474. Adam’s Story: The Lore

For anyone new to Adam’s story, here’s an introduction.

Today we take a look at the lore and mythos underlying my story project. Let’s start at the beginning—the very beginning. There’s a lot of fictional history and made-up legends here, so brace yourself!

Lance Eliot finds himself stranded in the kingdom of Guardia, which lies upon the equator of a world called Gea. The origins of this fantastical place are shrouded in uncertainty. Only legends and fragments of history have survived, preserved in folktales and the sacred writings of the Vigil, Guardia’s predominant religion.

Over time, Lance learns more about the lore and history of Gea. (That’s pronounced “HEY-uh,” by the way.) Its recorded history goes back only centuries; beyond that, only myths and religious accounts remain.

According to the scriptures of the Vigilant religion, there exists a being of infinite wisdom and power known as El. (The Vigil ascribes further titles to him, such as El Enthroned and He Who Is.) El created many worlds in many universes, and Gea was one of these worlds. It doesn’t exist in the same universe as our Earth, but in one connected to it—a sister universe, so to speak.

Looking good, sis!

Gea follows our laws of physics, with the addition of a metaphysical force known as aer. This natural energy pervades everything. (It’s similar to our own concept of qi, and to a lesser extent of magic; Lance speculates these may represent a distorted understanding of aer.) Gifted individuals known as aerists can channel aer to perform supernatural feats. These include sending or summoning objects—or people, as Lance learns the hard way—from one universe to another.

The people of Gea are not indigenous to it, or even to its universe! An ancient event known as the World-storm transported thousands of people to Gea from past ages of Earth. (This might accounts for some of the missing people across our own history.) These interplanetary castaways were the ancestors of Gea’s people, and gleams of our own cultures and languages can still be seen in theirs.

The cause of the World-storm is not known. The Vigil claims it was a miracle by which El brought new life to Gea. Secular scholars theorize irregular movements of aer or cosmic rifts between universes. Whatever its cause, the World-storm left Gea with a faint connection to Earth, to which we, here on Earth, remain mostly oblivious. However, some of Gea’s realities are echoed in the mythologies of Earth, such as dragons and other monsters.

Here there be dragons.

The writings of the Vigilant religion, known collectively as the Book of El, yield no further insight on the creation of Gea or the cause of the World-storm; after these early chapters, its history leaps forward centuries to the founding of the kingdom of Guardia, whose history is mostly corroborated by other texts. The only clues about the intervening dark ages come from myths and legends of dubious historical accuracy.

An ancient myth claims Gea, among all other worlds, was created for a unique purpose: Gea is a divinely-appointed vessel, a cosmic container for… something.

Over centuries, many questioned the nature of that which is allegedly hidden deep within Gea. Poets, prophets, and philosophers speculated, but to no avail. Some claimed Gea contains a treasure of immeasurable worth, or a cache of heavenly wisdom. Others, less optimistic, believed Gea is not a vessel for treasure, but a prison for some powerful demon or devastating catastrophe. Theories abound, but there are no answers.

Other myths tell stories of the dark ages of Gea, filling its blank pages with legends and fairy tales. One such myth claims that a race of celestial creatures ruled Gea long before the World-storm brought human beings to the planet. Ruins dot the landscape of Guardia, predating the World-storm, but nobody is sure of their origin.

Who built these? I didn’t build these. Did you build these?

The Vigil emphasizes the importance of guarding Gea, especially Guardia, from harm, hence the religion’s name. According to the Vigil, El entrusted the kingdom to the gods or archangels known as the Twelve Seraphs. These divine servants are honored in Guardia with shrines and festivals; each Seraph is considered the patron of specific groups, in the manner of patron saints here on Earth.

Guardian folk tales often represent the Twelve Seraphs and their dealings with mortals. Of particular interest to Lance are the stories of Dove Thistle-head, a folk hero who supposedly planted gardens and groves all over Guardia, and outsmarted even the Seraphs in her quest to help Guardia’s people.

Lance is skeptical of Guardia’s myths and religious writings, but remains interested in them. Who knows? There might be some truth in them somewhere. In the end, it hardly matters—Lance has bigger things to worry about!

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