The history of Truerth is divided into a number of eras. Though the length of each era varies, an era begins and ends with an event known by the gods as Ragnarok. Ragnarok, inspired by and drawn from the apocalyptic event of the same name from Norse Mythology is as you can imagine. Ragnarok has come to the world four times prior, and within the current timeline of Truerth, will come once more in the year 2021CE.
To understand what Ragnarok is, it’s important to understand how the World of Truerth was created.
Pre-Truerth Era: The Binding
In the beginning there was only Chaos, called the Primordial Elements. Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Each of the elements flowed freely, without resistance, without hesitation, without care or concern. The elements mixed and mingled with ease.
It is unknown why ORD appeared, but a presence, faint at first appeared. The Primordial Elements lacked an understanding of what this presence was or what it was capable of, and it was only once the first waves of it’s existence was felt did the Primordial Elements truly began to know the concept of fear. Gradually the strength of ORD, the strength of Order over the Primordial Elements began to shape the Elements.
Earth formed the planet and various other planets of the cosmos that would be known as Truerth. Fire was trapped within Earth, forming the molten core of the planet. Fire likewise coalesced into what became known as the sun. Water condensed and filled the uneven surface of the world, seeping into the earth to form the wellspring of life. What remained of water evaporated, combined with air to form the atmosphere. And so it was the binding of the Primordial Elements was complete.
What is Ragnarok?
Ragnarok is the name for the phenomenom that results from the weakening of ORD’s control over the Primordial Elements. With the weakening of ORD’s control, cracks begin to form in the fabric of reality. Earthquakes and tremors begin to increase in intensity, duration and frequency. Tidal events, rain storms, snow storms, blizzards, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, cyclones, all likewise increase in intensity, duration and frequency, not just in areas where such is common, but also in areas not known for such weather events.
Does Ragnarok have anything to do with ‘Climate Change’?
The Answer is no, though certainly in the days, weeks, and months leading up to Ragnarok those who have a religious-like belief in the existence of Climate Change could be forgiven for believing Ragnarok is man-made. On the contrary, because Ragnarok is the weakening of ORD’s control, it is divine in nature, and successfully resolving Ragnarok requires both divine and mortal intervention in order to reassert the chains that bind the Primordial Elements.
What happens when Ragnarok comes?
In the years preceding Ragnarok, inclement weather conditions and natural disasters will begin to make life difficult. Imagine the effects and destruction of the apocalyptic disaster movie 2012, and imagine that nowhere on the planet anyone is safe. Imagine in outer space, no one is safe, not even the souls who have died and gone on to the afterlife.
When Ragnarok comes, if it succeeds and the chains of ORD are broken, all life, past, present and future ceases to exist or have meaning. Even if ORD reasserts the chains, only a fraction a second after the bindings have been broken, it will have been too long for anything to exist in that span of time. And if that were to come to pass, life on Truerth would have to begin again from the very beginning.
The Pre-Historic Era is a period of Truerth’s existence after ORD’s chains have been established. It represents a time when the earth was wild, and the earliest stages of life came into existence, culminating with the rise of the dinosaurs and the first Ragnarok. Some say that it was asteroids which killed the dinosaurs. Those who know, know it was Ragnarok.
During the Pre-Historic Era, there was only ORD and the Primordial Elements as divine forces. ORD’s strength was at first overwhelming, and this period of Truerth’s history took many millions of years to come to a resolution.
First Era: The Old Gods
With the resolution of the First Ragnarok, ORD was weakened. Though the chains still held, cracks in the chains began to form. ORD tried to communicate with the Primordial Elements which caused the first Ragnarok, but found them to be Alien, and unknowable.
Eventually ORD found a way to communicate, though this communication came through the form of Avatars. Five to be specific. Four to represent the Primordial Elements, one to represent ORD. There was Aros (Air), Geos (Earth), Hydros (Water), Pyros (Fire), and Spiros (Spirit). Spiros was ORD’s representative.
Each of the Avatar’s existed within a Realm or Plane as per their particular Element. For a time there was an uncertain peace, as the Elemental Avatars found a way to co-exist. Unfortunately to ORD and life on the planet, the Primordial Elements were restless and desired to be free of ORD’s influence. They agitated for a second Ragnarok, and a second Ragnarok was the result.
Second Era: The New Gods
With the resolution of the Second Ragnarok, ORD was further weakened. Though the chains still held, cracks from the first Ragnarok widened further.
The era of the New Gods is when the children of the Elemental Avatars were born, known as the Djinn. Aros gave birth to the Jinn, Geos gave birth to the Jann, Hydros gave brith to the Marid, while Pyros gave birth to the Ifrit.
Spiros in response gave birth to six beings. The Eldest, Oberon, was King of the Fae Realm, and represented Neutrality and Justice. Next came the twin sisters of Titania and Lilith, who became Queens of The Seelie and Unseelie Courts within the Fae Realm. Titania represented Law and Order, while Lilith represented Chaos and Mischief. Next came the twin brothers of Adam and Lucifer, who became Kings of what is known as Heaven and Hell. Adam represented Virtue and Prudence, while Lucifer represented Sin and Temptation. Finally came the youngest sibling, Gaia, who became the Savage Mistress, without a court of her own, nor did she care about Courts. Gaia represented Amoral Neutrality and the Savage Brutality of Nature.
During this period of time new creatures began to form. The Primordial Elements through the Djinn formed armies of Elemental creatures, while the children of Spiros went on to create what would eventually become Angels, Demons, Fae and all manner of supernatural creature in an effort to defend against the inevitable coming of Ragnarok.
Third Era: The Mythic Era
With the resolution of the Third Ragnarok, ORD was weakened further. Though the chains still held, cracks from the second Ragnarok widened further.
The Mythic Era is a period of time in which much of what is known from various mythologies actually existed. It is when Odin, Thor, Loki, the Fire Giants, the Elves and Dwarves of Norse Mythology walked the earth. It is also when Zeus, Hera, Athena, Heracles and many of the great Greek Heros existed in the flesh. The stories that come to us in our modern day were drawn to us by storytellers who could glimpse back through the tunnel of time to tell us of these beings who once existed, even if they did not exist at a time we believe they once existed.
The Mythic Era was the last time that beings who had inherrent natural magic or powers could walk freely on Truerth.
Fourth Era: The Christian Mythological Era
With the resolution of the Fourth Ragnarok, ORD was weakened even further. Though the chains still held, cracks from the third Ragnarok widened further.
In an effort to reinforce the chains that held the Primordial Elements, ORD made his first decree: “The Meek shall Inherit the Earth”. And so it was that those who were not Meek, were cast out and forced from the World of Truerth, leaving nothing other than humans to inherit.
Angels returned to the Kingdom of Heaven. Demons returned to the Kingdom of Hell. Fae creatures returned to the Fae Realm, and the Elementals were imprisoned back into the Elemental Planes. For a time, humanity was given space to breath. For a time, humanity had safety and security from threats from the divine. For a time peace reigned on Earth.
Loop holes were found within ORD’s decree, allowing the supernatural to return. The supernatural could return as visitors, but only if invited by a human (the supernatural could not invite another supernatural). Likewise, the supernatural could be cast out by the human who invited them, though eventually through rituals of exorcism anyone could cast out the supernatural even one summoned by a third party.
In the early 2000’s CE Spiros suspecting the approach of another Ragnarok imposed upon Heaven, Hell and the Fae Realm, what is known as the Supernatural Concordant, in an effort to mainly curtail the conflict between Angels and Demons. The Concordant prevents beings of a certain inherent supernatural strength from exerting their form or force on the Human world. Angels and Demons must act through human vessels. Many Fae creatures are likewise unable to manefest themselves within the Human world.
Much of Earth’s real-world history is accurate, while many of Fantages Studios writings will reflect how the history of Truerth is different from what we know and believe of our own world.
Fifth Era: The Future?
At the current time there are no plans to write beyond what is known as Truerth’s Fourth Era, despite there being a planned Ragnarok Apocalypse series. Until we have decided how the world survives, what the inevitable fallout of a world-wide catastrophe would be, we cannot say what the world will look like when Ragnarok has come to pass, yet again.
With that said, while we have tentatively planned a short series of stories to carry on Cassandra’s tale after her story concludes, these are purely theoretical at this point.
The question ultimately boils down to what would make for an interesting setting? Do we send Truerth back to the Stone Age? Do we wipe out all modern conveniences and technology? Do we set things back several hundred years, to a more subsistence level? Do we simply make like miserable or inconvenient for the majority of the population? Or do we say that not only the forces of Spiros managed to save the day, but the world did not suffer the cataclysm that was expected.
Fantages Studios has many stories to tell in Truerth’s current era. Only once we’ve exhausted the stories that we can tell, we’ve explored all the characters that have been introduced will we move the calendar forward into a post-apocalyptic setting.
Storytelling: Myths, Epics, Sagas, Stories, and Tales
What is the role of historical storytelling and story tellers? Throughout history there have been many individuals who have recorded events, either as they were occuring, or later through the oral history. Some of these tales are accurate, while many are subjective and conjecture on what the story teller may have deemed to have occurred.
Truerth treats storytellers who tell stories about the past through which no written record has survived as a type of Seer. Seers who have the ability to see through time, not only in the recent past, but also into previous eras. Snorri Sturluson for example, who was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician who brought us the Prose Edda, which forms much of what we know of Norse Mythology is an example of such.
Though he collected Oral tales of the Norse Gods such as Odin, Thor, Loki, etc. the World of Truerth considers him one of the great seers, able to pierce the barrier between Eras to see into and record what we know as Norse Mythology. Though it is believed that Snorri was born to human parents, Snorri’s father unbenownst to his own family was actually Oberon, King of the Fae Realm, who bedded Snorri’s mother to allow her to conceive. It is this heritage that gives Snorri his insight into the things he wrote about.
Fantages Studios will always err on the side of historical accuracy where possible, though where such would conflict with telling an interesting story, Fantages Studios claims creative license if it will create a tale that is more fanciful in nature.
Time Travel in Truerth: Is it possible?
The simple answer Fantages Studios is going with is “No”. Like everything though there is a more complex answer. The first reason to say ‘No’ is that it complicates things too much. If Time Travel were possible, could the Primordial Elements who failed to break the chains during the first Ragnarok, send armies back into the past with the knowledge of where the enemy would be?
If the Terminator Franchise has shown anything, it is that you can completely lose track of the plot. Machines and sentient AI going back in time over and over again in order to enslave humanity, while a hero likewise being sent back to stop it. How many times will they try it? How many times will history repeat in order to get a desired result? This is only a single event in a short span of history. Every Terminator movie exploring yet another repetition of the main conflict from a different perspective or point of view. Once you go down that rabbit hole, you can’t stop.
With that said, we are going to say Time Travel is theoretically possible. Seers like Snorri Sturluson for example can see back into the past. Other storytellers are similar, though this is not necessarily Time Travel as most people conceive it.
The First Rule of Time Travel is that once events have been recorded, they cannot be altered. The Second Rule of Time Travel is that where events of the past have been altered, events succeeding the altered event can be manipulated to close any gaps or paradoxes created by the alteration. Going back in time to kill Hitler’s father, before he was born won’t result in Hitler being born. He’ll simply be born to a different family. In effect the father you believed to be Hitler’s father was a false father.
An alternative theory is that travelling through time creates an alternate time line (a sandbox in effect), one that exists only as long as you remain in that alternate parallel time line. When you return back to your original time line, any changes you made in the parallel time line don’t follow you, and since you no longer exist within that parallel time line, it including any changes you made, cease to exist.
Travelling into the future is likewise impossible. The idea to go into the future, which has not written, to acquire technology and bring it back to the present time is tempting for some. Imagine bringing back to the past computer code or hardware from the future that creates a computer revolution where none had previously occurred. Would it be possible to bring such technology back to the present? The answer Fantages Studios goes with is no. Because the code or technology did not exist in the time that it was brought to, it ceases to exist when travelling back in time. The device or code vanishes, the knowledge of such technology vannishes from those who learned it. Even memorizing something from the future, it will simply vannish from the person’s memory, perhaps leaving a gap where some knowledge or memory once was, which would likely drive the person insane. You know you did something, you know you learned something, you know you went somewhere, but you have no memory of it because it has yet to happen.
What about creatures who have the ability to see the future? The World of Truerth has a race called the Vaarda who have an ability to see into the future. They can see glimpses of possible outcomes, but the domino theory means that some unexpected action by an outside third party could change or shape the conditions for the vision to come about.
Having a vision for instance that your father is about to die, and then acting upon it to try to stop it may have been the reason he died. He might have died even if you did nothing. He might have lived if you hadn’t done anything. You see a vision of what could happen, but that could be one of a dozen different outcomes based on actions you might theoretically have done.