“Rome wasn't built in a day, but it burned in one.”
Part 2: Shards of the Primordials
From the highest heavens, down to the darkest pits where Destruction and his servants are bound, Primordial powers infuse the world of Eä. The most extreme of these manifestations are the Horsemen themselves, as Aspect Souls of Creation and Destruction. Bound and chained by the dragons, they nonetheless represent the most powerful primordial essences at play. But they are far from the only.
When Creation and Destruction fought at the dawn of existence, each blow stuck true and cast the essence of these two primordial powers throughout the Cosmos. The greatest of these are the stars themselves, raging shards of Creation cast into the heavens when Destruction smote its sibling with a blow so powerful that shattered its very body into a million, million pieces. Likewise, Creation’s original blow, the one that incited Destruction to its rage, was a deep cut that has bled incessantly since it was made. The larger fragments, those that possess enough power and essence to retain consciousness, are powerful entities capable of extraordinary feats of primordial magic. They range in power from full-fledged gods and primordial dragons, down to the meanest daemon and cherubim in the Primordial Hosts.
Smaller motes of this primordial essence are just that, motes. They lack any motive energy or volition, wafting through the cosmos with no aim or reason. Thick physical barriers can impede their progress, resulting in a slow accretion of these motes within an area. The most common manifestation of this are the countless exotic stones and metals that one can find on Ea. It is no coincidence that the deeper one digs, the more of these minerals are found, as the powerful essence of Destruction suffuses the stone and molten lava. On the other hand, the essence of creation is much harder to come across in a solid form, diffused as it is through the cosmos. The likeliest sources are extraterrestrial objects such as meteors and space dust, which became infused eons ago.
Unlike solid matter, life retains an unusual capacity to trap these motes. In small concentrations they do little more than affect the mood or outlook of the lifeform. In higher concentrations though, they can start creating gross physical changes on the form of their host. Most of the creatures considered… normal by humans on Eä and name as animals (rabbits, deer, oxen, wolves, etc.) are of a Balanced Aspect, and do not possess a high concentration of these motes. Humanity itself is considered to possess a balanced Aspect and as a result those creatures that are Aspected away from Balance, towards either Creation or Destruction, humans instinctively find unnatural and call monsters. Whatever the case, these motes seem to ignore the laws of physics as laid down by balance. They seem to respond to eddies and currents that have nothing to do with the physical realm, being drawn to areas and events that embody their chosen aspect most strongly. These motes can help Aspect an entire area, aligning it with their primordial paradigm. This is why a particularly famous battlefield might become the site of future battles for no discernible reason, or a particular building, once inhabited by a creative genius might become a midwife’s home or nursing ward.
One of the more curious properties of these motes is not only that they are drawn to common areas, but that they possess the ability to merge when chance forces them together. In a powerful enough Aspected Locus, enough of these motes can come together to grant the amalgam a rudimentary instinct. These slivers will start seeking out smaller pieces to incorporate into their growing form. As more primordial power gathers, sentience slowly develops. These awakened primordial slivers are small manifestations of Creation and Destruction, which often settle within their locus.
All sentient races on Eä are familiar with these manifestations. The Dragons would let them be, until they reached a critical size after which point they would be hunted and destroyed. The Exiles, strangers to our world, have a very limited ability to interact with these sprites. The Spires view them with extreme caution, and through a long process of trial and error have learnt to catalogue them and use them on infused flesh to grant unique and abilities to their creations that could not have been achieved otherwise.
The Weaver Courts, on the other hand, venerate these beings as manifestations of the will of Eä. The most devoted and insightful amongst the Summer and Winter Courts have found ways of using their Life-Binding abilities to merge with these existences, assuming their role of leaders and sorcerers amongst their kind. The Quiet venerate them and cherish them as by-products of Primodial Balance, but otherwise ignore them. The Dweghom, ever practical and focused on their martial pursuits, have taken a different track. Lacking the raw primordial might of their Dragon creators, the Tempered have long captured these beings to power the constructs the Dragons left behind, while the Ardent reduce and distil their physical forms into pigments and minerals that are incorporated into their armor and bodies to aid their martial prowess. Humanity on the other hand found a different use for these slivers: worship.
Coming soon…….part 3: Mankind and the rise of Hazlia.