Lore in Godfall can be obtained through lorestones located all around the game. This lorestones expand on the story of Godfall recounting past events and setting the stage for what is going on with the world and its characters


Godfall Lorestones

Chronicle of the Wolf

lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Chronicle of the Wolf 1
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Chronicle of the Wolf 2
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Chronicle of the Wolf 3
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Chronicle of the Wolf 4
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Chronicle of the Wolf 5

Orin's Journal

lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Orin's Journal 1
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Orin's Journal 2
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Orin's Journal 3

Tales from the Aperion

lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Aetherium
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Aperion
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px The Skybreaker Monolith
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px The Sanctums
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Valorians
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px In the Beginning
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Firstborn of the Archons
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px Imperfect Gods
lore_mark_godfall_wiki_guide20px First Recollection of the Seventh Sanctum


Godfall Lore

"Macros sold us a vision he never believed in. 
He would destroy us, we just didn't know it yet.
We were warriors, but he turned us against each other. Brother against Brother. 
And despite all the maneuvers and all the strategy, in the end, it was going to be either me or him.
Macros was the better player that day.
He left me for dead but I survived.
Macros thinks the war is over, but our fight has just begun."


Aperion is on the precipice of ruin. You are the last of the Valorian knights, god-like warriors able to equip Valorplates, legendary armor sets that transform wielders into unstoppable masters of melee combat. Tear through foes as you climb through the elemental realms and challenge the mad god, Macros who awaits you at the top. Ascend in Godfall, the first-of-its-kind, looter-slasher, melee action RPG.


Welcome to Aperion!

If I’d left well enough alone, Macros would still be bullying rivals and battling enemies. Instead, he’s on the brink of godhood and our civilization lies in ruins. But Macros forgets what he said to me that day: Gods belong in the sky.

- Orin

Born from the unstoppable divine hunger of the Great Dragon Kosmera, Aperion is both the name of the world and the universe in which it resides. Aperion is a world of breathtaking majesty beset by eldritch monsters and defended by heroic Valorian knights outfitted with powerful Valorplate. It is a world shaped by a vast cyclical history and defined by a thousand year conflict that ended a golden age and left much of the world in ruins.


Four Things to Know about Aperion

  1. The End is the Beginning. The universe of Aperion is a place of constant cyclical conflict. The realms have split and merged and split countless times. It is important that you always remember what part of the cycle you are in. The game begins with Macros’ apparent victory shortly after he activates the Skybreaker Monolith and starts the separation of Aperion back into the four realms. But is it ultimate victory or merely the start of the next cycle?
  2. A Universe of Vast yet Physical Magic. Every facet of life on Aperion, from the gleaming Valorian cities to the grotesque architectures of the Tetrarchy exudes magic. Aetherium is coveted by all factions as a power source, a crafting material, and even sustenance. The Valorian Godsmiths forged the weapons and armor used by their knights with Aetherium. The savage Kraven are drawn to consume it. Every facet of life is affected, bolstered, and powered by magic.
  3. Preservation versus Entropy. The Valorian civilization was centered on a belief in cultural and societal unity. However, over the years a philosophical split developed around what unity actually means to society. The preservationists believe that Valorian society must honor the past to learn the wisdom for the future, while the entropists believe that decay is inevitable thus society must constantly shed parts of itself to make way for progress. The schism between Orin and Macros has its roots in this philosophical divide.
  4. Gods Belong in the Sky. Because all magic is born from Kosmera’s self-destruction, Valorians, as a people, have rejected the concept of divinity. Whether immortal Archon or feral Kraven, everything has the same dependence on Aetherium. Valorians might respect the Archons for their power, wisdom, or charisma, but they do not regard them as higher beings. In fact, Valorians historically resisted beings who try to elevate themselves...


The History of Aperion

Let our lessers bleed upon filthy battlefields. Let them preach in their cold halls. They are fools, to the last. They argue about virtues and debate ethics, but they ignore the truth beneath all of it. Creation is flawed. Creation is broken. And only a new Archon, a new god, can save us.

- Macros

The Beginning of All Things

In the beginning, the Great Dragon Kosmera slumbered in the void of the multiverse and she had nothing but her dreams to keep her company. In her dreams, twelve divine aspects manifested. Known today, as the Archons, Kosmera’s children stepped out from the realm of contemplation into an unformed void. Though the Archons were abstract beings, each representing a distinct set of virtues, they collectively yearned for embodiment – physical forms they could manifest in a physical world.

Their ambitions woke an answering hunger within Kosmera, who upon discovering there was nothing to consume, devoured herself. From the shattered remains of her form emerged Aperion, a world brimming with Kosmera’s primal magic. This magic, though immaterial and invisible, suffused every aspect of the world and manifested in a physical form known as Aetherium.

With a physical world available, the Archons now had the means to craft themselves the physical forms they desired. However, as they manifested, echoes of Kosmera’s hunger also spawned the Kraven, terrible elemental beasts with an all-consuming hunger for Aetherium. To answer the Kraven, the Archons created the Valorians and equipped them with Valorplate, powerful armor forged from the shattered remains of Kosmera’s essence.

Armed with Valorplate and powers born of their divine heritage, the Valorians pushed the Kraven into the fringes of the four realms and established the first cities. Eventually, the Valorians would tame the whole of Aperion.


As Below, so Above

The Archons, satisfied with the success of their children, enjoyed their physical forms for a time. As they guided their children to build, scheme, and war, the Archons were, in turn, influenced by the Valorian ways. They discovered too late that their physical forms also forced upon them mortal qualities, such as anger, jealousy, and ambition. Thus affected by mortal concerns, the Archons eventually began quarreling among themselves and vying for supremacy. Fearing escalation, the Archons all agreed to avoid direct confrontations and resolve their conflicts by proxy.

Over the eons, some Archons would eventually turn to other means to aid them in their struggles. Individual Archons would try to replicate what they had previously accomplished together and forged new races that could challenge the Valorians for dominion over Aperion. The Nyak, Vargul, Abyssians, and Flameblood were all created over the cycles with one underlying purpose, to make war on the rest of Aperion. Unfortunately, these ‘latterborn’ races ended up fighting each other as much as the Valorians.

The Archons’ desire to best one another eventually outgrew their fear of escalation and one after another they manifested themselves onto Aperion to personally lead their forces. Once all the Archons were fully embodied, it was only a matter of time before Aperion experienced its first Godfall.


The Golden Eon

During the brutal wars an Order of Valorian Knights known as the Zodiac Circle arose. Led by Orin and Macros, the Zodiac Circle did the impossible; they faced an Archon in open battle where Macros sent its disincarnated spirit back into the void. The remaining Archons, fearing the promise of mortality, consolidated their forces and fell back to their strongholds.

For the first time, the Archons were afraid, but they did not realize that sequestering themselves in their fortresses only made their defeat inevitable. Over the next century, each of the remaining Archons were defeated and disincarnated. The Valorians were finally free from their godly masters.

Eventually, the Valorians would unite all of Aperion for the second time in recorded history. They unified every kingdom until there was only one glorious Valorian civilization across all of Aperion. They reduced the Kraven to an inconsequential threat and demanded the submission of the nations of the other races lest they be driven into the far corners of the world.

Without a constant flood of enemies to fight, Valorian society found itself in an unprecedented golden age. Civilization flourished. New religions and philosophies emerged. New breakthroughs in technology and magic were made. In particular, they experimented with new and exciting new uses for Aetherium.

The Valorian Godsmiths, led by Grieves Sunsteel, forged their own Valorplates, inspired by the original versions worn by the Archons. They also created all manner of Aetherium devices such as automata for labor, groundbreakers to reshape the land, and the great Sanctums. Though these inventions changed the face of civilization, Kosmera’s legacy always lurked behind every development.


A Thousand Years of War

Despite the prosperity of the age, Macros was unsatisfied with the peace they had wrought and believed that he had to fight for Aperion as a whole. He understood the Valorians’ military nature better than anyone and believed that a people made for war would eventually destroy themselves. He believed that the Valorians needed an Archon, a new god, to rebuilt creation and reign in their excesses. Who better to bear this burden than he, the greatest warrior every produced by the Valorian people.

Broaching his idea to Orin privately, Macros laid out how he would use the Skybreaker Monolith to accomplish his grand ambition. Orin, however, was convinced that Macros’s plan was reckless madness and attempted to talk Macros out of his folly. As happens with many such conversations, words gave way to blades when they were unable to reach an accord.

The rift between the brothers was then echoed by a larger schism within the Zodiac Circle. As Grandmaster of the Circle, Orin publically stripped Macros of his title. Then, fearing reprisal from his ludicrously powerful brother, Orin took the majority of the Zodiac Circle and sabotaged the Monolith, denying Macros its use for a time.

Seething from his brother’s perceived betrayal, Macros declares himself the sole ruler of Aperion and began recruiting allies from not only the Valorian factions, but the races of the Tetrarchy as well. Between threats of force and promises of new elemental utopias, the “latterborn” all tentatively joined Macros. With his supremacy secured, Macros began the arduous work of restoring the Skybreaker Monolith.

The savage and bitter war between Orin and Macros took on an almost predictable formula. Macros would work on the Monolith, only for Orin’s forces to either sabotage the construction or disable some component that prevented Macros from furthering his goals for a time. This cycle would continue for the next thousand years.

Though it seemed like the war between Orin and Macros could last forever, there was one harsh truth that at least Orin understood: Macros was winning. Every time, it was becoming more and more difficult to sabotage Macros and each time more progress was made on the Skybreaker Monolith. Eventually Orin was pushed to make one last effort to stop Macros.

Orin lured Macros’s forces away with a strategic feint and led all of his Valorian knights to capture the Skybreaker Monolith and the city below it. Then, fortifying their defenses, Orin awaited the inevitable attack from Macros’s returning army. Though neither side gave any quarter, Orin’s forces were eventually overwhelmed. Macros emerged from the Monolith and declare the end of a thousand years of war. Orin was dead by his hand and his work could continue unimpeded from then on.


The Factions Vargul Tribes

The Vargul are a deeply social people who value the tribe over the self. Led by fierce matrons and affected by the Aetherium in the deep earth, they defend their territory with suicidal bravery. Individual Vargul are passionate and creative, but they typically turn those energies to the tribe and the great work. The Vargul see Valorians as corrupt angels who have squandered their gifts, undeserving of their place in the world, and the divine pattern of Slab History.


Abyssian Host

The Abyssians are selfish predators who respect power and ambition above all. Born in a state of permanent grace, they believe themselves unable to sin. Abyssian leaders hold their followers in a state of tonic thrall, commanding not just their actions but their physical growth into a wild diversity of forms. Most follow the One Sea doctrine, which grants the Abyssians absolute dominion over all salt water, including the blood in living veins. To devour the souls of their prey is to grant them sacred purpose.


Nyak Kindred

The Nyak Kindred are a primordial people known for their clear understanding of body and soul. They are a people of deep faith and many cultures. The Nyak religion involves the worship of weather and atmospheric scrying. Their understanding of the spirit allows some Nyak to temporarily transcend their physical limitations. As the last race to be created by the Archons, the Nyak are closer to Valorians than any of the other races of the Tetrarchy. Despite this connection, the Valorians still drove them to their mountain tops during the various wars. And though they do not all agree on what the future holds, they wait patiently for a time where it is the Nyak's turn to own creation.


Crimson Wind

The Crimson Wind were originally a Valorian garrison force. They believed in adhering to a strict code of conduct where their personal allegiance to the highest power in the land was paramount. Thus it came as very little surprise when they sided with Macros when he took over. Since then, Macros has used the Crimson Wind to defend his archives and treasuries. This is a duty that holds very little glory, but they carry it out faithfully, none-the-less.


Black Tide

The Black Tide serve as the hand of Macros, his personal forces. They execute the will of their god and master across Aperion and all Valorians know to fear these black clad warriors. Though they do not wear Valorplate, they pride themselves on their highly developed combat skills. Their martial tradition relies on devious attacks, teamwork, and cunning rather that the blunt force of your typical knight. To demonstrate their fanatical loyalty, every Black Tide warrior binds themselves to Macros by spilling a drop of their own magically blackened blood as an oath of loyalty to their dark master.



Kraven are the physical embodiment of Kosmera's hunger. These monstrosities are found all over Aperion attempting to scrounge bits of Aetherium to sate their endless cravings. As they consume more and more Aetherium, their adaptive bodies will take on various elemental traits relative to their habitat.



Despite the power of their armies, the Valorians were never the most populous people. They needed a solution to address issues like manual labor or sentry duty. The ancient godsmiths devised a way to create automatons that could fulfill rote tasks that even the lowest of the Valorians did not wish to do. Over time, the constructs they made became more and more elaborate, culminating in the creation of Solaris and Lunara, the twin avatars of the Sun and Moon, respectively.


Corrupt Valorians

Those traitor Valorians who follow Macros often attempt to enhance themselves by absorbing or ingesting large quantities of Aetherium. Though many do not survive the process, those who do swell in size and gain a variety of powers. Those who do not survive are often used in Grieves Sunsteel's creations, where he traps their Aetherium rich souls in new weapons and artifacts of power.


The War Journals

Chronicle of the Wolf

Chronicle of the Wolf - 1

I've done it. I've taken the Monolith. And in doing so, I fought and killed the best person I have ever known.

I wish I could say we were evenly match and that our duel lasted for a moon's whole molt, new to full to new. It's that way in the stories. But it was decided before we ever crossed swords. Orin's forces were outmatched and so was my foolish brother.

I ended a thousand years of war when I threw Orin off that balcony. It was a victory so inevitable it nearly broke my heart.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 2

I trampled a banked campfire as we charged Orin’s lines. Cinders and grey ash, and a little flame inside. Had Orin had rested there?

We broke through. I found Orin in the Monolith’s throne room as waves shattered on the rocks far below. Outside, the gulls came down for the bodies of the fallen. We did not speak. Everything had been said. We fought while the gulls screamed with hunger.

Orin was prepared, but it didn't matter. Orin was doomed. When the moment came, I drew the inner sword. I cast Orin down.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 3

After my victory, I ordered my warriors to search for Orin's remains. They brought me a wretched sea- bloated corpse in my brother's ruined Valorplate. It smelled of Orin's true blood.

I wept for my victory. My beloved brother, whom I had trusted above all others was dead. I screamed and beat my fists on the stone even as my warriors celebrated.

I now had the Monolith. I was ready to perform the Rites of Ascension. All my hopes could now be realized. And yet, I felt hollow. I would ascend to godhood without my brother, without the one person who would be the first of my divine host.

So our war ended here. Where did we begin?


Chronicle of the Wolf - 4

Each Archon fought according to their nature, be it conquest or mercy for the conquered. As the war dragged on and the Archons looked for every advantage, some of them turned to creation. We Valorians were such a success, they reasoned, that they should be able to do it again.

Thus they created the latterborn, the so-called Tetrarchy. The Vargul, Abyssians, Nyak, and Flameblood. The latterborn bastards were created to be weapons to tip the balance of power in the Archons' endless wars. But they could never outdo us Valorians, their firstborn champions. And though I was our strongest warrior, there was no Valorian more valorous than my dear brother, Orin.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 5

Orin and I were separated when Silvermane and Hinterclaw broke their alliance. I was a fully-fledged knight of Hinterclaw while Orin was just a newly minted warrior of Silvermane. Leaving Orin felt like I had lost the voice of my better nature. Still, I was a warrior and I needed to make war. So I rent my mark across the battlefield. None could stop me.

I had an idea that something was broken in the world, but I only looked for answers only in battle and in victory. It took my reunion with Orin to turn my eyes toward the Archons.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 6

I was at Anadole, laying siege to a plateau city built on the ruins of five others. I circled the walls, calling for a challenger to open the gate and fight.

Imagine my surprise when I was knocked to the ground, a blade of pure Aetherium to my throat. I recognized it then, a voice I had not heard for ten years. “You and I could kill a god,” Orin whispered, “but we would need a victory worthy of an audience. Tell me, Macros. Does this land look seismically sound to you?”


Chronicle of the Wolf - 7

Orin led me to a fault in the earth near Anadole and I understood. We could collapse the plateau beneath the walls of the city. Then Anadole would be mine. I understood then what the arc of my life would be. Victory in this battle would become a victory so complete that I would be recognized by all of Aperion.

So we cut at the earth until it quaked and the walls of Anadole crashed down. And after my soldiers routed the defenders, Orin sat in my encampment and brewed me the finest cup of tea I ever tasted. Then we discussed the inevitable truth. That as long as the Archons remained in the world, we would have nothing but war and destruction.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 8

I lured Silvermane to the old tower where my war band lurked. The Archon believed that we were there to defect. Silvermane suspected nothing and walked right into the ambush.

Fighting a god, even with the advantage of surprise, is no small thing. The exhilaration of fighting against a force of nature was something I hadn't felt. I could not overpower this opponent. Silvermane was fast and strong and nearly invulnerable. Nearly invulnerable is not invulnerable, though. Our blades rose and fell and soon enough, the great archon was no more.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 9

I stunned all Aperion with that first Godfall. We were villains and oath-breakers or we were the hope for freedom for all of Aperion. Or we were both.

The enraged Archons drove us into the wilderness. Had they united, we would have been ground to dust. But their natures didn't allow for cooperation. Even loving Illumina or merciful Phoenix could not work together long enough to stop our rebellion.

As the Archons turned back to squabbling amongst themselves, doomed to do so by their divinity, the trickle of new followers became a flood. My fellow Valorians hungered for war. I would have plenty to give them, if we survived.

I took us into the wilderness as fugitives. But I returned with an army.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 10

It was finished. I cast the Archons into the void of Kosmera’s uncoiling. Orin and I lifted our joined hands to the victors and declared a new age.

Our army roared in joy...and in hunger. Triumph was their milk. They were not ready to be weaned. We had destroyed those who stood above us. What about those below? Would it only be a matter of time before the Tetrarchy rose up against us?

When the call for war came, I tried to say no. I did try. But it was inevitable.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 11

The war was never about land or Aetherium as Orin seemed to think. Orin believes that because we discovered the wonders Aetherium could build, we craved ever more. Possibly.

But in truth we turned against the Vargul because we hated them. We hated their scurrying. Their tunneling. Their breeding and their starving, their eggs and their eyes. We hated that the Archons had made anything after us. There had always been dark rumors the Archons created the latterborn races of the Tetrarchy to replace us. I simply used those rumors to justify our war.

After all, war was our permanent condition. We had never learned how to be anything but warriors. I always told Orin the truth about what we did. I won't be held responsible if Orin didn't understand.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 12

Our war on the Vargul terrified the Nyak, who had also seen us as usurpers. They joined the war, and fought against us to preserve their destiny. The Nyak were tentative allies during the Upheaval only to turn out of selfish fear.

Chronicle of the Wolf The war with the Vargul incited the Abyssians, so they joined the war and fought against us for the joy of murder and domination. They didn't care about justice, they actually wanted to overthrow us.


Chronicle of the Wolf

Vargul, Nyak, and Abyssians all mobilized against us. Even the mercurial Flameblood joined the war. But we Valorians were war itself, made to fight. We had never struggled to build homes or grow crops. We did not worry about raising children as we only had them when we passionately desired the creation of a new life.

The Vargul bred like a volley of arrows and we held no reverence for their lives. We offered the Tetrarchy no mercy and no justice. It was the first time I understood what we truly were. Valorian did not mean ‘the people of courage.’ We were the people of victory at any cost. I was delighted.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 13

During the day Orin and I fought side by side. At night we parted ways, fleeing the noise and boasting in our war camps. Every dawn we would meet again and share our ideas for life after the war over little games of strategy. Orin never won.

I miss it now.

Orin feared that we had unlocked a terrible craving among our people. When we battled our own gods, we could use all our strength and fury without guilt. Now against lesser foes, we are unwilling relinquish that strength. Orin believed that we acted as gods without restraint.

But I remember thinking that were not gods. Not yet. If I were a god, I could accomplish so much more.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 14

It seemed for a while that the Godsmith, Grieves Sunsteel, could win enough support to declare himself a king. But politics is just another battlefield and despite that it is both boring and lacking glory, I won't be beaten on a battlefield.

I found people who would respond to my influence. I swayed them. Orin claimed that I have a way with people, but in fact I simply tell them the truth. We did not need a tyrant, and after what we went through, we especially did not need another tyrannical god.

I also spoke to Grieves. Once he saw my point of view, he understood that his claim would not come to pass. I convinced him to settle, instead, for privacy, room to work, and some extraordinarily large statues.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 15

Our godsmith's creations couldn’t fuel themselves. We needed Aetherium and our wars had tapped us dry. And so, while the politicians debated at home, Orin and I went out to do the hard work. We needed taxation. Tribute. Trade. Land to mine with our machines. We needed a supply of Kosmera’s blood and our thirst would only grow.

No one likes a tax collector. Least of all, I discovered, the collector himself.

Chronicle of the Wolf

For all the wonder of our cities, the frontier was a place of horror.

Since their subjugation, the latterborn were not the organized war-machine we had battled. I saw Abyssians boil Vargul eggs in hot springs for their feasts. I pulled wounded Nyak from temples undermined by avaricious Vargul mining. I sifted through the burnt husks of Flameblood, stoked by Nyak air priests until they burnt out. I grimaced at the howls of Abyssian builders, forced into Flameblood stonefire to harvest precious metal.

Our world was full of so much pain. I wanted the power to end it.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 16

In fighting the so-called Tetrarchy, I came to understand a simple truth. Coexistence between all life was impossible. Aperion was a flawed, broken design. We had all been made by the Archons, and we had inherited their differences, damned to inevitable conflict.

The philosopher-knight Sati preached a society of equals, in which all people served all others. But how could a Vargul tribe serve an Abyssian’s need for dominance? How could a Flameblood fuel its fire without parching Nyak air? And how could any of the mortal species prosper when burdened with the needs of the divine Valorians?

Orin was the first to realize Archon and Valorian could not coexist.

Now I realized the same was true of Valorian and latterborn. We can't share one world. At least not as it is.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 17

In the Skybreaker Monolith, I saw an answer. It was a blade, a cutter-of-boundaries, joining distant places to gather Aetherium. It could solve our hunger for a time. Of course it couldn’t last. Kosmera’s curse grows to exceed all satisfaction.

But it was also an instrument of birth. An incubator of new possibilities. Why should we be limited by the senseless strictures of the old gods?


Chronicle of the Wolf - 17

The Seventh Sanctum was a world in miniature, a pocket creation designed to sustain its scholars and instruments even through the end of Aperion itself. I took it seriously, though I knew better than to listen to its lies.

The more I studied, the more I became convinced that creation was fatally flawed. If Aperion was to ever know peace, it had to be remade. My people are at the pinnacle of their decadence. Our agelessness had become changelessness. Preservation had triumphed over entropy, and so doomed us.

We were stuck like a beetle in amber. We had to be cut free.

I knew what had to be done, but I wanted Orin's support.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 18

The Skybreaker Monolith could shatter the cosmos. And the Sanctums, given freedom to pursue their own will, might go beyond cataloguing the world—even seek divinity. I convinced Orin that they were too powerful to be left in our own hands. I proposed the only natural solution, the wolf and the lion would swear a pact.

I would seal away the Seventh Sanctum. It would not be allowed any visitors or any more knowledge. Orin would guard the Monolith from those who would seek to use it improperly. Orin would prevent it from accidentally exsanguinating the world.

Thus, we swore, face to face. I believed this enough to sway Orin to my will. I was wrong, but at least I wasn't the one who broke the pact.


Chronicle of the Wolf - 19

I was too eager and I assumed Orin would go along with me.

I had argued that we could avert the end of our civilization. We could save the Valorians and the Tetrarchy. We could even remove Kosmera's curse. All we had to do was revise creation. If the Archons were all disincarnated, why couldn't one of us ascend in their place? With enough Aetherium and the proper ritual, we could stoke divinity in a mortal mind and make a new god.

I remember it like it was yesterday. For the first time in our long history, Orin's voice went flat and lectured me that my plans were sheer arrogance. We fought to remove the Archons, Orin did not want to create another one. The flaws of the Archons were engraved in their nature. Not even I could not be a god in the physical realm and avoid corruption.

I bristled. How could Orin compare me to the Archons?

We began to quarrel.


Orin's Journal

Orin's Journal - 1

My brother once told me that every battle stinks the same. Fear and hot metal. He would say that every time one of his soldiers saluted him, he would anticipate their passing.

After a thousand years of war, he has surrounded us. He anticipates a final victory against us. I believed we could hold, but Macros proved too cunning an opponent. There is no way to outmaneuver someone who's known you for centuries.

I know Macros revels in the destruction to come, even more than he admits to himself. How can I win?


Orin's Journal - 2

Macros fights with cunning and overpowering strength. I have fought alongside him during an eternity of campaigns and learned his strength from the ways he breaks his enemies. I could write a manual on his mastery of war.

No one ever chooses to be outnumbered and outmatched, yet Macros has forced me into this position. It's unlikely that I will beat him here, though I’m sure my stubbornness aggravates him.

As I weigh my options, one thing is clear. I should have invoked the Seventh Sanctum earlier. But, last resorts are thus named for a reason.


Orin's Journal - 3

There he was. My brother. Macros. This was the first time I set eyes upon him in a decade and I was here on Silvermane's behalf. I was tasked with finding the weakness of Hinterclaw's powerful champion. I was surprised when I saw that it was Macros. I shouldn't have been.

I saw Macros call the enemy’s champions, one by one, and defeat them all. I saw him cleave a rank of foes in two with the force of his charge. I saw how his comrades deferred to him, how they dreaded his penchant for violence. I resolved to exploit that dreadful violence.


Orin's Journal - 4

There were beautiful traditions even in those days when the Archons walked among us. We dueled using dragonfly kites with glass-edged strings. We held tournaments for poetry and the tossing of sun- javelins. But it was always the Archons that moved us to ecstasy or violence, casting a shadow over all achievement. Nothing could be glorious unless they willed it so.

I brewed Macros a simple tea for our conversation after he took Anadole. I explained that our games and traditions portrayed the Archons at war. Even our art was all inspired by sword or spear. As long as those twelve living stars dwelt among us, we would be nothing but their shadows. Those words changed my brother. He listened intently and he understood. Power distorts choice and with their power, we had no choice but eternal war.


Orin's Journal - 5

Macros wanted us to recruit as many Valorians as possible to fight Silvermane. But any secret spoken is a secret no longer and our band had to know their purpose beforehand. Inevitably, when some balked at our goals, Macros insisted that we could not risk them compromising the mission. I took care of them. Somehow I am always taking care of things no one wanted to name.

Macros kept insisting that I do the vile things that made our mission possible. He was my leader. Trusting him, I acquiesced. He always sounded so reasonable. I should have asked myself why, if what he wanted was so reasonable, he did not do these things himself.


Orin's Journal - 6

Macros was so certain of victory. He always spoke as if we had already won. His confidence bolstered morale. I was less sure. One day, I asked what we would do after we won. Valorians have only known war and never peace. Our armies would turn on each other as soon as we won.

But he had no intention of allowing that. He knew that the latterborn would be an easy target of the Valorians' pent up rage. In my memories he sounded sad. But if I have learned anything from Macros, it is that memories are easily recruited to serve our needs.


Orin's Journal - 7

The rogue captain, Reher, knelt before Macros and I, disarmed and chained. She'd fought at the vanguard at Unhinged Summer and saved me at the Battle of Halved Skulls. I respected her. And she repaid that respect by raiding the Vargul against our command.

Instead of discipline, Macros asked why the Vargul deserved land that good Valorians could settle. Instead of punishment, Macros ordered our forces to war with Vargul. He saw a new cause for our restless armies. He would pretend, later, that it was a way to keep us united, under control. Was I trusting enough to believe him?

Absolutely I was. I think Macros even believed it himself.


Orin's Journal - 8

One of Macros's favorites, a bard, commemorated the surrender of the Vargul. He was as talented as he was inaccurate. The Vargul did not capitulate all at once, on a stormy day. They did not overthrow their heir while we watched. Nor did they present us with a copy of their Slab History with their achievements scratched out and replaced with praises of Valorian might.

Macros laughed at his poet’s effacement of history. He says he is fond of telling the truth. But in his hands, the truth is a chameleon. He likes it that way.


Orin's Journal - 9

Macros assured me that the Valorian people will forget the details of the war. Even as we surveyed our efficient war bands, he assured me that our crusade against the Tetrarchy would be remembered as a triumph over scurrying evil.

But I did not want our history to be forgotten. And so I quietly resolved to prevent that. This is when I decided to visit the Seventh Sanctum.


Orin's Journal - 10

In my brother's stories, he always challenged his opponents to glorious single combat. It was a parody of our honor duels. Macros was the finest warrior of a warrior people and his opponents were simple mortal champions who could not possibly withstand his blows. “Honorable duels,” he called them. The longer I listened to his tales, the more disturbed I became. But I did not recognize the threat and had other concerns.


Orin's Journal - 11

An architect once gave me a tour of the Monolith. She explained that its markings expressed the paths of the elements, the orbits of sun and stars. Everything from the number of stones to the angle of its walls represented some facet of the universe. I refrained from asking the significance of the graffiti I found in a hidden corner.

Most Valorians saw the Monolith as a drill with which to obtain Aetherium from ever more distant lands. I saw instead the knowledge it enshrined. By studying its insights, we could gain wisdom, and with it make better choices for our civilization. That would be our path to a fairer tomorrow. Studying the mistakes of the past.

I didn't know that Macros had already planned to turn this wonder into a monument to arrogance.


Orin's Journal - 12

I grew acquainted with the Seventh Sanctum in the years since I first visited. Her engineers had seeded it with a model of the world and its workings, a library of libraries. She slaked her thirst for knowledge by observing our deeds and, at times, by speaking to me.

“Even I require Aetherium for my function,” it observed once day. “Some of your people speak of raiding the other Sanctums to fuel their cities.”

“I won’t allow it,” I said. “Even if the others fall, you contain our memories. Without memory, our future loses meaning. It becomes a scrawl of nonsense.”

The Seventh Sanctum was silent for a time. At last it said:

“What promises can you make when Macros has other plans?”


Orin's Journal - 13

Before Macros sealed her away, I spoke to the Seventh Sanctum one last time. I had grown accustomed to our conversations, but Macros had convinced me. She had to go away. However, I could not resist asking her about the future one more time. All she would say was that the Valorians were going to destroy themselves and that I should pay attention.

The Seventh Sanctum’s calculations were so complex that even I couldn't pierce their origin. But her ability to chart a path to victory was unparalleled. All I knew is that she was the most powerful weapon in my arsenal. If things went as badly as she predicted, I would call upon the Sanctum again.


Orin's Journal

Macros was better at giving speeches. Many times had I served as his loyal shadow, content to create the framework for his conquests. Too often I had remained silent instead of protesting his crueler excesses.

He tried to sway me. He insisted that he had a vision and I could help him plan the process. I tried to dissuade him and I thought I had gotten through to him. Then he let slip that he wanted to personally amend creation.

Macros didn’t just want to revise a few trifling details about the world. He wanted to ascend to godhood. And only I could stop him.


Orin's Journal - 14

I considered giving way to Macros’s plan to corrupt the Monolith just so I could blunt his scheme. Macros knew me so well, however, that he would see through me.

The Seventh Sanctum could outmaneuver him if I yielded to it. But invoking it invited grave peril and Macros had his Crimson Wind fanatics guarding it at all times.

I hoped the Sanctum was willing to commit to my cause, in memory of the discussions we had shared in the past. If I could not stop Macros by more direct means, I would have to reach the Sanctum before he did.

In the meantime, I needed to distract Macros. And what distraction was more worthy than a fight?



Tales from Aperion

Tales from Aperion - 1

Kosmera made the world when she devoured herself. The Archons were her dreams and they dreamt hungrily of existence. There was nothing to satisfy the hunger but her own flesh. Kosmera ate of Kosmera. She shed blood-of-the-serpent, the crystalized power of void, which we call Aetherium. The world clotted around it. Existence coalesced like frost on glass.

And from the ruins of Kosmera’s body, the Archons stepped forth into existence.


Tales from Aperion - 2

We Valorians were their first design. All twelve Archons collaborated to craft us forms that they would also eventually use. They gifted us the first suits of Valorplate. Holy armor for the champions of the gods. Each as precious as it is powerful. We were the first to know death, and the first to show courage in its face. Thus we were named Valorians.

We had always believed they made us in their image, but they had instead made themselves, too well, in ours.


Tales from Aperion - 3

The peoples of Aperion had misunderstood the Archons’ nature. They should have stayed as gods of ideal. When they spun themselves physical shapes, incarnating themselves into the physical realm, they became trapped by the sins of mortality.

Overcome by mortal anger, jealousy, and ambition, the Archons quarreled among themselves. It is said that when kings quarrel, they argue using armies. We Valorians were made by the Archons to be their armies. And so, with little choice, we argued.

With Valorians as their great armies, each Archon, according to their nature and their hunger, be it conquest or be it mercy for the conquered, made war. We did not know how deeply Kosmera’s hunger had chewed into our souls, then. We would learn.


Tales from Aperion - 4

The first time I observed the Archon Hinterclaw, they were standing over a war map with models and pieces forged from raw Aetherium. Like a game board, Hinterclaw moved pieces from one place to place, stronghold to stronghold. Sometimes they closed a gauntleted fist and a piece imploded, signifying the outcome of some future battle. In this fashion Silvermane predicted the movements of the Archons’ armies and the flow of war. Hinterclaw cared only for victory, not that the battles cindered our cities and effaced our writings. How could I preserve a world that only cared for battle and power?

Macros was there, even then. Hinterclaw's fiercest champion. Ever hungry for power, he wanted to steal the Aetherium pieces. I, on the other hand, ignored those Aetherium models and instead stole Hinterclaw's stratagems.


Tales from Aperion - 5

The Archons’ unwavering belief in their own perfection would doom us if we continued to follow them. Physical form came with corruption, jealousy, anger, and grief. We could not allow the Archons to remain incarnated. If we didn’t exile them back to the realm of pure ideal, return them into formlessness, they would destroy us. They had to be stopped. We could not allow them to corrode our attempts to build a true civilization.

It did not escape us that the Archons never worked together. It would be difficult for one of us to take on an Archon and win. But unlike them, we were not alone. Even if they would not work together, we Valorians could.


Tales from Aperion - 6

Bulwark was the last Archon to fall. After Moebius was consumed in the Battle of Unhinged Summer, after Aegishorn made a final stand at Brittle Rain, we came to the Battle of Halved Skulls.

Bulwark brought in swarms of Vargul and Abyssian mercenaries to augment his loyal Valorians. He used his divine power to bolster his troops to incredible durability. We had to strike Bulwark’s faithful down over and over. In the end we took to splitting their helms.

The price in blood was high, but we had done it. All twelve of the Archons were finally sent screaming back to the realm of dreams and spirit. Now the real work could be done. We could build a true society.


Tales from Aperion - 7

From the humble Vargul, I learned for the first time, the concept of noncombatants.

As a scholar, I believed in the importance of capturing other points of view. Thus I walked among the Vargul in disguise to learn their ways and I was stunned by our differences.

Where our soldiers only shared stories of their victories on the battlefield, the Vargul had lamentations. They lamented the passing of their trollocs, crying out against the savage Valorians who were so corrupt that we struck down laborers who had no part in the war.

Later, I tried to explain this to my comrades. But if I am honest, the closest understanding they had was that these trollocs were less glorious targets.


Tales from Aperion - 8

History is written by the victors and there were no people better at winning than the Valorians.

We starved the Nyak from their cold mountains. We scattered the Flameblood like cinders from a banked fire. We bled the Abyssians so badly they feared they would not have enough young to reincarnate all their dead. One by one, the Tetrarchy surrendered and submitted themselves to our dominion.

The Nyak and the Vargul became our vassals. The Abyssians exiled themselves to the deep places away from civilization. The Flameblood dispersed and were never a united people again. It is no wonder that they hated us and would take any chance to exact revenge.


Tales from Aperion - 9

Said about the Sanctums of Knowledge: A library is only useful to those who take the time to read. I was more optimistic about literacy in back then.


Tales from Aperion - 10

After the Unification, our society flourished. In this golden age, we devised a government built around the philosophies of Zwei and Sati. The world was a treaty between the constant sun and the changing moon, they said. We each owed the complexity of our being to the duality of preservation and entropy. We Valorians treasured this balance, embodied by the sun and moon, represented by gold and silver. Upon these aesthetic principles we designed our entire civilization. Such a paradox could never last.


Tales from Aperion - 11

During this Golden Age, our cities rose in the mountain fastnesses and nestled among fantastical forests. Birds of iridescent plumage sang our praises. Wise dappled koi spoke prophecies from the ponds in the public gardens. The percussion of our armorers’ forges was a constant joyous march. It was also hard to sleep, but who had time for sleep in those days? There was glory to win!

At night, Aetherium-powered lanterns lit our streets. From a distance travelers could see our cities and the nodes that connected them spread out like immense constellations, declarations of our mastery over Aperion written in the language of light and shadow.


Tales from Aperion - 12

There were seven Sanctums, relics from a bygone age. They were thinking beings as much as they were libraries and academies. They acted as our civilization's memory and conscience. They would remember our crimes, our triumphs, even the worst of our poetry.

The Sanctums wanted independence from the Council of Lords and all other authorities so that they could serve their role faithfully. Valorians were not so great about giving independence. Six of them agreed to serve, one for each of our major cities. The seventh, who I believed to be special, refused and was sealed away for her defiance.


Tales from Aperion - 13

On our greatest creations: More splendid than the Sanctums was the Skybreaker Monolith, our great construct made to pierce the heavens, to reach through space and time, and to bend reality. The Skybreaker Monolith is a wonder. Within the massive superstructure is a almost infinite world of layered elemental realms speared through by a central tower. We could house entire nations in there.

It is unfortunate that most Valorians only saw it as some kind of Aetherium drill.


Tales from Aperion - 14

Though we Valorians have always been warriors, we held artisans in high esteem. And no artisan was more revered than our godsmiths. The legendary crafters who worked with Aetherium blessed our society with machines that supplied us with labor, water, and harvest. We had no need for peasants or menials, no laborers. Every Valorian was at least a functionary or craft-person. However, for the gift of our continued prosperity, some godsmiths believed they deserved much more than a nebulous label.

For a little while, we all thought there could have been another war.


Tales from Aperion - 15

It wasn't just Sanctums and the Monolith. We loved all the wonders that Aetherium made possible. Pageants of knights in Valorplate covered with enamel flowers. Observatories with great lenses ground with Aetherium, through which we could see into the past, to Kosmera’s coiled and sleeping form. But these wonders came at a price. If we did not curtail our use of Aetherium, we would run out in a matter of years.

No farmer would expect a field’s harvest to yield an unlimited amount of grain. But because we Valorians did not do our own farming and instead trusted that work to constructs, we lacked the ability to appreciate this mathematical truth.

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