The History of Gangaheim

April 17, 2013
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No one knows how the worlds first came into being, for no creature or entity existed when they did. The worlds that sprang up were barren, occupied only by stones. And so they persisted for countless millennia before recorded history. A single event changed this endless cycle. The event could have lasted a few seconds or hundreds of years, it is impossible to tell since no living thing had been there to witness it. What triggered the event is just as mysterious, all that is known is the effects the event had.

Life bloomed across the worlds, great trees rose next to new seas and beasts frolicked beneath their shade. As this new life began its first clumsy steps on the ancient worlds, a small group of powerful entities formed in the empty vastness between the worlds. These were the ethereals in their first form. If one were to see an ethereal in this form they would see a gigantic cloud of astronomical cosmic power before perishing for no mortal creature can withstand such a sight. The ethereals soon became aware of themselves and the worlds around them.
The queerness of corporal things much delighted them, and they began to name the worlds they found as well as dubbing the realm of the worlds: Ganglaheim. They soon discovered that they could not interact with, only observe, the worlds of Ganglaheim. Their astral bodies would not permit them to interact with the physical realm of Ganglaheim, so it was decided in the boredom of watching the bright worlds to take physical forms.
The ethereals modeled these new forms after the mortal creatures of Ganglaheim, the ones who had obtained sentience much like themselves. The only ethereal who did not take a permanent corporal form was Kimeon who did not feel that any of the mortal races suited him. However he found a way by using his power to create a garment much like a cloak that allowed him to take any physical form he desired. Now the ethereals could enjoy all the pleasures of Ganglaheim, but these second forms came at a price. Although the ethereals still possessed their vast power and their immortality, the condensing of their power into a physical form left them vulnerable. It was now possible, however difficult, for them to be slain.
However the ethereals were not concerned with their new weakness, for they were far too intrigued by the sensations and wonders of Ganglaheim. Using their immense power they created a world to call their own which they named: Olempa. They populated Olempa with the races whose forms they bore and constructed great palaces and cities. Many of the ethereals lived happily on Olempa, while some contented themselves with touring Ganglaheim, and still others left Olempa to construct their own world. Soon, the ethereals began to hear the prayers of mortals directed to them from all across Ganglaheim, for the mortal races were so mystified by the beings of such great power that they began to call the ethereals gods.
Thus began the golden age of Ganglaheim when the mortal races were young and the ethereals ruled the entire realm. During this time war between the mortals was short and had few casualties. It was not a time of absolute peace, but a time of calm when the ethereals walked in the presence of mortals without concealing their presence and performed many great deeds. However, some of the ethereals harbored dark intentions.
Tylana was the most powerful of them. The violent and cruel ethereal had sealed herself in Batoen, the impenetrable fortress, plotting to seize control of Ganglaheim with an iron fist. With her was Necamor, a sinister ethereal who cloaked himself in lies, and Dionek, a greedy ethereal whose hunger and desire was never satisfied. Each of them wanted power in their own way, but were willing to put aside their looming rivalry until Ganglaheim had been thrown into chaos.
It was quite clear that to achieve their individual goals Ovtoy had to die. Ovtoy was the wisest of the ethereal and ruled as the king of Ganglaheim, his death would certainly cause enough confusion for them to seize control. The task seemed near impossible, for Ovtoy was one of the most powerful ethereals and he lived on Olempa surrounded by other ethereals.
The task would have been hopeless for the schemers had Tylana not devised a fiendish solution. The ethereal Evino possessed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He had created the world Serratis, called the improbable library by mortals, to house the many books and scrolls that compiled his collection. Knowing his thirst, Tylana came to him proposing an experiment to discover the true nature of existence and Ganglaheim itself. She gave him a crystal that she said she had found; instead she and her cohorts had created it, and told him it contained the very same energy that had created life long ago.
Evino began his attempt to use the crystal to recreate the life beginning event. However the crystal’s purpose was not to create life; instead Evino was creating Tylana’s ultimate weapon. She, Necamor, and Dionek had infused their foul purposes into the crystal to give it the potential to form a weapon, with Evino’s refinement, capable of striking down ethereals.
Evino realized too late the horror he had been fooled into creating. Unable to stop the schemers from taking it, he quickly gathered the other ethereals and hunted them down. The ethereals, led by Ovtoy, rallied before the entrance of Batoen from which the schemers soon emerged. Without hesitation, Tylana unleashed her weapon at the ethereal king.
The weapon possessed no shape but appeared as a roiling mass of distorted space. Seeing the abomination streaking toward his leader, Toienus, who was revered as the god of labor by mortals, leapt in front of him to shield him from it. However the brave ethereal was not slain by it. What Tylana had thought was a tool for her own dominance was instead a wild beast incapable of being tamed. It did not kill the ethereals it touched but corrupted them and drove them insane. Like the frightened animal it was, the weapon hurried away from Batoen and has not been seen in Ganglaheim since. Its effects however are still deeply felt.
Mass confusion was left in the weapon’s wake. Every ethereal, save Tylana, fled from Batoen. The corrupted ethereals began to commit heinous acts of destruction across Ganglaheim as those who had not been attempted to collect themselves. In the confusion Thoyach, the first farmer and the goddess of nurturing, was slain. Her cosmic power left her body as it slowly faded into nothingness. The first ethereal war had begun.
In Batoen Tylana, Necamor, and Dionek convened once more to kill Ovoy and seize power despite the horrors they had caused. Joining them was Zumontet, who had been corrupted and now wished to control Ganglaheim himself. The confusion and madness of the other ethereals made it the perfect time for them to take control, but Ovtoy still presented a threat to them. However, because of the confusion, Ovtoy was no longer so well defended on Olempa. Their task was still a difficult one, for Thoyach’s death had revealed just how difficult it was to truly slay an ethereal.
Rather than fading away like her body had done, Thoyach’s power had drifted throughout Ganglaheim then suddenly attached itself to a mortal host. This host became an imbued ethereal, or demigod to the mortals, wielding the power of the departed ethereal. While not immortal, the imbued ethereal’s lifespan was greatly extended and she gained much of the power from the ethereal. Thoyach’s power had been driven by a lingering shadow of her consciousness. This showed that it was not enough to slay an ethereal’s physical body; the ethereal must be completely destroyed.
This is what the four of them arrived in Olempa to accomplish. They found Ovtoy in his palace, unguarded. Ovtoy fought well but in vain, for he was too greatly outnumbered. In a final attack, the four aspiring usurpers struck Ovtoy simultaneously. This final attack succeeded in destroying the wise ethereal, but the assassins had no time to gloat. The moment Ovtoy was destroyed, a colossal explosion rocked Olempa caused by the sudden, violent escape of Ovtoy’s ethereal power.
The explosion destroyed Olempa as well as several nearby worlds and sent their remains scattering. Tylana, Zumontet, and Necamor escaped the explosion but Dionek was not so fortunate. He was killed in the explosion but not destroyed. He suffered the same fate as Thoyach and created another inbued ethereal.
After escaping the holocaust of Olempa the surviving usurpers went their separate ways. Each went to plan their own ascension to ruler of Ganglaheim, for they expected the remaining ethereals to remain in confusion. They were wrong.
Using the shattered remains of Olempa and other worlds Mondoln, the builder of cities, constructed a new world: Alëon. There the uncorrupted ethereals gathered to save Ganglaheim from their dangerous and corrupted brethren. It was quickly decided to halt the destructive antics of the corrupted ethereals first then avenge the death of Ovtoy.
The sane ethereals wasted no time. It was quickly discovered that some of them were too powerful to be slain, so these ethereals were simply imprisoned to protect Ganglaheim from them. The sane ethereals swiftly slew or trapped many of their corrupted brethren, only the god of contests, Gammux, eluded them. Despite their success, the sane ethereals found their ranks thinner than before. Several of them were slain by the corrupted ethereals but others had themselves been imprisoned by the usurpers. Neither happened to Morantle, for he was so horrified by the violence and destruction around him that he imprisoned himself. The remaining sane ethereals turned their attention to the assassins to repay them with same kindness they had shown Ovtoy.
The nine sane ethereals spilt into groups of three and each went to confront a different usurper. Mondoln, Evnio, and Chrasythima slipped past the walls of Batoen to end Tylana. Aleena, Loi, and Yin-era confronted Zumontet in the great stony halls of his realm of Mirra. Ami’ake, Kimeon, and Pastoria were forced to track down Necamor for he rarely remained in one place.
Other than Gammux and the injured Medina, one ethereal remained outside the looming battles. Her true name has long since been forgotten by ethereal and mortal alike. She is known to the mortals by many others: the black-eyed goddess, the reaper of souls, the lady of the crypts, and many others. The ethereals simply call her Death. She did not participate in the war, for she preferred to remain in her dismal realm of Daralep. There she ruled over the departed souls of mortals uncaring of other events throughout Ganglaheim.
Zumontet was the first to be attacked. He quickly was overpowered and Aleena, with the power of Loi and Yin-era assisting her, destroyed him. An explosion of ethereal power rocked Mirra, but Zumontet was not as powerful as Ovtoy. The explosion of his power did not destroy Mirra but damaged it, leaving only a bleeding husk behind.
Tylana was the next to be attacked. She would have followed Zumontet into the void if she had not slain Evino early in the fight. The combined power of Mondoln and Chrasythima was still greater than Tylana’s, but not enough to completely destroy her. Not wanting to create an imbued ethereal of her, Mondoln cast her from her fortress and imprisoned her on the world of Viridis.
Despite the best efforts of the other ethereals Necamor managed to evade them. He led them on a wild hunt across Ganglaheim with the occasional fight that he always managed to slip away from. Even when every other ethereal began to hunt him as well he was far too slippery to be caught and held long enough to be destroyed. However a new threat greater than Necamor or Gammux drew the free ethereal’s attention.
When Tylana’s weapon fled from Ganglaheim small ribbons of its distortion had been left behind. These ribbons landed on a few physical worlds and took root. What sprung from the ribbons was a hideous race of monsters, each horribly grotesque in a unique way. These were the demons and though they all appear different all of them were evil. Because of Tylana’s intention for her weapon to slay ethereals, the demons were born with an innate hatred for the ethereals and almost instantly began to wage war against them. Some of the demons took the vacant world of Batoen for their own and the second ethereal war, the war of demons, had begun.
Meanwhile another great conflict began to stir in Ganglaheim. During the first ethereal war the mortal races had discovered that they could no longer depend on the authority of the ethereals to maintain order among them. War and strife began to plague the mortals as the ethereals battled among each other. One of the races, the star eyes, founded a great empire that encompassed much of Ganglaheim. It held strong against the powers of the fighting ethereals that were lashing Ganglaheim. However, near the end of the first ethereal war divisions began to emerge in the mortal empire.
The star eyes, who had ruled the empire for centuries, had become complacent and oppressive to the other mortal races. Discontent exploded into civil war with the star eyes battling each other for dominance as well as attempting to fend off attacks from the other mortals. While ethereals battled the demons to a standstill, the first great mortal kingdom collapsed.
The demons had surprised the ethereals but were unable to do more than slay the already weakened ethereal Medina. The ethereals pushed back but were unable to completely drive the demons away from some of the worlds they controlled. So the war stagnated as neither side was able to do away with the other. Now the ethereals began to bring their attention back to the fervent prayers of the mortals.
The toppling of the first mortal empire occurred almost at the same time the second ethereal war had stagnated. The star eyes had been decimated, their few surviving member were scattered about the worlds they had once ruled. The other mortal races found leaders on their own worlds, but many still prayed to the ethereals for assistance.
Thus began the current age of Ganglaheim. This age is by no means as tranquil as the golden age of Ganglaheim. The ethereals still hunt for Necamor and Gammux as well as engage in small skirmishes will the demons. The wars between the mortals are now long and brutal as bigotry, ignorance, and greed reign. The current age is an age of steel for steel can be forged into weapons but it can also be used to build. The steel age is an age where the ethereals are forced to remain aloof by their enemies and mortals are forced solve their own problems. It was also during this age that Kimeon took a permanent physical form though he still had use of his cloak, but that is a different story.
But danger greater than the demons still lurks hidden. In the great void outside the worlds of Ganglaheim, Tylana’s weapon still exists. Eventually the day will come when it returns to Ganglaheim. Then the third ethereal war, the war of Tylana’s folly, will begin.

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