Prologue: To Prepare for the Ending
Picture in your mind a story. Any story, one of your choosing. One you have read, I assume, or perhaps one you have watched, or heard, or even lived. Do you have it there? Can you list off the characters? Can you break down the arc it took, turning events into plot points to check off along the way? Most importantly, can you think of how it ended? All wrapped in a bow with conflicts resolved and conclusions stated?
Now imagine if that story was merely a chapter. Not just a first book within a series, but a simple chapter. Its main character barely a footnote, its greatest conflict a passing mention in the scheme of something larger. Not that the main character and their conflict do not matter, oh no, they still matter. After all, they would not be in the greater story if they did not somehow matter, and certainly, if the author has done their job right, they will matter to us. But their context must be considered. They are easily one of six. They are one of twelve. They are one of hundreds. They are important in their own right, but the story must be measured beyond them.
Here is a world. Undoubtedly it is like many you have seen before, and undoubtedly it is unlike so many others. It has its politics and its cultures. It has its history that is remembered, its history that is forgotten, and the lore made up to fill the gaps between. It, like all worlds, has its stories. Undoubtedly they will be like so many you have read before, and, if we are truly lucky, some may even be unlike anything else. But all are merely chapters, stepping stones to the greater tale, minor filaments beautiful on their own but inevitably existing to be woven together to form a larger picture.
That larger picture began well before this world was created. It began in a time well before paper, before words, before there were even minds to comprehend and witness the beginning, and so for you, dear reader, that means many of these chapters are already lost and gone. But that is alright, for you are invited to join in at the beginning of the final act. Here there are still a few more chapters to get through in these last few pages.
And so, here is a world. It is like many you have seen, with its oceans and its lands and its people and its beasts. And here within it are stories, with their conflicts and their characters. These things are all merely footnotes, but do not begrudge them that. Meet them at their level, know them as they are, for they are still important, even if they are small. Just as you are important within your own story, even if it is barely a dot within the scope of your own world. And do not worry that you do not know how it all began – the ending will make sense of the beginning. For that is the part we are all here for now: The final conflict.
Here, my friend, is a world. And here is how that world ends, despite the countless heroes and their many stories that make up its chapters.
Here is how that world ends, and so, finally, does the greater story along with it.