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Tales of Aion - Common Ground - Chapter Two

August 24, 2009

Tales of Aion - Five Part Fictional Story - # 2

Tales of Aion is a five-part fictional story written by Michael Lafferty at GameZone. It traces the stories of two characters, one Elyos and one Asmodian as they move through the world and into the battlefield where the races collide – otherwise known as the Abyss. It is a personal journey for each – Esala’ayni, the Elyos ranger, and Korasai, the Asmodian spiritmaster – from their re-awakening in the world to their acceptance of who they are and what their place is in the torn land.
 

The first story centers on Esala’ayni as she begins to realize what and who she truly is, with each step in the land of Poeta revealing more and more about her nature and her place in the Elyos society. That story can be found here. The second story takes on the tale of an Asmodian and his paths and thoughts through his ascension to Daeva.

 

Common Ground

He sat on a parapet, overlooking the main encampment of the Altgard Fortress. His eyes were narrowed to fine slits, the anger a glimmer in the fiery gaze. In contrast, his breath – chilled by the air of this harsh, icy land – danced in the air before him. But it was his eyes that betrayed his thoughts, his anger.

It should have been a time of celebration for the newborne Daeva, relishing the gifts of the Shedim Lords, but it was far from that. It was an awakening for the young spiritmaster, one that – in many ways – he wished he had never had. There could be bliss in ignorance.

“As a race, we are a contradiction, a dichotomy if you will … or maybe we are just hypocrites. We claim to profess, with the pulsating passion of our souls, that we are a united people, and yet we betray that unity with words and deeds,” he thought, the ideas rolling over in his mind again and again and making him angrier with each passing moment.

Munin had warned him of this, had told him of the duplicity of the Asmodian ascended, even as the elder Daeva stood confined in an ancient ruined prison far from the city he called home because he offended the wrong people.

Korasai looked down at the book in his hands. It had grown in content since his first discovery of it. He remembered that time now, though it had once been nothing more than a dark dream, tugging on the edge of his conscious mind, but still intangible and elusive. He focused on that thought and that time, seeing it again through the shroud that fluttered to reveal more and more of a past otherwise screened.

Asmodae was already cast in darkness, people scavenged for enough to live and there was mistrust of outsiders. The rumors of the Daevas persisted but they seemed like legend more than fact, creatures battling on an ethereal plane for a cause that seemed out of touch with the daily lives of those in Ishlagen. He was in his early teens, out exploring the hills surrounding their home when he found the body. It was wrecked and animals had been at it. Korasai had gone through the backpack of the dead Asmodian and found the spellbook. It contained rudimentary spells that were written down carefully. He read through one of the spells, wondered what it would be like to summon flames in his hand that he could cast, but then dismissed the notion as wishful thinking.

He was a common child, born to unexceptional parents. His father would hunt for food, while his mother scoured for vegetables and plants that would add nutrition to their simple stews. Life was full of the harshness reality of the world seemingly abandoned by the gods and cast in shadow.

For Korasai though, the book was an escape. It was the promise of something bigger than himself in the world, something outside of the rough hut they lived in and the huddled warmth that barely kept them alive through the colder seasons. He doubted his parents would understand the escapism the book provided, and thus he kept it wrapped in cloth and hidden behind the hut. His thoughts never far from the wish that he could be the mage who commanded the elements.

It was in early spring that his life veered in a new direction. His father had left one morning to hunt for food, and never returned. They waited two, then three days before Korasai was sent to search for his missing parent. He found him in a gorge about half a day’s trek from their hut. His father had apparently stepped on loose rock, and tumbled. His leg was broken in two. His weapons were far beyond his reach – too far to use when the predators found him.

At first the teen felt despair, his world tilting away from the banality of their rough existence. What were they to do? Would he have to be the hunter and provide for his mother and himself from now on? The despair began to turn to anger. The world was so unfair. Why had the Shedim Lords forsaken their people? Why had Aion denied the faithful Asmodian people? The anger grew and became rage. Korasai screamed as all his frustration, all his despair, erupted in one long, clear note of pain and anger. He stood up abruptly, his narrowed eyes beginning to blaze with the hatred and pain of his soul, his gaze wandering before falling on a nearby tree. The words from the flame-strike spell formed on his lips, his will bending it, and then he thrust his hand and arm at the tree. He was not shocked to see the flames jump from him. It was far from a controlled effort, but the effect was every bit as deadly. The tree erupted in flames, burning rapidly. Korasai slumped from the exertion. He knew at once that he would have to control that energy lest it drain him too far.

Slowly but surely the rumors circulated that he was different began to come out. He spent much time alone. His family disintegrated further when his mother became the kept concubine of a brigand named Mauq, a brute who mistreated her and largely ignored her son. The mistreatment of his mother at the hands of Mauq began subtly, a few small bruises. But it escalated and one day Korasai returned to the hut to find his mother laying bloodied beside the bed.

The power deep within him called out his rage, called him to a level of anger he had never felt before. Gently he picked up his mother and placed her on the bed, then released the power within. Mauq was in Aldelle Village, home to Ulgorn, leader of Ulgorn’s Raiders. When he arrived in the village a short time later, Korasai spotted the Asmodian almost immediately, chatting leisurely in the village square. The larger man saw the teen coming toward him, laughed and casually took out his sword.

“Ready for some of what that tramp mother of yours got, boy?” Mauq sneered. The others in the village froze in place, watching the drama unfold.

Korasai paused, causing derisive laughter from Mauq. “I didn’t think you have the balls for it and you just proved me right!”

The teen’s eyes narrowed and then filled with a burning redness. The power was there, surging up through him, embracing him and seeking release. His hands moved of their own volition, words forming on his lips. Flames danced on his fingertips, then coalesced into the palm of his hand.

Mauq’s sneer gave way to horror, as he realized what the younger man had become, and worse, what Korasai was about to do. He turned and started to run. The blast of flame caught him squarely in the back, engulfing him and leaving a charred corpse as the flame evaporated into the still air.

Korasai’s eyes glanced around, expecting to see horror on the face of the others in the village, expecting to be attacked. Instead, the people who had witnessed the spectacle turned back to the tasks that had been interrupted by the drama in the village center, almost as though nothing had happened.

Ulgorn approached Korasai, his eyes appraising the younger Asmodian. “I could use someone of your talents,” he said.

It was the beginning, the first steps that set him on the path to where he now sat and thought.

And there was much to think about, the young Daeva decided. Munin, in the confines of the sphere that imprisoned him, had said it best those long days past. “Your past is your past and should only shape you as a person, not define you. Always remember: history shapes, choice defines.”


 

***
These five stories are based on the intellectual property that is Aion. While this story uses that world as a backdrop, it is not meant to reflect either gameplay or storylines within the massively multiplayer online world. Some of the images used within this five-part story have been taken from the game and modified to suit the illustrative purposes of this story. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.

 

Tales of Aion - The Despair of Innocence - Chapter One

The first story centers on Esala’ayni as she begins to realize what and who she truly is, with each step in the land of Poeta...

 

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