold a clue to the child's identity.

Despite extensive examination of surveillance footage, authorities have yet to identify any potential leads. Members of the public who believe they may have relevant information are urged to come forward.

Record of Arrest and Prosecution FULL NAME: Holland, Alfre

CHARGES: Grand larceny, resisting arrest

PLACE OF MOST RECENT ARREST: W 47th St & 1th Ave, New York, NY

SEX: Female

HEIGHT: 5' 11"

ADDRESS: N/A

Shoebox An old shoe box in which Frey keeps the few clues she has about her past. It contains three things: a photograph of her on the night she was discovered outside the Holland Tunnel, another one of the tunnel itself taken on the same night, and the blanket she was found wrapped in, embroidered with the name "Alfrey."

Name Description
A History of the Tantas "For as long as anyone can remember, our land has been ruled over by the Tantas, blessed be their names. It is not for us to know how their powers came to be. We need only give thanks for the countless occasions on which they have delivered us from catastrophe—greatest and most notable among such acts of deliverance being their purge of the nefarious Rheddig. They deserve nothing less than our unquestioning love and respect, for it as they who make us Athian."
A Mother's Record A diary Cinta kept why she was pregnant with baby Alfre. While most of it's pages are now blurry and stained, it's clear from what remains that the besotted Tanta was overflowing with love for her unborn child.
Athia A mysterious continent in another world that is somehow both stunningly beautiful and deeply unsettling. A thick, foreboding blanket of what looks like fog envelops its medieval-looking buildings, adding to the otherworldly effect. And if that wasn't proof enough that Frey is very far from home indeed, there are deadly monsters to contend with too.
Avoalet Castle The most striking feature of Tanta Prav's castle is the great sphere of water that hovers imposingly above the courtroom situated on its rooftop. Within it lies the special chamber of uses to conduct the trial by water, a ceremony in which criminals pronounce guilty must attempt to prove their innocence. While the building itself may appear untouched by the events of recent years, the corpses that line the corridors—the remains of unlucky souls the mad Tanta tortured to death—tell a different story.
Belfries These beautiful bell towers were erected as landmarks to help pilgrims find their way. The bells are not merely ornamental—they once served as a means of communication, so the pilgrims might warn others of danger or simply signal their presence. It was customary for pilgrims arriving at belfries to turn in the direction of Cipal and raise their hands in prayer, asking the souls who rest in the mausoleum there for continued protection on their Journey.
Chapter 10: None the Wiser With emotions still running high after Robian's death, Frey and Auden get into a bitter quarrel about what Frey owes to Athia.

Determined to get some answers, she storms off to Junoon in search of her mother, and without even realizing it, falls into Tanta Olas's trap—a vision of a perfect New York.

The illusion of home is so convincing that Frey doesn't suspect that anything is amiss at first. And when Cuff finally succeeds in snapping her back to her senses, she's forced to fight every step of the way to escape, with Olas doing everything she can to try and trap her forever.

Chapter 11: Forspoken Frey finally reaches the throne room of Visoria Castle, only to find Olas's body resting lifeless upon her throne.

Before she's even had the chance to absorb that shock, Cuff combines with the bracelet Olas was wearing and to transforms before her, revealing himself to be Susurrus—a weapons sent by the Rheddig to destroy Athia and the Tantas.

Cinta transports her daughter to Svargana, where the Tantas revealed that Susurrus was the source of the Break and their madness. Faced with a painful decision, Frey realizes what she must do...

Chapter 12: Awakening Frey in the dragon, who she now knows to be her mother, fly to the aid of Cipal. Though they put up a valiant fight, Susurrus fatally wounds Cinta, whose final act is to entrust her powers to her daughter. As she quakes with Fury and despair, Frey's true potential is awakened, and she and Susurrus said about each other with renewed fury. Just went all seems lost, Frey turns the tables on Susurrus and absorbs him into her body, trapping him once more. Peace has finally returned to Cipal—though at what cost?
Chapter 13: New Beginnings Sometime has passed since Frey's battle with Susurrus, and while the Break has been driven from Cipal, most of Athia remains shrouded in corruption.

As she gazes out from a top the Tower of Binnoi, she laments the fact that she doesn't know how to rid the rest of Athia of it's seemingly incurable Affliction. She was off to continue her work until the problem is finally solved by becoming a so-called "Breakwarden"—whether her closest companion likes it or not.

Chapter 1: Attachments Mere days before Christmas, Frey finds herself in court facing a charge of grand larceny. Luckily for her, Judge Maya Bird decides to give her one last chance, and grants her a conditional release.

Her relief is short-lived, however. She is cornered on the way home by the very gang that ordered her to perform the crime she was arrested for. She manages to escape their clutches and finds her way home, but they eventually track her down. That night, they set fire to the building where she lives, and Frey loses nearly everything she owns.

Utterly defeated, she makes her way to the Holland Tunnel—the place where she was abandoned nearly twenty-one years before. But just as she's about to give in to despair, a glint of light catches her eye. It's a bracelet—and a valuable-looking one at that...

Chapter 2: Stuck The moment Frey picks up the bracelet, she finds herself transported to another world: Athia. And as if that weren't surprising enough, the bracelet turns out to be capable of speech. She's barely had time to adjust to what's happening before finding herself attacked by a dragon, but with the aid of Cuff—her new wrist-bound companion— she manages to make her escape..

She eventually arrives at the city of Cipal, where she's promptly taken into custody and escorted to yet another courtroom. The fearful locals initially seem perilously close to ordering her execution, but are convinced to show Mercy by a young woman named Auden Keen, and decide to lock her up in the tower of Bonnoi instead.

Chapter 3: The Interloper With Auden's help, Frey manages to escape the Tower of Binnoi. The two women strike a deal—Frey will retrieve Auden's father's journals in exchange for information that may help her get home.

She sets out for a Cognoscents' Guild in Praenost in search of them, and once there, not only does she find what she's looking for, but Robian—Auden's long-since-presumed-dead father—as well.

They return to Cipal together to find Tanta Sila attacking the City. The orphan Olevia is tragically killed in the ensuing violence, and as Frey clutches her young friends lifeless body, she vows to make Sila pay.

Chapter 4: What Must Be Done Frey heads to the archives on Auden's recommendation to see if she can learn more about Sila. There, she meets Johedy, the archivist, who hands are a floor plan of Praenost Castle.

While heading for the castle, she is caught up in a Breakstorm, but thankfully manages to find a cave in which she rides out the danger. Once safely inside, she is finally overcome by rage and despair, and spends the night dreading the events the next day will bring.

Chapter 5: Might and Main The morning after the Breakstorm, a bickering Frey and Cuff set out on the last leg of the journey to Praenost Castle. Finding a way inside is an easy, but they eventually arrive in a portrait-lined corridor outside the throne room.

The Tanta of Strength awaits within, and a pitched battle ensues, in which Frey is very nearly overcome by Sila's supernatural strength. Somehow, though, she manages to prevail, and the mad Tanta is deposed at last.

Chapter 6: Damned If You Do... Despite having succeeded in avenging Olevia's death, Frey can't shake the sense that she's done something wrong. Nonetheless, she returns to Cipal to find herself held as a hero. The townpeople's celebrations are at their height when the city is suddenly invaded by the Break. Frey is severely injured in the chaos that ensues, and ultimately loses consciousness in the Council's makeshift Infirmary.
Chapter 7: The Hue of Blue Frey is tormented by horrific Nightmares of the people around her becoming Broken. Unable to Bear the burden of her guilt, she resolves to get home as soon as she can, and seeks out Robian's assistance. To her Chagrin, she finds that he's in no condition to talk, and is barely making sense as the effects of the Break continue to worsen.

A desperate Frey sets out to look for more ballow resin in the hope that it might cure him, or at least stop him from getting worse. As She searches for the right trees, Cuff tries to convince her that Cipal won't be safe until Tanta Prav is killed. Frey is reluctant to take another life, but decides that perhaps Prav will listen to reason...

Chapter 8: The Truth Will Out And yet another courtroom—this time accused of Tantacide—Frey attempts to convince Prav that she was justified and killing Sila. Prav will not listen to reason, however, and demands that Frey prove her innocence by submitting herself to a Trial by Water. She survives the Trial, but to no avail—Prav's mind is fractured, and she resolves to kill Frey anyway.

After a long and grueling battle, Feay finally emergency the victor. And with her dying breath, Prav calls her..."Child of Cinta"...

Chapter 9: Breaking Point Still reeling at the Revelation that she might be Tanta Cinta's daughter, Frey rushes back to Cipal, desperate to save Robian and get some answers about her past

But she arrives to find that her efforts are too little, too late. Heartbroken at the old man's passing, she's left to ponder her path forward alone...

Cinta's Power "Tanta Cinta, may her name be praised, is blessed with the extraordinary ability to nurture life itself. This power goes beyond her acts of healing, which in and of themselves have saved more of our sick than can possibly be enumerated. She is capable of communing with nature itself, and transforming the very world around her. Altering the composition of Junoon's native herbs to give them medicinal properties, for example, or amplifying the effects of various plants and fungi, thereby enabling us to brew the most astonishing elixirs.

And, as if that were not wonder enough--"

Cognoscents' Guild The Cognoscents are a group of elite Scholars originally found in visoria, and tasked with collecting and collating all of atheist knowledge so that it might be put to use in service of the people.

Though originally based in a relatively humble underground facility beneath their homeland, their operations quickly expanded, and the great towers, or Guilds, for which they are known today soon sprang up across the land. At the height of the organization's power, there were as many as thirty guilds and three hundred scholars in total. They were revered as benevolent and knowledgeable savants, a reputation which also earned this exclusive fellowship its name.

Crater Not a trace remains of the nursery Cinta once built for baby Alfre on this very spot.

Cinta struggled valiantly throughout her pregnancy to withstand the effects Susurrus had on her mind and body. Out of sheer desperation to protect her child, she finally succeeded in giving birth to Frey safely—but the trauma took its toll, and her weekend body finally succumbed to the Demon's Power. The immense energy that was released when Cinta transformed into a dragon split the very land asunder.

Fake New York An elaborately imagined facsimile of New York conjured up by Tanta Olas with the intention of trapping Frey forever.

Olas exploited Frey's hopes, desires, and dreams so effectively that she might have stayed there had it not been for Cuff's untiring efforts to make her see sense.

Familiar Statues Ordinary Athians built these monuments to the Tantas' adorable catlike familiars.

They were erected in places known to be frequented by these much-loved beings, and it became common for adoring pilgrims to leave various foodstuffs and treats as offerings at the statues' feet. The Tantas were unhappy at this waste of valuable resources, and eventually inscribed warnings not to feed their familiars into the statues themselves.

Founts of Blessing: Conduits of Souls "The Founts of Blessing are direct conduits to Svargana—the Wellspring—wherein The Souls of the Tantas sleep for all eternity.

The energy which flows from within them is the selfsame energy that gave rise to all life in Athia, and by which the Tantas have been granted the powers that enable them to guide and govern the people since time immemorial. Little wonder, then, that they, like the Tantas, are considered sacred."

Frey's Choice Frey's journey across Athia to learn the truth of her past ends when Cinta presents her with a choice: Will she returned to New York and Homer? Or will she stay in Athia and protect the people from Susurrus? Either choice would fill Cinta with both relief and some sorrow—she is just as much Frey's mother as she is a Tanta of Athia. All she can do is hope that her daughter chooses what's best for her—only Frey can make the final decision.
Guiding Light A glowing ball of light that shows Frey where to go next as she learns the truth about what happened in Athia 21 years ago.

What she doesn't know is that the light was left by her very own mother. Cinta knew that a day would come when Frey would need to learn the truth, and thus left her a beacon in order to help her find her way.

Junoon Castle The majestic white walls of Tanta Cinta's former residence once stood as proud testament to the people of Junoon's devotion to perfection in all aspects of the arts. Sadly, the castle has now fallen into disrepair, and barely a trace remains of the beautiful physic gardens for which the realm was once renowned. The ground near the castle has been shattered as if by a giant impact—but from what?
Locked Labyrinth Altars These mysterious shrine-like objects were built by the very first Tanta, and can be found in the depths of the Locked Labyrinths dotted across Athia. They feature Arcane inscriptions, and also appear to once have housed very important objects—until someone or something smashed them open.
Locked Labyrinths "Perhaps one of Athia's greatest mysteries is the truth behind the Locked Labyrinths found across the land. It is not known precisely what magic keeps them sealed—the Tantas may well have locked them themselves, as they are the only ones who have ever been known to enter.

They are rumored to be treacherous places guarded by terrifying beasts. As for what these beasts may be trying to protect—legend has it that ancient relics lie in the bowels of each one, alongside writings left by the First Tanta herself."

Lost Memories 1: Cinta's New Hope In search of a way to save a struggling Athia, Cinta travel to many worlds before she finally arrived in New York. The city's vibrancy and beauty left an indelible impression on her—one that she was convinced held the key to solving Athia's suffering. Cinta's dream of a brighter future born of Two Worlds would give Frey her birth name, "Alfrey" or "hope."
Lost Memories 2: Susurrus, Silenced The demon of legend, Susurrus, was once Bound by the very first Tanta of Athia. Years later, invaders from Rhedda found a way to free him, unleashing him upon Athia once more. A pregnant Cinta joined her fellow Tantas to put a stop to Susurrus's rampage, and with much difficulty, they successfully divided the demons power, binding him again within four bracelets.
Lost Memories 3: A Tanta's Power Sealed For as long as anyone can remember, Tantas have been forbidden from bearing children. Frey's existence presented them with a dilemma—what would a child do with all that power? After serious deliberation, they agreed to suppress her powers until she might need them.
Lost Memories 4: Madness As Susurrus's corruption gradually ate away at the Tantas, Sila approached Cinta, knowing she had only a few days left. Believing Cinta's determination to survive for Frey's sake would sustain her, she entreated Cinta to look after Praenost in her stead. It was not long after that the madness took her, and the Tanta of Strength became a bloodthirsty tyrant.
Lost Memories 5: Junoon's Fall With all the Tantas but Cinta lost to Susurrus's influence, the Corruption from their realms eventually encroached on Junoon. Cinta did her best to save as many as she could even as she struggled to withstand the demons onslaught. Knowing that even she did not have much time left, she entrusted the people's fate to Robian, her loyal retainer. All that remained was to prepare for the inevitable...
Mana A mysterious energy that flows through Athia's very veins, and lends its power to all living creatures. Despite its vital importance, only certain very special people can see it. Most go about their daily lives unaware that it flows all around them.

It originates from a wellspring deep underground, and the places where it springs forth from beneath the surface shine with a sacred light—at least for those with eyes to see it.

Monuments: A Power Entombed So formally sites of worship for their followers, the monuments dotted across the land took on a different role when the Tantas began to sense themselves succumbing to the Corruption. Determined not to let their people come to harm, each sealed away a part of her powers in the sacred stones. This was done not out of despair, but in the hope that one day a worthy successor might make use of the sorcery sealed within to save Athia in its time of need.
Mystic Locks These enchanted locks have been around for so long that they even feature in old Athian fold tales. It is said that someone with a magic touch must maneuver the panels in precisely the right way in order to unlock them. They are certainly convenient in that they don't require a key, and perhaps this explains why there are a surprising number to be found—if you know where to look.
Notes on the Break One of the red journals that contained Robian's extensive research on the break.

In the deal she struck with Auden, Frey agreed to retrieve rubian's journals detailing his work on the corruption from the Cognoscents' Guild in Praenost in exchange for his notes on the torana. Upon arriving at her destination, she was surprised to see just how many journals there were. Sadly, some unexpected interference from Sila's soldiers resulted in a fire in which almost all of them perished, leaving their contents a mystery.

Notes on the Torana A white journal containing Robian's notes on the phenomena known as toraana. One of its pages reads as follows:

"Much remains mysterious about the torana. They make instantaneous locomotion possible by altering space and time, but precisely how, I cannot say. The energy required to open one is enormous, and increases exponentially the farther one wishes to travel. And yet I cannot help but wonder—by channeling enough power into one, could we reach another continent? Perhaps even another world?"

Nursury The room Cinta lovingly ready for baby Alfre in an annex of Junoon Castle.

It's contents wouldn't look out of place in a typical nursery on Earth: a crib, handcrafted toys, and even a copy of Alice in Wonderland. Sadly, it only exists in this form in Cinta and Frey's memories—the real Annex was long since destroyed by the Break.

Olas's Power "The all-knowing Tanta Olas has the ability to weave Illusions more real than reality itself. Though there may once have been a limit to this power, the phantom lanterns she has come to employ grant her a phantasmal skill so great that she can summon entire cities from thin air—cities one might spend a thousand years in and never see for the mirages they are."
Phantom Lanterns Lamp-like contraptions which give off light due to the dense concentration of Olas's powers stored within.

They're unique construction enables them to amplify this power, creating illusions indistinguishable from reality—illusions not just of static scenery, but of living, breathing beings. Enough of these lanterns in concert can create entire hallucinary worlds. Fantasies in which the unsuspecting can become completely lost...

Phantom Minions Compared to Sila and Prav, whose followers remain many and dedicated to this day, Olas has almost none. But she does have the power of illusion. And for her, that's more than enough. Channeled through her phantom lanterns, it can provide her with an endless dream of mindless minions prepared to do her bidding without question or complaint.
Pilgims Devotees once traveled from all over Athia to give thanks an offer a prayers at the Temple's raised in the Tantas' honor. No one knows quite when they were built, but it is certain that pilgrims were making these journeys of worship for centuries before the coming of the Break.
Pilgrim's Refuge These special shelters were built to provide safe resting places for the pilgrims who once traveled throughout the land visiting the various shrines and monuments erected to honor the Tantas. The ballow wood from which they are constructed may appear plain, but was highly valued for its protective effects, and was even rumored to actively drive back evil. As dusk fell, and pilgrims looked for a place to spend the night, it was not unusual for a refuge to play host to an impromptu gathering of wanderers from all over Athia.
Praenost Castle: Floor Plan The floor plan of Praenost Castle Johedy gave to Frey.

It was originally drafted as the castle was being built, and as such, may not be an exact representation of its final layout. The stronghold looks to be nigh-on impenetrable, with walls capable of keeping almost any enemy at bay, although interestingly, a narrow passage appears to lead from the walls right to the throne room at the castle's heart...

Praenost Castle Tanta Sila's stronghold purchase ominously a top tall cliffs, and circled by great walls that stretch all the way down to the town beneath. Within these ramparts, a vast army was once stationed, ready to go to war at a moment's notice. The near-impenetrable fortifications were constructed in such a way that enemies would be forced to approach almost in single file, as no normal person could hope to scale the surrounding cliffs. In a rare not to comfort, the corridor approaching the throne room is decorated with paintings depicting the glory of the Tantas in their heyday.
Prav's Power "Tanta Prav commands gravity itself, and with it, all that falls under its influence. She need not even deign to approach her foes, capable as she is of engaging them from afar, and keeping them there for as long as she pleases. Not without good reason is it said that those who step within her sphere of influence have little choice but to surrender themselves to fate."
Sila's Power "Sila's power, uniquely among those of our beloved Tantas, lends itself particularly to the art of war. She is capable of magically bolstering her strength to such a degree that her gaze alone might turn boulders to dust, and her cry shred steal like paper... Blessed with such power to summon a might so formidable that entire armies would kneel before it! And yet, she rarely has need of it, for her strength and skill are unrivaled even without magical enhancement."
Svargana Svargana, or the Wellspring, is the final resting place of the Tantas. Though its origins and exact nature are shrouded in mystery, its existence likely predates that of Athia itself. No mere human has ever set foot in this most holy of sanctums, but those with the sorceress's gift may come and go as they please.
The Athian Script The Athian alphabet was devised by the very first Tantas, who wished to promote literacy among their people. The plan was a success, and before the onset of the Break, most of their subjects could read and write. Sadly, the years since have seen a marked decline in the number of dedicated educators and available academic resources, and a corresponding fall in competency among the populace. The script itself is not actually very complicated, however— a fact that Frey has been learning, with a little help from Cuff.
The Corruption's Creep "As the Corruption continue to ravage our lands, robbing us of our food, our homes, and even our lives, we prayed for the Tantas to save us, as they had saved Athia so many times before. And yet even as we trembled with fear, the Cognoscents told us what we could not bring ourselves to believe—that the corruption was coming from the very castles of the Tantas themselves, and that are former protectors may be the source of the blight that has sailed us..."
The Fall of the Tantas "Without warning, our former protectors became our oppressors. The difference in their conduct was stark and perplexing—they were aggressive, hateful... Warped mockeries of their former selves. Tantas Sila and Prav suddenly trusted no one, going so far as to intentionally harm innocents. Tantas Cinta and Olas vanished entirely, abandoning their subjects to the encroaching corruption. This is the sad state of Athia today... a land governed by no one, and ruled by nothing but fear."
The Four Realms Athia is made up of four realms, each governed by its own Tanta.

To the north lies Junoon, with its rich, fecund forests. To the east, Praenost, heavy with mountains. Westward, the great plains of Visoria stretch off to the horizon. And to the south, the shimmering Waters of Avoalet glisten in the sun.

Or at least, they did before the Corruption brought misery and ruin upon the land...

The Rite of Remembrance This ceremony was once held every year across Athia in order to commemorate the dead. Their names would be written on lanterns that would then be released into the sky, both to show the departed that they had not been forgotten, and to ask for their blessings and for continued peace. Though the right has not been observed for some years, it was revived to commemorate Frey's salvation of Cipal.
The Tantas' Nails "Among the most mysterious forms of magic the Tantas perform is the practice of weaving protective enchantments by painting their nails with their own blood. Over the years, the patterns and symbols they draw have come to be associated with their extraordinary effects, leading many to adapt them for use as good-luck charms or wards against evil. Of course, without the sacred blood of the Tantas, these imperfect imitations amount to little more than scribbles."
The Tantas The powerful sorceresses who once ruled over Athia's four realms.

Each embodied a different virtue, which in turn shaped how they chose to rule. They were much loved by the people of Athia, who enjoyed lives of plenty under their guidance, but according to Cuff, all was not necessarily as harmonious as it might have seemed on the surface...

Visoria Castle Tanta Olas's citadel juts up from the depths of a great hole in the ground to tower over the plains of Visoria.

Once known as the home of all Athia's knowledge, it's head-spinning heights are filled from top to bottom with books, most of which were written by Cognoscents—her faithful array of scholars and scribes. A huge impact of some kind has smashed through the uppermost layers, leaving the throne room stranded somewhere in the castle beneath.

Name Description
A New Government The germ of the idea for Cipal's current mode of governance began to form when Councilwoman Bellette was first fleeing Avoalet. Seeing the chaos around her, she realized that a set of guiding principles would be needed if she and her fellow refugees were to remain united in the absence of the Tantas. Of course, even suggesting such a thing to those still loyal to their beloved leaders was tantamount to heresy, and the council's early years were fought with discord and difficulties.
A Rare Celebration When Frey returned to Cipal after killing Tanta Sila, she found the townspeople holding a party, elated by her triumph. To the long-beleaguered locals, Frey's success was the first real reason they'd had to celebrate after over two decades of living in misery and fear. The city's normally strict food rationing rules were loosened for this special occasion, resulting in a spread the likes of which many young Cipal residents had never seen before.
A Thoughtful Thank-You A flower specially selected for Frey by Treahy from a bouquet presented to him by the children of Cipal. Treahy's unswerving dedication to educating Athia's youth can largely be attributed to Tanta Olas's influence. Though his memories of her are hazy, her teachings appear to have remained firmly implanted in his subconscious. He has great hopes for the next generation of Athians, and would dearly love for Frey to play a part in the shaping of their fertile young minds.
A Tiny Key A small, unadorned key given to Frey by Jennesh.

She doesn't know what it opens, but he clearly wanted her to have it for a reason.

Animal Bone A piece of bone someone gives Frey while she was searching for Robian. It appears to have been part of the unnerving headdress he was wearing when she first met him at the Cognoscents' Guild in Praenost. A closer look reveals it not to be as crude as it might initially appear—it has been meticulously filed into its current shape, and decorated with intricate carvings.
Auden's "Cooking" Arden may be talented at many things, but cooking isn't one of them. She did once enjoy being in the kitchen, but the less than enthusiastic reaction to her...creations seem to have dampened her enthusiasm over time.

It's not entirely her fault, though. Her mother was a very practical woman, and not given to enjoyment of things for their own sake—hardly an inspiring start for a budding culinary artiste.

Auden's Hood The hood Auden gave Frey to wear when she breaks her out of the Tower of Bennoi.

In a city as small as Cipal, any unfamiliar face would stand out as suspicious, hence the need for such a precaution period but while it's helpful, it certainly isn't comfortable—cloth isn't easy to come by in Cipal, and the scraps it was made from are very rough indeed.

Beautiful Bouquet A bunch of flowers Fray received from the children of Cipal as a thank-you for protecting the city. The bright red blooms were all grown within the walls of Cipal, and the neatness of the presentation suggests that a kindly adult probably lent a helping hand.
Cipal The last bastion of humanity in a world ravaged by the Break.

Cipal was founded as an independent territory beyond the jurisdiction of any single one of Athia's realms. As its primary purpose was to act as a neutral place for the four Tantas to meet, it was very quiet for most of the year, with no more than a few hundred residents. However, as the Break continued to spread, and increasing numbers of people fled their homes in terror, the city soon found itself overrun with tens of thousands of refugees.

Today, Cipal is divided into the upper and lower cities. While the rations the Council provides are distributed evenly between both districts, the discrepancy between the two in terms of quality of life is hard to ignore.

Crest of the Guards A badge bearing the symbol of the city guard, presented to Frey by Milia on behalf of the defenders of Cipal.

The Crest is the symbol of the guards' solemn dedication to protecting the people of the city—a duty that they strive to perform to the best of their ability every single day. After witnessing Frey's heroism, Milia and her fellow guards specially requested Dax's permission to make Frey an honorary member, a title that they all—Dax included—felt that she had more than earned.

Cviceni Square The square in Upper Cipal where the mausoleum is located. Well it is much quieter than Obrana Square, it once played a central role in Athian culture, as it was where the annual Right of Remembrance was held. People from every Realm in Athia would gather to pay their respects to the dead in this moving ceremony. Nowadays, the most activity the square sees is Dax's drills with the city guard.
Handmade Bookmark A bookmark Auden made for her parents as a child. It features a drawing of the Keen family, as well as a heartfelt "I love you!" scrawled on the back.

While the many years have passed since its creation have left it somewhat discolored, it's in remarkably good condition for its age—probably due to the painstaking care with which it has been treated.

Harkiska Grove This land was one set aside for locals to cultivate their own produce. In the years since the Break arrived, however, it has been transformed into a larger scale operation that can provide enough vegetables and medicinal herbs for the entire city. The calming Greenery also makes it a popular destination for a contemplative stroll.

All the produce harvested here is taken to a storehouse in Upper Cipal, where officials determine how it should be distributed between the various parts of the City.

In the center stands a great ballow tree, a sacred symbol deeply revered by the people of Athia.

Jennesh's Diary A journal that offers some insight into the events surrounding the fall of Junoon, as observed by Jennesh. It was once kept locked to maintain its author's privacy, but time has rendered the locking mechanism useless.

While Jennesh strove to maintain a dispassionate air in his writing, the pain and anger he experienced at witnessing the crumbling of his homeland and his Tanta's pregnancy and subsequent disappearance shine through regardless.

Just a Knife Eleph's actual knife was disposed of by a well-meaning auger's aid, but Frey was able to find it and return it to its troubled owner. Though Eleph seemingly has yet to decide how he feels about Frey, witnessing his inner torment reminded her of just how many lives the Greak has affected, and how many remain for her to protect. This otherwise unremarkable knife serves as a reminder of that important lesson.
Kiski Meadow While this peaceful pasture, with its free-roaming sheep, might be relaxing in another setting, it's proximity to the city graveyard lends it an eerie air that keeps most visitors at bay. Meat is hard to come by in Cipal these days, and despite trying to increase output, all attempts have been met with misfortune of one kind or another—be it disease or outright theft.
Map of Athia Given to Frey by Auden, this detailed map depicts all four of Athia's Realms: Junoon, Praenost, Avoalet, and Visoria. And in the very center sits Cipal. Before the coming of the Break, people traveled freely throughout these lands, but those days are now over, and no one knows what has become of the places this map depicts.
Medical Textbook This weathered medical textbook has clearly seen a lot of use over the years. The writing is still just about legible, but it's largely incomprehensible to anyone unfamiliar with the field of medicine.

Judging by The Bookmark sandwiched between its pages, Robian was reading about contagious diseases and how to prevent their spread. Given how much he cares for the people of Cipal, it seems likely he was trying to apply his knowledge to finding a cure for the Break.

Obrana Square In the days before the Break, Cipal wasn't much more than a quiet collection of buildings standing serenely amid the beauty of nature. Despite the ravages of time and recent events, Obrana Square retains the tranquility of this peaceful past, with its sweeping stairway and dignified stone pillars creating a sense of airy openness. Townspeople gather here at all hours of the day to exchange goods and information, or just to pass the time.
Odvaha Ore an extremely rare or found only in mountainous Praenost, and even there in only very small quantities. Tanta Sila had her distinctive armor made with the highly prized metal it produces. The ore itself glimmer's bright red, and is seen as a symbol of the realm where it is found. The people of Praenost once believed that it conferred the protection of the Tantas.
Old Lady's List A list of the flowers the woman in Cviceni Square needs.
-Tall Aster
-Junoon's Mantle
-Shore Violet
Partha A dice-like object with symbols on some of its faces. Partha were originally used by the people of Junoon for everyday fortune telling, such as divining the best hunting spot, and also for more speculative questions, such as whether one might become rich or not. The custom eventually spread all over Athia, and partha can still be seen in common use today.
Record of the Dead A list of all those who have perished in Athia's recent troubles.

"This, their names here in recorded, The lost are there due worth afforded." Tanta Prav passed these words on to Bellette, and Bellette passed them to Frey, along with the responsibility they represent: To see that no more lives are lost, and that no more such records need to be created.

Smithing Tools The tools of Johedy's old trade.

While no one has used them in many a year, the metal still gleams underneath layers of dust. They are made from odvaha, and require great strength and skill to use effectively—a strength and skill that Johedy demonstrated handily when she forged the mighty Tanta Sila's armor.

Tapestry Depicting Praenost Castle a tapestry that once hung in the halls of Praenost Catle. It was given to Frey by Councilwoman Dax. Dax herself received it from Tanta Sila in recognition of her faithful service to Praenost. Sila's words on that occasion have stayed with her ever since: "True power can only be wielded by those prepared to see their Duty done." She gave it to Frey in the hopes that it would remind her of her own Duty, and the necessity of seeing it through.
The Archives The archives are home to nearly every last scrap of knowledge remaining to the city of Cipal. The shelves are stocked with everything from old Cognoscent research reports to fairy tales and Sheet Music.

Johedy the archivist carries out her duties with the eye of a hawk, ensuring that no book is ever removed from the premises without her express permission. But since hardly anyone ever visits, the bigger worry is that these carefully preserved records will do little except gather dust.

The Council Chambers The meeting place of the committee that oversees the day-to-day running of Cipal.

Important public hearings and other meetings are held here, and as Frey discovers firsthand, it also occasionally serves as a courtroom. While the business of the council is usually conducted behind closed doors, the chambers are open to all Commerce want to trial is being held, attracting spectators from both the upper and lower city.

The Council of Cipal Officially known as the Council of Representatives, this interim governing body was created in order to manage Athia's affairs in the absence of the Tantas.

When the rest of Athia fell to the Break and the Tantas were lost, the Council took up the former rulers' Collective mantle and did its best to rule the survivors who remained. Today, the four councillors divide their responsibilities equally, and strive to preserve Cipal's fragile peace. As the years pass and the Break shows no signs of receding, however, tensions in the city grow higher and higher.

The Dump The junkyard Olevia affectionately nicknamed "Finders Keepers."

The trash was once disposed of outside the city limits, but this practice had to stop when it became too dangerous to leave the City. Mountains of unwanted goods have accumulated here in the year since, to the dismay of the Council—and the delight of the local children.

The Frey A special drink infused with fresh, homegrown spices by the tavernkeeper of the Shady Tree.

Ingredients sourced from the city's gardens tend to taste somewhat bland, but you wouldn't guess it from a sip of this pleasantly sweet and spicy concoction. It's clear that the tavernkeeper took great pains to put together a cocktail worthy of the new Cipal.

Frey likes how it tastes... She just wishes it had a different name.

The Laws of Cipal With the sudden loss of Athia's leaders, and tens of thousands of refugees suddenly forced to coexist in close proximity, Councilwoman Bellette quickly realized that a new legal and political system was needed for this new Cipal.

Under the system she devised, the Council of Cipal—a pre-existing body consisting of representatives from each realm appointed by the Tantas—would take charge of the city and establish a new legal code based on the laws of the realms. While this Union faced many growing pains in the years that followed, that Cipal is as peaceful as it is today is a testament to Bellette's vision and leadership.

The Mausoleum This ancient structure is older than Cipal itself, though nobody knows when exactly it was built. It is more than just a building to the Athians, who believe that the souls of the departed come here to rest for all eternity. The precise origin of this belief is unclear, but generations of Athians have treated the mausoleum as a place of worship and reflection, and to this day, visitors can be seen offering up thanks and prayers.
The People's Liberator When Cipal was attacked by Susurrus, the townspeople were caught between the Break outside the city and the deadly monster within. Frey kept her head amid the chaos, however, and set out to save as many lives as she could, proving herself to be a true hero in the process.
The Shady Tree A tavern run by a bar man who really knows his booze. Being the only recreational establishment left in Cipal, the Shady Tree has become an irreplaceable part of the townspeople's lives. Auden offers the occasional bit of help behind the bar in exchange for the use of a room upstairs.

It's surprisingly stately appearance can be attributed to the fact that the building was used as a school in the days before the Break. When refugees began arriving in the city, Robian converted it into a temporary shelter, and it quickly became a popular gathering place, which gave the current proprietor the inspiration to turn it into an inn.

The Tower of Binnoi The building in which Cipal's criminals and wrongdoers are imprisoned.

It was originally built as a watchtower, and still offers far-reaching views across Athia. Sadly, that means seeing how close the Break has come to the city, which means there are very few visitors these days except prisoners and their guards.

Wallace's Songs A list of Wallace's songs, presented to Frey by the maestro himself.

His...highly imaginative titles are here for her to use upon whenever she pleases: "The Ballad of the Enormously Clever Person of Cipal," "The Horrible Terror of Praenost," and "A Shiny, Shiny Bright and New Cipal."

Wallace can be found in the square most days, entertaining all who pass with tunes that seem to grow more rousing by the day. And he's always happy to take a request, should Frey wish to hear something specific.

Name Description
Ballow Mist A remedy formulated by Robian during his long years of isolation. The mist released when heat is applied to this ballow resin mixture is capable of slowing the effects of the Break on the human body. It can even be used to temporarily protect against light concentrations of the Break, making brief trips into the outside world possible for the average person. However, the long-term effects of such exposure have yet to be fully understood.
Ballow Resin Ballow resin is typically amber in color, but turns a vivid blue when the tree is In Bloom. It is considered Sacred by all Athians, who believe it represents the lifeblood of their land as such, the act of harvesting it—which causes the ballow tree to wither and die shortly afterward—has long been forbidden by law.
Breakshards These mysterious crystals are often found in areas where the brake is most concentrated. They can cause memory loss and cognitive impairment on contact, making them a great danger to the average person. However, they also possess great magical power, which some believe may be related to that of the Tantas themselves. Sadly, no Cognoscents' Guild has ever been able to obtain sufficient numbers of them to satisfactorily test this theory.
Breakstorms, Part 1 Breakstorms are maelstroms of highly concentrated corruption that occasionally form in places where the Break is strongest. While records of them have been found in Cognoscents' Guilds across Athia, not much is known about them, as no human has ever approached one and survived to tell the tale. However, several reports feature claims of enormous monsters lurking within.
Breakstorms, Part 2 The storms that form where the break is strongest are capable of warping everything in their path, including the very land itself. As one might expect, any living being unfortunate enough to be caught up in one is instantly killed. Cognoscents who have observed them from afar aptly came to refer to them as "the Corruption's Rage" for their seemingly unbridled ferocity.
Broken by Design, Part 1 The Cognoscents' initial attempts to study the Broken were stymied by their inability to see the actual process of corruption in action. This let a group of them to decide to carry out experiments and secret whereby animals would be intentionally subjected to the effects of the Break in a carefully controlled environment, and detailed observations recorded from a safe distance. Though controversial, this branch of research quickly provided answers to many of the more urgent questions concerning the nature of the affliction ravaging Athia.
Broken by Design, Part 2 The Cognoscents' intentional corruption of various creatures led to huge leaps in understanding of the Break in a very short amount of time. However, certain among their number were so intoxicated by this success that they began to lose sight of the original point of their research—to learn how to protect humanity from the Break and ultimately halt its spread. Some even began to perform experiments on the very humans they were tasked with protecting, a development which led many Cognoscents to abandon their research altogether in disgust, leaving their Guilds to crumble as the Corruption consumed them at last.
Broken by Design, Part 3 The original aim of the research in which subjects were deliberately exposed to the Break had been to solve the mysteries of the process of corruption, thereby revealing ways in which it could be counteracted. Sadly, this Noble goal was never achieved, and as the realm fell one after another to the encroaching miasma, the Cognoscents' experiments with lives already hanging in the balance rude to seem increasingly misguided. Some would even say it was lucky that the Guilds were consumed before things could progress any further than they did...
Nightmares, Part 1 While the Cognoscents' controversial research into how living creatures could be corrupted by the Break continued, reports of an altogether more frightening phenomenon began to emerge: devastatingly powerful beings created entirely from the Corruption itself. While some were skeptical at first, the tales of entire Guilds being wiped out by such beings were too similar to ignore, and even the most skeptical dissenters were soon forced to accept that a whole new nightmare was upon them.
Nightmares, Part 2 One of the Cognoscents' Guild known to have been artificially manufacturing the Broken was destroyed by what appeared at first to have been a sudden explosion. Further investigation revealed that a tornado-like force had torn the experimenters' supposedly safe observation area to pieces, and the bodies scattered across the surrounding area were shown to have been viciously attacked by some unknown assailant. Further data could not be collected due to the sudden cost of high concentration of corruption in the area.
The Ballow Tree, Part 1 The ballow tree is a species only found in Athia—specifically in Avoalet. Its unique properties and remarkable glowing blue flowers make it both a long-standing symbol of the realm and the object of almost religious reverence.
The Ballow Tree, Part 2 While ballow trees were long seen as sacred by Athians, making it a crime to cut them down or otherwise harm them, an exception was made when research by the Cognoscents revealed that there would has the mysterious power to repel dangerous beasts. Ever since this discovery was made, it has been used in the construction of safe houses to protect the pilgrims and other Travelers who patronize them.
The Break and the Body Once a human has been corrupted by the Break, there is no reversing the effects. Should initial contact be limited to a single bodily extremity, a person can retain their humanity for a while, but the corruption inevitably spreads, eventually transforming the person tainted by its influence into a monster—if it doesn't outright kill them first.
The Break The name Frey devised for the corrupting miasma that blankets most of Athia.

Nobody knows where it came from or why it suddenly appeared. What is clear is that it is no mere weather phenomenon—it creeps insidiously along the ground, "breaking" everything it touches. Some of the changes it brings about are easy to see, While others are invisible to the naked eye.

The Broken, Part 1 Organisms coming into contact with the Break or either killed by it or irreversibly changed. But these altered creatures—the Broken—were originally dubbed "the Corrupted" by the Cognoscents who studied them, and it was noted that both formerly human and beastly Broken share some common traits. All are far stronger than they were pre-corruption, and all are driven by a mindless and instinctual rage.
The Broken, Part 2 At lower levels of corruption, the Broken often remain largely unchanged from their original forms, but as exposure to the Break increases, mutations become more extreme, and grant ever greater levels of strength and ferocity. Some Cognoscents took to dissecting corpses of the Broken and an attempt to better understand them, but progress proved frustratingly slow due to an inability to witness the process of corruption in action.
The Broken, Part 3 Extended exposure to the most intense levels of the Break can cause mutation so extreme that the resulting organism is almost unrecognizable. Only four such supersized abominations have been reported thus far, but more will surely emerge in time. Sadly, little is known about them, as Break levels where they appear are so high that witnesses inevitably die before they can give more than the briefest of descriptions.
The Depths of Corruption The areas surrounding the Tantas' castles suffer from abnormally high concentrations of the Break. As such, any already Broken creatures that happen to enter these regions are inevitably transformed into even more monstrous versions of themselves. The Break is so volatile within these zones that it will occasionally form a Breakstorm—a deadly phenomenon that corrupts everything in its path.
The Effects of Breakshards In the course of experimenting with the crystals often left behind by the Broken, it was discovered that certain patterns created with a powdered preparation of these curious stones could give rise to powerful magical effects. Such research is still in its infancy, but it is hoped that greater understanding of this phenomenon will uncover various useful applications.
The Effects of the Break on Athia's Flora While the Break's effect on humans and animals is almost immediate, it is much slower to develop in plants, and in some cases does not develop at all. Some species—such as the ballow tree native to Avoalet—even seem to have the ability to reverse its corrupting effect. While the mechanisms behind this phenomenon have yet to be fully understood. It is thought by some that the study of such anomalies may hold the key to combating the menace of the Break.
The Effects of the Break on Athia's Minerals Much like everything else in Athia, the minerals of the various Realms have been greatly changed by the Break. Some have developed new shapes or colors, others have begun to give up light, and certain varieties have even turned completely to liquid. Minerals exposed to the highest possible levels of the Break almost seem to develop a life of their own—a phenomenon so fascinating that many Cognoscents have risked life and limb trying to collect and study them.
The Effects of the Break The Break exerts its influence on everything it touches, whether organic or inorganic, but the exact effects vary widely. While the effect on humans and animals is easy enough to detect, the changes brought about in other substances are much more subtle, but no less profound. Powers similar to those of the four Tantas' magic have been detected in some minerals, for instance—powers which some have theorized could be harnessed to devastating effect
The Spread of the Break A weathered map that was likely drawn by a refugee from Praenost as they fled to Cipal to escape the encroaching Break.

While a little crude, it is surprisingly detailed, with important landmarks clearly noted, and sightings of the Broken carefully logged. Based on these logs, one can surmise that the region around Cipal was still relatively free from the influence of the Break even as the other Realms had begun to fall.

The Tantas' Chosen and the Broken The Tantas each created elite forces of fantastically dedicated soldiers, loyal only to them, and hostile to any who might posed a threat to their beloved rulers, be they humans, Broken, or otherwise. It was no surprise, then, that these zealous souls charged into battle without a second thought when Breakbeasts first appeared in Athia.

Name Description
A Land Lost 6/24/3878

"Athia was once a rich and vibrant land, full of life and laughter. But then, the Corruption came, and from the first day it emerged, it was clear that nothing would ever be the same again for its once-carefree people. Those it touched were lost forever. Those lucky enough to escape it were forced to abandon their homes and flee to Cipal, the only place where safety could be found—or so they believed."

Avoalet's Refugees 2/29/3878

A detailed diary, written to try and keep track of time in the dark of the cave in which the author was hiding. They seem to have fled from a village somewhere, and judging by the writing, they were living in a constant state of terror, and barely surviving on a diet of mushrooms and weeds. The writer mentions Bellette, who seems to have been of some assistance in their and others' escape.

Avoalet's Betrayal 3/3/3878

"As if she had not done enough to terrorize her people, Prav's final act of depravity was to carry out what she euphemistically dubbed 'assisted containment.' in other words, she forced those who tried to flee in fear of her tyranny to remain. And she did so by trapping them in buildings the Corruption was certain to consume. Imagine—condemned by the ruler you once worshiped to spend your final hours in abject Terror, awaiting a certain and agonizing death..."

Avoalet's Misgovernment 2/17/3878

"Tanta Prav's sense of fairness was warped to the point where she was driven to insist upon the same misery for all, forcing those from areas not yet afflicted by the Corruption to move to those that were. And when those who obeyed her edicts arrived at their destination, of course, they fell—either to the Corruption or the debased creatures it brought with it."

Avoalet's Misjudgment 2/10/3878

"We thought the law was meant to protect the innocent. But when Prav lost her mind, she used it to do the opposite. She passed laws forbidding us from leaving Avoalet, even as the Corruption encroached. And she executed anyone who broke those laws, no matter their reasons. The upshot? When the Corruption and the monsters finally arrived, people stayed to be slaughtered rather than risk incurring Prav's wrath..."

Boy's Diary: Discord 6/30/3878

"Robian said there couldn't be any survivors left in Junoon, and that we needed to head back to Cipal. Jennesh just said no. He said there were still places he had to search, and then he left. So he's been looking for someone. I wonder who.. .We tried to head back the way we came, but the road had already been swallowed by the corruption. The path we had to take instead is really steep, and...I'm not even sure we're going the right way... But I trust Robian. I have to."

Boy's Diary: The Journey Continues 3/11/3878

"We were near Cipal anyway, so we stopped in to get some supplies. Robian has a young daughter. I was sure he'd want to spend some time with her while we were back, but he said we couldn't stay. That there were people out there who still needed our help. And he's right--my mum and dad are still out there waiting for us."

Boy's Diary: Ambushed 2/22/3878

"Robian shook me awake in the middle of the night and said we had to leave right away. I was still half asleep, and I didn't have a clue what was going on, but I just dragged myself up and stumbled after him. I heard screams behind us, and what sounded like monsters... But I didn't look back. I couldn't. It was only when we finally got far away enough to do a head count that I realized more than half of us hadn't made it..."

Boy's Diary: Day of Departure 1/23/3878

"Finally I get to set out with Robian's rescue party! We're going to get out there, and we're going to save people. Who knows—we might even save my mum and dad. Robian came and asked me today if I was sure I wanted to go with them. I told him 'Of course.' I'm going to help others, just like he helped me."

Boy's Diary: Familiar Ground 6/17/3878

"We got to Junoon, and we were just coming up to one of those fields of herbs they have there when Robian stopped and started staring off at the horizon. He told me we were standing right where he and his wife used to stand. He seemed very sad. Anyway, while we were getting ready to move on, a man called Jennesh found us and said he'd come to join the rescue party. I'm not sure I like him much, but Robian seemed very pleased to see him."

Boy's Diary: Memories 8/13/3878

"I knew deep down my mum and dad were dead. I've known it all along. So why am I even trying to get back to Cipal? What's the point? Robian's the one who needs to get back. He says the research he left in Praenost to may be the secret to saving everyone. And he's never going to get there and all the way back to Cipal if he's got me to worry about. So I've decided—I'm going to sneak off tonight without telling him. He'll be better off without me. And one day, he'll prove that we didn't do all this for nothing. I know he will. Goodbye, Robian..."

Boy's Diary: Robian's Persuasion 1/26/3878

"We found some survivors in a village in Praenost. They seem to think they had no hope of escaping to safety, but Robian convinced them otherwise. We gave them a map, and off they went to Cipal. Only he could have won them round like that. He's a true hero."

Boy's Diary: The Corruption Spreads 2/9/3878

"We found some people in a village the Corruption was about to swallow. They were confused and terrified and screaming about how it was all over. But Robian calmed them down, and got them together their things and leave the village. He's amazing. All the members of the rescue party are. I have to try to be as good as them..."

Boy's Diary: The Long Road Home 7/15/3878

"We've been trying to find our way back to Cipal with the rest of the rescue party, but some got attacked by monsters, and others were swallowed by the Break, and...we tried to keep going, but we just had to stop. Robian did his best to convince us all not to give up, but... we'd all given up already... And then he said even if it was just me and him, at least some of us had to try and get home. ...So I'm going to do it. I'm going to try and make it back with him."

Boy's Diary: Wagon-Bound 7/31/3878

"Robian told me all kinds of Stories. I just lay there on the cart and listened. I couldn't do much else—my legs really badly wounded. We were attacked by monsters, and I heard it trying to get away. He's been pushing me a long, telling me it's not far now to Cipal. He's so kind... Lying there, watching the Sky Go by above me, I couldn't help thinking of all the people we've lost. And then I was crying... And I couldn't stop..."

Destruction in Praenost 4/13/3878

"A detachment of soldiers set out from Praenost to escort a group of elderly citizens and children to safety in Cipal. However, they were ambushed on the road by Sila's deranged puppets. Seeing that they themselves had no hope of escaping, they resolved to buy their charges some time, and plunged into battle with no thought for themselves. The people managed to make it to safety. But every last one of those brave soldiers was lost."

Junoon Combats the Break 12/27/3877

"And we thought ourselves safe... Reports are pouring in of creatures afflicted by the Corruption having been cited here in Junoon. And now we seek to raise an army to drive them back. But what do we know of war? This is not Praenost..."

Junoon Debates the Break 9/25/3877

"When news first arrived of the blight afflicting the other realms, Robian Keen was quick to suggest that we do all in our power to aid the Cognoscents of those realms in investigating the phenomenon. Not all were in agreement, however. It was only after certain voices insisting on prioritizing Junoon's own safety had been quieted that Keen's recommendation was followed, and the requisite aid dispatched."

Junoon Investigates the Break 9/28/3877

"It was decided that Cognoscents from each of the Realms would be dispatched to investigate the strange mist-like phenomenon that had arisen. The aim was to discern the origins and causes of the mist, and if possible, to find a cure for the Affliction it brought about. Having received reports of increasing numbers of cases across Athia, the situation was considered urgent enough that Robian Keen was assigned to the investigative detail in the hopes that this might reassure the people."

Praenost's Refugees 2/18/3878

"The Praenostian forces retreated en masse to their fortresses, and were beset by citizens seeking refuge. Though they did not wish to abandon their countrymen, they did not have the supplies it would have taken to feed such numbers. Torn as to the best course of action, some left to escort the needy to Cipal, while the remainder chose what they thought to be safety within the walls."

Praenost's Destruction 9/29/3877

The Corruption crept ever onward, out from the castle and on into the city, turning all those it touched into slavering beasts who set upon their fellow townspeople without mercy. Those quick enough to see what was happening fled with only the clothes on their backs. Of those left behind, not a single one survived. Amid the chaos and despair, though, one brave young man fought to protect his sister, his knife gripped tightly to the very last."

Slaughter in Praenost 3/29/3878

"Tanta Sila, having seemingly lost her mind entirely, ordered the borders clothes, and dispatched her soldiers to Villages across the realm, with orders to force the people they found there to battle them. The villagers had no weapons, and were forced to take up scythes and sickles. Alas, their makeshift arms could do little against such inhuman power, and they were slaughtered without mercy.

The Break Spreads through Junoon 12/28/3877

"The fields of Junoon, whence such heady herbal scents had drifted for so many years, and in whose soil so many lifesaving medicines had grown... When the Corruption encroached yet further, it was these fields that the people sought to protect above all else. But how does one drive back the tide? Their efforts were for nothing, and the miasma took their livelihoods and then their lives swiftly, and without mercy."

The End of the World 12/31/3878

The Break wiped out 99% of Athia's population within a year of first appearing, either directly or indirectly. Those who are not turned into mindless beasts by it were slain by those who had been—or worse, by the Tantas they once trusted to rule over them. The scarce few lucky enough to find their way to Cipal we're the only ones to survive.

The Fall of Avoalet 9/27/3877

"Several days after news first arrived of the strange affliction observed in Praenost, the same was reported in Avoalet. Guards were dispatched to investigate a village from which such a report was received, but upon arrival, discovered that the settlement had been all but destroyed. Having eliminated the creatures responsible, the guards proceeded to search for bodies in order that they might be properly buried. However, surprisingly few were discovered, leading to hopes that the majority of the villagers may in fact have escaped."

The Fall of Praenost 9/24/3877

"A troop of soldiers were dispatched to a village in a far-flung corner of Praenost to further investigate the miasma. Certain of the villagers had come into contact with the mysterious mist, and began to lose their memories, assailed by terrifying visions all the while. Their affliction only worsened, and after several days, they had grown frenzied and uncontrollably violent, attacking friends and neighbors indiscriminately. The soldiers stepped in to protect the people, but their bravery unveiled them naught—each and every one of them was killed."

The Fall of Tanta Prav 8/1/3877

"Let the proceedings of the court be hereunder recorded. In the matter of the defendant accused of the theft of an apple, the verdict was one of guilt. given the nature of the crime, it was thought that a settlement might be reached. however, the Right Honorable Tanta Prav ruled that no extenuating circumstances be taken into consideration, and that the maximum allowable penalty—that of death— be applied. Upon pronouncement of the verdict, the accused was observed to become agitated, and to demand that the case be reconsidered. The Right Honorable Tanta, seeking to make an example of those who would question her Authority, carried out the sentence there and then."

The Fall of Visoria 9/17/3877

"The Corruption continue to spill from the castle of Visoria, and in the city surrounding it, death and the disease the miasma brought with it held sway. Some were lucky enough to have sensed something terrible a foot and fled while there was still time. For the rest, only despair remained. They were prevented from leaving, and cursed instead to helplessly await their doom. In a matter of days, there were no humans in the city any longer—only the mindless husks the Corruption leaves in its wake."

The Long March from Praenost 2/27/3878

"The Corruption prevented Sila's orders from reaching the garrisons, and in the absence of their Tanta's leadership, confusion reigned among the ranks. One unit leader made ready to evacuate as many citizens as he could to Cipal, but was stopped when certain of his men disagreed, arguing that their own safety was surely paramount. Though they had been deprived of their rulers guiding hand for only a short while, discipline among the well-drilled ranks deteriorated rapidly nonetheless."

The Rise of the Break 9/15/3877: A strange miasma appears in all the realms except Junoon. Cognoscents begin to investigate.

9/22/3877: The miasma, recognized for the danger it represents, is christened "the Corruption," and more Cognoscents are assigned to look into its causes.

12/27/3877: The Corruption is not present in all of Athia's realms, and is steadily spreading.

12/17/3878: The Corruption now covers 80% of Athia. All investigations cease as the focus turns to evacuating the citizenry to safety.

Trouble in Praenost (3877) 9/17/3877

"One day, not so long after the miasma first encroached upon Praenost, a traveling merchant arrived in the village of Legatus, only to find that not a soul was to be seen. Until he looked up to the roof of a nearby building, that is, and spied a great winged... Something, black is night, and utterly terrifying to behold. No sooner had he seen it then he turned tail and ran. And he didn't stop running until he reached Cipal—at least that's what he told everyone when he got there."

Trouble in Praenost (3878) 4/24/3878

"While continuing our withdrawal to Cipal, we observed smoke rising from a nearby settlement. Commander Dax ordered the unit to investigate. Upon approaching, it was discovered that wild beasts driven mad by the Corruption had attacked, and the residents had barricaded themselves inside their homes. Despite considerable fatigue from the long march, the order was given to engage the enemy and extract those trapped. Thanks to some quick thinking and a sound strategic approach, Commander Dax saw to it that the townspeople were evacuated with minimal casualties."

Tyranny in Praenost 1/38/3878

"A rescue party dispatched from Cipal and led by Robian Keen happened upon a small village. The inhabitants were informed that the Corruption had spread from Praenost Castle, and that they would be evacuated, as it was no longer safe to remain. While some consented to being escorted to safety, a significant number, led by the mayor, insisted on remaining, seemingly in the belief that Tanta Sila would somehow be able to save them."

Visoria Besieged 4/13/3879

The final Testament of a man who watched his parents fall to the crazed creatures that attacked his village. He seems to have fled to safety after witnessing the tragedy, and then been trapped in the chaos that followed. His words are Bleak, and with good reason—he rights of listening to his parents' horrifying death cries even as the Break moves closer to his hiding place...

Visoria Bewitched 7/30/3878

Despite having been lost to a Breakstorm, strangely, this village shows no signs of panic or disarray. A Nightmare appeared, and no one tried to escape, or even seems to have been particularly concerned. The cause of this air of supernatural calm would seem to be the device in the village's center. What kind of warped experiments was Olas performing in order to try and feed her insatiable thirst for knowledge?

Visoria and Junoon "The Cognoscents of Visoria looked on, impassive and analytical, even as the Corruption claimed Village after Village. Many seem to think it well worth their time observing the affliction the miasma brought with it and it's horrifying effects, and when Robian Keen and the scholars of Junoon arrived and offered to Aid them, they were only too happy to accept. The World burned, and they were merely...curious."

Name Description
A City Grows in Avoalet A great river runs through Avoalet. and at its mouth stands the castle in which its rulers have long dwelt. Grain from the lands upriver was sent down to the city beneath the castle, and then onward out to sea.

In time, it grew to be a vibrant trading hub, its cheerful, lively atmosphere standing in stark contrast to the severity of the castle—a fact often remarked upon by those brave enough to make such an observation.

A City Grows in Praenost Praenost Castle was built around a century ago—a great fortress atop a forbidding precipice, as befits a realm dedicated to War. At first, the Tanta would descend into the lands below to rule her people, but in time, the castle itself attracted smiths and those who supplied them, and a city quickly sprang up around it.
A City Grows in Visoria Visoria it's the largest of Athia's Realms, and as a result, the slowest to develop.

It's capital city has gradually moved over the centuries from the grazing lands close to Cipal across the great plains, eventually ending up where it is today. Having finally reached something approaching stability, the city has stood in the same place for over one hundred years now, and has grown to a considerable size.

A Praenostian Outpost An old record found in an outpost in Praenost. It shows that at one point, a general name Calista Keen submitted a request to be transferred to Junoon. Her communiqué indicated that she had hopes of collaborating with the Cognoscents their on research into improving Athia's defenses.
Ancient Altar: Inscription 1 To those who would seek to serve Athia:

Once, the people of Rheddah were our allies.

This changed the day they sent a demon to our land.

It fed on our people's pain, and would stop at nothing short of our destruction.

Ancient Altar: Inscription 2 To those who would seek to serve Athia:

Susurrus filled our skies with fire and ash.

The mere sound of the creature's wings filled our hearts with cold terror.

Athia suffered. Athia burned.

Ancient Altar: Inscription 3 To those who would seek to serve Athia:

For 6 days and six nights, I fought the demon.

The fields around us blazed like last seas of fire.

Finally, I dealt him a decisive blow.

Susurrus was defeated and Athia saved.

Ancient Altar: Inscription 4 To those who would seek to serve Athia:

Though Susurrus was weakened, he was not yet destroyed.

I contained him for a time so that the people might rebuild.

I patched their walls and mended their broken bones.

Before long, they came to call me "Tanta."

Ancient Altar: Inscription 5 To those who would seek to serve Athia:

If given the chance, Susurrus will return.

But I will not let this come to pass.

I shall construct these labyrinths across the land.

Let them serve as reminders of what is at stake should our defenses fall.

Ancient Altar: Inscription 6 To those who would seek to serve Athia—my Tantas:

Susurrus is sealed within this chamber and others like it throughout the land.

I pray that my binds hold fast. But all is not lost should he return.

I am but the first of you. Your might may well surpass my own.

I trust that you will save our home.

That you will protect our people.

Avoalet by Night While one might have expected Avoalet to insist on a certain level of austerity from its people, they were actually free to drink, and even gamble, ad they pleased—as long as the letter of the law was upheld. Among the many hostelries at which such delights were offered, one in particular earned itself a place in the people's hearts for its unique, spice-infused concoctions, affectionately christened "grog."
Avoalet: The Good Old Days A painting of a large, shivering Lake in Avoalet. A small town can be seen on the far shore.

Avoalet's crystal clear water was perhaps its most valuable commodity. Its high mineral content gave it a unique flavor, and it was highly prized in Athia's other realms. It was particularly popular in Praenost, where it was said to compliment the harsh regions meat-heavy cuisine especially well.

Cipal: Better Days A painting of a much quieter Cipal in the days before it became the Athians' last bastion.

Back then, the city's main purpose was still to provide the Tantas with a neutral meeting place, as was originally intended. He's meetings took place several times a year, and would bring the town to life. The streets were decorated with colorful flowers, and excited subjects would sing and dance in the squares to celebrate their rulers' arrival. It was customary to hold a sumptuous banquet after each meeting was concluded, and the Tantas are said to have enjoyed the festivities as much as any of the common folk.

Crime and Punishment in Athia A painting of the courtroom of Avoalet Castle. Its austere grandeur is so beautifully captured by the artist that it is almost chilling to behold..

As one might expect, the courtroom played host to only the most high-profile trials, all of which were presided over by Tanta Prav herself. In the event that a criminal was sentenced to imprisonment, they would be removed to the castle dungeons below. Less important cases were usually handled in smaller regional courts by arbiters who would then report their findings back to the capital.

Junoon Castle: Better Times A painting of a fortress, with Junoon Castle's Majestic silhouette visible in the distance.

The people of Junoon greatly valued artistic pursuits of all kinds. Evidence of this could be found all over the realm, and even a fortress such as this one would have been alive with this sounds of song and laughter throughout the day and night.

Junoon: Foremost among Realms "It is my firm belief that Junoon is, objectively and undeniably, the greatest of the realms of Athia. Its people's innovations in the fields of art and medicine have done more to improve the well-being of the citizenry than almost any other factor, and without the latter in particular, the fight against the Rheddig may well not have ended as it did. We must take pride in our position as the foremost of Athia's nations, and be conscious of the great responsibility such a position confers."
Junoon: The Good Old Days A painting depicting the idyllic countryside of a Junoon long-since Lost. Farmers' houses stand Upon a hillside as a river flows gently by in the foreground.

Junoon was blessed with a temperate climate, and was pleasant all year round, even as the seasons change. The milder weather meant perfect conditions for agriculture, although the region's farms tended to be limited in size due to the hilly terrain and large forests which characterize the region still.

Justice In Avoalet Avoalet was the realm where all matters related to the law were ultimately litigated and judged. No matter the quarrel, Prav would weigh upon the arguments placed before her, and settle each dispute exactly as the law dictated. Records from the time indicate that her knowledge of Athia's statutes was unmatched, and her interpretation of their intricacies infallible. Though her judgments, once made, were final and absolute, very few of their subjects had reason to complain that they had been poorly treated.
Memories of Cinta A portrait of Tanta Cinta in happier times. She is depicted wearing a flowering dress, a gentle smile playing on her lips.

To the people of Junoon, Cinta was both cherished leader and beloved mother. She treated all her subjects equally, and showered them with unconditional love. Under her nurturing influence, the people were taught that failure is but a teacher, and that all of us are capable of great things.

Memories of Olas A portrait of Tanta Olas in happier times. Her come yet piercing intelligent gaze might almost make one believe she could see into the future.

Her people certainly believed in her prescience, and took great joy in seeking out the wisdom they believed to lurk beneath her every utterance. To them, there was no greater pleasure or honor than to hear their ruler hold forth.

Memories of Prav NowhereA painting of Tanta Prav in happier times. She appears calm, collected, and perfectly poised.

While Prav was primarily known for her no-nonsense demeanor in the courtroom, those who had the privilege to interact with her privately reported that she was surprisingly gentle, and an excellent listener. Her fairness and honesty earned her the full Trust of her subjects, which in turn cemented their faith in every verdict she handed down.

Memories of Sila A portrait of Tanta Sila in happier times. Even on canvas, her dignified bearing and warriors pride are palpable.

While her subjects admired her for her considerable skill on the battlefield, it could be argued that Sila's true strength lay not in her sword arm, but in her mind. Her will was indomitable, no matter how trying the circumstances, and she instilled courage in the hearts of every one of her soldiers.

Olas: Polymath "Tanta Olas has authored countless tomes on countless subjects. And yet, in spite of this great breadth of subject matter, two key themes unite her work: firstly, the unique clarity and creativity of her prose, and secondly, the fact that to read one of her books is to be granted the answer to one question, while having the door opened to countless others. After all, as she herself has said, it is curiosity that leads mankind ever onward."
Praenost Remembered A painting depicting a small fishing Village on the coast of Praenost. This was once an idyllic place, where parents walked hand-in-hand with their children, and local fishermen hauled in great catches from which the regions must-admired cuisine was made.

While the scene may seem to be one of breezy Tranquility, in reality it would have been accompanied by a hot, dry wind blowing in from the nearby mountains and a sweltering midsummer heat.

Praenost: The Good Old Days A painting of Praenost by night, in which craggy rock formations soar over the sands beneath.

Praenost was always a realm of extremes, and even now, the soaring daytime temperatures can be relied upon to plummet the moment the sun goes down. Thought this made it difficult for all but the hardiest of life-forms to survive, a surprising variety of organisms still made their home in the desert, and the region teemed with life in the days before the Break.

Pride of Praenost Praenostian soldiers were deployed to fortresses throughout the Realms, and charged with keeping the peace. While in practice this may have meant helping the locals in solving minor disputes, they never lost sight of their true purpose: the protection of Athia from outside invasion. With this in mind, they made sure to maintain their skills through constant training under Tanta Sila's watchful eye.
The Dreaded Trial by Water Tanta Prav once strove to offer justice to those deemed incontrovertibly guilty. All were given the right to a Trial by Water in place of the punishment for the crime of which they were accused.

The Trial was a chance to prove one's innocence once and for all, but so feared was it that few were brave enough to face it, choosing instead to see out their sentence, no matter how harsh.

The Gardens of Junoon A painting of one of Junoon's many psychic Gardens, where a wide array of medicinal herbs were grown for both local consumption and export to the other realms.

The people of Junoon were hugely knowledgeable in the field of Botany, particularly when it came to species with Curative properties. Most families would plant their own herbs in gardens like this one, and use them to brew ointments or medicines for everyday injuries or illnesses. Herbs also featured heavily in the traditional cuisine of the realm.

The Legend of Tanta Sila There was a time when Tanta Sila would have drawn her sword in defense of Athia without a moment's hesitation, no matter who or what the threat to her beloved land might be. Her greatest victory came with the Purge of the Rheddig, and from it grew her reputation as a warrior possessed of a sword and armor so finally constructed that neither could be so much as scratched, and a vengeance so swift and deadly that to fight her was to die in the blink of an eye.
The Medicines of Junoon In the days before the Break, Tanta Cinta was known for her great interest in the field of medicine it was under her guidance—and thanks to Junoon's mild climate—that the realms psychic gardens flourished, and research into the development of new medicines progressed. In its prime, Junoon was not only the source of most of Athia's medicinal herbs, but also its knowledge of their preparation and application.
The Schools of Visoria A painting in which municipal buildings rise above the Visorian plain. The castle, with its iconic tower, can be seen in the distance.

The best known and best loved of Visoria's buildings were of course the schools in which the people's thirst for knowledge was nurtured. It was said that the first school was established when the Tanta of that time ordered that a room in the castle be set aside for the education of the nation's children. The practice soon spread, and with it, the Visorian's love of learning.

Visions in Visoria A painting of a farmer tending to his livestock on the windswept Visorian plains.

The majority of Visoria has always consisted of vast, open grasslands such as these, with little in the way of forest or mountains to speak of. This, in combination with the warm sea air blowing Inland all year long, made it around particularly suited to the rearing of livestock in the days before the Break.

Visions of Avoalet A painting of an enormous bridge in Avoalet. Several people can be seen crossing it, including a merchant hauling their Wares to market.

In the days before the Break, Athian we're free to travel between the Realms as they please, and lenient regulations allowed trade to flourish. Merchants would simply declare their goods at checkpoints, and inspections were brief, if not nonexistent. Well it was theoretically possible for merchants to make dishonest declarations under such lax enforcement, very few dare to break the law so close to the home of the Tanta of Justice herself.

Visions of Praenost A letter written in an almost painfully precise hand by someone who signs off as "Calista Keen."

In it, she tells her parents in Praenost of her recent marriage to a man in Junoon. While it involves a lot of very dry description of the specifics of the ceremony and how she met her partner, it's clear from the tone that she's very happy indeed. She signs off by thanking her parents for raising her, and asking for the recipe for a certain cake.

Visoria's Gift to Athia In the old days, Tanta Olas would often speak to her subjects of the vital role of education in the pursuit of a brighter future. She practiced what she preached by erecting libraries all over Athia, filling them with books containing wisdom from every one of the Realms. Many and Athian learned about the world around them from the pages of these painstakingly curated books, returning to their homes and communities to share the priceless knowledge they had garnered.
Visoria: The Good Old Days A painting of Visoria's oldest and most venerated Library.

The Visorians so knowledge as a resource more valuable than any other, and build institutions such as this one in order that the people might have the best chance of acquiring at so high was the overall level of education that even the smallest children in the most far-flung villages were able to read, and took great pleasure in doing so.

Visorian Castle: Towering Edifice Visoria Castle Towers imposingly over the land beneath it, visible for miles around.

Within its walls resides the bulk of the great scholarly works of Athia, making it a storehouse of Knowledge from across the centuries. As the number of books and the need for storage grew over the years, so did the great tower of the castle, until finally it was toppled by an earthquake, or so the stories say.

Name Description
Critical System Failure 8/7/3877

"AUTOMATED LOG #001

INITIALIZING SYSTEM --- INITIALIZING MEMORY PRESERVATION FUNCTION --- ALL SYSTEMS NORMAL --- ERROR --- ERROR --- CRITICAL SYSTEM FAILURE --- SEVERE RISK OF MEMORY LOSS IN NEARBY LIFE-FORMS --- CEASING OPERATIONS --- EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN INITIATED ---"

Liberation 5/18/3874

"Proclamation Upon the Expulsion of the Rheddig from the Lands of Athia

On the eighteenth day of the fourth month of the year 3874, our beloved Tantas led Athia to victory in the battle for Visoria Castle.

Rheddah's armies were routed at last, and they're scattered remnants pursued without Mercy, until no trace of the invaders remained.

Now, one month later, with the last of our enemies ground into the dust, we decree that the war we have fought shall be known as the Purge of the Rheddig. Let the name remind those who seek to conquer us of the fate that surely awaits them."

Remnants of the Rheddig 3/23/3874

The Rheddig Army made its way inland from Eastern Praenost, and crushed the Athian forces hastily assembled to defend against it. This done, the invaders advanced into Avoalet by way of Mount Triarii. Even as the focus of the fighting moved away from Praenost, Athian forces remained, tasked with wiping out any Rheddig left behind by the main invading Force. The remnants of these skirmishes—evidence of what came to be known as the Purge—can still be seen to this day.

The Battle for Avoalet 4/8/3874

The Rheddig onslaught continued, and having driven the armies of Avoalet before them, the invaders captured the castle, and with it, control of the entire realm.

When they're new overlords arrived, however, the people of Avoalet were not there to greet them. Having her Tales of unspeakable atrocities perpetrated on the people of Praenost, they abandoned their Villages and droves to take refuge and remote caves and Grotto's. And there they remained, praying that the Athian Army would Prevail, until full half of them had perished amid utter despair.

The Battle for Praenost Castle 3/22/3874

Few Athians have not heard the tale of the Battle for Praenost Castle, the greatest battle that occurred in that realm during the Purge of the Rheddig.

In it, the great General Calista Keen journeyed with all haste from Junoon to her homeland's aid, and enacted a strategy that saw countless Praenostian lives saved. Those she rescued spoke with all of the sight of their savior as she appeared to deliver them from Peril, and Tails are still told of it to this day.

The Battle for Praenost 3/12/3874


"Battlefield Dispatch: Fort Fides Outpost

Rheddig forces have made land in Eastern Praenost, but do not thus far appear to intend damage to critical infrastructure.

Reconnaissance unit under command of Lieutenant Dax reports a well-marshalled force of considerable size.

Our orders are to hold back the enemy advance. Fort mobilized for defensive engagement."

The Failings of the Rheddig The Rheddig we're driven from Athia thanks to the efforts of the Tantas, having it first seemed an Unstoppable force. At one point, their advantage was so great that the mighty Visoria Castle fell before them.

How was it that such a formidable foe was overcome so quickly? While it is easy to attribute this to their having concentrated too much power in the hands of their generals, this does not explain their willful lack of preparedness for what came afterwards.

The Purge of the Rheddig 3/10/3874

While official records are hard to come by in the post-Break world, the few that remain tell of an invasion by a people known as the Rheddig, who arrived from across the sea on the tenth day of the third month of the year 3874, hell-bent on making Athia their own.

The Tantas thought valiantly alongside their people in the bloody war that followed, and though heavy losses were suffered, and for a time it even seemed that all might be lost, they eventually purged their homeland of the invaders—soldier and civilian alike.

The Road to Rebuilding 8/12/3874

Settler's Diary: Village of Reeve

"The war shook our world to its foundations—there can be no denying that. The towns and villages in which our ancestors lived for countless generations are now little but dust.

Yet even for those of us forced to build our lives anew, there is hope. Though always taken from us, we are beginning to feel settled Again. Happy, even—though we never thought it possible.

And with the coming harvest, I even dare to dream that we might be blessed with bounty enough to share with those less fortunate than ourselves."

The Struggle to Rebuild From the Diaries of Treahy Duganur

"Athia suffers greatly in the aftermath of the Rheddig invasion. Through the village in which I find myself may stand anew at last, it is abundantly clear that it will be many moons before there is enough food to fill the bellies of its people. Our beloved land teeters on the brink, and I fear that little can be done to prevent its fall."

The Visorian Resistance 4/12/3874

"The Rheddig continued their march through Visoria, and the brave Defenders of Athia continued to fall before them. Villages were raised and citizens captured, and before long, the invaders held sway over the better part of the once-proud realm.

But still the armies of the homeland did not falter. Still they resisted, denying the Rheddig the Stranglehold they so fervently desired. It was this undying spirit—this unwavering faith in the face of insurmountable odds—that doubtless drove Athia's forces on in the great battle that followed."

Visorian Ingenuity 11/7/3876

From the Diaries of Treahy Duganur

"We have been tasked with the creation of a repository in which all the wisdom of Athia might be stored—a memory preservation device, if you will. With the aid of Tanta Olas's incomparable powers, it is hoped that a trove of knowledge can be stored away that might help Athia rebuild, even if the very worst were to occur.

And, times being what they are, are other key task has been one related to the security of the realm. The illusions created by the machine we have devised are so realistic as to beggar belief. It is as if the very creatures we are replicating themselves stood before us. Truly terrifying.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 1 3/14/3874

We received the orders the second we made landfall. That in and of itself was unusual—I thought we'd have longer to get our bearings. But they say where to look for an "ancient weapon" in these dungeons all over Athia. And there's nothing much to be gained from questioning our orders.

This is a dreadful place. I already miss home terribly. I don't know that I'll survive to tell this tale, so I'm leaving these notes behind in the hopes they help anyone who comes after me.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 2 3/17/3874

We've learned that the Athians call these dungeons "locked labyrinths." Apparently, none of them are permitted inside—save for their Tantas, of course. The secrets he has us more convinced than ever that the labyrinths must contain something highly valuable. No sign of anything yet, but the existence of an ancient weapon seems less inconceivable by the day. Sending a report back to the commander tonight to let him know of our findings.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 3 3/22/3874

Received a response from the commander today. It set me reeling. He thinks the strange objects we found were left here by Athia's first Tanta. But he had more to say, believe it or not—the ancient weapon might be contained inside them! Fragments of a legendary weapon, sealed deep within each and every labyrinth! Our orders are clear: we are to gather every last piece. Athia surely stands no chance should we succeed.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 4 3/27/3874

The mission is going well. We've retrained several parts of the ancient weapon. We are to bring what we've found so far to a specific location, but as of now, we await further instructions. I do not know what is expected of us once we get there, but surely everything we do leads up a step closer to winning this war.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 5 3/29/3874

Crisis averted. We discovered that some of the first Tanta's inscriptions contained instructions on how to dismantle the weapon. Obviously, we had to find them all, and purge every last trace of them. It would be foolish to allow an Athian access to such knowledge. The threat now removed, our victory seems all but certain.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 6 4/3/3874

We suffered significant casualties today. Traps set by the Tanta that we did not foresee. We were extricating a part of the weapon, and we were excited, too excited. We lost some good people. Others are badly injured.

The situation is grim, but I cannot let this shake me. This only proves how badly the Athians want to keep this weapon from us. We are so very nearly at the end of this all. We must be more careful—now more than ever.

Writings of a Rheddig Soldier 7 4/6/3874

I am a proud soldier of the army of Rheddah, and this will likely be the end of my story.

With today's success, we have collected nearly every piece of the ancient weapon. But during the course of our expedition, I was caught in one of the cursed Tanta's traps. Sheer carelessness. I was a fool. But there is no point assigning blame when I have mere minutes at most.

My brothers and sisters have left me here. They will complete our mission--I am sure of it. I only wish that I could be there to see our glorious vision realized.

Name Description
Dilys Goldenvoice: Part One "Once upon a time, a girl named Dilys lived in a little village. She was an awkward and clumsy girl, and the villagers mocked and shunned her for it. But little did they know that Dilys had a gift. She could sing. Sweet as honey, and intoxicating as mead--her voice had the power to entrance any who heard it. And so it came to pass that a great contest was held in Junoon. And Dilys traveled to the contest. And Dilys won! She was happy as could be, and the people of the village welcomed her as they had never done before. But the village headman's daughter was a jealous girl, and she could not stand to see the former outcast so adored. She drove the poor girl from her home and banished her."
Dilys Goldenvoice: Part Two "With no home to return to, and nowhere in the world to go to, Dilys set to wandering. Uphill and down dale she roamed, until one day she found herself by the edge of a Fount of Blessing. The tales among her people told that one might offer up something of great value at such a place, and in return receive one's heart's desire. She knelt to pray. And this is what she said: 'I offer up my voice. And in return I ask only that my pain be ended.' and the spirits of the Fount heard her prayer. And they answered. Dilys Rose into the sky above, transformed into a beautiful bird. Off she flew, free at last, far away and over the horizon. And her song has floated ceaselessly across the waters of the Fount ever since."
Meowsipurr's Apprentice: Part Three "There once lived a man of far-flung Praenost who came upon a certain cat. This certain cat was no ordinary cat—indeed, if it's words were to believe, it was no less than the ramiliar of a powerful Tanta. With its snow-white for arranged just so, it turned to the man and said: "Give thyself unto cat-kind, good sir. Devote thyself to the service of thy betailed brothers and sisters. Do so, and great good fortune shall be faulty, or may my mistress the Tanta be branded a liar—for those were her very own words." the man did just as the cat bait him, and from that day forth, performed no act that was not for the sake of his little furred friends."
Meowsipurr's Apprentice: Part Three "The man stared solemnly at the demon—for that was what he knew it to be, with its bat-black wings sprouting from snow-white fur. Solemnly he stared, and cried... 'Awww, just look at you! Aren't you adorable? I could just snuggle and stroke you forever and ever!' 'Wh-what!?' the cat replied. 'I'm the demon who stole your soul! G-get your hands off me!' and the two live together happily ever after. ...Well, one of them, at least."
Meowsipurr's Apprentice: Part Two "The man had given himself completely to cat-kind, and could not have been happier. He wished only that he might see out the rest of his days in blissful servitude. And then, one day his friend the familiar back into the very edge of a volcano, and spoke these faithful words: "Foolish human. Thou has given thy soul to me entirely! And now it shall be mine forevermore!" So saying, the pure-white creature sprouted great black wings the cat was not a cat at all, but a devil!"
Tales of the Tantas: The Great Stones "Long, long ago, the Tantas built spiers of stone all across Athia.

The Tantas' power was so great that no sooner had they decided to build them, than the spiers appeared all over the land.

'One day, these spires—these monuments—shall save our beloved Athia,' said one of the Tantas, with great anticipation in her eyes..."

Tales of the Tantas: The Wellspring "Long, long ago, the Tantas created the land of Athia. As Athia's population group, the Tantas created Realms, and castles, and all manner of other wonders to make their people's lives happy and bright. Their work done, they retired to a Wellspring where in all things are reborn, and settle down for a well-earned rest."
Tales of the Tantas: Their Great Work "The Tantas worked long and hard to make Athia a place where all the Realms could be peaceful, and all the people could live happily.

But their work was so very hard and so very important that they were unable to have families of their own, as we humans are lucky enough to be able to do.

Which just goes to show how much they love us, and how seriously they take their work."

Tales of the Tantas: Their Souls "Even Tantas die, sad though it may seem.

And when they do, their souls Drift Off to a very special place where they can watch over Athia, and see that their people are happy and safe forever and ever.

Thanks to them, Athia is and always will be a place of peace and prosperity."

The Fleeting Dream of Contentment: Volume One "Even forbidden passion, through the Alchemy of self-sacrifice, may become true love in time. The woman with the power beyond that of man was alone. And from this great solitude came great wisdom. The man, foolish and rash, allowed himself to be consumed with passion for her nonetheless. He would do anything for her, he said. Would give anything. Even his life. But the woman with the power beyond that of man refused him. That was not what she wanted, she said."
The Fleeting Dream of Contentment: Volume Three "'My power is beyond that of man. My time in this world infinitely longer. To give myself to one whose life lasts but the blink of an eye would bring only pain' what the woman had really wanted was for the man to find love among his own kind. And whatever she fell for him in that moment—be it passion, or love, or something in between—she resolved never again to feel it. And never again did the woman with the power beyond that of man permit another to enter her heart."
The Fleeting Dream of Contentment: Volume Two "'Then what do you want?' the man begged. The woman with the power beyond that of man only smiled. The man had offered everything, and had been met only with denial and dissembling. He grew angry. He grew sad. He grew desperate. And then, in time, he grew to accept his feet. The woman with the power beyond that of man could not forbid him from dreaming of her. So he closed his eyes and settled down to dream the endless Dream. And the woman with the power beyond that of man knelt down beside him and whispered: 'Do you not understand, even now?'"
The Two Little Shepherds: Part One "Visoria is a land of shepherds. And shepherds' fortunes are made from the selling of sheep. 'We have a few too many, don't you think?' said one brother to another. 'That I do,' his brother replied. And so they set out to Market. But with so many sheep to Wrangle, the going soon became painfully slow. 'It'll take forever this way,' said one brother to another. And having Ponder the problem for a little while, the other replied, 'Then we shall split the flock in two.'"
The Two Little Shepherds: Part Two " 'I'll take half the sheep to Junoon, you take the other half to Avoalet.' Having reached their decision, the boys laughed happily, pleased with their shrewdness. But weeks later, when both returned home to Visoria, their laughs had been replaced by bitter smiles. Without both brothers there to watch over them, a great number of the sheep had run free. The boys learned a valuable lesson that day."
The Warboats: Part One "To be a fisherman is to rise before the rest of the world has even begun to stir. One morning, bright and early, a young boy set out in his little boat, and just as he did every other morning, cast out his nets as the dawn sun dappled the waves. But this morning was not like any other. He looked up to the horizon, and what did he see? Warboats. More than he could count. Warboats the like of which he had never seen. Overcome with terror, he tugged the tiller sharply, and set a hasty course for shore."
The Warboats: Part Two "The boy's boat sailed swift and true, outpacing the war boats behind him. And no sooner had he made land then he began to run. The last thing he remembered was telling one of the soldiers at the nearby Fort of...something. But suddenly he did not remember why he had been in such a hurry. Perhaps he had been frightened—but of what? All after that point was a haze. That same boy still sits out every morning to fish. And the war is long since past."

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