Story: How we Claimed the World

Echo: Overview Glossary System Fiction

Long before the old world fell and shattered there were the rains. Life, death, physicality, god, purpose, and all other machineries of the universe drifted down as individual pieces and formed the new world.

Like all new worlds, there was a rush to claim territory.

Purpose fell to the left and was claimed by the Spirits, and the living and dead both claimed the right where the physical lay. In this place, the living and dead divided the regions and set about building their homes. The first living things without the spark claimed the ocean deeps, but their dead disappeared when they died. When the six women and men and the seventh arose alive with the spark, they claimed the surface of the earth. Their dead lingered and made their homes in the deeps of the earth. Some of the living had even greater plans: they claimed the realms above, taking the skies as their home. And so all of the sky and ground plus the deeps of the ocean and earth were all claimed.

Thus it came to be that when the first reflections were cast, carrying a piece of a soul, there was no place for them. All places had been taken, and they could not claim anywhere as home. They existed in the thin, flat surfaces between places and quickly faded. Having nowhere safe to go, a few learned the secrets of the surfaces and entered the moving, shimmering surface of the waters. There they found the Reflection and what lay beyond. Standing beside the eternal River, the reflections drank from the waters. The water filled them, fixed their image so they could reflect themselves and shade the world. With this strength and power the first echos, the waterworn, began to build the Inverse.

Using the waters, they trapped the image of fire from the sky, rippling and shining in the surface, and used it to burnish a reflection in a ceramic goblet, taking the reflection of the sky and fire as their own. And so the flametouched came to be.

With the fire, they took the ore of the earth’s deeps, and forged in clay furnaces a reflection in a metal goblet, taking the reflection of the earth’s deep and metal as their own. Metalforged stood in our ranks.

With the fire raging, they took the sand from the surface and fused it to a reflective glass goblet, taking the reflection of the earth’s surface and glass as their own. By then, others had started to walk along the reflection. Most were welcome, but with the metal, some silvered the glass, making the reflection far more powerful, and tried taking the mirror for their own. In the first war of Reflection, they ejected the hollow and dark beings from the mirror out of rage for their callous creation of so many echoes. In that war the mirrorstained were created.

With the glass, they then peered deep into the oceans and took the bright color of the coral and fishes. Slowly, over time they learned to work the bright colors, painting a goblet, mastering the reflection of the ocean deeps and the bright colors as their own. The colorbound are the newest and most vibrant echoes.

For each surface won after the water, the goblets came. Ceramic, metal, glass and painted. And so, even today, when the lost fragments of souls pass the Reflection and arrive in the center of the Inverse, they mistake their terrible emptiness as an enormous thirst. Four goblets sit around the spring of the River. That which they pick, any goblet or drinking from the water itself, sets their frame, sets their effigy and creates them as echoes. The thirst, the terrible emptiness is not filled. But the echoes all have a home in the reflection and Inverse: the world they created and claimed in the space between the worlds.