Prologue

Prologue

This is what we know for sure: Fortuna is a goddess who rules the World in four discrete ways. She lives in the World as her power waxes, raising up peoples and blessing them in their trials against other peoples. Then she ascends into Heaven and champions the concerns of all the people while her power is full. As Fortuna’s power wanes, she lives in the World, overthrowing the arrogant and empowering the just. Those whose faith in her is unshakeable are brought under when Fortuna descends into Hell. From Hell she torments the wicked and ensnares the deceitful. Then she rises again.

All are subject to the whims of Fortuna.

This process has happened since the beginning. The Cycle had been completed many times when the first real challenge to Fortuna’s power came. Wandering divines attracted by Fortuna’s great and consistent power and intrigued by the many forms she took in relation to her godhead. As these divines approached from other realms they realized they could not penetrate Fortuna’s World. The grip on her domain was unshakeable. These spirits gathered together in a place called the Veil. From there they observed Fortuna’s grace and glory as she completed Cycle after Cycle, never releasing her grasp on her world.

Eventually, a divine chanced upon Fortuna’s World who was skilled enough to enter it by stealth and cunning. This god’s name was Lucifer: a reign name meaning the Morning Star.

This is when the true marking of history begins.

At that time only angels walked the material plane. Fortuna shaped a new group each time she burst forth from the grave. These propagated and were more or less successful according to her blessing. The numbers were always in flux and the angel population benefited from the new group’s formation each time.

Luther (for that was Lucifer’s earth name) observed this process many times before announcing himself to the angels. Luther could not raise angels from the earth — nor did he ever try — but he was able to lead them. Appearing as a god to those in last place — the oldest surviving angel groups — Luther began to reshape the World by encouraging self-sufficient thought and production among the angels. For one whole Cycle Luther cultivated the way of this people in Fortuna’s World. And Fortuna knew nothing of it.

Then, upon her rebirth into the World, Fortuna saw all that was happening and in her divine fury led a crusade of her people, the angels, against all that Luther had set up in her world. Luther was sorely embattled while Fortuna’s power waxed and she lead her people directly. When Fortuna ascended into Heaven and the people could no longer wreak havoc with her aid, Luther was able to regroup and rebuild. All the angels entered into a tentative truce. Fortuna looked down from Heaven and could do nothing.

At this time, another divine crossed into the World from the Veil. This divine was young and took the form of a goddess. Her reign name was Aurora, but she was so inexperienced that Luther doubted she had ever reigned. Luther watched Aurora and took great care to hide himself from her.

What Luther found was this: Aurora was very powerful. It was by virtue of her power alone that she was able to enter the World. But Aurora was also very innocent. It was as though she had just been formed by the Maker.

Aurora wandered around in the empty places of the earth for the duration of Fortuna’s reign in Heaven. So great had been the desolation of the battles between Luther and Fortuna that more than half the World was depopulated. Many were the places Aurora could go that showed no sign of inhabitants; her awareness of the nature of the World was deliberately inhibited. Even when the war resumed again after Fortuna descended to earth Luther kept the angelic cities and nations shielded from her. In this way her innocence was preserved. She knew nothing of violence when Luther’s attention returned to her after the war.

When Fortuna’s waning period was over, the war stopped. Fortuna descended into Hell. Luther gathered his nations together and ended the war. He sent his angels into the underworld to prepare a place for Aurora while he surprised the girl himself and darried her bodily into Hell.

At that moment, the depth of Aurora’s power was made known. In her surprise she unsealed the World. All the deities waiting in the Veil and standing in appreciation of Fortuna’s work were now eligible to enter the World and observe it firsthand.

At this point an important truth is made known: Fortuna’s absorption with and mutual inclusivity with her own World was not unique. It is the standard method of interacting with one’s own world as a divine. In fact, the other deities could not penetrate Fortuna’s world because they could not penetrate Fortuna and represented whole worlds of their own. When Aurora unsealed the World of Fortuna, she unsealed Fortuna herself. All the deities waiting in the Veil trampled the soil of the Earth and brought their worlds with them.

This event is known as the Shattering.

At this time another truth becomes evident: all divines have worlds they are appointed to rule; these worlds are co-extant with the divines themselves. Yet Luther and Aurora constitute exceptions to this rule. Luther forsook the world he governed when he broke into Fortuna’s world like a thief in the night. In this way his people, humankind, recognize no deity for their world. Humanity’s world is attracted to Luther though, and humanity itself poured from its original plane into the World so that it could be nearer its maker.

Aurora is a different matter entirely. It is the consensus of most who stand outside the passage of time that Aurora constitutes a fulfillment of the Maker’s prophecy whereby the mortal races be brought into alignment with the divines, and the divines be offered salvation through the restoration of their free will. Not everyone agrees on precisely when or how this will occur. Many feel that Aurora will outbid Fortuna for control of the World and expel all the other divines from it. Others say she is the bride of the Maker and will call all beings to final judgment at his hand.

I favored a different interpretation from the beginning. And as my version of events turned out to be true, I was chosen of all my brothers and sisters to memorialize it for you.

This is how it begins. . . .

Prologue

Blank Opera Reyathua Reyathua