What follows next is another account that is shrouded in mystery. A report of how a new kind of being was brought into our world, one of both the Light and the Dark, of the Deep and the Sky. They were known as the Awoken. Their history is recorded in a series of documents, but the most notorious of these is known as the Marasenna, which talks of the rise of their entire civilization and how they came to join humanity in the struggle that had consumed them. It speaks of a great rift, not only at the center of the Awoken soul, but also in time, within the Awoken people. A people that would be riven by circumstances, choice and their leaders. The Marasenna also comes with a warning: namely, that in our attempts to grasp its truth, we may in fact mistakenly learn to believe a lie. It is therefore one again, at this point that I should state that the story of the Awoken’s creation is told through a single source, and that the truth of the matter may yet elude us. But with that said, yet again, it is our only source of context, and so, as best we know it, this is the history of the Awoken people. Aboard one of the Exodus program vessels, Exodus Green, alternatively known as Yang Liwei. The captain, Alice Li, detected a strange signal that was following them for approximately 28 hours in radio silence. After repeatedly ignored hails, and just as Captain Li cut the engines so that she might make a sharp about turn and face their ghostly stalker, a message was received from the Warmind Rasputin. Rasputin had detected a hostile extrasolar intruder in the system, and had initiated a Carrhae White emergency.
Bringing all of the potential weapons in the system under this control, Rasputin demanded control of the Exodus green and its onboard guns. But as captain Alice Li decided what to do next, torn between her colonial mission and her duty to Earth, Darkness swarmed around the hull of the ship, and threw its veil, even the Light could not be seen. Terrible gravity waves shook the ship as they simultaneously compressed and expanded every molecule of the crew and their vessel. After the vote from the crew came in to continue onward instead of returning to Earth. Alice Li attempted to send a signal broadcasting a declaration of neutrality to their unknown assistant. Alice Li stated that they wished to be treated as a separate species that was not party to baseline human conflicts or their allegiance to the Traveler. She prayed that this would be enough to make a difference against such an indifferent darkness. It was at this moment that 2 members of the crew were out on the hull. One of them had followed the other out. The first of them, Mara, had gone out there to die alone. She had kicked off the hull with 50 kilometer’s worth of tether, and her brother Uldwyn had followed her out into the darkness. As the message requesting the massive entity’s indifference was broadcast by the Captain, the darkness around them abated, and Mara saw a pinpick of light. It was at this moment that Mara found herself and all the occupants of the crew of the ship behind her. Threatened to be crushed between the mighty presence of Light that had just arrived, and the terrible Darkness that swarmed the area. The colossal forces of Light and Dark that clashed here, smashed into one another yet again, filling the space with so much power and energy that the universe itself struggled to maintain what bounds of law that it could. This was a battleground that was being decimated by the powers of 2 paracausal entities. It was like dividing by zero while counting infinity. And as the 2 violent entities finally reached an equilibrium, the real effect of the power began to manifest. The universe created a singularity, a gaping black hole as an effort was made to cease the paracausal forces that were tearing the very seams of reality apart. The forces of the universe swirled and buffeted around Mara, and it was at this moment that the mistakes of the universe were to be swallowed inside the singularity. Everything pulled forth, and darkness and Light continued to fight. And at this moment, Mara made a choice. A choice that would change the universe. She detached herself from the 50 kilometers of tether that joined her and the ship, and together, all were pulled down into the singularity. All of them had the same fate, to be swallowed by this black hole, but Mara knew what she wanted. Mara knew her fate. She reached out at the edge of death and knew that she would be the first. But it was not death and sweet silence that found her. Instead, it was new life and a place of miracles. The Awoken records next speak of Captain Alice Li experiencing a primordial divinity of sorts. As her existence increased in complexity, she developed a small sense of purpose that grew and blossomed. Until she willed into existence the world she wished to have found for her people. And in doing so, willed herself into that world as a being, not of divine presence, but still of an immortal one. Then, she fell to this earth and lived upon it. She believed herself to be the first among the new peoples, and perhaps the only one. But then, lying on a black stone somewhere near a crashed remnant of the ship, she discovered Mara. As Mara woke, she realized where the were: in a world of incredible bounty within the folded fabric of hidden spacetime. They were inside the black hole. Alis Li inquired why it was Mara that happened to be second. Mara stated that she didn’t know. The first lie to be told upon this new world. But Alis Li believed her, and so they went on to rouse their new people into this new world. And so it was that the crew was roused, and out of the original forty thousands nine hundred crew members of Yang Liwei. Forty thousand eight hundred and ninety one awoke with nine being unaccounted for.
A council was called, and it led the new people to declare certain principles and verdicts. They called themselves the Awoken, and they were immortal. They called their new world within the singularity the Distributary, and they believed that they should never return from where they had been. They created a group of specialists called Eutechs to care for the technology of the ship from which they had emerged. And decreed that under careful supervision, they would reproduce with wombs of flesh and machine, given that any they added to their number would be immortal too. The population of the new Awoken people was greatly imbalanced with 3 times more women than there were men. As a result, until more men were born, they were placed under the protection of the women. Above all, some of the most important verdicts created at this council were the sixth, seventh and eighth. Stating respectively, that the Awoken should know and love the cosmos, that the Awoken were created from a covenant of Light and Dark, but that the covenant was complete, and no further debt should be paid. And finally, that the Awoken were whole in themselves, existing in balance. It was also at this meeting that a final, ninth verdict was declared, which was that, unanimously, the people would recognize Alis Li as their Queen. And so, the Awoken went out and explored their new world, charting its seas, forests and stars. This was a great time of creation and pioneering for the new people, and whilst Alis Li declared as her first rule that there would be no secrets amongst the Awoken. Even here, in this place of new paradise and prosperity, conflict would brew. The Awoken spread across the face of the Distributary, and took on as many diverse lifestyles as one could imagine. From intrepid hunters to great seafarers, to sage scholars, but amongst those people, differences of opinion would dwell, and some would come to doubt their purpose on this world. Some dwelt within the cities and preached the doctrine that reveared the seventh verdict, that the Awoken were made from the completed covenant of Light and Dark, and that their debt was completely paid. They believed wholeheartedly that their place within the universe carried no responsibilities, and there would be no repercussions for their action. But those who dwelt within the country, as many Awoken did, were of the Eccaleist belief. Who did not believe in the seventh verdict, and saw that the clash of titanic forces that birthed them was still going on. They believed that they owed a cosmic debt, one that would eventually need to be repaid. These 2 ideologies could not be so easily brought into balance, the Eccaleists and their opposing Sanguine believers were divided. But then, a spark ignited a flame.