Welcome to another Sword of the Nation preview, this one is a little different, a lore preview rather than a character one, focused on the Nasivern.
While the Nasivern’s tale is of peripheral importance to the narrative of the first three books, their influence can be seen at times, most notably, in the new technologies that have been developed based on theirs. It is a tale that I would very much love to tell at some point in the future, most likely in the form of a prequel duology that focuses on their darkest hours.
The first iteration of their story also happens to be one of the very first things I wrote about this project’s universe more than two years ago. Once again, these previews aren’t 100% final and are subject to change.
Without further ado, here’s a brief look into the history of the fallen Nasivern.
The pages of the history of the Nasivern race have been written with an ink of war and death; the flames of these, so called ‘Heirs of Sin’ have burned everything in their path, including themselves—in spite of that, they managed to rise from the ashes of their transgressions.
It would seem like fate bound the Nasivern to a cycle of death and rebirth, unable to escape their conflictive nature, which in turn thwarted them of the great path that they were destined to walk upon. The starts were always there for them, all they had to do was keep looking at the sky and reach them.
Far too many chapters of their history have been forever lost by war and strife; however, their known history has been chronicled across seven ages. What follows is a brief account of each age:
The Primal Age
There has never been a concrete historical confirmation of the events that allegedly took place during the of the Primal Age, all of it is based around mythological stories passed down from generation to generation, as well as the teachings of Nasivern’s mother deity, Sollente.
The legends suggest that the Nasivern race took its first steps during that ancient age; it was a time when Gods rose from their thrones and embarked themselves on a journey to shape creation itself, spreading the gift of life across the stars.
According to myths, the Nasivern planet was given life by one of these shapers of the universe, however, he conceived the Nasivern as the antithesis of his peers’ grand design—lifeforms that only existed for the sole purpose of waging war against the nascent creation across the stars.
These Primal or First Nasivern (as some preferred to call them), acted as a transgression on all life forms created by the Gods, unmaking the order that they had worked so hard to establish. Armed by their sinister maker and bolstered by his very own rage, the scourge of the First Nasivern marched across the stars like a locust swarm, destroying everything in their wake, and ultimately committing their greatest sin: the murder of a God.
The remaining Gods, after realizing that the hand that pulled the Nasivern’s strings was one of their own, had no choice but to take matters into their own hands and bring their betrayer to justice. The Ancient War of the Gods was (and perhaps will always be), the greatest spectacle in the history of all creation, despite the incalculable loss of life and destruction that allegedly took place.
With the majority of the First Nasivern destroyed and their puppeteer defeated and bought to justice, the remaining Gods had to decide what to do with the few surviving Nasivern in their home planet before they would depart the galaxy; while all voices favored for their complete eradication, Sollente, ever so merciful, proposed an alternative.
It would’ve only taken her a single word to be done with them, wiping their sinful existence from the cosmos, but by her merciful grace she spared and sheltered the remaining Nasivern, and with the last of her divine power, instilled a breath of life upon them.
Her mercy had absolved the surviving First Nasivern of all their sins and the horrors of their transgressions. Their atonement however, would come in the form of a newfound purpose: instead of being the scourge of creation, the Nasivern race was to rise up from the ashes and proudly stand as protectors of all life.
That was to be their repayment for the souls she borrowed to them, for their souls will, and always shall, belong to their Graceful and Merciful Mother.
It’s heavily theorized that the departure of the Gods signaled the end of the Primal Age. Life across the galaxy was left to heal itself after all the damaged the Nasivern caused; as a final act of the Gods, all remnants of the Ancient War were expunged so that each planet would build their own future without the burden and scars of the past.
The Age of Mercy
Long after the Gods no longer graced creation with their presence, the Nasivern species began to build a new chapter of their story, free from the sins of the past and oblivious to the extent of the death and destruction that their race had caused. The first of those new Nasivern viewed the Goddess Sollente as their Graceful and Merciful Mother, who had absolved them of the great sin their ancestors had committed, and thus, their society was built upon a religion that worshipped Mother Sollente and her mercy.
Her “Breath of life” had given the Nasivern life everlasting, it is thanks to her gift that they became exempt of the ravages of time—a condition that was referred to as the “Donum Vitae” and later on as the “Val Vitae (VX) Factor” in scientific terms. Their religious dogma saw the gift of immortality as a result of the souls their Mother has ‘borrowed’ them.
One of the principal tenets of their then new religion stipulated that over the course of their eternal life they had the dutiful responsibility to be a force of good in order to completely atone themselves of the Primal Sin, so that one day their borrowed souls would be able to return to their Mother, who will be shrouded from the cold of the dark void by her embrace for all eternity—otherwise they’d succumb to an eternal afterlife of emptiness, devoid of warmth.
Peace, a concept that was foreign to the Nasivern of old, was the most defining characteristic of the Age of Mercy. Their society began to take the first steps into greatness during the last years of that Age. Large cities were built, nations and societies arose from nothing, with four great ones eclipsing the rest: Isfahan, Arghest, Antissa, and Ulaid. These four Nations were the most prosperous of them all, with Isfahan standing above the rest.
The Age of Wonder / The Age of Arghest
The Age of Wonder marked the solidification of the Nasivern societies and their numerous cultures. In a stark contrast to the predominantly religious Age of Mercy, the Age of Wonder was named after the meteoric advancements in technology and science achieved by the Nasivern.
The Heirs of Sin looked up towards the stars, and for the very first time, began to take the first steps towards the possibility of exploring the vastness of space and all the mysteries that lied therein.
In a surprising move, the once isolationist but peaceful Arghest Confederation refunded itself as the militaristic Arghest Empire, under the leadership of a newly elected Emperor. The Arghest Empire began to rapidly expand by force, subjugating the smallest nations around its vicinity before they sat their eyes upon the other great three and their vast territories; no one could ever hope to stand against their might.
The Kingdom of Isfahan, who at the time was the largest and greatest Nasivern Nation, rose up in arms against the Arghest Conquest in the name of peace and to protect the freedom of all other Nations; despite fighting valiantly and having the numerical strength, they could not stop the marching onslaught of the Arghest Empire and their overwhelming technological and tactical superiority.
During the battle of Ashel, a small city that was located at the outskirts of the Isfahan territories, the Arghest Empire unleashed a massive bomb that wiped the entire city, leaving only a vast canyon where the peaceful city of Ashel once used to exist.
With a single stroke, the Arghest forces wiped the majority of the Isfahan army; the Emperor had little regard for his own loyal forces that also perished during the explosion, victory at all costs was what drove him. The ‘Wound of the World’ became an eternal testament to the insurmountable might of Arghest.
Demoralized and with a now dwindling fighting force, Isfahan mounted an ill-fated last ditch defense of their beloved Kingdom, a defense that did not held for long; in a swift and decisive assault, the Kingdom of Isfahan was decimated and its people wiped. The ruins of Isfahan became a reminder to the rest of the world of the ultimate consequence that would befall to all those that dared oppose the Empire.
The Arghest Empire rose triumphant, having conquered the world; not wishing to have the same fate as Isfahan, the Antissa Republic and the State of Ulaid surrendered to the Empire, and shortly, so did the remaining smaller nations. The conquest of the old Nasivern world at the hands of the Arghest Empire shattered the Nasivern dream of walking among the stars. The Arghest prohibited worshiping the Mother Sollente, and all devotion to her was punishable by death—devotion to the Emperor however, was expected, celebrated, and mandatory.
The rise of the Arghest Empire is often attributed to their discovery of ancient remnant technology from the theorized Primal Age, however, this hypothesis was never able to be confirmed; in a move spun out of sycophancy for their new Emperor and as part of a larger historic revisionism movement, the historians of that era renamed the “Age of Wonder” as the “Age of Arghest”. Some historians preferred to separate these two as different chapters of the Nasivern history and attribute the Age of Arghest to the dark decades of their rule, separating them from the wondrous days of the Age of Wonder.
That era saw the first documented use of Battle Armors by Arghest Soldiers, which served as a fundamental instrument in their march of conquest.
The Age of Devastation
The Arghest Empire, unchallenged and unopposed, continued to rule the Old Nasivern World for nearly three decades with a firm grasp; while numerous groups tried to fight back against the Empire during its reign, none were successful in denting their iron will, the majority of the conquered nations and their citizens had simply resigned to live under the might of the Empire.
Several heroes began to rise up among those that opposed Arghest, such as Isthara, a young woman that wielded the Absolute Doctrine of the warriors of old. Taking matters into their own hand, Isthara founded “Daybreak”, a small, yet effective elite fighting force whose ultimate purpose what to bring peace and freedom to the subjugated Nasivern societies. Her exploits began to be heard across all corners of the empire and their conquered territories, Isthara had begun to be known as the “White Blaze.”
Meanwhile, an assortment of rebellious organizations and remnants of the old Kingdom of Isfahan coalesced and rose up the banners of the fallen Kingdom. Bolstered and funded by dissenting groups from within the Empire itself, they would soon come to form the first actual tangible threat to the Arghest rule.
The drums of war once again resounded across the old Nasivern world; unspeakable atrocities were committed on all sides while Isthara and the Daybreak under her command fought to protect the dispossessed and those most affected by the global conflict.
Daybreak and the White Blaze played a fundamental part in the demise of the Arghest Empire. A victory was achieved by the joint rebelling forces, but it was a victory not worth celebrating, one with a short lived triumphant air—as the old world was laid in complete waste.
The gruesome war had devastated all cities, food and supplies were scarce, lands were rendered infertile; billions perished in the war, the cost of the newfound freedom was high.
The Age of Rebirth
After the fall of the Arghest Empire, the remaining Nasivern population embarked on a long journey towards the uninhabited and hostile western continent, the old world was left in ruins following the aftermath of the war. By air, land, and sea, their journey was not without its perils and hardships, but eventually, the Nasivern arrived to their destination and began to build what they called, the New World.
Slowly but steady, the surviving Nasivern began to tame those wild lands and form a new society. The newly established City of Nineveh became the capital of the new Nasivern world.
The first “Flame Festival” took place during those days, a celebration that the Nasivern would soon deeply appreciate and hold dear. They build a giant bonfire in the center of what would eventually become the city of Nineveh to keep themselves warm in one of the coldest nights, and for the first time in years, they danced, celebrated and rejoiced; the giant flame represented their undying spirit, a message to the stars that the flame of the Nasivern still burned bright and everlasting—a testament to the indomitable might of the Nasivern and their refusal to fade into oblivion.
Instead of having an Emperor or a single ruler, the new Nasivern society was led by a council of Seven Wise Men and Women, who guided society atop their spire in central Nineveh; the religious belief in the Mother Sollente was reintroduced to their people. For the first time in their history, Nasivern society adopted the use of surnames and family names, Isthara, the celebrated White Blaze, gave her first and only son, Aeoros the surname “Isthal”.
After the founding of Nineveh, other cities followed suit, such as Elmes, Yufero, Ebla, Tikal, Nara, and Nivaos. The Nasivern population began to slowly raise back in numbers, however, they would remain at a fraction of what they once were during the previous Ages.
The Rebirth of the Nasivern came with a rediscovery of art, music, and other forms of cultural expression that had been lost by the Arghest Conquest. After the New World was solidified, the Nasivern once again looked towards the stars, and at last, attempted to explore the vastness of space.
Daybreak continued to act as peacekeepers and protectors of life. Facing new challenges of their own, they found themselves amidst a new conflict that was an echo of the previous war that had taken much from them.
During the conflicts of that time, the Nasivern’s rudimentary space faring yielded results, they managed to establish contact with the planet Orbis. While they were open to the prospect of establishing amiable relations with the humans of Orbis, a unique alliance was formed with the Nation of Vaifen. Aeoros Isthal, son of the legendary White Blaze Isthara, was the architect of cementing the special relations between Vaifen and the Nasivern.
What was conversed between Aeoros Isthal and the ruler of Vaifen, King Sulwyn Starsong, as well as the circumstances that led the forming of said alliance are not known to the public; it was a move that shocked the world of Orbis, specially its Union of Nations. The Union became way of the Nasivern, not fond of the increasingly friendly relations between Vaifen and the Nasivern.
The Nasivern, who had always lived a life free from the ravages of time, found the humans in Orbis most intriguing, their lives were short, finite, and fragile, withering and aging in such a short span of time, unlike them, the bearers of Sollente’s gift of life. Many of the Nasivern were intrigued by the cultural differences that they observed in Orbis, and were even more fascinated by concepts such as malls, television, and many other entertainment and cultural aspects that the humans in Orbis took for granted.
Relations between the Nasivern and Vaifen were cemented after the Nasivern aided the small Nation-state against their war with the much larger Republic of Svarzfal. Aeoros Isthal, now the new leader of Daybreak, aided Vaifen against the much larger Svarzfal forces, turning the tide of the conflict, which ended in an armistice.
A tranquil period of cooperation between Nasivern and Orbis continued, which was interrupted when the Nasivern home world was attacked by an invading extraterrestrial fleet known as The Estremoz, who proclaimed that they had arrived to cleanse the galaxy of the Nasivern’s sinful existence.
The humans of Orbis were too technologically inferior to be of any assistance, the Nasivern had to rise up in arms alone to protect their planet. While they fought valiantly and admirably, they were no match for the overwhelming invading force.
The Estremoz employed large, infernal ships, which deployed a payload that caused irreparable damage to the Nasiern world. The air turned foul, the land was polluted, and the water tainted by a destructive force unlike anything the Nasivern had seen in the past. One by one, the cities of the New World began to fall at the Estremoz’s infernal machines and their cloud of death, until only the city of Nineveh remained.
The day of the Battle of Nineveh was also the last day of the Age of Rebirth, Isthara, the White Blaze, met her demise on that day. According to the reports of some of the survivors, the Nasivern’s last stand, led by Aeoros Isthal and last living members of Daybreak, managed to seize one of the Estremoz’s world destroyers; in space, they were witness to the culmination of the “cleansing” of the Nasivern home planet.
In a last act of defiance, the flames of the Nasivern managed to consume their executors. The last of the Nasivern warriors turned the ship they had seized and used it against the Estremoz fleet, decimating the invading fleet and sacrificing themselves in the process. Their world was beyond saving, but their actions saved Orbis.
The Estremoz were defeated on that day, and haven’t been heard of since.
The Age of Exile
Following the fall of Nineveh and the decimation of the Nasivern home planet, there were less than 75.000 surviving Nasivern in the planet Orbis.
During the first years of their exile, an alarming high rate of suicides plagued the surviving Nasivern, who were decimated and utterly hopeless after the horrors they went through, and the loss of their planet and loved ones; unable to cope with the new reality around them, they chose to forcefully return their borrowed souls to their Mother’s embrace. This alarming psychological phenomenon was known as the “Nasivern Decimation Syndrome.”
The Nations of Orbis began to covet and reap the benefits of the now sparse Nasivern knowledge, especially those in the fields of technology and medicine. Much of their greatest accomplishments and secrets were lost and continue to remain buried beneath the ruins of their dead planet.
The now endangered and near extinct Nasivern species began to adapt and integrate into the cultures of Orbis, the Age calendar system was deprecated in favor of Orbis’ Calendar.
Now, more than two decades since their fall, their culture, language, religion, and traditions continue to fade into obscurity. The Age of Exile has been declared to be the last chapter of their troubled history.
The once burning flame of the Nasivern is now reduced to a mere flickering ember.