Anima: Shadows of the Imperium

History: Gaia 1

Setting History Anima

Abel christ

History of Gaia: The Messiah.

Why do we forget?

Every time I begin to tell this story, our story, that question always comes to my mind. And still today, at the doorway to a new millennium, I am still incapable of an answer. We lost everything. In an instance, what was ours was snatched away, drowning us in the darkness of our own knowledge. Like tears forgotten in the vast ocean of history, we advanced through a path of uncertainty, ignorant of our condition, while the world that we had created collapsed around us.
Was that our sentence?
Or our salvation?

The Age of Chaos

From the perspective of man, everything in respect to history before the coming of the Messiah is rather confusing and vague. The Church and Tol Rauko resolved those issues in their own way, hiding or destroying the information that they did not wish to be leaked to the public. In spite of everything, be it by oral tradition or the meticulous and secretive work of historians, there are still some fragments remaining from previous eras that are preserved.

The beginning of the time period known as The Age of Chaos has some uncertain origins. If most sources determine that its beginning was a result of an apocalyptic conflict, referred to as the War of Darkness, then there are very few testimonies of anything that traces back more than ten thousand years before the arrival of the Messiah. We can only assert that this cycle was extremely long, and saw the rise and fall of great empires. In fact, many of the cultures that exist nowadays in Gaïa germinated during these centuries.

Honoring its name, it was a chaotic age, full of inexplicable wonders as much as horrors. During that time man walked alongside what we might today consider fairy tale beings. Each population forged its own legends of the end of this era, like myths of Holst in the deserts of the north, the revelations of Eyad in the burning sands of the deserts or the disappearance of the Eternal Emperor in distant Varja.

Nevertheless, those are stories for a separate occasion.

The Arrival

It was then, at that time of confusion and chaos, when somebody appeared and changed everything. From the shadows of our own history a young man arose who would show us a new destiny undreamt of; a simple boy who, with time, would cause the very pillars of the world to stagger. He was of humble beginnings, but even the greatest kings and emperors would bow before him. Today he is called by many names, like the Illuminated One, King of Kings or Son of God, but the first by which he was known was Abel.

Although there are countless ecclesiastical controversies on his childhood, which remains shrouded in mystery, the first known fact in Gaïa regarding Abel was that he lived in a small village in a region currently known as the Dominion. At that time, the whole territory was surrounded by constant war, being only natural that various lords would dispute the control of towns and cities. That day, the village of Netzath was under attack by a minor military company that had no other intention than to sack the town and capture it. Abel appeared in the heat of battle, slowly walking towards the proud captain of the soldiers. Nobody raised their arms against him; they were incapable of doing so. Once before the captain, the little one, who was barely ten years old, calmly smiled. The first words that they would hear him say and those which he would pass on to history would be: “Today a new age begins.” Next he spoke with the
innocence of a boy and the wisdom of an old man, and none of the soldiers could turn his attention from him.

The captain was overwhelmed and when he discovered that the child was nothing more than a mere wandering vagabond, he decided to follow him wherever it may take him, even to the depths of hell itself. That man would be the first of his disciples, and when the moment arrived, also the first of his Apostles: Pietro Giovanni.

Abel traveled from one side of the world to the other, spreading his word to all countries. Everywhere he went, people abandoned their conflicts in favor of common goals, following the lessons of an unknown God until then, a God of all things that granted the people power over life and death.

His philosophy had no room for either magic or the supernatural, which he considered to be the root of all evils humanity had suffered up to that point. If man wanted salvation, he had to return to his origins, before unfamiliar forces invaded his life. Thus, wizards, spirits and other supernatural creatures saw how a creed that only rejected them now rose against them with an alarming force that they had never imagined. For that reason, when he had just turned sixteen, some of his detractors decided to finish all the problems that Abel was causing them, taking advantage of the fact that he had arranged a sermon before a great crowd in the city of Ilion. The attack was orchestrated by the Order of Yehudah, a power convinced that those who benefited from the Gift were the legitimate rulers of the world. Its objective was not only the assassination of Abel; but a demonstration to prove to everyone where the true power resided.

However, the wizard lords never would have imagined what the outcome was going to be. That night, Abel would teach us that God brought not only love and mercy, but also just punishment and revenge. When the arch mages manifested before the crowd and began their brutal show of force, the young one gathered a fallen soldier’s sword from the ground and advanced towards the wizards with tears in his eyes.

Poor fools. In a certain way, I feel pity for them.

They never understood what they faced.

The Wars of the Cross

Following those events, Abel’s passive nature receded. He gathered his closest followers, whom he granted the title of Apostles, and explained to them that the moment to change the order of the world forever had arrived. Thus he initiated a crusade in the name of unification, gathering
us all under a single flag, a single dream and the same heaven.

And the Wars of the Cross began.

Kingdoms and entire nations surrendered before him, lords of war and emperors turned over their weapons and stately crowns, all fascinated by the overwhelming figure of Abel. And those who refused, were subjugated by the force of an army that was compelled by the vigor of faith. Sometimes, the monarchs who were unwilling to follow his rules found themselves fighting with their own rebellious subjects, who rose against them complying with the lessons of The Savior. Throughout the years, Abel moved forward with his dream, uniting all the nations of humanity. Only the Empire of Solomon, long ago the greatest power of mankind, refused to waver and managed to resist the reformation of heaven’s chosen one, who ignored them for a time, favoring other principalities.

After the years, the religious unification was regarded with disdain by the deities that are known today as the False Idols, and some of them decided to take an active role in the matter. At the doors of the Peak of the World, Abel personally faced Fenrisulf, a living God that had manifested himself in the world at full power. Tradition and the Church have called that entity “The Great Beast”, which perhaps was not entirely inappropriate. Against all prognoses, Abel destroyed the deity, spilling the blood of a God with his own hands. At that moment Saulo, high priest of the False Idols, dipped into the blood of Fenrisulf and marked Abel’s forehead with a cross. Thus the name of “Christ” would be given to him, which means the Anointed One, and from henceforth all would understand that he was the son of God.

After that act of power, the world became aware that man found himself in a time of apogee once again and, for the first time in a long time, humanity again took center stage over all other races. Ambassadors of several cultures tried to make contact with Abel but their only answer was a closed border separating mankind from everyone else. The empire of Sylvanus accepted grudgingly, since they had no desire to openly start a war, and the Jayan tribes in human territories were expelled by force. The remaining races, ethnic groups and cultures gradually followed suit, forgetting man and his matters. Only the citizens of the shadows posed a true threat. In spite of merely having a fraction of the power that they had years before, the Duk´zarist were a force to be reckoned with. Their pride would never allow them to accept denied passage to any place.

But, once again, Abel did something that nobody would have predicted. Completely alone he entered Khronos, the floating capital of the Duk´zarist, where no human had previously set foot on without receiving an invitation. While everyone stood in shock, he walked through the very doors of the dark palace and demanded to see the empress Phometeum Noah. His audacity piqued the curiosity of the Mistress of Khronos, who accepted a reception with the Messiah. Some say that, when she was with Abel, the Dark Empress saw the shadow of God behind him and trembled. I think that in reality, she felt as dazzled by his magnetism as everyone before her had, so the dark lady decided to give humanity an opportunity to prove their potential. For one reason or another, she agreed not to take part in the matters of mankind and Abel then returned to his disciples, determined to finish the Kingdom of the Heavens. He was only twenty-eight years old.

He would not live to see twenty-nine.

The Kingdom of the Heavens

After securing his borders to the north, south and east, the attention of Abel and his Apostles was centered on the decadent Solomon. Its present governor, emperor Romulo, known for his despotic behavior and cruelty, had openly announced his rejection of the Messiah’s doctrines. The plebs supported him whole-heartedly, decadent and clinging to the old dreams of greatness they once had. Because of all this, it promised to be a difficult campaign, although nobody doubted the final outcome.

Shortly, and with less problems than expected, the armies of the Messiah managed to arrive at the outskirts of the capital of Solomon, setting camp just a few miles from its walls until daybreak. That night, Abel congregated with his Apostles and ate supper with them. Some say that they found him strange, and others say that he announced implicitly what was going to happen to him, although at that moment they did not understand it. When he finished, he met in private with Pietro and then with Iscariot, another of his close followers. The content of these conversations is completely ignored, but apparently, Iscariot told him that he wished to show him something. In silence, he led him to the Hill of Laments, where a garrison of Solomon’s soldiers were waiting to capture him. What happened in that place is cause for much speculation, although the most widely-held belief is that Abel let himself be caught without putting up any resistance. It is said that at that moment he shed a final tear for our destiny and that Iscariot kissed him on the cheek to dry it for him.

As payment, Romulo gave the traitor thirty pieces of metal as dark as a man’s heart.

Beware of anyone that possesses these, for our sins fall upon them.

The following morning, Abel appeared crucified on the walls of Solomon, where he lay dying the night before during thirteen long hours. When he finally passed, the skies did not open and the earth did not shake. It did not rain blood, and there was no moment of silence in the firmament.

He simply died.

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