Much has been told of how, at the end of The War of God, the supernatural folk were gradually dying. However, there is a dark story that definitively marks the end of that era and the beginning of the absolute rule of man; the day that those who walked with us would be forgotten forever.
This it is a story of tears, betrayal and shattered dreams. The end of fairy tales.
With the lifting of The Barrier most of the great capitals and strongholds of other races had fallen outside the world of men. Isolated in Hell, all those people started their own history separate from ours. The main non-human cities in The Old Continent had been destroyed by the armies of Rah, and little remained of them except for remnants of its former glory. The survivors, scattered and disorganized, were either expelled or destroyed by Aeolus Hawke, the future first Emperor of Abel, knowing full well that the racial hatred among his people was too strong for coexistence.
But there was one place that did not share the same fate, the only major non-human city that remaining on The Old Continent: Sylvania.
It might be an exaggeration to say that this was the most important city of the Sylvain, but it was certainly the capital of their nations. It is said that the origin of this wonder dated back to the birth of Gaia, and that the Ilakavir themselves took part in its construction. During The War of Darkness, it was the only city that withstood the attack of the Duk´zarist armies and from it a resistance was organized that would force them to retreat.
Sylvania also claimed one of the most powerful mystical nodes in all Gaia, the Nexus Depranon, so even after being affected by Rah’s machine, it retained sufficient magical energy to allow its people to live there. The lord of the city was none other than Taumiel Ul Sylvanus, supreme emperor of the elven nations, who had fought alongside man against Judas. So when Aeolus began unifying The Old Continent, determined to oust all supernatural people from those lands, he did not know what to do regarding Sylvania.
The young Hawke and Taumiel had fought together in The War of God. They cried, they bled and they laughed back to back, and that was a difficult bond to break. Moreover, that city was not just a stronghold of past glory, but also a true bastion of power that the Sylvain still retained. Even though most of its people were civilians, Aeolus knew that destroying it would cause the death of several hundreds of thousands of soldiers, a price that he did not want to pay again.
Also, what else did these people have left?
Where would they live, if not there?
Therefore, the first Emperor of Abel turned his back on Sylvania and tried to forget it, praying to the powers that be in the heavens so that, one day, both races could one day coexist peacefully.
During the years before the unification of Abel, thousands of Sylvain and other fairy folk traveled to that lost capital, that soon became legendary, a haven of salvation for those who found it. Thus Sylvania remained throughout history unchanged, isolated from all the affairs of the outside world behind imaginary walls, invisible to normal sight thanks to its magic. It was an oasis of peace and harmony, from which war seemed very far away.
But for Taumiel Ul Sylvanus there was no peace. Lord of all the elvish nations and one of the greatest empires in existence, was suffocating within those four walls that he once called home. Ironically, the city that he once loved with all his heart and for which he was willing to sacrifice so much, had become his prison.
The Birth of The TwinsEdit
Over time something happened that was cause for celebration and weeping for all the citizens of Sylvania; the Empress Syljanas Ul Sylvanus, wife of Taumiel, gave birth to two twins, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately, the young mother died inexplicably after bringing the small girl into the world, with none of their spells or matron’s incantations doing any good to save her. This plunged Taumiel even further into despair, but after seeing the legacy his wife left him at the cost of her own life, a sense of hope sparked within him.
His children were special even among his own people. They had been born with a mysterious gift, an innate ability that disturbed everyone around them. It was as if, in that age of darkness, C´iel herself had sent two saviors who would bring light to their world. The oldest, born just minutes before his sister, was called Nerelas, whereas the girl was given the name Sylvia, in honor of her mother.
Taumiel focused on Nerelas, raising him fittingly as whom one day would be the absolute lord of the Sylvain nations. Secretly, the emperor kept hope that that chosen boy would restore his people to their former glory. When he was just a teenager, Nerelas had already outshined all his teachers in martial skill, only the emperor himself surpassing him. Just as with weaponry, his skill in the mystical arts was inconceivable, and he soon rubbed elbows with the greatest arch mages as if they were equals. His power was simply immeasurable.
Sylvia, though inheriting the same gifts, lacked the iron will of her brother to apply them and cared very little for the crown. A wild, fun daydreamer, she spent her childhood with impudence, rebelling against the norms that her father imposed upon her. She was like a ray of sunshine that made everyone around her happy.
A special bond was forged between both siblings. Opposite as day and night, each of them complimented the other. Sylvia, mischievous and carefree, seemed to enjoy escaping and blowing off traditions. And it was surprising that she could always tangle Nerelas up with her in some way, putting her brother in all sorts of trouble. However, the young boy always tried to protect his sister from any trouble, and he didn’t care how severe or hard they punished him as long as Sylvia did not have to suffer through the same thing.
These were definitely days full of hope, where the citizens of the city blissfully wished that those happy times would never end. But like all dreams, the moment to awaken would soon arrive.
The Days of AwakeningEdit
Just over a century later, around the year 899, two strangers appeared in the middle of Sylvania’s imperial palace, much to the surprise and stupefaction of the guards. For the first time in centuries since the borders of Sylvania were closed, some strangers had forced passage through the invisible walls of the city. They arrived effortlessly; as if they were no more than kids entertaining themselves with harmless toys, they broke through the formidable imperial security until they reached the throne room. Taumiel himself had never witnessed a demonstration of power like this since The War of God; they were like living gods.
As Taumiel and Nerelas were preparing to stop them in person, upon coming face to face with them the strangers (who until then had no defined shape) appeared as a beautiful woman with long black hair and her silent companion. To the surprise of the Emperor and his son, the intruders respectfully bowed to them, requesting shelter in Sylvania. The woman explained that she too was a prisoner in the world in a way, and in exchange for the Emperor’s help she would grant him what nobody else had: “the power to change the truth of this world.” Taumiel was befuddled by these words and over the next few days held long conversations with her. Overwhelmed, he discovered the existence of the Powers in the Shadows with cold hatred and how they had forever stolen the world that he knew.
The anger that began to gnaw away at him from within culminated when the mysterious woman offered to help him recover everything that he had lost, putting the power to sunder the heavens themselves within his reach. She secretly gave him a strange piece of black metal, and together they began various experiments with the intention of creating things never before seen in the world.
Surreptitiously, without the people of Sylvania being aware of what was brewing, Taumiel’s agents ventured out into the world looking for remnants of the Lost Logias and abducting certain individuals to use as guinea pigs. Motivated by rage, the Emperor didn’t care what he had to sacrifice to regain the world that he once knew. Nerelas noted with displeasure things that had rarely been within the grasp of mortals, but remained silent because of his duty and loyalty to his father. Even today, it’s difficult to determine the extent of research and experimentation being carried out.
During one of her pranks, Sylvia found herself with one of the experimental subjects and, not knowing completely who or what he was, immediately began a friendship with him. For her it was fascinating to know a human being, although he had no memory of his past. Since she had already established contact with a positive response, the young girl was allowed to meet her new friend regularly, despite Nerelas’ absolute objection.
It took several weeks, but seemed that the plans and projects of Taumiel would soon come to fruition. Unfortunately, Imperium became aware of the magnitude of what was unfolding during this time, and the time came in which they were forced to intervene.
The End of Fairy TalesEdit
The night called The End of Fairy Tales is arguably one of the most chaotic and confusing stories anyone can remember. Apparently, being aware of their limited time and the imminent intervention of the Powers in the Shadows, the lead researchers decided to conduct some kind of risky experiment being that they didn’t have enough information on its outcome or the necessary safety measures. In fact, the reason that Taumiel’s mysterious supporters had chosen Sylvania to carry out their projects wasn’t simply for its magical node or its exceptional natural features, but that a treaty with The Technocracy prevented Imperium from acting with impunity in that city. Thus, they gained some crucial time before anyone noticed what was happening.
Nobody knows what happened for certain, but whatever it was, the entire city was engulfed in flames. Taking advantage of the chaos, Imperium introduced a virus into the structure of reality that controlled the Nexus Depranon, causing a shift in magic that poisoned its people like a terrible disease, at the time that some of its agents infiltrated the city unnoticed.
While desperately trying to help the people, Sylvia ran into her friend, wandering through the streets in a state of shock covered with blood. Without understanding exactly what was going on and while trying to get him out of there, he muttered that the barriers surrounding the city were what was stagnating the poison coming from the magic node. Disregarding the consequences, she lowered the supernatural barriers of the metropolis, granting the imperial and ecclesiastical armies that waited outside access to Sylvania: Imperium couldn’t act directly, so they had prepared an appropriate countermeasure for the situation. With the people deprived of their powers and their protections destroyed, the attackers mobbed Sylvania destroying everything in their path.
Thus, the capital that neither Rah nor Ghestalt Orbatos Noah could conquer, fell in a single night of tragedy.
Along with a few hundred Sylvain, Nerelas and Sylvia both survived The End of Fairy Tales, though they have no clear recollection of how they did it or what exactly happened during those final hours.
Some survivors have joined Samael to stay alive, while others simply wander through the world trying to hide their true identity from man. A small group of the most powerful inhabitants have become The Lost Ones and are themselves in the service of Nerelas.
The Ruins of SylvaniaEdit
Even today, a century later, the remains of what once was the capital of the elven nations still stands, but what may be found there is very different from what the legends told. Previously, the city existed parallel to The Wake and the real world, and stretched towards the heavens thanks to a fleet of flying citadels and buildings, suspended in a huge column of glowing energy. Its remains currently lay in the principality of Alberia, in the middle of some immense crater in The Mountains of Light. It’s lost its pure white color over the years and the ashes of charred bodies darken most of its buildings. The aerial palaces have disappeared without a trace and everything has been completely swallowed up by heavy vegetation. At first glance, the ruins still reflect their former glory, with its beautiful waterfalls, its glorious peaks and its gold and silver plated domes. Despite everything, a vague feeling of melancholy exudes from them, and feels like merely a fraction of what it once was.
However, the remains of Sylvania are more than just a city in ruins. Although it seems completely vacant, during The Days of Awakening the entire structure of reality and the magical node of the Nexus Depranon were drastically altered, producing a huge rift between the world and The Flow of Souls. Impossible creatures have taken shape in the world there. There have never been beings like those before, or will be ever; they are failures in reality, meaningless aberrations that follow their own rules. Now they sleep inside the shadows of the vermin that freely swarm throughout the city, ignorant of their condition (perhaps even their own existence). Therefore, rats and other vermin of Sylvania emanate a strange chilling sensation, and sometimes the laws of nature do not end up working correctly when people are near them.
Supposedly, in the depths of the city the remains of the old magical node still exist, whose forces, though weakened, continue to increase exponentially until regaining its full potential. Although it is less likely, there is even the possibility that some of the creations from The Days of Awakening still remain there.
Nerelas, The Fallen PrinceEdit
“The Heir to Ruins” or “The King of the Betrayed” are some of the titles by which Nerelas Ul Sylvanus (Sylvain), The Fallen Prince is known by.
Contrary to the temperament of his people, Nerelas always got carried away by his emotions. He is an individual of great contradictions, capable of loving so intensely as egregious is his bitterness and anger. He carries the weight of many sorrows on his shoulders, as well as a heart wrenching hatred towards man and all those who betrayed him. Yet, there is some light left in his nature and he has not crossed the irreversible line in his actions, but he knows that when he does, there will be no going back for him.
Before the fall of Sylvania he was very serious and disciplined. His father never made things easy on him; he knew that the responsibility to raise the empire that ruled the world ages ago would fall on his shoulders. Only his younger sister Sylvia, with whom he had spent almost every moment with, could make him smile. Now, Nerelas has become a dark and melancholic figure that does not hesitate in resorting to any means necessary, no matter how radical, to achieve his objectives. Above all he wishes to achieve extraordinary power, a superior force with which he can protect his own people and avenge those that destroyed them.
Using the knowledge he gained during The Days of Awakening, he spent years searching for the location of The Eye of God, an extraordinary artifact of unparalleled power and believed to have found it in the depths of Bekent. Even so, knowing full well that he would not have access to it, much less a power source strong enough to make it run, he has not yet tried to obtain it for fear of revealing his plans to The Powers in the Shadows. For this reason he has established a treaty with Kagami, the legendary renegade agent of Jürgand, to obtain part of his technology with which to control The Eye. Nerelas knows that Kagami will betray him, but in the end, he plans to do the same with his collaborator when he gets what he needs. If he seizes control of the artifact he plans on using its power to instantly destroy human civilization, plunging everything into flaming chaos, just as Sylvania was once long ago. He knows that even with the power of The Eye, Imperium will try and stop him a few hours after he activates it, but at least then he will have his revenge. If he finally dares to use it or not is something that only time will tell.
Nourished by the gifts of C´iel and his incredible innate talent, Nerelas’ powers border divinity. His magical skills and fighting prowess make him a practically unstoppable force of nature.
The Lords of Samael, the Fallen Angels, have been looking for the Fallen Prince to offer him a prominent position among them for years, but he has always rejected it. In fact, Nerelas hasn’t the slightest interest in pursuing goals other than his own. Undoubtedly, the fact that he has no idea of the whereabouts of his sister hurts him the most. He has very conflicting emotions about her and although he wants to hate her with all his heart, his feelings still upset him. He wants to find her, but at the same time he fears what he will do the moment he finally does.
Sylvia Ul SylvanusEdit
Sylvia Ul Sylvanus (Sylvain) is called “The Bearer of Misfortune” or “Girl of Treason and Tears” by her people. Almost all Sylvain consider her the lone culprit of Sylvania’s destruction during The Days of Awakening, and is treated like a pariah wherever she goes.
Since her birth, her nature has always been cheerful, fun and jovial, although after The Days of Awakening, she sometimes behaves melancholic. Just as when she was a child, she shows an easy congeniality toward people and illuminates the lives of others.
Sylvia now travels from one place to another without a destination, concealing her identity from everybody while visiting various places in Gaia. She is a good-hearted person, although very nosey; wherever she sees a problem, she cannot help but try and do something, even when nobody asks her. It’s her way of taking responsibility for her actions in the past. Tired of bloodshed, she looks for her brother to try and stop his retaliation against humanity, even if doing so would mean confronting him.
Although she was trained as a wizard early on and demonstrated comparable skills to those of her brother, her lack of focus and consistency were the reason she did not delve too deeply into the supernatural, despite the fact that her knowledge and magical power are still exceptional. On the contrary, she has incredible agility and combat skills, thanks in part to her natural gift as well as the intense training she underwent with Nerelas.
Sylvia has many enemies, since most supernatural beings that know her story detest her, and would not hesitate to kill her if they discovered the princess. Likewise, her existence has been proven to Inquisition and Tol Rauko on several occasions, which follow her trail to capture or kill her. Fortunately, she has always managed to escape her pursuers so far, deceiving them all thanks to her skill, talent and good luck.
Ironically, she has met the Empress Adelina under the identity of Anna Never a few months ago and both have become very good friends, although neither of them knows who the other really is.
The Lost OnesEdit
Nerelas leads a small group of Sylvain called The Lost Ones; Sylvanian citizens he has placed under his control. Some of them are elite warriors and wizards, which Nerelas often uses as agents in his various schemes and plans. Others are merely civilians that have managed to survive and that find themselves under his protection.
The Lost Ones have given their lives to The Fallen Prince, and all that this entails. They would not hesitate to die for him if he asked them to, and would do anything in his name. Eleven of the most powerful are his trusted men, and execute his wishes like an extension of their lord. Of them, a young girl named Crystal Ul Shainan (Sylvain) stands out, who has been blessed with the ability to see pieces of the future (which is a curse to her). Crystal has loved Nerelas since she was a little girl, although she has never confessed her feelings to him. In fact, she doesn’t care if he returns her love or not, as long as she can be close by whenever her loved one needs a place to rest. She sometimes leads The Lost Ones, transmitting Neralas’ orders and coordinating his actions.