Pre-History: Myth & Fable
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As it is written in fables, a long, long time ago, Mystic Art was given to the people on Earth. Mystic Art is a mysterious form of magic. Unlike the false, but widely-believed assumption that anyone can learn magic, that is simply not true with Mystic Art. A person cannot pick up a book of spells and teach themselves Mystic Art. Nor can one gain the power through another Artist, for Mystic Art is magic passed down through the blood.
A person from a family of Mystic Artists will likewise have Mystic Art; and a person from a non-Artist family cannot gain it. This is the most mysterious and strange rule of such magic!
How, why, when did Mystic Art come to the people? No one knows, even to this day. However, there is a fable of a celestial lady who walks about in the stars of the universe. It is she who looks down upon the Earth, scrutinizing the dealings of people to each other. Some believe that many thousands of years ago, she came to our planet and cast her fingers outward, sprinkling the dust of Mystic Art to fall where it may. By pure random chance, that celestial dust fell on some people and not on others. From then on, that is why only certain people have the magic in their blood, while others do not. It was all her design. Why she wanted to give it to us, though, we cannot discover.
At no time in the existence of the world did she show herself, and at no time in history did any human or vampire know of her as more than a myth. So, whenever it was when people discovered Mystic Art, or how we received it, are not securely known. The fable of the celestial lady is just that: a fable. Few in our contemporary times take the story of her existence even as a hypothetical to consider anymore.
The Classic Time
At some point after humans had discovered Mystic Art and had mastered it through their lineages, great kingdoms rose upon the Earth. Large civilizations focusing on technology, discovery, and pleasure formed together. Thus from humble, crude dwellings came magnificent cities of complex law and order. For over a thousand years, these kingdoms flourished.
But it wasn't long before the peoples of these vast empires become idle, bored, and preoccupied with themselves. With much time for leisure, foolish thoughts began to fester. People invented reasons to distrust each other. Suspicions were the worst between those who had and did not have Mystic Art.
After several hundred years of rising distrust, humans reached an epoch of aggression, wickedness, and vanity. Kingdoms took advantage of each other for power, pillaging, raping, and killing freely. This was the time we now refer to as The Massacre. In the midst of the violence, the Female Judge (that celestial lady) repented that she'd gifted some with Mystic Art. As punishment, she took the feeling of romantic love from all people. This romantic love manifested as a ruby red rose that she wore about her neck on a chain of stars. Only when a deserving, pure soul was born, then love would return to the world.
Not long after, the rising kingdom of Vitalonia suppressed the other kingdoms and a forced peace returned to the continent. Amidst the rising tensions between those who saw the other group as trying to dominate them, the kingdoms yet married their princes and princesses to one another for political power and alliances.
It was one such agreed marriage that caused the end of the Classic Time to come about swiftly and tragically. Six thousand yeas ago, Vitalonia's young Prince Vartan agreed to marry Princess Leyla of the disease-ridden superpower kingdom of Anderdaine. However, when Prince Vartan fell in love with the commoner Imogen (Ee-moh-gin), his princess became jealous. She feared that if he didn't marry her, Anderdaine would receive no food and medical aide and her people would perish.
Both he and the princess were Mystic Artists. Among Mystic Artist scholars, Prince Vartan was considered the person that gave us all the colors of the roses we know. The prince's heart was pure and his outlook sunny. He could make roses bloom and this, plus his disposition, made him near universally liked by his country. When he and Imogen realized they loved each other, that love was manifested in a rose that the prince had been holding. It changed from white into a deep red.
And it is claimed that at that moment, Princess Leyla's jealousy overcame her. She tore Vitalonia apart with her Mystic Art by creating endless fields of choking vines and thorns. She killed everyone in the kingdom. Prince Vartan and his lover were included as victims.
In her last moments, Imogen's overwhelming grief enabled her to channel her power into the prince's rose, turning it into ruby. That is where she placed his soul. It is speculated that this rose of love was the same rose that the celestial lady had been wearing about her neck.
With her last bit of energy, Imogen threw the rose into the Void, a pit of blackness. Princess Leyla plunged in after the rose, desperate to crush it, and thus crush Vartan's soul. Both were swallowed up. Thus ended Vitalonia and all the horror of an event we know today as the Cataclysm. Whatever happened to the rose and Princess Leyla, no one knows. After all, this is just a myth, no?
It is hard to believe one person could cause the fall of the jewel of the Classic Time, but even accepted history has records of the event! Human emotions are strong, strange things. And with the fall of Vitalonia, the other grand kingdoms slowly sunk into shadows of their previous glory. However, before the Classic Time truly ended, there was one remaining kingdom of power, culture, and glory. This was Vlamira, a kingdom of vampires. History has disqualified such a notion that vampires exist, though Mystic Artists know otherwise. The entire kingdom of Vlamira was one of Mystic Art.
Though human Mystic Artists and non artists distrusted the other, they united in their universal hatred and suspicion of the vampires. The shaky existence of vampires and humans had seen wars over thousands of years. It was unprecedented when Vlamira and the kingdom of Salanay agreed to intermarry to bring about peace between the two, and to send a message to the other kingdoms.
The arranged marriage was actually proposed by the vampire king. He'd discovered an abused young woman on the edge of his kingdom, she turning out to be the princess of Salanay. She'd run away from her original fiance, who'd treated her horribly. The Vlamirian king was attracted to her and took her back to his palace to protect her. Because of the improper circumstances, Salanay begrudgingly accepted the vampire king's proposal.
Naturally, because of the princess's trauma, and her taught disgust of vampires, she hated her new groom. But the two ended up in love, when the king proved himself a selfless, patient friend she could trust. Their affections enraged the humans of Salanay who were opposed to the alliance and had secretly hoped it would fail. A sect of disgruntled warriors from Salanay kidnapped the princess when she was leaving Vlamira to visit her parents. They made it look as though vampires had abused her and sucked all her blood try, thus killing her.
The Vlamirians denied it, but the enraged humans wouldn't believe them. Salanay raged war on Vlamira and overcame the country, for even though the vampires possessed Mystic Art, the humans had been advancing their technology. They proved too strong for the Vlamirians and utterly wiped out the capitol city, then pillaging through large swaths of the country side.
Most of the vampires fled the country. Those that remained hid themselves in the deep of black forests. Even to this day, those that are alive are either still hidden in Vlamira, or living out in the open among us in many countries, hiding their vampire lineage. But no vampire has forgotten their ages-old vow that someday they would resurrect their kingdom and honor and wreck revenge on the humans more brutally than how they had been destroyed.
The Rebuilding Period
With Vitalonia, Vlamira, and then Salanay destroyed, much of their refinements, artistry, technology, and culture was lost. The only large kingdom of merit remaining at that time was Anderdaine, which was dominantly an agrarian society. Anderdaine entertained artists, warriors, and built an educational system of their own, but they had always relied heavily on the other countries to import ceramics, textiles, jewelry, artisans, and the like. With many other people dead from the disease, and their economic and trading relationships demolished, the country suffered for many necessities and luxuries in life. But with romantic love brought hope, and nations rose from the rubble and began again. Minor players become grand and refined themselves.
This period was excruciatingly difficult for humans who were Mystic Artists. With the loss of knowledge, and the harshness of surviving, there rose a fear of evil that bred superstition against scientifically unexplainable phenomena.
Mystic Artists were the target of the people’s superstition and fear. They became the scapegoat, the enemy humans needed to fight against, to inspire them to build new kingdoms, if only to protect themselves from what they termed Unorthodox Evil, Devil’s Magic, and the Curse of Sinners.
From wooden villages of demolished kingdoms rose stone castles, protected by rows of soldiers sporting long swords, bows and arrows, and shields of wood and metal. Six hundred years A.T.F. (After the Fall) of the Classic Kingdoms, there rose up protesters in the country of Anderdaine thirsty for freedom and liberty squashed by the King. These citizens defected to the ruins of the country of Arland, where poverty and confusion had persisted for centuries. The noble defectors educated the Arlandan natives, gave them hope, and the citizens in turn promoted the Anderdaine defectors to be their sovereigns.
By 1,000 A.T.F., Arland was a thriving, glorious kingdom, to Anderdaine’s jealousy and anger. The royal family was wise and greatly loved. One summer morning, the eldest son, Prince Crave, when riding in a wheat field, came upon an abused child which he took under his wing and raised as his own brother. This created insecurity among his brothers.
Only when Anderdaine invaded Arland, with a decree to pillage the kingdom, did Prince Crave fight, and win, against the oppressive mother nation. The victory renewed hope and trust for the kingdom, but laid bare the deaths from the war. Prince Crave's youngest brother, Prince Leigh, had defected to Anderdaine. When caught, he pierced his heart with the sword when he was captive in a cell in his brother’s castle.
The boy whom Prince Crave had found years ago, Prince Brandon, put aside his harsh childhood grudges and became the country’s strongest advocate for technological advancement and citizen class equality. To this day, history books still praise him as an innovative thinker whose goal in life was to give back the kindness that had been bestowed on him. Though only whispered as gossip, it’s still speculated that Prince Brandon was a Mystic Artist.
But as supposedly enlightened as Prince Brandon was, he never openly used Mystic Art. The people's underlying distaste for such "wicked magic" only grew with the empowering of religious institutions. The grand religious masters of the day condemned Mystic Art as a wicked, demonic art.
Mystic Artists who had previously lived openly, although sometimes scorned, found themselves blatantly hated. People blamed them for their hardships. They were an easy scapegoat once more. Mystic Artists were attacked, physically harmed, and thrown into prison. At the height of religious zealotry, the religious institutions encouraged the people to hunt Mystic Artists down and kill them. Along with thieves, murderers, and witches, Mystic Artists were condemned and murdered in oft grotesque, inhumane ways.
Like the vampires before them, the persecuted Mystic Artists went into hiding. They ceased practicing their art and told no one of their power. Only in that way, were they able to live a somewhat normal, open life. They became ashamed of their power.
However, after several hundred years further of countries rebuilding and rediscovering knowledge that was deemed lost, the people across the known world began to educate themselves on their secular histories. They became aware of their own capabilities and started to drift away from the harsh religious power over them.
The New Awareness Period
A rebirth of interest in what had come before rose among all classes of people. Alas, though, the people still suspected Mystic Artists so much, that they would lay their hands on such persons to do them harm. So, even among the empowered masses that began to think themselves so learned, wise, and virtuous, Mystic Artists still had to keep their power a secret.
Previously, religion had been the answer for the masses; but science quickly took its place. With science, only the physical, tangible things of Earth that could be examined and studied could supply proper answers to life. Mystic Art changed from something real and dangerous to a child's fable. A myth. People ceased worrying about Mystic Art, because they no longer believed it existed.
Mystic Artists breathed a sigh of relief. They felt the pressure of discovery dissipating in one part, but a lingering fear to express their power on another. For they knew, that just because very few believed their power was real anymore, it did not mean that if they showed themselves, they'd be accepted. A new paranoia and distrust would surely rebirth among those without the gift. It was safer to continue to keep their power suppressed and live as regular people in all the societies of the world.
But Mystic Artists still hoped and watched for the day when something, somehow would change the fabric of common thought in their favor. They wished no harm to anyone and harbored no desire to abuse others with their power. In their saddened hearts, Mystic Artists wished to use their power to help society and to do good. But how could they ever convince a skeptical, disbelieving, suspicious world of that?
And so Mystic Artists continued to live among the people, always lifting their eyes upward to the Heavens in which first came the celestial dusts from she who no one had ever seen, from she who walked through the waters of the universe, ever watching the foolish, meaningless actions of the humans on Earth.
Roughly around 1400 A.T.F., during the embroiled challenges Mystic Artists faced, humans had turned to science and technology with rekindled interest, as they had so long ago in Vitalonia, to illuminate reality to such an extent that many no longer believed in Mystic Art and the intangible, supernatural elements around them. This was a blessing to Mystic Artists, who found it finally possible to walk among others without fear of discovery. When Mystic Art was performed, more scientifically-minded humans merely gawked at the “trickery” and mocked its impact as false.
Stage Magician, Fortune Teller — such occupations arose to mask the Mystic Artist’s true talent from the public. However, there were a few wealthy humans who saw through the tricks of stage magic and provided patronage to Mystic Artists mostly in order to gain the benefits of the Artists for themselves. This was a protection for the Artists against those who were still superstitious and sought to spill their blood.
What had been known and appreciated of Mystic Art in the Classic Time had been lost during the Fall, and so Mystic Artists, for over five thousand years, had been piecing together what they could of their origins. But how, why, and when Mystic Art started persisted as a mystery to them.
The progression of technology and science found the Beauchamp family, of old Mystic Artist lineage, in France in 1600 A.T.F. They had hidden their talents for generations. Though they no longer feared being burned at the stake, they limited displays of their talents to their private quarters, warning their sons not to use Mystic Art in public. The first-born son, François Beauchamp, rode to Paris and joined His Majesty’s Musketeers.
History states François’s Mystic Artist abilities are nothing but a myth, as modern society continues to harshly mock the notion of magic or supernatural events in any form.
Nevertheless, François was a Mystic Artist of mastery over the water element. He could manipulate said element into ice, control it, bend it to his will, or so modern fables state. The fable narrative of François claims that his wife and daughter were murdered by his jealous younger brother Jacques. François pursued his brother to the Americas, where their Mystic Art clashed. They supposedly killed each other. There is no proof of this account being true, or any factual, accountable version of François’s death, or of any human settlement in the Western Americas at the time. The contrary story, favored as a possibility by factual, grounded history, is that François was an average, albeit popular musketeer, who defected after murdering his own wife and child, was found soon after, and executed for his crime. If true, then it may be that such a possibility was so embarrassing for France, that the King had the accounts of it burned.
Contemporary Mystic Artist scholars speculate that François knew more of Mystic Art than he revealed, that what he did during his life is still felt in today’s world. To those who believe in Mystic Art, it is widely agreed that he was the White Prince (also called the Prince of Mystic Art), the most powerful Mystic Artist that would ever live at any period in the world.
But there's a considerable amount of Mystic Artists that disagree. They think the White Prince has yet to come. They wait and watch, hope and yearn for the White Prince. They believe that all events have lead up to the White Prince, and that all the citizens of Earth await for this illustrious person’s arrival. He, supposedly, will change the direction of the world and bring trust between all people, Artists or not.
A small sect of Mystic Artists and scholars also hold a common belief that if humanity doesn’t overcome prejudices and protect Mystic Art appropriately, that the Female Judge, who is the ultimate giver and taker of Mystic Art, may return and once again punish humanity for their foolishness.
Thus the human countries continue to prosper and the vampires continue to hide, securing their roots within the fables of vampirism which modern society to this day still finds so alluring.