Story of the Bonzokuos

(Bondzokuos, missed the “D” in there =P)

There was once a terrible war waged in the hearts of the Vellen, which nearly tore their own existence apart. But to understand that war, you must understand the one before. Many hundreds of years ago, the race of the Xa’tan warred against the Vellen in the wake of xenophobia and anger. This kept the number of Vellen small in comparison to the growing civilization of the Xa’tan, and those that were still alive, strong and clever. Together, with their guecubu, they fought back, until the strongest of all the guecubu, Agarut, delivered them to the safety of the Insomnium Isles. There, the Vellen learned to live new lives, forever changed. That is where the war of their hearts took place. But this is still not enough to understand. So delve, we must…

Living in the same region as the Xa’tan, Vellen had begun as a race just like any other, but with the gift—or burden—of having a guecubu at birth and throughout their entire life. This is the most defining feature of the Vellen at the outset. These guecubu are demons and grow with the host over time, so at birth they are not quite powerful enough to cause the host any true harm, lest the guecubu was born stronger than usual. It is while the host grows older that the guecubu becomes more of a burden. So, in the beginning, the Vellen seemed fine—but soon it was apparent from their strange behavior that there was something wrong with them. The Xa’tan, prejudiced enough against those not born under the protection of an obelisk, found even more reason to distrust and hate the Vellen due to this, as Vellen began to kill Xa’tan in their madness. The Xa’tan reacted just as harshly.

Not all Vellen succumbed to this, however. Some individuals figured out how to control their inner demons, and even unite with other Vellen. These Vellen were more likely to survive, as they stuck together and didn’t do anything rash. They built and protected; there were once the makings of buildings and structures in the Xa’tan region, but these are all but gone, through time and destruction. Because of the madness of the Vellen who could not control themselves and sought evil ends, they brought wrath upon all Vellen, and in turn ruin upon any attempt at civilization.

Instead of becoming a potentially thriving society, the Vellen were forced to live more like hunter-gatherers, without a true home, lest they wished to die defending their sanctuary, or hid it well from all but themselves. Some of the Vellen opted to become roving bandits, stealing from wherever and whatever they could, using whatever means necessary. They either lived short or grew strong and clever—but also became more demonic in form and thought. These Vellen conflicted with the other kind, the Vellen who united themselves in ways besides thievery and destruction—the Vellen who could control themselves, and eventually arrived at the enlightenment of ideals. Upon discovering ideals, these Vellen held it as their duty to uphold them no matter what. Almost masochistically, in the face of Xa’tan enemies they would not fight back, only defend and take blow after blow. What these Vellen had was unity and power in numbers.

These ideal Vellen sought for another way to bring an end to the conflicts with the Xa’tan. They did indeed; though on the surface it seemed that their attempts of compromise and unification fell on deaf ears and did little to nothing, even among their own kin. But the last attempt brought upon something none saw coming. The ideal Vellen had been making the strongest fortress they could—but their location was discovered, and the Xa’tan decided that it was best now to go on an all-out genocidal rampage upon the Vellen. At last, there was going to be a last stand. The ideal Vellen, with little help from the demonic Vellen, defended their fortress from wake after wake of Xa’tan, never killing but only defending. The event was certainly bloody, and the only deaths by martyrdom, as Vellen after Vellen stood atop the tallest pedestal and shouted to the others idealistic inspirations to keep them going, only to be killed in moments. All chanted the same phrases and in unison as they fought back, inspired and determined in becoming their ideals in the face of death.

The Xa’tan were fighting a wall of ideals.

It was at the peak of battle, the fever pitch of the Vellen shouting their ideals, everything about to fall at the hands of their enemies, that they had unknowingly proven themselves to someone other than each other. Agarut was watching. The nameless spirit of the Insomnium Isles called out to them in their hearts and gave them strength.

It was time for the Vellen to have a home./p>

Once, hundreds of years ago, the Xa’tan and the Vellen saw the great, black figure of Agarut. He descended upon the fortress, and all the fighting ceased in the growing darkness that he brought. The shadow had a voice sinister and commanding. It tainted the air all around, and red eyes gazed down at them all. “Desist your war, Xa’tan—these Vellen do not concern you from this point on. They have proven themselves to me, and I will be taking them to a place far from here. Go now, or fear losing yourself to a darkness that you cannot escape from, for the rest of your life.”

And when the darkness cleared, the Vellen, every last one of them…had vanished.

The Vellen arrived at the Insomnium Isles in a fashion that not one of them could remember, save for the presence of Agarut and his promise of deliverance. It is here that the Vellen began again from scratch—yet this time they had to rebuild old relations, as every Vellen, both idealistic and demonic, was accounted for. All their lives they were pitted against the Xa’tan, even against each other. Now, both the Vellen of ideals and the demonic were safe for a time from the Xa’tan, isolated upon this island and its sister isle to the north. Could they learn to work together with the absence of their shared enemy?

For a time, yes. They worked together relatively well, with the occasional bad case brought upon by insanity, but nothing that truly impaired progress. Both had dreams and aspirations they wished to live-up to in this new world, this new life.

But, as often comes with the rise of cultural excess, some Vellen began to fall to evil and madness. The methods of survival having been practiced and conquered, the Vellen debated on the state of their society and how to structure it. There was a great deal of arguing on this point. Though Vellen share many ideals—those that have them—there is still room given the parameters of each ideal where there can be variation in thought. However, the greatest variable is the guecubu of each and every individual. Suppressed by the idealistic Vellen, and expressed by the demonic Vellen, guecubu have always been present, helping or aiding even in the time of the Xa’tan mass-murdering. Guecubu generally want their host to live and thrive, and so are on the same side as them. The guecubu is bonded to its host as it is born with it and cannot gain a new one. It can become its own demon; however it must become stronger than its host and survive the split. And so the guecubu cause the greatest amount of variation—because guecubu, forever present, are also demons, inherently chaotic and evil.

What this means is that ideal Vellen have mastered their guecubu, while the demonic Vellen have let it influence them negatively, sometimes even to the point of letting it fully take over. Those who are conflicted as to being idealist or demonic either live tortured lives, die, or lose their guecubu, in which case they will most surely also die, as the newly-manifested demon needs a soul to consume upon its struggle to come into the world.

With plenty of time to think, as guecubu do not find it altogether useful to always manifest themselves and still be restricted to their master, the guecubu have plotted and construed ways to gain their freedom. The Vellen did have an enemy: demons. The very things that they were born with rebelled against them, just as they did in the beginning. And these guecubu turned Vellen against each other—did anything to get their freedom and introduce chaos into the system.

And chaos ruled. Fire, murder, destruction, plague, anything and everything. Just as they were getting used to their home, it all fell to ruin. It was worse than the Xa’tan. They lived in a world of suspicion, lies, and corruption. Nothing could be trusted, not even the self, unless a Vellen strayed true to their ideals. Those that did were outnumbered by the demonic and the conflicted.

The ideal Vellen were at a loss. Would they fight their own kin? Would they be saved by Agarut again? Would reason even save them now? There were too many motives and hatreds, and there was no clear way of getting order to return. Would the Vellen bring an end to themselves?

Then, it showed up; a demonic villain that surpassed all others. It was called Palatiok—that is, as a Vellen he once had that name, but he had become something truly nightmarish and evil. Once one of the strongest of the thieves back at the Xa’tan homeland, Palatiok had grown in power over the years until he underwent a true demonic transformation. His form was of a massive, fiery, balor-like creature, and he razed the land in his wake of fire and demonic followers. He led the sudden force to the last remnants of the capital Vaxi—the only remaining home of the ideal Vellen.

However, Palatiok did not go unmatched. Among the few of the strongest ideal Vellen, one achieved something unheard of and never before seen. From Lake Hyria to the northeast, a silver dragon seemed to suddenly have just appeared and taken flight. It flew straight to the capital and directly at Palatiok, charging at him head on and taking him by surprise. The silver dragon was actually the demonically transformed version of Silacia, an ideal Vellen and one of the greatest guardians back at the fort years ago. Its eyes were pits of white light, and it had black runes upon its spine, tail, and up to the crown of its head in a language that later became the Vellen’s runic alphabet. The only way in which this kind of transformation could have been possible is if the guecubu and the Vellen were in almost perfect harmony to the point that they embodied an ideal with the same amount of power but completely opposite to that of an evil Vellen in its transformed state.

These two clashed for days, leading fronts of opposing sides back and forth across the island of Shalotona. Other Vellen began to transform as well, and soon hardly any Vellen were recognizable amongst the monsters and beasts. The battle raged on, and the Vellen within their demonic forms cried in pain, sorrow, anger, all things that the spirit of the isles could feel. In response the land changed, not just from war, but from the spirit’s own restlessness.

The islands despaired and raged.

Silacia, sensitive to the spirit of the earth, grew ever more furious, and pushed Palatiok and his forces back towards the sister isle of Voran. She became more and more demonic, the symbols bleeding out and her eyes turning red. Palatiok delivered grievous wounds to her in his equaled rage, and both bled black blood everywhere, drowning all and choking the world. Silacia’s pitted eyes even cried black blood unceasingly.

None truly know what caused the resolution to the war, but those who lived to tell stories of it have had their tales passed down, whether they are accurate or not. It is told that Silacia had pushed the demons back to Voran in one last move, utilizing the very last store of inner strength she had acquired within almost a split second. This is where the demons and demonic Vellen reside even now. Some remember what led to the final push—of there being a tense, almost silent moment shared between the two as they grappled with each other over the Insomnium Strait, there blood both spilling freely into the waters below. It was as if all the physical fighting had ceased, and the only battle left was between minds. In those moments, perhaps more was communicated between the two of them than could ever be done in a lifetime—everything that summed-up the Vellen’s existence as a whole. Two perspectives, their feelings crashing like waves, trying to overcome one another, but originating from the same ocean. But maybe they too were trying to understand; trying to become one.

No one knows.

But Palatiok and his forces retreated to Voran, and Silacia, along with the ideal Vellen, remained on Shalotona, and rebuilt.

And they lived separate ways, once more.

Story of the Bonzokuos

Æthan Auburn_Evans