There was no entry yesterday because of my work schedule.
Today’s entry didn’t turn out like I wanted or expected, but, I guess, when do they ever? I hope you enjoy it regardless.
Every world into which the doors open is different. They have different geography, different people, different cultures and countries and religions. That much is expected and, after you’ve seen the first few worlds, unsurprising. Aia, nevertheless, has managed to intrigue me, because while it has all the differences I would expect, it has a few more that I didn’t.
Like most worlds, Aia has people. I suppose one day I’ll sit down and postulate why it is that the majority of the worlds behind the doors are populated by humans. Certainly that question should intrigue someone of a scholarly persuasion, though I am not a trained scholar. I just feel like, as someone who can open the doors, it’s almost my responsibility to become one.
I’ve gone off on a tangent. Like most worlds, Aia has plants and animals and people, along with all of the things that people bring — culture, history, war, and all that. What sets it apart is that it also has gods.
Now, I’ve been to places where the people claim to have deities. On my own homeworld, there are hundreds of religions, if not more, and the majority of them profess to worship some grand being which has power over their lives and their afterlives, which they refer to as their god. Yet on most of those worlds, I’ve seen very little proof that those deities exist, or that they have the influence their followers claim.
The closest I’ve seen personally which comes close to Aia is Avyra, where there are what I would call higher beings which embody the four seasons as I know them from my homeworld. The people of Avyra respect the Seasons, but their respect is more of acceptance than worship. I wouldn’t call the Seasons gods, not after travelling to Aia, though perhaps some would. I would place them somewhere between mortals and true deities.
The gods of Aia, though, are true deities, and they are very real. There presence is felt throughout the realm, and their existence is undeniable. They speak to their followers and grant them boons. Their power is felt upon the world. And yet — and this is what intrigues me most — there is just as much confusion regarding them as on worlds where the deities people worship don’t even exist.
This is most egregious when speaking of the world’s creation myths, about which there is the most contention. I believe this arises because the deities themselves, when questioned about the beginning of the world, generally refuse to answer. There are writings on the matter, which are considered holy, but which even the gods whose domains should encompass history, such as Quet, God of Mind, and Eloen the Chronicler, will not endorse or reject.
A commonality among all beliefs held on Aia is that the Holy One had at least something to do with the world’s creation. Some believe she created Aia and its entirety, and surrounded it with the rest of the Nine Realms. Others believe that she created the other deities and then tasked them with creating and maintaining the world. Still others believe a mix of these two possibilities, in which the Holy One created the Aurelian Ennead, and then worked together with her children to forge the Nine Realms.
All three of these leave out the question, then, of why gods exist which oppose the ostensibly good Holy One and the “good” gods of Aurelia. One of the Nine Realms, which the Holy One supposedly created, is home to nothing but what the peoples of Aia see as evil. They call it Kainorh, and it is from there that demons and devils and evil reflections of the gods they worship reside.
The people are not agreed as to why Kainorh exists, or how its inhabitants came about. Some belief that the Holy One is not a force of good, but only of creation, and that she created both the good and the evil in the world. Others believe that the Holy One is opposed by a being called the Dark One, and that the created the Nine Realms together in a sort of battle of creation, in which the Holy One came out, while not entirely triumphant, at least in a better position.
There are those who believe that the world only exists because of a pact between the Holy One and the Dark One, in which they laid out a plan for all of time, in which their servants and creations — the people of the world, and even the other deities — are simply actors carrying out a role, without even being aware that they are reading from the lines of a script. This, to me, is the most disturbing belief I’ve encountered on this world, because it means that everyone on it has only an illusion of autonomy.
All of the questions the people have could be answered by their gods, if their gods would speak on it. And yet they don’t, and, frustratingly, the majority of their clergy seem to accept that. I’ve reached a dead-end in my questioning, because those that can help me seek the answers won’t.
Things brings to mind the other difference between Aia and other planes which I have visited. The Nine Realms seems to be more than one plane, yet only Aia itself is accessible to me. I haven’t found doors that lead to Aurelia or Zhairon or Khainorh, though by the accounts of the locals, those places exist. I’ve seen some proof that they do, as well. I’ve never been to a world that is fractured like this. It’s as though there are minor planes attached to this one.
Before, I thought that the doors in the hallway led to everywhere. The hall stretches infinitely long. The doors number more than I can count. Yet there are no doors that lead to these places that I know exist. At first, I questioned the nature of the hall of doors. Yet as I ponder further, I think the question should be of the nature of Aia, and of planes in general.
Perhaps the Nine Realms are not planes, as the locals believe them to be, but something else instead. Alternately, perhaps planes and the relationships between them work differently than I had previously thought. Either way, Aia has enough mysteries for me to explore that I believe I’ll be investigating them for some time.