Appendix I: Caln and its Deities

This appendix deals with Caln, and its mythos. Caln is not a modern world in the way ours is. Most of the cultures are entrenched in the Iron Age, with steel being a new invention, first developed by the inhabitants of the Myriad Islands and just within the last five hundred years has the secret of making the alloy become known to the continent of Man. It is not a common alloy yet, and is highly prized. Enrir is still in the late Bronze Age, mostly because they have depended more on magic than technology, and not enough is known of Trexit to know their technology. The term “modern” in this appendix refers to the period of time that the story takes place.

Caln: (pronounced: Kalnn)
The world of Caln is a place where magic is common, but not always flashy. It is an ancient world, filled with strange creatures. There are four continents, of which three —Man, Trexrir, and Enrir-- are inhabited by humans, and the Myriad Islands, many of which are populated. The fourth continent drifted into the Antarctic and is home to the greatest population of air breathing Esyth left on the planet. Caln is very much like Earth, being of relatively the same size with varying climates, and a similar sun, which is referred to as the Face of Caius by the worshippers of the Maestros. The moon, called Asair after the Maestro it belongs to, is peanut shaped and has a stable orbit around the planet. It is a strange moon with one half having a bluegrey tint and the other having a reddish tint. Theoretically, it was once two moons of relatively the same size, one with a declining orbit and one with an ascending orbit. At one point in time they collided hard enough to join them but not hard enough to destroy them. The collision stabilized the orbit of the now singular moon. It has a very slow rotation, taking a thousand years to rotate from a position where the moon shows only its red face to a position that only shows its blue-grey face, but the cycle of the moon from new to full is roughly 36 days. Caln also has seasons, and its year is based on them, with the spring equinox being the start of the year in most cultures. A Calnese year is 420 days by the solar calendar, and each season is 105 days long. By the lunar calendar, there are eleven months of 36 days. In the Arynian calendar, which is the common calendar on the continent of Man, the solar and lunar calendars are roughly combined. There are still eleven months of 36 days, but day 1 of the first Arynstar month lines up with the spring equinox, not the moon cycles. Their year ends in a twelfth “month” of 24 days, which is dedicated to the six day feasts of the king (or alternatively, the government) , the higher beings, the dead, and the common. The weeks are seven days long and a day is 22 hours long, with 0 hour being dawn on the first day of the Arynstar year.

The beings truly responsible for Caln call themselves the Maestros. They are responsible for creating life on Caln by singing to and waking the magic stored in the planet. Because the mortals of Caln are now fallen creatures, to look upon the maestros is to die unless the Maestro in question chooses to preserve the life of the mortal who has seen them. Fortunately, they do not lightly walk the material plane of Caln anymore after their creation rebelled against them. Still, they watch over the planet and answer the prayers of their faithful. Generally, the mortal priests and priestesses follow the gender of their chosen Maestro. There are exceptions, however, which will be discussed below.

Maestros are in their positions because they are appointed by a higher being, not because of their power, and so they do not need worship to maintain their position in the order. They do, however, need worship to perceive the minds of their followers—especially humans, who are not native to their world. The prayers of the faithful inspire the maestros to sing blessing to their creation. The lack of worship turns their songs to cursing.

The Council:
The council is divided into two parts, the inner council and the outer council. The Maestros of the inner council are different from the outer council. They are worshipped, outer council Maestros are not. The reason they don’t call themselves gods is that they honor the higher authority in the universe that created them. The outer council represents aspects that are more specific and though they played a part in creating life on Caln, they did not play a part in creating the Three Races. Because of that, outer council Maestros are not usually worshipped by them. They claim no temples, though small shrines or altars are appropriate and only cultists will follow them specifically. They are always revered. Farther down from the outer council in the cosmic order of Caln are the true immortals and the ascended, but those will be discussed later. Each of the maestros on the inner council has a plan for mortal salvation. This is an option that a mortal can take to demonstrate absolute dedication to one particular Maestro. Normally, all mortal dead who pass judgment go to Sorrith’s care in his Armies (except Hybrids, as mentioned below), but those who have dedicated themselves to a specific Maestro go to that specific Maestro’s domain on Innus once they have passed Sorrith’s judgment. The clergy of the Maestros go to the same places as those on the paths, but may have different roles in life and death. The difference is that the Clergy are devoted by their own free will, and can leave by their own free will. Those on the path have dedicated themselves absolutely. They choose to follow of their own free will, but in the process of dedication they are bound to their devotion by oaths and magic. Not everyone wishes to be a member of the clergy, mostly because all clergy of all races are celibate except for the priestesses of Lemari—who, because of her nature, are quite promiscuous. Not many people choose the paths of salvation, but the Maestros will always be able to trust the mortals who have chosen their paths. Unlike clergy, any gender can choose any path, but once chosen, only the Maestros themselves can absolve the choice. Clergy of the maestros are often on their chosen maestro’s path, but are not always. Since they have bound themselves to the Maestros, even before they reach Sorrith’s domain, the Maestros feel comfortable tasking them with things that they can’t even trust their mortal clergy with, or give them powers that they can’t risk giving ordinary mortals.

Caius: (pronounced KAI-us) Caius is the head of the Maestros. He was appointed to the position before the creation of life on Caln, and he will hold the position until the Creator of the Universe removes him from power. He is the Maestro of law, the Sun, and community. His true

form is humanoid, appearing as an angelic being with short blonde hair, luminescent skin, glowing blue eyes, and wings of pure flame, the color and intensity of the sun. His priests are all advisors to Kings, councilors, senators and chieftains if they don’t hold that position in their culture. He does not command the aspect of war, but many militaries devote themselves to him rather than Sorrith. The ones that do, however, tend to be militaries that are in nations where military service is compulsory. His temples are ideally adjacent to government buildings, if they are not the government building itself. The very walls of Caius’s native temples shine with light that never extinguishes on the inside. He favors peace over war, and negotiation rather than battle. His priests are champions of social order. His symbol is the sun disk, and his favorite weapon is a halberd named “Authority”. Caius’s plan of Salvation: Caius looked over the fallen races of Caln and at the humans that were now the responsibility of the Maestros, and came up with a plan that would bring peace between Caln’s races and the humans. As long as a human’s lineage is not tainted by interbreeding with a Calnese race, a human can bond his soul to the soul of one of the three master races of Caln in a ceremony that is done once every year. That human can only bond from the time he is declared accountable for his actions until the time he reaches the age of majority in his society. For example, in the Togri nation, they are eligible from the age of eight to age fifteen. The mortals on this path refer to this arrangement as “the contract.” The bond grants humans a greatly improved lifespan, supernatural strength and balance, and absolute immunity to the poison secreted by the creature type they are bonded to. They are forenamed by the name of their bonded creature, and they are given the title of Ryshian, Esthian, or Linian depending on whether they bond to a rysyth, esyth, or linyth, respectively. Once they arrive in Innus, both the human and Calnese souls are allowed to communicate with the living by accessing the remaining Soul Gem still on the material. These souls are always listening for the living to call on them. Every non-human temple of Caius has a room for these “living” soul gems where the priests and leaders can go for advice. The other part of the arrangement states that a human could die, leaving their Calnese native bondmate still alive, and the human soul will still be able to communicate with its bondmate until it dies, but should one of the three races die, having a living bondmate, the human dies with them. ______________________________________________________________________ Lemari: (pronounced Lee-MAHR-ee) Lemari is the Maestro of life—specifically birth, creation, and growth, and also insanity. In the beginning, it was her idea to activate the magic by singing, and so, she became the Maestro of all life. Poets, musicians, artists, and druids all devote their craft to her, and sanitariums in the cities are filled with devotees, but only in the most ancient of places does she have grand temples. The reason for this is her insanity. She was once the sole authority over the lesser immortals, but the lesser immortals betrayed the councils in breeding with humans, and the Maestros sterilized them. In a fit of rage, she cast all of them out of her groves for all eternity because they could no longer uphold her domains. By the time her rage was spent, she was alone, with no one to tend her

dwellings. This alone would not be enough to send a Maestro into madness, but this left her with care over the life of mortals. Unfortunately, with the nature of mortals being ephemeral and fallen in the eyes of the Maestros, everything she commands and controls disobeys her, and then eventually leaves her grasp to go to Sorrith. In truth, Lemari no longer has anything that can truly be called hers. She stands alone, with no one and nothing around her for all eternity. That is why she continually cries and it is the root of her madness. Being the Maestro of life, and no longer having intermediaries, she is the only one who mortals can see without dying, but to be touched by her is to imbibe of her madness. She hates and loves humans. On the one hand, they are alive, they remind her of the creator, and are among the few things that she has dominion over, and is compelled to care for during their mortal lives. On the other hand, their blasphemous dalliance with the linyth and her lesser immortals incurred her eternal curse. Their act of bringing the demons and profaning Caln made humans unforgivable as a race in her sight. This causes a split in her personality. At times, she is a radiant, beautiful humanoid with flowing red hair, green eyes, and a white gown. At other times, she is a ranting, raging hag with dead, tangled brown hair, dressed in sack cloth and furs, and smeared in blood and dirt, but she can’t violate her own domains and kill, no matter how badly mortals of any kind may betray her. In both personalities, she is continually weeping and grieving because of the betrayal the immortals dealt to her and the corruption that spoiled the world. She hates Sorrith bitterly. Sorrith was appointed to the inner council, and she honors it as an appointment from the creator, but she believes that Sorrith failed in his oaths to Caius when he was forced to take a human corpse as his body. This notion fuels her anger against him, though it is proven by Sorrith’s devotion to be false, and it is coupled with the fact that he receives and processes the dead. Caius is aware of her argument, but knows that she is inherently irrational and stubborn. He can’t change her way of thinking, but he forbade her from attacking Sorrith, especially in the face of the true enemies of the Council—the demon gods of Pathir. Her priestesses, both human and Calnese, all follow her radiant aspect and all of them are ready to mate as the most sacred part of her worship. They will mate with their own kind only, as cross breeding of any kind is a corruption of the natural order, and is blasphemy in her eyes. They are responsible for caring for the insane, who they consider to be sacred. This is not to be confused with the possessed or those who are insane because they are dedicated to evil. Those people are always immediately turned away. Her ancient temples are all part hospital, part whore house, and part conservatory. She has few human built temples, but hospitals, whore houses, and conservatories all dedicate their facilities to her. Her symbol is a spouting seed and her favorite weapon is her bare hands. Lemari’s creatures of her Path and her clergy go to Sorrith at the end of their natural lives like all living sentient creatures. The dead of the three races go to the Eternal Grove, a special place in Sorrith’s domain set aside for Lemari’s devotees of the three races. They wait for Lemari to come to her senses and forgive them, allowing them into Insir, but even though they have passed Sorrith’s judgment, Lemari, in her irrational madness, still accounts them as dead to her and will not even look at them. Her dead human priestesses care for the spirits of the dead that arrive in Sorrith’s domain after

being lost on the Material. They are responsible for these souls, and do their best to ease them back to sanity. When Lemari recognizes their devotion, they, too, will go to Insir. Lemari’s plan of Salvation: Lemari looked at the mortals of Caln, the ones she and the Maestros had painstakingly created--the Linyth, Esyth, and Rysyth--and took pity on them. She wouldn’t forgive them for disobeying, but she wished to restore the original design of the races. Her plan is that of the Sacred Druid. Human druids might do similar work, but they generally dedicate themselves to the outer council. The Rysyth, Esyth, and Linyth Sacred Druids are doing the work that they were originally created to do. They are granted a timeless body, but not an immortal one, meaning that they do not age or die of old age, but they are still essentially mortal. Unlike Lemari’s clergy, these folk do not whore themselves, but are celibate. They devote their entire being into caring for the planet of Caln. It is a very lonely, very demanding task. Lemari accepts no humans to her path. _______________________________________________________________________ Sorrith: (pronounced sor-ITH) Sorrith is the maestro of Death, Justice, and War. He sits in judgment over all the spirits of the dead. He is a rational Maestro with a highly structured system of worship. His temples are a combination of a court of law, a mortuary, and a military stronghold. Human temples to Sorrith also have a dividing wall: a magical wall dividing the temple into the places where the living can go, and the places that are set aside for the those who are already part of his Army. At the end of mortal life, the dead pass through his court where their souls are judged. If they are found worthy, they continue on to the feasthall. If they are not, then they are sent to Kohlerir if they fail but are human, or consumed and wiped from existence if they are of the Calnese races. The worship of Sorrith is the practice of warriors, professional militaries, judges, and battlefield medics. His living priesthood devotes itself to these tasks. Sorrith is also known as the patron Maestro of humans, mostly because only he provided for the disposition of human faithful. He handles all dead human souls, having been appointed to that task so that all the other maestros could go about the business of caring and watching over their creation. He used to be an outer council maestro of Law, but Caius took that aspect from him so that when he was appointed to the inner council, he could assume these three new aspects that came as a result of human interference. In the civilizations of the three races, he took over the temples of Ixah, the only inner council maestro to rebel. He is the lord over all the council’s armies. In regards to Lemari, he doesn’t understand her rage. He does not hate her. He simply can’t comprehend her behavior. Understanding insanity is not in his nature. He simply and calmly cares for her devotees out of respect for her. Sorrith’s army is made of three groups: the conscripts, who consist of every mortal who has died outside the path of salvation, the enlisted, who are on his path of Salvation, and the officers, who are entirely made up of immortals. Priests who die without joining the path of salvation also join the enlisted in death, but only the enlisted from the path of salvation and select groups of Officers get to wage war on the material plane.

Sorrith has two appearances. His true appearance is of a tall, dark haired, blackeyed muscular warrior with his armor, shield, and his long sword, called “Judgment”. He also has a cloak of crimson silk. He has a celestial masyth charger named Atrix, a creature twice the size of a rysyth, and from its back, he issues his commands on the battlefield. The same masyth also consumes the souls of the evil ones. His second form is that of a skeletal humanoid, wrapped in his crimson cloak. His eye sockets are filled with a white light. His face is horrid and half eaten by decay, and he smells of embalming spices and blood. Not many have seen his face in this form and lived. He usually only reveals his face to the dying, but if he must reveal himself to the living before their time is done, he wears a platinum death mask with the eyes carefully cut out. In this form, he carries the sickle called “Harvest”, which continuously drips blood. In both forms, his seal is of an eagle (actually a Kailyth) with its wings and legs outstretched. In one clawed foot, it holds the sword, and in the other, the sickle. There are three stars above its head, representing humankind, immortals, and the Calnese Master Races, or Life, death, and undeath, or Rysyth Linyth, and Esyth, or even Humans, Maestros, Creator, depending on who looks at it depending on culture and status in the Cosmic order. Spanning from wingtip to wingtip above the stars is a banner, known as the banner of rank, and is only present on the seals of his immortals. Only the living, mortal devotees carry a holy symbol, and it never bears this banner. On the manufactured holy symbol, the symbol is set in a gold disk, representing Sorrith’s vows to Caius. The Enlisted also have this disk instead of the banner, but it is tattooed into their flesh by Sorrith or by his immortals. They are literally unliving holy symbols, and they find it impossible not to present themselves unless Sorrith purposefully enshrouds them with his magic. The ascended humans of Sorrith’s Army bear the banner on their seal, which denotes their rank among his officers. It is also pressed into their flesh, as with the Enlisted, but upon closer inspection, the sigil appears as being made of tiny, iridescent scales that reflect the sunlight. Living priests of Sorrith tend to be as rational as their Maestro, but tend to be very impatient. They know and accept as a tenant of faith that they will die, and that their day of death is uncertain. If something must be done, it must be done with expediency and so procrastination, for a Sorrithian priest, is one of the greatest sins. Priests of Sorrith are all trained in the art of war. They take their role very seriously as protectors and defenders of the upright, stalwart defenders against temptation and the denizens of Pathir, and judges and warriors on the material plane. The final interesting thing about Sorrith is that all of his immortals are ascended humans. Like Lemari, he rejected the true immortals. Since he is the judge of the council, he cannot accept them into his service until their sentence is complete. Humans who earned their immortality and have been patroned by him have made it into his service, filling the ranks of Officers in his army. Sorrithians dead, alive, or immortal are not all dour, however. They readily enjoy a good joke. They take their play as seriously as their work, and hold it sacred as a rare treat on the material plane. All mortals, both living and on the path of salvation know that there is a feast waiting for them when their service on the material is complete. Sorrith’s plan of Salvation: Sorrith remembered how humans helped him when he lost his body to Ixah. He remembered his new tasks and his role and came up with his plan.

Since all human dead who pass the test of judgment remain in his realm, he had to think of a different way to separate those who had dedicated themselves from the rest of the mortals who went to his domain by default. He also needed a way to seek out the dead whose spirits remained on the material plane for one reason or another. His immortals could do it, but they were continually wrapped up in the war against demons. His solution was simple. He created gems, very similar to the soul gems of three races, which a human soul could be contained in. Caius blessed his plan to do this because he had not participated in the creation of the three races, and he believed that whatever he would do with these human souls, even if a little strange, would be essentially good. In a very somber ceremony, a willing human could be killed as a sacrifice. At this point in time, its soul would be contained in the gem even as the blood was offered before the Maesro’s idol. Usually following this event, the soul is educated by the officers of Sorrith on everything they will need to serve him. Then, when they are suitably prepared, they return to their bodies but not to life. The gem they inhabit is pressed into their corpse right at the solar plexus. No matter what time the ritual is performed, the individual always rises before dawn at the same hour that soldiers begin their day. People on the path of salvation are collectively known as The Enlisted, but individually known as Sacred Watchers to the living. In Sorrith’s army, they occupy the lower ranks while their service continues upon the material plane. This condition is similar to undeath, but it is not a cursed or evil state. Their souls in their gems are granted the magic to animate their corpses and maintain them, but to remove the gem from one will cause the body to cease movement, though the body is preserved until the gem is destroyed. Destroying a body will force the watcher into an early retirement, because they are only allowed to inhabit their own bodies, but that is incredibly hard to do short of immolation or disintegration. Being essentially dead, they never need to breathe more than to speak, they never sleep, and they can’t eat solid food. As for why Sorrith chose to create this special condition, the enlisted will say that their body is merely a vessel and the most convenient method of conveyance. They wouldn’t have it any other way. Inhabiting a dead body mimics the trial of Sorrith following his defeat and they consider it the highest form of blessing to be like their Maestro. Compare them to Ixcara or Thrass’s minions, and watch out for a fight. That is a sure way to get them into a rage. There are other reasons for this condition. Besides mimicking his own state and trial, Sorrith, as the Maestro of death, wanted to give people a walking reminder of their mortal destiny. Since they are dead, they can affect the incorporeal as well as the corporeal. This means that they can see, hear, and touch spirits. One of their tasks is to seek out the spirits that get lost on the way to judgment and to show them the way to Sorrith’s courtroom. There are some things that are particular to them. From the time they die, they begin to dehydrate and emaciate until they look like terrible, mummified husks of humans. They do not feel this process. They no longer feel pain, because physical pain is a privilege of the living. They do not stiffen as long as they inhabit their body. They have a fluid grace that belies their condition and even the weakest of them has the strength to match ten humans—they are stronger than even Caius’s devotees. Unlike cursed undead, who are the products of demon influence, the Enlisted can walk in the day or night.

They are also incapable of healing naturally. In return for this disability, Sorrith allows them to drink blood. It is only necessary for two things: healing of their wounds and maintaining a freshly dead appearance. They can get it from three sources: their enemies, the dead who are brought into the temple for processing, and from a person willingly presenting a small amount as a gift. The last option gives them the best benefit for the least amount. Given a great deal, they can even regenerate, though it is usually easier to stick a severed limb back on. They do not have their own blood, though. Instead of blood, their veins are filed with a somewhat sticky, mucous-like endoplasmic substance that becomes redder or clearer depending on how much blood they have imbibed within a month. The enlisted do not smell like decay, nor do they decay—they merely appear to dry out. After they have initially dried out for the first time, they smell like Sorrith in his second form: of embalming spices and fresh blood. It seems like a situation that has more advantages than disadvantages, but it is a very difficult path with a great deal of responsibility. They have a very clear purpose and a series of tasks they must do. They also must obey their superiors as if the orders came from Sorrith himself. If an enlisted of Sorrith disobeys, it is immediately pulled up to Sorrith's court for questioning. If it is found guilty of sin against Sorrith, it is immediately sent to the lower level of Kohlerir. Second, not everyone who wants to follow the path of salvation can actually do it. Sorrith actually judges a soul during the ceremony. If the gem does not take on its own color when it is placed into the candidate’s hands, the candidate is simply slaughtered as unworthy. Most of the time, the ceremony is performed in a temple and once a mortal passes behind the dividing wall, unless they are consecrated by Sorrith himself, must die to leave. Fourth, to become undead is to forfeit all hope of becoming immortal. In return, though they don’t know it, they will be the last to leave Caln at the end of time, having helped Sorrith gather the humans, both living and dead, so that they can be sent onward. Fifth, without the body, they cannot interact with the material plane other than being able to speak to the minds of select, sensitive people and they can project a vaporous spirit form in a limited radius from their gem, but this vapor can only make “physical” contact with the incorporeal or with immortals. This could be potentially dangerous, since a gem without its body there to protect it is very vulnerable. The only definite way to kill an Enlisted is to shatter its gem when it is exposed. Sixth, they have knowledge of the feasthall, having been shown it, but they are not allowed to partake in the feast until their service is concluded—which could potentially be milennia. Seventh, an enlisted can only own a few things: Its clothes, which is usually one set of Sorrithian robes, one set of armor, and one set of funerary attire, and it usually has all of the gear necessary to do battle on the material. All of them also carry a tiny stiletto, which they use to open wounds and to do rituals. This tiny dagger is blessed to bless the willing with health, or cause decay in their enemies. Every enlisted is a member of the clergy, but not every Sorrithian clergyman is a member of the Enlisted. In the ranks of the enlisted, Sorrith actually has priestesses. He is the only one of the six to have clergy of the opposite sex, but arguably, since they are not alive, gender means nothing. Enlisted with white gems are of the highest rank. They are the only ones who can hold the title of High Priest. The rest of them are in a simple chain of command. Nobody but Sorrith knows why they are chosen to the ranks they receive at their death, but once it has been chosen, it is permanent. There are few

promotions. They are given a task, and they must do it until Sorrith calls them home. The reward for all this is a retirement in Sorrith’s domain. Sorrith commands the feasthall and the Blessed Realm, the place where all dead, having passed the test of judgment, go to unwind from the arduous task of living before going on to their chosen deity. Normal folk, if they did not choose a specific Maestro in life, go on to battle demons on the eternal battlefield. Priests of Sorrith who die outside the path go to the battlefield to become the NCOs in command over these dead. The Enlisted do not go to battle when they are called home. Having died already, they go directly to the feasthall, where they are given lauds, riches, their own living quarters, and the knowledge that they need never do battle again until the great melee at the end of time. Eventually, they grow bored of retirement and begin to spar with each other, and so the grand lists were formed in the afterlife for the entertainment of those who are feasting, or visit the sections of Sorrith’s domain to greet the followers of other Maestros. They are not exempt from battle on the field, though. They can go if they choose, but it is never for eternity. Some even go to help train the conscripted, or go when the itch to do battle takes them. Rarely, Sorrith will choose to accept a member of the three races into the ranks of the enlisted. Such individuals are always transformed by Sorrith himself and always have a white gem. Their process to become enlisted is quite a bit more complicated, but the ceremony is much easier. Essentially, Sorrith asks them directly and if they agree, Sorrith lays his hands on them and crushes the part of their souls that is of Ixah, and then fills the space with his own essence. This does kill their bodies, but they are infused with enough of Sorrith’s essence to keep them from turning into their natural elements at death. Regardless of species, Sorrith’s undead are only honored by the church of Sorrith. Most humans tend to view this arrangement as disgusting and unnatural. Other races view them as blessed and worthy of respect, but they are never fully accepted. ____________________________________________________________________ Meranna: (pronounced Mer-AH-nah) Meranna is the Maestro of Rain and freshwater, the sky, and magic. Meranna appeared, fully formed, when the magic of Caln was awakened. Since she was its representative—and magic is a universal aspect of Caln-she was appointed to the inner council. Meranna’s magic can be used by its natives freely. Humans, being foreign to Caln, were never meant to use it. Her peculiar creation makes her quite a bit different from the other Maestros. She is a jealous being, who seems to crave the worship of her followers, whether they are human or natural to Caln, and she seems to grow more powerful as more creatures bow to her. Moreover, she covets all hybrids of human and linyth origin, and only through her path can a linyth hybrid have the hope of salvation and live. Sorrith’s enlisted ranks contain a few hybrids, but they cannot be counted as “alive”. While all the true natives of Caln have a certain amount of magic necessary to their survival, only the Master races were granted the ability to harness the magic and become elemental mages. The Linyth, however, who were once accomplished mages, and granted the ability to work magic outside their element, boast no mages. The ability to harness magic was stripped from them when they were cursed. They are left with the passive magic of their nature and little else in the way of magic.

Human priestesses mostly worship her aspect of water and the sky. They pray to her for the rains and to purify the water they need to survive. She appears as a woman clothed in blue, with long blue hair the color of the sky, fair skin, and glittering jewelry made of raindrops. Her eyes are colorless. She carries a pitcher of water and a mage’s staff, which she calls “awakening”.

Meranna’s path of Salvation: Meranna’s path is tied up in the reason why the Linyth are cursed. The Linyth were the only master race to interbreed with humans. Esyth were too busy fighting them for territory, and Rysyth do not breed in mammalian fashion. When the linyth were cursed, part of their curse forced their ability to use native Calnese magic upon the hybrids they had spawned. Unfortunately, the magic that was given to their twisted get was equally cursed. From the time the Calnese magic manifests at puberty, the creature, on a logarithmic curve in its transformation, begins to become more like a linyth but the process is excruciatingly painful. The hybrid never does become fully linyth, and the stronger the linyth blood in these hybrids, the more twisted they become, until they are literally so deformed and hideous that their every waking moment is torture. In addition, without Meranna’s cleansing intervention, hybrid souls are not allowed to pass the judgment of Sorrith. The highest such a soul can hope for is a place in Kohlerir. Meranna has two methods for these hybrids to make it through judgment. When a human manifests Calnese magic, they are offered up to Meranna. Those that try to escape this fate are hunted and killed if they do not follow after being captured. They have two choices: In the first, Meranna can direct and slow their transformation so that they live a somewhat comfortable existence, and usually live about half as long as their linyth ancestors, but they get to keep their fertility and their abilities as mages. At the end of their lives, Meranna sends the human portion of their soul to Kohlerir (they hardly notice, and don’t really care about the human portion. Hybrids on this path are on the path to abandon their humanity. No one but Meranna knows what the pieces of human soul feel or are like when they go, but being only half a soul, they can’t truly go through Sorrith’s judgment. They simply wait in Kohlerir for the end of time, not caring what their linyth half does.) Their bodies fully transform into linyth, and they continue their lives as linyth but they are black colored to mark their origin and they retain all the memories and mental functioning that they had as a human. Black linyth are sterile, but otherwise are entitled to the same treatment as true linyth once they die, in again, about half the lifespan of true linyth. This method is only available to hybrids on Enrir, the continent of Mages. Hybrids which occasionally crop up in other continents, if they desire this path, must take ships to Enrir and leave their homelands to join the college of mages in Esh—but the business of sailing for this purpose has been almost forgotten on the continent of Man, where mages caught using Calnese magic are usually killed. The other method is chosen only occasionally in Enrir, and always in Arynstar, where the church is trapped in the Undercity. When they are offered up to Meranna, she

can separate the hybrid’s soul, taking the Calnese portion to herself. This removes the ability to use magic, but since half the hybrid’s soul resides with Meranna, their bodies are made nearly immortal. Those who choose this path usually don’t mind because they know that half their soul resides with her always. A hybrid on this path can only be killed by force or by magic. They can also actually speak the language of all creatures and humans, (an ability unique in all of Caln) and they are granted the ability of telepathy that is common to the master races. These hybrids are rendered sterile from the moment they choose the path. This method can only be performed in an ancient temple to Meranna, not a human made one. To use the magic of Caln in opposition to Meranna’s will, or to disobey her on the path of humanity is to lose her salvation without hope of recovering it. Such a person will return to their cursed state at the point that they took their oath to Meranna, and will be hunted and killed without mercy. No true members of the three races enter her path because they do not need it. Besides, though their souls now go to Sorrith, their bodies return to the magic of Caln when they die—in essence to Meranna. Talus: (pronounced Tahl-OOS) Talus is the Maestro of time, history, and knowledge. He does not care too much about the mortal world anymore. He stopped dealing with it after he discovered that while he was fighting in the war of Man, he lost track of time and history. He vowed never again to concentrate on the mortal world and lose that, and so his immortals and devotees must eternally supply him with news and history. It is his task to chronicle all of Calnese history. His human and Calnese worshippers are few, but necessary. His temples are schools, museums, and libraries, and his priests are all scribes and historians. People pray to Talus mostly to give them a full number of years or for him to protect their children as they grow. Investigators pray to him to discover evidence when a crime has been committed. Talus is the most remote of all the Maestros. He is mostly concerned that Calnese time continues in order. He liked the human invention of writing, and adopted it. He now writes all of history instead of keeping it in his head, and expects all of his followers to be able to understand at least five different languages both written and spoken. Talus’s symbol is of an open scroll with the original Arynian symbol of knowledge on it. His favored weapon is a blowgun named “Pen” Talus’s path of Salvation: The people on Talus’s path spend their years as spies, archaeologists, or sociologists. Their job is to piece together the lost history of the War of Man, to understand and chronicle the cultures around them, and to be able to know them well enough that they can extract sensitive information from the enemies of the Maestros without detection. When they die, because they deal with this kind of thing, Sorrith calls for Talus, who pulls out all the knowledge the person has learned, writes it down, and then makes the judgment. If they haven’t allowed their knowledge to warp them, they go to his part of the Blessed Realm where they spend their time working as librarians and scribes. Asair (pronounced: Ah-SAIR)

Asair is a very quiet Maestro. He is Maestro of the Moon. Just as the moon is two spheres that collided, Asair is the maestro of marriage, and of twins. He appears as a young man with two heads, one facing forward, and one facing back. Asair is also the Maestro of the watch, the one who stands away from Caln and watches for sign of the Creator’s call even as he watches Caln by night when the Face of Caius is turned. He couldn’t tell his followers about watching for the Creator, and so they perceived him as watching the stars. His priests are all astronomers or astrologers by night, while they perform marriages and read fortunes by day. They are also ship’s pilots and sea captains. The Asarian Church’s maps are the most sought after maps on Caln. Night watchmen also pray for Asair’s vision to aid them. Quite often, Asair’s clergy work alongside Talus’s devotees in the art of spying. Asair’s symbol is the dual moon, with a dark blue background, and the Origin Star, Caln’s Guiding Star, in the center of the Crossroad constellation, to the upper right of the moon. Worshippers have perceived Asair as watching that constellation in particular. The Origin Star serves the same function as the North Star of Earth, but it is fixed in the southern hemisphere. His favored weapons are the bolos, but he hasn’t named them. Asair’s path of Salvation The possibility of joining with this path begins at birth. When linyth, esyth or human females produce identical twins, or when twins hatch from a single rysyth egg, the parents usually give up the babies to the church of Asair as an offering. The church raises these twins, and when they are old enough to choose, they may join the path. These twins undergo a ceremony in which their souls are bound to one another. They may have separate bodies and minds, but they can perceive each other’s thoughts and be affected by each other’s activities. If one eats, the other is also filled. If one sleeps, the other is also refreshed, even though he has not closed his eyes. If one dies, then the other also dies. Humans on this path are also granted the ability to see in the dark, but they become light sensitive. Asair is Maestro of the moon, after all. He would like to watch his devoted on the path, and he knows that humans cannot see in the dark like the Calnese natives. Their task on Caln is simply to live, devoted to Asair. No matter how far apart the twins of his path are, they are connected. That means that they can be doing entirely different things, but still be essentially the same. The only way to fall from this path is for one to kill the other. If that happens, one dies, but the other must live, and live with the dead soul of his twin attached to him until he, too, dies. Then, they are separated and judged separately.

The Pantheon of Man and the demon gods Brought into Caln by humans, or a result of Ixah’s rebellion, these powerful beings are opposed to the Maestros. These beings are tied to the prison realm of Pathir. Some of these are devils and foul spirits, but some, the major ones, have banded together to form a pantheon in which all of them compete for the worship of humans and the Calnese natives. These demons have named themselves gods, and have done their best to destroy the worship of the Maestros. Their ultimate goal is the overthrow of the Maestros’ order and become the “True Gods” of Caln, ultimately continuing their rebellion against the true order of the universe. They can all promise, lead astray, dupe, seduce and bully their way into the lives of mortals and each of them has a favored method, but the demons that created the pantheon amongst themselves have risen to the top of the order. Their chief worshippers are the low or dark tribes of humans, as well as the city of Arynstar, roving tribes of halfbreeds like centaurs, renegade hybrid mages and half-immortals, and all the omryth. There are even a few select members of the three races that have chosen to worship one specific demon. They call themselves The Pantheon of Man, though the very name is a mockery. Their desire is to dominate and enslave or destroy mankind. All who worship them agree that Ixah is the head of the Pantheon, but there is only one variant, and that is in the city of Arynstar. There the King has declared himself a god. Ixah: (pronounced Ikss-AH) Ixah was once an inner council Maestro, and one of the beings responsible for the creation of life of Caln. In the beginning, he was responsible for putting a shape to things. He was the one who made the original templates for Caln’s creatures, and he held the position of Caius’s steward. All that changed with the coming of man. Caius, seeing the evil that was done by the humans and the demons they brought with them, and in response to Lemari’s grief, left Caln to Ixah while he sought the council of the creator. While he was delayed, the demons took advantage of his absence came to make “peace” with the maestros, and Ixah listened to them. The demons were repenting for their behavior and, while not asking for a position on the councils, were asking for control over the humans. In their reasoning, they came from the place where the humans were created, and knew how to deal with these creatures. It would not be for long, of course, but it would keep order while Caius was away. If he could grant that, the demons could quickly put humans under their heel and teach them to obey. The other Maestros were not keen to take this plan. They were content to leave things as they were until new orders came, even though they knew it would mean that he Three races would be hurt by their lack of action. Already, they were hearing the dying pleas of the Calnese races in their minds as the souls of their mortals returned to them. The demons saw the doubt in Ixah’s mind and played to it. Caius, they reasoned with him, was a bumbling fool to go ask the creator about humans. His need to ask demonstrated a lack of control and a lack of leadership. If the humans were on Caln, they whispered, were they not meant to be creatures of Caln? Besides, what did Caius do to create life on Caln? Caius did nothing more than work as an overseer while the other Maestros did the dirty work of creating the place. Was not all of Caln modeled in Ixah’s

templates? Ixah began to see their point of view. Though he had no authority to do so, he gave permission to the demons and committed his first act of rebellion, but the deal was bad. He, in his Naïveté had literally turned the demons loose on Calnese creation in agreeing, not only to deal with humans, but to help deal with the corruption in the three races. They promptly betrayed him and began to destroy what he and the others had so painstakingly created. The Maestros were horrified. Ixah, twisted by his act of rebellion, began to believe the lies he had been fed and declared himself to be the head of the Council, stating that Caius had abandoned them. Worse, some of the outer council and the lesser immortals followed him! The remaining members of the council opposed him and war broke out between Ixah and the council, but when they began to make war, fighting around the humans whenever possible, they found that the strain of war was threatening to wipe out their whole creation. In panic, they decided that what was really needed was Caius’s authority, but they dared not leave Caln. It was in all of this chaos that Sorrith, an outer council Maestro of Law, stepped forward. He had branded himself with the seal of Caius and declared that he would carry on the war for the legitimate authority of the Maestros. The Maestros were not keen to accept his offer. They did not want to leave Caln in the control of the Outer council Maestro for fear that he would betray them, but he bowed down, declaring that as a Maestro of Law, he would not. He had been a Major General in the war on Caln, and he asked them to trust on faith. Grudgingly, they did so. Sorrith was true to his word. While the others were away, he continued his war against Ixah and the demons. He even succeeded in bringing back a lot of territory to the true authority of the council in the name of Caius. Always, the demons came to whisper in his ear as they had done with Ixah, but he opposed them, making prisoners of each that tried, until they dared not approach. Ixah also tried to sway him. He waited for Sorrith to reject the demons. Then, with the backing of rebellious, but still legitimate, Maestros, he tried to sway Sorrith by declaring his authority as an inner council maestro, but that didn’t turn him. Then he tried to reason with him that he too was doing this in the name of Caius. After all, Caius had left him in charge as the steward, and he was only trying to put things to order again. Sorrith would have none of it, informing Ixah that his actions were outside of Caius’s intentions, and therefore illegal. He upheld the authority of the four that had gone to fetch Caius and plead before the creator. Finally, since he couldn’t convince Sorrith to join him, he declared his intention to destroy all of Caln’s creation and remake it under his authority. He captured Sorrith in a particularly nasty battle. Since Ixah was a higher being, he bound Sorrith to the Material Plane, tore him limb from limb and burned him, then scattered his ashes. Ixah had utterly rebelled. To further his campaign, and begin making his declaration a reality, he made new templates and creatures that would serve him specifically. To his eternal frustration, he found that he had no power to make new creatures on his own. While the battle on Caln raged, he thought of ways to turn creation to his worship. Finally, he had an idea. He swayed and corrupted a group of rysyth as an experiment, fantasizing that these new things would overtake the old, who had abandoned him. Thus, the Omryth were created. Ixah was winning on Caln, and without Sorrith, no armies could stand for long. The outer council Maestros who hadn’t rebelled all looked

for Sorrith, but they couldn’t find them. They began to believe that Ixah had truly killed him, and they all wailed in despair even as they tried to fight in his name. Meanwhile, Sorrith’s spirit wandered weakly and aimlessly through the Material, bodiless and disoriented. He couldn’t command the armies of Calnese mortals without a body, and he couldn’t be found because his ashes had been scattered. The scent and trace of him was all over Caln. It was one of the human tribes who discovered him. The tribe’s medium had been trying to channel a spirit to protect them, and Sorrith appeared before her, drawn to her plea for communication. The tribe was ecstatic to find such a powerful, good spirit. At first, they were awed and wanted to worship him. After all, they had heard of him in battle against the demons and the Ixians. He refused to let them, saying that he was no God to humans. Sorrith began to see the nature of humans as he dwelt with them. He began to love the ones who had rescued him from his wondering and remained close, protecting them from harm, but in his state, and by the will of Caius, he could not protect them from their mortal nature, nor could he yet understand the concept of human disease. He might have continued in this bodiless state for the remainder of the war had not the chieftain of the tribe fallen ill of consumption. The humans had done all they could, but he died in his sleep. The tribe mourned over him, but instead of burning him, they offered it to Sorrith. He consulted with the chieftain’s spirit, who said that he would not need it any more, and he let Sorrith have it with his blessing. Seeing that this body was already devoid of its soul, he reluctantly took it, thanking them. The body he assumed for the duration of the war became a part of him, though it would not heal completely. It was not alive, and was already very far gone when he took it. Still, it was sustained by Sorrith’s magic and stopped rotting at the point he took it, so he was constantly in a state of decay. When next he came against Ixah, he discovered that his fearsome visage was horrifying to his enemies. Even Ixah could not stand to look at him. In keeping with the spirit of Caius’s original order during the war, he preserved all humans to the best of his ability, knowing that they were the reason Caius was speaking with the creator and now understanding that humans were capable of great good as well as great evil. He did his best to imprison the dead souls of the races who had died on either side until such a time as their fate could be decided. This made his battles much harder to win, but still, he slowly gained ground for the true council. It was a nearly impossible task. Ixah had nearly won his war. Ixah was well into trying to seduce the Esyth when the Maestros returned. Caius was furious and he rode into battle with the whole council at his back and the new orders from the Creator concerning humans, turning the tide of war. The demons fled as far as they could, but found that they were trapped on Caln. Humans, being mortal, had already forgotten how they came to Caln, and the maestros who betrayed the inner council were rounded up. They also retrieved Sorrith, and mourned over what had become of him. Finally, only Ixah alone remained to challenge the council. He stood defiantly and cursed the council, stating that all of them had abandoned the original plan and that Caius was the true traitor for abandoning them to the demons. Caius fought Ixah personally at the last battle of the war. The battle raged so hot and so powerfully between each other and the armies of mortals that the place where they fought became a blasted wasteland. Their footprints dug up the mountain ranges of The

Rystooth, The Ixir, The Saethir, and The Caisir—the four boundaries of the Gherir. There, Ixah was defeated. Pathir was created then, and Ixah was sent there along with the demons and the renegade outer council members. Sorrith had feared that taking the body as he had would have been against the will of the council, but Caius forgave him because he had waited until the body was dead, and his actions following his taking of the body were still in line with Caius’s wishes. After freeing Sorrith from Ixah’s binding, Sorrith gladly relinquished the power that the Inner Council had lent him while they were gone. He was sorely wounded and it would take millennia to recover. He had planned for nothing else after the war, but to his eternal surprise, Caius handed him his appointment to the Inner Council, and the realm of the Dead was given to him. He alone of all the Maestros had come to understand death and mortality, and gladly retreated to his new demesnes to recover. The human tribe, who helped him, if they hadn’t already ascended, became his first Enlisted, and the ascended humans of the tribe became his first Officers. Though dishonored and stripped of his legitimate authority, Ixah still commands a portion of Caln’s creation, and so he has always been the most dangerous of Demons. As long as mortals worship them, they can still influence the material realm of Caln, because all of them still hold to heart the permission Ixah granted them while he was in charge, and Ixah and his Calnese followers still claim that he is the true god of Caln. Ixah often appears as a dashing young prince, likable and well spoken, wearing fine attire, always with long sleeves that cover his arms or as an old man, with all the knowledge of Caln at his back, still with the same long sleeves. He wears these sleeves with good reason. He no longer has hands. Originally, the idea of changing a human’s body (but not its soul) to fit the nature of Caln by touching and mingling its blood simultaneously with the blood of the three races was his idea. It was an attempt by Ixah, while Caius was gone, to provide a way to help the humans survive on Caln by making peace with the races instead of opposing them. He worked on this before he turned away from the Maestros. However, though the fundamentals of the idea were already in place within the magic of the three races and awaiting Caius’s return, this plan was never officially declared because the demons betrayed him. Until Maira of the Togri, only the maestros knew of this plan. They approved it, secretly, never thinking that such an event would occur. Ixah, after his defeat, stewed in his prison and remembered his original plans for combining the races. He never knew that the Maestros kept his plan and accepted it. Thinking that there was only one way to get his method in, he stole out of his prison, seduced select humans of the dark tribes, and stole their souls. With their bodies, he made new creations, and used their twisted souls to power their dead bodies, mocking Sorrith’s plan of salvation because he hated what Sorrith had done and was furious that Sorrith had taken over his temples. He called the twisted monsters “Ixcara.” They were the last creatures that he was to remake. Sorrith, still following the letter of the law, found out about these creatures and came down to Ixah. He chopped off Ixah’s hands with the authority of the Creator and Caius so that he might never again make such abomination, and promptly sent his Enlisted to hunt the ixcara down wherever they appear. Still, for millennia, Ixcara have plagued Caln, and the Enlisted have hunted them. Ixah’s favorite weapon is a stump dagger called “retribution” and his symbol is the black head of an omryth against a red background.

Thrass: (pronounced Thrawss) Thrass sits opposite of Ixah in the Pantheon because he is the leader of the demons who came with the humans. He has proclaimed himself to be a deity of war, pestilence and indiscriminate slaughter. He brought disease to Caln and manufactured plagues that would spread among the three races. His favorite hour is midnight, and like Ixah, has cursed undead. His undead are vampire-like creatures that were possessed before they lost their lives. At death, like a parasite, the demon leaves, though it hangs around the undead creature in its early days, tormenting it while the creature still has enough higher functioning to understand mental torment while the demon seeks to inhabit another human. Much cruder than Ixcara, these creatures rise at night only to kill and destroy. Their souls do not control their bodies, they merely power them, so that as the brain slowly decays—though preserved under the foul magic of the demon, the creature becomes more and more bestial and insane. People pray to Thrass as a deity to escape his pestilence, and to ask him to avert his eyes from their children. The Arynstar Guard often devote themselves to him on the basis of his affinity for war. The members of his priesthood are among the most foul of humans, devoid of morality, but completely willing to grovel to a higher authority. Dark tribal leaders are also often among his priesthood. Thrass’s favorite weapon is the war scythe called “Heart bane” and his symbol is a blood red disk Anim: (pronounced ah-NEEM) Anim sits at the left hand of Ixah. When the demons betrayed Ixah, she betrayed her fellow demons and joined with Ixah completely. Ixah took her in, admiring her “beauty” and her loyalty. In truth, Anim only did so because she could see the stupidity of Thrass. Ixah was more powerful, and she naturally allied with the being that had more power. She claims to be a goddess of beasts, cunning and stealth. She claims to be the author of the hunt, and mocks Lemari’s position, glorifying the predator/prey relationship to its extreme. She is a demon who presses into her followers the idea of survival of the fittest. She has clergy of both sexes, and both sexes have different purposes. Very prominent in her worship is the icons of God, human, hound, morim and mouse. Only Anim and other demons can fill the position of God, the most supreme. Humans are leaders among mortals. Hounds are consummate predators, a Human’s faithful underlings, fully capable of killing the human, but knowing its place in the order. Morim are six-limbed desert creatures that resemble winged kit foxes. As a fox-like creature they are still a predator, but they are sport for hounds and humans. Finally, the Mouse, which to them is solely a beast of prey. They are people that can always be made into sport or food at the predator’s whim. Of the five positions, Anim chooses the Morim for her personal favorite because like a fox, the morim must be cunning and brave to eat and avoid being eaten. The males work as the representative of the hunter and the females work as the representative of the prey. They are famous for their orgies in one sense of the relationship, and in another sense, they are famous for the Hunt, a nasty blood sport in

which they select a human to chase and slaughter. In both instances, she is famous for her poetry and song during these acts. There are two nasty positions that they regard as holy. One is of the sacred consort, and the other is of the Forged Company. The sacred Consorts are humans who have proved that they are the most like the sacred Morim. They are selected and found by the priestesses and once they are taken into the church, they are indoctrinated to become the playthings of the demon or her underlings in life. The sacred consorts are always male. The Forged Company are a sick variant of life itself. They are constructs that are made to look like huge, crude, stone, wood, and metal dogs. In mockery of Caius who made the first soul gem, and Sorrith, who uses his variant in his path of Salvation, Anim has her own variant, but it is always black. To be trapped in it is to be tortured and twisted to evil. It is placed inside the head of the construct and is used by the priests, the king, and his guards and inquisition without hope of release. In the same ritual that places the gem in the construct, the victim’s first view from his new eyes is his body being burned as a sacrifice. The worst part about it is that while a human so trapped might howl and weep as he mourns the loss of his body, over time, as he adapts to his new body and role, he begins to forget that he was ever human. After a few years, there is nothing human about these souls. They are twisted, used up spirits inside a mechanical body that they believe they have always had. So twisted are they, that not even Lemari’s human dead can unwind and calm their insanity. She appears in two ways: as a beautiful, seductive nymph, or as a wasted crone. Her minions are eternally chased by the minions of Thrass, because Thrass will never forget that she utterly betrayed him. Ixah has promised her that if he wins, she will be given the control over the beasts that she already claims to have. Her symbol is of a Morim’s head pierced by an arrow, and her favorite weapon is a shortbow called “firstmark” Ghurim (pronounced: Goo-RIM) Ghurim is the demon god of gluttony, greed, and wealth. He is the patron of merchants and aristocrats in the pantheon of Man. His symbol is a boar’s head against a gold background. He sits at the right hand of Thrass, backing up his campaigns with his finances and feasts. He mocks all of the Maestros, even as he grasps for their power. He appears as a jolly, red cheeked, drunken man, with gold rings on his fingers and a tankard of beer in his hand. His favored weapon is a spiked club made from a broken table leg with pieces of glass stuck in it. He calls it “Mine” Reshae (pronounced: rish-Æ) Reshae is the fallen Maestro of secrecy, darkness, and murder. Before her fall, she was an outer Council Maestro, but she has forgotten what she used to control. She considers Thrass to be too indiscriminate, and Anim to be too wrapped up in her predator/prey relationship. Reshae is silent, using the shadows, never seen, but leaving only her victim’s bodies as a clue to her presence. Evil spies, inquisitors, assassins, and mercenaries are her most devout followers. Her most devout are the grey assassins, who cut their own tongues out when they join her clergy. Her symbol is the black disk with a red slash through the center. Her favored weapon is a poisoned stiletto called “Silence” She sits on Thrass’s left.

Sayas (pronounced: SHE-oz) Sayas is the fallen Maestro who claims to be the god of the elements. She sits at Ixah’s right and delights in the chaos and pain that comes from the imbalance of the elements. Whereas Anim concentrates on animals, Sayas concentrates on the destruction caused by hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruption, drought, sandstorm, and firestorm. Such things might occur naturally as part of the natural order of Caln, but Sayas is right in it, claiming that the destruction was caused by her. She has also been known to make a potential disaster an actual one. On the plains, for example, when lightening strikes dry grass, it may spark a fire. This is natural, but Sayas or her minions may steal in and use their magic to direct the blaze to a nearby village, or start a vortex in the ocean that can swallow ships. At other time, her vicious minions have torn up port towns during hurricanes or stripped herds of human raised Dramyth to the bone during an otherwise minor sandstorm. Her followers believe that such things are a result of her anger, but it is not. It is merely for her amusement. Ixah commanded her long ago to aid him in destroying life on Caln so that he could remake it. She went about this task quite happily until she discovered that people were actually praying to her to stop these things. They had identified her as an angry deity, and were pleading for her to stop. She was intrigued. She learned that it was more fun to threaten and gain power through prayers to her than actually destroy them outright. At the end of the war, she was bound so severely to Pathir that whenever her body fully reforms, it is torn apart again. She can still send her minions, but none can do as severe an amount of damage as she can. Her campaign of claiming responsibility for disaster earned her the infamy she desired. Even though mortals have not seen her actually claiming responsibility for the disasters of their lives, they still account everything bad that happens to them as a result of nature as being of her design. Her symbol is of the lightening bolt against a black background and her favorite weapon is a javelin she calls “Arca.”

Appendix II:

Life on Caln

In this appendix, you will find information on the cultures and continents of Caln, as well as a little history.

Important Races of Caln
Humans: Humans are not native to Caln. Humans were created by the Creator of the universe. They were not ever intended to be able to harness magic. They were created to depend on the Creator for their extraordinary needs and to care for the creator’s personal planet. According to Calnese history--the history of the good Maestros, which will only be revealed to humans at the end of time--the universe was created by the Creator. The creator made the immortals, and set certain ones over the stars—of which the six inner council Maestros were the highest ranked of the beings tasked to care for Caln, the outer council Maestros were second ranked, and the true immortals were tasked to Lemari as the lowest in the order on Caln. The Creator had a planet and a star set aside for himself, and created the first plants, animals and so forth in it. Then he made humans. All of the firmament watched as he did this, then those who had charge over stars similar to the creator’s were allowed to do likewise with their planets. If the Creator was pleased with what he saw, he would create a gate to the planet from his own so that humans could see what was done for the glory of the creator. It was the Creator’s original intention for humans to see all of his creation, even across the stars, which though habitable worlds were created by created beings, still were built to glorify the creator. The Creator was pleased with Caln and made the gate between his personal world and Caln. Centuries upon centuries passed in the mortal reckoning of Caln. There were rumors of rebellion in the universe, but the Maestros of Caln did not participate, concerning themselves with perfecting their creation to glorify the creator. Then humans arrived, but they weren’t the beautiful, perfect creatures the creator had made in his image, and they entered into Caln as if running from a terrible cataclysm. They brought with them beasts of the creator’s planet and demons stole in with them. At first, the Maestros were proud to have Caln be explored by humans, but then they began to see that something was terribly wrong. They were fallen creatures who had allied and worshipped the demons—the immortals who had rebelled. Instead of caring and appreciating what they saw, they began to conquer it and pillage it, ruining their carefully crafted planet, creating abomination and committing atrocities that shocked the maestros. They were hurt and horrified that the creator allowed them to do this. It seemed that all they could do was watch while their creator’s creation ruined their works. Lemari was the first to get over the shock, and pleaded to Caius. Lemari wanted to kill these humans, who were obviously outside the will of the creator, but Caius rebuked her, reminding her that these were, after all, still beings that were made by the creator and in his image, and therefore outside their realm of authority. She bowed her head and agreed. Caius decided that it was time to visit the creator. It turned out that the creator was testing the maestros, waiting to see if the Maestros would come to him for instruction concerning the disposition of humans. He knew what was happening. He told them the horrible truth. He revealed the nature of the

rebellion. Finally, he disclosed how humans had betrayed him. He told them that that he was almost sorry he had created humans, and had nearly wiped them out on his personal planet. The humans that had made it to Caln were refugees from this cataclysm, and were allowed there to test the Maestros, as they had been allowed on other worlds across the universe for the same reason. Caius had passed the test in coming to the creator for advice, and since Caius was the appointed head over all the immortals on Caln, he was given the knowledge of humans. The other Maestros arrived to fetch Caius just as he was being given instructions on dealing with them. (Time moves much differently to immortals, and especially different to immortals who are concentrating on mortals, as the Maestros of Caln were doing) He revealed that had the Maestros dealt with the humans by killing them or attempting to subjugate them and force worship away from the creator they would have lost the entirety of their creation and their star would have been extinguished. As it was, they passed, though Ixah did not, and were sent with the tools, power and authority to deal with the corruption that had entered into their world. Concerning humans, the creator gave those on Caln to the Maestros. The Creator had rejected these humans entirely and could not look at them anymore. He had only preserved them for as long as it would take to test Caln, as he had sent humans to all of the worlds that he allowed the immortal beings to make life on. He had to plumb the depths of the rebellion. He was furious with these humans because they had rejected him and worshipped their own false deities and fraternized with the rebellion. He told the Maestros to deal with them as they willed—even to destroy them if they wished. Immortal hybrids, however, had made themselves something more than human, and so would have to wait for the Creator’s direct judgment at the end of time, the same as the true immortals. They, like true humans, must never remember their origin during their mortal life, but they must be made to realize after death that they are cursed by a higher law, and are the only creatures of Caln that are informed of the origin of man after they die. At the end of time, he promised, he would collect the souls of all humans that dwelt on Caln. Those that were judged evil by the maestros would be damned by the creator and those who were judged worthy will be judged again at the end of time when the nature of their origin would be revealed to them. He warned them, however, that if they chose to preserve human life, and if they declared themselves to be gods by refusing to give up these souls when he asked, they would be sent to the pit along with the demons. He also told them that if they chose to try and save them, they should let humans forget about the Creator, and gave them permission to direct the human’s worship to the Maestros. If they remembered him, he said, they would be responsible for that knowledge, and be utterly damned and worthy of destruction. At least since the maestros had passed his test, he knew that they would be good, and would remain in line with his plans, giving love and hope of salvation to these humans. Humans on Caln know nothing of their origin. The maestros have not told them, and the written knowledge was destroyed in the war. Even though the Creator gave them permission to allow them use the magic of Caln, the Maestros chose not to allow it. Just from what they knew of humans, they could not be entrusted with it. In fact, they retained its poisonous nature, allowing it to curse humans who used it, so pure humans

don’t know that they could have been able to use the magic. The maestros chose not to allow them because they had proven through their evil acts that they were not to be trusted with too much power. The demons could reveal the secret of the creator, but they don’t. The demons and Ixah would prefer to direct human worship upon themselves, rather than continue to bring the creator’s attention on them by revealing the history, and since the Maestros were given permission, the demons ate up the opportunity to usurp the authority of the Maestros and set up their false churches. The maestros would rather just let this happen than to try and silence them. They know well enough that should they try to silence the demons’ ranting, the demons could say something to them about the creator and the humans would be entirely doomed because they had some knowledge of the creator. Man influenced the Master races with their knowledge. In return for their original kindness, they taught the linyth to write. From Man, the linyth carried the knowledge to the other races. The esyth stole knowledge of forged weapons and cooking during the war. The rysyth learned how to trade and spread their knowledge to the far seas. Their trade routes are more intricate than humans could ever imagine. Master races: After the maestros had made and formed life on Caln to the best of their ability, they were pleased, and presented it to the creator who was honored by it. The Maestros had done a good job of making the world he had given them a beautiful tribute to him. The Maestros were pleased by his pleasure, and sought to find a way to keep the planet beautiful. The true immortals of Lemari did well, but they were not part of the magic of Caln. They wanted creatures that could care for the planet who were intelligent enough to communicate with the maestros. Perhaps, they reasoned, with such a creature, they could learn how to improve the planet, so they could continue making it better and more pleasing with each passing year. It was Ixah who came up with the templates for these creatures, as he had created the templates for all of Calnese life. Meranna lent her magic, and Asair collected the raw material for their bodies. Talus set a time inside these new creations so that when they reached a certain number of years, they would return to the maestros with all their intelligence and history, and Caius, who had not, until this moment, directly created any part of life because he was overseeing the overall creation of life on Caln and insuring that it was good in the eyes of the creator, granted them a keen mind with the ability of higher reasoning. Then he pulled out six black gems—two for each of the three races. They were like pearls, but as the other maestros watched, he drew out a tiny piece of himself and slipped a piece of that into each gem. They began to glow. Kindly, he asked the other inner council maestros to do the same. As the maestros followed suit, the gems began to glow brighter. Finally, when they had all given their portion, Caius slipped a gem into each of these new creatures and Lemari sang them to life. These became the male and female of the Linyth, Esyth, and Rysyth. The division of pieces of their soul was not even, however. Each Maestro has one gender of one of the races that they prefer. They wanted them all to be unique. Since there were six gems and six Maestros, it only made sense. The creatures began their blessed lives, bred, cared for the land, and in time erected temples to the Maestros. When Talus’s timepiece in them reached its end, they would dissolve into their base materials

instead of decaying like the beasts, and the pieces of the creature’s soul, literally the pieces of the Maestros that they had sacrificed in creating them, returned with all of the knowledge of the planet and the history of the creature. The pieces of the maestros became the unique and whole souls of these creatures, and in time, they began to develop unique personalities. The children of these creatures were born with a gem and a soul of their own, and these intelligent, sentient races began to populate the entire face of Caln. In the cosmic order, they are above the beasts of Caln but below humans because they were not made by the creator, and will not continue to exist at the end of time. When time ends, their souls will all be absorbed into the maestros as was originally intended. All of the members of the three races have a powerful poison somewhere on them, a unique poison that was originally intended to help them capture and digest their prey and defend themselves from natural threats. All of them also have a form of telepathy. They can always talk to each other mind to mind and with select sensitive or consecrated humans. They also have their own spoken language, which they use to activate magic and to communicate with members of their own race. Esyth: The Esyth are of the Earth of Caln. They were formed from dirt, rock, and sand. They bear eight limbs, all perfectly designed to take care of their surroundings. Of the three races, they were the first to develop tools of stone and wood. They are farmers, woodsmen, stonemasons, druids and rangers: consummate masters of the land. Lemari has an affinity for the female Esyth, and Talus, the male. When they die, their bodies turn into dirt or sand. Esyth have a leonine head with a mouth full of teeth, which can chew and digest any plant and any animal. They also safely eat and chew stone, which aids their digestion. Their soul gem is located just under their ribs at their solar plexus. Their limbs are specialized as follows: The first set is human-like arms that are always bulging with the practical muscle they need to do their job. Their third set is another set of arms, longer and stronger than the first, but terminating in powerful pincers that can be used to chop, crush and dig, as well as aid their mobility. Their fourth set is specifically for moving, and they are catlike, with nasty claws. They prefer to walk on their two legs, though when they really want to run, they will use both pincers and feet in a method that looks like a gorilla’s run. Their tail is long, terminating in a whip-like end with tiny barbs that can deliver their potent poison. The barbs are tiny silicon needles like the spikes of nettles. A little bubble of potent neurotoxin releases into the victim like a tiny needle when the barb is torn away from the Esyth’s tail. Their second set of limbs is specialized from climate to climate. In cliff terrain or forest terrain, these might be wings for gliding or actual flight. They, like rysyth, are too heavy to fly naturally, but their inherent magic allows it. In a desert, the limbs would be like huge sails to help cool the creature. Most Esyth are terrified of the water. Going into the water means drowning. Esyth cannot swim. They cannot keep their bodies afloat, and will rarely go into water that is above their chest. Esyth are highly territorial and often, adjacent tribes will squabble over land. When they still took care of the land, it was because one climate, like desert, would be

naturally encroaching on the scrublands, or the glacial terrain would slide down over the plains, and the winner of the squabble could take care of the section that was in dispute, either returning it to the way it was, or letting the new climate take over in that area. After the war of Man, they continued to squabble, but it was for the power of their tribe instead of the rights to care for the land. Since they are land creatures, they suffered the worst from the human invasion. Many esyth died in the humans’ lust for land and power. Many tribes were wiped out in vicious battles because humans did not care for the land as they did. They were the first souls of Caln to cry out for help against the invading humans, but they were also the first race to kill a human, and so fall out of the will of the Maestros. Esyth always move silently in their surroundings unless they choose to make noise. Even on leaf litter, they do not make a rustle, and on stone, their feet make no noise. Their language is the language of groaning, roaring, bleating and whistling known as Esir. Both sexes stand at around nine feet when they are upright. The most terrifying thing to see is an Esyth charging at his enemies, second limbs outstretched, weapons in hand, galloping feet, and pincers which will divide a human in the blink of an eye. When and Esyth charges into battle, the ground he touches shakes with each footfall. The female Esyth are inclined more to the less permanent aspects of earth: crops, flowers, dirt, and husbandry. If it can move, live or die, the females were busy with it. They cultivated plants and started the first farms and villages. Males are concerned with the stone, trees, and territory. If it is permanent or does not easily move, they love it. The difference in the two genders is easy to tell. Like lions, the males have manes and the females do not. Females give live birth and they are marsupial in nature. Esyth also settled the first villages and taught the linyth to build their dwellings before their fall. Esyth were responsible for the building of Arynstar’s Undercity. In modern Caln, they are a diminished race, sulking in caves, harsh climates, and barren places where men dare not dwell, and Caln has suffered for their loss. Rysyth: The rysyth are huge six-limbed creatures made of the essence of water. They are vaguely draconic and definitely birdlike in nature. Caius favored the females of the rysyth and Ixah favored the males. When they die, their bodies turn into fresh water or salt water. Caln, like Earth, is about seventy-five percent water, and Rysyth were created to care for all of it. There are two types of rysyth: Oceanbound and Skyborn. These forms represent freshwater and saltwater. Both are equal in power, and have no choice in how they are made. Rysyth lay eggs. If those eggs are laid in fresh water, the rysyth will hatch as a Skyborn. If it is laid in salt, it will hatch as an Oceanbound. When the original pair was created, the female was the Oceanbound and the male was the Skyborn, but subsequent generations produced male and female of the different types. They all still live together in their underwater colonies when they can. Only the Skyborn live in the deep freshwater lakes. All rysyth can breathe air as well as water and both can tolerate freshwater as well as salt. Both types of rysyth have a serpentine head with their soul gem prominently placed on their foreheads. Their front top and bottom teeth are as long as a man’s arm

and contain their unique poison. These teeth are specialized to be able to fold inward or extend forward like a viper’s fangs and their jaws are similar to a snake’s. The rest of their teeth are tiny in comparison. Rysyth consider themselves to be gourmets. They learned to make tools from the esyth and their first tools were knives that they used to cut up their food for easier swallowing. Rysyth are mostly carnivorous. Since they are creatures of the water, they eat fish, with Calnese variants of shark and whale being their favorite. They actually raise these creatures like cattle. Rysyth have a keen sense of smell, and can easily see in the dark, though they prefer light because it allows them to see in color, which they adore. Skyborn rysyth also have a trumpeting roar that can be heard for miles Rysyth of both types swim with their tails, using the side to side motion common in reptiles. Oceanbound rysyth can normally reach lengths of fifty feet from nose to tip, and ten feet wide. They care for the ocean and all its creatures. Their feathers are small, insulating and waterproof, (like a penguin’s feathers) and are drab brown, gray, white, or blue, often having patches of all these colors. In the Oceanbound, their second limbs are exclusively for swimming, and are rigid, short, thick appendages that can be carried against the body or extended. Their first set of limbs are supple, flexible arms with human-like hands tipped in tiny claws. Oceanbound rysyth are capable of the most beautiful art and the most potent magic because their hands are such sensitive instruments. Their hind limbs are little more than tiny fins. They have two dorsal fins, one at the base of their neck and the other just over their hips. The poison in the Oceanbound is carried through the bite, as with a viper. Skybound Rysyth are much smaller creatures, rarely reaching more than thirty feet from nose to tail and seven feet wide across their chests. They fly with the aid of natural magic, and the wingspan of their second limbs is at least one and a half times the length of their body. Their first limbs are taloned claw-like hands and hind feet that are powerful and also taloned. Skyborn rysyth cannot swim as fast, dive as far, or do much magic that requires somatic components, the way that Oceanbound Rysir can. They simply lack much of the fine muscle control in their hands, and their claws get in the way. What they can do is fly and hover. They have feathers more like waterfowl. Skyborn rysyth feathers are amazing things. Rysyth can actually “drink” moisture from the clouds and the dew. They have special belly feathers, which pick up moisture and draw it into the skin where it is absorbed into the body. Specialized feathers over their spine are modified into quills. They also have huge pinions, some of which are twice the height of a human. The feathers of both types do not cover their head, their arms below the elbow, or their legs below the hock. These places have scales. The skyborn have a head crest that starts just behind their soul gem on their forehead and extends on either side of the head in a dual crest that can lay mostly flat or straight up, similar to a cockatoo’s crest. A Skyborn rysyth is colored like their Oceanbound brethren, but their flight feathers and head crest are brightly colored like tropical birds or fish in red, green, bright blue, and yellow feathers which correspond to a human’s red, brown, black, and blonde hair respectively. As a Skyborn ages, his feathers turn grey at the edges. The most aged of them have solid grey feathers. In the Skyborn, the dorsal fins are two hardened spikes that grow like horns and must be trimmed. Between them, and continuing down the tail are shorter quill shaped

spikes. These ones are modified feathers and replace themselves, but the two dorsal spikes are not long and pointy, they are broad and substantial in the shape of a rose thorn. When Caius introduced his plan of salvation, the humans modified the front spike by cutting into it. They attached their saddle to the front spike and later, devised the position of tail rider, modifying the rear spike. The rysyth tend to view it in the same way as humans view a piercing. The poison of a Skyborn can be shot from ducts in the top of their teeth like a spitting cobra. They can shoot this stream of acidic poison accurately up to two hundred feet. The poison is the same as that of the Oceanbound, but arguably is a nastier delivery. A creature sprayed by this poison begins to blister as the acid burns their flesh, creating a vector for the secondary, hemotoxic poison to enter the victim’s blood. A rysyth can potentially spray enough in one blast to coat an entire human. Unfortunately, their greatest enemies, the Omryth, are immune to the hemotoxin, though the acid delivered to the right spot can still do some damage. Rysyth prefer to live in or near water, and get very uncomfortable when they are not near it. Rysyth also hate to walk on land. The Oceanbound have to drag their huge bodies, like seals, across the ground with their sensitive hands. Skyborn can walk and even run, but they were not built for overland speed. When they walk or run, they are very clumsy. They sort of waddle on their hands and feet, and they have great difficulty getting into the air from the ground. When at all possible, they will avoid dry land. Despite their marvelous adaptations, Rysyth also have a problem with heat exchange. Being as large as they are, and fundamentally creatures of water, they lack an efficient method of cooling. Linyth can sweat and Esyth, being creatures of the ground, can naturally tolerate any temperature short of fire’s heat. Rysyth cannot. They overheat easily, because their most efficient method of keeping cool is staying either high up in the clouds or down in the water. Rysyth on land are incredibly vulnerable. Of the three races, rysyth have taken the language and business of trade to heart, and have underwater societies, governments and currency very similar to human society. This made it easy to forge an alliance with the Togri clan of humans when they were fleeing the king of Arynstar. Linyth: The linyth are four limbed creatures created from the air. They have a very sad history. Modern linyth look nothing like the way they were created. That is because they were cursed. Originally, Linyth were delicate humanoid creatures with chiropteran wings and feet that functioned like arms. They could easily do spells with their feet, and actually walked on their wings like bats. Their language, Linir, was accessible to humans and could be learned and spoken by them. They were truly mammalian in nature. In this race, Meranna did not choose the female, as Lemari had chosen the female of the Esyth. She chose to favor the male, while Asair favored the female. Linyth males used to be the most powerful mages on Caln. They learned how to build from the Esyth and used the knowledge to make huge, magical cities in the sky. When humans came, they quickly befriended the Linyth. The linyth taught their ways, and humans taught the linyth to read and write. They began to write down their spells and share them. The linyth are naturally curious, imaginative, and bold, not fearing to explore ways to make themselves better, faster, and more powerful. They began to lust after

magic even before humans arrived, and when the human’s brought all their knowledge, they also brought with them foreign magic. The linyth were the first to listen to the temptation of demons, and under their influence, mated with humans in an attempt to gain their magic. The humans were all too happy to participate in this blasphemy. They had considered the linyth to be beautiful creatures. The magic inherent in the planet— strong in the linyth because of their connection to Meranna--caused these matings to produce viable, fertile hybrids. When Lemari cursed the immortals for mating with humans, she also rebuked the linyth. They were mortal, and so could be forgiven, being told that they should not mate any longer with these beings. After the long period of silence however, the demons whispered into their ears and the linyth lapsed back into sin with humans. Their matings continued throughout the war of Man until the Maestros judged them at the end of the war. By the end of the war, however, some of these hybrids had proven themselves to be as mixed a group as true humans. Some of them were good, joining the side of the Maestros, and some were not, siding with the demons, but they were still an abomination in the sight of the Maestros, who viewed their very existence as a corruption. The pure Linyth were punished for all eternity. Since they had dared to lust after foreign magic, their ability to use Calnese magic was stripped from them. They were given new forms to wear that would insure that they made no spells, and their power of speech was also stripped. Because they had abandoned the air for their lust for power, they were stricken from the skies and forced to walk the land. They still have their telepathy, but their new language is no more than a series of whooping bleats like a zebra’s call. Modern linyth look like unicorns. They are white in color and stand taller than an Earth unicorn—about twenty-three hands high. Their horn is made of a clear conductive material in which their toxin is held: a potent sedative and blood thinner that is secreted from the tip of the horn. It delivers such a powerful effect that it puts the victim in a chemical induced coma as the blood thinner makes the victim bleed out. The horn covers their soul gem, protecting it. They are the only one of the three races to display emotion through their eyes, because the light of the Gem reflects in them. Linyth have four cloven hooves that contain gold in their makeup. Linyth need gold as an occasional part of their diet. Linyth eat the least amount of food of the three races. It was only after they were cursed that they developed the need to eat anything of substance. More nutritious to them is lightning. They crave electricity. They still need it to survive. On the plains where they now live in herds, they stand still and close in a thunderstorm, so that when lightening strikes one, every linyth gets the benefit. When they do eat of the earth, they are mostly herbivorous. Linyth, being creatures of air, cannot enter the water. They walk on top of it as if it were just another solid surface. They can no longer fly, but they will always remember that they once could. Their hybrids were championed by Meranna, because though the true linyth were cursed and remade to be almost bestial in nature, these half-linyth creatures could still use Calnese magic in the methods their linyth ancestors taught. The Maestros had changed the form of the linyth to a form that should not attract the sexual attention of humans, but still, occasionally, a sick human on a hunt for the linyth will rape one before cutting off her horn. This is a sick practice that is usually

done in the name of Thrass, who was originally responsible for tempting the linyth to mate with humans. Usually, removing the horn kills the linyth, but occasionally a linyth survives and carries a baby to term. As for the horn, it is powdered and the venom diluted for use in Arynstar medicine. Usually, the priests of Thrass are the ones who carry the medicines made from linyth horn. Slave races: In the early days of Caln, when the numbers of the master races were few, the creatures had trouble caring for the part of creation they were tasked to care for. They prayed to the Maestros for aid. The answer came in the form of the slave races. They are the last and greatest of all the true beasts of Caln. The slave races were created to be semiintelligent but soulless, and made to serve the master races. These creatures can communicate basic needs to the race that they were made to serve, but other than that, they are basically beasts that were created to be servants. Humans quickly exploited these races, enjoying the fact that they were already, by their nature, domesticated. Masyth: Masyth are more like small, six limbed dragons than like the birdlike rysyth they were made to serve. They have chiropteran wings and grow to about fifteen feet from nose to tail. They have two dorsal spikes similar to those of the Skyborn rysyth. They are powerful enough to carry one human safely, but only the biggest of them can carry two. The Oceanbound Masyth serve as janitors and defenders and continue completely in the service of rysyth. The Skyborn are small enough to go places that Rysyth are too large to reach on land. These creatures are bipedal and the Skyborn ones are very swift runners, which the rysyth appreciated, employing them to protect fallen or grounded rysyth. Humans use them as alternatives to horses where horses are not available or not convenient. Humans of Arynstar often amputate the first set of limbs of these creatures to accommodate their type of saddle, which allows the masyth rider to sit upright on the beast, the human’s legs fitting into the hollow grooves where the first shoulder blades once were. These saddles are affixed to the creature by bolts that go through the creature’s bony dorsal spikes. The saddles can be removed and other kinds of saddles can be attached to the bolts like harnesses like carts and traps. The dorsal spikes are mostly dead tissue, and the masyth do not feel the process of bolting any more than a horse feels a shoeing. In fact, the bolting has to be redone as the spine continues to grow like a hoof. If left untended, they grow into a spike that can foul their wings. In the Togri nation, where they live closely with the rysyth, the rysyth demand that they keep the creatures as the Maestros created them. They are concerned about the treatment of Arynstar rysyth, but they know they are cared for. Once they pass from the ownership of the Togri and the rysyth, they are the property of their owners, and rysyth regard them as a commodity the same way that humans in other continents view horses. Masyth can live without their first set of limbs quite easily in the care of man, who keep them and feed them like horses. In the forest of Origin, Masyth are raised in and among the trees in herds, and need their front limbs to forage and to aid the humans in caring for their rysyth companions, and so the Togri have developed a kneeling saddle for war and a reclining saddle for pleasure. In the war saddle, the Togri warrior kneels and is strapped

firmly into the saddle so that they can shoot or fight from its back. In the reclining saddle, the feet are placed forward and the seat is stiff and long enough to recline comfortably but still control the beast without fouling wings or arms. It is nearly impossible to fight in this position. Masyth eat algae or plant material, grains, and meat in balance. They prefer fish, but can live on red meat. The humans of Arynstar tend to give them an entirely herbivorous diet with a plant substitute for meat. Arynstar does have its own breeding stock, but they prefer the Togri stock because they are more robust and stronger. This is because the rysyth actually raise the creatures until they can feed themselves before bringing them to the Togri, where the ryshians raise them as part of their duties. Since rysyth can actually communicate with the beasts, they are better suited to raise the hatchlings. Dramyth: These are eight limbed beasts of burden that resemble Earth’s triceratops. Esyth used them to plow the fields, haul things that they couldn’t lift, and level sections of dead trees. They are the least intelligent of the slave races, barely able to communicate with their Esyth masters beyond the need for food or an indication of injury or illness. Six of the creature’s eight legs are used for support and walking, and they are incredibly sturdy and strong. Their second set is specialized by climate in the same way as their masters’, though none of them can fly even if their masters can. They are simply too big and bulky, even with magic. They are about the same size as a rhinoceros and can easily carry fifty times their body weight. Humans favor the desert breed, and use them extensively because though the horses and camels managed to survive, cattle that were brought were quickly hunted and consumed by Caln’s predators. The huge second limbs in the desert breed are used for heat exchange by the Dramyth and shade by their humans. Fortunately, these creatures breed like cattle, and the meat of just one, though very tough, is enough to keep an entire tribe of humans alive for a month. They eat desert plants, animals, and insects, which they get by digging in the sand with their noses. Early humans thought that they ate the sand itself, just like the esyth they were designed to serve. Kailyth: These are huge, predatory birds bigger than a sea eagle. Originally, they could defend and fight for the delicate linyth, and they still function in this role. They are the most intelligent of the three races and are capable of basic human speech—though they sound like parrots when they speak. They are also the most independent of the three slave races and refused to be used by humans. They still serve the linyth, supporting and defending them as they were meant to do. The only humans they will associate with are the most potent of hybrid mages. Each of the hybrids that choose the path of the divided soul also gain a kailyth companion if the creatures are available. These are the also the smallest and rarest of the three slave races. They thrive where large herds of linyth exist, and they are entirely extinct on the continent of man, but on the cliffs of Trexrir, there is a colony living feral called the Yee clan. They are a plague to fishermen of Trexrir, because they will strip an area of its fish and defend their

territory with sharp talons and their high intelligence. Even the Trexian half-immortals fear the Yee clan. They wait for the linyth to be returned to their original form. Other intelligent nonhuman races: Other races of intelligent creatures exist, most of which are evil. The magic of Caln made fertilization possible across species, and so there were once human hybrids of many of the creatures they brought with them. Lesser Demons: Lesser Demons are the fallen, evil immortals that came with man or true immortals who abandoned the maestros. Fallen immortals of Caln also fall into this class. Ixah commands them even as he lords over the demons. There is a difference between demons and fallen immortals. True demons are from outside Caln and can possess humans, fallen immortals cannot. Fallen immortals can take on a physical form on the material plane, true demons cannot. Demons have more pure magic overall, but fallen immortals, being some of the beings that had been there when the magic was awakened, can use the magic of Caln. True demons cannot. Demons and fallen immortals fight against each other even as they fight against the other immortals and the Maestros, though a tenuous alliance exists between Thrass and Ixah. True Immortals: True immortals are beings loyal to the Maestros that are less powerful than the outer council Maestros, but still immortal. At one time they belonged to Lemari exclusively. It is not known whether she created them or if she was given charge of them by the Creator, but they have been on Caln for as long as the Maestros. They did not originally play a part in the making of life, but Lemari originally charged them to watch over its essence and to aid the Maestros. They have two physical forms on the material plane: a humanoid form and a natural form. Their humanoid form usually looks like a human. Their natural form looks like the part of life they were tasked to watch over. They are on about the same power lever as lesser demons, and when the demons came over with the humans, the immortals were the first to greet the demons, even as the linyth were the first to greet the humans. The demons looked like them! They were pleasant, friendly, open, and informative to the immortals, telling them all about humans. It was a pack of lies and half-truths, of course, but the immortals knew no better. For the first time in their existence, they were awakened to their sexuality by these demons, who showed them that they could produce offspring if they mated with a human. The immortals were thrilled. At last, they could create something! When they produced powerful little mortal babies, they were overjoyed. If they could do it with this race, which was not of Caln, why not naturally try it with the sentient races? Some of them had misgivings, as some of them had misgivings about mating with humans, but they tried it, and they were caught. Lemari had been watching when the first act with a Calnese native had occurred, and howled in rage. They had profaned the nature of the Maestros’ creation! The offspring of Calnese and immortal descent were crushed out of existence. Then, Lemari broke the period of shocked silence at the actions of the evil humans on their world, and was the first to act. She cast the immortals from her, barring them from the upper planes and forcing them onto the material. There she ripped from them their ability to mate and their fertility and retreated from Caln in grief. It was

because of this act that Caius decided he should speak to the creator about his humans and the demons that they had brought. In modern Caln, immortals are intermediaries of all the Maestros except Lemari, who rejected them, and Sorrith who considers them all still under judgment. He considers their service to the Maestros as part of their penance. Ascended Humans: Even before the War there were shining examples of humanity among the mortals on Caln. The maestros can’t explain it, but sometimes, a human’s deeds make them immortal. All they can tell about it is that some sort of very good magic changes their nature, but they believe it comes from the Creator. From that point, their life becomes much harder. They are declared immortal, even down to the curse of sterility, and are given over to a single Maestro, who becomes the human’s patron. Then they must do an important task for each of the Maestros and gain power with each completed task before their full immortality is declared. This is a very difficult road, and very few pass. For these souls, failure means spending eternity in Pathir, stuck at the level of their path that they failed until the Creator calls for their judgment. From the moment the magic renders them immortal, they are barred from the Realm of the Dead—which is barred to any immortal except the six inner council maestros. This is especially difficult for Sorrith’s ascended humans, who can see the feasthall any time, but can never enter it. For the rest of time, after they pass all six tasks, they are tasked to be leaders in the fight against the demons. They are given full access to the magic of Caln to use as they see fit, though they are still barred from the magic of the true immortals, and they are allowed to ascend to their patron’s domain and back. If their bodies are disintegrated, they can form new ones, just like all immortals. They are nearly like the true immortals, but even they are not given the knowledge of their origin. Omryth: Omryth are twisted, nasty creatures that are very draconic, though their rysyth origins are apparent. They have the same body structure as the Skyborn rysyth they were corrupted from, but they have iridescent, indigo scales instead of a rysyth’s feathers and chiropteran wings like an esyth. Instead of a feathered crest at its head, it has actual horns. They have a soul gem, and are like one of the three races since they descended from rysyth. These creatures are of fire and when they die, they are consumed in fire. When Ixah remade them from the rysyth he had captured, he remembered the stories that the demons told of the false worship practiced by the humans on their world. Ixah thought that this was a good idea and set about changing the nature of his rysyth into fire. Omryth sacrificed their Rysyth poison for the ability to breathe fire. Omryth fire is a liquid stream of oil from the glands that in their rysyth counterparts should hold poison. This oil ignites on contact with air. Omryth cannot breathe water any longer, but they are immune to the effects of fire. They are also immune to rysyth poison. Since they were bastardized from the maestros’ plans, they lost the ability to use anything more than the natural magic inherent to their bodies. They are entirely Ixah’s creatures. To mock the rysyth, they will even adopt humans as riders, though they lord themselves over their human riders rather than letting it be an equal partnership.

Omryth also worship Thrass, because it suits their nature, but they will always revere Ixah first. Important hybrids: Centaurs and lamia are the only two fully mortal non Calnese hybrid types to survive. They are both fierce, vicious, depraved groups that worship demons exclusively. There is only one group of centaurs on Enrir that recognizes the authority of the fallen Maestros. Werewolves sprung from a disease created by demon magic, and stalk the nights, retaining their intelligence, but are unable to control their transformation. This is a sexually transmitted disease, not a contact disease. Half immortals (Trexian): The people of the continent of Trexrir were imprisoned there by the Maestros, who wouldn’t slaughter them because they weren’t inherently evil, but wouldn’t leave them free to mate with the remaining human stock and continue polluting the gene pool. Humans would say that this is a great pity because, though the immortal blood doesn’t make the hybrids immortal, it does give them powers and abilities that mere humans can only dream about. It also gives them access to the magic of the immortals. After the immortals were cursed to sterility, there were no more true hybrids, but the mortal progeny that continued bore the taint. Slowly, the taint has been becoming diluted as generations have passed without new immortal blood coming into the gene pool of Trexrir. Some modern Trexians, through selective breeding with the cleansed children of Lemari, are actually being born normal. These normal humans are the only ones allowed to trade by boat with other continents. Any Trexian with even a trace of immortal t0aint trying to leave the continent can ruin a voyage, because violent storms set there by Meranna rise up immediately to smash the boat with the offending Trexian. Pure humans not native to Trexrir cannot come near the continent because of the same effect. Half immortals have been known to live up to 900 years, but most only make it to around 500. Half Demons: Also trapped on Trexrir are the true half demons, vicious, nasty creatures with minds depraved and bent on evil. Unfortunately, dark human tribes throughout the world can claim a bit of demon blood in their lineage. Since demons and humans come from outside of Caln, some of the men with faintly demon tainted blood escaped the great division. Half demons can live to the same age as a Half immortal. Linyth Hybrid: The gestation period for a linyth is three years. They then give birth to one or quite often two babies. If those babies are hybrid, then the herd demands that she kill the offspring or become an outcast as a lover of abomination. Some do, and some do not, choosing to give them a chance at life. If they do not, they usually give them away to a suitable human. Hybrids born to a pure linyth are born fully able to walk and to balance on their mother’s back. A true half linyth hybrid is grown to the approximate size of a natural three or four year old. A linyth hybrid born of hybrid parents or of carrier humans will look and act just like a normal human baby. Linyth hybrids were all gathered up by Meranna and taken to the continent of Enrir, but the bloodline of humans corrupted in this way was strange. The taint of a

linyth hybrid, as opposed to the immortal taint, seems to be recessive and a pairing of a hybrid and true human is more likely to produce a true human, or more likely a carrier of the taint, than a hybrid that can actually use the magic of Caln. The carriers can live their lives and die as natural humans, and do not suffer the curse of a hybrid before or after death, but carriers can produce offspring that are tainted. Whenever a child is born to parents suspected of being carriers, the child is checked. If it has blue eyes with flecks of gold, it is declared hybrid and the parents will raise the child until it manifests its power before turning it over to Meranna’s church. The parents may or may not teach the child in the ways of the church. Choosing is always left up to the hybrid. A true half linyth--born of a linyth-- ages slower than a human, tending to reach puberty at around age thirty. A hybrid born of hybrids or carriers ages normally until just before it reaches the age of puberty as a true human before stopping. They seem to stay in their pre-pubescent age until they reach around thirty, when their power manifests, and they continue growing as hybrids. Puberty happens quickly for linyth hybrids, taking a mere two years from the time they manifest their powers until their major growth stops. Since they grow so fast, and warp so quickly to look more like linyth, they often grow improperly, resulting in twisted, tortured bodies. After that, if Meranna has not intervened, a hybrid will begin the slow, painful process of breaking down even as they continue to change. Normal humans were not allowed to work Calnese magic, and so even for a hybrid, using it without the intervention of Meranna (the Maestro of Calnese magic) causes their cells to break down. Over time, the magic actually kills the hybrid, but in the meantime, their curse causes a disorder that looks like leprosy. In reality, it is the manifestation of that incompatibility. This can all be regulated by Meranna’s path. Hybrids following the path of the mage have their growth regulated to a more even pace that produces a well made body, though strange as it changes throughout their life, and the process of decay is halted. In the end, mages all have to give up their humanity, but they will live about half of a linyth’s life span as a mage—about 150 years. Hybrids on the other path will live as long as they are not killed on the material plane, and their growth is halted for all time at the point that their souls were divided. Should they die, they go to Meranna. Though they can’t join with her, they are the only blessed souls of the dead to dwell outside of Sorrith’s domain. They dwell in Meranna’s domain in the upper plane of Insir, next to her and with her because the other half of their soul is part of her. Until the end of time, they can no longer leave her domains, and they suffer when she leaves them.

A brief history Pre-human Caln Humans know nothing of the time before they were there. Caln was created to be a place of savage and rugged beauty. The three races recall this time as the age of mythology, when the Maestros dwelt with them and everything was just perfect. All things were as they should be. The War of Man and the Silence

The war of Man is a confusing time in Caln’s history. Events are jumbled into the entire duration, and though Talus has sought after the pieces in this time that he missed chronicling, it pains him to review what he has learned of it. He views this time as a time of chaos, a time when many mistakes across their creation and among the immortals occurred, and it is more important to him and all of Caln that the major events DID occur than detailing WHEN they occurred during this time period. The perfection that was once Caln was shattered with the coming of man. At first, humans and demons came as refugees and didn’t harm the planet, but as soon as they settled in and began to propagate (in the case of humans), their fallen nature began to show, resulting in all the atrocities that led up to the war. The war began officially when Ixah gave permission to the demons to deal with humans in exchange for peace. They were, in truth, jealous that the Creator would allow them to make such things and command life on a planet. Ixah, by committing rebellion, had uncovered the desire of the demons: to overthrow the Maestros. The war was fought on the material for the most part. After the war, the Maestros promised never to do battle on the material plane until the end of time. The damage, however, was catastrophic. Because Ixah had joined in the rebellion, evil became part of Caln, and created a dualism that was never originally meant to exist. The great Dispersal After the war, the Maestros had the task of setting Caln back in order. For messing up their planet, they wanted to kill the humans entirely and hold their souls until the end of time, but they found they could not. They did look very much like the creator and they found that some, even before they had returned from meeting with the Creator, had allied with their creation and had proven themselves to be defenders of good, even though they didn’t understand it. Sorrith, especially, plead on behalf of these humans, reminding the maestros of what humans had done to help him. After the war of man, after the Maestros dealt with the demons and set Sorrith in his new place, The Maestros then turned their attention to Caln’s mortals. They wept at what they saw, and every day of their work was agony. Foul creatures inhabited Caln, and the demons had introduced foreign magic and false worship to the people. Of the three races: rysyth, linyth, and esyth, the maestros were deeply disappointed. Each of them had fallen from their true purpose as caretakers of Caln. They had discovered the nature of evil and the tiny part of their souls that was of Ixah had corrupted every last one of them. They almost decided to destroy them, but seeing how the war had changed them, took pity on them. They were fallen creatures, just like humans, and just like humans, had free will. After dealing with their own creation, they gathered all humans into the Gherir, the desert that was formed in the wake of the battle against Caius and Ixah. There, they revealed themselves to the humans, and separated them out according to their choices. The face of Caln was utterly changed by the war. The magic, the chaos and the battles had divided the single continent they had originally created was divided into four. Three of these were habitable by humans. The fourth continent drifted into the arctic. The linyth were cursed at the end of the war for fraternizing with humans. Though they were initially good in treating them in friendship, they carried it too far by mating with them and lusting after the power of the demons. Lemari had rebuked them

when she cursed the immortals, but she had not paid attention to the linyth hybrids because they were still partly human, and therefore somewhat outside her authority. She dealt with them now. She and all of the Maestros changed the linyths’ form for all time. Then, Meranna gathered all the linyth hybrids from among them and took them to the new continent of Enrir. There, she declared that she would care for them because they could use Calnese magic, which was not allowed to any other humans. Thus, the second path of salvation was formed, the first being Sorrith’s path. Lemari gathered all of the half immortals and sent them to the new continent of Trexrir. Meranna extended her storms to shield the continent, just as she protected her own continent. That left the living pure humans. They commanded the esyth to build a city and build it to their specifications. It was an underground city, and a small amount of land was reformed around it that could support life, though the city would be in the center of the Gherir. They named the city Arynstar. There, they put all pure humans, leaving all of them alive and giving them the choice to follow them. Those who did were admitted into the city where they were protected. Those who didn’t were turned out into the wilderness to face their own fate or to repent and return if that was their choice. Then they turned their eye to their creation. They had learned much from their creator concerning the humans and decided it would be best to treat their own creation in a similar way. They left the Omryth alive, tasking the rysyth with their destruction as part of their penance for abandoning the Maestros and for committing the same sin as the linyth in lusting after foreign magic. Then they let the rysyth go, returning them to their proper places. They gave Trexrir and Enrir, the continents that had broken off, to the humans that lived on them to care for, taking that task away from the Esyth who had been the first to disobey the Maestros by killing humans. Their numbers were greatly diminished by the war, and they departed, eager to return to their lives, hoping that they could return to the time before the war. They had a monumental task ahead, setting the earth of Caln to its proper balance and continuing the war on the other planes. The Dark Age The time of mortal interaction with immortals was done. The Maestros had set in place the new planes of Insir, Pathir, and the Realm of the Dead, they put in place a system of judgment, and removed their direct control from their creation, leaving it, for the most part, to mortals. Untold centuries passed in the minds of mortals as the Maestros turned away from their creation in grief. They had patched their once perfect world, but it was not the same, and they couldn’t bear to look at it for a long time. The corruption that through Ixah had become integral to the planet continued to make life for the good races and humans a real challenge. The Maestros had let the Mortal races work out their own corruption, and resolved to judge them only after death. It was a very hard choice, but it was the only way that they could still keep what was left of their original creation, provide a chance for mortal redemption, and work with the mess that had become of their world. They could no longer interact with their creation directly after the dispersal, because they found that the seed of corruption in them would kill them if they interacted. They simply waited and watched, ready to interfere only if the life of the entire planet was at stake.

They set the immortals that remained in their service to the task of intermediaries, but they rarely allowed them a physical form on the material unless there was great need. Caln settled and began to thrive even without major influence from the Maestros. Humans left Arynstar to explore, as was their nature, and populated the continent of Man. Many things were forgotten in this time. Then, in Arynstar, the family based republic crumbled and a king arose. This king discovered demon magic. The time of the King The king of Arynstar longed to be immortal. Originally, he was no king at all. He was a dreamer with a head full of mythology. At one time, he had a name, but that name has been forgotten. In modern Caln, he is simply known as “the king” or “The god-king,” but to the cultures who suffer under his oppression, he is known as “The apostate King” because he abandoned the worship of the Maestros and proclaimed that he was a god. In Arynstar, there are two kinds of water. There is fresh water underground in the city, delivered to the city’s cisterns, and flowing into the river down to the lake. Just outside the city, in an oasis opposite the river, there was another type of water, which was blessed by Lemari. It was a spring of life, and then when the esyth were building Arynstar, this special water sustained and healed them. Esyth could live as long as they wished in perfect health by drinking it, but humans could not drink of it. The memory of this was almost lost to the humans of Arynstar during the Dark Age, except for the false myth that this was once the fountain of youth and that was why the city had been built nearby. One day, a young man of a farming family was sitting at the edge of the oasis. This man had looked at it every day with longing. The fountain spring was poisoned against humans, but he remembered the myths about it. Lemari had poisoned it against humans when the maestros banned pure humans from using Calnese magic. As he sat by the water’s edge, he began to notice that the plants and creatures that were not human could still use it and benefit from it. One day, he had left the house without food, so that when he reached the oasis he was very hungry. Searching among the plants, he found a stray chickpea plant that was growing beside the water. He plucked and ate the chickpeas because he was hungry. They energized him, filling him with life and health. His wounds healed, his sunburn disappeared, and he felt completely refreshed. Unwittingly, he had discovered the method to use the blessed water. He began to build a farm and house, laying claim to the land on the surface. The lords and citizens thought he was crazy. The surface was a blistering hot place. Their farmland was in a select sheltered place, but the land around, including the oasis, was pure desert, reaching temperatures that could fry a man’s mind in the day and freeze him at night. Besides, the oasis was poisoned and useless to humans. He did not listen, and proceeded to grow grain, figuring that if the chickpea could use the water, so could the wheat. The grain was good, and he sold it to his friends, who were astounded at its properties. They all agreed to keep it secret. They blended it with normal grain and distributed it to the people for a high price. When the people found that it had beneficial properties, even mixed in with the normal wheat, they were eager to buy it. The man made a fortune. The next year, his friends all moved to the surface, helping build up the man’s farm. He claimed that the Gods showed him the way and they bought it, declaring him a prophet.

When thieves came to steal the ripening grain and chickpeas, they defended the land and built a fence. In time, the fence became a wall and the simple house he originally built became a shining palace, with the tiny wheat and chickpea farm, and the addition of olive, date and almond trees. Over the years, the man and his friends became lords who invited the tribes around them to help with the harvest. A city grew on the surface, and in time encompassed all of the exits to the Undercity. All this time, the man did not age, preserved by the magic of the oasis. In time, the man declared himself king. The republic that had been in Arynstar was crushed and he set up his government. Arynstar was more vibrant than ever, but the Undercity was always superior. Over time, this king became greedier. He began to hoard his produce and put less and less of it into the city’s supply. The common man could no longer see into the palace compound, and did not know that the king was making so little, but they had accepted his rule as absolute. Even if they had learned, there was little they could do. The King had loyal armies that never questioned his rule, and by this time, dark tribes, invited by the King, were allowed to make homes and thrive in the city. They were fanatically devoted to the King. Over time, he made the Undercity into a place of criminals and low-lifes, where once it had been the most perfect of places for humans to dwell. He favored the Upper City with tax breaks, holidays, and higher wages. People were willing to suffer the heat of the surface to be next to the king, and they deified him. At first, he rebuked them openly, but secretly, he encouraged it. It was Favram Togri who discovered the king’s truth. He was one of the King’s advisors. After the king had reached his thousandth anniversary as King, something strange happened to the oasis. It still produced poisoned water, but the benefit of the water, drawn into the plants that were grown around it, stopped working for everyone except the King. The ancient lords of Arynstar were dying, and even Favram found himself aging like a normal human after his five hundred years of life. In his investigation, he discovered something nasty about the king’s practices, and led a rebellion that nearly killed the king. He led out a group of people from Arynstar, across the desert to the Forest of Origin where they became the Togri nation. The king survived, however, though his wounds were reported to have been mortal. He took advantage of Favram Togri’s rebellion to issue edicts that sealed the Undercity, declaring the people living in it, regardless of station, to be anathema, and less than human. He had already convinced the people of the upper city that the Undercity was no good place for humans. Once it was sealed, he openly declared himself to be a God, and banned the worship of the Maestros. This act ushered in the age of modern Caln. Basics of the human cultures of importance Arynstar: The people of Arynstar are divided into a class system. Their power structure from the top to the bottom in the upper city, the caste runs : King, advisors, royal concubines, clergy, judges, lords, Arynstar military and guardsmen, farmers, merchants, craftsmen, mercenaries, and finally, laborers. Laborers are the lowest class, but they still rank higher in society than the highest class in the Undercity. The king stands alone in his class and the advisors are all of ancient families. Their founders were the original friends of the king. Royal Concubines can be male or female and care for all of his needs, and he

makes wives of some, but he hasn’t ever been able to produce offspring. Clergy are the lowest of Arynstar’s classes that are considered to be above the law. Judges are the common law, and they preside over the rest of the Upper City. The Undercity, the original part of Arynstar, is a prison now, where it was once grand. It is a fascinating city, with magic in place to take care of human waste, keep the air clean, provide light, suppress fire and flood, and provide for the care of the deceased. Though it relies on the surface for food and the means to make clothing, it has natural fungi that have properties originally intended to benefit humans. The highest point of its ceiling is about 200 feet below the surface. Its climate is temperate, a constant 74 degrees. Light is constant, and colored, a flaw that occurred when the king destroyed the temple of Caius during the Togri Rebellion. It is circular in construction, separated into two rings, an inner ring and an outer ring, with the central column and entrance in the center—which is a few miles to the southwest of the present day center of the upper city. It is also separated by walls like spokes, dividing the city further into six outer districts and six inner districts. In Modern Arynstar, the Undercity deals with the industry that the upper city finds either distasteful or impractical and impossible in the heat. The inner districts are named by the color of their lights. Though bright, each district has a distinct hue in Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The outer districts are labeled A through F, with A being the green outer district pointing north, and connecting with the red Inner district at the inner ring wall. In the Undercity, the temples to the Maestros still exist. The people believe that these temples keep the magic working. There is some truth to that belief, as evidenced by the color flaw in the lights. All of the temples except the ruined temple to Caius are in the outer ring, and the King may have declared himself a God, but he doesn’t dare touch the temples. The outer ring is the worse of the two rings to inhabit. Filled with the poor, the criminals, and the diseased of Arynstar, with little good law to speak of, it is a place of crumbling man-made structures and the even more ancient esyth made marketplaces and temples. The inner districts have the same sort of people, but the inner districts are presided over by a judge in each district, and actual law is available. It doesn’t matter much. Even the most powerful of the Undercity’s crime bosses, the undisputed authorities in the Undercity, can technically be slaughtered at will by the most meager laborer of the upper city. The citizens of Undercity are accounted by law to be less than human concerning the law. For a citizen of Undercity to kill a citizen of the Upper city is to invite the City Guard to put one Undercity block to death until the offender is found. They have actually done this before but they would prefer not to, because it creates a labor shortage. Unless the person murdered was of importance, even the Guards tend to look away in the interest of safety. Whenever they have to do such purges, it tends to ignite riots in other districts and the actual murderer is rarely caught. Most citizens of Upper city are too afraid to go down there anyway, so the peace is kept. Citizens of Undercity will tend to get away with whatever they can, with death being the consequence for being caught. Their highest authority, the crime bosses, got to their position through favors, murders, and dirty dealing. Even they are not allowed to leave the Undercity, but they tend to be the ones who deal with the people of the upper city who come down for one reason or another. It is a rough place, where death stalks the streets in the form of monsters that are human, inhuman or unhuman, in plague, which

seems to sweep through on a cycle, in bad deals, and in rough living and starvation. Few children, if they live to be aware at all, live to adulthood with their parents alive. In Arynstar, both above and below, the common currency is the copper piece. A full copper is a laborer’s daily wage. It is a large sized coin with a hole in the center and can be broken into six bits. Each bit has a grain of wheat stamped on it. A silver piece, the next denomination, is theoretically enough to buy enough food to sustain a laborer for a year, and has no fixed equivalency in copper. A single silver sword is also a daily wage for a soldier. It is minted in the same fashion as the copper piece, and can be broken into four knobs, each with a sword stamped on it. After the silver piece is the gold crown. It is worth ten silver. It should not be broken. The crown has an image of the king’s crown on it. Then, worth ten crowns is the fountain, and worth ten fountains is the sovereign hand, which is a gold bar with a diamond set in the center of an open pair of hands on top of it, which is the king’s personal symbol. The language of Arynstar is Arynian. Its official written language is an abjad alphabet (made of consonants) though the influence of the dark tribes in modern Arynstar has added a few phonetic symbols that have been adopted as vowels. The clergy of the king never use the modern alphabet. The king speaks ancient Arynian, and writes in the ancient language, so his clergy follow suit, and conduct their services to him in Ancient Arynian. They have encouraged the common language to change, so that a mystery religion could develop. People continue to go to the church services, but they can no longer understand the language of the liturgy. The Togri Nation The Togri nation was formed after Favram Togri’s rebellion. The people who escaped the city found their way over the mountains to the south and into the forest of Origin. There, the Rysyth learned of their rebellion and aided them, helping them build a city high up in the trees. The Togri Nation not only rebelled against the king, he returned the worship of his rebels to the Maestros. The Togri people revere Caius above all other maestros, and have a huge temple to him, while the other Maestros have only shrines. The forest of Origin is a dangerous place. Millions upon millions of creatures dwell in this tropical forest, which is unique in all of Caln. The jagged peaks of the Rystooth are arid on the side of the Gherir, and are right on the equator. They get snow at the peaks, above the tree line, but it doesn’t stick. On the windward side, the land explodes in breathtaking life. On the windward slopes, beautiful, cloud forests with stunning waterfalls and mysterious, misty forests that begin as fir and pine forests and as the elevation descends, blends into a lush jungle, which continues rapidly down to the sea. Down at sea level, the forest becomes tidal swampland, filled with salt tolerant plants and trees. Here, the Ullis forest begins. Ullis trees are like huge mangrove or cypress trees. They thrive in salt water, and they do not put their roots in the earth. Instead, their incredible root systems spread out, their tap roots hang down into the ocean and anchor them upright, and they float on the surface. The algae that grows on the roots has a symbiotic relationship with the trees. Other plants grow in the layers of dead and living algae. Creatures like Masyth dine on these mats. Ullis trees are huge, and the oldest of them can reach a mile high and a quarter mile wide. They are not too affected by the strong storms that sweep over the forest during Meranna’s wrath, the hurricane-

like storms that usher in the wet season. They are almost all connected, and support each other through their roots and canopy. Favram and his scouts surveyed the land, and he was determined to bring his people into the forest. It had everything they needed to survive, but it was hard. They were beset by vicious, primeval animals and deadly plants, while the dark tribes, who had long since populated the area, threatened to kill them. Things looked bleak, but still they continued, until they reached the ocean. There, they could go no further. It was a rysyth who saved them. Favram was sensitive to their telepathy, and communicated to them their need. The rysyth agreed to help as long as they swore to worship the maestros. Favram had no problem with this. As an Arynstar official, he had long been a devout follower of Caius. The rysyth had a city underneath the Ullis forest called Innus, and they helped build the humans city in the trees, which they named simply—Tree City. To cement their alliance, both rysyth and human artisans stabilized a dying Ullis tree and carved it out into a huge temple to Caius. Once it was complete and consecrated by Favram and the rysyth high priest, Favram disappeared, never to be seen again. Unlike Arynstar, which has a relatively stable population, Tree City fluctuates from season to season. Its people are partially nomadic. They travel in clans and they hunt and gather, fish and herd Masyth, and even gather and mine gems and gold in secret mines on the windward slopes of the Rystooth. Only once a year, at the Wrath of Meranna, does the entire nation congregate in the city. Only certain people are allowed to live in the city all year. The Togri Nation is poor in most mineral resources. They are masters of trade among their clans, the desert tribes, and with the rysyth, but trade with Arynstar has become tougher with each year. The king has recognized their sovereignty, but he still demands that everyone worship him and his pantheon. For the most part, their society works on the barter system with gold being used in trade with neighboring nations. Their gold is carried in the form of jewelry. There is only one coin they mint: The Gold Rys, which is a small gold coin worth about the same as a crown on the Arynstar market. The Togri don’t see it that way. Their society is very practical about their metals. Gold is plentiful and useless in the manufacture of weapons and tools, and therefore not worth much, but the Gold Rys is the coin they use to deal with their human trade partners. They also trade in finished goods with the rysyth since Rysyth are fascinated by baubles, and thoroughly enjoy human statuary and golden items. They also rely on humans to apply metal to their claws, which is a sign of status. Their true mark of wealth, however, is the Masyth. True wealth in Togri society is actually based on how many masyth a clan holds. Every clan has to have at least one, and the State has the largest amount, owning all the breeding stock and females. Ten Gold Rys is the average price of a single male masyth, but the actual price always fluctuates because the Togri won’t let any Masyth go without a good session of haggling. They have a system of government that is presided over by the Ryshians, which are part of the Church of Caius. The ryshian leaders are a council of appointed Ryshians with the Air Marshals--a seasoned Ryshian and his or her bonded rysyth-- at the head of the council. Below that are the civil court and the military court. The civil court is made up of women; the military court is of men. Togri society, though founded by a man, is matrilineal. Women carry the clan names, direct trade, and own property. During the year, when the clans are not at the city,

the clan matrons are the absolute law. Only concerning the defense and protection of the clans do the men have a say in the day to day affairs of the clans. Men are responsible for the military and the priesthood. Togri males enter a ten year period of mandatory service when they turn 15, the age of majority. Ryshians are above society. They are subject to their own laws and councils, and these laws and councils receive their authority from the church of Caius. Ryshians actually live in the temple when they are not doing their duties. They are allowed to own no property except their saddles, weapons, clothes, and survival gear. They don’t really need to. Togri society properly acknowledges that the Ryshians are blessed of Caius and are the chief units of defense for the Togri, so the Togri people tend to make sure that Ryshians are well cared for. Slaves are not like slaves of other cultures. The Togri never forgot the streets of Arynstar choked with the poor, the maimed, and the weak. They never wanted to see such things in their society, but Origin was a harsh place, so when a non-ryshian permanently becomes too weak or damaged to continue the semi-nomadic life of the clans, they have a choice to either die or continue as a slave. Those that choose to be a slave are blessed by the priestesses of Lemari and those who choose death are blessed by the priests of Sorrith. Slaves are property by the definition of society, but they are owned by the State, not the Clans. They are never beaten, never sold and always cared for, though some people believe that the choice of slave life is a cowardly way. Most slaves will disagree, believing that the challenge of life as a slave is far nobler than death. The state can claim the life of a slave at any time, and they give up rank and title, they are marked for the rest of their days, and they are forced to do work until they die, but they are always treated kindly, unlike laborers, who can be mistreated at will. Slaves, along with the clergy, the appointed representatives of the clans and the generals, select merchants, and craftsmen make up the body of the permanent population of Tree City, but these are all individuals. There are no clans that have permanent residence in the city. The civil council gives slaves their choice of three jobs that they can do in their physical state. They may choose one of these three. After choosing, they are trained to do that task until they become incapable or die. The exception is in the aged, who stay at the shrine of Lemari, where they are cared for and admired for their full compliment of years. There is one job that slaves alone can do. That is the position of the tattoo artist. Some Togri slaves are masters of ink and needle. They inscribe their personal history on their skin. The first time a child goes to Tree city, they are given a clan tattoo in the center of their back. When they are given their adult name when they reach the age of awareness—which is eight years, their names are tattooed on their neck. For each year of life a glyph is placed in a spiral pattern radiating from the solar plexus. Marriage tattoos are done on the shoulders, and their offspring each have a representative glyph on the back, surrounding the clan symbol. The individual’s profession is done on the forearms, and their military service is detailed on their legs. Should they lose limbs, the lost portion is redone underneath the clan symbol. Other major events are done on the chest and above the clan symbol. The marks of a slave are always on the cheeks. Clans might mark their people on certain occasions, but they are only allowed to carry an impermanent dye, like henna. Only in Tree city can they receive true tattoos.

Laborers are the lowest rung of society. They are able-bodied people who have fallen so low—due to being a criminal, or a drug addict, or dishonored by their clan among other reasons--that they must do the work of a slave because no clan will trust them to share their lives with such a person during their nomadic existence. They are paid in coinage as if they were a foreigner, and they are not spoken of in polite company. To become a laborer is to be stripped of clan name and title. They are truly a disgraceful, greedy lot. The language of the Togri is different from the language of Arynstar. The modern language of Arynstar has been heavily influenced by the languages of the dark tribes. The Togri language is very close to ancient Arynian. Favram Togri was an advisor, and the advisors still speak Ancient Arynian as a rule because the king speaks it, but the king and his advisors are the only ones who speak it casually. Even the priests of the king only use it to do their liturgy. Modern Arynian is as far different from Ancient Arynian as American English is from Anglo-Saxon. Favram insisted that his rebellion learn and speak ancient Arynian because he desired to cleanse the influence of the dark tribes from the language, but later, as the Togri language developed into a unique language, rysyth influence has added whistles, trills and clicks that few humans outside the Togri nation can learn to use. Their written language is vastly different, being directly related to the Rysir written language, which is a complex script like Chinese. It is a highly evolved form of the pictographs taught to them by the linyth, who learned to write from the original humans. The Togri also use the ancient Arynian alphabet as a trade language and it is still legible in Arynstar. The desert tribes of the Gherir These humans are not dark tribes, but they are savage. Almost all of them worship Sorrith exclusively, but recognize the presence of other Maestros. Originally, these people were citizens of Arynstar who worshipped the Maestros in the Upper City. When the King sealed the Undercity after the Togri rebellion, he began hunting down those that refused to worship him in the upper city. Some of these fled and became the Desert tribes. There, they befriended the Esyth who showed them how to survive in the desert. Desert tribes still speak the language of Old Arynian though they have lost the written language. Desert tribes all believe that one day they will be able to retake Arynstar for the Maestros, but meanwhile, they fight each other over the rights to the oases and meager grazing land for their beasts. They also have to be very careful. While the Togri have proven their sovereignty, the desert tribes have not. The king, who considers all of the Gherir to be Arynstar Territory, sends out soldiers regularly to attack them whenever there is rumor of a tribe getting too big. He is content to let them suffer out in the desert, but he benevolently extends his forgiveness to them if they would simply worship him. Enrian Enrir, the continent where Meranna placed the hybrid linyth, is home to the Eshrian City States. These are cities on the coasts of Enrir, with farmlands around them. They are sovereign states, unified only by the church of Meranna and a common method of currency. They are also the only people to have actual, church sponsored schools.

The continent is ringed around by magical storms which stop almost all trade by boat or air. Rysyth have been known to trade with the humans in their fishing ports, but humans can only fish on the sea in their small ports and estuaries. There is only one place where ships can come and go from Enrir, and that is the port of Halvir. From there, trade ships arrive from Trexrir or the continent of man, but only true humans can conduct this trade. The magic around the continent of Enrir can detect even a carrier of the Linyth taint in a human and force a ship back into port. Halvir is also the only place that sailors and merchants from other continents can go. They are stopped at the storm walls of Halvir and are not allowed into the continent. Enrir is a continent of rolling hills and plains with no true mountain ranges. Only in the southwest of the continent by the port of Halvir is the land truly rocky and jagged, the land terminating in sheer cliffs. This is where most of the mining in Enrir is done. The northern side of the continent is tundra, as it is near the arctic circle. Their chief city of Esh is out on the tundra. The center of the continent should be a paradise for humans, but it is not. It is a vast plains and grassland area that could easily support human agriculture, but Evil beasts, like Ixcara, hybrids like the violent clans of the Centaur Race, and powerful dark tribes roam the center. It is also home to great herds of linyth, both black and white. Magic is at the center of all Eshrian cultures. The people on Meranna’s path make up the highest level of society. The hybrid’s curse has become highly prized on Enrir, and so when a human manifests Calnese magic, it is celebrated. People depend on magic for their daily lives. Unfortunately for their couture, the taint has diluted over the years, and there are more normal humans born on Enrir than tainted ones. There are a few families, though, that actually breed the taint into their lineage by pairing with only the most powerful of mages in an attempt to keep their magic strong. The church of Meranna is the exclusive church of Enrir. The people, if they worship the Maestros, worship Meranna alone, with the other Maestros almost totally unknown. Meranna is very jealous of her hybrids, and lays claim to all of them. Enrir is one of the places where the female people on the path are always the priestesses of the Maestro. There is a bit of a rivalry between those who chose the path of humanity, and those who chose the path of the mage. Male hybrids are known as mages or servitors, and females are priestesses or attendants. Normal humans, unlike the normal humans of other continents, cannot join the clergy. Each city state has a unique language, but they are unified by the language of Meranna, which is derived from a human language that is now extinct and is used by all educated people of Enrir. If a person wants to be known as “educated”, he or she is required to learn this language, though the common people may not know how to understand it. Their common languages are not written, but the language of the church is. It is, like the Togri language, complex, but it is far more primitive, being more like hieroglyphs than like the stylized symbols of the Togri language. They developed their church’s written language from linyth verbal accounts of what the linyth written language used to look like. No pieces of actual linyth writing survived the war that any Eshrian has found.

The shape, name and the stamp of the coinage across the continent varies from city state to city state, but the people do not care about the appearance. What unifies the currency is the weight of it. The value of the weights is determined by the church. Trexrir The dark continent of Trexrir is a savage continent, filled with powerful beasts, horrifying demons, and humans with amazing abilities. Most of the humans of Trexrir are cursed with an ancestry that leads back to an immortal of Caln or of a demon. Held the most sacred and the most pitied by Trexians are the humans that are born devoid of the immortal taint. On one hand, they are the only beings on the continent with hope of salvation, but on the other hand, they are the weakest of all beings on Trexrir, with the shortest lifespan. These humans can actually leave Trexrir and return. They do so by ships that sail each year from their port of Salvation if they are bound for the continent of man, the port of Hope if they are bound for Enrir, or the port of forgiveness if they are bound for the myriad islands. Not much is known about Trexrir, except that the ones who worship the Maestros call their nation Trexit and that the continent is highly volcanically active. The people of Trexit revere Lemari above all because she alone provided for them when the others would have destroyed them, but they do not worship her to exclusion as the hybrids of Enrir do. The myriad Islands Here, the few humans who do worship the maestros live in harmony with the Esyth like the Togri live in harmony with the rysyth, but most humans are of dark origin, and are vicious corsairs that plague the waters worldwide. Their most valuable trade item is their enchanted weaponry. Humans and esyth work together to make weapons blessed and imbued with Calnese magic. The dark tribes When the Maestros built Arynstar, they gave humans a choice. They could worship the maestros and live in Arynstar, or they could choose to continue in their worship of evil and they would be scattered to the four corners of Caln where they would be at the mercy of nature. The humans who chose not to worship the Maestros formed the dark tribes, also known as the low humans. Each tribe has their own language, but all are barbaric. Few of them have permanent cities or villages. Those that do are more civilized, but still openly worship demons or fallen maestros. Some of them worldwide even have a taint of demon blood. By their mythology, Lemari gathered up all of those who had an immortal or demonic taint, but some of the craftiest of these tainted ones escaped her grasp and survived. There is some truth to this myth. In Arynstar, the dark tribes have settled on the surface and mingled with the native people. They are actually quite civilized, and they are responsible for the refining of their blasphemous churches to the extent that they are well accepted, and even preferred over the worship of the Maestros.

Death on Caln, and the planes The Material plane and physical death The Material Plane is where all living mortal things are. It is the physical world, where mortals are. Mortals, by their nature, die. Whether by natural or unnatural means, all mortals shed their physical form and most travel to the outer planes. There, all of them, unless they are a hybrid, meet with Sorrith in his courtroom. They are judged based on their lives by Sorrith, who puts them in the center of a scale with a weight on either side. One weight is an omryth scale, the other is a rysyth feather. Depending on the outcome, there are a few possible results. They could go to Kohlerir, or to the Blessed Realm of the Dead, or, if they are of the three races, they are consumed by Sorrith’s mount, Atrix, and snuffed out of existence. Beasts and the slave races simply die. They cease to exist after death. If people see a “spirit” of a beast, it is quite probably a demon or an immortal. If they are not eaten, they rot, and leave remains. The average life span of the three Master races, unless they are on Lemari’s path of salvation, is different for each one. Rysyth live about 900 years, Esyth live about 600 and linyth live about 300. When the Master Races die, their bodies dissolve into their base elements: the air, water, or Earth they were created from. They leave behind only their soul gem, which is usually collected by the deceased’s family members and put into consecrated places. Normal humans live, on a planet wide average, about 70 years. Hybrid linyth are not so lucky. Unless they are on the path of Meranna, the curse usually takes the life of a hybrid linyth by the time they are 50. Half immortals have been known to live a millennium. When humans die, they usually burn their dead, a practice that they have lost the true reason for, but it was originally because they are not part of Caln, and burning symbolized the body rising up to the stars and eventually to the place where their creation originated. The souls of humans and human hybrids sometimes, for varying reasons, do not leave the material plane after death. It then becomes the task of Sorrith’s Enlisted, the Sacred Watchers, to track these souls down. Some places are very haunted, and some ghosts are very evil. Due to the fallen nature of Caln, the longer they remain on the material the more insane and evil they become, until even the most upright of souls can be very dangerous and evil. Sorrith pities these poor souls, however, and has a special place for them to come to their senses after they reach the outer planes so that they can be judged solely according to their actions in life. In this special place, which is just outside the courtroom, the spirits are cared for and nursed by the souls of human devotees of Lemari. The Three Races have no such trouble finding their way out of the material plane. Their souls, even the most depraved of them, naturally desire to return to their origin—the Maestros. The Realm of the Dead Originally, there was no plan for an afterlife. When the three races died, their souls simply unraveled, returning directly to the Maestros along with all of their knowledge of the material plane. Then, after humans came and Caln was corrupted,

there became a need for a place to keep human souls. It also became a place for the three races as well because their souls are made of a piece of each Maestro, unified into one unique soul during life. Even though Ixah’s corruption stems from the piece of them that is of Ixah, the corruption spreads throughout the Calnese soul. If these souls were allowed to return to their pieces and be absorbed as was originally intended, the Maestros might draw a bit of corruption into themselves, and so they were changed so that the Calnese souls stay intact. At the end of time, however, everything of Caln will unravel and at that time they can retrieve the pieces without fear of contamination. As a result, the souls of the three races also go into the afterlife along with humans. The Realm of the dead, both the Blessed realm and Kohlerir, is Sorrith’s domain. When a soul is judged, it is placed on the scale. If the soul makes the scale tip in favor of the rysyth feather, they are admitted to the Blessed Realm. If it tips in favor of the omryth scale, a human soul is sent to Kohlerir, but a Calnese soul is utterly consumed by Atrix. Omryth souls are not even given the benefit of destruction. They are sent down to Pathir because they are so filthy that not even Atrix will eat them. The Blessed Realm In the Blessed Realm, Sorrith watches and shepherds all the souls of the dead that have passed his judgment. The blessed realm is highly structured, with two external doors. One entrance is through the courtroom. The other leads to the eternal battlefield, where Sorrith’s armies, the immortals, and the Maestros fight eternally against evil. After passing judgment, mortal souls are admitted to the feasthall, where they unwind from the arduous task of life. After they are sufficiently recovered, Sorrith sends them to their correct place in his domain. Because they have proven themselves in life, Sorrith also conscripts the blessed dead into his army. The exceptions are in those who were on a path of salvation. These souls go to specific places in Sorrith’s domain where they can serve their chosen Maestro in death. The maestros come often to their specific place in Sorrith’s domain, and they delight in meeting with their dedicated souls. As for the conscripts, they are tasked with being the lower ranks in his army, where they will battle evil until the end of time. They do not spend all of their time out there. They come back to the feasthall from time to time to recover their strength, but only the Enlisted of Sorrith earn the right to remain in the Feasthall for the rest of time. The feasthall is a place of heroes, wild tales, fantastic feasts, and glorious entertainment. It is a place where the alcohol never stops flowing and the food never stops coming. By contrast, the other Maestros’ places in Sorrith’s domain are very refined, very controlled places. Kohlerir, the place of waiting When the scales do not tip to either side, Human souls go to Kohlerir. Kohlerir is a place of waiting. There are three levels of the realm, an upper level, a common level and a lower level. The upper level is set aside for the half immortals, who wait for judgment from the creator. At their death, half immortals are given knowledge of the Creator. From there, their time of testing has just begun. Those who inhabit the upper level have decided to side with good, and those who not side with good are forced down to the lower

level with the half demons. These valiant souls continue to fight against the half demons who inhabit the lower level. They battle each other in the common level, in and amongst all of the human souls who were neither good nor evil. There, these human souls might find a chance at salvation as they are conscripted by these half immortals. Kohlerir is not necessarily a place of torment, though the Demons certainly torment those who worshipped them in life, but neither is it a pleasant place. It is a place where the true nature of the human soul can be expressed. Sorrith doesn’t pay mind to the souls of Kohlerir. He only cares that they stay there until the end of time. If they are there, it is because they rejected the Maestros and continued participating in the corruption of Caln. Pathir, the lower plane Omryth souls go down to Pathir, along with humans whose souls tip the scale in favor of the omryth scale. For these things, they are absolutely bound to Pathir. In life they chose to worship demons, and so in death they are sent to be with the object of their devotion. For most it is rude surprise, as the demons tease and torment those who are now captive. They learn quite quickly how thoroughly they have been duped. After the war, the demons and fallen Maestros had their essences tied there to punish them and separate them from reaching the upper plane directly, but the binding of Pathir is not absolute for these beings. Ixah and the fallen Maestros still have claim by right of the existing creation to the material plane of Caln. Demons do not, but the more people that worship them, the more power and influence they have, so they can reach the material plane through possession or intermediaries. Demons on Caln can only go where they are invited, or where things have been willfully given to them. Fallen Maestros and immortals can still walk the Material in a physical form, but they can’t enter consecrated areas and they can’t possess mortal bodies. Their time on the material is short, however. They can only safely walk the material at night and at the new moon, when Caius and Asair are not “watching.” The rest of the time they must sneak about, ever watchful of the Enlisted and the immortal hunters. After the war, Caius forbade all immortals from walking the material in a physical body without permission, even as he forbade their superiors, the Maestros, from warring on the Material plane. He had no power to take the physical form away from them permanently, but for the most part, the loyal immortals and maestros obey him. The fallen Maestros have no desire to mind, but the consequences of being caught include having their physical body destroyed wherever they are found. Regenerating a physical body after disintegration is a very painful, very long process for immortals on Caln. It has been known to take centuries for an immortal to regenerate a material body after disintegration. Meanwhile, the immortal is mostly powerless and forced to remain on the plane where its soul or essence is tied, and most of its power is tied up in repairing itself. As for why this plane cannot contain them absolutely, it is because the demons and Maestros are of relatively equal power in the cosmic order. Caln, because of its corrupt state, has become a place of dualism—where the forces of good and evil could be potentially equal in power. The Good Maestros may have secured the continuation of their world and their star, but Caln is still under testing because of Ixah’s sin. There is a chance, if the Maestros fail in their fight against them, that the Demons could actually win and occupy the upper planes, declaring Caln to be theirs by force. In theory, at that

point, the demons will betray Ixah again and keep him sealed in Pathir while they boot the Maestros down. When that happens, the star of Caln will be snuffed by the creator. All creatures who know of the creator on Caln know this but mortals do not and Demons and Fallen Maestros have deluded themselves into believing that this is not true. The creator gave the good Maestros powerful tools to deal with Evil. These tools should be able to hold evil at bay until the end of time, but still the battle rages, because the demons will never give up. The war manifests itself on the material in the nature of beasts and plants—which have no capacity to comprehend either good or evil. The more ground and battles that the maestros lose upon the transitive planes, the more sinister the natural world of Caln becomes. Times in which the demons have gained ground are bleak times on the material, full of plague, famine, and drought, but the true battle, the really gruesome fighting is on the transitive plane—the buffer plane created to separate the upper plane of Insir, the realm of the Dead, and the lower plane of Pathir from the delicate material plane of Caln. The Eternal battlefield Kohlerir may be a battlefield between half immortals and half demons, but all true immortals, human ascended, demons, and fallen immortals are barred from the realm of the dead. Only Sorrith’s human ascended can enter, but only as far as the courtroom. That is fine with them. Sorrith is usually there if he is not on the battlefield. Caln is a sealed world. The creator may have given the maestros a lot of authority and power to deal with their world and its inhabitants, but that power came at a price. When the creator sealed the gate to their world, he sealed it absolutely. The transitive plane around Caln, which is truthfully part of the astral, is sealed to encompass the space around Caln and its associated outer planes. Beings can travel through the space and exist in the space, but they can’t leave Caln or its associated planes for other worlds or realities from the space. Neither can other things get into Caln. That means no more humans or demons can get to Caln from other worlds and realities, but neither can the Maestros receive any more aid from the armies of the Creator, nor can they ever leave Caln themselves. The war of man may have ended upon the material plane, but it will never end elsewhere. The transitive plane around Caln is a nasty place, hostile to mortals. Even the paths that the dead take to get to Sorrith’s domain are perilous. Souls have to travel through the astral plane around Caln, which is more appropriately named the Eternal battlefield. On this plane, since it is a contained part of the astral, it has definite and constant terrain around Caln. A special team of Sorrith’s immortals are responsible for guiding souls through it. They are always busy, never resting until the end of time. Since they were once mortal, they can relate to the dead, and ease their journey to Sorrith’s realm. They have to be wily and courageous. The evil beings of Pathir eternally try to assault teams of immortals leading the dead, as well as assault the gates of the outer planes, and the Maestros repel them at each attempt. Here, surrounded by a fortress protected by true immortals, is the Training Grounds, the place where Ascended Humans who haven’t yet completed the path of immortality go when their physical bodies are incapacitated or destroyed. There they are

educated with the things they will need to know as immortals of Caln. They are still never told of the Creator, since their immortality is granted by the maestros, not the creator, but they are given the same sort of authority on Caln that the true immortals have. They use the magic of Caln though, not the magic of the immortals. Giving into the temptation of using the magic of the true immortals (or demons) is an automatic failure on the path. Depending on how far along on the path an Ascended human is, the human may or may not remember their time in the Training grounds, but the things that they are taught are remembered subconsciously until they have advanced enough to know them consciously. Insir, the Upper plane Insir is the place of the good immortals. This is where the essences of all the good immortals were tied so that they couldn’t be captured and taken to Pathir and so that they had a place of refuge. Here, the plane manifests in the idyllic plan for Caln, the memory of what it used to be, in the perfection that was before the war. The Bright Halls are home to the meeting place of the two Councils. Each Maestro has a place on Insir that they call their own, and shape it however they choose. True immortals help care for this place, when they are not fighting on the Eternal Battlefield. For them it is not just a refuge, but a place of blessed relief. Here the true reward of the Ascended Human is granted. Until a human completes the path, they are roughly bound to their physical form, with their time in the Training Ground being, by necessity, the only break they get from it. At the moment they finish the path, they are whisked to Insir, where they are given the privilege of personally attending the Maestro who patroned them. These ascended ones are the humans of Caln that the Maestros have deemed worthy to dwell next to them until the end of time. Though they don’t know it, they will be the first humans to go when the Creator calls for Caln’s humans, and they will go while they are still physically alive. Meanwhile, they have their duties to the Maestros across the planes of Caln.

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