Unanun and I talked about this quite a while back, and I have since been procrastinating on actually putting this up into an actual thread. But I think it is probably about time for me to do a massive dump of my thoughts on the past, present, and future of Ilium. The Past The change of the world from the world as we know it to the world that will eventually lead to the cataclysm began when people discovered how to harvest energy directly from solar power. They used this to build many machines, and then use those machines to spread across the galaxy, converting suns into pure energy harvesters. The energy from these suns was shot back to Sunne in some sort of faster than light instantaneous particle that Unanun probably understands, but I don't get at all. :D These particles were beamed through various satellites (the most significant of which was the moon) and sent down to antennas on earth. These antennas would then broadcast the power to the various machines across the world which ran off of this energy. A lot of the particles that were directed towards Sunne would actually miss the various satellites, but it was so scattered that it couldn't be used. That's why the satellites exist; to gather the individual particle-like things into quantities of energy that would actually have a noticeable impact. Ilium was a scientist who had been living in the world of solar powered robots (lol) for her whole life. However, unlike other people who were simply looking to make more and more advanced machines able to channel this energy, she dreamed of creating a synthetic gland that would allow people to channel the energy themselves, and to their own will. She believed this would improve the world, and somehow make thing better. With this dream in hand she went to Utandis and the Ghoul Sage (who's proper name is eluding me...). Together, the three of them managed to create prototype glands, which they then continued to research until they had created the glands that they have. These glands were the most powerful ever created, and allowed their wielders to wield near omnipotent power. Through these glands it was a small matter to create more glands, which were notably inferior to their own, but would allow basically every person on earth to have one. Unfortunately, Ilium's belief that this gland would solve the problems of the world by bringing people to the next step of existence failed miserably. SOMETHING BAD HAPPENED. I have no clue what. Right now, it isn't really relevant. The important fact is that Ilium realized that the people of the world were beyond her ability to save. While Utandis and the Ghoul Sage were attempting to mitigate the fallout from their invention, Ilium basically vanished. She used this time to create her own race of people, the Forest Kin, and the forest home in which they would live. To her, they would be the ideal people, living in their own ideal world. When she had build up a large enough starting number of the Forest Kin, Ilium began to spread her forest, and her people. Her goal was to completely take over the world, removing any traces of the civilization that had lived their formerly. When Utandis discovered this he (is Utandis a he or a she? I'm not quite sure...) went to war with Ilium, determined to preserve the people of this world, as they were, because they deserved to be saved, however flawed. He poisoned her forest, which enraged Ilium even further. She created the Riven Tree as her own personal antenna, and with that power began to defeat Utandis. At this point Utandis convinced the Ghoul Sage to help him, and the two of them created a large number of machines (a number of the "old gods", as well as all of the "divine weapons") to combat her growing power, as well as launching more satellites in order to gather the power needed to run their machines. Rather than the war coming to an end with a victor, the war ended because Ilium destroyed all of the satellites except the moon, as well as all of the antennas except for Barvelle. She hadn't realized how much of her power came from these satellites, and when she destroyed them her ability to spread and survive came to an end. She retreated, vanishing from the world. Utandis knew that wouldn't be the end of it, though. So s/he built the Cradle, in order to preserve his life until Ilium returned. It was supposed to automatically reawaken him when enough power was once more being sent to the world. The Present Unfortunately for Utandis, as Ilsa discovered, the Cradle malfunctioned. Utandis died of old age, but the gland was still functioning enough to allow some shit to happen when the Cradle was disturbed. Ilium, however, has never really rested. Since her defeat, she has been working on a way to gather energy that did not rely on satellites. What she eventually realized is that she could use her Forest Kin as satellites. Rather than having a few large satellites floating outside the atmosphere which would send large quantities of energy to the antennas, she could use the Forest Kin to gather little bits at a time, but there would be so many of them that it would ultimately be more energy than she could gain from the satellites. This is what she has been working on since the Cataclysm, nearly 300 years ago. The Ghoul Sage, on the other hand, has been doing his level best to keep the war from starting again in the only way he knows how, by keeping people away from this energy. That was why he helped to found Pegulis as ilium's work grew closer to completion. I'll leave a bit of space here to fill in other bits and bobs of what has happened in Book 1, and how it relates to these guys. The Future Book 2 is going to be all about empowerment. Many of the characters in this story are going to be obtaining divine weapons, and putting them to use. Lut and Medwick are going to be the first two. However, there is a very limited supply of "magic" in the world right now. That is why people are only able to use an advent once a day, for one minute. They have gathered up enough energy to release it into one, quick burst of power. However, the Divine Weapons, as remnants from the war with Ilium, take priority over the people's individual glands. One or two could be powered without problem, but as more and more of them come into play advents are going to begin to weaken and even fail. All that time, the strain on the Barvelle antenna is going to continue to grow, as more and more power is channeled through it. Were this to continue, the antenna would eventually break, meaning that the only people who would have access to the power would be Ilium and her chosen people. This is what she's been waiting for, and she intends to use that power to spread across the world. The Ghoul Sage is going to prevent this by a very extreme measure. He created dragons as a digging tool, to find and gather uranium in order to power an old machine. This machine, when activated, will counter all magic. It all vanishes. No one can use it. No advents, no aux, no nothing. Book 3 is going to be about the players making a choice. At this point, there are two perspectives. There's Ilium, who wants to forcibly push human evolution to the next level. If the players support her they will be able to retain magic, and will live lives of ease and plenty. However, they will have to live in Ilium's world, under her vision. Or, the players can choose to help the Ghoul Sage, a grumpy old man who will end magic forever, but will allow people to retain their personal freedom to shape the world however they please. Magic will be gone forever, and people will have to work hard and toil to scrape whatever little they can out of the ruined world, but at least they chose to do that. Who wins is entirely up to the players, and which paths they as individuals choose to follow. As GMs, it is our goal to try and keep things balanced, and make sure that one side isn't "right" while the other is "wrong". Ilium is a good person. She wants people to be happy, and will do everything in her power to create peace. However, it is her happiness. Her peace. The Ghoul Sage, on the other hand, wants to force people back to a life without magic of any sort. But that will allow people to make their own choices, to fight and war and take and hurt, but also to give and help and heal. It would be a world much as we've known it, with undoubted evil, but with human goodness mixed in. There. That only took a couple hours. Comments? Questions? Addendums?