Chapter One All Is Calm, All Is Well

There is a world. A world that we all know exists. But we don't know where. In this world are all the things we cherished, then destroyed. Every beast we tried to control, every wisp of a notion of something beyond mortal. They are there. And we are not.

This world was given a title. A title of distinguishment to set it apart from the earth, the blue marble that condemned them into the shadows. It was a magical world, an ethereal world. An Etherworld. And so it was named.

First there was darkness. A pit of black. The void. It swirled and pooled in crevices of imagination. After a time ragged bursts of colors streaked through it, dashing apart the blackness in vivid strokes so bright they would burn away human eyes. This was wild magic that took hold and latched, tearing apart blackness and forming the first bits of reality.

From the center of the void came a pool, a small burble of moisture. It split through the threads of time and space to come into being from no where at all. The burble became a stream, the stream a river; it spread and grew over a flat plane of consciousness. The river grew large and round, as deep as it was wide. The river became an ocean.

The colors of magic caressed the ocean with soft hands, causing great turmoil on the surface which broke and shattered apart. The peaks of mountains first to show out of the waters great belly; they shot up, jagged and new from their birth. The tips of their fangs painted white with the liquid that clung, then froze in the newly created altitude. They continued to rise, ever higher, as their bases spread out ever longer and wider. The mountains brought with them land, stretching as far as the eye could see, east to west, north to south, ocean beyond the land, void beyond the ocean. It was a world with an edge.

Laughter sprang from the flying pangs of light. Their voices like infants, they were nothing but figments. The touch of their intangible bodies set the world afire with green growth, trees burst forth from the ground fully grown, their branches lifting towards the sky searching for the sun. But all was dark, aside from the northern spectrum of lighted colors. Fields became florescent with grass and flowers of every variety. Their scents so fragrant the very wind came to pluck the scent and carry it as far as it could to tell of what lay just beyond the mountain ridge.

Everywhere greenery began to spread and take hold, the entire world engulfed in its glory. From the base of the mountains down to the depths of the sea there was not an inch that didn't possess the breathtaking creations.

In the center of this floating island the wild magic lights swirled and came together circling long and hard, drops of pure white dripping down onto the ground, a forest whose sheen made emeralds shatter with jealousy pushed up from the ground. This forest was the greatest tribute to the earth. As the roots would grow and push, the land would spread and grow larger and larger, ever creating, never destroying.

Up the free magic flew, coming together, the intensity and heat of the wisps doubling, tripling, the world below them trembling as they burst apart, a sun in the sky, atoms of whatever it had been that created the giant orb shimmering into the void to be lost in its reaches, leaving behind the uninhabited plane.

This was the birth of a world. But this was centuries ago, millennia even. No one remembers…

Down, down below, far away from the burning sun that charmed the sky with its brilliance, amongst the sapling pines sheltered beneath the outstretched arms of their parents, a tiny laugh echoed on the otherwise silent world. Delicate fingers wrapped around the trunk of the tree, sparkling blue eyes peering out from behind dark clean bark and dripping amber sap. A curl of chestnut blond hair coiled in pigtails from the sides of her head as she giggled, like the peal of a bell, an air of mischievousness around her. She bit her tiny lip, opening her mouth to speak, her voice small, and yet almost shook the virgin earth. "And so it begins."