The unknown realm of Terra has woven many an intricate tapestry using the souls of all the diverse life forms that have flourished, and withered, during the world’s youthful cycles. Now, as the final stitches of another age are being placed, we follow the remaining fabrics as they become even more deeply entwined by the crafting hands of fate.
Their destined paths begin to converge amid a small, but complex, river-city named Sunnfal; located on the western side of the icy Orchid River, pinned against the Thorling Forest.
The town’s main infrastructure was built as a fort long before any of its current inhabitants’ recorded history. Many of the thick stone slabs that frame the dockside of the city, and most of the surrounding barrier wall, were mined from the White Mountains far north of Sunnfal. The construction would be an impossible task for the citizens now living within the city’s walls to accomplish.
Successful human traditions on Terra have thrived upon the fact that they completely reject the dangerous wilderness outside the protection of city firelights and sounds. A mining trip, or any land-based expedition for that matter, would spell certain death for even an entire squad of the strongest men. Many that have left the sight of their beloved cities never lay eyes upon them again. The rare witness of an unexplainable attack only babbles about people being dragged away by an invisible force and hearing only chilling shrieks.
Being unable to see their greatest threat has been beyond confusing for the humans’ minds, causing multiple religions, customs, and of course myths to arise throughout the years in an attempt to explain and cope with the fear. The most commonly accepted belief is that the unseen phenomena are phantoms of a past society, who they believe built the advanced cities and structures that are dotted all across Terra.
And so, it has been this way for the humans dwelling inside the ancient cities of Terra for well over five hundred years. Since the average person only lives to see the age of fifty many generations have passed by without ever knowing why. The enemy does not attack inside the town walls, so most people whole-heartedly embrace the safety of a city lifestyle without question. Humans will always evolve, or devolve, their culture in order to survive; it is instinct, even if the dirty and cramped spaces are more like prison cells than warm homes.
However, there are always the brave men, (or what some would consider the foolish), that can never be entirely caged. Ambitious humans still utilize the abundant waterways running across the globe to sail about the different ports of Terra. They are always staying on the move, carrying news of the surrounding world from dock to dock, and trying to find a better way of life. Surviving these strenuous trips is definitely not guaranteed, but the comfort of being out upon open water is a feeling that the traveling human has embraced for the last two hundred years.
Affording an elaborate vessel to travel such great distances with is a dream for the majority of peasants within the city of Sunnfal; and our first soul weaved into the fates’ tapestry falls right in with that majority.
His given name is Arin Talriso¹. However, most in Sunnfal only know him as a face, even though he conducts one of the worst and most dangerous jobs a city life has to offer: poling a hired raft up and down the banks of the Orchid River collecting everything from lumber and firewood, to small-unpolished stones. Most people would not dare touch the shore while sailing, especially along the tree line of the mysterious Thorling, and yet the underprivileged man does this daily.
After taking orders in the early morning Arin scavenges the riversides tirelessly, cheating death, until the sun begins to dip below the horizon. He then heads back to the markets in order to pay-off the raft’s owner, and to try trading the rest of his small quarry for bits of food or any other absolute necessities.
Once his tiresome work is done, Arin walks the dark streets back to the western district of Sunnfal, the poor district, along the stone barrier. As always, entering into his single room, wooden home is a blessing. There, sitting on the floor in the usual place, is his eight-year old son, Armon, and his young wife, Elice.
The dependent family was always relieved when Arin came home safely at night. They did not mind being poor, or even being stuck among the lowest class of citizens. The small group had each other, and Arin always managed to scrape up anything they desperately needed (which was better than most of the surrounding families stacked up around them in the slums).
Therefore, within the stone walls of Sunnfal, their daily lives go uninterrupted, and time seems to creep onward as usual for the mildly content Talriso family. Until one day, a few chance encounters begin casting ripples throughout their simple existence, and then spread into vast waves across all of Terra.