THE NEUROALCHEMIST: A "Songs of the Ancients" Short Story

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Summary

An amnesiac hunter and a rebellious healer are tied together to set off the strings of fate. (Second Tale in Songs of the Ancients)

Genre:
Scifi / Fantasy
Author:
Youssef Abdeen
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
5
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Ø. The Land of Eldria

It began, then it ended. It ended to begin once anew. There was no other world than it. A world of new beginnings, and only beginnings. No wonder nobody came close to its truth. It truly was an Enigma.

Such were things in the land of Eldria, a land that was once beautiful and filled with wonders that crossed one’s simplistic mentality; a land of unity and prosperity. That was until humans came into existence millennia ago. At first, their existence brought the vacant land life, they built upon it and formed what came to be known as civilizations and societies. No matter how one would look at it then, they were improving and forging the world ahead, bit by bit. It would have been preposterous to think they were poisoning the land. Certainly, there were wars that they constructed, but it was all in the name of keeping the peace. “Pax in Bello,” or so the many monarchs that ravaged the land believed, they believed that war was natural to humans, they are innate to conflict. It was a desire they could not resist, a desire in their blood. And so peace in war was to be the only solution — a solution to fool themselves into thinking they were righteous.

Then came the industrial age, a turning point in the human world, where the structure of society and civilization itself altered, be it for better or worse. And with that new age, a newfound discovery called “technology” was brought to the world. It was the new age of miracles, people started to believe that the impossible was to become possible. Although, that was only but the general belief. The technology was nothing but fancy looks and no real substance underneath, it was tied to a chain by the concepts of logic and the natural limitations of the world’s physics. But that didn’t stop those with the knowledge to keep on advancing forward.

Humans kept on moving forward in the name of evolution, but they were only bringing demise upon themselves, not knowing that nature had a life of itself, that it was wholly opposed to their “evolution.” When the time of realization came forward, the humans could only question why, why were they facing extinction? It was only the natural reaction of their actions. The world, the universe, was built with its laws and restrictions. And humans walked on the thin line that held all that, with extreme caution, but when curiosity came, they ran.

However, humans could not stop there. Naturally, when one would learn of terrible things to come, they would immediately seek to fix it. But what if they were the problem in the first place, what then? Well, fear not, they only need to sit and watch the world, nature, punish them for their actions. Yet, no one would like that result, and so the humans seek for a solution is the logical explanation. They believed they could reverse the effect, that they could save themselves from eternal fire, but that only led to eternal frost.

And so the Black Frost happened, the incident that shattered the world and its dimensional planes entirely. Ice with fire, fire with ice; the living with the dead, and the dead with the living. Here, one would question: the living still existed? Of course. In every catastrophe, there are always survivors, or at least one; one to tell the story of what happened, and to continue on telling of what comes next.

Societies fell, civilizations vanished, cities demolished, but life continued... and corruption lurked in the shadows again.

***

With corruption lurking again, the world fell into chaos, and from that chaos, the unspeakable was created. Fantasy and science merged together to create the fantastical “Neuroalchemy,” abilities born from the mind, and the terrifying “Necroalchemy,” abilities that were born from absolute chaos and death — otherwise known as “Magik.”

There was a time when magik was but a fairy tale told to children to flatter them with wonder and fantasy. No one at the time could have thought that when their world ended, the world of fantasies started. At first, ignorance blinded the old era, making them claim that magik was not to be touched, that it was a curse, black sorcery that defies God — it was true. But then came the new monarchs of the world, ushering the old world into a new era flourished with wonders of magik. It was time for a change, they believed.

However, where magik traveled to spread miracles; it traveled to spread chaos.

Nothing remains as it is. That was the sole reason for why humans shouldn’t fiddle with things they desired, yet did not understand. For while there were most, special mages and sorceresses that had the innate ability to use magik, who believed in the good of magik — and even simplified it for the commoners as neuroalchemy — there were some, who desired nothing but chaos in exchange for unspeakable power.

Those shameful and vile individuals were often referred to as witches and necromancers, they differed, not in power from the normal mages and sorceresses, but in their intentions and desires. While mages and sorceresses formed lodges and courts within societies and churches to contain the balance, the necromancers and witches spread their chaos through crazed cults, who were tricked into believing they followed the will of God.

As time passed, and generations died, the perception of magik became distorted. People went back into fearing it, they didn’t trust it, whether it came from good or bad. To the common folk, anything related to magik was cursed, that was what they were taught after the Great War. Evil outmaneuvered good, that nothing was what it seemed.

With the emergence of kingdoms and empires once again, ethnic crusades were carried out to wipe magik off the planet, and to restore the world to its former glory, a world ruled by technology, not by illusions and tricks. And for once, most of humanity agreed upon one thing, the hatred of magik.

In spite of all that, as those who possessed magik lessened in numbers, those ill-desired to possess more magik power rose. And thus, magik truly became nothing but “Black Art.”

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