by L. M. Jewell
Brief timeline of events based in Serus and Edoria.
✵ Prehistory Events - No Living Characters ✵
✵ Tears in the veil between worlds are found. Gateways allowing easy passage from Serus to a newly discovered world are built by the powerful inhabitants of the world (Veilgates). The new land is christened "Edoria" by Serians.
✵ The Merritt daemir take control of all the veilgates in the city of Lisea. They also take on care and maintenance of the gates which allows the family to prosper and achieve control of the region surrounding Lisea.
✵ The Deimos vaemir take control of the great walled-city of Sanguis and, by proxy, the Sanguian veilgates.
Travel via the veilgates is somewhat regulated in Lisea while travel from Sanguis is not. This causes tension between the two families about the rights each have to the newly discovered lands. Settlements are established in Edoria. Some small skirmishes do break out in the new lands, but they are effectively squashed by the ruling powers in Serus. Otherwise, the people of Edoria are left to rule themselves while resources are sent back through the veilgates to Serus. The magic of Serus had never allowed the land to have it's own industrial revolution, but the wilds of Edoria do and thus Edoria's technology evolves to that of a steampunk stage while Serus is still using swords and sorcery.
✵ For unknown reasons, the Sanguian veilgates collapse and sever their connection to Edoria. Deimos vaemir panic and demand access to Edoria via the Lisean veilgates. Political strive ensues and Deimos control of Sanguis begins to waiver.
✵ The Merritt monopoly on the veilgates erodes the relationship between the two families until they are bitter enemies. Eventually, the Merritts claim to be the legitimate rulers of both Serus and Edoria due to their mastery and control of the veilgates.
✵ War erupts in Serus over control of the veilgates.
✵ Current History - Some Living Characters ✵
✵ Leonidas Deimos takes control of Sanguis, Serus.
✵ Sebastian Deimos is born.
✵ Mael Merritt is born.
✵ Elira Merritt is born.
✵ Kieran Merritt takes control of Lisea less than one year after the birth of his second child.
✵ Caitlin Merritt is born. Velaria Merritt dies in childbirth.
✵ One year later, Kieran marries his second wife, Rhiannon Devereux.
✵ Adanna Deimos and Lysander Merritt are born.
✵ Lucius Deimos is born.
✵ Aryah Merritt is born.
✵ A peace agreement is made between the Merritts and Deimos in order to allow Serus to heal and prosper. The agreement lasts for ten years. Sanguis is rebuilt and strengthened.
✵ Adanna Deimos is blinded by her father in order to enhance her powers as a seer. This works with unfortunate side effects and she is nearly rendered invalid by the cruel practice. She hides away in her wing of the Sanguian palace, attended by her ladies.
✵ Rhiannon Merritt is murdered while travelling. This ignites Kieran's desire to lay siege to Sanguis in retaliation. His advisers suggest a different, less fortified target. Kieran unhappily agrees and begins new preparations for war. His entire family undergoes training and is briefed. (10 years)
✵ The daemir being the siege of Isolon, a major vaemir stronghold halfway between Lisea and Sanguis. Kieran plans to use this as a stepping stone toward conquering Sanguis itself.
✵ Aryah Merritt is captured. She is kept alive and tortured for information. This allows the vaemir to end the siege and push back the daemir offensive. She is slated to be executed, but Lucius Deimos decides to use her as a spy instead. She is bound to the Deimos by a magical mark and released to make her way back to her kin. This mark will not allow her to speak about or remember most of her time in captivity.
✵ Under the influence of the Deimos magic, Aryah is ordered to begin her espionage and well as the systematic extermination of the Merritt's strongest allies: the Aster witches. She wears a mask to hide her identity, though there are a few who suspect that she is not nearly as "unharmed" as she first seemed upon her return.
Though they are powerful witches, the magic protecting Aryah is too strong for them to divine that she is the person hunting them. All Merritt allies know that "the huntress" is a Deimos agent. "She wears a mask that hides her identity from all divinations. It is ancient and powerful magic. Our only hope is to kill her before she kills us all."
✵ The daemir begin losing ground in Serus. Edorian supplies cannot keep up with Serian demand.
✵ Mael and Gideon head to Edoria to try to negotiate for more resources and reinforcements.
✵ The Deimos prepare to lay siege to Lisea in an effort to finally end the war.
✵ The siege of Lisea begins when Kieran Merritt is assassinated by Deimos agents.
✵ The vaemir breach Lisea's walls and Elira makes the decision to tear down the veilgates rather than allow the Deimos to take control of them. Gideon, who had recently returned to Lisea, tries to stop her as Mael had not yet returned. Mael remains trapped in Edoria.
✵ Post-Veilgate Closure - Serus ✵
✵ Aryah, in her guise as "the huntress," succeeds in assassinating the great Matriarch of the Aster witches. She is captured and unmasked by Gideon. Elira tries to immediately execute Aryah, but is stopped as the vaemir breach the palace. Gideon forces her to flee as she is now the head of the Merritt family. He vows to deal with Aryah himself once she is safe.
✵ A bound and helpless Aryah is recovered by Lucius Deimos as he claims the city's palace for his father. Lisea is lost to the vaemir.
✵ Leonidas Deimos is fatally wounded during the siege and returns to Sanguis.
✵ Elira pulls daemir forces out of Lisea. An order is given to all troops to execute Aryah on sight for her betrayal.
✵ When the veilgates are found to be destroyed, the vaemir ransack Lisea and burn it to the ground. This establishes total vaemir control of Serus.
✵ Lucius returns home with his prized princess. He tortures Aryah until her will is broken completely before presenting her to Adanna as a gift.
✵ The Merritt family scatters in hopes of keeping the Deimos off their trails.
✵ Leonidas succumbs to his wounds.
✵ Sebastian Deimos begins hunting the Merritts to avenge his father. He takes the throne and appoints Lucius as his spymaster even though the two have a very tense love-hate relationship.
✵ Post-Veilgate Closure - Edoria ✵
✵ Mael finds the veilgates destroyed and is forced to find new allies in Lybvian. He is determined to reopen the veil to get back to the war.
✵ Mael is reintroduced to Hadrian who had crossed over to Edoria after filing to keep Rhiannon safe. He was secretly in love with her.
✵ Hadrian introduces Mael to the Order of Ylena, the true peacekeepers of Edoria. They have managed to keep the Serian war on the other side of the veilgates for nearly a century. They arrest Mael for crimes against Edoria.
✵ The Order explains to Mael why the Sanguian veilgates were destroyed. The Deimos were abusing the gates and causing chaos. The Lisea/Lybvian gates were never closed, because they were well-monitored on both sides and, as such, more useful. The ruler of Lybvian also had well-established trade routes between the two worlds and paid the Order's Council well for the privilege.
✵ Mael is to be tried for his "crimes," but is pardoned by the Council after Hadrian vouches for him and promises to make sure he does't cause trouble. They never truly wanted to kill him. They only wanted to reign in any opportunity that Mael may take to reopen the tears. The Order wants them closed for good. (1 year)
✵ Mael decides to join the Order and promises to cease all activities concerning the veilgates. In reality, he intends to defy the Order, but knows he needs to make allies on the Edorian side of the veil to get things done.
✵ While trying to settle in, Mael is introduced to Jorja by Hadrian. They begin a relationship of sorts. First friends, then lovers. Eventually, it comes to light that she is of Aster descent. Mael explains to her the history of her family as his family's servants. Their relationship is damaged by Mael's reaction to finding out that Jorja is an Aster. (6 months to 1 year)
✵ Hadrian understand's Mael's reaction to Jorja being an Aster, because he didn't know either. Eventually he is able to talk Mael into asking her for assistance to try to reopen the tears. Mael denies that he's going to do it, but Hadrian knows better.
✵ Jorja is conflicted about what she wants to do. She doesn't want to leave Edoria, but she truthfully wants to help Mael. She finally decides to help Mael, but only if he helps her find others like her (Asters). They can discuss their inequality later.
✵ The Veilgates Reopened ✵
✵ A new veil tear between Serus and Edoria is opened by Mael and Co. (closed for 2 years minimum; probably 3 years)
✵ Mael returns through the tear with his allies to find Lisea in ruins. They have to avoid Deimos patrols of the captured lands. Mael sacrifices himself and is captured, allowing Jorja and Hadrian to escape.
✵ Hadrian leads the Asters to one of the old Merritt safe houses while he tries to make contact with Merritt forces. The safe house is an ancient Aster burial ground and Jorja's necromancy is awakened by the spirits of her family.
✵ Mael is taken to Sanguis to be executed. He finds Gideon has been captured as well, tortured and kept alive in order to be entertainment for the youngest prince's engagement party. The two lament that they both will now be killed for the entertainment of the Deimos.
✵ Gideon tells Mael of Aryah's betrayal, but also of how he heard her suffer under the hands of Lucius Deimos. She has been visiting him over the last few nights, trying to explain her actions, but he would not listen.
✵ Aryah learns of Mael's capture. She confides in Adanna of her guilt and sadness. The two have grown close since Aryah was handed to Adanna as a servant. The bond they have formed allows Adanna to sympathize with her. (2 years together)
✵ Against her better judgement, Adanna removes the magical brand that holds Aryah hostage so that she can help her brother escape. The pair admit their love and devotion to each other. Aryah tries to get Adanna to leave with her, but Adanna refuses. As a seer, she knows her time is coming. She is ready for the war to end wants to end her life on her terms.
✵ On the night of Lucius' engagement, Aryah breaks Mael and Gideon from the dungeons as their executions were meant to be the main event of the party. It takes hours before they are noticed, but the trio are hunted hard and almost caught before they are delivered into Merritt hands.
✵ Upon rejoining the Merritt forces, Elira tries to execute Aryah for betraying them. Mael comes to his sister's defense, but not before she is horribly burned. This starts an even greater streak of bad blood between the family members. Elira demands that someone "babysit" Aryah to monitor her actions, even while she is in bed recovering from the wounds inflicted by her sister. Gideon steps up and promises to not only keep Aryah out of trouble, but to execute her the moment she steps out of line again. His reasoning is two-fold: Gideon cares for her, but also wants to make sure she stays on their side for good. The two get reacquainted as she heals. He thanks her for keeping him sane and alive while in captivity.
✵ Elira, aware of the new Aster family members, suggests to Jorja that the remaining Asters claim their right to a blood debt that Aryah owes their family. Jorja is unsure as she doesn't understand everything about her heritage. Elira eventually succeeds in prodding Jorja to issue the challenge. Kaden is the only living Aster knight at their disposal. He is the perfect conduit for a more-experienced spirit, which is what Elira was banking on, and the spirit of Sabbath possesses the young man. He nearly kills Aryah in combat.
✵ Mael ends the battle and orders the Asters to forgive the blood debt owed by Aryah. This enrages the Aster spirits who possess Jorja and decree that this command will sever the allegiance between the Asters and the Merritts for good. In order to save his sister, Mael agrees.
✵ Jorja decides to return to Edoria with her kin to keep them safe now that they owe no allegiance to the Merritts. Hadrian decides to do so as well. Mael asks Hadrian to take Aryah with him to keep her safe. Hadrian refuses. He failed her mother and he doesn't want to fail her as well. Mael pleads with him, as a brother-in-arms, to keep her safe. Hadrian finally submits.
✵ Aryah, Hadrian, and Jorja cross the veil into Edoria. All three are immediately seized by the Order for illegally crossing the veil and held prisoner. Hadrian is removed from the Order for going against orders. Jorja, as a citizen of Lybvian, is released, but watched. Hadrian and Aryah are marked by the Order to keep them from causing trouble, significantly reducing their powers. Hadrian is removed from the Order's ranks. Aryah is, again, slave to someone else's authority.
✵ Hadrian, while keeping Aryah safe, finds himself falling in love with her and tries to distance himself. Aryah notices and questions why he is pulling away. He confides in her of his failure to protect her mother and the pair come to terms with how they both feel about that.
✵ In order to have his place back in the Order, they require Hadrian to go back to Serus and return with Mael so that he can stand trial for defying them. Hadrian submits in order to have his old life back. Mael returns peacefully to try to convince the Order that he was doing what he was doing for everyone, not just himself. He is punished for reopening the veil and imprisoned in Edoria.