The universe, in its infinite complexity, is home to many wonders and miracles. Galaxies brim with worlds inhabited by countless forms of sentient life. But in all the vastness of the cosmos, there exists nothing so close to godhood as the Avos.
The Avos world is home to the grand city of Koza, a city lush with colorful flora and fauna, clear streams, and shimmering white towers that break the sky. Filled with a myriad of races and entities all with unique origins, Koza’s citizens share one key attribute: they all remain blissfully untouched by the many wars waged throughout the universe.
Paradise. There is no better term for it.
How does a world such as this remain so pure, so unaffected by the natural order of birth and decay that plagues the rest of the universe? Simply put, the Avos have ascended above it, they now exist beyond the cycle of life and death. How this ascension occurred and the ramifications of such an event may remain a mystery, but that mystery is one that those living under the Avos, in their trance-like devotion, are happy to ignore.
Legends tell of a day in Koza known as the “Day of Rebirth”, a day in which the borders of the Avos world are opened to any race advanced enough to reach it. To most citizens this day is considered a myth, as many generations will pass between these rare occasions, but today that myth becomes reality. The Day of Rebirth has arrived and elated citizens gather to celebrate and greet the newcomers with open arms into their paradise.
Across the stars, three species have reached a crossroads.
The Humans, a clever and passionate people, have greedily stripped their planet of resources and now teeter on the brink of extinction. As the humans counted down their remaining time, a worldwide event known as the Broadcast echoed through the radio waves. The signal provided blueprints for a machine that promised “salvation”. With no other options, humanity dedicated its best and brightest to constructing this machine, one capable of sending an individual’s subconscious into another world. Ever a suspicious race, the humans strayed from the exact specifications, adding a module that allowed them to augment the explorers travelling through the machine. The humans would be prepared for whatever waited for them on the other side.
The Machina, ruthlessly logical and unfeeling, have spent their cycles focused solely on improving themselves. The pinnacle of efficiency, each Machina operates on key processes, directives based on stern logic that compel them to complete their individual tasks, often times to a fault. As their efficiency increased, many Machina found their processes completed or rather impossible to complete, a possibility that they, in their rigid system of logic, did not foresee. The future of these sentient machines seemed bleak when an unfamiliar code block uploaded itself into their data matrix. Desperate for a way out of their endless cycle of forced completion, the Machina decrypted the code, eager to explore this mystery and the possibilities it held.
The Fabled, a peculiar and curious people, spend their days basking in the warmth of the sun, living simply in their quaint communities. Still residing in homes made of wood and stone, technology is largely unknown to the Fabled as they rely instead on their uncanny connection to nature and the energies of their world, something they refer to as the Lifestream. While even young Fabled share a connection to the Lifestream, only the most skilled shapers are able to manipulate its energies. One night, a strange current was felt in the mystical energy. Through careful manipulation, the Fabled were able to control the anomaly, calming its wild power until it revealed inside a portal to another world. Naturally curious, this magical portal has become the center of great attention in the Fabled world. Kings and beggars alike come to wonder at the marvel and watch as the first band of Fabled explorers prepare to enter.
Welcome to Paradise
Arriving in the Shimmering City, the bewildered travelers set their eyes upon the alien landscape littered with people and objects entirely foreign to them. Fear and caution slowly gave way to the infectious merriment of the welcoming citizens. Gazing upon the Avos and this grand city, it seemed as though all that the travelers sought was possible here. How could it not be in a paradise such as this?
After weeks of celebration, the newcomers are gathered for an audience with the Avos, where they plead to the god-like beings. While every need varies, whether it be wealth, safety, advancement, or even simply resources needed to survive, not a single explorer doubts the Avos’ ability to aid them.
As the murmured concerns finally come to a close, the Avos gesture for the group to follow. Bewildered, the explorers are led out of the shining city toward a looming structure, one that in all their revelry they had not yet seen. With anxious breath, the once confident and elated explorers silently tour the mysterious arena-like facility, each one noticing the crimson patches of blood staining its floor.
Paradise, they will learn, comes at a price.