Court History

Overview

Each of the courts has their own interpretation on the true history of the world, virtually all of these histories reflect the agendas of the court relating the tale. Over the past few years, the Quincunx Corporation has dedicated a number of researchers to the task of cross referencing the various conflicting histories and trying to determine a single chronology for the history of supernatural influence over the human race.

This has not been an easy task, many of the earliest records are notoriously subjective. Many of the supernatural beings claiming to have been at key events have wildly different memories of the circumstances. The Quincunx Corporation has considered using lie detection technology to fathom the truth, or even calling on the services of psychics, but at this stage the protection of the present is more important than the unravelling of the past. Knowledge of the past may be useful, but it doesn't stop a fireball hurtling at a camera crew.

Layers of Hidden History

As far as Quincunx is concerned, there are three versions of history. The first version is the history taught in schools and colleges, this is referred to as the Open History. The details that constitute the open history are defined by the sciences of anthropology, archaeology, and when you delve back far enough, biology, geology and physics. While many agree on the Open history of the world, even this is subject to interpretation as various religious groups try to claim false the theories of science.

Behind the Open History lies the Shadow History; this is a layer of cosmology, philosophy, collective conscious and myth. The details of the Shadow History become less factual and more closely based on belief. Various parts of the world seem to have different Shadow Histories, and it is from these differences of belief that the courts derive their powers. It is also this level where the Quincunx corporation dedicate their efforts.

Further behind the veil of subjective truth lies a version of reality's past called the Dark History. Even the courts consider the Dark History to be a form of mythology, yet occasionally delving into this lore has uncovered secrets leading to incredible insight (or insanity).

With so many layers of reality available to study, it's hardly surprising that many operatives of Quincunx turn to mystical studies such as gnosticism, shamanism or kaballah in an attempt to uncover a truth that makes sense within their own minds.

Reflections in Myth and Folklore

A comparative study of the Shadow History and the Open History reveals far too many parallels to be explained by mere coincidence. Certain events don't appear in in the open history, but have been identified in enough apocryphal texts and assorted court Shadow Histories that they have become accepted lore in the eyes of Quincunx.

The bestowing of power by a celestial trickster (whether Luciferian or Promethean in nature), the falling of an ancient nautical civilisation, or even a commonly referred deluge. The Quincunx corporation has carefully considered many options before putting together what it considers to be the definitive version of the Shadow History.

Interpretations of Truth

Perhaps the most comprehensive shadow history encountered thus far was found during a recent raid on a woman suspected of paranormal manipulation of local court cases.


My Dearest Hannaya,

Thank-you for your recent letter, it is good to hear that you have taken an interest in topics I have been studying for a long time. I may not have all of the answers you require, but I will strive to clarify the confusion and dispel the illusions you have lived with. There are dozens of us who have studied the origins of our kind. We are scattered across many of the courts and our research has taken us to all parts of the world.

To a race of spiritual immortals, time means very little. But to explain the origins of such a race, a history is needed. Such a history requires events in a sequential order, and therefore a reference to time at some level.

Tying the events of the immortals to a span significant to the minds of citizens is very difficult, entire generations of citizens can live and die between the events an outsider might find worthy of recognition. An outsider could remain asleep for the time it takes an entire civilization to grow and finally fade away.

For these reasons, dates have not been assigned to the great events of our people. Instead we measure the phases of their existence by epochs; periods of vast time that spread between the cataclysmic events that have shaped our cultures.

Each of the courts have great dates that mark significant events from their perspectives, in much the same way that mortal legends mark the origins of their cultures. These events stretch deep into the past and far beyond the realms of our physical world. It has been impossible for our scholars to piece together a definitive history, because those who have lived long enough to remember the ancient events have become so separated from the mortal world that their minds seem insane to even the most enlightened of our kind. Those who communicate with these ancient beings are the eldest of the courts, and most of these have spent so many millennia tainting the truth with propaganda of their own that they have lost the ability to recognize the truth behind layers of intrigue and deception.

Like archaeologists, or modern forensic detectives, our group of scholars has managed to refine the history I write to you now. It begins long before humans walked the earth, and many parts of it are still subject to great debate among our kind. Perhaps you will uncover clues that lead to further knowledge about our kind as you walk the forgotten paths.

For the sake of simplicity, we have divided our entire race’s history into a number of great epochs, which have each been divided into ages. Ages could be further divided into millennia, or centuries, but these concepts of time are most meaningful to the citizens, and therefore least meaningful to a history of our race.

The First Epoch
Once you stretch far enough back into the mists of time, the work of historians becomes irrelevant; instead we look to the philosophers, the cosmologists and the physicists. These periods date into eras long before the fist steps of man, in fact many of the more knowledgeable among the outsiders would claim that the elders of our race have existed in some form since long before life itself was present on our planet.

It was a time when the first suns blazed into being and the first clouds of cosmic dust formed the planets.

Our most ancient scholars believe that in the first fractions of a second, our collective conscious was awakened, and from that awakening our spiritual selves were born. Others claim that the collective awakening was merely a thrust from the celestial heavens into a newly born universe, that we were destined to be the protectors and guides of this creation, or that the elders were being punished for sins by a power we can never truly know. I leave that discussion to the philosophers and mystics.

During the first epoch, we learnt the ways of the universe. We took on the elemental forms and mastered many of the powers known today. The first among us were called the Celestines, being so vast and powerful that we can barely comprehend them now. This was a time of great knowledge and experimentation, but it was also a time of mystery. We seemed to have no purpose, and yet in our experimentation anything seemed possible. But what was the purpose of experimentation if there was no goal.

We don’t know what caused the end of the first age, except that it has been referred to as the great Diaspora. There is no evidence of any other form of life at that time, and certainly no known creature could have approached the sheer power that the elders wielded. They may have fallen to civil war; perhaps an experiment had gone astray. Perhaps the elders had been cursed by a greater power, who had come back to enact revenge once they had started to gain enough power to once again become a threat. It doesn’t matter what caused it; it simply matters that the eldest of our kind were scattered across the known universe, and perhaps to planes beyond.

The Second Epoch
In time, the elders of our kind gathered once again.

Some of them gathered on Earth, but it is said that far more gathered across the other worlds of the universe. Each of the great beings chose a home from among the great spheres of matter where they though they could make a difference.

In their absence, life on Earth had moved from its simple aquatic forms to amphibious and reptilian creatures. Plant life had developed, and insects had started to develop the first concepts of colony. Perhaps the elders instilled in the humble invertebrates a notion of colony and harmony, or maybe they learnt the system of hierarchy from the bugs. More likely it was something that evolved symbiotically over the course of hundreds of millennia.

The elders tried to bring this system to the creatures that they considered showing the most promise: the great reptilian beasts who had started to roam the planet. Yet without more direct connection, they proved beyond spiritual and elemental manipulation. The complexity of reptilian minds was far more detailed than the simple insects, so the elders developed experiments to infuse living forms with elemental power. Such experiments took time and energy, and it is said that many elders died perfecting the rituals during those days.

Fusions of elemental energies with insects and many other invertebrates proved easy enough. But more elaborate combinations proved unstable, in some cases the minds of these beasts may have been too primitive to handle the energies, other cases seriously mutated the living hosts with the new energies. There are legends among our kind that refer to experiments from this time that left as a legacy a race of immortal aquatic beasts known as the Leviathans (among other names). These beings may have developed crude intelligence from the contact with the elders, but their minds were too small to handle the overwhelming elemental energies they were granted. As the first beings fusing the elemental energies of the elders and the physical bodies of the living, they were the first of the outsiders. Their power was vast but with an instinctive intelligence that came closer to insanity the elders considered them a failed experiment. With their collective power, great asteroids were pulled from their orbits to wipe out the evidence of their failed experiments, but it is said that in the depths of the oceans and the caverns under the earth there are still beings from those times that await a time when they can cause devastation once again.

The most successful experiments from this epoch were found among the reptilians, a new race was forged who showed intelligence and the ability to learn; and while these beings were mutated beyond their original reptilian forms, they stabilized with careful breeding over generations. With the ability to crudely manipulate elemental energies, they could bring powers into being that had only been imagined by the elders. Their connection with the spiritual and physical planes gave them a strength that had never been seen before and they were considered one of the greatest successes in creation. Many of these beings, and their descendants, still live. They are known as the Dragons.

Of course, evolution works in mysterious ways, and while the more prominent elders were forging the Dragons, other forces were at work among the lesser beasts. Many of the lesser elders claim to have been behind the rise of the mammals, but just as many claim the phenomenon was purely natural or maybe a part of some great Creator’s plan. But with the creation of the dragons, many of the elders retreated into seclusion for countless millennia: leaving the physical world to their chosen guardians.

The Dragons took a closer interest in the mammals and chose selected members of the warm blooded races to oversee their brethren. If the original Dragons were the first of the divine, then we consider these selected members to be the first of the demigods and supernaturals.

By the time the elders realized that something special was developing among the mammals, they were on the back foot. The dragons had watched them and had taken on the roles of guardians and protectors, but the development of the first humans showed a potential that even the dragons started to fear. The humans could learn much like the dragons, but they were able to learn quickly. The lessons that took dragons millenia to master, were developed by humans in a fraction of the time.

They seemed to possess a new element, unknown to either Dragon or Elder. Bearing none of the weaknesses of the other elements, but the capacity to emulate any of them, this was dubbed by the elders as the element of Void. Identifying this new element marked the end of the second epoch.

The Third Epoch
The beginning of the Third Epoch marks the time when the myths and legends of the humans start to coincide with the history of our own people.

Early in these times it is said that a human possessed of the true void was offered a gift of spiritual knowledge. Some claim that this was given by a lesser elder whose name is now translated as Prometheus, others say it may have been a Dragon bestowing a gift in the form of an apple. Either way, a citizen took the gift and the destiny of that race was shifted in ways that we couldn’t have possibly imagined.

From a spark of divine potential, and fueled by the powers of the elements, the citizens spread across the face of the earth. As the greater beings had separated themselves from the dragons in times long since past, the dragons themselves knew that time had progressed beyond them. The physical plane was now home to vast numbers of citizens who had begun to colonize all of the warm places of the earth. They had even learnt to use fire and stone to encroach upon the frozen parts of the globe.

Numerous members of the elder races sought ways to bring the growing power of the citizens under control. Some flaunted their supernatural gifts and became known as monsters, other used their powers to assist the communities around them and developed cults of worshippers. It is said that in these times, the first trappings of religion developed. Some of the elders discovered that the combined beliefs of mortal minds were able to push their own powers to levels they had never before imagined, and these beings grew drunk on their newfound power. These worshipped beings seemed to achieve some of the legendary powers of the celestines, and it was only a matter of time before they grew jealous of one another and started to wage war on one another’s followers. It began with skirmishes between the followers of lone supernatural beings, but over time these skirmishes developed into wars.

In their wars, the elders used many methods to develop champions among their followers. Some took to breeding with the citizens, while others bestowed their essence on those who had proven themselves worthy. It is even said that some citizens learned secret arts in these times that they used to transcend their mortal natures, of course such rituals are carefully guarded secrets that have rarely been revealed in these modern nights.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens were slaughtered in the great religious battles that raged across the world in these times. Thousands of supernatural beings were also slain in the great combats of the age. It is impossible to know how many elders were lost in these times, for their names have simply been lost to the mists of time and their descendants never speak of them.

Such was the dawn of the first great age of bloodshed among the elders. Many among the dragons hid in the furthest reaches of the globe or took leave of the physical world altogether at this time, the dragons knew that their alien appearance would cause many to view them as monsters rather than benevolent beings.

The wars we ravaged stirred ripples in the cosmos, and as the dragons fled to the spirit realms the elders chose to ignore the signs around them. For the dragons were not the only beings of immense power in the world, and the elemental energies we childishly hurled around had caused the Leviathans to stir once again. The Celestines too had begun to take a renewed interest in the affairs of the mortal world.

In these times, the highest concentration of citizens was still to be found in the lands of eastern Africa, and while many small clans had left these parts to explore the remainder of the globe, the tribes and villages of these fertile lands were the most advanced civilizations of the prehistoric world. The wars in these parts were the most savage, heroic supernatural beings would lead their faithful clans of mortal followers as gods in bloodthirsty combat that would last weeks and months. Yet this close contact between our members would in time lead to a fundamental change. Perhaps a group of these young gods had decided there would be safety in numbers, maybe a truce had been called, or perhaps the display of supernatural powers had lead one of the Leviathans to threaten a multitude of beings. Either way, the first group of supernatural beings banded together. This meant that in the wilds of Africa, where the citizens had first risen to prominence, the Ivory Court was founded.

News of this took a great deal of time to spread. The idea of co-operation did not come easily to the supernaturals, for they had become gods and heroes to the citizens around them. It took hundreds of centuries for a second court to form, under the protective gaze of one of the greatest dragons to have ever lived. In the remote land of Australia the Ochre Court lay hidden from the rest of the world, remaining carefully obscured from the rest of the world as it evolved in harmony with the citizens in ways that still haven’t been completely understood.

Between these two, the valley of the Indus river forged its own alliance of beings, the Court of Sapphire. From the unity of the beings here the origins of modern civilization can be traced. It is also said that the legends of Atlantis, Mu and other forgotten cultures may share their origins in courts that existed during these times.

While earlier ages of dominance over the citizens had been marked by war and bloodshed, these new times were a golden age of enlightenment and knowledge. Some courts developed elaborate religious rituals, others founded the origins of practices now known as magic, while others crafted and discovered the ways of metal.

The supernatural beings who dominated these societies developed social customs along with their courts, establishing rules that would ensure they would not come to the savage bloodshed of previous ages.

With their courts, the supernatural beings of the age fought back the Leviathans, and other savage creatures of the past. Their power grew greatly and in time the supernaturals of the era began to rival the Celestines in their power over the mortal world.

The Celestines could not accept such arrogance from their children, and had many tools at their disposal, for their powers stretched far beyond the bounds of the earth and deep into the heavens and spirit realms. The beings who now considered themselves gods had been too young to remember the times when Celestines had diverted the path of asteroids to destroy their failed experiments. They could scarcely conceive that such feats were still possible in the world, but the Celestines knew it was not beyond them to induce such catastrophes again. Yet they did not want to destroy either their children or the citizens who had proven such a valuable resource, the Celestines sought merely to teach their children a lesson.

Emissaries of the Celestines sent out a warning. The young gods had meddled in the affairs of mortals and their actions had sent dangerous energies across the planes. In their actions the gods had forged nephilim and had almost wiped out the potential within the citizens. The emissaries stated that they would have to withdraw from the affairs of mortals. The gods would be forced to separate themselves from the mortal world in spiritual realms far beyond the reach of citizens. They would be given a chance to start afresh in the world, but from this point forward they would only be able to direct the mortals through their lesser children, the demigods and supernaturals.

Some among them knew the words of the emissaries to be wise, the remaining families of pure citizens had seen the co-operation of the gods and had united into their own brotherhoods. Among these children of the void were protectors who kept the citizens safe from the gods and the monsters who sought to harm the mortals. Other children of the void were trained as hunters, taking down those who would deviate too far from the natural order. The emissaries knew that if something was not done, then a war would rage between the citizens and the supernaturals. Both would be weakened and thus easy targets for the wrath of the slumbering Leviathans who threatened to stir in larger numbers.

Thus was sent the deluge, and as it wiped away the civilizations of the world the third epoch turned into the fourth.

The Fourth Epoch
As we draw into the fourth epoch, the history of our people follows more closely with what you learn in the accounts of historians among the citizens. There are many who walk among us now who recall quite clearly the entire span of the fourth epoch. Most among these are the eldest members of the various courts scattered across the world, and most agree in general with the mortal historians. Although it can’t be said that they all agree when it comes to specific details.

With the receding of the flood waters, laws were set in place among our kind.

The three great courts of Ivory, Ochre and Sapphire once again began to spread their influence. The Ivory court sent forth a new flow of people across the globe, watching over their people as spirits and guardians. The Ochre court erected a huge mystical barrier in these times, hiding their entire continent from the remainder of the world. Only the members of the Sapphire court returned to their previous ways, lording over mortals as distant gods while using the demigods, supernaturals and half-bloods to act as their agents among the citizens.

While once we were regarded as heroes, this new age saw us become separated from the cultures we once nurtured. We were still able to lead the citizens, but we had to do it more subtly, often through mortal pawns or half-bloods who were still able to blend among the masses.

In cultures spread far across the world, the history of ancient civilizations had spread into legend. The fall of the gods had been forgotten and many groups of gods forged new courts to rule over the citizens. Beings from Northern Africa ignored the words of their neighbours among the court of Ivory, and in doing so the pantheons of the Court of Sand were founded.

Far across the world, millennia of fighting had raged across the realms of mortal and spirit. Some claim this fighting ended with the intervention of the Court of Sapphire, others speak of a union of five heavenly animals. Within a mortal generation, the fighting had ended and the Court of Jade was born.

Not far across the sea, other supernatural beings had also begun to stir. While none can place the date of the origin for the Court of the Chrysanthemum, most know that its presence was felt only a few short centuries after the founding of the Jade. The war between these two courts came naturally, and they have been fighting a continuous shadow war in the millennia since their first encounter.

The spread of citizens was almost complete. All continents but Antarctica had become inhabited by the mortals. Their tool making and science had lead from flint-knapping to metallurgy and alchemy. The social dynamics of the citizens had lead from families and clans to towns and kingdoms. The world had begun to change ever faster, and the gods began to rely ever more on the supernaturals and half-bloods who could more easily monitor these changes by living among the citizens.

The trappings of modern religion and science developed as the citizens took hold of their own destiny, and in sacred parts of the world the remaining courts were forged as a response to the growing power of the mortal world.

The beings who would found the Peyote Court allowed their children to roam across the plains of North America. Perhaps linked to Ochre court far across the Pacific Ocean, they shared a desire to allow the citizens to make their own mistakes, while acting as guardians and protectors against the darker supernatural menaces that lingered at the edge of reality.

In Western Europe, the citizens had become far more powerful, and the supernaturals had to take the defensive. For millennia, many had lead tribes of citizens, but now they had to forge the Court of the Rose as a mere act of survival as the mortal citizens developed more power and ambition. Most members claim that the forging of the Court of the Rose was based on the building of Stonehenge. This all occurred millennia ago and has been a point of mystery for many citizen in the time since.

As the citizens grew in strength, we took on the roles you see us in today, living apart from society but seeking to move it in ways that either nurture it for future generations or harvest it for ourselves.

Religions were founded, flourished, then passed away into history; some of which you may start to recognize from the history lessons of the citizens; the Chaldeans, the Babylonians, the Etruscans, the Persians.

In time, the remainder of the great courts were forged. The pre-Inca and pre-Mayan civilizations in South America were a consequence of the Court of Gold, feeling the power of the foreign courts through occasional contact with explorers from the Courts of Jade and Sand. Beings who had watched over the citizens in these far flung reaches of the world knew that the would have to become organized in centuries leading up to contact if they wished to retain any of the power they had enjoyed for millennia.

The final great court evolved in the shadows of gloomy mountains, embedded in the politics of the world all around them, but hidden in secrecy from the prying eyes of outsiders. The Court of Blood kept to itself, fighting feuds that kept it focus internal until it was exposed by visitors from the Courts of Sand, Rose and the growing power of mortal hunters who had once again begun to roam the streets. Self styled monsters rather than gods, the beings of the Court of Blood took a different view to the citizens around them, a view which has led them into conflict with virtually every other court across the world.

Dozens of lesser courts have come and gone over the course of millennia, some have left a legacy that remains strong such as the Obsidian Court, which fueled the growth of the Aztec empire. Others linger on the edges of mortal consciousness, like the Court of Runes which once gave power to the Vikings and Nordic explorers.

In time there may be other groups which develop the status of a great court, but the concerted effort of the existing courts has stopped any from approaching their level over the last two millennia. Besides, the mortal world has started moving far to quickly, and only the inertia of time has kept the courts active as their members struggle to keep up with the advancing world around them.

Philosophy and alchemy have grown into science, religions have started to spread across the globe far beyond the lands of their origins, and crusades have ravaged lands that were once sacred. Once we were able to stride onto battlefields with powers that were far beyond the understanding of citizens, we could call down lightning and raise infernos, but now our powers pale in comparison to the smallest atom that has been unleashed by the citizens.

There are those who say that our time in this world is coming to and end; they claim we have fulfilled our goal of awakening the citizens to their true potential. Others claim that we are simply waiting for a new evolution, perhaps a new epoch lies ahead.

Only time will tell…

I hope I have not rambled too much, and hope this has been of use to you.

Dr. Ratnam


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