ESH #32: Makai Wiki: Goddess of Light

If you have played any of the previous Arcus Plume games, you may already be familiar with Makai Wiki, the arcane repository of knowledge located somewhere in the mysterious realm of Makai. Basically any sufficiently skilled mage can edit the Makai Wiki articles, which is why they may be biased or contain inaccuracies or even outright false information. Even so, it’s better to know something than nothing at all, is it not?

The following Makai Wiki article will appear in Eleanor’s Handmaid. It’s a piece of background lore, hardly a spoiler, but I hid it behind the “Read more” button in any case. Click the button… if you dare.

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Theia Goldeyes, also known as the Goddess of Light, is one of the Four Goddesses who created the vast extradimensional space known as Makai. She is the ruler of the Realm of Light in Makai as well as the leader of the Covenant of Light, a massive religious organization devoted to the Sun and herself.

Theia Goldeyes was originally a human mage hailing from the desert queendom of Edrina. Thanks to her tremendous talent and single-minded devotion to magic, she became the Grand Sorceress of Edrina at the young age of 37. Being one of the first mages to succeed in prolonging her lifespan indefinitely, she served the royal family for many generations while using all her spare time to study magic. She was 172 years old when the then monarch of the country, Queen Neilyope VII, tried to displace her–with an assassination attempt. However, the would-be goddess was already so powerful at the time that she barely had to lift a finger to fend off the attackers. But she could not let such an insult go unpunished. She marched to the palace, incapacitating a small army of royal guards on her way, and gave her ultimatum to the queen and the rest of the royal family: they would publicly swear allegiance to her or face death. Theia Goldeyes became the queen of Edrina and the entire former ruling family her consorts.

During her long reign as the monarch of Edrina, Theia Goldeyes became acquainted with three mages–later to be known as the Dragon Queen, the Lady of Night, and the Mistress of Souls–who had similarly become nigh immortal as well as achieved a deep understanding of the weave of magic. Over the centuries, the four great mages met regularly and devised a spell to create an entirely new realm of existence: Makai. A realm where space could be manipulated freely. A realm that would allow near-instantaneous travel between any two locations hosting a magical device called a portal. When the preparations were finally complete, the four mages connected their minds and began casting the Grand Spell that would create Makai. Decades later, when the spell was finally complete and introduced to the rest of the world, the four individuals capable of such a feat were widely considered to have ascended to godhood. The Four Goddesses were born.

Some historians claim that the signs of the upcoming conflict were evident before the casting of the Grand Spell had even begun. By the beginning of the Great Abyss War, it had certainly become evident to the entire world that the Four Goddesses were not exactly of the same mind about who controls Makai and how. The long and dramatic war started off as a battle royal and culminated in the final battle between the Union of the Three Goddesses and the Mistress of Souls, where the unstable soul-fueled battle constructs of the Mistress coalesced into the Amalgamation of Souls that nearly caused the collapse of the entire Makai. The goddesses haven’t openly waged war with each other ever since, resulting in a centuries-long period of relative peace.

In the contemporary era, the Goddess of Light rarely leaves her grand palace in the Realm of Light, preferring to act through her followers–sometimes quite literally, by using a possession spell. The Divine Mother, as she is often called by the members of the Covenant of Light, has thousands of descendants, many of whom are very powerful in their own right and hold positions of importance in the Covenant. Although the Goddess of Light still commands one of the most powerful armies in the world, she discourages her followers from using violence unless strictly necessary. She favors love and sex as means to influence people, her white-and-gold-clad priestesses trained to make use of both.

Makai Wiki #12: The Hunters

In accordance with the peace treaty signed by the Four Goddesses after the Great Abyss War, most of Makai was to be demilitarized and governed by specially appointed civil authorities. A neutral administration was established to maintain and improve the Earth-Makai portal network. Private companies were allowed to operate inside Makai under strict rules, but nations of the Earth remained banned.

The post-war Makai had its problems. Military experimenting had given birth to all kinds of dangerous magical creatures, and the excessive use of soul-binding magic had brought its own unforeseen problems. During the long years of war, abandoned military facilities had become infested with bandit gangs, and organized crime organizations had extended their tentacles all over Makai. Even the newly authorized private companies were eagerly testing how far the hand of the law reaches.

A number of paramilitary organizations, collectively known as the Hunters, were created to enforce the new laws and deal with the various threats in the aftermath of the war. Some of the Hunter organizations were formed by mutual effort, whereas others were associated with only one goddess.

The first-generation Hunters were truly a double-edged sword. Many of them were battle-hardened warriors who wouldn’t back away even from life-threatening missions. On the other hand, having former enemies in the same line of work created tensions between the Hunters. Although overall peace was maintained, it was not unheard of that a volatile situation would end violently.

Originally intended to be but a temporary solution, the Hunters performed so well, all things considered,  that they were never disbanded. The largest organizations eventually evolved into something that resembled a regular police force, with the exception that all field agents were still required to be talented and highly trained in martial magic. Some of the smaller Hunter organizations specializing in highly unconventional threats became increasingly secretive, to the point that even historians would doubt if they really ever existed.

Makai Wiki #11: The Great Abyss War (part 3)

Part 1
Part 2

The Great Abyss War lasted for decades. Truces and even temporary alliances were made, but none of the goddesses were ever truly willing to trust their rivals to defend them in times of need. The war came to a stalemate as each of the Four was constantly investing more in defense than offense. In a battle royal of four, attacking anyone in full force would have left them exposed to the remaining two opponents.

Eventually, the Dragon Queen, the Goddess of Light, and the Lady of Night agreed to end the war. Only the Mistress of Souls, who was seemingly in the weakest position at the time, didn’t agree on their terms. Dismissing her unreasonable conditions, the other three decided to crush her opposition in a final battle.

The Mistress of Souls had few living warriors left in her forces. However, this didn’t slow her down as much as the others had hoped. The Mistress had developed the art of binding spirits of the dead to artificial bodies much further than the others had realized.

By binding a multitude of spirits to one body, the Mistress of Souls had accomplished creating a type of giant warrior with a deadly casting ability rivaling or even overpowering that of the champions.

However, soon after the beginning of the final battle, it became evident that the Mistress’s plan had backfired. As the giant warriors were damaged, they became unstable and started to absorb other spirits in their vicinity. Eventually, all dead spirits on the battlefield, whether they had been bound doll bodies or not, converged into a single huge monstrosity that was no longer controllable by anyone.

The battle was about to turn into a massacre as the berserking soul monstrosity kept growing in size and power each time a soldier fell. In the following chaos, each commanding officer of the allied forces of the three goddesses ordered their soldiers to retreat in hopes of sparing them from being devoured by the giant soul monstrosity.

There were only a few individuals who understood the true peril of the situation. If left unchecked, the unstable mass of souls could cause the collapse of the whole Makai in a matter of hours.

Ignoring the retreat order, “Red” Nanamiko, a famous front-line champion of the Dragon Queen, quickly gathered a party of the strongest warriors in each army in order to defeat the soul monstrosity. Even some of the top champions of the Mistress of Souls joined her effort, as the new threat was equally dangerous to their goddess as to the others.

Even for the gathering of the champions, it was no easy task to defeat the huge monstrosity. However, their eventual success not only removed the impending doom, but came to mark the end of the long war.

Makai Wiki #10: The Great Abyss War (part 2)

Part 1

During the Great Abyss War, none of the Four Goddesses ever left their own realms in Makai. The disadvantages of doing so were too great; not only they were sacrificing a great portion of their powers to uphold their magical fortresses, the goddesses’ powers were in fact poorly suited for direct combat.

Instead, each of them was focusing their efforts to develop magical technologies that would make their own army the strongest. Armies of the Dragon Queen and the Goddess of Light excelled in martial prowess, while the servants of the Lady of Night were cunning in their ways to manipulate space and time. The Mistress of Souls had by far the smallest number of living soldiers in her service, but the number of enslaved souls bound to her doll soldiers skyrocketed in the course of the war.

Besides their regular armies, each of the Four Goddesses also had a number of champions; individuals who had phenomenal prowess in martial magic. Often blood-related to the goddesses they served, the overwhelmingly strong champions were the ultimate defense of their masters.

Not all of the champions were content with standing on guard, though. They were feared opponents on the battlefield, often spearheading the advance of regular troops and tearing down enemy fortifications with their destructive powers. Such was their importance that the outcome of many a battle was effectively decided by a duel between rivaling champions.

Makai Wiki #9: The Great Abyss War (part 1)

The four sorcerers who created the Makai were never very friendly with each other. Some people would go so far as to claim that even the creation of Makai, the greatest spell ever cast, pales in comparison to the fact that the four actually agreed to cooperate on something. As such, it was not totally unexpected that they started having disputes over the control of Makai soon after it’s creation. Disputes that escalated to conflicts and eventually, an all-out war later to be known as the Great Abyss War.

Being ageless, the four sorcerers,  by the time of creating Makai known as the Four Goddesses, were not much concerned about the passing of time. They were much concerned about their own safety, though. After all, living extremely long requires staying alive extremely long. As such, each of them took their time to build nearly impenetrable defenses and raise a large army. Only then, they really started to launch their attacks on the others…