Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brief History of Kotini - Part 1

History can be divided into 8 ages, as far as historians within the Lagoon Ranges are concerned.
  • The First Landing
  • Age of Menedékhely (the Old City)
- Founding of Menedékhely
- Golden Age
  • First Scattering
  • Age of the Second City
  • Second Scattering
  • Age of the Third Settlement
  • Third Scattering
  • Age of Re-discovery
These ages only relate to the people within the Lagoon Ranges. You see, they think that Kotini is almost all made of mountains and if you travel far enough through the mountains to the west, you will end up where the Eastern Mountains begin. Not so.

Let's talk about the First Landing.

The ancestors of those who now inhabit Kotini were refugees from a great intergalactic war that no one remembers the cause of. Every inhabited galaxy was fighting one another for no particular reason that anyone was sure of. All people knew - the ordinary people that is, is that the war had not ceased for 30years and that they could not stop fighting or they would all die.

Three ships, the Aisley, Blynde Follow and Super Sonic; full of refugees (the record of numbers has long since been lost) were flying not far from Kotini, on the edge of the known universe, when they were caught in the cross-fire between two different armies. Kotini had originally been passed over as a suitable place for human habitation as it was too small and was almost all mountains and sea. The three ships had to make emergency landings upon Kotini. All crashed. All were irrepairable, stranding the refugees upon the small forgotten planet.

The three ships had planned to discover a habitable planet beyond the edge of the known universe and settle there, where the war would not touch them. Upon each ship were refugees prepared to become colonists of a new world.

The Aisley, was the largest ship, containing the most people - all of whom were scientists of various kinds and skilled workers. These are the ancestors of those trapped within the Lagoon Ranges, the descendants of whom went on to build the Old City, the Second City and the Third Settlement. They believed that the other two ships perished when they lost contact on breaking through Kotini's atmosphere. Of all the inhabitants of Kotini, I have discovered these people, to be the most organised and technologically advanced.

Strangely enough, the Lagoonists, as those beyond the mountains call them, do not believe in flying or space travel. Human flight, aeronautics, etc is considered a myth. According to the myths that have been passed down, if people were to take to air, the sky itself will rain down fire and destroy every living being upon the planet. I believe that history has somehow become distorted since the First Landing, either that or the first Lagoonists in a bid to protect their descendants, taught them they would never be able to get off the planet.

Blynde Follow, named after a religious figure in another galaxy, made its emergency landing on the shore of what became known as the Big Lake, as opposed to the Small Lake in the south of the continent. The people on board this old ship had been unskilled workers, labourers, farmers and a mismatch of what I believe were corrupt polititians or religious leaders. Over the years, they have established a hierachial system where the rich get richer, the priests even richer, and the poor struggle to survive. They live on the continent outside the Lagoon Ranges (and never venture into the mountains due to tales of wildmen and man-eating monsters with iron claws and razor sharp teeth - not to mention the disorienting fog that comes as suddenly as it goes). A strange truth about these folk is that they are almost all blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Those with darker pigments are the exotic beauties.

At present, the devil fish that managed to evade my annihilation deep in their mountain caves to the north, thrive in a temple as large as the ship Blynde Follow, and are worshipped by the Lakemen Mainlanders as well as the Southerners. The temple is located north-east from Lake City North and devotees must make the journey outside of the city to worship. You probably wouldn't be surprised to know that the devil fish demand human sacrifices and encourage people to become priests or priestesses - so that they can eat them and take on their form... not that the people know or are willing to realise this.

The Southerners are Lagoonists who managed to find a way through the Southern Mountains during the First and Second Scattering, after the devil fish attacked the Old City and the Second City respectively. These people have a phobia of the devil fish, but for some bizarre reason raise the devil fish fry for the temple. From what information I have been able to get out of them, the temple priests force them to raise the fry or else they and their families will disappear overnight. It's rather odd. Although they believe the devil fish are evil, they count it a blessing when the fish they were raising reach maturity and one of their children are offered as a sacrifice.

Some Southerners are awaiting the Lagooners to come and fetch them home when it was safe to return to the cities within the Lagoon Ranges. That was the promise to those of the First Scattering - one that has never been fulfilled. In actual fact, although they have been told it's safe to return, they don't believe it. I think it has something to do with barely surviving the journey through the mountains and the fact that they believe that the devil fish are in control within the Ranges - not realising that the devil fish are the ones in control outside of the Ranges. Compared to all the other people on the planet, Southerners are the most irrational and stubborn. The mixing of Lagoonist and Lakemen/Mainlander ways, has resulted in their own unique system of beliefs, ideals, mannerisms and a distinct style of speech.

The smallest of the three ships to make emergency landing on Kotini was Super Sonic. The refugees on board the ship were mostly deserting soldiers, shipwrights and a handful of engineers. Their descendants have now become the Islanders and Traders of Kotini. Unlike the offspring of the other two ships, the Islanders have not forgotten their origins and one day hope to return to the skies and go home. From what I've gathered, they're a folk frustrated with the lack of suitably high grade materials and knowledge required to make the space ship that will break out of Kotini's atmosphere. Now, if the Islanders got together with the Lagoonists (after the Lagoonists were convinced of the plausibility of flight), I'm pretty certain that the whole planet would begin to move into a space age.

That's pretty much the First Landing and some background on the descendants of the first settlers. By the way, most of this information has not yet made its way back to Lagoonists and the little that has managed to trickle through the almost unpassable mountains that surrond the Old City, Second City and Third Settlement, have mostly been dismissed as stories. Not all the stories flying around back home about me are good ones and many refuse to believe that I, a girl that looks to be in her late teens or early twenties, stopped the devil fish within the Lagoon Ranges for good. I'm glad that not everyone thinks that way.

That's all I have time for today. I'll see you another time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

story of Madorra... and a little on my siblings

My siblings and I have sought to find the history of our adopted mother since the time of her death some years ago. She never told us much about her past, except that she was born to poor parents somewhere in the Western Kingdoms. Occasionally, she might mention the most common dishes they ate and her favourite foods or the trading system, but not much else.

We have travelled the entire Western World searching for somebody who knew something about her, but to no avail. Maybe she is as nameless and faceless as she says she was. It's strange how a person, nobody knows exists, can leave their own country and become a famous figure recorded in history. If she hadn't come to the Eastern Kingdoms, she would have died nobody - and nobody would have cared.

What we do know about Madorra is that being born to poor farmers during a time of famine in the Western Kingdoms, they lost their farm to their creditor. Her mother died not long after during childbirth to her younger brother who did not survive. She was brought up by her father, until he disappeared one night, leaving her alone. The time spent with her father had taught her many skills and she travelled to wherever there was work. Then during the Boom Year (a year of excess in the Western Kingdoms, so much that they didn't know what to do with all the extra food and money), she met somebody, cut some sort of deal with them where they became relatively rich... before they 'disappeared' her. She was given some money and banished from the Western Kingdoms. Heading through the difficult mountain passes - which she says took almost 5 years to cross, she emerged in the Eastern Kingdoms.

We suspect that after her arrival in the Eastern Kingdoms, she continued to keep a relatively low profile to get a hold of the current situations and get over the culture shock of what was the beginning of Maguiren's tyrannical reign.

It was during a raid by the Breakers for all the eligible females in a certain town, that she was spotted and protected by Queen Esthoria. This is how they became firm friends. Officially, she became one of the queen's handmaidens. Unofficially, she was the queen's eyes and ears in the kingdoms, often going on long journeys to obtain a fabled bottle of 'pure' air-water or to have a new dress made out of rare materials. She accidentally bumped into Maguiren on one such excursion, while he was out recording the success of yet another one of his experiments. He noticed her intellect, so the story goes, and after attempting to apprehend her, she scolded him and told him off - and he was unable to do anything about it. Because of that one scolding and her ability to avoid capture by him, Maguiren came to highly respect Madorra. An invitation was often sent to her through the queen to have dinner together with them, where he would discuss his experiments and ideas with her. The history books say that she mostly argued against him and made him lose his temper, nevertheless became a firm favourite and friend of the royal court.

Mother never told us what the discussions were about. It wasn't worth talking about, she'd tell us.

When she and the queen discovered my siblings and I, they decided they had to do something about Maguiren, because it was through the logs and records in the underground laboratory that they discovered what kind of a man Maguiren truly was. Before, they had been unable to make up their minds about whether he was a good-but-misguided man or plain evil. After our dramatic rescue, of which every sibling, except for Dugan, played a part, Madorra took us into hiding. Queen Esthoria was locked up in her apartments for the next 5 years, during which Crown Prince Gavin Eugene Fallon Otissaphir was born.

We, the Rebellion, discovered the Unseen Realm and used it to communicate and plan. Later on, during the Battle of the Cliffs, it became one of our main battlefields as well. The Unseen Realm is another plane of reality in which those with the correct gifts, with enough strength, are able to operate and move in. Generally, it just looks like a dark void and people from far away can meet together in the realm, although not moving from where they physically are. It makes distance shrink somehow. Nobody really knows. We don't really understand the laws that govern the Unseen Realm and so never stay there any longer than is needed. There are stories of people who have tried staying there for extended periods of time and they... they were never found again.

Come to think of it. I've never introduced any of my siblings. Here we are in order of age:
- Marcie - the strongest and wisest of us. Everyone goes to her with their troubles.
- Dugan - dark, silent and mysterious, nobody is sure of his gifts, but he is the only one who can truly stop a Breaker.
- Clarissa - funny and bubbly, she and Tamilo are a bit like twins.
- Tamilo - a practical joker, partners with Clarissa to make everyone laugh.
- Gideon - serious fighter type, big muscles, etc, you get the idea.
- Verity - like her name, can tell whether you're telling the truth or whether someone has cast an illusion. She has this thing about wires and mazes.
- me - you know.
- Jamiel - can run and move as fast as the wind. He is also the most attuned to danger and can sense if any of us are in danger, so he's like our messenger and watchman.

Yes, we all have exceptional gifts, but not all the gifts have names, so I can't tell you and if I did, we'd be here forever... or a few weeks, minimum.

What gifts did Mother have? I'm sure you want to know. I wish I did know. Not even Queen Esthoria can tell us exactly what sorts of gifts Madorra had.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I miss Beorn. Last post I mentioned that he was my protector and best friend, but above all he was my 'brother'. Not real brother as we weren't related, but still my brother and the one person who knew and understood me best. I still can't really believe he's gone and that I'll never see him again.

It was partially my fault. If I said it was all my fault, it wouldn't be true, because it was also partially Beorn's fault, partially the patronising city mens' fault and partially the devil fishs' fault. Whoevers fault, Beorn is dead and he won't ever be coming back. No more arguments over who is the best. No more spit roast Beorn-style. No more Rockmen jokes. No more discussions and reminisces about the past. No more book-study sessions and no more weight lifting competitions. No more Beorn. Just like that.

People will never forget him. I made sure of that. When I buried him, I also recovered all the lost files of the Old and Second City and wrote a biography of his life. He had been born before me, so I don't know everything about him, but I knew what he'd told me and I uploaded it into the Old City files after I'd buried him near the cottage we'd grown up with Father, in a grave marked only by a wild dogrose bush. His favourite flowers. Not that I'd ever actually grown up, since I'd never been a child as such, just fully grown and immature and devoid of knowledge. Beorn, at least, had a childhood - one he seldom spoke of. As long as those files and I live on, the memory of Beorn will never die.

Beorn was born some 20 years before me and was born a eunuch for Father's own reasons. Apparently Rockmen had a very strong sexual drive and so Father had seen the need to ensure the other cityfolk would not see the need to eradicate him along with the rest of his fellow Rockmen. He grew up in the cottage on our hillside, Tobble's Hill, overlooking Adensa and the Old City, taught by our Father.

The cottage, home, for us was put nicely in the words of one of the early City Recorders of the Second City. In his words and using the Second City as your starting point, home was "past Mt Spire, west of Adensa, past Greymist Forest and halfway up Tobbles Hill, overlooking the city." Albeit, I will say that those directions may be kind of confusing if you don't know that Greymist Forest takes on a large C-shape. The ruins of the cottage are long gone and the site long overgrown with creeping plants and long grass. The descendants of the survivors of the Old City will look after that place or the closer of my friends among them will, knowing that the site is precious to me, although I've never told them the reason... well, not in spoken words anyway.

One of his strongest memories was my first awakening, which we both soon learnt was the day all the Rockmen were systematically hunted down and killed. Old and young, male and female. They were too much of a threat and trouble to the citizens of the Old City. It was genocide, really, but the City Council didn't see it that way. They saw it as getting rid of the problems caused by a failed experiment. Monty Clodigger should be glad he was already dead by that time or someone would have killed him all over again for causing the city so much trouble. The atrocities reported back and recorded in the city files do not make a good read. If you ever read them, you want to ensure you have a bucket nearby and a strong drink, just in case. The pictures are no better. In a large field in North-West Adensa, hidden among the foot hills of the Northern Mountains, evidence of a mass cremation can be found between the growing wire grass.

Together, ever since the devil fish got loose, we fought them together, seeking to destroy them before they destroyed every last vestige of life on the planet. The devil fish, you see, eat anything and everything... and when there's nothing else left to eat, they turn on each other. In their fully mature form, they can take on the illusory form - we're still not exactly sure what it is, but they can look exactly like something they'd eaten before. Although, of course, they would have had to have eaten the whole organism themselves, as well as any other fish or thing that had snatched a tidbit. In this way, it was easy for them to infiltrate the cities and settlements. That is until their aggressiveness, ferocity, fierce competitive spirit and compulsion to harm those around them gave them away. Their favourite saying was 'survival of the fittest'. Sound familiar? Eat or be eaten. That is their motto.

It had always required the two of us to subdue the devil fish and chase them back to their underground caves deep in the North-East Mountains. Beorn and I. Always the two of us. But then we'd argued about one of the most trivial things ever. Which of us was more important to be entered into the history books.

You see, Beorn has always been the one mentioned in all the history books and I was either never mentioned or relegated to the side-kick-with-no-name-arena. The few stories that ever mentioned me always coupled me with the victim getting saved or with children. Why were the City Recorders always such patronising men? I was just as important as Beorn, did just as much; I was the one who undertook the suicidal missions, but I was just not important enough to be mentioned. Why? Because I am a female. I couldn't die. Can't die. Beorn was the only one with the knowledge of how to deactivate and effectively kill me, because he was my guardian. Father had showed him how before my awakening, and as much as I wish I knew how to die, I have never found out. Beorn was very good at keeping secrets.

While we'd been arguing on top of The Cliff that reared over the Old City, a big storm had been brewing and we never heard the devil fish sneak up on us in the guise of our old acquaintances. They'd been aiming to knock us both off that cliff with the large boulder they'd bowled at us, but Beorn had pushed me out of the way at the last minute. It should have been the other way around, because I would have survived the fall. Beorn didn't. And I wasn't fast enough. Now he's dead and buried.

If only I had just let things be. We might have seen that boulder coming and killed those fish before they tried to play bowling on the cliff top. Time might be stopped, but it cannot be reversed, at least not so far as research tells us. But if time could be reversed and history changed... who knows. I might not even be here, the devil fish may never have been created or they may have already taken over the world.

A world comprised of only devil fish and me. The thought makes me shudder. Having spent months as their prisoner, I never want to see another one of those fish ever again... but having them would still be better than being all alone in the world with no one to talk to. Perhaps.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

all things in moderation

Haha. I have posted often, have I not? Sorry for the wait. I have no excusable excuses.

Since Twylla is just about as dependable as I am in putting up regular posts, she at least, has mentioned a little about herself. Now, it's my turn, I suppose.

The world is divided into the Eastern Kingdoms and the Western Kingdoms by the Dividing Ranges. The house where my 7 siblings and I grew up together is in the midst of the ranges, the roads required to get there secret, narrow and treacherous. We are adopted siblings, my brothers, sisters and I, who grew up together in secret with our adopted mother, Madorra. Madorra had rescued us and brought us up as her own after the Battle of the Cliffs had reached its conclusion and Maguiren Dark Shadow had been defeated.

My siblings and I are known in the world as the Children of Madorra, as we played vital roles during the Battle of the Cliffs, holding at bay Maguiren's forces whilst Madorra and Esthoria, Maguiren's wife, struggled with him. The Battle of the Cliffs was the final confrontation for domination of the Eastern Kingdoms.

It is common knowledge that everybody in the world is bestowed with a certain number of individual and unique gifts in their own measures. Many people may have a common gift, for example the gift of capturing moments of time in picture, but the measure or style of the gift will vary from person to person, so some will be more skilled and adept in their gift than others. Others may have more unique and rare gifts, such as the ability to hold fire in the hand, the gift of barriers, foresight and the breaker gift - which is able to break the effects and product of almost every gift out there. The breaker gifts were extremely rare and were once used by Maguiren as a means of controlling his experiments. The Breakers were his special guards and patrolmen who kept his law in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Perhaps that is yet a little confusing, so I will go a little further back in history to when it all began, some years before my birth.

It all started with Maguiren, the King of Ozarra, and his need for more power and wealth. This is all before I was born, by the way. He was a scientist, a researcher of the different giftings that have been bestowed upon the human race over the centuries. On seeing some of the rarer gifts, he sought for ways to strengthen and improve them. To give and take the gifts as he pleased. Thus began the Great Experiment of Maguiren.

Machines and formulas were made and tested first upon animals, then upon fellow human beings, most of them being the outcasts of society. From the very dregs of the Eastern Kingdoms: the lame, the deformed, the deaf, the blind, the poor and beggarly, emerged the Breakers. The Breakers were Maguiren's most loyal and fanatical supporters. Some people called them the Cursed, the ones who brought bad luck. It was only because of them that Maguiren achieved Dictatorship over all the Eastern World.

Once the Breakers were declared a success, Maguiren used them to learn the best methods of introducing certain gifts of his choosing into society. Gifts that he could control at his own whim. This is how normal people ceased to be in the Eastern Kingdoms. 'Normal' was to be gifted in something, anything. From speaking to animals to calling rainstorms. Everyone was gifted with gifts once considered more rare.

When he discovered that his experiments worked on others, he used them on himself. His aim was to obtain every gifting in the world. The result, semi-world domination. Unopposable, undefeatable, invincible and immortal. He had discovered the secret of lasting youth. Eventually, he hoped to take over the Western World, but only once every person and gifting in the Eastern World had been duly documented and taken for himself. Due to the ominous and forbidding nature of the Dividing Ranges, very few effects of his experiments reached the Western Kingdoms.

During his travels, Maguiren discovered 8 children who could oppose him. They had been born with either very unique gifts not found anywhere else in the Eastern Kingdoms or their gift ability was stronger than any other. These 8 children were my siblings and I. We were captured and taken deep into his underground stronghold, the whereabout none but Queen Esthoria, Madorra and my siblings and I know of. We became test subjects and were forced to undergo various forms of torture and activities under Maguiren's eyes in order for him to discover the full extent of our abilities. Our full strength and abilities were never able to be properly measured in all the 10 years of our captivity.

Then Madorra, a traveller from the Western Kingdoms, crossed the Dividing Ranges to learn whether the rumours of Maguiren's reign and activities were true. She found us during her investigations, at the same time befriending Esthoria and learning that she too was extremely gifted. The two helped us escape and the Rebellion was born.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bring back the past

I said that I'd post more often than Jo, but I guess I'm not all that reliable here either, am I? The problem is that now I'm here, what should I talk about? *Scratching head* No idea. What did Jo say to talk about on the blog? Hmmm... let's see... things that have happened to me, recent events, my world... stuff about me. She said to just be myself and show myself to the world of Readers that get on the internet looking for procrastination, refreshment and deviation from the hard grind of boring everyday life. Something along those lines. Which should I talk about?

If I say that I'm over 400 years old, people sure aren't really going to believe me, especially with the way I talk and act. I mean, the older you are, the wiser you're supposed to be. Only, the older I get, the more I realise I don't know and the more I understand that life is a gift that has been given to us to enjoy.

If I say that I'm a bio-mechanoid that seems to be able to regenerate an infinite amount of times (so far), no matter how many times I'm killed, people will probably stare and say 'ri-ight'. Right? Being made by a scientist obsessed with becoming famous and proving to his fellow scientists that his theories are not just theories but fact, doesn't seem to me as the best way to start life... but not that I had any choice. It's not like I could have said to him (I call him Father) while I was being made, "Hey, I don't want to be made by you."

Imagine, if I had actually said that to him, he would have been so intrigued that he would not have stopped working on me if the sky fell on his head. Despite all his faults, I miss him. The worst part is that he was killed, no, eaten, by one of his own creations. That's probably one of the main things I'll be talking a lot about in this blog. The devil fish. I won't even deign to give them capital letters. They don't deserve it.

I was Father's second major experiment. Beorn was the first and the devil fish the third. Any other projects after our 'birth' have since been long gone, and it's all the devil fish's fault.

Hmm, this is not going to be easy to relate. I just want to upload everything in my head onto the space here and getting everything out at once. Unfortunately, I haven't worked out how to do that yet, but I'm working on it. I'll talk a bit about Beorn first, before we come to the devil fish.

Beorn was a genetically modified Rockman. Rockmen were another scientist's experiment gone wrong. This is going back over 400 years ago, before I was born, by the way. At the time, scientists and geneticists were trying to replicate the first humans. You know, Darwin's theory and all that, and so they thought that if we could alter the current human genome to what it was at the start, we would be able to work out ways to recreate pure breed races of humans that haven't yet mixed their genepool with any other ethnicity.

The City Council of Menedékhely (long lost name of the Old City), had some qualms about human experiments, because of all the issues of ethics and everything. Somehow, one of the leading scientist of the time - actually he was considered one of the lesser leading scientist, but close enough to the front of cutting edge research of the time; got the ethics approval to try and genetically modify some embryo. Despite reading all the reports, I still have no idea where they got their hands on the hundreds of embryos used in the experiment. This scientist, Monty Clodigger, became infamous as a result of the Rockmen, because they not only escaped his lab, but conducted several attacks on our once peaceful city. After this, such purposeful genetic manipulation in humans was forbidden and the Rockmen became hunted like wild animals.

The Rockmen were extremely aggressive and violent, able to communicate relatively well in the common tongue when they weren't angry and had the instincts of a wild dog pack. I have a feeling that their main purpose in life was to survive and to kill all the people of the city who produced and hunted them. Beorn was a modified Rockman, just without the extreme aggressiveness, violence and sexual drive. I suppose you could say he became Father's secret docile eunuch that had less of the shaggy, large boned look of his race.

Beorn was also my 'brother', protector and best friend. Then the devil fish got him, but not like how they got father. However, all those are stories for another time. Until then...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hi everyone

Greetings, people of Jo's onion world!

Thank you for your lovely welcome, Jo. I hope that I can contribute some meaningful things to this blog, and hopefully make as many, if not more posts to this blog that you have (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I think that it is important for you, dear readers, to understand, that while Jo and I are very good mutual acquaintances, we are from rather different worlds and so our perspective, I suspect, may be slightly controversial at times. Hopefully we don't confuse you any! But if we do happen to, just let us know and we'll do our best to fix the problem.

Can't wait. This is going to be great.

welcome twylla!!!

Welcome to How to fy an onion... whole, Twylla!
It is exciting that you have decided to join me in regaling our audience with our tales. I hope you enjoy your blogging time here.

On another note, all those previous posts have gotten themselves into a jumble and I'm still sorting them out. Sorry to anyone who views this blog to find it pretty bare contentwise.

May I also add that while this blog is up for the world to read, we would also appreciate the common courtesy of not copying anything, plagiarising or stealing our original ideas from this blog. This blog may be for your entertainment only, but it does not mean that you can throw aside your manners.

Other than that dark note, enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

previous posts removed

All previous posts on this blog have been temporarily removed... I hope you don't mind (not that I think there is anyone out there who minds, since I have no readers... but that's fine. Just fine.)