The Storm of Lost Souls

The Storm of Lost Souls

images The energetic and ambitious daughter of two community elders, Chryseis Andromeda Adalyn Geminius was born towards the end of the Age of Enlightenment on the small, isolated world of Coridian. Resting on the farthest reaches of Chrysalian, Coridian was home to a handful of remote Xilon settlements left over from the Early Days. One such village consisted entirely of Chryseis's family and five other clans that had been residing in the desert region of Kahlraehn for countless generations. Most of these families rarely visited the central planets, unimpressed by "mainstream" Xilon life. They preferred to keep to themselves and to their more traditional, removed way of life - a choice that the quiet world of Coridian made easy. With rich yellow-orange skies, an unlikely layout of alternating forests and deserts, and intense electrified sandstorms that hit often and without warning, the planet was generally not a preferred location to outsiders, and its locals loved it for that very reason.

images Although the desert community where Chryseis grew up was quite removed from the rest of Xilon, its location was quite close to the Adalyn Valley, the one area of the planet that served as a retreat for those on the central worlds, which kept the villagers from being entirely cut off. The Valley was home to a lush park and forest, a beautiful lake, a sparring pavilion and the catacombs of K'Rin, which housed the remaining particles of energy left by the most important Xilon throughout history.

An early flier, Chryseis was always fascinated by the element of air. She spent hours of her free time cruising over the planets of Chrysalian, studying and observing the skies and weather patterns, always anxious to understand more about the raw power of nature. As was the local tradition, she attending Sarajzys learning center on a nearby moon, Davian Rock, for her primary studies, where she excelled in the field of natural science. Upon completing her education there, she surprised her family and friends by moving to Kappa Crucis for her secondary studies at a specialized science center. With a focus on harnessing the inherent energies of nature, her passion and development of innovative new techniques caught the attention of renowned natural scientist Danelan Adhara. Only midway through her studies, Chryseis was given the opportunity to leave and work alongside one of her greatest idols.

images For 217 ceaerna, the young scientist accompanied her mentor on field trips that took her all over the universe, to study the process of nature on exciting new planets and to develop new technology based on their findings, which could either be used back home or, if the timelines permitted, shared with other worlds to improve the quality of life for their inhabitants.

After his own secondary studies, Danelan had established a natural science center on Kappa Crucis, which served as a base for all Xilon in the field. At the time of his passing, he appointed Chryseis director of the foundation and she soon led her friends and colleagues into incredible new realms of scientific discovery that even her mentor had not thought possible.

images Over the years, Chryseis developed an impressive range of technological advancements, helping both the Xilon and countless other species in the process. Halfway through her lifespan, she took an interest in the idea of natural technology that could control the weather itself, without use of a biodome or any synthetic elements. Her peers told her time and time again that it could never be done, that it was physically impossible, but she was not discouraged and spent almost all of her free time working tirelessly on the concept.

During one such personal study period, she came across a collection of records regarding a historical event titled The Lost Souls of Isaev. History claimed that an entire world and its inhabitants had been almost instantly wiped out in an ancient cosmic storm. The legend said that the life force of the planet's people remained trapped inside a vortex left by the storm, and were unable to rest. As a scientist, Chryseis knew that the mythological elements should turn her off, but the idea greatly intrigued her. Further research and comparison to her own studies led her to believe that her theories about natural weather manipulation could be confirmed and possibly even developed by understanding the details of what had happened to Isaev. The remnants left by the cosmic storm could be exactly the type of unique energy needed to support her ideas, and unlocking it from the vortex, if one did exist, could be the key to everything she was working towards. She had to know more.

images For years, Chryseis tried to track down the exact location of Isaev. Even with the help of a brilliant team of volunteers from the Danelan center, it was no easy task. The cosmic storm that had destroyed the planet had been so powerful that it had swept time itself, sending planets and futures tumbling headlong into a chaotic mess. No one knew exactly where the vortex was, or if it even still existed. But Chryseis was determined and continued to study the unique phenomenon for nearly two dozen lyren, following every possible avenue in her attempt to discover Isaev's secrets. It was a long, tiring journey and even Chryseis eventually began to doubt the validity of her quest. But it was not to be in vain. Near the end of her life span, the driven scientist finally had a breakthrough. A piece of space drift "washed up" on a border moon called Zakryn, just a few bodies north of Coridian. It was found by her mate, Haydn, who had learned to report every seemingly inconsequential discovery that he happened to hear about.

images Using her late mentor's technology to track the space drift's path and point of origin, Chryseis identified a surge of energy that she believed, without a doubt, to be the elusive vortex. Now, of course, the question became how to unlock it, and what the consequences of cracking open such a powerful force of nature might be should it actually work. Haydn, an explorer and adventurer by trade, suggested that if there truly were "spirits" (or more accurately, energy remnants) of living beings trapped inside the vortex, their consistency might be similar to a magnetic substance called faralain. To allow the energies to rest would require neutralization by a substance that could dissolve the faralain entirely. If that was what these "souls" were made of, then Epiphany Lake on Coridian might work. But how would they ever get such a wave of energy from the lost vortex to Chrysalian? The leftover forces were not fully conscious beings but footprints in the sand. Footprints that, if unleashed, could consume thousands of other worlds.

Desperate to see her ideas come to life, and feeling trapped in a race against time as her life span neared its end, Chryseis spent the next few lyren developing two key pieces of technology. The first she claimed would either open the vortex or cause the galaxy to implode. The second device would hopefully pull the entities - whatever they were - in the right direction once the vortex was cracked. For a scientist, there were far too many "ifs" and "maybes" in the equation, but with her years running out, Chryseis decided that the risk was acceptable. The thought did nothing to quell her nerves, however, as she flashed through space and time, appearing in front of the vortex that contained the remnants of Isaev. In that moment, Chryseis knew that even with all of her past accomplishments, this ould be her one true defining moment.

images She powered on her latest inventions and slowly raised them up to the edge of the vortex. Her hands shook; there were so many factors to consider, and so many things that could easily go wrong. One incorrect calculation or unexpected element in her preparations could lead to unimaginable disaster in these final moments. But, she assured herself, if things were to get too out of hand, the Watchmen would step in and set it right, wouldn't they? So there was really nothing to worry about. She didn't quite believe it, but Chryseis felt her hand moving forward in spite of herself. There was no point in delaying; her choice had been made long ago. The device in her left hand touched the rippling energies of the vortex and then passed through. There was an epic groan, like the sound of an old machine being forced back into action, and then Chryseis was blown back a few thousand feet by an unseen explosion. Looking up, she could see a stream of dark shadows flowing from the gaping hole at a speed only Xilon eyes could follow.

images If this unexpected sight wasn't already disturbing enough, the massive wave of screaming darkness seemed to be heading straight for her. Quickly raising her right hand with the magnetic device gripped tightly in it, Chryseis whirled around and took off at top speed, flying through space faster than she'd ever gone before. She didn't look to see if the mass of tortured souls was following, but the awful shrieking noise burning itself into her ears seemed to indicate that the device was working as it should. She continued in this way for weeks, weaving over and around planets and asteroids, straight through celestial storms, never slowing for a fraction of a second as she led the ancient energies towards their final resting place. Breaking the atmosphere of Coridian, she zoomed down towards Epiphany Lake, diving straight into the clear blue depths like a living missile. The howling wave of fury followed, streaming into the lake, which began to bubble and swirl, erupting like a geiser as the last shadow disappeared into it.

When residents of the Adalyn settlement arrived on the scene, they found an empty crater where the lake had been and no trace of Chryseis or the mass of dark energy. As a team of scientists was dispatched to study the open vortex across the stars, a team of Watchmen was sent out to find the missing Xilon. Every inch of the galaxy was scoured for even a hint of the lost scientist, but they were left with nothing but questions. No one could explain the instantaneous evaporation of the lake nor the sudden disappearance of Chryseis. After years of searching with no results, the Xilon were forced to conclude that the mysterious events surrounding the opening of Isaev's vortex would remain exactly that...a mystery.

images Note: While the above legend of Chryseis and the storm of lost souls lives on as the general explanation for what happened, there is no proof that any such encounter truly took place. The most that can be confirmed is that she did indeed unlock the vortex and then inexplicably disappeared. Regardless of the true fate of Chryseis Andromeda, her findings did lead to unimaginable discoveries. As she had believed, the energies of the vortex were, in fact, able to fill in the gaps in her theories of natural elemental control, and soon gave birth to a whole new branch of Xilon science. Although she was not around to see it come to fruition, Chryseis was ever after noted as the founder of an invaluable technology that would ultimately save millions of planets throughout time, all across the universe.

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