Greetings, brave traveler. I have had countless names, but for simplicity’s sake you may call me Azocles. I am the Eternal of Time—my nine siblings and I are the Children of Gaia. I could tell you many tales, but time is of the essence, and I must prepare you for a journey—one that may resonate with adventures and heroics familiar to your ear, but it shall be truly unlike any other. For this is a journey you must take yourself.
You will enter the realm during a time of great unrest. Gaia, estranged from herself just as her progeny, must come together. Must become whole. Yet for such a thing to occur, so much is…or was…or will be…broken.
As is often the way of such things, when unity is sought, it may be found in blood. Untold generations of fae and human and countless others have woven their tales into myriad histories. But those stories are not for me to tell—and now they lie beneath the ash of war. Civilizations fell, my child. Nations disbanded. Empires crumbled. Identities vanished. And then these all re-formed—mangled, conjoined…beautiful.
I am perhaps not making myself clear. I leave clarity to others—that is not my way. You see, brave traveler, I perceive not only all that has passed, but also what may yet come to be. When I weave tales, it is often difficult to tease apart possible futures from the past.
Some say my nine siblings and I have always been here. Some say there is a timeline, an order to our creation. In some such orders I am the oldest, in others the youngest. I, the recorder and orator of time itself, cannot recall having borne witness to any such matters. Curious indeed.
Alas, scattered to the winds, we’ve been helpless to fulfill what some consider our very purpose: to guide the sentience of life, that Gaia may continue the quest know herself, and perhaps through herself, the very cosmos. And so times like the one you will enter—times of upheaval, unrest—come to pass. But that is our story, not yours.
Some from among your peers will become our allies, some our adversaries, some will themselves become Children of Gaia. Perhaps even you may become something entirely new.
I will, of course, do my best to guide you. But only you can undertake your own journey. Brace yourself—the road is long and winding, fraught with unseen danger. But you will not be without help. Some have passed before you and lived to tell their own tales in books, in pictures, and in music. I have made these available for you to follow in their STORIES.