I’m excited that I started another setting in the Augur’s Lore universe, called “Emergent Dawn: Fractures of Arxis.” Kind of staking my Internet claim for this concept here, and I will be further developing this over the next year or so at the Augur’s Lore website. But here’s a sketch that I had been working on that elucidates some aspects of the setting, written in the guise of a “Cleric of Doctrine.”
World Overview: Arxis, the Fifth Planet
The world that was remains only a memory, a story still reverberating in various forms among the denizens of Arxis, whose origins descend from beings known only as the Formers. Doctrine states that the Formers, in their benevolence, wandered across the cosmos for aeons until they found Arxis, the world they chose as their new home. In the beginning the world was volatile, cold, lifeless. But in their wisdom the Formers imagined the world as it could be. Echoes of the age of the Formers persist, the present reminders that life on Arxis was molded in the image of another world. The Formers created the monoliths, massive crystalline monuments etched with cryptic, unknown symbols. Though they are long dormant, the monoliths are believed to have transformed Arxis during two eras of transition, known within Doctrine as “The Rending” and “The Warming.” The Formers used the monoliths to draw out the molten heart and melt the icy exterior of Arxis, which formed the planet’s five great oceans, the central seas, the warming winds winds, and the purple clouds. Dense topographies forming elaborate valleys, impressive mountain ranges, and stretching plateaus serve as the tapestry for the varied flora and fauna of Arxis. Above, on the gleaming, purple surface of Maevos, the largest of Arxis’s four moons, the glimmering of the Formers’ many ancient and abandoned celestial cities can be seen each night as the moon tracks in its curved, elaborate formation across the sky.
For thousands of years, the face of Arxis shifted and solidified through the Forming, and then life gradually took hold, flourishing at first, then withering, wasting dormant for a time before eventually emerging anew. This cycle of death and rebirth is crucial to understanding the stability of life on Arxis. The planet could not sustain life from the world that was, but through the Forming the planet endured unforeseen adaptations, through which the wellspring of new life emerged and thrived. Arxis found its balance through the Formers’ careful attention. Doctrine reveals that the Formers ensured all life on Arxis was interconnected, and many ancient texts from across the world have similar stories that claim the world’s sentient inhabitants carry the responsibility for fostering those connections through the stewardship of their surroundings. In the present day, such doctrine applies to five such sentient beings who comprise civilized life across Arxis. Doctrine also speaks of the great Shimmer, the planetary rings of Arxis, said to be comprised of many trillions of remnants of the Formers themselves, their final sacrifice, made to watch over Arxis as immortal sentinels in the light of Proxima. The luminary texts of the Hierarchs suggest that the great Shimmer still contains the life force of the Formers, which in turn is expressed as the omnipresent connection in all life on Arxis.
This connection can be seen in the direct and active contact the denizens of Arxis have made with eyro crystals, ancient devices that contain the knowledge of the Formers. Eyro crystals can be used, with intense focus and training, to project wonderous imagery of one’s surroundings, as well as tomes of ancient, cryptic texts, even projections of the Arxis sphere, with its shimmering rings and moons, and the many distant planets within the Proximar system. But through more than just unlocking eyro crystals, the Arxis connection can be felt innately. Some denizens of Arxis feel this connection more than others, but none more profoundly express this connection than the Emergent–people who are born with a conscious access to a deeper power from within the Shimmer, one that others do not possess. The Emergent display congenital physiological characteristics that manifest visibly, such as through plasmatic birthmarks, strangely colored hair or eyes, and sometimes with a glowing aura. These identifiers inspire fear and fascination among the denizens of Arxis and reveal the concentration of quantum energy over which the Emergent grow to have direct control.
In early history, the Emergent were influential in the great migrations, when the sentient denizens of Arxis dispersed throughout the world and settled throughout the many disparate continents, forming lasting civilizations and distinctive identities. Over time following the great migrations, many Emergents rejected the tenets of doctrine, hoping to abandon the faith of the Formers and reshape the world according to their own vision. One such Emergent leader, High Priestess Emlouza of Korchian, discovered she could harness enough energy from the Shimmer to evoke ruptures in the fabric of reality, peeling back openings, or ryfts, into parallel dimensions. Emlouza used her experiments to surround all of Korchian with a deep gorge of molten rock. The oceans rushed in causing the waters to boil, sequestering Korchian from neighboring lands. Elmouza’s experiments, additionally, had paradoxical effects. Quakes and ravaging storms destroyed countless cities, while fertile farmlands became desiccated and lifeless, requiring generations for Arxis to heal.