top of page

A Guide to Aestis Part Two: The Keeper and the Graces

Updated: Apr 11, 2023




Welcome back, Arclanders, to the second part of our introductory tour through the Arcverse. If you’ve already downloaded your copies of Arclands: The Spellforgers Companion and The Book of the Graces, you’ll be acquainted with the rich history and lore that has shaped the very fabric of the five dimensions.


In this next instalment, we pick up where we left off, with the aftermath of the Sundering—a cataclysmic event that marked the end of the Keeper's reign and the birth of a new era. With the celestial landscape forever altered, the fates of the Graces, once the epitome of power and grace, became intricately intertwined with the mortal realm.


Building upon the foundation laid in the first blog, we'll explore an array of legends that span from the dawn of creation to the forging of Y'Kantulis, the enchanted sword born of sacrifice and love. As you continue your odyssey through Aestis, prepare to be captivated by even more remarkable tales, which delve into the heights of celestial majesty and the depths of mortal desire.


So, grab your downloadable book and rekindle your sense of wonder, as we guide you through the mesmerizing stories of the Keeper, the Graces, and the world of Aestis. The next chapter of your epic journey awaits!


PS: Throughout this article we'll link to the depth lore in our World Anvil site, so many rabbit holes await you...



The Keeper and the Creation of the Universe

The Keeper, the one god of the Arcverse, is often credited with creating the universe, but the truth is more complex. He discovered a chaotic universe and shaped it into a realm of order and light called the Celestial Realm. He created the Athervannir, his great marshals and the Lotharvannir, his smiths but not the Tralanvannir, or the Graces. who emerged spontaneously from the Athervannir's universe-spanning vision.


Deception and Fear

The Keeper, feeling threatened by the Graces' emergence, deceived them into believing he had created them, those that suspected his duplicity were assassinated. This deception caused fear and doubt among the Athervannir and the Graces, eventually leading to a potential civil war. However, the arrival of a destructive force called the Devourer shifted their focus from internal conflicts to a fight for survival.


The Devourer War and the Battle of Damnation

All Graces united behind the Keeper, and even the Legion from Damnation joined the fight against the Devourer. The Keeper, the Graces, the Furies, and the Legion defeated the Devourer, but at a great cost. The Keeper betrayed the Graces, leaving them behind in Damnation to face the Legion's wrath.


The Graces in the Mortal Realm

Some Graces escaped Damnation and hid in the Mortal Realm. They scattered across different worlds, influencing and shaping civilizations. Meanwhile, the Keeper sent the Shuravai to hunt down any renegade Graces hiding among mortals.


The Sundering and the Fall of the Keeper

The Sundering marked the final death of the Keeper and the end of an era. The shattered avatars of Tharaxes, the Wayfinder Grace, awoke during this time, setting the stage for a new chapter in Aestis's history.


Levanto

Levanto is an enigmatic entity whose origins and motivations remain a mystery to all inhabitants of the Arcverse. Described as an exceptionally powerful being, Levanto surpasses the Athervannir in strength and possibly even rivals The Keeper and The Devourer. Levanto typically presents in a masculine form and possesses an aloof and irreverent demeanor, maintaining an air of calm and composure regardless of any provocation.


The Arrival of Levanto

Levanto made his presence known in the Celestial Realm at a time when The Keeper was struggling with his own insecurities and vulnerabilities, following the Devourer War. His arrival was marked by a confrontation with the light that emanated from The Keeper, where he manifested as a great shadow with eyes that glowed with a golden intensity. Levanto's appearance forced The Keeper to recognize and confront his own limitations and imperfections, leading to a begrudging accord between the two powerful beings.


Levanto's enigmatic nature and extraordinary power intrigued the Graces, who found themselves unsure of how to react to his presence. Their opinions varied, with some respecting Levanto's power and others fearing and distrusting him due to his unknown origins and motivations. However, they were all bound by The Keeper's agreement not to interfere with Levanto's actions.

Influence and Impact on the Arcverse

Levanto's true intentions within the Arcverse remained uncertain, but his impact on the five dimensions could not be denied. With the ability to effortlessly traverse the dimensions, Levanto was involved in numerous unusual events and phenomena, such as unexplained weather patterns, the sudden appearance of new life forms, and mysterious disappearances and resurrections. These occurrences led to speculation about Levanto's ultimate goals and the nature of his influence on the dimensions. Some believed that he was searching for something specific, while others thought that he was gathering information or shaping the dimensions in ways that even The Keeper could not fathom.


An Uneasy Balance of Power

As Levanto continued to exert his influence over the Arcverse, an uneasy balance of power emerged between him and The Keeper. Forced to confront his own vulnerability and limitations, The Keeper found himself in a precarious position, struggling to maintain control over the dimensions and his subjects while contending with the enigmatic presence of Levanto. The tension between these two powerful beings would come to shape the future of the Arcverse in ways that no one could have predicted.


The Mortal Settlements and the Celestial Realm

As The Keeper's influence diminished, Phalanx Grace Y'Dathian took it upon himself to welcome mortals into the Celestial Realm. Unaware of The Keeper's true intentions and nature, Y'Dathian and other Graces assumed that mortal life was sacred, and they sought to protect and guide these beings. Y'Dathian revealed the location of a Norlandil, a permanent portal between the Mortal and Celestial Realms, to Vannic Emperor Hordale An Rath. Hordale and his followers were captivated by the beauty of the Celestial Realm and began to establish settlements there, setting the stage for the creation of the Solustine Kingdom and other mortal fiefdoms.


The Growing Tension between Mortals and Graces

As mortal settlements expanded within the Celestial Realm, tension between the Graces and their mortal counterparts grew. The Graces viewed the mortals with disdain but were preoccupied with the chaos resulting from the Devourer War and The Keeper's betrayals.

Following the Sundering, Phalanx Y'Luran sought to destroy the Solustine Kingdom, attacking it and the other mortal fiefdoms. However, Y'Luran was stopped by his sister, Y'Nya, who had a prophetic vision warning that mortals and Graces would need to unite against an impending threat that would engulf all five dimensions.


An Uneasy Truce and the Struggle for Power

Y'Luran reluctantly heeded his sister's warning but continued to harbor resentment towards the mortal settlers. Meanwhile, the Solustine Kingdom and other mortal fiefdoms lived in constant fear of the Graces, seeking ways to defend themselves against any potential threats.

As the Celestial Realm struggled to adapt to the presence of mortal settlements and the ongoing tensions between mortals and Graces, the balance of power in the Arcverse continued to shift.


The Khul: A Fallen Grace in the Mortal Realm

In the twilight of the Keeper's rule, Y'Tran, one of the remaining loyal Graces, longed for the freedom and truth she believed could only be found in the mortal experience. As the Keeper withdrew into the hidden depths of Celestium, Y'Tran's desire for mortality grew stronger. However, her longing for mortality was discovered by the Shuravai, who sought to punish her for her defiance.


The Sundering and the Birth of the Khul

When the Shuravai captured Y'Tran and brought her before the weakened Keeper, she saw her opportunity to escape her fate. She called upon her fellow Graces and the Athervannir to overthrow the Keeper. In the ensuing chaos, the Keeper's mortal form was destroyed, and the Celestial Realm was torn apart in an event known as the Sundering. Y'Tran, now known as the Khul, and her close friend Y'Kantu, fell to the Mortal Realm. Separated during their descent, the Khul established herself as the ruler of Mordikhaan, a northern region of Aestis. She reveled in her newfound mortal desires and sought to conquer the world.


The Tragedy of Y'Kantu and the Forging of Y'Kantulis

Y'Kantu, still an immortal Grace, could not bring himself to destroy the Khul, whom he had loved deeply. Instead, he sacrificed himself to forge a powerful sword called Y'Kantulis, imbued with his own essence. This sword was eventually used to grievously wound the Khul in a decisive battle, but her lingering power kept her alive.


The Khul's Bargain with Darkness

In pain and seeking vengeance, the Khul journeyed to Damnation, where she struck a fateful bargain with a monstrous shadow. In exchange for providing the creature with a sanctuary in the eastern kingdoms, it granted her the power to conquer the rest of Hermia. The consequences of this deal would later haunt the Khul, as her thirst for power and vengeance led her down a dark and perilous path.


Conclusion

In conclusion,t he Keeper's flaws and failings ultimately led to the unravelling of reality itself, leaving the dimensions in a state of chaos and disarray. As the celestial fabric was torn asunder, magic, which had long been dormant, surged back into the world of Aestis.


This influx of mystical energy has ignited a new era of discovery and transformation, as the first spellcasters in millennia are now beginning to emerge. These intrepid pioneers are discovering the existence of the spellforges, tapping into the ancient power that once shaped the very universe itself.


The repercussions of the Keeper's actions continue to ripple through the cosmos, forever altering the destinies of both mortal and celestial beings alike. However, even in the midst of chaos, there is hope. The resurgence of magic offers new powers to the chosen few, and who may have the capacity to choose more wisely than the Keeper himself.


Explore more of the Arcverse here:


🛍️ Shop: Get your hands on the Arclander Zine, cool battle maps, and more exclusive gaming accessories.

📚 Web Novel: Immerse yourself in our captivating web novel, "A Fire in the Heart of Knowing."

🎲 GM Tips: Master your game with expert tips and guidance for Game Masters of all levels.

🌍 World Building Advice: Create immersive worlds with our expert advice on crafting rich and engaging settings.

🌟 News from the Arcverse: Stay updated with the latest stories, adventures, and content from the Arcverse universe.

📖 Articles You Might Enjoy: Discover a curated selection of our most popular and intriguing articles, handpicked just for you.