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Abstracts - A Brief History
Long ago and far away, before there was even Time to record how long ago it was, there was only one plane. Gods, their pet mortals, and those now known as Abstracts dwelt in this one plane together in harmony. There was no want, and very little real conflict, for Greed was still unknown to anyone.
One day, someone, either God or Mortal, (the accounts are uncertain on this, for only the perpetrator knows for sure, and they are not willing to give themselves away) although it is certain that it was not one of the Abstracts, convinced a young Abstract girl to open the veins in her arms, to see what would happen.
Since the world was new and no one had ever done such a thing before when the girl felt her lifeblood draining away, instead of being afraid or perhaps doing something to stop it, she instead watched and waited as the last of her vitality soaked into the ground.
And on that day, the Abstract named Death died.
Her brother was enraged by this happening, and sought to punish the transgressor. So he gathered all the other Abstracts together and told them of what had happened. As one they rose in fury against the gods and mortals. Taking up a handful of the earth stained with Death’s blood and transmuting it into a terrible red sword, War led his kin to battle.
Though they were vastly outnumbered, they were far more powerful, nearly at the same scale which gods match up against mortals, which led to something of an even match, which meant that the gods and mortals would eventually lose the battle. The Abstracts were powerful, but not utterly invincible. They could be killed, and some of them simply faded from the single plane that made up existence. It is suggested by some that Abstracts like Rage, Hatred, and Malice formed the Lower Planes, and those like Joy, Love, and Hope formed the Upper.
But Death, being the first to try it, did not know how to die. While she had indeed been stripped of life, her spirit did not know what to do, and tried to reclaim her body, animating it, but she still remained dead.
The Abstracts drove divinity and mortalkind before them inexorably. In the last campaign of the conflict, the Abstracts laid siege to the last bastion of the gods, the city at the center of the plane, Atar’axion. The siege lasted a long time, many mortals were born and died while War and his allies battered the walls and tried to destroy the mortal supports of the gods, for without worshipers, the gods would quickly lose their own powers and become far easier prey.
One of War’s generals, a female named Famine, had the idea to destroy the crops that the mortals relied on for sustenance. Another named Pestilence created mortals of his own that fouled the air and ravaged mortal bodies, while leaving the divine and Abstracts untouched. But yet, in spite of all this, mortalkind persisted. And while mortals are not as powerful as gods nor Abstracts, they are far more ingenious.
Finally, the walls of Atar’axion fell. As War strode through the breach, the remaining defenders loosed a magical trap. Instead of attacking the Abstracts directly, they separated Now from Then and Soon, trapping them somewhere in between, barring the way back with a shimmering curtain of golden sand- the vaporized debris of the breach.
Several things happened in the wake of this mighty magic. A new trifold Abstract arose, but one who had no quarrel with mortalkind. This Abstract held power over the rift that was created, and was yet bound by it, for the rift between states measured out its own existence, whether it/they wished this or not. Furthermore, as the rift was spawned by the actions of mortals, it seemed that their actions could continue to spread the rift wider still, if such actions were sufficiently potent.
Thus Then, Now, and Soon were born, and The Riders trapped outside of what came to be known as Time. As long as Time exists, they remain trapped outside of Creation. But when it fails, they are free to touch the worlds and seek their enemies.