What Caused The Final Event?
We don't actually know what happened once the portals closed. The only information we have of what is bitterly known as the "Unravelling of all things" is based on scripture, and even that, is limited to accounts from people long dead. I have my own theory on this, and so, I write this memoir, for soon, we will be returning to our home. "Home", such a strange thing to say, since this planet is all that I have known, it is all my parents knew, and theirs before them.
I have lived a good life on this planet, long and full, and I likely won't live to see where our peoples once lived. I feel death creeping up on me, but it is not the shadowy death of nightmare, but rather an old friend welcoming me back after a prolonged absence. These bones ache, and every day I go on is a laboured struggle. Even breathing is a task that takes tremendous effort. And so I struggle, if only to finish this, and pass it on to you, reading this now. I may be long dead by the time you read these words, but through you, my memory lives on.
Long and hard have I pondered this, and I have shared it with very few people, for some are hard to change based on the ramblings of a foolish old man. But where to begin? Surely most stories begin with the old adage 'Once upon a time', but that would infer that the storyteller knew intrinsically what that time beheld. I do not have the luxury of knowing, only speculation. And so I will simply begin with what I know, and go from there.
Since the beginning of time known to us, there were no real and living Gods, only the faith of a higher and all-seeing power. A God that could bring upon life with a whisper, and destroy all in the blink of an eye. Should such a God walk among us, life would be so much simpler, if that God had love and compassion. No, let us not debate what we could not fathom, but let us discuss the Ten Pantheon Gods. All know them by name and by deed, for they are what we pray to each night, and what we aspire to become. So it goes, that these Gods were humble men and women of all races, born as you and I, with parents, in flesh and bone, yet spread far and wide across the world. As they aged, it became clear that while they were mortal, something about them made them stand apart from the rest of us. It is therefore not by chance that each of these men and women became leaders of their people. It was impossible not to love them and cherish them, yet they were not worshipped as Gods, not at first. It took many years until they met, and formed a council among themselves, for the betterment of each of their represented peoples. Such became the birth of The Pantheon, the ten legendary heroes of our past, who brought about a Golden Age of peace and prosperity.
The Pantheon, as they were, had become powerful, not just through the love of the people, but in their own right. They developed magics reaching heights that most of us could not ever imagine possible. To this day, even our most powerful sorcerers have not even come close to scratching the surface of the magics that The Pantheon once possessed. Their magic seemed to be of the very fabric of the world, and thus at a very young age, a very important lesson was instilled into all of us- Magic is of the earth, of the sea, of the very air we breathe and every fibre of our being. The misuse of magic can have catastrophic consequences not just to the user, but to every living organism from which the magic was drawn. The Pantheon quickly discovered this, and thus, used their magic sparingly; but still, they were just ten living creatures.
If only it could simply come to a point in the story of "The End", however, we would not be where we are if that truly was the end of it. Instead, a different kind of "End" had simply begun. While we don't know for sure what happened, The Pantheon came to discover that there was an impending event that would bring about the end of the world as we knew it. They went back to their people and shared their concerns with them, but not in great detail, so as not to cause panic. They each promised to come up with a resolution and then withdrew to an undisclosed location to contemplated all available options to save their peoples. Day after day we heard nothing of them, and as more time passed, the people began to panic. They sent parties to scour all corners of the globe to find The Pantheon, to no avail. As is the nature within all of us, people lost hope and began to slip into old habits. Old wounds opened up and with each passing week, tensions escalated among the races. It amazes me how quickly years of mutual respect and friendship can disintegrate into open hostility, but such as it is, this is the way we are.
Finally, after a few short months, war broke out among each of the races. It is not known who drew first blood, and we all have our own version of events, but what we do know is that the bloody war did not last long. Magic was employed by all sides, as it was twisted and misused, which caused unimaginable chaos. We now believe that it caused the threads of the world to unravel around us, and brought about the "Unbecoming of all things" faster than The Pantheon could have ever thought possible. For while they were apart from their people, they began to feel the essence of life change and fester into something dark. When they returned from their solitude, they were heartbroken and devastated by what they saw. They openly wept as they saw the destruction that their people had wrought upon each other, and upon the world in which they all shared. The Pantheon quickly went about restoring order, and shared what they had discovered with their people. All hope was not lost, as The Pantheon had discovered a way to transport people to another world, a safer world. They explained that it was the only course of action left available, and that time was of the absolute essence if they wished to live.
From this point, you surely know of the great portal devices that were constructed in all the great cities around the world. It was a momentous task, for the construction took the combined magics of any and all with the ability. It was both physically and mentally draining for all involved, and a great many people did not survive the ordeal. The greatest sacrifice of all came during the final days, and this is the hardest part of the story to tell. Even now as I write this it is hard not to weep, for The Pantheon did not tell the people that only they could perform the final magics needed to open and close the portals, and that the task would take such unfathomable energy from them, that it would likely consume them entirely. Their people found it difficult to accept this, and many of them refused to leave. Eventually, it was accepted as inevitable, and the act of opening the portals begun. Many thousands of our ancestors were able to enter the portal and cross the barrier between our old world and the one in which I lay writing this next and final chapter.
My fingers ache, and my hands tremble, for I know that my time on this world is coming to an end. And yet I must push on, for what we know is that while a great many of us were able to make it through, there were some from each race that loved their Pantheon so much, they refused to make the journey, and instead travelled far away. We do not know of their fate, however, it is likely that they perished. We also do not know the fate of the Ten, but it was said that in the final moments as the last of our ancestors went through the portal, they looked back and saw the Ten shimmer, and then disappear in an incandescent light. I must stress that this is pure speculation. Perhaps the last through the portal were overcome with grief and sorrow, and their minds convinced their eyes to see something divine. Perhaps it was true to the last word, and that light was the moment that The Pantheon ascended to the heavens. Regardless of what you may choose to believe, their final act, and their acts throughout their life were surely enough to define them as close to Gods as we could ever imagine. It is, therefore, my belief, and the belief of all that I know, to call them Gods, the Ten Gods of The Pantheon, and thus are they worshipped. Any day now, our leaders, who are mere and humble men and women, much like The Pantheon were, have discovered a way to reopen the portals and lead us back home. Should this survive, I ask that you do an old man a service, and keep this close to your heart. Share it with people, and remind them to be careful of Magic. Remind them to be kind, and wise, and honourable. Keep their faith and reverence of The Pantheon firm. May The Gods watch over you and keep you safe.
Grand Scholar of The Empyrean Order of Magics
Feel free to read the rest of my stories if you haven't yet, which are located: >> here <<