An Eccaleist known as the Diasyrm walked into the cities and loudly accused Queen Alis Li of deicide, the murder of gods. When questioned about this claim, she stated that when Alis Li had created the world, she could have conceived of it to create the Awoken as gods, so that they might be free from all forms of suffering and pain. Immortality was one thins, but to be truly powerful… And yet to be denied this? Deicide was an appropriate term, perhaps. If this was true, this represented an original sin. And what’s more, it represented a secret that Alis Li kept, even as she had declared that the Awoken were not to keep secrets. The division between those that believed that they owed a debt to the cosmos and those that did not ultimately led to a conflict between the Awoken peoples. Known as the Theodicy Wars, and whilst the nature of the conflict, at least in the Marasenna, is indicated to be of a smaller nature. Nonetheless, people died, and the balance between the 2 sides had to be struck, and a truce negotiated. Alis Li petitioned Mara Sov, who had been part of the Eccaleist camp, to find her mother, who was a skilled negotiator and could broker the peace. The mother of Mara and Uldwyn, who had been returned to life as Uldren, saw through Mara’s games, however, and saw part of the truth, which was that Mara, not the Diasyrm, was the source of the Eccaleist movement. The Diasyrm was merely a pawn. This was part of the truth, but not the whole truth. A truth that was known only to Mara for a great deal of time. The monarchy of the Awoken would, in time, wane in power, and a new group of scholars would come to be the most influential body of rulers. They were known as the Gensym scribes, some of whom still persist in the Warlock orders of today. The scribes who would routinely send Gensym Knights on missions to test the reality that they had been studying, knew that Mara and Uldren were gathering lore and prophecies pointing towards the potential day when the Eccaleists would be proven correct. And when the Awoken would need to repay their debt. The Gensym Scribes knew that this could cause another Theodicy War, and so when a tall, strong warrior named Sjur Eido walked into the court of the Scribes and demanded the knowledge necessaty to hunt and kill Mara for her supposed murder of the Diasyrm, the Gensym Scribes obliged, and gave Sjur the knowledge she would need to hunt down Mara. However, a second Awoken Queen was rising to prominence in the Awoken Monarchy. Nguya Pin received a cloacked and masked woman in her court one day, whispered by some to be Mara and others to be the Diasyrm. Whatever the case, it mattered not, for after a long time of having the cloacked figure reside within her court, the monarch declared herself a true Eccaleist. She bound the ambition and knowledge of the Gensym Scribes to the Eccaleist’s preferred task, and so the Scribes set about on the course of attempting to understand if the Awoken owed the Cosmos a debt or not.
The royal palace was turned into a center of learning, and a feast of ideas that radically advanced the Eccaleist cause. Into this feast strode Sjur Eido, her cloak and longbow at her side. She was looking for the hooded figure. She believed that hooded figure to be Mara, and so she followed her to a laboratory. Dedeucing that this would now be the time to draw her weapon. However, as she was about to kill Mara, she saw her face and was bewitched by her beauty and her grace. And this quelled Sjur’s desire to see vengeance for the Diasyrm that she believed Mara had defeated and killed. She threw the weapon between them and told Mara that she could not bring herself to kill, but that the debt of her battle needed to be paid. She would fight Mara to the agony, or die trying, and so, Mara called upon Uldren, her brother, who would battle on her behalf. Uldren suggested not one but three duels, with blade, rifle, and fifth-generation air superiority fighter. These duels and the prospect of Mara’s murder troubled the Gensym Scribes, as they did not want to appear to have invited murder upon the one had extensively informed the beliefs of the Queen. It would be like killing her priest or her closest confidant. They retreated from the Ecceleist mission and from the Queen’s court, and as the Scribes fled the palace in droves. Many key contractors in the mission to understand if the Ecceleists were correct or not sensed hesitation and withdrew their support too. To this, Queen Nguya Pin denounced the Scribes and called them faithless and selfish, which only further deepened the tensions between the Sanguine, who believed that the covenant was complete and the Eccaleists, who were even more doubtful than ever of the seventh verdict. The political tension continued to deepen as Uldren and Sjur held their duels. The first duel was held with knives and pitted Sjur’s simpler, strong jabs against Uldren’s whirling theater of the blade. But they were equally matched, and a draw was called. In the second challenge, the 2 chose long rifles and hunted each other for days throughout the jungle. Whilst Uldren blended in and used his stealthy abilities to hide and stake out the fight, Sjur simply let her blunt nature disturb the wildlife around her, which appropriately disrupted and revealed Uldren. She shot him as he crossed a river bed, wounding him, but not killing him. For the final challenge, the 2 chose fifth-generation fighters with the full compliment of weapons available to either of them. If the full compliment could not be supplied, most crucially, it would be simulated instead. And if a simulated kill was attained, it was worth equal value to that of a real kill. Not all weapons were available, in particular, a nuclear payload was not something that the Awoken had kept around. Having disposed of those weapons a long time before. Sjur chose an Ermine tactical fighter with a payload of heat-seeking missiles, and Uldren chose a ship known as a Dart, which was an exceedingly old fighter with terrible on-board systems that would be easily outmatched by the faster Ermine. Sjur might have been able to sense that something was wrong at this point, but regardless, accepted the duel. And eight miles out from engaging Uldren in the middle of the sky, Sjur’s computer informed her that in a simulated manner, Uldren had killed her. In fact, he had killed her and everything in a four-mile radius. Long ago during an age when the Dart was constructed, the Awoken had used military-grade ship-to-ship nuclear payloads on the Dart. This was still a part of its payload, and Uldren hd simulated firing one of these, and by the result, had ended the duel and in a simulated manner, killed Sjur. After all their fighting and after all the immense desire for revenge that Sjur held, the 2 were tied. Sjur threw herself before Mara, informing her that she had fought to a standstill with Uldren. Sjur left her fate in Mara’s hands, and Mara lifted her face, telling her to join them and to be of service to her. And so, Sjur did, and from that day forth until her dying day, served at the right hand of Mara Sov.
Later, Mara, would meet with Nguya Pin and Nguya would inform Mara that she was abdicating the throne. Mara had manipulated the monarchy and the Gensym Scribes to ensure that her needs, both scientific and political, had been accomplished, and Nguya knew this. This was a rebuke, as much as one could be made against Mara, but it was already too late. Mara had accomplished her purpose, and was even planning ways to implement the monarch who would supplant Nguya. After some more time passed, Mara finally put her plan into action. She proposed to the Awoken people and her followers that the hour of their reckoning was at hand, and that the time to repay their debt to the cosmos had come. Thousands flocked to Mara’s banner, and an expeditionary force was formed, created the basis for a journey by the Awoken people into space. Back through the Black hole, back to where they had come from. The expedition was 12.1 billion years in the making, for time was slower within the black hole. When they would emerge, hopefully not much time would have passed at all. Mara had been preparing for this moment, ever since she had been reborn. Before she departed, there were 2 things she had to do. The first was to ask for a boon from the first Queen, Alis Li, and the second was to say goodbye to her mother one last time. The mother who would not be joining Mara on the voyage back to Sol. In spite of all her power and all her plans and all her manipulations, Mara could not bring her mother with her. She could not convince her to change her ways. Her mother was happy, and did not wish to change her life, and Mara knew no matter how much they argued. She could not be swayed. She tried nonetheless, and their final words were bitter and unresolved. But this was nothing compared to the wrath that Mara would experience at the hands of Alis Li as they spoke later. When Mara arrived, she endeavored to tell Alis Li the truth, and for this truth that she would tell, the boon that she would ask of Alis Li was forgiveness. Alise Li had long suspected that Mara was behind the Awoken people being so divided, so riven. She believed Mara to be the one who had influenced the Diyasam. And the Eccaleists into creating a society that would always have a discontented few feeling guilt in their debt to the universe. But she could not possibly imagine the scale and brilliance of Mara’s design. Mara told her the terrible truth, that Alis Li only believed herself to be first being in existence un the new world of the Distributary. And she only believed herself to be the first because Mara had desired it to be that way. For it was Mara who had been the first to cross the Event Horizon that lead to the Distributary. Mara who had designed the world and all its flaws, Mara who had planted the division in the Awoken people, Mara who had been the devil that had invented suffering and invited it into the Garden of Eden that was the Distributary. All this so that 12.1 billion years later, she could enact the plan that she had set into motion. So that she could take the skeptics and the quilty and lead them back through the singularity to help fight the cosmic war that had birthed them. So that they’d debt to the cosmos could be repaid. It was this, the creation of suffering within a perfect world, the first sin within the Distributary. The manifestation of evil that Mara asked for forgiveness for. Forgiveness was not what she received from Alis Li. It was only fury. It was time for Mara and the expedition to depart at long last. The Awoken were returning to the place of their true birth. Before they left the world of the Distibutary, there was an alert. Retribution of some from had come for them. Missiles from the surface of the Distributary’s planet were being launched, and Mara initiated an emergency launch, back through the singularity. Despite the slew of missiles damaging some of the ships, the crews made it mostly unharmed, but Mara was unable to send a final message to her mother, and so, she would never know any more from the woman that had raised her. But now was not the time for sorrow. Now Mara needed resolve. She returned through the singularity, and emerged back in Sol. On the other side, they were greeted by a system in ruin, the collapse had taken its toll, and Sol was mostly unrecognizable. The once mighty domain of humanity was left shattered and lawless, left in squalor, and without hope of salvation or nobility. Whether Mara and the Awoken owed the debt to the cosmos was a subject of debate that one could potentially hold for 12.1 billion years. But the reality before them demanded a response now, humanity was on its last legs, and undoubtedly, the Awoken could help. Initially they settled within the asteroid belt, around a massive string of ships, broken, but tethered together near Vesta. This was a closeness that originally had kept them alive, and in the end, this is something that would serve the new life of the Awoken. This would now be their new domain, the Reef. As they settled, Kelda Wdj and the other Eutechs who accompanied them, now known as Techeuns. Divined that some kind of magic had followed them through, and that the Awoken were giving off a strange series of effects best described as magic. They defied the powers of the universe. Mathematics, gravity, just in the same way the Darkness and Light did, but tied to neither.
Some Awoken were capable of this acausal effect and others were not. But the effect was strongest around Mara. The Awoken would then also endure a series of attacks by the Eliksni, who had succeeded in following the Traveler from their system of origin all the way to its final resting place in Sol. The Awoken fought them back when they attacked. Mara and Uldren and Sjur led the charge every time. Sjur’s might, Uldren’s speed and Mara’s raw power delivered the Awoken to victory. It was around this time, however, that Mara would also be petitioned by the Awoken for the right to leave the fleet of ships in the Reef and to immediately aid the remnants of humanity. Mara’s plan involved them building up a base of power in secret so they could better understand the system before them. The Awoken who wished to leave immediately, however, grew tired of this, and after one craft made a break for it. Mara’s own wish was that the Awoken should be given a choice. In all fairness, she had no other options. Mara stated that they were given one chance and that if they chose to leave, they would not be permitted to return. And so, the once riven Awoken were riven again, and those that departed for the worlds of humanity would be of great assistance. But they would no longer be known as the Reefborn Awoken. They would be known as the Earthborn Awoken. Thus, a great people were sundered twice. The Earthborn Awoken that went out into the system were greeted by present to the Collapse and the following age of Darkness that came with it. They would help to rebuild, but there was no longer a system in which they could see humanity flourishing immediately. The Golden Age was gone. And when the Awoken had returned, humanity had spun into a new age of existence: a Dark Age, when all but the faintest of hopes had been snuffed out.