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.