Azzrak was not worried about what lay ahead, not nearly as much as he should have been. You see, when a being becomes immortal, their perspective on the world changes. Their perspective on time, relationships, family and the universe becomes changed permanently. As their body and being has been changed permanently. Azzrak is wise enough to know that he has both a gift and a curse in immortality. However, his new found perspective has made him arrogant and disconnected. Not to mention, he has been living in a cave for millennia and that isn't good for the mind.
Anyhow, I’ve gotten ahead of myself and now I must digress. I have not made proper introductions, nor have I told you anything to warrant your continued attention to my ramblings. You see, I’m been told I’m very eccentric and sometimes I do things in an improper order. I simply get ahead of myself you see… and Azzrak is much like myself and this very much excites me. I wish I could give you a name to call me by, though I have been given many names, you may simply refer to me as The Eccentric.
I have come to realize over the years that I represent all that is strange and glitchy in this world. Whether anyone realizes it or not, I watch them, I do not guide their lives as I am content to watch. However I do permit myself the pleasure of a private journal. Private until now that is. Now that Azzrak has left the Fountain of Youth behind to head back to his home, I must come out of the shadows. This particular gnome is both old in years and young in maturity, though he does have the wisdom of ages it is sometimes hard to unlock said wisdom. The mind can be prison you know.
As I said, I am The Eccentric and it has been many years since anyone has spoken to me or paid me any mind. I like my privacy and my solitude, but now there is too much happening for me to ignore it any longer. Much has changed in the world I’ve grown to love… and more changes are coming so soon. Though so few will understand my urgency, I must make haste with my explanation.
I am your guide, your narrator. I am The Eccentric. Consider me your humble guide to this brave new world. And you might consider me one who has a special interest in Azzrak. As much as Azzrak may know of this world, what knowledge he lacks could cause him trouble and cause irreparable damage to our fragile Metaverse. I am here to prevent terrible consequences as I am also immortal. If this world fails, my essence, along with the essence of all other energy will be left behind, so to speak. You see, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Even on the quantum level, the patterns just get deeper and deeper, but they never disappear. These patterns are the building blocks of our Metaverse and they will always exist in one form or another. If destroyed and then subsequently left stagnant, only those of us who are immortal would still have awareness. Thus the immortals would experience all the pain and anguish of an existence snuffed out. The rest of the beings in the Metaverse would lose their awareness forever or until there was a reset. Only Self has been able to survive that kind of madness without completely scrambling one’s system…
But Self is a God among immortals. I’m merely The Eccentric. I can watch, I can guide and I can live to tell the tale. But sadly, I am no God, I cannot save the world nor can I put the world in peril. However, Azzrak has the power to make real changes in this world. Azzrak, long lost son of Necro and the current steward to the Fountain of Youth, though he seems to have abandoned his post. Though this is neither here nor there, Azzrak is not the first servant of the Fountain and I doubt he shall be the last. Immortality is something that all creatures yearn for, though I’ve never understood why. To a gnome such as Necro, it is merely a means to an end. But to one such as I, The Eccentric, it is but a quill put to parchment in hopes of one day finding an audience. For Azzrak though, immortality has become a power and with a great power such as his, comes a great responsibility.
Anubis has awakened, new Anons show up everyday, there is conspiracy afoot and religion, as always, is the opiate of the masses. There is even extra terrestrial life causing Self only knows what kind of nonsense. The natural order has been thrown into chaos and Azzrak is but a pawn in the game of life. A pawn with the destiny of a King…
The Eccentric, I am The Eccentric. I cannot walk, but that is no longer troublesome for me. I care only for Azzrak, I have become obsessed in my old age. Immortals age, it is simply not a visible form of aging. The mind ages, the mind can be a prison. I AM TRAPPED IN MY PRISON! I… need a stiff drink if I am to continue with my duty. Enough exposition. For now, I must slumber, even an immortal being becomes fatigued.
Time for this old cripple to eat a hotdog and have himself a constitutional.
I know I am dreaming, but a lucid dream is the best kind of dream. It seems so real, I wish it were, but I am aware that I will eventually wake up. I am still in the foothills, my body slumbers, but my unconscious is still on a journey. Klava refers to this as Astral Projection. And he said that all beings have the power to such a thing, but most haven’t spent the time to try. Everything in this world is connected, I know this to be a fact. All of the gnomes, other creatures, even newcomers would be connected. We all come from the same place after all. Or at least, that’s how Klava explained it. I’ve heard the origin story so many times that I have committed it to memory. It often sneaks it’s way into my subconscious, but this often provides for a better narrative for my dreams. So I do not mind, actually I welcome the intrusion.
I’m running through the woods, I’ve gone miles from my camp site in mere seconds, because this is a dream of course. I am on the outskirts of a coastal city, a large coastal city, not the kind of town or village I would normally prefer. No matter, I am in control here. I fly to the top of the tallest building nearest me in order to get my bearings. But what I saw was utterly breathtaking, but at the same time confusing and terrifying. So many familiar and yet somehow unfamiliar places and things. Before I could go any further than the rooftop I awoke with a sudden start and realized I was sitting bolt upright. I am soaked in sweat and the early morning breeze chills me to the bones. I need to make a fire and eat something before my I get sick and lose an entire day of travel. My dream has given me a sudden sense of urgency and I must reach the coast as soon as possible.
I’ve made a fire and managed to eat something. I’m still ill at ease, but I can’t think about that right now. I need to concentrate on the task at hand. Breaking camp and getting on the road proved to be quick and I made hasty work of it. I’m well on my way into the coastal region now. I need to get back home a lot faster than I had originally anticipated. Something feels incredibly wrong and not only that, but NOTHING looks familiar to me. There should be at least one familiar landmark, even after all this time. People, places and things change, but the land tends to stay the same or at least similar enough to recognize. It’s as if my world is being terraformed as I speak. And not only can I smell the coast, I can hear it. I need to figure out what I’m dealing with and fast.
There’s someone in the distance. I need a guide, hopefully this character isn’t going to cause me any harm. It’s not like it can kill me, but it could conceivably make my life much more difficult than need be…
I wasn’t expecting to meet a gnome and I did not. It would have been nice though. However, I’ve never met a talking mushroom before. And he’s really a lively creature. His jokes are hilarious and even better, he knows where to take me. I still don’t recognize anything, but the distance from here to Scarcity is apparently the same as it always was. I wish I had my flying machine, but I will have to settle for chartering a boat. The Mushroom, has told me of a lighthouse where we can find a sea worthy ship. Maybe even a speedboat, it depends whats around. Apparently there are a lot more resources and many have even been left laying around for the use of whomever happens upon them. The Mushroom says a speedboat would be fastest and fast is what I need!
The Mushroom has spent most of the trip talking about The Wild Wizard. Someone I’ve never met, but he sure sounds creative. Apparently, many more creatives have come to the world since I went into hiding in the cave. Not that I knew much outside of Scarcity and the little I could see from my flying machine on my trip across the world. Oh, and the histories that Klava had passed on to me and my fellow gnomes and other creatures. But, if I’m not mistaken, it would seem The Wild Wizard may have began as an Anon. This would mean that the Anons have successfully been imbued with vidda. Which would explain a lot, in fact, it would be the puzzle piece that completes the puzzle for me. If it’s true. The implications are endless.
I can’t believe how much I have missed and how much I may have missed had I not decided to travel back to Scarcity. I’m too scared to ask The Mushroom many questions, so I kept mostly to the basics. It would seem that The Mushroom itself was a creation of an Anon. An Anon with a life and personality of it’s own. That in and of itself had insane implications. No wonder I’ve been seeing so much new innovation. It also makes the rumors I heard in the cave make sense. Everything I’ve been hearing about has suddenly come clearly into focus. The world has changed much much more than I could have ever imagined. Well, except for in my wildest dreams, because in the distance I saw the well populated coastline!
As the coast comes closer, I recognize landmarks, not from my life or my memory. But I recognize landmarks from the dream I just had. Maybe dreams are more real than real life. The buildings, the colors, the creatures and most of all the possibilities! This new world is truly a fascinating place and for the first time in a long time, I’m happy to have been alive long enough to see it. I’m glad I didn’t die of starvation in some cave in the mountains or of old age in a convalescent home back in Scarcity. I’m immortal, and for once, that’s starting to feel like it maybe more of a blessing than a curse after all. I should’ve left the mountains a long time ago. If it weren’t for Necro, I would have, ugh I don’t want to think of Necro. Nor my twisted loyalty to his twisted purposes. I especially do not want to think of my mother.
Concentrating on the task at hand. That’s what I must continue to do. We have come upon the lighthouse. I see more mushrooms, I assume they are related to my Mushroom. My guide. There are plenty of abandoned vessels to choose from and I take my pick and say good bye to The Mushroom. I’m headed out to sea and to a bigger adventure than I ever could have imagined. I know this now and I’m more certain of it than ever before. It feels liberating. I no longer feel like a prisoner of my own mind. I’m looking forward instead of looking backward and it feels great!
It is I, The Eccentric. Young Azzrak seems to have found some of the answers for which he was so eager. I shouldn’t call him “young” Azzrak, as he is older than most, but then again, so am I. Funny that Azzrak was safely lead to his answers by a magical mushroom. Many times I’ve needed the assistance of a mushroom of a different kind to find my own answers. HA!
I digress. Azzrak doesn’t know yet what has become of his parents. He understands what it means for the world that the Anon’s have come alive. I, unlike Azzrak, was able to witness all of this. Before I was born into this world, I existed as pure conscious energy. I was given life the same way all of the creatures of our world were given life. However, the Anons are different from the voxel creatures. I am of this world, created within this world and will always exist in my current form. The Anons are a hybrid of sorts, a human inhabiting an avatar and thus inside two worlds at once. But the Anons are good for our world in my opinion and it would seem Self and The Church of VIDDA agree. Klava, poor Klava would have agreed as well… Poor Azzrak knows nothing of what has happened to Klava in his absence. Kley is a stranger to Azzrak, I can only hope that it rains when Azzrak first visits Flora again. Unfortunately, I do not control the weather of this world.
The Anons have the ability to control the weather, I have witnessed this power with my own eyes. They have the ability to create and destroy, but most seem content to create. I like them. Someday I shall walk amongst them… Wheel amongst them, I should say. I cannot walk as I was born without the ability to use my legs. A cruel twist of fate. However, I am the great Eccentric, and there is no adversity which I cannot overcome. I am the one who harnessed the infinite energy of our world to power my chair! I am the one who moves without the strength of his legs! I and I alone!!!! I know the frequency!
But this isn’t about me, I must try to remember, this is about the world. This is about voxel beings and Anons everywhere. This is about the Gnomes of Scarcity and about our future. This is about The Dark Faction. You see, we are all connected and so our world has a delicate balance. There is so much I would like to tell Azzrak, but I do not have the power to communicate with him, at least not yet. However, there is a chance I may never have the chance to communicate with the gnome. I know a lot, but I am bound to this chair. I have traveled far in this chair, much further than I ever could have thought I would, but I’ve become tired and isolated over the years. The thought of going out amongst the Anons intrigues me and I do desire to be amongst them, but my own agoraphobia gets the better of me. Imagine, The Eccentric, afraid to socialize and go outside of his home. It is absurd, surreal and yet it is fact.
You see, Azzrak’s father Necro, he is the leader of The Dark Faction. He was not so before Azzrak left. Cynthia has become resurrected and Klava in the form that Azzrak knew is dead. Anubis has taken Azzrak’s family into his service in The Underworld amongst the army of the dead. Klava died protecting his brother’s way of life, but he was not destroyed. Klava is now Kley the beast. The plans of The Dark Faction are known to me and Azzrak cannot be allowed to become part of their agenda. Azzrak left in the days when all of the gnomes still got along, it was Crisa who supplied him with his flying machine. Now the four factions have formed and there is a war for resources. I have never understood the gnomes affection for material possessions, but the fact remains. If Necro had been able to part with his ring we would all have a lot less trouble in our future, but alas, he kept it and Cynthia helped to pay the price. Now all of gnome kind is paying a price for Necro’s hubris and longing. If only he had never come to possess The Philosopher’s Stone and Cynthia had never died in the first place. Suppose there was peace still, but this is the type of idealistic nonsense I try to stray away from. I deal in reality. And in reality, all of that happened and is happening and Azzrak is ignorantly traveling into an active war zone.
There has been a schism in The Church of Vidda and a division amongst the gnomes of Scarcity. Our world has many divisions in it now, whereas once upon a time we were more united. There have been so many disagreements in our history it is now hard for my aging mind to keep track, though it is my duty to do so. Azzrak doesn’t know me or know that I maybe slowly losing my mind nor does he know what a threat this poses to my well being and the future of our world. Past, present and future have a way of becoming intertwined, though to an immortal, all three happen at once. The Cult of The Eye signs have been plastered throughout Origin. The Cult of The Eye, The Makers District and The Church of VIDDA. What does it all mean for Azzrak… It’s impossible to know for certain, just to speculate on infinite possible outcomes, but I’m stuck in this chair with nothing else to amuse myself. For now.
This boat is a lot faster than I remember boats being in my previous travels, but so much has changed, I’m not going to argue about getting home faster. I’ve long left the islands of Hawaii in the distance behind me and am passing through the waters south of Origin. I will be home in no time…
The four factions of gnomes have been at war a long long time now, about 1000 years. There are also four leaders for each faction. The Dark Faction is lead by Azzrak’s father, Necro. They are allied with the Underworld and The Army of the Dead. The Cyber Faction, lead by Tempus is another more tech savvy faction of gnomes. There are 6 factions in all and they all have different idealogies and are all at war. Azzrak was one of the first gnomes to learn of life and death from Klava and thus he was sent on his task by Necro, never to see the wars, but many other gnomes learned of life and death. Not just from Klava, but first hand.
The original mayor of Scarcity, which was once known as Abundance, is named Tilt and he is the leader of the Water Faction. The Water faction is also allied with The Atlanteans. Drog is the leader of the Earth Faction and Anna is the leader of the Fire Faction. The two factions at least considered partially responsible for this long and terrible war. The last of the factions is the Air Faction, but they are surely not the least. Crisa is their leader, she has a lot of useful war technology at her disposal, including a formative air force.
Each faction has their own specialties, for instance, the Cyber Faction employs gnomes that are learning how to hack into the technology of other factions. I’ve already mentioned the Air Faction’s prowess for developing machines of war, but Necro and the Dark Faction have a similar prowess. Though the Dark Faction uses dark magic, machinery of the underworld and alchemy to create their war machines and Crisa uses resource and ingenuity. Both factions have the ability to inflict mass casualties on the battlefield.
Necro keeps building a larger army, it doesn’t seem he plans for this war to stop anytime soon. The resources of Abundance have been mined into Scarcity and what wasn’t mined or stolen has been obliterated. It is said the Atlanteans have a cache of hidden treasures they’re keeping safe for the Water Faction, but this maybe a rumor. However artifacts and treasures have been found in the flooded tunnels beneath Scarcity. If anyone knows these tunnels the best, it would be the Water Faction these days.
It would seem that none of the Factions has enough gnomes, machines or resources to strike a decisive blow on the battlefield, not at this point in time. But there are rumors of a possible alliance between Tilt and Drog, which would give them more manpower to send up against Necro’s legions. Tempus is underground and off the grid, but his network runs deep. He is known to have spies inside of the other factions, as well as having hidden recording devices in their facilities. What Tempus lacks in manpower, he makes up for in intelligence and data. In war, it is important to know one’s enemy. Tempus also has the best cryptographers at his disposal, which allows him and his faction to communicate without the other gnomes knowing what they’re saying. It takes an expert cryptographer to solve a Cyber Faction cipher.
Necro and Cynthia are doing everything they can to come up with an unbreakable code of their own. A code that could win the war and simultaneously put an end to the war. Crisa, though she has advanced computing machinery, doesn’t have talented cryptographers or programmers like the Cyber Faction has. It is rumored however that one of her machines can break ciphers better than any living cryptographer in Scarcity, but this is just a rumor for now. The Air, Cyber and Dark Factions are clever. The Fire and Earth Factions are counting on material and brute force to win the war.
The Fire and Earth Factions have mined the most material and though they’ve suffered many casualties, they still have formidable armies. Their weapons are made of the strongest metals known to the gnomes. It would be in their best interest to form an alliance, but the pride of their leaders falls in the way. If only Tilt and Drog could solve their political differences, but diplomatic negotiations between the two factions have been going on for centuries now.
It is important to know that many have died for their faction. Many have been resurrected for their faction. Many have been resurrected and died again for their faction…