August 06, 2009

Impetusium of Glory (Aion Lore)

This text can be found on a bookshelf in the Temple of Knowledge

This work sets out to explain how the Impetusium, the great coliseum of the Daeva, was first built in Atreia and why it subsequently vanished from the center stage of history. Reader, if you have ever seen the magnificent ruins of the Impetusium and wondered what the story behind those titanic toppled columns might have been, I urge you to read further. To Shaga, and to the countless heroes of the Impetusium whose names are lost to history, this work is respectfully dedicated.

Chapter 1: The Emergence of Sword Fighting
The origin of the Impetusium is found in a period of history not long after the Epic Cataclysm, when the Asmodian people were focused on suppressing the savage Mau.
The Five Empyrean Lords, who were preoccupied with rebuilding Atreia and healing the painful legacy of the Epic Cataclysm, decided to eliminate all the remaining allies of the Balaur. Many of them were already expelled from the Aetheric Field. However, the Black Claw Mau, the running dog of the Balaur, was still wielding power in Altgard. Several renowned Legions were sent to subdue the Mau tribe. They set up camp to the south of the Altgard Ice Lake, in the region that is now called Impetusium. It was natural that the Legions should compete among themselves as they prepared for battle with the Mau, to keep their skills sharp and to boost morale. This fraternal sparring was to become the foundation of Impetusium.

Chapter 2: The Construction of Impetusium
With the war against the Mau ending in victory for the Asmodians, the Five Shedim Lords declared that a permanent arena should be built upon the site where the Legions had encamped in Altgard. They believed all brave Asmodian warriors would benefit from training in dueling with the sword. As many master artisans, architects and other famous Daevas of the time participated in building Impetusium, the construction progressed rapidly. The Arena, decreed Pandaemonium, was to be built in a 'grand and classical style.' Even in the ruins, the outlines of this style can still be traced. With the construction of Impetusium, sword fighting became a highly popular method of competition. There were duels to settle points of honor, for recreation, for cash prizes, even to settle marriage suits. Daevas came to the arena in huge numbers from all over Asmodae to duel with one another. In the broader context of Atreian history, dating back to time immemorial, Impetusium lasted only a few fleeting moments. Nonetheless, in that time it produced numerous heroes who enjoyed the praise and adoration of the public.

Chapter 3: Shaga, the Legend of Impetusium
The name 'Shaga' will be instantly familiar to anyone who has studied the history of Impetusium to even the smallest degree. Shaga arrived at the Arena seemingly out of nowhere, and became a legendary hero. Instantly recognizable in his black helmet and black armor, a solitary red feather on the breastplate, he had no peer among all Impetusium's fighters. The ringside poets said of him that he moved as lightly as breeze-blown apple blossom, and struck with the sudden ferocity of a summer storm. Shaga's legend was not confined to the Arena. A true wandering hero, it was said he would appear whenever and wherever people needed help. He never spoke, but instead greeted people with his gentle gaze. Many women who glimpsed those eyes through his visor were smitten, and became sick with love. It was not until much, much later that the most astonishing fact about Shaga was revealed. He was not a he at all, but a she.

Chapter 4: The Glory of Old Altgard
Some Daevas still remember the days when Impetusium held sword fighting competitions. 'You should have seen Altgard back then,' they say, their eyes shining. 'It was not the muddy backwater that it is now. It was prosperous beyond imagination.' Impetusium bustled with talented Daevas from all over Asmodae, excited humans who had come to spectate, and street stalls of every conceivable kind. Every day was like a state holiday. Exotic food cooking in the roadside stands set people's mouths watering, and no street corner was without its huddle of beribboned supporters, talking and laughing together. The noise was ceaseless. Of course, crowds caused occasional disturbances here and there as they always do, but any quarrel or dispute was quickly settled in those days. Unruly brawling in the street was seen as an insult to the event, and to the noble Daevas who worked so hard to improve themselves and given so much for the contest.

Chapter 5: The Decline of Impetusium
Those peaceful and festive days in which Impetusium thrived did not last for long. The discovery of Elysea beyond the Abyss marked the end of peace. The Shedim Lords assigned all Asmodian Daevas to fight the Abyss War. With Altgard no longer a main rallying point, it was decided that Impetusium should be closed down. Although a few Daevas objected to the decision, the majority understood that the dark clouds of the Elyos-Asmodian War had cast a chill over the excitement of the great arena. It was no longer a time for sport, but for battle.

Just as I was finishing this book, I heard good news from Pandaemonium. To commemorate the proud history of Asmodae, the Five Shedim Lords have declared that Impetusium should be restored to its former glory! One day soon, reader, the skies may once again ring with the sound of blade on blade, and we may see brave Daevas competing with one another for glory and praise, as they did in Shaga's time.

May that day come soon.

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