A Single Voice Creates Reality
We are the 22 Tyrants. Beneath us were the three Guardians. Each Guardian had a single Servant. We 22 each had a single Champion. Beneath the Champions and Servants were the Manifests. Beneath them were humans. Plain and simple works best for all parties involved, but at times complexity reveals the details that clarity withholds. So we will all begin from the start. We 22 descended to Earth from the skies beyond upon a ship bearing the image of an angel of black stone with arms outstretched. We announced our presence with thundering voices that echoed inside the minds of every human on Earth.
"We're here to tell a story about human nature, and what better place to tell such a tale than on the one place where humans roam free?"
We returned to the ship, the Ravage, and set it free. It sent down itself in 30 pieces, made each of formless Blackened, and left us its head for shelter. Each piece had a body, a mouth, and three heads. Black Maws and Teeth are what they were called. They ate 231,000,000 people apiece (give or take some each) and drained them completely. We then remade Asia as the perfect setting for ruins. Beautiful landscapes juxtaposed with devastated buildings. Truly a monument to mankind. The remaining 70,000,000 (again, give or take) were gathered up and placed here. The Black Maws and Teeth resumed their work. But first, an interjection.
Three things, three energies, make up all mundane existence. These are the three Forces. First, most common, is the Force of Earth. This makes up all that is physical, all that is strong. Second, the Force of Magic. This makes up all things magical, all things wise. Third, most rare, the Force of Soul. This makes up all things intangible. Souls, talents, dreams, et cetera and miscellaneous alike. These three all have two forms, Raw and Refined. The raw states are as follows: Force of Earth has a mineral, Force of Magic has a field, and Force of Soul has a flame. The refined states are more complicated.
The Black Maws and Teeth raised the Forces and took aim at the 38,500,000 who were slightly better than normal. 1,925,000 were not compatible with the amounts. They were overwhelmed by the sheer power coursing through them, and in the spontaneous eruption that followed each failure, places known as Wells were created. Infused with the Force that had been released upon their creation, Wells were where a Raw Force could grow and fester... or flourish, depending on the outlook. The humans that did survive absorbed copious but survivable amounts of one of the three Forces, and, as a result, became Manifests. Manifests were attuned to the Force they had absorbed, and could manipulate it to varying degrees with the amount of Refined Force they had gathered. The process for refinement required the Manifest to perform feats that pushed their abilities to their limits and beyond. Something must be broken down to be built again. 27,065,500 were Manifests of Earth. They were strong, full of spirit, filled with stamina, the physical superiors. 9,472,925 were Manifests of Magic. They were wise, full of intelligence, filled with wit, the sorcerous superiors. 36,575 were Manifests of Soul. They were odd, full of uniqueness, filled with mystique, the abstract superiors.
Then came the next part. From the pool of supreme humans 22 were picked. The 22 all held within them something special. A fourth Force. The Force of Power, of Ability. These 22 were made of 17 Manifests of Earth, four Manifests of Magic, and a single Manifest of Soul. All 22 became Manifests of Power. Each was given a Tyrant as a patron, and each were then given powers according to their patron. Then came the penultimate move. Three beings, dubbed Guardians, were made from the ashes of those that the Black Maws and Teeth had consumed, and three more beings, dubbed Servants, were made from the memory of that ash. Lathe, the Cheater, was master of the Force of Earth, and his Servant was a Well of Earth, unrivaled in the art of enduring. Ozawa, the Observer, was master of the Force of Magic, and her Servant was a Well of Magic, unrivaled in the art of spell casting. Sleeper in Oblivion, the Dreamer, was master of the Force of Soul, and its Servant was a Well of Soul, unrivaled in the art of destruction. The Guardians were told to maintain the distribution and usage of their Force, ensure that its flow was not disrupted, and destroy any who would assault them. The Servants were told to protect the gates that lead to their charge, kill any who would threaten their ward, and eliminate all Champions that they could sense. The Champions were told to seek out and remove the protection of the latter, fight and end the control of the former, and dispatch of any other Champions they encountered. All three were told that if they succeed in their task they would ascend and meet the 22 Tyrants, but for different reasons and purposes. The Guardians would ascend to prove their worth and become the 23rd. The Servants would ascend to prove their worth and serve the 22. The Champions would ascend to prove their worth and defeat the 22. The Manifests were given no purpose but to survive, much like the humans.
All that was left was to create the stage this story would be told upon. So the Black Maws and Teeth were raised into the air and fused together to create a base for a greater platform. The raw power contained within the Black Maws and Teeth were used to raise structures from the floating black mass, towering walls and empty buildings. Scenery, hauntingly false, was added to the edges, a disguise to hide the truth. 30 sections were created, with a single portal to the surface, the Shell, in the center of each. The Champions and Guardians and some Manifests were sprinkled in, with various creatures of Forces and Blackened formed from the last remnants of the Black Maws and Teeth populating all the rest. And so the opposition began between the Shell and the city that would be called Grand Heaven.
And now our story can begin, but perhaps history is best told itself.