TERA: For The Federation – The Island of Death
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Hey everyone! DizzyPW here with the introduction of my own column (yes I’m jealous of all my writers’ columns so I’m starting one of my own) detailing the life of my lancer through the worlds of TERA. I’ll be writing this as half an informative series about the game and half fanfic as I try to do it entirely within character so I hope our many TERA enthusiasts enjoy!
Life is violence and violence is life. This realization comes faster for us Popori than for other races like humans and elves that tend to coddle their children through the early years. Me on the other hand? I fell out of the Elin Princess’ (who was soon to be queen!) personal Popori tree and immediately stumbled headfirst into the tree trunk, knocking myself out. A visiting human ambassador of the new Valkyon Federation suggested they name me Dizzy as a result, a name that stuck despite being so different from the typical names of my people.
Pora Elinu, my birthplace and home
Things moved fast in the early days. I worked as a servant in the palace and was far more informed on politics of the day than your average Popori living off the land. The Elin queen had agreed to an uneasy truce with the Amani, Baraka, and Humans to stop the overzealous High Elven armies. I didn’t quite understand really. The elves were far more in touch with nature compared to the careless humans and I secretly supported their success. However as usual the Elins seem to have a sixth sense to foresee the future. The queen’s judgment turned out to be vital in preserving the Valkyon Federation and humbling the High Elf conquerors after thirty centuries of unstoppable conquest.
This may seem irrelevant to our focused goal of preserving nature but that all changed when the Argons appeared. What are the Argons? I have no idea other than they remind me of sentient human machines that wish to do nothing but pervert the forests into a mechanical wasteland. The High Elf war was exactly what the races of Arborea needed to harden their resolve to face this threat of unparalleled proportions. But honestly life in Pora Elinu felt untouched, and I carried on my carefree life for many years.
During this time the Valkyon Federation imposed new rules that the queen reluctantly agreed to follow. They felt that imposing human family structures on our people would bring the Elin and Popori closer as well as make their society more unified when the coming hardships surely arrived. I was paired up with a ‘father figure,’ named Surmun, who taught me the way of the shield and lance like no other Popori before him could. My ‘elder sister’ Wulynn on the other hand had studied the spirits and flow of life in nature for hundreds of years, until closing wounds and purifying plague was as natural as breathing. She was quite revered by traveling humans (why can they travel so freely while I’m trapped in this palace tree?) for her unusual mutation resulting inthree fluffy tails, an anomaly said to only appear once per millennium among the Elin people.
The decades passed quickly and quietly as the Humans and Amani were so bound by foolish honor and promises of glory that they volunteered in droves to fill the ranks of the front lines fighting the Argons. The Castanics, also eager to prove they were unlike their demonic relatives, kept the dwindling ranks filled on our behalf.
However while Popori are tricksters by nature, our greatest fault is curiosity and the sudden appearance of the Island of Dawn where nothing had previous existed got many of us all hot and bothered… and ready to don our equipment for adventure. Try as I might the queen kept a hard hand on my daily tasks and denied my many petitions to set sail with the fleet. I attempted to persuade her that there was nothing to worry about since High Elf Elleon, one of the Federation’s greatest heroes, would be leading the expedition personally.
Elleon Keeping Low Key in Velika
In her infinite wisdom she once again denied my request even though Wulynn and Surmun were both sent as Centurion Captains to command the Elin soldiers. I made sure to eat their packed provisions to get back at them for leaving me alone in the palace without even putting up a fight on my behalf. I still haven’t gotten over the regret of this practical joke…
It turned out the Island of Dawn was nothing short of a death trap. Accounts of the landing and what happened after are sketchy and change from person to person that I asked visiting the palace, but the common string goes as follows. The Pegasus that make up the backbone of the Valkyron Federation’s aerial transport refused to go any further than the outskirts of the floating island. As such the company was reduced to only using their 12 airships to transport themselves around the island from this point on.
Elleon was a prideful commander and refused to return empty handed so he ordered half the crew to return with the Pegasus and bring back supplies in a month’s time when they were likely to be running low. Moral was running high and everyone believed a Federation colony would be established under Elleon’s leadership within the week. Elleon’s brother Leander was ordered to begin researching the nature of the island and given men to help set up a permanent camp in his absence.
As dawn broke the next day Elleon wasted no time as he climbed aboard the Audacious and announced they would be swinging around to the eastern side of the island to continue exploration. Up until this point we had only encountered a few Ghilledhus tree spirits so most were at ease about this simple voyage. As we rounded the northern tip of the island though things took a turn for the worse. An unholy storm struck just as the central island came into view from the crow’s nest of Elleon’s ship. The Audacious ship captain, who later visited Pora Elinu to bring word of the likely demise of many good Popori and Elin including Wulynn and Surmun, was kind enough to stop by my quarters to tell his story. He complained that as they rounded the northern tip of the island, their navigation instruments went haywire, the boats refused to steer properly, and an infinitely black fog reduced visibility to mere meters. As if things couldn’t get any worse, some of the weaker members of the expedition even began hallucinating and attacking their fellow crew members in a blind panic.
Elleon was forced to kill half his crew and unleash energy wave after energy wave from his blades just to blow back the fog and maintain course towards the island. The majority of the ships including the boat carrying the regiments’ food and medical supplies never reached landfall. All of the ships involved in the fateful voyage were ruined upon crashing into the reefs around the eastern gorge. Low estimates are that half the expedition was dead prior to even docking on the beach. Half of that half drowned or fell to hypothermia before dawn of the next day.
Luckily if there is one thing a Popori and Elin is good for, it’s swimming. One shaken Castanic sent to Pora Elinu for spiritual and psychological treatment confirmed to me that they saw an oversized rabbit guarding a tailed fox while receiving treatment on that dreaded beach. He claimed they were among a small group of elite officers and Centurions that were rallying around a particularly impressive Amani general. The let out a cry that broke like thunder across the camp “For Elleon” and charged into the unknown horrors of the island to catch up to their fearless commander.
It’s been said that no one from that brave Centurion squadron has been seen alive since. Elleon is missing in action and considered dead by any who feel safe to speak their mind in private. The Elins have tried repeatedly to comfort me and remind me that my duty to the forest and the castle is still priority, but I’ll be damned to admit that the silly human family experiment made me feel closer to Wulynn and Surmun than even the queen herself.
Elleon’s Final Moments?
Last week I was stationed at the palace’s mail post as Pandu the normal mailman had fallen ill to a strange disease that is beginning the sweep across our lands. In this letter was a call to action from Commander Samael requesting Pora Elinu to send any young recruits we could spare to the Fedration’s HQ in Velika. It appears that Elleon’s brother Leander is as stubborn as I to believe his brother is alive, and used his political power amongst the High Elves to pin Samael into forcing a rescue expedition to the Island of Dawn. I immediately burned the letter to prevent further unfortunate beings of my kind from suffering the same fate. I knew the queen would prevent me from going if she knew. I knew that she’s right to do so, and I likely won’t survive this trip. But if I stay here and do nothing then I feel I no longer have anything to live for. I left my post immediately, grabbed my training lance and shield Surmun has given me on my last birthday, and set out on foot for Velika.
So here I am today brooding in my dark thoughts as I ride my first ever Federation Pegasus into the unknown Island of Death. I questioned every traveler and soldier I met on the way looking for information on Wulynn but none said that a three tailed Elin had been found among the dead. So long as the hope remains that Surmun is out there somewhere protecting Wulynn, my heart will burn with an uncompromising fire to drive me forward. Today marks the beginning of a new life where I mold my destiny as I see fit, not bound by the foresight of the queen or the rules of that corrupt Federation. So begins my story… and yours.. on the Island of Dawn.